Chris Hedges: The Treason Of The Ruling Class

| Educate!

Above image: Blind Rage, by Mr. Fish.

They have destroyed our capitalist democracy and replaced it with a mafia state.

The ruling elites no longer have legitimacy. They have destroyed our capitalist democracy and replaced it with a mafia state. What the Roman philosopher Cicero called a commonwealth, a res publica, a “public thing” or the “property of a people,” has been transformed into an instrument of naked pillage and repression on behalf of a global corporate oligarchy. We are serfs ruled by obscenely rich, omnipotent masters who loot the U.S. Treasury, pay little or no taxes and have perverted the judiciary, the media and the legislative branches of government to strip us of civil liberties and give them the freedom to commit financial fraud and theft.

The loss of control over our system of rulership, the misuse of all democratic institutions, the electoral process and laws to funnel money upwards into to a handful of oligarchs while stripping us of power, ominously means that the ruling elites can no longer claim the right to have a monopoly on violence. Violence employed by police and security agencies such as the FBI, which have devolved into occupying forces, protect the exclusive interests of a tiny, ruling criminal class and expose the fiction of the rule of law and the treason of the ruling elites.

“In order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience,” Stokely Carmichael warned. And if your opponent is bereft of a conscience, then state violence is inevitably met with counter-violence. Tyranny takes the place of reform. The danger of widespread sectarian violence in America is now very real.

There are three options: reform, which, given the decay in the American body politic, is impossible; revolution; or tyranny. The more things deteriorate, the more the elites feel threatened, the more brutal the police, the National Guard and the organs of state security will become. The longer the serfs defy their masters the more the populations in the jails and prisons, which are already the largest in the world, will swell.

If the mafia state is not overthrown, then America will become a naked police state where any opposition, however tepid, will be met with draconian censorship or force. Police in cities around the country have already thwarted the reporting by dozens of journalists covering the protests through physical force, arrests, tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray.  The huge social divides, largely built around race, will be used by the neo-fascists in power to divert a legitimate rage by a betrayed working class to set neighbor against neighbor. Neo-fascist “patriots” will be unleashed like attack dogs against people of color, Muslims, feminists, intellectuals, artists, the media and liberals. Dissent, even nonviolent dissent, will become treason.

The uprisings in the streets of American cities are not only about the wanton murder by police of yet another person of color, but a frantic fight to wrest back power over our own lives. They go far behind police brutality, a daily reality for those trapped in our internal colonies where 1,100 citizens are murdered by police every year, almost all unarmed. The uprisings are fueled as well by the seizure of the institutional and structural mechanisms that once made some form of equality, always imperfect and always colored by an animus towards the poor and people of color, possible.

Half the country lives in poverty or a category called near poverty. The working class and the working poor are priced out of the health care system. The schools do not educate their children, who live without adequate food and often clean water, are repeatedly evicted from their homes, have their utilities shut off, cannot find jobs, are crippled by punishing debt peonage and with the pandemic are dying at disproportionally higher rates. They get the message the oligarchs are sending. They, and their children, are expendable. They don’t count. Their lives are of no consequence, unless they are locked in a cage where their bodies can generate as much as $60,000 a year for the multitude of corporations, including the for-profit medical services, food services, money transfer services, commissary services, phone services, private prisons and prison contractors, not to mention the large corporations and state governments that exploit the cheap and bonded labor of 1 million of our 2.3 million prisoners.

The prison system is a multi-billion dollar a year industry with lobbyists in state capitals and Washington making sure these bodies remain in cages or are put back into cages soon after they are released. The neo-slavery in our prisons is the corporate model envisioned for all of America.

The two ruling parties are equally complicit in this assault. The Democratic Party, in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, is trying to sell us a presidential nominee, Joe Biden, who was one of the principal architects of de-industrialization and responsible for the loss of hundreds of thousands of good, union jobs. Biden and Bill Clinton also destroyed our welfare program, where 70 percent of the recipients were children, and orchestrated the doubling of our prison population and the tripling and quadrupling of sentences.

Biden, as Naomi Murakawa points out in “The First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison America,” was a driving force behind the notoriously harsh penalties in the Anti-Drug Abuse Acts of 1986 and 1988, and the three-strikes legislation in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which also provided funding for 100,000 new police officers and the aggressive prosecution of 60 new capital crimes. He sponsored legislation to dramatically curtail the ability of those in prison to appeal and led the passage of the Federal Death Penalty Act of 1994 and The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. He oversaw the militarization of the police and the massive expansion of death-eligible crimes, which he has repeatedly bragged about.

Biden was also at the forefront of the re-segregation of our public school system and has repeatedly called for cuts to Social Security. He was instrumental in the disastrous trade deals such as the North American free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and austerity programs as well as establishing the most pervasive system of mass government surveillance in human history. Watching Stacey Abrams, who certainly knows better, twist herself into contortions to lavish praise on Biden, even tossing the #MeToo movement overboard, is another sad example of the corrosive disease of careerism. Biden, one of the most important architects behind the wars in the Middle East, where we have squandered upwards of $7 trillion and destroyed or extinguished the lives of millions of people, is personally responsible for far more suffering and death at home and abroad than Donald Trump.

If we had a functioning judicial and legislative system, Biden, along with the other architects of our disastrous imperial wars, plundering of the country and betrayal of the American working class, would be put on trial, not offered up as a solution to our political and economic debacle. The myopia of the ruling elites is that they think they can foist Biden on us because he is not Trump. But the game is up. The façade of democracy no longer works.

It is only the dwindling and largely white middle and professional classes who still believe the fiction that this election offers a choice or that we live in a democracy. The working class and the working poor know better. Their lives were, as Barbara Ehrenreich wrote, one long emergency before the pandemic. Now they face the prospect of bankruptcy this summer when unemployment and stimulus checks run out, the moratorium is lifted on evictions to double or triple the unhoused population of 11 million people and unemployment skyrockets to 25 percent. Forty-eight percent of front line workers remain ineligible for sick pay, and some 43 million Americans have just lost their employee-sponsored health insurance. Food banks are already overrun with tens of thousands of desperate families.

And in the midst of this crisis, what did our kleptocratic rulers do? They looted $4 trillion on a scale unseen since the 2008 bailout overseen by Barack Obama and Biden. They gorged and enriched themselves at our expense, while tossing crumbs out of the windows of their private jets, yachts and palatial homes to the suffering and despised masses.

The CARES Act handed trillions in funds or tax breaks to oil companies, the airline industry, which alone got $50 billion in stimulus money, the cruise ship industry, a $170 billion windfall for the real estate industry, private equity firms, lobbying groups, whose political action committees have given $191 million in campaign contributions to politicians in the last two decades, the meat industry and corporations that have moved offshore to avoid U.S. taxes. The act allowed the largest corporations to gobble up money that was supposed to go to keep small businesses solvent to pay workers. It gave 80 percent of tax breaks under the stimulus package to millionaires and allowed the wealthiest to get stimulus checks that average $1.7 million. The CARES Act also authorized $454 billion for the Treasury Department’s Exchange Stabilization Fund, a massive slush fund doled out by Trump cronies to corporations that, when leveraged 10 to 1, can be used to create a staggering $4.5 trillion in assets. The act authorized the Fed to give $1.5 trillion in loans to Wall Street, which no one expects will ever be paid back. American billionaires have gotten $434 billion richer since the pandemic. Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, whose corporation Amazon paid no federal taxes last year, alone added $34.6 billion to his personal wealth since the pandemic started.

How long can you expect people to watch their children go hungry? How long can you expect people to watch their loved ones suffer and die because they can’t get medical care? How long can you expect people to be abused by lawless police and a court system designed to railroad the poor into jails and prisons? How long can you watch the rich profit from your misery?

I would prefer that our revolution eschew the poison of violence, which I know too intimately from my two decades as a war correspondent. But I also know that when everything around you conspires to crush you, the only way left to affirm yourself is to destroy, not only the structures and institutions that have oppressed you, but often yourself. I saw this when I lived in the impoverished neighborhood of Roxbury in Boston and when I worked as a reporter in Gaza. This understanding was something Malcom X, who came out of poverty, always understood and Martin Luther King, a product of the black bourgeoisie, learned later.

It is ultimately the ruling elites who will determine the mechanics of resistance. When they close every escape route, when they speak exclusively in the language of force, then the language of force becomes the only form of communication. Trump’s demand that states use the National Guard to crush the protests and threat to deploy the U.S. military in the streets of American cities only heightens the anger and frustration that led to the uprisings.

The ruling elites are, at the same time, desperately seeking scapegoats. The idea that antifa, which on the spectrum of terrorist groups would rank alongside the Boy Scouts, is behind these clashes is as ridiculous as the idea that Russia is responsible for the election of Trump. This desperate search for explanations that absolve the ruling elites saw Susan Rice, who was Obama’s national-security adviser, blame the violence on “foreign actors,” adding that “this is right out of the Russian playbook.” This trope is always trotted by despotic rulers to discredit dissidents who are branded as the enemy of the people.

The longer the ruling elites refuse to address the root causes behind these protests, the more they loot the treasury to enrich themselves and their fellow oligarchs, the more they engage in futile and absurd efforts to deflect blame, the more unrest will spread. The last desperate resort by the oligarchs to save themselves will be to stoke the fires of racialized violence between disenfranchised whites and disenfranchised people of color. This, I fear, is the next chapter in this saga. I saw this tactic used to deadly effect in the former Yugoslavia. These are dark times. They are about to get darker.

Chris Hedges writes a regular original column for Scheerpost.

  • NoNameSoSueMe

    Nice to see Hedges back writing.

  • Southern

    Mr Hedges tells it like it is – the US working class are already out in numbers protesting against the injustices that are a natural consequence of fascism.

    Stay safe and beware of the agent provocateurs among the crowds – expose and isolate them.

    Will there ever come a time when the ”foot soldiers” of empire refuse to obey unjust orders and side with the protesters like for instance when French fire fighters sided with the Gilet Jeunes not all that long ago?

    Might not be such a bad idea to start wearing yellow vests with the slogan ”peaceful protesters” on full display.

    The whole world is watching – although they did leave out the part where even the US MSM was under fire by rubber bullets or when Chicago cops were caught on video smashing up their own vehicle, or when two police vehicles charged into the crowd and ditto for a police on horseback, the list goes on and on.

    Look for this video – Montage of police violence from across the US, weekend of May 30, 2020 – [WSWS]

  • SCM

    So happy to see Chris Hedges writing again after TD shut down. I just want to make one comment about violence vs non-violence. It doesnt matter what side you’re on or whether you playing to a compassionate audience or not to make your choice- NON-VIOLENCE is 100% impossible. The police/feds use agent provocateurs to stir up violence and try and delegitimatize protests they don’t like. This was proven in Chicago 1968 and today. The ruling class are not stupid

  • rgaura

    The real question now is `What are we being distracted from seeing?´. I have regretfully come to the conclusion that genocide is their tactic, and population reduction their goal. We are all niggers now. Its time for peoples assemblies, for sheriffs to uphold the constitution.
    It is clear that this giveaway to rich corporations is not going to work. Prepare for a period of hyperinflation, and build networks within communities. Remember, during the depression, there were 3,000 local currencies and barter networks across the country. Lets take care of one another and the earth, we will get through this.

  • very astute article. I would only question the content of the last paragraph as there is far more to come than ‘just’ stoking racial violence – this is just the beginning.

  • Nylene13

    Economic Violence. Poverty is Violence.

  • pajarito

    Ruling elites and their “environmentalist” running dogs will do anything to drive a wedge between the climate crisis, anti-racist and anti-war movements. The US is at the extreme of openly racist countries on the planet with our black inner cities and highly segregated rural areas north and south. Stand with your brothers and sisters of color, don’t exploit them more by standing apart from them. Walk away from the oligarchy of things and pretense.

  • John R.

    Excellent commentary once again by Chris Hedges. Thanks to PR for posting this piece, I look forward to more from Chris in the coming daze.

  • didactic1

    Words like treason and mafia in Hedges’ declarative diction indicate that he views action through a bourgeois lens, where bourgeois distinctions of legitimacy and an accepted legal overstructure retain legitimate function. In fact bourgeois legal structure is illegitimate based on contemporary material necessity of working class..

    Disappointing.

    Hedges’ mired in reactionary mysticism.

  • didactic1

    Certainly underground revolutionary organization is task 1.

  • didactic1

    Violence is neither poison not nectar. Violence is action generated by class struggle.

  • didactic1

    I’ve been shot in abdomen. Had to endure for a bit without morphine. Hunger is preferable.

  • didactic1

    Protestant Ethic Endures.

  • 0040

    Great article ! Too bad he refuses to admit the his divisive urging of non violent protesting , which was always doomed to accomplish nothing other than emboldening the elites and their minions . Has he forgotten his recent outrage with protester violence when whining for peaceful protests during the OWS , Baltimore, and Ferguson, eruptions . The upside here as that revolting against the incompetent and inept Trump regime will be easier than it was with the far better organized Obomber regime that set this table , whom a large segment of America adored , because of his skin tone.

  • 0040

    Hardly surprising , Mr Hedges began his career at propaganda central the font of fake news . He has always been a member of the loyal opposition politically.

  • SCM

    Hyperinflation? I doubt it – people need money for hyperinflation to occur. Inflation is essentially too few goods competing for too many dollars. Half the country has no dollars already and getting worse. BTW this is why hyperinflation didnt occur in 2008 either. Only the tippy top got all the money. Housing prices crashed.

  • 0040

    Sweden is every bit as segregated as the US as a walk around Stockholm or Oslo in Norway will show , along are most western countries. The poor and temporary workers of color are crowded into filthy apartment blocks in designated areas of these capitals . European slavery in the modern form began in Sweden /Norway over a millennium ago.

  • JohnDoe00

    Outdoor life was—and is—especially important to working-class politics. Established politicians and corporate managers can meet indoors and make decisions that have big consequences because these people are in command of bureaucracies and workforces. But when working people meet and make decisions about how to change things, it usually doesn’t count for much unless they can gather some supporters out on the street, whether it’s for a strike or a demonstration. The street is the proving ground for much of working-class politics, and the ruling class is fully aware of that. That’s why they put the police on the street as a counter-force whenever the working class shows its strength.

  • 0040

    The whole world is not watching . Rather they are in recovery mode economically, concerning themselves with addressing the problems the Covid panic caused . A collapsing economy, a loss of confidence in its elites, and their policy makers . Of course our media is pumping a different illusion at the moment . So called race riots in America like lone gunmen mass shootings are passe to the rest ot the world and happening all the time in America. But the illusions created by propagandists using Internet technology are pervasive in locked down America.

  • 0040

    Where is the new Lenin has he been loaded onto his train and in transit ? I recently re-watched Hew Strachan’s The First World War .The similarities between that era and ours was striking as empires collapsed and millions died. The last war in which more soldiers died than civilians ?

  • subcomandante Felix

    Protest is only a small part of the practice of nonviolence a powerful discipline that includes autonomy (self-rule), together reliance and resilience (home-spun), empowerment (Truth force) and solidarity the uplifting of all life (not just human). CH is talking here about protest in the larger context of nonviolence as a political force as well as way of life.

  • 0040

    Attempts to rehab the non violent protest trope to maintain the status quo by redefining the term is so ‘Chomsky” better called ,old and no longer believed?

  • subcomandante Felix

    You really don’t understand nonviolence or its power for social transformation. Sad, very sad.

  • mmckinley

    Most agreed. Daze—I love it.

  • subcomandante Felix

    P.S. Gandhi was not a pacifist He taught that violence was preferable to cowardice, which in this case would be remaining silent while another black person was murdered by police.

    Bob Marley said it better:
    This morning I woke up in a curfew
    O God, I was a prisoner, too – yeah!
    Could not recognize the faces standing over me
    They were all dressed in uniforms of brutality. Eh!
    How many rivers do we have to cross
    Before we can talk to the boss? Eh!
    All that we got, it seems we have lost
    We must have really paid the cost
    Burnin’ and a-lootin’ tonight
    (Say we gonna burn and loot)
    Burnin’ and a-lootin’ tonight
    (One more thing)
    Burnin’ all pollution tonight
    (Oh, yeah, yeah)
    Burnin’ all illusion tonight
    Oh, stop them!

  • 0040

    Pacifism has power non violent protest as defined by Chomsky and Hedges does not. You are victim of newspeak I fear or another gatekeeper for the status quo ? Non violent protests are “cop-outs” as was pointed out in the 1960s by Malcolm X , Angela Davis , and eventually MLK among many others most of whom were also killed , jailed , or slimed

  • 0040

    Agreed yet both Mr Chomsky and Mr Hedges constantly reference/redefine his struggle. Unfortunately Bob Marley smoked to much ganja and became careless.

  • 0040

    Having warred against both Communism which did collapse and Milton Freidmans Capitalism aka Reaganomics which is collapsing. I think I understand these term far better than you at this point in time . Non violent gatherings dressed up as protest in the States have always been a tool of the elites. Only when violence erupted did Johnson or Nixon react killing thousands most non violent, as the revolt was crushed. Measured violence and propaganda have replaced those methods these days and have been far more effective ! Iraq , 9/11, Syria , terrorism , environmental collapse , Covid , the ubiquitous lone gunmen, race riots all “managed” as the non violent protesters stood by, networked, or looked for profitable photo-ops .

  • didactic1

    First the war. Then the Revolution.

  • SteelPirate

    Heh…had to read this three times, after reading to title, to find the punchline. It never came. The cognitive dissonance of Hedges in this piece is astounding. This is almost as bad and deluded as Robert Reich proclaiming “economic inequality is undermining the moral foundations of American Capitalism”

    They Have Destroyed Our Capitalist Democracy And Replaced It With A Mafia State.

    The ruling elites no longer have legitimacy. They have destroyed our capitalist democracy and replaced it with a mafia state. What the Roman philosopher Cicero called a commonwealth, a res publica, a “public thing” or the “property of a people,” has been transformed into an instrument of naked pillage and repression on behalf of a global corporate oligarchy. We are serfs ruled by obscenely rich, omnipotent masters who loot the U.S. Treasury, pay little or no taxes and have perverted the judiciary, the media and the legislative branches of government to strip us of civil liberties and give them the freedom to commit financial fraud and theft.

    The loss of control over our system of rulership, the misuse of all democratic institutions, the electoral process and laws to funnel money upwards into to a handful of oligarchs while stripping us of power, ominously means that the ruling elites can no longer claim the right to have a monopoly on violence. Violence employed by police and security agencies such as the FBI, which have devolved into occupying forces, protect the exclusive interests of a tiny, ruling criminal class and expose the fiction of the rule of law and the treason of the ruling elites.

    The Constitution and “our capitalist democracy” were not usurped, were not diluted, were not undermined and were not the victim of “the treason of the ruling class.” The Constitution, our “capitalist democracy”, and the ruling class and it’s political state were a systematic scourge on the human condition from the get go. The masses were not meant to have any power Chris Hedges and that’s exactly how it was designed. Your diagnosis of symptoms is completely undermined by a complete failure to recognize and understand the foundations of the underlying disease. More nostalgia for a reactionary abstraction that only exists in the fervid imaginations of those unwilling to address the rot of original foundation. The objective and historical reality of that rotten and stinking foundation replaced by subjective reality of something good that went bad. Shame you don’t enter the comment sections to defend and explain your positions Chris Hedges.

  • subcomandante Felix

    You don’t seem able to see the forest – trransformational social change – for the tree — protest. You are railing against a straw man. There is a huge difference between sanctioned “peaceful protest” as we have often seen in the U.S. and nonviolent protest, i.e. May Day 1971 that challenges the legitimacy of the State. Non-violent protest is an integral part of the current uprising and has been instrumental along with the burning and a-looting in provoking and unmasking police violence. It’s not an either or but a synergy. For all your warring against capitalism and communism you still don’t seem to understand the power on nonviolence when properly practiced.

  • subcomandante Felix

    Maybe the poor would be better off if they didn’t try to imitate “our elites and leaders.” You don’t understand the burning and looting any better than you do nonviolence. That’s a really classist comment by the way.

  • Michael Falk

    Hold on to your hats folks and understand this reality. Short of a civil war, NOTHING WILL CHANGE. Those who hold the reins of power are not about to give it up, not in the least. They are the ultra and not so ultra rich, politicians, corporate heads, banks, insurance conglomerates, wall street tycoons, vulture capitalists, medical & pharmaceutical corporations, educational endowments and the list goes on. In fact, it’s the ruling class, the holders of power, who’ve developed, authorized and funded the military police state and mammoth surveillance apparatus to forcefully contain the uprising populace for just such an expected revolt. They are the masters of media propaganda that will eventually, as they’ve done so many times in the past, tamp down civil unrest with their placating rhetoric, distractions and wearing out of the opposition. Ahh, but we are exceptional, in the most despicable way.

  • kevinzeese

    Pacifism is different from strategic nonviolence. Strategic nonviolence is an aggressive action that brings issues to the top of the agenda and puts the government or corporations in a lose-lose situation so they have no choice but to listen to the people. Strategic nonviolence that builds into a national movement where people support it from across the political spectrum is how major change has been won often in US history, especially if it is combined with third party campaigns that put those issues into the electoral arena so both parties fear loss of voter support to the movement’s issues.

  • subcomandante Felix

    i would add that strategic nonviolence has both an obstructive and constructive program that work together to build a social movement capable of transformational change. Obstructive program, most often associated with politics, can only go so far, when the people are in colonial dependence on the State and capitalist economic system for the means of subsistence, food, housing, work, community, peace (safety), etc. Building a global social movement beyond national borders requires a constructive program to reduce the colonial dependence and provide for peoples basic needs. While the obstructive program – resisting white supremacy and inequality – must operate where the power is concentrated, often at the nation-state level, the constructive program is rooted in the local where peoples’ basic needs are met or not.

  • 0040

    True , pacifism requires a lot of blood in the streets from those who refuse to cooperate with their masters.. Non violence by definition can’t be aggressive , passive resistance perhaps ? The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results, as Mr Chomsky and his ilk have been doing “non violent protests” since the 1960s, in contrast to Johnson /Nixon who gutted a potential revolution in the same era through violence against the masses albeit calibrated, as has every POTUS whom has called out the guard ! Which means all of them ?

  • chetdude

    I’m sure Mr. Hedges knows all of that — the audience for this piece is obviously the 80-90% of USAmericans who are still deluded by the notion of USAmerica as a “democracy”…

  • 0040

    I doubt if you’d get any points for classist in Scrabble ? I have in the dim past burned and looted both as a US soldier and a civilian, in “police actions” aka military ops. and riots aka protests so I’m fairly sure I understand what it involves , probably far better than you ?

  • chetdude

    For a little while the mass media tried to portray the only Anti-War democrat in the race as the “new Lenin”…

    Now they’re back to Trump…

  • 0040

    Once again pacifism has power nonviolence is a cop-out in reality as I’ve experienced it. Nixon was elected by a landslide in 1972 , then chased out of town as the scapegoat a short time after cancelling the draft and sucking up to China. Such protest may have influenced him slightly , coward and bully that he was . But in the end his own regime and deep state turned on him.

  • iowapinko

    I would hate to have had Chris Hedges as my dad. A kid wouldn’t be able to get away with sh#t with this guy watchin.

    He sees all the cheap little tin-foil scams hid just below the surface of things. Politicians in america got so many scams in the works right now, there’s nothing left that’s not riddled with the taint of criminal narcissistic greed. But, like most crooks, these ones have become a little bit too lackadaisical, la-de-dah, and got a little too comfy in their cozy & corrupt roles within the polished marble halls of tyranny (power).

    They have over-reached. Their white supremacist roots have become so clearly exposed that the younger generation has become united in revulsion and committed to work for change. The bloated, bigoted and out-of-touch oligarchy has no idea of the raging generational force that has become awakened and activated here. It will be a pleasure to watch this progress……

    They have over-reached. The trillions of $$$ that Congress looted from the peoples’ treasury in the Cares Act, and slipped into corporate coffers while they thought the Covid-19 pandemic distracted peoples’ focus into looking the other way, was in actuality observed and witnessed and understood by millions of taxpaying victims. Hungry, jobless victims without the resources for life.

    They have over-reached. Despite the out-pouring of support and enthusiasm for Medicare for All, despite polls indicating OVERWHELMING bi-partisan support for universal single-payer health care, establishment politicians gamed the system AGAIN to ensure that health care in america was for profit rather than for people. But people are now without their employment-based health care during a pandemic. It’s a whole new world, and the vision of the people is clearing and focusing remarkably quickly.

    Get out in the streets, and the gloom-and-doom perspective Chris Hedges represents might be a bit tempered. Conditions are dire, indeed.

    But the naked emperor of capitalism is increasingly exposed in all of his putrid decadence and disrepair and rot. And being able to SEE the actual enemy, who is NEVER as fearsome and impenetrable as we imagine is ‘half the battle’.

    And the people are SEEING the core of the problem. At last. We are half way home, Keep fighting.

  • 0040

    That is according to our MSM to be sure , but you should know better. Anti-American protests appear to be quite popular these days for a number of reasons . It’s also a way for folks to get out and socialize permitted if not encouraged by friendly regimes with their hands in our pockets. Yet another choreographed Internet event perhaps signalling the end of the Covid plague that never was. Zuckerberg and Gates may yet bring down Trump .

  • 0040

    The Amish are small off shoot of the Mennonites only dumber and more patriarchal ?

  • SteelPirate

    If Hedges knows that, and 80-90% of the US American masses are as stupid and deluded as you claim, then Hedges is doing a piss poor job of explaining it. If people are stupid and deluded as you claim, then the objective is education and agitation to correct that. The objective of left wing politics is to counteract the forces and reactionary ideas which work against the political and class consciousness of the working class starting with a clear understanding of what those forces and reactionary ideas are. If you and Hedges are doing the best you can with a majority of “stupid and deluded masses”, and your politics and political agitation have no correlation to what you actually know to be true, then you’re both part of the problem and not the solution.

  • Southern

    Strawman.

  • Obviously Mr. Hedges is one of or few remaining (real) journalists. Kudos to him, Big Time.

  • Jeff

    Population reduction with birth control is a totally laudable goal. Human overpopulation is the biggest problem on the planet.

  • rgaura

    Sure, Jeff, but I am referring to genocide by warfare, poisonous drugs and other iatrogenic causes (like AZT, which killed millions), by poverty and political repression. Murder is different than preventing pregnancy by choice. Gates has sterilized a million women in Kenya without their knowledge or consent through `vaccines´, also caught doing that in Mexico and Philippines.

  • rgaura

    That’s also why we are in lockdown.

  • sabelmouse

    WOMEN having the right to decide what to do with their bodies, wether they want to be mothers, how many children they want is a goal.
    not men/people deciding on those for whatever dogma they themselves follow.
    the only overpop that is a problem is of those who over use and waste. that’s the west/global north foremost.
    and of those parts the richer the worse + the military.

  • sabelmouse

    and now expanding globally.

  • sabelmouse

    🙁

  • sabelmouse

    have you actually starved?

  • rgaura

    Unfortunately he was given a fast growing cancer by Neil Bush. His truth lives on.

  • didactic1

    No. But so what?

  • zak1

    Good to see Hedges back – it’s been exciting to watch his recent YouTube appearances – particularly with Jimmy Dore

    The central underlying question is this – what do we need to do to expand and increase public power over our resources and institutions?

    It’s one thing to talk about the elites as a group – but to effect change, we need to focus on the mechanisms of control – the largely privatized corporate infrastructure that is now managing our society, squeezing us to the bone and funneling our resources upward

    In the corporate lens, we the people exist as livestock to be milked and harvested

    The strike movement is an important development – a more direct expression of public power, addressing our institutions directly, and bypassing the ineffectual and priest-like mediation of our elected officials – it needs to retain this independence

    The biggest thing that could happen right now is if the strike movement were to merge with the George Floyd protests – if we started to see nationwide strikes expressing solidarity with the protesters

    The biggest immediate threat is the corporate media – the most direct mechanism of control – the media basically governs our society – their job is to shape our thoughts about what’s going on around us – to do anything possible to keep the frog in the pot

    The protest movement needs its own ongoing and aggressive independent media to keep itself alive in people’s minds – and to compete with the gravitational pull of the corporate narrative

    The most insidious media threat is from the fake left media – like the Sanders Democrat leadership, they echo many popular concerns, while imposing a police wall of silence forbidding any engagement or talk of independent noncorporate politics like the Green Party campaign

  • sabelmouse

    then how do you know ?

  • didactic1

    Hungry villagers who shot me looked more comfortable than me. Peer review study.

  • sabelmouse

    aha! well, maybe they weren’t hungry enough ? or you don’t know how it feels.

  • 0040

    Relying on home remedies to treat cancer rarely turns out well ? Bob Marley as a political heavy weight ? I think not , more entertainer and activist of the Cheech and Chong genre with a limited reach.

  • 0040

    Maybe but you introduced them here?

  • SCM

    They have overreached. The oligarchy got too greedy and Millions of white workers and young people are meeting their Black brothers and sisters on the way down and can’t divide and rule anymore. The media is still trying their best fox/CNN to make racial division but I think young ppl taking the streets together see through it.

  • Debra Legorreta

    Things will get darker when the likes of Biden tag teams with Trump to help the oligarchs retain power.

  • rgaura

    I hope you are right. We will see the consequences of the financial system rewarding paper shufflers and crooks with billions. I don’t see how the american public or international folks will still believe in the endless creation of wealth from nothing.

  • rgaura

    Actually, there are many successful treatments for cancer that do not rely on poisoning, cutting, etc. See Ty and Charlene Bollinger´s series; The Truth About Cancer. Also, I think Bob Marley continues to have more impact and educates more youth than any of us! Freedom Song still moves me to my core. When he hit the west coast, and played in Oakland was one of the best experiences of my life!

  • rgaura

    Well said. We need to make common cause with the anti big pharma and safe vaccine movements, and the environmental movements who would demand accountability from toxic producing industries. See Josh de Sol´s Takebackyourpower, he is posting many free lectures by experts on EMF and 5G this week online.

  • 0040

    Not that successful half of us will ultimately die of cancer. A n effect of ever increasing pollution. I saw a story today on how the the American black community leaders have latched onto him to front these latest uprisings by Americas poor . I have mixed feelings on that.

  • chetdude

    People aren’t stupid, they’re mainly never exposed to systemic truths.

    “Education” often proceeds in short spurts.

    You don’t teach 2nd graders to read by dumping War and Peace on them.

  • Calgacus

    Right. There is zero chance of hyperinflation. Some temporary inflation in a few sectors perhaps. But the real danger is serious deflation – generally held to be even worse than hyperinflation.

  • Jeff

    Oh yeah? Ask the plants and other animals, ask the grossly overused water, ask the sky blocked out by hideously monstrous buildings, what they thing of your selfish “women can overbreed if they want to” attitude. It’s not about selfish individual choice or about women v. men, it’s about far too many people on the planet. And BTW, overpopulation = overconsumption by humans as a whole.

    I’m not going to to continue to repeat the biological and ecological facts showing that humans are grossly overpopulated. If you think that humans are all that matters, or even that they matter more than anything else, then we’re on opposite sides with no basis for discussion on this issue.

  • SteelPirate

    People aren’t stupid, they’re mainly never exposed to systemic truths. “Education” often proceeds in short spurts. You don’t teach 2nd graders to read by dumping War and Peace on them.

    The struggling working class and the poverty stricken are exposed to systematic truths on a daily basis. The struggling know the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, know the owners and the bosses suck, know the politicians are all full of shit and money rules. In truth…it’s the upscale intellectuals and educated activists who are brainwashed and deny those systematic truths. The view that many struggling workers have of the intellectual activists, as arrogant and condescending and holding the masses in contempt, is an accurate view. We see this right here with your commentary on this thread calling the masses second graders.

    I can walk into a blue collar working class barroom in a poor neighborhood and start a conversation that the workers and the owners have nothing in common and the owners are parasites and get unanimous and unconditional approval. Say that to the supposed intellectual and educated activists in these swamps and you get nothing but “yeah but” by a thousand cuts. Maybe it’s the educators that need to be educated by “the sheep” and you got your priorities mixed up.

  • chetdude

    All very true 😉

  • Collectivist

    “The huge social divides, largely built around race, will be used by the neo-fascists in power to divert a legitimate rage by a betrayed working class to set neighbor against neighbor. Neo-fascist “patriots” will be unleashed like attack dogs against people of color, Muslims, feminists, intellectuals, artists, the media and liberals. Dissent, even nonviolent dissent, will become treason . . “

  • sabelmouse

    keep on supporting the rich, there’s a good boy!

  • Stephen Morrell

    The ruling class isn’t committing any ‘treason’ at all. It’s never ruled for anyone except itself, and it’s a dangerous delusion to think otherwise. “Our capitalist democracy”, never “ours”, has always been a smokescreen for capitalism’s brutal workings and the absolute rule of capital to delude the ruled into thinking they have political power. The naked violence of capitalist rule is now on full display for all to see. Even the most ‘educated’ (brainwashed) can’t fail to see that, and their pretty words will fail them in their efforts to put lipstick on this pig or on the pigs.

    Pacifism is always professed most stridently either by those whose existence has never hinged on defending themselves day in and day out, or by those with a thoroughly inculcated slave mentality. Many who’ve professed non-violence from their cul-de-sac bubbles and their sterile and rarified moral high grounds are coming to a rather rude awakening that nothing under capitalism will change fundamentally short of a revolution. And some are even beginning to realise that revolutions can’t occur without the use of force, violence — without civil war.

    But not Hedges apparently, who states: “I would prefer that our revolution eschew the poison of violence, which I know too intimately from my two decades as a war correspondent. But I also know that when everything around you conspires to crush you, the only way left to affirm yourself is to destroy, not only the structures and institutions that have oppressed you, but often yourself. I saw this when I lived in the impoverished neighborhood of Roxbury in Boston and when I worked as a reporter in Gaza.”

    Such examples of ‘self-destroying’ violence are a shoddy conflation of lumpen and/or sectarian violence with the heroism and self sacrifice of oppressed classes the world over who have risen up and made revolutions, not peacefully or by the good graces of the ruling classes, but against the most violent and savage resistance by the rulers. The heroism of the foot soldiers of revolutions is celebrated and rightfully so. These are not ‘destroyed’ people. There’s no such thing as a peaceful revolution, none in history has ever occurred and only a completely naive fool, utterly blind to what’s before them, would expect it today.

    As the US approaches a likely pre-revolutionary situation, from such narrow journalistic first-hand experiences (along with his witnessing of the imperialist-engineered fomenting of nationalist strife against Serbia in the smashing up of Yugoslavia), Hedges contends that “The danger of widespread sectarian violence in America is now very real”, and that “These are dark times. They are about to get darker”. These are not dark times at all. They’re times of a fundamental awakening and realisation for the majority of Americans to what black Americans have been experiencing on a daily basis since before the Civil War.

    But they are becoming ‘dark times’ for the ruling class. The violence now being perpetrated by their professional armed thugs isn’t along sectarian but class lines, and the rulers are beginning to get nervous that their cops are losing control, not just of themselves. They threaten to bring in their military, but already there are murmurings among the economic conscripts of disobeying orders from the officers to shoot their own people. These will only grow louder if the conflagration continues and the cops keep up their rampage. And when the rulers take fright at the possibility of a chunk of the military going over to the side of the oppressed, then they’ll quickly reach out to the likes of Sanders to help put the fire out. Never forget that.

    For the current situation to have a chance of progressing to becoming “our revolution”, the working class and oppressed must at some point form workplace and neighbourhood committees, nascent soviets, along with disciplined, integrated and armed militias under their control to protect and defend protests, strikes and working class neighbourhoods from the marauding cops, scabs, the National Guard and their fascist allies. These militias must be drilled in the use of firearms and in military tactics, and veteran sympathisers no doubt can provide help. The economic conscripts need to be reached out to, to countermand the orders of the state, to bring about a situation of ‘dual power’.

    Above all, a revolutionary leadership is so sorely needed, a leadership that understands that the state machine of the ruling class must be smashed and replaced by a state of soviets committed to expropriating the capitalist class without compensation and subjecting the economy and society to democratic control and planning for the benefit of all. In short, a Bolshevik party is needed.

    When ordinary working people, the poor and blacks are attacked by the state and its allies, they’re forced to defend themselves by any means necessary. The cops are dangerous, lawless criminal gangs committed to enforcing only one ‘law’: the property rights and rule of the bourgeoisie. These professional armed thugs of capital must be disarmed and driven off the streets. Under a revolutionary leadership, the organised working class can by sheer force of numbers and its social power to stop and start production and distribution, and through its workplace and neighbourhood committees and workers militias, can transform from a militia drilling ground into a political and social ‘drilling ground’ to take over the means of production and the reins of society.

    Such will be the first necessary steps in achieving “our revolution”, whose object can be nothing short of the institution of rule by and for the vast majority, the working class and all the oppressed, through their own state forged in revolution.

  • Stephen Morrell

    This site censors

  • Alan MacDonald

    Less likely than all others — just ask Chris, Paul Street, et. al..

  • Stephen Morrell

    Yes, agreed. Below is what they took down of mine after it appeared for a couple of hours. It’s a critique of the above piece from the left, not some rightwing rant. Let’s see how long it stays up this time:

    The ruling class isn’t committing any ‘treason’ at all. It’s never ruled for anyone except itself, and it’s a dangerous delusion to think otherwise. “Our capitalist democracy”, never “ours”, has always been a smokescreen for capitalism’s brutal workings and the absolute rule of capital to delude the ruled into thinking they have political power. The naked violence of capitalist rule is now on full display for all to see. Even the most ‘educated’ (brainwashed) can’t fail to see that, and their pretty words will fail them in their efforts to put lipstick on this pig or on the pigs.

    Pacifism is always professed most stridently either by those whose existence has never hinged on defending themselves day in and day out, or by those with a thoroughly inculcated slave mentality. Many who’ve professed non-violence from their cul-de-sac bubbles and their sterile and rarified moral high grounds are coming to a rather rude awakening that nothing under capitalism will change fundamentally short of a revolution. And some are even beginning to realise that revolutions can’t occur without the use of force, violence — without civil war.

    But not Hedges apparently, who states: “I would prefer that our revolution eschew the poison of violence, which I know too intimately from my two decades as a war correspondent. But I also know that when everything around you conspires to crush you, the only way left to affirm yourself is to destroy, not only the structures and institutions that have oppressed you, but often yourself. I saw this when I lived in the impoverished neighborhood of Roxbury in Boston and when I worked as a reporter in Gaza.”

    Such examples of ‘self-destroying’ violence are a shoddy conflation of lumpen and/or sectarian violence with the heroism and self sacrifice of oppressed classes the world over who have risen up and made revolutions, not peacefully or by the good graces of the ruling classes, but against the most violent and savage resistance by the rulers. The heroism of the foot soldiers of revolutions is celebrated and rightfully so. These are not ‘destroyed’ people. There’s no such thing as a peaceful revolution, none in history has ever occurred and only a completely naive fool, utterly blind to what’s before them, would expect it today.

    As the US approaches a likely pre-revolutionary situation, from such narrow journalistic first-hand experiences (along with his witnessing of the imperialist-engineered fomenting of nationalist strife against Serbia in the smashing up of Yugoslavia), Hedges contends that “The danger of widespread sectarian violence in America is now very real”, and that “These are dark times. They are about to get darker”. These are not dark times at all. They’re times of a fundamental awakening and realisation for the majority of Americans to what black Americans have been experiencing on a daily basis since before the Civil War.

    But they are becoming ‘dark times’ for the ruling class. The violence now being perpetrated by their professional armed thugs isn’t along sectarian but class lines, and the rulers are beginning to get nervous that their cops are losing control, not just of themselves. They threaten to bring in their military, but already there are murmurings among the economic conscripts of disobeying orders from the officers to shoot their own people. These will only grow louder if the conflagration continues and the cops keep up their rampage. And when the rulers take fright at the possibility of a chunk of the military going over to the side of the oppressed, then they’ll quickly reach out to the likes of Sanders to help put the fire out. Never forget that.

    For the current situation to have a chance of progressing to becoming “our revolution”, the working class and oppressed must at some point form workplace and neighbourhood committees, nascent soviets, along with disciplined, integrated and armed militias under their control to protect and defend protests, strikes and working class neighbourhoods from the marauding cops, scabs, the National Guard and their fascist allies. These militias must be drilled in the use of firearms and in military tactics, and veteran sympathisers no doubt can provide valuable help. The economic conscripts need to be reached out to, to countermand the orders of the state, to bring about a situation of ‘dual power’.

    Above all, a revolutionary leadership is so sorely needed, a leadership that understands that the state machine of the ruling class must be smashed and replaced by a state of soviets committed to expropriating the capitalist class without compensation and subjecting the economy and society to democratic control and planning for the benefit of all. In short, a Bolshevik party is needed.

    When ordinary working people, the poor and blacks are attacked by the state and its allies, they’re forced to defend themselves by any means necessary. The cops are dangerous, lawless criminal gangs committed to enforcing only one ‘law’: the property rights and rule of the bourgeoisie. These professional armed thugs of capital must be disarmed and driven off the streets. Under a revolutionary leadership, the organised working class can by sheer force of numbers and its social power to stop and start production and distribution, and through its workplace and neighbourhood committees and workers militias, can transform from a militia drilling ground into a political and social ‘drilling ground’ to take over the means of production and the reins of society.

    Such will be the first necessary steps in achieving “our revolution”, whose object can be nothing short of the institution of rule by and for the vast majority, the working class and all the oppressed, through their own state forged in revolution.

  • kevinzeese

    If you posted this before, it was not taken down by Popular Resistance. No one recalls seeing it.

    I don’t see anything offensive in it. We rarely take down comments. They need to be racist, homophobic or some other prejudice.

  • Calgacus

    And some are even beginning to realise that revolutions can’t occur without the use of force, violence — without civil war.

    Karl Marx disagreed. It may not be likely, there can always be a pro-slavery rebellion, but peaceful revolutions are possible. The glorification of violence usually is a mistake for the Left – but it has often been a tool of agents provocateurs.

  • Stephen Morrell

    At different points Marx and Engels held out the remote possibility of socialism being democratically instituted without need of too much bloodshed, and regarded universal suffrage as a possible instrument for that. They particularly saw the possibility strongest in the US.

    However, the 1871 Paris Commune taught them conclusively that changing from private property relations to socialised property (the pre-condition for socialism) meant replacing one state by another. And that this was not likely to be peaceful. And it is not simply one of laying one’s hands on the already existing state machine and taking it over but replacing it (to paraphrase M&E). They envisioned ‘communes everywhere’ backed by arms as the replacement.

    Twenty one years earlier, Marx was under no ‘democratic’ illusions about uprisings and revolution either:

    “To be able forcefully and threateningly to oppose this party, whose betrayal of the workers will begin with the very first hour of victory, the workers must be armed and organized. The whole proletariat must be armed at once with muskets, rifles, cannon and ammunition, and the revival of the old-style citizens’ militia, directed against the workers, must be opposed. Where the formation of this militia cannot be prevented, the workers must try to organize themselves independently as a proletarian guard, with elected leaders and with their own elected general staff; they must try to place themselves not under the orders of the state authority but of the revolutionary local councils set up by the workers. Where the workers are employed by the state, they must arm and organize themselves into special corps with elected leaders, or as a part of the proletarian guard. Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated, by force if necessary. The destruction of the bourgeois democrats’ influence over the workers, and the enforcement of conditions which will compromise the rule of bourgeois democracy, which is for the moment inevitable, and make it as difficult as possible – these are the main points which the proletariat and therefore the League must keep in mind during and after the approaching uprising.”
    — Address of the Central Committee to the Communist League, London, March, 1850

    Bloodshed and violence in revolutions can be minimised only when overwhelming force is displayed on the part of the revolutionary class (‘threateningly’) which compels the rulers and their supporters to surrender. If there’s any hesitancy shown in using that force, the rulers will respond ruthlessly and savagely at the first opportunity. Just as the Paris Commune showed. When in history has there ever been a ‘peaceful’ social revolution replacing one ruling class and its property relations with another? Moreover, whenever there’s been the slimmest possibility of the majority voting in some form of socialism, most often some limited, minimal socialisation measures rather than ‘socialism’, the capitalists just go batshit crazy and mobilise to sabotage it, from capital strikes, to outright military coups and counterrevolutionary bloodshed, to fascism. And fascism is the ‘reward’ for letting revolutionary opportunities slip.

    Yes, there’s a lot of silly glorification of violence by some on the left, well exploited by the FBI et al., but there’s also a preponderance of even sillier (and more lethal) illusions in the possibility of a peaceful transition from capitalist dictatorship to a rationally planned economic system. The current uprisings in the US show most clearly, even to the dimmest, that capitalist ‘democracy’ is a fraud and that it is really the dictatorship of capital, in all its naked ‘glory’, that rules. The capitalists will attempt to drown any major uprising in blood and that’s what they’re now commencing to try and do.

    The current US uprising is a dress rehearsal. Lessons will be learnt, and organising along the lines as outlined by Marx above will occur. And leaders will emerge, but without a party with a program to make a revolution that’s rooted in the lessons of history to overthrow what has become the most entrenched and bloody ruling class in human history, they will flounder. At base, anyone purporting to lead a meaningful social transformation had better know that if they don’t “hope for the best and plan for the worst” they will lose.

  • Stephen Morrell

    OK. It’s rather odd indeed, and I’ve not experienced it before either.

  • Stephen Morrell

    Now my reply above to Alan McDonald has been disappeared also. As you’ve now seen it too, I know I wasn’t delusional. Except the evidence is there, above: “This comment has been marked as spam”.

  • SamandClaire

    Yes, the public has a difficult time deciphering what is a real (factual) information and what is not, thanks to Trump on his Twitter giving out the false information more than frequently. And so are the mainstream media and the MotherJones on the Russigate.

    To address this problem, the Progressives have to have its own TV station or a big news outlet similar to the Guardian or hire more people to fight the fight of the information warfare. We should not stay in our own bubble. At the Hill, on the comment section, it is about the tribal disagreements between the Dem. vs the Republicans when they should be fighting against the elites together. We need to organize not as many numerous small independent news sites but a several big news organizations.

    We cannot have a revolution unless everybody sees the reality the same way, the same truth. This is the step one.

  • kevinzeese

    Very strange. We are perplexed by it. Looking i to what is going on

  • Stephen Morrell

    Thanks Kevin. Also, my reply to Calgacus above disappeared as well.

  • kevinzeese

    It looks like disqus put them into spam as some automatic program. I don’t know why. Maybe because they were so long? We are approving it. Thanks for letting us know.

  • Stephen Morrell

    Sorry for their length, and thanks again, but a lot needs unpacking in these momentous times. So many issues are now presenting themselves urgently at the same time.

  • kevinzeese

    Disqus is nothing like FB which hires right-wing groups to censor posts. Disqus is more about eliminating spam which would overrun our comment section without it.

  • kevinzeese

    Maybe if you broke such long comments into three comments you would not be marked as spam by Disqus. With so much going on in the movement, we do not have time to censor articles and often do not have time to read comments or censor them. We barely have time to see what Disqus has labeled spam.

  • chetdude

    Brevity is the soul of wit?

  • Stephen Morrell

    You’re right. Sorry.

  • Stephen Morrell

    And Blaise Pascal provides a perfect excuse:
    “If I had more time I would write a shorter letter.”

  • Stephen Morrell

    The issues I’m referring to are not the myriad grievous harms caused by imperialism and capitalism (the ‘cancerous core’). The issues I focus on boil down to two: what can and likely will happen next; and what strategy is needed to bring the whole malignant system down and replace it with a superior one.

  • archer

    Riots that kill people and destroy millions in property are obscene, there is no excuse for this behavior and is fueled by left leaning politicians and media, they are not friends of the “working class”. The people engaging in the protests/riots are participating in a “happening”, they don’t know why they’re really there or care. They are nothing but useful tools run by the elites to destabilize our country and bring on a far greater repression. Their theme is “order out of chaos”.

  • chetdude

    OR the Movement/Revolution could achieve some consensus about pro-active goals and then measure whether reality (events, the process) is headed in the correct or wrong directions.

    Rather than defining “perception” as “reality”…

    That’s why in the myopic arena of the “election”, I preferred discussion of the Moderate New Deal Democrat Agenda of Sanders than the corporate media fed distraction of republican vs. democrat vs. Trump.

  • chetdude

    “I can walk into a blue collar working class barroom in a poor
    neighborhood and start a conversation that the workers and the owners
    have nothing in common and the owners are parasites and get unanimous
    and unconditional approval.”

    True dat. I’ve had similar conversations with folks wearing MAGA hats…

  • SamandClaire

    “OR the Movement/Revolution could achieve some consensus about pro-active goals”

    Some consensus is MIA (missing in action) and it is a shame, really, because there are so many brilliant journalists, academics, and the activists around. What is missing is a politician who can link ideas to people from the progressive side. I do not know who is the next in line since Sanders back being the Independent again. The progressive Dems (JusticeDemocrats, People First Future), I hope someday liberate themselves from the control of the powerful party elites. Recently, I came to a conclusion that the Dems kill the poor passively by reducing the funds. The Republicans are more direct about it.

  • chetdude

    I’d say there’s a POPULAR consensus about some solutions for major problems but alas, what the majority want and need doesn’t count here.

  • SteelPirate

    Sometimes people just like hats 🙂 The majority of Trump’s base are not struggling blue collar workers and the poor. The majority of Trump’s base are small business owners and suburban professionals in the upper 20% income bracket. The narrative that Trump was elected because of “economic anxiety” is laughable.

  • Harbinger

    The potential audience for Hedges is at most 20% of the population, and that is probably a generous estimate.

    I don’t know very many fellow blue collar workers who are deluded about any notions of democracy or America. We are in the majority. The problem is and has been for a while that the working class lacks leadership, not enlightenment. Most people “good with letters” are co-opted as managers and sales copy writers and mouthpieces for the bosses. The few who do try to speak for their class, for the working class, are isolated, silenced, imprisoned, exiled or killed. That has the effect of decapitating the working class.

    Hedges speaks for and to the troubled intelligentsia, the white collar drones in service to the owners.

  • Collectivist

    “Most people “good with letters” are co-opted as managers and sales copy writers and mouthpieces for the bosses. The few who do try to speak for their class, for the working class, are isolated, silenced, imprisoned, exiled or killed. That has the effect of decapitating the working class.”

    Astute.

  • SamandClaire

    The countries with the social safety nets tend to regulate immigration more tightly than the US. I wonder if this is something the left is willing to compromise or not. We cannot have everything all at once but is it possible that for one election, one major issue done? Free education first or Health care first? If neither, then have to fight for the higher taxes for the wealthy. Something has to give. Even among the elites, there are different factions.

  • ARIC

    I acknowledge you being here IP. I won’t bore you with dishonest niceties.

    And I’m not going to give you a hard time.

    I am trying to organize my apartment complex. Right now I am trying to be an open door to anyone who needs it. Next I hope to have a complex wide meeting.

    I have given away my paychecks and I’m running short on resources.

    I’m not here to attack you.

  • chetdude

    A) In practice, those countries with stronger social safety nets (primarily in the EU) have been much more pro-active about absorbing the massive amount of migration caused by USAmerica’s wars for OIL in the Middle East than the U.S. has. And of course, since the Clinton/Bush collapse of 2007/2008, migration into the U.S. has seriously slowed down.

    B) We will get NOTHING without a major paradigm shift, a major change in the essential goals of the socioeconomic system and government away from promoting the capitalist consumption machine and protecting inherited and entrenched wealth to one that provides for EVERYONE’S basic human needs.

    Why can’t we have simple, feasible, appropriate proactive solutions to our MAJOR problems as proposed by the Moderate New Deal Candidate “all at once”?

    These are not earth shattering proposals, merely finally implementing the last pieces of the New Deal proposed by FDR in 1940.

    Medicare for All (HR1384)
    Education without crippling debt
    Living Wage and Survival Security
    End the wars (1941 – Present)

    Now we can add “Defund the Police” and create appropriate, effective institutions for Public Safety to deal with Community and Mental Health issues and to get around the absolute immunity SCOTUS gave the cops in 1982…

    And as we’ve seen for the last 40+ years no matter which wing is “in charge”, the alternative to “All at Once” is NO CHANGE AT ALL.

  • chetdude

    If you connect the dots and realize that the source of “economic anxiety” is systemic, then Trump WAS elected because of economic anxiety…

    People do not see any path to a rational, reasonable future any more. The systemic disease is not set up to provide that.

  • SteelPirate

    I agree with part of that and disagree with part of it. The majority of Trump’s base is not “precariate class” (whatever the hell that is anyway), not poor, not struggling, and certainly would not be the most adversely affected by savage right-wing austerity. They welcome austerity for their “lessers” and deregulation. The majority of people affected don’t even bother to vote because they’re sick and tired of the false “opposition” provided by the “other side.” If the Democratic Party provided even a sliver of what they claim to be in favor of – instead of empty lip-service and platitudes – they would never lose an election because the downtrodden and struggling would have a little skin in the game. As it stands…the Democratic Party machinery and apparatus plays to the same majority base as Trump.

  • chetdude

    “If the Democratic Party provided even a sliver of what they claim to be
    in favor of – instead of empty lip-service and platitudes – they would
    never lose an election”

    The precariate class is the vast majority of USAmericans who are at most a couple of months of rent or mortgage payments away from the street and/or have no job security or decent pension coming.

    Personally, I include the bottom 90% for sure and maybe even the bottom 95% in that class now.

    Of course, thanks to fossil-fueled AGW/Catastrophic Climate Destabilization and the threat of nuclear war, we’re ALL in the Precariate Class.

  • Gone Days

    The way Wall Street and Washington operate every day amounts to stealing trillions. The have stolen at least $100,000 from each citizen which is threatening the country’s economic survival. Where is your outrage for that? What is going on in the streets is peanuts and has ethical justification. The real evil ones practice their ultimate blood sacrifice by killing millions in forever wars.