How to Follow Our Weird Politics

Here we are, a century and a half after Marx, living with the effects of George W. Bush, Karl Rove, and Dick Cheney—and more recently, Sarah Palin, the Tea Party movement, and a group of Republican presidential candidates willing to make assertions like Rick Perry’s lament that in Barack Obama’s America “our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas.” Social scientists are flipping the old base-superstructure relation on its head and acknowledging that politicians are not rational decision-makers, and that politics drives economics, not the other way around.

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