Pub. Date:
Cengage Learning
Democracy for the Few / Edition 8

Democracy for the Few / Edition 8

by Michael Parenti
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  • Product Details

    ISBN-13: 2900495007448
    Publisher: Cengage Learning
    Publication date: 02/15/2007
    Edition description: REV
    Pages: 368
    Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

    About the Author

    Michael Parenti has taught political and social science at a number of colleges and universities, and now devotes himself full time to writing and guest lecturing. He is an internationally known, award winning author who has published 21 books, including: God and His Demons (2010); Contrary Notions: The Michael Parenti Reader (2007); The Culture Struggle (2006), and The Assassination of Julius Caesar (2003).Various writings of his have been translated into some twenty languages. His publications, including previous editions of Democracy for the Few, have been read and enjoyed by students, lay readers, and scholars, and have been used extensively in hundreds of college courses across the country. Dr. Parenti lectures frequently throughout North America and abroad. His various talks and interviews have played widely on radio, television, and the Internet. Some 300 articles of his have been published in magazines, newspapers, websites, and scholarly journals, including American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, Social Research, and New Political Science. For more information, visit his website:

    Table of Contents

    Preface ix

    About the author xii

    Chapter 1 Partisan Politics 1

    Beyond Textbooks 1

    The Politico-Economic System 3

    Chapter 2 A Constitution for the Few 5

    Class Power in Early America 5

    Containing the Spread of Democracy 7

    Fragmenting Majority Power 10

    Plotters or Patriots? 12

    Democratic Concessions 14

    Chapter 3 Rise of the Corporate State 17

    The War Against Labor 17

    Favors for Business 19

    Pliable Progressives and Red Scares 21

    The New Deal: Hard Times and Tough Reforms 23

    Chapter 4 Wealth and Want in the United States 27

    Capital and Labor 27

    Capital Concentration: Who Owns America? 29

    Downsizing and Profiteering 33

    Inflation, the Profit-Price Spiral 34

    Monopoly Farming 35

    Market Demand and Productivity 37

    The Hardships of Working America 39

    Poverty in Paradise 42

    The Human Costs of Economic Injustice 44

    Chapter 5 Institutions and Ideologies 47

    Corporate Plutocracy 47

    Ideological Orthodoxy 49

    Corporate Rule and Ruin: Some Examples 51

    Left, Right, and Center 52

    Public Opinion: Which Direction? 56

    Democracy: Form and Content 57

    Chapter 6 Politics: Who Gets What? 60

    Welfare for the Rich 60

    Federal Handouts to Corporate America 62

    The Billion-Dollar Bailouts 64

    Taxes: Helping the Rich in their Time of Greed 66

    Unkind Cuts, Unfair Rates 69

    Deficit Spending and the National Debt 70

    Some Hidden Deficits 71

    Chapter 7 Health and Human Services: Sacrificial Lambs 74

    The Poor Get Less (and Less) 74

    Social Insecurity: Privatizing Everything 76

    A Sick Health System 77

    The Health Insurance Racket 79

    The “Socialist” Medical Menace? 81

    Buyers Beware, and Workers Too 83

    Creating Crises: Schools and Housing 85

    “Mess Transit” 87

    Chapter 8 The Last Environment 90

    Toxifying the Earth 90

    Eco-Apocalypse 93

    Pollution for Profits 94

    Government for the Despoilers 96

    An Alternative Approach 98

    Chapter 9 Unequal before the Law 100

    Crime in the Suites 100

    Big Crime, Small Punishment (Usually) 103

    Class Law: Tough on the Weak 105

    The Crime of Prisons 108

    A Most Fallible System 110

    Sexist Justice 112

    The Victimization of Children 114

    Racist Law Enforcement 115

    Chapter 10 Political Repression and National Insecurity 119

    The Repression of Dissent 119

    Political Prisoners, USA 122

    Political Murder, USA 125

    The National Security Autocracy 129

    CIA: Capitalism's International Army or Cocaine Import Agency? 131

    Watergate and Iran-contra 133

    Homeland Insecurity 134

    Chapter 11 The U.S. Global Military Empire 137

    A Global Kill Capacity 137

    Pentagon Profits, Waste, and Theft 139

    Harming Our Own 142

    Economic Imperialism 143

    Intervention Everywhere 146

    Global Bloodletting 147

    Chapter 12 Who Governs? Elites, Labor, and Globalization 151

    The Ruling Class 151

    Labor Besieged 154

    Unions and the Good Fight 156

    How Globalization Undermines Democracy 157

    Chapter 13 Mass Media: For the Many, by the Few 163

    He Who Pays the Piper 163

    The Ideological Monopoly 167

    Serving Officialdom 170

    Political Entertainment 173

    Room for Alternatives? 174

    Chapter 14 Voters, Parties, and Stolen Elections 177

    Democrats and Republicans: Any Differences? 177

    The Two-Party Monopoly 179

    Making Every Vote Count 181

    Rigging the Game 182

    Money, a Necessary Condition 184

    The Struggle to Vote 187

    The War Against Imaginary “Voter Fraud” 189

    Shady Elections 191

    Pale Democracy 196

    Chapter 15 Congress: The Pocketing of Power 197

    A Congress for the Money 197

    Lobbyists: The Other Lawmakers 200

    The Varieties of Corruption 203

    Special Interests and Secrecy 205

    The Legislative Labyrinth 208

    Incumbency and Term Limits 210

    Legislative Democracy under Siege 211

    Chapter 16 The President: Guardian of the System 215

    Salesman of the System 215

    The Two Faces of the President 218

    Feds vs. States 221

    A Loaded Electoral College 222

    The Would-be Absolute Monarch 225

    Chapter 17 The Political Economy of Bureaucracy 232

    The Myth and Reality of Inefficiency 232

    Deregulation and Privatization 235

    Secrecy and Deception, Waste and Corruption 238

    Nonenforcement: Politics in Command 240

    Serving the “Regulated” 242

    Public Authority in Private Hands 245

    Regulation and Business Ideology 247

    Chapter 18 The Supremely Political Court 249

    Who Judges? 249

    Conservative Judicial Activism (Early Times) 252

    Circumventing the First Amendment 255

    Freedom for Revolutionaries (and Others)? 257

    As the Court Turns 258

    Conservative Judicial Activism (Present Day) 265

    Chapter 19 Democracy for the Few 268

    Pluralism for the Few 268

    The Limits of Reform 271

    Democracy as Popular Struggle 273

    The Roles of the State 275

    What Is to be Done? 277

    The Reality of Public Production 283

    Notes 289

    Index 317

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