The Masses are the Ruling Classes: Policy Romanticism, Democratic Populism, and Social Welfare in…

Hardcover | February 15, 2017

byWilliam Epstein

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The Masses are the Ruling Classes proposes the radical, yet seemingly innocuous view that social policy in the United States is determined by mass consent. Contemporary explanations of decision making in the US typically attribute power over policy making to a variety of hidden forces andillegitimate elites holding the masses innocent of their own problems. Yet the enormous openness of the society and near-universal suffrage sustain democratic consent as more plausible than the alternatives - conspiracy, propaganda, usurpation, autonomous government, and imperfect pluralism.Contrary to prevailing explanations, government is not either autonomous or out of control, business and wealthy individuals have not usurped control of the nation, large segments of the population are not dispossessed of the vote or of a voice in public affairs, and the media has not formed aconspiracy with Hollywood and liberals to deny Americans their God-given freedoms. Despite the multitude of problems that the nation faces, its citizens are not oppressed. In this pithy yet provocative book, Epstein argues that Democracy in the United States is not progressive but is instead populist, and that the core of the populist ideology is romantic rather than pragmatic.

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The Masses are the Ruling Classes proposes the radical, yet seemingly innocuous view that social policy in the United States is determined by mass consent. Contemporary explanations of decision making in the US typically attribute power over policy making to a variety of hidden forces andillegitimate elites holding the masses innocent ...

William Epstein, DSW, MSW, is Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Social Work. Dr. Epstein has authored nine books and scores of articles, reviews, and research monographs He has over 30 years of university teaching and 15 years of experience in community organization and development, public administration, and...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:February 15, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190467061

ISBN - 13:9780190467067

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsPrefaceSection I: Explaining Social Policy MakingIntroduction: The Ruling Masses1. Precursors to Policy Romanticism2. Policy Romanticism3. An American Archetype: The Quest for the Authentic Self -- Psychology, Pop Psychology and Self-Help4. Spiritualism, Religion and Other Romantic Quests for the Authentic SelfSection II: Policy Romanticism and American Social Welfare5. Year Up6. Communities in Schools7. Generations of Hope Communities8. The Food Stamp Program9. Food Stamps and Public WelfareConclusionSocial Adolescence