Special coverage in the Trump Era

Dark Money author Jane Mayer on The Dangers of President Pence, New Yorker, Oct. 23 issue on-line

"Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America" see: our site, and George Monbiot's essay on this key book by historian Nancy MacLean.

Full interview with The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer March 29, 2017, Democracy Now! about her article, "The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency: How Robert Mercer Exploited America’s Populist Insurgency."

Democracy Now! Special Broadcast from the Women's March on Washington

The Economics of Happiness -- new version

Local Futures offers a free, shortened version of its award-winning documentary film The Economics of Happiness. This 19-minute abridged version "brings us voices of hope of in a time of crisis." www.localfutures.org.

What's New?

October 25, 2017

For "A New Political Story Of Empathy And Sharing To Replace Neoliberalism"

In this interview, British ecologist-author George Monbiot explains the argument in his book "Out of the Wreckage" for a new story to counter the neoliberal one.

We Need New Political Story Of Empathy And Sharing To Replace Neoliberalism

By Mark Karlin, www.truth-out.org
October 24th, 2017, posted by popularresistance.org

..."George Monbiot: Starting with the formation by Friedrich Hayek and others of the Mont Pelerin Society in 1947, the neoliberals, with sponsorship from some very rich backers, built a kind of international network. They set up think tanks, sponsored and captured academic departments, brought journalists and editors into their meetings, and managed to insert advisers into key political departments. They knew that, when Keynesian social democracy was broadly accepted by parties across the political spectrum, that they had no chance of immediate success. But they were patient. Across the course of 30 years, they built their networks, refined their arguments, and brought more and more people into their orbit. They knew that when an economic or political crisis came along, they would be ready to go. As Milton Friedman remarked, “When the time came that you had to change … there was an alternative ready there to be picked up.”

Every generation or so, political stories need to be refreshed or replaced.

But most importantly, they had something which their opponents did not: a new story. Every generation or so, political stories need to be refreshed or replaced, partly because the politics they seed runs out of steam or becomes corrupted or weakened by attacks, partly because people become bored and complacent. This is the grand mistake that those of us who want a generous and inclusive politics have made: We have failed to produce a new, well-developed political story since John Maynard Keynes wrote his General Theory in 1936. Our failure to do so is a formula for eventual collapse.

Neoliberalism is, at heart, a self-serving racket: an elaborate theory that serves as an excuse for the very rich to release themselves from the constraints of democracy: tax, regulation, decent pay and conditions for their workers, care for the living world and all the other decencies we owe to each other. But the reason it caught on is that it was framed within the classic political narrative structure that has worked again and again throughout history, that I call the “Restoration Story.” This goes as follows:

Disorder afflicts the land, caused by powerful and nefarious forces working against the interests of humanity. The hero — who might be one person or a group of people — revolts against this disorder, fights the nefarious forces, overcomes them despite great odds and restores order.

This is a fundamental metanarrative, to which we are innately attuned. They fit their politics around this structure, and told their story with panache and persuasive power. The reason we are stuck with neoliberalism — despite its manifest failures, particularly the financial crash of 2008 — is that its opponents have produced no new, coherent Restoration Story of their own. The best they have to offer is a microwaved version of the

The violent and destructive behavior of the few is more salient in our minds than the altruistic and cooperative behavior of the many.

This is what I seek to address in Out of the Wreckage, which learns from the success of neoliberalism and other movements which have used this narrative framing, and tells a whole new Restoration Story that I believe is appropriate for our times."...

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