March 21, 2006
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Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and
Borrowed Money in the 21st Century (Hardcover)
Boy do we love Kevin Phillips. What more can you say about a guy who devised Nixon's Southern strategy and then evolved into perhaps the most astute, historically contextual critic of the Bush Dynasty and the current incarnation of the Republican Party. Add to that, Phillips is a keen observer of how the amalgamation of wealth in America has had a deleterious impact on democracy.
Plus, he is a great, frank interview, who minces no words about the mediocrity, mendacity and venality of the Bush family.
Phillips, as one review of this just-released book notes, is not going to receive an invitation to any Republican conventions. A couple of years ago, he described himself as an independent to BuzzFlash, with admiration for John McCain. So, he's no card-carrying Democrat at this point. He yearns for a Republican Party before the oil barons and "end times" religious fanatics took over.
But, in "American Theocracy" Phillips doesn't spend his time whining for the party he lost. Anyone who has read his work knows that he is an earnest, brilliant analyst, steeped in historical background and deeply understanding of the forces at work in contemporary politics.
Phillips is appalled by the degeneration of the GOP and the nation, as a result of the GOP's ascent to absolute one-party power in the United States. In "American Theocracy," he is -- as his subtitle, "The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century," notes -- profoundly concerned about the impact of religious fanatics who yearn for the rapturous return of Jesus through the destruction of the world as we know it; the impact of the oil and natural resources cabal (as in that is why we invaded Iraq) -- with Dick Cheney as the Chairman of the Board; and the near bankruptcy of America (as we increase the national debt to unsustainable levels and grow increasingly owned by other nations).
Bush is really selling America off to the highest bidder: the highest religious bidder; the highest corporate bidders; and the largest international lenders to keep America afloat.
This, Phillips argues, is a recipe for the decline of the American nation to a second-tier country.
The publisher, Viking (an imprint of Penguin) of "American Theocracy" notes: "In his two most recent New York Times bestselling books, American Dynasty and Wealth and Democracy, Kevin Phillips established himself as a powerful critic of the political and economic forces that are ruling-and imperiling-the United States. Now, Phillips takes an uncompromising view of the political coalition, led by radical religion, that is driving America to the brink of disaster.
From Ancient Rome to the British Empire, Phillips demonstrates that every world-dominating power has been brought down by a related set of causes: a lethal combination of global over-reach, militant religion, resource problems, and ballooning debt. It is this same axis of ills that has come to define America's political and economic identity in the past decade. Military miscalculations in the Middle East, the surge of fundamentalist religion, the staggering national debt, the costs of U.S. oil dependence-together these factors are undermining our nation's security, solvency, and standing in the world. If left unchecked, the same forces will bring a debt-bloated, preachy, energy-starved America to its knees. With an eye on the past and a searing vision of the future, Phillips has written a book that no American can afford to ignore."