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Mon Dec 28, 2015, 06:54 AM

Chris Hedges: The Illusion of Freedom


from truthdig:


The Illusion of Freedom

Posted on Dec 27, 2015
By Chris Hedges


The seizure of political and economic power by corporations is unassailable. Who funds and manages our elections? Who writes our legislation and laws? Who determines our defense policies and vast military expenditures? Who is in charge of the Department of the Interior? The Department of Homeland Security? Our intelligence agencies? The Department of Agriculture? The Food and Drug Administration? The Department of Labor? The Federal Reserve? The mass media? Our systems of entertainment? Our prisons and schools? Who determines our trade and environmental policies? Who imposes austerity on the public while enabling the looting of the U.S. Treasury and the tax boycott by Wall Street? Who criminalizes dissent?

A disenfranchised white working class vents its lust for fascism at Trump campaign rallies. Naive liberals, who think they can mount effective resistance within the embrace of the Democratic Party, rally around the presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders, who knows that the military-industrial complex is sacrosanct. Both the working class and the liberals will be sold out. Our rights and opinions do not matter. We have surrendered to our own form of wehrwirtschaft. We do not count within the political process.

This truth, emotionally difficult to accept, violates our conception of ourselves as a free, democratic people. It shatters our vision of ourselves as a nation embodying superior virtues and endowed with the responsibility to serve as a beacon of light to the world. It takes from us the “right” to impose our fictitious virtues on others by violence. It forces us into a new political radicalism. This truth reveals, incontrovertibly, that if real change is to be achieved, if our voices are to be heard, corporate systems of power have to be destroyed. This realization engenders an existential and political crisis. The inability to confront this crisis, to accept this truth, leaves us appealing to centers of power that will never respond and ensures we are crippled by self-delusion.

The longer fantasy is substituted for reality, the faster we sleepwalk toward oblivion. There is no guarantee we will wake up. Magical thinking has gripped societies in the past. Those civilizations believed that fate, history, superior virtues or a divine force guaranteed their eternal triumph. As they collapsed, they constructed repressive dystopias. They imposed censorship and forced the unreal to be accepted as real. Those who did not conform were disappeared linguistically and then literally. ............(more)

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_illusion_of_freedom_20151227




5 replies, 927 views

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Reply Chris Hedges: The Illusion of Freedom (Original post)
marmar Dec 2015 OP
cantbeserious Dec 2015 #1
kentuck Dec 2015 #2
pampango Dec 2015 #3
ljm2002 Dec 2015 #5
JEB Dec 2015 #4

Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 07:14 AM

1. Truer Words Have Naught Been Spoken

eom

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 08:23 AM

2. "There will be blood in the streets."

Scary read.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 09:47 AM

3. "Both the working class and the liberals will be sold out ... by Bernie Sanders."

Naive liberals, who think they can mount effective resistance within the embrace of the Democratic Party, rally around the presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders, who knows that the military-industrial complex is sacrosanct. Both the working class and the liberals will be sold out.

Why bother to vote or work for Bernie then?

The far-right expects nothing to change until there is 'blood in the streets also'. Democracy and voting is for chumps.

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Response to pampango (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 12:25 PM

5. I like Chris Hedges a lot...

...and I read or watch most of his stuff that is posted on DU.

But his viewpoint is unrelentingly grim. Yes, it is informed by his time covering revolutions in other parts of the world -- but that does not make him infallible, either.

He doesn't think Bernie Sanders can or will make a difference. I differ with him on that point.

Either one of us could be wrong, but I choose to be more hopeful. Unrelenting dourness seems to me a bad way to approach life, and Hedges definitely takes that approach. But I still love him and think he has a lot of good things to say. And, of course, he *could* be right about this too. He certainly has some very relevant first hand experience, and he has spent a lot more time than I have in the poorest enclaves of this country, where things are far far worse than most of us have to deal with.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 12:23 PM

4. I am afraid he just might be correct. nt

 

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