• Item #A273
  • ISBN: 1891843273
  • ISBN13: 978-1-891843-27-3
  • Copyright 2006
  • 218 pp.
  • Form: Hardback
  • Also available in: Paperback, $19.95
  • Price: $29.95

You Call This a Democracy

Who benefits, who pays, and who really decides

By Paul Kivel


You Call This a Democracy? is a penetrating and troubling look at how the U.S. ruling class and the power elite dominate wealth, power and decision-making in all aspects of our lives and institutions. Arguing that the United States has always had a ruling class, this book does not focus on the current administration or rogue corporations, but presents a deeper, longer-term analysis of how the ruling class has created and uses the Constitution, corporations and the courts, as well as a host of other mechanisms such as tax laws, wars, buffer zones, and distractions, to dominate our society and accumulate wealth.

The book is carefully researched and referenced, and filled with numerous examples and illustrations. It is an indispensable resource for every person concerned about the undemocratic concentration of wealth and power in our society.

This revised second printing adds a new workshop and classroom friendly study guide which makes this an easy to use book for activists and educators focused on issues of poverty, inequality, multiculturalism, diversity, politics, and economic, racial, and gender justice. The new Afterword includes practical suggestions for incorporating democratic practice in our everyday family, classroom and workplace processes.

You Call This a Democracy? is being used in high school and college classes, in study groups, in religious based social justice projects, and by activists throughout the country because it provides a framework and common vocabulary to talk about issues of economic justice and to help guide people's everyday decisions and political involvement.

What People are Saying...

You Call this a Democracy? is a powerful tool for those seeking to understand and change the oppressive economic, political, ideological and cultural institutions of contemporary society.

Victor Rosado, Left Turn Magazine, February/March 2005

Paul Kivel has done it again by exploding another myth about our troubled land — the nation that we Americans call "middle class." Instead he shows us how we are ruled by a handful of top dogs and what we must do if we want to get those dogs out of our lives. Hurray!

Jim Hightower, author of Let's Stop Beating Around the Bush and other works of political subversion.

Paul Kivel's courage to identify the structure of the ruling class and the impact of its power is a gift to all of us who seek justice and equality. This book should be a required text in classrooms throughout the country.

Suzanne Pharr, author of In the Time of the Right: Reflections on Liberation, former director of the Highlander Research and Education Center.

Paul Kivel has written an accessible field guide to our country's power elite — and how they rule the rest of us. All citizens should read this book to better understand the powerful forces that distort our democracy and misshape the quality of our lives in a thousand different ways.

Chuck Collins, co-author (with Bill Gates senior) of Wealth and Our Commonwealth and co-founder of United for a Fair Economy