Demise of American Democracy: Explaining the Crisis and What to Do About It

Author: Durland, William
Year:2016
Pages:264
ISBN:1-4955-0439-5
978-1-4955-0439-6
Price:199.95
“In this important book, Dr. Durland draws on his vast research and experience to make the case for the danger to democracy from our present political climate. It is a compelling case, presented fairly and clearly. His personal stories add unexpected depth and breadth and fascination.”
-Dr. Linda Seger,
Author and Consultant


Reviews

“ William Durland outlines a pragmatic discussion of theoretical concepts that compels the reader to explore the topics presented. The author personalized political events and theory to make them accessible and personable. William Durland’s concern with justice and American democracy generates support for noble causes such as political activism, social and political awareness. The author makes broad assumptions about American exceptionalism and puts trust in justice as a key concept in American political and public life. Yet, Durland raises timely and critical questions for scholars in history and philosophy, and to some degree to students of political science. While personal interpretations of current events are debatable, they serve to personalize politics and to reach demographics that are not mobilized by formal political discourse.
The author is able to take a complex set of philosophical themes mixed with political concepts and create an accessible and compelling reading. All readers regardless of political views in the ideological spectrum will find this book stimulating and educational. Once again, Willian Durland conveys to his readers important issues that help us better understand not only our history and philosophical ideas, but also current political developments in the United States.”
-Dr. Elsa Dias,
Chair, Political Science Department
Pikes Peak Community College,


“Durland’s book is both a personal history and a warning. He sees our representative democracy in crisis and in danger of collapse and our country in a state of “silent emergency”. He writes from a perspective varying from legal to historical to philosophical and in a manner at times analytical, at times anecdotal. He says things that need to be said about such matters as the militarization of American life, gun control, capital punishment, torture and assassination, surveillance, incarceration, global warming, and the threat of a religiously dominated ‘secular theocracy’. He addresses issues of health care and educational policy. He asks, 'Is the American experiment over?'
-Dr. Carlton Gamer,
Professor Emeritus of Music,
Colorado College


“…if we are willing to shift our focal point to wide angle and apply all the institutional memory we can muster, from the classical Greek and Roman eras to the decades immediately preceding our own, we can conclude that something has been lost in American democracy in the past 50 years. The problem is, there are few surviving individuals with a broad enough eye on society any longer to spot the true flaws in the body politic that may well be fatal wounds. William Durland is such an individual.”
-Loring Wirbel,
Analyst – The Linley Group,
Mountain View, CA


"... draws in vast research and experience to make the case for the danger our present political climate poses to democracy. Durland's sometimes analytical, sometimes anecdotal perspective veers from the legal to the historical to the philosophical as he tackles big issues."
Bucknell Magazine

Table of Contents

Foreword by Loring Wirbel
Part I – The Thesis: The Evolution, Progress and Current Decline of American Democracy
Chapter 1 – The Question Raised

A Personal View
An Overview of the Thesis, Argument and Evidence
Chapter 2 – The Heart of the Crisis
Introduction
The Evolution of Democracy
Current Impediments and Media Views
The Crisis of Collapse
Part II – Domestic and International Examples of the Demise
Chapter 3 – The Dismantling of Representative Government

Introduction
Voting Rights and Current Voting Restrictions
Gerrymandering and Campaign Contributions
The Conservative Agenda
Chapter 4 – Disregard of International Organizations, Human Rights, Treaties and Laws
Introduction
Drone Warfare
The Mossad Precedent
Russian Relations
Militarization of American Life
Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Iranian Relations
Free Trade Treaties
Key to Peace: Middle East
Chapter 5 – The Right to Live
Introduction
Safety From Misuse of Guns and Police Power
The Increase in War Making and Treaty Breaking
Killing People Who Kill People
Torture and Assassination: Cultural Norms?
Surveillance: The Patriot Act and Whistleblowers
Detention, Prisons and Punishment
Part III: The General Welfare Under Attack
Chapter 6 – Economics and the Environment

Introduction
The Economic Evolution
Persons, pawns and Plutocrats
The 2008 Great Recession
The American Corporation
Infrastructure
Derailed
Conservation and the Environment
Global Warming and Climate Change
Immigration and Indigenous Peoples
Chapter 7 – Religion, Science, Sex and Sanity
Religion
Science
NASA Space Exploration
Sex and Sanity
Chapter 8 – Health, Education and Welfare
Introduction
Healthcare
Education and Welfare
Chapter 9 – Will We Let the American Experiment Die?
A Call to Action
The Rule of Law
The Conservative Case
The Pursuit of Justice
Bibliography
Index