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Mon Dec 21, 2015, 06:16 AM

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
cantbeserious Dec 2015 #1
TreasonousBastard Dec 2015 #2
NoMoreRepugs Dec 2015 #6
raouldukelives Dec 2015 #3
gordyfl Dec 2015 #4
antigop Dec 2015 #5

Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 21, 2015, 06:22 AM

1. The Empire Is Dying

eom

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 21, 2015, 07:47 AM

2. As much as i hate Trump, Beck and the others for this nonsense...

we really ought to take history seriously.

Back in the 1840's the Know Nothing Party geared up to throw out the Irish and Germans who were "taking our jobs". Anti-Irish sentiment ("Hiberniphobia" lasted for years and was law for a while. Anti Chinese laws were also passed after we didn't need them to build railroads any more.

This is not an American problem and it is not new. It is a human problem and goes back to our prehistoric roots worrying about the doings in that cave on the other side of the hill. Some day, we might grow up.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 21, 2015, 11:01 AM

6. TB - you are correct, it's not an American problem...

but how long has it been since most 'Mericans actually give a rats ass about what goes on anywhere else but 'Merica? I fear it's going to get really ugly here before it ever gets any better - corporate MSM and its pursuit of the almighty dollar being what it is

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 21, 2015, 08:20 AM

3. "he is not addressing the hate that hate produced."

And therein lies our problem. Half of this country doesn't feel they bear any responsibility for the actions of the other half. Even though they themselves, by investing in corporations, do more to advance the desires of neoconservatives and the calls for war and hostility than those unattached to Wall St.

They say "Oh, I voted for Democrats." All the while hiding the fact they have funded and strengthened the multi-national corporations killing our democracy, killing our elections and just plain killing for money.

Until they individually decide to take the mantle of democracy for all seriously, we will always live in oligarchy.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 21, 2015, 08:49 AM

4. The Root of the Problem

If we weren't "over there", the terrorists would not be "over here". It's that simple.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 21, 2015, 10:13 AM

5. "...especially because they have been sold out by the liberals who preach tolerance."

"It makes sense to many in the white underclass—especially because they have been sold out by the liberals who preach tolerance."

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