Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Can Capitalism and Real Democracy Coexist?
A review of Greg Palast's book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy
By David McNair

There's a temptation to dismiss Greg Palast's whistle-blowing theatrics and meticulous, conspiratorial fact-gathering by pointing out that powerful corporate and political insiders have always run the show and will do just about anything to keep running it. So tell me something my mother hasn't warned me about for years, Mr. Palast. As Mark Twain said about 100 years ago, "The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet." But I'm not going to be that cynical. Besides, there's evidence that our democracy might not survive if we continue to live in a dream world of consumer bliss and ignore the fact that our government is being run more like a corporation than the sloppy, messy, beautiful democracy it was meant to be.

With this in mind, to read investigative reporter Greg Palast's book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy is to invite a headache-causing array of facts and complex connections to alter your perceptions of American democracy in the 21st Century. Unless, of course, you don't care or think Palast is a freak liberal with a flare for the dramatic, a la Michael Moore—a condition and point of view that Palast alludes to strongly in his scatologically styled introduction, boldly and appropriately called Who Gives a S***? That title takes its cue from one of the many provocative quotes in the book. (Palast seems to have a knack for tracking down confidential documents and getting establishment figures to say the darnedest things.) During the Clinton years, a Newsweek reporter offered to pass on to Palast some disturbing information on President Clinton. "But why don't you print this?" Palast asked. To which the reporter answered, "Because no one gives a s***."

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Monday, May 05, 2003

Visit OldSpeak Magazine and read Welcome to the Age of Anxiety