Democracy without Class: Investigating the Political Unconscious of the United States

  • M. Lane Bruner


Using the United States as a yardstick by which to measure attempts by governments to ameliorate the more egregious consequences of class differences is perhaps unfair for any number of reasons, but it is a telling measure nonetheless. After all, as the most powerful economic and military force in the world, and as a country that consistently sees itself as a beacon for freedom and democracy, the United States currently displays many of the worst characteristics when it comes to class disparities.1 Since the end of the Second World War, but especially since the administration of Ronald Reagan, any dispassionate observer can see that citizens of the United States have been subjected to an upper-class revolt against the “socialist” legacy of the New Deal, primarily though not exclusively through the mechanisms of McCarthyism and economic neoliberalism.2 As a result of that revolt, not since the age of the Robber Barons in the nineteenth century has the divide between the rich and the poor been greater in the United States.3 While it is true, as Peter Sloterdijk acknowledges in You Must Change Your Life, that “any member of a non-utopian left secretly knows all too well that the ‘classless society’ cannot exist for a number of convincing reasons,”4 this is no reason not to explore some of the key factors that exacerbate class conflict.


Public Reason Supreme Court Decision History Textbook Economic Liberty Corporate Takeover 
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© Ron Scapp and Brian Seitz 2013

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  • M. Lane Bruner

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