American Theocracy | Kevin Phillips

Summary of: American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century
By: Kevin Phillips


Dive into the gripping narrative of ‘American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century’ by Kevin Phillips, which dissects the alarming parallels between the decline of past empires and the current state of the United States. The book identifies three critical factors that threaten America’s stability: a profound dependence on oil, the pervasive influence of radical Christian fundamentalism on government and politics, and an alarming increase in national debt under President George W. Bush. The book compellingly dissects each of these issues and their implications for the future of the United States, heralding a warning for the nation.

America’s Perfect Storm

America’s dependence on oil, the role of religion in politics, and mounting debt threaten the country’s status as a superpower. These issues have similarities to the downfall of past empires, demonstrating the United States’ current instability. America’s thirst for oil has had a direct influence on foreign policy, with military deployments to protect U.S. oil interests. Religion now plays a significant role in the government, correlating with the rise of radical Christian fundamentalism. Under Bush, increasing debt, a plummeting manufacturing industry, rising credit card debt, and low wage growth have all contributed to a “perfect storm” that threatens America’s superpower status.

America’s Oil Dependency

America’s rise to superpower status in the 20th century was due to its abundance of domestic oil supplies, which fueled a thriving economy and allowed for a love affair with gas-guzzling cars. However, as domestic oil production peaked and the country had to tap foreign sources, U.S. policy makers recognized the importance of securing access to Iraq’s vast petroleum resources. The global oil supply is limited and may last only 25 more years, making America’s oil dependency a significant economic and national security concern. The precedents of earlier world economic powers illustrate the dangers of financial ambitions and self-congratulation, highlighting the need for proactive measures to transition to renewable energy sources.

Oil and Politics

The United States’ decision to invade Iraq was driven by oil interests. The Bush administration used the War on Terror as a cover-up to invade Iraq and establish control over its oil reserves. They hoped to regulate the country’s oil production, place American companies in oil fields, charge other nations less per barrel, and supply the US with cheaper oil. However, Iraqis sabotaged oil pipelines, and OPEC remained unaffected, causing petroleum prices to rise. The US was concerned about rumors that Iraq would price oil in euros, which would weaken the dollar. The ties between the administration and oil were evident, with key members having ties to large oil corporations. However, the US economy’s dependence on oil is not improving.

George W. Bush’s Presidency and the Intersection of Religion and Politics

George W. Bush’s presidency was characterized by the intersection of religion and politics. He openly spoke about his Christian faith and even referred to his divine calling to fight tyranny in Afghanistan and Iraq. Bush’s core constituency comprises born-again Christians or those who believe in the End Days. Both the invasion of Iraq and his stance on stem-cell research were influenced by religious beliefs. Bush’s speeches and actions during his presidency attempted to bridge the gaps between religion, politics, and ethics. However, his interventions in the Terry Schiavo case and endorsement of a failed constitutional amendment to prohibit gay marriage sparked controversy. Furthermore, there is an alarming trend of devaluing science in the U.S. This summarizes the key points of the article.

Want to read the full book summary?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed