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A Recipe for Fascism

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Posted on Nov 8, 2010
AP / Matt York

By Chris Hedges

American politics, as the midterm elections demonstrated, have descended into the irrational. On one side stands a corrupt liberal class, bereft of ideas and unable to respond coherently to the collapse of the global economy, the dismantling of our manufacturing sector and the deadly assault on the ecosystem. On the other side stands a mass of increasingly bitter people whose alienation, desperation and rage fuel emotionally driven and incoherent political agendas. It is a recipe for fascism.

More than half of those identified in a poll by the Republican-leaning Rasmussen Reports as “mainstream Americans” now view the tea party favorably. The other half, still grounded in a reality-based world, is passive and apathetic. The liberal class wastes its energy imploring Barack Obama and the Democrats to promote sane measures including job creation programs, regulation as well as criminal proceedings against the financial industry, and an end to our permanent war economy. Those who view the tea party favorably want to tear the governmental edifice down, with the odd exception of the military and the security state, accelerating our plunge into a nation of masters and serfs. The corporate state, unchallenged, continues to turn everything, including human beings and the natural world, into commodities to exploit until exhaustion or collapse.

All sides of the political equation are lackeys for Wall Street. They sanction, through continued deregulation, massive corporate profits and the obscene compensation and bonuses for corporate managers. Most of that money—hundreds of billions of dollars—is funneled upward from the U.S. Treasury. The Sarah Palins and the Glenn Becks use hatred as a mobilizing passion to get the masses, fearful and angry, to call for their own enslavement as well as to deny uncomfortable truths, including global warming. Our dispossessed working class and beleaguered middle class are vulnerable to this manipulation because they can no longer bear the chaos and uncertainty that come with impoverishment, hopelessness and loss of control. They have retreated into a world of illusion, one peddled by right-wing demagogues, which offers a reassuring emotional consistency. This consistency appears to protect them from the turmoil in which they have been forced to live. The propaganda of a Palin or a Beck may insult common sense, but, for a growing number of Americans, common sense has lost its validity.

The liberal class, which remains rooted in a world of fact, rationalizes placating corporate power as the only practical response. It understands the systems of corporate power. It knows the limitations and parameters. And it works within them. The result, however, is the same. The entire spectrum of the political landscape collaborates in the strangulation of our disenfranchised working class, the eroding of state power, the criminal activity of the financial class and the paralysis of our political process.

Commerce cannot be the sole guide of human behavior. This utopian fantasy, embraced by the tea party as well as the liberal elite, defies 3,000 years of economic history. It is a chimera. This ideology has been used to justify the disempowerment of the working class, destroy our manufacturing capacity, and ruthlessly gut social programs that once protected and educated the working and middle class. It has obliterated the traditional liberal notion that societies should be configured around the common good. All social and cultural values are now sacrificed before the altar of the marketplace.

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The failure to question the utopian assumptions of globalization has left us in an intellectual vacuum. Regulations, which we have dismantled, were the bulwarks that prevented unobstructed brutality and pillaging by the powerful and protected democracy. It was a heavily regulated economy, as well as labor unions and robust liberal institutions, which made the American working class the envy of the industrialized world. And it was the loss of those unions, along with a failure to protect our manufacturing, which transformed this working class into a permanent underclass clinging to part-time or poorly paid jobs without protection or benefits.

The “inevitability” of globalization has permitted huge pockets of the country to be abandoned economically. It has left tens of millions of Americans in economic ruin. Private charity is now supposed to feed and house the newly minted poor, a job that once, the old liberal class argued, belonged to the government. As John Ralston Saul in “The Collapse of Globalization” points out, “the role of charity should be to fill the cracks of society, the imaginative edges, to go where the public good hasn’t yet focused or can’t. Dealing with poverty is the basic responsibility of the state.” But the state no longer has the interest or the resources to protect us. And the next target slated for elimination is Social Security.

That human society has an ethical foundation that must be maintained by citizens and the state is an anathema to utopian ideologues of all shades. They always demand that we sacrifice human beings for a distant goal. The propagandists of globalization—from Lawrence Summers to Francis Fukuyama to Thomas Friedman—do for globalization and the free market what Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky did for Marxism. They sell us a dream. These elite interpreters of globalism are the vanguard, the elect, the prophets, who alone grasp a great absolute truth and have the right to impose this truth on a captive people no matter what the cost. Human suffering is dismissed as the price to be paid for the coming paradise. The response of these propagandists to the death rattles around them is to continue to speak in globalization’s empty rhetoric and use state resources to service a dead system. They lack the vision to offer any alternative. They can function only as systems managers. They will hollow out the state to sustain a casino capitalism that is doomed to fail. And what they offer as a solution is as irrational as the visions of a Christian America harbored by many within the tea party.


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By Odysseus, November 9, 2010 at 1:51 am Link to this comment

Two points:

First, about fascism. Yes, I think it’s used a bit loosely here. But it seems to me that a lot of the preconditions are in place. What remains – using the German historical example – is a wrecked economy and currency: once there is economic catastrophe then people become desperate, lose hope in the mature politics of an established polity, and look for a strong man. Or, worse, anybody who presents himself as a strong-man, as the Man on the White Horse.

So when CH speaks about the dangers of economic collapse, he is getting close to what would be the trigger. The rapid wreck of the currency would be the U-235 that would set off the many ‘free neutrons’ now loose in the country: irrational politics based on an increasingly baffled and incompetent Citizenry, a Beltway that once decided to embrace a ‘revolutionary politics’ as if that monstrosity could be introduced into Constitutional American politics with no ill-consequences, and now doesn’t know how to or maybe doesn’t want to make necessary corrections and repairs; a balkanized and distracted population, many of whom – whether native or immigrant – essentially ignorant of the Founding Vision and how to sustain its ethos.

In 1935 Sinclair Lewis wrote “It Can’t Happen Here”, a satire designed to puncture the dangerous American balloon-fantasy that what was overtaking so much of the developed world in the 1930s couldn’t possibly happen to America. What worries me is that so many think the same way nowadays.

From the Right, those who can’t imagine that the National Security State could ‘go domestic’ and turn on its own People. From the Left, those who can’t imagine that the National Nanny State, enabler of all the ‘progress’ of the past 40 Biblical years, could possibly turn out baaad (since, of course, they all meant so well).

But ‘common sense’, ‘tradition’, ‘reason’, and any sense of a cultural order or shape against which ‘changes’ might be ‘judged’ … all of these were among the first structures to be targeted in the quite intentional Deconstruction of American society (on whatever well-intentioned or nicely-spun pretexts, hopes, and dampdreams).

It seems to me an eerie irony that must be visible from space and about which future historians will shake their heads: the Beltway enabled a Shock-and-Awe culture-war attack on the foundations of the American ethos, upon the pretexts of harmless and liberating ‘change’. It worked. And now we find ourselves in a country and culture that has no common heart or common mind, presided over by a Beltway that answers to Big Money and nothing much else. We have been Iraq-ed! And that HAS happened here.

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By Sabagio, November 9, 2010 at 1:24 am Link to this comment

Fast Food is a public health issue, an epidemic of major proportions.  Nine out of 10 doctors say so, and they can’t be wrong.  McDonald’s Corporation says it’s exercising its Constitutional Right to sell food that is harmful to our health, regardless of the long term health risks, higher insurance costs and medical bills. “It’s up to the individual to decide what to buy to eat, not government regulators.”  Opportunistic politicians and mega-medias that live on fast food marketing money support this view. 

So the Question is: Another example of The Many of US making sacrifices of personal and family health and welfare, and continued dependence on a health care system so flawed and controlled by an insurance industry that doesn’t care that most of are heading towards medical indigency and bankruptcy so long as the Few can tell us what’s good for us and what’s not via media monopolies and corporations just granted citizenship and equal rights by the Supreme Court?  For lack of a better word, that seems to be the US of A’s version of a totalitarian country.

Ah, me. 

Sabagio Mauraeno, going out into a cold night in Decatur, Georgia to get a Subway foot long roast beef with lettuce, tomato, onion, Swiss cheese, pickle, pepper and oil and vinegar dressing sandwich. It’s fast food, but at least it tries to be healthy.

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By Orbis Unum, November 9, 2010 at 1:02 am Link to this comment

This, as well as previous postings, and others to follow, touching upon evidentiary facts of solution oriented paradigms, are proffered from my deepest hope, that whomever actually uses the Science of Right Reason or either knows someone who purports to act or do so, will submit the evidence we proffer to either contradict such evidence, line for line…or support the premise from a duty to humanity. And, from a deep seated responsibility to the present generation and future generations of children everywhere, in hopes of preventing their subjugation and condition of mind, evincing a design of total enslavement of All Walks of Life.

I challenge the world, international jurist, purported human rights organizations, and any other purportedly interested in TRUTH & JUSTICE!!! Failure to do so, will be evidence for this generation and future generations, that the world, every geopolitical body of governance, international jurists, human rights organizations, columnist, posters herein, and such purported individuals don’t give one iota about solution oriented paradigms. And, are nothing more than harbingers of fraud and agencies of deceitful misrepresentation for the global oligarchy! PERIOD!!! 

So, the motive for our challenge it state our just cause before a Candid World, to discover whether are perfect for their condition. Offering nothing other than complaints and endless bickering, rather than being solution oriented. Our hope is, the reasoning behind or at the forefront of their laudable efforts, wherever postulated as so, is because of their Good Will in the interest of Universal Peace to foster guidance necessary to sustain solution oriented paradigms as we humbly proffer.

Having said all this, I will be constantly vigilant awaiting evidenced contrary to the evidence, line for line, contrary to the documentary evidence we have proffered!!!

In support of the challenge aforementioned, one only has to avail themselves of these facts we present, if they have any honorable bone in them, to accept the challenge, by reading the “4” declarations posted by the SEA at the web link: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah.

If no one accepts to prove us wrong, according to the Rules (line for line) of the proffered evidence, then it ipso facto, an unrebutted presumption of relevant fact, that what we say, concerning every every geopolitical body of governance, international jurists, human rights organizations, columnist, posters herein, and such purported individuals, are in total agreement with our presuption of fact, actually and idiomatically, don’t give one iota about solution oriented paradigms. And, are nothing more than harbingers of fraud and agencies of deceitful misrepresentation for the global oligarchy! PERIOD!!! 

Again, we honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Not by generalities but Line for Line.

And, once again as our humble attempt for those capable of presenting facts line for line, in the light of reasonable prepositions or otherwise, just as a reminder for all those who honorably exchange ideas within the ‘Truthdig Forum’ while refraining from hateful or insolent behavior…always remember, sometimes while exchanging ideas, the time and respect we give, from a deep seated desire to foster harmonious behavior to garner enlightenment, can be met on the road of hopeful enlightenment, by those seeking to discourage, rather than exhorting to greater possibilities. My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

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By Spev Dvinko, November 9, 2010 at 12:36 am Link to this comment

Mr. MacDonald, hear, hear.  Excellent points, well stated.

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By Alan MacDonald, November 8, 2010 at 11:55 pm Link to this comment

Hedges brings together a great deal in this column to stew on.  He rightly diagnoses pathologies and deceits on both the frightened far right and the frustrated and co-opted liberal left that jointly contribute ingredients to this “Recipe for Fascism”.

Like an attorney, he begins to thread together his summation with comparative weaknesses of today’s lost left, “The old left—the Wobblies, the Congress of Industrial Workers (CIO), the Socialist and Communist parties, the fiercely independent publications such as Appeal to Reason and The Masses—would have known what to do with the rage of our dispossessed. It used anger at injustice, corporate greed and state repression to mobilize Americans to terrify the power elite on the eve of World War I.”

Hedges’ closing argument would benefit from comparison with what has been also been lost since the FDR left of the 1930’s.  Imagine if Obama’s “60 Minutes” interview, instead of being dull and gutless used FDR’s class focused rhetoric to actually respond to the working (and Middle) class economic frustrations by calling out the “economic royalists”, “malefactors of great (corporate) wealth”, and financial capitalist “looters” (as economics Nobel Laureate, George Akerlof did), and thus reinforced the accurate public belief at the end of 2008 that not just “mistakes had been made”, but that ‘crimes had been committed’ against the people and THEIR government? 

That was the time at which, with a real ‘learning moment’, a more committed progressive than Obama could have had the entire non-elite public on board, and given vent to both tea-partist frustrations and fading liberal courage to fight for their common country and public interest—- and against a singular internal enemy, EMPIRE.

Hedges correctly critiques the leading ideologues on both the radical populist right, like Palin and Beck, and on the supposedly “elite utopian globalist” left, like the unnamed ‘moneyed elite’, or the real George Soros, who Beck rails against.

And Hedges accurately notes that, “The political theater funded by the corporate state is composed of hypocritical and impotent liberals, the traditional moneyed elite, and a disenfranchised and angry underclass that is being encouraged to lash out at the bankrupt liberal institutions and the government that once protected them.”

However, even Hedges’ rhetoric is to mild, and ‘teaching moment’ too limited, when he merely uses the term “corporate state” to define the common enemy of the dispossessed and deceived polity on the right and left.

The ‘crimes that have been committed’ have been carried out not by just a corporate state, but by a disguised corporate/financial/militarist EMPIRE only posing as a state—- posing as a government.

And the economic looting of our country and ourselves, which was the number one citizen issue of this just wasted election, was designed and premeditated by the corporate/financial EMPIRE and executed by the largest hidden tax on the American people; the hidden externality cost dumping taxes that the corporate EMPIRE extracts from the people through the government to cover-up the costs of the EMPIRE’s own looting!.

Even Tea Partiers could be easily educated to the FACT that the corporate and financial looting by the banksters in their mortgage scam and the weapons makers in their imperialist war scams have imposed the costs on the government that directly causes all peoples’ greatest tax costs today, and debts for their children.  But neither Clinton, Bush, nor Obama ever even tried to make this closing argument to all the people, right and left, that they were elected to defend.

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

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By RayLan, November 8, 2010 at 11:54 pm Link to this comment

moonraven- the anti-intellectualism of academia has been noted by authentic intellectuals like Chris Hedges and Chomsky and Bloom - that is the most disturbing aspect of American culture- the most stupid statements I’ve heard have been made by American academics - anti-intellectualism is stupid by definition- tee-hee

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By Wounded and Dangerous, November 8, 2010 at 11:36 pm Link to this comment

Are we being nudged away from the truth here? Is Chris Hedges just another shill or disinformationalist?  There are lots of them out there so the charge is not necessarily baseless.

I think America already is a fascist state. I can’t with any degree of accuracy point the beginning of the condition to which I refer, but it must have happened sometime after World War 11 when the US wound up with all the marbles.

Remember President Eisenhower’s famous warning when he said: ” Beware of the Military Industrial Complex “? Well, isn’t that fascism in a nutshell and are we not ruled by this Military Industrial Complex? What does continual war mean to you? What about media concentration and the fact that mainstream news sources support and cheerlead the wars as they come on stream?  Is that not part of fascism as we understand it? These are just some preliminary examples and they are many more as you are undoubtedly aware.

What about the questionable elections and the regime of George W. Bush?  Do his elections past the smell test in all instances? Why aren’t the people concerned about the deficiencies related to these voting machines?  Some have even likened the ’ election ’ in 2000 as a coup d’etat. I think that is an apt description actually. Did Hitler come to power under false pretenses and with the aid of technological phenomenon known as a Diebold machine?

Is the system rigged? You bet it is. What are the Democratic and Republican parties except dresses that the elites pull out the closet and wear when the need suits them. One may be prettier than the other but surely they are performing the same function. The lower classes have lost all of their power and only play an insignificant part of the charade known as elections. What does it matter who they vote for? Both parties only answer to money and that is all that counts in America today.

What does the current financial crisis mean if we are calling America a fascist state? It means that the rule of law does not exist as it was meant to exist and nothing more. The financial corporations are on the right side of things you can be sure of that. They and those who profit from war are all that counts in a fascist state. The needs of the citizen becomes irrelevant and this is born out time and time again. Think of Hitler and think of Mussolini and then think of their endings. The US might not have a dictator leading the country as we understand the term, but the effect of government is all the same. When you have a false flag attack and then engage in war as a result, then what is the difference between an American regime and that of the former dictators? How do we even know what happened on 9/11 since the mainstream media will not even discuss the issue? They are not allowed to that is why they do not talk about it. I could go on and on but I am sure you get the idea.

So, Chris I think we would have better served here if you engaged in a scenario that actually characterized the US as a functioning fascist regime. Did I mention all of the liberties that have been taken away from Americans or obstacles to their free movement?  Did I really have to?  Are these things not self evident?

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By moonraven, November 8, 2010 at 11:17 pm Link to this comment

ray:

Right—40 years as an educator, writer, PhD, 7 languages:  a real anti-intellectual, that’s me to a tee.

Also, I am not part of “American culture” (sic), as I am from a First Nations group in Quebec and have had my home base in Mexico for almost 20 years.

Go bite somebody else’s ankles, Fido.

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By Orbis Unum, November 8, 2010 at 11:01 pm Link to this comment

Re: JDmysticDJ, November 9 at 3:03 am.

You state: “Overreaching word games? Again, you have resorted to accusation with no evidence to support your claim.”

Response: This response is not intended to be disrespectful to either the columnists or posters herein, but generally speaking ‘JDmysticDJ,’ not one individual in this forum seems to be capably of the Science of Right Reason. All I hear is cackling voluminous complaints but unwilling to consider those proffering peaceful oriented solutions and the evidence to back up such statements.

Nor do the columnist or posters herein, present any evidenced that their not perfect for their conditioning to be programmed by the global oligarchy to control their mindset.

Instead the columnists and posters respond in generalities of sophism or absolute insolence.

The evidence of proffer in respect to the aforementioned, is the lack of anyone to accept to prove my premises incorrect. But all we get is insolence and sophistic diatribe. As if they themselves, have to much invested in the system they complain about, to really be interested in proving us wrong. We know why! But the more they evade the truth and/or their lack of legitimate response, as we have requested, they reveal their own demise, character weakness, unwillingness to serve the truth, lack of care about solutions and those who strive for solutions!

Having said all this, I am still awaiting evidenced proffered either by the columnist and/or the posters herein, to proffer evidence line for line, contrary to the documentary evidence we have proffered!!!
We know beyond any reasonably doubt, that what we ask is utterly impossible to disprove by those who honorably serve truth. There is not any honorable individual existing, from whatever human endeavor one claims to be proficient at to serve as an expect witness, who could testify to depose the truth of our critical and demonstrative evidence the matter, because of the Science of Right Reason in proving the facts raised within the documentary evidenced proffered by the S.E.A. I’m sure I don’t have to publish the Science of Reason, as to how reasonable people determine relevant facts to arrive at the matter of any relevant facts. But, if necessary we will for the sake of continuing clarification for those looking for harmonious knowledge to help them comprehend developing certain criteria to determine relevant issues toward reasonable conclusions.

In support of the aforementioned, one only has to avail themselves of these facts by reading the “4” declarations posted by the SEA at the web link: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah.

Again, we honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Not by generalities but Line for Line.

And, once again as our humble attempt for those capable of presenting facts line for line, in the light of reasonable prepositions or otherwise, just as a reminder for all those who honorably exchange ideas within the ‘Truthdig Forum’ while refraining from hateful or insolent behavior…always remember, sometimes while exchanging ideas, the time and respect we give, from a deep seated desire to foster harmonious behavior to garner enlightenment, can be met on the road of hopeful enlightenment, by those seeking to discourage, rather than exhorting to greater possibilities. My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

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By RayLan, November 8, 2010 at 11:00 pm Link to this comment

moonraven
What is pitiful is your hubris in thinking your dismissal has any subtance- ah anti-intellectualism - the glory of American culture.

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By moonraven, November 8, 2010 at 10:57 pm Link to this comment

ray:

You think anyone has actually said anything here worth remembering?

I pity you.

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By RayLan, November 8, 2010 at 10:51 pm Link to this comment

moonraven
“I agree with the poster who rejected most of these posts as intellectual detritus”
Well your airtight refutation, so tightly argued by your so thoughtful ‘agreement’ sure clears up everything.
Thanks for the enlightening solution.

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By REDHORSE, November 8, 2010 at 10:47 pm Link to this comment

What to conclude from such horror and opinion? That the American future and the lives of her people have been reduced to a rigged game of dice controlled by immoral idiots?

  Hedges article allows one to glimpse the game. The fearfilled thrill that sets tongues wagging is the realization that the dice are still a’tumble. (They’re comin’ from a long way up, and they’re gonna be fallin’ a long way down.)

  “Come on-come on-my baby needs a new pair of shoes—-”

    “Awwwwwwwwww—Snake eyes.”

    “Put money on the table Sir—Or step back!! These Gentlemen want to play.”

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By JDmysticDJ, November 8, 2010 at 10:03 pm Link to this comment

By Lafayette, November 8 at 11:12 pm Link to this comment

“POLEMICS ARE NO SUBSTITUTE FOR DEBATE”

Polemics, though controversial, are by their very nature, debate.

Apparently you think I’m being clever but specious (Sophistry.) Other than your one errant comment; you haven’t offered any evidence to show that my comments are specious. Simply stating that my comments are specious is not debate, it’s simply an accusation not backed up by anything of substance.

Your errant comment:

“Yes, so the Germans voted Hitler into power. It is not that fact that made the Nazis fascist. It was their totalitarian control of the government. (The balance of power in the US prevents such. And, indeed, you are standing on your head if you see authoritarianism in ours.) “

My intent was to point out that democracies are subject to being overcome by fascism, by popular mandate, not to suggest that democracy is responsible for fascism. Correct me if I am wrong, but if a single philosophical entity controls the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of government, then there is no balance of power in terms of philosophy and political perspective. Constitutional government provides certain restrictions on government, but those restrictions are interpreted and adjudicated by political appointees who have a political perspective. Federal and Supreme Court decisions are most often decided, and divided, along philosophical and political lines. I won’t bother with the obvious examples that support my contention, they should be self evident.

Those who are not blinded by falsehoods put forth by the politically naïve must realize that the struggle between opposing political philosophies is determined by the ballot box in a democracy.

Overreaching word games? Again, you have resorted to accusation with no evidence to support your claim.

All sophistry you say; I don’t mind the intimation that I am clever, but I strongly object to accusations of speciousness without evidence to support that accusation.

I’ll suggest that my motivation for posting here is the same as yours, and I’ll say in the strongest terms that my motivation for posting here is not a frivolous egocentric pursuit as you suggest. I may be wasting my time, but that is most certainly not my intent.

In the strongest terms I will suggest that you are blind to the very real realities of this world, and that recognizing those realities appears to be beyond the scope of your limited intellect, sensitivity, and interest. Let me suggest that you examine the consequences of today’s reality to individual human beings; perhaps such an examination will increase your sensitivity, and give you a sense of the profound urgency that confronts us… or, maybe not.

An unwillingness, or inability, to recognize or consider very real realities is a kind of acquiescence, and a “Recipe for Fascism.”  Hedges is courageous for saying so, I only wish he would recognize that some liberals are his allies and that they subscribe to John Kennedy’s description of what it means to be a liberal. No one is perfect, not Kennedy, not Hedges, not you, and certainly not me, but I will align myself with those who seek perfection, and not those who acquiesce to something less, and not those who are flippant about our carnal nature and see the pursuit of our better spiritual and humanitarian inclinations as being foolishness.

I do not see why man should not be just as cruel as nature.

Adolf Hitler

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By johnny, November 8, 2010 at 9:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dammit Chris.  When are you going to stop helping the cons that are 100% responsible for ALL
these corporate, banking and military disasters?  Look up “neoliberals” and you’ll see the definition
perfectly fits the modern conservative.  It’s not a “corrupt liberal class” stupid.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 8, 2010 at 9:18 pm Link to this comment

Somebody brought up Rand.

First thing, when studying Rand you need to extract anything and everything to do with the relationship between men and women.  She was a seriously screwed-up pup and that regard and it should be plainly obvious that she was trying to justify and FORCE into her philosophy her own deviant sexual needs and insecurities.

So what you are left with is the basic, ruthless idea of meritocracy.  Rand assumed (because otherwise the philosophy doesn’t work) that the TRUE free market will flush out the charlatans and cheaters who make unsafe meds, un-wholesome food, unsafe cars, etc.  In all her “corporations” you really have all sole-proprietor businesses, not anything like the real world corporate structure, where personal gain is not directly tied to the company’s welfare.  She didn’t recognize “Public Goods” so there’s nothing in her work about how her philosophy will prevent people dumping toxic waste into rivers or into the air.

Yet there’s something very compelling about a ruthless meritocracy, where useless scions of wealthy families fall flat on their faces, and a guy from nowhere with genius idea can become gentry based on merit.  She even copies the life of James Clerk Maxwell, a Scottish inventor and scientist who wanted to create a practical electric generator with predictable qualities and a matching electric motor, and to do so invented the entire science of electro-magnetics and is the greatest scientist nobody ever heard of, and nearly as influential as Newton and Einstein.  His career is clearly the model for John Galt.

There’s also the idea that despite their brutality, their avarice beyond avarice, the robber-barons built our nation, our railroads, our steel industry, our mechanization, and our leadership of the world from the middle of WWII on.

Her understanding of money was surprising—the idea that you have two choices of interaction between people: Violence or exchange, ie money.  Of course, she stumbled on the idea that most non-economics trained stumble on—that gold has a real and absolute value rather than just being a numeraire, arbitrarily selected because of it rarity, ductability, and non-reactiveness.

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By rico, suave, November 8, 2010 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment

fearno:

de nada. There are some good exchanges on the “Third Party” thread. Come on over.

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By fearnotruth, November 8, 2010 at 8:32 pm Link to this comment

Rico, a little forgiveness, please… you know he means ‘should not’ when writing
‘cannot’ - you rightfully point out that the so-called ‘free’ and might we suggest
‘fair’ market hasn’t existed since before the collapse of the saber tooth tiger pelt
bourse - moreover, I believe what Mr. Hedges means to say is that sometimes a
good song is worth more than a handsome pelt and that singing for ones supper
is as old as clubbing the guy in the next cave for encroaching on your market
share in pelt trade… good to chat with you again, old chap - clear skies to you

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By Orbis Unum, November 8, 2010 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment

Re: ocjim, November 9 at 12:43 am.

You state: “We are doomed to a plutocracy with no way out with Republicans or Democrats in charge.”

Response: No one is doomed is they are willing to exercise the Science of Right Reason!

The only evidenced of real value to those exercising the Science of Right reason would be, presumably solutions oriented toward peaceful solutions. And, such solutions not predicated on violence! Because, reasonable people know that violence only begets violence! And, violence is always unreasonable, thereby such conditions presumably settled thereby, will always rear their ugly heads at some point in time, to be settled reasonably or the cycle of violence will continue unabated until people learn to act reasonably via solutions, oriented toward peaceful solutions!

Having said all this, I am still awaiting evidenced proffered either by the columnist and/or the posters herein, to proffer evidence line for line, contrary to the documentary evidence we have proffered!!!
We know beyond any reasonably doubt, that what we ask is utterly impossible to disprove by those who honorably serve truth. There is not any honorable individual existing, from whatever human endeavor one claims to be proficient at to serve as an expect witness, who could testify to depose the truth of our critical and demonstrative evidence the matter, because of the Science of Right Reason in proving the facts raised within the documentary evidenced proffered by the S.E.A. I’m sure I don’t have to publish the Science of Reason, as to how reasonable people determine relevant facts to arrive at the matter of any relevant facts. But, if necessary we will for the sake of continuing clarification for those looking for harmonious knowledge to help them comprehend developing certain criteria to determine relevant issues toward reasonable conclusions.

So, the motive for our foray into this forum is discover whether those who are columnist herein, or the posters herein, offer only complaints rather than being solution oriented. Our hope is, the reasoning behind or at the forefront of their columns or postings, is because of their Good Will in the interest of Universal Peace to foster guidance necessary to sustain solution oriented paradigms as we humbly proffer.

In support of the aforementioned, one only has to avail themselves of these facts by reading the “4” declarations posted by the SEA at the web link: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah.

Again, we honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Not by generalities but Line for Line.

And, once again as our humble attempt for those capable of presenting facts line for line, in the light of reasonable prepositions or otherwise, just as a reminder for all those who honorably exchange ideas within the ‘Truthdig Forum’ while refraining from hateful or insolent behavior…always remember, sometimes while exchanging ideas, the time and respect we give, from a deep seated desire to foster harmonious behavior to garner enlightenment, can be met on the road of hopeful enlightenment, by those seeking to discourage, rather than exhorting to greater possibilities. My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

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By rico, suave, November 8, 2010 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment

“Commerce cannot be the sole guide of human behavior. This utopian fantasy, embraced by the tea party as well as the liberal elite, defies 3,000 years of economic history.”

This sentiment by Hedges is absolutely magnificent. I could write a book in response to these two sentences.

But let me summarize. “Commerce has been the sole guide to human behavior for three thousand years.” Let’s put it more simply- “I want your corn. You want my carpentry. Let’s trade. Oh, you don’t want to trade- I’ll kill you. Oh, that’s better. Have a nice day.” This has more or less summarized human behavior for 3000 years.

Hedges only wishes this dynamic weren’t so, but it is. It is Hedges who defies three thousand years of economic history. More telling, his use of the word “cannot” is a cry in the wilderness, as if to say, “It can’t be! It just can’t!” He needs to get over it.

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By fearnotruth, November 8, 2010 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment

RE: By Orbis Unum, November 9 at 12:42 am Link to this comment
Re: fearnotruth, November 9 at 12:30 am.

I am truly impressed with anyone forthright enough to use a user-name such
as ‘fearnotruth.’

Thank you - welcome in a forum too often given to gratuitous ad hominem
invective… perhaps you’ll enjoy equally knowing (if not already recognized) the chosen avatar is “The
Death of Socrates” by Jacques Louis David

cited quote from
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/nov/07/tea-party-old-whine-new-bottles

and credit to heavyrunner for also pointing this out

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By ocjim, November 8, 2010 at 7:43 pm Link to this comment

Proto-Fascism is already established. Many thought that we could quickly dispense with it after Bush’s departure but he established a powerful infrastructure: with tax policy favoring the rich, curtailment of individual rights, repression of unions, a conservative corporate media, privatization of the government and the military, a right-wing Supreme Court and the overwhelming jerk-up in the power of big-business. For the latter he got help from Clinton in 1999. We are doomed to a plutocracy with no way out with Republicans or Democrats in charge.

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By Orbis Unum, November 8, 2010 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment

Re: fearnotruth, November 9 at 12:30 am.

I am truly impressed with anyone forthright enough to use a user-name such as ‘fearnotruth.’

Having all said this, we proffer to such individual claiming to fear no truth evidenced of real value to those exercising the Science of Right reason and fearing no truth, would be, presumably solutions oriented toward peaceful solutions. And, such solutions not predicated on violence! Because, reasonable people know that violence only begets violence! And, violence is always unreasonable, thereby such conditions presumably settled thereby, will always rear their ugly heads at some point in time, to be settled reasonably or the cycle of violence will continue unabated until people learn to act reasonably via solutions, oriented toward peaceful solutions!

Having said all this, I am still awaiting evidenced proffered either by the columnist and/or the posters herein, to proffer evidence line for line, contrary to the documentary evidence we have proffered!!!

We know beyond any reasonably doubt, that what we ask is utterly impossible to disprove by those who honorably serve truth. There is not any honorable individual existing, from whatever human endeavor one claims to be proficient at to serve as an expect witness, who could testify to depose the truth of our critical and demonstrative evidence the matter, because of the Science of Right Reason in proving the facts raised within the documentary evidenced proffered by the S.E.A. I’m sure I don’t have to publish the Science of Reason, as to how reasonable people determine relevant facts to arrive at the matter of any relevant facts. But, if necessary we will for the sake of continuing clarification for those looking for harmonious knowledge to help them comprehend developing certain criteria to determine relevant issues toward reasonable conclusions.

So, the motive for our foray into this forum is to discover whether those who are columnist herein, or the posters herein, offer only complaints rather than being solution oriented. Our hope is, the reasoning behind or at the forefront of their columns or postings, is because of their Good Will in the interest of Universal Peace to foster guidance necessary to sustain solution oriented paradigms as we humbly proffer.

In support of the aforementioned, one only has to avail themselves of these facts by reading the “4” declarations posted by the SEA at the web link: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah.

Again, we honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Not by generalities but Line for Line.

And, once again as our humble attempt for those capable of presenting facts line for line, in the light of reasonable prepositions or otherwise, just as a reminder for all those who honorably exchange ideas within the ‘Truthdig Forum’ while refraining from hateful or insolent behavior…always remember, sometimes while exchanging ideas, the time and respect we give, from a deep seated desire to foster harmonious behavior to garner enlightenment, can be met on the road of hopeful enlightenment, by those seeking to discourage, rather than exhorting to greater possibilities. My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

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By Spev Dvinko, November 8, 2010 at 7:32 pm Link to this comment

Alas.

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By fearnotruth, November 8, 2010 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment

RE: More than half of those identified in a poll by the Republican-leaning
Rasmussen Reports as “mainstream Americans” now view the tea party
favorably. The other half, still grounded in a reality-based world, is passive and
apathetic.

NEWS

Published on Monday, November 8, 2010 by The Guardian/UK
The “Tea Party” Does Not Exist
The Tea Party is not new, or coherent. It’s merely old whine in new bottles
by Gary Younge


Research conducted over several months by the Washington Post to contact
every Tea Party group in the country found that many did not exist. Seventy per
cent said they had not been involved in a political event in a year - a year in
which the Tea Party was credited with transforming the nation’s politics.

“When a group lists themselves on our website, that’s a group,” Mark Meckler, a
founding member of the Tea Party Patriots, told the Post. “That group could be
one person, it could be 10 people, it could come in and out of existence - we
don’t know.”

This is less of a criticism than a description. Movement-building is hard, messy
work that, if it is to be truly at grassroots level, produces uneven results. In that
sense it’s no different from, say, the anti-war movement, and would have been
about as successful were not it for two key factors.

The first is that the Tea Party has its own “news” channel - Fox - devoted to its
growth. It promotes Tea Party demonstrations as though they are events of
national celebration and showcases those who pose as its leaders as though
they are national celebrities. Second, it has money. A lot of it. When it comes to
elections it has the backing of huge amounts of money from private
corporations and individuals who are behind institutions - like the Tea Party
Express, Freedomworks, Americans for Prosperity and Tea Party Patriots - which
are run by people with a proven track record of rightwing Republican activism.

The relationship between these organisations and the base of people who call
themselves Tea Party supporters is episodic and erratic. They show up in
different places where they sense an opportunity for a breakthrough, throw
money at it, attract media attention for it, and then see what sticks. Sometimes
it works, sometimes it backfires - mostly it makes barely any difference. They
have no organic, let alone democratic, relationship with the grassroots that they
claim, in some way, to represent. Sarah Palin, for example, endorsed 64
candidates this season. Half of them won last Tuesday; 10 lost in the primaries,
19 lost in the general elections, and three races are still too close to call. Her
support is important, but hardly decisive.

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By Orbis Unum, November 8, 2010 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment

Re: racetoinfinity, November 8 at 11:55 pm.

You state: “Could you please repost this comment in shorter and comprehensible English prose?  Thanks.”

Response: Alas, you’ve discovered my limitation to communicate is shorter prose. I won’t entertain the remarks associated with comprehensibility of the English language. But rather, shall ask those of you to discern what is proffered.

My limitations of communication with others has limits due to the fact, that I’m a contract specialist by profession. These are the talents which gave me the insight into reverse engineering the misrepresentations of the programming we’ve all received by the global oligarchy. Since they have foisted control over us via contractual nexuses and social Role Models to support their misrepresentations.

All I can do is help to foster awareness of the misrepresentations in hopes of helping those searching for peaceful solutions. Not otherwise! The global oligarchy knows that any individual who can overcome the desire for violence will in turn discover solutions to their misrepresentations.

This is the only path to reaching the last bastion of the presumed Rule of Law left to reasonable people exercising the Science of Right Reason.

Once again, we proffer in support of the aforementioned, one only has to avail themselves of these facts by reading the “4” declarations posted by the SEA at the web link: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah.

We honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Not by generalities but Line for Line.

And, once again as our humble attempt for those capable of presenting facts line for line, in the light of reasonable prepositions or otherwise, just as a reminder for all those who honorably exchange ideas within the ‘Truthdig Forum’ while refraining from hateful or insolent behavior…always remember, sometimes while exchanging ideas, the time and respect we give, from a deep seated desire to foster harmonious behavior to garner enlightenment, can be met on the road of hopeful enlightenment, by those seeking to discourage, rather than exhorting to greater possibilities. My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

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By racetoinfinity, November 8, 2010 at 7:15 pm Link to this comment

Several commenters have criticized Chris H. for making this equivalency:

Globalist propaganda = Marxism??

Friedman/Fukuyama/Summers = Lenin & Trotsky???

He is making the point that both globalism and Marxist-Leninism are UTOPIAN ideologies that are impossibly pure and unattainable leading to fallacies and policies which induce oppression and suffereing.  It’s the blind to reality on the ground, ultimately destructive utopian bent he’s equating, and he’s correct in this.

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By Queenie, November 8, 2010 at 7:13 pm Link to this comment

Orbis Unum:

A revolution doesn’t have to be fought with weapons. It can be won with humor, goodwill, and by having a leader everyone can like. Ventura speaks with the common touch. And for crissake, try a little of that yourself. Geeze, Louise. Not all of us speak highbrow.

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By racetoinfinity, November 8, 2010 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

Re:  Your comment below:

By Orbis Unum, November 8 at   11:27 pm Re: politicky, November 8 at 10:51 pm.

Could you please repost this comment in shorter and comprehensible English prose?  Thanks.

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By Spev Dvinko, November 8, 2010 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment

Orbis Unum, in the name of the Savoir, please stop using such impossibly florid language.  Just say what you intend to say.  You’re going to choke on your bow tie. 

I am interested to read what your points are, but they’re impenetrably disguised as an address to an imaginary House of Parliament in about the year 1820.

Just say what you want to say.

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By Orbis Unum, November 8, 2010 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

Re: Queenie, November 8 at 11:31 pm.

You state: “Chris Hedges needs to have a meet-up with Jesse Ventura, get each other up to speed and begin the revolution.”

Response: Queenie, I most humbly reject your premises of proffering any revolution. Rather as I’ve stated many times, what we need is an evolutionary leap in conscience to accept cognitive responsibility to become solution oriented by peaceful means as I postd earlier, e.g., “By Orbis Unum, November 8 at 11:27 pm.”

In support of the aforementioned, one only has to avail themselves of these facts by reading the “4” declarations posted by the SEA at the web link: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah.

We honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Not by generalities but Line for Line.

And, once again as our humble attempt for those capable of presenting facts line for line, in the light of reasonable prepositions or otherwise, just as a reminder for all those who honorably exchange ideas within the ‘Truthdig Forum’ while refraining from hateful or insolent behavior…always remember, sometimes while exchanging ideas, the time and respect we give, from a deep seated desire to foster harmonious behavior to garner enlightenment, can be met on the road of hopeful enlightenment, by those seeking to discourage, rather than exhorting to greater possibilities. My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

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By Queenie, November 8, 2010 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment

Chris Hedges needs to have a meet-up with Jesse Ventura, get each other up to speed and begin the revolution.

JESSE VENTURA 2012

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By Orbis Unum, November 8, 2010 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment

Re: politicky, November 8 at 10:51 pm.

You state:“Mr. Hedges,

How many articles are you going to write that tell us what we already know?”

Response: I have often wondered the same thought, whether concerning columns written for ‘Truthdig’s Forum’ and those member posters who respond thereto.

The only evidenced of real value to those exercising the Science of Right reason would be, presumably solutions oriented toward peaceful solutions. And, such solutions not predicated on violence! Because, reasonable people know that violence only begets violence! And, violence is always unreasonable, thereby such conditions presumably settled thereby, will always rear their ugly heads at some point in time, to be settled reasonably or the cycle of violence will continue unabated until people learn to act reasonably via solutions, oriented toward peaceful solutions!

Having said all this, I am still awaiting evidenced proffered either by the columnist and/or the posters herein, to proffer evidence line for line, contrary to the documentary evidence we have proffered!!!

We know beyond any reasonably doubt, that what we ask is utterly impossible to disprove by those who honorably serve truth. There is not any honorable individual existing, from whatever human endeavor one claims to be proficient at to serve as an expect witness, who could testify to depose the truth of our critical and demonstrative evidence the matter, because of the Science of Right Reason in proving the facts raised within the documentary evidenced proffered by the S.E.A. I’m sure I don’t have to publish the Science of Reason, as to how reasonable people determine relevant facts to arrive at the matter of any relevant facts. But, if necessary we will for the sake of continuing clarification for those looking for harmonious knowledge to help them comprehend developing certain criteria to determine relevant issues toward reasonable conclusions.

So, the motive for our foray into this forum is discover whether those who are columnist herein, or the posters herein, offer only complaints rather than being solution oriented. Our hope is, the reasoning behind or at the forefront of their columns or postings, is because of their Good Will in the interest of Universal Peace to foster guidance necessary to sustain solution oriented paradigms as we humbly proffer.

In support of the aforementioned, one only has to avail themselves of these facts by reading the “4” declarations posted by the SEA at the web link: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah.

Again, we honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Not by generalities but Line for Line.

And, once again as our humble attempt for those capable of presenting facts line for line, in the light of reasonable prepositions or otherwise, just as a reminder for all those who honorably exchange ideas within the ‘Truthdig Forum’ while refraining from hateful or insolent behavior…always remember, sometimes while exchanging ideas, the time and respect we give, from a deep seated desire to foster harmonious behavior to garner enlightenment, can be met on the road of hopeful enlightenment, by those seeking to discourage, rather than exhorting to greater possibilities. My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

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By DaVinciCodex, November 8, 2010 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment

Amen!

Spev Dvinko ...
Good lord, there are a lot of supercilious pseudo-intellectual comments on here.  ... sententious pecksniffery ... every useful argument is surrounded by extended remarks aimed primarily, it appears, at showing how clever the commenter is.

It’s not unique to TruthDig. But I’ve become so frustrated with useless, preening, “word-parsing” and “pecksniffery” comments (thanx SD for last two), on all my allegedly progressive blogs, that I’m thinking of developing a widget for Anti-Social Social Media Stupid Commentary That Wastes My Time.

“Delete After Reading Article What Brung Me” key?
Un-Friend key?

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By moonraven, November 8, 2010 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment

I agree with the poster who rejected most of these posts as intellectual detritus.

Nose picking in internet.

Silly drivel about Lenin and Stalin—both dead out no longer on the playing field that apparently you folks are too chickenshit to even get out on.

The back of my hand to this silliness.

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By gerard, November 8, 2010 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

Take LaFayette’s statement here:  “It is not only shameful but insane that a country so developed should also be so politically ignorant.”

“developed”—in the usual contemporary sense, meaning
  capable of obtaining enough necessities and luxuries
  for its population; enough technology to keep pace
  with contemporary “progress”.  “Better off” when
  compared (usually economically) with countries that
  are less “well off”. (Proof of how relative the word
  “developed” is)
“politically ignorant”—meaning doesn’t know enough
  about politics of the place where he/she lives; or has
  not had opportunity to learn enough, or hasn’t got
  enough education to be able to understand propagnda,
  or isn’t interested in learning about politics,
  doesn’t think politics is important enough to study,
  or has too much else that has to be done; no time,
  or is too disgusted to care about politics. (Again,
  relative.)
Curable causes: Faulty definition of “developed” which
  is a public perception that good media could and
  would change, if tens of thousands of people demanded
  that it change.
          Lack of enough education—A massive pressure for free and adequate public education for all,—not relying on “sombody else” to “do” education (such as private or charter schools —would cure the problem.
          A compulsory public education course in propaganda analysis, purposes, methods, results would cure the easily commercialized mind-set.  Again, fair media and public education would do the job.
          Short of massive public demand, nothing will change for the better. Yet, in spite of the fact that millions of people know all this, still there is no massive public demand.
  Why?  People are repressed by fear of loss of job and/or imprisonment Or people have to concentrate all their time and energy in putting food on the table—if they have a table.  Nobody wants to organize and/or lead a massive movement to do anything because it’s too much responsibility, and they think they can’t, or are waiting for somebody else to do it.  Hello .o o o o o.
  No time—faulty economic system (perhaps the hardest thing to invluence because of centralized power in government)
  My opinion:  Fear, not television sound-bites, rules American minds. It’s fear that is shameful and insane.  Beckett is winning.  We are “Waiting for Godot”  The irony is, Godot is a chimera inceasing in horror day by day as we clothe our fear in the vocabulary of rage and insult.  The more we speculate on the awful marvels that may happen, or await a “paradygm shift”, the more we are transfixed by fear of even trying to influence such a situation.  This Godot in our heads represents for many a Savior of great power ushering in an inevitable New Age (whether a religious God/Allah/Buddha, an Avenging Angel, or a Man on a White Horse who will tell us what to do and make us do it.) As we persist in mad dreams we decrease our own will at the same time we increase the likelihood of authoritarian retribution behind a mask of “Law and Order.”
  This is the primary sorrow—the fear, the lack of will, the belief of inevitable disaster and powerlessness and self-disdain and fellow-loathing that haunts these columns.
  Possible way out:  Do the utmost of what you can where you are to set things right in a helpful, gentle, intelligent way. Each can do that much and together it will add up to a lot more than nothing.

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By Lafayette, November 8, 2010 at 6:12 pm Link to this comment

POLEMICS ARE NO SUBSTITUTE FOR DEBATE

JD: Your above paragraph points out the similarities in the two societies. The German people voted, with a near 90% majority, to give Adolph Hitler dictatorial powers in Germany.

False correlation. Like manipulating fascistic tenets such that they apply to the US, which employs sophistry to make a point.

Yes, so the Germans voted Hitler into power. It is not that fact that made the Nazis fascist. It was their totalitarian control of the government. (The balance of power in the US prevents such. And, indeed, you are standing on your head if you see authoritarianism in ours.)

All sophistry, JD - sophistry and overreaching word games.

But, never mind, perhaps it amuses you to polemicize. Polemic, however, is a poor substitute for rational debate.

And a waste of bandwidth.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, November 8, 2010 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When the crash came in August 2008, the value of derivatives, credit default swaps, and all of the various financial instruments that were created in the wake of the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act and other regulations, had reached $600 trillion.  By January of 2010 it was back to $600 trillion.  So it took a year and a half to re-inflate the bubble which had taken at least eleven years to build up originally.  At that speeded up rate of growth we can expect the next crash in about two years.

It seems fitting that Obama is visiting India at this time.  If you want to see the future of the US, look at India.  India has almost one billion people.  Out of that number about 20 million or 2% of the population could be considered affluent by western standards.  2% of the population has benefited from the so called economic boom.  Obama said in New Delhi, “India has emerged.”

It was something of a revelation for me to learn recently that the greatest economist of the 20th century, John Maynard Keynes, believed, like Marx, that capitalism was only a temporary arrangement of the world’s economic affairs.  Unlike Marx he did not believe in the violent overthrow of the system but he did take an interest in the Soviet system in its early days as a possible alternative to capitalism before rejecting it as being worse than capitalism.  The problem he had with capitalism was that it did not promote the greater good of society as a whole and that it fostered the “love of money.”  His philosophy was the polar opposite of Ayn Rand’s.  He believed that after a state of “abundance” was reached in the world, capitalism as we know it would be phased out.  Needless to say, he is not taught in the schools; they don’t want ideas like that around.  Bertrand Russell said that Keynes was the most brilliant man he had ever met.  He said, “Keynes’s intellect was the sharpest and clearest that I have ever known.  When I argued with him, I felt that I took my life in my hands, and I seldom emerged without feeling something of a fool.”

Keynes could not have predicted what is now known as “globalization” whereby abundance has ceased to grow horizontally and moves strictly upward.  It is like a giant vacuum cleaner sucking all the world’s wealth upward.  What seems important to me is the notion that capitalism is only a temporary economic system.  We have to return to that kind of thinking.

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By Mark Rodney, November 8, 2010 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

it has been a busy day but I wanted to see what others thought.  These rants have added a bit of humor to my day since so few in our society stick to the ways that have been so discredited.  It is not that society has changed and run over your protests but that you have been discredited repeatedly yet you persist.

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By tocynic, November 8, 2010 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment

I think topics like this are depressing. While I have little doubt American rightwingers are ‘on the spectrum’ where Fascism is concerned, their brilliance lies in being irrational since nothing sends rationalists into a tail-spin faster than trying to wrestle with the irrational and trying to come up with coherent responses to incoherent positions. These actions impress no one; the Rightwing doesn’t care, and Left will hair-split until the cows come home. I appreciate Mr. Hedges explicitly connecting the dots, but no one outside of the extreme Left really cares; it doesn’t matter that Rachael Maddow might be 100% in her rants; preaching to the choir serves no one. I think the miserable lack of backbone on the part of Democrats and their lack of a coherent vision they are willing to lose elections over rather than sacrifice their principals is a major culprit.  FWIW

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By politicky, November 8, 2010 at 5:51 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Hedges,

How many articles are you going to write that tell us what we
already know?

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By RayLan, November 8, 2010 at 5:46 pm Link to this comment

The old cant of ‘those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it’ is now being tested in the home land. The pattern of the disgruntled and disenfranchised middle class and working poor rallying around some sort of revolutionary savior who will provide a ‘Final Solution’ is working itself out right here and now. Simplicity and immediacy is the demand of the desperate and frightened who find immediate and simple-minded solace in witch-burnings, gay-bashing, para-military overthrows of perceived oppressive governments and closing up any ‘outreach’ to others as weak-willed sentimentality.

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By Kanomi Blake, November 8, 2010 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment

I enjoyed the column as always, but was dismayed by the comparison of Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky to Thomas Friedman, which is like equating War and Peace to My Pet Goat.

From Matt Taibbi’s incisive dismantling of Friedman’s turgid paean to globalism, The World is Flat:

It’s not that he occasionally screws up and fails to make his metaphors and images agree. It’s that he always screws it up. He has an anti-ear, and it’s absolutely infallible; he is a Joyce or a Flaubert in reverse.

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By omygodnotagain, November 8, 2010 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment

Chris always speaks as though the people who run these corporations and their Wall Street masters aided by their academic and government enablers are faceless. They are not. The problem is a large number come from a group which “Americans are forbidden to criticize”.
... Michael Milliken,(junk bonds) Ivan Boesky (insider trading), Henry Kravis (leverage buyouts), Bernie Madoff (Nasdaq President and scam artist), Lloyd Blankfein Treasury hit man), Alan Greenspan (the Oracle who knew nothing), Milton Friedman (the"brains” behind the scam)...
Who was responsible for the GMAC and Chrysler Financial debacles ..Cerberus run by Steve Feinberg (his partner J Ezra Merkin ran the feeder fund to Madoff).
It is this unethical riff raff and their like that have brought about this state of affairs. So Mr Hedges start naming names, if you dare

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By JDmysticDJ, November 8, 2010 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

By Lafayette, November 8 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

“Hitler and Mussolini both were close to corporations, but that is not the essence of fascism. The closeness came about with the advent of the Industrial Age and its ability to generate great fortunes. Both of these sly leaders knew where the money-pots were.”


Apparently you agree that the essence of fascism has been a part of U.S. reality “For quite some time now.”

Nationalism = American exceptionalism.

Authoritarianism = A false meritocracy.

Single party state = Corporatism.

Dictatorship = Corporatism, Plutocracy.

Social Darwinism = Free market capitalism, false meritocracy, austerity measures, abandoning the under privileged.

Social Interventionism = Corporate control of the media, Educational and cultural systems redefined, restructured, and designed to perpetuate, or instill the concept of an elite class in the novitiate.

Indoctrination = Corporate control of the media, educational institutions advancing elitist concepts, rampant propaganda disparaging, belittling, and ignoring alternate philosophical and political concepts.

Propaganda = See above.

Anti-intellectualism = Actively advanced by the Right and Corporate interests (Global warming, ecological concerns, fundamentalist religion, etc.)

Eugenics = Racism, xenophobia, social agendas defined by pseudo-science.

Heroism = Celebrity, unwarranted lionization of participants in militarism.

Militarism = Militarism.

Economic Interventionism = Corporatism, Fiscal policy, monetary policy, neo-liberalism, free market global economics, subsidizing corporations, restructuring economic priorities, policies that have destroyed our manufacturing base, etc.

Anti-Communism = Liberalism is the new communism.

These examples of the tenets of fascism, as they pertain to our reality, I have offered, are de facto, but I’ll argue that they are very real in context, and demonstrate a proto-fascism.

I’ll argue that there are other similarities between historical fascism and our current reality, (false rationales for pre-emptive strike, preventative detention, collective punishment of civilian populations, torture, civil liberties suppressed or removed, and on and on…)

I am most definitely not “standing on [my] head.”

“That is not the case today in the US. The differences between today and yesteryear are stark. We choose to elect the dogmatic Right that now controls the House. It was not imposed upon us and there is no retribution if we voted against that faction.”

Your above paragraph points out the similarities in the two societies. The German people voted, with a near 90% majority, to give Adolph Hitler dictatorial powers in Germany. Admittedly the differences are “stark,” but the similarities are also evident. Did the American people give George W. Bush dictatorial powers after 9/11? I’ll argue that they, in effect, did.

The question seems to be, when is fascism, fascism? Fascism does not require holocaust and world war in order to be fascism. Fascism is defined by political actions and philosophy, and the consequences of fascism can be measured, to a greater or lesser extent, by human suffering, militarism, and identified by the 14 characteristics and by other nightmarish similarities.

Fortunately the differences between previous forms of fascism and the current form of fascism are “Stark,” and the current form of fascism can be suppressed and negated by the ballot, but it will not be easy, it will require a concerted effort, and counter productive chaos must be avoided at all costs. Fascism feeds on chaos and a desire for “Order.”

The far-left/Left is not a phantom, it’s measured on the bell curve, and I’ll argue that the far-left/Left holds the balance of power. The far-left/Left can be a part of a concerted effort to combat proto-fascism, or it can create divisive chaos which will facilitate proto-fascism.

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By Sabagio, November 8, 2010 at 5:18 pm Link to this comment

Question:  What do Sarah Pallin, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity,  Charles Krauthammer, George Will,  Chris Wallace, Mike Wallace, The Fox Network brain trust, Russ Lumbaugh, Pat Buchannan, ….et. Al. have in common with Benito Mussolini, founder of the Facist Party?
Answer:  All take (took) $$$$$ from news media claiming(ed) to be “journalists.” 

Is it not time that some qualifying distinctions be made between what defines “journalists” and propagandists, muckrakers, shills, spin doctors, inciters, provocateurs, pamphleteers?  What else…:?

Larry Flynt is looking more and more like the last of the honest Media Moguls.

Sabagio Mauraeno, ....home…

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By miroslav, November 8, 2010 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment

Right on Chris, your analysis is on target: however, as to the question “what is to be done” - let us take the trouble to educate the justifiably enraged - or start a violent revolution, and see what comes out of the smashup!

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By basho, November 8, 2010 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

re: felicity

‘Since about 60% of our economy seems to rely on
consumerism, a significant drop in that percentage
would have a profound affect on our general economy.’

there are many that say that the $$ will trade down to .5 it is now about .77 (USD Index)

there are a number of iniatives to displace the $$ as the world’s reserve currency. the € was one of them. there are others in the wings.

bernake’s helicopter money policies will spawn a stagflation. no growth, no jobs, rising prices.

141 banks have closed in 2010.
broad measure unemployment is about 20%
real estate is ‘dead in the water’

the list is endless…
you might want to look into hard assets for your spare cash. wink

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By DavidByron, November 8, 2010 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

WriterOnTheStorm, do you think that Stalin fits the description used in your quote?  He does not, and neither would any communist in the US.  It’s as if you saw the word communism and then ceased thinking.

“someone who lived in a country long ruled
by Communists…..”

To be honest I think Altemeyer is just guessing at that point even when he considers such a case.  As far as I know he has not researched any data from actual communist controlled governments, though it does seem a plausible result.  I get the impression he said those lines for reason other than their strict or even likely accuracy.

Somewhere else he considers actual left wing people in the research samples he is looking at and says that feminists were the only left wing group showing authoritarian tendencies.

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By basho, November 8, 2010 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

re: orbis unum

Response: Do you honestly think that Google is the repository of historical archives applicable to the global oligarchy?
.............
b: the original question was ‘who financed hitler?’

Response: If the truth is what you seek, knock and it shall be given. But don’t complain, if your unwilling to answer the door because as we all know, the only pathway through the doorway is by invitation only!
..................
b: i don’t ‘seek’ truth. seeking presupposes one knows what one is looking for. you can’t give me truth all you can do is give me your version of it and that’s called opinion.

‘by invitation only’ excuse me but who has designated you as the master of the universe? smile

What about the terminology of invitation don’t you comprehend?

b: any ‘invitation’, as you call it, that is couched in streams of multi-syllable words shows a lack of clarity in the mind of the writer. KISS

Do you honestly think those using the Science of Right Reason do not test all things.

b: To test all things one must know all things. thought does not allow for that. thought is fragmented and never ‘sees’ the whole picture. you only test the things you think/know.
‘knowing’ does not require testing.

Including… ...obligations to maintain honor via Variation by Agreement?

maintaining honor is only an obligation when people ‘think’ they know the truth.
‘Variation of Agreement’???

When anyone wishes to hold dialog with whomever, it should rest upon the facts presented.

b: as long as both parties agree that the fact is a fact and not an interpretation of the fact.

Not once has any poster within this forum proffered any facts to the contrary for which we have proffered to disprove.

b: disprove the facts presented by the google query ‘who financed hitler?’

Are you going to be any different. We’ll presume otherwise, until proven otherwise. It’s… ...reasonable.

b: please don’t presume anything. that is not being factual. ‘no expectations, no disappointments’

‘until proven otherwise’ - there you go again setting up a criteria. truth has no criteria. Although i am curious about your criteria. Care to share them? smile

Response: Whether one wishes to respond to whatever posting as repeated in ad nauseum, matters little in respect to proving otherwise.

b: proving what otherwise?

But there is a solution for those who wish to prove us wrong in our premises

b: ok, now it’s no longer ‘truth’ or ‘facts’. it is ‘premises’?

or to step aside so to speak,

b: so it’s your way or no way? you are either with us or against us?

concerning… ...Conventions.

b: what are you trying to say here?


This is the last bastion of the presumed Rule of Law left to reasonable people exercising the Science of Right Reason.

b:right reason, right thinking - is not a science because it is not reducible.

b: reasonable-unreasonable, it’s all in the eye of the beholder. truth is not a duality.

...

We

b: how many of you are there? smile

honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts

b: ‘premises presented in-particular to the established facts’ is that saying ‘here is our interpretation of certain facts please prove them for us. that’s asking a lot. or am i reading this all wrong.

raised… ...from a deep seated desire to foster harmonious behavior to garner enlightenment,

b: enlightenment is not ‘garnered’. if it is it is not ‘enlightenment’

can be met on the road of hopeful enlightenment,

b: there is ‘no road’ to enlightenment. and it certainly has nothing to do with ‘hopeful’.
...

while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

b:  i’m with you here, mate.

nice talking to you
be well-

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By felicity, November 8, 2010 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette - I do agree that the country which emerges
from this recession/depression will be different than
the one that entered it. A small, but perhaps
significant difference will be our rate of
consumerism.  Even though I grew up in an upper-
middle class family during the Depression, I had 3
pairs of shoes, a few outfits, a jacket or two etc.
My girl grandchildren must have 20 pairs of shoes, 50
tops, 50 bottoms…beyond comprehension examples of
consumerism gone nuts.

Since about 60% of our economy seems to rely on
consumerism, a significant drop in that percentage
would have a profound affect on our general economy.

If we’re successful at adjusting to what will be a
different economy, we’ll be fine.  If not, I’m afraid
we’ll end up a third-world nation - not a fate worse
than death but definitely different.

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By Anarcissie, November 8, 2010 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment

The traditional meaning of ‘Right’ and ‘Left’ supposedly derived from the seating arrangements of the pre-Revolutionary French Parlement: the friends of the King of France sat on the right, and the opposition on the left.  Hence, right became associated with power, authority, private wealth, high social status, and the military virtues; left with their opposites or complements, peace, freedom and equality.  If the words are used in this sense, then Lenin and Stalin, while they may have been leftists before the Russian revolution(s), became rightists, authoritarians, afterward, whatever their ultimate intentions may have been.  That is hardly an unusual transformation.

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By Spev Dvinko, November 8, 2010 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment

Good lord, there are a lot of supercilious pseudo-intellectual comments on here.  It’s precisely this kind of sententious pecksniffery that has rendered the liberal class useless to the general population.  There’s some good dialogue happening here—I don’t mean to say nobody’s making useful points.  But every useful argument is surrounded by extended remarks aimed primarily, it appears, at showing how clever the commenter is.

I found Hedges’ essay to be alarming and informative.  It is a useful addition to the thesis he’s been pursuing recently.  The question it begs is “what’s to be done?”  Yet in the comments I find most backs turned on the hard work of answering it; rather there’s endless word-parsing and frittering at lacunae.  I suppose this is comforting.  It’s also an awful waste of energy. 

Let’s agree if we must that the Average Joe is an unthinking buffoon, or that fascism is generally understood to be an authoritarian, nationalistic system of government in collusion with industrial interests.  And then let’s discuss remedies, or further dissect the phenomena Hedges describes.  But please, let’s stop with the beard-stroking grandiloquence and how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Hedges has found something important, he’s getting the message out there, and the response from his own camp is a lot of harrumphing.  It smacks of jealousy.  It sounds like a bunch of people paralyzed with fear.  If Hedges maintained the level of hypobole required to satisfy every hair-splitting complaint on here, he’d never get anything done, nor make a single complete point.  I’m delighted he continues on the path of inquiry without falling into the trap of perfect academic correctness—should we not join him?

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By Inherit The Wind, November 8, 2010 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment

(yawn).
Chris Hedges re-hashes and pot-boils the same argument and article yet again…Move along, nothing new here.

He offers no hope other than a socialist revolution, as if that would be any better.

Same old, same old.  And TD posters think this is somehow brilliant.

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By Chris Davis, November 8, 2010 at 4:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Off-topic but important: Does this site have any
control over the ads which show in the body of the
articles?  I just find it really strange that while I
read an insightful piece from Hedges on fear-mongering,
the ad next to the text asks “Do you think Homosexuals
(in obligatory pink flowery font) should have special
rights?  Congressman Frank does,” sponsored by
traditionalvalues.us.  Why run socially conservative
ads on a far-left site like truthdig?

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By Orbis Unum, November 8, 2010 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment

Re: mrfreeze, November 8 at 8:25 pm.

You state: “I also wanted to comment that there are a lot of thoughtful posts on this thread…...Thanks!”

Response: I for one, would like to extend a kindheartedly appreciation for your respect in offering thanks for those who take of their own time and effort to hold dialog with one another within this forum. All that we ask in return for our reasonable efforts is respectful social decorum in response to such postings.

And continuing to post respective to solution oriented paradigms proffered for respectful comment, we honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Not by generalities but Line for Line.

In support of the aforementioned, one only has to avail themselves of these facts by reading the “4” declarations posted by the SEA at the web link: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah.

And, once again as our humble attempt for those capable of presenting facts line for line, in the light of reasonable prepositions or otherwise, just as a reminder for all those who honorably exchange ideas within the ‘Truthdig Forum’ while refraining from hateful or insolent behavior…always remember, sometimes while exchanging ideas, the time and respect we give, from a deep seated desire to foster harmonious behavior to garner enlightenment, can be met on the road of hopeful enlightenment, by those seeking to discourage, rather than exhorting to greater possibilities. My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

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By JustAnotherAF, November 8, 2010 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I view fascism as nothing more complicated than extreme Right-wing ideology, just as communism is often characterized as the extreme Left. Some people also characterize the political spectrum as actually being a circle, where extreme anti-democratic authoritarianism also has its own left and right spectrum and can meet somewhere in the middle.  Plutocrats will always try to take control, but their primary enemies are truth and mass education.  When the pendulum swings to the Right, we will see some elements of fascism.

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By mrfreeze, November 8, 2010 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment

WriterontheStorm - Thanks for your recommendation.

I also wanted to comment that there are a lot of thoughtful posts on this thread…...Thanks!

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By WriterOnTheStorm, November 8, 2010 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

DavidByron,

this is from Altemeyer’s book, The Authoritarians, page 9.


“In North America people who submit to the established authorities to
extraordinary degrees often turn out to be political conservatives, so you can
call them “right-wingers” both in my new-fangled psychological sense and in
the usual political sense as well. But someone who lived in a country long ruled
by Communists and who ardently supported the Communist Party would also
be one of my psychological right-wing authoritarians even though we would
also say he was a political left-winger. So a right-wing authoritarian follower
doesn’t necessarily have conservative political views. Instead he’s someone who
readily submits to the established authorities in society, attacks others in their
name, and is highly conventional. It’s an aspect of his personality, not a
description of his politics. Right- wing authoritarianism is a personality trait,
like being characteristically bashful or happy or grumpy or dopey.
You could have left-wing authoritarian followers as well, who support a
revolutionary leader who wants to overthrow the establishment.”

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By Orbis Unum, November 8, 2010 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment

Re: basho, November 8 at 7:32 pm.

You state: “‘who financed hitler?’ google it”

Response: Do you honestly think that Google is the repository of historical archives applicable to the global oligarchy?

You state: “by the way i googled S.E.A. and came up with mostly ocean view images. as for the link, any site that takes 20 seconds to load ain’t much.”

Response: If the truth is what you seek, knock and it shall be given. But don’t complain, if your unwilling to answer the door because as we all know, the only pathway through the doorway is by invitation only!

What about the terminology of invitation don’t you comprehend? Do you honestly think those using the Science of Right Reason do not test all things. Including whether there exist others of like mind and/or their ability to accept the obligations to maintain honor via Variation by Agreement?

When anyone wishes to hold dialog with whomever, it should rest upon the facts presented. Not once has any poster within this forum proffered any facts to the contrary for which we have proffered to disprove. Are you going to be any different. We’ll presume otherwise, until proven otherwise. It’s the honorable position to take in respect to reasonable course of action if one seeks to be reasonable.

You state: “as to the rest of your post which you have repeated ad nauseum, with all due respect, i have one question -‘what are you smoking, mate?”

Response: Whether one wishes to respond to whatever posting as repeated in ad nauseum, matters little in respect to proving otherwise.

But there is a solution for those who wish to prove us wrong in our premises or to step aside so to speak, concerning the ongoing debauchery evincing total subjugation of All Walks of Life via Creating Standing within the geopolitical framework of International Conventions.

This is the last bastion of the presumed Rule of Law left to reasonable people exercising the Science of Right Reason.

In support of the aforementioned, one only has to avail themselves of these facts by reading the “4” declarations posted by the SEA at the web link: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah.

We honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Not by generalities but Line for Line.

And, once again as our humble attempt for those capable of presenting facts line for line, in the light of reasonable prepositions or otherwise, just as a reminder for all those who honorably exchange ideas within the ‘Truthdig Forum’ while refraining from hateful or insolent behavior…always remember, sometimes while exchanging ideas, the time and respect we give, from a deep seated desire to foster harmonious behavior to garner enlightenment, can be met on the road of hopeful enlightenment, by those seeking to discourage, rather than exhorting to greater possibilities. My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

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By Lafayette, November 8, 2010 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

Fel: At this point, as a country, as a people we seem to be spinning around the drain phase of a once great nation


The only constant in life is change. And change is upon us, I do believe. It is difficult to believe, but recent events, since 2000, are simply the last desperate reflexes of a dieing political animal.

The arrival of Reagan into the Oval Office and his subsequent lowering of taxation rates, which gave rise to the present New-Rich Plutocracy, is now thirty-years old. Which is half a lifetime for some and one-third for those more fortunate.

I am of the opinion that the cycle is coming to a close. For two reasons. The first is empirical and stated above. Things change, continuously; not always progressively, sometimes they retrogress—but they do change in an evolutionary sense.

Secondly, as a once practicing economist, I sense that the era in which the US achieved significant economic growth is behind us. Globalization is not just a word, it is a fact. That fact demonstrates that future economic growth has slipped from our hands into those of other countries. (Aka, the “b-r-i-c-k"s, Brazil, Russia, India, China and Korea.) That cycle will take another 20 years to fulfill itself.

Does this mean the demise of Uncle Sam? No, not at all. But it does mean some wrenching transformations as we regress from our primacy. We are heading for higher long-term unemployment rates - rather than 3 to 5%, more like 5 to 7%. The US is also destined for a spell of very average growth. The internal dislocations will be significant as a result of an continually growing population. Stagnation is a prime ingredient for social unrest.

By internal dislocations is meant a worsening of the income distribution such that significantly large numbers of people, hitherto unaffected, will find themselves greatly diminished.

Will this spark off an internal revolution, perhaps like Watts fifty years ago, but much wider spread in the country? It is possible, but it will be nonetheless suppressed. The outcome of such disturbances is however always significant.

They serve to change mentalities because, as a nation, we do have a collective sensibility—unfortunately, however, it seems only to awaken at times of Great Menace. (Like 911, the murder of Martin Luther King, etc.)

There is one other historical characteristic (of the evolution of nations) that must not be lost from perspective. Changes do not happen overnight. They are very subtle and often take decades to implement themselves. But change is underway.

We are transitioning from the Industrial Age to the Information Age, which is the outer carapace to a more fundamental evolution of our economy. All changes in eras bring profound consequences, often dislocations, sometimes dysfunctional.

The advent of the Industrial Age triggered the emptying of the rural communities and the enlargement of the cities, to which people migrated because production brought higher wages. It also brought a different class of rich, some of whom became known as the Robber Barons—who profited by investing family-funds (that were made during the Agricultural Age) in industries and services.

If we look at historic income data, American plutocracy can be traced back to the early part of the twentieth century. It was therefore likely to have prevailed throughout the previous century as well.

A privileged upper class has always been a part of America. But, unless Americans remain oblivious to the facts that they ware being woefully exploited, change could happen that diminishes significantly the hegemony of the Privileged Class in America.

It all depends upon the American people and whether they have a much overdue epiphany - one that awakens their senses and by which they clamor for a larger piece of the pie.

And Marx will roll-over in his grave in merriment.

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By WriterOnTheStorm, November 8, 2010 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

mrfreeze,
<<I’m afraid that as long as Americans continue to be satisfied as"uber-
consumers” of cheap products and have easy access to userous loan-shark
money (credit cards/payday loans, etc.) then they living the American Dream.
They are “free.”>>

You might be interested in the Adam Curtis film, “The Trap”. He documents the
rise of neoliberal economists who theorized that the “consumer” was the
highest form of social participator, and therefor consumer choice was the
closest thing to freedom society could achieve. Every dollar spent was thus a
vote for way of life, and the market was re-purposed as the “most efficient
mechanism” for public policy.

Since each individual has his/her own consumer preferences, to be met by a
dynamic and relentlessly profit seeking market, politicians like Thatcher and
Reagan then came to the conclusion that the traditional notion of the “greater
good” was illusory, and abandoned all pretense of achieving it.

Given this history it’s no surprise that today, Westerners exercise more
individual power as consumers than they do as citizens.

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By basho, November 8, 2010 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

to orbis Unum

You state: “...and it will financed by the same folks that put the austrian corporal in charge of germany’s new world order.”

“Response: While we do not disagree or agree with your thoughts but what documentary evidence to you have of who these people are to make such a claim?”

‘who financed hitler?’ google it.
................
by the way i googled S.E.A. and came up with mostly ocean view images. as for the link, any site that takes 20 seconds to load ain’t much.

as to the rest of your post which you have repeated ad nauseum, with all due respect, i have one question -‘what are you smoking, mate?

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By Angel Gabriel, November 8, 2010 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

Orbis Unum, I feel wherever you might perceive a difference in our opinions lies in the verbage. I chose “principles” rather than “one must sacrifice one’s honor to maintain individuality dedicated to the preservation of those precious unalienable rights to which we presumably all hold dear.” I chose Principles, you chose Honor. Sometimes they overlap and mean the same thing my friend!
I have spent many years at Sea, only to be sucked back into Society for the past 20 years in another land outside the U.S. for Love, and Family. The sacrifice for Love and Family within Societal framework have proved too great for me to foresake my Honor, and Principles, in order to come to terms with the sacrifice necessary to maintain the balance of both the Society and Family within such an all encompassing shell of control.
My Family have chosen to remain plugged in. I cannot. Principles and honor and my chance for self determination that I have held so dear during my short stay here have created the hardest choice for me to make, and “I have to return to the Sea again -  the lonely Sea and the Sky, and all I ask is a Tall Ship and a Star to Steer her by”. Thanks for the exchange!
I make these exchanges here as my means of helping those others who find themselves helpless to choose their own Self determination in the hopes something might click in their minds and find answers to the ultimate question.

You just can’t un-ring a bell I guess!
Cheers mate!

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By Orbis Unum, November 8, 2010 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

Re: DavidByron, November 8 at 7:06 pm.

Your state: “Your view of history has been distorted by American brain washing from birth.”

Response: What rings true to people open to the Science of Right Reason in most cases, rests upon their ability to establish facts beyond a reasonable doubt.

In reference to Lenin or Stalin for establishing the facts, one only needs to avail themselves of the proceedings during the Nuremberg War Tribunals. And, let us not forget the trials of Mao and his wife charged with putting to death 60 million during the Cultural Revolution in China. So, you idea of impossibilities both in numbers referencing deaths or such atrocities by these historical figures, is not supported by historical facts. 

As far as your premise that I’ve been duped by American brain washing, one only may wish to avail themselves of the evidenced proffered by the S.E.A.

As evidenced of those who have sacrificed for years to peel away the programming of misrepresentation by social role models most of us have paid dearly one way or the other to expose, we offer the truth of the matter via the “4” declarations espoused by the S.E.A., published via the web link: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah, available for those honestly looking for researching the truth, in the interest of Good Will with All Walks of Life seeking Universal Peace and solution oriented paradigms to the problems of systemic fraud.

We honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Not by generalities but Line for Line.

And, once again as our humble attempt for those capable of presenting facts line for line, in the light of reasonable prepositions or otherwise, just as a reminder for all those who honorably exchange ideas within the ‘Truthdig Forum’ while refraining from hateful or insolent behavior…always remember, sometimes while exchanging ideas, the time and respect we give, from a deep seated desire to foster harmonious behavior to garner enlightenment, can be met on the road of hopeful enlightenment, by those seeking to discourage, rather than exhorting to greater possibilities. My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

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By DavidByron, November 8, 2010 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment

Orbis Unum: “Lenin was financed by both international concerns both by U.S. interest via ICC just like Hitler. Lenin put to death over 5 million to accomplish the goals of the global oligarchy. Proceeded by Stalin who put to death over 20-30 million with his 5 year plan. So the cost of those who you claimed he helped was built upon the blood of millions. Do you support such war mongering for the sake of your premise?”

I thought Hedges said Stalin not Lenin actually, and you seem to mean Stalin too so let’s go with that.

It’s ridiculous to suggest Stalin killed that many people of course but three times Soviet Russia was invaded by the very forces you pretend were helping or even paying him.  Each time 10 million or more Russians died.  In WW2 of course far more people died in addition.

Stalin was 100% right to be paranoid and the steps he took are in the context of that enormous threat.

Your view of history has been distorted by American brain washing from birth.  Communism is considered an enemy by the US and as such its children are indoctrinated against it from an early age.

I believe the essay did briefly cover that concept?

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By nothing2fear, November 8, 2010 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

“National Security Strategy of the United States” (especially that drawn up by Bush’s administration) has taken steps to negate the power of people and their security and bundle those freedoms and rights which pertain to the security of the people and make them dependant on the corporate wellbeing.  The people today find themselves in second place in the order of importance to the government body. 

We now find ourselves in the national position of attacking anyone who appears to be doing harm to not our people but to our economic interests as well.  In other words if it is good for corporate America it is good too for the people.  Never mind that corporations are not people.  Never mind that corporations often fail of their own incompetence, we now indebt the people for the corporations benefit, but the reverse is (benefiting the people by indebting the corporation) is considered unthinkable, and propaganda flies about the lazy parasites that would actually expect the corporate body to be as enthusiastic about protecting our freedoms as the people should be.

Democracy has been linked to capitalism, when the two are different and a free Market has little to do with capitalism or corporatism.  We did not start with a Corporate Democracy where the corporation’s wellbeing is paramount to that of the people, but that is what we have become.  The NSS has verbalized that idea in a national strategy and thereby usurped the people’s will and their power to direct the nation or at very least to participate in choosing that direction for the nation.


http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/national_security_strategy.pdf

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By Orbis Unum, November 8, 2010 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

Re: Angel Gabriel, November 8 at 6:33 pm.

You state: “Choosing to live within a Society in these modern time means 2 things. Either you rise to the top and prostitute your principles for money, which is the measure of Societal Stature, or you choose to follow your principles and conform your lifestyle to that method that might bring you the least amount of pain when living with your own truth.”

Response: First of all, I wish to thank you for your sensibility and civility to dialogue with me on the subject matter presented. Now, as far as your statements concerning prostituting one’s principles, I can not agree with your premise. That being as I perceive it…one must sacrifice one’s honor to maintain individuality dedicated to the preservation of those precious unalienable rights to which we presumably all hold dear.

I for one have sacrificed more than I would like to comment on to face the reality of being duped by a system of educational misrepresentations. But wishing to preserve both honor and such self-evident principles that both I and the SEA espouse, I via the S.E.A. have sought via the Science Right Reason to rise above the fraudulent deceit and create via Variation by Agreement peaceful solutions to the condition of mind foisted upon me.

But as we have said before, there is a solution for those who wish to step aside so to speak, concerning the ongoing debauchery evincing total subjugation of All Walks of Life via Creating Standing within the geopolitical framework of International Conventions.

This is the last bastion of the presumed Rule of Law left to reasonable people exercising the Science of Right Reason.

In support of the aforementioned, one only has to avail themselves of these facts by reading the “4” declarations posted by the SEA at the web link: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah.
We honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Not by generalities but Line for Line.

And, once again as our humble attempt for those capable of presenting facts line for line, in the light of reasonable prepositions or otherwise, just as a reminder for all those who honorably exchange ideas within the ‘Truthdig Forum’ while refraining from hateful or insolent behavior…always remember, sometimes while exchanging ideas, the time and respect we give, from a deep seated desire to foster harmonious behavior to garner enlightenment, can be met on the road of hopeful enlightenment, by those seeking to discourage, rather than exhorting to greater possibilities. My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

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By DavidByron, November 8, 2010 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment

WriterOnTheStorm: “Authoritarianism can express itself both on the right and on the left (remember
a cat named Stalin?).”

In fact Altemeyer does not report any authoritarian leaning among communists or socialists.  The only group he found on the left with some authoritarian leaning was feminists.  I’d certainly agree with that; feminism today is basically becoming right wing and even the old feminism was very tribalist, exclusive and full of hostility towards men.

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By Orbis Unum, November 8, 2010 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment

Re: DavidByron, November 8 at 6:28 pm.

You state: ““The propagandists of globalization—from Lawrence Summers to Francis Fukuyama to Thomas Friedman—do for globalization and the free market what Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky did for Marxism.””

Response: Whether you like the idea of globalization or not, what form such globalization takes rests upon individuals willing to come to the table and bargain for the rights to which the Law’s of Nature and Nature’s Creator entitle them takes shape within the inevitable conclusion the this planet is but a small e’state within the Universal State of Creation to which we find ourselves. Would you rahter have sit on our rump and await ETs to decide the matter for you? Or, would you rather approach Universal Creation and/or Ets or otherwise, prepared in hand with conceptional solution to keep the peace for All Walks of Life wherever found, in the hopes of preserving those self-evident principles so many have sacrificed to preserve?

You state: “So… Lenin brought about a revolution which lifted the serfs out of crushing poverty, giving them democratic control of their work places, guaranteed jobs, the seven hour work day, paid vacations, free health care and free education for their children, women’s rights and on and on.”

Response: Lenin was financed by both international concerns both by U.S. interest via ICC just like Hitler. Lenin put to death over 5 million to accomplish the goals of the global oligarchy. Proceeded by Stalin who put to death over 20-30 million with his 5 year plan. So the cost of those who you claimed he helped was built upon the blood of millions. Do you support such war mongering for the sake of your premise?

But all in all, whatever you position is to the query presented, for those of us who deem such war mongering is not a viable solution believe there is a solution for those who wish to step aside so to speak, concerning the ongoing debauchery evincing total subjugation of All Walks of Life via Creating Standing within the geopolitical framework of International Conventions.

This is the last bastion of the presumed Rule of Law left to reasonable people exercising the Science of Right Reason.

In support of the aforementioned, one only has to avail themselves of these facts by reading the “4” declarations posted by the SEA at the web link: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah.
We honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Not by generalities but Line for Line.

And, once again as our humble attempt for those capable of presenting facts line for line, in the light of reasonable prepositions or otherwise, just as a reminder for all those who honorably exchange ideas within the ‘Truthdig Forum’ while refraining from hateful or insolent behavior…always remember, sometimes while exchanging ideas, the time and respect we give, from a deep seated desire to foster harmonious behavior to garner enlightenment, can be met on the road of hopeful enlightenment, by those seeking to discourage, rather than exhorting to greater possibilities. My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

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By DavidByron, November 8, 2010 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

de profundis clamavi: “The American people will find that when the system has condemned them to death by starvation and hypothermia, that they do, after all, have the courage to rise up and destroy the class that oppresses them.”

Everyone knows that which is why it won’t happen that way.  The rich are not stupid.  Certainly not THAT stupid.

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By WriterOnTheStorm, November 8, 2010 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

Whenever Hedges invokes fascism, a semantic shell game ensues in the
comments thread. Apparently it’s palliative for some to conclude that our
current predicament is outside some classic definition of “fascist”.

It might be more helpful to approach the discussion from the standpoint of
authoritarianism. Authoritarianism is a personality trait, not a political position.
According to Bob Altemeyer (you all know who he is, right?) some key traits of
the authoritarian follower are:

Submissiveness to authority figures (like Palin and Beck)
Fearfulness
Self righteousness
Hostility (remember the boot in the neck of that woman at the Rand Paul rally?)
Lack of critical thinking
Compartmentalized thinking
Double standards
Dogmatism
Elevated sense of empowerment when in groups (pack mentality, remember
those town hall meetings?)
Ethnocentrism
Prejudice

Authoritarianism can express itself both on the right and on the left (remember
a cat named Stalin?). But because of fascism’s association with Nazism and
Mussolini, fascism is usually assumed to be a form of right-wing
authoritarianism.

Does authoritarianism always lead to fascism? No, but you will never find
fascism without authoritarians.

Does authoritarianism have to graduate to fascism before it is harmful? Of
course not. As an example, today it is obvious that free-market
authoritarianism on the part of our economic policy makers lead to the
economic collapse of 2007. Were those policy makers fascist? No. They were
just fearful, self-righteous, prejudice partisans of the cause of free markets.
They lost the faculty of critical thinking and, in the face of opposition to their
approach, became hostile and dogmatic.

One could argue that fascism is simply unopposed militant right-wing
authoritarianism. But why get caught up in a word? The time to talk about
fascism is when it’s still just authoritarianism. Because once it’s fascism, it’s too
late.

Constant vigilance, baby.

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By DavidByron, November 8, 2010 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment

Bob Burns: “I live in China, which is experiencing the opposite situation. Opposite as well is our economic system, which is as pure a free-market Capitalist as one could ever hope to see.”

as one could ever hope to see inside a Communist run command economy country you mean?  Your statement is not at all clear.

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By Angel Gabriel, November 8, 2010 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

Orbis Unum, November 8 at 5:22 pm .
I agree with your premise that all men are created with the element of free choice - to either join em (society), or not. Living outside Society is not a choice that many people can make and stand by. Society, wherever Society’s exist, make exclusion-ism virtually impossible through the Societal Tenacle’s that connect property ownership or control with payment of taxes, and unless you live on the road, moving constantly, or self sufficiently on a Sailboat, you will always be tied into a Society.
Choosing to live within a Society in these modern time means 2 things. Either you rise to the top and prostitue your principles for money, which is the measure of Societal Stature, or you choose to follow your principles and conform your lifestyle to that method that might bring you the least amount of pain when living with your own truth.
It’s easy to see where Apathy is the ruling force in middle American Society today. The deck has been stacked against the Serf’s for Centuries, and it is only the clever or brave Serf that has risen to a level of leadership amidst the flock that has been able to break the barriers and demand a new Dealer on the table.
Choice, though being the key point is most often the hardest to maintain!. Even with a new dealer on the table, it is only a short time before the deck will be re-stacked, and the old status-quo is renewed with more of a vengeance than the past one.
Money is the root of all evil, and Usury surpasses it to give the wealthy the edge of containing and controlling the slave classes.
If this Money Worship is to be broken, then choice will once again be present in Society’s, but not until. Unfortunately, In such a dog eat dog world, it’s just a matter of time until your time is up.

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By Orbis Unum, November 8, 2010 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

Re: basho, November 8 at 6:20 pm.

You state: “...and it will financed by the same folks that put the austrian corporal in charge of germany’s new world order.”

Response: While we do not disagree or agree with your thoughts but what documentary evidence to you have of who these people are to make such a claim?

But even if such documentary evidenced existed, what do you believe could be proffered as a solution other for those seeking selkf-determination than otherwise, which has to be proffered by the S.E.A.?

The S.E.A. claims with documentary evidence that there is a solution for those who wish to step aside so to speak, concerning the ongoing debauchery evincing total subjugation of All Walks of Life via Creating Standing within the geopolitical framework of International Conventions.

This is the last bastion of the presumed Rule of Law left to reasonable people exercising the Science of Right Reason.

In support of the aforementioned, one only has to avail themselves of these facts by reading the “4” declarations posted by the SEA at the web link: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah.

We honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Not by generalities but Line for Line.
And, once again as our humble attempt for those capable of presenting facts line for line, in the light of reasonable prepositions or otherwise, just as a reminder for all those who honorably exchange ideas within the ‘Truthdig Forum’ while refraining from hateful or insolent behavior…always remember, sometimes while exchanging ideas, the time and respect we give, from a deep seated desire to foster harmonious behavior to garner enlightenment, can be met on the road of hopeful enlightenment, by those seeking to discourage, rather than exhorting to greater possibilities. My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

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By DavidByron, November 8, 2010 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment

“The propagandists of globalization—from Lawrence Summers to Francis Fukuyama to Thomas Friedman—do for globalization and the free market what Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky did for Marxism.”

So… Lenin brought about a revolution which lifted the serfs out of crushing poverty, giving them democratic control of their work places, guaranteed jobs, the seven hour work day, paid vacations, free health care and free education for their children, women’s rights and on and on.

I must have missed when Thomas Friedman did that.

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By basho, November 8, 2010 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

it would not be too difficult to parallel the present state of the u.s. to that of germany after WW1. most of the pieces are in place.

...and it will financed by the same folks that put the austrian corporal in charge of germany’s new world order.

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By Orbis Unum, November 8, 2010 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment

Re: ohiolibgal, November 8 at 6:06 pm.

You said: “The corporate state/media is clever at manipulating, we just need more people to rip themselves away from sleepwalking through life and figure things out, figure out that the people they are voting for are playing them every day of their lives.”

Response: Simply put, the evidence in support of voter value in respect to changing the Rules by which the Guardians play by, appertaining to any of the branches of government or agencies thereof, is as likely to affect or alter the outcome arising from the lack of Standing to State a Claim for which relief cam be Granted, pro or con, in a system of governance you’ve been duped into believing you’re a party too!!!

In support of the aforementioned, one only has to avail themselves of these facts by reading the “4” declarations posted by the SEA at the web link: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah.

We honorably await your evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise.

And, once again as our humble attempt for those capable of presenting facts line for line, in the light of reasonable prepositions or otherwise, just as a reminder for all those who honorably exchange ideas within the ‘Truthdig Forum’ while refraining from hateful or insolent behavior…always remember, sometimes while exchanging ideas, the time and respect we give, from a deep seated desire to foster harmonious behavior to garner enlightenment, can be met on the road of hopeful enlightenment, by those seeking to discourage, rather than exhorting to greater possibilities. My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

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By de profundis clamavi, November 8, 2010 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment

At the risk of sounding a little bit academic, I think the French Revolution has even more to teach us about the way out of our quandary.

Some of you have been wondering where are the people going to find their courage to take action against a system that is stacked against them? Answer: Like the Ancien Regime of France, the American Plutocratic Republic has already sown the seeds of its own demise in the form of the coming bankruptcy of the federal government and the accompanying collapse of all welfare safeguards which are the only thing that stand between the poorer half of the American people and homelessness and starvation.

Endless war, though it creates a few billionaires, is not economically productive and puts the country in debt. Sophisticated financial gambling, though it creates a few more billionaires, is not economically productive and destroys the savings of working people. Legalized loan sharking,  though it creates a few billionaires, is not economically productive and drives poor people to destititution. Near-monopolistic retail chains selling goods produced overseas, though they create few billionaires, are not economically productive, and depend on credit sales to people who are already in debt beyond their means.

The cost of endless war is rapidly driving up the national debt to the point where all other spending will have to be cut to service the debt. Then, either the ruling class will have to agree to tax itself, or the whole political and economic structure will collapse.

The French Revolution was triggered by the bankruptcy of the French government in 1788, brought about by a century of imperialist wars against Great Britain culminating in France’s support for the American Revolution. Our government is bankrupting itself the same way: our ruling class depends on endless war to keep the money flowing into their coffers, but they are unwilling to tax themselves to pay for the wars, and so the result is the federal deficit.

The American people will find that when the system has condemned them to death by starvation and hypothermia, that they do, after all, have the courage to rise up and destroy the class that oppresses them.

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By ohiolibgal, November 8, 2010 at 1:06 pm Link to this comment

If I were to begin a blog I think I’d name it “What The Hell Is Wrong With You People?” or “Take Baby Steps, Rip Yourselves From Reality TV and Connect The Damn Dots”.

My mind is still blown that over 40 million people voted for a semi literate dry drunk for president not once but twice. Not quite enough to really elect him but close enough so that caging, other fraud, and five righties on the Supreme Court could win the day.

The corporate state/media is clever at manipulating, we just need more people to rip themselves away from sleepwalking through life and figure things out, figure out that the people they are voting for are playing them every day of their lives.

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By Orbis Unum, November 8, 2010 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

Re: felicity, November 8 at 5:43 pm.

You state: “Not to rag on them, but our Pickwickian teabaggers, like their namesakes, would be good at dumping tea in the sea, but organizing and winning a revolution?”

Response: Reasonable people do not seek a revolution but rather the evolution of the mindset which led to the current State of Affairs. To do otherwise, would give the dogs of war opportunity to justify their ravenous need for subjugation and their constant unreasonable need to justify their jobs as enforcers for the global oligarchy!

But there is a solution for those who wish to step aside so to speak, concerning the ongoing debauchery evincing total subjugation of All Walks of Life via Creating Standing within the geopolitical framework of International Conventions.

This is the last bastion of the presumed Rule of Law left to reasonable people exercising the Science of Right Reason.

In support of the aforementioned, one only has to avail themselves of these facts by reading the “4” declarations posted by the SEA at the web link: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah.

We honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Not by generalities but Line for Line.

And, once again as our humble attempt for those capable of presenting facts line for line, in the light of reasonable prepositions or otherwise, just as a reminder for all those who honorably exchange ideas within the ‘Truthdig Forum’ while refraining from hateful or insolent behavior…always remember, sometimes while exchanging ideas, the time and respect we give, from a deep seated desire to foster harmonious behavior to garner enlightenment, can be met on the road of hopeful enlightenment, by those seeking to discourage, rather than exhorting to greater possibilities. My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

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By balkas, November 8, 2010 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

Am i mistaken in averring that 99.99999% of all scribes and posters have not to
date espied the invariance in interpersonal and int’l relationship?

The invariant i have in mind is that of utter control of all salient doings by, say,
one% or less of the pop.
In short, what we have in almost all plutocracies; broadly, owners of people and
owned-people.
The degree of ownership of people, freedoms-wages alllowed us, varying;
depending solely on variance and ‘goodwill’ of the master class.

Or as folks say: the more things change the more they say the same. Now that
plutos are scared out of their wits, freedoms appear restricted more than ever
and earnings and right to work are reduced.

And, of course, plutos having only one party, schooling, set of interpreters of
u.s. laws, media, cia, army, ‘educators’, and the iron grip appears awesome.
more cld be said. tnx

p.s.i commend truthdig for not deleting my posts;however, positing OUR
KNOWLEDGE, not mine solely.

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By par4, November 8, 2010 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Anyone who thinks we will have some kind of ‘soft’ Fascism is deluding themselves. Muslims will be the first target and a return to Jim Crow in the south will happen right along with it. Leaders like Newt Gingrich saying the civil rights movement wasn’t worth it are all the evidence you need. I wouldn’t put it past the ‘Christian Right’ trying to convince Jews they should move to Israel voluntarily so Biblical prophesy can be fulfilled. As this country keeps descending into Fascism all sorts of ‘unthinkable’ horrors can become reality very quickly. Roger Cohen pointed out during the Koran burning incident it was only ten years from the book burnings in Germany until the Holocaust.

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By moonraven, November 8, 2010 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

This is just another Chris Hedges nostalgia piece for something that never was.

The politics in the US are a reflection of its hateful, destructive government.

It was ALWAYS hateful and destructive. First it destroyed Native people. Then it destroyed their culture, while it began its cancerous poaching of other countries’ resources. Everything about US foreign policy is either collateral damage or a wet Hiroshima dream.

There is no “descent into the irrational”. Hateful destruction of others for white euroamerican interests has always been an irrational policy of rape and pillage.

And the message has always been: If you are mean enough, racist enough and supremely unethical in treating other beings, YOU, too, can elbow your way into the ranks of the privileged plutocrats.

A nation of jackals and hyenas is the result.

Join the pack or leave is the motto.

I left.

Best life decision I ever made.

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By s.zielinski, November 8, 2010 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

I believe Chris Hedges focuses too intently on the possibility of an American fascism. While a fascist American state is a possible outcome of the path America now walks, it is also a highly improbable outcome. The United States might instead stumble into an Authoritarian ‘solution’ to its current political and economic problems. My prediction: A military coup occurs when economic misery and civil unrest becomes too annoying to those with the power to produce a coup. In brief, then, there are a variety of authoritarian regime types. A fascist regime is merely one of the genus.

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By Mark, November 8, 2010 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree with Chris Hedges.  True, he might use the
term “fascism” a bit too loosely. But those who jump
all over him are mostly white liberals and
conservatives whose view of the country/ world is
extremely limited. For many Americans, especially
those of color, Latinos, African Americans and
Muslims, the jack boot is here. Locally, in Southern
California, Mexican families are stopped for a
traffic violation. Then men, women and children are
handcuffed and picked up by ICE for immediate
deportation. Their husbands / wives / relatives panic
and wonder what happened to them.  This despite
Obama’s and DHS assurances that only “illegal
criminals” are being deported. A total lie—mass
deportations based on misdemeanor offences are a
daily occurence.

Moreover, privately run immigration prisons are
flourishing and were behind Arizona’s fascist (yes,
fascist) SB1070. The government is also going after
peace activists and other rebels. And don’t forget,
fascism in Germany was a slow process at first. Then
it gained momentum, just like it is doing here right
now. Remember Pastor Martin Niemueller’s rap: “At
first they came for the communists, and I was not a
communist,” etc. etc. Hedges, the son of a another
Protestant minister, may see things pretty darkly at
times, but he is right on.

I suggest that white liberals dip into the world of
the people of color—accompany them, get involved
with them, then they will stop calling people like
Chris “cavalier.”  Yes, we do live in an apartheid
society, and it’s time to cross over and identify
with the oppressed. Otherwise, we may wake up some
morning and find out it’s too late.  Thank you,
Chris, for your prophetic words!

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By felicity, November 8, 2010 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette - indeed, we do have a penchant for ‘stars’
-and don’t forget ‘wizards’ and ‘saviors.’

Not to rag on them, but our Pickwickian teabaggers,
like their namesakes, would be good at dumping tea in
the sea, but organizing and winning a revolution?

And then there are we liberals - smart people who
believe weird things because we’re skilled at
defending beliefs we arrived at for non-smart
reasons. (If we weren’t smart, we wouldn’t be good at
defending them, but apparently we’re not smart enough
to recognize weird.)


At this point, as a country, as a people we seem to
be spinning around the drain phase of a once great
nation.

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By cann4ing, November 8, 2010 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment

As usual, Hedges’ analysis is spot-on. 

The one aspect left out of the analysis—one which “the old left,” as Hedges describes it, did not have to confront—is the ability of corporate wealth to control 95% of what Americans see, hear and read through conglomerated ownership of every means of mass communication save the internet—and even that one avenue is threatened by efforts to erect corporate toll booths on the information highway.

The Tea Party’s poison populism succeeds not merely because of the ignorant rage of their 21st Century “know-nothing” followers (aka “useful idiots”), but because it has been funded and controlled by the likes of Koch Industries and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

In the wake of Citizens United, America’s headlong flight into a feudal form of fascism will continue unabated unless the “new left” finds a way to reach the subjugated masses with information, such as that set forth by Chris Hedges in this article.

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By Orbis Unum, November 8, 2010 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

Re: G.Anderson, November 8 at 5:23 pm.

You stated: “Yes, we will have fascism, one that is enforceable only through financial control.”

Response: Let us not forget how fascism came to power. Via misrepresentation within the Centers of Education (Public Fools Systems) designed to foist upon present and future generations a mindset illusionist thinking.

But there is a solution for those who wish to step aside so to speak, concerning the ongoing debauchery evincing total subjugation of All Walks of Life via Creating Standing within the geopolitical framework of International Conventions.

This is the last bastion of the presumed Rule of Law left to reasonable people exercising the Science of Right Reason.

In support of the aforementioned, one only has to avail themselves of these facts by reading the “4” declarations posted by the SEA at the web link: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah.

We honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Not by generalities but Line for Line.

And, once again as our humble attempt for those capable of presenting facts line for line, in the light of reasonable prepositions or otherwise, just as a reminder for all those who honorably exchange ideas within the ‘Truthdig Forum’ while refraining from hateful or insolent behavior…always remember, sometimes while exchanging ideas, the time and respect we give, from a deep seated desire to foster harmonious behavior to garner enlightenment, can be met on the road of hopeful enlightenment, by those seeking to discourage, rather than exhorting to greater possibilities. My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

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By mrfreeze, November 8, 2010 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

G.Anderson - Your words:

“We are debt slaves and nothing more, and the corporations have set government the task of guaranteeing our slavery.”

I can’t say I’ve read truer words in many months. Americans are not only at the mercy a non-functioning government. Their greatest bondage comes from being in uber-debt to the loan-sharks and criminals that call themselves “financial institutions.” Even my Italian relatives can’t believe that the usurous loans given to Americans are actually “legal.” They remind me constantly that they have an institution in Italy that does the same thing…..it’s called the Mafia. BUT, Americans, in their quest to pretend that they’re one of those $250K breadwinners will mortgage their lives for the appearance of the “American Dream.”

We have become absurd and sad and pathetic.

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By Wounded and Dangerous, November 8, 2010 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

It might be time to get the guillotine out of the closet and sharpen up the blades.

I don’t see too much hope here for the lower classes since they have lost so much already. When things really begin to crumble and reality sets in it just might be too late. The guys who are going wind up the winners have already begun to make their beds.

Nice article Chris, but sometimes you can can only do so much talking before the effect of the cheapness of words sets in. I think there just might come a day when Americans tire of being talked to. Even the dumbest of sheep still has to perform the basic functions.

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By mrfreeze, November 8, 2010 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

Angel Gabriel - Instead of Chris Hedges, you should have written the featured piece this morning. “Unringing the Bell” is an insightful metaphor that aptly describes our current situation.

I’m afraid that as long as Americans continue to be satisfied as"uber-consumers” of cheap products and have easy access to userous loan-shark money (credit cards/payday loans, etc.) then they living the American Dream. They are “free.”

The only way out for regular folks in this country today is to practice uber-frugality, try as far as possible to live locally and prepare for even more trouble ahead. I’m afraid the brave people you are looking for are too busy dealing with life in this brave new Banana Repbulic called America.

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By nothing2fear, November 8, 2010 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

Chris Hedges has done a good job of including many of the problems we face today; others have filled in many blank places in this sad story.  For those who scoff at those who allude that we may be descending into a Fascist state it should be remembered that Germany and Italy were both Democracies.  Those who usurped these nations did so through a democratic process in which the people participated.  In other words those peoples voluntarily gave over their nations to the Nazi Party and then allowed that party to dismantle those Democracies.  It all happened democratically and with cooperation of the people.  So be afraid of what is happening,

be very afraid.

Below are some links to Sheldon Wolin’s Book “Democracy Incorporated”.  He has come to many of the same conclusions as Chris using his book to suport his allegations, it is a very interesting read.

Inverted Totalitarianism:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverted_totalitarianism 

“Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism”
By Sheldon Wolin

http://press.princeton.edu/titles/8606.html

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By G.Anderson, November 8, 2010 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment

Yes, we live in a time of peak delusion, when our delusions can no longer be medicated by our materialism. Those delusions gain force and momentum, as our thoughts become unhinged in anger, and fear.

The belief that we have political freedom, when we are surrounded everywhere by our slavery is unreal.

We are debt slaves and nothing more, and the corporations have set government the task of guaranteeing our slavery.

Our current state of unease is only our realization of the facts of our existence. Due to result of deluded corporate control of our financial institutions. They are in the process of complete and total failure.

The corporations want freedom and slavery at the same time. Freedom for them, and slavery for us.

Yes, we will have fascism, one that is enforceable only through financial control. Harvesting our labor, but providing only pain and suffering in return.

The corporations can own, but they cannot rule. And as long as this state of affairs exists, government by lobbyist, then political delusions will become more extreme and more impotent at the same time.

Unless these days are shortened we will have civil war..

42 million Americans are now on food stamps, 50 million homes are in foreclosure or underwater, 1.6 million bankruptcies in 2010..

In the past 60 days, the price of cotton is up 54%, the price of corn is up 29%, the price of soybeans is up 22%, the price of orange juice is up 17%, and the price of sugar is up 51%.

What will happen when the price of bread reaches $22 a loaf?

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By Orbis Unum, November 8, 2010 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

Re: Angel Gabriel, November 8 at 5:13 pm.

You stated: “There may come a day of reckoning, but it’s time for brave people to make brave commitments to change what has been undone before any bell is going to ring in the US again. Trouble is - where do you find those brave people???”

Response: If the truth is what you seek, knock and it shall be given. But don’t complain, if your unwilling to answer the door because as we all know, the only pathway through the doorway is by invitation only!

Individuals, singularly or collectively, find it hard to face their duty upon the Watchtower of self-determination in support of the self-evident principles, ‘that all men are by nature are equally free and independent, and have certain unalienable rights, of which, when they enter into a State of Society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety,’ but the responsibility of our present and future generations doesn’t change just because the truth is hard to face!

In support of the aforementioned, one only has to avail themselves of these facts by reading the “4” declarations posted by the SEA at the web link: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah.

We honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Not by generalities but Line for Line.

And, once again as our humble attempt for those capable of presenting facts line for line, in the light of reasonable prepositions or otherwise, just as a reminder for all those who honorably exchange ideas within the ‘Truthdig Forum’ while refraining from hateful or insolent behavior…always remember, sometimes while exchanging ideas, the time and respect we give, from a deep seated desire to foster harmonious behavior to garner enlightenment, can be met on the road of hopeful enlightenment, by those seeking to discourage, rather than exhorting to greater possibilities. My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

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By M L, November 8, 2010 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Loyalist of the financial oligarchy have infiltrated/infected all three branches of our government maintaining the power and control (facist government). The root of all unhappiness is when our desires do not match what is or could be (reality). The American people are unhappy because their desire (a government for the people and by the people) does not match what is (a government by corporations and for corporations). The American people will either have to take control and make our desire match our reality or “let it go”.

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By Ted Swart, November 8, 2010 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

Chris Hedges tells a good tale. But there are some glaring flaws in his tale.  He still falls for the ridiculous nonsense of global warming and still thinks that true religion—whatever that is supposed to be—is needed for our salvation. Whilst a “pox on both houses” is perfectly appropriate he misses the glariing fact that there is some truth hidden on both sides which can only be clearly seen by going independant.  Perhaps the most revealing poll of all was the one which showed that if voters had their way some 63% would choose to kick all existing politicians out.
And one of the truths which emerges from indpendent thinking is that global warming is probably the most egregious exmaple of the corruption of science in living memory. The whole Copenhagen exercise was nothing other than yet one more example of how the corporate elete have wheedled their way into evey aspect of our lives—in a manner that goes far beyiond the confines of the US.
It is not the US constitution/system of government which is at fault but its complete corruption from inside. Despite the catchy slogan of “change that we can count on” Obama seems to have done nothing to change course.  And, whilst facism may not be imminent, continuing chaos will prevail unless and until enough people start talking truth to power.

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By Louis Proyect, November 8, 2010 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

I like Chris Hedges very much but I doubt that he has ever read Lenin and Trotsky, or perhaps having read them had no clue what they were saying.

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By Angel Gabriel, November 8, 2010 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

“for a growing number of Americans, common sense has lost its validity. ” Apathy and the helplessness it creates has replaced “can do”.

Every single comment here in this thread reflect the above quote in Hedges article.
This article states nothing new, but rather a truth about Americans that has been force fed, swallowed, and digested for decades. Corporate America has stepped up the pace of the dismantling of the “jobs” that kept the middle class working and moving progressively forward after World War II. Hedges comment that the Corporatist Movement began after World War-I is indeed the truth, and the now missing elements of a Social Conscience that promoted self worth, that once was the elastic that kept the ideological sides bound to each other, has been disintegrated.
Reagan cut the elastic bond that held the domestic economy of the U.S.together with the rapid move to Globalization that directly led to the outsourcing of the Bread and Butter of American Manufacturing, Customer support, & Sales of produceable consumable goods that has destroyed this once proud country. “Proud to be an American” is a hollow echo that still rings here, but rings like a bell with a missing mallet. Finally I understand the answer to the question of “How do you un-ring a bell?”
America has been gutted almost completely, the Tenderloin has gone to the wealthy, and the Ofal is all that’s left for those that aren’t wealthy. Those American’s that relied on a healthy domestic production of goods and services for their stake in the American Dream have slept through the movie of the past 30 years. It’s now the American Nightmare for everyone under the $250K class. The ones over the magic number survive, and the ones below it die a slow death through their powerlessness to participate outside their own backyards. They have been left to be merely consumers.  It’s not that they don’t want to participate, they can’t. There’s nothing left to participate in except buying the cheap goods that Wal Mart sells, formerly produced here.
The saddest part in this scene is that these millions of people, the middle class of America are still feeding this Corporate Animal because they still need to eat,have a roof over their heads, and try and raise a family that requires their consumer participation. The Corporatist in the $250K and over club know that these same people will have to continue spending or die on the vine. Corporations are now happily relying on foreign cheap labor to produce those consumer goods that are being sold to a much larger market without the old trade barriers, a “Global Market” where they don’t have to account for laws or regulation that once protected the domestic U.S. worker and Consumer. Unions have gone the way of the Dinosaur because they have no one to represent.
It’s down to helplessness and apathy for the once working class. No hope exists for change outside of a complete meltdown and restructuring of the entire Enchilada. The middle can only watch the slow death of their Social Structures disappear before their, and their Children’s very eyes. Education,Health, and Social Welfare programs are next to be eliminated out from underneath their feet. The wealthy can afford to Educate their young, and can pass on their fortunes, the Middle have nothing to pass on except the pain of irrelevance and extinction.
There may come a day of reckoning, but it’s time for brave people to make brave commitments to change what has been undone before any bell is going to ring in the US again. Trouble is - where do you find those brave people???

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By Lafayette, November 8, 2010 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

JD: I give great credence to the observations of Noam Chomsky; Noam Chomsky has commented on the danger of the collapse of the Center, as it related to the Weimar Republic, and the rise of fascism in Germany.

Good post. Intelligent. Thank you.

Hitler and Mussolini both were close to corporations, but that is not the essence of fascism. The closeness came about with the advent of the Industrial Age and its ability to generate great fortunes. Both of these sly leaders knew where the money-pots were.

Consider the core tenets of fascism (again from WikiP): Nationalism • Authoritarianism • Single party state • Dictatorship • Social Darwinism • Social interventionism • Indoctrination • Propaganda • Anti-intellectualism • Eugenics • Heroism • Militarism • Economic interventionism • Anti-communism.

Of all these ingredients, a nationalist single-party state maintained in power by means of authoritarianism are the most important attributes of fascism. There is no way, whatsoever, unless you like standing on your head, to confuse those qualities with America today.

Can America become fascist? Possibly, it depends. Social Darwinism is a major concern for many of us. Especially if one group is allowed to flourish economically whilst, at exactly the same moment, another is about to perish.

What brought fascism to power in Germany was the reparation damages settled upon the country by the European victors of WW2. The reparations impoverished the economy, inflation was rampant and the country considered Hitler their savior.

That is not the case today in the US. The differences between today and yesteryear are stark. We choose to elect the dogmatic Right that now controls the House. It was not imposed upon us and there is no retribution if we voted against that faction. 

My point: Let’s not lose focus of the key factor distorting our democracy and promoting a warped distribution of income. It is the plutocracy Ronald Reagan created by reducing both marginal income and equity gain taxation. Those two measures produced the class of plutocrats who manipulate elections today – aided and abetted by a mindless Supreme Court ruling that decided that freedom of expression was extensible to corporations (that cannot vote).

But this plutocratic class does so because the American people evidently think that a plutocracy is a normal outcome of economic activity. Either that or they are oblivious to the fact that 20% of the population is garnering 93% of the wealth our economy generates – which constitutes America’s plutocratic class of individuals.

Frankly, I don’t think Americans have the foggiest notion of how and why an economy works. Besides, what election is ever about the underlying economic facts and the policy decisions that are necessary for the country?  The subject obtains rarely more than 5 minutes in any national debate between candidates.

But abortion – oh, yes, that brings them right out of the woodwork for sure.

The Dems have yet to drive home the length and depth of the economy’s plundering by those running corporations—be they industrial, commercial or financial. And we laud these individuals for their supposed business prowess – to such a point that they become National Celebrities.  They are role models of a status to which we can all aspire.

Bollocks to that notion if the price to be paid is the lifelong incarceration in poverty of 13 to 17 percent of our fellow Americans.

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