was Re: [FoRK] Christians and atheists start a calmer dialogue
<jbone at place.org> 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,
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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