OF BY FOR BY JOE COSTELLO
Of, By, For is a compilation of thoughts, analysis, and short essays on American politics. The underlying theme, American politics are both corrupt and dysfunctional. Its conclusion, American political economy must be democratically reformed, using both the knowledge we have from the past and imagination for the future.
Although this is a work about American politics, you will not find reference to the present election campaigns or candidates, nor little about liberal or conservative, and Democrat or Republicans. Any mention of the two latter categories inevitably deals with their culpability and complicity in our increasingly destructive political dysfunction.
The book acknowledges and places in context the historical uniqueness of the American republic, noting, as historian Gore Vidal has said, across recorded Western history, self-government is an anomaly. It is this historical uniqueness that should be highly treasured. It has been highly valued by those who did not have it, with countless volumes of blood shed to attain.
I seek to help define, redefine and most importantly expand the components of what presently are popularly considered politics. I look seriously at banking, finance, debt, the corporation, technology, our physical environment, and money, describing how these are all political entities, seriously lacking in democratic structure and process.
The entire work advocates democracy as the cure for our political ills. I offer an historical perspective on the processes and structures of self-government, hopefully offering ideas on how we can reform and evolve democracy for the 21st century. This is done with the understanding, that democracy, at its foundation, needs an educated, active, and trusted citizenry.
Finally, this book is not structured as a traditional narrative. While each chapter is cohesive, I also invite dipping and skipping around to subsections, which I believe each offer a thought, a catalyst for thinking. This book is a call for the American people to reclaim their rights and responsibilities. Most importantly, it is a call for participation in this great democratic experiment, to not do so, would be both a rejection of our heritage and a condemnation of the future.