Review: How to Overthrow the Government


Arianna Huffington, How to Overthrow the Government. Regan Books, New York, 2000

The great columnist eviscerates American politics during the 1999 elections. If one substituted Donald Trump for Pat Buchanan and multiplied all the horrible social statistics by, maybe, ten, you’d come up with the same book that Bernie Sanders wrote in 2016. America has gone to hell because of greedy corporations, unscrupulous politicians, cynical journalists, and for heavens sake why doesn’t everybody vote!

It’s all true, and the fact that Ms Huffington saw it so clearly so far before the 2016 disaster adds even more to her credibility. There’s greatness there!

Donald J Trump, the present president, is in her book because he was active in the 1999 campaign, but he’s all just a joke to her. She said his pronouncements should have had a laugh track (pg 193). Little did we know, in 1999, how much worse things would get by 2017!

However, we would have known if we had read Arianna Huffington’s book then.

So then, How?

Just as I read Bernie Sanders book that was finished in September 2016, I was mostly looking for solutions. Hers and his are about the same: electoral reform and for heavens sake why doesn’t everybody vote! Huffington, unlike Sanders, adds a big dollop of personal charity to her solution. She wants us to join meaningful organizations that build houses, distribute food, and educate children. On the downside, I don’t think she even mentions unions as part of the progressive solution, whereas Bernie takes unionism more seriously.

Huffington’s book ends with 3 pages of bullet items that starts with “Demonstrate at political rallies,” then goes on with a list of charities to join and political reforms to support. We can’t know whether her 1999 suggestions would have worked or not because we didn’t try it. We just let things get worse.

And they will, as long as the people in power remain there.


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