WHAT: Digging Deeper LV: The domestic consequences of empire
WHO: Led by Mark Jensen
WHEN: Monday, August 25, 2008 -- 7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Mandolin Café, 3923 South 12th St., Tacoma, WA 98405
United for Peace
of Pierce County
August 25, 2008
DIGGING DEEPER LV: THE DOMESTIC CONSEQUENCES OF EMPIRE
The many scholars struggling to make sense of political events since 2000 fall into two groups: those who think that we are seeing the repetition of a pattern with which we are familiar, and those who think that we are seeing something essentially new. Sheldon S. Wolin, professor emeritus of politics at Princeton University, falls into the latter camp. In a new book, Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism (Princeton University Press, April 2008), Wolin argues that "a new type of political system" has emerged in the United States.
Wolin is especially interested in the domestic consequences of becoming a global empire. Wolin sees the 2000 election as a "coup," a watershed moment in American history "exposing how deeply political deterioration had penetrated the system." The aftermath of the attacks of September 11 has seen a wholesale attempt "to reshape the existing political system" in order to mould what Wolin calls "inverted totalitarianism," a domestic system that projects political power inward in a way that complements the outwardly projected state power of the United States as global hegemon, which Wolin dubs "Superpower." "The new system, inverted totalitarianism, is one that professes to be the opposite of what, in fact, it is."
At the heart of the new system, Wolin argues, lies economic power. American domestic politics is now dominated by "the political role of corporate power, the corruption of the political and representative processes by the lobbying industry, the expansion of executive power at the expense of constitutional limitations, and the degradation of political dialogue promoted by the media."
Since July 2004, United for Peace of Pierce County has been conducting “Digging Deeper,” a Monday-evening book discussion group, often in the form of a study circle. Topics have included peak oil, climate change, the corporation, torture, Iran, U.S.-Iran relations, the writings of Robert Baer, Islam, American immigration policy, Barack Obama and the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., Saul Alinsky’s life and writings, war and human nature, parallels between the U.S. and ancient Rome, the sustainability revolution, the debt crisis, 9/11, and energy geopolitics, as well as abiding themes of war, peace, politics, and social change. Occasionally, the group has spent several weeks reading longer works, like Daniel Yergin’s The Prize or Robert Fisk’s The Great War for Civilisation.
DIGGING DEEPER meets every Monday from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Mandolin Café, 3923 S. 12th St., Tacoma, WA.