Blowing the Roof Off the Twenty-First Century: Media, Politics, and the Struggle for Post-Capitalist Democracy

Robert McChesney. Monthly Review, $28 (272p) ISBN 978-1-58367-478-9
“When organized wealth wants one thing and the mass of the people want another, money wins—always,” McChesney (Dollarocracy: How the Money and the Media Election Complex Is Destroying America) writes in this scathing and unflinching look at American culture, media, and politics. Stating that the tag “conservative” doesn’t mean what it used to, McChesney details how the political right has expertly promoted an “environment conducive to the adaptation of ferociously anti-labor, pro-business neoliberal policies” that benefit only a small portion of society, with the media playing along. He acknowledges the difficulty of untying the Gordian knot he depicts, characterized by a pessimistic voter base, a seemingly indifferent government, disparate income distribution, and skyrocketing incarceration rates (in a society that denies felons the right to vote). Despite this bleak picture, McChesney remains optimistic that America can reverse its decline, offering a number of suggestions for achieving the more egalitarian society he terms a “post-capitalist democracy.” Whether this ideal is truly attainable is up to the reader. Regardless of their voting history and political views, anyone who gives McChesney’s lucid, accessible State of the Nation his or her time will find it worthy of thought and discussion. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/2014
Release date: 01/01/2015
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