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Driving American Politics Underground

Posted on Sep 7, 2014

By Chris Hedges

(Page 2)

There are groups on the front lines of economic, racial and environmental distress that are engaging in what Wolin and Tocqueville would describe as politics. They are not spectators. None of them is allied with a mainstream party or movement. Their voices are not heard on any of the major broadcast networks or in the mainstream press. They have little financial support. And their activists know that jail time comes with the job description. Any engagement in the actual political life of the nation will be through them. To invest energy in what the state defines as politics, including presidential campaigns, is a waste of time.

The call by the Climate Justice Alliance for a week of direct action, Sept. 17 through 24—coinciding with the gathering of world leaders at the United Nations summit—is politics. The coordinated activities during the same week known as Flood Wall Street are politics. The campaign by fast food workers for a livable wage is politics. The effort to block the Keystone XL pipeline is politics. The building of local food initiatives is politics. And there are many others. We must seek them out. We must embrace these groups to relearn what it means to be citizens and to participate in democracy. We must discredit and disrupt the system of faux politics that characterizes the corporate state. If we engage as citizens, rather than as spectators, if we reclaim politics, we might have a chance.

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