For a Kinder, Gentler Society
Work Is for the People: A Treatise on the -Isms
  • Joseph Burrell
Reviews Table of Contents Introduction «Back
Work Is for the People: A Treatise on the -Isms.
Sound Bite
In a democracy, the system of work and the economy are supposed to be designed to benefit the people. Here, Burrell reminds us that  "corporatism" is another name for "fascism."

This book is an equal-opportunity offender, skewering capitalism, communism, christianism, secularism, conservatism, liberalism, libertarianism, fascism, and their offshoots. It defines and explores each of these isms and describes their relationships to one another, and the relationship between their promises and their reality, from a liberal democratic viewpoint.

About the Author

Joseph Burrell grew up in rural North Carolina, Virginia, Detroit, and Washington DC. After high school he enlisted in the US Marine Corps, then earned a degree at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. Burrell returned to Washington DC as a teacher, then developed a career with the US Department of Justice.

As soon as conditions permitted he went back home to the mountains of North Carolina. He has written several nonfiction books (two with Algora Publishing) lambasting various parties and religions whose hypocrisy ought to shake one’s faith despite the most willing suspension of disbelief.

About the Book
Work is for the People should be of value to anyone who cares about civil rights, human rights, and the rights of working people and consumers as well as those who believe that government is not automatically evil and incompetent....
Work is for the People should be of value to anyone who cares about civil rights, human rights, and the rights of working people and consumers as well as those who believe that government is not automatically evil and incompetent. Despite its strong language, this is not a radical or extremist book. Readers interested in current events, the economy, politics from the local to the international arena, war and peace, and even the place of religion in society need to be conversant with the nature of the various belief systems that drive public discourse in this country and the Western world today.

The style is straightforward and somewhat militant. It redefines the isms to give readers a new and unconventional view of the orthodox arguments in common use now. The book exposes the false definitions used by our contending factions and provides a different set of values for thinkers and describers to use in judging our common beliefs. These values are not new. They come from our Bill of Rights, the “freedom amendments” passed by the “radical” Republicans after the Civil War, from the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, and from the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

According to the author, in a democracy, the system of work is supposed to be designed to benefit the people, not owners and bosses. He attacks the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, calling it corporatist. He also condemns torture as an atrocity and the indiscriminate wars and sanctions against Iraq as genocidal.

The book is liberal in outlook but it should be of interest to conservatives and libertarians too, if for no other reason than to see what their counterparts believe about them. While it is not strongly partisan, it does call for a fairly regulated capitalism in place of the travesty of the unelected, unregulated, and predatory capitalism we have now. 

Introduction

There are discussions in this book about eleven different isms. This book seeks to redefine and accurately describe these isms and related factions. I think the terms involved have been distorted and misused for a long time, especially since the rise of McCarthyism and the start of the cold war. And I think these distortions have corrupted...

There are discussions in this book about eleven different isms. This book seeks to redefine and accurately describe these isms and related factions. I think the terms involved have been distorted and misused for a long time, especially since the rise of McCarthyism and the start of the cold war. And I think these distortions have corrupted American politics and undermined democratic liberalism everywhere in the western world and even in Eastern Europe.

The book is packed with quotations from mainstream media sources which, if you read closely, will acknowledge the darnedest things. See for yourself.

Terrorism is an abstraction; it has no ideological meaning at all. Western governments define it as non-state violence carried out to achieve some political end. In fact, governments use it as an excuse to curtail the freedom of their own citizens and to attack others indiscriminately. It is an even emptier word than the word “communism.” It is a propaganda word and it is currently at the center of the Republican Party’s belief system. And, as it has so often done before, the Democratic Party is advancing the wars and aggressions of the Republican Party so it can avoid being described by Republican partisans as weak and treasonous...

I think that corporatism is identical to fascism.... When Benito Mussolini was asked what fascism was, he said, “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state power and corporate power.” Thus, I make a logical connection between corporatism and the Republican Party. As far as I know, no one else has made this claim or agrees with it. Nevertheless, it seems absolutely obvious to me that the Republican Party is fanatically devoted to corporatism and almost violently hostile to working people and their unions. To me at least, the Republican Party is the American Fascist Party...

I think of capitalism and communism as overlapping and contending “religions.” I am aware that the word “ideology” is commonly used to describe a belief in political or economic systems. The reason I sometimes refer to those systems as “religions” is because of the intensity of the faith and fanaticism of certain of their adherents. Thus, I see the warrior attitudes and the proselytizing behavior of the revolutionary communists and the “freemarket” capitalists as religious. The attacking behaviors of both of those forces, especially in the Soviet Union and the United States, were very much based on a violent determination to “spread the faith” by demolishing every enemy, real or imagined. The “cold war” was indeed a very hot war. The two clashing forces were responsible for the deaths and woundings of millions of people, most of them more-or-less innocent bystanders. All of this was done to force dogmatic beliefs and practices on others just as were the missionary and jihadist campaigns of the christians and muslims.

The fanaticism of the “free-market” faith resulted in the establishment of a movement called “libertarianism.” Its ideology or religion has been so intense that it has invaded and largely taken over the Republican Party and overwhelmed its claimed belief in an old time conservative faith. In 2010, the libertarian faith spawned a fake patriot movement that calls itself a “tea party.” Its vague and confused mission is to destroy much of the democratic government of the United States in the interest of “limited government” and what its adherents claim will be greater freedom for everyone. However, the tea party movement was created and funded in great part by corporatists and is based on a desire to put all property and all services in the hands of the commercial interests so those interests can expand their control and profit beyond the unprecedented levels of excess they already enjoy. A second part of the tea party mission is to reduce taxes on the rich and, at the same time, to balance the government budget no matter how ruinous, self contradictory, or destructive the achievement of those goals are bound to be. These are the fanatical and irrational beliefs and goals of a religion, not just a practical, everyday ideology.



Pages 236
Year: 2011
LC Classification: JC348.B87 2011
Dewey code: 320.5--dc22
BISAC: POL000000 POLITICAL SCIENCE / General
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-861-5
Price: USD 22.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-862-2
Price: USD 32.95
eBook
ISBN: 978-0-87586-863-9
Price: USD 32.95
Available from

Search the full text of this book
Related Books
• Republican Treason —   Republican Fascism Exposed
• Saving America: —   Using Democratic Capitalism to Rescue the Nation from Economic Folly
• How Social Security Picks Your Pocket —   A Story of Waste, Fraud and Inequities