The London-based research cooperative Corporate Watch has recently published a new book, Managing Democracy, Managing Dissent: Capitalism, Democracy, and the Organization of Consent:
Managing Democracy, Managing Dissent comprises of twenty essays – written by writers, academics and activists and edited by Corporate Watch researcher Rebecca Fisher – which collectively argue that in today’s ‘democracy’ elite interests are served by the limitations placed upon popular participation in decision-making, by the manipulation of public opinion through propaganda, and from the attempts to co-opt, marginalise and/or repress oppositional politics. This ground-breaking book reveals how despite its inherently anti-democratic nature, global capitalism is dependent upon the manipulation of the concept of democracy to survive. It thus exposes a potential weakness at the heart of capitalism, which activists and campaigners can usefully target in their struggle against oppression and environmental destruction.
The volume includes examinations of the inherent contradiction between genuine democracy and corporate capitalism, the use of corporate media, the entertainment industry, and celebrity activists as propaganda vehicles, the attempts to co-opt and neutralise NGOs and social movements, the demonisation and repression of unco-opted dissent, and the imperialist agendas behind so-called ‘democracy promotion’ interventions.
Contributors include William Robinson (author of Promoting Polyarchy: Globalization, US Intervention and Hegemony and A Theory of Global Capitalism: Production, Class, and State in a Transnational World), David Cromwell and David Edwards from Media Lens, independent writer and critic Michael Barker, James Petras, and myself (Edmund Berger).