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Sun Dec 20, 2015, 10:02 PM

Chris Hedges: The Creeping Villainy of American Politics


from truthdig:


The Creeping Villainy of American Politics

Posted on Dec 20, 2015
By Chris Hedges


The threefold rise in hate crimes against Muslims since the Paris and San Bernardino attacks and the acceptance of hate speech as a legitimate form of political discourse signal the morbidity of our civil society. The body politic is coughing up blood. The daily amplification of this hate speech by a commercial media whose sole concern is ratings and advertising dollars rather than serving as a bulwark to protect society presages a descent into the protofascist nightmare of racism, indiscriminate violence against the marginalized, and a blind celebration of American chauvinism, militarism and bigotry.

The mounting attacks on Muslims, which will become a contagion when there is another catastrophic terrorist attack, are only the beginning. There is a long list to be targeted, including undocumented workers, African-Americans, homosexuals, liberals, feminists, intellectuals and artists. We are entering a new dark age, an age of idiocy and blood. These hatreds, encoded in American DNA but understood as politically toxic by the liberal wing of the capitalist class, have been embraced by an enraged and disenfranchised white underclass. Our failure to curb this hate speech will haunt us. Once a civil society tolerates the intolerant, as Karl Popper wrote, “the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.”

The anti-Muslim virus begins slowly. Step by step the hate talk moves from insults, stereotyping and untruths to incendiary calls for vigilantes to attack women wearing the hijab, men wearing kufis, mosques, Islamic centers and schools and Muslim-owned businesses. It makes sense to many in the white underclass—especially because they have been sold out by the liberals who preach tolerance—that the violent purging of a demonized group from U.S. society can cure the society’s malaise and restore safety and American “greatness.” But soon all marginalized groups will be at risk. Such a process is what happened in the Weimar Republic. It is what happened in Yugoslavia. It is what happened in Israel.

“What is dangerous about the creeping villainy is that it takes considerable imagination and considerable dialectical abilities to be able to detect it at the moment and see what it is,” the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard wrote in his “Journals and Notebooks.” “Well, neither of these features [imagination and dialectical ability] are prominent in most people—and so the villainy creeps forward just a little bit each day, unnoticed.”

Glenn Beck’s best-selling book “It Is About Islam: Exposing the Truth About ISIS, Al Qaeda, Iran, and the Caliphate” posits that a quarter of American Muslims, 300,000 to 500,000 in his estimate, believe that violence should be used to overthrow the state and annul the Constitution in order to replace our judicial system with Sharia law. He says Islam keeps followers living in “the stone age.” His rant against Muslims parallels his rants against undocumented workers. He once, for example, said there are only three reasons Mexicans come to the United States: “One, they’re terrorists; two, they’re escaping the law; or three, they’re hungry. They can’t make a living in their own dirtbag country.” This extremism, expressed by Beck and many others, is moving with terrifying speed to the center of American political debate. And the mainstream press, which prizes sensationalism over news and truth, has abrogated its role as an arbiter of fact and rational discourse to peddle spectacle and sensationalism. ............(more)

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_creeping_villainy_of_american_politics_20151220




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Reply Chris Hedges: The Creeping Villainy of American Politics (Original post)
marmar Dec 2015 OP
struggle4progress Dec 2015 #1
rhett o rick Dec 2015 #2
Octafish Dec 2015 #3

Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Dec 20, 2015, 11:48 PM

1. Chris needs a new shtick

I concluded over forty years ago that our civilization was likely to collapse due to resouerce-exhaustion, over-population, and pollution. As a corollary, I deduced that people like myself were likely to be the victims of fascist mobs as conditions declined and demagogues rose to power

It was useless as motivation for the masses: everybody thought this POV was a bummer, and nobody wanted to hear it

Lesson: you can't offer people only despair and hopelessness, because that won't motivate then to do jackshizz, so it only strengthens the status quo; you have to offer a positive vision and a way forward

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 21, 2015, 12:26 PM

2. great article. Thanks for posting. nm

 

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Dec 22, 2015, 01:41 AM

3. Fascism goes Mainstream.

And no one with any authority stands up to it.

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