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The Phantom Left

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Posted on Nov 1, 2010

By Chris Hedges

The American left is a phantom. It is conjured up by the right wing to tag Barack Obama as a socialist and used by the liberal class to justify its complacency and lethargy. It diverts attention from corporate power. It perpetuates the myth of a democratic system that is influenced by the votes of citizens, political platforms and the work of legislators. It keeps the world neatly divided into a left and a right. The phantom left functions as a convenient scapegoat. The right wing blames it for moral degeneration and fiscal chaos. The liberal class uses it to call for “moderation.” And while we waste our time talking nonsense, the engines of corporate power—masked, ruthless and unexamined—happily devour the state.

The loss of a radical left in American politics has been catastrophic. The left once harbored militant anarchist and communist labor unions, an independent, alternative press, social movements and politicians not tethered to corporate benefactors. But its disappearance, the result of long witch hunts for communists, post-industrialization and the silencing of those who did not sign on for the utopian vision of globalization, means that there is no counterforce to halt our slide into corporate neofeudalism. This harsh reality, however, is not palatable. So the corporations that control mass communications conjure up the phantom of a left. They blame the phantom for our debacle. And they get us to speak in absurdities.

The phantom left took a central role on the mall this weekend in Washington. It had performed admirably for Glenn Beck, who used it in his own rally as a lightning rod to instill anger and fear. And the phantom left proved equally useful for the comics Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, who spoke to the crowd wearing red-white-and-blue costumes. The two comics evoked the phantom left, as the liberal class always does, in defense of moderation, which might better be described as apathy. If the right wing is crazy and if the left wing is crazy, the argument goes, then we moderates will be reasonable. We will be nice. Exxon and Goldman Sachs, along with predatory banks and the arms industry, may be ripping the guts out of the country, our rights—including habeas corpus—may have been revoked, but don’t get mad. Don’t be shrill. Don’t be like the crazies on the left. 

“Why would you work with Marxists actively subverting our Constitution or racists and homophobes who see no one’s humanity but their own?” Stewart asked. “We hear every damn day about how fragile our country is—on the brink of catastrophe—torn by polarizing hate, and how it’s a shame that we can’t work together to get things done. But the truth is we do. We work together to get things done every damn day. The only place we don’t is here [in Washington] or on cable TV.”

The rally delivered a political message devoid of reality or content. The corruption of electoral politics by corporate funds and lobbyists, the naive belief that we can somehow vote ourselves back to democracy, was ignored for emotional catharsis. The right hates. The liberals laugh. And the country is taken hostage. 

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The Rally to Restore Sanity, held in Washington’s National Mall, was yet another sad footnote to the death of the liberal class. It was as innocuous as a Boy Scout jamboree. It ridiculed followers of the tea party without acknowledging that the pain and suffering expressed by many who support the movement are not only real but legitimate. It made fun of the buffoons who are rising up out of moral swamps to take over the Republican Party without accepting that their supporters were sold out by a liberal class, and especially a Democratic Party, which turned its back on the working class for corporate money. 

Fox News’ Beck and his allies on the far right can use hatred as a mobilizing force because there are tens of millions of Americans who have very good reason to hate. They have been betrayed by the elite who run the corporate state, by the two main political parties and by the liberal apologists, including those given public platforms on television, who keep counseling moderation as jobs disappear, wages drop and unemployment insurance runs out. As long as the liberal class speaks in the dead voice of moderation it will continue to fuel the right-wing backlash. Only when it appropriates this rage as its own, only when it stands up to established systems of power, including the Democratic Party, will we have any hope of holding off the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party. 

Wall Street’s looting of the Treasury, the curtailing of our civil liberties, the millions of fraudulent foreclosures, the long-term unemployment, the bankruptcies from medical bills, the endless wars in the Middle East and the amassing of trillions in debt that can never be repaid are pushing us toward a Hobbesian world of internal collapse. Being nice and moderate will not help. These are corporate forces that are intent on reconfiguring the United States into a system of neofeudalism. These corporate forces will not be halted by funny signs, comics dressed up like Captain America or nice words. 


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democratz.org's avatar

By democratz.org, December 25, 2010 at 1:40 am Link to this comment

Fight back against conservatives in congress.

Sign this petition demanding congress and the President enact a progressive agenda. Pass this link around. Post it on blogs around this country. The Peaceful revolution has begun.

http://www.change.org/petitions/view/to_congress_and_the_president_enact_this_legislative_agenda_into_law

Merry?* ? • ? ? •??Christmas? ?* ?*TO YOU
° ? ° ?* _?_____*?*?? ?* ?*? • ? ? •??
? ? •?•*/______/~??? ? ?? ?* ?*? ?* ?*
? ? •?• ? ?????

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By garth, December 13, 2010 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment

It’s all over.  Let’s face it.

There is another way, I hope. 

Watch the vote this week, and, pease, resolve that these ‘elected’ chumps do not vote for you.  Don’t vote for them.

The rich shall get richer, no doubt, but the poor can only hope for a ‘kind’ slave master.  In otra mots, If they allow you to work, you can cut their grass, clean their houses. 

The certainty is that they want.  Americans want now.

Give it to them.  They shall learn that if you treat people like shit then what do they expect in return? 

But, alas, with so many screw balls and so many losers, it’s impossible to make sense of all this.

Starters:
The CEO of American Express is attending Obama’s luncheon on Wednesday.  Wonder what he’ll have to say?

You and I are not even in this picture.  And we never have been.

Too bad that it is not an ideologue’s dream come true. 

At some point, Joan Loyte, on Medicare, and Greg and Julie in the Real estate scam, will have to face facts.

We are all in this together. 

And the rich just left for the coast.

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, December 13, 2010 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

QUOTE (of a still (D)issembling avatar… a ghost of FDR past):

“although we endorse liberals and progressives in the Democratic Party, we do not run candidates nor do we handle any money.”
____________

None of the money purchased corporate party candidates would be electable if the people who’ve sold their principles didn’t keep supporting them.

Their are no Democrats worthy of endorsement.

Any person having **real** intention to serve people, rather than the corporate state, wouldn’t be a Democrat… couldn’t be a Democrat.

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democratz.org's avatar

By democratz.org, December 13, 2010 at 10:32 am Link to this comment

Excuse me Mr. Cyr. I formed the LDPUSA because I found that the PDA would not encourage people to boycott the companies that give money to conservatives in BOTH the Democratic and RepubliKLAN Party.

If you look at the page you will see emails that people can send to demand legislation from the company CEOs and that their company would lose our business until the legislation we demand gets enacted into law. We do not affiliate with any corporations and although we endorse liberals and progressives in the Democratic Party, we do not run candidates nor do we handle any money. It does not cost money to join our legislative only party.

Thank you.

http://www.facebook.com/LDPUSA

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, December 13, 2010 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

QUOTE (of a seriously pernicious avatar… a ghost of FDR past):

“Join the Liberal Democratic Party of the United States of America.”
____________

Whenever undeniable evidence mounts that could and should persuade **educable** natural persons to stop being corporate controlled Democrat-bots within the corporate person’s party, the machinery of corporate state deception advertises misdirecting weapons of mass denial — new improved corporate party mind internment camps constructed to prevent sensible escape and keep the captive natural persons permanently trapped in (D) mindfucked corporate party complicit condition.

This LDP is just another of the corporate state’s most devious deceptions, like the PDA and the WFP are.

Democrats exist to deceive.

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democratz.org's avatar

By democratz.org, December 13, 2010 at 3:40 am Link to this comment

Join the Liberal Democratic Party of the United States of America.

See http://facebook.com/LDPUSA

and then click on the LEGISLATION Tab.

Get everyone of your friends to join.

Thank you.

Report this

By Rob Butz, December 12, 2010 at 5:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris, I read this and watched the video interview with you on Laura Flanders.
Both depressed me. Not because of what you’re describing. YOU depress me.

You know why most of your books and articles depress me? It’s this constant
refrain: “it’s all darkness out there.” It’s a weirdly American phenomenon that
you sit smack in the middle of: that thing that Harper’s Magazine does, having
a really great analysis (sometimes) and ending the contribution there. You guys
feed yourselves on 1950s era Adorno, you’ll wind up with elitist resignation.
Every time.

Yeah Colbert and Stewart are sideshows that won’t do anything and are a vent
for letting off steam and all that. But they’re the public face of the left, because
folks like YOU don’t use your platform to mention other liberal or green or left
parties which actually exist in the US. You talk about Wobblies like we died 80
years ago. It’s as if you have no faith in people. Whereas even the Republicans
throw their support behind the Tea Party (overtly or tacitly).

The thing is, I feel more like the apocalypse is coming on when I listen to you
rather than the far right, because you’re like the public face of the outer limit of
progressiveness in the States, and this is what you use your platform for. Here
you are spending your airtime talking about the awesome power of the enemy,
— “here’s how strong they are and here’s how weak we are. Oh dear!”

And then it just ends. Thanks for that great focus on how little I can do. It’s
great for morale.

What happens with so many of you folks in the US liberal-left is that you end
up personifying these “individualists in retreat” that you criticize, worshipping
impotence. The only difference is that you write a book about how bad things
are and consider that the outer limit of ‘engagement.’

Chris: there’s a concept called “performativity” that says that every description,
in a way, makes a little more true what it purports to only describe. Political
analyses are like this. If you over-determine our future with the deaths of this
and that, it helps make it dead.

We already know the analysis. Use your platform to get us organizing around
something winnable. Victories build confidence.

News flash: Lots of us can tell the difference between Colbert and political
activism. We’re not bamboozled. I just watch The Daily Show so I can use
Stewart’s oneliners on my Republican family. A little humour helps people
actually enjoy talking to a progressive. Whoda thunk the hardest task we’d ever
have as lefties is talking to people in an engaging way.

If this 15 year old Brit kid can tell us what time it is, you have no excuse.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U_gHUiL4P8

Next time there’s a picket line, put your pen and microphone down and go walk
it. Or help organize it. That’s what this kid did.

DOOM AND GLOOM CAN EFF OFF. We don’t have the luxury.

Report this

By John Hart, December 6, 2010 at 1:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

From: Seeking a More Perfect Union (iiegw)

Who’s getting elected isn’t the problem, it’s the system.  Though most don’t recognize it, Government was taken over by slavers years ago and they’ve turned the Country into a giant plantation. Income tax is economic slavery.  Government’s purpose is to protect rights, the current system forces the poor and middle class to protect wealth their Elite masters have taken from them and stops them from acquiring sufficient wealth to survive without Government handouts.

Those in higher income brackets do pay more relative to “income” and more than half of “income” tax revenue comes from the upper two percent.  The progressive nature of the tax is touted by the Left as necessary to level the playing field and help people out of poverty, but the claim is false! After a hundred years of progressive income tax, the disparity between the Super Wealthy and the poor is greater than ever.


Roosevelt didn’t start the “War of the Poor against the Rich”, he championed it, but it didn’t help the poor and middle class, it enslaved them.  Roosevelt was either a useful idiot of the Elite or one of them, his confusion of income with wealth was a cleaver ruse to maintain their power and status. Progressive income tax is regressive wealth tax. It prevents new ventures from growing and creates dependency on credit that makes small business easy pickings when the economy is “turned down”.


But the problem doesn’t stop there. The poor and middle class, unlike their Elite masters, don’t have billion dollar nest eggs they can rely on. They have to work survive, and when tax stops business growth, many can’t find jobs.  The left’s solution, putting them on the dole, makes things even worse, it damages self esteem by making them rely on charity other workers are forced to pay. Blacks and whites have been chained by the scheme so long, most can see no other way to live.

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By ardee, November 18, 2010 at 6:23 am Link to this comment

tat_moh, November 18 at 8:37 am

Was there a point somewhere within that childishly garbled post?

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By tat_moh, November 18, 2010 at 3:37 am Link to this comment

I really wish the left was phantom,  they didn’t come
out this election because they didn’t have that
“american idol” feeling this time around,  but they
do exist and they outnumber the Americans.  You claim
to be a man of “science” right Chris?  What about all
these “phantom” leftists on this board leaving
comments about how they feel like failures in the
“survival of the fittest” social darwin economical
system known as Capitalism?  The American leftist is
nothing more than a mediocre crybaby failure of a
human being, wanting to drag the rest of the world
down to equal their own lazy mediocre level.  You can
be their apologist if you want Chris

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, November 10, 2010 at 9:05 am Link to this comment

Judging from what I know of the paralysis of the anti-war movement, I’d say the problem is less cowardice than attachment to the Democratic Party.  The Democrats may not be able to govern, but they have been very efficient about breaking up or neutralizing the Left.

Report this

By Dion, November 9, 2010 at 7:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The author is talking about right-wing techniques of keeping the country perpetually right-shifted, by continually and with fervor mis-characterizing centrists as left-radicals (they also mischaracterize Libertarians by the way).

Who cares if these leftists actually exist; it is obivous they have no part in the corporate funded oligharcy that is now american politics.

Anyone, anwhere attempting to interrupt the smooth flow of the status quo will be characterized as a radical. Powers big lie doesnt need reality; only suckers with more “true beliefs” than sense…

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, November 9, 2010 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

There is no visible Left.  There are millions of people with leftist feelings, loyalties and ideas, but they are not visible to the rest of the people and to a large extent they are not visible to each other.  Ideologically and doctrinally, they are all over the place, and often contradict not only each other but themselves.  So I don’t see the present Left as capable of accomplishing anything until conditions change.

However, they—we—are ready to entertain you as ghosts and boogiemen, if that’s what you desire.

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By Pensivediscodancer, November 9, 2010 at 2:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

At the moment, no, but what I do see is the beginning, or at the very least a very palatable beginning, in the rally. The revolutionary communist, ironically, adopts the virtue of the corporate cat; give it to me fast, give it to me cheap, and I’ll worry about the consequences later (ideally, my children can take care of that instead).

I believe, I’m optimistic, of this.

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By Pensivediscodancer, November 9, 2010 at 2:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Some examples may be useful here. Firstly, I think it’s only appropriate to use examples from after the democratic revolutionary period, any other example from antiquity would be too alien to our modern notions of inalienable rights which we hold dear today. The civil rights movement, the opposite of exclusionary in fact, was not advanced through the individuation of the black minority, but through the communication of such. The independence of India was not a call for the expulsion of all British, but the call for appropriate and proportionate governance. Both of these movements were fundamentally nonviolent, and I contend that the success of such was not the alienation of the oppressors from the oppressed, but the revaluation of communication between equal men and women.

Another issue I have with Hedges’ argument is that it fails to recognize the basic human tendancy of being concerned with practical matters. For as long as there has been revolutions, there have been many people who just don’t give a damn. They live in modest poverty frequently and farm mud, while people are off shooting themselves the mud farmer farms his mud and sells it in the market. Same mud before the revolution, same mud after the revolution. I don’t mean to say that there have never been revolutions which haven’t changed the way almost entire populations have thought, there certainly are (the American revolution might be an example of this), but I do mean to say most people didn’t take part in the revolution. They might enjoy their new liberal ideas afterwards, but it really isn’t as pressing a matter as their mud farm and having sex with their wife.

This, I think, is a major obstacle for so many upstart virgin communist college students. They seem to have this ideal in their mind that the masses in a totally intelligable and virtuous manner, will rise up one day and stick it to the man (who takes on the strange roll of not being a part of this mass, somehow). It also leads me to my next point, this Rally which Hedges berates isn’t the same sense of ‘rally’ he has in mind. You say rally at some cafe in downtown chicago where they play ‘Bright Eyes’ or some such exemplary off-the-beaten-track (so far as they’re concerned) college student and you’ll get a lot of clenching buttholes and florishes of latte-laden palms. I won’t say much regarding the true nature of the rally, but I will reference readers to a previous post which explores this subject, here.
As for any sort of positive defense of the rally, I would say that, contrary to Hedges, change won’t come as fast as our food does today, but through baby-steps towards reform. It simply isn’t a real expectation that you can pull together any semblance of a revolution (which I would never doubt is really quite needed) in the culture of the “modern spectacle” we live in today.

I do really believe the rally was a step in this direction, a call for the dissolution of radical voices (it was them, including the liberals, who have fed into this faux-drama political sphere, right?) in the media and the solidarity of the reasonable. No, the reasonable won’t get together and charge the congress with pitchforks and feces. They won’t tear asunder business and government. They won’t stop corporations from feeding us a steady diet of corn and the same or similar corporations from selling us the cure to our corn-related diseases, but honestly, I would rather not see that happen. I would rather America walk steadily (albeit slowly) towards unmechanized man into a healthier tomorrow. The communist here looks baffled and offended, “you really see this happening?”

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By Pensivediscodancer, November 9, 2010 at 2:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I was sent a link by a friend (Dominic Catalano) via facebook to a brief essay written by a Chris Hedges entitled, “The Phantom Left.” The basic argument in the paper, which you can find here, claims that in decades past the ‘radical left’ played a crucial role in politics which is now essentially dissolved today in America. Hedges states that the left is now a mere phantom produced by the right and used as a scapegoat by the left. The left today, he claims, strives to remain in the center to, “to remain morally and politically disengaged.” Of course, my brief synopsis does not encapsulate perfectly what Hedges has to say, which is why you should really read the article, which, hey, is right here.

Hedges uses as his paradigmatic example the Rally the Restore Sanity and/or Fear for the lack of fire on the part of the liberal class and it’s consequences. While I think few will disagree with a great deal of the grievences brought up by Hedges, the fusion of the political and corporate sphere, the dissolution of citizens’ rights, the crushing lack of a sufficient education system (this I added myself, while the other two are either implicit or completely manifested), I do have some major issues with the argument he uses as the flagship for action and repair.

One, which really tears out the bottom of his position, is that he seems to imply that it is the left which is in every respect the avenue of improvement for human society. He calls not for the American people to stand up and take action for these sundry and severe issues (issues seems like a poisonous euphemism here), but for the American left. This exlusionary approach is fundamental to the “modern spectacle” he cites from Guy Debord. In my opinion, it is much more dangerous to call to arms a group within the group the solve the problems of the whole, rather than the whole itself. Some may claim that my approach may be naive, that the real way to alter our condition is through the victory of one group over another, that history isn’t moved by the mass, but the mass is moved by the few. My response is that first, it is contrary to the ideals of America to be exclusionary, and second, that one must be prepared to spill blood, frequently, in these instances.

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By jennined, November 9, 2010 at 2:30 am Link to this comment

This is in many ways very intelligent.  In others,
it’s quite flawed.  For one, its basic premise—that
we have somehow lost something from our democracy in
succumbing to big money—is an ahistorical
romanticization of the past.  This country was
founded by slaveowners and rich white men.  In the
early days of the United States, only landowning
males could vote, disenfranchising all but the elite. 
Money has always ruled this country.

I’m not saying this is good, or that we shouldn’t do
all we can to change it, but instrumentalizing our
history to serve our own agendas in blatant disregard
for fact is never a good idea.

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Orbis Unum's avatar

By Orbis Unum, November 8, 2010 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment

Re: garth, November 8 at 10:52 pm.

Not to be disrespectful and may no one consider our response hereto, to be nothing more than jovial respect. But that last posting of yours was absolutely hilarious. You had me rolling all over the floor with uncontrolled hilarity. Thanks!!! I need that!

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By garth, November 8, 2010 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

Orby, can you come out and play?

Thanks Mrs Unum.  We’ll be back in a little while.

——————————————————-

Orby, you say,
“Once again into the foray of the Science of Right Reason, in hopes that those who consistently avoid the true issues being raised with what we proffer for response to prove our premises presented, to prove otherwise!”

“...foray of the Science of Right Reason…” reminds me of my crazy uncle Frank.  But that’s along story.

I consistently avoid the truth.  That is my cause celebre, my joie de vive, my whatever..

“..issues…”  I’ve got issues.  Sticky toilet paper.  Lazy trash men and news delivery boys.  Noisy neighbors.  Unruly cats. Hairy palms.

What can a person do?  Oh, please lead us to the promise land.

I vote every two years.  I don’t consume as much but therein might lie the problem.

The neighborhood groups are swamped with strangers with foreign accents.  They are active.  Why is that?

I want to be left alone.  Yet the noise makers of world keep on crossing the threshold of human indignity.  Crossing it to a point where we say, “That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more.” 

But alas and Ah huh! that is your purpose.  Keeping a pulse, listening, interpreting.  You want to know what’s coming next?

Is there an infinite number of responses that you’ve already taken into account, or is there someone, somewhere with a germ of an idea that you need to squelch before it grows to form a cancer for you folks?

There’s one thing you always know.  Ya never, know!

Anyhoo, in keeping with the practice of my sainted mother-in-law, I think I’ll go lie down.

Adios

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By garth, November 8, 2010 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment

“Response: Once again into the foray of the Science of Right Reason, in hopes that those who consistently avoid the true issues being raised with what we proffer for response to prove our premises presented, to prove otherwise!

What are we asking any reasonable individual to respond to, nothing but the evidenced proffered!


Obis Unum,

I am highly aware of the physiological processess in the human emission of gaseous hydrocarbons, but if you brain fart again in your commentary, I shall ignore you. 

So far, it’s just ragtime. 

Make sense.  Tell us what it is you are after.  else,

The flambujarm of the discotine beemed wither will be again led to such a dismsissal of all the that come before us that to reach to the stars and stay not on this gravity bound material worled of master and slave will no doubt lead us astray.  Selah

You should rejoice in the knowledge that you have slipped the bounds of the lower forms of life and you have attained the second highest level of awareness.  Tell us, what is the highest?

You, Orbis, have the highest.  And it’ll take us years to reach your exaltitude.

Selah

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Orbis Unum's avatar

By Orbis Unum, November 8, 2010 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

Re: garth, November 8 at 8:05 pm.

You state: “I say huh?  Is making sense beyond you people.  Are you that afraid of sunlight?

Or to put it bluntly, What the fuck are you talking about, Caspar?”

Response: Once again into the foray of the Science of Right Reason, in hopes that those who consistently avoid the true issues being raised with what we proffer for response to prove our premises presented, to prove otherwise!

What are we asking any reasonable individual to respond to, nothing but the evidenced proffered!

In support of the aforementioned, one only has to avail themselves to prove our premises wrong appertaining to these facts we wish to proffer to prove otherwise, by reading the “4” declarations posted by the SEA at the web link: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah.

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

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

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By garth, November 8, 2010 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

Obis,

Yhis is from Tarpley’s Surviving the Cataclysm” written in 1997 or 98.  Note

Globaloney

Here are some essential components of this new creed:
1. Floating exchange rates among currencies, with wild gyrations and no gold convertibility.  Please take note of Item #10.  It is a direct answer to your one world smoke and mirrors.  It’s just to let you know that some people are on to you, and they have been for quite a while.  You’re not fooling anyone, except the fools.

2. Hot money speculation, stockjobbing, and usury, culminating in hedge funds and the $200+
trillion worldwide bucket shop of financial derivatives.

3. Privately owned and privately controlled central banks, with the private Bank for International
Settlements as the flagship, the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, etc.

4. Free trade, dumping, and the runaway shop, as in NAFTA, GATT, the European single market, etc.

5. Secular deflation; depression as cure for inflation (Keynes in reverse), with high interest rates expressing the political ascendancy of the bondholders.

6. Deregulation, especially of financial markets, with growing domination by oligopolies and
cartels.

7. Stagnating and declining world production, especially in basic industry and especially in per
capita terms.

8. Casino society, frantically seeking monetary wealth under the constant threat of systemic crisis.

9. Permanently high unemployment and declining standards of living, with weak labor unions,
union-busting, a shrinking middle class, and fabulous wealth for a tiny, parasitic oligarchy of
financiers of about 500,000 persons worldwide.

10. Anti-statism, with the withering away of the national state, its infrastructure, and its social
safety net, except when the insolvency of financial institutions threatens systemic crisis (Bush’s
S&L bailout, Greenspan’s backdoor bailout of US banks at Treasury expense, $50 billion Mexican
bailout fund, $500 billion Japanese bailout fund, and IMF bailouts funded by taxpayers of IMF
member states).

11. A race to the bottom among nations (and even among states and provinces) to gut health,
environmental, safety, and other regulations, while offering tax incentives to venture capitalists.

12. Oligarchy, more often referred to under such terms as “the establishment,” “the elites,” “the
market, “market forces,” or “market democracy.”

13. Class war of the tiny finance oligarchy against the vast majority of humanity.

Such are the principal axioms of the way things are done at the moment. Many a career has been made with these crude slogans. Each of these points is a shibboleth of the globalized economy, and each one is at the time an affront both to God’s natural law as well as to the practical needs…

In answer to you last post, let me quote:

In assessing both written and oral evidence, reasonable people hitherto generally applied “beyond a reasonable doubt” as the standard of proof required. Such proof may follow from the coexistence of sufficiently strong, clear and concordant inferences or of similar unrebutted presumptions of fact; in addition, the conduct of the parties in relation the the arbiter’s efforts and willingness to view all facts and/or obtain evidence, may constitute an element to be taken into account.

———————————

I say huh?  Is making sense beyond you people.  Are you that afraid of sunlight?

Or to put it bluntly, What the fuck are you talking about, Caspar?

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By Orbis Unum, November 7, 2010 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

Re: Anarcissie, November 7 at 6:38 pm.

Response: Thank you for that clarification. My response was not intended to be disrespectful by any means. As you well know, this is not my modus operandi.

But in reference to not commenting respective to my postings, I can respect your decision for whatever reason such decision was reach. My best to you and yours.

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By Orbis Unum, November 7, 2010 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment

Re: garth, November 7 at 6:04 pm.

You state: “i.e, you just restate your argument.”

Response: Repetition is the Mother of Wisdom!

You state: “I checked out the site.  It sounds like snake oil, gobbledy-gook.  I guess it’s to deceive.

And here’s why, Obis Unum means, ‘One world’.  Are you referring to the New World Order that H.W. Bush mentioned?”

Response: It is very hard to image you’ve been able to read with comprehensive analysis the “4” declarations published by the S.E.A. via web link http://www.scribd.com/rahyah, and remain unable to see that what is proffered, is neither some hidden agenda (when such is clearly within the public domain) when the evidenced is beyond any reasonable doubt otherwise, that people have been duped into subjugation via schemes to mesmerize into complacency through educational misrepresentations to exercise certain rights , which all totally nonexistent. 

You state: “If you are honest, trustworthy and have something to say or refer to, it should not only rings true and pass the smell test but it should be easy to follow.”

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

In order to establish facts, reasonable people base such upon documentary evidence, the observation of the parties and the statements of witnesses who gave or give evidence on the spot if available or possible.

In assessing the evidence for the purpose of establishing the facts, reasonable people consider the following elements are relevant.

In assessing both written and oral evidence, reasonable people hitherto generally applied “beyond a reasonable doubt” as the standard of proof required. Such proof may follow from the coexistence of sufficiently strong, clear and concordant inferences or of similar unrebutted presumptions of fact; in addition, the conduct of the parties in relation the the arbiter’s efforts and willingness to view all facts and/or obtain evidence, may constitute an element to be taken into account.

And, reasonable people may also, consider as relevant facts, even if the circumstances took place in time long ago, in an obscure and particularly complex context, which makes some degree of imprecision about other details inevitable, evidence proffered as to cast doubt on the credibility of the parties, witnesses, or evidenced produced. Even when there are contradictory and opposing accounts of the facts.

Having said all this, what you may describe via your own ability to discern the facts presented by the declarations aforementioned, does not offer any evidence to the contrary. Until proven otherwise, your discourse is unproven.

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

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

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By Anarcissie, November 7, 2010 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

Orbis Unum—I was responding to JDmysticDJ’s misreading of one of my messages, which I quoted for the very purpose of indicating the subject of my remark, and very nicely set off with blockquotes it was, too.  I have not responded recently to anything you have written, nor do I intend to.

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By garth, November 7, 2010 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment

In good will I must repond.  You answer sounds like an example of the criticism of Obama levelled by Jonah Goldberg, i.e, you just restate your argument.
———————
“Response: There are those of us who have pierced the veil of local, national, and global governmental misrepresentation foisted upon us by Centers of Education from womb to tomb for centuries. But like that old saying goes, e.g., ‘[y]ou can fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time!”

——————————

I checked out the site.  It sounds like snake oil, gobbledy-gook.  I guess it’s to deceive.

And here’s why, Obis Unum means, ‘One world’.  Are you referring to the New World Order that H.W. Bush mentioned?

Here’s some Latin for you, ‘homines ad servitutem paratos’—men fit to be slaves!

Is that in your far reaching, hidden agenda or are you merely pulling our legs? 

The whole thing reads like a mishmash of unclear, misleading ideas meant to do exactly that, mislead.  It looks like a professional job of disinformation by an educated group of self-satisfied, smirking Anglophiles.  People who like to study their own feces in admiration.

My suggestion to you is not only to read Tarpley, but memorize his works. 

If you are honest, trustworthy and have something to say or refer to, it should not only rings true and pass the smell test but it should be easy to follow. 

“Clarity”, as Professor Irwin Corey says, “make all the difference in the world.”

My computer is so slow that I hate following up on foolish links.  I have only so much time and I’ll never get that minute or two back.

Sincerly,

Augustus Probitus Carborundum Stupendicus

Blame me mother for that name.

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By Orbis Unum, November 7, 2010 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

Re: garth, November 7 at 5:11 pm.

You state: “My question is who are the men and women of good will and how will we know them?”

Response: There are those of us who have pierced the veil of local, national, and global governmental misrepresentation foisted upon us by Centers of Education from womb to tomb for centuries. But like that old saying goes, e.g., ‘[y]ou can fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time!”

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

As to your question related to knowing those seeking Good Will, you must first determine if your willing to face the reality that Good Will is established via Variation by Agreement to create any socially acceptable behavior. From this point, Good Will can be manifested or otherwise, and the ability to safeguard Good Will, will be determined by the honor of those capable and able to maintain the institutions to safeguard this precious Rule of decorum, along with the institutions to preserve Good Will in the interest of Universal Peace for All Walks of Life.

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

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By garth, November 7, 2010 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment

“... those honestly looking for researching the truth, in the interest of Good Will with All Walks of Life seeking Universal Peace and solution oriented paradigms to the problems of systemic fraud.”
———————————————————————
A good place to start are the writings of Webster G. Tarpley.  May I recommend, “Surviving the Cataclysm”  his book on 9/11 and Terrorsim and his two books on Barack Obama’s candidacy.

On Christianne Amanpours rendition of Sunday Establishment Palaver, she brings up taxes and spending.  Guests are the usual suspects, Will, Bayh, Podesta and Michael Dowd. 

She segued to a clip by Warren Buffet where he was asked about taxes.  Buffet said, “The question who are you going to tax, me or the woman who will serve me lunch today?”

The camera returns to Amanpour and she asks Poesta, “Is Progressivism dead?  And they show the question at the bottom of the screen.

Maybe she didn’t hear Buffet?

The one thing I can say about Amanpour and her show is she certainly has big feet.  Have you noticed those gun boats?

My question is who are the men and women of good will and how will we know them?

I think one of the main elements that needs to be put in place to save us if we are going to saved is the establishment of an honest, reliable and trustworthy news media.  No bullshit.

With all the effort they put into keeping the blinders on us, men and women of good will should be able to get their message through, and I think we’ll know by the mere fact that it rings true.  It’s factual.

The American people right now are like the eye ball behind a detached retina.  We need to find another lens.

Mike Pence said it first, so he gets the raspberry salute.  He said, “If you lower taxes you’ll increase revenues.”  That’s just like their mantra,  If you lower taxes you’ll get more jobs.  And look at all those jobs Bush created since 2002.

In the future, it’ll be, cut taxes for psoriasis, neuritis, neuralgia, hangnail.  The working stiff will get a couple of bucks a week and the wealthy will get $100s of thousands.

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By Orbis Unum, November 7, 2010 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

Re: Anarcissie, November 7 at 4:20 pm.

Presuming without reference to our previous posting “Orbis Unum, November 7 at 4:01 pm,” your referring to our previous posting, we comment forthwith:

You state: “What I said was that there is no visible radical Left.  Maybe that was too metaphorical for you?  Do I really need to explain?”

Response: When you stated: “You state: “What orifice did that statistic come from?,” in reference to what you quote Alan McDonald stating at November 7 at 1:40 am,” our response to you, was not in reference to whether there existed or otherwise, a ‘visible radical Left.’ We simply and solely replied to your specific comment quoted and the underlying premise to explain why people may feel voting will not help solve problems stemming from a much deeper condition of mind!

I humbly apologize, if it seems to you, metaphorically or otherwise, you may have missed the point of discussion or response and/or availed yourself of the evidenced proffered to prove the point? Further explanations are unnecessary, when supporting documentary proof has been proffered beyond any reasonable doubt to prove the premise or otherwise.

And, just as a reminder for all those who honorable exchange ideas with in the ‘Truthdig forum’ while refraining from hateful or insolent behavior…always remember, sometimes while exchanging ideas, the time and respect we give, from a deep seated desire to foster harmonious behavior to garner enlightenment, can be met on the road of hopeful enlightenment, by those seeking to discourage, rather than exhorting to greater possibilities. My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

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By igloo, November 7, 2010 at 11:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Politics in the US has always been about superficial ramblings that do not threaten the core precepts, i.e. the ability of the corporate world to continue to plunder and pillage at the expense of the public. The Stewart-Colbert Comedy Central in Washington was precisely tailored by the corporate masters to provide light entertainment for the confused and benumbed masses of the dwindling middle class. If they had been so crass as to challenge the prevailing corporate order, their jobs would be on the line at a moment’s notice and Stewart and company would lose that comfortable bully pulpit from which to issue his periodic harmless jabs. The “Rally Against Insanity” will leave the power structure as intact as its organizers wished and the public as fooled as they have always been.

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By Anarcissie, November 7, 2010 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

JDmysticDJ, November 7 at 3:42 pm:

‘Saying there is no radical left is like saying there is no lower left part of a bell curve. Saying there is no radical left shows a willful and disingenuous attempt to deny reality. Saying there is no radical left, blah, blah, blah….’

What I said was that there is no visible radical Left.  Maybe that was too metaphorical for you?  Do I really need to explain?

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By Orbis Unum, November 7, 2010 at 11:01 am Link to this comment

Re: JDmysticDJ, November 7 at 3:42 pm.

You state: “What orifice did that statistic come from?,” in reference to what you quote Alan McDonald stating at November 7 at 1:40 am., to wit:

“That ‘invisible radical left’ includes the over 40% of underclass Americans who do not vote—because they know that it will not help them one bit.”

Response: Whether the percentage is in question or your inability to accept Alan McDonald’s position is of little importance against the backdrop of reality established by the Science of Right Reason to prove the underlying premise…voting will not help!

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

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

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

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

And yes, sometimes while exchanging ideas, the time and respect we give, from a deep seat desire to foster harmonious behavior to garner enlightenment, can be met on the road of hopeful enlightenment, by those seeking to discourage, rather than exhorting to greater possibilities. My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

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By garth, November 7, 2010 at 10:57 am Link to this comment

Our so-called Socialist\Communist\Fascist President is in India, as we write, negotiating for jobs in the US.  Some sort of trade agreement.

From inside sub-continent sources, I have learned that with the upsurge in the Indian economy Obama wants the US of A to provide the Call Centers for India.

Then it’s on to secret talks with China.  There, Obama wants to broker a deal where the US makes, balsa wood fans, back scratchers and the like for the Chinese consumer.

I say throw some poisoned pet food and toxic dry wall in the deal. Why not go for a little payback?

I heard a quote by Marshal McLuhan, and he noted that if fish could talk and you were to ask it, what is the most important part of your life, most likely it would not say water. 

The point is we are blind to what ails us.

We have become ‘Consumers’ who are allowed to vote every two years for official that were pre-ordained.

When you reach a certain age, most Americans no longer function as big Consumers.  Watch the explosion of new drugs for this pain or that ache and listen to how they can advertise how the drug can kill you.

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By JDmysticDJ, November 7, 2010 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

Saying there is no radical left is like saying there is no lower left part of a bell curve. Saying there is no radical left shows a willful and disingenuous attempt to deny reality. Saying there is no radical left is nothing but a half assed attempt to avoid responsibility for the recent and continuing rightward shift towards fascism.

Defining the radical left is a little more difficult and depends on one’s perspective. Republicans say Obama is from the radical left, Obama’s spokesmen define the radical left as the “Professional Left,” I believe former members of the Left/Center coalition who helped to throw the republicans out of office, and almost instantly began attacking the democrats because their impossible demands were not immediately met, are the radical left. Call them what you will, it’s these pinheads that helped the Right destroy the Left/Center coalition, and moved this country deeper into fascism, and no amount of faulty acuity, or deluded perception of the American people can deny this reality.

Alan McDonald states:

“That ‘invisible radical left’ includes the over 40% of underclass Americans who do not vote—because they know that it will not help them one bit.”

What orifice did that statistic come from? A large percentage of Americans are dissatisfied with, primarily, government, and also with Wall Street. On the periphery of this large percentage of non voting Americans are those Americans who voted for Tea Party thugs, criminals, and pea brains. This large percentage of Americans only knows that they are dissatisfied, and that they hate and fear communism, socialism, and liberalism i.e. the Left. Alan McDonald falsely equates anger and frustration with a Left perspective. Let us imagine that Alan McDonald’s imaginary statistics are true; aren’t these supposed radical leftists responsible for the latest shift into fascism because of their apathy?

Let me put forth my own nearly unsupported analysis of this apathetic percentage of Americans. They will become ardent, or docile, followers of fascism, when it all hits the fan; unfortunately, historical events support this analysis.

According to my definition of the radical left, the radical left is a counter productive group of pinheads, who have effectively served the interests of proto-fascists.

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By Orbis Unum, November 7, 2010 at 1:12 am Link to this comment

Re: Alan MacDonald, November 7 at 1:40 am.

Well said!!!!!!!!!!!

There are those of us who have pierced the veil of local, national, and global governmental misrepresentation foisted upon us by Centers of Education from womb to tomb for centuries. But like that old saying goes, e.g., ‘[y]ou can fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time!”

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

My best to all seeking honor and dignity who serve truth above all, but willing to test all things, even though sometimes it’s hard to face the truth through the eyes of false programming designed to blind you into unknowing acceptance of subjugation!

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By Alan MacDonald, November 6, 2010 at 9:40 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie accurately states that, “There is no visible ‘radical Left’ in American politics.”

Yes there is no “visible radical left”.

The radical left is essentially invisible—- as in Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man”.

That ‘invisible radical left’ includes the over 40% of underclass Americans who do not vote—because they know that it will not help them one bit.

The ‘invisible radical left’ also includes the less than 20% (acknowledged) working-class union members who vote, but whose votes the ruling-elite Empire ignores.

The ‘invisible radical left’ also potentially includes the over 50% of underpaid and marginalized middle-class, who have not realized that they are merely working-class to the ruling-elite EMPIRE—- of which half vote, thinking that they at least have the power in their votes, and the other half who don’t vote anyway.

This vast majority of ‘invisible radical (and potentially radical) leftists’ who all want to believe in political and economic democracy free from oppressive and tyrannical EMPIRE would/could be in charge of a real functioning political-economic democracy—- if anything close to that existed.

Based on a recent (MSM unmentioned)  study by HBS Professor Michael Norton all of this entire vast majority of ‘invisible radical left’ citizens think that the GINI Coefficient of Wealth Inequality is less than half as bad as it really is for ALL OF THEM.

The vast majority of ‘invisible radical left’ citizens have been misled by the corporatist media into thinking that the top 20% of Americans control only 35% of the wealth in THEIR country—- when, in fact, the top 20% control 85% of the wealth in America.  Thus among the real and potential ‘invisible radical left’ in America their force-fed MISperception of wealth INequality is about 3 times worse than they think.

In point of fact, Norton’s study from Harvard Business School emphatically states that, “Most scholars agree that the wealth inequality in the United States is at historic highs, with some estimates suggesting that the top 1% of Americans hold nearly 50% of the wealth, topping even the levels seen just before the Great Depression in the late 1920’s (Davies, Sandstrom, Shorrocks, Keister, and Wollf).”

Now Norton and many other political-economic academics well understand these FACTS about the economic oppression of the vast majority of ‘invisible radical left’ citizens in the United States, and surprisingly the national security state of the global EMPIRE, which only poses as the now disfunctional/dead American sham democracy, knows these FACTS also. 

In fact, the EMPIRE’s national security state intelligence unit, the CIA, warns that any country with a GINI Coefficient above 0.45 is ripe for civil disobedience, rebellion, or revolution, and they know that U.S. GINI is far above that level, almost twice that of any functioning European or Japanese democracy—- and that it is just under the level of Robert Mugabe’s dictatorial plutocracy of Zimbabwe.

So Anarcissie, when the vast majority of ‘invisible radical left’ overworked citizens caught in the belly of this global corporate/financial/militarist EMPIRE actually learn how badly they are being economically oppressed and tyrannized in what they thought was ‘their own country’ but is actually a disguised EMPIRE, do you think that they will continue to be politely, passively, and docilely remain an ‘invisible radical left’ populace? 

I don’t!

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

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By Anarcissie, November 6, 2010 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment

There is no visible ‘radical Left’ in American politics.

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By JDmysticDJ, November 6, 2010 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

The truth can not be denied. Over the last 22 months, the monolithic Right in conjunction with the radical-left destroyed the Left/Center coalition, there-by eliminating any hope of progress in the near future.

If you can not see this simple reality you are an uninformed, short-sighted, irrational, pipe dreaming, utopian, pinhead.

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By Anarcissie, November 5, 2010 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment

Valdis Fox, November 5 at 12:56 pm:

Though clearly for the worse and not better, the Far Left in the U.S.—that mysterious span of the spectrum somewhere between coporate liberals and out-and-out Marxists—is gone.  Apart from a few bitter, crumbling remnants and unwashed, loopy Greens, that is. ...

If you go by opinion polls about issues, there are many millions of ‘leftists’.  How such a large number of people are kept out of the electoral process is an interesting question, but the answer probably has little to do with their bathing habits.

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By Valdis Fox, November 5, 2010 at 8:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Though clearly for the worse and not better, the Far Left in the U.S.—that mysterious span of the spectrum somewhere between coporate liberals and out-and-out Marxists—is gone.  Apart from a few bitter, crumbling remnants and unwashed, loopy Greens, that is.  And they cower in delusion, the world as they imagined it gone from their eyes.  You may as well wish for the return of abolitionists, Whigs or the Pawnee.  The people, culture and cause they once held are long gone, religated to tomes in ivory towers.  I agreed with much of this article, but in the end I had to ask, “Restore the Far Left as a viable political entity?  Awesome, YOU get off your lazy, ranting, Blogger ass and get right on that.  This is why the Far or “true” Left is dead: anger and resentment without action or solutions.  Ferocity without purpose, standing there, yelling at we dead-eyed, tired, taxed, cowed peasants to do something, take up our shovels and staplers and iPads and burn Wall Street’s Winter Palace!  Because, as always, you know what’s best for us sheeple, just like people on the Far Right and their Magic Sky Fairy do.  Good luck with that.  I remain a proud, defiant and tight-fisted Moderate, Progressive, Liberal, DINO, whatever flaccid label you care to slap on me.  The sea change required to create an actual alternative to the two-party, Coke vs. Pepsi, Ford vs. Chevy, Us vs. They system we have will not likely come in my lifetime, so I am not going to waste my time and money pining for it.  The only way corporations can be undone is when they undo themselves, and governments go broke trying to prop them up.  There is no Far Left without some kind of huge war, Depression, revolution, watershed societal upheaval of other calamity to creat the need for it, and frankly, we can without all of those things until they are inevitably thrust upon us.  And don’t act like they won’t.  Put away your molotovs, your ragged free newspapers, your sandals, your fevered discussions about redistributing land or wealth or whatnot and let the Far Left go, because it’s gone man, gone.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, November 4, 2010 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Things can move quickly in a bad direction”  Chip Berlet and David Barsamian on the Tea Party:
http://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/419/brewing_up_trouble

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By Zeya, November 4, 2010 at 8:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well said, Mr. Hedges. We absolutely need more “unreasonable” men (and women) like yourself and Ralph Nader (my all-time favorite American hero) to combat the complete corporatization of our country.

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By garth, November 4, 2010 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

Thank you, the worm, November 4 at 6:15 \
Re: The Audacity of Lying

One sure way to reduce cost is to reduce the population. The father of the Editor of the Weekly Standard Irving Kristol, suggested reducing the world population to 50 million.  That’s the number that these autocrats deem manageable.  As far as William Kristol is concerned, imagine growing up in a household with that kind of talk being bandied about.  Makes for great after dinner conversation. 

Hey, Dad.  Who do we eliminate first?  The poor or the swarthies?


Well, Son, this is work for the future and it will some day be in your hands.

——————————————————————
I distrusted Orzag after his first official statement for the Obama Administration.  Liar is too soft a word.

I never liked Obama in the first place.  I read the wo books that Webster Tarpley wrote about him, and I’ll be damned if both of those books are not prescient.  He’s a lazy, no good opportunist.

The question that brings up since Obama won his election so easily is what’s to come?  Palin?  Romney?

I might be on my way out, but I am an American.  I grew up valuing these ideals, these precepts.  I don’t want to fortfeit my rights so passively.

Someone’s got to hold on to the truth that we were not always like this.  We were once humans, unafraid and unbowed.

The Right-wing, the Tea Party and the neo-Librals will end all that.

To paraphrase Jesus, “You be the first to turn on your neighbor.”

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By the worm, November 4, 2010 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment

The Audacity of Lying

Today, one day after the election, the White House’s Director of Management
and Budget, Peter Orszag, in a NY Times OpEd tells us:

“There are four ways to contain health care costs: by reducing payments to
providers and suppliers; by rationing services; by having consumers pay a
greater share; and by giving providers incentives to be more efficient.”

This is a flat out lie.

The non-reform of health care was/is essentially a windfall for insurers, with
hundreds of thousands of new “customers” (if a ‘mandated customer’ is a
“customer”), with premiums subsidized or paid for directly by taxpayers, and
with 20% of the premium available to insurers to use for what ever they want.

That’s right: Insurers only need to spend 80% of the premium paid by you and
by me directly or through our taxes on health care for you and for me. The rest
they can spend any way they want, including bonuses, sitting on Boards to raise
rates and decide who gets covered and who doesn’t, contributions to
‘sympathetic’ candidates – those who will let them keep even more of your and
my money.

Essentially, 20% of your/my/our health care dollar goes to non-health care
services - i.e. profit and overhead for private for-profit insurance companies.

A savings of 15% or more can be achieved through a government-administered
plan like Medicare - for everyone. (And by the way, a CBS/New York Times poll
June 2009 showed that 72% of Americans favored this approach.)

The quickest and easiest and sane way to save is move to a single payer system.
Advocates for such a system were blocked from speaking by Senator Max
Baucus last year; but the facts are the facts.

When the President of the United States allows his White House Director of
Management and Budget to lie about such a fundamental reality, it reflects very
poorly on the President and his leadership.

President Obama does not need people working for him who actively lie to the
American people. Whether it’s “Heck of a Job Brownie”, “Heck of a Job Timmy”
or Orszag, people are tired of being lied to.

If President Obama does not have the courage to stop his own staff from lying
to the American people, he is no leader.

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By garth, November 4, 2010 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment

I like the lyrics of a local band Jesus and the Jesuits.

Hell hath no fury like a scorned woman,

And Mother Earth is more than just your usual dame.

Harry S said it best.  And the S stands for nothing.

Tell ‘em the truth and they’ll think it’s hell.

Wait till the end.  When the end comes I know, humans will be just a few gigolos.

Life goes on without them.

Bonaparte said something about how the masses seek a leader.  Maybe he was right, maybe he was wrong.  We need a new identification.

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By Alan MacDonald, November 4, 2010 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

Chris is on a roll. 

With “Empire of Illusion” and ” The Death of the Liberal Class”, his superb columns, and now with his interview educational videos on the web, he is the signal voice for real sanity and “Against Empire” (Parenti).

Chris accurately diagnosed, “Being nice and moderate will not help. These are corporate forces that are intent on reconfiguring the United States into a system of neofeudalism. These corporate forces will not be halted by funny signs, comics dressed up like Captain America or nice words.”

This reminds me of the reply that Raul Julia gave to Robert Redford, in the fantastic and prescient (for America) Sydney Pollack film “Havana”, when Redford asked why the rebels had to actually fight the proto-fascist Batista regime working for US corporatist and organized crime interests, and Julia says, “But they will not leave by asking NICELY.”

The whole of ‘Havana” is available on-line today if one wants to absorb, in more accessible/video form, the truths and insights about EMPIRE that writers like Hedges, Bacevich, Parenti, Chalmers Johnson, Wolin et al diagnose more precisely in literate form.

Another film that reminds me of Hedges’ latest and incomparable truth in “Death of the Liberal Class” can be tasted in easier video form in Warren Beatty’s fabulously honest (and career-ending) film about the collapse and deceit of the liberal political class—“Bulworth”.

Chris Hedges’ new and incomparable “The Death of the Liberal Class” is the first work to compellingly and precisely define the cause and status of our current deplorable condition of Empire ruling over any hint of real democracy.

I love his accurate description that the founding phrase “the consent of the governed” is now meaningless!

Hedges has put all the pieces together and explained it so that any open minded citizen can understand our existential plight. As Chomsky has always said, “this is not as intellectually demanding as the sciences” —- the understanding of our political-economic oppression by Empire is fairly straight forward to absorb by anyone who takes a bit of time to read and think this through.

Hedges brings superb sources to bear: Sheldon Wolin, Orwell, C. Wright Mills, Jacoby, Dwight Macdonald, Richard Rorty, Chomsky, Herman, Randolph Bourne, Debs, Dos Passos, Hannah Arendt, Edward Said, Berrigans, Nader, Dr. King, Camus, Neil Postman, Ronald Wright, et al

All of Hedges logic is unimpeachable, his explanations are accessible to anyone, and his diagnosis is exactly correct that this is not ‘gutlessness’ but worse, ‘complicity’, of a two-party paid sham of democracy.

The only simpler (and more humorous) primer of how the ‘liberal class’ has collapsed like a cheap suitcase is the prescient, fabulous, and under-appreciated 1998 Warren Beatty film, “Bulworth”, critiquing Clinton and the Democrats shameless sell-out via triangulation of the working-class and liberal values:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dV_49xlZ07Q

Our former country is now fully controlled by a ruling-elite Empire, which is hiding behind the facade of its wholly owned TWO-PARTY “Vichy” sham of democratic government—aided by an equally Vichy corporatist media (and as Hedges describes a complicit academia, cultural, and religious liberal hoax).

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

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By Virginia777, November 4, 2010 at 10:57 am Link to this comment

Hedges is angry, for good reason, at the American left, but I point out, that he has been complicit in the Obama-bashing by the left and putting forth doomsday scenarios that advance hopelessness. Lets hope this great writer, can see past that, it is NOT time to give up hope in the American Left.

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By David J. Cyr, November 4, 2010 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

racetoinfinity asks, “Why is the Green Party so invisible and marginalized?  (I know why it’s marginalized by the corporate media and punditocracy, but why by the netroots left?)”
_________________________

Lack of imagination; an inability to think free; passive acceptance of incessant crib to grave miseducation and disinformation; compliance with their obedience training… and fear.

The corporate (R) & (D) party represents the largest criminal syndicate that’s ever existed. Its malevolent capacity is so great that fear-filled people police themselves for the state. The fundamental difference between America and North Korea is that the Koreans need crude walls and wire to pen people into submission, while Americans are much more efficiently and effectively imprisoned by the mental chains within their own minds.

America is the product of the evolution of totalitarianism.

Fearful reflexive obedience to indoctrination is why near everyone who says they want an end to war votes for (D) war criminals… thereby becoming willing accomplices in the perpetration of the war crimes.

The (R) voters consciously vote for the evils of corporate state government, and the (D) voters unconsciously vote for the same crimes. That’s why the (D) option is provided by the corporate party. The (D) line is for the voters who are unconscious… and unconscientious.

The subjugation of Americans has been made easy by the relative affluence provided to those who live within the belly of the biggest beast on the planet. That relative affluence is We The Consumer’s cut for compliant complicity in global thefts.

Too few people have supported the Green Party in America because there are so few people in America having sufficient courage and the personal will to publicly stand and even passive resistance refuse to be free-will complicit in all the crimes of the corporate state.

For near everyone participating in American elections it’s just sport. Very few Americans have exhibited any desire to have elections possibly serve a good purpose… and too few of that very few have had the courage to even secretly vote Green.

America: Land of the fear-filled, home of the cowards.

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By racetoinfinity, November 4, 2010 at 6:21 am Link to this comment

Stewart overplayed his hand criticizing people like Olbermann who have righteous anger toward the corporate thieves.

Why is the Green Party so invisible and marginalized?  (I know why it’s marginalized by the corporate media and punditocracy, but why by the netroots left?)  I’ve asked this on a number of sites lately?  Anyone have any explanations?

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By middleman, November 4, 2010 at 3:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You have to give the Democrats credit they are the only party that can elect a president and then completely abandon ship.  What a bunch of gutless fools.  I’m positive that the bailouts saved the middle class or at least delayed the complete elimination of such.  The problem is that half the country doesn’t read or pay any attention to what is taking place in politics and how it will affect them.  What is tragic about this situation is they are also the half that votes!!!!!!!!!

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By scarab23, November 3, 2010 at 11:07 pm Link to this comment

One thing I learned reading this column is that I have
not read nearly enough of Chris Hedges.  Subvert the
dominant paradigm.

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By PhreedomPhan, November 3, 2010 at 10:36 pm Link to this comment

I don’t know why it still amazes me that when socialism/liberalism fails, as it almost always, if not always, will and the velvet glove comes off revealing the mailed fist behind it, the socialists/liberals all start screaming, “fascism, fascism.”  Why do they blame their kissing cousins?  When Communism/Socialism fought National Socialism/Fascism, it was a family quarrel.  The only difference is that there is an element of patriotism in the latter that does not exist in the globalist ambitions of the former.

All four of these systems of oppression are based on the Hegelian concept of the individual as worthless.  He is only of value to the extent he contributes to the collective, to the Union, to the Corporation, and ultimately to the State.

Forgetting the nominal rulers, who do you think will really run the SuperState.  Does anyone here seriously think it’s going to be the people who take to the streets?  The best they can hope for is that after many are dead the ruling elite will “give in” and accept the absolute power that has “been forced on them.”

If you really want to know what’s going on, see the map and plan of what is and has been unfolding for over 70 years at:
http://phreedomphan-lostliberty.blogspot.com/
or some of those unfolding it at:
http://phreedomphan-americasenemies.blogspot.com/

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By radson, November 3, 2010 at 10:13 pm Link to this comment

Tao Walker

How is Old Man Turtle doing is he still on the island talking to the mocking birds?Tell us Tao why hasn’t aspirin been rightfully claimed by the indigenous people and the countless other medicinal discoveries
which are due to the Native Americans .There does exist in the writings of the Jesuits ,the rightful decendency which is due and in essence should be reclaimed.

hoka

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By Nobodyspecial, November 3, 2010 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Seems to me like everyone here just likes to hear themselves talk, or they are just trying to make sure they got their moneys worth out of their expensive college degrees. Well, take it from someone with no degree, no money and who actually lives in the scenes described…..Chris wrote an excellent piece, that only a few sane people will see and wish everyone else in America could see, and maybe they will forward it to a few friends, but sadly, there is too much truth to this article, and while everyone here can squabble over stupid details, or personal opinion, the fact is, truth is truth, there IS a good and a bad, and the truly bad always follow the same rule, “disguise who u are, to keep getting away with it”. Good job Chris, and keep trudging on.

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By Matzpen, November 3, 2010 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Today’s airwaves are filled with calls for even more compromise because progressive ideals supposedly lost last night. Nonsense. Progressive policies weren’t even on the ballot because the Democrats have never done anything progressive. Our side hasn’t lost because we haven’t yet begun to wage a genuine fight. Out of the ballot boxes and into the streets
http://sherrytalksback.wordpress.com/2010/11/03/barbarians-inside-the-gates-what-now/

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By TAO Walker, November 3, 2010 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment

There’s an entire pharmacopoeia of these bitter pills theamericanpeople have yet to choke-down.  They’re all every-bit as useless as they are hard-to-swallow, too, and many are much, much worse than merely that….they are absolutely lethal in their “unintended(?)” side-effects.

Meantime, the genuine Medicine is all around but everywhere unrecognized, and thus not taken by the sick-and-tired who so desperately need it, yet who go on slap-happily seeking it everywhere it isn’t.  So here, nevertheless, is the prescription….again.

Come together where you are in aid of our Mother Earth.  Help each other….where you are.  Live altogether within Her vision….or perish all alone in that virtual world-o’-hurt the domesticated peoples have so foolishly fought and thought and bought (and “voted”) their heedless way into.  These are the “options”....one at-least possibly viable, the other a much-sooner-than-later dead-certain DEAD END.

For Human Beings it’s abiding within the organic functional integrity and maturity of The Tiyoshpaye Way….or no way at all.  Like-it-or-lump-it, tame Sisters and Brothers, take-it-or-leave-it, that’s LIFE!

HokaHey!

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By Kristina Betinis, November 3, 2010 at 4:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I disagree with Hedges that the Stewart-Colbert rally was innocuous. The only time Stewart ever spoke seriously was to advocate a right-wing position- a presupposed “middle road” between “Marxists actively subverting the constitution” (nice Red baiting there!) and racists and bigots, as though these are politically associated. That’s a pretty stark ideological claim. He took the opportunity presented by his audience of (mostly) young people who are genuinely frustrated, know something is very wrong with the prevailing economic and political arrangements, and have poor prospects for work themselves, to stump for a raft of right-wing democrats. Sounds like Viacom’s millionaire comedians are worried that Marxism will get a hearing in the US.

Stewart/Colbert rally preaches compromise and complacency - http://wsws.org/articles/2010/nov2010/stew-n01.shtml

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By gljcb, November 3, 2010 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I would only like to augment Mr. Hedges’ point about the spectacle: mainstream political talk, seen on the sober and serious shows, is too often, almost always, nothing more than commentary on political strategy. It has all the content of weekend quarterback’s recitation of sports statistics.

They talk about the numbers, the demographics, what a candidate has to pretend to be to “mobilize the base.” There is no content, no policy discussion, no authentic dialogue on the meaning of the mere signs of politics.

The media has failed the American people. They should be educators, not entertainers. Sadly, Jon Stewart and Stephan Colbert are both finer reporters than anything the serious TV media has to offer. I guess a good laugh is the best we can hope for in the current media climate.

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By Arraya, November 3, 2010 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment

Social revolution is just another illusion for people who didn’t live
in socialism and who-well-live of writing i.e. sort of entertaining. Unfortunately,
what Chris proposes is equally dangerous to Beck unintelligent blabbering.
He (Chris)should know better, he was war correspondent. He should know how
dangerous is to play with matches. Unfortunately, this is what he is wasting his
talent on.

This is a nice status quo talking point but pretty devoid of meaning.  It’s like
saying we have reached the pinnacle of social evolution and we can not organize
ourselves in a more intelligent manner.  Minor tweaking will do the trick.  At this
point I’d say are decision making systems( economic and political) are in a
malignant cancerous stage of an undetermined length.  They don’t self-correct
like the are supposed to.  Nothing positive will come from within - there may
very well be degrees of less bad and a slower death - but the systems is dead.

We need to change our mode of thinking -  the people that “know best” are
caught in their own delusions leading us over a cliff.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 3, 2010 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

JD:
NOT Jim Morrison’s best poetry…

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By garth, November 3, 2010 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

JDMysticDJ,

Thanks for catching the mood of most proressives.  I hesitate to call them Democrats at this point.

The first image that went through my mind last night was that of someone skipping a few steps going down a spiral staircase.

The word to Obama should be, “Compromise?  Hell No!”

Kiss my ass.  Go down fighting.

Let’s see how many bills pass in the Senate with 51 votes?  That’ll tell us where these bastards stand and who is willing to give up control to the few.

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By garth, November 3, 2010 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

“The loss of a radical left in American politics has been catastrophic.”

Alan Grayson of Florida and Ann McLane Kuster of NH were targeted.  Grayson was outspoken for universal health care and ran a campaign that appealed to the voter’s sense of moral outrage with plain, old common sense.  Ms. Kuster did likewise.

The word on the tube (Channel 7 the NBC affiliate and stepchild of Fox News) was that the rest of Democratic House was taught a lesson not to run such a campaign. 

Kucinich (the Smurf) was spared.  He caved in when the clown playing Uncle Remus invited him aboard Air Force One and ‘asked’ for his support for the health care bill—the 30 million American mandate.  If I were Kucinich or if Kucinich had any balls, he’d a said, ‘Hell no, I’m not getting on any plane as long as Rahm Emanuel is involved.”

But the word in Cleveland is that Kucinich’s wife told him, “No Government perks, no poon-tang.”  I guess I can see how the little smurf would give in. 

Three cheers for Barney Frank.  After Channel 7’s news anchors constantly referred to Barney’s district as the ‘Gerrymandered” district,  Barney set ‘em straight.

The district was gerrymandered in 1961 under Republican Governor John Volpe to protect the seat of Joe Martin a Republican Congressman.

As an closing word of advice, Barney said that they should be careful for what they wish for.  The gerrymandering grouped Wellesley, the home of Wellesly College and several wife murdering Doctors, and Fall River, the blue collar home of Emeril Lagasse, Robert Goulet and some Naval Ship on display.  The Portuguese call it ‘Fall Reeeve.

Margaret Heckler from Wellesley came along four years later and defeated Joe “The Gerrymanderer” Martin in a Republican primary.

The line has been drawn.  The curse has been cast, and the fast one now will later be last.

I just hope that not too many people, including myself and my loved ones, suffer in this austerity craze.  I say ‘not too many’ because this is war on the Poor and in a war innocents get hurt and die.

The maddening part is that it’s all due to ignorance.

My prayer is that the people of United States become people.

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By JDmysticDJ, November 3, 2010 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

“This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end…”

I’ve just seen my country take another lurch to the Right, towards Fascism. Who’s to blame? The blame falls squarely on the American people, but they are guided, and led towards Fascism. There are the obvious villains, but there is also a “Fifth Column.” The Right is mean spirited, stupid, and governed by fear and hatred, but the Fifth Column is a group of nihilistic ideologues who are secretly, or openly, reveling in this lurch towards Fascism. In their heart of hearts they seek chaos and mayhem, thinking that this chaos and mayhem will serve their ideological goals. How incredibly stupid and detestable this Fifth Column is. The truth is that they are cowards who will not have the courage, or the numbers, to achieve their goals when the chaos and mayhem occurs. Perhaps the chaos and mayhem will not occur; perhaps we’ll be seeing the continuation of endless wars, with no hope of their end, along with continuing austerity, suffering, and injustice.

What could possibly be the motivation for this Fifth Column insanity? I must believe that this insanity stems from a subconscious self loathing, and desire for self destruction. Oh they will scream about injustice and how the empire must be destroyed, but in their nihilistic psychopathic neurosis they squash any hope of eliminating the evils of empire. They are a disease, a malignancy, the result of moral decadence.

These Fifth Column renegades are like the tyrants who say, “We can’t have democracy as long as people think and vote as they do.” These Fifth Columnists held the balance, they could have provided the impetus to stop the rightward lurch towards Fascism, but instead they functioned as traitors and attacked their only allies, stabbing them in the back.

These Fifth Columnists will reap what they sow, while they point their fingers in accusation, as the bleak reality which they did so much to create, unfolds before them. They are phantoms who cast a pall on every milieu, and chill the blood, and conflict the minds, of purer souls.

“…Desperately in need…of some…stranger’s hand
In a…desperate land
Lost in a Roman…wilderness of pain
And all the children are insane
All the children are insane
Waiting for the summer rain, yeah
There’s danger on the edge of town
Ride the King’s highway, baby
Weird scenes inside the gold mine
Ride the highway west, baby
Ride the snake, ride the snake
To the lake, the ancient lake, baby
The snake is long, seven miles
Ride the snake…he’s old, and his skin is cold
The west is the best
The west is the best
Get here, and we’ll do the rest
The blue bus is callin’ us
The blue bus is callin’ us
Driver, where you taken’ us
The killer awoke before dawn, he put his boots on
He took a face from the ancient gallery
And he walked on down the hall
He went into the room where his sister lived, and…then he
Paid a visit to his brother, and then he
He walked on down the hall, and
And he came to a door…and he looked inside
Father, yes son, I want to kill you…”

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By Anne, November 3, 2010 at 9:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Social revolution is just another illusion for people who didn’t live in socialism and who-well-live of writing i.e. sort of entertaining. Unfortunately, what Chris proposes is equally dangerous to Beck unintelligent blabbering. 

He (Chris)should know better, he was war correspondent. He should know how dangerous is to play with matches. Unfortunately, this is what he is wasting his talent on.

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By Beca, November 3, 2010 at 7:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The ignorance of most people, even many who comment here is astounding. I wonder how many people actually know what Socialism is, the difference between Socialism and Communism, the many types of Socialism that exist and are in fact successfully practiced around the world—by some of the most successful countries. I wonder how many people know the difference between socialism as the economic concept and socialism as the political concept.  My guess is probably about 1%, the rest, as trained, react to the word Socialism like Pavlovian dogs—it begins with the heart palpitations, sudden panic and sense of doom, followed by clawing and teeth gnashing, and unrecognizable guttural sounds.  It is exactly how the corproate cabal has trained this population over the generations. They will be very proud of their success!
Even when this country reaches a true bottom like never before, the people will never rise from their cushy sofas, move away from their hypnotic trance given in heavy doses by their TVs, or stop eating the toxic garbage that makes them too fat and tired to move, too sick to care, and too hungry for more away from the junk.  Americans have become the poster child of lazy, selfish, complacent sefs, and I can’t see much of that changing in my lifetime.
It is true that a people’s revolution in this case, does not necessarily require violence, since our real enemies are the corporate cartel—as Abraham Lincoln, both Roosevelts and countless others warned time and time again—violence can’t defeat them, since they own violence and the instruments to inflict the most harm. They only live because we keep feeding them, they feed on our money. We remove our money from their greedy grasp and they will quickly wither, beg for forgiveness and give us our country back.
Can this happen?, sure. Will it? nope. Americans are way too laxy and addicted to all the stuff sold to them, addicted to all the stuff they are told they must have, they absolutely “need”. Americans are the perfect good little consumers, they keep feeding the monster that is destroying our country and the rest of the world.  One would be amazed how clear one’s mind becomes once one stops watching the toxic corporate TV, and one no longer has all one’s senses assaulted by garbage. Try it for a month, you’d be amazed!
The left vs right game is just that, a game devised by the corproate cartel to confuse people, and move them away from seeing the real issues, the real enemies of the people. Both are the same, owned and operated by the corproate cartel. Both have their set roles, one is the “nice guy” and the other the “nasty bully”. Given this country’s obsession with sports, this was a perfect game, don’t you think?
I for one, am sick of it.

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By lichen, November 3, 2010 at 1:02 am Link to this comment

I am so disgusted by the self-righteous, pompous bs of the obamabots. The president made decisions; he has power, and he has used that power, which he 100% chose to despite other choices he was free to make, to murder people in the middle east, prop up big corporations, fight against preserving the ecosystem, spread poverty in his own country, and otherwise continue with the bush administration. He is 100% responsible for this, and should be tried at the hague; not given some babying free pass as if he is still the president elect. He is responsible for expanding the murder campaign in Afganistan, Pakistan, Yemen, for continuing it in Iraq, for appointing like-minded right wing scumbags to various positions in the government. He had choices, and prosecuting all of the serial killer (including clinton’s, obama, bush’s…) politicians is a part of going forward.

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By Psychobabbler, November 3, 2010 at 12:47 am Link to this comment

I would take solace in the coming CSPAN freak show if I had cable. CSPAN should be shown on antenna. That would be helpful and also funny.

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By Gerry Hiles, November 3, 2010 at 12:30 am Link to this comment

This is about the most waste-of-space-‘debates’ I have ever seen.

Total ignorance.

It just goes round and round wit total ignorance about ‘communism’, Marx, liberalism and so on and so on.

No wonder Amerikkka is f****** and leads the world down the tube.

Truthdig is clueless!

It totally supports the Bush/Obama on 911.

What a farce!

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By vruz, November 3, 2010 at 12:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comedy falls short of doing the job the Press should be doing.
Then the Press blames comedy for it.

Mmmmmmm…

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By Inherit The Wind, November 3, 2010 at 12:18 am Link to this comment

Psychobabbler, November 3 at 2:20 am Link to this comment

“That way, his imbecilic pipe-dream of a Socialist revolution he keeps talking about will seem more inevitable to him, as if that would fix anything, rather than just make it worse.”

Did you copy and paste that from the Tea Party web site?

I don’t sense that he is promoting a"Socialist Revolution” as you say like as if he is wanting the red army to march against Washington, unless you could define Socialist Revolution as promoting a more Democratic society that empowers people against the abuses of business etc.

Maybe I am misinterpreting Sir.
******************

Maybe!!!!!

1) I’m about as likely to defend the Teaparty as Dennis Kucinich or Barney Frank.

2) I guess you haven’t been reading Hedges’ regular vomitus in these pages CONTINUALLY calling for a Socialist Revolution.

3) The TP call Obama a Socialist. I never would.

Yeah, I guess maybe you are misinterpreting.

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By David J. Cyr, November 2, 2010 at 11:46 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE: from a Phan of Phreedom (whatever that is) explaining what he thinks a Socialist society would be:

There would always be a middle-class, but the independent middle-class of the free society would be replaced by a dependent one totally subservient to the ruling class.  It would include:
  -a managerial class to run the businesses of the rulers
  -a bureacratic segment to implement the programs handed down from the top
  -s police arm to enforce the edicts
  -an “intellectual” segment (propaganda arm) charged with showing the crimes of the top in the most glowing terms of peace, brotherhood, and humanitarianism.

_____________________

Well, by that definition Obamanation (the criminal continuation of Cheney/Bushnation by much “better” more devious liberal means) would clearly be solidly socialist.

That must be why Obama’s [Socialism and criminal impunity for the biggest felons, ruthless Capitalism for everyone else] corporate party comrades, Cheney and Bush, were so very happy on January 20, 2009.

And I thought Cheney and Bush were so pleased with Obama rising just because he “historically” got far more bribes from corporations than any public criminal ever had before; and because Obama more than doubled the “free speech” [dirty money] flowing into elections, rapidly raising the new normal level for future extortion & bribery (without any help from the Supremes); and because, when Obama campaign promised his American Idol fans that the “dumb” inaccurately termed “Bush’s War” would become necessary wars (plural) and that Single-Payer would not be discussed, all the mindless millions of Obama maniacs were wet loined screaming for joy, like crazed pubescent girls used to at the Beatles’ concerts.

When Obama was just a twinkle in Cheney’s eye, while a 2008 candidate, I predicted that he, like JFK, would make fascism fashionable again. He did… in more ways than one.

Nothing moves America further Right faster than getting more deceitful Democrats elected.

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By Joan Moore, November 2, 2010 at 11:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I read this article in TruthDig on Sunday and again today on ICH and must say that Chris Hedges has hit on something very important and seldom addressed.__But I have read the same thoughts in another most unlikely place…..a work of fiction by Barbara Kingsolver.  In her novel, “Lacuna”, the charactor of a crusading attorney laments that the McCarthy era and the Communist witch hunts of the 50s did incalcuable and permanent damage to the US Republic by making it forever impossible to address rapacious US style capitalism or to solve the nations problems in the future.__Hedges puts it all in clear perspective in this one paragraph:____"The loss of a radical left in American politics has been catastrophic. The left once harbored militant anarchist and communist labor unions, an independent, alternative press, social movements and politicians not tethered to corporate benefactors. But its disappearance, the result of long witch hunts for communists, post-industrialization and the silencing of those who did not sign on for the utopian vision of globalization, means that there is no counterforce to halt our slide into corporate neofeudalism. This harsh reality, however, is not palatable. So the corporations that control mass communications conjure up the phantom of a left. They blame the phantom for our debacle. And they get us to speak in absurdities.“____I’m reminded too of the late Studs Terkel when he opined that the US Labor movement was devastated of it’s most active and dedicated members when the Socialists and Communists were expelled.  Labor then overreached to show itself as loyal to the USA and became involved with the State Department to overthrow left wing governments in Latin America under the guise of promoting free trade union movements.  George Meany was famous for being a rabid cold warrior and for using the power of the US Labor movement to repress left leaning unions.  We will probably never know how much damage was done around the world as the result of the cooperation between the AFL-CIO and the CIA.__It was the beginning of the end of a true trade union movement in the USA and now we are seeing the end result…..........

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By Morpheus, November 2, 2010 at 11:31 pm Link to this comment

Wake up people. The Revolution has started.

Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( http://www.revolution2.osixs.org )
We don’t have to live like this anymore.

Obama, Democrats and Republicans can’t help us.

We don’t get anything done in this country because we like to sit around and talk ourselves out of it. We are good a complaining and not much else. Millions of people are hurting in this country while we tweet about it, blog about it, and comment about it. Well now you can do something about it.

It’s time to grow up…

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By David J. Cyr, November 2, 2010 at 11:25 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE: dburn asks, “If the democratic system is not influenced by the votes of citizens, then how was Barack Obama elected in 2008?”
____________________

The same way every POTUS is “elected” in America, and the seating for every other office of any importance is also determined. Corporate money pre-selects which mug it wants to be its champion and which will take the dive, then the media instructs the (R) & (D) sheeple in how to corporate obediently vote.

If an accident happens and the bum gets way more votes, it don’t matter… the same shit is delivered either way.

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By PhreedomPhan, November 2, 2010 at 11:00 pm Link to this comment

entropy2, I wasn’t aware Spooner was an “anarchist,” although what I’ve read of his writings certainly shows support for limiting the power of government.  I’ve liked what I read.

I’m afraid I won’t be able to read up on your brand of anarchy.  I won’t get 1/10 of what I want to read done before my ticket’s punched.  My bucket list is long, but I suspect I haven’t a lot of time left in the bucket.

If I did have the time, I would try to read some of what you suggest.  I read just about anything from anybody, I don’t care if they would be called left or right or centrist.  If I skim the book and think it may have something worthwhile, I get it.  I’ve found truth from surprising sources.  Of course, in many cases there’s also a generous portion of lies, half-truths, omissions, and distortions.  I’ve accumulated a library of over 1000 books not to mention couple of hundred ebooks on my computer.

Everything gets co-opted these days, but it’s nothing new.  Economic royalist Hamilton and his nationalists co-opted “Federalist” because most Americans at the time wanted a federal government and not a national one.  This resulted in the true Federalists being called the “anti-Federalists.”  I really don’t like predetermined, one-size-fits-all definitions.  If I get involved in a lengthy discussion [not often any more], I like to provide my own definitions of terms and labels I use.

BTW, didn’t you mean “left-wing corporate-statists?” wink

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By Psychobabbler, November 2, 2010 at 10:20 pm Link to this comment

“That way, his imbecilic pipe-dream of a Socialist revolution he keeps talking about will seem more inevitable to him, as if that would fix anything, rather than just make it worse.”

Did you copy and paste that from the Tea Party web site?

I don’t sense that he is promoting a"Socialist Revolution” as you say like as if he is wanting the red army to march against Washington, unless you could define Socialist Revolution as promoting a more Democratic society that empowers people against the abuses of business etc.

Maybe I am misinterpreting Sir.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 2, 2010 at 9:51 pm Link to this comment

I’m sure Chris Hedges is very happy tonight, but he’d be happier if the GOP took the Senate as well.  That way, his imbecilic pipe-dream of a Socialist revolution he keeps talking about will seem more inevitable to him, as if that would fix anything, rather than just make it worse.

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By garth, November 2, 2010 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment

I just got some of the results of the Senatorial elections, when my brother reminded me of the building in our home towm that used to be the ‘poor farm’.  It’s where they stored the elderly before Social Security who had no savings and no family.  It stood at the top of a hill on the way out of town and looked like something from the Boris Karloff movie, “Bedlam”.

I was converted to condominiums. 

Maybe a little too soon.  The way Rand Paul is sounding, with cutting spending and all that jazz (he means Medicare and Social Security, even though, SS does not add one bit to the debt) we might be needing more poor farms before these jackboots get finished.

The Democrats were like the weak-kneed Weimar government.  How could they be expected to fight for something they believe in when they don’t believe in anything?  Except themselves.

I feel like I felt in 2000 and 2004.

In those elections, I thought the voters for Bush were stupid.  Now, I can see.  The voters who voted Tea Party and Republican are crazy.

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By James Kenworthy, November 2, 2010 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I can’t say it often enough. It is up to us, the people. Electing the right people is only a temporary solution.The corporations use money for blood. Deprive them of the money and hack them to bits. Don’t take part in buying the stuff you can do without. All we have to do is work together for love and mutual respect and we can do without the “stuff” that the corporations have convinced us we want and need. 

So, so needs labels? Call it what you will.

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By c.hanna, November 2, 2010 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment

Chris Hedges has been coming out with some very strong and good articles surrounding this issue of right/left “phantom”.

It is all entertainment, just as they have a whole station dedicated to child murders, missing children, murdered spouses, etc etc. I can’t remember the name of it but its part of CNN I think. It struck me that these shows are making millions of money off sick crimes and they show the stories over and over…so its not about “justice” but entertainment.

The country is making a hard right turn. Not that it wasn’t already right moving. But its going to be a real 90 degree turn and we are all going to pay the price.

If I had the means I would leave this country now. Those that are most responsible for destroying it (and looting it) will be the ones with a life boat. The rest of us get to suffer, even if we did what we could to stop the insanity.

Michael Rivero’s Quote:
“The last official act of any government is to loot the nation”.

How true. Not only of wealthy but everything.

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By truedigger3, November 2, 2010 at 7:40 pm Link to this comment

Re: By Inherit The Wind November 2 at 5:22 pm

ITW wrote:
“What we need is a true meritocracy—we don’t have that either—with adequate safety nets for the less able.  Public goods should be held by the public, and not privatized. But private goods should be private.

So the river and the street belong to us all and need to be protected from misuse and abuse, but my house is MY house, and not yours.  It’s just that simple and neither the Marxists nor the teabaggers can figure that out.”
___________________________________

Surprise! I agree with ITW.
I add that the Federal Reserve Bank shoud be nationalized in addition to oil, gas, coal, electricity generation and distribution and logging in national forests should all be owned by the whole people.

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By sallysense, November 2, 2010 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment

(and still… inherit the wind… “when in the course of human events”... the corporate strings of otherwise will try to render the artistic stream of consciousness within a “declaration of independence” et al etc useless for political discussions too)... smile

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By entropy2, November 2, 2010 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment

@PhreedomPhan—nice sites (liked the quote from that ol’ anarchist Lysander Spooner). People hear the word “anarchy” and instantly think “chaos,” “no laws,” “survival by brute force.” It usually conjures up images of walleyed swarthy men chucking those round 19th century bombs.

Wrong.

All I can say is that the corporate media and educational system has done its propaganda job well. Take some time to study the history of anarchism and modern-day anarchism - from Proudhon, Benjamin Tucker and Bakunin to Samuel E. Konkin III and Kevin Carson.

In any case, if anarchism is too scary a word, call it Mutualism, left-libertarianism (actually, the U.S. is the only place where the term “libertarian” has been co-opted by right-wing corporate-statists), market socialism, etc.

Anyway, anarchists are NOT about getting rid of the state, THEN seeing what happens next. We’re about (as I said earlier) building voluntary social and economic structures from the ground up, outside the shadow of the state-corporate hegemony, ultimately rendering it an irrelevant and impotent shell.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 2, 2010 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

Sallysense:

As Hawkeye said to Radar when the latter was trying to be “poetic” and metaphoric :

“Just suffer. Don’t try to write.”

“Artistic” “Stream of Consciousness” is useless in political discussions. 

Radson: I liked green tea, but only when there’s a platter of sushi or sashimi with a bucket of soy sauce and a mound of wasabi.

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By Matzpen, November 2, 2010 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The point now is to build a left that can give a proper fight back to the Tea Baggers
http://sherrytalksback.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/caught-in-the-election-crossfire/

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By PhreedomPhan, November 2, 2010 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment

Thanks for the support and the links, entropy2.  I’ll download the book later today.  I disagree at first glance with the site that suggests anarchy as the answer.  This was the old claim of Socialism.  After the totalitarian period during which Socialism would be established, all people were to be equal in a classless society and government was to mysteriously melt away. 

My brother, who had an analytical mind but was not the most political person I’ve known, saw the game.  He said the result of socialism would be a two class society with the wealthy at the top and the rest of us at the bottom.  I could see the logic in his thinking and often quoted it.  Later, after having gained more experience, I realized his error.  There would always be a middle-class, but the independent middle-class of the free society would be replaced by a dependent one totally subservient to the ruling class.  It would include:
  -a managerial class to run the businesses of the rulers
  -a bureacratic segment to implement the programs handed down from the top
  -s police arm to enforce the edicts
  -an “intellectual” segment (propaganda arm) charged with showing the crimes of the top in the most glowing terms of peace, brotherhood, and humanitarianism. 

To extend what I said about the spectrum and explain my objection to anarchy I add this.  When I first saw this logical explanation from two sources it was accompanied by illustrations.  The first depicted it as a horseshoe and the second as a circle.  Both had a small gap between the two extremes.  The point was made that, from any point to the left of anarchy, it was a long distance to totalitarianism.  Would be tyrants would have to move slowly toward their goal to avoid alerting their intended victims.  But the separation between anarchy and tyranny was short.  It needed only a galvanizing force to generate a spark that could jump the narrow gap and place us under totalitarian rule.

Just to clarify, selection of the “left” for totalitarian government and the “right” for anarchy was arbitrary.  Anyone who feels more comfortable thinking of totalitarianism as “right-wing” can just invert the spectrum. Communism would then be the extreme “right” and Fascism the extreme “left” of the “right.”

You might find some of the info in my blogs of interest, especially the “New World Order – Death of America” in lostliberty and “America’s Ruling Party” in americasenemies:

http://phreedomphan-lostliberty.blogspot.com/
http://phreedomphan-americasenemies.blogspot.com/

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By DavidByron, November 2, 2010 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

Funniest sign I saw was:

(picture of Beck)
“Don’t fear the Weeper!”

Mine sign said:

“Communism:
If they are against it,
I’m for it.”

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By Anarcissie, November 2, 2010 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

I wonder if even two people in this torrent of froth are using terms like ‘liberal’ and ‘left’ in the same way.

I suppose it doesn’t matter.

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By sallysense, November 2, 2010 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

hiya inherit the wind’n'all!... and gee… why build sidetracks that do nothing but detour the real issues at hand?... hence how is a path paved with personal opinions of poetry gonna help solve the actual problems a land and people face?”...

(there’s much more important things to do!)...

how quickly an earth full of people can forget that we’re all each just a human being…
a planet sustains us while every brain on it loses some of their own human common bond…
becoming living renditions of ideas caught between walls of space created by thought…
where basic states of awareness get lost in man-made homelands of contradiction!...

////
00
o
O

“so where can i see the bigger picture of everyone else?”...

\\\
00
o
o

“just stop looking at that snapshot of only your own self!”...

(there’s so many important things that need to be done elsewhere!)...

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

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By radson, November 2, 2010 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

Inherit :may I suggest a cup of Green Tea it does have the ability to sooth .Nevertheless your post is well taken and anyone out there that thinks that the Stalinist model is worthy of consideration has not read and or understood the Terror.Which brings us to where? it seems like the starting point once again somewhat like an ouroboros that can’t find an opening or an alternative .Chris in reality is not advocating a Third Party ,whether that is due to patriotism and or pride is in essence his prerogative ,but his understanding that the system has run amuck is valid ,however his critical view of the Liberals and their ineptitude to
maintain certain institutions ,which have historically been the Liberal class hallmarks -through compromise- is justifiable,hence his ‘CH’ anger at the acquiesces of the Liberals towards the Corporatists and their
monetary influence at the expense of the general populace.

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By johnny, November 2, 2010 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment

I am a friend from the Pleiades constellation.  Here are the answers you seek:

http://ni4d.us/

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By Ed Lytwak, November 2, 2010 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment

With due respect for the honesty, clarity and passion of Chris Hedges analysis, he has left one thing out from the causes of the “disappearance” of the left – its intellectual failure to conceive of a future that is different from the past.  This failure provides a narrative of history repeating itself over and over again, class war left vs right, liberal vs. conservative, progressive vs. tea bagger, Democratic vs Republican parties.  As Hegel has said, history repeats itself first as tragedy and then as farce. 

With today’s elections clearly marking the completion of the historical farce of American democracy, it is time to look to the real drivers of our history.  The people and social movements that are moving to a future very unlike the past.  The “phantom” left created by the media and its’ screens is a good diversion, especially for those most interested in maintaining it.  Today there are many people building a future that does not include liberal or conservative, progressive or tea bagger.  They are quietly working to build a parallel economy, society and culture in the very time and space of the existing reality that Hedges describes.  They are working to provide the very basics of individual, social and cultural survival food, shelter, right livelihoods and a community support network.

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By Gerry Hiles, November 2, 2010 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind

I’ll give you a hint.

People like you.

I’l give you another hint.

Minds set in concrete.

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By REDHORSE, November 2, 2010 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment

I’m suprised Mr.Hedges is suprised that the Stewart/Colbert rally turned out to be another great American non-event. His observation that the line between entertainment and politics is blurred beyond recognition is spot on. In reality (my opinion) discussions about Left/Right, Liberal/Conservative, Democrat/Republican are delusional. There’s a train coming down the tunnel larger than our self-indulgent opinionated squabbles or the horrendous consequences of the political thuggery we are about to experience. World reality, consciousness, natural resources, population and climate have already reached the point of no return. The criminal machinations of Wealth may preserve protected “enclaves” for a while but money isn’t blood, bone and soul. In the end blood, bone and soul are the only real currency.(What do you think a Union is?) Hint: Our Native American friends have a ceremony for making “family”. Got one?

    There are Americans putting their lives and bodies on the line for Human Rights, American Freedom and sane environmental law. They are already listed, photographed and identified. Do you remember the origens of the Pinkerton Agency or have any grasp of the murderous reality Americans endured to establish a working/middle class? Next time you’re in Colorado stop by the Ludlow Massacre Monument. Well, you can run but you can’t hide.

    Modern American activists are fighting to preserve our and their moral human compass. Blood, bone and soul. The profligate thugs in D.C. lost theirs long ago. Believing in human worth, dignity, enlightened thought and social progress isn’t “Left”. It’s human. Modern World social consciousness, technological evolution and the “freight train” effect I mentioned above define the new reality. Paranoid criminals, though dangerous, have only the POWER YOU allow them to have over your life. Bargain with the Devil at your own risk.

    Mr. Hedges laments the loss of the “Left”. Next time you see a video of “Latino” protest in L.A. look for the Commandante Zero masked men in the crowd. The real Castro/Che socialist “Left” is flooding northward into the U.S. daily. Its already experienced the Capitalist/Fascist landscape now approaching you. Survived the School of the Americas death squad dictatorships you allowed and stood hungry, cold and alone in the no-mans-land landscape of mindless corporate exploitation. It’s armed, organized and can put tens of thousands in the streets at the drop of a hat. It even has a louder political voice than you. And it VOTES!! Both Dimocrats and Rethuglicans are afraid of it.

  Its chief advantage is that it, like the criminals in D.C. has no illusions and holds none about an “imaginary” America. It works to eat, and lives right on the edge. Its allegiance is to itself. Not Washington. And D.C. criminals know it.

  The Rovian thugs are dangerous and desperate. They must manufacture political frankenloons and play to the lowest elements of the American psyche to cover their crimes. They’ve reached the end. Don’t get crushed in their collapse.

    Remember. We have choices. And, the POWER is ours. We’re about to get an ass whipping. Again—Major Campaign Finance Reform NOW!! If President O won’t act he’s gone in 2012. Sleep at your own peril.

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By Gerry Hiles, November 2, 2010 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

@ Inherit The Wind

Of course I have it figured out why I keep getting banned, you silly person ... go figure.

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By radson, November 2, 2010 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment

Hello TDers

For all you TDers that are interested in CH interviews ,here is one that he did this morning in Toronto Canada . The web site is the following ‘The Current.cbc ’ with Anna Maria Tremonti and afterwards click on
‘Part Three’ 

enjoy.

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By consensus is illusion, November 2, 2010 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you, Mr. Hedges, for speaking the truth with insight and passion.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 2, 2010 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

Gerry Hiles:

You haven’t figured out YET why you keep getting banned? Perhaps you need to review what and how you post.

Sallysense: While you can post anything you damn please, cheesy rhyme (i won’t even dignify it by calling it “poetry”)that goes on forever is truly boring.  If you think you can write poetry, I suggest you find a site that likes to cater to would-be poets.

Tesla: There has never been a socialist utopia because of the fundamental flaws of the socialist concept: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.  Translation: We are to be slaves and beggers in our dealings with our fellow men and women.

We will never have a true “egalitarian” society. In those that claimed to be, somehow the party bosses got the best apartments, food and dachas—no surprise. The society you advocate always turns into a tyranny. Open your eyes.

What we need is a true meritocracy—we don’t have that either—with adequate safety nets for the less able.  Public goods should be held by the public, and not privatized. But private goods should be private.

So the river and the street belong to us all and need to be protected from misuse and abuse, but my house is MY house, and not yours.  It’s just that simple and neither the Marxists nor the teabaggers can figure that out.

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By Tara, November 2, 2010 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hedges hits it out of the park again.  I had the same feeling about the false left/right equivalency that Stewart is so fond of pushing. 

I watched the rally live and wrote about it immediately on my little corner of the class war resistance. (http://republicanDirtyTricks.com

Perhaps he does it to seem neutral and “above it all” but I think it’s as dangerous and harmful to the country as he accused the silver-spooned-bowtie-boy Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala of being in his 2004 Crossfire appearance.

I hope the rally helps get young people out to vote, but I fear it has also done damage to the truth - which as we know - has a well documented liberal bias.

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