Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America by Nancy MacLean (2017) is a must read, must buy, and must share book. It is both terrifying and depressing. Alas, after having read about the Powell memorandum, the Koch brothers and dark money, and background on the Birchers, I find myself a believer in a right-wing conspiracy that has probably already destroyed democracy in America for good now.
I was going to write more and quote but had to take back to the library. Plan to buy and may post more after I do that. The book was acclaimed elsewhere too.
Empire of Illusion: The end of literacy and the triumph of spectacle (2009)
The book chapters are divided into 5 sections of type of illusions:
- The Illusion of Literacy
- The Illusion of Love
- The Illusion of Wisdom
- The Illusion of happiness
- The Illusion of America
- xplus notes, bibliography, and index
There are so many thoughtful and well written passages I have opted to mostly quote.
“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books, ” Neil postman wrote: “what Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book for there would be no one who wanted to read one. ” p 39
“Totalitarian systems begin as propagandistic movements that ostensibly teach people to “believe what they want” but that is a ruse. The Christian Right, for example, argues that it wants intelligent design, or creationism, to be offered as an alternative to evolution in public school biology classes. But once you allow creationism, which no reputable biologist or paleontologist accepts as legitimate science, to be considered as an alternative to real science, you begin the deadly assault against dispassionate, honest, intellectual inquiry. Step into the hermetic world of many Christian schools or colleges and there are no alternatives to creationism offered to students. Once the systems have control, the Christian advocates’ purported love of alternative viewpoints and debate is replaced by an iron and irrational conformity to illusion.” P. 52
(From the chapter on the illusion of literacy)
Continue reading Empire oI Illusion by Chris Hedges