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How Democracy Dies: Lessons From a Master

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Posted on Oct 10, 2010
AP / Matt York

By Chris Hedges

The ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes spent his life battling the assault on democracy by tyrants. It is disheartening to be reminded that he lost. But he understood that the hardest struggle for humankind is often stating and understanding the obvious. Aristophanes, who had the temerity to portray the ruling Greek tyrant, Cleon, as a dog, is the perfect playwright to turn to in trying to grasp the danger posed to us by movements from the tea party to militias to the Christian right, as well as the bankrupt and corrupt power elite that no longer concerns itself with the needs of its citizens. He saw the same corruption 2,400 years ago. He feared correctly that it would extinguish Athenian democracy. And he struggled in vain to rouse Athenians from their slumber.

There is a yearning by tens of millions of Americans, lumped into a diffuse and fractious movement, to destroy the intellectual and scientific rigor of the Enlightenment. They seek out of ignorance and desperation to create a utopian society based on “biblical law.” They want to transform America’s secular state into a tyrannical theocracy. These radicals, rather than the terrorists who oppose us, are the gravest threat to our open society. They have, with the backing of hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate money, gained tremendous power. They peddle pseudoscience such as “Intelligent Design” in our schools. They keep us locked into endless and futile wars of imperialism. They mount bigoted crusades against gays, immigrants, liberals and Muslims. They turn our judiciary, in the name of conservative values, over to corporations. They have transformed our liberal class into hand puppets for corporate power. And we remain meek and supine.

They want to transform America’s secular state into a tyrannical theocracy. These radicals, rather than the terrorists who oppose us, are the gravest threat to our open society.

The huge amount of taxpayer money doled out to Wall Street, investment banks, the oil and natural gas industry and the defense industry, along with the dismantling of our manufacturing sector, is why we are impoverished. It is why our houses are being foreclosed on. It is why some 45 million Americans are denied medical care. It is why our infrastructure, from public schools to bridges, is rotting. It is why many of us cannot find jobs. We are being fleeced. The flagrant theft of public funds and rise of an obscenely rich oligarchic class is masked by the tough talk of demagogues, themselves millionaires, who use fear and bombast to keep us afraid, confused and enslaved.

Aristophanes saw the same psychological and political manipulation undermine the democratic state in ancient Athens. He repeatedly warned Athenians in plays such as “The Clouds,” “The Wasps,” “The Birds,” “The Frogs” and “Lysistrata” that permitting political leaders who shout “I shall never betray the Athenian!” or “I shall keep up the fight in defense of the people forever!” to get their hands on state funds and power would end with the citizens enslaved.

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“The truth is, they want you, you see, to be poor,” Aristophanes wrote in his play “The Wasps.” “If you don’t know the reason, I’ll tell you. It’s to train you to know who your tamer is. Then, whenever he gives you a whistle and sets you against an opponent of his, you jump out and tear them to pieces.”

Our democracy, through years of war, theft and corruption, is also being diminished. But the example Aristophanes offers is not a hopeful one. He held up the same corruption to his fellow Greeks. He repeatedly chided them for not rising up and fighting back. He warned, ominously, that by the time most citizens awoke it would be too late. And he was right. The appearance of normality lulls us into a false hope and submission. Those who shout most loudly in defense of the ideals of the founding fathers, the sacredness of Constitution and the values of the Christian religion are those who most actively seek to subvert the principles they claim to champion. They hold up the icons and language of traditional patriotism, the rule of law and Christian charity to demolish the belief systems that give them cultural and political legitimacy. And those who should defend these beliefs are cowed and silent.   

“For a considerable length of time the normality of the normal world is the most efficient protection against disclosure of totalitarian mass crimes,” Hannah Arendt wrote in “The Origins of Totalitarianism.” “Normal men don’t know that everything is possible, refuse to believe their eyes and ears in the face of the monstrous. ... The reason why the totalitarian regimes can get so far toward realizing a fictitious, topsy-turvy world is that the outside non-totalitarian world, which always comprises a great part of the population of the totalitarian country itself, indulges in wishful thinking and shirks reality in the face of real insanity. ...”

All ideological, theological and political debates with the representatives of the corporate state, including the feckless and weak Barack Obama, are useless. They cannot be reached. They do not want a dialogue. They care nothing for real reform or participatory democracy. They use the tricks and mirages of public relations to mask a steadily growing assault on our civil liberties, our inability to make a living and the loss of basic services from education to health care. Our gutless liberal class placates the enemies of democracy, hoping desperately to remain part of the ruling elite, rather than resist. And, in many ways, liberals, because they serve as a cover for these corporate extremists, are our greatest traitors.


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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, October 12, 2010 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment

POLITICS IS THE ART OF THE POSSIBLE

jklf: For Obama to now say, “I did the best I could”, when he never even tried, is shameless and nonsensical.

I’m the one who posted that opinion, not Obama. So, I’ll take the heat for it – thank you very much.

Your remark above is devoid of any factuality whatsoever. In fact, it is ignorant of the political reality that exists in the Congress.

There is a simple rule about politics, of which you are also ignorant: Politics is the art of the possible. Because we have what is called a Balance of Powers, divided between the Legislature, the Executive and the Judicial branches of government

Which means that the political equation is very complex indeed. Obama is not King of the USA. And if you ever thought he was, then you are the fool.

But one fact remains clear, which you refuse to recognize – either because you cannot or simply do not wish to recognize it. A PotUS can instigate legislation, but he cannot force it through Congress.

So, pray tell, how did Obama sell us out? (Be specific, it helps in a debate.) He got the best available from the present Congress, itself a stacked-deck – meaning specifically the conniving between stonewalling Reps and BlueDog Dems from rural communities of less dense populations.

And why could such connivance exist? Look at the make-up of Congress. We are all pissing and moaning in a blog about the fact that Obama failed us on Health Care. But where was that ever a pre-election campaign issue? Did you see any widespread pre-election Congressional support for a Public Option Health Care legislation?

I defy you to find it – or any support of the reform measures that Obama tried to pass. All stymied by a visceral Republican negative campaign against whatever reform that Obama might propose – by a Congress that We Elected into office! So, if you are looking for the culprit, have a peek in the mirror.

Enjoy your Health Care system, fellow Americans. I live in France. My health care costs less than half yours. With the savings I vacation in the US during summers. If you had a Public Option National Health Care system, with your savings, you could vacation wherever your may want …

POST SCRIPTUM

I predict that Obama will make a nascent Public Option HC solution the hallmark of his campaign for re-election, thus forcing the Congressionals who are also up for reelection to take sides definitively in the matter.

Which will finally separate the wheat from the chaff on Capitol Hill.

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By RayLan, October 12, 2010 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment

How disappointed the current asshole Reps must be that the one greatest Republican freed the slaves.

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By jklfairwin, October 12, 2010 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let us be honest here; Obama is a complete sellout (assuming he has any values at all). The so-called “Health Care” and “Banking Reform” bills were nothing more than what Bush would have been forced to do in a third term. They helped the banks, the insurance industry and big pharma, but did little or nothing for the people. His warmongering (Afghan buildup, phony Iraq combat withdrawal) are also consistent with a third Bush term. For Obama to now say, “I did the best I could”, when he never even tried, is shameless and nonsensical. The Dems have failed. Apparently things must get much worse before most of the American public will wake up; the sooner the better. And under the Republicans, things will get much worse sooner.

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By Satyagraha, October 12, 2010 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment

A two part irony: (A) The people who actually have a relatively clear idea of what is going and what needs to be done—and who have the imagination and competence to bring what needs to be done to fruition—are always a tiny tiny minority. (B) This tiny minority thrives and is most effective at carrying out what needs to be done under a majority-rule system (representative republic, democracy).

When a dictatorship or oligarchy comes to power, one of the first things the usurpers of power do is try to corrupt, discombobulate, or, in the worst case scenario exterminate this tiny tiny minority. If the tiny minority takes the bait of corruption (typically offered by oligarchies rather than dictatorships), then democracy tends to die slowly.  If the tiny tiny minority gets exterminated, then democracy tends to die quickly and with resoundingly catastrophic mass-murderous violence that ultimately consumes many more than this tiny tiny minority. 

Perhaps the most pathetic outcome, however, is when the tiny tiny minority gets discombobulated—when they willfully abandon their advanced tools of discernment and instead embrace nonsensical ideologies completely detached from on-the-ground realities.  Such discombobulated minorities spend their remaining days gargling on the bile of paranoid apocalyptic hyperbole and accusing each other of treason, blasphemy, etc. for the impurities of each others’ survival strategies.

Chris Hedges is, at his root, a sane man and a relatively wise and just one too as they go.  He is part of that tiny tiny minority, but he is discombobulated right now, and it troubles me that he has the ear of others in this tiny tiny minority.

I think we’re all feeling a little discombobulated under the circumstances, but liberal-bashing from the left isn’t a sane or reality-attendant way to stem the rising tide of the radical right.  Rising tides of Nazi-like menace do get stemmed from time to time, when people are compelled to live in reality rather than in a let’s-build-socialism-by-talking-up-Aristophanes-to-intellectuals-pretending-to-be-working-class zip-a-dee-doo-da fantasy land.

It is constructive, for instance, to read about the political career of former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards, a pretty thoroughly corrupt public servant (he had been sentenced to ten years in prison on racketeering charges) and a generally disreputable human being.  Edwards nevertheless went on to win a completely appropriate landslide against David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the KKK, and retook the governor’s office.  The chant of the tiny tiny minority—fortunately inhabiting reality at that time—was “vote for the crook. it’s important.”

Had they been fed a little more discombobulating apocalyptic nonsense fantasy, however, the chant might instead have been something like “the Nazi and the crook both feed from the same corporate trough! Read Aristophanes! Build socialism!”

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By Alan MacDonald, October 12, 2010 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

Chris, excellent, but disturbing, as always.

Yes!

“Our gutless liberal class placates the enemies of democracy, hoping desperately to remain part of the ruling elite, rather than resist. And, in many ways, liberals, because they serve as a cover for these corporate extremists, are our greatest traitors.”

I just finished two older books; Michael Parenti’s “Against Empire” (amazingly prescient for 1995) and Leon Trotsky’s (even earlier and insightful) “Fascism—- What it is and how to Stop It”.

Trotsky targets like a laser beam the gutless faux liberal social democrat party of the petty bourgeoisie, “the social democrats that paralyzed the revolution” unable to confront the growing fascist empire [in Germany], and projected by Trotsky to happen later in the US.

Chris, the only extension to your harsh truism above, that I would add, and that I have been saying of people like Clinton and Obama for several years, is that they are not merely “gutless” but even more insidiously, that they are knowingly and treasonously COMPLICIT!

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

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JDmysticDJ's avatar

By JDmysticDJ, October 12, 2010 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment

Hedges writes

“Our gutless liberal class placates the enemies of democracy, hoping desperately to remain part of the ruling elite, rather than resist. And, in many ways, liberals, because they serve as a cover for these corporate extremists, are our greatest traitors.”

This from Wikipedia regarding “Liberal Elite”

“In the United States the term liberal elite is a political phrase to describe affluent, politically liberal-leaning people. It is commonly used with the pejorative implication that the people who support the rights of the working class are themselves members of the upper class, or upper middle class, and are therefore out of touch with the real needs of the people they claim to support and protect.”

And

“The label is essentially a rhetorical device with flexible meaning depending on where in the English speaking world it is used. As a polemical term it has been used to refer to political positions as diverse as secularism, environmentalism, feminism, and other positions associated with the left.”

I guess it’s safe to say that “…Gutless liberal class…” is a pejorative. This condemnation of “liberals” is of course Hedges’ tautological meme and his mantra. He seems incapable of writing without restating this mantra. Note that Hedges has included in his writings: All elected representatives of government, as well as the elected representatives of labor unions who represent working people, and virtually all grass roots organizations , regardless of political perspective, all those from academia, and journalists, etc. as anti-democratic, and members of, or servants of, an “Elite class.” Apparently Hedges believes that only those who lack influence and political power in our democracy and institutions can be legitimate. Hedges claims to support democracy while he actively works to subvert our current democracy. Hedges strikes me as being a modern day Robespierre who defines all as “traitors” who don’t ascribe to his beliefs, while defining those within our democracy who actively oppose very real, tangible, extremely harmful elites, as being “Our worst traitors.” Hedges advocates for revolt, but he immediately disparages grass roots movements advocating for reform and reversal of detrimental policies, calling them a “Road to Nowhere.” Those who have opposed the recent decision of a right-wing appointed Supreme Court, which has allowed corporate monies to further corrupt our elections in favor of the right are “Our worst traitors” according to Hedges. Hedges is guilty of demagoguery when he cites our very real and tragic problems and difficulties, as reasons to support his counter productive and detrimental recommendations which will effectively serve the interests of our real worst traitors. Do Hedges and his tiny minority of sycophants within the electorate, believe that a new purer form of democracy will give them a majority within the electorate, when that electorate currently blames its advocates rather than its exploiters for unemployment, an electorate that blames those who seek to repair our economy, and not those who wrecked our economy, an electorate that has clearly revealed its xenophobic inclinations, and an electorate that has been propagandized against the Left/Center coalition from all sides will suddenly embrace a far Left, or radical revolt? Does Hedges foresee a Bolshevik over throw of Kerensky liberals? I can only see a further shift to the right, no reform, no withdrawals from foreign entanglements, and continued right wing policies if the Left/Center coalition is defeated. I don’t see the Left/Center coaltion as being “Our worst traitors.” I see our worst traitors as being from the Right, and I believe that radical elitists are effectively, if unknowingly, serving the interests of our worst traitors.

(More below)

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, October 12, 2010 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

ezeques, October 12 at 1:12 pm:

Anarcissie

Are you actually that stupid?

Could be; your message didn’t demand a lot of intellect.  I take it you find my riposte unanswerable.

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By REDHORSE, October 12, 2010 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

Continued escalation of our huge war debt and looting of our Treasury by corrupt financial/political conspiracy is not sustainable. The resultant social chaos and disintegration we now experience is prelude to total economic, social and cultural collapse. We already experience the impact of a World reality which features unchecked exponential population growth, organized criminal enterprise on a global scale, GCC and failing agricultural and ecological systems. Recent revelations that hidden “foriegn money” is being used to influence American election cycles, and the open willingness of American banks to launder illegal cash, is clear proof that International political/financial/criminal enterprise has merged.

    TRUTHDIG posters willingly recognize that Rovian necromancers have animated the American Shadow and lament the inhumane social regression of the American Religious/Right Wing and its Militia but fail to see millions of armed dispossessed and poverty stricken Americans who exist only on Federal “largesse” and criminal black market enterprise. The most obvious microcosm and example is American Public Education where drug and gang violence rule, Police patrol the hallways and students pass through weapons detectors to gain entry to their schools. Each American city already has a designated “war zone”. Social Security is under attack. What reality do you envision when Federal “largesse” is removed from those already living on the brink, and food and water shortages begin. If “security state” Washington, or its MIC apparatus has a notion that it can contain the explosive consequence short of the mass genocide of American Citizens, it is totally delusional.

      Many good Christian American women have already been forced into the sex trade to keep from losing their homes and to help hold their families together. American youth is under violent attack and denied an education and a future. The criminalization of good citizens is ongoing. Wall Steet looters continue. The wound deepens daily. Michael Moore, Chris Hedges, or TRUTHDIG posters can write articles, make documentaries, and hold any opinion they wish, but disintegration of American Social/Democratic reality is static. Other modern nations struggle, but the American reality is desperate.

      I do believe a new “consciousness” is alive and active in America. It does possess Vision. There are people who embrace and create new community, sense of family and a sustainable future. It is obvious that “an old world” is dying and a “new” being born.

      I have to ask myself: How much courage and vision do I really possess? How much of a positive difference can I make? How moral am I? Am I friend or foe?

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JDmysticDJ's avatar

By JDmysticDJ, October 12, 2010 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

Hedges (Cont.)

Hedges cites,

“…a satire in which the young women refuse to have sex with their men until the war ends and the older women seize the Acropolis…”

as a rationale for civil disobedience, but aren’t plays, whether ancient or modern, nothing more than fantasies separate from reality. I’m a big supporter and a participant in peaceful political protest, activism by artists, street theater and such, but civil disobedience, regardless of motive, I fear will be seen as insurrection, by the masses,  and will have the affect of driving the masses farther to the Right. This is no small concern, it has happened before and the consequences were truly tragic.

Hedges states, 

“The tragedy is that liberals and secularists, like Obama, are not viewed as competitors by the corporate forces that hold power, but as contaminates that must be eliminated.”

And later states,

“There will be no swastikas this time but seas of red, white and blue flags and Christian crosses.”

These two statements, taken out of context, and taken at face value, become obvious examples of bold assertions and hyperbole which are intended to reinforce Hedges’ dialectic, but they can’t be defended against even the mildest of criticisms. The first statement, to be believed, would require a total ignorance of: Political realities, the history of Congressional legislation since January 20th 2009, and the unprecedented monolith of right-wing opposition coming from the representatives of corporate forces in the U.S. Congress. Not to mention the magnitude of criticism and dollars coming from corporate forces intended to remove Obama and the Democrats from political power. The second statement is very colorful, but absurd in its contention, and seems to be designed to create paranoia. The real threat comes from a right-wing coalition of corporate forces, their dupes, and their sycophants, not from Christian hoards; these kinds of fabrications are useful to the propagandist, when consumed by those who: have a propensity for bigotry, are uninformed, easily influenced, quick to agree, and who lack the desire for, and the habit of, critical thinking necessary for rational analysis.

If Hedges were an agent provocateur; a covert genius at propaganda assigned to create chaos and dissention within the Left/Center coalition, he’d be serving his right-wing sponsors very well. I can not rationally believe that he is an agent provocateur, but I can rationally believe that his writings effectively serve the interests of our worst traitors, and will have the affect of diminishing, and not enhancing democracy.

I respect Hedges for his obvious humanitarian concerns, but I believe his wrong headed attributions of guilt, are counter productive, and that his recommendations, if they were adopted, would have the potential for being tragically harmful. In that sense, I’m afraid I’ll have to say that Hedges is a master, a master whose lessons, if adopted, may well hasten the decay of our democracy, and not be the salvation of our dying democracy.

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By johnny, October 12, 2010 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

Maybe unfortunately, Obama, the Demcons and the Demlibs are all we have.  We can support them and maybe get some hard fought small incremental improvements, or we can go to totalitarianism, full Nazi. 

For me the Bush years were so terrible and depressing, particularly after following the arguably good Clinton years, that I can’t contemplate going back there. 

I realize that things may have to get worse before they get better, but they may never get better when survival is at stake.

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By gerard, October 12, 2010 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

Postscript:  Misspelling in my previous post,
          Albert Schweitzer (not Swietzer)

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By adams, October 12, 2010 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges,

I basically agree with you, however Obama isn’t Zeus! What do you expect
from him? Maybe he knows things that you don’t. We voted for him, and
maybe if we ‘progressives’ all stood behind him more NOW - in this
critical time - maybe we could be of good use and help, instead of just
bashing him..perhaps we could move him in the ‘right’ or better direction.
I think he means well, and I believe his heart is in the right place, but he
is one man. How would you do in his place if you were president? Thank
you.

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By christian96, October 12, 2010 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous—-I would keep “Christian” in the
Christian Workers Party because there are millions
of Christians in America who vote according to the
dictates of Pat Robertson, the Christian Right,
and other so called Christian ministers with access
to the media. These voters fail to realize they
are being manipulated.  Ministers in the media are
quick to mention “abortion” but mostly neglect
GREED.  I would concentrate on what Jesus had to
say about greed, denying self, loving and serving
others.  Extant ministers neglect these teachings
because they don’t want to alienate the grandmothers
who watch their show and keep the dollars flowing
into their coffers.  When the disciples ask Jesus
for the signs which would exist just before his
return, his first answer was “beware of false teachers who come in my name.”  These false teachers
are all over the media, especially tv.  I know you
don’t watch Christian tv programs but I do.  I can
see what they are doing.  Many of them have their
own name in the title of their programs even though
Jesus taught Christians to DENY SELF.  With their
names in the titles are they glorifying Jesus or
themselves?  Force yourself to watch “Jack Van
Impe Presents” on TBN(Trinity Broadcasting Network)
at 9:30pm this Wednesday(13th).  It will be an
educational experience for you.  He talks about
President Obama like a dog.  He has millions of
people watching his show because he calls himself
a prophet.  Do you think people watching his
show are going to vote for President Obama after
Jack Van Impe denigrates him?  Jack Van Impe has
his wife, Rexella, on the show with him.  They also
have a man, Chuck, on the show.  He has a deep voice
and pushes their products for them.  I wonder what
they pay “Chuck.” Jack Van Impe Presents was on
another channel late last night.  I recorded his
show so I could evaluate it.  He said, “Obama’s father was a Muslim and sent Obama to a Muslim
elementary school which was heavily influenced by
the beliefs of Osama Bin Laden.” He then ask, “I
wonder what influence attending that school had
upon his thoughts and development?”  Do you think
that statement influenced the voters watching his
show(and it is a SHOW)?  Jack then showed a picture
of Obama with his grandparents.  He said, “They
were Baptists and Methodists but turned against the
Christian faith and became Unitarians.”  What
influence do you think that statement had upon
Jack’s viewers and voters?  It may be that this
exact program is what will be on TBN Wednesday
night at 9:30pm, EDT. I hope so and also hope you
will watch it.  I would like your opinion.

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By kerryrose, October 12, 2010 at 11:11 am Link to this comment

ezeques

As for your extremely rude post:

A mother on welfare understands economics, albeit from a different angle, than all the economists that did not foresee the 2008 meltdown.

She understands economic priority, and the injustices related to said.  That is a far more crucial understanding of economics in a democracy, and no less sophisticated than your average person.

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By gerard, October 12, 2010 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

Some time back, for the second time on this site,somebody asked:  “What is civil disobedience.”
I’ve posted several times on the subject here and there, but here goes again:

“Civil disobedience” is one form of nonviolent resistance, which is a less complicated phrase, meaning to resist some situation caused by oppressive political power structures and to resist without using violence—in fact, to deliberately refuse to use violence even when confronted with counter-violence.  It is a tactic that defies without counter-injury or threat, simply by confronting destructive policy with a more constructive answer.
  It is not simple, and requires understanding of theory, strategies, tactics and personal commitment to the goal of doing no harm.  It shows by exmple a willingness to put one’s self “on the line” in a nonconfrontational counteraction. It was used most successfully in this country by Martin Luther King during the Civil Rights struggles of the 60s in which thousands of ordinary people were deeply involved.
  It requires some study and understanding, faith in oneself and others, and a willingness to pay full attention not only to oneself and one’s beliefs but to others who are different.  It makes use of some of the disarming tactics of the psychology of martial arts, using opposing “force” against the opponent, psychologically speaking.
  For more, get in touch with Quakers (Society of Friends), American Friends Service Committee, British Friends Service, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Catholic Worker Movement, Thomas Merton Society, Mennonite Service Committee.  Read King, Ghandi, Sweitzer, Merton, Mandela, Tutu etc.
  For those who seriously want to renew local person-to-person connectedness, join with others to build a community garden, grow food, share work and products and ideas, and take it from there.  The country is sadly in need of rebuilding local relationships.
  Anything to stop the destructive hatred and fear will work toward creative solutions of all kinds.

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moonraven's avatar

By moonraven, October 12, 2010 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

Wowsa!

Not much shakin goin on here.

Just a whole lotta thumb-suckin by folks who wouldn’t recognize democracy if it bit them in the butt!

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Fat Freddy's avatar

By Fat Freddy, October 12, 2010 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

But stay away from Libertine!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaDKjODTFrE&feature=related

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By ezeques, October 12, 2010 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie

Are you actually that stupid?

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Fat Freddy's avatar

By Fat Freddy, October 12, 2010 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

Chris, I think you are trapped in a time warp, and can’t see what’s really going on. You have no vision, just tired, old hippie rhetoric. I know, I used to be a hippie. Look, why don’t you put down whatever it is you are reading, and get out and explore the possibilities. If you are on the West Coast, take a ride over to the festival, and see how many psycho right wing Christian fundamentalists you can find here:

http://www.libertopia.org/home/

I bet an old hippie like you recognizes the artwork in the header, no?

Or if you are on the East Coast check out the Students For Liberty International Conference.

http://politicalconferences.org/2010/07/2011-international-students-for-liberty-conference/

I was just at this one, and I couldn’t find any Christian Conservatives, or rednecks. (Yes, I’m in the picture, one of the few that’s over 20, and no, I didn’t go there just to pick up chicks.)

http://studentsforliberty.org/news/philadelphia-sfl-conference-a-huge-success/

BTW, Anti-war liberals can vote Libertarian.

http://www.lp.org/news/press-releases/anti-war-liberals-can-vote-libertarian


And, Chris, were you at the Personalized Life Extension Conference in Frisco?

http://lifeextensionconference.com/

A guy I went to HS gave a speech there. He is a leading researcher in AGI.:

http://multiverseaccordingtoben.blogspot.com/

Do you even know who Patri Friedman is? Face it Chris, you are an old fart, and so was I.

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By ardee, October 12, 2010 at 8:48 am Link to this comment

QuantumBubbler, October 11 at 5:10 pm Link to this comment

Ardee,


Your opinion that ‘the Tea Party is maneuvered by forces beyond their ken or control’ perhaps is just a precipitate of your ‘beliefs’ in a Democratic Party that is controlled by non-other than the billionaire, George Soros.

This is a typical paragraph in a post filled with a distortion of my position and, in at least one case, a mistaken attribution of something someone else posted. I guess you can be classified as a typical rightie in your zealous disregard for truth and accuracy.

Of course, as the posts of one die hard Dem, ITW, is concerned, truth nor accuracy plays any part whatsoever in their, or your apparently, loyalty. That I consider the Tea Party to be filled mostly with sincere and honest folk who are being manipulated by forces beyond their ken is an opinion that can be backed by some proofs, especially in the area of financing, can you say “Koch Brothers”?

I listen to all sides of any issue and find, not only through media coverage but from personal experience in debating its members, both on a recent fishing trip to Tea Party land and from dialogue between an ex wife and her long term live in, both Cajuns, both Tea Party members.

From such I find the number of fantasies they ( and you apparently) find as fact to be rather astonishing…Even when confronted by researched truths they simply blank out and shun the evidence. Are these experiences proof of anything? Certainly the representative sampling is too small for logical conclusion, thus I stick to noting the way you (typically) distort positions and resort to outright lies as well. Sad for you.


Consider that control is a rather strong word for what amounts to mere manipulation. Would that be the same Big Oil that was Obama’s largest contributor? I see no potential in this nascent stage of the Tea Party for such a manipulation to have occurred, but hey, I don’t have Democratic eyes and ears, all of you seem to be trumpeting that. Good luck with that.

Do you read with eyes firmly shut? Are you, I begin to wonder, unworthy of response and simply here to spread propaganda regardless of truth or accuracy? I may be the single most vocal critic of the Democrats here at TD. Yet you attribute my opposition to your own screed as a demonstration of your knee jerk , inaccurate and typical right wing attribution of all opposition to democratic loyalty.

I had hoped that you were one I could debate with in an honest and open fashion. Now you reveal yourself as rather close to another such extremist convinced that his beliefs are gospel and no one who fails to adopt such can be anything but an enemy. Are you nothing more than a silly name change?

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By Anarcissie, October 12, 2010 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

ezeques, October 12 at 12:02 pm:

‘... The founders of this country were not peasants but white, educated, hard working, capitalist, bourgeois and cultured men. How does a welfare mother with 6 kids and no job know enough about economics in this increasingly sophisticated society to vote intelligently?’

‘Intelligently’ compared to what?  Alan Greenspan?

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By Shenonymous, October 12, 2010 at 8:36 am Link to this comment

gerryhiles, October 11 9:49 am
”BTW Shenonymous:
Are you saying that Plato was aexist? [a sexist]?”

You are right, he did include women in his Republic and his agenda
for the guardians, but never did he include a women in his dialogues,
except for a few comments by conscience guide Diotima and a couple
of goddesses, one of which danced on the heads of men.  So well. 

Platonic support of female public service as portrayed in Republic V
provides a clear challenge to an organizational ethos by which the
activities, movement, and behavior of women traditionally were severely
socially restricted.  He was not a crusader for women inclusion.  The
role of women in Plato’s political philosophy is arguably at odds, not
only with the negative and oppressive depiction of women in Athenian
philosophical thought on the whole (yes, except for Aritophanes
Lysistrata), but also with the broader Platonic body of work which
frequently speaks to the natural inferiority of females.  According to
gender philosopher, Susan Okin in her Women in Western Political
Thought
, Plato impressed in his dialogues the radical argument that
to the degree the body and soul are distinct, women and men may
serve coequally in the guardianship of the state. That is, of course,
assuming that the nature of a person is independent of his/her body,
and to such an extent that each individual should be assigned work
specifically suited to his nature, how that was determined is not
provided though.  However,in his Republic, both sexes will be capable
of performing all the functions needed by the city, including philosophy,
even in view of the innate and inevitable inferiority of women   Yet as
progressive as it may seem, his embrace of women in terms of their
capacity to assume political, ethical, and intellectual responsibilities
alongside men, the evidence shows that Plato did not stand tall for a
liberationist philosophy that elevates women to the moral status of
men. Only by examining the proposals of Republic V with an squinty
eye toward the overriding aims and structure of the ideal society (or
how men ought to conduct their lives to achieve personal integrity) do
Plato’s apparent contradictions in his views toward women rise to the
surface of cognition.

While his views on women were without a doubt unconventional in the
context of his era, the degree to which Plato was motivated by an
egalitarian ethic is questionable. We must not forget,and forgetting is
an awful fault humans have, that Plato was a product of a society rigidly
set in a patrimonial male dominated order in which the confinement of
respectable women was strictly the social attitude and where upper
class women were valued primarily as instruments of reproduction and
legitimacy.  The lower class women had the same status as other
chattel.

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By Morpheus, October 12, 2010 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

Wake up America!  -  Join the Revolution
Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( http://www.revolution2.osixs.org )

FIGHT THE CAUSE - NOT THE SYMPTOM
We don’t have to live like this anymore…

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By ezeques, October 12, 2010 at 8:02 am Link to this comment

> >He repeatedly chided them for not rising up and
fighting back. He warned, ominously, that by the time
most citizens awoke it would be too late. And he was
right.

Maybe they had no clue about what was going on?

I find it interesting how the liberals (and
conservatives) are so concerned with human and civil
rights yet I never hear anything about human
responsibilities. Maybe average citizens are too
concerned about their bread, circuses and ideology?
Maybe there should be qualifications to vote…like not
being on the dole for one thing. The founders of this
country were not peasants but white, educated, hard
working, capitalist, bourgeois and cultured men. How
does a welfare mother with 6 kids and no job know
enough about economics in this increasingly
sophisticated society to vote intelligently?

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By Shenonymous, October 12, 2010 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

Christian96, you know already from our long TD association that
I think you are an altruist at heart with only the best of intentions
and I’m glad you are glad I am still walking around.  You might
be the only truthdipper who is.  It is all right, I’ve enough indefati-
gable tenacity to last me as long as I have breath to remain in the
firm centrism that forces me to seek the truth of what is said
regardless of who pretends to know it.  And you also know I walk
alone without fear.  Well without fear except from those oppressive
entities who cannot tolerate criticism and who then would harm or
kill me were I challenge their tyranny. 

Since we are on an exercise of fantasy, I could almost vote for you
for POTUS.  I balk at the Christian appendage since I believe it is
not necessary for nonbelievers like myself who are also altruistic
contrary to some believers’ creed that only religionists care about
other people.  In my estimation, most believers do not in fact care
about others, though they regularly mouth that they do, and I could
give endless examples of this reality.  If you were to run on a third party
named the United People’s Party or something that expresses the scope
that proposes to represent all of society, not just workers, because
there are millions upon millions of the 308 million who populate this
country, who do not work because of age or health, or even who do not
have to work to live for other reasons, I most certainly could vote for
you, if, as further criteria, you understood America’s position in the
world and articulate enough to deal with forces that would work to
destroy this country, if you could demonstrate you understood what it
would take to keep the integrity of this country’s infrastructure secure,
like its intercontinental roadways, railways, etc., what it would take to
keep America’s children educated with the highest of principles, you
know things like that, then I know I could vote for you.  As a liberal I
like your plan for taxes.  I am not so sure, however, a plan that bases
the electorate on an unmodified form of democracy is such a good idea,
since that would mean falling into mob rule and mobs do not have their
minds working rationally.  They work from emotion and visceral selfish
discontent.  We have to be careful what exactly is meant by democracy,
which with all my person does support but with the crucial stipulation
of self-reflection and self-control and social responsibility.

While I have been a student of Plato and his sometimes also reviled
student Harry Stotle for many decades of my life, I do not complacently
out-of-hand accept that all of their sentiments are true or even are
appropriate.  There are others I admire even more.  But because they
are way too numerous to list here, where I disagree with the classical
philosophers will come up as I proceed through life and run into events
that puts their opinions in contention and in context.

For instance, I highly doubt that Plato or Harry would like the idea of
redistribution of the wealth of a nation as both you and I would like to
see happen.  They both came from wealthy and political families and
did not particularly see democracy as a good system for a country to
run itself, even if it was designed to control its runaway character.

That does not mean they did not have extraordinary ideas and insights
into human actions and thought.  But both have to be examined for the
merits of each and every of their theories and how applicable they are
towards helping humans achieve their own individual integrity as well as
the health of a society.  Don’t you agree?

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By Aquifer, October 12, 2010 at 7:00 am Link to this comment

Ok, ladies, ready to step up to the plate?

No sex until the wars are over and the troops home, then go from there
...

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By QuantumBubbler, October 12, 2010 at 6:49 am Link to this comment

BTW Anna,

You can substitute Tea Party for they, Democrat, Republican, RRC if that is less infuriating.

You’re so good at finding fault with anything, have you got a government job yet? I know some great people who work there and you can flip that statement like you can any other statement. Let’s call it ‘statement flipping’ and investigate it, I will… 99% of all of my findings are top secret, lucky for ‘people like you’?

Enjoy Life baby! (Tongue in cheek)

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By christian96, October 12, 2010 at 6:48 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous—-Glad to see you are still walking
around on the planet breathing air!  Since Plato
said we all have something to do I’ve decided I’m
going to run for President for the Christian Workers
Party.  The word Christian will pull votes away from
deceiver Pat Robertson and the Christian Right.
The word Workers will unite American workers.  I am
going to resurrect democracy.  This time it will be
run by the workers of America not the rich ruling
class.  I am going to cut weekly working hours from
40 to 20 which should make room for many jobs thus
lessening the unemployment lines.  There will be no
taxes for anyone making less than $50,000 annually.
The income tax scale will gradually increase until
it reaches the top.  Those making more than $1,000,000 will have no deductions and pay a flat
tax rate of 50%.  The gov’t will provide each working
class family $100,000 with which to purchase a home.
They will be provided $50,000 for a car.  I’m still
working on health care.  Got any suggestions?

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By GW=MCHammered, October 12, 2010 at 6:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Not all are meek and asleep:

Factbox: European workers stage anti-austerity protests
http://www.reuters.com/assets/print?aid=USTRE69B21220101012

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By QuantumBubbler, October 12, 2010 at 6:43 am Link to this comment

“They…they…they…they….  It’s always “they,” isn’t it? “

They…they…they…they….  It’s always “they,” isn’t it?

Let me guess, Anna… ding dong ding dong ding dong ding… ding dong ding dong… BLEEP!

Who was the cheerleader turned philosopher in Progressive America in 2010? (Anna)... gee. I didn’t copy and paste the second part of her moniker. Hmmm… would it be worth it to scroll back up and copy it too?

Let’s see.

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By Anna Nomad, October 12, 2010 at 6:13 am Link to this comment

They…they…they…they….  It’s always “they,” isn’t it? 

Reminds me of the punchline to one of Godfrey Cambridge’s astute anecdotes in the mid-‘60s:  “Mama, WE is THEY!”

Democracy has never succeeded, and democracy will never succeed, because of WE the “demos,” WE the barbarians.

Enlightenment?  Intellectual and scientific rigor?  No: just perpetual hubris (in all its connotations) — the attribute that most precisely distinguishes humans from every other life form on this planet.

Entropy rules.  We humans merely serve it.

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By QuantumBubbler, October 12, 2010 at 3:52 am Link to this comment

You seem to be one of the few with any appreciation of brevity.

“Who is continually warning the people of the dangers of “unchecked growth on a finite planet” - liberals or conservatives?” I guess Chicken Little is a liberal. Did I get the answer right?

They’ve been setting off alarms since the ‘70s… the finiteness has extended up to 40 years for some of the alarmists. Do you think maybe in the interim of the never-ending end of the world there might be some solutions? I’d rather that the finiteness be administered by Nature itself rather than any government. Especially a government like the US that coddles the scum of the earth (to be controversial).

So have you stocked up on food and weapons to defend it with? Or, do you trust the nanny state with your survival?

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By Shenonymous, October 12, 2010 at 2:46 am Link to this comment

Hedges briefly quoted Nader regarding credit unions and other
communitarian cooperatives.  That is the extent to which Hedges
touched on economic self-determination

Just to give it a little different spin, the legacy of Plato’s Republic is
the idea that, by his very nature as a human being, a man has a job
to do.  As his reason to exist, it is as a natural fulfillment for him to
perfect himself.  This is what he needs to strive for, and no one else,
not any power either supernatural or anyone on earth can accomplish
it for him.  In no uncertain terms, he has to do it for himself.

It is in order to bring out the full importance of his true nature, an ‘Idea’
of man, is what Plato was suggesting in the Republic.  For those who
have read the work, if you will recall, Plato begins directly in Book I to
raise the question of justice: “What is justice?” More specifically he asks
the question in terms of justice in the life of the individual.  And this
amounts to no more than the basic ethical question as to how a person
ought to order his life, what ought he to live for, what does he need to
do, to have integrity as a human being?

Just after the beginning of Book 11, he proposes to answer this
question as to what is the right life or what is the just life for the
individual is, using the domain of the political community, the Republic,
as a grand metaphor.  Possibly it can be better determined what justice
is in the individual, Plato essentially says, if it is first considered “justice
writ large,” or justice in the political community, the polis, that is, in
the state.

Giving consideration to the ethical before the political, what if
Plato’s order were reversed?  What if it is first considered what it is our
nature demands of us as individual human beings?  Then, what might
be required of us, or what might it be right for us to do, or how do we
need to live our lives to be considered to be true members of the
society?

As soon as we recognize what kind of beings we are, who naturally
need to make something of ourselves and not allowing anyone to do it
for us, then we see that besides ourselves having certain and necessary
responsibilities, certain rules of behavior are also expected of the
society to honor social obligations.  This is what I think Plato used
his Republic to show.

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By Carol Davidek-Waller, October 12, 2010 at 12:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A powerfully written scenario.
People fight when they cannot avoid it. When feel they have nothing to lose. They should fight when they have everything to lose.
Maybe that’s the difference between the predator class and the rest of us. Societal predators feed on conflict and conquest.
It is the tyrants who are behind the petty hatreds that are dividing us. They fund them, guide them and enlist those that are the casualties of unrestrained capitalism to do their dirty work for them.

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By bogi666, October 12, 2010 at 12:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RayLan, the influence of Plato has greatly influenced christian doctrine and most christians don’t even know it. It was Platoism that ushered in the Dark Ages in 500 B.C.E. because Plato opposed scientific reasoning.This is best exemplified when the Ionians came up with the atomic theory and the Platoists opposed it because it refuted Plato’s philosophy that creation is the result of the then Greek gods, a theory that abounds now in the pretend christians false doctrines which rejects all science and scientific reasoning in favor of superstitions. “Conspiracies of the Inferior” written by H.L. Mencken in 1925. “the so-called religious organizations which now lead the war against the teaching of evolution are nothing more, at bottom, than conspiracies of the inferior man against his betters.They mirror very accurately his congenital hatred of knowledge, his bitter enmity to the man who knows more than he does…...” on the scopes Trial, June 1925

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By Elroy, October 11, 2010 at 10:20 pm Link to this comment

dcrimso, October 11 at 1:22 pm: “We are all complicit
in an economic system that is immpossible to
maintain. Unchecked growth on a finite planet means
one thing. Certain death for human beings.”

There, dcrimso brings us down to basics. A question:
Who is continually warning the people of the dangers
of “unchecked growth on a finite planet” - liberals
or conservatives?

The answer tells us who we should be listening to.

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By johnny, October 11, 2010 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment

Thank you Chris Hedges.  But you left me somewhat confused.  Conservatives on both sides, from Hitler to Stalin, from Bush to Pol Pot have been directly responsible for every human made disaster that I can think of, yet you blame the liberals for not reacting like left wing conservatives.  Real liberals like Jesus, Gandhi and MLK rejected the violence you seem to espouse. 

That said, nevertheless there is no reason why liberals should not arm themselves for defense.  You are right in that the money-power will not listen so we are left with either turning the other cheek and condemning future generations to totalitarianism or overcoming our objections to common defense.

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By christian96, October 11, 2010 at 8:13 pm Link to this comment

Was Jesus a Zionist?

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By elisalouisa, October 11, 2010 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment

Thanks mdgr, for your post. Mr. Hedges is one of the few who speaks from the heart, a language not all understand.

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By Rudolfo, October 11, 2010 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment

By Night-Gaunt, October 11 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment

“The Christian right, especially in the upper reaches of our military, corporations and parts of gov’t can still be a danger——more so than Islam can ever be.”

Islam?  A threat?  This is the world turned upside down.  The Brits/US have plundered Arabia for the last 100 years, we fly, you can check Air Force Magazine, 100 attack sorties against Iraq and Afghanistan every day, we provide limitless support for the Israelis and their ethnic cleansing of Palestine. And Islam is supposed to be a threat to us?  This is insane.  Absurd.  Beyond Orwell, or maybe not, I need to re-read the book.

The whole ‘Islam is a threat’ charade is absurd beyond belief.  Christianity and Judaism are a real threat to Islam and we’ve killed hundreds of thousands in the last 10 years.  Get it?  We’re threatening to nuke them every day, and we’re amassing the forces to do it.  We’re invading country after country.

Here’s the fact - Judaism is the threat to the US.  The Zionists are directing the US military to fight Israel’s battles.  As F. Hollings said “The attack on Iraq was to secure Israel, and everyone knows it.”  The phony war on terrorism is destroying the US, from within.

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By FRTothus, October 11, 2010 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment

>>Plato is sometimes accused of being in favour of a
totalitarian state, but nothing could be further from
the truth.

If you have not read Plato - which I have completely
- then please do not dismiss what I am saying.<<

In “The Open Society and Its Enemies” by Karl Popper,
a devastating case which refutes your assertion is
quite conclusively made.  Left with suggesting what
Plato was “being in favor of…” suggests one can
divine Plato’s intent, rather than the reality of the
merits?/failings of a stratified, patriarchal
hierarchy. Plato’s intent?  Plato’s “society” more
resembles Sparta than Athens, and draws a straight
line directly to the cult of personality and the
brutal police state, and to compound the injury,
Plato has Socrates, the spineless hero of
argumentation, play true to form and argue his
executioner’s case. He has Socrates refusing to carry
the responsibility of his own actions, his own civil
disobedience, but instead has Socrates willingly
submit himself to the very laws against which his
arguments showed to be nonsensical and backwards. 
Justice, true Justice, was as ephemeral as all the
other Forms, and as unattainable.  Plato’s Socrates
is a mouse of a man, like so many other men who are,
in the final analysis, cowards without the strength
of their own convictions, who willingly submit
themselves to the State for arrest and execution. 
You have to be carefully taught to bow to the holy
State, to learn how to be a slave who will step on
his fellow man and beg for their own chains, beg for
more laws and to be kept safe.  It’s no wonder Plato
is assigned in school. Cowardice has to be carefully
taught. 

9/11 was an inside job.

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By bogglesthemind, October 11, 2010 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment

Hey, Roy . . . see I’m calling you Roy.

Roy, two words—  Get. Help.

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By bogglesthemind, October 11, 2010 at 6:42 pm Link to this comment

Orbis Unum, October 11 at 9:47 pm

Are you sure I’m the person you meant address?

I like the attention and all, but you know . . .

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By Anarcissie, October 11, 2010 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

DavidByron, October 11 at 8:31 pm:
<i>
‘... The articles here naturally prompt certain questions which have arisen along the lines of “that’s all very well but what am I supposed to actually do?”.  I see the questions asked but not answered.  And then there’s a new article and round we go again? ...’

At one point not long ago Hedges briefly touched on local strategies to enhance autonomy, for instance forming credit unions and other cooperative institutions and thus withdrawing from the system.  Mostly he prefers to emit jeremiads, however.  He also frequently displays hatred of popular culture, which I find repellent but others may delight in.  He is regularly applauded by a sort of amen corner who evidently enjoy his style no matter how many times they hear the sermon.

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By diamond, October 11, 2010 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment

The progressive drag on America? Call me Roy, stop smoking that crack cocaine. It’s rotting your brain. It’s the Fascists who are a drag on America since all public policy now favors only the 1% of the population they constitute and only rewards their enablers, whether they are in the corporate world, in finance, in the intelligence services, in the media, in the military or in politics. They are people who don’t even believe in democracy, they believe in polyarchy, where a rich and powerful elite decides how things are going to be and then the media manufactures ‘consent’. They hate and fear the voting public and are corrupt and rotten to their very souls - which they sold long ago. And they pull the strings in both the Republican Party and the Tea Party.

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By call me roy, October 11, 2010 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment

Beyond Politics: Removing the Progressive Drag on America
This fight requires much more than a few moments in a voting booth.
September 11, 2010 - by Jeff Perren
Fighting the soul-killing, wealth-destroying acts of progressives over the long term is going to take much more than winning an election or two. It will require neutralizing their influence throughout the culture. That’s much harder, of course, but essential if we’re to have to a country that does more than seesaw between two power-hungry parties while spiraling ever downward.
The reasons that wider change is a must are not hard to find. Even where their relative numbers are low, progressives have come to dominate much more than just the Democratic Party and the major news outlets.
They control curricula for public K-12 education almost everywhere, despite the presence of a great many teachers who disagree with their views. Progressive educators’ numbers are bolstered by the roughly 70-85% of college educators and administrators who identify as liberals. They dominate credential-required education courses, and strongly influence textbook selection.
Clearly, postmoderns have long been the decision-makers and creators for most mainstream film and television, even while they make up a minority of total participants. Major films and television programs are made by many thousands of writers, actors, technicians, and so forth, who line the bell curve of viewpoints. Yet it’s a rare movie that doesn’t blithely depict entrepreneurs as rapacious, or anti-pharmaceutical crusaders as saintly. (Continued)

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By call me roy, October 11, 2010 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

Beyond Politics: Removing the Progressive Drag on America (Continued)
Even TV advertising often shows the influence of John Muir’s grandchildren. One Ad Council commercial asks: “What do forests mean to you?” The question spurs absurd answers like “sparkling clean water” and Native American tree worship. Fairy-tale “green” commercials extend even to truck ads these days, as if a half-ton Dodge Ram pickup could — or should — be “eco-friendly.”
Magazines like Scientific American, once upon a time offering real science for the layman, have become organs for anthropogenic global warming propaganda. Smithsonian runs features on the alleged superiority of primitive cultures. National Geographic touts how negligibly modern humans are in advance of apes. That would’ve been unthinkable as recently as three generations ago, yet for today’s followers of Rousseau, it’s so obvious as to be beyond debate.
As these examples show, the influence on American culture of progressive ideas goes far beyond and far beneath politics. They represent a full-scale assault on all classical liberal values: reason, objective ethics, natural rights, capitalism, and their products — freedom and industrial production. Cleaning up Washington will be the barest beginning to reversing a century-long slide in America, one that has accelerated in the last four decades.
Ending bailouts, lowering federal spending, and tinkering with Social Security will give everyone some economic breathing room. But these actions won’t right a country that’s been increasingly tilting left for the past 40 years. And without fundamental change even those victories will be too small, and woefully short-lived.
What to Do, and How?
It goes without saying that changing the culture wholesale is a tall order, given the ubiquitous and deeply entrenched nature of progressive ideas in modern life. And, with the real and significant differences between factions in the pro-freedom, pro-America camp, it’s an even taller order.
Cooperation between the very different types of people that make it up was always dicey and will remain so. No one will ever convince an Objectivist that the Christian deity exists or that Jesus’ Gospels are the proper guide to living or basis for society. Likewise, no libertarian will ever persuade an Evangelical Christian that abortion is not murder.
But there was a time in American history when such things, as important as they were in personal terms, were not make-or-break issues on a social level, much less in politics. A hundred years ago progressives were a tiny minority, and their views very sparsely infected the law. As a result, most Americans of very different viewpoints could live and let live, disapproving as they may have been of those who thought and chose differently.
But with the intrusion of the federal government into every aspect of life, everything has become political. Amit Ghate made the point well in a recent PJM article, “Ideas and the State.” Getting the government out of those thousands of intimate personal decisions, and limiting it to constitutionally enumerated powers, will create a large penumbra around the individual.
Fortunately, returning America to a land of individualism and freedom with a Constitution-limited government does not require complete agreement on every thorny topic. Reducing government involvement lets each person try to peacefully persuade his neighbor without it becoming a matter of life and death, prosperity or poverty, freedom or parasitism, all or nothing. (Continued)

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By call me roy, October 11, 2010 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

Beyond Politics: Removing the Progressive Drag on America (Continued)

First, Take Back Education
Pushing back against progressives in the public school system on the way to privatizing it entirely is one of the most important things freedom-loving individuals can do. When you’re fighting a serious outbreak of virus, the first priority is to stop spreading it. That means never being indifferent to what’s taught there. It means challenging school boards on textbook selection, teachers on essay topics, and more.
That will also have the most long-term impact, since the progressive views pumped into children there each year generate new vectors for the disease. Every year, millions of schoolchildren become new unwitting inductees into the progressive camp. Protecting kids there inoculates them against college professors who later inject more of the same, in more concentrated form.
At the same time, drain the swamp. That can be accomplished through more homeschooling when feasible. Parents can pool funds and expertise to start more private schools. That will decrease the cost, and help depopulate the public schools. Taxpayers can form ad hoc committees to push for returning curricula to the basics, insisting on mind-developing education in mathematics, reading, and writing. At minimum, an absence of progressive propaganda is a must.
Even public school boards are not always hopeless. Insisting on a broad body of historical and scientific facts, with real-life examples showing biased teachers and textbooks, can actually impact school officials. A calmly delivered, well-reasoned case that children need certain hard-won basic thinking skills — not automatic passing grades, self-esteem boosting exercises, or “green living” projects — can influence semi-reasonable administrators.
Dealing With Debate
There will be disagreements about how to shape the culture in a better direction, of course. To define “better” necessarily means adopting a certain set of values. It will help reduce the friction among the different demographics of the pro-liberty coalition if everyone kept in mind a few historical facts and some key agreed-upon goals.
One is: religious conservatives might consider that Christianity played an important role a hundred years ago in the creation and growth of the progressive movement. That fact alone is enough to show that the contemporary secularism they detect and decry has little to do with our current problems. They might also consider that there are literally millions of Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, and the merely indifferent or confused who also want the blessings of liberty for themselves and their families.
Similarly, the libertarian-minded should give serious thought to whether “anything goes” (provided only that no one initiates coercion) is the alpha and omega of a sound program for a free, just society. That subjectivism was, after all, the rallying cry of the 1960s, which midwifed so much of what we currently ail from. There’s no escaping the fact that all political decisions are ultimately moral choices, selections among competing values, and some really are objectively better than others.
Restoring America to a free country, one where the dominant ethos is respect for the individual’s rights and free exercise of judgment, won’t be easy. But despite the Pandora’s box of horrors visited on citizens by Washington the past three generations, the odds have never been better for a renaissance. The latest progressive heating of the melting pot so fast, so far has millions waking up to the hot water and looking for the knobs. Let’s turn more than just the one that registers a vote.

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By Orbis Unum, October 11, 2010 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

Re: bogglesthemind, October 11 at 8:43 pm.

You stated:”““The articles here naturally prompt certain questions which have arisen along the lines of “that’s all very well but what am I supposed to actually do?”.  I see the questions asked but not answered.”“

My answer: Please review my posting “Orbis Unum, October 11 at 8:23 pm,” for a reasonable response directed to an answer that may be of interest to you. Not saying that it is, but, perchance you may review the information as non-esoterica and otherwise, meaningfully. We hopefully believe there are those among us capable of and honorable course of action, predicate in Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life, to help alleviate the misrepresentation of those which have a mind to enslave a planet!

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By mdgr, October 11, 2010 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQWUbPN4ooM

Sorry. Previous link didn’t do much. This one works. Watch it and weep.

As to those who say that Chris Hedges hasn’t a “solution,” my goodness. He been on stage with Derrick Jensen of “Endgame.” Has anyone on Truthdig even read that book?

He connects with a level of passion and outrage that, for the most part, is all but missing in most progressive discourse. In that respect, I see Hedges as one of the sanest, most energized and grounded writers of our time.

Why would I say that?

Because he does not dissociate himself as a witness, whether by humor or top-heavy intellectual analysis. Instead, he brings it all back home to the heart, which is the place from which he incisively and luminously speaks.

One can’t really do anything of value until one sees clearly, and until the dissociated parts are made conscious and integrated. Americans—whether liberal or Tea Party nitwits—want it all now, however.

They don’t want to be CALLED by their own Conscience because, in the end, they have no conscience.

They want to be told what to do either by Big Brother, Mother Goose or some variant of Daddy. If they don’t get that, they’ll immediately change the channel or begin hurling insults.

Sheesh.

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By sallysense, October 11, 2010 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

(what to do?... what to do?... just wanna share this again here with further clarification that it’s a course designed to teach all students about illusion)...

nowadays basic schooling shouldn’t keep fooling itself without teaching students about illusion…

(the following is from an idea submitted to a google project in ‘08 about adding a helpful school education class for students)... (for if students can be taught the basics of the food process etc in their bodies… they can be taught the basics of this too)...

while schools teach kids all kinds’a knowledge and formulas etc to store in their minds and use at times… students are still left in the dark as far as understanding how everyone’s standard human perception (including their own) uses illusion in its natural thinking-patterned thought processes…

and in our world today it’s important for the sake of the children and their future well-being… that through the use of simple terms and means being shown to them in school… they’ll become familiar with the ways illusion can distort and separate and transform something from being seen “as it actually is”... into being something else altogether different when thoughts that are already in the mind create their own ‘pictures’ (or connotations etc) and use them as substitutes…

hence when insightful consideration gets a chance to show students how illusion works… those other mental pictures that resurface as ignorant social or racial bias or fanatical religious intolerance or stupified street gang mentality or whatever etc are less apt to make greater impacts… as this newer school course will give them the awareness of other alternatives too…

it’ll benefit all children to at least have the opportunity of learning these things as part of their normal schooling… which can be accomplished through simple child-geared terms and teachings etc…

this helps address some’a the problems people have from not knowing any better and ending up being hoodwinked into starting or participating in potentially harmful situations… because on the very simplest basic level of learning they haven’t had any classroom chances to realize how standard human perception can easily end up with various illusion-based ideas…

and when there’s unawareness it can easily mislead those mindsets into different unfair social and racial prejudices and biases etc… and that can eventually build up and act outwardly into further dangerous and destructive scenarios… leaving people suffering from the effects of not knowing any better…

and with the world becoming more’n’more crowded… and with all kinds’a mindsets behind trigger fingers and control buttons these days… this overall awareness for children’s minds to consider and realize how illusion is behind so many ideas… is urgently needed now more than ever…

if this (course) becomes a reality then children and their futures will benefit the most… as well as others benefitting too… and hopefully young and future generations will become more aware of how theirs and others perceptions use illusion… and how that illusion ends up behind so many ideas… and then with that added realization they’ll gain a further advantage of being more prone to use additional consideration as they live with themselves and each other in our world here…

(this isn’t a cure or a fix… but at least it’s a beginning)...

(and there’s lotsa other stuff to do too!)...

the best of wishes’n'ways’n'todays to each’n'everyone!... smile

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By mdgr, October 11, 2010 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

Rudolfo wrote:

>If you think, like Hedges, that the problems in the US are due to the tea party, or the Christian right, you are like Hedges, either a fool or a Zionist shill.

_____

Before you shoot from your hip like the Lone Ranger, you ever considered taking a course in remedial reading/remedial listening?

http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/america_the_silence_of_a_nation_20100514/

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By mdgr, October 11, 2010 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

>His play “Lysistrata,” written after Athens had spent 21 years consumed by the Peloponnesian War, is a satire in which the young women refuse to have sex with their men until the war ends and the older women seize the Acropolis, where the funds for war are stored.

Thanks for that reminder, Chris.

With all due respect to Aristophanes, that’s why I have decided to stop voting for Vichy (the Dems), at least until it stops being Vichy—an impossibility, given the parable of the Frog and the Scorpion.

There are those who say that it’s better to be screwed by Vichy than by Berlin (the R’s), citing that old Biblical verse about the “lesser of two evils.” I would urge that all progressives and indies withhold ALL their favors, however.

A rose is a rose is a rose, and Vichy is just another name for a lobbyist cesspool that, when all is said and done, is really not that much different from Berlin.

I’ve already written a lot on why I’d hope that Vichy is irremediably crushed this election cycle. No use repeating it. Anyone who’s curious can easily access it with a search.

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By mdgr, October 11, 2010 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

>His play “Lysistrata,” written after Athens had spent 21 years consumed by the Peloponnesian War, is a satire in which the young women refuse to have sex with their men until the war ends and the older women seize the Acropolis, where the funds for war are stored.

Thanks for that reminder, Chris.

With all due respect to Aristophanes, that’s why I have decided to stop voting for Vichy (the Dems), at least until it stops being Vichy—an impossibility, given the parable of the Frog and the Scorpion.

There are those who say that it’s better to be screwed by Vichy than by Berlin (the R’s), citing that old Biblical verse about the “lesser of two evils.” I would urge that all progressives and indies withhold ALL their favors, however.

A rose is a rose is a rose, and Vichy is just another name for a lobbyist cesspool that, when all is said and done, is really not that much different from Berlin.

I’ve already written a lot on why I’d hope that Vichy is irremediably crushed this election cycle. No use repeating it. Anyone who’s curious can access it with a search.

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By diamond, October 11, 2010 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment

The only form of civil disobedience that I think will work is to refuse to pay taxes. They can’t jail everyone and if they try to it will bankrupt and paralyze the whole corrupt edifice of the military/industrial complex. It would also end both military occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and close all 700 of America’s military bases around the world. It’s a risky gambit but so is allowing business as usual to continue. The business of Fascism can’t be done without money and since they’re not spending the taxes on hospitals and schools and infrastructure but on oil wars and have ‘privatized’, i.e. stolen, everything the public owned, nothing will change in that regard.

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By bogglesthemind, October 11, 2010 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

DavidByron, October 11 at 8:31 pm
So….. is this a regular crowd here?

Whatever.

“The articles here naturally prompt certain questions which have arisen
along the lines of “that’s all very well but what am I supposed to
actually do?”.  I see the questions asked but not answered.  And then
there’s a new article and round we go again?”

You know, for a few seconds there I thought you might lay some kind
wisdom on us ... obviously not ... so why did you jump in here?

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By Orbis Unum, October 11, 2010 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment

Re: DavidByron, October 11 at 8:31 pm.

You state: “The articles here naturally prompt certain questions which have arisen along the lines of “that’s all very well but what am I supposed to actually do?”.”

My answer: Please review my posting “Orbis Unum, October 11 at 8:23 pm,” for a reasonable response to your inquiry.

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By DavidByron, October 11, 2010 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment

So….. is this a regular crowd here?  Do any of you get the sense that you might be learning anything here?  It seems to me that Chris Hedges pieces are all pretty much the same.  Nothing wrong with that of course since repetition is a good educational tool, but at some point it seems like you have to move on; learn more; teach more. 

The articles here naturally prompt certain questions which have arisen along the lines of “that’s all very well but what am I supposed to actually do?”.  I see the questions asked but not answered.  And then there’s a new article and round we go again?

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By Orbis Unum, October 11, 2010 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment

Re: gerard, October 11 at 5:52 pm.

You stated: “I, for one, have no idea what you are talking about.  “Science of Right Reason”?  Who, what, where, when, why, how?  “A Candid World?”  What’s that?  We can’t even be candid here!  “..arose to the occasion via the Science of Right” ... sounds like some esoteric mind game to me.”

My response: First, you are absolutely correct when you say you have no idea what I’m talking about. We do not intend to possibly either fuel your present perfect condition to further waste any other wasted rhetoric on our endeavors to instruct or otherwise. We do however, extend for your present perfect condition, hopeful enlightenment to further perfection (the choice is yours), via your possible review of the 2 Universal Declaration located at this web link, to wit:

http://www.scribd.com/rahyah.

How such writings, whether taken by you or others as esoteric, one must first consider that Roosevelt posture such ideas, which led to the establishment of the United Nations. But, let me point out that Einstein postulated the the United Nations was only a stepping stone, to wit: “The United Nations is an extremely important and useful institution provided the peoples and governments of the world. Realize that it is merely a transitional system toward the final goal, which is the establishment of a supranational authority vested with sufficient legislative and executive powers to keep the peace.”

Maybe you think both Roosevelt and Einstein were speaking esoterically, and the actions arising therefrom, to be only to esoteric for you to envision solutions related forthwith, associated around such comparable efforts by others, willing to use what was transitional to establish more permanently, for All Walks of Life via Variation by Agreement, operating in the interest of self-determination so Candidly, in similar rational fashion! And, our reference of placing before a Candid World our just Causes, have nothing to do with those unable to agree candidly or otherwise. No, quite the opposite! And yes, the Science of Right Reason is a Mind game. Both anciently and modernly known as diplomacy! Let the games begin! Or otherwise, be apart of the problem! If you don’t think it’s the game of life, then who’s to blame? YOU!!! No one else, my brethren!

And you stated: “Non-violent political action is thousands of very practical, hard-won realistic miles away from such airy-fairy verbiage.”

My response: My stated reasoning, for giving credit where credit is due, by claiming the steppingstones well-established by our honorable ancestors of happy memory. DAH!!!

As far as the statements raised by “mrfreeze, October 11 at 7:43 pm” I couldn’t agree more. So apropos for the present condition of those willingly lost in self-interest!

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By sallysense, October 11, 2010 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment

(what to do?... what to do?... well… wanna share this here too)...

nowadays basic schooling shouldn’t keep fooling itself without teaching students about illusion…

(the following is from an idea submitted to a google project in ‘08 about adding a helpful school education class for students)... (for if students can be taught the basics of the food process etc in their bodies… they can be taught the basics of this too)...

while schools teach kids all kinds’a knowledge and formulas etc to store in their minds and use at times… students are still left in the dark as far as understanding how everyone’s standard human perception (including their own) uses illusion in its natural thinking-patterned thought processes…

and in our world today it’s important for the sake of the children and their future well-being… that through the use of simple terms and means being shown to them in school… they’ll become familiar with the ways illusion can distort and separate and transform something from being seen “as it actually is”... into being something else altogether different when thoughts that are already in the mind create their own ‘pictures’ (or connotations etc) and use them as substitutes…

hence when insightful consideration gets a chance to show students how illusion works… those other mental pictures that resurface as ignorant social or racial bias or fanatical religious intolerance or stupified street gang mentality or whatever etc are less apt to make greater impacts… as this newer school course will give them the awareness of other alternatives too…

it’ll benefit all children to at least have the opportunity of learning these things as part of their normal schooling… which can be accomplished through simple child-geared terms and teachings etc…

this helps address some’a the problems people have from not knowing any better and ending up being hoodwinked into starting or participating in potentially harmful situations… because on the very simplest basic level of learning they haven’t had any classroom chances to realize how standard human perception can easily end up with various illusion-based ideas…

and when there’s unawareness it can easily mislead those mindsets into different unfair social and racial prejudices and biases etc… and that can eventually build up and act outwardly into further dangerous and destructive scenarios… leaving people suffering from the effects of not knowing any better…

and with the world becoming more’n’more crowded… and with all kinds’a mindsets behind trigger fingers and control buttons these days… this overall awareness for children’s minds to consider and realize how illusion is behind so many ideas… is urgently needed now more than ever…

if this idea becomes a reality then children and their futures will benefit the most… as well as others benefitting too… and hopefully young and future generations will become more aware of how theirs and others perceptions use illusion… and how that illusion ends up behind so many ideas… and then with that added realization they’ll gain a further advantage of being more prone to use additional consideration as they live with themselves and each other in our world here…

(this isn’t a cure or a fix… but at least it’s a beginning)...

(and on another note… things need to change to get better… lotsa stuff to do… keep telling the lawmakers… ((no matter when their terms come to an end… and hopefully better workers begin!))... to wake up this government!... to care about the basics!... and stop misleading!... and end all the war!... and don’t waste anymore!...

and here’s one of many links that can be used to do that… and get congressional information etc too)... http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/officials

(and there’s lotsa other stuff to do too!)...

the best of wishes’n'ways’n'todays to each’n'everyone!... smile

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By another...let down american, October 11, 2010 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

blah,blah,blah,do something anything,what is this groundhogs day part 2,theres a real threat to what and who we are and all i hear is crap.stand the f@#!up, i’ll stand with you!

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By mrfreeze, October 11, 2010 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

Actually, I’m surprised that no one has commented on the wonderfully accurate picture of Mr. America surrounded by all the cheap, pathetic American flags. It’s so symbolic of just how cheesy, vacuous and pathetic the U.S. has become.

Why is it that pictures like this make me want to vomit?

Answer: Because so many Americans believe this sort of display IS what America is all about.

One more thing: This was a great post by Chris Hedges.

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By LadyR, October 11, 2010 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Masterful essay, Mr. Hedges, easily your best. Would that those in power had ears to hear. It seems the only solution if the country continues heading into total self-destruction, is to leave America and find a safer, healthier environment. It seems only the wilds of the world are the last haven for survival and peace of mind.

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By bogglesthemind, October 11, 2010 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

“. . . either a fool or a Zionist shill.”

Oh!  A fool perhaps, but a Zionist shill?  Rudy, put down the bong and
step away from the keyboard.

It is not any one of the things that Chris talks about, or a couple; it is the
whole aggregate slop festering away at the heart of our Country.

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By Night-Gaunt, October 11, 2010 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

Rudolfo, with a smug small mind like yours little can come that is good from it with your yammering. Pigeon holing people a certain way if they don’t agree with you 100% is ideological, not philosophical or use of reason.

The Christian right, especially in the upper reaches of our military, corporations and parts of gov’t can still be a danger——more so than Islam can ever be. Once you figure that out it will be too late. It is all the top 10% who own 68% of the US GDP. They have the power. What they couldn’t get in 1934, I see them doing a Fabian form of gradualism to get it sometime soon.

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By Rudolfo, October 11, 2010 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

By Rabbi Michael Lerner, October 11 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is always good to hear from a person who is both a fool and a Zionist shill.  Rabbi Lerner heads an organization whose sole purpose is to shield Israel from serious criticism in the US.  To get an idea of Lerner’s perspective, you only need to read
“A Jewish Renewal Understanding of the State of Israel” where he explains how the ‘more acute’ suffering of the Jews who invaded Palestine caused them not to notice they were ‘hurting’ the people they killed and drove from their land.

“The Ashkenazi Jews who shaped Israel in its early years were jumping from the burning buildings of Europe—and when they landed on the backs of Palestinians, unintentionally causing a great deal of pain to the people who already lived there, they were so transfixed with their own (much greater and more acute) pain that they couldn’t be bothered to notice that they were displacing and hurting others in the process of creating their own state.”

Lerner also explains how the ‘anti-semitism’ of the Palestinians is the real source of the problems in Israel ...

“the arrogance, stupidity and anti-Semitism of Palestinian leaders and their Arab allies in neighboring states who dreamt of ridding the area of its Jews.”

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By Rudolfo, October 11, 2010 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment

By bogglesthemind, October 11 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment


>~Is it not time to rise up against willful stupidity?

If you think, like Hedges, that the problems in the US are due to the tea party, or the Christian right, you are like Hedges, either a fool or a Zionist shill.

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By Steve Roos, October 11, 2010 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In my opinion, Democracy should die - the sooner the better.

History has shown that democracy always leads to tyranny.

Besides, democracy is nothing more than 51% of the population imposing their will on the other 49%. Someone tell me what’s good about that?

This country is supposed to be a REPUBLIC - with limited federal government.

Google it and see the differences between a Republic and a Democracy and I’m pretty sure you’ll choose the Republic.

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By kerryrose, October 11, 2010 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment

Here is ‘civic obedience’ at work.  A world engagement on the climate from the Work Party by Bill McKibben.

Will it work?  It is a solution and it is big.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-mckibben/we-worked-pictures-from-t_b_758024.html

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By FiftyGigs, October 11, 2010 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

Within the current environment, civil disobedience is the vote.

Everyone is telling you not to.

Disobey.

Rebel. Vote.


Use your head.

Conservatives have gone radical. That means, they’re at the tipping point. Defeat them now, and they have nothing left to stop your fondest progressive fantasies.

You don’t need another party. This is it. You can have it now.

Fight the media message. Fight the “common wisdom”. Fight the power.

Vote.

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By bogglesthemind, October 11, 2010 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

>>By Rudolfo, October 11 at 5:54 pm<<

“You only need to read the 1st paragraph to know it’s another worthless Hedges article….”

One only needs to read your response to see what Chris warns about is working.

>~Is it not time to rise up against willful stupidity?

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By Rudolfo, October 11, 2010 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment

You only need to read the 1st paragraph to know it’s another worthless Hedges article….

“danger posed to us by movements from the tea party to militias to the Christian right,”

Complete idiocy .... the Christian right and the tea party have absolutely no power in the US and are not in any conceivable way responsible for the foreign policy and financial mess the US is in.  So, why does Hedges identify them as the problem?  Answer:  it’s part of the charade, the problem is anywhere but where it really is, the Zionists.

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By gerard, October 11, 2010 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

Orbus Unum: From your previous post: “Let us find common ground via the Science of Right Reason and face this insanity by declaring our just cause before a Candid World. I individually and in association with others of like and reasonable minded individuals, have already accomplished these tasks at great cost and sacrifice. By our pledge via these declarations from which we arose to the occasion via the Science of Right to approach the field of honor and bargain for our Rights.”
  I, for one, have no idea what you are talking about.  “Science of Right Reason”?  Who, what, where, when, why, how?  “A Candid World?”  What’s that?  We can’t even be candid here!  “..arose to the ocasion via the Science of Right” ... sounds like sosme esoteric mind game to me.
  Non-violent political action is thousands of very practical, hard-won realistic miles away from such airy-fairy verbiage.

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By kerryrose, October 11, 2010 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

It would be nice to focus on ‘civil disobedience’ since Hedges seems to feel that it is a solution.

I asked ‘What is civil disobedience?’ and received patronizing ‘look it up’ to abusive ‘liberal arts 101’ and some honest ‘I don’t know.’

No one answered.  If it is a constructive form of protest, what form does it take, and what do we do?  I am serious.  I know there are a lot of ‘organizations’ to join, but what about a mass movement where people ‘refuse?’  Refuse to do what?  Refuse to accept.

This is the important key.  What form could civil disobedience take?

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By Anarcissie, October 11, 2010 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

All materialism means is going from commonly observable evidence, instead of making things up.

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By QuantumBubbler, October 11, 2010 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

Ardee,

Dialogue is possible? Is it the lips and mouths in combination with the bellows-effect that makes that possible?

Paragraph 2: My query as to your belief about the Tea Party was if you realized the mainstream media was basically filling people with lies. You state opposition does that all the time. I guess you admitted the mainstream media is ‘opposition’. Ok. They were supposed to be watch dogs for the people.

The Tea Party is just the ‘silent majority’ of yesteryear coming back to make what they want of this country. I disagree with a lot of the right wing ‘beliefs’. The tea party is not really a ‘party’, are they going to be on ballots this year? (No)

Do you think if the gathering had been a majority of left-wingers and a lone right-winger it would have been a different outcome? I know I can hold my own with the most leftist. BTW, I’m just a fiscal conservative, I could care less what anyone else does to anything or anybody. It would be nice if our court system hadn’t been trashed by attorneys (<—Dems) but I don’t rely on the US gov for squat and the pains people have who do are great comedy.

Your opinion that ‘the Tea Party is maneuvered by forces beyond their ken or control’ perhaps is just a precipitate of your ‘beliefs’ in a Democratic Party that is controlled by non-other than the billionaire, George Soros. Consider that control is a rather strong word for what amounts to mere manipulation. Would that be the same Big Oil that was Obama’s largest contributor? I see no potential in this nascent stage of the Tea Party for such a manipulation to have occurred, but hey, I don’t have Democratic eyes and ears, all of you seem to be trumpeting that. Good luck with that.

BTW, just wondering, are you stocking up for the fall of this country’s economy or do you have faith your leaders will not fail the system?

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By dailyplanet, October 11, 2010 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Powerful article that should be broadcast as a “Public Service” announcement on
every TV channel…or should pre-empt programming as an Emergency Bulletin.

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By alturn, October 11, 2010 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment

This is a phenomena that writers older than Aristophanes have documented.

Whenever a great teacher becomes physically present in the world, the opposing forces - which are known as the forces of materialism and by some the forces of evil - ramp up their efforts to keep humans in bondage.  They do this through their agents - humans who are obsessed with greed and personal power.  These agents work through the controlling conditions on the physical plane and manipulating people’s emotions.

The forces of light, love or good work differently.  They work through stimulating the hearts of those who can be responsive to move them towards sharing, compassion, harmlessness, love and care for all their brothers, sisters and the planet.

It would seem that the forces of materialism are winning again as the carnage and destruction of their actions are everywhere.  Yet this is an extraordinary and quite different new age or yuga, and it has been indicated sufficient people have responded within their hearts for the desire for good to triumph that materialism this time will not prevail.  It is only for people to demand to see who the forces of materialism are reacting to - the head of the Masters of Wisdom Maitreya Buddha who is physically here with senior members of the Masters such as Jesus, Peter, Paul, John the Beloved and Confucius - for the far grander and beautiful play of consciousness that is unfolding today to stand revealed.

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By balkas, October 11, 2010 at 11:53 am Link to this comment

Don’t read this since only twelve american wld agree with this very simple
elucidation:
Since we were taught to value inanimate objects [gold, silver, clothes, earrings,
rugs, bras, panties, toupees, spears, and now also many gadgets] more than one
another, the hell on earth descendeded upon us.

Of course, valuing-respecting one another is our greatest wealth. Alas, for
mafia, that cld never ever do; for the ecstacy-empowerment of owning nature
and thus people was just to joyfull to let go of.

But once mafia destroyed our greatest wealth and hooked us on love for
possesing and valuing objects, the rule over us became fun and games.
Can u imagine a tot in diapers [a b’naire] becoming so tyrannical. Alas, yes!

And guess which people were best arrayed millennia ago? And built ziggurats,
‘magnificent’ churches to impress or cow the slaves or serfs? U know, of course!
I do not need to reveal this deep secret.

And who’s best arrayed in america? And with mansions, planes, yachts?
But, of course, u know that, too.
And that’s why best dressed; with best mansions-awards [pulitzer, nobel, oscar
and the like] people never talk about about their passion for things and hatred-
scorn for all those lazy, stupid, want-s’mthing-for- nothing people.

Eat ur hearts out all u ‘lazy’ people! Anyway, don’t listen to me—i own only one
pair of shoes and short pants; so, how cld i be smart? tnx for ur Left or Right
ear!

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By Night-Gaunt, October 11, 2010 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

Yes and for now there won’t be any marching of blue clad troops in the streets. Not needed when they control or influence the centers of power in the financial, gov’t and military and even so-called “liberal” types like Obama & Clinton follow their area of business philosophy doing all or most of what they want. [Obama care came directly from Gingrich to Romney to Obama with little change. He is considered a “radical” because he isn’t for trashing the rest of our economy right now to hand it over to the waiting corporations and their owners.

What is good for the mega-corps is good for the psychopaths among us but not for the average citizen of this crumbling republic. We must not drop into a Great Depression. [We are already in a Depression right now no matter what the gov’t says.]

The Dominionist among them only want to conquer the world in order to make it right for their Aryan-Nordic god to return, and not before. The Corporatists among them who have little interest in religion will let them have their Leviticas Laws for the people just so long as they can have free reign over the economy IMO. The nobles will get together if they will all profit from doing so. Rare but I think that is what is happening here. We don’t want what they want to give us. Things are bad now but it would be perpetual cut-throat competition in their Randian meritocratic world where psychopaths were the super men and women of an exceptional country.

Yes cupidity for not only material wealth but for power from which all else they want flows. A powerful incentive to the millions of followers who aren’t in the same elitists realm as their millionaire and billionaire leaders. But they think it can happen to them so their greed, (godly greed is okay), which shows in their minds that they are blessed the higher up the hierarchy they are the more blessed they think they are by their god. (In the Dominionist version of Christian theology, part of the prosperity gospel.)

Snakes in suits;
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/13150054

Chip Berlet analyzes Dominionism (5 parts)
http://www.talk2action.org/story/2005/11/28/172929/14

http://www.talk2action.org/story/2005/12/5/10810/4239

http://www.talk2action.org/story/2005/12/12/174651/55

http://www.talk2action.org/story/2005/12/19/93754/953

http://www.talk2action.org/story/2005/12/26/154442/94

This isn’t exhaustive but it will give you an idea as to how wide spread it is and the threat from this movement is for us. Especially by the 10% elites who would want to end our Republic and some of which tried more directly in 1934.*

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_Plot

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By Potent_Placebo, October 11, 2010 at 11:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As long as the working masses keep believing that FOX News is “fair and balanced” and that their pastors are experts in tax policy, foreign trade and relations, monetary policy, infrastructure and political discourse our “democracy” will continue to wither like a parched blade of grass.

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By Orbis Unum, October 11, 2010 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

Re: Lafayette, October 11 at 2:42 pm

You state: “Hedge’s article seems to be a broad-brush rant more than anything else. Fine, we can all agree with him – but that advances the debate in what way? Nada ….”

My answer: Your inapt insight into the possibility of envisioning solution oriented paradigms is astounding. The solution is one of character. It always has been. Men of Good Will have learned long ago to united when faced with the overwhelming evinces of systems established to safeguard their liberties, to adjust and adapt new safeguards. Your summation of ‘cupidity’ is laughable. What do you know of possession when in fact, you own nothing and never have. Your matrix of willful illusions are soon to be proven with out the ability to State a Claim for which Relief can be Granted. And, don’t even consider contesting this statement. Because your ability to think via the Science of Right Reason, is already drawn into question from your own lack of ability to envision and create solution oriented paradigms when faced with the choice of liberty or oblivion!!

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By moonraven, October 11, 2010 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

A pointed read is;  Dark Ages America, by Morris Berman.

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By christian96, October 11, 2010 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

Tea Party!  Is it “green” tea?  Well, we are all
searching for answers.  They just came to me.  We
start a party called the “Christian Workers” party.
The word “Christian” will draw a lot of votes away
from deceiver Pat Robertson and his Christian Right.
The word “Workers” will draw votes from the workers
of America and there are a lot more workers than
owners.  If all workers would unite it would be a
landslide.

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By ardee, October 11, 2010 at 10:50 am Link to this comment

QuantumBubbler, October 11 at 2:27 pm

Actually, the point of my effort was, sans an attempt to preach, that dialogue is possible, and I think it very necessary as well.

Your query as to my belief that the Tea Party is portrayed with an exaggerated or entertaining broad brush can be expanded to state that all movements or political minorities are shown as such by their opposition. We all condemn our opposites and attempt to diminish them with such.

That there certainly are extremists within that Party, racists, separatists as well, folks whose passions show no indication of appeal to the broader majority is moot.But that definition applies, I think to the Left as well as the Right. I find democrats and republicans, moderate though they may be, characterizing their opposite numbers in similar fashion. Is it, I wonder, so universal as to be a trait of our egos?

Frankly, among that gathering of fishing guides and some clients, the single most difficult issue to dispute was their universal call for separating California from above Sacramento to the Oregon border. I did note the resemblance to the “State of Jefferson” movement in the forties. In fact, outside of Yreka, a sign indicating entrance into said fifty first state still exists.

Bottom line, Quantum ( great sobriquet by the by) is that my own opinion is that Tea Partyers, no less than democrats or republicans , are being maneuvered and used by forces beyond their ken or control.

elisalouisa, October 11 at 11:37 am

Thanks for the kind words..As to geographic differences found in extremism, I think there are local issues, national issues and enough foolishness to go around. In the end, I opine, we are all being propagandized, manipulated and used badly.

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By Lafayette, October 11, 2010 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

THE DARK AGES (REDUX)

... it could be argued that it is “the intellectual and scientific rigor of the Enlightenment” that was both the fruit of Greek thought.

Hedge’s article seems to be a broad-brush rant more than anything else. Fine, we can all agree with him – but that advances the debate in what way? Nada ….

The Enlightenment succeeded the Middle and Dark Ages, where mankind free-fell into the abyss – where war succeeds war succeeds war over a period of centuries. Where mankind arrived, concurrently, to the pinnacle of commercial achievement amidst a penury generalized throughout Europe. Which may characterize America today – so much has exaggerated wealth distanced itself from the poor and middle classes. 

The starting point remains the same. We let the system degrade to the point where it is monstrously sickening. It won’t improve just because we are bitching-in-a-blog about it. “We have met the enemy and he is us.”(Pogo by Walt Kelly)

Some say we must upend the “system”, rubbish it and start anew. But the notion of the balance of power was bona fide. The survivability of democracy in this nation depends upon it, as it has through so many crises in the nation’s history. So why ditch it? That doesn’t make sense.

The system is sick. Americans are fed up with the economic situation; but get unemployment back up to 5% and all the acrimony in the air will dissipate like the morning dew. People just want to have enough money to spend at the Mall filling up the trunk and get home.

We are not even to the point of understanding the underlying causes of the sickness. So, I will repeat them:
•  Cupidity
•  Cupidity
•  Cupidity

So, what do we do about that problem?

The solution is found in incentives, that is, manipulating the human being to do what is best for him/her by means of government management of key factors.

The first of them is income. Raise taxes and you disincentivize people to take indiscriminate risk that threatens the economic system. And if taxes must be raised to confiscatory levels, then so be it. This action need not destroy incentives to make a megabuck, but maybe, yes, a gigabuck. And so what?

Secondly, if a people do not understand the malaise that afflicts them, it is because they are unable to do so. Meaning that they do not have the level of education to see beyond the maze of conflicting political opinions – that bumped with a trumpet in the US – towards making a rational judgment. Furthermore, they have very little notion of civic duty. We keep harping about “Rights” but there’s little talk about “Responsibilities”, which is the flip side of the coin.

Thirdly, I have to agree with the Religious Nutters who think belief is important. We are undergoing a generalized lack of morality. One must ask: Why? What happened? Were we always like that? (No, we weren’t. America has changed.)

This last factor is not the least. The Religious Nutters think that belief in God and God’s Law is paramount. It isn’t (and I am no atheist). We can and have made our own laws. But what has changed is the nature of our beliefs. They’ve become fixated on both Success and Conspicuous Consumption (as proof of that success). 

America must emphasize its Collective Culture, the one of sharing and equal opportunity. Opportunity brings income and sharing induces fair income across all social strata. 

Equitable sharing recognizes the fundamental differences in talents and skills in human beings and that the market will want to reward some more than others. But it means also that the market mechanism will be fair and honest, not warped by vested-interests.

And there is no Quick Fix. Reformation, as it did centuries ago, will take time. Much time … if, indeed, we ever get started.

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By Orbis Unum, October 11, 2010 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

Er: gerard, October 11 at 2:24 pm.

You state, “Lots of skepticism, pessimism and desperation here which does not work toward action for democratic health.”

My answer: True!

You state, “Success is possible—in fact, nonviolent action (if thoroughly understood and practiced with deep commitment) is probably the only way to bring change without bloodshed.”

My answer: True!

You state, “In fact, the majority don’t even want to learn about it and commit themselves to practicing it.  Someday, maybe, but not yet.”

My question: Why wait when the tools of self-determination are ready exist for peaceful solutions?

In conclusion: see my previous posting via Orbis Unum, October 11 at 2:02 pm

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By RayLan, October 11, 2010 at 10:33 am Link to this comment

Actually the Greeks considered democracy to be the worst form of government - a mob rule.
Plato’s Republic was an intellectual monarchy. We have inherited more than we realize from our Hellenistic roots - not the least of which is a schizophrenic homophobia - elevating the male form to an almost divine status - and the female as debased.

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By QuantumBubbler, October 11, 2010 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

So Ardee,

You have come to realize the MSM pictures painted of the ‘Tea party’ are hokum?

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By gerard, October 11, 2010 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

Lots of skepticism, pessimism and desperation here which does not work toward action for democratic health.  First step is probably, acknowledge and understand the negative factors, but don’t obcess and get stuck.
  Several ask “what is civil disobedience? What is nonviolent action?  Google it and see what you find.
I don’t know the best up-dated source materials but they’re out there.  Inquire from Quaker (Society of Friends) sites or Catholic Worker sites.
  Consult Columbia University Department of Peace Studies, or University of Colorado, Boulder, same.
  See what you can find through Fellowshiop of Reconciliation.  Read Gandhi, Thomas Merton, Albert Schweitzer, Nelson Mandella, Bishop Tutu, the Berrigan brothers. 
  Success is possible—in fact, nonviolent action (if thoroughly understood and practiced with deep commitment) is probably the only way to bring change without bloodshed.
  In one post, Carranza implies that during the 60s nonviolence actions, a “majority” had the “state of mind” of civil disobedience.  Far from it!  A majority has never had that state of mind.  In fact, the majority don’t even want to learn about it and commit themselves to practicing it.  Someday, maybe, but not yet. It takes an intelligent, committed minority—the larger the better, of course. Think about it. Learn about it.  Recognize its possibilities. Banish hopelessness.  Our kids deserve a future.

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By solcd, October 11, 2010 at 10:15 am Link to this comment

And the people on the other side use the same kind of arguments to appeal to their base.  “Rise up!... 
It’s time for revolution!”  One of the real
challenges to democracy in America is the harsh
division among it’s people.  It is all about red vs.
blue, poor vs. rich, etc. etc. 

People are not the enemy.  Greed is, corruption is,
hate is, etc.  I am a hard-core liberal in some sense
of the word, but I also have gun toting, god loving, republican relatives and friends.  They are certainly
not involved in some plot to take over the country…
I can tell you that.  They are just everyday people. 
And even though I disagree with them on many things I
refuse to impose my ideas on them or say they can’t
express there’s.  I think fundamentalist evangelical Christianity is completely silly sometimes, but can I
get along with people who practice it… yes.

Of course we need to go after greed, anger and
foolishness, and division in the world.  Targeting
individuals will get us no where and neither will all
this apocalyptic gloom and doom talk.  If we want to
change things let’s all take an look inside first and
start there.

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By commonwealth, October 11, 2010 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges’ thoughts are difficult to ignore, though I’m trying hard because
they are so uncomfortable.  I agree with everything he says and yet still believe
that one can be heading toward a precipice and change direction at the last
minute.  Not that I am expecting such a change, but I have not yet given up
hope.  The thought remains, however, if the majority of Americans don’t care
enough about democracy to fight against the despotic forces of the right-wing
fundamentalists, perhaps they deserve what they want.  It won’t take long for
people to realize that their utopian vision becomes a nightmare when their own
beliefs are proscribed as heretical.

The quote from Aristophanes supports a belief I’ve had for many years.  That
the right-wing forces developed in reaction to the left-wing movement of the
late 1960’s and early 1970’s and that its real purpose is not just anti-
democratic, but anti-republican as well.  It does not seek prosperity for all
citizens, but uses the rhetoric of prosperity to nurture policies that ensure the
majority of Americans will never again know the prosperity we once enjoyed. 
The student rebellion of the 1960’s scared the corporate world and the powers
that be into believing that democracy is intolerable and had to be undermined
so that the powerful would not have to experience that challenge [in their
mind] ever again. 

Perhaps this seems obvious to many.  But it means that the right does not seek
what we would normally expect of greedy people.  It suggests that wealth is not
the object.  And that power is only indirectly an object.  The real aim is the
powerlessness of the American people.  Fortunately for them, technology—
despite its obvious benefits—seems to be mesmerizing and numbing us all
out. 

The only real counterweight to this is—dare I say it without being pilloried?—
faith in God, or Goodness within the human heart.  I say this because the right
believes that the human heart is a place of evil and that, in Calvinist fashion,
those who are evil deserve punishment and powerlessness.  We need to remind
one another that we are capable of compassion and love and truthfulness that
not only challenges falsehoods, but uplifts men and women.  That, in Lincoln’s
terms,  our nature does have better angels to guide us, if we will but follow
them.

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By Rgyle, October 11, 2010 at 10:03 am Link to this comment

Pavlov’s Dog: Nice post. I agree that the only alternative and solution to
unsustainable living (and I mean in every possible aspect of living) is
sustainable living. Resilience does indeed supersede resistance. Mr. Hedges,
though I do enjoy reading his rather grim wake-up calls, seems to have trouble
with this. So I’m glad you have pointed it out. There is no strength quite like
resilience, and it begins with letting go of attachments and entanglements. Not
necessarily physically letting go, but certainly psycho-emotionally. It takes
courage but ends up being the easiest thing one can do. Because nature or life
does not resist it. Quite the contrary.

What most humans have been and are still thinking and doing today is
increasingly meeting with resistance. Life will resist its own damage and
destruction, gently and even forcefully if need be. If you wish to go with a
winner, I’d go with life on this one. Life always wins and if push comes to
shove, it will simply plow us under. Move, be moved, or be removed.

How attachment happens is a discussion for another day. But it centers around
the illusion of being a person – a separate, small, temporary “me.” Believing this
illusion leads to delusional behaviors and the troubles deepen and multiply.
Believing in any apparent illusion, whether via thoughts or senses or both, like
a Santa Claus, water on the hot, distant pavement, the absence of spokes on a
spinning wheel, a flat earth with a rising and setting sun, etc., is a mistake and
the subsequent delusion is a disease. Just like the solid object you are now
viewing are actually 99.99+% empty space, the “person” you think you are is a
mere appearance and not real. It’s all a Trick with a capital T. The not-personal
consciousness in which you and I think, experience and act, is. It alone is real.
It’s really quite liberating and beautiful once the illusion/delusion trap is
undone. Especially the illusion of the person, which always lies at the center of
a troubled life.

Which brings me to the “we” and “us” issue. What I am speaking of above is an
individual problem and requires an individual resolution, from belief in a
person, to realization of universal reality. It’s like removing a splinter with a
splinter, where the individual undoes itself. But when it becomes a “we/us”
issue, then the ruler, the power seeker, the tyrant is born in the midst of
us. Community, equality and sharing is usurped by the one or ones who will
“run things.” So first things first. Each individual needs to look within (and
“without” too because, in my view, without is experienced within!) and deeply
see what is what with total honesty. Once liberated from the illusion/delusion,
no harm is possible. An “us” comprised of such human beings will engender no
tyrants, with the only leader being the one, universal consciousness that we all
are.

BUT PLEASE DO NOT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. Take a look for yourself. And
Good Luck! It’s not only all you really have, it’s what you are.

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By Orbis Unum, October 11, 2010 at 10:02 am Link to this comment

Re: DavidByron, October 11 at 12:34 pm

“I dunno if I just wasted my time because the comments move from one Hedges article to another or what?  Should I re-post here?”

My Query: Don’t you just get tired of the presumed intelligentsia, let alone the lack of true character (and honor) to face reality as doers? Instead, they parade before us with laudable logos as if competent, then continue working within the insanity, as if this is the only reasonable solution!

And: Twelfthman, October 11 at 12:00 pm.

“There is the law, coherent and not subject to interpretation.” As you pointed out, “The IRS website adds the following; “You may be a withholding agent even if there is no requirement to withhold from a payment,” (i.e. if an employee volunteers to have money withheld.)”

My Answer: Guess what, if you’ve chosen to exercise the so-called political ‘Right to Vote’ you’ve volunteered. And accordingly, agreed not to question the debt! This fact is undeniable beyond any reasonable doubt. Unless, you Claim not to be a citizen of the United States!

And: BR549, October 11 at 9:07 am.

“It sounds as if he is unfamiliar with the reasons behind the formation of the Tea Party and any other oppositional group that might make some attempt to keep our Constitution viable.”

My statement: BR549 your more intelligent than your presumptuousness. Truly, you don’t believe, nor, can you produce any contractual or logical evidence that the Constitution of the U.S. is your constitution! Unless of course your a party to it! If so, this would make you a Constitutor.’ And, I for one, do not assume the debt of another without being party to and agreement however entitled, which does not give me the ability to question the Public Debt! Do you??? Especially, an agreement that states any questions related thereto, would be tantamount to insurrection to which you had no ability to question either!!!!

In conclusion, to this specific posting, I would again ask those presumably party to the parading intelligentsia found commenting on various subject matter within this forum known as ‘Truthdig,’ let us find common ground via the Science of Right Reason and face this insanity by declaring our just cause before a Candid World. I individually and in association with others of like and reasonable minded individuals, have already accomplished these tasks at great cost and sacrifice. By our pledge via these declarations from which we arose to the occasion via the Science of Right to approach the field of honor and bargain for our Rights. At least Chris Hedges in this present article (Posted on Oct 11, 2010) alludes to a willingness to face the insanity until proven otherwise. 

So, what shall it be my good fellows…shall we face this cold, long, and dark night together with honor seeking Good Will in the interested of Universal Peace. Or, shall you continue to be wimpish toward those duties and responsibilities to our common heritage so well establish by our gallant ancestors of happy memory? Or do you find cowardly solace in presuming your duty and responsibility met, with words alone?

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By moonraven, October 11, 2010 at 10:00 am Link to this comment

eagle bill:

I think you are being much too kind.

The majority of the folks in the US are all you say, but are also mean, racist, greedy, complacent and hypocritical.

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By Cathy Consoli-Ramzy, October 11, 2010 at 9:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In response to CharlesBivona,

We HAVE had a “corporate Fascist” government for years now. It’s also an “oligarch” & “plutocracy”. We have been ruled by the small but powerful wealthy few. They have bought our government (both parties) to do their bidding.
Everything that has been & is going on is ALL relevant.
It’s all connected. From the outsourcing of our jobs, selling off our assets (RCA, Zenith, Lucent Technologies, Frigidaire, etc) to foreign companies & countries, legal foreign workers (75,000-125,000 come here EACH & EVERY month on the H-1B Visa alone!), illegals (all to to push wages down), the bailout of Wall St., even 9/11, to justify constant war to make us fearful & MORE.
It’s end goal is to make us a fearful slave class of workers that are thankful for whatever crumbs that are brushed off the table.
The Extreme Court sealed the deal for more financing to meet their goal when the 5 Justices legalized bribery, extortion, blackmail, & the selling of our government to the ones with the most money. (Citizens United)
I warned for more than 10 years about Wall St.crashing, warned about the economy being unsustainable, the housing boom being a BUBBLE, the effects of outsourcing our jobs, the unfettered immigration legal & illegal, etc. I was told I was crazy, didn’t know what the hell I was talking about, that I was jealous?, who died & made me god?,etc. I was also right about Afghanistan & the Taliban (no bodies or remains of- Taliban would be back with a vengeance).
economyincrisis.org, numbersUSA.com, cis.org, Hal Sison: 9/11 For Whose Benefit (documentary), goldmansachs666.org, 20 Years Of Censored Press (book), by Censored Press, censoredpress.org.
Note: I started to see things regarding job lay-offs & CEO pay in the 1980’s. I found the sites I listed in the past 2-3 years that confirmed much. I read the book around ‘99-2000. I had a real estate license in the late ‘70’s (housing bubble).

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By Anarcissie, October 11, 2010 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

DavidByron—If you want to maintain and develop themes of your own, I suggest writing them up in a blog or web site of your own.  You can then include pointers to these articles from your comments on articles here.

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By Géza Éder, October 11, 2010 at 9:57 am Link to this comment

“Of course Chris Hedges spells out what is obviously before us.  Of course, it begs the question of whether all political hierarchies are fascist by nature.”

Errr, no.  They use the same tools, they appear the same, but not all political hierarchies are fascism.  Fascism is a particular political structure, that’s the point.  It’s like saying directed selection in agriculture is basically genetic engineering, or that a general dispreference for close relatives to have children is eugenics.  The difference is mostly clear though.

Anyway, awesome article from Mr Hedges as always.

“Our gutless liberal class placates the enemies of democracy, hoping desperately to remain part of the ruling elite, rather than resist. And, in many ways, liberals, because they serve as a cover for these corporate extremists, are our greatest traitors.”

The “liberal class” is by definition the group of “intellectuals” that sells itself, I think.  We sells ourselves to any kind of system, whether red bureaucracy, colonial management or fascism.  We love systems and managing them, that’s all; in fact, we are, in my opinion, best suited for the most robotic, autocratic, least individualistic systems, because we love rules and systems of rules that are “elegant” and “simple”, unlike reality.

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By Hammond Eggs, October 11, 2010 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

The fascist Christian right desires the end of the world.  It may even be their greatest desire.  As this nation quickly continues its decline into moral insignificance and bloody-minded mediocrity, I fully expect one of these people eventually to be elected president.  By that time he or she will be called The Maximum Leader, the Punishing Hand of God, whatever. Whoever that person is will be in control of the world’s largest arsenal of thermonuclear weapons, enough to bring about the end of most, if not all, civilization. What will the rest of the world do when faced with such a prospect?

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By christian96, October 11, 2010 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

David Bryon—-NO!

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