Morality Wars: How Empires, the Born Again, and the Politically Correct Do Evil in the Name of Good

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What do empire, the born again, and the politically correct have in common? Is patriotism a good thing? Did General Patraeus betray us, or did MoveOn? Does morality often serve immoral purposes?

This book offers a new way to approach these questions, which lie just beneath our increasingly poisoned political conversation today. Derber and Magrass show that the problem today is not just lying but “immoral morality,” doing evil in the name of good. Both Republican and Democratic presidents, they show, have been immoral moralists.

The authors explore three ancient codes of immoral morality frighteningly resurrected in America today —those of empire, the politically correct, and the born again. The British preached the White Man’s Burden to show empire was a moral obligation. Bush today proclaims that the U.S. must occupy Iraq to spread liberty. Although the right today has recrafted historic arguments that empires bring peace, and fundamentalists battle moral decay, the authors show that the Democratic Party and the left have their own IM, with Democrats supporting empire and the left its own political correctness.

America’s political divide today is a backlash to the progressive revolution of the 1960s and 1970s—secular, antiwar, and feminist—that created a radical break from traditional values and set the stage for current morality wars. In the spirit of de Tocqueville, this powerful book offers a rich and vivid portrait of America’s political landscape, exploring ideas that can help move the nation to a new morality and politics.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594515132
  • Publisher: Paradigm Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/28/2010
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Derber, Professor of Sociology at Boston College, has written twenty books,including bestsellers with multiple translations and editions. He has also written opinion pieces for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Christian Science Monitor, Newsday, and other newspapers and magazines. His most recent book is Capitalism: Should You Buy It? An Invitation to Political Economy (Paradigm 2014).

Yale R. Magrass is a Chancellor Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts–Dartmouth, where he teaches social theory, political sociology, and the social impact of science and technology. He is the author of three other books and more than thirty articles, including encyclopedia entries, served on the board of six journals, has been a recipient of several grants, and participated in numerous international forums.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction: When Right Is Wrong-Why Immoral Morality Is Epidemic in America     1
Empire and the Morality of Winning
How to Be Chosen: What the Roman and British Empires Taught America     19
America's Moral Big Stick: How Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush Taught Us to Police the World     35
The Mass Psychology of Empire: Why Bostonians Believe in the Red Sox and Americans Believe in America     63
Born-Again Nations
Hitler's Born-Again Story: Fascism as an Immoral Moral Awakening     83
Moral Calamity in Dixie: Rebirth of a Southern Nation     105
God Bless America: The Republican Party and American Theo-Corpocracy     119
Political Correctness as an American Tragedy
The Invisible Political Correctness: The Right Is Your Big Brother     151
Left Political Correctness: When Free Thinkers Become Dogmatists     165
Conclusion: When Losers Are Winners-The Coming Crisis and How Americans Are Finding a New Moral Compass     191
Notes     203
Index     213
About the Authors     221
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