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Kevin Phillips - American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century

Kevin Phillips - American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century

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Published by MuslimThunder
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http://avaxhome.ws/ebooks/history_military/AmericanTheocracy.html

http://www.ebookee.net/American-Theocracy-The-Peril-and-Politics-of-Radical-Religion-Oil-and-Borrowed-Money-in-the-21stCentury_391318.html

American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century is a 2005 political commentary book by American political writer Kevin Phillips. The book is a harsh critique of the past forty years of the Republican coalition in U.S. politics. He "presents a nightmarish vision of ideological extremism, catastrophic fiscal irresponsibility, rampant greed and dangerous shortsightedness."

Phillips points to three unifying themes holding this coalition together. First, its tie to oil and the role oil plays in American and world events. Second, to the coalition of social conservatives, Evangelicals and Pentecostals in this Republican coalition. Finally, he points to the "debt culture" of this coalition, and to a coming "debt bubble" related to the debt of the U.S. Government and U.S. consumers. He argues that similar issues have been prevalent in the past, when other world powers, such as the Roman Empire and the British Empire declined from their peaks and fell into disarray.

While working as a strategist in the presidential campaign of Richard Nixon, Phillips wrote "The Emerging Republican Majority." In that book, Phillips predicted the formation of this very coalition that he criticizes in his current book. In "American Theocracy," he admits that while these "mutations," as he calls them, could have been predicted, he did not foresee the extent to which they would develop and dominate the coalition he helped put together. The last chapter of this book references his first work, and is called "The Erring Republican Majority."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Theocracy
Links to download the book:

http://avaxhome.ws/ebooks/history_military/AmericanTheocracy.html

http://www.ebookee.net/American-Theocracy-The-Peril-and-Politics-of-Radical-Religion-Oil-and-Borrowed-Money-in-the-21stCentury_391318.html

American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century is a 2005 political commentary book by American political writer Kevin Phillips. The book is a harsh critique of the past forty years of the Republican coalition in U.S. politics. He "presents a nightmarish vision of ideological extremism, catastrophic fiscal irresponsibility, rampant greed and dangerous shortsightedness."

Phillips points to three unifying themes holding this coalition together. First, its tie to oil and the role oil plays in American and world events. Second, to the coalition of social conservatives, Evangelicals and Pentecostals in this Republican coalition. Finally, he points to the "debt culture" of this coalition, and to a coming "debt bubble" related to the debt of the U.S. Government and U.S. consumers. He argues that similar issues have been prevalent in the past, when other world powers, such as the Roman Empire and the British Empire declined from their peaks and fell into disarray.

While working as a strategist in the presidential campaign of Richard Nixon, Phillips wrote "The Emerging Republican Majority." In that book, Phillips predicted the formation of this very coalition that he criticizes in his current book. In "American Theocracy," he admits that while these "mutations," as he calls them, could have been predicted, he did not foresee the extent to which they would develop and dominate the coalition he helped put together. The last chapter of this book references his first work, and is called "The Erring Republican Majority."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Theocracy

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- Page 1
Reprinted by arrangement with Viking, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., from AMERICAN THEOCRACY by Kevin Phillips.
Copyright © 2006 by Kevin Phillips.

Summary published by CapitolReader.com. Copyright © 2006, Capitol Reader and Shamrock New Media, Inc. No part of this summary may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior notice and consent from CapitolReader.com and Shamrock New Media, Inc. The respective copyrights of authors and publishers are acknowledged. The material provided is for general informational purposes only.

American Theocracy:
The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion,
Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century

Author: Kevin Phillips
Publisher: Penguin Group
Date of Publication: March 2006
ISBN: 067003486X
No. of Pages: 480

Buy This Book
[Summary published by CapitolReader.com on June 1, 2006]
Click here for more political and current events books fromPenguin.
About The Author:
Kevin Phillips, a former Republican strategist, is a political commentator best known for
his influential bestsellers such as The Emerging Republican Majority, Wealth and
Democracy, and American Dynasty.A frequent contributor to Time, Harper’s Magazine
and The Los Angeles Times, Phillips is a formidable critic of America’s political and
economic leadership.
General Overview:
In American Theocracy, Phillips takes an uncompromising view of the political coalition,
led by radical religion, which he believes is driving America to the brink of disaster.

From Ancient Rome to the British Empire, Phillips demonstrates that every world- dominating power has been brought down by a related set of causes: a lethal combination of global overreach, militant religion, resource problems and ballooning debt. Phillips asserts that military miscalculations in the Middle East, the surge of fundamentalist religion, the staggering national debt and the costs of U.S. oil dependence are undermining our nation’s security, solvency and standing in the world. If left unchecked, the same forces will bring a debt-bloated, preachy, energy-starved America to its knees.

* Please Note: This CapitolReader.com summary doesnot offer judgment or opinion on
the book’s content. The ideas, viewpoints and arguments are presented just as the book’s
author has intended.
- Page 2
Reprinted by arrangement with Viking, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., from AMERICAN THEOCRACY by Kevin Phillips.
Copyright © 2006 by Kevin Phillips.

Summary published by CapitolReader.com. Copyright © 2006, Capitol Reader and Shamrock New Media, Inc. No part of this summary may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior notice and consent from CapitolReader.com and Shamrock New Media, Inc. The respective copyrights of authors and publishers are acknowledged. The material provided is for general informational purposes only.

Introduction

All great world-dominating powers – from ancient Rome to the British Empire – have proven susceptible to a set of interconnecting troubles. These problems, which eventually brought down the empires in question, include: global overreach, militant religiosity, crippling debt and ecological challenges (particularly those involving diminishing resources).

The same ills that have befallen the great empires of the past now afflict the United States. For instance, a surge of Christian fundamentalism and evangelical religiosity has helped sweep George W. Bush and the Republican Right into power. As a result, an increasing number of Republicans are interpreting world events and shaping public policy around a Biblical (and even apocalyptic) worldview.

The core of the Bush Administration’s National Security Strategy – which has promoted regime change in Iraq, the doctrine of preemptive war and spreading liberty across the Middle East as a way of defeating terrorism – has garnered support among a high percentage of evangelical Christians because such policies appear congruent with their understanding of scripture.

At the same time, many business interests closely allied with Washington – particularly, members of what might be termed “the petroleum-industrial complex” – stood to gain from a United States led invasion of Iraq, which (under a best-case scenario) would have established American hegemony over Iraq’s oil reserves. The companies that stood to benefit indirectly include: America’s aging automakers, such as Ford and G.M., which depend vitally on low oil prices so that American consumers will buy their fuel inefficient SUVs and trucks, as well as American oil giants, such as Exxon-Mobil, which have seen their share of the world’s oil reserves decline in recent years. Invading Iraq, to a large extent, reflected a strategy to rescue America’s aging oil-consuming infrastructure and culture (which depends vitally on inexpensive petroleum).

America is facing dwindling sources of cheap and abundant energy at the same time that its own debt is ballooning. Concurrently, the decline of American manufacturing has been accompanied by the ascension of the financial sector. Increased debt and the financialization of the economy are all symptoms of imperial powers in late-stage decline. The complexity of many financial instruments (few who trade them fully understand them), combined with their relative lack of liquidity, could contain the seeds of a financial crisis or catastrophe.

America’s enormous trade deficit is compounded by the negative savings rate among U.S. consumers. The United States has gone from being the world’s largest creditor to its biggest debtor. Asian countries such as China continue to finance our growing trade deficit so that we will continue to buy their products. This global imbalance reflects short-term thinking and selfishness among America’s political leaders and economic interests respectively. This is an approach, however, that is mortgaging America’s future.

- Page 3
Reprinted by arrangement with Viking, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., from AMERICAN THEOCRACY by Kevin Phillips.
Copyright © 2006 by Kevin Phillips.

Summary published by CapitolReader.com. Copyright © 2006, Capitol Reader and Shamrock New Media, Inc. No part of this summary may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior notice and consent from CapitolReader.com and Shamrock New Media, Inc. The respective copyrights of authors and publishers are acknowledged. The material provided is for general informational purposes only.

America is facing an “axis-of-ills” stemming from the interaction oil interests, religious fundamentalism and the financialization of the economy. The interests involved here essentially form the coalition that helped bring George W. Bush to power. Bush’s policy decisions, both domestic and foreign – particularly the invasion of Iraq – are best understood as responses designed to serve the interests of his political base. Unfortunately, the interests of Bush’s base are inimical to the interests of the United States as a whole. If America cannot reverse course from the agenda set by the Bush Administration, the future of the United States is likely to be very bleak.

Fuel and National Power

All of the world-dominating empires of the modern era have risen to great power status on the crest of a newly emerging energy source. For instance, Dutch hegemony during the 17th and 18th centuries was built on its unmatched ability to harness wind and water power. Similarly, Britain’s rise during the 18th and 19th centuries was fueled by its preeminent coal-based industry. And the United States’ emergence as a global empire has been predicated on an oil-based industrial complex fueled by access to cheap and abundant petroleum.

Each society becomes emotionally and physically wedded to the energy source that serves as the basis of its predominance. For instance, the Dutch took great pride in their system of windmills and hydroelectric dykes. The British became enamored with the coal-powered railroads. And the United States has its love affair with the automobile. As a society ages, however, its energy infrastructure becomes less resilient and less adaptable to changing demands. Thus, the Dutch were unwilling to trade in their windmills for the energy sources of the future, just as Britain’s coal-powered trains gradually became obsolete in the petroleum age. The petroleum era has been with us now for a century and in all likelihood, Americans will be unwilling to part with their gas-guzzling autos and embrace the alternative fuels of the future (just as the Dutch were unwilling to give up wind and water power and the British were unwilling to give up coal).

The era of inexpensive and abundant oil may be coming to an end. The precise state of Saudi oil reserves is a closely guarded secret, but many experts have warned American policy makers that the Saudis may be close to, or already have passed, the point of peak oil production. This means that in the near future, the law of diminishing returns will govern oil production – it will begin to cost more to produce oil even as there is less oil to produce. This could set the stage for resource wars as competing powers – China, the United States and Europe – scamper to maintain their oil lifelines.

The invasion of Iraq had a great deal to do with ensuring that America maintained control of a resource that is essential to its well-being. After 9/11, and with the viability of the Saudi Monarchy in doubt, the Bush Administration had the perfect pretext for implementing longstanding Neoconservative ambitions to depose Saddam Hussein and

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