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Social Inequality, Economic Delcine, and Plutocracy: An American Crisis

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Out in March by Palgrave Macmillan

Discussion 21 Comments

  • Bat Chainpuller 19th Feb 2017

    A world crisis.

    • Bat Chainpuller 19th Feb 2017

      What is it with Americans?

    • reader 21st Feb 2017

      Agreed, and that Guns and Roses goofup was just unacceptable. I mean come on, there's only so much you can blame on jetlag.

    • Bat Chainpuller 21st Feb 2017

      Hello Sydney!...errr, what...oh...Melbawn...no they're ok, it's just the Trump thing is...

  • Lambert Meertens 19th Feb 2017

    While there is indeed a worldwide systemic crisis, I guess the book focuses on how this plays out in the American context. That is still a monumental undertaking, but more approachable than maintaining a global view throughout. This is guesswork; I have not read the book. I probably won’t either when it is out: with a Kindle edition costing $151 it’s beyond my budget.

    • Bat Chainpuller 20th Feb 2017

      Yeah, I know, being a little facetious, but not totally? $151!!!!!????? Shit, if you do have it to spend on a book that probably won't be earth shatteringly enlightening (could be wrong), give it to IOPS!

    • Bat Chainpuller 20th Feb 2017

      Does actually look interesting but...would probably give it a go if tweren't so expensive...may come down when available?

    • Lambert Meertens 20th Feb 2017

      As an eBook from the publisher (Palgrave Macmillan; ISBN 978-3-319-49043-4) it costs “only” $119.00.

      Maybe some of the proceeds will flow to the author, who happened to protest the membership dues proposal in the September poll, and be be used to defray these dues.

  • Dale Johnson 20th Feb 2017

    Iam checking on the outrageous pricing. A chapter is devoted to globalization and there are references in most chapter to European and world events.

  • reader 21st Feb 2017

    Thank you for the mention, will check it out.

    As with my favorite hometown bar it seems that the publisher is extending their Valentine's Day with a sale on all ebooks through February 28.


    • Lambert Meertens 27th Feb 2017

      Thanks, I saw this just on time to pick up the eBook version for just € 14.00.

      A few paragraphs randomly sampled throughout the book promise this to be a smooth read – unlike Srnicek & Williams’ Inventing the Future, which I just finally managed to finish on a 30-hour journey; their book is a tough read, rife with lengthy sentences packed with sociologist jargon.

    • Bat Chainpuller 28th Feb 2017

      Didn't mind that book, Inventing the Future. Thought it a good one. But I've probably forgotten it by now. Happens quick you know. All kind of blends into one big blur then I have to reread everything to remind myself I've already read it.

    • Lambert Meertens 4th Mar 2017

      I think Inventing the Future is an important book, and my plan is to put it on The Book Shelf when I find the time. I just wish it had been written in a more easily accessible way.

      Ironically, the authors themselves, in pointing out the need for changing the media narrative and establishing communication in a way that reaches the targeted audience, write: “The jargon of academics is rightly deemed useless by most people.” I fear the book may fail to reach large parts of the activist audience it addresses precisely for that reason.

    • Bat Chainpuller 5th Mar 2017

      Maybe. Not sure anarchists would like it much! But most probably won't read it because Paul Street hasn't written this phrase yet...

      In Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams latest and important book, Inventing the Future....

    • reader 2nd Mar 2017

      That's great. I missed the sale but did send a book acquisitions request to the local bibliodiscotecha

  • Dave Jones 28th Feb 2017

    Speaking on behalf of all Americans, we have perfected a system for surviving perpetual crisis: we totally ignore it. We get up in the morning and go through the exact same routine as the day before. Everything appears much the same as it did. Then we go home and drink a lot. This is often referred to as "American exceptionalism" but I'm sure you foreigners could pick it up without much trouble.

    • reader 2nd Mar 2017

      I went to class the week they covered American exceptionalism and I'm pretty sure it's a bit different from what you say

    • Bat Chainpuller 3rd Mar 2017

      No...no, it is what Dave says...yeah...it is...Dave's pretty exceptional and he is American.

    • reader 3rd Mar 2017

      I think I understand what you both meant. But is everybody is so willfully oblivious...? Does anyone, even with their silly red cap on really believe that this is the city on the hill, was ever a city on a hill?

      There are lots of people who would just as well spend their days staring at a nearby surface. And those are the ambitious go-getters. Plenty others would rather just stay in bed and every once in a while check that the ceiling is still there. But they can't because there's bills to pay et cetera. And that's the experience of people who would consider themselves authentic working class as well as whoever who consider themselves coordinatorish -- referencing the points you made in the other thread -- I don't know that it's very possible to parse out coordinator class from authentic working class.

  • Dale Johnson 1st Mar 2017

    I am doing what I can about the outrageous pricing of SOCIAL INEQUALITY, POLITICAL DECLINE, AND PLUTOCRACY. Palgrave says 2 years before a paperback.
    a. Brief description.
    Gross social inequalities, persistent economic decline, and political rule by moneyed plutocracy create a crisis of human existence. The upper echelons of capital, led by the financiers, impose degenerative development, instill their class privileged ideology in the populace, subject agencies of state to their agenda, pursue a divide and conquer strategy for the stratified population, and exercise unchecked repression and war. The book explores a counter-hegemony to the rule of capital.
    b. Summary
    The first chapters of the book explore the political economy of finance capital, secular stagnation, and chronic crisis and its consequences for the populations of the United States and worldwide. Sociological analysis focuses on the restructuring of social class relations, workers are being increasingly subordinated, vast populations are being pushed into an immiserated under class, and the middle class is losing its privileges. Capital rules in part by divide and conquer, the creation of social-cultural divisions by race and ethnicity, gender, and social stratifications of privilege and deprivation. Capital imposes its ideology of Social Darwinism, generalized fear in the culture, its notions of American Exceptionalism. Plutocracy reigns in the political sphere, molds a State of National Insecurity, wages war, searches for total hegemony. Together the inexorable workings of political economy and plutocratic rule result in gross inequalities and injustices. These are the structural forces shaping an American Dystopia, generalized worldwide, that are being and will continue to be resisted by victims, as active subjects of change in a search for counter-hegemony.
    c. Dale Johnson is a retired sociologist living in exile in Costa Rica. This book was inspired by the deteriorating situation in the United States and his roots as a 1960s student activist and young critical sociologist. He is the author of seven books and numerous articles in journals. During the 1970s and 1980s he contributed to the advance of “dependency theory” in studying economic and social development, with an emphasis on Latin America. Major publications by Sage Publications are Class and Social Development, Middle Classes in Dependent Countries, and Theories of Development.
    d. keywords. Inequality, stagnation, plutocracy, capital accumulation, consciousness, crisis, development, dialectics, fascism, culture of fear, free trade agreements, globalization, neoliberalism, ideology, racism, sexism, scapegoating, Latin America, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine, social classes, security apparatus, boycott, divestment and sanctions, hegemonic projects, war, official terrorism.

  • reader 2nd Mar 2017

    The Cambridge Foucault Lexicon is outrageously priced. Doesn't mean it isn't a right solid tome.