In his first major book on the subject of income inequality, Noam Chomsky skewers the fundamental tenets of neoliberalism and casts a clear, cold, patient eye on the economic facts of life. What are the ten principles of concentration of wealth and power at work in America today? They're simple enough: reduce democracy, shape ideology, redesign the economy, shift the burden onto the poor and middle classes, attack the solidarity of the people, let special interests run the regulators, engineer election results, use fear and the power of the state to keep the rabble in line, manufacture consent, marginalize the population. In Requiem for the American Dream, Chomsky devotes a chapter to each of these ten principles, and adds readings from some of the core texts that have influenced his thinking to bolster his argument.
To create Requiem for the American Dream, Chomsky and his editors, the filmmakers Peter Hutchison, Kelly Nyks, and Jared P. Scott, spent countless hours together over the course of five years, from 2011 to 2016. After the release of the film version, Chomsky and the editors returned to the many hours of tape and transcript and created a document that included three times as much text as was used in the film. The book that has resulted is nonetheless arguably the most succinct and tightly woven of Chomsky's long career, a beautiful vessel--including old-fashioned ligatures in the typeface--in which to carry Chomsky's bold and uncompromising vision, his perspective on the economic reality and its impact on our political and moral well-being as a nation.
"During the Great Depression, which I'm old enough to remember, it was bad–much worse subjectively than today. But there was a sense that we'll get out of this somehow, an expectation that things were going to get better . . ." —from Requiem for the American Dream
|Publisher:||Seven Stories Press|
|Product dimensions:||7.40(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
PETER HUTCHISON is an NYC-based filmmaker, educator, and activist. His documentary work includes What Would Jesus Buy? with producing partner Morgan Spurlock; Split: A Divided America; Beyond Activism: Four Decades of Social Justice; and Awake Zion: Rasta, Reggae & Judaism. KELLY NYKS is an award-winning writer/director of documentary films and has worked across Europe, Asia, and America. His prior films include The Age of Consequences, Disobedience, Disruption, Do the Math, Split: A Divided America, and Split: A Deeper Divide. Award-winning writer, director, and producer JARED P. SCOTT's other films include The Age of Consequences, Disruption, Do the Math, and The Artificial Leaf. His films have screened at Tribeca, Hot Docs, Sheffield, and IDFA, and have aired/streamed on Netflix, Starz, PBS, and Al Jazeera.
Table of Contents
A Note on the American Dream ix
Principle #1 Reduce Democracy 1
Secret Processings and Debates of the Convention Assembled at Philadelphia, In the Year 1787, and Other Sources 9
Principle #2 Shape Ideology 17
Powell Memorandum, Lewis F. Powell Jr., 1971, and Other Sources 25
Principle #3 Redesign the Economy 33
"An End to the Focus on Short Term Urged," Wall Street Journal, Justin Lahart, September 9, 2009, and Other Sources 45
Principle #4 Shift the Burden 51
Henry Ford on Why he Doubled the Minimum Wage he Paid his Employees, and Other Sources 59
Principles #5 Attack Solidarity 65
The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Adam Smith, 1759, and Other Sources 75
Principle #6 Run the Regulators 79
Prosperity Economics: Building an Economy for All, Jacob S. Hacker and Nate Loewentheil, 2012, and Other Sources 91
Principle #7 Engineer Elections 97
Citizens United V. Federal Election Commission, Supreme Court of the United States, January 21, 2010, and Other Sources 103
Principle #8 Keep the Rabble in Line 107
"Ford Men Beat and Rout Lewis Union Organizers; 80,000 Out in Steel Strike; 16 Hurt in Battls," New York Times, May 26, 1937, and Other Sources 117
Principle #9 Manufacture Consent 123
Essays, Moral, Political, Literary, David Hums, 1741, and Other Sources 131
Principle #10 Marginalize the Population 139
"Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens," Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page, 2014, and Other Sources 151
Notes to Primary Source Material 159
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
So much easy to read and understand info
Very timely. Very interesting. It's the companion book to the documentary by the same name. I liked that he went back 50 years to put what is happening today in our government and society in prospective and giving us the history of what has led up to today. He gives examples as well as excerpts of his source materials. This is written so it can be understood by everyone. I learned a lot. There is a lot to think about in these pages.