Book Review: Recovering from the Man

TWELVE STEPS TOWARD POLITICAL REVELATION by Walter Mosley (Nation Books)
by David Schimke
July-August 2011
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In his fourth quick-hit political manifesto, the African American author best known for his jazzy Easy Rawlins mystery series (Black Betty, Devil in a Blue Dress) doesn’t blame the system, or even the man, for America’s political, economic, and cultural decline. He simply points out that free-market capitalism is incompatible with democracy, and that it works most efficiently when its benefactors—in this case the rich, ruling class—condition people to fear dissent and accept that the price of doing business includes poverty, war, and spiritual subjugation.

A sober alcoholic, Mosley asks readers to take responsibility by admitting that we live in a society afflicted with a social disease, and he recommends a series of personal steps to recover from oppression. These include valuing historically accurate education, speaking the truth, and understanding our collective worth. As with Mosely’s previous polemics, the prose sometimes wanders, and he allows for logical detours while he’s pursing his thesis. But the smart, strident writing and Mosley’s unabashed allegiance to a new working-class ethic will rivet readers from the word revolution.

cover-166-thumbnailHave something to say? Send a letter to editor@utne.com. This article first appeared in the July-August 2011 issue of Utne Reader








Post a comment below.

 

G.L.Clark
7/5/2011 3:13:22 AM
There is no such thing as "free market" capitalism; there are many conditions enforced by law, (courts, police and military if necessary) which are passed and/or negotiated by legislators and appointees of the state. Trade treaties are complex, running hundreds or even thousands of pages of details of what, when and under which conditions items may be bought and sold among the parties to the agreements. The crux of the matter is that wealthy, influential business interests lobby, donating large sums to lawmakers, to have details included in trade agreements and domestic law that are favorable to their profits, to the exclusion of the health and welfare of the majority of the population. The population is not well organized and has few resources to buy representation. Businesses hire expensive public relations firms to extensively propagandize for a favorable image, to justify to the population the necessity for the damages to their health and welfare, and to extend the ever present threat of financial armageddon if the businesses' interests are ignored or transgressed upon. The education system fulfills the role of propagandizer of the youth to condition them to accept the dominance of the wealthy over the majority. Only persistent and diligent radicalized education can offset the mindless apathetic acceptance of the status quo present in the US now.

G.L.Clark
7/5/2011 3:12:15 AM
There is no such thing as "free market" capitalism; there are many conditions enforced by law, (courts, police and military if necessary) which are passed and/or negotiated by legislators and appointees of the state. Trade treaties are complex, running hundreds or even thousands of pages of details of what, when and under which conditions items may be bought and sold among the parties to the agreements. The crux of the matter is that wealthy, influential business interests lobby, donating large sums to lawmakers, to have details included in trade agreements and domestic law that are favorable to their profits, to the exclusion of the health and welfare of the majority of the population. The population is not well organized and has few resources to buy representation. Businesses hire expensive public relations firms to extensively propagandize for a favorable image, to justify to the population the necessity for the damages to their health and welfare, and to extend the ever present threat of financial armageddon if the businesses' interests are ignored or transgressed upon. The education system fulfills the role of propagandizer of the youth to condition them to accept the dominance of the wealthy over the majority. Only persistent and diligent radicalized education can offset the mindless apathetic acceptance of the status quo present in the US now.








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