Sunday, April 3, 2016


Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Rightby Jane Mayer, Doubleday, 2016
Conspiracy theorists can breathe a sigh of relief. Turns out, there is a vast plot afoot, but it's not being orchestrated by "godless communists" or feminists eager to smash the patriarchy. Instead, it's coming from right-wing libertarians and ultra-conservative nationalists who have billions of dollars to spend and are willing to do whatever it takes to win.
Their agenda includes a desire to reduce government's function to a single item: Protection and promotion of business interests by eliminating things they consider roadblocks, such as taxes, unions, minimum wage laws, overtime protections and environmental regulations that limit toxic dumping and air and water pollution. To say that they're harkening back to the Gilded Age is an oversimplification, but it's close to the ideal put forward by a small cohort of unimaginably rich white men, and a handful of unimaginably rich white women, who are plotting to turn the US into a land of serfs and lords, with themselves in complete control of everything.
Jane Mayer's exhaustively researched look at this network makes for an essential though terrifying read.