An Autonomous Agent

exploring the noosphere

Category: political science (Page 2 of 3)

Democracy Incorporated – Sheldon Wolin

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:

Hopes and Prospects – Noam Chomsky

A sobering critique of modern history, Noam Chomsky’s Hopes and Prospects shows just how easily the mind can be mislead. Human behavior tends to create herd-like mentalities and if people fail to question and logically investigate everything they are told, it is easy for lies and propaganda to spread. Fortunately, there are people like Chomsky who help lift the blinders from our eyes so that we may better see reality. Most of the time the truth is awful and against self-held morals and ethics. And it is depressing to know the ugly raw reality. However, I think that accurate knowledge of the past is the first step in improving the present and future.

When Google Met WikiLeaks – Julian Assange

When Google Met WikiLeaks transcribes the conversation between Julian Assange and Eric Schmidt. Their discussion of WikiLeaks’ story, governmental control and persecution, revolutions, connectivity, and internet publishing is an important, powerful, and insightful source for anyone who wants to understand the current controversy of WikiLeaks. Their conversation provides a glance at the relationship between governments and their citizens in the Internet Age.

Assange also includes a few essays in the book which were published after the interview. He is a talented writer and clearly expresses his ideas; worth the read.

Profit Over People: Neoliberalism & Global Order – Noam Chomsky

In Profit Over People: Neoliberalism & Global Order, Noam Chomsky critiques the economic vogue held by a large number of economists and government officials during the last quarter of the 20th century and continuing to this day. In truth, it seems as if many of our climate and social problems stem from the concerns raised by Chomsky. If we as a species wish to continue living in a global community on Earth — enjoying the benefits of mutual aid and global economic prosperity to achieve a greater civilization, it seems that it is necessary to address the issues presented by Chomsky. Of course, working towards such an ideal society and generating such sublime goals is always optional. The foundation upon which rests all great civilizations is the confidence and power of its people to see and seize their own destiny. Read the book and you may begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The Trials of Henry Kissinger (2002)

Watch it: The Trials of Henry Kissinger (2002)


Part contemporary investigation and part historical inquiry, documentary follows the quest of one journalist in search of justice. The film focuses on Christopher Hitchens’ charges against Henry Kissinger as a war criminal – allegations documented in Hitchens’ book of the same title – based on his role in countries such as Cambodia, Chile, and Indonesia. Kissinger’s story raises profound questions about American foreign policy and highlights a new era of human rights. Increasing evidence about one man’s role in a long history of human rights abuses leads to a critical examination of American diplomacy through the lens of international standards of justice. Written by Sujit R. Varma

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