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Books, Literature & Ideas

Books, Literature & Ideas

This Is What Pseudo-Democracy Looks Like

Billionaire Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos is the richest person in the world. (J. Scott Applewhite / AP)

  • The oligarchy has the power that comes with vast quantities of money. We have the capacity to organize and mobilize people. Democracy is at stake.
  • In 2018 and beyond, the last thing we need is cynicism that devolves into passivity. What’s vital is renewal of energized idealism—with realism about the obstacles to actual democracy and determination to help overcome them.
  • Related: From the Archives | “The system is rigged against regular people”: Big money has completely warped American democracy.

Norman Solomon, Truthdig

Dec 28, 2017 | Oligarchy prevents democracy. That explains the gist of why the United States became more undemocratic in 2017.

With vast income inequality and corporate power, this country’s oligarchy keeps consolidating itself—largely hidden in plain sight—normalized and embossed on the wallpaper of mass-media echo chambers. Several decades of ominous trend lines have brought us to dire tipping points.

Norman Solomon is the coordinator of the online activist group His books include “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” He is the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.

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From the Archives | “The system is rigged against regular people”: Big money has completely warped American democracy, Michael Winship, Moyers & Company

  • Corporations have a stranglehold on both parties. Here's how it happened -- and how we take our government back.
  • Hillary Clinton Is Exposing the Dark Underbelly of the Democrats’ Money Machine



The Useful Idiocy of Donald Trump

Mr. Fish

The oligarchic and military elites have a handmaiden in the Oval Office, and he won’t be ousted as long as he serves their interests.

Chris Hedges, Truthdig

January 28, 2018 |The problem with Donald Trump is not that he is imbecilic and inept—it is that he has surrendered total power to the oligarchic and military elites. They get what they want. They do what they want. Although the president is a one-man wrecking crew aimed at democratic norms and institutions, although he has turned the United States into a laughingstock around the globe, our national crisis is embodied not in Trump but the corporate state’s now unfettered pillage.

Trump, who has no inclination or ability to govern, has handed the machinery of government over to the bankers, corporate executives, right-wing think tanks, intelligence chiefs and generals. They are eradicating the few regulations and laws that inhibited a naked kleptocracy. They are dynamiting the institutions, including the State Department, that served interests other than corporate profit and are stacking the courts with right-wing, corporate-controlled ideologues. Trump provides the daily entertainment; the elites handle the business of looting, exploiting and destroying. Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, New York Times best selling author, former professor at Princeton University, activist and ordained Presbyterian minister. He has written 11 books, including the New York Times best-seller “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” (2012), which he co-authored with the cartoonist Joe Sacco. Fish, also known as Dwayne Booth, is a cartoonist who primarily creates for and Mr. Fish's work has also appeared nationally in The Los Angeles Times, The Village Voice, Vanity Fair, Mother Jones Magazine, the Advocate, Z Magazine, the Utne Reader,, and internationally for Information for Social Change, Internazionale, Umanita Nova and Novi list.

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From the Archives | Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape ~ Susan Brownmiller

  • "The most comprehensive study of rape ever offered to the public ... . It forces readers to take a fresh look at their own attitudes toward this devastating crime." -Newsweek
  • Related: The Misogynist Within If you like reading this article, consider joining the crew of all reader-supported Evergreene Digest by contributing the equivalent of a cafe latte a month--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.


Described in Good Reads powerful and timely now as when it was first published, Against Our Will stands as a unique document of the history of politics, the sociology of rape and the inherent and ingrained inequality of men and women under the law. In lucid, persuasive prose, Brownmiller has created a definitive, devastating work of lasting social importance.

Chosen by The New York Times Book Review as One of the Outstanding Books of the Year.

Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. Our mission is to help people find and share books they love.

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The Misogynist Within, Kai Wright, the Nation

Donald Trump and Billy Bush on the set of Access Hollywood.

  • Sexual harassment expresses power dynamics from which all men benefit.
  • Related: From the Archives | Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape ~ Susan Brownmiller


I Don't Think the Moral High Ground Exists Anymore

  • Some thoughts on Al Franken's departure.
  • Related: Franken is no victim as he leaves the Senate. Now you can follow Evergreene Digest on Twitter.



Charles P. Pierce, Esquire / Portside 

December 7, 2017 | I was going to let Dahlia Lithwick’s angry, lucid account in Slate of the end of Al Franken’s senatorial career speak for me, since Lithwick said everything I felt about this tawdry episode, and probably better than I could. Especially this part:

"Is this the principled solution? By every metric I can think of, it’s correct. But it’s also wrong. It’s wrong because we no longer inhabit a closed ethical system, in which morality and norm preservation are their own rewards. We live in a broken and corroded system in which unilateral disarmament is going to destroy the very things we want to preserve."

Charles P. Pierce is a staff writer for Grantland and the author of Idiot America. He writes regularly for Esquire, is the lead writer for’s Politics blog, and is a frequent guest on NPR.

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Franken is no victim as he leaves the Senate, Editorial Board,  Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune

  • He deserves credit, however, for a decision that's best for Minnesota.
  • Related: Al Franken has to go.


One Nation, of Idiots and Evil People*boxCVJHJiVYiG2EHDQZbEA.jpeg


Maybe what divides Americans isn’t what they believe, but where they are.

Justin Fox, Medium

Sep 29, 2017 | There’s a somewhat self-congratulatory saying among conservative intellectuals to the effect that … well, I’ll just let conservative intellectual Charles Krauthammer say it:

“Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.”


In the 2002 opinion column from which this quote was taken, Krauthammer called this a “fundamental law,” and he argued that it stemmed from the fact that liberals are naive about human nature and conservatives are realists (and thus favor policies that liberals consider unduly cruel, even evil). But when somebody repeated the saying to me last week, I was immediately reminded of a conversation I had in Alabama last fall. The pragmatic former small-town elected official I was visiting had shaken his head in contemplation of the upcoming presidential election, then called it “a contest between an idiot and an evil person.”The idiot was Donald Trump, the evil person Hillary Clinton. Which has gotten me thinking: Maybe the stupid/evil dichotomy has less to do with political philosophy than with where you are and what almost everyone around you thinks.*EaJCKy99KvoBMU_fq5hlUg.jpeg Justin Fox <>: Husband and father to the best pup in the world! After that, photography, scotch, traveler, watch lover and businessman.

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