For 25 years now, the Right has been successfully using the rhetoric of freedom and democracy to build support for the politics of wealth and privilege. It has traveled a long way from earlier appearances as the marginalized defender of an idle and backward-looking upper crust and the patriotic champion of an aggrieved and ignored minority. The Right has dominated national politics because it has taken advantage of opportunity with patient organizing and close attention to a distinct set of core ideas. As the Right rose to power, it constructed a formidable mass base, built an impressive set of institutions, and developed a coherent ideology that was not afraid to address American politics. Everything that the Right has to say about world affairs, authority, race, morality, the state, and the economy, though, has served a single core project. Above all else, the Right has sought to eliminate social equality as a legitimate aim of public policy. Its success in doing so has facilitated one of the most dramatic, undemocratic, and dangerous transfers of wealth and power in recent American history. In this bold new book, political scientist John Ehrenberg critically analyzes the rise of an ideologically coherent Right. He dissects their themes of military weakness, moral decay, racial anxiety, and hostility to social welfare to reveal their central organizing objective of protecting wealth and assaulting equality.
John Ehrenberg is professor of political science at Long Island University. He is the author of Civil Society: The Critical History of an Idea, Proudhon and His Age, and The Dictatorship of the Proletariat: Marxism's Theory of Socialist Democracy.
Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Crisis and Consolidation Chapter 3 Militarism Chapter 4 Authority Chapter 5 Racial Fear Chapter 6 Attacking the Welfare State Chapter 7 Defending Inequality Chapter 8 Democracy and Equality