I can't resist. West is so very good. Here is more wisdom by Cornel West in his new book, Domocracy Matters:
Page 27 - The dogma of free market fundamentalism has run amok, and the pursuit of profits by any legal (or illegal) means - with little or no public accountability - guides the behavior of the most powerful and influential institutions in our lives: transnational corporations...Their frantic race to the bottom line indeed lifts some boats yet it often pollutes the water and empties out the democratic energies necessary to guide the ship of state....The saturation of market forces and market moralities has indeed corrupted our system all the way up. Our leadership elite have themselves lost faith in the efficacy of adhering to democratic principles in the face of the overwhelming power of those market forces...
Page 29: Teh hallmark of political nihilism is the public appeal to fear and greed, and too much of American politics today has been reduced to such vulgar appeals. Just so, Bush promoted his irresponsible tax cuts by offering the largely chimerical promise of a child-tax rebate, and promoted his repressive Patriot Act by appealing to the fear of terrorism. A political nihilist is one who is not simply intoxicated with the exercise of power but also obsessed with stifling any criticism of that exercise of power. He will use clever arguments to rationalize his will to power and deploy skillful strategies, denying the pain and suffering he may cause, in order to shape the world and control history in light of the pursuit of power.
Page 30-1: ...the hawks in the Bush administration - are not simply conservative elites and right-wing ideologues. More pointedly, they are evangelical nihilists, drunk with power and driven by grand delusions of American domination of the world. And they have been willing to lie and to abuse their control of American power in order to pursue that dominance... [unlike Ronald Reagan, their idol] the new hawks seem to believe that America's might actually determines what is right. In this tradition of thinking, we would't be so powerful if we weren't right, so our might show that we are right...who show no respect for Socratic questioning of their positions and actions. They even characterize such questioning as unpatriotic.