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Mon Aug 31, 2015, 07:34 AM

Chris Hedges: The Great Unraveling


from truthdig:



by Chris Hedges


The ideological and physical hold of American imperial power, buttressed by the utopian ideology of neoliberalism and global capitalism, is unraveling. Most, including many of those at the heart of the American empire, recognize that every promise made by the proponents of neoliberalism is a lie. Global wealth, rather than being spread equitably, as neoliberal proponents promised, has been funneled upward into the hands of a rapacious, oligarchic elite, creating vast economic inequality. The working poor, whose unions and rights have been taken from them and whose wages have stagnated or declined over the past 40 years, have been thrust into chronic poverty and underemployment, making their lives one long, stress-ridden emergency. The middle class is evaporating. Cities that once manufactured products and offered factory jobs are boarded up-wastelands. Prisons are overflowing. Corporations have orchestrated the destruction of trade barriers, allowing them to stash $2.1 trillion in profits in overseas banks to avoid paying taxes. And the neoliberal order, despite its promise to build and spread democracy, has hollowed out democratic systems to turn them into corporate leviathans.

Democracy, especially in the United States, is a farce, vomiting up right-wing demagogues such as Donald Trump, who has a chance to become the Republican presidential nominee and perhaps even president, or slick, dishonest corporate stooges such as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and, if he follows through on his promise to support the Democratic nominee, even Bernie Sanders. The labels “liberal” and “conservative” are meaningless in the neoliberal order. Political elites, Democrat or Republican, serve the demands of corporations and empire. They are facilitators, along with most of the media and most of academia, of what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls our system of “inverted totalitarianism.”

The attraction of a Trump, like the attraction of Radovan Karadzic or Slobodan Milosevic during the breakdown of Yugoslavia, is that his buffoonery, which is ultimately dangerous, mocks the bankruptcy of the political charade. It lays bare the dissembling, the hypocrisy, the legalized bribery. There is a perverted and, to many, refreshing honesty in this. The Nazis used this tactic to take power during the Weimar Republic. The Nazis, even in the eyes of their opponents, had the courage of their convictions, however unsavory those convictions were. Those who believe something, even something repugnant, are often given grudging respect.

These neoliberal forces are also rapidly destroying the ecosystem. The Earth has not had this level of climate disruption since 250 million years ago when it underwent the Permian-Triassic extinction, which wiped out perhaps 90 percent of all species. This is a percentage we seem determined to replicate. Global warming is unstoppable, with polar ice caps and glaciers rapidly melting and sea levels certain to rise 10 or more feet within the next few decades, flooding major coastal cities. Mega-droughts are leaving huge patches of the Earth, including parts of Africa and Australia, the west coast of the United States and Canada and the southwest United States, parched and plagued by uncontrollable wildfires. We have lost 7.2 million acres to wildfires nationwide this year, and the Forest Service has so far spent $800 million struggling to control conflagrations in California, Washington, Alaska and other states. The very word “drought” is part of the deception, implying this is somehow reversible. It isn’t. .............................(more)

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_great_unraveling_20150830




109 replies, 9653 views

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Arrow 109 replies Author Time Post
Reply Chris Hedges: The Great Unraveling (Original post)
marmar Aug 2015 OP
cantbeserious Aug 2015 #1
Scuba Aug 2015 #95
chervilant Aug 2015 #2
abelenkpe Aug 2015 #7
Live and Learn Aug 2015 #3
ananda Aug 2015 #11
jtuck004 Aug 2015 #4
Augiedog Aug 2015 #5
libdem4life Aug 2015 #44
hifiguy Aug 2015 #61
punguin54 Aug 2015 #69
libdem4life Sep 2015 #109
tblue37 Aug 2015 #6
Fairgo Aug 2015 #8
IthinkThereforeIAM Aug 2015 #13
pscot Aug 2015 #77
Fairgo Sep 2015 #103
Fred Sanders Aug 2015 #9
olegramps Aug 2015 #15
marmar Aug 2015 #17
Fred Sanders Aug 2015 #18
Blecht Aug 2015 #35
Fuddnik Aug 2015 #56
olegramps Aug 2015 #21
HomerRamone Aug 2015 #28
olegramps Aug 2015 #30
PotatoChip Aug 2015 #29
rhett o rick Aug 2015 #33
PotatoChip Aug 2015 #36
rhett o rick Aug 2015 #37
PotatoChip Aug 2015 #38
hifiguy Aug 2015 #65
Fuddnik Aug 2015 #57
Elmer S. E. Dump Aug 2015 #62
rhett o rick Aug 2015 #68
passiveporcupine Aug 2015 #97
rhett o rick Aug 2015 #34
haikugal Aug 2015 #23
hifiguy Aug 2015 #78
zeemike Aug 2015 #19
Blus4u Aug 2015 #20
mountain grammy Aug 2015 #24
Octafish Aug 2015 #32
Unknown Beatle Aug 2015 #76
pscot Aug 2015 #79
raouldukelives Aug 2015 #10
PatrickforO Aug 2015 #12
tclambert Aug 2015 #14
gordianot Aug 2015 #16
LineReply .
haikugal Aug 2015 #22
dreamnightwind Aug 2015 #25
rhett o rick Aug 2015 #40
dreamnightwind Aug 2015 #63
Name removed Aug 2015 #26
jalan48 Aug 2015 #27
blackspade Aug 2015 #31
Doctor_J Aug 2015 #39
muriel_volestrangler Aug 2015 #41
Octafish Aug 2015 #42
muriel_volestrangler Aug 2015 #43
Octafish Aug 2015 #46
marmar Aug 2015 #47
Rex Aug 2015 #50
muriel_volestrangler Aug 2015 #53
Octafish Aug 2015 #55
muriel_volestrangler Aug 2015 #59
dougolat Sep 2015 #99
muriel_volestrangler Sep 2015 #101
dougolat Sep 2015 #104
muriel_volestrangler Sep 2015 #105
hifiguy Aug 2015 #70
AOR Aug 2015 #48
Warren DeMontague Aug 2015 #49
bvar22 Aug 2015 #51
muriel_volestrangler Aug 2015 #52
bvar22 Aug 2015 #54
muriel_volestrangler Aug 2015 #58
bvar22 Aug 2015 #64
hifiguy Aug 2015 #71
L0oniX Aug 2015 #82
L0oniX Aug 2015 #83
muriel_volestrangler Aug 2015 #84
L0oniX Aug 2015 #85
muriel_volestrangler Aug 2015 #88
L0oniX Aug 2015 #89
muriel_volestrangler Sep 2015 #100
corkhead Aug 2015 #93
muriel_volestrangler Sep 2015 #102
Rex Aug 2015 #45
AOR Aug 2015 #67
Fred Sanders Aug 2015 #74
AOR Aug 2015 #80
Fred Sanders Aug 2015 #86
Fred Sanders Aug 2015 #73
Elmer S. E. Dump Aug 2015 #60
muriel_volestrangler Aug 2015 #72
Fred Sanders Aug 2015 #75
AOR Aug 2015 #81
Fred Sanders Aug 2015 #87
hifiguy Aug 2015 #90
Fred Sanders Aug 2015 #91
RiverLover Sep 2015 #107
Fred Sanders Sep 2015 #108
AOR Aug 2015 #92
Fred Sanders Aug 2015 #94
AOR Aug 2015 #96
Dont call me Shirley Aug 2015 #66
Kablooie Sep 2015 #98
pampango Sep 2015 #106

Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 08:15 AM

1. Hedges - Always On Target

eom

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 08:33 PM

95. +1

 

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 08:26 AM

2. So many willfully ignorant humans,

so little time...

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Response to chervilant (Reply #2)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 09:03 AM

7. +1000 nt

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 08:31 AM

3. Sadly, he may be correct.

But I will vote Bernie to try to prove our Democracy is still viable.

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #3)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 09:13 AM

11. Me too!

I think Sanders really wants to change the system.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 08:35 AM

4. "The very word “drought” is part of the deception, implying this is somehow reversible. It isn’t." <

 

Can use the word "recovery" the same way.



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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 08:41 AM

5. Perhaps a preamble to another "French" revolution.

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Response to Augiedog (Reply #5)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 03:07 PM

44. I have thought that this may be the last time to use our pitchforks at the voting booth.

 

Who knows, the next time?

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Response to libdem4life (Reply #44)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 05:57 PM

61. "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable."

 

- John Fitzgerald Kennedy

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #61)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 06:17 PM

69. Spot on hifiguy!

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #61)

Tue Sep 1, 2015, 03:56 PM

109. Never heard that one, but Amen to the wise JFK. That's why they took him from us.

 

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 08:51 AM

6. K&R for visibility. nt

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 09:08 AM

8. A strong tonic

...we will refuse to take. Soon the jesters and clowns will show up and shake their little emojis at Casandra, and they will all have a fine snark and an LOL. But the clockwork gears are set in motion and civilisation itself is unwinding. Not the sort of topic that lasts long on this forum...now back to the circus, where were we? Oh yeah, Trump toilet paper...

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Response to Fairgo (Reply #8)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 09:24 AM

13. And that about sums it up...


... no body seems to talk about Joe Dimaggio either.

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Response to Fairgo (Reply #8)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 06:53 PM

77. That's a lyrical way of saying we're fucked.

Nice.

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Response to pscot (Reply #77)

Tue Sep 1, 2015, 04:38 AM

103. I was in a mood

There's always hope. Even if that's all you got.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 09:08 AM

9. Hedges just has to throw in a smear against Obama and Clinton using the same Trump broad stroke

brush - has to or the entire basis for the personal opinion falls on it's historical petard....which is why all the RECS at DU, and probably also all the applause at Fox, and why I stopped reading at that paragraph....ridiculous.

Even takes a huge side swipe broad brush to Sanders, swinging the same demagoguery he critiques!

"The United States, is a farce, vomiting up right-wing demagogues such as Donald Trump, who has a chance to become the Republican presidential nominee and perhaps even president, or slick, dishonest corporate stooges such as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and, if he follows through on his promise to support the Democratic nominee, even Bernie Sanders."

But keep on RECing...wonder if Hedges wrote this before Sanders pledge to continue the CIA drone program?

To summarize:


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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #9)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 09:33 AM

15. I definitely agree with you.

He should write speeches for Trump and Cruz. It mimics their over blown simplistic rhetoric. His attack on Sanders is especially revolting. I guess he is positioning himself for a job on FOX.

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Response to olegramps (Reply #15)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 09:34 AM

17. I'll give you a mulligan and assume you know nothing about Chris Hedges.

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Response to marmar (Reply #17)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 09:40 AM

18. I read the article as far as the part I quoted, isn't that enough to know for the purposes of this thread?

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #18)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 01:56 PM

35. Head

Meet sand.

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #18)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 05:13 PM

56. Try reading some of his many books.

And look up his resume'.

He's probably America s best writer on social commentary. Factual and to the point.

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Response to marmar (Reply #17)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 10:00 AM

21. I watch him nearly nightly and have had great respect for him.

While his rant has a great deal of truth, it seems to me to offer no solutions. We are confronted with serious problems, just as those who have come before us have had to contend with.

I especially take exception to his attack on Obama and Sanders. Sanders is offering real solutions to problems that have been in part due to our lack vision in the Middle East for example. He condemns the very base cause which is greed. The same goes for President Obama who has been stymied by the hatred of the Republicans who are driven primarily by racism. I fail to understand why he would attack the very people who have struggled to take corrective measures. What I meant by my comment about FOX is that his rhetoric is as empty of solutions as that which is presented at FOX 24/7.

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Response to olegramps (Reply #21)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 10:35 AM

28. Are you confusing Chris Hedges with Chris Hayes? nt

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Response to HomerRamone (Reply #28)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 11:42 AM

30. Thanks for the correction.

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Response to olegramps (Reply #21)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 11:06 AM

29. He's basically saying that the entire system is corrupt and beyond redemption.

Chris' writings are, generally speaking, more of a critique of our current political system (such as it is), as well as our neoliberal economic status quo, than it is about Obama and Sanders. But I agree with you that he is sometimes short on answers.

I too hold a great deal of respect for Chris Hedges, and rarely ever disagree with what he has to say. Especially when I take into account that nearly everything he has written in the past decade or so has come to pass. He's eerily good at prognosticating future events based on current and past history.

That said, I hope that Chris' pessimistic outlook regarding the matter of Sanders' choosing to run as a Dem --so as to bring about change from within the current political system, is wrong. Unlike Chris, I still hold out hope that revolutionary change is possible, but the odds are against us, and time is running out.

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Response to PotatoChip (Reply #29)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 01:34 PM

33. I completely agree with your post. I believe what Hedges says is right on the money.

 

However, I can see no other option than stand behind Sen Sanders and try to change the culture.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #33)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 01:57 PM

36. Yes, I feel that we have absolutely nothing to lose at this point.

Chris Hedges worries that Bernie running as a Dem (rather than a Green or Independent) and endorsing Hillary if he loses the primary will lend a false legitimacy to the status quo. While that may arguably be true, what does it matter at this point?

Bernie may not only win, but succeed in pulling an enormous, lasting coalition together that will bring about the change we need. We have to at least try this route.

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Response to PotatoChip (Reply #36)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 02:05 PM

37. We are in a do or die situation. Moving to a third party is sucide. The Democratic Party

 

represents a huge investment in infrastructure and it belongs to us. We need to take back control of the leadership from the Oligarchy.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #37)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 02:09 PM

38. Yes, indeed! (nt)

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #37)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 06:12 PM

65. Yep.

 

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #33)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 05:16 PM

57. I agree.

Hedges is probably my favorite writer alive today, I'm all in with Bernie.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #33)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 06:04 PM

62. I think Hedges likes Bernie

 

He said "slick, dishonest corporate stooges such as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and, if he follows through on his promise to support the Democratic nominee, even Bernie Sanders."

So he's only including him if he supports Hillary. But if Bernie wins, there is still a chance to save ourselves.

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Response to Elmer S. E. Dump (Reply #62)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 06:17 PM

68. Hedges doesn't believe we can win playing the Oligarchs game. Obama and Clinton play

 

the Oligarchs game. Sanders provides some hope but he will still have to play, at least to some degree. Hedges thinks a peaceful revolution is needed and he is probably correct. But I don't have much faith that even that will work. Societies will always need leaders. And leaders are always chosen from the smartest or strongest people. Weak people get replaced quickly. I believe that we need more T. Roosevelt and F. Roosevelts. They were elites that believed it was best for everyone to take care of the poor and working classes.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #33)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 09:29 PM

97. I think this OP is a bit of an extremist alarmist rant

For one thing...I'm not going to read it again to refresh what it said, but I noticed the argument that the drought is not reversible.

This current drought we are suffering from has not been determined to be part of global warming. Instead it has been deemed to be one of the cyclical weather patterns that happen regularly. At least that is what I read earlier this year.

Not to say that global warming is not exacerbating it, but it very may only last a couple more years and then change back to a wetter pattern, like most other droughts that happen all over the globe at times. It's normal to have cyclical weather patterns.

And if he's wrong on this, then how much of the rest of his rant is alarmist and not based on reality?

He is pointing out many obvious truths, but he's also attacking people who don't deserve it. So what if Bernie supports the dem nominee if he doesn't win the primary? Would it really be better for a republican (like Trump or Cruz) to win? No it wouldn't...so it would be a good thing for him to support the dem nominee.

There is just too much in this OP to question to want to rec it.

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Response to marmar (Reply #17)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 01:35 PM

34. I agree. nm

 

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Response to olegramps (Reply #15)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 10:06 AM

23. You have reading comprehension difficulties...

He included Sanders, and rightly, if Sanders does what he said he'd do...support the nominee for more of the same. I plan to make that unnecessary but voting Sanders into office. We must change...

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Response to olegramps (Reply #15)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 06:54 PM

78. It's not a direct attack. The word IF - a big word - makes it conditional at best.

 

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #9)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 09:54 AM

19. It is because of profound cynicism that many of us have.

We have stooped believing in the stage play on our TV.
And I know it upsets people to think like that but there is reasons for it.
People become disillusioned after decades of seeing the same game played on them time and time again.

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #9)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 09:56 AM

20. "I'll take Nanette Fabre...

...for the block, Peter."

Peace

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #9)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 10:08 AM

24. Agree!

Good post.

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #9)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 12:45 PM

32. Phil Gramm? Penny Pritzker?

Nah. Couldn't be.

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #9)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 06:41 PM

76. Does the truth scare you?

What part of the paragraph that you posted is untrue? Why don't you give us specific examples of this?

I agree 100% with Hedges. Obama and Hillary are slick, dishonest corporate stooges, and many examples of this have been posted on DU before.

As for Sanders, it reads "if" and not that he is.

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #9)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 06:55 PM

79. Hedges is after bigger game than Hillary

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 09:10 AM

10. All that money looking for a new fix.

So many in the hive of Wall St. Diligently laboring day in and day out for the ends of corporations, investing in confidence of its success and, laughably, with many of them then having the gall to act surprised when what they have sowed comes to fruition.

We all have to survive in the most reality, the most democracy, the most justice Wall St investors will allow.

Corporations are now people. 4 legs good, 2 legs better, no legs best.

The most devious, backstabbing, greedy, racist, warmongering, climate destroying, misogynistic, slave owning, democracy hating people one could ever know and that so many line up to serve them speaks volumes about how seriously they hold the sacrifices of those who have suffered, fought and died for democracy.

They trade away the last breaths of soldiers in the field for pennies from corporate heaven.

For them, democracy is just a slogan.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 09:20 AM

12. This is why I'm for Sanders, and why I'm tilting at this windmill one more time.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 09:32 AM

14. It reminds me of William Butler Yeats:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 09:33 AM

16. One last time it remains to be seen does the truth work?

There is real peril in 2016.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 10:01 AM

22. .

Islamic State, much like the Christian right in the U.S., seeks a return to an unachievable purity and utopianism, a heaven on earth. It promises to establish a version of the seventh-century caliphate. Twentieth-century Zionists seeking to form Israel used the same playbook when they called for the re-creation of the mythical Jewish nation of the Bible. ISIS, as the Jewish fighters who founded Israel did, is attempting to build its state (now the size of Texas) though ethnic cleansing, terrorism and the use of foreign fighters. Its utopian cause, as was the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War, is attractive to tens of millions of youths, most of them Muslims cast aside by the neoliberal order. Islamic State offers a vision of a broken society made whole. It offers a place and sense of identity—denied by neoliberalism—to those who embrace this vision. It calls for a turning away from the deadening cult of the self that lies at the core of neoliberal ideology. It holds up the sanctity of self-sacrifice. And it offers an avenue for vengeance.

Until we dismantle the neoliberal order and recover the humanistic tradition that rejects the view that human beings and the Earth are commodities to exploit, our form of industrialized and economic barbarity will collide with the barbarity of those who oppose us. The only choice offered by “bourgeois society,” as Friedrich Engels knew, is “socialism or regression into barbarism.” It is time we make this choice.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/page2/the_great_unraveling_20150830


It's time people...they won't go down without a fight but we're fast running out of options in my view. I hate this, I really do.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 10:12 AM

25. Good journaling of the crisis, almost nothing on what to do about it

Many of us know things are going to hell, without huge changes. It's why I will no longer support corporatists as the lessor of two evils.

His only remark about Sanders in this article (not that this is about Sanders, but electorally it is a choice we are faced with) is the following:

Democracy, especially in the United States, is a farce, vomiting up right-wing demagogues such as Donald Trump, who has a chance to become the Republican presidential nominee and perhaps even president, or slick, dishonest corporate stooges such as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and, if he follows through on his promise to support the Democratic nominee, even Bernie Sanders. The labels “liberal” and “conservative” are meaningless in the neoliberal order.


He finishes the article with this:

Those of us who seek to create a world that has hope of viability have little time left. The neoliberal order, despoiling the Earth and enslaving the vulnerable, has to be eradicated. This will happen only when we place ourselves in direct opposition to it, when we are willing to engage in the acts of self-sacrifice and sustained revolt that allow us to obstruct and dismantle every aspect of neoliberal machinery. I believe we can do this through nonviolence. But I am not blind to the inevitable rise of counterviolence, caused by the myopia and greed of the neoliberal mandarins. Peace and harmony may not engulf the Earth if we succeed, but if we do not remove the ruling elites from power, if we do not overthrow the neoliberal order, and if we do not do it soon, we are doomed.


So nothing really, just overthrow the neoliberal order. I completely agree with that, by the way.

Our best chance, electorally, to make progress on this is to elect Sanders, not exactly the poster child of neoliberalism. Not a perfect vehicle, he has coexisted with our system for a long time, so some of it he has internalized, but by far the best realistic choice we have, and to some extent genuine vehicle for change.

We need a lot of others like Sanders or even more radicalized to win lower positions in government, I'm hoping the Bernie movement can begin that process, I don't think it's really about Bernie, and it would be a great step if the movement behind him is able to start cranking out candidates for other positions. The U.S. Green party has long shown itself incapable of effectively doing so, sadly, so maybe we need the umbrella of a major party to make it happen.

Apparently Hedges is advocating non-electoral revolution? I'm not sure that's his position but if so, that will go just great. I'm sure the large network of U.S. Marxists and anarchists have everything ready so they can roll out their new utopia when their uprising overthrows the U.S. government. Plug and play.

Seriously, what is his path forward? I agree with his diagnosis, and with the need to end neoliberalism, which as far as I understand it is basically about eliminating regulatory obstacles to corporate interests, to maximize profits in a system that doesn't subtract the externalized consequences of extraction and manufacturing from the corporate bottom line.

It is very dire. Hard to see a path to avoid the coming disasters. An awakening is happening, it is reactive though, and is behind the collapse curve when it needs to precede it.

There are groups like transition.us working to create viable small-scale local alternative systems, and I like (as does Bernie) expanding worker-owned businesses, though even there we need a mechanism that ties the greater interest of society (and more generally the greater interest of the biosphere) into the business model, not just the interest of the company's employees or stockholders.

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Response to dreamnightwind (Reply #25)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 02:11 PM

40. Great post. I think there are a lot more like Sanders that are waiting to see if there really is

 

a populist movement. Once convinced, I think they will react. They might need to understand that electing Clinton just postpones the inevitable. They need to recognize that many are no longer going to play the corporatist game of lesser of evils, willing to risk the horrors of Bush to get someone truly progressive in the WH.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #40)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 06:06 PM

63. I think the voters have spoken on this one

There is clearly an interest from people. I don't know exactly if there is infratsructure out there already (there are groups like PDA that are solidly behind Bernie and that put out the word for progressive candidates, maybe we just need to step up and be more active there) or if we need a new identifiable social democratic (Bernie says it the other way around, I believe, democratic socialist) entity that can live within the Democratic Party and run candidates in primaries.

We have a large progressive caucus within the party, but they are ineffective, at least in part because most of its members are captured by the campaign financing system, so they stay in line, so to speak. We have to elect candidates without such funding, and in doing so find a way to label them as clean so the public knows, and hold them accountable once in office (maybe the stick is they can lose their clean status) to build a "brand" (I hate that term) that people can relate to and run under. We also need a mechanism to provide them with a clean source of camaign finances.

It's very encouraging to see that a lot of people do still care, as shown by the response to the Sanders campaign. Hopefully that leads to something larger that isn't built around one candidate.

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Response to marmar (Original post)


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 10:31 AM

27. Things are falling apart.

Hedges is simply pointing out the obvious. We're being told either get with the program or else. Look at Greece. The greedy Republicans and their ignorant followers still embrace the system because they believe they might become billionaires too, while the corporate Democrats tell us it's ok, it will all work out in the long run. Obama goes to Alaska to talk climate change while he gives the go-ahead to Shell Oil to drill in the Arctic-no disconnect there. I'm not sure if there is an answer but continuing to believe in the fantasies of Wall St. and the corporate media is definitely not the solution.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 12:44 PM

31. An excellent description of the shitstorm that has arrived.

But the majority of people will ignore it.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 02:10 PM

39. Everyone should read this, and the comments following it

 

kick rec

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 02:27 PM

41. Fuck Chris Hedges

He deserves as much respect as Ron Paul. ie none.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #41)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 02:35 PM

42. Chris Hedges described how Hannah Arendt pegged our situation today.

Via Chris Hedges:

The goal of wholesale surveillance, as Arendt wrote in “The Origins of Totalitarianism,” is not, in the end, to discover crimes, “but to be on hand when the government decides to arrest a certain category of the population.” And because Americans’ emails, phone conversations, Web searches and geographical movements are recorded and stored in perpetuity in government databases, there will be more than enough “evidence” to seize us should the state deem it necessary. This information waits like a deadly virus inside government vaults to be turned against us. It does not matter how trivial or innocent that information is. In totalitarian states, justice, like truth, is irrelevant.


No Chris Hedges and I never would have known Hannah Arendt's important observation. It isn't talked about on tee vee or radio. I don't recall reading it in the newspapers. What's more, withought Hedges, I wouldn't be able to share it with you and DU.

Did you know that quote, muriel_volestrangler?

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Response to Octafish (Reply #42)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 02:47 PM

43. The OP is an anti-Democratic party article that has no place on a Democratic board

and Hedges has for years been attacking the Democrats. He attacks Bernie Sanders in the OP too. No Democrat is acceptable to Hedges.

Fuck him.

Arendt's opinion about surveillance does not save Hedges. It's the kind of thing Ron Paul might repeat too.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #43)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 03:46 PM

46. Justice doesn't take a back seat to my Party.

Like their illegal and immoral wars for profit, wholesale domestic surveillance started by Bush Crime Family and their chums in the bowels of government is serious business.

I'd add: "Sorry you don't see that." But, you seem uninterested in seeing that.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #46)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 04:07 PM

47. Yup. Kinda sad.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #46)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 04:14 PM

50. SO what you are saying Octa, is that some here talk about people and not issues?

 

Yeah...and the years and years they do it do not do them any justice.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #46)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 04:44 PM

53. Hedges' party is not the Democratic party

I'm not sure if you're saying you stand with the Democrats against Hedges, or with him.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #53)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 05:12 PM

55. Hedges believes in democracy, which is the most important thing to believe in...

...when one's a Democrat, as well as when one's a good citizen.

That's why I stand with him -- as a Democrat, as a journalist, and as a human being. He calls it as he sees it. And Hedges has written some uncomfortable truths for the political leadership, who also just happen to be members of the wealthiest class.

When I think Hedges is wrong I, I'll say so. When he shows me where I'm wrong, I hope to learn. Same holds for others' perspectives, the more the better. That's the democratic way.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #55)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 05:49 PM

59. He's not that keen on small-d democracy either

Voting will not alter the corporate systems of power. Voting is an act of political theater. Voting in the United States is as futile and sterile as in the elections I covered as a reporter in dictatorships like Syria, Iran and Iraq. There were always opposition candidates offered up by these dictatorships. Give the people the illusion of choice. Throw up the pretense of debate. Let the power elite hold public celebrations to exalt the triumph of popular will. We can vote for Romney or Obama, but Goldman Sachs and ExxonMobil and Bank of America and the defense contractors always win. There is little difference between our electoral charade and the ones endured by the Syrians and Iranians. Do we really believe that Obama has, or ever had, any intention to change the culture in Washington?

In this year’s presidential election I will vote for a third-party candidate, either the Green Party candidate or Rocky Anderson, assuming one of them makes it onto the ballot in New Jersey, but voting is nothing more than a brief chance to register our disgust with the corporate state. It will not alter the configurations of power. The campaign is not worth our emotional, physical or intellectual energy.

Our efforts must be directed toward acts of civil disobedience, to chipping away, through nonviolent protest, at the pillars of established, corporate power. The corporate state is so unfair, so corrupt and so rotten that the institutions tasked with holding it up—the police, the press, the banking system, the civil service and the judiciary—have become vulnerable. It is becoming harder and harder for the corporations to convince its foot soldiers to hold the system in place.

http://exopermaculture.com/2012/01/23/chris-hedges-voting-will-not-alter-the-corporate-systems-of-power-voting-is-an-act-of-political-theater/

I think he might support democracy under a different system, but he despises the Democratic party (and the Republicans), that's clear.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #59)

Tue Sep 1, 2015, 02:19 AM

99. Did you read it?

He's saying he despises corporate control, and the Democratic party should too.
Corporate influence and control are corrupting, and that's Bernie's point, now, isn't it?

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Response to dougolat (Reply #99)

Tue Sep 1, 2015, 03:57 AM

101. Hedges' point is not Sanders' point; Hedges has condemned Sanders

for running for the Democratic nomination. See #72. Hedges wants the Democratic party gone, in any form. He also wants capitalism gone (and the Democratic party has always been pro-capitalist).

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #101)

Tue Sep 1, 2015, 07:10 AM

104. More like a condemnation for an expressed promise to...

...support a corporatist nominee, and thus put the election in the familiar territory of voting for the "lesser of two evils"

And when we're treating wars based on lies as if they were legitimate, and accepting bail-outs of high-finance swindlers as the response to "the great recession", etc, etc, we are dealing with palpable evil.

(despite Hedges' pessimistic overstatement in the other quotes you cite in #72)

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Response to dougolat (Reply #104)

Tue Sep 1, 2015, 07:20 AM

105. ill-advised decision to validate the Democratic Party by becoming one of its presidential candidates

That's the direct quote. It's not just that he thinks that promising to support the eventual nominee is wrong; it's that he thinks taking part is wrong.

Taking part in a nomination process, and then standing against the winner, would be the move of an arsehole (see: Joe Lieberman, or Donald Trump, still threatening to do so). Obviously, none of us would want Sanders to do that.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #46)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 06:18 PM

70. ALL of this.

 

Damn straight!

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #43)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 04:11 PM

48. Simple solution...don't read it...

 

your attack on Hedges is laughable. The right-wing horseshit posted on this board is what has no place here. When an article is posted - even slightly resembling leftist critique - the defenders of the status quo shed a trail of tears. Your post is a joke.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #43)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 04:13 PM

49. And he's a known plagiarist, too.

Not sure why anyone here still takes him seriously.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #43)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 04:34 PM

51. Do you believe that the Democratic Party is perfect as it is?

I don't.
We haven't had a real Democratic Party since the Reagan/Clinton years.

I'm 65....and I've SEEN what a Democratic Party looks like,
and this ain't it.

THIS is:

[font size=1] LBJ signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with MLK proudly looking over his shoulder.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #51)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 04:43 PM

52. He's only interested in attacking the Democratic party

He said that if Sanders supports someone else in the party, then he's a 'stooge'.

"He functions as a sheepdog to corral progressives, left-leaning progressives" - he sees progressives in the Democrats as sheep. He hates the Democrats.He's been like that for years: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/do_not_pity_the_democrats_20100913

He thinks he's the second coming of Ralph Nader. But at least Nader did something for safety before his screwed-up politics. Hedges doesn't want to fix anything in the Democratic party. he wants to burn it down.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #52)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 05:10 PM

54. If Hillary is coronated as the nominee,

I'll give Chris the matches and gasoline.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #54)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 05:45 PM

58. I thought 'PUMA' was a crap idea in 2008, and it would be crap in 2016

"I'll split the vote if I don't get nominated" is Trump's line, in the disaster zone that is the Republican nomination. Leave that to them.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #58)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 06:10 PM

64. I am not talking about Democrat v Republican,

I am talking about Citizens v Oligarchy.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #64)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 06:22 PM

71. And that is now the ONLY battleground that matters.

 

Let me know where I can kick in some matches.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #64)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 07:25 PM

82. ^^^this^^^ is the real war "Citizens v Oligarchy"

 

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #43)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 07:29 PM

83. He hates the kitteh.

 

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #83)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 07:35 PM

84. As a Bernie Sanders Group host, are you happy with Hedges' remarks about Sanders?

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #84)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 07:41 PM

85. "If" he has a legit criticism of Bernie I have no problem with it being discussed.

 

I admit I have not looked into what Hedges has been saying however the group can focus some what on learning how to respond to bullshit attacks as they see and read about them. Do you hang out in the Bernie Sanders group?

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #85)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 08:01 PM

88. No, I don't hang out there; but I'm surprised at a Bernie Sanders supporter

going with the "Bernie is just a sheepdog to herd the gullible progressives for the Democratic hierarchy" claim that Hedges makes, and that your #82 was supporting. If you hadn't looked into what Hedges was saying, what was your 'kitteh' remark meant to say?

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #88)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 08:05 PM

89. Is there any proof that "Bernie is just a sheepdog to herd the gullible progressives"???

 

If it's just his opinion ...fine. I could care less.

If he hurts the kitteh then I have a real problem with him.

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #89)

Tue Sep 1, 2015, 03:53 AM

100. Hedges called Sanders a sheepdog; see #72 (nt)

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #43)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 08:23 PM

93. He represents the "Underground" faction of the Democratic party. I believe he does belong here.

It's not supposed to be the one big kumbaya circle jerk that you apparently think it should be.

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Response to corkhead (Reply #93)

Tue Sep 1, 2015, 04:01 AM

102. Hedges is not in any faction of the Democrats. He wants the party gone

and has said so for years. He says Sanders is wrong to try to get the Democratic nomination.

The Democrats are a party; that means you do join together to work towards common goals. Hedges says, repeatedly, that he has no interest in working with anyone in the Democratic party.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 03:11 PM

45. 2008 was a gasp, the next one will be the death stroke.

 

The rich seem unable to control their innate greed and lust for more...it will be this ecosystems (not to meantion modern civilization and humanities) doom.

They know it, many of them have even said it and written articles on it. The need to self-discipline has never been greater and never in more need with Big Biz and Congress.

YES CONGRESS.

Much of the worlds problems are derived from our U.S. Congress and the clown car posse that currently runs it!

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Response to Rex (Reply #45)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 06:17 PM

67. No...much of the worlds problems are due to global capitalism on the march...

 

destroying everything that gets in its way. Capitalism and the ruling class don't give a shit who is elected as long as its foundations of institutionalized theft of labor and impoverishment of the many for the profits of the few remain intact. When Hedges was nothing more than a defeatist, disaffected, liberal claiming leftist status he didn't get it at all. He gets it much more now since he's been actually calling out capitalism by name as the problem rather than "corporatism and plutocracy and evil Republicans."

Asking the capitalist ruling class to "control their greed" while the capitalist power structure remains in tact is not clarity or reality.

To paraphrase one from Malcolm..."You put a fox in the chicken coop and are
surprised when it starts to kill the chickens."

Capitalism is the fox and the working class are the chickens. The destruction of the chickens will
continue until the fox is gone. The sooner the believers in capitalism as "the end of history" and the "highest and final achievement of mankind " get that the better off we'll be. Until then it's all band-aids on broken limbs.

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Response to AOR (Reply #67)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 06:39 PM

74. So....you would go with Marx and Engels plan? Already tried that. Doesn't work either.

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #74)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 06:59 PM

80. The work of Marx and Engels are a guide and a foundation for the working class...

 

The working class of today has to find a way to build on that foundation while avoiding some of the more onerous mistakes of the past. Nothing is etched in stone, but you gotta have a foundation. Hope in ruling class electoral politics - as a political solution - is nothing more than a prescription of inaction and defeatism. Marx is a guide for the working class and getting a working class message out there.


Marx’s Revenge: How Class Struggle Is Shaping the World

By Michael Schuman

http://business.time.com/2013/03/25/marxs-revenge-how-class-struggle-is-shaping-the-world/

"With workers around the world burdened by joblessness and stagnant incomes, Marx’s critique that capitalism is inherently unjust and self-destructive cannot be so easily dismissed"

(Snip)

"Karl Marx was supposed to be dead and buried. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and China’s Great Leap Forward into capitalism, communism faded into the quaint backdrop of James Bond movies or the deviant mantra of Kim Jong Un. The class conflict that Marx believed determined the course of history seemed to melt away in a prosperous era of free trade and free enterprise. The far-reaching power of globalization, linking the most remote corners of the planet in lucrative bonds of finance, outsourcing and “borderless” manufacturing, offered everybody from Silicon Valley tech gurus to Chinese farm girls ample opportunities to get rich. Asia in the latter decades of the 20th century witnessed perhaps the most remarkable record of poverty alleviation in human history — all thanks to the very capitalist tools of trade, entrepreneurship and foreign investment. Capitalism appeared to be fulfilling its promise — to uplift everyone to new heights of wealth and welfare."

(Snip)

"Or so we thought. With the global economy in a protracted crisis, and workers around the world burdened by joblessness, debt and stagnant incomes, Marx’s biting critique of capitalism — that the system is inherently unjust and self-destructive — cannot be so easily dismissed. Marx theorized that the capitalist system would inevitably impoverish the masses as the world’s wealth became concentrated in the hands of a greedy few, causing economic crises and heightened conflict between the rich and working classes. “Accumulation of wealth at one pole is at the same time accumulation of misery, agony of toil, slavery, ignorance, brutality, mental degradation, at the opposite pole,” Marx wrote."


(Snip)

"That’s not to say Marx was entirely correct. His “dictatorship of the proletariat” didn’t quite work out as planned. But the consequence of this widening inequality is just what Marx had predicted: class struggle is back. Workers of the world are growing angrier and demanding their fair share of the global economy. From the floor of the U.S. Congress to the streets of Athens to the assembly lines of southern China, political and economic events are being shaped by escalating tensions between capital and labor to a degree unseen since the communist revolutions of the 20th century. How this struggle plays out will influence the direction of global economic policy, the future of the welfare state, political stability in China, and who governs from Washington to Rome. What would Marx say today? “Some variation of: ‘I told you so,’” says Richard Wolff, a Marxist economist at the New School in New York. “The income gap is producing a level of tension that I have not seen in my lifetime.”

"Tensions between economic classes in the U.S. are clearly on the rise. Society has been perceived as split between the “99%” (the regular folk, struggling to get by) and the “1%” (the connected and privileged superrich getting richer every day). In a Pew Research Center poll released last year, two-thirds of the respondents believed the U.S. suffered from “strong” or “very strong” conflict between rich and poor, a significant 19-percentage-point increase from 2009, ranking it as the No. 1 division in society."

(Snip)

That leaves open a scary possibility: that Marx not only diagnosed capitalism’s flaws but also the outcome of those flaws. If policymakers don’t discover new methods of ensuring fair economic opportunity, the workers of the world may just unite. Marx may yet have his revenge."


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Response to AOR (Reply #80)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 07:53 PM

86. Had that pegged......!

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Response to Rex (Reply #45)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 06:28 PM

73. Used to be the uber-rich were content with just all the physical toys and the simple pleasures of money.

At some point that was not enough.

At some point The RICH not only got richer, they grew obscenely richer beyond their wildest money-shot dreams! And rather than just a handful of The RICH peers and brethren to hang around with and guzzle overpriced perfumed alcohol on overpriced perfumed bedrooms on water, there ended up being quite a few obscenely rich folks in America and around the world. And rich folks being rich folks, so it seems they all got bored at the same time of what obscene amounts of money could buy and turned so in unions turned their bored and rapidly aging rheumatic eyes to other things to purchase and play with.

And not just purchasing some banana Republic - so "been there, done that!" - purchasing America!

Yes, that America!

Costly of course and there being no way of buying the entire American government (Gernada, by example, was had for single figure millions).......unless somehow ........somehow......all corporate and private money given to politicians could be made unlimited and preferably non-disclosavle, and all those anti-corruption laws against co-ordination between donor and politician were somehow annulled or muted.

Other issues and barriers aside, billionaires forged with commissioned studies, just out of bored billionaire curiosity, of the financial end of the equation, which studies arrived at a consensus that the price of purchasing the entire American government would be tens of billions of dollars over 10 years, with 2 to 4 billion in the final year instalment of the purchasing plan for America. A lot of money, a lot of time, not to mention judicial and media interference would be impossible to overcome.


Never going to happen.

And so it came to be The RICH just gave up that impossible pipe dream of purchasing the American media and the courts and the politicians and all made possible first by all the election finance laws being made to their liking, am I right?

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 05:52 PM

60. I hope people take the time to read the whole thing

 

He's right on about everything. That's the reason we so desperately need Bernie Sanders, and his grass roots revolution.

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Response to Elmer S. E. Dump (Reply #60)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 06:24 PM

72. "He functions as a sheepdog to corral progressives, left-leaning progressives"

Hedges despises Sanders:

What about Bernie Sanders? Should far-left progressives support him?

He won't run as an independent. He's already cut a deal with the Democratic party and won't get into the debates unless he supports Hillary. By April, it's dead. And all that energy and all of that money goes back into the Democratic party. He functions as a sheepdog to corral progressives, left-leaning progressives, back into the embrace of the Democratic establishment.

http://www.thestranger.com/blogs/slog/2015/06/06/22341657/a-hasty-interview-with-journalist-chris-hedges


Chris Hedges: Bernie Sanders 'Cut A Faustian Bargain' With Democrats

http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/archive/segment/5592dc51fe3444b1450001b9

I intend to devote no more time to the upcoming presidential elections than walking to my local polling station on Election Day, voting for a third-party candidate, most likely the Green Party candidate, and going home. Any further energy invested in these elections, including championing Bernie Sanders’ ill-advised decision to validate the Democratic Party by becoming one of its presidential candidates, is a waste of time.
...
The voices of those who matter will not be heard in these elections. The marginalized and poor in our internal colonies, the 2.3 million people in our prisons and their families, the Muslims we persecute here and in the Middle East, and the suffering of the working poor are airbrushed out of the discussion. In this Potemkin America there is only a middle class. Our liberties, including our right to privacy, along with the consent of the governed—all of which have been taken from us—are held up in this electioneering farce as sacred and inviolate. We are assured that we live in a functioning democracy. We are promised that our voice will count. And even Sanders will tell you no different. If he stepped forward and spoke the truth, especially about the Democratic Party, he would be banned from the debates, vilified and crushed by the Democratic establishment, stripped of his Senate committee chairmanships and tossed into the political wilderness to which Ralph Nader has been exiled. Sanders, unfortunately, lacks Nader’s moral fortitude. He will, when it is all done, push his followers into the vampire-like embrace of Hillary Clinton. He is a Pied Piper leading a line of children or rats—take your pick—into political oblivion.


http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_electoral_farce_20150616

I doubt that Sanders would agree with Hedges that "we in the United States are not morally superior to Islamic State", though you apparently do. Hedges is telling you to have nothing to do with the Democrats. Do you really see that as 'right on about everything'?

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #72)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 06:41 PM

75. Funny how often the folks beseeching others to "read the article" have obviously not done so themselves.

I stopped reading after the second paragraph about Sanders also being a traitor to something something if he votes for Clinton in the end.... and already knew it would be a waste of energy, but I thank you for that.

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #75)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 07:08 PM

81. And you still don't get it...

 

Hedges is an anti-capitalist. Sanders is not. It is that simple. Hence... the luke-warm support of Sanders among leftists and anti-capitalists. That doesn't mean that many of the things Sanders is talking about are not some of the things that would be part of any leftist platform. It also means that Sanders is far from above critique on other things.

The overriding responsibility of anti-capitalists (Leftists) is to unyielding critique the mechanisms of capitalism and everything that goes with it (economic, political, and social) including elections in a capitalist power structure. Regardless of who is nominated and elected in the 2016 election... the capitalist power structure will remain the same and the responsibility of leftists will remain the same. Leftists are not going to be silenced Fred. The "red-scare" is over nobody is gonna steal your goat.

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Response to AOR (Reply #81)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 07:58 PM

87. On the contrary, I welcome folks educated in Marxist lore and revolutionary zeal, it is the ID of

the Democratic Party, after all. There are lessons to be learned from failure as well as success.

How would Marx and Engles today, given the lessons learned in the 200 odd years since their deaths, revolutionize American society? Would they choose the Norway model, the French model, the emergent Canadian model, none of the above, or give the United Socialst States of Russia another try, ban personal ownership of land and business, perhaps with some mods?

Remember what happened to Captain Kirk when he lost his ID? The Democratic Party is not here to demand your silence. Voices saying "Neo- liberalism is just like the Nazis", as example; those voices you hear saying these things are liars - the Party is here to demand your solutions, not your silence!

Shout away!

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #87)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 08:09 PM

90. Marx and Engels have been dead a lot less than 200 years

 

Marx: 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883
Engels: 28 November 1820 – 5 August 1895

And let me point out that the USSR was far more a reflection of Lenin's ideology - which largely turned Marx on his head - than Marx's. Marx would have guffawed at the notion that socially and economically backwards Tsarist Russia was a place ripe for a Marxist revolution.

And Marx's critique of capitalism is as accurate as it ever was, including the concept of the theft of surplus value from working people. The failures of Marx lay in his prescriptions, not his descriptions.

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #90)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 08:16 PM

91. Apologies to AOR poster for my dates of death....you make a valid point of surplus from labor. Capitalism

has stopped sharing the surplus. A rebalancing is in order....how to do that through existing structures or are existing structures the problem and make that impossible?

Some are structural and the strutures have to be torn down and rebuilt on existing models....but the whole damn socio-economic-political system, as well, is where I diverge.

Is this the revolutionary moment? Are things so bad in America, economically and socially, that revolution is imperative?
Because at least economically, overall things are not that bad....the media narrative otherwise is mainly driven by the whiners in Big Fossils and is just that.

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #107)

Tue Sep 1, 2015, 10:32 AM

108. Gloom and doom is not for me! I remember 2008, for example. Remember that? I recall no time of economic perfection, but

the current economic times are among the best ever.

I also do not buy into the "sky is falling" panic each time there is a negative monthly statistic or into individual stories...the economy overall is doing very well, the media is again to blame for so many folks thinking otherwise.

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #87)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 08:23 PM

92. People will get there on there own as material conditions dictate or they won't Fred...

 

all leftists can do is deliver a message and organize and agitate for leftist demands. You can't force class consciousness if it's not there. One can't do the bidding of the ruling class and claim to be for the exploited at the same time. Political movements of any variety take time to form. It doesn't happen overnight but what's real and what isn't matters. Who stands with labor and the struggling in all things and who stands with capital is where the line is drawn.

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Response to AOR (Reply #92)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 08:29 PM

94. I understand what you are saying, but a revolution, fascist or socialist needs one thing above all

else for success, bloody or otherwise....a broken economy.

I do not see a broken economy anywhere on the horizon, not when experts guiding Fed policy are warning of inflation and higher interest rates, etc., 5.3% unemployment, a shrinking federal deficit and near zero borrowing costs....there are few economic signs of economic retraction, let alone imminent collapse and bodies in the streets.

Fear of "others" alone and xenophobia by the usual suspect is not enough for revolution, for the right or the left.

So for me it is evolution, not revolution.

Not yet. Not in America and not until the fascist's last stand underway is completely exterminated, which is where the focus of all this new found Democratic Party energy - I do credit Sanders for most of that - should be .

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #94)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 09:27 PM

96. Well I disagree that the economy is not broken...

 

the economy is ALWAYS broken for those left behind due to capitalist social relations. Capitalism does not elevate the majority it increasingly impoverishes the majority. I'm not sure how many realize how bad 2008 was for so many. When capitalist crisis of over-production rears it's head more and more workers become impoverished and destroyed. 50% of Americans earn less that $ 27,000 a year, while close to 40% of Americans have zero retirement savings and 1 out of every 7 Americans over 65 lives in poverty. Add in child poverty and homelessness and that doesn't even begin to tell the story. Throw in the devastation caused by capitalism and war and all its tentacles around the globe and the picture of abject poverty and destruction is even bleaker. The tipping point is getting close.

You are right that the choice will be Socialism of some form or outright Fascism going forward. The tipping point is getting close. Historically, Capitalism goes hand in hand with Fascism when conditions caused by Capitalism deteriorate. That said, the capitalists don't really need Fascism to expropriate from the workers and redistribute upwards, but if conditions caused by capitalist social arrangements deteriorate enough, and desperation sets in, the capitalists will use all means available and make much appeal to every element of Fascist and Neo-Fascist ideology to keep control.

As far as revolution goes... as I told someone else...when people say that all leftists are automatically calling for violent revolution to enact wholesale change... that is not the case. Leftists are calling for self-defense and outright resistance against the violence of capitalist social relations that are raining down on the heads of the oppressed and exploited daily and have been for ages. We can't determine outcomes - on the ground fighting against the system - and most don't promote such means to an end.We do promote outright resistance and self-defense against the capitalist system. Possibilities lie between mere reforms and violent revolution. A political movement taking demands to the street in mass and not stopping until demands are met is always a possibility. If the working class, the oppressed, the exploited, and those demanding change cross their arms and refuse to bend or uncross them until demands are met... the capitalist system and the ruling class are in very big trouble. Power really does concede NOTHING without demands and resistance.


"When all the bricklayers, and all the machinists, and all the miners, and blacksmiths, and printers, and hod-carriers, and stevedores, and house-painters, and brakemen, and engineers, and conductors, and factory hands, and horse-car drivers, and all the shop-girls, and all the sewing-women, and all the telegraph operators; in a word all the myriads of toilers in whom is slumbering the reality of that thing which you call power ... when these rise,call the vast spectacle by any deluding name that will please your ear, but the fact remains a Nation has risen."

Mark Twain

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 06:13 PM

66. Chris is correct, we must stop the neoliberalist march. Neoliberal = Nazi.

i will still vote for Bernie Sanders.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Sep 1, 2015, 01:21 AM

98. I really wonder if we are witnessing the fall of the American Republic.

Or even more momentous, are we witnessing the fall of human society?
Could we have lived through the absolute pinnacle of human accomplishments and from now on will experience only decline?

There have been many dystopian books and movies about the end of human civilization but none of them predicted what we are going through now.

Could dystopia really be starting?

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Sep 1, 2015, 07:26 AM

106. Globally income equality is better than it has ever been. In the US it is almost as bad as pre-FDR

when isolationist republicans ran things.



http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/01/01/recent-history-in-one-chart/

The bottom 75% of global workers have benefitted over the last 25 years. The 80-95 percentiles (us for the most part) have stagnated at best. The 1% (particularly the top 0.1%) has benefitted immensely.

Global wealth, rather than being spread equitably, as neoliberal proponents promised, has been funneled upward into the hands of a rapacious, oligarchic elite, creating vast economic inequality.

In light of the fact that the bottom 75% have benefitted greatly, global wealth is distributed more fairly today than it ever has been. Now we have to figure out how to tame our 1% and spread that wealth to the Western middle class. Hint: FDR did it long ago and many progressive countries, e.g. Sweden, Germany, do it today.

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