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The United States was born in a struggle against the oligarchs of the British aristocracy, and ever since then the history of America has been one of dynamic tension between democracy and oligarchy, asserts author Thom Hartmann. And much like the shock of the 1929 crash woke America up to glaring inequality and the ongoing theft of democracy by that generation’s oligarchs, Hartmann believes that the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has laid bare how extensively oligarchs have looted our nation’s economic system, gutted governmental institutions, and stolen the wealth of the former middle class.
Pulling from his book The Hidden History of American Oligarchy: Reclaiming Our Democracy from the Ruling Class, Hartmann joins us via livestream to trace the history of this struggle, from America’s founding to the United States’ war with the feudal Confederacy to President Franklin Roosevelt’s struggle against “economic royalists,” who wanted to block the New Deal. While the oligarchs lost the battle in all of those cases, Hartmann argues that increasing right-wing control of the media, unlimited campaign contributions, and a conservative takeover of the judicial system means we’re now at a crisis point. Hartmann lays out practical measures we can take that he contends will break up media monopolies, limit the influence of money in politics, reclaim the wealth stolen over decades by the oligarchy, and build a movement that will return control of America to “We the People.”
Thom Hartmann is a progressive nationally and internationally syndicated talk show host. Talkers Magazine named him America’s most important progressive host and has named his show one of the top ten talk radio shows in the country every year for over a decade. A four-time recipient of the Project Censored Award, Hartmann is also a New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty-five books, translated into multiple languages.
Presented by Town Hall Seattle