American Theocracy

Linked with Kevin Phillips – USA.

Excerpt from a book review of Kevin Phillip’s American Theocracy, published on SCOOP, on 16 March 2006:

Excerpt: … From Ancient Rome to the British Empire, Phillips demonstrates that every world-dominating power has been brought down by an overlapping set of problems: a foolish combination of global overreach, militant religion, diminishing resources, and ballooning debt. It is exactly this nexus of ills that has come to define American’s political and economic identity at the start of this century. Matching his command of history with a penetrating analysis of contemporary politics, Phillips surveys a century of foreign policy and wars in the Middle East, showing how all, to one degree or another, reflected our ever-growing preoccupation with oil. Today, that dangerous inheritance includes clumsy military miscalculations, the ruinous occupation of Iraq, and sky-high oil prices.

He then turns to the surge of fundamentalist and evangelical religion in the United States, outlining the way a long tradition of radical and sectarian religion has taken an unprecedented political role under George W. Bush, as more and more Republicans think in apocalyptic terms and seek to shape domestic and foreign policy around religion. Finally, he documents how Wall Street and the business interests so closely allied with Washington have discarded the principles of sound finance that once characterized Republican fiscal policy and have literally mortgaged the country’s economic health to financial speculation, accompanied by an unprecedented level of public and private debt.

Oil, religion, and finance are not new elements in U.S. politics, but as Phillips makes clear with his formidable command of fact, figure, and history, and his long experience as a political strategist and observer, we are now in new and dangerous territory. The Bush coalition has resulted in a dearth of candor and serious strategy—a paralysis of policy and a government unable to govern. If left unchecked—the same forces will bring a preacher-ridden, debt-bloated, energy-crippled America to its knees. With an eye on the past and a searing vision of the future, Phillips confirms what too many Americans are still unwilling to admit about the depth of our misgovernment … (full text).

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