Dream: Re-imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy
From an acclaimed, original observer of media and culture: how we can draw upon popular fantasies to create an alternative politics through imagination and spectaclea twenty- first-century manifesto for the left.
"The problem comes down to reality. Progressives believe in it, Bush's people believe in creating it. The ideological inheritors of the May '68 protest slogan "Take your desires for reality" are now counseling its reversal: take reality for your desires. Conservatives are the ones proclaiming "I have a dream.""from the introduction
What practical political lessons can we learn from corporate theme parks, ad campaigns, video games like Grand Theft Auto, celebrity culture, and Las Vegas? Stephen Duncombe proposes that such examples of popular fantasy can help us define and make possible a new political future.
Dream makes the case for a progressive political strategy that embraces a new set of tools. Although fantasy and spectacle have become the lingua franca of our time, Duncombe points out that liberals continue to depend upon sober reason to guide them. Instead, they need to learn how to communicate in today's spectacular vernacularnot merely as a tactic but as a new way of thinking about and acting out politics. Learning from Las Vegas, however, does not mean adopting its values, as Duncombe demonstrates in laying out plans for what he calls "ethical spectacle."
An electrifying new vision of progressive politics by a lifelong political activist and thinker, Dream is a twenty-first-century manifesto for the left, reclaiming the tools of hidden persuaders in the name of spectacular change.
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activists advertising American Apollo appeal argue associations audience believe Billionaires for Bush brand Brecht Bush's called campaign celebrity culture Cindy Sheehan civil rights commercial conservative consumer create Critical Mass democracy Democratic demonstrations dreams embrace Enlightenment entertainment ethical spectacle fantasy Fascism Gangsta global goal Grand Theft Auto groups Guy Debord ideal illusion imagination Iraq irrational Karl Rove liberal live London look McDonald's means movement MoveOn movie nation Nazi open spectacle organization participation participatory Party passions play player policies popular desire Preface to Politics president progressive politics promise protest radical reality reason Reclaim the Streets recognized Republican revolution San Andreas sense Sheehan Situationist social someone sort spectator stage stars Stephen Duncombe story strategy Subcomandante Marcos theater theory things tion trans transformation truth utopia Vegas Verso video games Walter Lippmann watch Xerocracy York Zapatistas