US democracy

US Democracy ?

We Have a Year to Defend American Democracy, Perhaps Less

The Past Week Proves That Trump Is Destroying Our Democracy (8/1/2017)

Dark Clouds over the Capital
U.S. "has no functioning democracy": Jimmy Carter (7/18/2013)

"Representative institutions no longer represent voters. Instead, they have been short-circuited, steadily corrupted by an institutionalized system of bribery that renders them responsive to powerful interest groups whose constituencies are the major corporations and wealthiest Americans. The courts, in turn, when they are not increasingly handmaidens of corporate power, are consistently deferential to the claims of national security. Elections have become heavily subsidized non-events that typically attract at best merely half of an electorate whose information about foreign and domestic politics is filtered through corporate-dominated media. Citizens are manipulated into a nervous state by the media’s reports of rampant crime and terrorist networks, by thinly veiled threats of the Attorney General and by their own fears about unemployment. What is crucially important here is not only the expansion of governmental power but the inevitable discrediting of constitutional limitations and institutional processes that discourages the citizenry and leaves them politically apathetic." Sheldon Wolin

In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule -- at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it. Gilens and Page

"The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object." Thomas Jefferson

It is only in the public sphere, through voting, voicing, and mobilising, that our fates become our own." Samantha Power's preface to the Origins of Totalitarianism: Hannah Arendt

"Democracy ? The people's representatives? How quaint in a world in which our real rulers are unelected, shielded by secrecy, and supported by a carefully nurtured, almost religious attitude toward security and the U.S. military." The United States of Fear: Tom Englehardt

"The people who dominate the political economy at present are determined to use their considerable resources and influence to prevent the development and expansion of democratic infrastructure. Indeed, at many turns, they consciously seek the actual deconstruction of that infrastructure. And they will work harder to do so as the social pressures created by technological change, automation and joblessness are felt more acutely." Robert McChesney and John Nichols book: People Get Ready

"...Democracy in America today is in deep trouble. Weak, shallow, dangerous, and corrupted, it is the best democracy that money can buy. The ascendancy of market fundamentalism and antiregulation, antigovernment ideology makes the current moment particularly frightening, but even the passing of these extreme ideas would leave deeper, longer-term deficiencies. It is unimaginable that American politics as we know it will deliver the transformative changes needed." The Bridge at the End of the World: Gus Speth (2008)

"Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time." E B White

Managed democracy is a powerful solvent for any vestiges of democracy left in the American political system, but its powers are weak in comparison with those of Superpower. Superpower is the sponsor, defender and manager of American imperialism and militarism, aspects of American government that have always been dominated by elites, enveloped in executive-branch secrecy, and allegedly beyond the ken of ordinary citizens to understand or oversee. Superpower is preoccupied with weapons of mass destruction, clandestine manipulation of foreign policy (sometimes domestic policy, too), military operations, and the fantastic sums of money demanded from the public by the military-industrial complex. (The U.S. military spends more than all other militaries on Earth combined. The official U.S. defense budget for fiscal year 2008 is $623 billion; the next closest national military budget is China's at $65 billion, according to the Central Intelligence Agency.) Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism: Sheldon S. Wolin

For decades, mainstream political scientists and other apologists for the existing social order have tried to transform practically every deficiency in our political system into a strength. They would have us believe that the millions who are nonvoters are content with present social conditions, that high-powered lobbyists are nothing to worry about because they perform an information function vital to representative government, and that the growing concentration of executive power is a good thing because the president is democratically responsive to broad national interests. The apologists have argued that the exclusion of third parties is really for the best because too many parties (that is, more than two) would fractionalize and destabilize our political system, and besides, the major parties eventually incorporate into their platforms the positions raised by minor parties (which is news to a number of socialist parties whose views have remained unincorporated for more than a century)." Michael Parenti, Democracy for the Few

Question from David Barsamian: "In Hegemony or Survival, you say that there is a “severe democracy deficit” in the United States.

Answer from Noam Chomsky: "I’ve discussed this in more detail in a later book, Failed States, running extensively through public opinion studies and actual policy. There is an enormous gap between public opinion and policy. In 2005, for example, right after the federal budget was announced, the Program on International Policy Attitudes, which also studies domestic issues, did an extensive poll on what people thought the budget ought to be. It turned out to be the inverse of the actual budget: where federal funding was going up, an overwhelming majority wanted it to go down. The public opposed increases in military spending overall and supplemental spending for Iraq and Afghanistan, which is going up even more now. Where the budget was going down—social expenditures, health, renewable energy, veterans’ benefits, the United Nations—right across the board, the public wanted spending to increase.

I asked a friend to see how many newspapers in the country reported this. Apparently not one. This is extremely important news. The population is radically opposed to government policy. Isn’t that important news in a democracy? What does that tell us about American democracy? (From Noam Chomsky's book "What We Say Goes: Conversations on U.S. Power in a Changing World)

“Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.”
- John Adams, letter to John Taylor, 1814.

"The central American myth is that democracy is the American way of life. Democracy, however, requires an educated public. The sad reality we face is that the prospect of a public educated to issues and alternatives is perceived as threatening to the privileges of the minority that hold most of our wealth and power, so virtually all of our institutions work to disarm this threat. Operating with an effective confusion of "information" with propaganda, our media, our schools, our corporations, and our government support information technology and produce an increasing flood of its product. Through what I call "the strategic use of trivia," members of the public are under the illusion that the "information" they receive is educating them on subjects that matter. In fact they are by and large being fed what the institutions that perpetuate the power of corporate America wish to feed them." Myth America: Democracy Vs. Capitalism By William H. Boyer
It was always a mirage to imagine that you could have a political democracy expressed in elections and not also have an economic democracy. It's really simple. If you allow an economic system in which 1 percent of the people have more than half the wealth and the other 99 percent have to share the other half, then the 1 percent are not going to be so stupid as to not realize that one of the ways you secure yourself is to control the political system. Occupy the Economy, Challenging Capitalism: Richard Wolff pg 85
...when Americans with different income levels differ in their policy preferences, actual policy outcomes strongly reflect the preferences of the most affluent but bear virtually no relationship to the preferences of poor or middle-income Americans. The vast discrepancy I find in government responsiveness to citizens with different incomes stands in stark contrast to the ideal of political equality that Americans hold dear. Although perfect political equality is an unrealistic goal, representational biases of this magnitude call into question the very democratic character of our society. Martin Gilens
When the rich and poor disagreed about an issue, policy hewed closely to the preferences of the rich, and was "wholly unrelated" to the preferences of the poor. The same was true, more or less, when the opinions of the rich differed from those of median-income Americans...."influence over actual policy outcomes appears to be reserved almost exclusively for those at the top of the income distribution. Martin Gilens "Inequality and Democratic Responsiveness"
from Don Peck's book Pinched. pg 147
Market theology and unelected leadership have been displacing politics and elections. Either democracy must be renewed, with politics brought back to life, or wealth is likely to cement a new and less democratic regime--plutocracy by some other name." Kevin Philips, Wealth and Democracy 422 (2002)
Our current president has gone to war and has symbolically marched back into "the city" wearing his commander-in-chief persona and has declared that our nation is - until further notice - in a permanent state of war, which will likely last for the rest of our lives. He implies that this permanent state of war justifies his unilateral reinterpretation of the Constitutions in ways that increase his power as president at the expense of Congress, the courts and every individual citizen. Indeed, he has even partially militarized domestic law enforcement by ordering uniformed military personnel to commence surveillance within the country on American citizens, businesses, and civic organizations that, in the view of the military, might pose some threat to our nation. In times past, this was unthinkable, but it has been met with very little protest. From Al Gore's Assault on Reason. (2007)

The west is squandering authority on democracy and human rights: it fails to practice as it preaches. Kishore Mahbubani, The Guardian, Friday March 28 2008

"You can see this Republican approach today in voter suppression schemes, aggressive gerrymandering of House districts, expansive use of Senate filibusters, and nasty media outlets that rely on disinformation and propaganda, rather than facts and reason." Consortium News. (This leaves out the self-imposed fiscal crises designed to make the economy crash,  dirty tricks, and packing of the courts.)
The most effective way to restrict democracy is to transfer decision-making from the public arena to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern corporations." Noam Chomsky
"...gerrymandering remains a massive stumbling block to the realization of American democracy...continues to protect minority rule in the United States, just as malapportionment once did." On Democracy's Doorstep: J. Douglas Smith
"Our democracy has been beaten up pretty badly. The political influence enjoyed by big-bank CEOs and their high-priced lobbyists is shameful. When people talk to me about how broken Washington is, I really can't argue with them: it's a mess, and too often its priorities are all wrong. But I hope - I fervently hope -people won't give up." Elizabeth Warren A Fighting Chance pg 163
"People know jaw-droppingly little about politics" Robert Luskin 2002

The Constitution places more barriers to democracy than other developed countries. Four were specified in the slavery-defending founders’ Constitution: absolute veto power for the Senate, for the House, and for the president (if not outvoted by a two-thirds majority), and a Constitution that cannot be altered without the agreement of two-thirds of the states after Congress. Other features of the U.S. system further obstruct majority rule, including a winner-take-all Electoral College that encourages a two-party system; the Tenth Amendment, which steers power toward the states; and a system of representation in the unusually potent Senate that violates the principle of “one person, one vote” to a degree not seen anywhere else. Owing to such mechanisms, Stepan and Linz note, even in the late 1960’s,“ the heydey of income equality in the United States, no other country in the set of [long-standing democracies] was as unequal as America, and most were substantially more equal “ As arresting, even the most equal U.S. state is less equal than any comparable country." from Democracy in Chains,Nancy McClean

Information Technology: Gateway to Direct Democracy in China and the World (3/25/2013) William Paul Cockshott & Karen Renaud

Infrastructure of Democracy

Current levels of income inequality cannot coexist with democracy.

GOP billionaires despise without a fight we may not have it much longer. They attack media, undermine elections, pack the Courts, empower corporations, expand the military, pass harsher laws, bust unions, make education expensive, spread their ideology disguised as philanthropy to dodge taxes, attempt to privatise everything from schools, prisons, Social Security, Medicare, public land, and infrastructure. Since they are solidifying their gains, it is not clear that the system is self-correcting.

To pay for tax gifts to the wealthy including elimination of the inheritance tax, Republicans cut healthcare, Medicaid, meals on wheels, social supports. block consumer protections, oppose the CFPB, scrap the fiduciary rule, ignore anti-trust, make student loans more expensive, weaken privacy, cancel net neutrality, and increase the debt ceiling. They allow corporations to extract as much money from people as they can.

Agencies are being dismantled by political appointees who oppose their very purpose. Republicans stated goal is the 'deconstruction of the administrative State.' Deregulation makes corporations unaccountable so they can continue union busting, fossil fuel pollution, financial recklessness. Rule by corporations is Fascism. The Fascist State functions for the oligarchy, and doesn't much care about the people.

Democracy requires an informed electorate, fair elections, transparent government, but It is getting weaker fast. U.S. media is highly concentrated and has little motivation to keep people informed. The result: Congress does the bidding of the funders, not the people. (See Lessig's Republic Lost which is free to download.)

As U. S. physical infrastructure is deteriorating, so is the infrastructure of democracy: declining education outcomes have resulted in wide-spread illiteracy; traditional media like newspapers and magazines are facing poor financial prospects; broadcasters feel no public obligation and increasingly sell time to advertising, trivia, sports, and propaganda; elections are fueled by big money and results are suspect; government does not act as people,when polled prefer, and has embarked on a program of universal surveillance but acts more and more in secret. There is also a massively funded right-wing initiative to bring Fascism to the U.S. It is difficult to see how we can avoid dystopia.

Billionaire Republicans won the 2016 election. They want big tax cuts for themselves, strong policing, expanded military to protect and enhance their wealth, and a working class in servitude. To do that they revoke affordable healthcare, trim Social Security, voucherize or block grant social programs, bust unions, pile heavy debt on students, fund religion, and shred the social safety net. As much as possible they are inclined to privatize schools, government programs, or even public lands (the better to exploit them). Deregulation will allow continued fossil fuel pollution, worker exploitation, media consolidation, and exacerbate our fundamental problem: income inequality. Trump cabinet appointees, like other hard-right Republicans, support these policies.

Corporate control of government is fascism.

It appears we cannot break our addiction to militarization and the forever war for empire. There was recognition when the Constitution was written that a large standing military is the enemy of democracy. Trump's appointment of generals to senior positions is ominous.

Trump, like most Republicans, is a climate denier. That demonstrates blatant irresponsibility to future generations and the rejection of scientific concensus .

Every empire in history has been destroyed, often by its own dysfunction, but sometimes by total destruction. Now that there is world-wide ability to deliver nuclear weapons, and no sign that they will be banned (the U.S. opposes a ban).  We now have a strong man, head of State, who can initiate holocaust with the touch of a button...on his own. Ready ?

Here's what a majority of Americans want. The GOP wants none of these.

Expand background checks for gun purchases (92%)
Americans who believe it is important for the US to maintain an active role in the UN (88%)
Support Net Neutrality (80%)
Allow Government to Negotiate Drug Prices (79%)
Give Students the Same Low Interest Rates as Big Banks (78%)
Universal Pre-Kindergarten (77%)
Fair Trade that Protect Workers, the Environment, and Jobs (75%)
End Tax Loopholes for Corporations that Ship Jobs Overseas (74%)
End Gerrymandering (73%)
Let Homeowners Pay Down Mortgage With 401k (72%)
Debt-Free College at All Public Universities (Message A) (71%)
Infrastructure Jobs Program — $400 Billion / Year (71%)
Require NSA to Get Warrants (71%)
Disclose Corporate Spending on Politics/Lobbying (71%)
Medicare Buy-In for All (71%)
Close Offshore Corporate Tax Loopholes (70%)
Believe in climate change (70%)
Green New Deal — Millions Of Clean-Energy Jobs (70%)
Full Employment Act (70%)
Expand Social Security Benefits (70%)
Percent who think America is on the wrong track (61%)
Abortion should be legal in all or most cases (56%)

The System is Rigged (Only Not in the Way Trump Thinks) (8/12/2016)

Revolution Is In The Air (4/19/2016)

U.S. Democracy is in very serious decline: Chomsky (4/17/2015)

How America Became An Oligarchy (4/7/2015)

CIA’s Hidden Hand in ‘Democracy’ Groups (1/8/2015)

Democracy and its Discontents (1/1/2015)

The Tornado Election (11/5/2014)

Rage Of Democracy (10/24/2014)

American Democracy is Diseased (8/20/2014)

And so the sale of our democracy rolls on (6/7/2014)

Princeton concludes what kind of Government America Really Has, and it's Not a Democracy (4/16/2014)

The Last Gasp of American Democracy (1/5/2014)

North Carolina Conservatives declare war on Democracy (1/5/2014)

Jimmy Carter: US “has no functioning democracy” (7/18/2013)

Today's Republican Party Doesn't Believe In Democracy (3/14/2013)

The GOP's Sabotage of Democracy (12/23/2012)

The Selling of American Democracy (7/13/2012)

Arundhati Roy in Chicago - March 18, 2013

Our Incredible Shrinking Democracy (2/2/2010)

Is Democracy Melting ?

Moyers: 'Democracy in America Is a Series of Narrow Escapes, and We May Be Running Out of Luck'  

Moyers: 'Democracy in America Is a Series of Narrow Escapes, and We May Be Running Out of Luck'

For all of America's shortcomings, we keep telling ourselves, "The system works." Now all bets are off. Read more »


Inverted Totalitarianism  Sheldon Wolin (2003)

Is the US a democracy?

America is today the leader of a worldwide anti-revolutionary movement in the defense of vested interests...supporting the rich against the poor. Historian Arnold Toynbee (quoted in A People's History of American Empire by Howard Zinn et al)

How the two parties in the US exclude real debate: an example from Connecticut ("To be Green" video)

Why I left the Civil Rights Division.

Big Brother Democracy

They Rule

The US has experienced a failure of leadership and is no longer a democracy. Most of our institutions have failed us.

The infrastructure of democracy has been systematically weakened: media, elections, government, law, ...

Extreme income inequality accelerates a vicious cycle where wealthy game the system to favor themselves at the expense of everyone else. Over time, this creates the boom and bust cycles of the economy seen dramatically in 1929 and again in 2008. Republicans are largely responsible for removing the New Deal economic stabilizers that damped down the business cycle for decades.

Concentrated wealth, also seen as income inequality, is not just unfair (for it can deprive large parts of the population of civil liberties or even life support), it is inversely related to democracy. That is why the US budget does not represent the wishes of people when polled, why lawmakers often do the wrong thing, why we have an oligarchy, and why we have lost our Republic

US Elections are thoroughly rigged, and reform is not even an issue. The 2000 election, decided by a partisan Supreme Court was more properly characterized as a coup, not an election. Clean elections are a prerequisite for democracy and we don't have them. Even if elections were honest and fair, candidates are not bound to do the people's agenda. Public policy is not much influenced by elections. Oligarchs rule.

Look closely at almost any issue and you will find that large monied interests (usually represented by Republicans) oppose democracy:  Examples from heathcare, pharmaceuticals, transportation, weaponry, pensions, wages, software, education, and many other areas reflect class warfare and the wreckage from the Supreme Court's Citizen's United decision.

Corporations have become the controlling interest of government. (This is also, by the way, the very definition of Fascism.) Regulatory agencies are dominated by industries that are supposed to be regulated. The military has become a security force for multinationals, especially oil companies. The National Security State has taken resources that might have gone to the well-being of people. The police have been militarized and are increasingly violent. Like every empire in history, our fate is sealed.

Corporate Media, like most of the economy is highly concentrated, so its message is mostly right wing.

Information streams are polluted. Media are concentrated, exploitive spammers, managed by party hacks, cowed into submission, infiltrated by psy-ops, spoon-fed the official line. Government is secretive. There is an assault on the press. Except for official voices, there is silence in the media. A diversity of points of view is essential for a democracy, but concentration of media corporations and government intrusion prevents the possibility of democracy.

Republicans, though they do not represent a majority of Americans, control the agenda now. Through dark money, gerrymandering, voter suppression, dirty tricks, election rigging, media spin, have made the US a failed state. They are consistently heading us in the wrong direction. They packed the Supreme Court with party hacks who are corporate supremacists. They have been largely responsible for creating a secret, black government that is unaccountable and is making important policy decisions without oversight. They have secretly implemented universal surveillance that robs us of civil liberties, privacy, and freedom. Even trade agreements are drafted in secret.

Republicans cry for small government has been the excuse to transfer formerly public functions to the private sector. 'Privatization' is a tool for profiteers that removes public functions from accountability. The commons is everywhere under attack from the right. 

We vote for candidates (all quite different, none exactly on the right message), instead of voting for an agenda.

Our public servants should be working for peace, using the best diplomacy, protecting the environment, providing everyone healthcare, and directing the economy toward productive purposes...not to weaponry that could be used only for Armageddon. An office holder not vigorously pursuing the people's agenda should be unceremoniously booted.

The WTO, an instrument of globalization, can overrule in secret any local law. This is governance by multinationals. The agenda is toward economic restructuring, union busting for cheap wages, and the imposition of the will of the global elite. There is no regard for the condition of the environment, or the well being of people. Corporations rule... or more accurately...misrule.

Massive military spending required by empire results directly in a shift of the economy to armaments, and an accelerating militarizing of all aspects of civil life. It has also spawned an arms race that is inherently unsafe. Not only is militarization incompatible with democracy, it makes civilized social programs such as healthcare unaffordable. As Nazi Germany demonstrated: a country determined to use all of its resources for empire can do so only by total disregard of its own people and, in the end, was reduced to rubble.

Dissidents beware: Our communications of all types are now under complete surveillance. Whistleblowers prosecuted. Suppression of dissent is an important part of new "security" measures. Peace activists or protesters of the SOA are now considered terrorists. Academic opinion is subject to policing through cutoff of government funds. Higher education is funded heavily for military purposes. Courts have ruled that it is ok for media to lie.

The Patriot Act was but the visible part of an assault on the Bill of Rights. Telephone, internet search records, library borrowings, and commercial sources have all been used in massive databases for data mining without any oversight. Call that democracy ?

The events surrounding 9-11 were not examined in a responsible way, yet the Bush administration used them to justify its own agenda. People would never have agreed to these actions had they been fully informed. The Press and the Congress failed to do due diligence in the lead up to the War in Iraq, and time has shown that the basis for war was a lie. No one was held accountable.

The future of the US will be marked by poor relations with the rest of the world, financial instability, overpopulation, energy crisis, environmental catastrophe, inflation, and endless war. There will be little employment security, rising costs, declining wages, deteriorating infrastructure, expensive corporate healthcare, increasing surveillance, more intrusive government, higher taxes, and a continuing race for the bottom. It will meet the same as the fate of every other empire.

There is speculation that the secret government controls the agenda, selects the President, and is placing us on a path to destruction. If nuclear holocaust does not make civilization impossible, then climate change will.

It is clear now that political parties can over-ride Constitutional checks and balances. The GOP commitment to environmental destruction, war profiteering and empire is likely to destroy not only our civil liberties, republic, and eventually the habitability of the planet.

If the US had real democracy, candidates would be bound to do what people want. How well they do it would be the criteria with which they are evaluated. Torture, renditions, secret government, broad surveillance, fiscal irresponsibility, neglect of health issues, response to concerns of the public are just a few of the categories that our candidates mostly fail.

We should vote for an evidence-based agenda, decided in a public, transparent process in which sensible, publicly sanctioned goals are established. Candidates would be bound by them.

Agreements that we have signed in the past, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Conventions, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Agreement, the Prevention of Weapons in Space, the Laws of War as agreed at Nuremberg, and others should be respected as law... It seems the U.S. does not have virtue required to join the International Criminal Court.

  • Neither of our political parties has a plan for the future. Technology can and will reduce number of jobs wholesale. There will be massive unemployment, but the social safety net will continue to be shredded.
  • peace. (Unfortunately not on the table right now. Neither of our political parties favors peace.) War is profitable. Republicans promise plenty of it. They love their guns. Police are being militarized. The wilding of the U.S. will accelerate. (See Charles Derber's book.)
  • Human Rights (the law should not stop at the water's edge. Torture, renditions and other crimes of the Bush administration should be illegal and accountable.)
  • democracy. The infrastructure of democracy: economy, media, elections, education, politics is not sufficient to support it. (Government that actually benefits the people ? Sorry, that's not on the table either.)
  • fair elections. (This is a precondition for democracy. This is not really under consideration right now.) There is no reason to believe that Attorney General Sessions will defend the Voting Rights Act.
  • economic reform (There can be no democracy if there is extreme income inequality.) The economy is not fair, stable, or sustainable. Privately controlled government is facism. The hidden part of government will continue mass surveillance. Privacy is dead.
  • justice, which is to include the right of habeas corpus, due process, and a duty to observe international agreements that have been signed in the past. Republicans oppose closing the Gulag at Guantanmo, a stain on U.S. values and a powerful recruiting tool for terrorists. The U.S. is number 1 in incarceration.
  • media, an essential element for any democracy, is firmly controlled by the plutocracy and there is no credible effort to change that. It is a primary method to depoliticize the public, an enemy of public information, a distraction, and a way to keep the public ignorant.

It is all about people having the ability to determine our direction. It is clear that our steering mechanisms are extremely weak.

See some ideas for reform.


How Democracy Works Now


Infrastructure of Democracy: all being substantially weakened by Republicans.

Enemies of Democracy: all being substantially strengthened by Republicans.

Democracy Watch's Definition of a Democratic Society
Port Huron Statement
YouGov America
Direct Democracy
Toward Consolidated Democracies Juan J. Linz & Alfred Stepan
Continuing International Congress on Direct Democracy
C2D - Centre d'Etudes et de documentation sur la démocratie directe
Best Direct Democracy & Electronic Democracy Solutions


Democracy For Realists, Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government: Christopher H. Achen & Larry M. Bartels

Democracy For the Few: Michael Parenti

Democracy in Retreat: The Revolt of the Middle Class and the Worldwide Decline of Representative Government: Joshua Kurlantzick

Dollarocracy: John Nichols and Robert McChesney

The Silenced Majority: Amy Goodman

Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress and a Plan to Stop It: Lawrence Lessig

The Democracy Project: A History, A Crisis, A Movement: David Graeber

When the People Speak: James S. Fishkin

Moyers on Democracy: Bill Moyers

Democracy at Risk: Rescuing Main Street from Wall Street: Jeff Gates.

Off Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy: Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson

How Democratic is the American Constitution ?: Robert A. Dahl

Democracy Matters, Winning the Fight against Imperialism: Cornel West

Failed States: Noam Chomsky

The Crisis of Democracy: Report to the Trilateral Commission (1975) on-line