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Why Liberal Sellouts Attack Prophets Like Cornel West

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Posted on May 22, 2011
Mr. Fish

By Chris Hedges

The liberal class, which attempted last week to discredit the words my friend Cornel West spoke about Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, prefers comfort and privilege to justice, truth and confrontation. Its guiding ideological stance is determined by what is most expedient to the careers of its members. It refuses to challenge, in a meaningful way, the decaying structures of democracy or the ascendancy of the corporate state. It glosses over the relentless assault on working men and women and the imperial wars that are bankrupting the nation. It proclaims its adherence to traditional liberal values while defending and promoting systems of power that mock these values.The pillars of the liberal establishment—the press, the church, culture, the university, labor and the Democratic Party—all honor an unwritten quid pro quo with corporations and the power elite, as well as our masters of war, on whom they depend for money, access and positions of influence. Those who expose this moral cowardice and collaboration with corporate power are always ruthlessly thrust aside.

The capitulation of the liberal class to corporate capitalism, as Irving Howe once noted, has “bleached out all political tendencies.” The liberal class has become, Howe wrote, “a loose shelter, a poncho rather than a program; to call oneself a liberal one doesn’t really have to believe in anything.” The decision to subordinate ethics to political expediency has led liberals to steadily surrender their moral autonomy, voice and beliefs to the dictates of the corporate state. As Dwight Macdonald wrote in “The Root Is Man,” those who do not make human beings the center of their concern soon lose the capacity to make any ethical choices, for they willingly sacrifice others in the name of the politically expedient and practical.

By extolling the power of the state as an agent of change, as well as measuring human progress through the advances of science, technology and consumption, liberals abetted the cult of the self and the ascendancy of the corporate state. The liberal class placed its faith in the inevitability of human progress and abandoned the human values that should have remained at the core of its activism. The state, now the repository of the hopes and dreams of the liberal class, should always have been seen as the enemy. The destruction of the old radical and militant movements—the communists, socialists and anarchists—has left liberals without a source of new ideas. The link between an effective liberal class and a more radical left was always essential to the health of the former. The liberal class, by allowing radical movements to be dismembered through Red baiting and by banishing those within its ranks who had moral autonomy, gradually deformed basic liberal tenets to support unfettered capitalism, the national security state, globalization and permanent war. Liberalism, cut off from the radical roots of creative and bold thought, merged completely with the corporate power elite. The liberal class at once was betrayed and betrayed itself. And it now functions like a commercial brand, giving a different flavor, face or spin to the ruthless mechanisms of corporate power. This, indeed, is the primary function of Barack Obama.

The liberal class, despite becoming an object of widespread public scorn, prefers the choreographed charade. It will decry the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or call for universal health care, but continue to defend and support a Democratic Party that has no intention of disrupting the corporate machine. As long as the charade is played, the liberal class can hold itself up as the conscience of the nation without having to act. It can maintain its privileged economic status. It can continue to live in an imaginary world where democratic reform and responsible government exist. It can pretend it has a voice and influence in the corridors of power. But the uselessness and irrelevancy of the liberal class are not lost on the tens of millions of Americans who suffer the indignities of the corporate state. And this is why liberals are rightly despised by the working class and the poor.

The liberal class is incapable of reforming itself. It does not hold within its ranks the rebels and iconoclasts who have the moral or physical courage to defy the corporate state and power elite. And when someone such as Cornel West speaks out, packs of careerist liberals—or perhaps one should call them neoliberals—descend on the apostate like hellhounds, never addressing the truths that are expressed but instead engaging in vicious character assassination. The same thing happened to Ralph Nader, Noam Chomsky, Dennis Kucinich, Jeremiah Wright and others who defied the political orthodoxy of corporate capitalism. The corporate forces, which have taken control of the press and which break unions, run the universities, fund the arts and own the Democratic Party, demand the banishment of all who question the good intentions of the powerful. Liberals who comply are tolerated within the system. They are permitted to busy themselves with the boutique activism of political correctness, inclusiveness or multiculturalism. If they attempt to fight for the primacy of justice, they become pariahs.

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katsteevns's avatar

By katsteevns, May 29, 2011 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment

By TAO Walker,

TW - “Like many among the inmates of the “self”-imposed “global” gulag, “katsteevns” continues to knock, loudly, what s/he obviously has never actually tried.  First take The Medicine, as prescribed below.  Then if, after “katsteevns (or any “one) does that, through the full course-of-treatment spelled-out in the four “Steps, ALL of the benefits described aren’t realized, we’ll happily give his/her “individual” half-life back….less, of course, whatever of it has in-the-mean"time” been lost to the inevitable attrition of natural “radio-active” decay.”


WE? Who is we? Draw us a picture, would you?

OK, so I give TW all my “stuff” to hold while I transcend to the heights of nirvana. Then if I decide that I would rather be miserable, TW will restore all my “stuff”. Good deal! This is a much better deal than the fundamentalist cult I am familiar with that takes all your “stuff”, puts it in the pockets of the elders and then gives you the boot, minus your “stuff”, if they disapprove of your thought patterns.


TW - “A ‘place’ “katsteevns” might start, on The Way to getting-over her/his “self,” could be in studying-up on the so-called “Stockholm syndrome”.  S/he appears (cringing there before the “dominance”-paradigm dumb-show of the make-believe “power”-ful, who’re easily the most grievously deluded among all those taken-hostage by the tormenting entities) to have a full-blown “case” of it….but, even so, ” You should not feel so all alone.””

Stockholm Syndrome - very interesting. The majority here suffer from that. But it does not address/prove your “make believe power” assertion. To learn otherwise, bring yourself to California and put on some black-face. Proceed to get busted 3 times for possession of pot, at which point you will receive a life sentence. After you have appealed to no avail, tell me that you do not “feel the power” of the State.

Just because gross injustice is not in proximity to you does not mean that you are then without complicity in it’s protraction.

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By Leefeller, May 29, 2011 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

“The Tiyoshpaye” Way reminds me just for the heck of it…  of something I had demonstrated to me recently, which was called the cowboy way, ...which .... was the cowboy way of drinking Tequila! For some unknowing reason brings me to the French way?

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By TAO Walker, May 29, 2011 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

Like many among the inmates of the “self”-imposed “global” gulag, “katsteevns” continues to knock, loudly, what s/he obviously has never actually tried.  First take The Medicine, as prescribed below.  Then if, after “katsteevns (or any “one) does that, through the full course-of-treatment spelled-out in the four “Steps, ALL of the benefits described aren’t realized, we’ll happily give his/her “individual” half-life back….less, of course, whatever of it has in-the-mean"time” been lost to the inevitable attrition of natural “radio-active” decay.

A ‘place’ “katsteevns” might start, on The Way to getting-over her/his “self,” could be in studying-up on the so-called “Stockholm syndrome”.  S/he appears (cringing there before the “dominance”-paradigm dumb-show of the make-believe “power”-ful, who’re easily the most grievously deluded among all those taken-hostage by the tormenting entities) to have a full-blown “case” of it….but, even so, ” You should not feel so all alone.” 

It might help “screamingpalm” (who also presents here as suffering from that widespread captivity-caused CONdition), in taking “Step 1,” to leave-off chronically defining Life Herownself’s Song ‘n’ Dance in-terms of the many ailments symptomatic of the"civilization” disease.  Cutting-back some on the use of the first-person-singular, in at-least written communications, might also free-up some precious attention for more worthwhile (and likely even effectively stress-relieving) “exercises” in getting “screamingpalm” over her “self.” 

Whether “others” in her vicinity are “individual”-ists or not (which she can only be guessing-about, anyhow) really shouldn’t be a factor in whether she and her Children can ‘move’ from the virtual world-o’-hurt into the Free Wild Natural Living Arrangement (which is right now All ‘round them).  It is only her own usurping fear-ridden “self” keeping them stuck in the eCONo-TRAPtion, after-all.

We can thank “elisalouisa” for reminding us, in the midst of more of the doom-and-gloom accompanying Chris Hedges’ (and most of his scribe-tribe’s) CONstant but inCONtinet complaining, of just how much misery does in-fact love company.  In the example she offered, a ways back down this thread, featuring a couple of usually-at-loggerheads participants here who can nevertheless evidently see ‘I’-to-‘I’ on their common dislike-of and disdain-for this Old Indian’s observations, we see a willingness in “one” ‘Miserable’ to overlook in the “other” what would normally be deal-breaking differences, just to get a little….....company, that is.  ‘Cause neither of ‘em still “....can’t get no satisfaction.” 

Ain’t this one hell of a note?!

HokaHey!

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By katsteevns, May 29, 2011 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

@ Wow Talker

  And…......as far as I can tell, you haven’t offered up any evidence that this elaborate world you live in actually exists outside your mind.

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By katsteevns, May 28, 2011 at 9:55 pm Link to this comment

By TAO Walker,

” “time” is only make-believe, a kind of toxic by-product of the “civilization” disease fever-dream….a biochemical delusion, a mass-hallucination generated in the throes of an epidemic delirium.”

I agree with you that “time” is more of a hindrance than a helper, that we would be better off without it. But I also think that it is an effective tool used for ill by those who want to control the lives of others to their benefit. In other words, those who utilize “time” can effectively manipulate the lives of those who do not, or whose use of time is limited to preparing for growing seasons and adverse weather.

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By Anarcissie, May 28, 2011 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment

My strategy for moving people (including myself) along to a different sense of self and community is to try to set up experiences which contradict what has been imposed on us.  In other words one takes the steps on can.  For instance, I go out with Food Not Bombs and share food with anyone who comes along in a park.  For an hour or two we—Food Not Bombers and passers-by alike—experience the possibility of abundance, the ‘paradise of communism’ (a shocking phrase, eh?)  Possibly some minds are changed.  I have also been involved with free stores which serve a similar purpose.  There may be many routes forward.  We change the world by changing ourselves; we change ourselves by changing the world.  We learn how to do it by doing it.

There is a lot of thought and some experience, available out on the Net, about how working people can combine to escape the necessity of depending on bosses to live.  But it can’t be imposed on anyone by force.  They have to want to do it. 

Sorry to be so idealistic this evening.  Must be the weather.

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By katsteevns, May 28, 2011 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment

@ TAO Walker
“Step 1:..... abject subservience to the damned thing’s make-believe “dominance” paradigm.”

Would this include the make believe 50 hour work weeks at increasingly lower pay that pay the mortgage, lights, food, et cetera?

“Step 2:  Give their undivided precious attention, once freed from the degenerate demands of “self”-satisfaction, to sensing and responding-to the actual needs of our Whole Living Arrangement, as these are presented to them right where he and they are all living and breathing (more-or-less) together right now.

Seems like a lonely road that will remain so as long as the people in your environment do not shed the bonds of the dominant paradigm as well. Many people spend their whole lives bending over backwards for others and nothing changes.

“Step 3:  Do Steps 1 and 2 joyously and with unconditional spontaneous affection.”

Once again, very difficult in a work-a-day world and asking people to reject family traditions and all that makes them belong. Not to mention the backlash from the family and friends of all who take this road.

“Step 4:  Persevere fearlessly in Steps 1, 2, and 3, until the “civilization” fever-dream is broken, and he and they all (even including Chris Hedges and Cornell West) reawaken to the Natural Fact that the Song ‘n’ Dance of Life Herownself is all there is or ever was or ever will be….and that this, not the nothing-and-nowhere of “civilization,” is their Native Country.”

And what of those who hold all the economic power and military might? They will most certainly reject your “way” and will use all the tools available to them to make sure your “virus” does not spread to a level that will threaten their money stream.

Sounds like this could get violent. Are you willing to have your blood spilled to further your beliefs?

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By screamingpalm, May 28, 2011 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

@TAO Walker:

There is, of course, a lot of truth in what you are saying. Ken Burns noted how important our National Parks are in preserving that natural connection with nature we feel when visiting these places.

However, as others have noted, I have no idea how to live the Tiyoshpaye Way- even with the general outline you provided. I try my best, but am not even close to getting there. With three small children, if I were to pack up my family and move into the wild I’m sure I’d be breaking all sorts of laws and end up in jail- if I even firgured out how to survive. If it is survival of the fittest- well, I am not very “fit”. :D

I am curious about natural medicine that you speak of. I have hypersonia (require an immense amount of sleep) which may stem from mild sleep apnea (I stop breathing in my sleep throughout the night).

Lastly, and I mean no disrespect, I believe it is easy for you to say much of this as I assume you have a community to fall back on. I ask you to walk in our shoes for a moment and imagine being surrounded by individualists. I would imagine that it is not so easy to do any of this alone?

Or perhaps I am still trying to understand.

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By mc.murphy, May 28, 2011 at 12:31 pm Link to this comment

By hrayovac, May 28 at 11:44 am

I was right. There wasn’t an intelligent response in the bunch.

What’s your fucking point? If you want an intelligent response, you need to first
make yourself intelligible!

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By hrayovac, May 28, 2011 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

I was right. There wasn’t an intelligent response in the bunch. Listen, the weed I
smoked back in the day was better than the hydroponic (SP?) stuff we are smoking
now. I think this is our problem, LOL. Somebody engineered out the
“enlightenment” part of getting high and left in the confused, gullible and lazy
element. That’s the only explanation I can come up with for all the folks who
think that complaining and philosophizing all your life (called crying) is
constructive and thinking that taking part in society outside of your own needs is
“the work of devils.” The country has changed and left you behind. Our kids
integrate much better than we did.

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By TAO Walker, May 28, 2011 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

If “katsteevns” will conscientiously follow the four “Steps” mentioned below, s/he will reawaken to the Natural Fact that there is no “box.”  There is no “cocoon.”  So there can be neither “inside” nor “outside” either.  S/he’ll remember, too, that “time” is only make-believe, a kind of toxic by-product of the “civilization” disease fever-dream….a biochemical delusion, a mass-hallucination generated in the throes of an epidemic delirium.

Or s/he can “sit back” and sink further into the nightmare at its rotten core, to be “excused” (The Spanish-language equivalent means “flushed.”), finally (but only after going on the absolute motherfucker of all “bad trips”), into the loving arms of Oblivion….until the next “time.”  There just ain’t any easy-way-out….all the “training” to-the-CONtrary notwithstanding.

So why not take The Tiyoshpaye Way….strait as it might be, at-first.

HokaHey!

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By mc.murphy, May 28, 2011 at 10:55 am Link to this comment

hrayovac, May 28 at 5:59 am
hrayovac, May 28 at 6:21 am

“I’m gonna give it one more shot to reach…”

Was that the big shot in two parts?
Are you addressing kindergardeners, or are you just a first grader yourself?

Sitting out is an answer though likely not a solution, it speaks to no confidence.
Voting for Ron Paul would be a far better way , though, to express no
confidence in the Uniparty system, because that would totally turn the whole
murderous Foreign Policy establishment on its head and bring 500 billion per
year home, to say nothing of war crimes and carnage.

Since the, now unitary, President has no power to legislate anything, not much
would change on his capitalist libertarian front - that’s your Congress screwing
you. But he could, single handedly, destroy the neocons wet dream agenda of
world domination and Empire by force.

And since I can prioritize this sort of prioritizing as proposed by a new Third
Party: The National Progressive Alliance (born at FDL) is right off the bat,
morally bankrupt navel gazing.:

FULL Employment!
Medicare for ALL!
CIVIL Rights! HUMAN Rights! Civil LIBERTIES!
FAIR Trade!
End the Wars NOW!

For if you move #5 to #1, then you’ll have $500 billion to apply to NPA’s first
two priorities… So very smart and committed people on the ‘progressive’ left
have it all ass backward, and do not understand one fucking thing:

We Have A Unitary Presidency!!! A Unitary President can do but one thing
without deferring to the wisdom of Congress:  Start and End Wars!

http://mosquitocloud.net/

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By TAO Walker, May 28, 2011 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

This Old Man thanks “Anarcissie” for the advice offered below.  The blanket envelopment with which the invasive retro-viral “self” (in both its “super”- and “mini”-I/ME/MY/MINE apparitions) has managed to all-but suffocate the Natural Person-hood of its “huddled masses” of Human hosts and hostesses, and its temporary “success” in tricking them into transmitting it from generation-to-generation, is “written” plain-to-see all over “the face” of our Mother Earth….and in the fear-and-pain-wracked visages and the disease-ridden and CONtorted birthday-suits of so many of those “self”-same captive peoples, too.

Getting-over the CONdition is, of-course (as “Anarcissie” suggests), an enormously difficult and daunting undertaking….perhaps especially so here in the terminal phase of the disease process, when the tormenting entities are hanging-on like grim death, and clinging most desperately to their few “self”-chosen “stoolies” among the general population.  Surely that makes it not any-the-less but much more imperative for our tame Sisters and Brothers to take those four simple (which is not at-all to say easy) Steps in that Good Direction….The Direction (as our People say) in which we are ALL always facing anyhow, along The Tiyoshpaye Way, The Good Red Road into The Hoop of Life.

That this all be (for now anyway) “understood and accepted,” however, by the “huddled masses” of the subspecies homo domesticus, is maybe not as critical, to The Medicine’s immediate and even long-term remedial effectiveness, as “Anarcissie” (and prob’ly many here) may be inclined to believe.  It isn’t necessary to be an “internist,” f’r instance, to benefit from following a prescribed therapeutic regimen.  It isn’t necessary even to be aware that some Natural (“anti-viral”) Medicine is present and “working,” for The People to get The Good of it.  In-fact, it’s maybe better, at-least early-on, if they’re not burdened and maybe further CONfused by “too much information.” 

Just take The Medicine.  Do the “exercises” (or, as we say, The Ceremonies). Get well.  What could be more readily understood than that?  Acceptance is always altogether up to Free Wild Natural Persons and Peoples.  What could be more respectful, of the Natural Imperatives of the given organic response-abilities of our Essential Human Nature, than that?

So, who’s up for some “self”-sacrifice….no, not of all “else” TO the damned thing anymore, but OF it for the sake of ALL-concerned?

ALL TOGETHER NOW!!!!

HokaHey!

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By katsteevns, May 28, 2011 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

@ TAO Walker

So, you obviously must have your entire family and friends living “outside-the-box”/deprogrammed,  since you have “ventured out” to preaching it to others. Makes me wonder why you spend time here (outside-the-cocoon)or even HAVE time to be spending here on forums. Well, I would sure like to witness that! Maybe you could write a book. Then again, a book might attract unwanted attention from an irate IRS who sees that you have circumvented the system.
  I do agree with you though, on some level, because it is like pulling teeth to get people organized in a boycott of obviously more-harm-than-good corporate entities. So, let us just sit back and watch as our freedoms vanish into thin air(poof!), one by one.
  And that old argument that the world is too small to sustain everyone on it is BS unless someone shows me the comprehensive study signed by Wolfowitz and other champions of the status quo.! They talk as if they actually care about making sure that Iraq War victims displaced families will have enough to eat in future generations.

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By Anarcissie, May 28, 2011 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

Doug1943—Actually, socialism does work, if you use the original definition: ‘Ownership and control of the means of production by the workers.’  There are hundred of thousands, probably millions, of such enterprises, and more all the time, they tell me.

In regard to sudden changes, I think some negative ones might work well.  I’d like to see the Drug War terminated immediately.  Of course, this would make recreational drugs very cheap and put all the people who now make a living from the drug trade and the prison-industrial complex out of business; they would have to find something to do, and if unrehabilitated might turn to brigandage.  I suppose similar considerations might apply to the war & imperialism business.  But I do think these problems could be solved.

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By Anarcissie, May 28, 2011 at 8:00 am Link to this comment

TAO Walker, May 28 at 7:31 am:

‘Step 1, (for “directions”-dependent Gary Mont, et al):  Get-over their sickening “self,” ...’

Except for a very few persons whose sense of self has been deliberately constructed (possibly as a heroic escape from catastrophic mental illness), people’s selfhood is something imposed on them beginning in infancy and, by the time they are becoming rational human beings, midway through childhood (if ever), has become almost entirely unconscious and deeply ingrained, providing a framework for almost everything they do.  Dropping or changing this sense of self is, therefore, a very big order.  If you’re going to bother speaking to people in general at all, you might as well recognize this, because otherwise your ideas are not going to be understood, much less accepted.

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By Doug1943, May 28, 2011 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie: Yes, you are right. Most people, so long as the system is functioning reasonably well, do not want radical change of any sort, either collectivist or anti-collectivist. And they are right.

And it’s certainly true that people will assent to certain propositions, whose implementation would entail radical changes that they would never agree with.

Most radical change requires people to buy a “pig in a poke”, and our experience has innoculated us against making such purchases.

That’s why even in a liberal state like California, drug legalization fails at the ballot box. It will come—I hope—but only piecemeal.

Radical change (of the collectivist or libertarian sort) has to be implemented slowly. If something works, fear of it declines.

Or, if it is implemented in one place, the rest of us can follow the consequences and draw the appropriate conclusions. Universal white manhood suffrage seemed like a radical idea to the European ruling classes, but the Americans showed it could work, and it only took the Europeans a century or so to follow us.

If it fails spectacularly—as, for example, socialism has—then the rest of us don’t have to go through the experience.

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By TAO Walker, May 28, 2011 at 7:31 am Link to this comment

Step 1, (for “directions”-dependent Gary Mont, et al):  Get-over their sickening “self,” which is what’s fooling (not “forcing”) the Natural Person that he and (exactly as he “fears”) all of his fellah ‘n’ gal captives in the false eCONomy naturally ARE, into their abject subservience to the damned thing’s make-believe “dominance” paradigm.  Step 2:  Give their undivided precious attention, once freed from the degenerate demands of “self”-satisfaction, to sensing and responding-to the actual needs of our Whole Living Arrangement, as these are presented to them right where he and they are all living and breathing (more-or-less) together right now. 

Step 3:  Do Steps 1 and 2 joyously and with unconditional spontaneous affection.  Step 4:  Persevere fearlessly in Steps 1, 2, and 3, until the “civilization” fever-dream is broken, and he and they all (even including Chris Hedges and Cornell West) reawaken to the Natural Fact that the Song ‘n’ Dance of Life Herownself is all there is or ever was or ever will be….and that this, not the nothing-and-nowhere of “civilization,” is their Native Country.

Maybe “katsteevns” is only being careless in claiming that this Old Indian says people should “venture out” to….wherever?  That was Gary Mont’s straw-man fabrication.  This Person has suggested over-and-over that our tame Sisters and Brothers need, rather, to undertake the admittedly much-more-risky “venture” of daring to turn-away from all the “individual”-ly-targeted CONsumptive seductions “out there” (which make-up those windowless “walls” “katsteevns” evidently is already half-living in miserable solitary CONfinement behind….yet another “self”-cowed “subject” of yet another delusional reign-of-terror) and thus maybe recovering access to their own essential Human Nature within, and so to its immense innate potential for bringing a sufficiency of The Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity to Bear upon their own presently untenable predicament, and to the benefit All-concerned.  As for remembering what even the finest of “fine words” can only hint-at, even in the midst of the most dire circumstances, all us surviving Free Wild Peoples do that every Good Day….and so could “katsteevns” if s/he can escape the virtual prison of manufactured “self”-absorption.

Probably “Leefeller,” upon reflection, is already well aware that the “huddled masses” of the subspecies homo domesticus are right now (and have from the outset of their captivity been) half-living “off the land.”  Where-in-hell else after-all, except from the CONfinement operations of the “global” factory farm, do all the for-profit toxic industrial waste-products CONsuming them come from!?

They’re all so deep in the shitter today because they’ve forgotten, and maybe fatally forsaken, The Tiyoshpaye Way of Living Wholly WITH The Land.

HokaHey!

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By Anarcissie, May 28, 2011 at 6:52 am Link to this comment

Doug1943—Explicitly ideological leftists do not do well in elections because very few people vote for ideology of any kind.  (See http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2004/08/30/040830crat_atlarge for an overview of the science.)  Figure that at least half of the ideological voters (5-10%) are not leftists, and that the leftists themselves are going to be split into various factions, one can predict that the average leftist, running on ideology alone, is going to get somewhere between 1% and 5% of the vote.  And this is what we observe.  The same is true, of course, of other non-mainstream candidates, like libertarians.  The great majority vote for immediate apparent self-interest, identity, image, traditional association, or for no reason connected with politics (for example, the weather or the success of professional athletic teams).

If presented with an ideology as a series of statements, many more people will sign on to it than will vote for it (or, indeed, do anything more for it than that).  In fact, the same person will often assent to many contradictory propositions.

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By hrayovac, May 28, 2011 at 6:21 am Link to this comment

addendum: Consider everyone eligible actually showing up to vote..100% turnout.
The campaign leading up to this would not reflect anything unusual because no
one expects that to happen. But you can bet that after a 100% turnout election,
the NEXT election cycle would reflect a completely different set of agendas. The
corporatists are counting on you to feel defeated, non-participatory and to be
convinced that the system is rigged. This works well for them until you wise up to
the game. We are not yet completely fascist dominated so for you to choose NOT
to sit at a table and register voters at a supermarket shows the shallowness of
your argument.

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By hrayovac, May 28, 2011 at 5:59 am Link to this comment

alright,I’m gonna give it one more shot to reach the vast majority of you guys
who think non-participation is a posture any sane person would contemplate
..“because the system is rigged.” I’ve been a socialist all my life.My father was
hounded by the FBI in the fifties for being a “card-carrying.” To think that, in
light of the world’s problems and the immense obstacles to true democratic
form in this country you would consider standing on the outside and bundling
Obama with the rest is misinformed but to sitting on your butts isn’t based on
that..It is simply an excuse to self-validate laziness on your part. We have never
had such a golden opportunity to change some of the things we don’t like. Why
do you think that Bernie Sanders ran for Senate and continues to fight for you?
It isn’t ego and it ain’t for money and chicks. I get the impression from many of
you that you prefer the criminal Bush in office to give your rallies “diversity of
draw”, such as we saw with the ANSWER organized events. Obama is a real
moderate but he listens, same as FDR and that didn’t work out so badly for us. I
won’t expect any intelligent responses so for now, signing out.

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By Doug1943, May 28, 2011 at 2:12 am Link to this comment

Leftist Logic: when explicitly anti-capitalist candidates run for office, they almost always get less than one per cent of the vote.

Since they are offering the electorate World Peace, Free Health Care, free love,  and free everything else .... then the system must be rigged!

It couldn’t possibly be that the great majority of people regard them as harmless lunatics, harmless so long as they never have state power.

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By mc.murphy, May 27, 2011 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment

By hrayovac, May 27 at 5:40 pm

mc.murphy Let me see if I understand your question..Are you suggesting by
inference that Cornel West participated, through all his Obama campaign
appearances, in what you call a rigged election in 2008?

of course they are rigged, and it is not an election process, but one wherein
several candidates get vetted by the Oligarchy, and then funded with a cool
billion to do their bidding.

What do you think this whole dog and pony show is about? It’s not about
democracy, and now not even about a crooked democracy. Yeah, Cornell Wast
has been had, and so have you and the rest of the electorate.

2000 saw a coup, 2004 was meaningless—just watch the performance of the
wealthiest man in congress —you think any ‘viable’ candidates have the best
interests of the public in mind? After Clinton and the DLC selling out to
Corporate interests democracy in the ole USA became burned toast drowned in
Grover’s bathtub.

Rigging comes in many forms and none perhaps more potent than being
offered no facts, no issues, having facts distorted by the MSM, and if all fails
scaring the shit out of the public. You should check out Edward Bernays on all
that.

http://mosquitocloud.net/american-propaganda/

You’re not a player, you’re an instrument being masterfully played, and it
appears the type TPTB reliably count on to have their man delivered into the
seat of power.


http://mosquitocloud.net/

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By Night-Gaunt, May 27, 2011 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment

The election doesn’t have to be rigged anymore not when the two major candidates are in the bag.

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By hrayovac, May 27, 2011 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment

mc.murphy Let me see if I understand your question..Are you suggesting by
inference that Cornel West participated, through all his Obama campaign
appearances, in what you call a rigged election in 2008? I’d agree the previous two
were rigged in Ohio and Florida, but to straighten you out may require therapy
which I hereby refuse you. 10,000 people showed up to Obama’s first public rally
of the race in 2007. I was one. I am not aware of anyone twisting my arm.

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By mc.murphy, May 27, 2011 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment

hrayovac, May 27 at 5:13 pm

Participate in what? Presidents get selected, not elected.

Your whole post is too cryptic for me.

What are you trying to get across? Are you proposing participation in the rigged
political process, or organizing for a revolution?

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By hrayovac, May 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment

If you didn’t vote for Obama, move along, next person, please. If you did vote for
Obama and thought that unseating 60 years of a corrupt power establishment
could be accomplished by a moderate president in three years without
compromise, then you were expecting a violent revolution with a subsequent
dictatorship, not an American election. Equally foolish and passive is the thought that
you could rest on your bottoms, engaging in what you call your intellectual
dialogue with each other and not lift a finger to effect social change post
November 2008. Politics are a team sport and the game has just begun. Voting is
all you did of any consequence when it is this president who, like the moderate
FDR before him, must move according to what is do-able and what is supportable each day he goes to work. And BTW, how long has it been since I heard the term “sellout”..who DOESN’T sell tickets to their own concerts, certainly not my birthday boy, Dylan. These are the times. Participate or be forever old.

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By Richard Harris, May 27, 2011 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When West attacked Obama as a self-hating black, Wall Street-Jew loving black,
what we y’all expecting as far as a response? Your point about the liberals being
submissive to power lose weight when the rousing arguments get fired right back
at you. You can’t take it when one of your apostles (West) is challenged. Are you
willing to have point by point discussion or are you going to run away clutching
your Chomsky and West bibles? I don’t believe in the purity of Mr West’s intentions
when he made campaign appearances for Obama if he claims to have done it
because he “loved his character and charisma.” Was he the type of intellect to put
character above policy? Isn’t he principled, seeking solutions to socio-economic
inequalities? Then why the gravy train to Obama in 2008 who made it clear he’s a
moderate during the campaign….That’s if you were listening which I did to nearly
every speech.

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By Gary Mont, May 27, 2011 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment

Knight-Guant:The Kochs are just the ’ Liberals’ ’ straw men.

Otherwise, we would never have heard of them - like the other 200 billionires working diligently towards their fuedal god-head in complete secrecy behind the scenes.

Somebody has to stand in front of the crowd and be the diversion and the Koch brothers love the job.

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By Soren Ambrose, May 27, 2011 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Really one of the laziest pieces of writing I’ve seen from Hedges - I hope the book, with its very promising title, is up to his usual standard. This is mostly name-calling (from “sellouts” to “prophet” and much in-between) with a lot of observations that we’ve made and heard a hundred times before. No one serious about the US political system thinks that someone with truly radical different ideas can win the presidency, and has to be even more certain that no president would be allowed to implement such ideas. Anyone who still has some sort of belief in the Democratic Party must amuse (and please) all those who run it.  But we do have to make choices, and that’s frustrating in what seem to be non-revolutionary times.  So yes I chose to vote for Obama, first time I voted for a Democrat since ‘92 (when I was just so desperate to end the Reagan/Bush reign). I think he’s a rational and intelligent human being in an impossible job. I don’t think, and never thought, that he was an agent of major political change. West writes like someone who is disillusioned, which only someone who had illusions in the first place can be. But let’s face it, West has been making a tremendous amount out of precious little substance for decades. Sensationalism can be deployed intelligently, but in his case it’s a crutch to substitute for a lack of thought. Unfortunately Hedges seems to have followed his lead in this case. I trust he’ll recover.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 27, 2011 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

Humanity is a failure when we are gone, all of us and we have accomplished nothing lasting and positive and not before.

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By willyjsimmons, May 27, 2011 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Someone posting as KathaPollitt:

“This would have been a stronger piece if CH had
engaged with the actual arguments of West’s critics”

HAHAHAHA. Clearly, you’re attempting to snark
here…because all Melissa Harris-Perry had to say
was Cornel West was an egomaniac who wouldn’t be
saying this if only he had gotten tickets to the
inauguration!!!! (Otherwise she only allowed the
possibility that it was okay to criticize Obama…in
some amorphous nondescript way)

Now…shifting in response to this article…she
simply says black folk don’t always have to agree and
SHAME on white folks for paying West any attention. 
LOL (That’s RACIST!!!)

We’re not talking about pie-in-the-sky drastic
changes to the very fabric of the republic here…but
VERY SPECIFIC instances in which Obama had an
opportunity to at least FAKE like he gives a damn.

HAMP…a failure.  Will he fix it? Never. It’s clear
that there was massive fraud on the part of banks and
investment firms. But average people who need a
modification to their mortgage have to wait 6 months
just to be told NO.

Wiretapping…illegal.  His DOJ is STILL defending
legacy Bush cases in court. WHY? I seem to remember
Obama running pretty HARD against Bush’s
“lawlessness” WHAT HAPPENED? Not only that, the Obama
DOJ now wants to be able to collect GPS data without
a warrant.  Something Bush never even got around to
doing!!!

Healthcare…Obama actively silenced Single Payer
supporters every step of the way by offering the
bait-and-switch “Public Option”. I mean, what else
can you expect from a person who ran his own “Harry
and Louise” ads during the primaries. LOL.

Preexisting conditions and lifetime caps could have
been handled in separate bills.  Obama and co. made
sure they threw the baby (single payer) out with the
bathwater by meeting with the insurance and
pharmaceutical lobbies in SECRET. (Ask the whitehouse
to give the names and dates of those meetings.)

Those are just 3 of the very specific areas where
Obama could have at least PRETENDED to show his
supposed “left leaning” side.

As an aside…

During the Clinton administration, income disparities
DECLINED for the first (and last) time in a
generation. ESPECIALLY for minorities. (Test scores
are up too, but shhhhhh, lets not spoil that “Race To
The Top”)

All this talk about capitalism and the ever
fraudulent libertarianism have got nothing to do with
the crux of this article.

And no, Ralph Nader did not prevent Gore from
winning. So stop it.

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By Litl Bludot, May 27, 2011 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment

To quote the article: “The liberal class at once was betrayed and betrayed itself.
And it now functions like a commercial brand, giving a different flavor, face or
spin to the ruthless mechanisms of corporate power. This, indeed, is the
primary function of Barack Obama.”

This is the central point of his article.  Hedges won’t repeat himself.  He expects
you people to understand him.  Reading most of these posts, it’s clear that you
don’t. 

Until you understand what a lethal fraud Obama is, until you understand the
slick branding that you willingly accept, this country and the planet is
going to be on it’s way to the complete annihilation of intellectual freedom, 
factual based reasoning, and then,  ultimately the death of the diversity of all
living systems. 

“Ruthless mechanisms of corporate power” is an exact and unequivocal phrase. 
Let me spell it out for you.  Obama is the most talented and by far the most
effective personality the corporate fascists have found for their ongoing
parasitic infection of disaster capitalism, which is resulting in the ongoing
destruction of all forms of meaningful life on this planet.

It is a parasitoid ideology that views life as a commodity, to be sucked dry of
sustenance until there is no “value” left. Humans and all of life are objects to be
sold for units of imaginary value.  All our ecosystems are being decimated, ripped up, cut down, dug up, “extracted”, “harvested”, etc.  All life is being irradiated by
nuclear isotopes now in our oceans and air;  poisoned by countless toxic
chemicals being introduced into our ground, air, water and food: bombed,
murdered, tortured for war profiteering and energy resource wars; spied on,
lied to, defrauded, and ripped off by corporate oligarchs free to abuse us at will.

This is “ruthless corporate power”.  This is what Barack Obama sells to you. This is what you have bought.

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By mc.murphy, May 27, 2011 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, May 27 at 1:24

then I misread, and I retract ; )

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By Steve E, May 27, 2011 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment

Face it, humanity is a failure. The oligarchy know and or have concluded that
yes the planet can only support a limited number of people and yes the planet
is in dire straights with doomsday on the horizon especially if they try and
continue to supply a ever expanding population with commodities. The
oligarchy knows a great culling of the masses is in order to allow them and
their descendants to continue on generation after generation. Lets face it, much
of the infrastructure is in place and data is easily accessed for future knowledge
and possible education of oligarch offspring. Mind you, history will be revised
to weed out any dirty laundry about greed and corruption. The powers that be
have pretty much succeeded in grabbing control of all of society’s vital factors
such as, the military, the supreme court, the politicians and congress, the
monetary system, the media, communications, travel, energy, water, etc. I do
believe the oligarchy will still need a work force, so get your resumes ready and
a good set of kneepads all you liberal sellouts.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 27, 2011 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

I already know that, my question was for others to see in case they haven’t.

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By mc.murphy, May 27, 2011 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, May 27 at 1:04 pm

The Kochs want, what all of the Oligarchs want, which includes 99% of their tools
in congress.

The Koch obsession, is just another propaganda tool to get us distracted from
other and vastly more important actors. Lloyd Blankfein, The Bernank, Turbotax
Timmy, Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, et al, come immediately to mind.

The Kochs are just the ’ Liberals’ ’ straw men.

http://mosquitocloud.net/global-banking-oligarchs-financial-terrorists-
extortionists-and-colonizers/

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By Night-Gaunt, May 27, 2011 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment

I for one would not be able to survive in a barter system. There is a reason why it fell out of favor. We need to look at profit as something other than money. But a clean planet and healthy people doing our best to our ability. No wars, no oppression, no suppression. Something I don’t see happening soon. Our enemies are well funded, have made many connexions and have been working either in concert or parallel to leave the rest of us in the dust as they destroy our republic to make we for their version of utopia. Just look and see what the <b>Koch>/b> brothers want.

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By llamaFaceKillah, May 27, 2011 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

OF COURSE There ARE alternatives to capitalism, socialism, communism, and the monetary system as a
whole.

What we need is a new way of thinking. We all live on
this finite planet. We all need the same basic
resources to live.
Everything else is secondary.

The profit motive deems all of the above as secondary
to profit.


A Resource Base Economy (RBE) Through the humane
application of Science and Technology to social
design and decision-making, we have the means to
transform our tribalistic, scarcity driven,
corruption filled environment into something
exceedingly more organized, balanced, humane,
sustainable and productive.
To do so, we have to understand who we are, where we
are, what we have, what we want, and how we are going
to obtain our goals.
Given the current state of affairs, the reader should
find that we not only need to move in another
direction…we have to.

The current economic system is falling apart at an
accelerating rate, with the prospect of worldwide
unemployment occurring on the largest scale ever
seen. Simultaneously, we are courting the “point of
no return” in regard to the destruction of the
environment.


http://www.zocial.tv/today/Education/16350362/peter-
joseph-arriving-at-a-resource-based-economy-london-z-
day-2011

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By katsteevns, May 27, 2011 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

@ Leefeller

You must be speaking of the one quarter of Mexico that the Mexicans still possess. Half of it is now part of the US and the other quarter was occupied by Wal-Mart.

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By katsteevns, May 27, 2011 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

TAO WALKER wrote:

“This Old Savage is, along with all the Sisters and Brothers among the surviving Free Wild Peoples of ALL Kinds, the natural Child of Mother Earth and Sky Father, All Together altogether at-home in their Loving Living Arrangement, conceived and engendered within the Living Universe of their Spontaneous Affection, and borne whole and healthy into the never-ending Song ‘n’ Dance that is the fleshing-out of Great Spirit’s Vision by Life Herownself.”

Do you think you can repeat or even remember these fine words whilst surrounded by 4 cement walls that may or may not have a window? The rolling valley in which you now inhabit may be so big, vast and beautiful as to give you the impression that you are immune from invasion, invisible to intruders. But I assert that if you are standing upon US real estate, it can and probably will be taken away from you in a heartbeat when the time is ripe for those who own it, the banks. And if they do not own it, then they will simply TAKE it. At that time, you and I can exchange lofty thoughts on slivers of paper provided by the prison guards we bribe with cigarettes.

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By Leefeller, May 27, 2011 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

Seemingly very Prophylactic and predictive of things to be, how does one predict the future with such certitude?

They have had several revolutions in Mexico and things turned 360 degrees each time,  to exactly what it was before,... why would La katsteevns revolution be different?

Another thing, I don’t want no spat shooed city folks tramping through the forest for the trees. Tao Walker should know the world is to small for the teaming masses to live off the land. Way to damn many people in the world already,...abolitionist reason why the price of Tequila keeps going up!

Damn people huddling or not!

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By katsteevns, May 27, 2011 at 10:39 am Link to this comment

@ TAO Walker

I agree with Gary Mont. To venture out as you suggest would, at worst, result in mass arrests, widespread malnourishment, and many of our friends being mysteriously snuffed out. The best case would be civil war which (nonviolent)Chris Hedges feels is something to be avoided at all costs.
  Just as the globalists have, in every country we invade, taken away a mans ability to sustain himself forcing him to rely on an “employer” and being part of the “system”, they have done to the US as well. In fact, the US was set up that way from the beginning….just ask Daniel Shays.
  The real battle right now is for the hearts and minds of TSA and Homeland Security employees in an attempt to have people brainwasted on a mass scale so that when the time comes, they will sell everyone down the road, including their mothers , all for the State. So, it might be good if you would shuffle off to the nearest airport with a lantern and look for some humans there.

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By Gary Mont, May 27, 2011 at 10:33 am Link to this comment

TAOWalker:...taking his chances with family, friends, and neighbors, right where they all live-and-breathe every Day, as Natural Persons in Living Human Community, to get free together from the tormenting entities’ death-grip on their diminishing half-lives.

The simple truth, old man, is that absolutely nobody but you, knows how to actually do the above.

Nobody who lives under CONviction that civilization is the one and only way of life, has the slightest inkling how to simply become a Natural Person in the Living Human Community. Not a clue.

I fear its because everyone already is a natural person but forces themselves into un-natural submission to the un-natural world, but that doesn’t help a wit, even once you CONsider it as a self CON.

This is the era of “read the instructions” and without such available, I for one have no visible chance of ever becoming a Free Natural Person.

So thanks for caring anyway.

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By TAO Walker, May 27, 2011 at 8:15 am Link to this comment

Too bad the virtual ‘dice’ Gary Mont keeps tossing only come-up “craps” every time.  Maybe they’re rigged….and by the same sorry sonsabitches who want to keep such as him CONvinced there’s no viable alternative to their casino-style CONfidence scheme.  Looks like “Mr.” Mont’s own “self,” at-least, has fallen hook-line-and-sinker for the scam, too.  That probably isn’t Diogenes at the door, either.

So the fishy fellah mocks-up yet another dystopian worst-case-scenario evidently intended to “prove” that getting used and abused by the “powers” that wannabe is still better than taking his chances with family, friends, and neighbors, right where they all live-and-breathe every Day, as Natural Persons in Living Human Community, to get free together from the tormenting entities’ death-grip on their diminishing half-lives.  Talk about your captive imaginations!  If that’s the best he can do, though, then maybe Gary Mont is better-off going (quietly, rather than “kicking and screaming” with “katsteevns”?) the way of all shit-out-of-luck….and maybe better for the rest of us, too, that he does.

Not sure if many here would agree, however, with “katsteevns” howling blanket assertion that they are all “babies.”  When this Old Indian has suggested that homo domesticus is subject to an artificial neoteny regime, intended to arrest at a near-infantile level (emotionally and cognitively) their otherwise natural Human growth and development, some have (demonstrating the “success” of the program) reacted rather angrily.

The CONfusion “katsteevns” reveals, about who’s actually his/her Mama, is also a not untypical symptom of the CONdition.  The eCONomy is a CONtrived system for the delivery of tainted “formula”....NOT any warm and living breast providing wholesome natural nourishment.  There’s nobody this Old Man knows of, either, who could or would “rip” any of the suckers away-from that “other” oh-so-ducky rubber nipple.

As to who’s their baby-daddy, the poor little bottle-fed bastards….who in hell knows!?  It might be the devil hisownsuper"self,” if their CONgenitally CONtrary behavior is any indication.   

This Old Savage is, along with all the Sisters and Brothers among the surviving Free Wild Peoples of ALL Kinds, the natural Child of Mother Earth and Sky Father, All Together altogether at-home in their Loving Living Arrangement, conceived and engendered within the Living Universe of their Spontaneous Affection, and borne whole and healthy into the never-ending Song ‘n’ Dance that is the fleshing-out of Great Spirit’s Vision by Life Herownself. 

That’s as good as it gets.

HokaHey!

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By Anarcissie, May 27, 2011 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

Lafayette—it is obvious, if you read history, that ruling classes often fail to rule well or even adequately, and that seemingly viable social orders can fall apart, sometimes with shocking rapidity, as witness the demise of the Soviet Union.  The most plausible explanation of the behavior of the American ruling class in the last thirty or forty years is that it has had some sort of collective nervous breakdown, and has dissolved into a collection of kleptocrats and con artists snatching what they can before the collapse.  Didn’t the financial meltdown of the last four or five years tell you anything?

As for your denial of the tendency of big government to go bad, also known as ‘power corrupts’,  where have you been?  Ever heard of Vietnam, Iraq, the innumerable other colonial wars, the Drug War, the Prison-Industrial Complex?  None of them were either good or necessary, and yet the American ruling class found it necessary to waste decades, lives and enormous treasure on them.  Ever wonder why?

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By Bruce Dazzling, May 27, 2011 at 7:15 am Link to this comment

“By truedigger3, May 26 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

These are excellent, enlightening and informative posts.

Thank you Bruce Dazzling for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.”

Thanks, truedigger3, but they’re not my thoughts. I simply copied and pasted them here for an online friend of mine who calls himself JackRiddler. For some reason, he was unable register at here at Truthdig.

His comments were originally posted at a forum called Rigorous Intuition in this thread:

http://rigorousintuition.ca/board2/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=32158

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By katsteevns, May 27, 2011 at 4:56 am Link to this comment

@ TAO Walker

Yes, we ARE babies and our mother is the “CONfines of the eCONomic CONstruct”. But if you are trying to rip us from her breast, you will fail. We must be weened. And we will kick and scream the whole way, as babies do. The Earth is our Mother, so that must make you the Father…....DAD. Are you a stay at home Dad or a Dead Beat Dad?

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By Gary Mont, May 26, 2011 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment

The Tiyoshpaye Way
==================

Well, I have to admit, that we’re we all to simply pack up our favourite books, clothes and cooking gear and walk out of the cities to the wide open spaces and begin new communities without power or running water, or grocery stores, or hospitals - until such time as we were able to re-establish primitive versions of these amenities - the result would be completely devastating to the bankers and politicians and billionaire CEOs, who would find themselves without a huge chunk of the slave labor force needed to produce and consume the objects that are the source of their ever increasing wealth….

They would however; I believe, react in the fashion they are accustomed to when any diversion from the necessary norm is taken by the peasants, and call out the army to scoop up and incarcerate the lot of them in all those shiny pre-fabricated mass holding areas scattered all over the country.

The media would call it a religious cult movement and claim that the army was fired upon. After that, any violent actions by the “authorities” would be deemed legitimate.

And there’s a really good chance that the bankers, politicians and CEOs actually would like very much to - shall we say - cull the herd a tad, and methinks this sort of exodus would play right into ther hands, allowing the power brokers a perfectly excellent opportunity to eliminate the part of the herd that they can no longer control anyway, leaving only those too frightened or too well programmed to join the exodus, as their base consumer/slave force.

Dunno mister Walker, sure doesn’t sound like anything any American citizens are about to do any time soon anyway, but no matter how I toss these bones, they always end up looking bad. Maybe its just me.

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By elisalouisa, May 26, 2011 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment

TAO Walker May 26 8:41 pm. One of your best posts ever Tao
Walker.

The fact that ITW agrees with TD3 should be reason enough to have second thoughts.

Perhaps a long walk would help.

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By TAO Walker, May 26, 2011 at 8:41 pm Link to this comment

If, as “truthdigger3” declares, the “huddled masses” of homo domesticus are mere “victims” of the predator class among them, “financial” and otherwise, and so bear no real responsibility for their worsening common plight, it follows that they are also effectively helpless to address it to any mutually beneficial effect.  They can only “HOPE!” that some event or agency or “savior” from “outside” the CONfines of their captivity will intervene to “CHANGE!” the game, to deliver them from its institutionalized and technically “enhanced” degradation.

This Old Savage, on the other hand, urges our tame Sisters and Brothers to get-over, and get beyond, the too-precious “self” that is keeping them isolated not only from one another but from The Whole Living Arrangement that is as much the Natural Habitat of Human Beings as it is of All Our Relations.  It is not “society,” as such, that is suffocating them.  It is the eCONomic CONstruct, the operating system for the “civilization” disease, that is the “engine” of their undoing….and on an increasingly massive scale. 

This Old Man has never pretended to be a “teacher,” compassionate or otherwise.  Though it isn’t at-all pleasant, as a kind of meta-diagnostician, to have to tell an entire virtual subspecies that it is gravely (quite possibly terminally) ill, and that it is, moreover, the co-opted “agent” of a retro-viral entity intending the ultimately terminal infection, with its own sick super-“self,” of this Living Being called Earth, Mother of us ALL. 

The remedy, though, is already present within their own essential Human Nature.  Looking elsewhere for it is perhaps the ultimate exercise-in-futility.     

It is indeed a great misfortune that “truthdigger3” and so many of his fellah ‘n’ gal domesticates have strayed so far from the Tao of their Humanity that such basic biological facts are perceived by them, in their fever-dream delirium, as “mumbo jumbo” and “blather.”  Yet they can parrot the superstitious and CONfusion-causing cant of pundits and politicians and such papered professional experts as eCONomists as if all that specialized jargon was somehow something other than the mere casting of spells, or could possibly have even its cruel counterfeit of genuine meaning apart-from the CONtrived virtual world-o’-hurt in which they all languish.

“The Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity” is, of course, only a string of English-language words meant to describe as nearly as possible something that is really ineffable, but something without which the balance and harmony of Life Herownself’s never-ending Song ‘n’ dance is inconceivable.  All the suffering presently besetting our tame Sisters and Brothers is due directly to a severe deficiency of this essential quality.  So that for them it is also The Specific Medicine needed to restore to them the Wholeness and Health they’re currently so keenly aware of being so more-and-more miserably without.

“Justice,” social, eCONomic, and otherwise, is only a CONceit invented by people who’ve lost The Tao of their Humanity….one of many such notions CONcocted to “rational”-ize and render a little less intolerable their awful CONdition.  It is their pitiable and futile attempt to fabricate a device to deliver by artifice the same perfect Balance in Nature that occurs spontaneously and with no need at-all for any CONtraption to “enforce” it.

Even “truthdigger3” seems to recognized that the house-of-cards is collapsing.  Why not just get out of it while that’s still a viable option?

The Tiyoshpaye Way is and will be here for even the “7 billion and counting”....as many of ‘em, anyhow, as can get free of their suffocating and supercilious “self.”

HokaHey!

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By truedigger3, May 26, 2011 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

Re: By TAO Walker, May 26 at 9:58 am


TAO Walker,

You are nothing but a hardcore Libertarian who has camouflaged himself in your so called, “this old Indian”, mumbo jumbo.
According to you, people, instead of working for and demanding social and economic justice, should withdraw from society,  and leave the field wide open for the Corporate/Finance to run amok without any restraints.  Instead of action,  you demand from people to withdraw and do your” Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity”, whatever that blather means!.
You are, like your ilk, are blaming the victim and hiding behind that selfish call for that so called “personal responsibility”.  In your opinion, the plutocrats and oligarchs are innocent and it is all the fault of the individual??!!
A good teacher shows compassion and awareness of his students level of understanding, instead all your writings reek of contempt and ridicule of your readers, what you call “homo domesticus“, to reinforce their feelings of guilt and responsibility about their plight, totally ignoring the fundamental role of Corporate/Finance in their plight.

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By truedigger3, May 26, 2011 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

Re: By Bruce Dazzling, May 26 at 9:19 am
Re: By Bruce Dazzling, May 26 at 9:17 am
Re: By Bruce Dazzling, May 26 at 9:14 am


These are excellent, enlightening and informative posts.
Thank you Bruce Dazzling for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.

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By Gary Mont, May 26, 2011 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment

LilyMaskew:Obama has done a remarkable job in the face of many, many obstacles.

Could you take a moment of your time to post a list of his achievements since taking office? It would be appreciated by all I’m certain.

Just concrete achievements please, not things being attempted, looked into, worked on, or under consideration…. just the actual completed positive achievements.

No need to list his negative achievements, such as continuing the wars and making all of the GWBush party propositions a reality. We’re already aware of those.

Thank you.

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By mc.murphy, May 26, 2011 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette, May 26 at 11:58

“And since regulation requires strengthening the government, the government
attracts more of the sort of people who will put it up to doing significant evil,
like imperialist projects or superstitious, sadistic inquisitions like the Drug
War.”

“Absurd.

You’ve been watching too many Hollywood action movies.”

What is happening is not a movie, ‘Lafayette’ yet it bears out the observation in
the quote.

Absurd, is you claiming that reality doesn’t exist, and that we are actually living
in a Hollywood movie.

You make sense to a point, and then you just flame out in a pyrotechnic crash
and burn. What’s up with that?!

http://mosquitocloud.net/

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By TAO Walker, May 26, 2011 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

“Baby steps” are for….well, babies.  Besides, taking the Whole Living Arrangement into account, as us surviving Free Wild Peoples of ALL Kinds always do, it is actually “katsteevns” and the legions of truthscratchers-at-the-surface who are hanging-on by their fingernails to the door-sill of the Event Horizon, out on “the fringe” of oblivious extinction.  They’re frantically trying to escape the naturally inevitable CONsequences of their arrogantly foolish behavior, looking desperately for some ideological/institutional/technological trick to finesse some “easy way out,” some relatively painless strategy for saving their too-precious “individual” (and “collective”) “self”....at the expense, if necessary, of the all rest of us.

So how about (teetering here-and-now on The Edge) just going on and taking that leap (eyes wide open, if possible….but tight shut if “one” just can’t bear to look) that is what’s needed, at this late date, to get-over the gaping emptiness that is the sickening “self.”  ‘Cause even another “baby step” could plunge the faint-of-Heart into The Abyss.  What’s more, like The Man In Black said, “Ain’t nobody else can walk it for you.”

Hells bells, in our Natural Living Arrangement there simply ain’t nobody “else” anyhow….except in that vanishing virtual world-‘o’-hurt out there on “the fringe,” where everybody’s still supposed to be somebody “else,” Baby.

HokaHey!

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By LilyMaskew, May 26, 2011 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Comments made by Cornel West via Chris Hedges’ article on Truthdig.  Criticisms of President Obama are apparently made more valid by their very harshness.  If West had softened some of his blows it might have been more believable.  This is not to say that liberals in general do not take West’s points into consideration, and ponder their reliability.  We should not jump to conclusions about liberals and their ability to separate the chaff from the wheat.  Liberals are known for their self-criticism, and do not blindly follow-the-leader in self-righteous obedience.  President Obama is obligated by the Constitution to work within the system (A complicated path even in the early days of our country.

My point is that President Obama cannot humanly solve all the ills of all of the American people, and the words of his critics do not take away the strengths of his achievements thus far.  Obama has done a remarkable job in the face of many, many obstacles.  If West and Hedges have little appreciation for the President, perhaps they should apply some harsh criticism for themselves.

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By katsteevns, May 26, 2011 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment

“What To Do, What to Do?

Getting the picture? It doesn’t matter who you vote for. It’s the bankers. Stop paying your bills. All of them (even to the illegal collection arm of the Federal Reserve, the IRS.) These men moved to control every aspect of our lives. Rockefeller was instrumental in redesigning what is now our public education system.) And, in ritual fashion, Bernake and his cronies returned there this week to plan the next 100 years
Stop using cash and instead trade with one another for what we need. Keep the banks out of it as much as possible. Squat in your homes until they show you the paperwork that they own it. It is time to stand up and conduct a peaceful revolution. They have made us think we need them and we don’t. They need us. “

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread629988/pg1

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By Lafayette, May 26, 2011 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

… it may be that they are neither competent nor moral, in which case they may be unable to stop themselves from trashing the economy.

The rich do NOT trash economies. And to think so great underestimates their machinations.

And since regulation requires strengthening the government, the government attracts more of the sort of people who will put it up to doing significant evil, like imperialist projects or superstitious, sadistic inquisitions like the Drug War.

Absurd.

You’ve been watching too many Hollywood action movies.

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By Trouble Maker, May 26, 2011 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

The image attached to this article says it all. However, a corporately tattooed, slaughtered GOP elephant next to it would tell the whole story. The U.S. gov has been dying for years, the GOP drained the DNC and now both are as if zombie monsters intent on sucking the blood from other states spreading the corporate zombie plague around the world, while we the people continue to believe they’re alive and in power. I don’t believe in monsters. And there’s nothing left to believe in when it comes to the ruling powers of the two-party duopoly.

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By Lafayette, May 26, 2011 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

OVERARCHING PHILOSOPHY

jcp: What we have to realize, is that it’s not the “system,” it’s the individuals that adhere to it, that is the source of our difficulty.  This is why a good, an unbiased, education is basic to the realization of a just and equitable system.

Europeans learn to live with both in a form of Centrism. Taking what is good from Capitalism, that is, its ability to generate economic wealth. But deploying that wealth in a just manner to serve an entire population. 

Even with a good unbiased education, a nation does not develop an “overarching philosophy”, for example, of Social Justice.  At present, the “overarching philosophy” that prevails in America is one of personal achievement and unlimited reward for achievement. Aka, in the textbooks, as “Management Excellence”.

Which brings us what, I ask, in terms of socio-economic objectives of Income Fairness? I’ll repeat it again: Only 20% of the American population obtains 94% of the Economic Pie that we ALL generate, whilst 80% of the rest of us are allowed to share the remaining 6%.

Those figures are so outstandingly lopsided as to make one’s hair stand. But, where is that “sharing” being taught in textbooks as something that we should be very deeply worried about. Does your child find the above cited statistics in their Civics Class? Uh, uh ... too controversial.

Who ever sees, apart from this forum, someone proposing a Progressive Agenda the central objective of which is to correct this Immoral Lopsidedness by means of raising tax schedules and enhancing Public Services?

Tax & Spend Monkeys is what the Right calls the Left in America. Apart from the monkey bit, they are right. This is HOW a Progressive Agenda gets implemented.

MY POINT

Our political mind-set is firmly anchored in the belief that Free Enterprise provides us with all the goods and services that we need or should want (and at a competitive price). Unfortunately, economic fact shows us that corporate Market Gaming abounds -  often with the connivance of Congress - to generate profits.

Which reduces us to Pavlovian Demand-monkeys the sole purpose of which is to consume and thus contribute to the mechanism that generates enormous profits for a select class of individuals.

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By katsteevns, May 26, 2011 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

@ TAO Walker

The pride can be swallowed collectively if we work collectively. That is the nature of the process if getting rid of pride remains an intent.
      Deconstructing this imperial empire is a means to an end, not the end itself. We all had to crawl before we were able to walk. So, get behind this, instead of being on the fringe calling us to jump the chasm with our eyes closed….Baby steps.

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By mc.murphy, May 26, 2011 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

DavidByron, May 26 at 8:50 am

well done Byron, in all three your posts.


http://mosquitocloud.net/

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By mc.murphy, May 26, 2011 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

Doug1943, May 26 at 5:53 am

“It actually succeeded doing the latter (no wicked rich people in North Korea!) in
a certain perverse sense, but brought near-universal misery to everyone but the
top elite.”

There is a distinct class of the a privilegesd Oligarchy in NK, and you know it,
which begs the question why you are peddling such wild claims with your
assertions.

I’m essentially an anarcho syndicalist, but not an ideologist. So, I’ll even buy the
claim you are making providing that management salaries do not exceed 2x
wages, and that the organizations of enterprise are wage earner controlled.

http://mosquitocloud.net/

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By TAO Walker, May 26, 2011 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

Maybe “truthdigger3” has, as claimed below, made a sincere effort to get beyond the CONtrived superficialities of the virtual world-‘o’-hurt, and to plumb more of the depths of our Human Nature, and ALL Nature, than are commonly accessible to those trying vainly to half-live in the stifling and shrinking make-believe world of “the eCONomy.”  That these efforts may’ve so-far been insufficient to free “truthdigger3” from CONfinement to the CONstricted CONventional “wisdom” espoused here regularly by that no-doubt well-meaning “individual,” and many “others,” is perhaps regrettable….but it’s hardly surprising.

The vacuum-packed and CONtent-free effigy of this Old Indian, with its tacked-on ill-informed guesses about motives and behavior, which “truthdigger3” cobbles-together out of admittedly nothing more than what s/he “thinks,” does suggest, though, a perhaps desperate anxiety, in the “think”-er, to hang-on a bit longer to the rapidly shredding (but maybe still a little coldly comforting) illusion that “the problem” lies somewhere in the artificialities of the socio-eCONomic CONstruct, and in certain of its “ruling” CONstituents, and thus can be “solved” by operating on it, and on “them.”  So it’s hardly surprising, either, that “truthdigger3” tries reflexively to (as Louis L’Amour liked to say) “fight shy” of anything suggesting in plain words that the real root, of this “global” plague of perfidy, is in the badly bent nature of his/her very own “self”....and that of the atomized masses of the entire virtual subspecies homo domesticus presently suffering from the same maybe-soon-to-be-fatal insufficiency of the Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity.

Were such performances less prevalent, we might be more grateful to “truthdigger3” for this illustration of the lengths to which the fear-ridden and usurping “self” will go to maintain its ruthless hegemony over the Natural Person s/he by-nature is.  As it is, though, the very ubiquity of such “self”-serving pantomimes (“seven billion” and counting, by his/her own estimate) renders them effectively more-or-less worthless, at this terminal stage of the “civilization” disease process.

The bitterness “truthdigger3” seems (along with so many truthscratchers-at-the-surface) so loathe to choke-down is not really in The Medicine at-all….but rather in all the overweening pride that must be swallowed right along with The Medicine.

HokaHey!

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By katsteevns, May 26, 2011 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

By Doug1943,

“And the alternative to capitalism is ....?

If you don’t have an answer, just say so. “

    UNDERLYING PRESUMPTION
” If you have no alternative, then keep your mouth shut.”

I say we WING IT, and see what emerges.
      The mistakes we will make will create less damage than waiting until we have been drained of every available resource we now possess in order to reconstruct.
      What do you say we start by taking back the airwaves that belong to the people, not Rupert Murdock?

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By Bruce Dazzling, May 26, 2011 at 9:19 am Link to this comment

Part 3 of 3:

And these are far from the first waves of cultural repression. The post-World War II era started with possibly the biggest mass hysteria of all, the search for communists accompanied by a countrywide purge of tens of thousands of possible “sympathizers” from government, journalism, teaching, arts and the professions (vulnerability extended potentially to anyone who was not rabidly parroting the fairy tales of the Cold War). The modern form of this country was born with everyone already fearing they may be charged with thought-crime. The 1960s saw a brief opening but the culture ever since has been managed, mostly with success, in rendering institutions of democracy and republic mostly irrelevant, and in keeping the people in a series of hysterias and general ignorance about their own government, policies, and real circumstances.

How productive is it really to pretend that the liberals of right-wing hysteria exist, and should be bashed from the left? This is not the acid trip the country needs, wherein all false labels and false identities and self-deceptions melt away into a helpless, cleansing laughter over, and liberation from, our own false self-images.

.

PS - Brother Bertram wrote an article (at http://crookedtimber.org/2011/05/22/the-fragmenting-coalition-of-the-left-some-musings/) about the state of the left that I find more on-point than Hedges in the OP, because Bertram bothers to define and make useful distinctions among different political tendencies identified as “left” or “liberal.” Number 1 on his list he correctly calls quasi liberal. That is the “liberal class” that Hedges critiques—the likes of Blair or Summers—but their most important feature is that they’re not liberal (except sometimes on the social issues or immigration and racism, where to be so pays out with voting clienteles).

.

And now the abridged version:

I live in New York but couldn’t make it to Chris Hedges’s speech yesterday (May 25) at Cooper Union. It might have turned out that in person, he made the same distinctions about the terminology that I have above. But based on the article alone, I would have hoped to ask the following question: “Didn’t the liberal class die already in the 1960s, after the assassinations? Isn’t it true that today few people use this word to describe themselves? In the media, anyway, it’s usually not a self-description—‘I am a liberal’ – but it’s almost always ascribed. A label. And the ones doing the ascribing are the corporate media and the so-called conservatives. They’re the ones using ‘liberal,’ as an attack term. Are you sure you want to use this word, at least without always carefully defining who and what you mean? I don’t think someone like Larry Summers or even Obama are liberals, or that they think of themselves as such, and I think a lot of good people fall into the false liberal-conservative dichotomy and DO think of themselves as liberals, as a synonym for progressive, and your critique doesn’t really apply to them.”

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By Inherit The Wind, May 26, 2011 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

ruedigger3, May 26 at 3:38 am Link to this comment

Re: By TAO Walker, May 25 at 6:24 pm

TAO Walker wrote:

“..In getting-over one’s usurping fear-ridden “self,” and thereby recovering the Natural Person-hood that is ours by-nature, that aching emptiness gnawing-at most domesticated people, which can only be filled by the Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity….......
...The essential elements of Natural Organic Community are present already everywhere.  It is only their manufactured obsessive and increasingly desperate preoccupation with the diminishing half-life .....”
————————————————————————-
TAO Walker,

I am trying hard to understand what are you saying and its practical applications, but I Cann’t!
Maybe I am not qualified YET, to grasp the meaning of what are you trying to say, or maybe you are just pulling our legs and sniggering and snickering about the fast one you pulled on those idiots and that is"us”.
I really think you are NOT for real and you are sniggering and snickering about us.
Identifying the plight of current humans is easy but the hard part is coming us with the solution. There is no doubt that current humans are plagued by unbriddled greed, severe overconsumtion, cruelity, lack of empathy and serious overpopulation ...etc etc.
I cannot see how your mumbo jumbo, even if it is for real, and again I don’t think so, will solve this severe situation for about 7 billions people and counting!!

*********

Bravo, TD3! That was brilliant! I don’t often agree with you but every now and then you nail it!

It’s not just me that thinks it’s blather!

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By Bruce Dazzling, May 26, 2011 at 9:17 am Link to this comment

Part 2 of 3

“Liberal” has been rendered derogatory since the 1980s or really the 1970s. Back in 1988 Bush the elder feigned that he couldn’t even say the dirty word, he turned it into the “l-word,” and a threshold was signalled by the failure of Dukakis to respond, to say, “If liberal means (fill in the blank with this or that good thing), then hell yeah I’m a liberal, and that’s American damn it!” Since then the only thing liberal about the Democratic Party leadership has been that this is the word FOXNEWS and the Washington Post stick on them. The more Clinton or Obama pursue the same policies or fight the same perpetual war as their Bush predecessors, the more we are told that they are “the most liberal” this or that in history, or socialists, or agents of Marxism. The term usually receives no definition beyond that it’s vaguely Eastern, urban, educated, unionized, pro-Black, European, gay, New Age, unpatriotic, supposedly voting for the Democrats and looking down on down-home, Christian, flag-waving gun-owning meat-eating Americans who are “proud to serve.” It’s a rhetorical dodge, a means of removing politics and leaving only identities that can be limited, set against each other, ruled over.

At the same time, “conservative” is defined by a series of hysterias about threats to life, property or some nostalgic male white heteronormative identity, but always tied to the kicker: policy proscriptions that are radically plutocratic. This is no longer “conservative” by a dictionary definition. The spoken ideology of the right has turned into confusionism. All reality is inverted in the language; the labels consist in funhouse projections of the unacknowledged self on to the designated-enemy other. Bush the younger did this any time he talked about Saddam as a threat to the world; Beck not only projects the reality of Murdoch on to his fantasy of Soros, but preemptively inverts labels of right and left on almost every issue he addresses. Neoliberal economists characterize centralization of capital as “bottom-up economics” and anything that would put money in the pockets of the lower classes as “top-down planning.” Unionists responding to attacks on their rights with peaceful protests are “thugs.” The most ardent supporters of a repressive surveillance state decry big government!

You can further chalk it up as a victory for the old liberals and New Left of the 1960s that the once-fresh language of empowerment, grassroots, reform, and revolution was taken up and detourned by the perpetually “new” right that has called most of the shots since (I say perpetually new because every couple of years they’re recycled and repackaged as a surprise rebellion from nowhere, as with the Tea Party). Hedges is about 50 years too late in discerning the death of the liberal class. It died in the 1960s and 1970s. It died when its leaders were shot dead in public assassinations, and the nearest followers were cowed enough to become not just believers but champions of the cover stories.

Later came 9/11 and a renewed hysteria: are you with us or against us? Are you watching what you say? Are you avoiding the thoughts that will identify you as insane and pariah to good company? How much do you hate America? It wasn’t so much that you had to feel the fear of “terrorism” personally, and I think barely anyone does; but you had best acquiesce in accepting its legitimacy as the new crux point of policy.

continued in part 3…

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By Bruce Dazzling, May 26, 2011 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

Part 1 of 3:

A writer going by “JackRiddler” made the following comment on Hedges’s article at http://rigorousintuition.ca/board2/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=32158

I love Brother West, and the stands he’s taken to set off all the criticism are righteous. And I love Brother Hedges, but I don’t make much of his general liberal-bashing for sport.

Who are these liberals? Hedges’s latest article doesn’t mention any by name, and among his targets of critique, I think he will be hard put to find many who are willing to call themselves by that label. The people who do freely identify as “liberal” on principle, about 20 percent of the population according to polls, may generally be undeserving of Hedges’s critique. In fact, many of them are probably just like Hedges.

After all, it depends on who is using the word and how it is defined, and for the most part this word is never defined; it is only muddied. Most of the best-known “liberals” in this society are ascribed, not self-described. They’re “liberals” because some media or expert authority pinned the label on them, usually as an attack. And that’s what Brother Hedges is doing here. He’s talking about Democratic Party apparatchiks, most of them indistinguishable from the Republicans on matters of war, “national security,” “crime,” or what constitutes the economic crisis. He’s talking about pundits who are paid to play-act the ostensible left on television or in think-tank rounds: spin doctors, media whores, mercenary scholars, people who do not have convictions but are hired to represent opinions in predigested talking points, calcified shadow beings whose most important job in psychological terms is never to surprise their own selves.

Hedges is also talking about corporate management echelons who have learned a false lingo of tolerance and diversity, who are not remotely liberal in philosophy, whose treatment of the “human resources” is still dictated by what the spreadsheets say. He’s talking about a few billionaires or bankers who picked up some of their language from hippies and are celebrated as “liberal” visionaries or philanthropists. He’s talking about technocrats who want to define every social problem as a deviance disorder, treat people for their bad habits, use top-down social engineering to stamp out vice. He’s also angry at a larger demographic of fearful middle-class conformists who tend to avoid politics and seek whatever is perceived as a centrist or moderate position. People who hope to feel good about themselves by endorsing the same milquetoast ideals of tolerance and diversity.

If these are his “liberals,” then bash away.

But again, who is calling them that? It’s the right wing (the self-described conservatives) generally who get to define who are the “liberal” politicians, the “liberal” academics and lawyers. It is organs of the corporate media itself that present the fantasy of “the liberal media.” The same reigning mentality, the one that defines politics as a polarity between false and often flexible definitions of “liberal” and “conservative,” doesn’t even allow for Hedges’s position to exist, except as something “liberal.” What do you think the punditry are likeliest to call Hedges, when he’s not specifically attacking “liberals”? He’d be a “hard-left liberal extremist.” Don’t tell me phrases like the latter are contradictions in terms; my point is that they are contradictions in terms, for they are weapons of an ideology of confusionism.

continued in part 2…

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By DavidByron, May 26, 2011 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

Doug I’d rather live in North Korea than Iraq or Somalia—which are the capitalist equivalent places, or Afghanistan these days I guess.

In fact the life expectancy in North Korea is a lot better than it is for Native Americans in the USA and better than it is for blacks in the USA.

I know - unfair comparison because the USA hasn’t been bombed and put under criminal embargo like those other countries.

The system you are defending when you say the USA has a better economy than North Korea is not capitalism but piracy and genocide.  We should subject the USA to the same conditions it has subjected so many other countries to—- including all the countries on your list of communist countries we should compare to the USA—- and then we’d be in a position to compare like with like as far as capitalism goes.

I wonder how the US economy would hold up after being bombed back to the stone age?  Of course in Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan we have the answer already and they are the poorest countries in the world as well as the purest forms of capitalism.

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By DavidByron, May 26, 2011 at 8:27 am Link to this comment

OMG these capitalist die hards are dumb.

“Oh gosh there’s just no alternative to capitalism!”

Again this goes back to what I said about it being a religion to keep morons under mental control.  It’s like trying to discuss the idea that Christianity isn’t true with a Medieval European peasant.  Well it would be if I was silly enough to try.  At any rate it should be obvious that both are lying to themselves—for example even while citing communism as an alternative both go on to say “there’s no alternative”.

Why do such people post here at all? 

I do find though that even supposedly intelligent Americans just cannot think straight about capitalism because they are all so brainwashed from birth.

Doug’s little propaganda fable about NY bakers is an example.  He is trying to “prove” that central command is a bad idea I suppose, but at the same time what capitalist company, bakers included, does not run entirely on the basis of central command?  If competition is so good how come no company ever uses internal competition?  How come they never have two accounts departments?  Two competing board of directors?  Two or lets say twenty two different mail rooms?  How come each of those NY bakeries has one person in charge—the very thing Doug’s story pretends to reject?

NY bakeries work by being vastly inefficient.  Shops open and close all the time.  It’s a very rich city so I guess it can afford the vast inefficiencies of capitalism.  The same used to be true of America as a whole.  Not so much today.

Nobody really believes in capitalism when the chips are down - its far too obviously an idiotic idea.  One illustration of this is the sale of ice and gas during the electrical blackout in Northern Alabama recently.  Price “gouging” (aka free market capitalism supply and demand) was attacked by all the conservative Alabama politicians.  No you can’t charge $3 a bag of ice because there’s so little to be had.  You gotta keep it at the $1.50 price before ice was suddenly in short supply.  Same with gas.

Of course baked bread is one of the very few goods where free market theory can even make sense.  For most goods these days in our modern world the consumer has no ability or opportunity to evaluate between different suppliers and even if they did there are very few different suppliers to be had.  In many respects the US is known for its lack of choice as to suppliers with its few chain stores dominating (eg Wal Mart) and each city looking and feeling so similar the country over.

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By Anarcissie, May 26, 2011 at 6:14 am Link to this comment

Lafayette, May 26 at 1:19 am:

‘... The rich have no interest whatsoever in “trashing the economy” - they aren’t that stupid. It’s collapse would deprive them of their source of wealth. ...’

However, it may be that they are neither competent nor moral, in which case they may be unable to stop themselves from trashing the economy.

Regulation, if heavy enough, might mitigate their destructive tendencies, but capitalists perceive regulators as impediments and either capture them or neutralize them.  That’s what a lot of the domestic politics of the past 30 or 40 years has been about.  And since regulation requires strengthening the government, the government attracts more of the sort of people who will put it up to doing significant evil, like imperialist projects or superstitious, sadistic inquisitions like the Drug War.

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By Doug1943, May 26, 2011 at 5:53 am Link to this comment

McMurphy: you and I both know why you cannot debate and propose a practical alternative to capitalism, although I detect some nostalgia for Cuba in your post. Cuba’s a mess too, although not nearly so horrible as North Korea. (It would be hard to be as horrible as North Korea is now and always has been, although Bob Scheer, an editor of Truthdig, was an admirer of this fascist police state for a while.)

What all of these countries, and the ex-socialist countries, have in common, is that the government runs (or ran) almost the entire economy. It was supposed to give us greater growth than capitalism could achieve, while at the same time promoting equality. It actually succeeded doing the latter (no wicked rich people in North Korea!) in a certain perverse sense, but brought near-universal misery to everyone but the top elite.

So capitalism is what we have. The only argument is how much to regulate it, how much to forcibly redistribute wealth, how much of a role the state should play. Anyone who can’t see that is simply a religious fundamentalist.

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By johncp, May 26, 2011 at 4:23 am Link to this comment

Arguments such as whether captitalism is the best available enconomic system, are pointless.  We’re fundamentally able, adaptable as we are, to live under virtually any system of government or economics.  What we have to realize, is that it’s not the “system,” it’s the individuals that adhere to it, that is the source of our difficulty.  This is why a good, an unbiased, education is basic to the realization of a just and equitable system.  Tyranny and the madness of dictatorship, thrive in circumstances where most of the people are uneducated or under-educated or badly educated.  I have no doubt that we could, now, be living in a more or less benevolent capitalism, were it not for the reality that, for one reason or another, certain individuals will always be situated in such a way, enabling them to take advantage of loopholes and weaknesses in any system, allowing them to manipulate and subjugate the masses.  This is why Obama’s promise of “change,” was the most insidious and deceitful campaign scam.  In reality, “change” was precisely the opposite of his true intentions.

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By truedigger3, May 26, 2011 at 4:19 am Link to this comment

McMurphy,

The best system is heavily taxed and regulated Capitalism without cronyism and influence peddling.
It is efffiecient and gives room to human creativity and effort.
It is hard to achieve that ideal, but it is still better than socialism which can also be plagued by cronyism and influence peddling in addition to its terrible inefficiency, bureaucracy and stagnation.
I lived in a socialist country for several years and the result was dismal.
It is almost impossibe to come up with the perfect system. Humans being are flawed and any system that they adobt will be tainted by these flaws.
A perfect system rquires perfect human beings. Do you know a perfect human being in addition to yourself??!!

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By truedigger3, May 26, 2011 at 3:59 am Link to this comment

Re: By Lafayette, May 26 at 1:19 am

Lafayette wrote about the super-rich class:
“They are simply trying to maintain the taxation and regulatory status quo because presidents like BO & Co represent a menace to their wealth.
————————————————————————-

Lafayette,
Really! You gotta be kidding.
You say BO & Co represent a menace to their wealth!!!!
Yeah Right! BO & CO IS PROTECTING their wealth and is helping them aquire MORE! He is their obdient servant and protector.!

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By truedigger3, May 26, 2011 at 3:38 am Link to this comment

Re: By TAO Walker, May 25 at 6:24 pm

TAO Walker wrote:

“..In getting-over one’s usurping fear-ridden “self,” and thereby recovering the Natural Person-hood that is ours by-nature, that aching emptiness gnawing-at most domesticated people, which can only be filled by the Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity….......
...The essential elements of Natural Organic Community are present already everywhere.  It is only their manufactured obsessive and increasingly desperate preoccupation with the diminishing half-life .....”
————————————————————————-
TAO Walker,

I am trying hard to understand what are you saying and its practical applications, but I Cann’t!
Maybe I am not qualified YET, to grasp the meaning of what are you trying to say, or maybe you are just pulling our legs and sniggering and snickering about the fast one you pulled on those idiots and that is"us”.
I really think you are NOT for real and you are sniggering and snickering about us.
Identifying the plight of current humans is easy but the hard part is coming us with the solution. There is no doubt that current humans are plagued by unbriddled greed, severe overconsumtion, cruelity, lack of empathy and serious overpopulation ...etc etc.
I cannot see how your mumbo jumbo, even if it is for real, and again I don’t think so, will solve this severe situation for about 7 billions people and counting!!

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By mc.murphy, May 26, 2011 at 3:08 am Link to this comment

Lafayette, May 26 at 12:54 am

“We must get into the factual details and use a bit of pedagogy to convince
people of a viable Progressive Agenda.”

perhaps so, but this is not the time to convince anyone of anything any more
complex than that the enemy, and one, more over, that is second only to
existential(and even that depends on how we go about defining existence…) is
neither to the right—for those on the left, nor to the left-for those on the right,
but in the dead center where a virtual handful of unscrupulous wo/men - if one
can even call them that - occupy the halls and corridors of incomprehensibly
blood drenched and untouchable power. Their name might as well be Caligula.

i do not believe that the mass unconscious will be moved by anything other
than direct experience of the great physical unraveling of their world view. The
crumbling of their conceit, and a denouement of reality for which they are ill
prepared, will then automatically follow.

shell shock, a sense of betrayal, and deep indignation, will accompany
“austerity” and present these emotions at their most vulnerable. The thus far
reliable ideological divisions will massively loose their appeal, of that, I think,
we can be certain.

so what do we do with the bias of raw and tattered emotions instinctually
gravitating towards truth? And who, in this instance is the ‘we’?

belarus devalued their currency, we can watch hyper inflation, real time,  in a
place other than Zimbabwe, wreak havoc on a nation. Greece cannot but
default. It will be forced to take the Icelandic option—and the sooner the better.
Portugal, perhaps Ireland will then follow taking down the German and French
Banks, and on and on, the dominos will fall in a race to the bottom.

we have been cleaved and controlled as cleaved, and we better take note of
Benjamin Franklin’s admonition that lest we now hang together as one, we will
be asphyxiated one as all.

so when you speak of ‘we’, is that an inclusive or exclusive ‘we’?

• • • • • •

Lafayette, May 26 at 1:19 am

“The rich have no interest whatsoever in “trashing the economy” - they aren’t
that stupid. It’s collapse would deprive them of their source of wealth.”

and

“They are simply trying to maintain the taxation and regulatory status quo
because presidents like BO & Co represent a menace to their wealth.”

is confusing, but then again I may be butting into a private conversation

It’s not about the rich; they’ll be screwed by Goldman,  Dimon, Bernanke and
Obama out of every penny in their possession, just like us. It’s about unbridled
power resting in the hands of the few with inconceivable wealth at their
disposal. And they are about as much in control of their lust as an addict, and
far fucking more dangerous.


http://mosquitocloud.net/

http://mosquitocloud.net/

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By mc.murphy, May 26, 2011 at 2:54 am Link to this comment

Doug1943, May 26 at 2:23

“Really? You think a Cuban- or North Korean-style economic system would be
preferable to the system we have now???”

Do you think anyone is craving for the Korean model here? (Cuba is quite
another story)

You seem to be bereft of imagination and thoroughly out of touch with reality,
when you point out “Soviet Union, the Eastern Europeans, China, Vietnam”,
which we could break down individually, as none of them belong in one pile, yet
you are just throwing up like shit, hoping it sticks. But if you are suggesting
those parts that have expired are object lessons, I would suggest that we are
living through the initial stages of the demise of yet another failed system
which when finally left unopposed, and thus constrained in the full exercise of
its awesomeness, is experiencing it’s own system failure. It’s the last old dead
fart walking.

So pardon me, if I decline your invitation to debate straw men and phantasms
of your delirious and morbid obsession with the dead and moribund.

http://mosquitocloud.net/

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, May 26, 2011 at 2:47 am Link to this comment

Good points Lafayette, yes the blue dogs must go and I too have seen the shift to the right by the Democrats, but that was in connection with the shift to the far right by the Republicans, possibly has something to do with the religious right? 

Acceptance of the norm goes with the common daily scene, of what is the norm.  So Congress has been slowly moving to the right by something guiding them from above, not a non existing deity, but right wing groups like ALEC!

Blue Dogs must go, also lobbies must go!

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By Doug1943, May 26, 2011 at 2:23 am Link to this comment

McMurphy: You say that the alternative to capitalism is “anything that rejects capitalism, what else?” 

Really? You think a Cuban- or North Korean-style economic system would be preferable to the system we have now???

If “anything” is better than capitalism, why have almost all countries that have tried this “anything”—the Soviet Union, the Eastern Europeans, China, Vietnam—rejected it, in favor of capitalism?

And I am perfectly happy to discuss any of your nebulous “alternatives”, all of which have the supreme virtue of being vague ideas in the heads of (mainly ) college professors. 

But I know that challenging someone’s religious beliefs by asking for concrete evidence in their support usually upsets them, so I understand why you won’t try to defend your anti-capitalist Faith.

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By Lafayette, May 26, 2011 at 1:19 am Link to this comment

BITCHING-IN-A-BLOG DEPT.

NG: When the richest class is out to trash the economy and the gov’t in order to rebuild and replace it then it all makes sense.

Do you understand the sheer nonsense of such a remark? I don’t think so.

The rich have no interest whatsoever in “trashing the economy” - they aren’t that stupid. It’s collapse would deprive them of their source of wealth.

Besides, they could very well loose their Net Worth tied up in Asset Values, which would almost certainly nose-dive with the economy.

They are simply trying to maintain the taxation and regulatory status quo because presidents like BO & Co represent a menace to their wealth.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, May 26, 2011 at 12:54 am Link to this comment

MANIPULATION

shan: The Liberal Class has a very hard time stepping outside of the Democratic Party box.

Because it never had to do so. It found its voice respected within the Dem party in the past.

However, within the last thirty years, since Reckless Ronnie, the whole of the US has shifted Rightwards including many Dems - all rushing after the Almighty Dollar.

Why else would there be bluedogs in the Dem party today? They don’t belong there.

SENTIMENTS

Political sentiments are like fads, but with longer cycles. It is time for the movement back Leftwards, particularly after all the hurt in this recent Recession as well as the Wall Street rip-off (that has been going on under our eyes but out of the news) for a good long time.

The Liberal Class will find its grassroots votes in the Dem Party. What it must do is extend further into the “independents” who have a way of swinging Left or Right according to prevailing winds.

It would help if we were to describe overarching “political philosophies” and not just “talking points”. In fact, there are damn few political philosophies to go by because the electorate thinks they are Intellectual Gadgets.

We seem to elect our politicians like we buy soap detergents. Whoever looks “whiter than white”, we vote for them.

In fact, as this blog has shown amply well, Americans have no fundamental understanding of underlying political concepts - like Capitalism, like Social Justice, like Social Capital, like Human Investment, like Social Democracy, etc., etc., etc.

And why? Because we link the word “social” to Socialism and that is the Devil’s Workshop - or so the Right would have us believe. Because socialism most certainly means higher taxation for the rich.

MY POINT: Manipulating superficiality

We hang tags on people and think that classifying political candidates is what politics is about. So, people like Karl Rove, play with the mindless “political tags” to manipulate people.

And it is so damn easy in an electorate that is complacent and politically naive. This same technique works elsewhere in advanced democracies, so why not America where manipulation has been made an art and the political manipulators earn good money doing what they do?

These same manipulators (called “handlers”) advise candidates to NOT descend into the detail of economic policy because the public will supposedly “not follow you there”. So they don’t. They remain at a superficial level that indicates what they might do once in office.

They smile, show up at rallies newly coiffed with their Trophy Wives and 2.3 children all radiant - and we think, “Yep, there they are, Mr & Mrs America!”

We get what we deserve for our superficiality. If America is in its present Deep DooDoo, it is because we’ve got the political class that we deserved.

We have met the enemy and he is us.

POST SCRIPTUM: Victimization

And the editorial diatribe in TruthDig is not helping matters. The devil is in the details and pointing the finger of blame is perhaps necessary but certainly not sufficient. Calling it all a “conspiracy” simply victimizes us. We don’t need victimization as a people, we need a cure.

We must get into the factual details and use a bit of pedagogy to convince people of a viable Progressive Agenda.

That ain’t easy ...

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By shanbaleelah, May 25, 2011 at 9:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Liberal Class has a very hard time stepping outside of the Democratic Party box.  It’s had ample opportunity to put someone like Ralph Nader in the White House, but it has chosen to go with the lesser of the two evils.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, May 25, 2011 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment

When the richest class is out to trash the economy and the gov’t in order to rebuild and replace it then it all makes sense. Otherwise they are just sucking the gov’t dry then it will collapse.

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By TAO Walker, May 25, 2011 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment

The difficulties “screamingpalm” describes are all too typical, here in these latter Days….and likely to become orders-of-magnitude more so rather quickly.  Being on or off “the grid,” for instance, has become effectively irrelevant, as the disease vector’s operating system, the eCONomy, is already in cascading failure mode.

Living Human Community, like any whole healthy free wild Natural Organic Form, can’t be forced or fabricated.  It occurs spontaneously in response to some actual need in our Living Arrangement.  It has been critical to the temporary “success” of the tormenting entities’ wannabe parasitic “process,” however, to suppress Earth’s immune function, by corrupting and co-opting much of its Human component, which has then been instrumental in degrading Her and all our Natural Vitality into the degenerate energy the tormentors believe they must have….the same sick “dynamic” driving the insatiable lust for “money” and “power” so glaringly manifest these Days among their two-legged tools.

The Way out of such sufferings as “screamingpalm” is experiencing doesn’t lie in trying to “connect” somehow with “others.”  In getting-over one’s usurping fear-ridden “self,” and thereby recovering the Natural Person-hood that is ours by-nature, that aching emptiness gnawing-at most domesticated people, which can only be filled by the Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity, and which has been kept sealed-off from access to its Source in our natural Organic Form by the incessant demands of satisfying the wannabe all-CONsuming “self,” is opened-up again.

The essential elements of Natural Organic Community are present already everywhere.  It is only their manufactured obsessive and increasingly desperate preoccupation with the diminishing half-life their own “individual” plight that is keeping our tame Sisters and Brothers from “finding” one another in the midst of Whole Life….and remembering together that we are All still all-together in Her Living Arrangement, the carefully CONtrived appearances of the “dominance” paradigm’s illusory eCONomic system to-the-CONtrary notwithstanding.

“When you’ve got nothin’, you’ve got nothin’ to lose”....in a word, FREEDOM!

HokaHey!

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By mc.murphy, May 25, 2011 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

Doug1943, May 25 at 3:06 pm

And the alternative to capitalism is ....?

anything that rejects capitalism, what else?

But any discussion of the finer points of different alternatives: Socialism,
Collectivism, Libertarian Socialism, Parecon, Resource based Economy, etc., with
you, would be an unenlightening waste of time.

http://mosquitocloud.net/

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Gary Mont's avatar

By Gary Mont, May 25, 2011 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

Doug1943:And the alternative to capitalism is ....? If you don’t have an answer, just say so.

Nope, you’re absolutely right. Humanity has never even tried to create a system beyond capitalism and never will, since its the system that best allows the creators of the system to become the gods of the system and keep out the riff-raff.

And once the capitalists gets hold of the law and starts to eliminate any restraints against “unbridled” capitalism (like we have today in the USA), then there’s simply no turning back.

Capialists know no self-restraint and are utterly incapable of even the slightest attempt at self regulation.

This of course means that planetary resource conservation is out - all resources are first come, first served, so we can kiss the earth’s resources good bye in twenty to thirty years max, with nothing even considered as a replacement, because there’s no profit in thinking ahead and no profit in these renewable resources. Cash it in and horde the money for usury sake, that’s the ticket to success.

Once the water is all polluted from dumping industrial waste there, the billionares can start selling factory manufactured water to the world at constantly inflating prices. Hell they can pump it right into your house if your rich enough.

The sea will be used as a global dump even after it becomes too thick and foul to support life, because its the cheapest way to get rid of garbage and capitalists always use the cheapest method to increase profits. Then the capitalists can start selling factory grown fish-clone products at constantly inflating prices to the world. 

The air will soon need to be filtered through personal face masks, because the market for personal face masks will be huge once the air is too polluted to breathe, so capitalists can have a field day, selling everyone on earth designer face masks, while spewing the filth from their factories inexpensively into the air.

Might as well get used to becoming a slave too, if you’re not attached directly to some industrial or commercial cartel or dynasty. Everyone will have their value, according to their work usability and life expectancy. Get too low on the value and it’ll be soylent green time.

That’s how true capitalists do it - every commodity has its monetary value and any commodity that drops below zero in that value becomes a liability. Once all regulatory control is removed from law and all law enforcement works for the corporate government, you’ll be used for whatever purpose can gain the rulers the most money with the least effort and least expense - like sold to Mexican Drug Cartels as slave poppy crop farmers.

And medicine will have to become 100% addiction based, with side-effects added on for additional illness related need for more medicines… pretty much what we have today, only more so. Hospital care of course will be only for those who can afford it. And drugs will be everywhere, although still illegal because illegality maintains good pricing levels and capitalist love good pricing levels. The Black Markets may even see themselves traded in the stock market,once they merge back with their parent corporations.

Yes its a capital world.

You’re completely correct. There simply is no other system than capitalism, and since the majority of humanity thinks capitalism is the cat’s meow, there never will be anything other than capitalism, except when there’s nothing left at all.

Which at the rate the capitalists are rushing hell bent for leather towards this apparent ultimate goal, should take no more than thiry years max.

But what can you do, since the only game in town is the game that brings down the house.

In my opinion only of course.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, May 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

That’s Anarchism and communalism, not “free markets” which means Capitalism without restraint. Not what we want.

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Gary Mont's avatar

By Gary Mont, May 25, 2011 at 3:53 pm Link to this comment

Doug1943:And the alternative to capitalism is ....? If you don’t have an answer, just say so.

Nope, you’re absolutely right. Humanity has never even tried to create a system beyond capitalism and never will, since its the system that best allows the creators of the system to become the gods of the system and keep out the riff-raff.

And once the capitalists gets hold of the law and starts to eliminate any restraints against “unbridled” capitalism (like we have today in the USA), then there’s simply no turning back.

Capialists know no self-restraint and are utterly incapable of even the slightest attempt at self regulation.

This of course means that planetary resource conservation is out - all resources are first come, first served, so we can kiss the earth’s resources good bye in twenty to thirty years max, with nothing even considered as a replacement, because there’s no profit in thinking ahead and no profit in these renewable resources. Cash it in and horde the money for usury sake, that’s the ticket to success.

Once the water is all polluted from dumping industrial waste there, the billionares can start selling factory manufactured water to the world at constantly inflating prices. Hell they can pump it right into your house if your rich enough.

The sea will be used as a global dump even after it becomes too thick and foul to support life, because its the cheapest way to get rid of garbage and capitalists always use the cheapest method to increase profits. Then the capitalists can start selling factory grown fish-clone products at constantly inflating prices to the world.

The air will soon need to be filtered through personal face masks, because the market for personal face masks will be huge once the air is too polluted to breathe, so capitalists can have a field day, selling everyone on earth designer face masks, while spewing the filth from their factories inexpensively into the air.

Might as well get used to becoming a slave too, if you’re not attached directly to some industrial or commercial cartel or dynasty. Everyone will have their value, according to their work usability and life expectancy. Get too low on the value and it’ll be soylent green time.

That’s how true capitalists do it - every commodity has its monetary value and any commodity that drops below zero in that value becomes a liability. Once all regulatory control is removed from law and all law enforcement works for the corporate government, you’ll be used for whatever purpose can gain the rulers the most money with the least effort and least expense - like sold to Mexican Drug Cartels as slave poppy crop farmers.

And medicine will have to become 100% addiction based, with side-effects added on for additional illness related need for more medicines… pretty much what we have today, only more so. Hospital care of course will be only for those who can afford it. And drugs will be everywhere, although still illegal because illegality maintains good pricing levels and capitalist love good pricing levels. The Black Markets may even see themselves traded in the stock market,once they merge back with their parent corporations.

Yes its a capital world.

You’re completely correct. There simply is no other system than capitalism, and since the majority of humanity thinks capitalism is the cat’s meow, there never will be anything other than capitalism, except when there’s nothing left at all.

Which at the rate the capitalists are rushing hell bent for leather towards this apparent ultimate goal, should take no more than thiry years max.

But what can you do, since the only game in town is the game that brings down the house.

In my opinion only of course.

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By entropy2, May 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment

The alternative to capitalism is a true free market. Capitalism, as it exists today, is NOT, in any way, a free market, and could not exist without massive intervention and coercion by the state. The chokehold the corporations have on us could not be maintained without the iron fist of government behind the “invisible hand.”

Right-wing libertarians (also known as dope-smoking Republicans) want to deregulate business and end welfare.

Fine.

The free-market left agrees…all we say is— deregulate business from the bottom up and end welfare from the top down. Quit blocking opportunity for the working class and quit subsidizing externalities and socializing private risk for the rentier class.

What we really need is an Interdependence Movement.

It’s a lot more practical and attainable to find and work, locally, on our own level, with people we know and trust to fulfill our needs (helping them, at the same time, to fulfill theirs) than the utopian dream of finding honest, non-megalomaniacal politicians (and getting them elected) in order to curb state-supported corporate dominion and create justice and plenty for us.

Simple equation:

Self Interest
+Self Interest
=Mutual Interest

You want a real-life example? Check out the Mondragon Cooperative in Spain.

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

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screamingpalm's avatar

By screamingpalm, May 25, 2011 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

To get well they need only get-over their sickening “self.”

Yes, that’s sure-as-hell a helluvalot easier said than done….especially since the “choice” is only between perishing miserably (all alone) in the virtual world-‘o’-hurt, or living (all together) altogether within The Vision fleshed-out in Her Actual Living Arrangement. 

I moved from Virginia (a very conservative state) to Oregon (a very “liberal” state) and there is a huge difference in mentality about “community”. Ironically there is much more of individualism and lack of community here in Oregon than in Virginia.

I absolutely admire the words you bring to TD, but I often struggle to find the answers to putting them into practice. I have no community that welcomes me with open arms, rather surrounded by individualists instead. Although I stay as far off of “the grid” as possible, I have multiple sleeping disorders and no health insurance. I have sleep apnea and require a cpap machine, but cannot afford one. Perhaps I am doomed to “perish (all alone)”. I am only a starving musician, scraping by day to day. Pessimistic and defeatist, but what can I do? My situation leaves me zombie-like, without energy and depressed.

Some want answers “from here to there” to “fix” our broken system, but I’d rather look for answers to the wisdom you bring. I put into practice many of the things you say already, but there is only so far one can go without a [real] community.

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Gary Mont's avatar

By Gary Mont, May 25, 2011 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

Now wouldn’t that be a gas.

As the USA spirals deeper and deeper into the abyss of corporate created fascism, lead by its most affluent and respected citizens of capital, the rest of the world got a chance to see just how such a runaway case of unbridled capitalism ends up and began work towards all those things that America can no longer achieve.

It would indeed make for a fitting requiem to such a once-awesome nation - America showed them the way - to not do it.

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By Doug1943, May 25, 2011 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

And the alternative to capitalism is ....?

If you don’t have an answer, just say so.

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By jerrywrite, May 25, 2011 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

Interesting that Chris Hedges, in defense of his “friend” Cornel West has little to say about what Cornel West actually said. Cornel West is to academia as the Reverend Al is to religion. He’s just another bombastic narcissist who loves the sound of his own voice - and loves the media attention it gets him.

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By mc.murphy, May 25, 2011 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment

Doug1943, May 25 at 2:12

1980, eh?

Have you been outside the country recently? Because every time I fly into LAX,
JFK, or even O’Hare, I feel like I’m stuck in the 80’s, and that, in 2011 feels and
looks like it might be some un-developing third world totalitarian shithole.

And in order that it continues on that merry path into abject poverty, without a
hitch, I’m then greeted by TSA, and realize that Fascism is the new order of the
day…


http://mosquitocloud.net/

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By mc.murphy, May 25, 2011 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment

“Capitalism isn’t generic, and the kind that is being pushed by the likes of the
billionaire Koch brothers”

That’s absolute, naive bullshit! Koch Bros.-yeah right, it’s them who own
Bernanke, Geithner, and Obama…

You’re partisan shit diversions, are not the least helpful.

The Greeks and Spaniards are starting to see this charade for what it is:
Fascism, and they are beginning to coalesce across their ideological divisions,
like a mosquito cloud, getting ready to take down the Fascist Rhino.

So wake the fuck up to a new reality and a brand new day, already—okey?!

http://mosquitocloud.net/

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By Doug1943, May 25, 2011 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

DavidByron:  I second Lafayette: what is your alternative to capitalism?

There is a story—probably too good to be true—which relates how, in the 1980s, a high Soviet official visited New York City. At the end of his tour, he was asked by his State Department escort if he had any requests—anyone he would like to meet? He said yes, “I want to meet the man who is in charge of bread production and distribution for New York City—all your wonderful delicatessens, your bakeries ... all that variety, high quality, abundance.. how does he manage to do it?”  And our Soviet friend just could not believe that there was no one in charge of bread distribution for New York City (or anywhere else in the US). “The market” does it.


So let’s be concrete: how would bread be made and distributed under your non-capitalist system?

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, May 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment

Capitalism isn’t generic, and the kind that is being pushed by the likes of the billionaire Koch brothers is a cancerous predatory kind that supports unlimited power of business over us. If you are rich and connected you will be okay in their world. Otherwise you will not.

Capitalism needs to function with an “=” which it hasn’t been for some time now. Also we need to re-establish courts to look over corporate activity and decide whether a said corporation has been having a positive impact on society or not. If not then they will be dissolved and the owners could get into trouble. Also tariffs for any slave labor goods shipped in from overseas. Also penalize for moving off shore not paying them to do so.

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