In his book, Democracy Incorporated, Sheldon Wolin analyzes the current (2010 preface) American polity and its historical development. Every line is eye opening and revelatory, especially for those Americans who have been living in a virtual-reality cave for the past 15 years and/or have not been able to find the leisure time to discover what is slowly happening to their beloved society. The already aware reader will immediately identify with Wolin’s perspective and understand his point — that the government can be considered a corporate government. He makes it clear that despite calling their government a democracy, the American people live in a “managed democracy.”
If a path to legitimate democracy is to be successful, the people themselves must begin the renewal process by creating a democratic ethos in every individual — the revolution must come from within each citizen. Change will not come from the elites who promise change!
Wolin is poignantly critical of certain groups of political elites who insist, unwaveringly, that the founding fathers and the Constitution are outside the sphere of critique. These foundations for American “managed democracy” are treated as if they were created and inspired by divinity. Of course, Wolin does not suggest that the foundations should be abolished. They should be improved, clarified, and refined as required by developments in technology and culture. He points out the hypocrisy in the rhetoric of politicians — that they simultaneously deify and nullify the Constitution. At every opportunity, politicians and government officials attempt to subvert the powers they swore to protect.
Wolin’s book is a must read for any democratically inclined citizen and every American!
The following is one of the only video interviews of Wolin I could find: