Special coverage in the Trump Era

"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.

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August 26, 2017

Racial Justice Must Be Central to Our Movements

Sonali Kolhatkar writes: "If progressives are to learn one lesson about American politics in the period between last November’s election and the recent Charlottesville, Va., clashes, let it be this: To win social progress on many fronts at once, we have to address racism first and foremost."

Racial Justice Must Be Central to Our Movements

by Sonali Kolhatkar, truthdig.com, August 24, 2017

Excerpt:
..."Many issues that progressives grapple with today have their roots in the defense of white domination, even if it is not obvious at first glance. The suppression of voting rights, the decimation of unions and even the privatization of public schools—all of which are central to the agendas of the billionaire Koch brothers and the Republican Party—can be traced back to the ideas of the late Nobel Prize-winning economist James Buchanan, which were essentially a backlash to the civil rights movement.

Author Nancy MacLean’s new book “Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America,” lays out this history in detail. MacLean shared with me in an interview that Buchanan joined the University of Virginia in 1956, at the same time that Virginia was taking the lead role among Southern states opposing the desegregation of education and the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision from two years earlier. Buchanan saw the Brown decision as “a form of ‘coercion,’ ” as he and other libertarians would put it, “on whites,” MacLean said, adding that the economist expressed a “supreme indifference to African-American dignity, citizenship, equality and constitutional rights.”

MacLean continued, “The Southern elites who were reacting most strongly to Brown v. Board of Education were also the same elites who were trying to undermine labor organizing, and were trying to stop regulation, keep taxes low, etc.” But, she said, “this cause was utterly marginal, until the civil rights era. Their ideas finally found a mass audience in the context of the resistance to Brown v. Board of Education.” The author summarizes: “The causes of economic inequality and of racial oppression in America have really been twinned at the roots since the Constitution and the founding of the nation.”

In other words, the myriad problems being fought by progressive groups and individuals today—deregulation, anti-union activity, charter schools, health care privatization and more—are rooted in a white supremacist backlash to racial equality. This should be obvious given that people of color, especially African-Americans, face the harshest impact of these economic policies, as shown in study after study."...

Read full article here


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