“The nation is already descending into yet another preposterous, precisely time-staggered quadrennial major party big money candidate-centered electoral extravaganza—one that could very well re-elect an aspiring fascist leader to the imperial presidency. It is an apt moment to reflect on the all-too-rarely noted problem that the United States is authoritarian by constitutional design. U.S. politics and policy are poisoned beyond all democratic recognition by an explicitly anti-egalitarian charter drafted and passed by 18th Century slaveholders and merchant capitalists for whom popular sovereignty was the ultimate nightmare. Street will discuss how U.S. politics and policy are badly distorted by the nation’s exceptionally durable charter and how we might finally and productively stop playing “Simon Says” with militant anti-democrats like Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay.”~~~Open University of the Left
Paul Street is an independent radical-democratic policy researcher, journalist, historian, author and speaker based in Iowa City, Iowa, and Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of seven books to date: Empire and Inequality: America and the World Since 9/11 (Boulder, CO: Paradigm, 2004); Segregated Schools: Educational Apartheid in the Post-Civil Rights Era (New York: Routledge, 2005); Racial Oppression in the Global Metropolis: a Living Black Chicago History (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007); Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics (Boulder, CO: Paradigm, 2008); The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama in the Real World of Power (Paradigm, 2010); (with Anthony DiMaggio) Crashing the Tea Party: Mass Media and the Campaign to Remake American Politics (Paradigm, 2011); and They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy (Paradigm, 2014). Paul writes regularly for Truthdig, Telesur English, Counterpunch, Black Agenda Report, Z Magazine and Dandelion Salad.