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In the discussion thread: Chris Hedges: The Great Unraveling [View all]

Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 09:12 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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marmar Aug 2015 OP
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LineReply Good journaling of the crisis, almost nothing on what to do about it
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