How the Establishment Corrupted Our Finances, Freedom, and Politics and Created an Outsider Class
(Pegasus Paperback, October 2016)
Introduction to Paperback and Kindle editions (2016)
"How the Likes of Hillary Clinton Led to the Likes of Donald Trump: A Dozen Things I Got Right Years Before the Anti-Elite Revolts of 2016"
How Elite Power Brokers Corrupt Our Finances, Freedom, and Security
(Pegasus Books: October 2014)
Janine R. Wedel
A groundbreaking book that reveals the patterns and practices of a new and more sophisticated style of corruption that has infiltrated every level of society
What has enraged protestors worldwide, sparking fury across the political spectrum? In Unaccountable, award–winning author Janine Wedel exposes the culprit as only an anthropologist can.
Wedel charts a fast–evolving system of power and influence that is utterly unaccountable to those it is supposed to serve. As average citizens languish, one thing flourishes: a new, insidious form of corruption practiced by players cutting across boundaries and plying influence with unprecedented ease. The hallmark of this alarming "new corruption" is the violation of public trust.
Wedel takes us far beyond the usual targets: money's corrupting effect on politics, K Street wizards, bad–apple politicians who take bribes. While all those are important, the new corruption's sweep is broader and its practitioners, even when they are named, can't be shamed. They believe they can self–police, because their motives are pure and their integrity beyond questioning.
In this new world, academics, physicians, retired generals, even former heads of state exploit their prestige as if it were a commodity, some turning themselves into one–man brands. Think tanks, once the source of sober–minded studies, often now act as bullhorns for the powerful. Wall Street, unbowed by the 2008 crash, remains free to "innovate" us into the next financial disaster after fighting a stealth regulatory battle. "Nonprofits" choose innocuous names even as they channel the secret influence of billionaires and "grassroots" organizations are run from the top.
Technology, once hoped–for as a liberating force, is an encroaching threat to privacy and often a way for players to evade accountability: the system can get to you, but you cannot get to it. All the while, technology has helped decimate the ranks of the very profession that might hold the elite to account: journalism. Now, what you read is often dictated by "Likes" and "Retweets," and "truthiness" has supplanted facts.
Wedel ties together these and other strands using the tools of anthropology and her decades of experience documenting informal power-in both Eastern Europe and the West. Unaccountable is a truly original and, yes, chilling look at the new stealth corruption that increasingly dictates our lives.