The book seeks to reconcile the rage of the first gilded age with the silence of our second gilded age. I'll be sharing some insights over the next few weeks (I'm sure with my schedule and the complexity of the book it will require a good two weeks to muddle through!)
Tonight, a few select quotes from the introduction:
"We can once again, like our Gilded Age forbears, speak of "two nations," geographically the same, separated by a century, one on the rise, a developing country, one in decay, becoming an underdeveloped country."
"Can these two diverging political economies--one resting on industry, the other on finance--and these two polarized sensibilities--one fearing God, the other living in an impromptu moment to moment--explain the Great Noise of the first Gilded Age and the Great Silence of the second?"
"And does the global explosion of OWS mark the end of the Age of Acquiescence? Is it a turning point in our country's history? Have we reached the limits of auto-cannibalism? Is capitalism any longer compatible with democracy? Was it ever? During the first Gilded Age many were convinced it was not. During the second Gilded Age, conventional wisdom had it that they went together like love and marriage. [....]But then OWS articulated what many had long since concluded: that the 99% have for all practical purposes been banned from any effective say-so when it comes to determining how the resources of the country are to be deployed and distributed. Is there then a future for democracy beyond capitalism? An old question is being asked anew."
"How well we manage the grave dilemmas confronting us now and in the future may depend on how well we grasp the buried truths of our past."