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A Movement Too Big to Fail

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Posted on Oct 16, 2011
AP / Ted S. Warren

Protesters in Seattle melt a Bank of America debit card.

By Chris Hedges

(Page 2)

The truth of America is understood only when you listen to voices in our impoverished rural enclaves, prisons and the urban slums, when you hear the words of our unemployed, those who have lost their homes or cannot pay their medical bills, our elderly and our children, especially the quarter of the nation’s children who depend on food stamps to eat, and all who are marginalized. There is more reality expressed about the American experience by the debt-burdened young men and women protesting in the parks than by all the chatter of the well-paid pundits and experts that pollutes the airwaves.

What kind of nation is it that spends far more to kill enemy combatants and Afghan and Iraqi civilians than it does to help its own citizens who live below the poverty line? What kind of nation is it that permits corporations to hold sick children hostage while their parents frantically bankrupt themselves to save their sons and daughters? What kind of nation is it that tosses its mentally ill onto urban heating grates? What kind of nation is it that abandons its unemployed while it loots its treasury on behalf of speculators? What kind of nation is it that ignores due process to torture and assassinate its own citizens? What kind of nation is it that refuses to halt the destruction of the ecosystem by the fossil fuel industry, dooming our children and our children’s children?

“America,” Langston Hughes wrote, “never was America to me.”

“The black vote mean [nothing],” the rapper Nas intones. “Who you gunna elect/ Satan or Satan?/ In the hood nothing is changing/ We ain’t got no choices.”

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Or listen to hip-hop artist Talib Kweli: “Back in the ’60s, there was a big push for black … politicians, and now we have more than we ever had before, but our communities are so much worse. A lot of people died for us to vote, I’m aware of that history, but these politicians are not in touch with people at all. Politics is not the truth to me, it’s an illusion.”

The liberal class functions in a traditional, capitalist democracy as a safety valve. It lets off enough steam to keep the system intact. It makes piecemeal and incremental reform possible. This is what happened during the Great Depression and the New Deal. Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s greatest achievement was that he saved capitalism. Liberals in a functioning capitalist democracy are at the same time tasked with discrediting radicals, whether it is King, especially after he denounced the war in Vietnam, or later Noam Chomsky or Ralph Nader.

The stupidity of the corporate state is that it thought it could dispense with the liberal class. It thought it could shut off that safety valve in order to loot and pillage with no impediments. Corporate power forgot that the liberal class, when it functions, gives legitimacy to the power elite. And the reduction of the liberal class to silly courtiers, who have nothing to offer but empty rhetoric, meant that the growing discontent found other mechanisms and outlets. Liberals were reduced to stick figures, part of an elaborate pantomime, as they acted in preordained roles to give legitimacy to meaningless and useless political theater. But that game is over.

Human history has amply demonstrated that once those in positions of power become redundant and impotent, yet retain the trappings and privileges of power, they are brutally discarded. The liberal class, which insists on clinging to its positions of privilege while at the same time refusing to play its traditional role within the democratic state, has become a useless and despised appendage of corporate power. And as the engines of corporate power pollute and poison the ecosystem and propel us into a world where there will be only masters and serfs, the liberal class, which serves no purpose in the new configuration, is being abandoned and discarded by both the corporate state and radical dissidents. The best it can do is attach itself meekly to the new political configuration rising up to replace it.

An ineffectual liberal class means there is no hope of a correction or a reversal through the formal mechanisms of power. It ensures that the frustration and anger among the working and the middle class will find expression now in these protests that lie outside the confines of democratic institutions and the civilities of a liberal democracy. By emasculating the liberal class, which once ensured that restive citizens could institute moderate reforms, the corporate state has created a closed system defined by polarization, gridlock and political charades. It has removed the veneer of virtue and goodness that the liberal class offered to the power elite.

Liberal institutions, including the church, the press, the university, the Democratic Party, the arts and labor unions, set the parameters for limited self-criticism in a functioning democracy as well as small, incremental reforms. The liberal class is permitted to decry the worst excesses of power and champion basic human rights while at the same time endowing systems of power with a morality and virtue it does not possess. Liberals posit themselves as the conscience of the nation. They permit us, through their appeal to public virtues and the public good, to see ourselves and our state as fundamentally good.

But the liberal class, by having refused to question the utopian promises of unfettered capitalism and globalization and by condemning those who did, severed itself from the roots of creative and bold thought, the only forces that could have prevented the liberal class from merging completely with the power elite. The liberal class, which at once was betrayed and betrayed itself, has no role left to play in the battle between us and corporate dominance. All hope lies now with those in the street.


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By Jay, October 17, 2011 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I in no way thought the fact that sometimes simple issues like the present could also turn fascinating.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, October 17, 2011 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment

@ Heterochrome

Yup… that’s a good one.

Here’s another…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf_YbbENB00

Love you man

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By Inherit The Wind, October 17, 2011 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

I just worry that all the anti-Semitic, Jew-hating pricks, many of whom populate TD, will poison and discredit the OWS movement, as they are doing in Los Angeles.

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By Susan McLoughlin, October 17, 2011 at 8:43 pm Link to this comment

Serfdom in the 21st century.
The concentration of wealth in the hands of so few is a symptom of something much more disturbing. For several generations western governments have been colluding with the financial and corporate sectors to redefine the role of the populace. With the support of the media, we the populace have slowly but surely been transformed from citizens to whom government is accountable - to consumers to whom no one is accountable. This shift is pervasive throughout every sector of society. As consumers our role is to keep the machine running and running and running. Never mind that the jobs have been shipped offshore we are still expected to keep buying and consuming. No matter that we are exhausting our personal and planetary resources, being tossed from our homes and living on credit. Our capacity to consume is our only value to both the government and their global partners.


Each person who has turned out for the occupations has their own story of abandonment and disrespect. While the stories will vary the root cause does not. Whether we realize it or not, we are no longer citizens. We are biological units who have been groomed to consume. If you are inclined to question this just take a look at the pharmaceutical ads. They are chilling in their content. How do they get to sell that poison to us?

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, October 17, 2011 at 8:43 pm Link to this comment

@ heterochromatic

shhh… listen…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zP0uLcvft3I&feature=related

and lighten up just a little motherfucker!!!

Here’s some more…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=2WhKsnUKX_w

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By litlpeep, October 17, 2011 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment

Yes, heterochromatic, “But what’s going on is just the first baby step.”  However, taking a baby step is more corageous than merely crawling around whining because those taking baby steps are not yet sprinting.

Rise up from that cynical superiority! Each and every one of us is contributing our best to the next age of human evolution.  Surely your contribution offers more than complaining about complainers.

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By heterochromatic, October 17, 2011 at 8:35 pm Link to this comment

really liked the “A Movement Too Big” part of the title. thought it was quite apt for
the author.

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By litlpeep, October 17, 2011 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment

Every time I get zealous about something I am doing, especially about something I am writing, I flop overboard.

This tendency, now that I am meditating more regularly, I also see in others, many others.

Here Michael Ozark flops overboard with “All together and all over the world the pure Leftists have gathered.”  This is a bizarre claim, unless his characterization of the left is even more peculiar than Darrel Issa’s or John Boehner’s.  There is no more truth in any claim on behalf of “pure leftists” than there is in equating communism with the right wing political pablum constantly spoonfed the US through horribly rotten legislation repeatedly handing welfare to billionaires and trillionaires while hundreds of millions of Americans cannot make ends meet and many of them are homeless and, if eating, doing so at charity kitchens.

I prefer the christian thinkers who can remember that Jesus also taught us that “the Kingdom of God is in you.”  I prefer the Buddhist teachers who can remember the Buddha teaching: “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it,
no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your common sense.”

Michael, please help us all remember these profound teachings from these profound teachers.  And forgive yourself for flopping overboard.  It happens to the best of us.  And forgive those whose successes led to failure.  Remember that Jesus successfully teaching landed him upon the cross.

Thank you for your posts.

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By Ralph Kramden, October 17, 2011 at 8:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Marx is the most incisive, profound, critic of capitalism. Without a Marxist perspective, capitalists can mouth-off about “the invisible hand” or “self-corrective” and fool you with their smoke and mirrors. Unlike Hedges, I’m not willing to surrender the term liberal so readily to nothing but collaborators. Bertrand Russell was a liberal, he went to prison for protesting that imperialist war—-WWI. I’m not ready to destroy a term that has such a glorious past. Force these people who call themselves liberals to live up to its noble history. These liberals are the Phil Och’s type—-“love me love me I’m a liberal,” not the real kind. Don’t let the likes of Limbaugh destroy this term.

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By EmileZ, October 17, 2011 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment

@ Heterochromatic

What has to be done is perfectly obvious.

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By heterochromatic, October 17, 2011 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

Emile, I think that this is the best thing I’ve seen in 30 years. This country has
been put through a bunch of billshut ever since everyone shut their eyes to what
that con artist Reagan had done.


But what’s going on is just the first baby step. Complaining is all it is so far and
that’s far from a major deal.

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By John, October 17, 2011 at 7:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kudos to Hedges for this gem from the article, which pretty much sums of the Democrats: “boutique activism of political correctness.”

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By EmileZ, October 17, 2011 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment

@ heterochromatic

And if you fail…

No one may be around to acknowledge your magnificent attempts.

This is a truly unique situation, don’t you think???

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By heterochromatic, October 17, 2011 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment

You regret that you are only human, and if you succeed we will all forget it.

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By neilr, October 17, 2011 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have only recently come across Chris Hedges, but of
what little I’ve read, he is spot on. Spot on about
the injustices, hypocrisy and destruction that
characterize our current political & economic system.
Spot on about the failure of the left, of unions and
liberals in positions of power to resist the beat of
the corporate mantra of markets, liberalization and
‘more’. Spot on too about the Occupy movement - that
it is a break from the bankruptcy of the present,
underwritten by a morality that connects us when we
take to the streets.

For those who have yet to grasp what this movement is
and what it is standing up against, I would like to
posit as a microcosm the recent case involving Wal
Mart and its female employees. Already on low
salaries, these women, at great initial risk,
demanded that they were at least entitled to the same
pay and benefits as their male counterparts and sued
for justice. Congress did not come to their aid and
was unwilling to address the wrong, pointing to the
justice system to arbitrate. The judicial system used
obstruction, vast dollars, the creaking speed of the
judicial process and finally a technicality to smash
the claim into thousands of pieces. Wal Mart fought
every effort to even acknowledge the grievance in
order to ensure they did not burden themselves with a
the nuisance of having to treat all their employees
fairly. To say nothing of their profits. Silently,
too, other blockbuster firms where so many employees
are paid poorly, offered only the minimum benefits
and refused the right to band together to represent
their claims, breathed a sigh of relief and carried
on. The Wal Mart women may yet get justice, but only
if they are prepared to take on the monster again, or
may instead sue for mercy and take less than they
deserve simply for it all to end.

For clarity, I am not a Wal Mart employee, nor a
woman, but this case is one of thousands that typify
our distorted democracy.

But don’t worry - ‘another world is possible’ and it
is already on the horizon!

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By EmileZ, October 17, 2011 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment

Champagne Jam - by Ween

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-V83j11JRE&feature=related

Congratulations on a fantastic editorial Mr. Hedges!!!

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By EmileZ, October 17, 2011 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment

Champange Jam - by Ween

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-V83j11JRE&feature=related

Congratulations on a fantastic editorial Mr. Hedges!!!

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By Counselor1, October 17, 2011 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m as angry as Hedges, not near as good a writer, and haven’t voted Dem or Rep since the Clintoons led the corporate rape.

But Winter is A’ comin’ in. How about playing at electoral politics with a partly whimsical straddle strategy?

Name: Third Party. What: Temporary national coalition to elect new Congress people (only) who will commit to just 2 things. Goals: 1) Cut off all US funding for US military and contractors in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and near offshore. Estimated net savings will be used to reemploy Americans who have lost jobs (including military & contractors). 2) Pass law to place Federal Reserve allocation of credit under majority control of elected public interest directors. Never again bailouts, nor $16 trillion credit money loaned to banks while real citizens suffer.

Qualifications for office: Only highly identified “fringe” candidates (e.g., “extremists” Ron Paul, Denis Kucinich) and unknown independents need apply. No REP or DEM nominees for national office, except those “extremists,” need apply. YOU CAN RUN IN YOUR DISTRICT.  It will be extremely difficult to get elected and accomplish even these two goals. Candidates must keep their mouths shut about any other issues! Media will try to get further views, which would divide us. We’ll deal with other issues after election.

BEING UNEMPLOYED, WHAT ELSE YA GOT TO DO?  grin

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By RenZo, October 17, 2011 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment

@ RedwoodGuy,October 17 at 8:02am wrote:

“Let’s just hope that we can keep Hollywood from suddenly appearing in the mix. Or MoveOn, or Bubba feeling their pain.”

This is the single most useful, insightful and concise reflection on the whole situation addressed by Hedges, and by the argumentative posters. If I were the awards committee, you would get the award.

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By RenZo, October 17, 2011 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment

@ OzarkMichael, October 17, 5:35 pm wrote:
“You forget that you are only human, and if you succeed we will all regret it.”

Being human is all any of us can do, and succeeding is all we can hope for. Transcendence is fantasy, poetry, fiction. Christ was human and he aimed for the success of us all, but it is your failure to admit it which we all regret.

Why does faith in invisible deities always diminish faith in humanity?

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By EmileZ, October 17, 2011 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment

@ Ozark Michael

That was a very strange and interesting comment. Especially the many references to purity.

I will be thinking about it to be sure.

Thank you so much for your contributions!!!

And I do mean that.

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By Emma Perez-Hale, October 17, 2011 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Excellent write! Indeed, allow no opportunity to
repeat what has already been proven time and time
again kaput.How can we rest when our neighbors send
their children to bed hungry? When every ounce of
hope has been stripped? The donkey and the elephant
need to be retired. Hunger is a terrible thing!We
need people: who believe in building a country fit
for future generations; who seek solutions to
injustices; who care about humanity and who wants to
preserve our earth and ecosystems.

“Stop this day and night with me…You shall possess
the good of the earth and sun…there are millions of
suns left,”  Walt Whitman

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By OzarkMichael, October 17, 2011 at 5:35 pm Link to this comment

The Leftists here know that a crusade to establish a state based on the teachings of Jesus would be a bad thing.

Even someone like me(fundamentalist Christian) understands that any force(i do not refer to voting but to force) strong enough to make it happen is also strong enough to to do more harm than good. There are too many human failings that get between the perfect and the practical. Too many opportunities for power that attracts the worst people.

It is human nature and not the teaching of Christ that frightens me. The more strenuously a Christian group calls for purity to be backed by force, insisting that their purity justifies a little force…  the less reassured i am, the more i would feel compelled to rebuke and restrain them.

Do you understand that so far? Oh I knew you would. You always see my failings. Eagerly. Deeply.

Knowing that I have this fright and distrust of my own beliefs, tell me why i ought to exempt your beliefs from the same safeguards and suspicions?

This Occupy Wall Street is not participating in voting to propel change, is it? No. It is a little force. That is what makes it attractive to the crusader in you.

Some Communists will complain(and do so here on Truthdig) that it doesnt go far enough, that it needs to be more forceful.

Now other Communists plead for Marxist purity, some Anarchists are present and they too plead a purity of their own.

All together and all over the world the pure Leftists have gathered. They just need a little force and all will be well? Ah, now you understand… that I am not reassured by your purity. Not at all. In fact it makes me more worried than ever, more certain that you dont understand yourself. So i must restrain you and rebuke you.

I have spent four years on Truthdig. I have begged, i have cajoled. I was nice and i was patient. But for the past year i sense that time is running out. Now I ridicule and rebuke.

Here I sum up my 4 years of authorship on Truthdig in one sentence:

You forget that you are only human, and if you succeed we will all regret it.

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By heterochromatic, October 17, 2011 at 5:34 pm Link to this comment

@CD, thanks.

I would think that “common welfare” would mean something different to those old
cats than would “common welfare” .

“common defense” yes, but economic equality wouldn’t be on their menu.

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By ControlledDemolition, October 17, 2011 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

@heterochromatic, October 17 at 3:20 pm

I appreciate your correction; I mispoke from memory.  The Preamble to the Constitution states:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

My intent is captured by the phrase “promote the general Welfare,” however.

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By prosefights, October 17, 2011 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment

They can all fail.

No matter what any of them tries to do save their systems?

bill

http://www.prosefights.org/deaton/deaton.htm#mikerogers

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By Ron O, October 17, 2011 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

The first president I remember is Harry Truman, and I have followed public policy issued assiduously almost since I was a kid. And I think that Hedges’ essay is a masterpiece. Trying to pick it apart on political-science technicalities like what Marx thought of the state really throws the baby out with the bath water. I only hope that the “Occupy” protesters, and all of us for that matter, can live up to the hopes that Chris Hedges invests in them.

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By EmileZ, October 17, 2011 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

@ Ozark Michael

Means a lot to me!!!

P.S. I think you forgot “protectionist” or “protectionism”. wink

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By OzarkMichael, October 17, 2011 at 4:21 pm Link to this comment

If you think Marx would’ve approved of the actions of Lenin and Stalin, you are sorely mistaken.

If Marx did disapprove from the grave, tell me why that didnt prevent the failures and repeated failures done in his name.

Forgive me, I am just not that keen on trying it again, since Christians tend to get in the way of such experiments, and also freedom tends to get in the way as well.

Sodium said in his post about fascism that it will be imposed incrementally. Coagulation he called it. Well, i think Communism could be implemented the same way, stealthy and bit by bit. I am not interested in negotiating with it.

My approach to all would be authoritarians: Just say “No!”

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By heydbrown, October 17, 2011 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment

wow.  going for the jugular, indeed. The movement is fortunate to continue
having your vision/voice for inspiration/clarity/intention.

Personally, I feel there could be some benefit frm shining more light on the
unsustainability of debt-monetary system, itself, it’s inherent flaws, etc.  The
flaws are certainly alluded to, here (e.g., ‘the failures of capitalism’, etc.) hwvr,
what could be more clearly highlighted is how the debt-monetary system, itself,
serves as the ‘source-core’ of that failing capitalist system. 

Those wielding power/control/leverage over the System are those w/ the power
to print/create money and, in turn, record a ‘bond’/‘loan-receivable’ asset on
their balance sheets as that money is issued into circulation.  Such is the
ultimate power.  Compound that power w/ fractional banking powers & the
interest component, and those core elements, essentially, set the entire system
in motion on it’s unsustainable course.

There’s nvr enough currency/fiat-money in circulation to cover the outstanding
bond-/loan-principal & interest, hence, more debt must be issued each year to
cover all principal & interest payments. 

Such facts/dynamics are alluded to in your articles, and perhaps elaborated
upon more deeply in your books, hwvr, educating the public on the inherent
flaws/perils of the existing monetary-system can inspire more clarity &
conviction w/ regards to the direction the species is being called to proceed.

The ‘Right’ thunders that irresponsible govt spending & inhibitive tax law are
the drivers of the astronomical, exponentially-rising debt levels.  Unnecessary
time is expended in such distraction.  The inherent design/nature of the debt-
monetary system, itself, is the reason for the present/rising debt levels, and the
purpose of the debt-monetary system, itself, is to secure dominance/control by
a few over the masses.  It’s a fear-based model from which *all* human-
expression springs.

The result of this fear-based model/context is the cultivation/promulgation of
fear-based culture, one fostering cut-throat competition, sociopathy, back-
stabbing, disconnection, crony-dealing, collusion, exploitations of unjust
enrichment, etc.  Everything flows from the ‘Debt-Monetary Paradigm’. 
Understanding this Reality as well as the inherent flaws of the Paradigm, itself,
is critical for understanding the causes of the species’ present
challenges/perils.

Those wielding the power/control/leverage over the Debt-Monetary-System/-
Paradigm/-Context will fight, relentlessly, to prevent the System’s
dismantlement/demise and replacement.  Whether the emerging movement
succeeds in inspiring a proactive/cooperative dismantlement & replacement of
the System, or the System collapses on itself, its end is inevitable.  That said,
the nature of how that end will be realized will factor into the degree/scope of
pain experienced by species members, individually/collectively.  The sooner &
more-proactively species-members dismantle & replace the System, the less
pain will be experienced.  If the course is an ugly series of bloody battles w/in a
long drawn-out War, more species members will experience pain/suffering.

Bottom line…..understanding can be enriched/deepened by shining more light
on…

a) the nature of the debt-monetary-system

b) the inherently-false tenet-beliefs/-drivers underpinning the system

&

c) the misguided nature of the system, itself


All species-members are/have-been participators-in/victims-of the
dysfunctional system.  Some see/feel the dysfunction & perils more clearly than
others.  The species is being called to evolve.

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By OzarkMichael, October 17, 2011 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

The more I think about my previous comment the more I sink into the depths of despair. What is left of the labor movement is so incredibly weak right now, what with all our free trade agreements and high unemployment.

“Free trade” sounded like “fair competition” to me back then. But in fact the American worker is competing with what could be called slave labor. Sure we got the cheapest goods out of it, but we lost too much.

You were nice to me on Truthdig recently, EmileZ, so i admit that I share your concern.

I also think that American manufacturing have burdens(legal, environmental) that some foreign firms dont have to deal with. So with these free trade agreements we signed also signed us up to shut down our own local manufacturers and their employees.

If its any consolation, I am one of the few people who tries to buy American-made all the time, but it has become impossible. Some people used to call me ‘nationalistic’ and ‘xenophobic’ for that, but the truth, if you will trust me to say so, is merely that i wanted jobs and businesses to stay here.

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By heydbrown, October 17, 2011 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

wow.  going for the jugular, indeed. The movement is fortunate to continue having your vision/voice for inspiration/clarity/intention.

Personally, I feel there could be some benefit frm shining more light on the unsustainability of debt-monetary system, itself, it’s inherent flaws, etc.  The flaws are certainly alluded to, here (e.g., ‘the failures of capitalism’, etc.) hwvr, what could be more clearly highlighted is how the debt-monetary system, itself, serves as the ‘source-core’ of that failing capitalist system. 

Those wielding power/control/leverage over the System are those w/ the power to print/create money and, in turn, record a ‘bond’/‘loan-receivable’ asset on their balance sheets as that money is issued into circulation.  Such is the ultimate power.  Compound that power w/ fractional banking powers & the interest component, and those core elements, essentially, set the entire system in motion on it’s unsustainable course.

There’s nvr enough currency/fiat-money in circulation to cover the outstanding bond-/loan-principal & interest, hence, more debt must be issued each year to cover all principal & interest payments. 

Such facts/dynamics are alluded to in your articles, and perhaps elaborated upon more deeply in your books, hwvr, educating the public on the inherent flaws/perils of the existing monetary-system can inspire more clarity & conviction w/ regards to the direction the species is being called to proceed.

The ‘Right’ thunders that irresponsible govt spending & inhibitive tax law are the drivers of the astronomical, exponentially-rising debt levels.  Unnecessary time is expended in such distraction.  The inherent design/nature of the debt-monetary system, itself, is the reason for the present/rising debt levels, and the purpose of the debt-monetary system, itself, is to secure dominance/control by a few over the masses.  It’s a fear-based model from which *all* human-expression springs.

The result of this fear-based model/context is the cultivation/promulgation of fear-based culture, one fostering cut-throat competition, sociopathy, back-stabbing, disconnection, crony-dealing, collusion, exploitations of unjust enrichment, etc.  Everything flows from the ‘Debt-Monetary Paradigm’.  Understanding this Reality as well as the inherent flaws of the Paradigm, itself, is critical for understanding the causes of the species’ present challenges/perils.

Those wielding the power/control/leverage over the Debt-Monetary-System/-Paradigm/-Context will fight, relentlessly, to prevent the System’s dismantlement/demise and replacement.  Whether the emerging movement succeeds in inspiring a proactive/cooperative dismantlement & replacement of the System, or the System collapses on itself, its end is inevitable.  That said, the nature of how that end will be realized will factor into the degree/scope of pain experienced by species members, individually/collectively.  The sooner & more-proactively species-members dismantle & replace the System, the less pain will be experienced.  If the course is an ugly series of bloody battles w/in a long drawn-out War, more species members will experience pain/suffering.

Bottom line…..understanding can be enriched/deepened by shining more light
on…

a) the nature of the debt-monetary-system

b) the inherently-false tenet-beliefs/-drivers underpinning the system

&

c) the misguided nature of the system, itself


All species-members are/have-been participators-in/victims-of the dysfunctional system.  Some see/feel the dysfunction & perils more clearly than others.  Ideally, we can evolve, together.

Report this

By ardee, October 17, 2011 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael, October 17 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

  When did Marx ever express anything that could be characterized as ‘worshipping the state’? On the contrary, he looked forward to the day when the state would ‘wither away’ after the proletarian revolution.

When his followers carry out his teachings the same result seems to occur.  The sixty million corpses in just one century where his teachings prospered, far surpasses that of any other ideology and any religion. To make matters worse, the far-Leftists here wont even admit that their methods and ideology had anything to do with it.

While your specious commentary is becoming extremely well known here I suspect, this effort is quite a bit over the top ,even for your low standards towards truth.

As you have already been informed, there are , nor ever have been, any governments that followed accurately the teachings of Marx and Engels. To speak to the governance of Lenin, Stalin, Mao or various North Korean dictators as followers of Marx is simply typical of your weak attempts at honest debate.

Are you certain you are not channeling the ghost of GRYM?

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By heterochromatic, October 17, 2011 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment

@ Controlled Demolition——-“the Constitutionally written “provide for the
common welfare.” “——-

where exactly is “provide for the common welfare” written?????

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By miroslav, October 17, 2011 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

If this really is the inception of a
“revolutionary moment”  let me also add
this:

  1] the “withering away of the
state,”
  e.g. “society without the state,”
will not occur without
  an elimination of the exchange
medium of money and its
  accumulation. Conceive of it!

  and

  2] There are those moments when
human beings come together
  in equality, and sing the “ode to
joy”. However,
  there exists the nearly equally
powerful urge to differentiate, as
individuals as well as groups. Lest one
be
  unmindful of that urge at these
times.


  >
http://www.facebook.com/mike.roloff1?
ref=name

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By EmileZ, October 17, 2011 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

The more I think about my previous comment the more I sink into the depths of despair. What is left of the labor movement is so incredibly weak right now, what with all our free trade agreements and high unemployment.

Better to focus on perseverance and conciousness raising. There is no magic key or bullet, but there are a whole heck of a lot of issues and fucked up situations to bring to light nevertheless.

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By EmileZ, October 17, 2011 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment

@ miroslav

RE: The “occupy” movement will not
succeed unless it links up with the
authentic and honest part of the what
is called the Tea Party.

Perhaps… but I think its success may lie in connecting with and reawakening the labor movement. Of course, connecting with the “authentic and honest” Tea Party folks might also be good, in fact it could be fantastic, but I’m not counting on it just yet.

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By miroslav, October 17, 2011 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

Aside endorsing Chris’s rousing call I
want to add two points:

1]
http://chronicle.com/article/Intellectu
al-Roots-of-Wall/129428/?
sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Intellectual Roots of Wall Street
Protest Lie in Academe - Faculty - The
Chronicle of Higher Educati
chronicle.com
Occupy Wall Street protesters have been
demonstrating in Zuccotti Park since
mid-September. The movement has an
academic heritage that spans political
science, economics, and literature, but
its organizing principles owe a debt to
an ethnography of Madagascar.

2] The “occupy” movement will not
succeed unless it links up with the
authentic and honest part of the what
is called the Tea Party.

> http://www.facebook.com/mike.roloff1?
ref=name

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By heterochromatic, October 17, 2011 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

Emile, I’ll be well please if they do get it together. I have a nephew living in the
house who’s part of OWS and down there every day urging that they reach some
consensus about what they should and can do here before the weather turns bad
and the tv cameras and tourists turn away.

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By EmileZ, October 17, 2011 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment

@ heterochromatic

Good one… that was mildly amusing!!!

Still… it is a fascinating development, as Mr. Spock might say. You might scoff at this, but it looks like OWS may be getting their shit together (in spite of their lack of specific demands) and may last for a little long while.

A movement has been born and is perhaps approaching adolescence!!!

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By Sodium-Na, October 17, 2011 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

“It is a COAGULATION,stupid”:

Emberto Eco,an Italian writer/thinker,gives 14 features of fascism,including corporate-state. He calls these 14 features,“Eternal Features” of fascism. In his profound understanding of these 14 features,he says that all it takes to start the road to fascism,in any society,is one of the 14 features to gradually takes place. What follows then a process he calls,“COAGULATION”,through which some of the 13 remaining features of fascism “COAGULATE” around the nucleus feature that was its foundation. The finality of the process is a fascistic society,with profound distinction.

In a similar manner,in her best selling book,“The End of America”,Naomi Wolf lists 10 features of fascism and she states that fascism penetrates a society in an “INCREMENTAL” way. And as it reaches a comfort zone,it control the entire society by what she calls a “Fascist Shift”.

Question:

What the foregoing has to do with what Occupy Wall Street movement has started?

Answer:

It is about time that Progressives have unknowingly and unintentionally started using the tactics their fascist opponents have been using in the last three decades,at least,to keep them helplessly drugged and disorganized . If your tormentors uses such kind of medicine to keep you drugged in cages,why not using his own medicine on him or on her to reverse the unpleasant social equilibrium that has been favorable to the Right. About time to shift it favoring the Left. And I am no Leftie. Just trying to play it fair. Nothing more.

Rherefore,there is nothing wrong,for conscietious Progressives,to use peaceably Eco’s COAGULATION and Wolf’s INCREMENTAL WAYS and SHIFT,as long as they do not end-up fascist themselves,as they defeat their tormentors. Remember the French,Russian and Iranian Revolutions and what had happened to the poineers of such revolutions.

It is always wise practice to remember the “evil side” of the human nature,in all endeavors of humanity.

Perhaps,Progressives can learn from the on-going Arab Awakening which wrongly the media calls,Arab Spring. Spring my ass,since the Spring Season lasts only three months,while the Arab Awakening has been going on for the last 10 months and counting-that is since a youthful and recent university graduate Tunisian named Muhammad Bou Azizi set himself on fire in a street in Tunisia for the whole world to witness,in December of 2010,against the horrible injustice he suffered under a fascist dictatorship that it even deprived him of making a living,selling fruits and vegies on a wagon he pulled in some streets in Tunisia. Sound familiar?

A lot can be learned from the Arab Awakening. Just follow it closely as I do,on daily basis. I would not allow myself to miss a single analysis,news and unexpected events on Aljazeera.   

I close with the following phrase:“In peace and solidarity”,as one of my good electronic friends has E-mailed me lately.

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By ControlledDemolition, October 17, 2011 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment

Chris,

Right <expletive> on!

I heard one Wall Street executive air concern about “personal safety,” as if their actions and greed don’t affect the “personal safety” of millions!

Capitalism is basically usury, so first decide if that’s OK.  It is a question of the sphere of influence:  Individual “free enterprise” is fine, societal “free enterprise” needs to be managed with group consciousness and general consent via regulations and tax laws (simplistic overview), except that (as noted) our government is now corrupt and reeking.

You know, Americans should be concerned with the “common good” or the Constitutionally written “provide for the common welfare.”  There is an economy of scale.  Would you pay $200 in taxes in exchange for $400 in real, realizable gains?  I didn’t think so.

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By heterochromatic, October 17, 2011 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

——-Resistance, real resistance, to the corporate state was displayed when a
couple of thousand protesters, clutching mops and brooms, early Friday
morning forced the owners of Zuccotti Park and the New York City police to
back down from a proposed attempt to expel them in order to “clean” the
premises.———-


egad, this is junior high school thinking from Hedges.

somebody’s mommy tells a sulky kid that if they don’t clean the mess they
made in the living room they won’t be able to play there any more….and the kid
cleans it up, partially and grudgingly. ( the park still smells )


Yes, Mr Hedges, this is a great act of resistance akin to using the toilet paper
all by yourself

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By cpb, October 17, 2011 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

“A few days ago he was maced and beaten by white shirted
police for simply being there.”

- another poster

“Where exactly was dear brother Jake at the time? And
what was he doing? Pushing against the police?Crapping
on a police car?”

- OzarkM

Not to be unexpected from a Troll, but THAT IS PRETTY
LOW, EVEN FOR YOU Krazo.  You’re making insinuations
about someone’s kin, to their face.  Where are your
conservative and christian values you reference and wave
around much of the time? 

How convenient to wear so many faces; including,
apparently, complete a-hole.

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By Mark Grueter, October 17, 2011 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

@OzarkMichael

If you think Marx would’ve approved of the actions of Lenin and
Stalin, you are sorely mistaken. I repeat: when did Marx ever express
anything that could be characterized as ‘worship’ for the state? Or
even support for the state? The fact is, he hoped and predicted that
the state would ‘wither away’ after the revolution. Unfortunately, the
Bolsheviks hijacked the Russian Revolution, completely distorting its
outcome.

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By ElkoJohn, October 17, 2011 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

I like your column except:
‘‘Liberals lack the vision and fortitude to challenge dominant free market ideologies.’‘
We don’t have ‘‘free market’’ economy,
we have a privatize-the-profits, nationalize-the-losses
economy for the Wall St Banksters and global corporations.
FDR & LBJ put in place a safety net of social programs that would have kept the lid on the trash can, but now, the plutocrats & oligarchy have removed the relief valve.
The only permanent fix, in my opinion, is a Constitutional Amendment that will take the rich & powerful (and their lobbyists) out of running our government, our political system and the two major political parties.

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D.R. Zing's avatar

By D.R. Zing, October 17, 2011 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

cut off the snake’s head
but beware

the head of the adder
is a television

every hair
growing

from the talking heads
is another snake

October 17, 2011. D.R. Zing.
News of the TV Medusa: Dead Snakes Still Bite

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By Oceanna, October 17, 2011 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

I would hope Mr. Hedges is right in his introductory.  Now Obama, who before
refused to comment on OWS, is saying today to the effect that he identifies with
their grievances and is purportedly going on a bus tour to channel its populism,
according to ABC. Can cross-referencing headlines from websites get much
weirder?

MLK’s historical momentum was certainly co-opted.  It reached it’s ugly
pinnacle this week with an unsightly statue of him, which resembles a DC
Comics characterization.  Of course, the Obama handlers churned glowing
stories of how he (Obama) is comparable to MLK along with the photo-os.

A number of people and organizations are salivating to profiteer off the OWS
movement.  Nation of Change was pimping for their donations over a week
ago, even though OWS collected donations from their own website.

I would hope the movement isn’t co-opted.  It’s really too early for anyone to
play Cassandra or to shoot the craps on those probabilities.

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By OzarkMichael, October 17, 2011 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

When did Marx ever express anything that could be characterized as ‘worshipping the state’? On the contrary, he looked forward to the day when the state would ‘wither away’ after the proletarian revolution.

When his followers carry out his teachings the same result seems to occur.  The sixty million corpses in just one century where his teachings prospered, far surpasses that of any other ideology and any religion. To make matters worse, the far-Leftists here wont even admit that their methods and ideology had anything to do with it.

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By James Pannozzi, October 17, 2011 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I moved on from MoveOn.

Occupy Wall St. is the real deal.

I’ve waited a lifetime for this, waiting for it to
happen.

IT HAS HAPPENED and IS HAPPENING.

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By EmileZ, October 17, 2011 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

@ Ozark Michael

You are a funny guy.

Har har har

NOT

I’m going to give you a frowning if things work out here…

:( :( :(

I hope that teaches you a lesson mister.

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By Brad Heckman, October 17, 2011 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

Extremely well written! Currently we have more and more
of our little species realizing we are living on a
slave planet controlled by crazy apes with guns, and
that this is not so hot for our quality of life. Nobody
knows where this will lead, but it will probably depend
on the response of the 1% and their supporters.

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By OzarkMichael, October 17, 2011 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

A few days ago he was maced and beaten by white shirted police for simply being there.

Where exactly was dear brother Jake at the time? And what was he doing? Pushing against the police?Crapping on a police car?

These police brutality stories, especially in light of the desparate need for such stories, ought not be accepted at face value. See the video “I wont move!” and my review of it on Truthdig.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, October 17, 2011 at 12:50 pm Link to this comment

@ Michael Shaw

If you had any spine you would either quit that organization or take it over.

Then again you could stay on and attept to redeem yourself by shitting in cyberspace.

Anyhow, do you think Moveon deserves any kind of support(financial or otherwise) for its wimpy wussy spineless majority of “peons” under the “despotic” rule of someone they don’t really agree with???

I think you need a swift kick in the pants my boy!!!

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By sallysense, October 17, 2011 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

And Occupy the Board Room too!

Here’s also where we 99% can send our messages to the 1%:

(Batches are being hand-delivered everyday to the 1%.)

http://occupytheboardroom.org 

(Recently sent the following to Brian T. Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America; and other 1%’ers:

To Board Room Executives:

When a corporation must rely on its extreme greed,

While losing sight of fair and square practices,

In order to carry on with business activities,

Its tactics will surely become its deficits!

And you, as a head of such operations,

Would hopefully want to stop this,

And not be remembered as a top culprit!

Sincerely,

Sally Kline

One of the 99%.)

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By Saje Williams, October 17, 2011 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We’ve fought for the last ten years to reclaim the term
“liberal,” which was demonized by the right.  Using IT
to castigate the elites who may, at best, be socially
liberal yet economically “conservative” is NOT
appreciated.

You may be right about the elites, Mr. Hedges, but your
broad-brush smear taints all of us, including those who
have been fighting the battle in our own way since long
before the OWS movement arose.  “Liberal” is not a
dirty word.

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By Michael Shaw, October 17, 2011 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

I would applaud this article as I make one point. As a member of Moveon.org, it is true that several members in the hierarchy of Moveon are of the one tract mind that our involvement with the Occupy protests is for the benefit of Barrack Obama or democrats in general. Well let me publicly state for the record that most of us peons in Moveon believe Barrack Obama should be primaried, including myself(I was even chastised by a high ranking Moveon official for suggesting it). In fact the only people a whole hell of a lot of us involved with Moveon will support in the next election are members of the progressive caucus. We intend to primary Obama and if necessary vote for a third party candidate if we are denied the primary process. On another note, my great nephew Jake has been at Occupy Wall Street for weeks now. A few days ago he was maced and beaten by white shirted police for simply being there. My heart and soul belongs to him and everyone else involved in this people movement, not to Moveon, Barrack Obama or any other organization that believes it can make this their own. We know very well that Wall Street owns this sitting president, most democratic senators and congressmen and all of the republicans. They work for the enemy and for that matter against any common decency and fair play left in this now failing corporate controlled state! Power to the People! Power to the Occupy Movement!

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By skimohawk, October 17, 2011 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

As usual, Mr. Cyr is one of the few here with anything valid to say.
Washington DC has become a puppet theatre, and the strings are being controlled by the banks and major corporations. It is delusional to believe otherwise.

The solution is really pretty simple: stop voting for the bastards, and stop buying their crap.
If it’s money that’s in control, stop giving them your money. Boycott that which you don’t absolutely need. Every dollar you spend on “stuff” only feeds the beast.
What if we all boycotted Christmas?

“And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: the merchandise of gold, and silver,...and slaves, and souls of men.”

If money equals power, should not less money at some point result in less power?

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By Skippy of @skippydetour, October 17, 2011 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Those that have been sleeping out these past 5 weeks are to be congratulated for their perseverance on behalf of US ALL !

In my blogs i have called on you to stay within the LAW of Your Location since you have the Moral Right and the Authorities such as they are know this !

THEY know that they need to provoke ” Rabid radicals” to infiltrate your ranks and create the same results that took place in the London Student Rallies which were turned into ” riots” !

By your ” Clean Up action ” last friday you won world wide support and ” faced down ” those scheming to disrupt your ” Law Abiding Behaviours” !

Leadership and ” Clear Policy Goals ” must be established in the near future so that the masses wavering on the sidelines can identify and support these objectives !

Banks are cheating YOU and i have been cheated also BUT this is not a subject that will win the support of the masses since we all need a bank account and each bank plays the same game to their own advantage .

Replacing Unfair Taxes and the ability to legally avoid paying taxes will win favour with the 99% BUT you will need to TELL US what the alternatives should be so that we have something Concrete to support .

General Assemblies will have to be available to ALL even if you have to roster people into “Shifts” to hold the ” Moral High Ground ” throughout the Winter Months which are about to try the spirit of the most motivated amongst those currently engaged in this action !

Since the first days Austrian FM4 Radio have been broadcasting daily multiple News Reports and items on other programs so i imagine have other Media Outlets here and elsewhere !

The World wants you to Succeed so ensure your success by preventing ” Undermining Actions ” by those with their own agenda !

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By EmileZ, October 17, 2011 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment

@ mrfreeze

I believe Obama unfortunately gave a “whiff of hope” to a great many when he was elected which only served to delay the “wind” we are finally seeing which may become a “full blown storm” (it arguably already has in many parts of the world) if enough people such as yourself decide to make the hopeless decision to provide them with some kind of support (or even participate).

Hope and fear rule our lives.

Then again… taking a shit in cyberspace can be gratifying as well.

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By Mark Grueter, October 17, 2011 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

When did Marx ever express anything that could be characterized as
‘worshipping the state’? On the contrary, he looked forward to the
day when the state would ‘wither away’ after the proletarian
revolution.

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By mrfreeze, October 17, 2011 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

EmileZ - The “whiff of hope” has been exactly that since before Obama became president. It has little chance of becoming a wind and then a full-blown storm…....it will stay a nice little…...whiff….

As for my overall comment: I still stand behind my belief that “maximizing shareholder value” will win in the end. It’s simply too seductive to resist.

I’m not particulary happy about it…..but I have little faith in this country anymore.

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By OzarkMichael, October 17, 2011 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

ITW says: Why has the OWS movement gone toxic and anti-semitic in Los Angeles?  There is so much good to be done but to make a Nazi-like movement….

Over the years on Truthdig an increasing number of Leftists have expressed antisemitism. Plenty of evidence here on Truthdig.

Why are you surprised about it now?

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By EmileZ, October 17, 2011 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

@ mrfreeze

umm… The quote went far beyond “whiff”.

I am only going on what you wrote, not my assumptions about your state of mind. I don’t have any.

C’mon…

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By Dori Smith, October 17, 2011 at 11:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

OccupyEverywhere is way to big to fail indeed. Ask organizers in Washington, D.C., NYC, Hartford, New Haven, San Francisco, Seattle, and many more cities.  It is heartening to see Chris Hedges spell out so eloquently what we’ve hoped might be the case about Occupy Wall Street, or OWS. This is indeed a new phenomenon. It is not driven or plagued by the same fears of failure that have plagued certain political and social movements for decades.

For example, the media has been in service to the fear driven ideologues who work for America’s twin political parties, Democrats and Republicans. That explains the struggle journalists have been facing as they try to capture OWS in sound bites for use in their “debate” format. It’s he said she said news, cheap, reliably biased. And those use to it continue to flail around in their coverage of OWS.

Organizers, protesters, and all who are pulling for them around the globe, may have some genuine concerns about politicos and others who may try to become the voice of OWS and essentially “take it over”. MoveOn is just one of those, and today’s media reported that a deal of some kind was struck between MoveOn and the OccupySF protesters. (For those young students who did not witness the Obama election, organizers at MoveOn wound up promoting the DNC far too heavily, and bias for a political view that served the “party politics” turned many peace and justice activists away from the giant email list that had originally been useful for them.)

There are good reasons even so to review the motivations of writers and organizers who may have descended on the Occupy Wall Street NYC or OccupySF protests. For example, John Shinal typically writes about stocks and companies like Citigroup for media that covers markets and trading. Why did he want to get up close and personal with OccupySF in an article for Market Watch 10-17? Especially at a time when there was just a major challenge at Citibank branches in SF where arrests were made. A mild mannered lets ‘pull our money out’ protest by people with Citi accounts led to irrational arrests.

Initially people were given huge bail numbers, 50K to get out of prison! However, these were reduced to promise to serve, and minor charges. (See market watch, published in Tel Aviv, a Murdoch paper, for his report, search “occupy”.)

Shinal’s final words in his report on the agreement struck between protesters and MoveOn should make us wonder. But not for too long. What we are seeing is an ocean, not a stagnant pool. Sometimes the waves are big, sometimes small. But the source of the energy is vast, like the sea.

I agree with what Chris Hedges writes here: “The Occupy Wall Street movement, like all radical movements, has obliterated the narrow political parameters.” It does propose something new.

I believe him and have always viewed him as one of America’s courageous intellectuals.

We have been pushed, pulled, labeled, and had our ideas stuffed into the propaganda box by experts at controlling debates. We should in fact imagine Karl Rove pulling strings in media, working in tandem with major corporate media CEOs and editors to define, and redefine, who we are supposed to be and how we are supposed to think.

Rove and others who serve the 1% have narrowed all perspectives down to a razor thin edge where each “side” appears to be splitting the same hairs..

Still, this is one of those giant tent issues that can’t be so easily stuffed back into the box. Debate has been set free, and all media outlets appear to be reacting in a new way. During their scramble to find “leaders” and “spokespersons” they fulfilled assignments by actually quoting more people. That worked forOccupyWallStreet, and many other groups have picked up the trend.

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By mrfreeze, October 17, 2011 at 11:04 am Link to this comment

EmileZ - You’re obviously in a rather defensive mood. My use of the word whiff was (I HOPE THIS ISN’T TOO DIFFICULT A CONCEPT FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND) “metaphorical” and had NOTHING to do with what your condescending mind thought it meant.

No need to apologize to me…....you’re too “revolutionary” for that….....

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By oddsox, October 17, 2011 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

“All (the OWS movement)can do is ask us to use our bodies and voices, often at personal risk, to fight back.  It has no other way of defying the corporate state.”
—Chris Hedges

Nonsense. 

Here are two worthy goals OWS can adopt:

1) Reverse the Citizens United vs. FEC decision and make corporate particpation in the electroral process illegal.
Only natural US citizens allowed to make political donations.
A first step has already been taken. There is already a petition afoot to abolish corporate personhood.
http://www.change.org/petitions/constitutional-amendment-to-end-corporate-personhood


2) Break up the Too-Big-To-Fail banks and insurance companies using existing Anti-trust legislation (Sherman Act 1890, Clayton Act 1913). 
The idea is not to punish the banks, but to create competition between them.

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By katsteevns, October 17, 2011 at 10:55 am Link to this comment

“THERE IS NO QUICK-FIX.”

Well, this will be good news to the Libyans as Obama burns their country to the ground. We shoulder picket signs while they shoulder pine boxes…..pathetic.

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By EmileZ, October 17, 2011 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

@ mrfreeze

FYI…I pulled it out of the dark recesses of your comment which I equivocate with taking a shit on OWS…

“I know there’s a whiff of “hope” in the air because of the protests, but as soon as the protesters run out of money and resources; when they discover that their neighbors continue to feed the beast-corporations (by owing stock and buying their products); and they all must finally go back to work (not having rich benefactors to keep them on the street), they will return to “the American Dream.””

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By MeHere, October 17, 2011 at 10:47 am Link to this comment

lasmog (5:59am)

In regard to the Green Party, you say “Could it become a viable party if we actually treated it like one?”

I’ve been asking that same question for the longest time. I never hear/read any reporting (including onTruthdig) about the Green Party or any other alternative
progressive groups that may aspire to run in elections.  It doesn’t mean they have
to promote a particular party but people should know what’s out there. I told my
local NPR station, which happens to have some excellent programs, that I will not
support them until they discuss other political groups besides Republicans (T.
Partiers) and Democrats. It’s true that there may not be too many other parties,
but the Greens and Nader have been running in elections already.

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By oddsox, October 17, 2011 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

OWS:  A MILE WIDE and AN INCH DEEP

@Inherit the Wind

You’re right to be upset with the anit-Semitic signs and rhetoric. 

If well-defined goals aren’t put in place soon, the OWS movement will dissolve into chaos.
(Chaos Theory with Strange Attractors, applied in a political context)
...inotherwords, crazies from all sides are attracted to a movement that is so poorly defined.  Results unpredictable.

If you’re an OWS supporter, all this underscores the urgency in establishing solultion-oriented goals and defining victory.

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By Daster, October 17, 2011 at 10:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Two concrete issues can be demanded to be implemented forthwith ,  by the OWS
movement
1. The banks and Corporations should write off all ” interests” on loans and stick to
collecting the actual amount loaned . ” .usury ” to be totally abolished .
2. The Government must print currency notes to create money to help the population
and its own budgetary needs and, stop issuing “Government bonds” to borrow money
from the banks to overcome budgetary deficiencies . Government Bonds only help the
Banks who lend money to the. Government at high interest rates.

It should be realized that more than the corporations ,the real culprits are the Banks
and their policies . All rules and regulations with respect to banks are made in favour of
the banks . This has been achieved covertly and overtly by the bankers over a
substantial period of time manupulating Governments in power .Even the Corporations
are made to work for the benefit of the banks .It’s therefore fair that bankers bonuses
be abolished forthwith and their salaries cut to size in proportion to bring them at par
with Government salaries .

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By mrfreeze, October 17, 2011 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

EmileZ - Your words:

“YOU can be a resource. Just a thought, and if you don’t want to be… I guess you could go down there and take a shit on the sidewalk, but why would you want to do that when you can take a shit in cyberspace.
I do it all the time.”

I have NO idea from what dark recesses of your lizard brain you pulled your line of “crap” (pun intended), but everyone doesn’t (nor must see) these demonstrations the same way you do. They are a wonderful “expression” of discontent…...The enemy has a far different and (unfortunately) more powerful “expression” that will win in the end: “maximize shareholder value.”

My intention is not to denegrate or discourage the protesters….As for taking a dump in cyberspace….......please speak for yourself.

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By groobiecat, October 17, 2011 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

Although I agree with the main thrust of most of these arguments, conceptually, it’s a somewhat sterile
screed. People are not ideas. They are not ideological delivery mechanisms. What they are is fallible.
Uncertain. Frail. And often, misguided and unknowing accomplices in undermining their own belief
systems and well. This truth is largely ignored by Hedges, reduces the “liberal class” to some inhuman,
inept “valve” that blows off steam to keep the machinery of neo-liberalism chugging away at an only
slightly less destructive pace. While conflating all “liberals” to be one and the same, Hedges—who has a
towering intellect and an encyclopedic knowledge of the modern American human condition—ignores
inconvenient definitions and striations in this ideological demographic. There is no gray area in the
Hedges worldview—only the black and white of true believers and liberal non-believers. This is
oversimplifies the challenges facing the #OWS, at a minimum, and could, if acted upon, threaten to
undermine its chances for success at a maximum.

Hedges implies that the liberal class is, in essence, a conspiracy. First, conspiracies are rarely logically
complete and airtight, full of co-conspirators who have a knowing secret handshake and simply agree to
disagree in public forums for the sake of appearing in discord, as Hedges seems to imply. The exception
to this is the fairly obvious conspiracy of people who actually do occupy the 1%. Now, Hedges correctly
points out that the neo-liberalization of the country began in earnest under Reagan and that Clinton was
complicit in furthering its aims. But he strays from the “truth” in referring to Clinton as a “liberal.” He was
no such thing. He was a moderate centrist. Just as Obama is a moderate centrist (although he certainly
passed himself off as more of a “liberal” for public consumption).  Second, and this is the most important
part that’s been ignored here, this analysis leaves out what is, for me, the key element in the failure of the
political left: human frailty. Regardless of how one defines the “liberal class” (and Hedges paints as broad
a brush stroke as possible), it’s not just that its constituents have been intentionally ineffective, but in
general, they have been just weak and inept. But just who *is* the liberal class anyway? Hedges isn’t clear
on this, but the underlying assumption is that it’s everyone who didn’t actually start the #OWS movement
in the first place. And that’s a pretty big chunk of the “99%” if you ask me. If we’re defining this group as
elected representatives in Congress and in the White House, well, that would certainly make the most
sense. But what of the people who elected these officials? What of the people who have only the remotest
say in what happens in the formulation of the law and implementation into policy and hope that their
elected representatives actually bring about the change they seek? Are they part of the liberal class as
well? One assumes not, but it’s hard to see the specifics within the broad brush strokes that Hedges
paints about those who are at fault here. I think there are more shades of gray than the black and white
worldview presented here. Many didn’t know exactly *what* to do in the face of a system that was nudged
along with only minor modifications by the co-enabling democrats. Many, whose hopes were tied to the
new president who “talked a good game,” were utterly deflated by the “more of the same” policy making
machinery in Washington. Are they the liberal class? Should they be relegated to a “meek attachment” role
to the #OWS? The world is not so simple, and easy explanations and prescriptions (which are often the
province of the radical right) should be viewed with caution.

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By EmileZ, October 17, 2011 at 10:07 am Link to this comment

@ mrfreeze

They could use donations of blankets, food, socks, quarters for laundromats, showers, you-name it. Check out your local website or go down there, get a whiff, and ask what is needed.

YOU can be a resource. Just a thought, and if you don’t want to be… I guess you could go down there and take a shit on the sidewalk, but why would you want to do that when you can take a shit in cyberspace.

I do it all the time.

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By caped amigo, October 17, 2011 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

Bravo Mr. Dillon. Thank you for your contribution to sanity.
Chris you are one of my main mentors. I am your apostle. But cut MoveOn some slack. I went to a MoveOn meeting a week ago in Orange County (of all places), and it was all about joining the OWS fight and movement. It was re-energizing.

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mrfreeze's avatar

By mrfreeze, October 17, 2011 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

MLK Jr. and Gandhi before him knew that thumbing one’s (collective) nose at power only works when those seeking justice simply quit cooperating with their “oppressors.” And make no mistake, corporate (moneyed-elitist) America is determined to end all semblance of balance in this country. It is determined to turn this once promising land into nothing but a huge discount shopping mall…......and we, the serfs, have allowed it to happen.

I really do appreciate what the recent protests represent: they have finally shouted loud enough against the corporate-Media and all it’s propagandist talking-heads so that the narrative, “capitalism + democracy = nirvana” is being challenged…..

Unfortunately, NOTHING is going to change until and unless citizens simply quit feeding the corporations they would challenge. Wall Street ALWAYS justifies what it does with a simple, elegant and “legally” powerful argument: they have a fiduciary responsibility to “maximize shareholder/owner value.” I’m sorry but tens of thousands of voices screaming for economic justice at the top of their lungs will not change a thing…......not in Wall Street, not in DC and, frankly not on Main Street either. Most Americans have drunk the Koolaid-religion of “capitalism” and live lives of quiet desperation.

I know there’s a whiff of “hope” in the air because of the protests, but as soon as the protesters run out of money and resources; when they discover that their neighbors continue to feed the beast-corporations (by owing stock and buying their products); and they all must finally go back to work (not having rich benefactors to keep them on the street), they will return to “the American Dream.”

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, October 17, 2011 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

bpawk:

Let me ask you a simple question: how many politicians have you actually known? I’ve had the privilege (or curse depending on your point of view) of knowing several. Anyone heard of Pete McCloskey? He was my congressmen from California when I was at Stanford. He seemed like a nice guy ... I remember him running on the “one term and I’m out of here” platform. Of course, the next time around he was “experience that counts”. I think he was run out of town for corruption sometime later. How about Philip Crane? He was my history teacher when I was a student at Bradley University in Illinois. Great guy and what a speaker. He could mesmerize you with his voice and command of the language. I remember seeing him years later ... fat, bloated face and dumb as a post. They kicked him out of the house I memory serves me. And, of course, who can forget Pete Dominici? I met him when he was running for his first term in Los Alamos. A very nice man but already one could see the slime forming. He left Congress after being found wandering Georgetown in his bathrobe and babbling like a madman. All of these men were crooks ... slick, slimy and oh so nice. But they would stab you in the back in a heartbeat given enough money.

Politicians are a dime a dozen. They are so slick and agreeable but don’t trust them with your daughter. And they are all for sale to the highest bidder. It is you who are mistaken (or attempting to change the subject and focus of this discussion) by saying that power lies in Washington. It doesn’t now nor has it ever. Every politician comes with his backers and they carry tremendous influence in how they vote. Voters only have voice when they enter the voting booth or when then mass in huge movements to force Washington to listen.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 17, 2011 at 8:53 am Link to this comment

Why has the OWS movement gone toxic and anti-semitic in Los Angeles?  There is so much good to be done but to make a Nazi-like movement….

http://pajamasmedia.com/tatler/2011/10/13/more-anti-semitism-at-occupy-los-angeles/

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cpb's avatar

By cpb, October 17, 2011 at 8:49 am Link to this comment

“I am convinced that this generation is the dumbest I
have ever seen - not only are they fat, Paxiled up,
can’t spell and have a sense of entitlement, they don’t
even know that Washington is where power resides, where
laws are signed, where bills are passed, where bailouts
and tax laws are meted out ... you are doomed!”

- bphawk

Give it a rest bphawk, we get it already; they’re
marching in the wrong place, they’re marching in the
wrong place.  Your point is made.  They’re all doomed -
yes of course, cause of course they’re marching in the
wrong place.

Shallow analysis you can be forgiven for.  Excessive
repetition of said analysis is just tiring and
pointless.  That you don’t seem to have much else to say
on a topic as broad and profound as this movement is
pretty sad really.  Now spare us the reiterations and go
march on DC if you think it is so vital.

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By frecklefever, October 17, 2011 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

POWER RESIDES IN THE VAMPIRES THAT COLLECT COMPOUND INTEREST
FROM THE ENSLAVED…..IF ALL BANKS WERE FORCED TO SELL NON
COMPOUND INTEREST LOANS…..THEY WOULD THEN BE REDUCED TO
WHAT THEY ARE AT BOTTOM…PETTY FUNCTIONARIES..BUT THE DIFFICULTY
IS COMPOUND INTEREST IS VIEWED AS IMPORTANT AS OXYGEN…IT WILL
TAKE A HUGE CAMPAIGN TO CONVINCE THE POPULACE IT IS THEIR
OPPRESSOR….CASTRATE WALL STREET BY KILLING. THEIR CASH COW….

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, October 17, 2011 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

bpawk:

Why is it that idiots always assume I did something to justify my position when they have no basis for the accusation. I did not vote for Obama or anyone last election ... I was out of the country and, quite frankly, not interested in any of the lies or liars anymore. I knew Obama would be a joke. Jesus ... you clowns are all the same ... attempting to humiliate someone who disagrees with you. How’s about growing up and acting like an adult ... or is that too much to ask?

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By Druthers, October 17, 2011 at 8:42 am Link to this comment

Passing Cape Horn

Will Rahm Emanuel, who seems to think he owns Chicago,  still strut and tout that liberal progressives have nowhere else to go?

Navigating in conditions as difficult as those encountered by the seamen of the unexplored who passed the Cape Horn, these 99%ers carry the banner of dignity as high as it has ever flown.

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, October 17, 2011 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

bhawk:

Of course heads of state go to Wall Street ... everyday. They just don’t publicize it. And Wall Street comes to them ... just ask the Greeks. Everyone knows you go to Washington publicly and to Wall Street when no one is looking. There is no real power in Washington unless you look on K Street. That’s where the real power resides in Washington. Politicians are like string puppets ... you, the audience, watch what’s going on on the stage while the puppet masters are invisible but pulling all the strings. Politicians are whores who will do anything for money. Just look at the men (and increasingly women) in Congress and the plastic jester in the WH. They make promises to the electorate when it’s time to vote but, once they are safely in office, they suddenly change direction and do what the money tells them to do.

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By CJ2, October 17, 2011 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

@bpawk

I guess you feel you are so perfect right?

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By Morri Creech, October 17, 2011 at 8:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Democracy is entirely dependent upon free speech; but that speech is silenced when dishonest judicial decisions equate it with money. The supreme court has thoroughly debased and devalued our political language, creating—as our banks have done with our material wealth—the mere appearance of value and legitimacy. If money were speech, in fact (which it is not), it would either be mere cliche—the forces of the past attempting to impose themselves on the present—or a lie, which corrupts language by reducing it to coercion. The occupiers on Wall Street, and writers like Mr. Hedges, have opposed the ersatz, inflated speech of finance and politics by speaking the truth. Truth cannot be devalued. Like their wealth, the bankers and political elites’ claims of honesty and legitimacy are no more than inflation, the mere illusion of honest discourse. No man is rich, after all, when he is morally bankrupt.

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By Henry Larsen, October 17, 2011 at 8:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reading this essay, I was reminded of the old union saying: A liberal is someone who is on your side (or is it, at your side?) until the police draw their truncheons.

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By RedwoodGuy, October 17, 2011 at 8:02 am Link to this comment

Let’s just hope that we can keep Hollywood from suddenly appearing in the mix. Or MoveOn, or Bubba feeling their pain.

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By bpawk, October 17, 2011 at 8:01 am Link to this comment

I am convinced that this generation is the dumbest I have ever seen - not only are they fat, Paxiled up, can’t spell and have a sense of entitlement, they don’t even know that Washington is where power resides, where laws are signed, where bills are passed, where bailouts and tax laws are meted out ... you are doomed!

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, October 17, 2011 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

Where does Power reside?

It is not in DC, where those representing its interests provide the corporate party’s (R) & (D) theater. Power resides where Money decides which interchangeable parts will be corporate party installed; what will be done by corporate person representative government, and how it will be done. The World Trade Center was the command and control HQ for the Market-State’s neoliberal global domination. The WTC is being rebuilt there in NYC — engineered now like a military bunker fortification, there in The City of Thieves. America, Inc. is just a big dumb Luca Brasi that the international corporate person entities use to make their global exploitation become offers that nations can’t refuse. In the absence of the World Trade Center, it is Wall St. that decides what Washington, DC does… and doesn’t do.

Could the non-corporate people’s Green Party become a viable alternative political party, if voters actually treated it like one?

The answer will only be revealed if voters decide that they want an alternative to the corporate party’s Republican and Democrat team. In 2008, 99% of voters voted for corporate owned Republicans and Democrats to represent the sociopathic corporate persons’ interests. Only 1% voted for sane and sensible natural person policies… only 1% supported the policies that could allow our young to possibly have a future worth having.

In 2008, 99% of We The People free-will chose to electorally support corporate fascism. Will there only be 1% again, in 2012, who will be willing to stand and vote for people to begin to govern themselves, rather than continue to be governed by corporations? The answer to that question is largely dependent upon whether the corporate-state collaborating liberals are morally redeemable… a possibility not yet in evidence.

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By balkas, October 17, 2011 at 7:16 am Link to this comment

i suggest that one cannot answer the question whether it is the wall street who
controls politicians or the other way around.
but even the question who controls bankers, clergy, media people, army echelons,
cia/fbi agents [and/or their ‘elites’], police, ‘educators’, et al, appears more than
irrelevant—it is misleading, at least, to me.

it wld pertinent and a field for thorough study to ask a senator, mayor, general,
banker, cia agent, columnist, cleric, et al what do they think and for that purpose
devise questions which may or may not elicit truthful answers.
[u can lead a horse to the trough but u can’t make her-him drink]

but for me, i have heard a lot of what they said and didn’t say. and the sample was
ample: they are ?all of one mind. thus, a banker does not look over hisher shoulder
to see what a pol, general, cia agent, ‘educator’, judge, et al think or does—s/he’s
absolutely certain each is 100% on hisher side. tnx

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By Dr Bones, October 17, 2011 at 7:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Pretty simply actually, since America is all about $, then people need to stop buying corporate junk.

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By OzarkMichael, October 17, 2011 at 7:04 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges said of Ocupy wall Street:

This rebellion creates a real community instead of a managed or virtual one. It affirms our dignity. It permits us to become free and independent human beings.

Beware liberals. You too are now becoming less than human beings in the eyes of the far Left. It isnt just conservatives who are being dehumanized. You too are being reduced in the eyes of OWS to a lower state of existance.

Having experienced this treatment from the Left I can tell you, “Dont bother to discuss it. No matter what you say, they will not allow your freedom or your real humanity unless you support their demands.”

Your own attacks on conservatives will be used by OWS against you… unless you capitulate to their demands completely.

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By Seattlekurt, October 17, 2011 at 6:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Found this gem of Chris’s interview on CBC News. 

The core value developing out of this movement is the importance of Respect.  People
are demanding integrity and respect from our institutions. 

youtu.be/MAhHPIuTQ5k

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LindbladforAssembly2012's avatar

By LindbladforAssembly2012, October 17, 2011 at 6:35 am Link to this comment

Summarized comments from my published article found at
http://my.firedoglake.com/lindbladforassembly/2011/10/17/the-los-angeles-city-council-buys-off-occupy-la-with-dollops-of-government-corruption-2/

Why haven’t the other 800 Occupy groups adopted the Los Angeles City Council model of ‘doing business?’ Our City of Los Angeles is the sole poster child when it comes to corporatist, special interest money spoiling good government. The Los Angeles City Council politicians, spearheaded by Richard Alarcón and Bill Rosendahl who became local governance’s heroes by bamboozling naive Occupy Los Angeles participants by supporting their Free Speech rights with photo-ops between movie premieres or parties and a broken, corrupt political system.

Though Chris Hedges’ rubric (coming on the heels on this article that began as a facebook note) that the 99% Occupy movement will say no to any co-opting by democrat party politicians or democratic organizations like moveon, Los Angeles city-bred Occupy movement has carved itself out to be an exception to that rule.

The Occupy Los Angeles folks ought to caught on their role as pawns in the political game in advancing a three year process delay in Council action to implement a controversial “responsible banking incentive” measure - (in a cash-strapped budget) that was tied to: “the continuation of the peaceful and vibrant exercise in First Amendment Rights carried out by “Occupy Los Angeles” on the City Hall lawn.’

Occupy Wall Street participants have cause to be wary of ‘progressives’ and Democrats. The Occupy Los Angeles group has a cozy, co-opted, conflicted, and hypocritical relationship with the City Council that represents the Corporatist Financial/Banking Interests - the very target of the Occupy movement world-wide.

The Occupy movement arose from millions of People being foreclosed and losing their incomes after voting for ‘change’ in 2008. So look out for any Democratic attempts to coopt the movement for political purposes cast in the same deception the Repugnantcons used to pressure the Fed to employ a twist (not used in 50 years and then with mixed results) to keep the markets and economy depressed until after the November 2012 elections - to lock-in an executive Repugnantcon win.

Well, in Los Angeles, the democrat politicians who rammed the sports stadium down the taxpayers’ throats, Have Coopted the Occupy movement with the Los Angeles City Council voting permission for the Occupiers to camp on City Hall grounds.

Dennis McIntyre: L.A. is really occupied by corruption

Real spirit of our 99% Occupy movement can be found on the Right Coast:

“Stop watching, start walking,” a young woman in the middle of the march yelled, and she was soon joined by a chorus. Across 6th Avenue, some people waved, some smiled and some looked away. But a woman with a small child holding her hand moved forward and took a tentative step into the crosswalk. The crowd beckoned her forward, and while the young boy looked wary, she coaxed him on. In an instant, the crowd erupted in a loud cheer and gleeful applause as the pair crossed the street and joined the march. With two more recruits in tow, the women and men of Occupy Wall Street seemed to double the decibels as they launched into their signature chant: “We are the 99 percent!”

http://www.alternet.org/occupywallst/152749/occupy_wall_street_wins_converts,_flummoxes_cops_on_global_day_of_protest_?page=entire
Occupy Wall Street Wins Converts, Flummoxes Cops on Global Day of Protest

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By balkas, October 17, 2011 at 6:33 am Link to this comment

in short, let us once and for all time bury the myth that
there were an america or americans for most ‘americans’.
there weren’t up to now.
what one has in u.s is an absolute diktatorship, but, of
course, not by serfs [proletariat], but by clero-noble
[nobility nowdays goes untitled, tho] class of life.
and that is the reason why the ‘elite’ in u.s [‘liberals’ and
old-new cons] demonize the other diktatorship.

however, imo, i am not demonizing the master class—i am
merely putting in words what i see and what others have
seen and taught me to see.

[as an aside. i am delighted that truthdig had not erased
even one of my posts, but some leftist sites like ICH,
antiwar.com, have actually erased me. tnx

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By Haudenosaun, October 17, 2011 at 6:31 am Link to this comment

Excellent article by Chris Hedges.

Many of the above commenters are of the opinion that change can occur
through the political system.  The reality is that it can’t and we know it.

Mr. Hedges is right:  The game IS over.  We’re seeing its end across the globe. 
As more austerity measures are inflicted on the citizenry, the larger this
movement will grow.

In my own country of Canada, people are in for a rude awakening as our social
programs begin to be dismantled, a piece at a time, and our justice system
tinkered with beyond recognition.  The effects of the Can.-U.S. Perimeter
Agreement, negotiated in secret, will render Canada but a colony of the U.S.
and open to unfettered corporate and military exploitation.

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By bpawk, October 17, 2011 at 6:17 am Link to this comment

C.Curtis.Dillon
Heads of state from visiting countries do not go to Wall Street, bills are not signed into law on Wall Street, you do not vote for people on Wall Street, etc. ... power lies in Washington whether you want to acknowledge that or not - you must have voted for Obama and now you’re disappointed that he betrayed you - look, it’s a hard pill to swallow but come next November you will sheepishly vote for him again so ...

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, October 17, 2011 at 6:05 am Link to this comment

bpawk:

I think you are wrong in assuming power resides in Washington. Politicians are in the control of the bankers and corporate ‘titans’ who pay for rules that favor them. Beating on the politicians only gets you lip service but no action. Once they are safely behind the massive doors of the capital, only their financiers have influence. Thus, Wall Street is where the protestors want to be. To frighten the money men and to force them to change their minds. Change comes when the masses make those in power understand that their best interest is to do what the people want or to face the angry, ruthless mob. There’s something about seeing your mortality that can change even the greediest man into a humanist.

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