American Theocracy, was Re: [FoRK] Christians and atheists start a calmer dialogue

Jeff Bone <jbone at> on Wed May 9 20:34:31 PDT 2007

On May 9, 2007, at 5:48 PM, Dr. Ernie Prabhakar wrote:

> Give conversation a chance. :-)  -- Ernie P.

On that note, another book recommendation.


Recently read a very chewy book by a gentleman named Kevin Phillips  
called "American Theocracy."  If you recognize his name, you should;   
he's been writing about politics and political / cultural trends for  
over 4 decades --- he was a Republican strategist for years, and  
wrote "The Emerging Republican Majority" back in 1969, in which he  
correctly predicted --- despite the preponderance of evidence  
suggesting the contrary --- precisely the kind of cultural shift to  
the far right and the ascent of the GOP over the next four decades.   
He predicted the shift of the South from Democratic to Republican at  
a time when people thought that was a completely nutty idea.  That  
book was, indeed, the blueprint for the so-called "Republican  

He's become a HUGE critic of the Bush dynasty.  (We don't have  
dynasties?  Consider that a Bush has run for either president or vice  
president in every election since 1976 except one --- and a Bush or a  
Clinton in every one since then, and likely the next one or two,  
too.)  He believes that America is on the verge of complete collapse.

You have to read this book.

Among other things he points out the (subtle) definitional  
distinction between theocracy (governance by people who claim or  
believe that they are inspired and politically mandated by God) and  
"heirocracy" (governance by priests) and points out that *in fact* we  
already have the former in the Bush administration.  And he goes on  
to spin a very dense book about the deadly intersection of massive  
debt, spendthrift government, a huge cultural / nationalist shift to  
the right, an entrenched propaganda machine and the politicization of  
popular speech, energy and oil politics and economics, global  
overreach, unwise and unwinnable military engagements, and radical /  
militant religion --- and points out that EVERY major world power  
since the Romans has been brought down hard by very similar  
combinations of factors.

jb sez check it out.


A short list of related reading, all highly recommended:

	God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Christopher Hitchens
	Letter to a Christian Nation, Sam Harris
	The End of Faith, Sam Harris
	The God Delusion, Dawkins
	American Fascists:  The Christian Right and the War on America,  
Chris Hedges
	American Theocracy, Kevin Phillips
	American Dynasty, Kevin Phillips
	Kingdom Coming:  The Rise of Christian Nationalism, Michelle Goldberg
	The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman
	The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hanna Arendt
	Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army,  
	The Dunces of Doomsday, Paul L. Williams

and, just for balance:

	Kill or Get Killed, Rex Applegate



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