Saving Democracy… One Day At A Time

No prelude here, Maybe just a quote attributed to Edmund Burke and John Stuart Mill:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Those of us who care about asset stewardship, are already on the job. Here is a reading list I’ve undertaken which will get longer with more suggestions.

Dark Money, The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, by Jane Mayer. (BT read, terrific).

Antisocial, Online Extremists,Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation, by Andrew Marantz. (BT read, dark, scary, enlightening)

Midnight In Washington, How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could, by Adam Schiff (BT read, even more background than the Jan 6 committee on the build up to that day.)

Antitrust, Taking on Monoppoly Power From the Gilded Age to The Digital Age, by Amy Klobuchar (BT read, no wonder billionaires hate regulation and lean libertarian, they’ve got the money to buy our legislators and other ‘public servants’. We have little real regulation left and we pay the price.)

How Civil Wars Start by Barbara F. Walter (BT read, excellent. More data based and cerebral than Antisocial. More international examples. Way more scary.)

Laboratories of Autocracy, A Wake-Up Call From Behind The Lines by David Pepper (BT still reading. There’s a plan for action in the last chapter. Earlier chapters show why we need attention to be paid at the state level, perhaps even more than at the federal level. As Tip O’Neill said.. All politics is local.)

We The People, and the Republic We Must Reclaim (Lesterland TED Talk), by Lawrence Lessig

The “G” Word With Adam Conover, produced by Barak Obama, see on Netflix (BT watched, excellent reminder of just what we get from this “Democracy” deal.)

Servant Of The People, starring Volodymyr Zelensky, a comedy from when that was his job. On Netflix, 3 seasons. (BT watched, loved it. This is what we would have to go through to get back what we now risk losing.)

Unrig: How to Fix Our Broken Democracy, by Daniel G. Newman (BT has it on list to read)

Manufacturing Consent, by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky (BT has it on list to read)

The End of the World is Just the Beginning, by Peter Zeihan (Missy highly  recommends)

The Devil Never Sleeps: Learning to Live in an Age of Disasters, by Juliet Kayyem (Missy says good, not great. What are the mechanics for how we protect our communities when things go bad, natural disasters as well as man made.)

The Storm Before the Calm: America’s Discord, The Crisis of the 2020s, and the Triumph Beyond, by George Friedman (Missy is about to start)

The Big Sort, by Bill Bishop (Gita says an analysis of the evolution of American polarization)

Theory of Moral Sentiments” by Adam Smith or the following summary (Gita says Go back to the basics — Capitalism isn’t what we are told it is in school. It’s been perverted by a few to an abomination. Adam Smith wrote this at the same time as the Wealth of Nations and both of them were supposed to be read together.)

The Shareholder Value Myth by Lynn Stout (Gita says Stout debunks the idea that our legal framework tells corporations should be only about shareholder value)

What’s the Matter With Kansas by Thomas Frank (Marvin says a good read on people acting against their own self-interest based on culture war issues.)

Active Measures: The Secret History of Disinformation and Political Warfare by Thomas Rid (story after story of the “disinformation” campaigns and “active measures” waged by governments against other governments beginning around WW1, getting some sophistication in the Russo Japanese war, coming into full practice by all governments including US in Berlin during WWII and then US backed out of active practice ca. early 1960’s while Russia /Soviet Union accelerated.)

Listen Liberal: Or Whatever Happened to the Party of the People by Thomas Frank (Unremittingly snarky. But filled with painful truths about how liberal democratic actions have eviscerated the lives of working people, union members and folks who don’t go to college. Just in case we were wondering why people who “should” be on the liberal Democrats’ side are so very angry.

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