Dollarocracy: How Big Money Undermines Our Democracy

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    Dollarocracy Book Launch, Madison July 2013This week's cover story in the Nation Magazine features two friends of CMD, John Nichols and Bob McChesney, writing about the Dollarocracy, the title of their new book by Persius Books. Also this week, the authors start their Dollarocracy vs. Democracy book tour which entails hundreds of appearances across the nation.

    Below we excerpt from the Nation article and remind folks they can get Dollarocracy at their local bookstore or through CMD with a donation to support our independent reporting:

    After the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United ruling, we began what would become a three-year survey of the state of American democracy, using the 2010 and 2012 election cycles as touchstones but focusing on a range of electoral, governmental and journalistic measures of democratic decay. The experience forced us to recognize the futility of timid supplications in pursuit of reforming politics and the media. We did this not as critics of the reform impulse, but as co-founders of a media reform organization who have maintained a long-term faith in the power of organizing and the potential of electoral politics to achieve consequential change. We retain that faith, along with a deep understanding of the value of continual prodding at the local, state and national levels. But we concluded that mild reforms are no longer sufficient to address a political crisis as far-reaching as any the nation has known.

    The United States has experienced fundamental changes that are dramatically detrimental to democracy. Voters' ability to define political discourse has been so diminished that even decisive election results like Barack Obama's in 2012 have little impact. That's because powerful interests -- freed to, in effect, buy elections, unhindered by downsized and diffused media that must rely on revenue from campaign ads -- now set the rules of engagement. Those interests so dominate politics that the squabbling of Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, is a sideshow to the great theater of plutocracy and plunder.

    This is not democracy. This is dollarocracy.

    Here are some of the authors' upcoming events:

    • WASHINGTON DC - Wednesday September 18 -- 1:15-2:30PM. Media Production Center, American University, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW. FREE
    • COLLEGE PARK, MD - Thursday September 19 -- 12:30-1:45PM. Richard Eaton Broadcast Theater on the first floor of John S. and James L. Knight Hall, University of Maryland FREE
    • ALBANY-TROY, NY - Sunday September 29 -- 7:00-9:00PM. Media Alliance event. The Sanctuary for Independent Media 3361 6th Avenue in Troy.
    • AMHERST, MA - Monday September 30 -- 4:00-5:30PM. Paino Lecture Hall in Beneski (building name) at Amherst College. Public event. FREE
    • AMHERST, MA - Tuesday October 1 -- 10:00-11:30AM. Cape Cod Lounge in the Student Union Building, University of Massachusetts at Amherst. (Just McChesney, discussing Digital Disconnect) FREE
    • AMHERST, MA - Tuesday October 1 -- 12 Noon-1:30PM. Cape Cod Lounge in the Student Union Building, University of Massachusetts at Amherst FREE
    • PORTLAND, MAINE - Wednesday October 2—7:00-9:00PM. Event information to be announced. FREE
    • PORTLAND, MAINE - Thursday October 3—Event information to be announced.
    • MILWAUKEE, WI - Tuesday October 8—6:30-8:00PM. Plymouth Church, 2717 E. Hampshire Street, Milwaukee. FREE
    • DENVER, CO - Monday October 14—12 Noon-1:30PM. Denver Press Club and Society of Professional Journalists Host Luncheon. Denver Press Club, 1330 Glenarm Place, Denver CO 80204. FREE (Luncheon & drinks available for purchase.)
    • BOULDER, CO - Monday October 14—4:00-5:30PM. Hale 270, University of Colorado. FREE
    • BOULDER, CO - Monday October 14—7:00-9:00PM. Location TBA. David Barsamian will introduce.  FREE
    • CHICAGO, IL - Thursday October 17—Noon-1:30PM. Introduction by Chris Bury. DePaul University, Downtown campus. College of Communication Theater, lower level, Richard M. and Maggie C. Daley Building. 14 E. Jackson Blvd. FREE
    • CHICAGO, IL - Thursday October 17—3:30-5:00PM. Columbia College, 624 South Michigan Avenue, in Collins Hall, Room 602. - FREE 
    • SANTA BARBARA, CA - Sunday October 20—Event information to be announced.
    • LOS ANGELES - Monday October 21—Noon-1:00PM. Annenberg Research Seminar, University of Southern California, Geoffrey Cowan Forum (ASC207)  FREE
    • LOS ANGELES - Monday October 21—4:30-6:00PM. Loyola Marymount University. Ahmanson Auditorium (UH 1000). - FREE
    • LOS ANGELES - Monday October 21—Event information to be announced.
    • PALO ALTO, CA - Wednesday October 23—1:00-2:30PM. Mendenhall Library (120-1A), McClatchy Hall, Stanford University. Introduction by Ted Glasser. - FREE
    • OLYMPIA, WA - Wednesday November 13—12 Noon-1:30PM. Library Underground, The Evergreen State College. FREE
    • PORTLAND, OR - Thursday November 14—12 Noon-1:30PM. 294 Smith Memorial Student Union, Portland State University. - FREE