Friday, January 28, 2005

"Two Countries Separated By A Common Language" No More?

At the risk of damaging my fragile ego by piling post upon post without letting prior entries sit and stew long enough to be read and collect comment, I just felt the bubble of dawning realization burst in my head simultaneously with the urge to write it down before the gases of inspiration dissapated through the puddle of everyday thought.

I recently read Pretty Straight Guys by Nick Cohen (courtesy of the Bowles Memorial Mobile Library) and am currently reading What's The Matter With Kansas? by Thomas Frank. Both are well written social democratic polemics; the former deals with the betrayal of liberal and democratic values by Tony Blair's Labour government in Britain while the latter tackles the thorny issue of the conservative makeover of blue collar America.

What both books have in common is a central assertion that it is easier to attack cultural shibboleths and the whims of celebrities and politicians than it is to take on the true corruption of corporations. Hence the lack of blowback from Enron, Haliburton, Global Crossing (USA), Marconi, BCCI, or Polly Peck (UK).

Without wanting to sound as dogmatic and frankly silly as Chomsky and Zinn can, I recommend reading the above books, as well as Why Do People Hate America? and The Corporation for a depressing but also inspiring take on the reasons we face the problems we do today. As always, consider the source, but I'm sure you can glean more from these books than from the entire catalog of Anne Coulter and Mike Moore combined.

1 comment:

weasel said...

Forgot to mention Imperial Hubris by an anonymous CIA staffer and Love, Poverty, & War by Chris Hitchens. There are good too...