Political parties and elections are increasingly political theatre, with real power hidden behind a smokescreen of propaganda, carefully manipulated cultural and religious wars, and voting rituals. But there is another kind of hidden power in America: the grassroots social movements working for progressive change. If the Democratic Party can ally with these movements, America can be returned to its people.
Derber sees American history as a succession of regimes, each spanning several administrations. Since the end of the Civil War, regimes of hidden power, in which corporate interests control both parties behind the scenes, have alternated with more open, inclusive and democratic regimes. Derber details how and why these hidden power systems finally collapsed and what determined the types of regimes that succeeded them.
Hidden Power reveals how the current regime, possibly the most corporate in history, has maintained power by intensifying the red/blue culture wars, supporting religious extremists, exploiting terrorism fears, and manipulating the electoral process. Will this latest corporate regime be replaced by one that is more progressive? Or it could turn even further right and yield to something even worse, a uniquely American form of fascism?
The best hope for positive change lies in an alliance between the Democratic Party and the grass roots progressive movements that, Derber shows, have always been the catalysts for change. Hidden Power concludes with an impassioned argument for why this would be in the Democrats' best interests, as well as the country's, and a detailed program for exactly how to go about it. Thoughtful, eloquent, and compelling, Hidden Power offers real hope for restoring genuine democracy to America.