After watching Chris Hedges’ interview with Sheldon Wolin, I desired to read Wolin’s books. Democracy Incorporated provided a creative perspective with which to interpret recent American political and social events. Upon completion, I had an urge to continue extracting the political ideas of Wolin and I concluded that the best way to do this would be to jump into the deep end and open his book, Politics and Vision. Not only do I now have incredible respect for his ideas but I also feel that he has broadened my personal awareness of my place in society and history. There are criticisms I have toward the content (exclusively focused on “European/American”), but they are rather minimal in scope compared to the benefits any reader would gain by reading it thoroughly. I would say that Politics and Vision, as time progresses, will turn out to be one of the most important books I have ever read.
Category: 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: