Capitalism v. Democracy.
Capitalism v. Democracy
Timothy K. Kuhner
Stanford Law Books
c/o Stanford University Press
425 Broadway, Redwood City, CA 94063
Victor Gulotta Communications
9780804791564, $27.95, 376pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: As of the latest national elections, it costs approximately $1 billion to become president, $10 million to become a Senator, and $1 million to become a Member of the House. High-priced campaigns, an elite class of donors and spenders, superPACs, and increasing corporate political power have become the new normal in American politics. In "Capitalism v. Democracy: Money in Politics and the Free Market Constitution", Timothy Kuhner (Associate Professor at the Georgia State University College of Law) explains how these conditions have corrupted American democracy, turning it into a system of rule that favors the wealthy and marginalizes ordinary citizens. Kuhner maintains that these conditions have corrupted capitalism as well, routing economic competition through political channels and allowing politically powerful companies to evade market forces. The Supreme Court has brought about both forms of corruption by striking down campaign finance reforms that limited the role of money in politics. Exposing the extreme economic worldview that pollutes constitutional interpretation, Kuhner shows how the Court became the architect of American plutocracy. "Capitalism v. Democracy: Money in Politics and the Free Market Constitution" offers the key to understanding why corporations are now citizens, money is political speech, limits on corporate spending are a form of censorship, democracy is a free market, and political equality and democratic integrity are unconstitutional constraints on money in politics. Supreme Court opinions have dictated these conditions in the name of the Constitution, as though the Constitution itself required the privatization of democracy. Kuhner explores the reasons behind these opinions, reveals that they form a blueprint for free market democracy, and demonstrates that this design corrupts both politics and markets. He argues that nothing short of a constitutional amendment can set the necessary boundaries between capitalism and democracy.
Critique: As informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Capitalism v. Democracy: Money in Politics and the Free Market Constitution" is a minor masterpiece of political science and judicial scholarship. A seminal contribution to academic library collections, "Capitalism v. Democracy: Money in Politics and the Free Market Constitution" is exceptionally well written, organized and presented, making it ideal for the non-specialist general reader seeking a better and non-partisan understanding of the impact money has on democracy and the American political system. It should be noted that "Capitalism v. Democracy: Money in Politics and the Free Market Constitution" is also available in both a hardcover edition (9780804780667, $90.00) and a Kindle edition ($18.49).