This post contains a very recent article by Chris Hedges in Truthdig and a three hour interview recorded last Fall with Sheldon Wolin. He talks in detail about his concept of “Inverted Totalitarianism.” This is a fine tribute to a man who Chris regarded as one of our best political theorists.
“Sheldon Wolin, our most important contemporary political theorist, died Oct. 21 at the age of 93. In his books “Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism” and “Politics and Vision,” a massive survey of Western political thought that his former student Cornel West calls “magisterial,” Wolin lays bare the realities of our bankrupt democracy, the causes behind the decline of American empire and the rise of a new and terrifying configuration of corporate power he calls “inverted totalitarianism.”
Wendy Brown, a political science professor at UC Berkeley and another former student of Wolin’s, said in an email to me: “Resisting the monopolies on left theory by Marxism and on democratic theory by liberalism, Wolin developed a distinctive—even distinctively American—analysis of the political present and of radical democratic possibilities. He was especially prescient in theorizing the heavy statism forging what we now call neoliberalism, and in revealing the novel fusions of economic with political power that he took to be poisoning democracy at its root.”
This is Hedges nearly three hour interview of Wolin done about November 2014. Wolin is outstanding in explaining what has happened to us and how we got here!