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States of Emergency: The Object of American Studies

States of Emergency: The Object of American Studies

By Russ Castronovo (Editor), Susan Gillman (Editor)

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America’s Political Cannibalism

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Posted on Oct 13, 2008
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

The rage bubbling up from America’s impoverished and disenfranchised working class, glimpsed at John McCain campaign rallies, presages a looming and dangerous right-wing backlash.

By Chris Hedges

(Page 2)

The Patriot Act, the FISA Reform Act, the suspension of habeas corpus, the open use of torture in our offshore penal colonies, the stationing of a combat brigade on American soil, the seas of surveillance cameras, the brutal assaults against activists in Denver and St. Paul are converging to determine our future. Those dark forces arrayed against American democracy are waiting for a moment to strike, a national crisis that will allow them in the name of national security and moral renewal to shred the Constitution. They have the tools. They will use fear, chaos, the hatred for the ruling elites and the specter of left-wing dissent and terrorism to impose draconian controls to extinguish our democracy. And while they do it they will be waving the American flag, singing patriotic slogans and clutching the Christian cross. Fuld, I expect, will be one of many corporatists happy to contribute to the cause.

This is a defining moment in American history. The next few weeks and months will see us stabilize and weather this crisis or descend into a terrifying dystopia. I place no hope in Obama or the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party is a pathetic example of liberal, bourgeois impotence, hypocrisy and complacency. It has been bought off. I will vote, if only as a form of protest against our corporate state and an homage to Polanyi’s brilliance, for Ralph Nader. I would like to offer hope, but it is more important to be a realist. No ethic or act of resistance is worth anything if it is not based on the real. And the real, I am afraid, does not look good.

Chris Hedges’ column appears Mondays on Truthdig. Hedges, a Pulitzer prize winner and a former foreign correspondent for The New York Times, is the author of “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.”

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, October 15, 2008 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment

It isn’t that Obama is weak.  He is about as popular as anybody can get.  You must have missed Frontline last night and the fact that today he is 14 points ahead.  So maybe you are right.  Not many are going to vote for Nader so it will be negligible and Obama will win by a landslide. 

America will have a better chance at changing the conservative flavor of the Supreme Court with Obama than with either McCain or Nader.  It is a hands down.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, October 15, 2008 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

Re: Shenonymous

Your comment: “Everybody knows that a vote for Nader is a vote for the status quo.

I disagee.  That’s just more rhetoric, an attempt put the blame for Obama’a weaknesses on the voters.  Obama and McCain voted against the interests of the American People, for this reason neither has earned my vote.  In addition, these votes gave “get out of jail free cards” to the crooks.

Re: ITW

It’s hard to justify your summation.  “Obama appoints sane judge to USSC who understands the Constitution.”

Obama himself has not protected our Constitutional Rights, so what reason would we have to believe that he would appoint a “sane” judge?  We don’t.

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By michael roloff, October 15, 2008 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Hedges is riding a high moral horse! Let me take the generally admired down
a few notches by focusing one just item instead of being awash in kind of moralistic washing machine. Miloscevics.
How and why did Yugoslavia disintegrate? Well, it was fairly fragile multi-ethnic and tribal entity to start with its second coming after world war two, a lot of ghosts in the closet. Tito the magician held it together with a lot of
u.s. funding, his tank guns pointed east! as Yugo-socialism was souring, there too folks had nothing better
to do than to find tribal identities consolation within very slight differences.  i also think that capitalist urges that had been given an entirely free reign in the west after the end of the cold war played their part, among the young. what did it take to set that house of cards into disarray with to be expected ghost liberating effect: German recognition of the fascist successor regime of Tjudman! His making Serbs in Croatia 2nd class citizens let to expulsions, led to Vukovar, to US support for Tjudman, who was not brought to trial.
Mr. Hedges was there as a war correspondent for the NY Times. I must say that the only NY Times correspondent there during that time whom I respect is Steve Erlanger, all others, then and subsequently, had an anti-Serbian anti Yugoslavia axe to grind, also in the miserable coverage of the trial. Thus the now theologically trained Mr. Hedges making the Big Bad Wolf of Progarovic [sp.???] into a Satan makes me find him suspect in other regard and a bit too simple minded for me taste buds.

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By cyrena, October 15, 2008 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

Laura,

Thanks for the Nation link to Chalmers Johnson. I would normally have come across it, either in my day-to-day internet activity, or in the hard copy of the Nation that I receive via snail mail. Being ‘in transition’ these days, I’m without my own computer, or access to snail mail. (or maybe I should just say that my snail mail is even slower than a snail these days…lucky to collect it once a month). ‘

Anyway, thanks again. Excellent article, but then…I’m a big fan of Chalmers AND the Nation.

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By cyrena, October 15, 2008 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

By TAO Walker, October 15 at 10:34 am

TAO,

Thanks (as always) for the brilliant and reassuring counsel. (You know I always look for your words of comfort wherever and whenever they are available, and remain in touch always).

I’m afraid I was the one who suggested that power systems exist within all societies, but I was specifically including the larger society of Mother Earth, even if I did not articulate it. Because, as an observant two-legger, (tame or otherwise - I’m not so sure I’m all that domesticated) I know this to be so. Nature has Her own pecking order, and the elements are in fact the Primary sources of Power. The Taming of the Two-Leggers has in fact produced artificial forms of Power/Energy, and those artificial sources are running out. We’ll survive only to the extent that we can return to Natural Law, and the Natural Order.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, October 15, 2008 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment

Fahrenheit 451:’... While I agree, humans can change; alas they do not generally change their nature.  Have we changed the world?  Of course, one would have to be dull beyond measure not to acknowledge that.  However, I’m speaking about fundamental change, change of our nature; with rare exception very few have accomplished this. ...’

I wasn’t thinking of people changing their nature, a procedure with dubious feedback loops and in any case a rare vocation in spite of all the talk.  I was thinking of the mass, the whole.

Human behavior and culture have changed radically in historical time, especially last few hundred years.  One could say that the human genome hasn’t changed much (debatable), but its expression, its meaning, has, because it is being expressed in a profoundly different context.  So I think the only meaning of nature for which we could say that human nature is unchanging is possibly the genetic component; everything else has changed and is changing.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, October 15, 2008 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

Tao Walker,

“Power,” “belief,” and “wealth”  the “false idols” so very profound and clear as the day is long.

Thank you

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By TAO Walker, October 15, 2008 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

Fahrenheit 451 might consider the likelihood that all of the “human nature” s/he really knows much about is its reaction-to and chronic expression-in captivity.  It is a quite natural characteristic of us Human Beings and many of our Relatives here that we become aggressively auto-destructive when over-crowded and confined.  Those not physically equipped for that just get sick-to-death of their institutionalized and enforced degradation.  For example, the abused inmates of feedlots and factory farms (not to mention prisons and zoos) are routinely sedated to prevent them from behaving in ways that detract from their for-profit tormentors’ “bottom line”....however that is calculated.

Their extreme susceptibility to “disease” (a natural “defense mechanism”), makes it necessary for the exploiters to mount ever-escalating programs of chemical and other kinds of “intervention” just to sustain minimal levels of “utility” and/or “marketability.”  Tame humans are obviously no exceptions to these “rules”....witness the ubiquitous violence and sickness driving huge drug and “security” company “profits” seen these days. 

This old Indian has no illusions about any “perfect society,” perfection itself being essentially one of those meaningless (and toxic) abstractions, at least in the Natural Living Arrangement.  Tony Wicher is mayby extrapolating from data and experience derived solely from within the confining contraption called “civilization,” in asserting that there always must be some sort of “power” structure in any Human social arrangement.  Our experience as free wild Human Beings shows beyond doubt that “power” itself is illusory, and that those who get caught-up in its toils invariably suffer from an ultimately self-obliterating insanity (Of course they can and regularly do inflict considerable temporary hardship on the rest of us, in the throes of their madness.).

Persons here seeming to despair of any genuine possibility of recovering, in-time, those qualities of our Human Nature that will finally free our domesticated Sisters and Brothers from the admittedly awful mess they’re in have no-doubt come-by their pessimism honestly enough.  Looking only within the shrinking and stultifying borders of the apparatus of their entrapment leaves them, by design, with nothing at all to get ‘hold of that might serve as a Way out.  “Power,” “belief,” and “wealth” are all artifacts of the damned thing anyhow, and are even now being exposed for the “false idols” they’ve always been.

The thing is, these latter-day “globalists” are no different from “power”- and fear-mongers anywhere anytime.  Their ambitions far exceed their talents….a sure-fire prescription for catastrophe.  They are right now staring the one they’ve “engineered” in-the-face….thus their desperate attempts to put-up sand-bagged levies of “money” and armed-force in a last-ditch effort to save theirownselves from the consequences of their self-serving folly.  Us surviving primitive Savages say to them, “Have at it!”

To our captive Two-legged Sisters and Brothers we say, “Don’t be afraid.”  There still lives within you, despite ten thousand years of abuse by your tormentors, the essence of your true Human Nature.  You are all, by nature, Ikche Wichapi….free wild natural Human Beings.  When the razor wire and the surveillance and the intimidation and the mis-direction afflicting you disappears along with the “money” that makes it work, that nature will again emerge to see you through the unavoidable upheavals that always accompany the collapse and disintegration of schemes to “subdue” our Mother Earth and exploit Her Native Children….this present one, by-the-way, hardly the first or even the most “powerful” and “sophisticated” of these pyramid schemes.

It is very likely the last, though, at least for a long time.  So take heart!  Every good day to die IS also a very good day to Live.

HokaHey!

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By yellowbird2525, October 15, 2008 at 11:21 am Link to this comment

READ the books available to you! It is the US GOV who is behind the “water is a human NEED, not a human RIGHT”; they must (meaning people of THIS or EVERY COUNTRY) in the world: PAY for it! or they will DIE in 3 days WITHOUT IT! READ: blue oil, blue Covenant; READ of the USA involvement in countries Nicaragua, in the genocide & atrocities even now in Colombia; who did you THINK was behind the deliberate murdering of folks there attempting to get living wages & benefits for the people there? HELLO CORPS working with USA Gov & military claiming “war on drugs” to DELIBERATELY POISON the trees, land, & water of peasants; causing them to get ill & die; so they can GRAB THEIR LAND, GET THE WATER RIGHTS to all countries thru BRIBERY: and then do what they have done in the USA; make slaves, without a THING for all their tax paying. When in reality, every other country has had the SAME FREEDOMS & huge benefits for the people that YOU are “told” is “democracy”. It is NOT. Democracy means RUN BY THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE. We the people objected overwhelmingly against plastic milk jugs, etc; over rode by $ from companies; this nation is run for & by 1 thing alone: GREED, with NO BENEFITS for the people at all. WHY DO YOU THINK: there are more deaths here than in any other country in the world? far more babies deaths here than anywhere else; the FDA, the EPA, the “utility companies” are FRONTS folks: to make you THINK that they are “doing their job”; they aren’t; oh, well, they ARE if they are DECEIVING YOU. The wall street guys who went on huge trip to spa going on another “reprimanded” by Congress: what was said? WE USUALLY ARE REWARDED for work well done (they did EXACTLY what the “leaders” of THIS NATION wanted them to do; you can get the book “license to steal”; theft by mortgage; any # of books from Barnes & Noble re pharmacutical companies & how they operate; billing you 600,000 times cost of pills; how the docs are paid for prescriptions, etc; it is ALL RUN to HARM FOLKS SHAMELESSLY to the GREED of a FEW: and THEY CLAIM “this is the way democracy works”; it is the way CRIMINALS work; and you CANNOT have a “nation of law” when the leaders are all operating OUTSIDE of the laws;

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By yellowbird2525, October 15, 2008 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

“democracy” has become the most despised name on the planet simply because it is DECEPTION. so, for “it” to go, would be wonderful for the people in this country & every other country on the planet! BECAUSE: it is the Gov that was a DICTATORSHIP that was bought & paid for by the wealthy years ago & then the PEOPLE have have to pay ever since, along with the PLANET. GREED is the name of the game; world dominion by deception & deceit is the name of the game; CONSIDER: the model T just had it’s 100th birthday: built to last 100 years, it got 26 MPG & had NO harmful emmissions to pollute the earth. Do you SERIOUSLY BELIEVE that Europe which has had cars averaging 50+ MPG since the 60’s & now the average MPG is 70; (many higher than this); most are equipped or easily converted to run on natural gas which has no emmissions & cost less for under $100; the US GOV working with Corps for dominion without regard for human rights, lives, or needs have deliberately KEPT things to better life here on earth & for the people for centuries; in fact, they have agressively added chemicals to EVERYTHING including all new clothes, furniture, etc; to TAKE YOUR HEALTH to get more $ for their sister company the “pharma”; they have even surpressed cancer treatments; they have REFUSED to give simple things like medical coverage; in fact they wrote a FED LAW that says even WITH medical coverage the insurance companies do not HAVE to cover you: your insurance coverage STOPS the moment you are ill. Added to this: every single thing in the financial meltdown was criminal & fraud & deliberately planned step by step with the full knowledge & consent of the US Gov Congress & leaders (including Govenors) folks: to HARM the people of this country. In fact, they are bribing heads of other countries telling them “we have gotten away with it for years” & you NEVER HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT BEING PROSECUTED OR GOING TO JAIL! So, we have lawless leaders ignoring & operating outside of laws of USA, laws of Congress, international laws; ignoring social & environmental needs for their own greed. Claiming to be a “source of GOOD” in the world: STOP & ASK YOURSELVES: for WHOM and for WHAT???????? They are the OPPOSITE of what they SAY they are & what they STAND FOR.

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By moineau, October 15, 2008 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

“Hedges is used to the concept of worship and obviously needs a deity.” checkmate, she.

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Purple Girl's avatar

By Purple Girl, October 15, 2008 at 9:05 am Link to this comment

I’m disturbingly fasinated with the Contradictions and hypocracies which befall the so called ‘Religious Right’.
Nothing knew they have been perfecting Oxymorons for Millenia.
Is not the mere Title ‘Religious Right’ a form of Judgement? Who has Granted THEM this Divine Priviledge? What Such entity would Relinquish this To mere mortals? What Almighty Power would require the Assistance at such ‘idenitfication’ methods and Cataloging?
Why Would God need them to decide Who is Worthy of salvation and Who is Not? Why Would He need to have them Identify themselves to HIM as the ‘Religious Right’? Oh yea of Little Faith and Reverence for Our Creator.
I must ask If they feel such differentiation is required by this entity, Who do they think they are Serving?
In Fact Who do Any of These So called ‘religious Sects’ serve when the prove they have no concept of Servitude to humanity, or the Eden we have been Bestowed or for the Omnipotence of God ?
These folks can’t EVEN abide By 10 Simple Rule;One of which they flaunt when they wear a particular Sacred Cows Emblem around their Neck!
If you Want to Worship a Idol, go Ahead..but do not inflict your Heresy ON ME! Keep Your Blasphemy and ‘Sins’ at Home or in your Churches…Get the Hell Out of Our Public Domain, You marr the Rest of US with your transgressions!

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, October 15, 2008 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

Nader was interviewed on The News Hour last night and that is how he gets his exposure without having much campaign money.  He also has lined up press conferences, another avenue of free campaign advertising.  An interesting strategy.  Did he make some sense on the Ray Suarez interview?  Listen to the horse’s mouth for yourself: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/vote2008/

Everybody knows that a vote for Nader is a vote for the status quo.  The story about Nader is a useless waste of energy.  His ideas may have some merit, but he is impotent to ignite the country behind himself.  He is really a model of one pissing into the wind.  He has never won because there is something deficient in the man not his ideas.  Yes, they, the American people did vote for Bush, but they did not vote for Nader.  There are only two viable candidates that can win.  Obama and McCain.  Nader as a personality is not liked even if he has grand insight into the economy.  He is not the only one.  So he fades into the crowd of his own worshippers. Hedges is used to the concept of worship and obviously needs a deity.  Optimism for Nader is misplaced.  Get a grip. If we are indeed headed for a global superstate (and I think that is highly exaggerated) but say Wicher is right, a Nader president would not be able to negotiate and not betray his own principles.  He couldn’t get a Congress to back him up in anything.  It is a fantasy to thinnk that the United States is the leader of the world.  George Bush took that away and it is pure folly to give the possibility of a continuation of his policies to McCain because of the Nader siphon votes.

The right-wing fanatics produce occasionally one insane man with a gun.  The McCain/Palin/Frederick team whips up hysteria.  Obama represents a radical change in American countenance and the extreme right is desperate to hang onto their seats of power.  Care must be taken we don’t have a repeat of the most sorrowful days of yesteryear.

Turning McCain’s and Bush’s logic back on themselves is exactly what needs to be done, so I thank you lawlessone for your excellent post.

Hypocrisy is not owned by the democratic party, we are seeing it clearly in McCain/Palin desperation. 

Religionists like to believe “solutions” are a function of propitiating whatever “divine” entity is the particular object of their adoration.  Wow, Tao Walker, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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By Fahrenheit 451, October 15, 2008 at 5:57 am Link to this comment

@ Anarcissie;
“Elsewhere you say they cannot do this, but I say they can and have changed both the world and themselves.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Actually, what I said was;
To Tao Walker:  “If I understand you; we (humans) need drastic change.  I agree, but alas, I fear it’s not to be.”

While I agree, humans can change; alas they do not generally change their nature.  Have we changed the world?  Of course, one would have to be dull beyond measure not to acknowledge that.  However, I’m speaking about fundamental change, change of our nature; with rare exception very few have accomplished this.

Have we changed the world to be a better place; no, it’s pretty obvious it’s worse.  Who has done this?  It’s a very important question.  The correct answer is our very lives.

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By Fahrenheit 451, October 15, 2008 at 5:36 am Link to this comment

@ Inherit The Wind;

Wow, tragically, all are plausible.  But no good outcome in your scenario; I fear you are correct.  We’ve kind of cornered ourselves haven’t we?

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By moineau, October 15, 2008 at 5:23 am Link to this comment

all you “optimists” on this board who are supporting nader will lose that optimism pretty quickly if mccain and palin get in. i always learn something when i read hedges but he’s dead wrong with his “protest” vote. for those of you who say, but it’s because he’s the best candidate, or because you agree with hedges, perhaps you want the system to crash completely and think you’ll be able to set it up again before they come for you. good luck. i think they’ll come for you first.

obama has pissed me off several times during this campaign, but what he does next has always redeemed him in my eyes. for example, his push to keep bankrupcy reform out the bailout bill; he knew that it wouldn’t pass if it were part of it, but intends to push for it in his presidency, and if we get our 60%, he’ll get it. i’ve had to admit that he has a much bigger picture than i do… political expediency. you betcha! i don’t know if the bailout bill will help, but now he’s taken a page from clinton and says we should have a respite from foreclosure from any bank that gets part of bailout. that could work as a part of ground-up rescue. i kept waiting for someone to call for it yesterday. would that obama were in now! i’m with krugman, let him and his advisors into the Treasury the day after the election!

for anyone who doubts how possibly revolutionary this election could be, please read the following chalmers johnson article, reposted in THE NATION. then, rethink the audacity of your hopelessness and cynicism. i’d follow chalmers johnson long before i’d follow hedges anywhere, anyday! every vote for obama is precious!

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20081020/johnson

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, October 15, 2008 at 5:20 am Link to this comment

Fahrenheit 451:
’“Nature” is just a word used to describe the world and the way processes work.  It is the inherent interconnectedness of all things everywhere. ...’

That sort of nature, nature as “everything”, would not prohibit human beings from changing.  Elsewhere you say they cannot do this, but I say they can and have changed both the world and themselves.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 15, 2008 at 4:24 am Link to this comment

Tony Wicher, October 14 at 10:50 pm #

Re yours truly, October 14 at 4:39 pm #
What’s it boil down to?  Obama’s our only hope, that’s what.  How to take advantage of the slight difference that exists between him & McCain?  It’s up to us.
————————————————————————-
I agree with your conclusions, but I would just like to note that “slight”, like everything else, is relative. The difference between McCain and Obama is slight - if they are viewed from the vicinity of the galaxy in Andromeda. If viewed from the vicinity of earth, the difference become enormous.

**************************************

Scenario 1: McCain elected.  Stevens dies.  McCain appoints a Scalia-clone.  Roe v. Wade is immediately overturned. Miranda is immediately overturned.  Challenges to Patriot Act dismissed. FOIA overturned. Challenges to MCA and latest FISA dismissed.  Executions of questionable guilty or clearly innocent people continue. Extraordinary Rendition held Constitutional…..

Scenario 2: McCain elected. Dies of skin cancer after 2 years.  Palin becomes president. Acts as she did in Alaska as if it’s one big candy store for her and her friends.  Appoints childhood friends from Wasilla to cabinet posts.  Launches vendettas against anyone whoever criticizes her.  Karl Rove comments “Democracy and freedom have been lost” and is arrested for sedition. Issues Executive Order overturning Roe v Wade. Congress passes law allowing abortion only in cases of rape or incest.  Palin issues “signing statement” that any doctor performing an abortion under ANY circumstances will be charged with infanticide, even to keep mother AND baby from dying.  “American Experiment” ends in dictatorship and collapsing economy.

Scenario 3: Obama elected.  Stevens dies.  Obama appoints sane judge to USSC who understands the Constitution. Roe v Wade protected.  Constitutional rights protected. Legislation introduced to revise tax code and start bringing budget back into balance.  All Bush Executive Orders are dismissed. Depolitization of the Civil Service moves rapidly to remove incompetent Bush “politically reliable” appointees. Negotiations begun with Iran, Palestinians, Cubans, Pakistanis.  World breaths a sigh of relief.  US Democracy lives another day.  Rightwingnuts plan for their next attack on democracy in the name of “Christianity”. Statue of Jesus found weeping…Right assumes this means they can use any means to grab power again.

Scenario 4: Obama elected. Crazy right-wing fanatic urged on by Sarah Palin assassinates him. Biden becomes President.  Obama’s course for the nation continues.  Fox Noise, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh float “conspiracy theory” that Biden and the Democrats are behind the assassination and that the rabid, “Kill ‘em!” Right-wingnut gun-toting lunatics (including the assassin) had nothing to do with it. Rightwingnuts plan for their next attack on democracy in the name of “Christianity”. Statue of Jesus found weeping…Right assumes this means they can use any means to grab power again.

SLIGHT difference between McCain and Obama?  I suppose to a staph bacteria there’s just a slight difference between a gorilla and a Harvard graduate.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, October 15, 2008 at 12:19 am Link to this comment

Re: Tony Wicher

Your comment: “I agree with your conclusions, but I would just like to note that “slight”, like everything else, is relative.

Hmmm…. how “relative” could the word slight be…?  Without political spin, of course.  Since with political spin…. up is down…and I can’t argue it…. down is up, so…. can you explain “relative”?

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, October 14, 2008 at 11:50 pm Link to this comment

Re yours truly, October 14 at 4:39 pm #
What’s it boil down to?  Obama’s our only hope, that’s what.  How to take advantage of the slight difference that exists between him & McCain?  It’s up to us.
————————————————————————-
I agree with your conclusions, but I would just like to note that “slight”, like everything else, is relative. The difference between McCain and Obama is slight - if they are viewed from the vicinity of the galaxy in Andromeda. If viewed from the vicinity of earth, the difference become enormous.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, October 14, 2008 at 11:39 pm Link to this comment

So…..is anyone willing to address these questions.  Of course, I mean apart from talking around, upside-down and side-ways?

I’m all ears.

From Nanny’s post:

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for wanting to raise the Pentagon budget?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for not supporting single-payer healthcare?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for voting for F.I.S.A?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for supporting Joe Lieberman?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for supporting the war in Iraq?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for wanting to escalate the war in Afghanistan?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for wanting to invade Pakistan?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for wanting to invade Iran?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for barely mentioning torture?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for not mentioning the poor and the working poor?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for supporting the $850 billion Wall Street bailout?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for not mentioning corporate welfare—corporate welfare averaging BEFORE the $850 billion bailout $125 billion per year.

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for supporting companies like Wal-Mart’s?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for taking millions of dollars from Corporate America?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for supporting Henry Paulson, the former head of Lehman Brothers; or Robert Gates, the current Secretary of Defense?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for voting for the Patriot Act as well as the reauthorization of the Patriot Act?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for supporting the bankruptcy bill, a bill that punitively affects the average wage earner?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for supporting an increase in the US military presence throughout the world?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for taking impeachment off the table?

”The answer to ALL these questions is the same .. BECAUSE OBAMA IS DOING THE SAME THING!”

Hmmm…. is there a reason for this?  Why has everyone avoided these issues….?  Do you feel they don’t MATTER or is it that you cannot qualify your candidate by addressing them?

Vote Nader/Gonzales 2008

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By Tony Wicher, October 14, 2008 at 10:56 pm Link to this comment

By cyrena, October 14 at 7:49 pm #


folktruther writes:

They will both continue Bush’s policies, as the British ECONOMIST has pointed out.  They have to.  They are both the creatures of the US power system that imposed Bush on the population.

~~~~

Ah folktruther, a mind is such a terrible thing to waste.

It would be helpful if you at least knew what you were talking about when you spill all of this ink. For starters, ALL SOCIETIES have power systems. Even TAO’s more or less perfect society has a power system.
——————————————————————————
cyrena,

Of course it does. The Tao Te Ching is as much about politics and the proper exercise of power as anything else. Lao Tse was the original left-winger. Consider Verse 31:

Now arms, however beautiful, are instruments of evil omen, hateful, it may be said, to all creatures. Therefore they who have the Tao do not like to employ them.

The superior man ordinarily considers the left hand the most honourable place, but in time of war the right hand. Those sharp weapons are instruments of evil omen, and not the instruments of the
superior man;—he uses them only on the compulsion of necessity. Calm and repose are what he prizes; victory (by force of arms) is to him undesirable. To consider this desirable would be to delight in the
slaughter of men; and he who delights in the slaughter of men cannot get his will in the kingdom.

On occasions of festivity to be on the left hand is the prized position; on occasions of mourning, the right hand. The second in command of the army has his place on the left; the general commanding
in chief has his on the right;—his place, that is, is assigned to him as in the rites of mourning. He who has killed multitudes of men should weep for them with the bitterest grief; and the victor in
battle has his place (rightly) according to those rites.

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By Sha Ren, October 14, 2008 at 10:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Most of the HONEST RIGHT are CONSTITUTIONALISTS
who we must join forces with,
TO THROW ALL THE BUMS IN CONGRESS OUT
FORCLOSE THEM!
OFFSHORE THEM!
OUTSOURCE THEM!

Remember:
The Baby is DEAD!,
and the Bathwater is Dirty!

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By thisguyiknow, October 14, 2008 at 10:31 pm Link to this comment

and Obama will very quickly be co-opted by the intense forces operating upon the president.  That’s already been demonstrated as he has negotiated the electoral obstacle course. 

So what are people who loathe the thing that america is becoming, yet treasure the vote to do?

Perhaps one way to go might be to turn to Nader not to put him into office (which will never happen), but for his clear analysis of why, in ancient Athens, he would already be in office & what he would be doing there. 

And then to turn to a “viable” candidate such as Obama to give him or her 1) that precious vote, and 2) a constant stream of analysis regarding what you see going on, and what you expect to see done about it.

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By Fahrenheit 451, October 14, 2008 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment

Addendum
@ Anarcissie;

“Nature” is just a word used to describe the world and the way processes work.  It is the inherent interconnectedness of all things everywhere.  IMO.

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By nestoffour, October 14, 2008 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

our reckless consumerism supports all of this evil.  that is the change everyone needs to make.

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By cyrena, October 14, 2008 at 8:49 pm Link to this comment

folktruther writes:

They will both continue Bush’s policies, as the British ECONOMIST has pointed out.  They have to.  They are both the creatures of the US power system that imposed Bush on the population.

~~~~

Ah folktruther, a mind is such a terrible thing to waste.

It would be helpful if you at least knew what you were talking about when you spill all of this ink. For starters, ALL SOCIETIES have power systems. Even TAO’s more or less perfect society has a power system. It’s built into the world order, and would exist, even without a financial system. There is ALWAYS a power system, wherever one happens to exist in the world, and you can always opt out of it if you choose. You obviously haven’t chosen to do that.

Be that as it may, nothing was IMPOSED on the US population, and that’s the part you don’t get. It may have been ‘imposed’ on *you*, but then, you many have been one of the dummies who voted for Dick Bush.  I don’t know. I only know that ‘we the people’ had our government overthrown by a judicial coup in 2000, and there weren’t enough elected officials within that 535 member body, to do anything about it, based on the rules that were established long, long ago.

So the POWER system in the US is theoretically ‘the rule of LAW’. Not man, not money, not blood line, but the LAW, and the PEOPLE make the law. That’s the concept that was established, even while it was brute physical POWER that overwhelmed the former system in the 15th Century, to set this one up.  (when tens of thousands of natives were genocided to do it).

So it was a Coup that undermined or overwhelmed (however you want to see it) the rule of law, to put the Dick Bush regime in place. Coups aren’t new. The same folks have been executing them for decades. That it was allowed, is a testimony the chicanery that Anarcissie has mentioned. That ENOUGH of the US Population voted for them AGAIN, (despite the fact that they cheated – again) is a testimony not to the power of the rule of law, but to the stupidity of the American public.

That this election is even CLOSE now, is a testimony to the racism that is also foundational in this society, as well as the continuing apathy and ignorance of the American population.  You claim that you are antagonistic toward anybody in ‘the system’ like McKinney, or Kucinich, or even Nader. (and Nader is very much a part of the system with all of his NGO’s and other special/private interests) Yet it is that very system that makes the laws and sets the agenda for the common good. So, when the American population, (a majority of it) actually starts taking some ownership of the system by electing representatives that will make law according to their own interests, and make sure that the laws are upheld, then we might see some improvement to all of our lives. If that doesn’t work for you, maybe you should try to come up with something that does.

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By Fahrenheit 451, October 14, 2008 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment

@ Anarcissie;

Nature existed before us and we came into being as an inseparable part of it.  Nature will survive us if we choose to go extinct.  Nature just is and cannot be differentiated, dissected, if you will.  We didn’t come into this world apart from nature.  We have however rationalized that we are separate from it; we do this at our peril.  IMO.

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By Anarcissie, October 14, 2008 at 7:14 pm Link to this comment

Fahrenheit 451—It depends what we mean by nature, of course.  Sometimes it means the world before human beings, or at least technology-possessing human beings, have done things to it.  Sometimes it means “everything”.  Sometimes it means some kind of essential core of being or behavior.  I’ve chosen to mush around a little, but I’m mostly thinking of the first and third meanings.

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By Anarcissie, October 14, 2008 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment

JNagarya:
“Financial collapses lead to political extremism.”

Is that the only “cause” of extremism”? ... etc.’

I’ve become curious as to what you all mean by extremism, extremist, and so on.  There seems to be some underlying value allocation going on, something like minority opinion equals violent practices.

This is curious because in the U.S. it’s the powerful, the rich, and usually the majority who support all sorts of violent practices, whereas those who oppose them are in the minority, or at least at the short end of the political stick.  But maybe I’m misinterpreting the subtext here.  Let me know.

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By Fahrenheit 451, October 14, 2008 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

@ Anarcissie;
“To some extent, though, human beings have already stepped out of their nature—out of “Nature” itself.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
As is our nature.  I posit; It is impossible for us to “step out of nature”, everything “we” do, from the most sublime to the most horrific is our nature. 

Anarcissie;”...if there is one other than self-extermination.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ํํํํYes, that is a point to ponder.

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By Anarcissie, October 14, 2008 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

Fahrenheit: ’... It has occurred to me that it is impossible for us humans to act “outside” of our nature.  Thus the things going on today, as abhorrent as they appear to some of us, are in fact our nature and there is no escaping it. ...’

To some extent, though, human beings have already stepped out of their nature—out of “Nature” itself.  In some ways they have conquered Nature and destroyed it—as Bill McKibben once pointed out, whether the sky is blue or orange has become a human decision.  Stepping out of Nature is part of the problem.  It may also prove to be part of the solution, if there is one other than self-extermination.

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By Fahrenheit 451, October 14, 2008 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment

@ TAO Walker, October 14 at 9:05 am;
“By falling-for the seductive enticements of the tormentors, tame two-leggeds have disabled and debauched theirownselves, and one anothers’, to the point where “intrusions” from Nature are almost without exception catastrophic in their effects on the artifactual order.”

If I understand you; we (humans) need drastic change.  I agree, but alas, I fear it’s not to be.

It has occurred to me that it is impossible for us humans to act “outside” of our nature.  Thus the things going on today, as abhorrent as they appear to some of us, are in fact our nature and there is no escaping it.  Some of us, whose nature it is to seek a non-material life, will do so regardless of what the herd does.

You obviously have a lifetime of spiritual teaching.  I wish I understood everything you say, but I’m sure I don’t.

If everyday is a good day to die, then surely every day is then a good day to live.

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By yours truly, October 14, 2008 at 5:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

However slight the difference between Barack Obama and John McCain, it’s the full measure of whatever electoral chance we have to turn our country around.  The reason for this is that there’s no doubt that if McCain wins he’ll have us in a war against Iran within months, if not weeks, with martial law sure to follow.  And yes, there’s a chance this will happen if Obama’s elected, but we’d have a chance to prevent it.  How much of a chance?  More than none, that’s how much.  So is a slight chance enough reason for us to back Obama?  Sorry, but that’s all there is, folks.  Oh yes, one can vote for a Cynthia McKinney or Ralph Nader, but if McCain wins, having voted for a 3rd party candidate might be comforting for someone locked up in one of these Blackwater Corp. built concentration camps, but won’t be worth a damn when the storm troopers hit the streets.  What’s it boil down to?  Obama’s our only hope, that’s what.  How to take advantage of the slight difference that exists between him & McCain?  It’s up to us.

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By yours truly, October 14, 2008 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Economic Crisis + Perpetual War + Global Warming = Opportunity

“For what?”

“Peaceful revolution.”

“How?”

“Starts with the nationalization of banking & finance.”

“But the Fed’s already are into this with
its plan to purchase non-voting shares, which, alas, won’t help us because that’s nothing but deregulation, same as before.”

“Nothing that public pressure can’t change.”

“And then what?”

“The now re-regulated banking & finance industry requires corporations and businesses which borrow from it to democraticize their workplaces.”

“Anything else?”

“We pressure our next president and Congress to dismantle Empire-USA, demilitarize + decriminalizing the use of drugs.”

“All the $ thereby saved to be used for what?”

“Building a single payer health care system, free education, pre-school through graduate school with enough left over to provide pensions for everyone 65 years & older, rebuild our infrastructure + much much more.”

“But can we accomplish all this?”

“We must.”

“Otherwise?”

“The abyss.”

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By Goyim-American Libetarian, October 14, 2008 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

(quote)“as unemployment skyrockets and as home values go up in smoke, we must prepare for the political resurgence of a reinvigorated radical Christian right.”

Uhm, no, I think not.  The “radical Christian right”
are the “folks” who have reigned over America`s decline these past 8 years.

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By jackpine savage, October 14, 2008 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment

Nader is our only hope.

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By Outraged, October 14, 2008 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

Re: Nannie

Your comment: “Anyone who supports Barack Obama has to ask themselves the following questions.

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for wanting to raise the Pentagon budget?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for not supporting single-payer healthcare?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for voting for F.I.S.A?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for supporting Joe Lieberman?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for supporting the war in Iraq?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for wanting to escalate the war in Afghanistan?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for wanting to invade Pakistan?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for wanting to invade Iran?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for barely mentioning torture?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for not mentioning the poor and the working poor?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for supporting the $850 billion Wall Street bailout?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for not mentioning corporate welfare—corporate welfare averaging BEFORE the $850 billion bailout $125 billion per year.

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for supporting companies like Wal-Mart’s?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for taking millions of dollars from Corporate America?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for supporting Henry Paulson, the former head of Lehman Brothers; or Robert Gates, the current Secretary of Defense?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for voting for the Patriot Act as well as the reauthorization of the Patriot Act?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for supporting the bankruptcy bill, a bill that punitively affects the average wage earner?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for supporting an increase in the US military presence throughout the world?

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for taking impeachment off the table?

The answer to ALL these questions is the same .. BECAUSE OBAMA IS DOING THE SAME THING!

Thank you Nanny, I agree.

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By Outraged, October 14, 2008 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

Re: TAO Walker

Your comment: “This is the condition our domesticated Sisters and Brothers are faced with today.  Trying to limit their predicament to only those of its features they feel able, in their severely handicapped state, to cope with, is already proving to be just one more feckless exercise in F-U-tility.  They must either accept the fact it is their entire “paradigm” that is out of Step and out of Tune with the Living Arrangement, and make the difficult and painful changes required to corect that, or condemn themselves to the fate of anyone who cannot or will not accomodate to the larger Arrangement.

There are NO half-way measures left to the domesticated peoples.  Take the whole dose of the Medicine you need.

HokaHey!

I agree.  HokaHey.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 14, 2008 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

Tony Wicher, October 14 at 9:06 am #

By cyrena, October 13 at 11:42 pm #

Nannie, folks like you always shoot yourselves in the foot. How? By getting carried away with the inflammatory rhetoric that can indeed by verified.

So. You’re wrong on most of everything you posted here, and we see only that Nader has his cult out in full force. (typical of nader to wait until the last minute when everyone else has done all of the hard work, to sic his ignorant ‘followers’ upon us)
—————————————————————————
Nice job, cyrena. You are incredibly patient with these Nader fools. I can hardly suffer them at all.

*****************************************

I’m with both of you….

Having employed a series of nannies over the years for our kids I can tell you my wife’s favorite oxymoron is: “nanny logic”

Nannie’s posts make defining it unnecessary.

But…a kid gets a scrape. The nanny puts powder on it because it says it’s “Medicated”...

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By nobamacain, October 14, 2008 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

The similarities between the Democratic and Republican candidates tower over their differences. Ralph Nader has done more for the safety and well-being of the people than any elected official ever has. Consider Kucinich, he’s about the only democrat with a backbone, but his party shut him out because he is a challenge to corporate control. I would vote for Kucinich in a heartbeat. However, voting for Obama would compromise my values. Obama will not end the war in Iraq-regardless of his rhetoric. Obama will not impeach Bush and co. Obama will not institute single payer national health insurance.  Obama doesn’t care about democracy, or else he would invite the other candidates to debate.

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By JNagarya, October 14, 2008 at 10:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By Folktruther, October 14 at 8:53 am #

“. . . .  The mainstream view imposed on the American population is that democracy is voting for the Dems or Gops, one party or another.  Now extended to the Greens or Nader in their views.”

The “mainstream view” is the “mainstream view” precisely because it is the non-extreme view of the VAST MAJORITY.  AND it is the framework established by the Constitution.

SMARTEN UP, _THINK_, and LIVE WITH IT, otheriwse you are only another extremist railing against extremism, and by that uninformed hot-aired popping off perpetuating the extremism and exacerbating the problem.

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By Nannie, October 14, 2008 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

.

http://www.votenader.org/issues/

VOTE NADER … You’ll be glad you did and so will I…

single payer national health insurance:
Nader: On the table;      Obama/McCain: Off the table

Cut the huge, bloated, wasteful military budget:
Nader: On the table;      Obama/McCain: Off the table

No to nuclear power, solar energy first:
Nader: On the table;      Obama/McCain: Off the table

Aggressive crackdown on corporate crime and corporate welfare:
Nader: On the table;      Obama/McCain: Off the table

Open up the Presidential debates:
Nader: On the table;      Obama/McCain: Off the table

Adopt a carbon pollution tax:
Nader: On the table;    Obama/McCain: Off the table

Reverse U.S. policy in the Middle East:
Nader: On the table;      Obama/McCain: Off the table

Impeach Bush/Cheney:
Nader: On the table;      Obama/McCain: Off the table

Repeal the Taft-Hartley anti-union law:
Nader: On the table;      Obama/McCain: Off the table

Adopt a Wall Street securities speculation tax:
Nader: On the table;      Obama/McCain: Off the table

Put an end to ballot access obstructionism:
Nader: On the table;      Obama/McCain: Off the table

Work to end corporate personhood:
Nader: On the table;      Obama/McCain: Off the table

.

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By JNagarya, October 14, 2008 at 10:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Illiterate’s cliche—

“. . . our corporate elite, including Barack Obama, seem to have no real intention of bailing out families who can no longer pay their mortgages or credit card debts.”

1.  ALL money-bills SHALL ORIGINATE in the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.  Obama is in the SENATE.

2.  Obama has not been elected (yet), therefore cannot initate ANYTHING from the EXECUTIVE branch.

Stop being a civics-illiterate extremist asshole pointing to extremists being in control but blaming the MIDDLE.

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By Nannie, October 14, 2008 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

On the Bailout Senate vote= Obama YEA

Senators voting No on the Bailout - The Bill passed 74-25
Allard (R)Barasso (R)Brownback (R)Bunning (R)Cantwell (D)Cochran (R)Crapo
(R)DeMint (R)Dole (R)Dorgan (D)Enzi (Feingold (D) Inhofe (R)Johnson (D)Landrieu (D)Nelson (FL) (D)Roberts (R)Sanders(I)Sessions (R)Shelby (R)Stabenow (D)Tester (D)Vitter (R)Wicker (R)Wyden (D)

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By im4mary, October 14, 2008 at 10:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Two people here touched on something that is truly the elephant in the room:  one’s vote for the president may not count.

Until we do two things as voters, there will be no equality.  One, abolish the electoral college and allow everyone’s vote to count.  Two, remove ‘party’ restrictions where one has to be a member of a party in order to vote for a particular candidate.  Some states allow for this, many don’t. 

I, unfortunately, live in a state that does not.  I registered Democrat so that I could vote for Dennis Kucinich, actually but obviously did not get the opportunity to.

I don’t want to be affiliated with any party.  I want to be able to vote for who I think to be the best candidate.  And since I’m confident that my state’s electorates will go to McCain, I will write in Dennis Kucinich.  My vote doesn’t count anyway. 

I have no representation, but I pay my taxes anyway because I have to for threat of incarceration and other penalties.  Oh well…

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By JNagarya, October 14, 2008 at 10:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Financial collapses lead to political extremism.”

Is that the only “cause” of extremism”?  No, it is not.  The class warfare waged against the larger society by extremists against such as education—yes, those who have been at war against the larger society getting an education is the “backlash,” and has been going on, in various forms, for much longer than Hedges seems aware.  Did it begin with Reagan? yes—and no.  Did it begin with _Roe v. Wade_? yes—and no.  Did it begin with _Griswold_? yes—and no.

Did it begin with the prohibition against private “religion” in the public’s schools? yes—and no.

Most or all of it began, at latest, with ratification of the Bill of Rights, especially but not only with its provision separating “religion” from state.

Is it any less dangerous to our system of laws, and democracy?  No.  In fact, some of us have been confronting the extremist “backlash” since at latest the late 1980s, as it isn’t that the “backlash” is new but rather that there is a 24/7 news cycle to be filled, and the extremists, who are both non-mainstream and enemies of the mainstream, who had been for centuries properly marginalized, were given platforms by the mainstream media as if harmless “entertainment”; as if everyone would see them for the loons they are.

At the same time, the attacks on education have been sufficiently successful as to provide an audience for the outlandish that is uneducated in civics—that doesn’t know the contents of even its own Constitution—and its own civic and political history.  Thus they are ripe—vulnerable—to brainwashing-for-dollars. 

And the extremists’ success in repealing the Fairness Doctrine has made possible the hate-speech sewer of anti-democratic propaganda Fox “news”—the brainchild of a wealthy, racist, extremist immigrant who wraps the racism subversively in fear and hatred of “immigrants”—i.e., those who are “different”; those who aren’t quite as white as one MUST be in order to be a “legitimate” American.

“The rage bubbling up from our impoverished and disenfranchised working class, glimpsed at John McCain rallies, presages a looming and dangerous right-wing backlash.”

Again, this “backlash” has been going on for many, many decades—McCarthyism in the 1950s was an instance of it.  Is it dangerous Yes.  Is it a greater danger than it has been?  Yes—because the mainstream media has been giving it a platform, playing with fire, spreading the poison, by treating it as if it were somehow normal.  And the disinformation, deliberate or otherwise, is not helpind.  In interview with Tavis Smiley, Brokaw cited as an instance of the “divisions” into “narrow issues” in the 1960s “abortion”—was not in fact an “issue” until AFTER _Roe_, which was decided in the 1970s.  Others of the “issues” he cites as arising in the 1960s did not arise until the 1970s—and even 1980s.  His cultural amnesia is for what “reason”?  Anyone’s guess.  Senility?  Dollars?

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By Rob Sand, October 14, 2008 at 10:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A vote for Nader at this time is a vote taken from Obama, who is our only hope for change right now, however dim that hope may be. Was it worth the loss of the 2000 election by Nader votes (arguably) to prove your point that both parties are the same? Your endorsement of Nader reminds me of the rightwing folks who are praying for the end times.  Are you cheering on a revolution? It won’t be bloodless and we are outgunned.  I expect more from you than that kind of cynicism and depression. Say it ain’t so.

But if it is so, keep your powder dry.

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By OzarkMichael, October 14, 2008 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges says, “The Democratic Party is a pathetic example of liberal, bourgeois impotence, hypocrisy and complacency.”

Wow, i couldnt say it better myself. Especially the liberal hypocrisy part.

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By Mary H., October 14, 2008 at 10:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am more disappointed than I can say that, after making your case for how dangerous these times are, you end your piece by saying you are planning to vote for Nader. 

You know Nader cannot win, he just doesn’t have the numbers.  Anyone who thinks he can is living in some odd bubble.  But you know, so your vote is a protest vote.  Surely you can see that’s a luxury we can’t afford right now.

Yes, the Dems are a big disappointment, but surely you can see that there are some differences in Democratic and Republican policy proposals.  And surely you can see that Obama has rallied millions of new voters who are educable and who will demand change, if there is room for making those demands.  With four more years of the Republicans, there may not be room.

Please reconsider your position on this, Chris, and make it a public statement.

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By Tony Wicher, October 14, 2008 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

By cyrena, October 13 at 11:42 pm #


Nannie, folks like you always shoot yourselves in the foot. How? By getting carried away with the inflammatory rhetoric that can indeed by verified.

So. You’re wrong on most of everything you posted here, and we see only that Nader has his cult out in full force. (typical of nader to wait until the last minute when everyone else has done all of the hard work, to sic his ignorant ‘followers’ upon us)
—————————————————————————
Nice job, cyrena. You are incredibly patient with these Nader fools. I can hardly suffer them at all.

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By TAO Walker, October 14, 2008 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

Domesticated people tend to define problems in terms of what they believe are their own “specialties.”  So financiers see the general disintegration of the “dominant” institutional arrangement as a “money” problem.  Militarists, of course, prefer to see things as a question of who can bring to bear the “superior” armed force.  Religionists like to believe “solutions” are a function of propitiating whatever “divine” entity is the particular object of their adoration.

Us surviving primitive Savages have a natural distaste for intellectual and emotional abstractions….of all kinds.  Thousands of generations of experience here as part of the Living Arrangement unfolding in the Song ‘n’ Dance of our Mother Earth impresses upon us the mutual benefits of taking our Medicine unfiltered and unrefined….that is, whole.

“Civilization” is presented, and widely seen, as a short-cut of some kind….a system for maximizing “comfort” and “convenience” while reducing all that doesn’t fit that bill to as near to “nothing” as possible.  We are once again seeing the absolute folly of such pursuits.

Human Beings are by nature perfectly suited to thrive here in the form they naturally occur, without any of the institutional and electro-mechanical (and altogether UN-natural) “male enhancements” that make up this contraption presently confining the domesticated peoples.  By falling-for the seductive enticements of the tormentors, tame two-leggeds have disabled and debauched theirownselves, and one anothers’, to the point where “intrusions” from Nature are almost without exception catastrophic in their effects on the artifactual order.

This is the condition our domesticated Sisters and Brothers are faced with today.  Trying to limit their predicament to only those of its features they feel able, in their severely handicapped state, to cope with, is already proving to be just one more feckless exercise in F-U-tility.  They must either accept the fact it is their entire “paradigm” that is out of Step and out of Tune with the Living Arrangement, and make the difficult and painful changes required to corect that, or condemn themselves to the fate of anyone who cannot or will not accomodate to the larger Arrangement.

There are NO half-way measures left to the domesticated peoples.  Take the whole dose of the Medicine you need.

HokaHey!

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By Nannie, October 14, 2008 at 10:00 am Link to this comment

.

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cycle=2008&cid=N00009638
OBAMA TOP CONTRIBUTORS

” You gotta dance with the one who brung ya ”

Read this also…
http://www.harpers.org/archive/2008/07/hbc-90003343
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/08/05/america/bundlers.php

.
.

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By Folktruther, October 14, 2008 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

Cyrena’s praise for McKinney for ‘working within the system’ is precisely what bothers me about her, and Nader as well.  The mainstream view imposed on the American population is that democracy is voting for the Dems or Gops, one party or another.  Now extended to the Greens or Nader in their views. 

As Anarcissie continues to repeat, rightly, the power of one’s vote in an election is insignificant. It is a trifle.  It should be used but by no means be emphasized.  McKinney and Nader emphasize it, electing reps to office. 

This can only be one part of real change, and by no means the most important part. Obama’s ‘change you can believe in’ and McCain’s ‘time for change’ are both fraudulent.  They will both continue Bush’s policies, as the British ECONOMIST has pointed out.  They have to.  They are both the creatures of the US power system that imposed Bush on the population.

And the American power struture is now at economic, ideological, political and military war with the American population.

Real historical change results when the population mobilizes against the power struture and the power system that it controls.  The Gracci brothers in the Roman republic could only effect change when elected as Consuls because they had mobilized the people to demand it.  This is why they were killed by the Roman landowners in the Senate.  But part of their reforms were institutionalized, reducing class inequality.

It is traditional to organize around personages, but this is not possible under postmodern fascism.  American power won’t allow it.  It is necessary to organize around a people’s ideology of some kind that can unify a number of disparate groupings. 

One out of every two children under five years old in the US is now a non-White, or non-Amglo, or non-Euro. And obviously, with the traditional racism of the US, they are super oppressed and must form the bulk of a progressive force.

But this is not happening with either the Greens or Nader.  It is not happening at all.  The TD truthers, like the Dem and Gop parties,  are dominated by memebers of the professional-managenrial class.  Progressive members of this class must be declassed and link up with the general population, as occurred last century with marxism. 

But this requires an new ideology that we do not possess.  And do not even know how to go about formulating it.

Not by working within the system, that’s for sure.

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By vigdor schreibman, October 14, 2008 at 8:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Da Bronx, October 14 at 6:18 am asks “While everyone here seems to be terrified of the “fascism from the right” Pray tell who will protect us from the fascism of the left?

“Is their any provision for those of us who wish to smoke, Drive old gas guzzler cars, without seatbelts, and live without government forcing us to buy stuff (like health insurance policies) which we do not want? “

It was the hunter-gatherers who lived “free as a bird” without social responsibilities that a government is required to enforce.  They fought mighty battles to keep it that way for hundreds of thousands of years, and they are still fighting that fight all over the planet.  Slowly a civilization emerged, anyway despite criticism from “Da Bronx” and elsewhere..  In this civilization of more than six billion human beings, they are able to co-exist only because of the rules of interdependence, which do not allow any of us to live “free as a bird”!  That is a fact that even those from “Da Bronx” must accept.

I must add, however, that we are not doing as well as we might in encouraging and facilitating meaningful participation by citizens in the decision-making process that affects their lives.  Now that is an issue worth struggling about.  Instead of addressing this valid complaint, in this forum, we do not seem to have any inclination to do our basic job in a democracy, effectively.  We rather complain about everything imaginable, except for the lousy way we practice our democracy, which we altogether disregard, loudly and with blood running hot.

Do we not appear less than real democrats—from the right, from the left, and from the center?  I ask this question to promote a we bit of self-reflection toward a better democratic way of living together, something that we have the ability to do much better than we are.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 14, 2008 at 7:28 am Link to this comment

RW:
The voter fraud in Ohio in 2004 was wrongly PURGING voter rolls of probably Democratic voters.

The ACORN “scandal” is a tempest in a teacup.  There’s NO scandal in Illinois (where Obama was involved) but in the Southwest.  There, ACORN themselves reported the “violations” as they are required to by law. Their “editing function” worked—they caught the problem and reported it.  Not every volunteer fills out every form correctly or properly registers every person.  What’s the problem? There were invalid registrations. ACORN found them and reported them.

What Fox hates is that ACORN is going after mostly Democratic voters so ANY garbage they can come up with, they will.  Because Fox is an agent of the GOP and always has been.

There’s lots of reasons to respect Cyrena, or lose respect for her, but she’s got you on this one, RW!

Since you are rehashing the phony rehashes from Fox Noise, my respect for YOU is in the dumpster.  But…do you care?

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By Da Bronx, October 14, 2008 at 7:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have a small question. While everyone here seems to be terrified of the “fascism from the right” Pray tell who0 will protect us from the fascism of the left?

You know, those folks who know how we should live our lives and are not afraid to mandate laws to insure we “fall in line”

Is their any provision for those of us who wish to smoke, Drive old gas guzzler cars, without seatbelts, and live without government forcing us to buy stuff (like health insurance policies) which we do not want?

fascism comes in many forms… watch your back.

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By RightWing, October 14, 2008 at 6:24 am Link to this comment

Come on Cyrena , Now I have lost what little respect I had for you. The Voter Fraud Card, When it was the GOP in 2000/2004, voter fraud was everywhere, according to the left, which I don’t think anyone was caught doing, seemed like a false accusation, I might be wrong, I,m sure there was some voter fraud going on. Unlike you, I know there are parts of the GOP which are as crooked as Joe Bidens forehead before his tox treatment, but to deny that Acorn is not committing fraud, you are an idiot. Yes you. You don’t hesitate to tell all about your civil rights experience, the march with MLK, just the other day about Angela Davis, even the march with Sheehan, then you look down your condescending liberal nose and state I,m a scholar, I wouldn’t use fact check, I get it from the horses mouth, Yet when they Fact check Mcain/Palin you stand behind it like it was gospel. If Acorn was not important , as in many other instances, why was the big truth site of Obamas scrubbed clean of Acorn, Only when he gets caught does he scrub his site. I,m not trying to change your opinion of Obama I know that could never happen, because he is your messiah, Just get off the card kick, the race card, played only by the left so far. and now the Fraud card , you are a joke. what happened did EEOC skip over you? Did a more qualified white person get the school grant, or the job? The left is just as fuc%d# up as the Right. and you can report me for using the word race ,white, and acorn and Obama. you really do disgust me, I will not reply to anything else you post. You are inept.Now come back with all that sentence structure and punctuation errors I made to try and make yourself feel superior.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 14, 2008 at 4:31 am Link to this comment

Nannie:
There was an old joke, I think it was “Firesign Theater”, “Everything you know is wrong!”

It’s a mark of lack of understanding of politics when someone has a checklist of items (like yours) that means little.  I’ve never seen a perfect presidential candidate.  I’ve never met a perfect person.

Oh, wait: I have—but only in the sense of being a perfect @$$hole (one of the two partners who employ me—the OTHER one hired me).

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By thebeerdoctor, October 14, 2008 at 4:23 am Link to this comment

re: Inherit The Wind

This reminds me of an exasperated caller into CSPAN one morning who asked: “If government is not for the people, what good is it?”

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By Inherit The Wind, October 14, 2008 at 4:14 am Link to this comment

kdnc, October 13 at 6:39 pm #

It is always sadly humorous to me to hear people talk like this, never pausing to really think about what they are saying. On the one hand decrying the evils of fascism and on the other hand proponing massive government regulation of various sorts. They never miss a beat and all the while no doubt pat themselves on the back for their “good will” toward their fellow man. However, communism and fascism are brothers. They are but different shades of the same color and neither one is conducive to freedom.
****************************
I never understand moronic statements like this.

Next time you take a medication for your blood pressure or cholesterol, curse government regulation that made it safe!

Next time you are rear-ended, and your car doesn’t blow up, curse government regulation for making sure it could survive a rear-end collision!

Next time you open the tap and get clean drinking water, curse government regulation that keeps it clean!

Next time you go to the bank, curse government regulation that makes sure your deposits are insured to $100,000!

Next time your boss does NOT steal the pension fund, curse government regulation!

Next time you swim in the Hudson River at Croton Point and the water is safe, curse government regulation for cleaning up the river!

I could go on and on…

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By cyrena, October 14, 2008 at 12:43 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie,

I was thinking the same thing (and even willing to tip a hat of respect to Folktruther) on the vote for McKinney, for those who really do feel compelled to vote for a so-called 3rd party.

For one thing, McKinney HAS been willing, (and quite able) to work within the system, while at the same time remaining as a voice of truth that wouldn’t just ‘go along’. She was in the Congress to ‘do the people’s business’ and that’s what it’s supposed to be about. She was the first one to introduce articles of impeachment, even though she knew it would not be acted upon. (they were pooh-poohing her efforts, and calling it nothing more than a symbolic gesture). Be that as it may, she DID write the proposal just before leaving her seat in the House, and so it was duly recorded in the Congressional record. I find that admirable, and I have far more respect for her in her willingness to work in the system in order to bring the kind of representation to Congress that the Constitution intended, than I can muster for Ralph Nader, who has conveniently chosen to keep himself outside of the system. It’s so much easier to criticize the votes or decisions of others after the fact, when one wasn’t willing to put their own ass on the line at any time. That’s been Nader. Cynthia has displayed guts and courage.

And, you’re correct that she IS now aligned with a party that has, and will continue, to act in the full posture of a political party. I’ve even voted for candidates from the Green Party in the past, when they’ve run in my area. So, it’s reasonable to expect that party to continue to grow, and to continue to provide the important representatives that we need at the local levels.

I fear that so many American’s get so caught up in the rhetoric of the superficial, that they forget that the president actually does NOT have unlimited power!!! (no matter WHAT Dick Cheney and David Addington think, say, or do.) The president can’t do anything unless the Congress allows it. So Americans need to start paying more attention to who they send to the Congress.

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By cyrena, October 14, 2008 at 12:42 am Link to this comment

Nannie, folks like you always shoot yourselves in the foot. How? By getting carried away with the inflammatory rhetoric that can indeed by verified.

So. You’re wrong on most of everything you posted here, and we see only that Nader has his cult out in full force. (typical of nader to wait until the last minute when everyone else has done all of the hard work, to sic his ignorant ‘followers’ upon us)

Let’s start with torture. (since that’s one of my specialties). Obama has been extremely vocal about it, and on countless occasions. His stance is absolute, because the law of the land is absolute…”Torture is NEVER acceptable, under ANY circumstances”

Here’s just ONE of his addresses on the issue. There are literally dozens

http://usliberals.about.com/od/extraordinaryspeeches/a/ObamaTorture.htm

He has been equally adamant in his criticism of the MCA, which nullifies the most fundamental provision of all law, going back as far as the Magna Carta: habeas corpus.

The Military Commissions Act, of ALL the horrors that the Dick Bush administration has wrought, is probably the worst. I’m confident that one of the very first things Barack will do as president, is to set about having that overturned.

As for the bankruptcy bill, he didn’t vote for it.

As for the original Patriot Act, he obviously wasn’t there to vote for that. On the renewal, he didn’t vote for the original language, but did vote for the revised language. Whether you think it was revised enough is a matter of opinion, but that’s the way that went.

On Corporate Welfare, let’s stick with the truth there as well Nannie, instead of stealing lies from the McCain camp. They don’t help your candidate.

http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/factchecking_mccain.html

On impeachment, Obama has never suggested that it should be ‘taken off the table’. (those are Nancy Pelosi’s words). In reality, he’s said that it was certainly an ‘option’ for the people to use if we so decided.

On the so-called ‘invasion’ of Iran and Pakistan, you’re just full of shit Nannie. I haven’t even heard MCCAIN talk about invading Pakistan, only Iran. And Obama has never suggested doing anything more than TALKING to Iran. Can you remember back to that time of the first Democratic debates, when he was criticized and ridiculed for saying that he would talk to Iran without pre-conditions? Well, he hasn’t changed his stance at all, and he hasn’t suggested ‘invading’ Pakistan. He’s said that if the Pakistanis don’t go after bin Laden and AQ et al, (after the billions of dollars that Bush handed over to Musharraf to do it) and if we had actionable intelligence, then we would. Not quite the same as ‘invading Pakistan’ and he’s been consistent on that as well.

I could go on Nannie, and maybe I will, when time permits. This is enough to show you to be the uninformed liar that you are, all in the name of Ralph Nader. I wonder if Ralph knows that his ‘followers’ are telling these whoppers on his behalf. I doubt if he would approve. But then, with this being his fifth unsuccessful try at the job, and being as old as he is, he might be that desperate.

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By vigdor, October 14, 2008 at 12:30 am Link to this comment

Nannie, is correct in suggesting there are many questions to ask about the presidential candidacy of Senator Obama.  I have written several articles that put in question his candidacy, but I also have to question the risk of pushing Obama to failure, a risk which reflects a horrible blow to African Amercans, after several failed attempts by Ralph Nader to win the office of President, with my full support on each attempt. 

Indeed, Ralph has no capacity to learn about democratic dialogue, he keeps “crowd politics” as his core instrument despite a century of failure of that kind of politics to be used for democratic advocacy.  Ralph loves the big crowds that he can generate in rock concerts but these crowds are not a symbol of democracy, they are excellent for demagogy and manipulation of people with emotional appeals.  The people who attend those events are a very small segment of the voting public.  So who is being fooled by whom?   

We are locked into a Frankenstein Civilization and the way out may not be pretty.  Ralph’s program is the only decent attempt to serve the whole people in this election, but this is meaningless, if he does not win the election, it is also meaningless even if he does win the election and cannot build an adequate power base with massive public participation, sufficent to defeat the corporate juggernaut.  “Crowd politics” cannot succeed in that effort, and to be truthful, “Crowd Politics” is as much a disease as decadent corporate capitalism, both are designed to annihilate the sovereign role of the people in our democracy.

Senator Barack Obama has embraced the terrible investor-directed politics of our time, to get himself elected.  He has also left the door wide open to real democratic transformation, if we can mobilize massive public engagement to support a real democratic system of government.  That’s a possibility that cannot be dismissed.  This is an opportunity that should be carefully considered, I believe.

Vigdor Schreibman
GOOGLE: LOVERS OF DEMOCRACY (1st on the Google list of 2,000,00 pages devoted to that topic)

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By Nannie, October 13, 2008 at 10:44 pm Link to this comment

.
Anyone who supports Barack Obama has to ask themselves the following questions.

—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for wanting to raise the Pentagon budget?
—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for not supporting single-payer healthcare?
—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for voting for F.I.S.A?
—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for supporting Joe Lieberman?
—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for supporting the war in Iraq?
—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for wanting to escalate the war in Afghanistan?
—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for wanting to invade Pakistan?
—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for wanting to invade Iran?
—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for barely mentioning torture?
—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for not mentioning the poor and the working poor?
—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for supporting the $850 billion Wall Street bailout?
—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for not mentioning corporate welfare—corporate welfare averaging BEFORE the $850 billion bailout $125 billion per year.
—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for supporting companies like Wal-Mart’s?
—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for taking millions of dollars from Corporate America?
—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for supporting Henry Paulson, the former head of Lehman Brothers; or Robert Gates, the current Secretary of Defense?
—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for voting for the Patriot Act as well as the reauthorization of the Patriot Act?
—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for supporting the bankruptcy bill, a bill that punitively affects the average wage earner?
—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for supporting an increase in the US military presence throughout the world?
—Why isn’t Obama criticizing McCain for taking impeachment off the table?

The answer to ALL these questions is the same .. BECAUSE OBAMA IS DOING THE SAME THING!

.

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By Nannie, October 13, 2008 at 10:39 pm Link to this comment

Nader can win….... The voters will decide.
Nader will change things.
Nader is our only hope.
Nader is the only choice.
Fight the Two-party system.

VOTE NADER 2008… You’ll be glad you did and so will I…

http://www.votenader.org/index.html

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By vigdor schreibman, October 13, 2008 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Cyrena says “The authoritarian side is frightening to many people, and the “crowd politics” ideology gives us the feeling that we have no individual worth.”  The authoritarian style is not only demeaning to the people it is deeply paradoxical in a democracy.  All human beings are motivated by the need to exercise their own subjective power to gain some significant measure of control over their environment.  We don’t want benevolent leaders who love to lead us by the nose, especially, those who hope to organize the masses at monstrous stadiums with gorgeous music to take over our senses completely.  What we want is the ability to engage ourselves; without this, we are mere data in the polsters bag of tricks.  These conditions defeat the candidate’s ability to build popular spport no matter how thoughtful his/her program for government.  Indeed, an anti-corporate program of government has no chance whatever of being established without massive engagement, so the program is meaningless ultimately unless the leadership that we approve is a real democratic leadership, not mere self-serving benevolent leadership.

Democratic leadership is, of course, not an easy course to take.  Most leaders have no clue about the dynamics of democratic leadership, which is leadership by the people.  Until recently we had no technology to support such leadership.  Now we do, of course.  A Technology of Democracy has been developed, one that can be employed in virtual format or in face-to-face format.  Our proposal to engage citizens in democratic dialogue all over the world, utilizing the Technology of Democracy, can be examined online at URL: http://sunsite.utk.edu/FINS/loversofdemocracy/PlanetaryDialogues.htm

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By cyrena, October 13, 2008 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment

By vigdor, October 13 at 5:22 pm

•  “Indeed, Nader has a great and enduing populist program but no massive populist organization, and his style of leadership is on the authoritarian side dedicated to “crowd politics” which does not engage the people.”

You’ve touched on the primary reason why Nader hasn’t been able to get to first base here vigdor. The authoritarian side is frightening to many people, and the “crowd politics” ideology gives us the feeling that we have no individual worth. We are ‘masses’ instead of PEOPLE. We are as much individuals as we are part of a collective, and Nader doesn’t get that. It’s a very paternal mentality that makes us all his ‘subjects’ and while he may be a more benevolent paternal figure, his basic premise is that what’s good for one, is good for all. It’s not what American’s are about. The irony is that this is very much the CORPORATE mentality as well, which sees us all as CONSUMERS and not citizens with our individual values.

This is what hit me the most ferociously in my own long career within the corporate structure. It didn’t begin that way. In fact, at the beginning, we catered to the public, though of course they were consumers as well. Still, the customer was ‘always right’ and we were indoctrinated to serve them, and serve them well, and never to ‘assume’ that what was best for one person, was necessarily what the other person would prefer. (at least that’s what I took from it). And, it worked. It worked as long as we did it, and the Corporate Daddy treated us ‘kids’ (employees) equally well. Happy employees make happy customers, and everybody is happy.

UNTIL…(drum roll here) they got too big, and too cocky, and eliminated all other competition. Then, the attitude changed, and we became ‘crowd control’ experts. More like cattle control. It was no more of the ‘pleasing the consumers’ but a ‘take it or leave it’ mentality. That was the day the music died, and it’s been dying all over, ever since.

People, whether as individuals or part of a collective, need to believe that their opinions matter, and that they will be acted upon. And while there was a time when that was Nader’s specialty, I don’t see that at all now. He acted on behalf of the public interest much the way any good attorney acts on behalf of his or her client. That’s not the same as a statesman. Not even close.

And so it is. Now in all sincerity, I’ve STILL yet to see or hear a plan from Ralph Nader on how he can make his ideas happen, and that’s the biggest boulder in the road. It sounds wonderful to hear populist ideas, and a populist agenda. But when any politician claims to do all of these things, they need to provide a realistic plan. Neither Nader or any of his supporters have EVER managed to do that. They come up with great points on how evil corporatism is, but we already know that. They’ve yet to give us any SPECIFICS on how they can fix or change any of it. I keep waiting, and it’s yet to happen.

We aren’t stupid, so we KNOW the problems. He’s never come up with anything that WE can do to fix the problems, and we’re not looking for a one man government where we have to go through him to get anything accomplished.

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By Tony Wicher, October 13, 2008 at 8:15 pm Link to this comment

Big B, October 13 at 11:21 am

Rollerball was a great movie! I watched it back in 1976 on a huge hit of acid, and the identification with Jonathan E was total. Never mind the remake, by the way. I’m talking about the Norman Jewison original. 

We are definitely headed for some kind of global superstate at a rapid pace. What kind of a state will it be? The movie pictures the rule of a corporate totalitarian dictatorship over a herd of sheeplike consumers, with rollerball to entertain them instead of war. All knowledge of the past will been stored in a computer named Zero whose memory will melt down to goo. I love it. But maybe instead we will get a dawning of rational international socialism, mankind will be united and war will be a thing of the past. Stay tuned. We may find out which way it’s going in our lifetimes.

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By agraria, October 13, 2008 at 8:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I enjoyed this article. 
Nader is an honest man and he really cares about real social progress, and has the record to prove it. He also appreciates tradition and doesn’t believe it must be tossed out and replaced by “technology.”

I worry a lot about Obama too.  Obama wrote about his support for the death penalty, advocating its enforcement according to “community outrage” (not law!).....

Not good coming from the same guy who voted FOR FISA (at least McCain just didn’t vote at all!).  And after Obama voted for FISA AT&T;provided tote bags to the DNC. Weird.

And Obama just isn’t trustworthy; he’s totally sold out, especially to Hollywood, which promotes violence, greed, and conformity in order to make big money.  And the pharmaceutical industries that backed Bush before rallied behind Obama this year.  Something just isn’t right.  How is blowing hot air and dictating dress code to your supporters (no green or headscarves at rallies) a way to really make social progress.  All it does is make people suspicious of you and everything connected with you, because they figure (correctly) that you are hiding something. 

And his campaign is way too uptight about expressing free speech….that is the worst.

Obama screwed up the opportunities he already has had to improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable people in his own Chicago commmunity.  He was too ambitious.  I just wouldn’t feel right about voting for Obama, and it’s pretty obvious he doesn’t need my vote anyway. 

It is too bad that another Hungarian emigrant, now a quasi-contemporary of a certain hyper-capitalist behind Obama, Inc., did not choose to retain the awareness of soul that Polanyi had.  Maybe Polanyi had an advantage:  he left before the fascists took over the country, and therefore escaped their influence.

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By Anarcissie, October 13, 2008 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

One vote is not going to change the election.  But if one wants to vote for a third-party candidate, why not vote for McKinney?  At least she is a member of a party that could be helped in the future by people voting for it now.  And it runs Congressional and local candidates; it’s not just a monarchical-president thing.

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By Tony Wicher, October 13, 2008 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment

Hedges has written some good articles, but this has to be his worst ever. What there is no hope in is Chris Hedges’ attitude. There are millions of people who are hoping for a real turnaround under Obama. They have someone to vote for this year. Obama is an outstanding candidate, the best we have seen since Roosevelt, in a situation which calls for progressive change. With this depressing message, Hedges does the work of the fascists he deplores.

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By kdnc, October 13, 2008 at 7:39 pm Link to this comment

It is always sadly humorous to me to hear people talk like this, never pausing to really think about what they are saying. On the one hand decrying the evils of fascism and on the other hand proponing massive government regulation of various sorts. They never miss a beat and all the while no doubt pat themselves on the back for their “good will” toward their fellow man. However, communism and fascism are brothers. They are but different shades of the same color and neither one is conducive to freedom.

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By David J. Hudson, October 13, 2008 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is my goal to get in touch with someone from the Obama campaign and share with them my desire to be a part of his inauguration by reciting a poem I wrote called “We Must Change,” and I kindly ask for your help in doing so.
Go to youtube and do a search for “thinkverybig” and watch all of those videos.  The one called “We Must Change” would be fitting to recite at Obama’s Inauguration
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EM58nqX1ehE

Here are the words!  http://www.thinkverybig.com/We Must Change.htm

1.

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By Tony Wicher, October 13, 2008 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment

By Sheller, October 13 at 4:34 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

To all who say, Nader can’t win. Nader can.
——————————————————————————
In your dreams, Sheller. In your dreams.

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By FLGibsonJr, October 13, 2008 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment

Very interesting article.

I will also be voting for Ralph Nader this year, and it will be my first time voting for him, always having voted Democratic in the past.  I have finally lost faith in the Democratic Party as it now currently exists, belatedly figuring out what Nader figured out years ago.

The Democratic Party is a corporate controlled party with some liberal social policy positions, and because it is erroneously thought to be progressive and populist, it really works as an impediment to progressive populist change.  On the other hand the Republican Party is a corporate controlled party with some conservative social policy positions.  Corporations control our economic policy by controlling both major parties, social policy which they do not really care about are allowed to predominate and obscure economic policies.

We were brought up to fear the communists and their threats to our country.  It was definitely something to be fearful of, but what what we never realized was that the more dangerous enemy was right here at home, in our corporate boardrooms.  It was our corporate leaders that brought this country to its knees, not some faraway communist leader or ideology.

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By Leefeller, October 13, 2008 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment

Seems some of us have been saying all of the same things for the last several years.  So Chris is reassuring us on what we already know, except for Nader the so called third guy.  Basically Nader has all the right questions which some of the people should be asking, but why does Nader feel he should be the one to ask them all himself?

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By Folktruther, October 13, 2008 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment

I don’t agree with either Hedges or Ritter, but I think they are both honest, intelligent and courageous.  We need more people like them in the mainstream media to disagree with.  In working out theories, it is not friends one wants but enemies who oppose the weak points.  These two make excellent political enemies.

Hedges said that it was lenin who said the best way to destroy a capitalist system was by debauching its currencey.  Actually it was Keynes.

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By iska, October 13, 2008 at 6:33 pm Link to this comment

Chris Hedges always seems to be writing the article I wish I could. He’s brilliant.
Although, I think he doesn’t place enough blame on the shoulder of the american people..after all they elected Bush, and unless they are hit in their pocketbook, they will keep on cheering for this economic system.

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By vigdor, October 13, 2008 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment

I join in praise of this article by Chris Hedges.  As we get close to the final reconing point I wonder how any true democrat could possibly get elected president in this fascist state with total control over the main channels of political discussion owned by the capitalist leadership?  We would need total engagement by the whole people, something that has never appeared in our history.  Nader has been trying over and over again and he can’t get to first base. Indeed, Nader has a great and enduing populist program but no massive populist organization, and his style of leadership is on the authoritarian side dedicated to “crowd politics” which does not engage the people. There is no Nader “dialogue” rather, a shouting match for liberals, of which I am one on the far left side who deplores the lack of meaningful dialogue and building of a real democratic style of leadership.  Obama is trying, following the old investor-driven politics and he is at third base ready to slide home.  Shall we write Obama off now with a vote for Nader that has no massive following, no real democratic dialogue, thus no serious national power base, and seriously risks pushing the election to McCain?

We have spoken about democracy in this nation since the beginning but we have never had the massive popular engagement that a democracy is absolutely dependent upon.  Our constitution was not the act of any massive public act as every student of the founding is well aware.  In balancing the risks much can be said about the deficiency of public engagement leaving the only open road to election victory a fight with the means that are deplorable.

When Obama is elected a massive popular movement toward a deep democratic transformation becomes possible.  That’s a big new opening we close by the decision to go against Obama at this time.  Each of us must weigh the balance of risks.  I have no recommendation for anyone except that the possibilities and risks should be carefully weighed.

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By Connie Boyd, October 13, 2008 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

That worked really well last time, didn’t it?

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By Sheller, October 13, 2008 at 5:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To all who say, Nader can’t win.  Nader can.  Voters are angry. Both of the other candidates voted for the bailout.  Voters want to see the economic manipulators, those crooks that walked away with millions, GO TO JAIL!  Voters want those corporate flim/flamming mortgage CEO’s to serve time for all the damage they have done.  NO ONE will go after them with as much GUSTO as Ralph Nader.  Go Ralph Go…....Sic em. NADER 2008

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By Bill Witherup, October 13, 2008 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The problem of voting for Nader or for the Green Party candidate is that neither party has much of a base other than that of well-meaning intellectuals. A third party without the backing of union labor has no solidity. We might have had an actual Labor Party, a third party, had the union hierarchies not been sucking up to both the Democrats and Republicans since circa 1946. Both the AFL-CIO and Change to Win, to this day, practice Gompers-style, business unionism. Also the racism found among some members of the working class might be also laid at the boots of both the union leaders and the rank and file, as union membership for African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans and, most recently, Arab-Americans was not encouraged. All along,since the days of Eugene V. Debs and the Wobblies, the trade union movement had the opportunity not only to be antagonists to the corporations, but could have been a moral force by actively recruiting minority members. When you work side by side, or on a crew, with people who are not like you, either racially or by gender or sexual preference, you will tend to be less prejudiced. Perhaps if Nader had helped to form a Labor party, along with the unions, voting for him might help to change the political structure. I have had many of the same thoughts as has Chris Hedges about the failure of the one party system, but, to be realistic, I am casting my vote for Obama. - Bill Witherup, Seattle

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By cyrena, October 13, 2008 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment

OK..here we go. We knew it was coming.


Ohio GOP Plays Voter Fraud Card
Monday 13 October 2008

by: Stephen Majors, The Associated Press

http://www.truthout.org/101308R

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By cyrena, October 13, 2008 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

Weirdfishes writes:

“..Cyrena, and everyone else questioning why Nader never aligned himself with the democratic party, needs to dig much deeper into the intricacies of the two-party system.”

You’ve made my point here weirdfishes. In political theory, (as well as the logistically speaking)this is NOT a ‘two-party’ system if we have SIX parties represented on the ballot. How much clearer does that get? If in fact there are only two ‘real’ parties, then what political ideology is displayed by all of the others? In theory, we should expect them to all have DIFFERENT political values and ideals. In REALITY, they are little more than a vague and slightly rearranged collection of the same. And in the end, all it does is to dilute the POWER of the PEOPLE. Nader might think he’s special, but he isn’t. Most of us can get behind what he’s SEEMS to represent. But, what you say here is exactly why we can’t elect him in a democracy… 

“There is no possible way Ralph Nader could have worked his way to the top of the Democratic Party without changing some of his views and greatly compromising his own values.  The corporate grip would never allow someone like Nader the momentum to shake things up.”

If Nader is incapable of compromise, then he’s out of his element in ANY political system that claims to be a democracy or a representative government. That’s just the way of the science of politics. It’s not that Nader never aligned himself with the democratic party, (though that would have been the most reasonable, given his own personal ideologies) but that he’s never aligned himself with ANY party!!!

Now I personally understand that, because I’m probably as much an ideological renegade as Nader is. (I’ve been registered as an Independent as much of my life as I have been registered as a Democrat) And, a Democratic society allows me to believe what I want to believe, and act as I choose to act, in terms of how I PERSONALLY may be affected. But when my own ideologies or personal principles are part of a larger entity, there will always have to be some compromise involved, or I just can’t participate. In short, Nader isn’t the only airplane in the sky, and neither am I.

And nobody suggested (other than you) that Nader should ‘rise to the top’ of the Democratic Party or anything else. Again, our Constitution doesn’t call for a KING. In fact, the primary focus of it was to prevent exactly that. So, Nader is no different than the current dude in office who maintains the “My way or the highway” stance. Nobody is asking or demanding that Nader buy anything he doesn’t wanna buy. But, we’re not just giving it to him either. He doesn’t have to ‘compromise’ anything if he doesn’t want to. But we don’t have to elect him either. That might be why this will be his FIFTH loss. If he can’t be ‘one of us’ than he damn sure can’t LEAD us.

Nope, we’ve been stuck with an impotent boy king for 8 years now, who stomps his feet and sticks out his tongue when he can’t get his way. We’re no more inclined to take that shit from an OLD King than we are from a Boy King.

Just a word of wisdom from an Elder of the Native Way…Palm trees hold up under extreme conditions far longer, and far more frequently than hardwood and other similar species, because they bend to the forces of nature, and can contort themselves to ride out the storms. Hardwood trees are inflexible, and brittle, and break with little effort. And like Humpty Dumpty, nobody can put them back together.

So, as one of my 6 year old charges says around here, (as he learns the lessons of compromise and mediation and give and take) Go BarackO!!!

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By JNagarya, October 13, 2008 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

An aspect of the described suicide is to vote stupidly.  Nader has NO CHANCE of getting elected.  And that’s the reality regardless how irrationally, afactually, and vociferoulsy you deny Nader’s direct role in putting the Bush criminal enterprise into office.

The ONLY consequence of voting Nader is to take votes away from the center—Obama/Biden.

You have a clear and simple choice, fool: either throw out the Bush criminal enterprise, or replace it with the even more extreme McPalin gang.  Voting Nader will do the latter.  For certain.  Guaranteed.

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By Frank, October 13, 2008 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

Ah, my mistake, I only glanced at the article and got my Chris’s mixed up.  My apologies to Hedges for mistaking him with Hitchens

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By Frank, October 13, 2008 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

Given Christopher Hitchen’s neoconservative foreign policy positions, I think anyone should take his advice with a grain of salt.  I think he is more likely to vote for McCain than anyone, while advising his audience on the left to vote for Nader, thereby benefiting McCain.

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By weirdfishes, October 13, 2008 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment

Hedges, and anyone else, should not vote for Nader as an act of protest, but because Nader is the best candidate. Best candidate out of the 5-6 candidates that could theoretically win the election.

Cyrena, and everyone else questioning why Nader never aligned himself with the democratic party, needs to dig much deeper into the intricacies of the two-party system.

There is no possible way Ralph Nader could have worked his way to the top of the Democratic Party without changing some of his views and greatly compromising his own values.  The corporate grip would never allow someone like Nader the momentum to shake things up.

As Noam Chomsky recently said, “The United States effectively has a one-party system, the business party, with two factions, Republicans and Democrats.”

If you vote for Obama or McCain, you are right in line. A small piece of the fragmented arrangement. You are content with supporting a broken, two-party system.

Some of us are a little more optimistic when it comes to the future of the this country.

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By jackpine savage, October 13, 2008 at 2:39 pm Link to this comment

A day late and a dollar short, indeed…and he was probably so proud of himself for speaking truth to power too. It seems that there’s a real trend with journalists voting Nader this year. If i was more into conspiracy theory, i’d say that i smell a rat and question the motivations of men like Hedges and Ritter. But i’m beginning to think that these people don’t really think deeply enough to have ulterior motives. Though it should be noted that the intelligence services have long practiced placing operatives within the media.

The masters of the universe aren’t going to allow a full economic collapse…which doesn’t mean that they’ll be able to stop one. After all the money that’s poured into treasuries of late (which are currently earning 0%, and have been below the rate of inflation for some time), the worry should be an equal or greater move away from treasuries when the markets stabilize.

A mass movement from treasuries basically equals a dollar dump. That could ignite Hedges scenario.

But like with martial law, there’s no way to know how people (especially military/law enforcement) will react. But i sure hope that Hedges’ vote for Nader makes everything better.

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By Dillard Raymer, October 13, 2008 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why so SERIOUS???

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By lawlessone, October 13, 2008 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Or, If Obama Is a “Terrorist,” Then McCain and Palin Surely Must Be Too

  Let’s see if I correctly understand the Palin/McCain theory about Obama’s minor association with William Ayers (who admitted once upon a time having maliciously damaged some buildings with explosives back in the turbulent 60s era but is now a respected professor and certainly not in jail or under indictment).  The Republican theory, fed as raw meat to engage (enrage?) supporters at rallies, is apparently that:

  (a) once a “terrorist,” always a terrorist since no one can ever ever possibly change and

  (b) anyone whoever has ever had contact with a “terrorist” is probably a terrorist too or at least a supporter of terrorism.

  It would seem to follow then that McCain, who all his extremely long political life (except for the past few weeks) loudly supported deregulation of the Wall Street and the economy must be LYING to voters when he says he now wants to re-regulate them and throw the bums out.  The same for all his other numerous what-could-only-be-called 180 degree “flip-flops” on abortion, etc., which he only started to espouse since he announced his latest bid to run the US?  If Ayers cannot ever change on anything, then how are we expected to believe McCain has?

  As to consorting with “terrorists,” isn’t that precisely what G. Gordon Liddy was by the Republican definition?  Least we forget, Liddy, unlike Ayers, was convicted and did jail time.  Liddy is equally unrepentant, but a court confirmed Liddy’s guilt, not Ayers’.  And McCain, unlike Obama, has never repudiated either that acquaintanceship with Liddy or his reprehensible acts which got him convicted. 

  Interestingly, Liddy, unlike Ayers, would actually be a better argument for the Republican assertion that the criminally inclined can never change their (prison) stripes.  Liddy in his radio program and in print seems to still be advocating from time to time various reprehensible acts of murder and mayhem. 

  Or, how about self-declared “man of God,” Pat Roberts, who openly called for assassination of foreign leaders?  Roberts appears on stage with McCain, yet McCain doesn’t seem to be branding him as terrorist or asserting he can never change? I guess the difference is that Liddy and Roberts are Republicans and, by definition, Republicans are supposedly incapable of either terrorism or torture.  Say, I wonder if Timothy McVey was a Republican?

  Moreover, what is to be made of President Bush’s decision recently (while Palin and McCain were loudly ranting about terrorists never changing) to proclaim that North Korea, a supposed charter member of “Axis of Evil” club, has changed and is not conducting state sponsored terrorism anymore?  Remember exactly what recent act it was by North Korea which prompted Bush to hurriedly lift the ban on North Korea?  It was North Korea’s decision to reopen it’s potential nuclear bomb making facilities.  So apparently, Bush has decided a terrorist country gets declared a non-terrorist country only if does something truly terrifying.  Does that mean Bush favors terrorists?  Is McCain advocating Bush be immediately impeached as a traitor?

  Well actually, maybe that last thing would be a good idea.

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By cyrena, October 13, 2008 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

By Anarcissie, October 13 at 7:34 am #
•  “The way fascists have usually come to power in history has been not through elections or even mass uprisings, but through coups and other chicanery.”

Thank you Anarcissie, this is PRECISELY what I’ve been trying to point out, and ITW mentions it as well. (so have others on this board over the years). We can argue about whether or not the Coup d’état was the judicial decision that put the thugs in place, or if 9/11 signaled the Coup de grâce, or we can leave aside all of the linguistics, and just call it what it is; coups and a variety of related chicaneries.

Whomever said (I think it was the beerdoctor) that Chris Hedges is a day late and a dollar short here, couldn’t be more correct, unless we say that he’s 8 years late, and several billion dollars short at this point. That’s not to say that it’s all only come down in the past decade, because we know that is false. We’re talking over 25 years at this point, to what Regan began, and has been continued since…mostly by rethuglicans, but the Dems have certainly had their own hands full of blood as well. (specifically the Clintons).

All of that said, we still have to point most of the fingers inward, because EVEN NOW, with ALL of the warnings, and all of the outwardly visible signs and symptoms, far too many still don’t get it. And that goes across class boundaries, economic status, and educational ‘whatever’. There are as many so-called elite and educated professionals who don’t get it any better than the illiterate winos I used to meet on the streets of San Jose, just after the initial coups. In fact, I think THEY understood it a whole lot better.

And so it’s been. So Chris is indeed late figuring this out, from the comfort of his own library, and his so-called ‘protest vote’ just helps it along. Whomever said ‘divide and conquer’ should have taken it to the next level, because here at least, it’s been an exercise in ‘divide and rule.’ The conquering already happened. Where was Nader then? Could he have ever been less selfish, and willing to join the Democratic effort? How obvious can it be that he chose NOT to?

Such a ‘protest vote’ by Chris or anyone else, just illuminates the success of the divide and rule strategy. It’s immature and selfish. But then…that’s how we got where we are.

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By truther3, October 13, 2008 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To fehrenheit 451,

This is a very good illuminating article. Why are you knocking it down??!!. We know now that you have
sarcastic side. Okay, are you happy??!!

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By Big B, October 13, 2008 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

I am wondering if anyone happened to catch the movie on ESPN classic last night? Rollerball has become a prophetic work in the over 30 years since it’s release. The backdrop of the story of society collapsing under totalitarian rule is that of all the nations of the world were eventually in so much debt, that major corporations(trusts) bought out that debt and became the defacto leaders of the world. Controlling all comodities, seven corporations kept the peace and maintained an authoritatian society, all the while, infighting between themselves. Eventually fighting wars through the sponsership of their “rollerball” teams.

The time frame for this film was 2018.

Kinda scary huh?

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By Bboy57, October 13, 2008 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

No , indeed it does not look good for the middle class here in Ameri(corporit)a. Look we have an upper class revolution taking place here now at this moment. It is holding the middle class hostage and extorting gobs of taxpayer money the the suppoosed peoples representatives.

We’ve become a republic represented by a plutocricy that runs roughshod over it’s fellow citizenry without remourse of any kind or degree, despite the feeble attempts by some of our elected leaders and the treasury secretary which was just lip service basically.

It’s too late now to take the system back. The corporate media continues to frame the dialouge (now pretty much sponsored distortions and nonsensicle hyperbole in talking down to the electorate) to become nothing but blustering economic propaganda.

Your right the Democratic Party is no innocent bystander in all this. It may have started with Reagan where Nixon tried to go , but was definately hastened along by our so called “buddies” the Clintons. Now after the bailout they’re on the campaign trail stumping for Obama who also in his zeal for election at all costs has allready betrayed the base Democratic Party constituency through said bailout and corporitization of the democratic system. I for one wouldn’t be surprised that if after his nomination by the party was secured and he was wisked off the the Bilderberg conference in VA. at that time that he was pre-briefed on the comming of the finacial 9/11 crisis and the expectations of this ruling aristocricy for the coming bailout (Political extortion).

Now we face our most important election in history with frenzied fanatics on both ends of the political spectrum. Divide and conquer. Divde and conquer. The devil has been in the details, and in the distortions. Americans have been too comortable for too long. Long asleep at the wheel, allowing this atrocious control by the ruling class to spiral out of control by the imposition of draconian measures clearly impemened to subvert any kinds of dissent. Ahh dissent, the true American value (not money?!). How freedom goes forward from this point and how the media role in it is further supressed will be how our grandkids will judge our generation. Indeed if there is a future of freedom at all for them!

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By WriterOnTheStorm, October 13, 2008 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

Although many of the commentators have touched the sky of the capitalist macroverse we call America, the enlightened few will not change the outcome. Up against the valorized greed and consumerist totems that dictate society’s behavior and that of it’s nominal leaders, a handful of naysayers will always be swept into history’s dustbin.

The soft oppression at the hands of the corporocrats may be preferable to the hard oppression of fascists only in that the concentration camps have better amenities, and the illusions of freedom and opportunity are pulled off with greater artistry. But in a truly enlightened society, the ideas of Milton Friedman would be considered as great a moral hazard as those of Mussolini.

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By Big B, October 13, 2008 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

Beerdoc

I always knew you were a cultured man(but then again, our american definition of culture is that, when someone farts, instead of laughing out loud, you giggle to youself silently)

My other favorite piece of shakesphere that I feel may approprietly decribe how we as a nation have felt for the last 25 years of conservative rule and the ramifications of spending money we didn’t have on stuff we could not afford. To help explain the hangover we are about to embark on, with blood on our hands and no pants on, I bring you the words of MacBeth, as he looked down at the drunk and sleeping guards outside the chamber of King Duncan, “What hath made them drunk, hath made me bold!”

It seems we have all been a little too bold, and now there may not be enough Excedrin in the world for this hangover.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, October 13, 2008 at 10:56 am Link to this comment

Using the word bourgeoisie, almost sounds like a wine.

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By P. T., October 13, 2008 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

The petty bourgeoisie (small businesspeople) represent a fascist threat in times of economic crisis.  Squeezed as they are between big capitalists and the working class (and fearful of being shoved down into the latter group) makes the petty bourgeoisie a truly nasty class.

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