Can the Media Serve Democracy?:Essays in Honour of Jay G. Blumler
´´Ideas of economic democracy are very much in the air, as they should be, with increasing urgency in the midst of today´s serious crises. Richard Wolff´s constructive and innovative ideas suggest new and promising foundations for much more authentic democracy and sustainable and equitable development, ideas that can be implemented directly and carried forward. A very valuable contribution in troubled times.”—Noam Chomsky ´´Probably America´s most prominent Marxist economist.´´—The New York Times Capitalism as a system has spawned deepening economic crisis alongside its bought-and-paid-for political establishment. Neither serves the needs of our society. Whether it is secure, well-paid, and meaningful jobs or a sustainable relationship with the natural environment that we depend on, our society is not delivering the results people need and deserve. One key cause for this intolerable state of affairs is the lack of genuine democracy in our economy as well as in our politics. The solution requires the institution of genuine economic democracy, starting with workers managing their own workplaces, as the basis for a genuine political democracy. Here Richard D. Wolff lays out a hopeful and concrete vision of how to make that possible, addressing the many people who have concluded economic inequality and politics as usual can no longer be tolerated and are looking for a concrete program of action. Richard D. Wolff is professor of Economics emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is currently a visiting professor at the New School University in New York. Wolff is the author of many books, including Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It. He hosts the weekly hour-long radio program Economic Update on WBAI (Pacifica Radio) and writes regularly for The Guardian, Truthout.org, and the MRZine.
This isn´t your America. No matter who the president is. We are told that, when we vote and elect representatives, we gain a voice in government and its policies. Yet, it hasn´t translated our preferences into higher living standards for the majority of us. In America, the wealthy few have built a system that works in their favor, while maintaining the illusion of democracy. American voters have little influence on policies engineered by lawmakers. Political scientists call it the ´´income bias´´, causing lawmakers to compete to satisfy preferences of donors from the top one percent instead of the middle class. It is why our economy has been misfiring for most Americans for a generation, wages stagnating and opportunity dwindling. Economist George R. Tyler lays out the fundamental problems plaguing our democracy. He explains how our democratic system has eroded the middle class and provides a comparison to peer democracies abroad. He shows where we fall short and how other rich democracies avoid the income bias pitfall. He also outlines reforms to improve our government´s responsiveness. It´s time for the people of this nation to demand a government that properly serves us, the American people. PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio. 1. Language: English. Narrator: William Hughes. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/blak/011304/bk_blak_011304_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Volt is the leader of the Anarchists, an official gang on the De.mocra.cy server. In a near-future Internet filled with highly regulated, highly restrictive MMOs, the De.mocra.cy server is entirely self-regulated, affording unprecedented freedom of speech and freedom of violence to its users-until now. A new law has outlawed violence between consenting parties, and Volt must mobilize a fractious group of gang leaders to campaign against it-and, unbeknownst to them, to challenge the Unwritten Amendment. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Francis Bass. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/088563/bk_acx0_088563_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
In today´s modern world every political regime, even the most authoritarian or repressive, describes itself as democracy or a democratic people´s republic. The concept of rule by the people, on behalf of the people, has come to be accepted as the norm, and very few would overtly espouse the cause of dictatorship, absolute monarchy or oligarchy as the most desirable political system upon which to base the government of any country. It is also generally accepted that democracy, as a political ideology, began in Greece, specifically in Athens, in the seventh century BC and reached its zenith in the fifth century under the leadership of Pericles. Dating an exact starting point is impossible, but at the beginning of the seventh century BC Solon inaugurated a series of reforms that began the movement away from rule by individuals, or tyrants, and by the end of that century the reforms of Cleisthenes provided the basis of the Athenian democratic system that culminated in the radical institutions introduced by Ephialtes and Pericles in the fifth century. The result was the first, and possibly only, truly participative democratic state. Of course, not every inhabitant of Athens enjoyed the right to vote. Only full citizens could do that, and they represented approximately 30% of Athens´s male population, numbering between 30,000 and 60,000 during Athens´ Golden Age and declining rapidly throughout the Peloponnesian War. The remainder was made up of metics and slaves, who vastly outnumbered free citizens and, indeed, almost all other slave populations in Hellas, a fact which the Athenians often conveniently chose to forget when singing the praises of their democracy. There is a very strong indication that foreign chattel slaves were an utter necessity to Athens´ economy, and though they did not serve as fleet rowers as they would have done in Rome, they still carried out the myriad of unpleasant and demeaning jobs which allowed Athenian citizens the free ti 1. Language: English. Narrator: Scott Clem. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/075024/bk_acx0_075024_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Precariously positioned between China and India, Burma´s population has suffered dictatorship, natural disaster, and the dark legacies of colonial rule. But when decades of military dicatorship finally ended and internationally beloved Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi emerged from long years of house arrest, hopes soared. World leaders such as Barack Obama ushered in waves of international support. Progress seemed inevitable. As historian, former diplomat, and presidential advisor, Thant Myint-U saw the cracks forming. In this insider´s diagnosis of a country at a breaking point, he dissects how a singularly predatory economic system, fast-rising inequality, disintegrating state institutions, the impact of new social media, the rise of China next door, climate change, and deep-seated feelings around race, religion, and national identity all came together to challenge the incipient democracy. Interracial violence soared and a horrific exodus of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees fixed international attention. Myint-U explains how and why this happened, and details an unsettling prognosis for the future. Burma is today a fragile stage for nearly all the world´s problems. Are democracy and an economy that genuinely serves all its people possible in Burma? In clear and urgent prose, Myint-U explores this question-a concern not just for the Burmese but for the rest of the world-warning of the possible collapse of this nation of 55 million while suggesting a fresh agenda for change.
Capitalism as a system has spawned deepening economic crisis alongside its bought-and-paid-for political establishment. Neither serves the needs of our society. Whether it is secure, well-paid, and meaningful jobs or a sustainable relationship with the natural environment that we depend on, our society is not delivering the results people need and deserve. One key cause for this intolerable state of affairs is the lack of genuine democracy in our economy as well as in our politics. The solution requires the institution of genuine economic democracy, starting with workers managing their own workplaces, as the basis for a genuine political democracy. Here, Richard D. Wolff lays out a hopeful and concrete vision of how to make that possible, addressing the many people who have concluded economic inequality and politics as usual can no longer be tolerated and are looking for a concrete program of action. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Shawn Compton. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/tant/014723/bk_tant_014723_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
An American poet writes a compilation of historical vignettes, discerning the future of our democracy by rediscovering the combative, instructive, fascinating past of tyranny and democracy. Just as DNA is interwoven in every aspect of the human body, tyranny and democracy have their historically distinctive DNA that have shaped our democracy today. From Israel’s Ten Commandments, to the Athenian Constitution, to Rome’s Twelve Tables, to the overthrow of kings in England and America, Lyons traces democracy from its historical roots to the modern day, constructing a blueprint of what defines tyranny or democratic government in the DNA of democracy.In this definitive guide, Richard C. Lyons documents the struggle for power between tyrants and heroes across time and place. Chronicling the acts of tyrants which are expressive of tyranny’s DNA, and the rebellions of heroes and the forms of law which are democracy’s DNA - Lyons outlines the roots of democracies, by telling the tales of tyrants who ironically gave them birth - births of rebellion!This audiobook serves as a how to contemporary guide on identifying the menace of a tyrant when you see one! 1. Language: English. Narrator: Eileen Stevens, Jay Lusteck. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/153298/bk_acx0_153298_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.