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DAVID ROSEN – Are We Entering an Era of Postmodern Serfdom?

Over the last few years, a growing numbers of authors have convincingly argued that America’s social order is in a deepening crisis.  Among these studies are: Louis Uchtelle, The Disposable American (2007); Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine(2008); Don Peck, Pinched (2011); Donald Barlett and James Steele, The Betrayal of the American Dream (2012); D. W. Gibson, Not Working (2012); and Barbara Garson, Down the Up Escalator (2013).

These and other writers argue that the Great Recession and the still-unfulfilled recovery — what economist Paul Krugman identified as the Second Great Depression — bespeaks something more then just one more capitalist crisis, another speed-bump in globalization.  It is restructuring the nation’s economic life, with profound political, social and personal consequences.  One can wonder if this restructuring is fostering a new social order best conceived of as “postmodern serfdom”?

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