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Dark Ages in the U.S. + Inverted Totalitarianism

Program #BERM001-HEDC006.

First program: Dark Ages in the U.S.

From the boarded up storefronts to foreclosed homes to the homeless and unemployed, the signs of decay in the U.S. are all too apparent. The political class pretending to care about the 99% have little to offer beyond boilerplate rhetoric. We hear about the virtues of hard work. If only there was work to be had. From the White House to the state house citizens are treated to a smorgasbord of slogans all capped with God Bless America. Abroad, the imperial war machine grinds on. State of the art warships rule the seven seas. An air force, second to none, commands the skies. Meanwhile back in the homeland there are signs the servants are getting increasingly restless. Occupy Wall Street might rock the structures of power sufficiently to generate the radical change so urgently needed.

Second Program: Inverted Totalitarianism

The wedding of state and corporate power is at unprecedented levels. The implications for democracy are ominous. Elections are formalities, often more like auctions to be sold to the highest bidder. There is no proportional representation. In a winner take all system the Dems and Repubs got the game all sewed up. And their sponsors the banks are not only too big to fail they are too big to jail. Meanwhile, the ranks of the out of work and out of house and home continue to swell. Basic freedoms of free speech, right of assembly and the right to privacy are being eroded in the name of protecting them. People are saying enough to inverted totalitarianism. The Occupy movement is a popular citizen response to grievances and inequities not being addressed and a universal feeling the system is rigged to favor the rich.

Speaker(s):

Morris Berman

Morris Berman is a cultural historian and critic. He has taught at universities in North America and Europe.  He is an award-winning author. Among his many books are Twlight of American Culture, Dark Ages America, and Why America Failed.

 

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