Democracy In Chains with Nancy MacLean

Saturday February 24, 6:00PM

@ Red Emma's

Behind today’s headlines of billionaires taking over our government is a secretive political establishment with long, deep, and troubling roots. The capitalist radical right has been working not simply to change who rules, but to fundamentally alter the rules of democratic governance. But billionaires did not launch this movement; a white intellectual in the embattled Jim Crow South did. Democracy in Chains names its true architect—the Nobel Prize-winning political economist James McGill Buchanan—and dissects the operation he and his colleagues designed over six decades to alter every branch of government to disempower the majority.


In a brilliant and engrossing narrative, Nancy MacLean shows how Buchanan forged his ideas about government in a last gasp attempt to preserve the white elite’s power in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education. In response to the widening of American democracy, he developed a brilliant, if diabolical, plan to undermine the ability of the majority to use its numbers to level the playing field between the rich and powerful and the rest of us. 


More upcoming events

During the 1970s in the United States, hundreds of feminist, queer, and antiracist activists were imprisoned or became fugitives as they fought the changing contours of U.S. imperialism, global capitalism, and a repressive racial state. In Fugitive Life Stephen Dillon examines these activists' communiqués, films, memoirs, prison writing, and poetry to highlight the centrality of gender and sexuality to a mode of racialized power called the neoliberal-carceral state. Drawing on writings by Angela Davis, the George Jackson Brigade, Assata Shakur, the Weather Underground, and others, Dillon shows how these activists were among the first to theorize and make visible the links between conservative "law and order" rhetoric, free market ideology, incarceration, sexism, and the continued legacies of slavery. Dillon theorizes these prisoners and fugitives as queer figures who occupied a unique position from which to highlight how neoliberalism depended upon racialized mass incarceration. In so doing, he articulates a vision of fugitive freedom in which the work of these activists becomes foundational to undoing the reign of the neoliberal-carceral state.

@ Red Emma's

This November, let's fall into something new—specifically, the exciting brand new location of Red Emma's! We're back in Mt. Vernon, right in the heart of the Cultural Center, and ready to bring the poetic excellence to you as we always do. Join us for an open mic of justice, conscious thought, spirituality, fam, real life—whatever advances the village! In the tradition of Emma Goldman’s “Mother Earth” magazine, come drop some rad “fiyah” on us, or contribute just with your presence and energy! [By the way: it’s a non-erotic venue, so rather than a love/erotica evening, we focus this night on justice and other matters of life. And, almost needless to say, leave the misogyny, homophobia and other unnecessary ish outside!]

@ Red Emma's

The author of the essential history of real estate segregation in Baltimore, Not in My Neighborhood, is back with a brand new book!

Johns Hopkins destroyed his private papers so thoroughly that no credible biography exists of the Baltimore Quaker titan. One of America’s richest men and the largest single shareholder of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Hopkins was also one of the city’s defining developers. In The Ghosts of Johns Hopkins, Antero Pietila weaves together a biography of the man with a portrait of how the institutions he founded have shaped the racial legacy of an industrial city from its heyday to its decline and revitalization. From the destruction of neighborhoods to make way for the mercantile buildings that dominated Baltimore’s downtown through much of the 19th century to the role that the president of Johns Hopkins University played in government sponsored “Negro Removal” that unleashed the migration patterns that created Baltimore’s existing racial patchwork, Pietila tells the story of how one man’s wealth shaped and reshaped the life of a city long after his lifetime.

@ Red Emma's

Join us for a special event with feminist and anticapitalist organizer, theorist, and historian Silvia Federici.

One of the organizers of the Wages for Housework campaign, and the author of the modern classic Caliban and the Witch, Silvia will be in Baltimore to present two new books—Witches, Witch-Hunting, and Women and Re-enchanting the World: Feminism and the Politics of the Commons.