Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite [NOOK Book]


Polls show that the majority of Americans oppose recent US wars and Wall Street bailouts, yet most remain passive and appear resigned to powerlessness. In Get Up, Stand Up, Bruce Levine offers an original and convincing explanation for this passivity. Many Americans are deeply demoralized by decades of oppressive elitism, and they have lost confidence that genuine democracy is possible. Drawing on phenomena such as learned helplessness, the abuse syndrome, and other psychological principles and techniques for ...

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Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite

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Polls show that the majority of Americans oppose recent US wars and Wall Street bailouts, yet most remain passive and appear resigned to powerlessness. In Get Up, Stand Up, Bruce Levine offers an original and convincing explanation for this passivity. Many Americans are deeply demoralized by decades of oppressive elitism, and they have lost confidence that genuine democracy is possible. Drawing on phenomena such as learned helplessness, the abuse syndrome, and other psychological principles and techniques for pacifying a population, Levine explains how major US institutions have created fatalism. When such fatalism and defeatism set in, truths about social and economic injustices are not enough to set people free.

However, the situation is not truly hopeless. History tells us that for democratic movements to get off the ground, individuals must recover self-respect, and a people must regain collective confidence that they can succeed at eliminating top-down controls. Get Up, Stand Up describes how we can recover dignity, confidence, and the energy to do battle. That achievement fills in the missing piece that, until now, has undermined so many efforts to energize genuine democracy.

Get Up, Stand Up details those strategies and tactics that oppressed peoples have successfully employed to gain power. We the People can unite, gain strength, wisely do battle, and wrest power away from the ruling corporate-government partnership (the "corporatocracy"). Get Up, Stand Up explains how.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Get Up, Stand Up is a powerful call to action that inspires us to take our country back. . . . This comprehensive analysis of how modern corporatocracy robber barons stole the US (and most of the world) is a must read for all who resonate with Levine's belief that We the People have the power and the responsibility to overthrow the ruling elite."--John Perkins, New York Times best-selling author of Hoodwinked, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, and The Secret History of the American Empire

"As you read Bruce Levine's rousing Get Up, Stand Up, inevitably you will be reminded of Thomas Paine's Common Sense, which served as a rallying cry for the colonialists to take action against their British rulers. Today, Levine argues, Americans are ruled by a tyrannical 'corporatocracy'-i.e. government by big business and for big business-and his analysis of why the American people remain so passive in the face of such tyranny is smart, lucid, and passionate. Readers will also find, in his proposals for how the 'people' today can stand up and 'do battle' with the corporatocracy, a stirring call for action that surely needs to be heard."--Robert Whitaker, author of Anatomy of an Epidemic and Mad in America

"In an era when most political commentary has degenerated into self-satisfied carping and smug Monday morning quarterbacking, Bruce E. Levine breaks out of this intellectual paralysis with a clarion call for a new kind of politics. Levine offers a progressive user's manual for reclaiming our government from the stranglehold of corporate greed and rightwing paranoia. As an antidote to apathy, Get Up, Stand Up is worthy of Bob Marley, which is very high praise indeed. Read it, absorb it, act on it."--Jeffrey St. Clair, co-editor, CounterPunch, and author of Born Under a Bad Sky

"Bruce Levine's intriguing new book examines how emotional suffering is interwoven with political disempowerment. He has taken our discussion of mental health out of the doctor's office and put it back where it belongs: in the community."--Will Hall, host of Madness Radio and co-founder of Freedom Center

"With this book, Bruce Levine reinvents the old saw 'the personal is political.' Healthy people make up a healthy movement, and Get Up Stand Up is full of both hope and practical solutions."--Anya Kamenetz, author of DIY U and Generation Debt

"Feeling politically demoralized? You're not alone. In his latest book, Get Up, Stand Up, Bruce Levine provides not only the diagnosis for our country's seeming paralysis, but also a very strong antidote."--Steve Clark, Walking and Bicycling Program Manager, Transit for Livable Communities, Minneapolis

"Over the years, I have been astounded at the way mainstream, hardworking, formerly self-sufficient Americans have meekly accepted being screwed by big business, Wall Street and their elected officials. I have wondered, why hasn't there been an uprising over the looting of mainstream America by big business and Wall Street, facilitated by Congress? Through his brilliant analysis, psychologist Bruce Levine explains the process by which mainstream America has become demoralized and docile, how those in power maintain that power, and what it will take to turn things around. Anyone who cares about the decline of mainstream America should read this book. Anyone who wants to do something about the decline of mainstream America must read this book."--Jim Gottstein, President/CEO Law Project for Psychiatric Rights

"We are living in a land in which corporate power buys as many politicians as it needs, unjust laws shovel money to the rich, and media substitute entertainment for information. Yet Bruce Levine dares to show how we can reclaim our deadened souls, regain integrity and passion, and begin to change a political system we have let numb us into resigned helplessness."--Rev. Davidson Loehr, author of America, Fascism, and God

"Bruce Levine attempts to wake us from our collective political stupor, our anesthetized resignation to corporate rule. Get Up, Stand Up inspires hope that together we can regain our self-respect and create the families, communities and, perhaps, the country we once dreamed possible."--Oryx Cohen, Director of the National Empowerment Center's Technical Assistance Center

Library Journal
Dissident psychologist Levine (Surviving America's Depression Epidemic) contrasts American political apathy to the popular revolts in many countries against harmful policies pushed by the power elite. He diagnoses the numerous maladies that make ordinary Americans feel powerless in the face of "tyrannical corporatocracy"—from too much corporate-controlled news and entertainment and overprescription of antidepressant and attention deficit disorder medications to the decline of organized labor and the lack of real economic differences between our two dominant political blocs. Levine argues that ordinary folk on both the right and the left can find common ground, much like the populists who united disparate strands of anticorporatism and antielitism to storm the economic heights of the Gilded Age. Levine prescribes a mixture of education, protest, promotion of independent economic institutions, and revival of the belief that Americans can once again control their own future rather than meekly accept the dictates of the corporate powers that be. VERDICT A compelling alternative look at today's unsettled U.S. political circumstances through the lens of social psychology, this will be attractive to those who already feel alienated and those looking for new ways to make sense of our changing world.—Duncan Stewart, Univ. of Iowa Libs., Iowa City
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781603583763
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/11/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 909,253
  • File size: 812 KB

Meet the Author

Bruce E. Levine, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and has been in private practice since 1985 in Cincinnati, Ohio. His most recent book is Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite (2011). He is also the author of Surviving America's Depression Epidemic: How to Find Morale, Energy, and Community in a World Gone Crazy (2007), and Commonsense Rebellion: Taking Back Your Life from Drugs, Shrinks, Corporations, and a World Gone Crazy, and has authored a chapter for Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry. Dr. Levine has been a regular contributor to AlterNet, Z Magazine, and The Huffington Post and his articles and interviews have been published in Adbusters, The Ecologist, High Times and numerous other magazines. He is an editorial advisor for the Icarus Project/Freedom Center Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs and on the editorial advisory board of the journal Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry. Dr. Levine has presented talks and workshops to diverse organizations throughout North America. Visit Bruce's blog on The Huffington Post at

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Table of Contents

1. The People Divided Versus the Corporatocracy in Control
The Corporatocracy in Control
The People Divided
2. Are the People Broken?
The 1999 Battle of Seattle
The 2000 US Presidential Election
The Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
Wall Street Bailout
Health Care Reform
The Election of Barack Obama
Labor Unions and Demoralized Working People
The Tea Party Movement
Who, in Large Numbers, Is Fighting for Social justice?
Light Resistance to Major Oppression
Demoralized, Disorganized, Broken, or What?
3. Prelude to Battle: Understanding How the People Learned Powerlessness
Psychological Principles and Techniques for Breaking a Population
Television, Technology, and Zombification
Helplessness in the Age of Isolation, E-Relationships, and Bureaucratization
Broken by Fundamentalist Consumerism and Advertising/Propaganda
Student-Loan Debt and Indentured Servitude
The Normalization of Surveillance
The Decline of Labor Unions and the Loss of Power for Working People
Moneyism, Money-Centric Culture, and Weakness
How Schools Teach Powerlessness
Noncompliance as a Mental Illness
Elitism Training
Liars, Hypocrites, Egomaniacs, and the Corporate Media
The US Electoral System and Learned Helplessness
4. Energy to Do Battle: Liberation Psychology, Individual Self-Respect, and Collective Self-Confidence
Critical Thinking and Morale
Energizing People: Morality and Other Fuels
Healing from "Battered People's Syndrome" and "Corporatocracy Abuse"
Combating Social Isolation and Building Community
Individual Self-Respect and Empowerment
Focus on the Non-Fascist Family: Creating Respectful Relationships
Liberation Psychology
Forging an Alliance among Populists
Inspiration to Overcome Distrust
Collective Self-Confidence: Solidarity and Success
5. Winning the Battle: Solutions, Strategies, and Tactics
Lessons from the Great Populist Revolt
Modern Electoral Politics: Wise or Unwise Battlefield?
The Strategy and Tactics of Disruption
Are Protest Demonstrations Effective?
The Power of Divorce
Twenty-first-Century Abolitionism: Ending Student-Loan Debt Servitude
Workplace Democracy: Worker and Other Co-operatives
Helpful and Harmful Small Victories and Compromises
Crossing the Final Divide
About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2013

    Read the book instead

    The sample of the eversion of this book is jumbled, repetitive and just technologically messed up! For that reason I will not take a chance on buying the eversion but will get the paper version as this IS absolutely excellent writing

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  • Posted December 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Compassionate, Enlivening, Timely

    I appreciate the thoughts in the one other customer review of this book. When we look at all the things standing in the way of the average American trying to make a living - the decrease of unions, trillions of our tax dollars and thousands of our youth sent to unpopular wars, environmental degradation, crowded classrooms and the cutting of health benefits - you see why we are getting poorer and poorer as a country. Instead of a convenient "just snap out of it, work harder", Levine takes a look at how things really are. We're already working too hard, and for less and less. Small towns are drying up so we can basically live in big box stores full of cheap goods from abroad. The wealthy have purchased our only two political parties. Levin offers realistic, compassionate ideas for healing and energizing ourselves from the inside out in order to join together for the greater good. We've got the "all for one" down in this country. Levine balances that with the "one for all" in this timely (especially considering the growing "We are the 99%" movement), brave book.

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  • Posted September 2, 2011

    Not worth the time, or money.

    Levine presents little more than an explanation of what people already know. It reads like the diary of a teenager constantly decrying the system they follow dutifully, and leaves one wondering at his ability to be taken seriously. Throughout the book Levine falls constantly into the trap most common to populists, the need to reassure himself and his readers that for all his trappings of elitism, he is not with them. Mr. Levine, seems not to recognize that growing up working class is worlds apart from being a working class adult. Each chapter finds the author citing statements in support of his arguments culled from the internet, which as anyone who has spent time on the internet may tell you sounds very much like a young boy saying "my mom says I'm handsome." Perhaps the only valuable thing to be gained from this book is the reason why H. L. Mencken (whose name is invoked throughout) hated populists.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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