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Throw Out the Money Changers

Posted on Apr 18, 2011
Oisin Prendiville (CC-BY-SA)

By Chris Hedges

These are remarks Chris Hedges made in Union Square in New York City last Friday during a protest outside a branch office of the Bank of America.

We stand today before the gates of one of our temples of finance. It is a temple where greed and profit are the highest good, where self-worth is determined by the ability to amass wealth and power at the expense of others, where laws are manipulated, rewritten and broken, where the endless treadmill of consumption defines human progress, where fraud and crimes are the tools of business.

The two most destructive forces of human nature—greed and envy—drive the financiers, the bankers, the corporate mandarins and the leaders of our two major political parties, all of whom profit from this system. They place themselves at the center of creation. They disdain or ignore the cries of those below them. They take from us our rights, our dignity and thwart our capacity for resistance. They seek to make us prisoners in our own land. They view human beings and the natural world as mere commodities to exploit until exhaustion or collapse. Human suffering, wars, climate change, poverty, it is all the price of business. Nothing is sacred. The Lord of Profit is the Lord of Death.

The pharisees of high finance who can see us this morning from their cubicles and corner officers mock virtue. Life for them is solely about self-gain. The suffering of the poor is not their concern. The 6 million families thrown out of their homes are not their concern. The tens of millions of pensioners whose retirement savings were wiped out because of the fraud and dishonesty of Wall Street are not their concern. The failure to halt carbon emissions is not their concern. Justice is not their concern. Truth is not their concern. A hungry child is not their concern.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky in “Crime and Punishment” understood the radical evil behind the human yearning not to be ordinary but to be extraordinary, the desire that allows men and women to serve systems of self-glorification and naked greed. Raskolnikov in the novel believes—like those in this temple—that humankind can be divided into two groups. The first is composed of ordinary people. These ordinary people are meek and submissive. They do little more than reproduce other human beings in their own likeness, grow old and die. And Raskolnikov is dismissive of these lesser forms of human life.

The second group, he believes, is extraordinary. These are, according to Raskolnikov, the Napoleons of the world, those who flout law and custom, those who shred conventions and traditions to create a finer, more glorious future. Raskolnikov argues that, although we live in the world, we can free ourselves from the consequences of living with others, consequences that will not always be in our favor. The Raskolnikovs of the world place unbridled and total faith in the human intellect. They disdain the attributes of compassion, empathy, beauty, justice and truth. And this demented vision of human existence leads Raskolnikov to murder a pawnbroker and steal her money.

The priests in these corporate temples, in the name of profit, kill with even more ruthlessness, finesse and cunning than Raskolnikov. Corporations let 50,000 people die last year because they could not pay them for proper medical care. They have killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis, Palestinians and Pakistanis, and gleefully watched as the stock price of weapons contractors quadrupled. They have turned cancer into an epidemic in the coal fields of West Virginia where families breathe polluted air, drink poisoned water and watch the Appalachian Mountains blasted into a desolate wasteland while coal companies can make billions. And after looting the U.S. treasury these corporations demand, in the name of austerity, that we abolish food programs for children, heating assistance and medical care for our elderly, and good public education. They demand that we tolerate a permanent underclass that will leave one in six workers without jobs, that condemns tens of millions of Americans to poverty and tosses our mentally ill onto heating grates. Those without power, those whom these corporations deem to be ordinary, are cast aside like human refuse. It is what the god of the market demands.

When Dante enters the “city of woes” in the Inferno he hears the cries of “those whose lives earned neither honor nor bad fame,” those rejected by Heaven and Hell, those who dedicated their lives solely to the pursuit of happiness. These are all the “good” people, the ones who never made a fuss, who filled their lives with vain and empty pursuits, harmless perhaps, to amuse themselves, who never took a stand for anything, never risked anything, who went along. They never looked hard at their lives, never felt the need, never wanted to look.

Those who chase the glittering rainbows of the consumer society, who buy into the perverted ideology of consumer culture, become, as Dante knew, moral cowards. They are indoctrinated by our corporate systems of information and remain passive as our legislative, executive and judicial branches of government—tools of the corporate state—strip us of the capacity to resist. Democrat or Republican. Liberal or conservative. It makes no difference. Barack Obama serves corporate interests as assiduously as did George W. Bush. And to place our faith in any party or established institution as a mechanism for reform is to be entranced by the celluloid shadows on the wall of Plato’s cave.


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By katsteevns, May 7, 2011 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment

By John Best

I stand by my initial overview….Like Hedges and Chomsky, Parenti does us a great service by pointing out serious problems, but it is up to us to solve them.

A great service to whom? That question can only be answered by those within the class that they inhabit individually, assuming their objective is to move people to action.
We all know by now that the FED and the Military Industrial Complex need to be dismantled. This is just common sense. Who is more able to effect change than those within the class where these three gentleman live their lives? Surely more than the students and lay persons who gobble up their books and sustain their craft.
Chomsky, for one, spent many years at MIT and was sustained by funds from the Pentagon. He claims his activist work was done in his “free time”, but how did he accumulate so much free time? They use the processes of capitalism to promote their books and other means of income. They are fishing in the same pond as the elites but with different lures and catching different fish.

Many people can and do point out injustice withing their social class, but not everyone has the skill, resources and time to ponder the injustices of other classes or the megaphone to spread the news.

What I am saying is, that if none of these is willing to give up their class position, why should any of their followers do so? Just because they have wide vision doesn’t make them good leaders. These three should be leading a movement together but they are not. I would suppose they are each counting on the generation raising up now, whom they struggle to teach, to make the change we need, but I wouldn’t want to put my eggs in that basket.

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By katsteevns, April 23, 2011 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment

“If we made an income pyramid out of a child’s blocks, with each layer portraying $1,000 of income, the peak would be far higher than the Eiffel Tower, but almost all of us would be within a yard of the ground.”
- Paul Samuelson

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By katsteevns, April 23, 2011 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

I think there was a technical glitch, I couldn’t post either.

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By Grady Lee Howard, April 23, 2011 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

Truthdig’s mining analogy disappoints me. I made an effort yesterday to explore tactical issues in response to Hedges call to resistance and my work was rejected, not published. Maybe the most useful reference I made was to Einsten Institute and Gene Sharp, a retired professor specializing in non-violent methods for social change. There exist other manuals of this type in the Gandhian and American Civil Rights tradition (and others). Chris Hedges has an obligation as an activist to explore the feasibility of what he recommends.

A general strike has been mentioned, and this is essentially what occurred in Tunisia and Egypt, along with public demonstrations for specific reforms. A general change of consciousness might result in less consumptive and kinder behavior, but this would be slow with indefinite outcome. I personally recommend the remand of car payments to organizational escrow accounts until the banks hear us.

These statements are directly tangent to Hedges’opposition to “moneychangers” here at Easter, and it would be demonstrative of a weak agenda setting at the DIG if this were rejected.

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By TAO Walker, April 23, 2011 at 12:05 am Link to this comment

This eCONomy that so many are so obsessed-with is nothing but the “operating system” for the “civilization” disease process.  Like “The Little Mill That Ground Salt,” though (in the old tale about how the seas became briny), the damned fools that set it going can’t shut it off.

So unless that component of Earth’s immune system that IS Humanity (including that huge part of it presently in-thrall to the ‘piece’ of the invasive retro-viral tormenting entity that is their “self”) can bring-to-bear enough of the Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity to respond adequately to the depredations of the damned thing infecting our Living arrangement, its “process” (already in its terminal stages) will very likely result in the sort of “worst-case-scenario” even some among our mostly at-best-semi-conscious domesticated Human Relations are beginning to see coming-about.  Because John Best’s speculation, that the most seriously-infected among the tormentors’ two-legged tools, “the rich,” are in much too deep to pull-away from the dead-certain DEAD END course they’re pursuing, is dead-on.

This IS the crisis, Sisters and Brothers, the actual emergency.  It is not, in its essence, philosophical or political or technological or in any way abstract.  Rationalizing or voting or praying or engineering can do nothing to address it.  It is entirely biological.  Like any sickness, it responds to The Medicine specific to its presentation.   

That specific remedy is The Tiyoshpaye Way….The Way of Genuine Organic Human Community.  Better take it, while you still can.  Because, as the Ancients knew, there is no incurable disease….only incurable people.  So….



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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 22, 2011 at 10:25 pm Link to this comment

katstevens: just ordered ‘The Assassination of Julius Caesar, A People’s History of Ancient Rome’. I looked over a lot of his work today.  A ‘good leftist’, but I stand by my initial overview….Like Hedges and Chomsky, Parenti does us a great service by pointing out serious problems, but it is up to us to solve them. 

Grady Lee Howard: You say, “I like strategy and I’m willing to cast my lot with a leftist revolution but I also think we need to plan a succession strategy with definite standards reflecting majority interests.”

I am not at the least bit interested in a ‘leftist revolution’, whatever that is.  The extreme left, like the extreme right is a bunch of narrow minded nut-jobbers.  I’m more interested in working in the language and ideals of level-headed, down-to-earth, grassroots middle America.  Anything else is not worth considering.  Anarchy and such….pffffffftt.  C’mon.

The best strategy is to just talk sense.  Put these complicated BS issues into plain language.  We need, among many other things, a reversal of the bleeding of capitol from this country.  This is just one issue, but a far reaching one.  It’s why Americans are getting poorer,, because our government is allowing wealth, by the vehicle of fiat money and instruments of credit to flow freely out of the country.  We need new money before the damn ‘money changers’ get too far with their inflation plans.  That will screw everybody rich and poor.

A technical problem here is that damn two party system.  It allows a corrupt legislature to stay in place.  We need some ideas how to bring middle America around to abandon their misplaced loyalties in the political parties before it’s too late.  to do this, the alternative parties had damn well not be a bunch of nut jobs or radicals.  Middle America won’t go for it.  We need to thoroughly understand whatever the hell ‘middle America’ is.

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By katsteevns, April 22, 2011 at 9:59 pm Link to this comment

Parenti is very encouraged with Hedges’ work. There is also a rift between Parenti and Chomsky.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 22, 2011 at 9:34 pm Link to this comment

Napolean, Scary article.  Chomsky is pulling from his vast research which he uses for another recent book: “Hegemony or Survival”.  In it he gives example after example of patterns of behavior to support his thesis, that a sub-set of the holders of concentrated wealth, elements within the the US government and certain allies have long ago set out on a course of absolute worldwide hegemony, and are fully aware that if they fail, humankind is going to be plunged into an unimaginable misery.  The attitude is hegemony or die.  Let that sink in….they would rather die in the attempt to gain absolute hegemony, rather than arrive at some other arrangement.  They are going for it at any cost.  This includes plans for absolute dominance over, and militarization of space. 

Is the economic model for achieving world domination viable?  This seems absolutely insane, but once you start down that path, once you start making so many enemies, is there a path back?

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By katsteevns, April 22, 2011 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment

Parenti’s many lectures and talks can be viewed/heard on YouTube, Google Video, and Internet Archive.

Many of his writings can be seen at

and at….

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By katsteevns, April 22, 2011 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment

@ Grady,
I have read all of Parenti’s stuff. Once you start, you can’t stop! He has also said that he is very encouraged with Hedges’ work. Michael Parenti is a Marxist and an Atheist.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 22, 2011 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

I found this article to be quite insightful and very poignant to our reality Today!

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 22, 2011 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment

I will say, I am impressed with Paretti based on my initial sampling, here
and elsewhere, but, I have yet to see quotes or material that indicate he understands the underlying need for a certain productivity on a per capita basis….not that this is his contribution, but his particular position, a critic from the left, though useful, is a small fraction of a solution, or a comprehensive basis for a solution.  That said, I am going back to look deeper into Paretti’s work.

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 22, 2011 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

Grady Lee Howard: Parenti’s work may be very good, I have yet to get educated, and I agree at least Hedges style of using religious references is, well, odd to me.
But, that is not to say the ‘core values’ of certain aspects of christianity would not be very useful tools in re-orienting this society toward a more solid ethical basis, which it may or may not have had in the past.

A component of grasroots social change is the notion that the disenfranchised would vote to “returning to a time of goodness”  The ‘good old days’, wether they were measureably better or worse is mute.  The perception that they were better is the only factor.  So many people, particularly in this country (USA) are ‘religious’, that they need a moral basis to act.  The right wing in this country has recognized this and used it nicely.  Hedges simply tries to show (in far too high brow a manner) that the moral basis for ‘rebellion’ is actually on the left. 

I have problems with the left-right polarization.  This is a ‘united we stand’ issue.  And, in defence of Hedges ‘religious high-browness’,  he is a leader… is up to many capable followers to get what he’s saying, work with it, and do something with it.  As Lee Iacoccca said: “Lead, follow or get out of the way.”.  Parenti might bring wisdom to the battle, we’ll see, but this is not an either or situation.  If you’re serious about your goals in paragraph 4, why not just take the best Hedges and all others offer, test the key bits against historical knowledge and understanding of the present day, fuse the ideas, and get to work, ever ready to re-melt, adjust the alloy and shape of the tools to move ahead? 

People are not sure of themselves and objective analysis of information.  Mass movements need a religious basis to provide courage to the common man.  This is what I think Hedges may have seen.  As a hyper-secularist, I resist this, but I fear it is reality, that strong ideology, philosophy and probably religious justifications are essential in all progress or regression.

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By Planck, April 22, 2011 at 11:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes right. They are misguided.

Now we need the solution. Which is real democracy that
protects the rights of the many from the whims of the few. This
Constitution was written to protect the whims as rights of
“property owners” to own slaves, and to use the nation’s
“common defense” to build business empires all over the world.
The Federalist Papers make it all clear what was left out of the
discussion by those Founders.

Chris is right.  Jesus Christ was fighting the same battles. So
was Socrates. So was Martin Luther. So was John Calvin. So was
Jan Amos Comenius. So was the Prophet Mohammed! That is
why he has his rules against usury.

We need a stronger Constitution now that protects all our rights
equally against the whims of amassed capital, not giving
preference to property and capitalist owners so they can do
what Chris describes and says to be like the Pharisees.

Actually it was the Sadducees who were the Aristocrats
protecting privileges in that Temple Money System. The
Pharisees were the Reformers.  The Sadducees ran the
Sanhedrin. But, the King James translators decided for their
anti-semite agenda “a Jew is a Jew”, and set the tone for this
kind of discourse 500 years later!

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By Grady Lee Howard, April 22, 2011 at 11:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is a difference between Chris Hedges and Michael Parenti (for example). (Anyone here ever read any Parenti?)Hedges critique is rooted in Christianity, and in his search of a genuine Christian morality. Parenti’s critique is rooted in his study of particular historical circumstances. Parenti specifically excoriated the Liberal Class for their collaboration with fascism as early as 1996, while the younger Chris Hedges reach similar conclusions somewhat later. We must ask ourselves if Christian morality is an impediment to rectification of the injustices that plague our society and planet.

There is another difference between Parenti and Hedges. Hedges plainly calls for revolt and says it must happen immediately, while Parenti leaves revolution to the devices and timetable of the populace. In emulating Thomas paine Hedges obligates himself to provide guidance and leadership to the campaign he advocates. It would matter if he were eating clams in Martha’s Vineyard while the rest of us were ransacking the Pentagon and NSA. It would matter because Hedges started a fire and then failed to tend it.

We have the models of North African uprisings right in our face. Are these real democracy movements or only covert manipulations at a time of price increases on food and fuel? Are these activists taking a step toward the kind of procedural managed democracy we endure or something better? Holy Hell, if they got something better than us, wouldn’t that be a kick in the pants!

I use the word “Neo-Abolitionist” to describe my political hopes. What I want to abolish is wage slavery and debt usury. I want us to move toward egalitarianism and co-operative production of the commodities we need. Privileged men like Parenti and Hedges, intellectuals with empathy, are useful in countering the media glut and indoctrination we suffer. They are not wealthy but still reesemble “The Secret Seven” who bankrolled John Brown in Kansas, and then in his armed insurgency several years before our Civil War. Considering what factions of our society possess loaded guns and heavier weapons, and how sophisticated and automated our military killing has become, it is obvious that violent resistance is futile. Here we are, about 100 million informed and outraged American adults, in about the same hopeless dilemma as Warsaw ghetto Jews. 

And Chris Hedges invokes a religious tradition that suggests the good is all in the struggle and not in the victory. Has Chris understood how similar this thinking is to Islamic martyrdom?

And that is why I contrast Parenti with Hedges, both good writers and historians, but hardly revolutionaries. And that is why I ask Chris what he intends to do personally when these contradictions come to an impasse. It really matters, although the acts need not be Messianic, because solidarity means that guys like Chris state their bid, and then the rest of us ante up. The Founding Fathers turned out to be elitists, but at the time of the Declaration of Independence they pledged all their property, their standing and their lives to the cause. It will take not less to compromise our later day Oligarchs.
But if Chris is doing this for a mansion in Heaven, I’m outta luck, because I don’t believe in those folktales. Parenti advises we resist to win, and never relent.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 22, 2011 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

For what it’s worth, going ahead, a new value system needs cultivated. Andrew Carnegie, despite some atrocious behavior, might have seen he light at the
Had this philospohy developed, we might be in an era where the wealthy are revered instead of reviled.  The philosophy that wealth holders are to be respected because “proper management of wealth by re-investing in a wise fashion that builds wealth for the common good”.  Instead, those unconcerned with the ‘common good’ latched on to the Randian ‘self oriented’ ‘philosophy’, and built on that.  This is why we have mass consumerism, worship of self, justification of ‘greed as good’, etc, etc.  So, if we are to avoid the never-ending cycle Gary describes in his ‘rant’ below, strong emphasis needs to be placed on re-inventing the value system.  I think it worthwhile to look closely at Carnegie’s thinking.  I think it absolutely essential that a path be provided for conversion of those wealth holders who want to be ‘right with the world’ to come back from the Randian way to some was (as yet to be fully defined and named), but said ‘new philosophy’, should be based on the notion that ‘sustainable investment’, which produces long term gains in the common wealth, is to be recognized and applauded.  We WANT lots and lots of good millionaires, and want to expose the bad ones who ruin the value of every-bodies capital.  The seeds of this new Carnegie based philosophy (I don’t know the true origin, it probably pre-dates Carnegie) need sewn widely, hybrid ideas need developed to respond to the ideological insecticides which the ‘free marketeers’ will develop, and those need cultivated.  Apologies for the agricultural metaphors.  If a plain language, grassroots understanding of the philosophies can be developed, and individual people can see how they’d be served by each, let Democracy work, by ballot and/or peaceful revolt. 

Unrelated: “Fiat money is a tool of evil.”  Think about putting that on a million or so pamphlets.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 22, 2011 at 7:11 am Link to this comment

Gary: what is wealth? Mull that over.  ‘Fixing the fed’ can change the nature of wealth.  Society has to work on perceptions of wealth, redefining it, making people see value where it’s beneficial, not in things to horde. Perhaps.

cripes: ‘value added’ is not perfect.  It is not stand alone.  The balance between sizes of the merchant class and the ag/manu/productive classes might be the key.

Katstevens: the poverty is coming. The merchant class has not been making serious investments in this country for 40 years.  They’ve guaranteed some level of poverty.

Gary:Yes, your thought, to have a well constructed document before physical action seems right.  I suppose the media will cover a serious strike, but an alternative ‘free’ media is a necessity.  If net neutrality remains, we are good?

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By Gary Mont, April 22, 2011 at 4:58 am Link to this comment

Cripes:Let’s break that up.

Only one way to break the circle and end the rut, and if you think its hard to get any 100 Americans to agree on anything, try and convince them that the cash system itself needs to be replaced entirely. You’ll get giggles, guffaws and “go on"s, but at least they will all finally, universally agree on something…

They’ll all agree that you’re a total whack job to even suggest such a thing.

serious rant ahead - avoid if desired

Wealth attracts wealth. Those who accumulate vast wealth tend to gather together in places designed specifically for the wealthy to gather in away from the great unwashed masses that generated their wealth for them.

Associating in such places, it is natural for them to discuss ways and means of increasing their wealth and power since wealth and power becomes all they are interested in once the need for concern over the necessities of life is ended.

Eventually, they will combine their fortunes in an effort to create a more profittable world for themselves, through all means at their disposal.

Using their wealth and connections, they will buy politicians and pay lawyers to change the laws in ways that make it easier for them to generate greater and greater wealth from the system and make it harder and harder to prosecute them for any wrong-doing when caught.

This process causes economic hardship and instability which naturally causes the wealthy to desire greater wealth still, to insure their survival against any repercussions of such obvious instability.

Eventually they will control the institutions that were formed to protect citizens from exploitation by the wealthy and begin to turn those institutions on their heads - using them instead to create even better conditions to profit under.

At the same time, they will make it legally, nearly impossible for anyone new to climb the ladder they used to get to the top of the food chain.

Soon thereafter, they will gain control of the government and its agencies and will begin to use these new forces to literally siphon the wealth of the nation into their pockets faster and faster and in greater and greater chunks since at this point, there is nothing left to slow the process, let alone stop them.

Once they have drained everything from the citizens and drained the nation dry, they will begin to steal from the only places left with capital to steal from - each other.

At this point the totally impoverished peasants either violently revolt and overthrow the tyrants and then form another cash society on the ashes of the old one, or the society collapses into chaos and dissolves - its inhabitants die, drift away or are absorbed as the land is invaded by neighbours.

The wealthy survivors will pack up their gold and move to other nations and repeat this whole process there.

This is what has brought down man’s civilizations since the beginning, and this is what will always bring down all human civilizations because humanity simply cannot fathom existence without capital currency.

C’est la vie eh.

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By cripes, April 22, 2011 at 2:13 am Link to this comment

JDMystic has a point worth considering.

Endless picayune analysis of minutia of Hedge’s central argument merely serves to obscure the central point: we’re living in a drastic situation that calls for unified action beyond the parameters of the hollowed-out shell of an electoral system that passes for representative government in this wholly owned corporate state.

Rather than nit pick at his conclusions, consider it a starting place for serious discussion of what a new, viable opposition to the disaster capital state could look like.

General strike(s) is a serious idea, even conceding that for some people the effects and consequences may differ drastically. I don’t know if Hedges would spend his strike on Martha’s Vineyard or the front lines, but that’s no reason not to raise the issue.

John Best is on to something in describing the batshit-crazy, Ayn Randian, living dead that have seized the Repub party, the corporations and the economic “profession,” (and most of the Dems—lookit Obama who’s buying it hook, line and sinker), but I think his glowing depiction of “value-added” capitalists is seen through rose-tinted blinders.

Let’s remember the horrible suffering inflicted by English and American 19th century industrialists upon Men, Women and Children Workers in another Unregulated phase of capitalism. Carnegie, Rockefeller, Frick et al. Sure, they built things. Still not something something we should emulate today.

The fact that finance capital sucks the life out of entire society’s, including the productive industrial sector, and employ a brazen propaganda campaign aimed at xenophobic, ignorant small-holders is a fact observed long ago by Marx, Lenin and abused most famously by Hitler’s Nazi party.

The problem isn’t merely “bad” capitalists v. “good” capitalists, it’s a system of political and economic power where all other classes have no representation at all. On THAT, both kinds of capitalist agree and work in brilliant unison.

Let’s break that up.

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By katsteevns, April 22, 2011 at 1:08 am Link to this comment

There has to be a general consensus before a general strike can occur. The only common ground that will be effective on a grand scale is widespread poverty. Americans can not even agree on as small an action as a boycott, how can they agree on how to change a whole system? Didn’t it take ten years of protest to end the Vietnam war?

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By Gary Mont, April 21, 2011 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment

Napolean DoneHisPart, John Best:

It appears what both of you are suggesting in a round about manner, is that a new American Constitution needs be devised, using modern language - set up in such a way that no “disingenious interpretations” might be imposed upon it in future - which incorporates rules of conduct and limitations of profits for industry, commerce and finance, as well as enshrining the basics of human rights as they are perceived today.

But this time, it should be devised By The People and solidified in language by Professional Linguistics Experts and Lawyers in a public forum, AFTER it has been publically determined as to content, via some sort of Wiki process.

If this is your suggestion, I am in full agreement.

However, you still have to take back your media in order to pull this off and rescue your country from the domestic invaders occupying the seats of government, who have rewritten your laws to legalize their theft of the nation’s treasury and who are using your army for global piracy.

Since I see any and all forms of violent protest as playing directly into their hands - they adore violence and can wield the US military to smash any resistance - the only possible recourse open is the general strike.

IMO only of course. smile

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 21, 2011 at 10:20 pm Link to this comment

Gary Mont,
Thank you for posting that list.  It should find it;s way to a wiki page where it can be refined.  At first read, it seems fairly comprehensive, but suppose we consider an issue like the right to come expectation of privacy, where and how is that incorporated?  And at the other extreme, something like the general modeling of people, citizens as ‘consumers’, a herd, dehumanized account numbers… do we shift the emphasis on this?  Perhaps de-personalizing corporations accomplishes the goal to some degree, and declaring a human right to health care and education adds some emphasis, but I would like to perhaps make suggestions.  Perhaps a yahoo group? 

I think the list should be of a form with adequate detail to allow it to be transcribed easily into a clean bill of legislation.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 21, 2011 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment

Gary Mont, that list should be the platform for the next publicly voted President.  Yet, since elections seem to be a mere pony show to have continuity of government, they may simply be ignored.

Perhaps that list should be the one to follow when this generation’s Napoleon appears on the scene.

I wonder what Amerika would look like prior to and after that happens.

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By Gary Mont, April 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm Link to this comment

katsteevns: Maybe you are correct, Gary Mont, that the discussion of Jesus would be better served in another forum. But I wonder why this article is ripe with New Testament illustrations, this being the most important Christian holy week of the year. Chris wouldn’t be using religion to his own ends, would he? But, if it is a good cause, then no foul…..right?  He-He :D

I have nothing against utilizing ancient bits of wisdom to aid in making a point about modern occurences, as long as the wisdom is pertinent and real.

I suspect that most of the NT fragments are being used to illustrate the eternal nature of these problems, as much as anything else.

None of this is new. Some scriptures actually warn against the Merchant Kings and their attempt to control the world through usury and deception, which is exactly what we’re dealing with today.

I simply did not wish to get into another “Yes he is, No he’s not” discussion about Jesus, as nothing of value ever comes from such polarized disputes. 

And - as a matter of fact - I do not agree with the notion of “But, if it is a good cause, then no foul…..right?”

Murder for God is still murder.

A lie is still a lie even if its designed to do some good.

Stealing from the rich to give to the poor is still theft.

IMO only of course. smile

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By Gary Mont, April 21, 2011 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

John Best:I’ve not seen the ‘pre-conditions’ you mention, if there is a link to them, I’d like to see it.

I’m afraid it was after 4AM when I “stumbled” across the article and after making a copy for my archives, I forgot to copy the site’s URL.

The whole article - “An open letter to americans by Anonymous” (of Wikileaks fame) is quite long I don’t want to repost the whole thing again, so here is just the list of necessary changes from the article.


A   starting   point for reform   could be established   by   citing   a list of   worthy   objectives   provided   by

  Grievances and Demands:

Enforce RICO Laws

Break Up the Big Banks

End the Fed

Break Up the Mainstream Media / encourage citizen journalists

Shut the Revolving Door

End Closed Door Lobbying

Increase Government Transparency

End Corporate Personhood

Amend Campaign Finance

Verify All Votes

Investigate War Profiteers

Investigate War Crimes

End the Wars

Restore Civil Liberties

Uphold the Constitution

Clean Air, Water & Food

Reduce Healthcare Costs, Profiteering

Make Healthcare a Human Right

Improve Education For All, Reduce Costs

Reform Prison System

Reform drug laws

Stop spending so much money on drugs! NYC spent $75million alone on marijuana arrests.

Immigration Reform

Rebuild Infrastructure

Protect Internet Freedom

Empower States’ Rights

End Corporate Welfare

Fair taxes for everyone!

Enforce corporate responsibility

Force corporations to apply local labor laws in their global operations

Strengthen environmental laws and force corporations to clean up their act

Work for a real separation of church and state – and a real split between corp and state?

Reinstate Habeus Corpus

Allow felons who have paid their debt to restore voting rights

Stop prison labor from competing with local businesses
Additional objectives

End lifetime appointments to the SCOTUS

Abolish the “Patriot Act”

Abolish the lobbying system (no paid lobbyists)

Close Guantánamo

Establish and define “financial terrorism” as a treasonous act and prosecute offenders vigorously

Enshrine gender equality in the constitution

End corporate money in the election process

Reduce non-emergency military funding

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By katsteevns, April 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

@ Gary Mont

Maybe you are correct, Gary Mont, that the discussion of Jesus would be better served in another forum. But I wonder why this article is ripe with New Testament illustrations, this being the most important Christian holy week of the year.
Chris wouldn’t be using religion to his own ends, would he? But, if it is a good cause, then no foul…..right?  He-He :D

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By JDmysticDJ, April 21, 2011 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

Hedges’ speech, I’ll argue, was written with the intention of motivating, inspiring, and to a lesser extent, to educate good people. Hedges has been endeavoring to educate and enlighten for quite some time. Hedges has, of late, been calling for good people to take desperately needed tangible action. Hedges asks for some degree of self sacrifice, a self sacrifice not at all commensurate with need.

In response Hedges receives, dare I say it, articulated, egocentric, intellectual, self aggrandizing, nit-picking; or ineffectual sophomoric religious philosophizing, as old as time itself, which has proven to be more a detriment, than a benefit, to the human experience. Aside from the mutual agreements regarding the most basic of moral precepts, these little schisms pertaining to the metaphysics of Religious thought accomplish nothing, and can be defined as infantile self-righteousness.

Hedges is not a deity, he is a fallible human being, easily criticized, but Hedges is a human being with a wide variety of experiences that give him credibility, and an authenticity, superseding that of those of us who criticize him.

It is easily argued that Hedges is an elite, criticizing other elites, I have done so myself, but his elite status does not negate the essence of what Hedges advocates by my appraisal. It’s argued that Hedges hasn’t sacrificed to any significant degree, but I’ll argue that Hedges has sacrificed, and that that sacrifice has been significant in respect to his personal status. Hedges no longer writes for the New York Times, Hedges is not a guest on the powerful network news programs, Hedges is infrequently referenced, and very rarely a guest on the more radical Left media programs. Hedges has chosen the path of being true to his beliefs, and not the path of suppressing his beliefs to achieve acceptance and status.

Hedges goes to the brink of advocating the immediate destruction of the established order. Destruction of the established order is a goal I share with Hedges, where we differ is in the best strategy to achieve that goal. To my regret, I have accused Hedges of being an obsessive iconoclast, whose attributions of guilt, if given credence by significant numbers, will lead to a dangerous political reality, a reality that will serve the interests of the reactionary Right, and be counter productive to achieving shared goals. This is my often stated opinion, and an opinion that I continue to have. I do not see the Liberal Elite as our worst traitors, instead I see the Liberal Elite as being a slowly deteriorating bulwark, but a bulwark just the same, against our worst traitors. Hedges has stated flatly, that reform is not possible, and that civil disobedience is our only hope, the outcome he desires is clear, but what will be the replacing order is undefined. I too see political action, including protest, and non-violent civil disobedience, as being absolutely necessary, but I see reform as being the most logical, and least dangerous, progression towards shared goals.

Enlightened people from the Left, intellectually engaged in social analysis and political thought, see the outrages manifest nearly on a day to day basis, the contention that our society and political reality are rapidly decaying is more than just a partisan dialectic, it is a reality, in my opinion. Hedges’ fearsome social analysis is generally accepted as being accurate here, but what he advocates as a solution is disparaged, or ignored. Defeatist angry apathy, serves no purpose, unless nihilistic destruction as creation is the purpose.

Intellectual debate is disconnected, in the sense that intellectual debate without action is disconnection from the very real problems that confront us; problems that bode ill and that are manifest in social ills that vary from being simply reprehensible to tragic.     

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By philipw, April 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment

Where is the good government?  I was a lifetime lefty, but since all hope of good government has disappeared,  I think somethng like socialist anarchy, see Noam Chomsky might be where justice is most likely.

Not all people are greedy and personal responsibility and human growth are necessary for the good society, not government in our age.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 21, 2011 at 11:13 am Link to this comment


The very affluent and well leveraged ( the capital class ) will use the ignorant and programmed populous ( tea-beggars and all who THINK they are patriotic ) to usher in a hateful mess… just like what happened in Germany with Hitler.

And the intellects, the true Christians, the innocent factions minding their own business and trying to survive in this economic slavery of a world, will go into hiding, serve the hierarchy in silent submission, or be eliminated due to their logical ( which will be construed as illogical ) reasoning.

May God bless Amerika and make her whole again… or have mercy on the good and decent.

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By ANTITPRTYRELRIGHTFACISTS, April 21, 2011 at 11:01 am Link to this comment

I just got back to this site after one of the very early posts…

What a glorious bunch of individualists and WORDSMITHS..( that’s a good thing )..I can’t compete with the rhetoric, but would like to throw in my 2 cents worth.

Having attended a “tax day tea party” on the 15th, as my own self appointed “spy”, I came away even more depressed about the state of our experiment in government.

Having a generalized goal of seeing what “those people” looked like, acted like, talked like…what I saw was the same kind of people I saw at political get-to gathers in my little redneck east Texas town as a kid in the 50s…those same people in the 50s however, were, guess what?....DEMOCRATS…they were the low middle to middle, working class, every day Joes, (and a few, very few Janes)..all white….they opened with prayers for the aggrieved, poor and downtrodden, rousing patriotic songs about America…and then mind numbing speeches by paid, unknown speakers, well trained, however, by the Koch, et al empire and their minions to never utter a fact, but only platitudes and homilies that were laced with the 10 second sound the folks did not have to think, you know….Obama and the liberals were showered with various and sundry titles….from one speaker, communists….another, socialists….another, fascists….another, Marxists…..and, the worst and most telling of all….just plain old lib ruls…..

What in the ever loving hell has happened since my sweet, kind, innocent, naive, and loving 50s?....

We’ve been asleep at the wheel..(pun intended), especially since the second coming…Reagan…

What do we do?

We fight tooth and nail. How?...figure out how to have one organization (Democratic Party)?....merge MOVE ON, PFAW, and all the splintered liberal groups into one….the Hollywood crowd, the intelligentsia, the big money folks such as George Soros, et al, the internet liberals for $1.00 contributions if that’s all they can do, etc etc etc….start a major news organization…newspapers, TV, radio…“love radio”..owned by millions of people…a la Green Bay Packers….bombard the people with competing news….however, the truth, not lies…..hour after hour, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year…..the same message, until the people realize what has happened to them… they can choose between Fascism, and a true State ( whatever you want to call it) which the people really are informed…..

We are in deep doo doo, ladies and gentlemen…..

Lay it side by side folks….as a book…..on the left side, 1930s Germany….on the right side, 2000s United States…..tic off the matching facts….

Let’s cherish our intellectuals on the correct side, like CH, and others…..bury our small differences…join in lockstep and repeat the same message ad nauseum, ad infinitum .....(we know that works, in spades)

Respectfully Submitted

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 21, 2011 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

George Szabo does point out that generally, discussions lay blanket blame at the ‘big guys’, and portray the ‘little guys’ as victims.  We should be more nuanced, and I offer it here in an explanation of an existing ethos, which I’ve observed around me in people independent of their wealth.  And, independent of wealth, is also an ideology, which promotes the destruction of capitol. 

Hedges himself is guilty of ascribing evils across the board to all ‘big guys, and ignores the unmonied people, as George rightly suggests.

The ethos, held by responsible, socially oriented capitalists, is the ‘value added ethos I mention.  The opposing ideology, is that of the less productive merchant class, the moneychangers to Chris Hedges.  Make no mistake, you see this ideology practiced among dirt poor merchants and brokers who live sale-to-sale, and poor white trash who survive check to check.

It is part of the dogma which supports the merchant ideology to falsely portray the ‘value added ethos’ as being ‘have-nots’, and the merchant class as being the ‘have’ class.  This is not the case and is a typical trick to win converts, and portray the ‘merchant ideology’ as the religion of the winners. 

The more accurate truth is that among companies, and among individuals, those who subscribe to the ‘merchant ideology’ lower the standards for everybody, and by the various veiled market manipulations gain unscrupulous advantage, forcing otherwise ethical manufacturers to play on a playing field that is less concerned with the overall good of society.  It is a ‘selfish’ as opposed to ‘social’ ideology, and yes, it is practiced and is corrosive at all levels.

Where I disagree with George may be in the need for radical change.  Perhaps we simply need to call these people out for what they’re doing.  To refuse to go along with the ideology of Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, and the other ‘free marketeers’, the latest incarnation of the ‘merchant ideology’, which I suspect has been ruining rightly built capitol for millennium.

Again, I caution against the ideology which would have us divide the world into capitalists vs. socialists.  There are those owners of capitol, who believe in reinvesting in the stuff of production for some greater good, some greater purpose than drawing money to oneself.  And often, devotees of the merchant class, the free marketeers, are far poorer financially, and in their dedication to the society from which they survive.

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By Grady Lee Howard, April 21, 2011 at 9:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

At no point in my post did I mention a general strike. My aim was to speak directly to Chris Hedges and highlight his special case situation. If Hedges goes “downey shore” for two sunny weeks and neglects his writing and publicity nobody dies. But if the nurse runs from the bed, the cop from the beat, and the truck driver from the grocery load, there are immediate consequences. Who must deploy into the street, for whatever purpose, and who must remain at their tasks? I do not think Mr. Hedges has thought this through but is making several assumptions based upon his personal consciousness, career and immediate situation. Very few people have the cultural luxuries of Chris Hedges. And yet I admire him to the utmost.

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By george szabo, April 21, 2011 at 8:38 am Link to this comment

Yeah !!  All is well and fine, lets keep on blaming the big guys, the corporations,
the military industrial complex, and on and on and on ... Guess what ? It’s
nature, wants and desires, lack of education, me me me world of the consumer
society that has led to most of today’s problems… Yes we need a radical
and re thinking of our WORLDLY !!!!  directions,We have to start by re educating
the educators, because they are merely the toadies of the establishment and
represent the old ways of the world. After all, it’s their purpose in trying to turn
out successful little humanoids that become more and more consuming adults..
We need to change our total outlook on the whole of the world, instead of
becoming more and more Amerocentric in our views….
We have to try and get off the treadmill of our presently accepted views of the
social /political/environmental directions we have been heading in for
hundreds of years…. Lets begin by offering solutions instead of always just
criticising.. Most of us know what the hell is wrong with this world.. Lets spend
more time on offering workable solutions…....

        George—King of the World….

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 21, 2011 at 8:20 am Link to this comment

Gary, I did think you’d thought it through, but was merely revitalizing the issue of the framework for transition.  I’ve not seen the ‘pre-conditions’ you mention, if there is a link to them, I’d like to see it. 

One criteria I’d recommend, and philipw refers to, is this ‘ethos of value added’, as opposed to the ‘merchant ideology’, the modern for of which is the so-called ‘free market ideology’, which is merely a complex linguistic, pseudo scientific veil for all forms of market manipulation.  This is why the nations capitol is dissipating, it’s in the hands of ‘merchants’ posing as capitalists.  They don’t give a rat’s ass about the means of production for higher quality and more efficient food, clothing, housing, transportation, energy infrastructure, etc.  They care only about gathering coin to themselves… to give that coin real long-lasting value is somebody elses problem. 

Anyway, we need to re-awaken this old ethos.  Now watch, some troll will go running off with the meme ‘value added ethos’, and they’ll try to re-define it in terms that suit their ideology!  That’s been the pattern, as Orwell warned, beware of the language.

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By Gary Mont, April 21, 2011 at 7:01 am Link to this comment

katsteevns: “<i>@Gary Mont, There are plenty of solid arguments against the commonly held beliefs surrounding Jesus’ entire life, but not so many surrounding what he is purported to have said.<i>”

I missed this post katsteevns, but while I don’t really think this is an apporpriate forum to play this particular problem out properly, that was exactly the point I was trying to make.

If there are serious questions about his birth, his death, his life, his education, his occupation, his parents, his origins, his poltical activities, his resurrection, and his very existence, how can one claim there is little or no doubt that this one man actually said these things?

Hopefully you will see my point. I really don’t want to get into a discussion about Jesus, as I find the subject without merit in the real world.

As I’ve stated in another post - in over 50 years, I’ve met only one real Christian. The rest; without exception, would make a real Jesus puke.

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By cripes, April 21, 2011 at 2:46 am Link to this comment

To Virginia777:

RE: cripes: CRIPES!!!

If I neglected to say so, your/our hearts are in the right place, and this is an excellent conversation being held here.

I just wanted to point out my observation that institutional Lib/Dems are, more now than they have in the past, acting as the velvet gloved fist of empire.
Chief exhibit: Preznit obama.

We must move beyond their crippling embrace.

Glad to join you and everyone here.

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By Virginia777, April 21, 2011 at 1:30 am Link to this comment

Gary Mont:

“It goes without saying that the financial terrorists holding the seats of power in America will give nothing up without an all out struggle.”

Yep. Time to get cracking.

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By Gary Mont, April 21, 2011 at 1:19 am Link to this comment

John Best:Things would quickly return to business as usual. If ever a general strike occurs, there must be in place a constitutional convention of sorts, and/or an enforceable recall of corrupt policy making officials.

I sincerely hope you did not think I was suggesting that everyone should simply quit for a month to see how the plutocrats reacted!! It goes without saying that the financial terrorists holding the seats of power in America will give nothing up without an all out struggle. After all, they have paid minions to do all their fighting for them - expendable and innumerable.

Hell, they plan to take it all and they’re not even half way done yet. They will use the police and the army to quell any protests that erupt as the public strarts to starve and freeze to death during the winters from living in back alleys and sewers.

Absolutely, there must be a full and complete plan of action, a list of those who need to be removed from office immediately and forbidden to ever darken a political office again, and a plethora of necessary functional changes in government, commerce and finance - to list only the bare basics - before a general strike would have any chance of being useful at all. The list I posted, either here or in one of the other blogs on TruthDig from Anonymous listed the base necessities very, very nicely.

What I was trying to point out was simply that The People can stand idly by and wait peacefully until their jobs and incomes are replaced by cheap foreign slave labor or cheaper automated mechanization - as the fascists do everything in their power to lower their costs and raise their profits forever, as Grady Lee Howard was fully aware of - “There will not be any future if this Oligarch party continues,”.....

- or consider doing the hardest thing a civilized pampered society can do and participate in a month of uncivilized behaviour under extremely difficult conditions that just might save their jobs, income and lifestyles.

It appeared to me that the poster felt that quitting one’s job was the equivalent of suicide, but the job would still be there if everyone who was not a paid fascist minion already, participated in the general strike. In fact, once the orchestrators of planned poverty were removed from office, there is every chance that thousands of new jobs would become available as America got back all its old manufacturing and low tech occupations from overseas.

I can understand how absolutely frightening it is to contemplate a general strike when you have family and bills and a tenuous occupation to maintain, but its really only a matter of WHEN, not a matter of IF.

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By katsteevns, April 21, 2011 at 1:13 am Link to this comment

@John Best

Perhaps the leaders and those with a plan are in our presence already and a general strike would bring them out of the woodwork. Would not a “constitutional convention” only take place in the midst of a general strike? Otherwise, wouldn’t those with the know how have gathered together before now?...... Or, shouldn’t it be them to call the strike, not just Chris Hedges on his own?

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By Virginia777, April 21, 2011 at 1:00 am Link to this comment

philipw: Since when have people not been greedy??? That is the place of good government to assuage.

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By Virginia777, April 21, 2011 at 12:58 am Link to this comment

politicky: A lot has changed in the last 450 years.

But let me address this point:

“I just think that because of technology that the masses have acquired int the last 10 years the machnations of individulas who thrive in this system CANNOT HIDE ANY MORE.”

Well, if they cannot hide it, why are so few people doing anything about it??? Technology is the aphrodisiac of the masses, apparently.

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By Virginia777, April 21, 2011 at 12:54 am Link to this comment

cripes: CRIPES!!!

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 20, 2011 at 9:36 pm Link to this comment

TAO Walker. 
This is a significant indictment: “ long as absolutely everything not specifically ‘relevant’ to the mercantilist CONtrivance itself is excluded ruthlessly from the discussion.”  and I assume you referred to Lafayette’s posting of April 20 at 6:46 am. 

I assume from the balance of your posting that Layfeyette neglected to mention that our self-oriented culture and grow-grow-grow mentality of consumption and waste requires mention in his posting?  But ‘rRuthlessly’?  That’s harsh.  I have not been following Lafeyette with extreme care, but I must say his overview offered on the April 20 at 6:46 statement was reasonable.  Perhaps I should go back and look at some other postings.  I do not have the impression that Lafayette is so bad, although he, like I , like all of us at one time or another have been jerks.  I do not get the impression that he is actively working for those who would further destroy the Living Arrangement, do you?

In any event, Gary Mont, I agree, a general strike is a powerful tool, but if there is not a plan for how to steer the country after the strike, we will have lost a months productivity and wages, (so what), but the arrangements exploitation, of usury, of corruption are still in place at the end of that strike.  Things would quickly return to business as usual.  If ever a general strike occurs, there must be in place a constitutional convention of sorts, and/or an enforceable recall of corrupt policy making officials.  If the system is just crashed without a plan for the other side, it could be a catastrophic crash.  Some things just can’t be re-started so easily.  Many would suffer, perhaps die, and perhaps that, a complete crash, might be what’s best.  A good pruning.


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By katsteevns, April 20, 2011 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment

Excellent points all, Grady!

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By Gary Mont, April 20, 2011 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment

Grady Lee Howard: There will not be any future if this Oligarch party continues, but there will not be any future either if all the teachers and doctors and food growers and artists stop in their tracks to obey the battle call of Chris Hedges.

Perhaps you’re just not thinking the thing through.

Chris is not calling for and END to schools and work and jobs and such - merely a pause, long enough to take back your country.

You said it yourself - if things continue as they are, there will be no future.

If the US citizens stopped being pawns for one month, perhaps they could bring about enough change that when they returned to work, school, gardening, they could perceive a possible future.

By doing nothing - tending your garden, going to work, going to school, getting your groceries and watching the TV instead, you absolutely guarantee that the fascists running your country into the ground succeed, and the future fails.

Your choice really.

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By Grady Lee Howard, April 20, 2011 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment

What does it mean to be Chris Hedges? I’ve just read “Death of the Liberal Class” in which he concludes by saying we must revolt. Today in this article he asks us to sacrifice ourselves. In his next column he should explain how he revolts and sacrifices himself. I don’t see how an author of frequent books who collects speaking fees is sacrificing. When you go to a demonstration and are assured of being bailed out quickly, and that you’ll probably avoid abuse because you’re a well-known person I don’t see how that qualifies as sacrifice. I’m not the kind of person who points to Al Gore’s plane trips and residences and concludes climate change caused by burning fossil fuels is a hoax. I believe I go even farther than Hedges in my beliefs by suspecting that 9/11 was an inside job. How can a mother or father sacrifice their normal existence when their children depend on them? How can the person with his mother in the rest home walk away to revolt? I look out the window at my garden. It needs me. I look at the email from my documentary associates. They need me. I look at the invoice where I just paid for three hives of bees.

There will not be any future if this Oligarch party continues, but there will not be any future either if all the teachers and doctors and food growers and artists stop in their tracks to obey the battle call of Chris Hedges. Chris Hedges seems to be moving right along writing, speaking and selling books. Like the Liberal Class he rightly condemns for collaborating with power I wonder if he thinks himself better than my friend Jack who hasn’t had a job since 2004 and spends his days hauling the elderly to the doctor. Jack has a good education and an ideology to match Chris. He was my activist mentor before Chris. Can learning and revealed knowledge entitle a rebel like Chris to a better life and an easier road than the poor people he admonished to revolt and sacrifice. Do you have a Prius and a sleep number bed? Is your house paid off? Is your retirement account flush and secure? I sincerely wonder. Please explain Chris. I need to hear your explanation. I envision you in the kindest way and admire you for your truth. I know you love your family and friends and do not want to be separated from them. Me too. But how and when will you take the risks you ask of us. Losing a job at the New York Times is not the kind of sacrifice I’m discussing. I’m thinking about an action at next summer’s Democratic Convention in Charlotte, NC… but I’d probably wind up injured or imprisoned. Will you go with me Chris?

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By Dude, April 20, 2011 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So this is it. I’m a guy that thinks Christ was way cool.  Everything I’ve heard about him makes me believe (He was way cool.) Being a skeptic, I have a hard time believing that he was God, and being totally frank, in a metaphysical sense, I would suggest that God would most likely resent this philosophical usurpation of his turf.

Not being there at the time, it’s hard to be certain, but I’m inclined to believe that he was just a way cool dude who got caught up in events; events that resulted in a whole lot of hype. I can imagine him standing before Pontius Pilot thinking, this sucks! What in the hell did I do?

Now, if the earth trembled, and the curtain in the Temple split when he got off’ed, and he healed the sick, and raised the dead, turned water into wine, walked on water, and so on, that would cause me to think differently, but my skeptical mind and common sense make me believe that there may have been some embellishment that occurred, over time, in the telling of his story. For example: maybe he was just such a cool guy that sick people just felt better when he was around, and maybe some guy was written off, and presumed to be destined for the bone yard; but he got better when my man happened to be around, maybe he was just real brave, a good swimmer, and unafraid of the water and rough weather; maybe he decided to show off for his buds, and went for a swim, and his buds said “wow! Look at him go! Its like he’s walking on the water!”  Or, maybe he just said, “Calm down dudes, this ain’t no big deal.” Maybe his bro Peter just didn’t want to be shown up, so he went for a swim too. You see where I’m going with this.

So, this is my theory, it’s just my opinion, mind you, I don’t want anyone to think I’m telling them what to think, I think my man was just real cool, he was a good guy, he liked people and cared about them, so, God liked him too, he had real good Karma, God gave him the coolest aura, and a whole big bag of charisma, and that’s why he was so popular and influential, and mourned, but the eulogies got way out of hand when he died.

People are no damn good, that’s for sure; according to my theory, some freak or freaks stole his cadaver, which freaked people out, but there are very real lessons to be learned in this story. For example, even a bastard can turn out to be a real cool guy, and husbands can be real gullible.

Well there you have it, that’s my take on this thing. I hope I haven’t been blasphemous or something, I’ll be in deep shit if I have. God don’t like ugly.

Back on point, I think Hedges is real cool too, but not as cool as my man Jesus.

In a time of universal deceit, a lie will universally kick the truth’s ass.

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By TAO Walker, April 20, 2011 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment

“Mack” is on the right ‘track’....and those encouraging words are much appreciated.  “John Best” is timely in reminding us of the unavoidably strangling effects, on All-concerned, from the resurgent hegemony of the neo-mercantilists.

Some here persist, however, in their dogged insistence that people actually LIVE in some man-made CONstruct called “the eCONomy,” rather than in a Whole Livng Arrangement sometimes misnamed “the ecology.”  The frequent poster “Lafayette” is one of these.  His professorial apologia, for the death-dealing machinations of the thing, seem never to take into account their devastating effects on this entire Living World apart from which even the hapless inmates of his adored eCONomy are not at-all viable.

He seems not to’ve noticed, either, that it is in the very nature of an eCONomy not to have room in it for an ever growing number of those domesticates who are eager to ‘belong’ but “redundant” to its purposes.  So many of them must be, at-best, severely marginalized (as has always been and remains the ‘case’ today), while more-and-more of these relentlessly commodified Human ‘units’ are effectively scrapped as ‘obsolete,’ like any other expendable component of ‘production.’

The mercantilist rationale for all this is, of course, perfectly coherent within the necessarily limited CONfines of its own “self”-serving ‘ethos.’  “Lafayette” is among many who can articulate all that specialized clap-trap more-or-less CONvincingly (as true believers of any stripe often can), just as though it made every bit as much basic Biological ‘sense,’ (despite the obvious fact of its absolute Biological insanity), and just so long as absolutely everything not specifically ‘relevant’ to the mercantilist CONtrivance itself is excluded ruthlessly from the discussion.

Still, the damned thing is no less a “faith-based” system than any other religiossified CONceit, and certainly needs to be examined with the Native skepticism once (and still) practiced instinctivly by Natural Persons everywhere being offered (at get-in-on-the-ground-floor-bargain-basement-once-in-a-half-lifetime prices) any kind of pig-in-a-poke whatsoever.     


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By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 20, 2011 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment

You must really want it ( with all your heart ), for we need God, He does NOT need us:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

—God ( Jeremiah 29:11-13 )

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

—God ( Matthew 7:7-8 )

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By katsteevns, April 20, 2011 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

@Gary Mont,
There are plenty of solid arguments against the commonly held beliefs surrounding Jesus’ entire life, but not so many surrounding what he is purported to have said.(Note that another name given to him is “The Word”) The first Christians, who had little reason to exploit one another(or anyone else. Even if they did, how could they come up with a tale that would divide the world?), wrote the books of the New Testament. The First Church “fell away” from the faith shortly after and has not risen again since in true form. At least, not that we are aware of. Though there are many well known abhorrent offshoots today, in none of these do the subjects live by faith as instructed.

That is my take.

In the final analysis, those who exploit others are gaining the upper hand on this grand stage and little is being done to stop the individual’s gradual and eventual complete compromise of his entire conscience in service to the “machine”.(Chris Hedges himself can not even decide just how to decisively resolve the situation. He is busy stirring the soup to see what will float to the top) And it is all being done systematically and painstakingly by those who hold power, whether or not they are aware of the outcome.

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By MikeCereal, April 20, 2011 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

i enjoyed this cohesive statement, unfortunately people have a way of distorting every last syllable without offering up too many valid reasons.
I think you should write an article on FEMA and project Rex 84. Just why did Bush Jr. (the corporate world) feel the need to build a large number of secret prisons (many of them underground)? In light of the unrest erupting throughout the world (largely due to disparities in qualities of living and available resources) because of corporate business interests displacing whole entire cultures and propagating violent, corporate, self serving governments (even the al qaeda), we can see that the world is sick of the US’s “business” model. It seems easy to infer that unrest was literally expected to happen here in own country, but here the grand swoop of stripping good american’s of their own citizen rights has gone uncontested, and continues rolling along and won’t stop with the repealing of child labor laws, and it won’t stop with Obama/Rahm/FEMA’s civilian security force either!

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

@DieDaily: ease up on Mack, ‘eh?  I’m not sure where you’re coming from, but there is some unwarranted/unnecessary shit between y’all.
@Mack: I didn’t get TAO at first, but that old Indian is at least talking about sustainability, as it relates to greed.  His language is a bit cryptic, but the man’s OK by me.
@Lafeyette: beautiful posting you’ve written some few postings ago.  To compliment it I offer the following paragraphs immediately below, clipped from a post I made in another forum….enjoy.  It goes directly to the topic of Hedges article, as does yours.  I use the word ‘classes’, but the term ‘sub-cultures’ might work better. 

Perhaps a related issue is an ethos among the European ‘agricultural and manufacturing classes’.  The present day ‘merchant class’ goes to great lengths to obscure this ethos.  The ethos, simply put: price should be related to “value added through production costs, material costs and labor costs”.  Simply ‘handling’ a product, distributing without adding value to the product, has a value, but the price should not be inflated by ‘what the market will bear’.  This discrepancy between price and value is understandable by people who understand the ‘Value added ethos’, and the utilitarian basis for why it works.  Certainly one can see the extreme conflict with modern day so-called ‘free-market’ ethos, which can be argued to be anything but a ‘free’ market.  To the ‘value added’ class, manipulations of the free market, all the tricks of the merchant class are transparent attempts to coax the market to surrender as much more to the merchant as can be gained.

I hadn’t been following this thread, but this morning for some reason, I did peek in on it and saw the sentence ........folks of good will can understand there’s a difference between “making"money and “taking” it.  This is related to the central notion of why the ‘value added ethos’ (I don’t know what the old-world term for it is), tends to promote work, production, and discourages ‘excessive profiteering’ which dissipates capitol.  We are in a period where the philosophy (or ideology) of the merchant class seems to be dominating, and after the ensuing bubble and crash, a bit more of the value-added ethos will dominate (as it did in WWII), then the merchant class will gain influence again, and so the pendulum seems to swing. 

The topic is almost impossible to discuss with persons who have been indoctrinated with the definitions of money, wealth, productivity, value, etc which are part of the ideology and dogma of the merchant class.  One trick of the merchant class is to obscure the distinction between value and price by claiming that fiat money is value.  Get your head around this, and things take on a new perspective. 

The central problem is: the merchant class generally re-invests the capitol they extract from the system (through undue markup) into any available enterprise which simply makes them more money in the short term.  Generally.  The manufacturing and agricultural classes generally tend to re-invest in direct improvements to processes to improve long term efficiency.  So, the underlying problem is that the dominance of one ethos or the other has something to do with whether or not the socio-economic situation is living off past efficiencies, or is continually building toward a better and better future.  Every time the agricultural/manufacturing class seems to build a surplus, the lesser of them drift off to join the merchant class and the surplus gets pissed away.  Mankind seems to be stuck in a three steps forward, two steps back pattern.

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By politicky, April 20, 2011 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment

I don’t think much has changed in the last 450 years, I just think
that because of technology that the masses have acquired int hte
last 10 years the machnations of individulas who thrive in this

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By philipw, April 20, 2011 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

Hedge places all fault on the corporations and government elite.  He ignores the many ordinary people who have bought into the consumer system of greed and make it function through their participation.  The nature of these people and their state of mind needs to be considered.  The greedy and irresponsible feeding frenzy of house buying without adequate money for the expected return of easy money or taking money out of the value of their house in a bubble are examples of middle and lower class consumerism, immaturity, and greed. Not to mention all the open and hidden investors milking the system.  The money these parasitic predators made and make comes from responsible people in the end, including those who wouldn’t buy irresponsibly and can only wish to buy a house responsibly. These responsible hopeful buyers were pushed out of the market and are continually ignored and marginalized.  These irresponsible buyers and borrowers don’t want to rebel because they have invested a part of their future in the consumerism of house investing and bubble speculation.  Like the banks they were happy when they had all the money to spend (they took billons of loans on their houses) and cry for bailouts when their greedy investments turn sour, like little children blaming it onto someone else. Half of the eight thousand dollars buyers’ credit appear to be fraudulent as pigs stay at the trough.  They will not learn or help their neighbor because they are capitalist pigs who live off their neighbor, not responsible people who want to live in a house and contribute to society and their neighbor. Like the capitalists they wait for things to go wrong and then be bailed out by the responsible and hopeful homebuyers against their will.  They deny this obvious fact as does Hedges.  These greedy and immature consumers are part of the capitalist pig mentality and what needs to be rebelled against not supported.  As long as these people are part of the consumer-corporate-government complex they will not rebel, will not mature, and help keep all the evils going that Hedges and others point out so well.  Who wants to support Hedges rebellion when he has such a poor view of which of his neighbors need justice and which are parasitic consumer predators of the capitalist system?  If these participators in the greed system are not stopped and made responsible, they will contribute to more of the debt, consumer, and predatory exploitive behavior and the downfall of our society. You can’t have a workable social system when such behavior is supported or ignored.  Part of the problem is in the greed of many of the people and overcoming and fairly and justly dealing with such immaturity is a necessary part of the solution.  How about helping the real victims who can’t or won’t buy a price inflated destroyed house or who don’t want to become a slave to the money interest capitalist system by becoming indebted to an overpriced house?  Why does Hedges support the capitalist housing system and its parasitic predators he claims to be against?  Why does he punish the socialist people he claims to represent and support?  He sees people as ignorant victims who need the help of a big daddy and what they get is a Stalin or Mao.  Support responsible people, responsible behavior, and people who don’t support and participate in the capitalist system.  The solution is not an immature rebellion, but a development of a level of maturity, responsibility, and consciousness that makes such widespread greedy exploitive runaway behavior impossible, and to have the people in charge of their life, not some know it all narcissistic leader, a single person bound to be biased and corrupted.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 20, 2011 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

Gentlemen, consider how Christ ( and His message and the true adherence to it, not what is prescribed be fallible men ) has changed the course of history!

One must also consider how organized religion ( not the Way I’m talking about here ) has also attempted to thwart, misguide and actually tried to shame that message and the relevance of Faith in that message…. yet has failed. 

True Christians ( Disciples of Christ / Christ-like people ) really do exist… and you can find that path and Way as well!

“Falsehood is easy, truth so difficult.” - George Eliot.

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” - George Orwell.

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By JDmysticDJ, April 20, 2011 at 11:31 am Link to this comment


(Excuse me while I tilt my head, grimace, close one eye, stick out my overbite, and say,” Dyuhwee!”)

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By RayLan, April 20, 2011 at 7:57 am Link to this comment

“But lets keep the “we” in there! To lash out and trash liberals, to say they are the same as conservatives, is just stupid. Sometimes yes, always, no way. “

Bad cop good cop. Tweedledeedee and Tweedlededum. In spite of this frigging difference the ‘liberal’ agenda , the liberal class is at a standstill.
Only the plutocracy’s interests are being served.

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By DieDaily, April 20, 2011 at 3:44 am Link to this comment

@mack: Thank you for that, as usual, breathtakingly
unspecific diatribe. Perhaps, someday, you’ll dare to
dance with me (no homo, not that I’m at all against
that). In the mean time, just keep casting out more of
those broad, non-specific, emotionally loaded, and
denotatively null-and-void invectives. Whatever you do,
don’t pin yourself down to a specific viewpoint or
logical position. You’re survival continues to depend
on this.

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By Lafayette, April 20, 2011 at 2:46 am Link to this comment


CH: mandarins of corporate power

Better yet: Mandarins of Corporate Privilege.

Since the early 1960s, America has been hell-bent to consolidating markets which has produced Market Oligopolies. Bigger is supposedly Better, so companies chase one another down the economies-of-scale curve the towards lowest-cost possible.

As an example, breaking up MaBell simply to install BabyBells in the regions - the result of which is that America still has some of the highest DSL-interconnect prices in the world.

Free Markets consist basically of two attributes:
*Free entry for all suppliers, and
*Free access for all consumers.

Anyone would be rightly disappointed to realize how so few supposedly “free markets” meet those two criteria. (Health Care being a prime example.)


Privileges have been bestowed (often by Congress) upon some “free markets” by the lack of competition and proper regulation. Finance is the most obvious of the lot.

They have become oligopolies, with too many customers chasing too few suppliers - meaning that it is the latter who set the market price and rake in their illegitimate profits.

And they want us (we, the sheeple) to be proud of our system of “Free Enterprise”.


And of course, the DSL Market Players today want to divvy up the Internet bandwidth so that one pays usage according to the freight-hauled - that is, the amount of bytes that you shift either inwards or outwards from your computer. Just like railroads did in the 18th and 19th centuries!

Here come the Robber Barons of the New Millennium!

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 20, 2011 at 2:28 am Link to this comment

“The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it an unscalable wall.”

Proverbs 18:11

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By Lafayette, April 20, 2011 at 1:51 am Link to this comment


V777: Give me a friggen’ break!

Well, that’s CH for you. He has a seemingly irresistible penchant for rhetoric and hyperbole. Nobody’s perfect.

But, apart from these tangents, this article is one of his best written to date on this forum.

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By cripes, April 20, 2011 at 1:51 am Link to this comment

To Virginia777:

Chris Hedges, and many of us are saying, there is no difference between Liberals and Conservatives (read demos and repubs) in terms of their loyalty to the godawful militarist, unregulated capitalist state that is our enemy.

Witness the liberal stampede to vote for war, for bank bailouts, to destroy the social safety net. Hell, Bill Clinton did more to destroy labor and poor peoples rights than Reagan ever accomplished. And don’t get me started on Obama…

Now, you may say “my friends and are aren’t like that, we’re real liberals, etc.”

But you don’t represent the party, the politicians, and the power interests that have captured the demo/liberal sham.

The only difference worth mentioning is the form and style that liberal and conservative ruling class politicians promote IN SERVING THE CORPORATE / FINANCE / MILITARIST AGENDA.

Lib Dems will throw you a few Lilly Ledbetter or DADT DOMA wins, but that’s about it. They’ll make nice noises about peace and social justice and line up to vote for the latest assualt on human rights. They’ll speak in coherent sentences, and won’t embarrass you in public, like Bush II was always doing. I’m sure there were well-spoken Nazi’s too, but I’m not impressed

In fact, some of the worst war-mongering bastards are those phony “humanitarian intervention” frauds who come from…you guessed it, the lib dems.

Obama is their new form, and it stinks. Get over it, the dems actually enable the continued horror show with their treacherous, “but it’ll be worsssssse under republicans” while they play handmaiden to the birth of fascism, ‘murrikan style from ruling class.

It’s the bad cop, good cop show, and don’t fergit it.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 20, 2011 at 1:47 am Link to this comment

“G"utless “W"itless Hitler, faith being another word for cowardice… hardly.

Try loving someone instead of hating.. and you’ll either get confusion on the other party’s part… or more anger, for hate cannot stand light nor truth in any of its form… especially from a point of love.

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By Lafayette, April 20, 2011 at 1:42 am Link to this comment


Mac: And to the Techno-elite, this group of manufacturing ‘workers’ doesn’t cut the mustard.

To the techno-workers, the manufacturing crowd relies on ‘Unions’. They are leaners.

You may think this is true, but that is not the fact. Techie jobs are being dislocated as well.

There is no difference between low-tech and high-tech, except by industry. A low-tech construction job will not be dislocated to China, because the “product” is local. Wherever a telephone can intervene in a service, then, yes it will be likely dislocated to India.

That’s the way of the world from now on. Countries will chase one another up the skills ladder. Some will win, some will lose. Not everybody can be King of the Hill.

Nothing has changed since Ricardo first proposed the concept of “comparative advantage”, for which Scotland produces great Scotch and Bordeaux great wines.

And high-tech bends to that rule. Apple in California conceives and designs great Media Apparatus and China builds them at a lesser cost. If China would conceive such world-class products, they would. But they don’t, because they have no “comparative advantage” to do so.


Education of our workforce is the key factor promoting “comparative advantage”.

We must have a means of assuring that an education graduates, either from secondary or postsecondary schooling employable people at decent salaries. If that requires further education or training, then so be it - let’s make sure it is available. Instead of waiting for an educational system managed mostly by local authorities to wake up to that challenge.

If we could reduce unemployment from 9% to 4% it would do wonders to reduce the deficit (which is what taxable income always does). It would not be enough, for which taxation of the both the filthy-rich and the simply-rich will be still necessary. But it is better than doing nothing but discussing “deficit reduction measures” with the dimwits on the Rabid Right.

The solutions seem so damn simple, were it not for the Rabid Right in Congress preventing them from being discussed.


Stupidity is as stupidity does. It avoids the facts because they are too “confusing”. It seeks out simplistic sound-bites and dogma that seem comforting but are devoid of common sense.

(Which is why a nerd like a Paul Ryan ban cook-up a deficit cutting mechanism that is replete with party-politics and bereft of any factual foundation. He takes us for fools.)

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By Virginia777, April 20, 2011 at 1:12 am Link to this comment

Here I agree with Hedges:

“If we are to save our country, and our planet, we must turn from exalting the self, to subsuming of the self for our neighbor. Self-sacrifice defies the sickness of corporate ideology. Self-sacrifice mocks opportunities for advancement, money and power. Self-sacrifice smashes the idols of greed and envy. Self-sacrifice demands that we rise up against the abuse, injury and injustice forced upon us by the mandarins of corporate power.”

But lets keep the “we” in there! To lash out and trash liberals, to say they are the same as conservatives, is just stupid. Sometimes yes, always, no way.

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By Virginia777, April 20, 2011 at 1:05 am Link to this comment

For gosh sakes Chris Hedges, talk about shadows on the wall of Plato’s cave!

“Democrat or Republican. Liberal or conservative. It makes no difference. Barack Obama serves corporate interests as assiduously as did George W. Bush”

Obama or Bush, no different? Liberal or conservative no difference? Democrat or Republican, no difference???

Give me a friggen’ break!

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By Gary Mont, April 19, 2011 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment

katsteevns:To Gary Mont, You might adjust the title of your Anti-religious rant to your anti-“organized” religion rant.

Well, for me, religion means a life style based on a belief system that expressly places an animated entity of un-seeable and un-investigatable nature above one’s self, who one owes allegiance to because it manifested the universe and everything else one afternoon, a long long time ago, as recorded in some ancient book.

Organized Religion is simply an ancient criminal business model, and its adherents are mere resources to be exploited as needed. They do all of the church’s good deeds, while the church elders merely sit back and count the daily intake of shekels sent in by the grateful adherents, who belive the elders’ BS about a better life when they’re dead, if they obey the directives of the church.

To believe in Jesus as the Son of God, is to point out that one has not done enough serious in depth investigation into the mythos of Jesus as Son of God, outside of religious sources. Otherwise one would know that other historic mentions of the man’s life differ dramatically from the accepted religious ones. Or that other historic records of the times and places of the mythos mention him not at all.

I decided very young that I would simply investigate everything and if God existed therein, it would eventually become obvious. The opposite was true - the more I learned the less the probability of God in the religious sense - although there may indeed be some basis for god-like critters in the fleshy sense, but they are apparently not things one would want to worship. 

To put it another way, Religion is a life based on crediting, or blaming an invisible entity for all that happens in your life, thus seeing yourself as a mere pawn in the game of life whose only recourse is to worship the entity in the hopes it will do fewer nasty things to you, and maybe toss you a goodie now and then

I’m of the simple belief that by taking responibility for everything that happens in my life, there’s a good chance I can avoid the bad things the next time and aim for the nicer things more often, and so far it seems to work really well. I actually pat myself on the head when ever an odd coincidence occurs that happens to be in my favor. My brain seems to like it.

Organized Religion is a con-man’s operation that takes into account the fact that humans are superstitious and uses that fact to rob them blind, so I don’t really consider it to be a religion at all.

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By Morpheus, April 19, 2011 at 10:16 pm Link to this comment

This is a good start but we can’t stop there. We ahve a lot more crap to through out with the garbage.

Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( )

We don’t have to live like this anymore. “Spread the News”

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By katsteevns, April 19, 2011 at 9:21 pm Link to this comment

To Gary Mont,
You might adjust the title of your Anti-religious rant to your anti-“organized” religion rant. smile

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By RayLan, April 19, 2011 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment

swanto sez
“I have never heard that Jesus objected to the
practice of sacrifices or the sale of animals for
that purpose.”
Why then do you think he took a whip to the money-changers? He’s accusing the temple system of thievery, especially of the poor. This analogy is perfect comparing to the kleptocracy of Big Business, destroying the middle class, and alienating the poor even more than they have been.

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By katsteevns, April 19, 2011 at 9:11 pm Link to this comment


“I have never heard that Jesus objected to the
practice of sacrifices or the sale of animals for
that purpose.”

The law was that the sacrifice was to be best specimen of the individual’s flock, one raised, cared for and labored over by the owner. The merchants were selling a product made from “someone else’s labor”, not the labor of the one who purchased it. It was probably not a perfect specimen since they sold them in bulk, and therefore, not an acceptable sacrifice.

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By "G"utless "W"itless Hitler, April 19, 2011 at 8:03 pm Link to this comment

“Slaves in this life for believing in God?.. or
following the Christ?”

Slaves of complacency.  Slaves for their willingness to
do nothing but endure their lot in this life for the
reward of the next.  In a word: suckers. 

Faith is just another word for cowardice.

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By gerard, April 19, 2011 at 7:59 pm Link to this comment

Very sorry about the triplicate!  My bad!

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By gerard, April 19, 2011 at 7:56 pm Link to this comment

By RayLan, April 19 at 7:45 am Link to this comment
What is ‘separatism’? The separations that CH speaks about are created by the inequities of corporate-controlled society. What is the advantage of ignoring that pivotal ...” etc.

The advantage of ignoring (or de-emphasizing, or working to decrease) differences (“separating”) is that for the sake of numbers you need unity.  The more divisions you create the less unity you can call upon for change.  Also,coping with differences usually leads to more inclusive understandings in order to create a belief system with more relevance to more people.

Sorry to be so long in getting back.

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By gerard, April 19, 2011 at 7:56 pm Link to this comment

By RayLan, April 19 at 7:45 am Link to this comment
What is ‘separatism’? The separations that CH speaks about are created by the inequities of corporate-controlled society. What is the advantage of ignoring that pivotal ...” etc.

The advantage of ignoring (or de-emphasizing, or working to decrease) differences (“separating”) is that for the sake of numbers you need unity.  The more divisions you create the less unity you can call upon for change.  Also,coping with differences usually leads to more inclusive understandings in order to create a belief system with more relevance to more people.

Sorry to be so long in getting back.

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By gerard, April 19, 2011 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment

By RayLan, April 19 at 7:45 am Link to this comment
What is ‘separatism’? The separations that CH speaks about are created by the inequities of corporate-controlled society. What is the advantage of ignoring that pivotal ...” etc.

The advantage of ignoring (or de-emphasizing, or working to decrease) differences (“separating”) is that for the sake of numbers you need unity.  The more divisions you create the less unity you can call upon for change.  Also,coping with differences usually leads to more inclusive understandingsin order to create a belief system with more relevance to more people.

Sorry to be so long in getting back.

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By Roughneck, April 19, 2011 at 7:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The other day I walked a few blocks to have my lunch on the steps of the Bank of the Almighty Dollar (B.A.D.) The B.A.D. building has over 30 floors and the Lobby is all marble and pillars. I know this because I helped to build the building. I have no interest in going into the B.A.D. building because I’m afraid some security guard or receptionist will confront me, and ask if I’ve got any business in the building.

As I sat there having my lunch, a well dressed pear shaped, pencil necked geek came down the stairs absent mindedly counting a wad of cash. I thought I’d have some fun, so I said, “hey! Where did you get all the cash”? The geek jumped, and hurriedly put the money in his pocket. As he reached the sidewalk he turned his head and snidely said, “I got it the old fashioned way, I earned it.” Still in the mood for some fun, I jumped up and started following him down the street, “Let me see your hands,” I said. He looked frightened, and he said, “Do you want me to call a cop”? So I walked around in front of him, stopped him, looked him in the eye and said, “Let me see your hands.”  He looked very frightened and he said, “Why do you want to see my hands”? I said, “I want to see if you’ve got any calluses on those bony little mitts.”  “He started to panic, and in a whiny little voice he said, “I’ll call a cop.” I said, “You’re not much of a man are you,”? “You can’t earn your own money, and you can’t fight your own fights, can you”? He looked terrified, and I laughed and walked away.

Poor guy, I feel guilty about this little encounter, but it sure was fun. Call it a guilty pleasure.

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By TAO Walker, April 19, 2011 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment

This Old Savage can’t help the fact that “Gary Mont” is quite possibly in plenty of company, in the difficulty he says he has getting the meaning of the terms used to translate into English, as nearly as can be, the Original Natural Language of Organic Functional Integrity.  Maybe if he would consider what happens when some Organ in his own Birthday-suit, the Heart say, lacks sufficient Integrity to fulfill adequately its Organic Function within that larger Organism, he could get some sense of how it is that such Integrity (as resides naturally in any healthy Organ or Organism) could be described as a Living Virtue.

It is true that the domesicated peoples have been systematically deprived of conscious access to the knowledge and understanding of these fundamental Organic principles.  That’s a big part of what their unfortunate CONdition CONsists-of, anyhow.  The thing is, this knowledge is already being described (here in cyberspace) in what is almost “baby-talk,” here in Indian Country, and to render it into the empty “self”-referential jargon “Gary Mont” is perhaps already too-well-versed-in would be exactly the sort of foolish exercise-in-futility clogging-up the channels of Human communication already.

What he and his family and friends and neighbors might do, though, is get together to consider the meanings of those terms presently incomprehensible to them.  They are all, after-all, common words in everyday use….if perhaps strung-together in a somewhat unfamiliar fashion, and applied to things most people simply haven’t the inclination (and maybe the semantic capability) to associate them with.

Frankly, people unwilling to make the effort, who would rather have it all spoon-fed to them like they’ve become too used to it happening, won’t “get-it” anyway.  To get-over the sickness that is the “self,” and thus restore to its rightful place the Natural Person (not “natural human,” as Gary Mont carelessly mistates, and illustrates in so doing the tendency among domesticated peoples to substitute their own fuzzy terminology for the precise wording offered) who has been overshadowed by that same usurping “self.”

There is, in the descriptions offered here, more than enough to reintroduce any conscientiously sincere, presently infected Person to The Medicine that will restore to them their Organic Functional Integrity, and to restore to our Living Arrangement some needed Natural Immune Function, as we address the behavior here of a retro-viral entity whose “process” presents in our midst as a quite possibly terminal disease.  By acting together as recommended, in the paragraph cited below by Gary Mont, those among our captive Sisters and Brothers who do so will naturally and spontaneously help each other back onto The Tiyoshpaye Way.

It doesn’t even matter, really, whether they know what that means.  It’s all in the actual doing of what we, as Humanity, actually are….vital components in Her immune system.  Does the Heart, for heavensakes, require some elaborate CONceptual scheme, some philosophical justification to ‘beat’?  Does anybody have to explain to the Heart what its place is and how to fulfill it?

You figure it out, Fellahs ‘n’ Gals….and get well in the very doing of it.


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By doublestandards/glasshouses, April 19, 2011 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shouldn’t we be just a little angry with ourselves for our enslavement to corporate culture?  Shopping is by far the favorite activity of most Americans.  Nothing else comes close.  Can BOA be blamed for that?  We love our consumer culture, and for many people conspicuous consumption is a little nearer to heaven.  Read Dostoyevsky by all means but don’t overlook David Foster Wallace.

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By Gary Mont, April 19, 2011 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment

Anti-religious rant - skip if desired.

Those who wear God like a coat and Jesus like a badge, are also those who would eliminate child labor laws, so businessmen (those who have as much chance of entering heaven as a camel has of passing through the eye of needle, remember) can make more money by eliminating the cost of labor.

They want to eliminate the workingman’s union laws so the same businessmen can make more money forcing poeple to work for lower wages or starve.

They are willing to prevent the protection of the poor, elderly and ill because some woman might get an abortion using tax-based money, as if only Christians paid taxes. If they make this anti-abortion stand a law, all non-christians should stop paying taxes immediately until it is withdrawn.

They consider slavery of “lesser peoples” to be just good business and of course consider most of the non-white, non-american people of earth as “lesser peoples”, put here by God specifically for use as slaves by good christian businessmen - how oxymoron is that.

They consider the end of the world in fire and thunder as the greatest day conceivable, because they think they’ll go to heaven, drink ambrosia and play the harp, while the rest of humanity suffers pain and torment for eternity in hell.

You’ll pardon me if I consider such people as these to be unworthy of my respect, and ignore their quoted scriptures - the meanings of which they still bitterly argue about amongst themselves.

As far as I can see, religion has been complicit in keeping humanity mentally in the stone age for millenia - it may indeed be their primary objective.

Religion should have become obsolete about the same time as the wheel was invented, but its profit value to businessmen and governments has kept it alive and well into the present time.

I consider religious faith as the equivalent of reading the entrails of a goat. It is this superstitious faith in the great white love god that has allowed this situation on earth to get as bad as it has, IMO.

All religious activity and proselytizing should be limited to the insides of their temples. Selling God outside the church should fall under the same laws as selling any other “product”.

It should have long ago been a criminal act to indoctrinate children into any sort of religion. I can personally think of no act more heinous than such poisoning of an immature mind.

Just thought I’d clear that up.
All better now. smile

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 19, 2011 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment

Sir V, the bible was used as a clear basis and foundation to the many elementary rudiments found in that ignored and deteriorating papers known as the Constitution and Bill of Rights… centuries of theory from trial and error and the refining of a system of equitable balance between all men.

Yet history surely paints a picture where religion has been used to subdue the masses ( catholic church for example ).  Look up catholic church and Medici and you’ll see just one clear example of this, yet, God was NOT with them.

“I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?”

—God ( John 3:11-12 )

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 19, 2011 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

Slaves in this life for believing in God?.. or following the Christ? 

Perhaps the droves of those who seem to believe yet know nothing of the “Unknown God” as described in Athens in the book of Acts… nor live out that faith in their lives… not hardly sir.

Christ wasn’t a slouch…. nor are those who follow Him:

“I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.  From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.”

—God ( Matthew 11:11-12 )

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By V, April 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment


Thanks for the correction. I’m not up on exact biblical scripture. Nor do I care to be.

I don’t believe it has a place here. Chris Hedges needs, much like John Kerry, to use more accessible metaphors. His references, though eloquent and they may be, are above too many heads. I guarantee all those folks who wanted to have a beer with Bush are scared to death of a man who can reference books they’d never heard of.

Religion in general has become the source of many woes. Though as positive as it can be, the bible is the source by which so many ill behaved men stand behind as the do their dubious deeds.

Religion and books associated with religion have no place in politics.

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By "G"utless "W"itless Hitler, April 19, 2011 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

I find it ironic that the champions of the meek would invoke the words of the Christian God in their defense since it is precisely the promise of paradise in the afterlife that has made slaves of them in this life.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment

V, the bible references realities as have been seen and can be seen today.

What is NOT evident is the reality that people serve money / mammon / the golden calf / their self-interest rather than consider the next person.

You misquoted that particular money scripture.

And fyi, folks are quoting scripture to bring to light the reality of man’s heart, how men misstep ( sin ) and how THAT is nothing new…. unless you’ve been mad anew, then these things are clear as day and the scriptures make even more sense.

But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

1 Timothy 6:6-10

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By V, April 19, 2011 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

As personal as this subject is for myself as well as every American. I cannot comprehend why people insist on using biblical metaphor.

God is not going to swoop in and save your home from the greedy people in the banks.

The “Devil” is not making all the bad things in the world happen.

Human beings are flawed. Whether God “made them” that way or not. It is up to us, the members of this group called America, to self govern and regulate our neighbors and government through a series of agreements made. IF YOUR LOCAL REPRESENTATIVE IS A CROOK it is up to you to do something about that! If you don’t no one will and the corruption will continue.

Money MAY be the root of all evil… But I am pretty sure the bible won’t being quoted here isn’t going to help or hinder anything or anyone.

The old metaphors are dead. We live in a new age with old behaviors. We as need to help each other to understand and to overcome the NEW challenges.

The oppressors are like the Italian mafia in the movies smiling as they drive a 9 inch blade into your heart.

Seperation of church and state.

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By Eric Avila, April 19, 2011 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Drop out of the Voting Ritual? That’s just what they
want, passive citizens.  Don’t drop out, just inform
more voters through grass roots efforts.

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By frecklefever, April 19, 2011 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment


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By katsteevns, April 19, 2011 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment

You are almost there, Chris, keep it up as in:

Psalm 1:2
but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night.


Mark 13:11
Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 19, 2011 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment

It’s about time this was touched upon, thanks Hedges.

“I am a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my own mother’s sons; for zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.”

—God ( Psalm 69:8-9 )

And here as well:

“When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money.  So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.  To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!”

His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.

—God ( John 2:13-17 )

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By Gary Mont, April 19, 2011 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment

TAO Walker: Come together as Natural Persons, right where you live-and-breathe every Day.  ORGANize as Whole Living Human Communities.  Recover the Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity.  Get well fulfilling our given Human Function, within the Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth, as a vital component in Her immune system. 

I’m going to step out on a limb here and suggest that, like me, most folks simply do not understand what it is your telling them to do. Please realize that I mean no disrespect, but I’ve been dying to ask this since I started posting here and first read your posts. I went looking for “instructions” and found nothing that could be construed as such under The Tiyoshpaye Way.

Come together as Natural Persons” - few, if any of us, consider ourselves to be un-natural humans and thus cannot even imagine how we could do something that would cause us to become natural humans, or conceive of what a natural human is, if we are indeed not natural already.

ORGANize as Whole Living Human Communities” - well, translated, this appears to be the opposite of fragmented dying human communities, which, I admit does seem to describe your average city existence, but does not convey any sort of plan as to how humans should organize to “become” Whole Living”. In most cases - citywise - people can live their entire lives without ever knowing the name of their next door neighbours. It is very difficult, I would think, to suddenly switch from paranoid isolated islands to an open inter-acting community. Some instructions are necessary here as well.

Recover the Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity.” - ummmm - well, this simply slides right past my translator. I have no idea - and assume many others will be in the same boat - what this might actually mean. First I have to understand how and when the Virtue was lost, because that would give me an idea of what the Virtue actually might have been, if we actually had it once. Otherwise, organic functional integrity appears to be more descriptive of garden plants and their ability to render light into matter - but does not ring any bells concerning human beings. I assume it has to do with “what you eat is what you are” somewhat, but basically the term confuses almost entirely.

Get well fulfilling our given Human Function, within the Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth, as a vital component in Her immune system.” I sort of understand this I think - it refers to the symbiotic relationship that once existed between humanity and terra/gaia, but I’ve absolutely no idea how one might go about returning to this human function. I assume that few others who have lived exclusively in the exploitation barracks of cities, will have any idea either. Instruction are once again essential for those who have been disconnected from gaia their entire lives.

This all sounds so much like the aims that originally sparked the hippy movement - the back to the land movement as it were. That failed miserably, not so much because it was doomed to fail through bad planning, but because the system made the whole movement into a commercial commodity-set.

I’m thinking that you’re going to have to expand your instruction vocabulary set to be more indicative of what one should physically and mentally do to accomplish the goals you say we must achieve, before the majority of us will even have an inkling of what drirection you’re pointing us in.

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By swanto sez, April 19, 2011 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment


In studying the historical Jesus, a different and
plausible explanation for his actions was put forth
and found acceptance in my mind.

As a Nazarene, and the son of a carpenter, Jesus was
both a hick and below the rank of peasant. In a
nearby small city, he first became acquainted with
various ideas within the framework of a Hellenized
society conquered by Romans.

His early life was influenced by all these macro
trends together the bubblibg pot of Hebrew thinking
that included such persons as John the Baptist.

When he arrived in Jerusalem, in a scene highly
colored by Jewish prophesy,he was not intellectually
prepared for the scene he encountered at the temple.

In the larger Mediterranean world, Jews may have
comprised as much as 10% of the population living
around that body of water. In each country, they used
different currency.

Judaism was an entirely different religion in Jesus’;
day than the one we have now. It included pilgrimages
to a central temple, and it included sacrifices.

The bigger the sacrifice, the more credit you got
with guy upstairs. As a result, it was necessary for
pilgrims to Jerusalem to buy these sacrifices upon
arrival. In order to do this, they had to change
their local currency into something that would be
accepted by those selling suitable animals for

Students of the historical Jesus believe that his
behavior that day was predicated on his mis
perceptions regarding the role of money changers.

I have never heard that Jesus objected to the
practice of sacrifices or the sale of animals for
that purpose.

When Mr. Hedges uses these trite and worn out
examples to support his attacks on BancAmerica, I
object for a number of reasons.

First, his audience is not religious, the movement
within which he seeks succor is notoriously rife with
half-witted atheists. Why they should hold up
Biblical instruction is a laugh.

Second, I have been listening to these speeches for
more than fifty years. They could have been spoken at
any time during that period, without changing a word.

There is no call for any specific action. There is no
mention of any support at the “rally” from any
respected groups such as unions, churches, political
parties, etc.

Its nothing more than sentimental blather, without a
snowball’s chance in hell of having any positive
effect at all- other than to make a laughing stock
out of anyone silly enuf to pass these rantings

We are now living in the most right-wing of any
“advanced” post industrial country. This is NOT
because the conservatives have become more right-
wing; rather, it is because the Democrats and the
center have moved to the right.

I’m sure there is some scholarship on this subject,
but I doubt it can focus on the real causes of our
current right-wing crisis, which lie primarily within
“liberal” America. I would suggest, however, that the
death of the left in America, and the impending death
of liberalism, owes very much to being identified
with voices like Chris Hedges who are dismissed by
the overwhelming majority of decent, intelligent

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By ellemarz, April 19, 2011 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment

“But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,”
faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to

“Business!” cried the Ghost, wringing its hands
again.  “Mankind was my business.  The common welfare
was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and
benevolence, were, all, my business.  The dealings of
my trade were but a drop of water in the
comprehensive ocean of my business!”  (Dickens)

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By "G"utless "W"itless Hitler, April 19, 2011 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

Have any of you ever considered that perhaps the purpose of the vast cauldron of humanity is to cook up a few extraordinary people?  The value of 6+ billion people is in their collective genetic potential to create rare and exceptional specimens.  Other than that, I really see no use for ‘em.

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By Lafayette, April 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

gerard: Step one is to promote the recognition of what both (or all) sides have in common, what they can agree on minimally in order to avoid violence.

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it!

Attributed to Voltaire, but actually written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall

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By truedigger3, April 19, 2011 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

Re:By philipw, April 19 at 4:43 pm

Twice I have submitted posts that did not appear.  One was last night, 10 hours ago.  Seems criticism of Hedges or Scheer is censored.

There is no censorship in trudtdig.
In the last couple of days, truthdig had glitches that lasted several hours each. We might still get more glitches until what truthdig is updating is completed.

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By drbhelthi, April 19, 2011 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

philipw - censorship
“Twice I have submitted posts that did not appear.  One was last night,
10 hours ago.  Seems criticism of Hedges or Scheer is censored.”

Three of my posts failed to register last evening. However, the same posts were accepted several hours later, with no response that they were repeats of
previous posts.

This suggests a programming or server dysfunction last evening.

Peace, doc b.

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By Stefa, April 19, 2011 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is a response to Gerard’s original point about polarizing the population into adversarial groups, demonizing the successful exploiters and, perhaps, slightly glorifying the downtrodden. In terms of non-violence, I believe you’ve hit on a make-it-or-break-it crux: How to set up robust and effective limits to protect public interests and also open the door for all to join together if they are able to respect the limits and adhere to them..? If I hear Chris Hedges well, he’s trying his best to wake people up to the fact that they are trying to reason with the unreasonable and the unlistening when they vote or direct their protest toward people who have clearly shown they are not listening and don’t care. This habit of throwing onself away on useless hoping to negotiate with powers that don’t care about you is typical of the disenfranchized and I see a compassionate and vigorous attempt in Mr. Hedges’ work to point out that this is the sticking point in revolution. You can’t wait for the other who has been given all the cards to give you one if you beg well enough. Critical point. If Chris Hedges impresses this upon a critical mass of people in the US, he will have accomplished a major shift in US history. There may be a period of polarization before people who are learning to assume their own power are able to understand the needs and conditioning of the elites and how to leave a door open for their reformed participation. But the thing is, you have to be able to hold the line forcefully and non-violently before you are in any condition to negotiate in everyone’s interests.

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By philipw, April 19, 2011 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

Twice I have submitted posts that did not appear.  One was last night, 10 hours ago.  Seems criticism of Hedges or Scheer is censored.

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