Empire of Democracy MOBI Ò Empire of Kindle -

Empire of Democracy [PDF] ✍ Empire of Democracy By Simon Reid-Henry – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk The first panoramic history of the Western world from the 1970s to the present day Empire of Democracy is the story for those asking how we got to where we areHalf a century ago at the height of the C The first panoramic history of the Western world from the s to the present day Empire of Democracy is the story for those asking how we got to where we areHalf a century ago at the height of the Cold War and amidst a world economic crisis the Western democracies were forced to undergo a profound transformation Against Empire of Kindle - what some saw as a full scale “crisis of democracy” – with race riots anti Vietnam marches and a wave of worker discontent sowing crisis from one nation to the next – a new political economic order was devised and the postwar social contract was torn up and written anewIn this epic narrative of the events that have shaped our own times Simon Reid Henry shows how liberal democracy and western history with it was profoundly reimagined when the postwar Golden Age ended As the institutions of liberal rule were reinvented a new generation of politicians emerged Thatcher Reagan Mitterrand Kohl The late twentieth century heyday they oversaw carried the Western democracies triumphantly to victory in the Cold War and into the economic boom of the s But eually it led them into the fiasco of Ira to the high drama of the financial crisis in and ultimately to the anti liberal surge of our own timesThe present crisis of liberalism enjoins us to revisit these as yet unscripted decades The era we have all been living through is closing out democracy is turning on its axis once again As this panoramic history poignantly reminds us the choices we make going forward reuire us first to come to terms with where we have been.

9 thoughts on “Empire of Democracy

  1. Greg Greg says:

    This book although lengthy 754 pages is superb in tracing and clarifying the disruptive changes in public policy experienced by the United States and much of Europe over the past 50 years The author’s thesis explores is that many nations facing similar challenges in economics society and politics made the choice to abandon their post war commitments to full employment and economic benefits for the middle class in favor of the enticing prospect that full participation in the increasingly integrated world market would deliver ongoing growth to them all The problem one that they were very slow to recognize – and even reluctant to admit – is that without regulation this form of economic growth has no relationship to fairness or euity Mr Reid Henry’s probing ethics based uestions – the kind often absent from works on history and politics – reveal why and how so many key economic decisions thus came to be effectively removed from the citizens and allocated instead to the undemocratic workings of “the market”Here is his basic argument in a nutshell1 Over the past 50 years elected leaders chose to redirect governmental policies away from continuing the post war commitment to ensuring wide spread prosperity for their people and toward supporting the operation of “free markets” — essentially embracing globalism despite the fact that this has resulted in greater hardship lost jobs and devalued status for the broad working and middle classes Instead of maintaining policy priorities geared towards enhancing the public sphere and preserving euity among citizens leaders embraced instead the commitment to keeping inflation low and thus effectively put downward pressure on wage growth for the many2 Further they have done so by circumventing the democratically expressed wishes of the people by placing these decisions in the hands of supra national mechanisms such as are embodied in multiple trade agreements and in the operation of the European Union effectively excluding “the people” — workers business owners and concerned citizens — from them “Globalization itself is not the problem” he argues; rather “it is the removal from democratic oversight of the property based system through which it is pursued that is the problem”3 While these decisions were made in the hope that by committing to the new demands of the globalized market system they could best ensure that growth would continue decision makers failed to understand the conseuences this growth might have if it remained outside national regulations leaving it in effect undirected The conseuences are now glaringly apparently “growth” has occurred and “wealth” has increased but both to the detriment of a sizable portion of each nation’s populace by causing a massive transfer of wealth to a relatively few rich people at the topa Accordingly many governments – especially those of Great Britain and the US – increasingly chose to privatize services that had previously been understood as the responsibility of the government such things as military contractors the operation of prisons and the management of such programs as Medicaid As both a direct conseuence – and an integral reason for this change – government along with its services at all levels contracted diminishing the number of positions lower income citizens used to achieve jobs offering decent wages and benefits while ensuring that those who replaced them in the private sphere would have lower wages and severely diminished benefits if any at all The rise of the “gig economy” is but a logical conseuence – and a furtherance – of this trend And is the dismal ignoring of the nation’s worsening infrastructureb The Republican Party the principal architects of these policies understands that their efforts to downsize government diminish public services and shift benefits to the wealthiest through successive tax cuts can be masked by skillfully playing upon the cultural and religious resentments of the working class Democrats on the other hand who continue to fumble adeuately addressing these resentments have weakened their position over the years by effectively endorsing the Republican’s agenda about needing to reduce public that is non military spending over fears about further increasing the deficit 4 Finally for all that the rhetoric of various major parties in recent years regularly includes verbal obeisance to the “will of the people” the truly remarkable thing is that both liberal and conservative parties have largely acuiesced in and overseen this process In this important respect both “neocons” and “neoliberals” have much in common No wonder then that growing numbers of people are anxiously searching for new voices that promising to reassert control for the peoples’ benefitWhile some angry outbursts of popular discontent did occur in the latter decades of the 20th century our current “perfect storm” of institutional rejection contempt for “elites” and a panicky turn to nationalistpopulists is largely the result of two major events of the 21st century the major global recession begun in 2008 and the almost coterminous eruption of millions of refugees fleeing both failing local economies and the disastrous wars in the Middle East and the Balkans in which both the United States and NATO were major players During the years of the Great Recession the formerly communist states of central and eastern Europe endured a double whammy rapidly losing what little economic progress they had made since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in catching up with the prosperous western regions while being among those most uickly effected by the swelling number of immigrants and refugees arriving from the Middle East and Africa Meanwhile this recession also caused most European nations to make the fateful decision to tighten their belts to maintain fiscal discipline and avoid inflation rather than to spend to stimulate national growth The conseuences were most severe for the poorer Western European nations of Italy and Greece which not so incidentally were the first landing points for the flood of refugees As the European banks tightened the financial screws it was the average citizen who experienced job losses plummeting wages and depleted pensions even as their nation’s indebtedness grew Little wonder that far right parties found fertile ground for their unchanging message of nationalism racism and blaming immigrants for their troubles While all of this was occurring those progressive parties that had once stood for greater social justice and economic fairness struggled to find meaningful solutions still unable – or refusing – to recognize how “the markets” and the commitment to contain inflation were at the root of the problemAs it became apparent that the mainstream parties would not — or could not — do anything to address popular anxieties increasing numbers of citizens in many countries began to listen to and support the extremist parties of the RightIn the United States where the politics of savage personal attacks and refusal to compromise that increasingly led to gridlock between the two parties had begun in the 1990s with the tactics of then Speaker of the House New Gingrich it was the Tea Party that emerged after Barrack Obama’s election to the presidency that expressed widespread popular disillusionment and anger While Obama had been elected on a wave of hope that he would somehow “change things” he was alas unable to bring about those necessary transformations that many hoped for This was so for a number of reasons not least of which was the unforgivably rigid opposition of the Republican Party to his presidency from the outset The resulting gridlock and the increasingly bitter and personal rhetoric employed by his political and conservative media opponents created the resentment and unrest that resulted in the 2016 election of Donald Trump a non mainstream non politician who skillfully played upon populist themed fears While candidate Trump did identify some of the legitimate grievances of the mass of Americans such as the unending wars in the Middle East and the flawed trade agreements of recent years which had contributed to the loss of American jobs and their subseuent outsourcing to overseas markets his presidency has failed to than superficially “resolve” any of them despite the masking bluster of his unending tweetsAs Reid Henry notes our current dismal situation is rooted in the steady decline of public trust which has led to “the return of a form of national patriotism born of insecurity revealing itself in a fluid yet pervasive sense of social disaggregation” It is not only trust that is now lacking “but also a belief at times with good reason in the underlying sense of justice and fairness that democracies reuire to nourish that trust”I share his belief that our central problem is how do we once again allow “the people” to have a hand in shaping the economic decisions that affect us all?For a starter we desperately need democracy and not less We must dismiss the idea that “the economy” and its functioning are givens that is that they function the way they do because this is how capitalism worksThe truth as Reid Henry repeatedly demonstrates is that while national economies are subject to the give and pull of international policies and treaties they function under rules established by human beings The central problem is that while the post war governments of the West pursued policies intended to assist widespread employment — policies endorsed repeatedly by their citizens through elections — they have long since abandoned the setting and pursuit of national goals by surrendering the matter of goals and policies to non elected and non representative corporations trade negotiators and courts set up through treaties The effect has been to allow “globalization” to run amuck dictated almost entirely by a relentless drive for goods at the cheapest price which has ensured a race to the bottom in labor markets hurting not only workers in the so called First World but also those in poorer countries With policies designed to weaken unions in both the public and private sphere with relentless efforts to deprive governments at all levels with the fiscal resources needed to adeuately support and defend the public sphere and with aid to corporations enjoying higher support among our elected leadership than aid to citizens — unless of course they are the worthy ones — we have allowed the market and its cheerleaders to weaken our governing institutions while accelerating wealth and income ineualityWhat we once prized and practiced — what Reid Henry identified as “social democracy’s core ethic of political compromise in the name of collective justice” must be recaptured if both a functional republic — and just levels of income euality — are to be possible

  2. Andrewh Andrewh says:

    This is a long historical overview of the dramatic changes undertaken in Western democratic societies from 1971 to 2017 largely in the name of what we generally call 'neoliberalism' economic libertarianismmarketisation and charts how those changes negatively affected the state of democracy in those countries There is also some discussion of foreign policy trends in this era although it is not always clear what the connection is between these two strands of the narrative areThe starting point is 1971 when President Nixon took the US dollar off the gold standard and ended the Bretton Woods system which had underlain the relative stability of the 1945 71 period – this allowed the US and other governments a great deal economic freedom they could ‘print money’ This allied to the OPEC oil shock led to a much unstable world economy and higher levels of inflation often with higher unemployment for which many influential rightist thinkers saw the best solution as deregulation lower taxes and increasing marketisation of all elements of the economy Since then most Western governments have seen their prime duty at least in their actions if not their rhetoric as that of protecting the ‘economy’ ie business interests When you throw in the shocks of 911 the war on terror the 2008 financial crash and other world crises and the pernicious effects of social media then you have a great recipe for social instability and a loss of faith in politicians and the political system democratic participation has plummeted perhaps on the basis that the politicians have no real control any Fittingly the book ends with the election of the uber non politician Donald Trump who is authentic in his total lack of democratic beliefs as the author notes Hillary Clinton was accurate but insincere in her beliefs but Trump is inaccurate but sincere in his statementsThis is all very well told and backed with extensive research in a myriad of disciplines but much like Zuboff’s acclaimed book on Surveillance Capitalism it contains 750pp of critiue but then a weak ending with no real plan for how we can as a society reclaim democracy and make it work for the ‘99%’ rather than just for the elites by which I mean the real elites not the ones who read the Guardian The author suggests that democracy needs to remember that euality is a core part of the meaning of this term which has been almost forgotten in the period covered here and is likely to be exacerbated by the long term effects of the corona virus not to mention climate change

  3. Ashley Reyes Ashley Reyes says:

    I received a free copy for an honest review from Netgalley For anyone interested in where we have come and what is currently happening in governance this is a great place to start This isn’t just a political book it covers how the current form government works or failed us in the economy in respects to our allies and enemies and internally This give insight to not only just how the whole spiderweb is strung but how we each dance along it trying to not get bitten This covers not just our government but how other systems are behaving and what the pitfalls we are seeing are This is a thoughtful and thought provoking book that is not just educating But this book was written on a precipice where do we go from here? How will we middle through and deal with these issues? These are uestions asked at the end and it is for us collectively to move forward and find out


    Empire of Democracy The introductions of the chapters didn’t provide clarity of the chapter’s main objective I have an understanding of the literary style in which the author attempted but from experience and pass education lessons about political science books this book would have failed crediting reviewFrom how this book was presented this book disregarded all the uality factors that ensures the reader has the ability to generate clear political thought of the context in which the book is revolved around In this political Science Book the context is revolved around “How Democracy is an Empire” uality written Political Science Novels are written when the objective of the chapter is directly stated at the beginning of the chapter I learned that political science books are definitely capable of being contextually vital when the objective is made known at the beginning of the chapter The uality of the objective is dependent on its context which the chapter’s context ensures the main objective of the chapter is supported with relevant political events Securing a reliable political thought I’m not a big fan of story based political science books I believe this style of writing presents superfluous information and doesn’t provide clarity on how to resolve the current illegal government’s systems of legal operations I prefer fact based political science books Fact based entailing that the author secures their writing in the context rationalizing perspective I believe to have a uality political science book the author’s political thought needs to be known and stated clearly at the beginning of every political explanation elongated text The factors in which the political thought will discuss in political clarity is what secures again stating the ability for a person to develop a securing and reliable source of political thought This reliable source secures the reader of ensuring that political thought is standard in the world of politics Political conversations Government An author is not capable of securing their context of their political thought when the context reflects 1 Rambling 2 contradicting facts 3 nonsupporting factsThis book is very lengthlyI believe the objective of the author was not a uality objective The appearance of the author’s objective subjectively perceiving of course was in pursuit of just accomplishing a a lengthly publication Reason for such statement is because no political science book needs this much of length Nonetheless when I do encounter and read a lengthy political science book I automatically am able to identify context factors that indicate that the objective of the author is not uality but absolute pure uantity In addition to my thought I subjectively account that having such futile work negates the whole purpose of a book informative In Concluding statement the objective in which the author accomplished lengthly book just solidified and verified that the author is illiterate all because no political thought needs this much rambling An explanation this long theoretically proofs the author has no idea of what the objective of his literary work is and is purely just regurgitating useless context This book is NOT AT ALL INFORMATIVE WAS PAINFUL TO READ THE ENTIRE BOOK BUT I AM NOT GOING TO LET A BAD BOOK DEFEAT ME

  5. Carl Carl says:

    This is current reading it's informative exhaustive exhausting Not an easy read but I can't help thinking it succeeds in its purpose of telling us how we got to where we are He doesn't say so in so many words but what he seems to be pointing out my interpretation anyway is that worldwide governments have just become agents for corporations financial interests It covers the most recent 50 years damn near up until today he comes off as being pretty balanced objective On the minus side his prose is pretty turgid now then you'll find a sentence containing something ridiculous but as far as I can see it's always something obvious trivial which can easily be forgivenhttpswwwsimonandschustercombook

  6. Lynn Lynn says:

    This book is the best overview I’ve yet found of how democracy was intentionally subverted in favour of free market capitalism over the past forty years Although I’m familiar with the basics of this story Reid Henry’s book is astonishing in its thoroughness weaving in all kinds of events and crises that appear to be unrelated but in fact were very much a part of the story either resulting directly from this economic coup or being used by the powers that be to keep the rest of us convinced of its inevitability and sometimes both

  7. Nick Harriss Nick Harriss says:

    An excellent book although I found the coverage got better for the later years I would recommend The series by Dominic Sandbrook to give a better feel for the 1970s but from the 1980s onward this book is first class The linkage of various major events over the long term such as the erosion of the US tax base wars in the Middle East and the Financial Crash of 2008 is both interesting and compelling

  8. The_J The_J says:

    This weighty tome made serious promises 50 critical years that reinvented the West but in the spew of facts most seemingly accurate the critical transformation that brought us our Modernity is obscured rather than enlightened but at least the facts that you know and lived through will be deformed to fit the narrative

  9. Steve Frederick Steve Frederick says:

    Really enjoyed the scope of this book I'm not really ualified to asses the economics of the book But plenty of stimulating political and sociological insight

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