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Failed State

That’s What US Capitalism Does Right Now – Jettisons Its Elders

I became an elder, and I was a radical elder. I’ve been in our movement about—not about, 58 years is the amount of time that I’ve spent in the left of this country, very wonderful years, but starting to get old; I’m now in my seventies. And I was looking around for something that focused on the very specific issues and the particularity of the issues that I faced as a human being in my seventies, and that many people who I knew in my age bracket were facing. And I found nothing. I found a bunch of liberal organizations that sought to reform this and that, expand this and that, or reestablish particular programs that have been dismantled, etc.

The State Of The Union Is ‘Failed’

If there were any question that this nation is a failed state, the recent State of the Union (SOTU) address makes the case and removes any doubt about the depth of decline. The constitutional requirement that the president, “... from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union…” is now an extravagant combination of nonsense, mendacity, and war propaganda that reveals the depth of rot in the U.S. body politic. The SOTU address is an opportunity for serious issues to be addressed but which are instead discussed as sophomoric saber rattling as members of congress jump up and down clapping like trained seals as the president pledges to stop Putin, stand up to Putin and not back down to Putin who we are told is on the march and sowing chaos throughout all of Europe.

Old Man Shouting, ‘The American Empire Is Doing Great!’

Democratic elites and the reporters who clerk for them were effusively approving of Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech last Thursday evening—not so much for what he said, which came nothing new, as for the demeanor of our enfeebled president. Never mind that Biden reduced an occasion intended to address all Americans as to the condition of their nation to a cheap stump speech. He avoided falling down for his hour at the podium while stringing coherent sentences (mostly) together in the cause of his political survival. That is what counted.

Casualties Of A Failed Health Care System

A couple of weeks ago, a good friend found herself in the emergency room at one of our world-class hospitals, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. After emergency surgery, the medical team decided to admit her for at least another day to monitor her recovery. What she encountered next was something out of a makeshift battlefield hospital, as rendered by Hieronymus Bosch. There were no beds available in the patient rooms, so “admitted” patients were being stashed in beds laid end to end in the emergency area. A bit of delay getting a bed is not unusual. But in this case, there were seriously ill admitted patients in 73 beds crammed into the emergency area.

The End Of Global Leadership

There are many photographs of President Biden floating around these days. Maybe it is because, even allowing for his physical decline and his mental incompetence, his minders can no longer keep him so thoroughly out of sight as this, an election year, begins. The picture I am thinking of, carried by the BBC, is a video frame shot at Biden’s Valley Forge speech last week. That was his first outing as he seeks reelection next November. And there are Joe Biden and First Lady Jill—excuse me, Dr. Jill—standing before the usual prop on such occasions, an immense American flag. Joe smiles out from a mask-like face, blank with what looks like bewilderment. Dr. Jill smiles, too—a frozen smile, but one that suggests she is at least aware of what is going on.

Ideas For Living Through The Great Unraveling

This year Post Carbon Institute has leaned into the “Great Unraveling” as a label for framing what’s happening in modern society and the natural world. In short, the Great Unraveling represents humanity’s comeuppance from overshoot, a time when debts are coming due and the promise of everlasting growth is fading. Since the Industrial Revolution, we’ve experienced an unprecedented expansion of the human footprint, mostly driven by fossil fuel consumption and marked by inequality, that has put us in a precarious position. Humanity’s use of energy and materials, as well as the scale of our polluting emissions, have surpassed what the Earth’s biosphere can sustain.

NATO Destroyed Libya In 2011; Storm Daniel Came To Sweep Up The Remains

Three days before the Abu Mansur and Al Bilad dams collapsed in Wadi Derna, Libya, on the night of September 10, the poet Mustafa al-Trabelsi participated in a discussion at the Derna House of Culture about the neglect of basic infrastructure in his city. At the meeting, al-Trabelsi warned about the poor condition of the dams. As he wrote on Facebook that same day, over the past decade his beloved city has been ‘exposed to whipping and bombing, and then it was enclosed by a wall that had no door, leaving it shrouded in fear and depression’. Then, Storm Daniel picked up off the Mediterranean coast, dragged itself into Libya, and broke the dams. CCTV camera footage in the city’s Maghar neighbourhood showed the rapid advance of the floodwaters, powerful enough to destroy buildings and crush lives. A reported 70% of infrastructure and 95% of educational institutions have been damaged in the flood-affected areas. As of Wednesday 20 September, an estimated 4,000 to 11,000 people have died in the flood – among them the poet Mustafa al-Trabelsi, whose warnings over the years went unheeded – and another 10,000 are missing.

Humanitarian Imperialism Created The Libyan Nightmare

"We came, we saw, he died,” Hillary Clinton famously quipped when Muammar Gaddafi, after seven months of U.S. and NATO bombing, was overthrown in 2011 and killed by a mob who sodomized him with a bayonet. But Gaddafi would not be the only one to die.  Libya, once the most prosperous and one of the most stable countries in Africa, a country with free healthcare and education, the right for all citizens to a home, subsidized electricity, water and gasoline, along with the lowest infant mortality rate and highest life expectancy on the continent, along with one of the highest literacy rates, swiftly fragmented into warring factions.

Public Need Versus The Business Of War

The American public is hurting. The bare necessities—clean water, nutritious food, and affordable housing—are hard to come by. Tap water is contaminated with lead, PFAS, and other pollutants. The water systems that serve cities and towns suffer additional stressors, including drought, overuse, and a failure to incorporate greywater systems. And, like many necessities, you have to pay for it in the United States: Water utility prices continue to go up and up. Hunger is a severe problem. Insufficient money and/or access means that millions of families regularly go hungry. Massive corporations dominate what is available in a grocery store, and much of what they produce is innutritious.

Imperialism: How The Struggle Of Classes And Nations Creates Our World

It’s quite possible that the BRICS may well become the institutional foundation of the world majority, as the global South and Russia are increasingly being called. They have done more things. The Western press has also sought to portray these countries, the BRICS countries, as little more than a bunch of autocracies or very iffy democracies. But in fact, despite such propaganda, what we’ve seen in the BRICS summit is that they have been focused on presenting a very different vision of the world order, one based on development, on people-centered development. And this has been expressed in a direct confrontation with the Western conception of the world order, which has, of course, been dressed up in the garb of human rights and democracy, but for decades has brought only poverty and exploitation to much of the world.

Chris Hedges Report: America’s Trauma Epidemic And Its Broken Politics

Violence is ubiquitous in American life, and so is the trauma that follows in its wake. From the domestic sphere to the public sphere, interpersonal violence, particularly of a sexual nature, is all-too-common in the US. How does the resulting trauma manifest, and how does this trauma shape everything from our personal relationships to our politics? Specialist Dr. Judith Lewis Herman joins The Chris Hedges Report for an in-depth discussion on how trauma distorts the mind and the body politic alike. Dr. Judith Lewis Herman is a psychiatrist who studies trauma and developed the diagnosis for Complex PTSD. She is the author of several books, including her most recent, Truth and Repair: How Trauma Survivors Envision Justice.

China Builds Global Alternative As US-Led Financial Order Decays

In this episode, we would like to discuss the same thing, but in relation to the United States, China, and the rest of the world. So I’ll maybe just start us off on the US by essentially pointing out that, when people do take a critical view of what’s going on and look at the economic aspects of the war, the main thing they focus on is the arms industry and the profits being made by the arms industry. And there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that American arms manufacturers, the military-industrial complex in the United States, is absolutely jubilant over this war. They are making profits hand over fist.

Chris Hedges: A Declining US Empire Is Committing Suicide

The Unites States Empire is falling, just as previous empires have done. Clearing the FOG speaks with journalist and author Chris Hedges about his newest book, "The Greatest Evil is War," and the connection between wars and the end of empire. Hedges compares current conditions in the United States and the fall of Rome. He describes the Western war against Russia being fought in Ukraine and aggression against China as part of the last gasp grabs to hold onto US hegemony, but they are failing. He talks about the Military Industrial Complex as an institution that has taken over and is out of control. It will continue to siphon every dollar it can from the US coffers while an increasing number of people are unable to meet their basic needs. Hedges provides an outline of where we are headed and what we must do to change course.

Combat Nihilism: Revolutionary Optimism In The Age Of US Imperial Decline

Hurricane Ian. The threat of nuclear war. Inflation. Mississippi’s water crisis. Any one of these developments have the potential to send even the most clear-headed individual into a state of nihilism and despair. And this is just the short list of calamities currently plaguing humanity. Life under the decline of U.S. imperialism is far from easy. Little relief exists from the toxic stress induced by poverty, debt, racism, militarism, social isolation, and mainstream media propaganda. Exhaustion is widespread. Trust in the institutions that form the fabric of U.S. society is incredibly low. These conditions have ripened the fruit of nihilism which is growing in abundance in the United States. In Combat Liberalism , Mao Zedong condemned the liberal worldview as “a corrosive which eats away unity, undermines cohesion, causes apathy and creates dissension.”

The End Of US Hegemony And The Rise Of BRICS

In the past two decades, the U.S. grip on global power has been slipping, and new nations and organizations have begun to emerge that challenge American dominance. One of these is the BRICS, an economic and increasingly political bloc of emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Argentina, Iran and others have expressed an interest in joining this alliance, which has now laid out plans for its own bank and international currency, two moves strike at the heart of American economic hegemony.
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