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By Chris Abani

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The Corporate State Wins Again

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Posted on Apr 24, 2011
White House / Lawrence Jackson

This is what the White House has to say about this photo: “At a townhall from Facebook HQ, the President speaks on his plan to get our fiscal house in order while keeping our commitments to seniors and ensuring the burden is shared by the wealthiest Americans, not just foisted on the middle class.”

By Chris Hedges

(Page 2)

The systems of information, owned or dominated by corporations, keep the public entranced with celebrity meltdowns, gossip, trivia and entertainment. There are no national news or intellectual forums for genuine political discussion and debate. The talking heads on Fox or MSNBC or CNN spin and riff on the same inane statements by Sarah Palin or Donald Trump. They give us lavish updates on the foibles of a Mel Gibson or Charlie Sheen. And they provide venues for the powerful to speak directly to the masses. It is burlesque. 

It is not that the public does not want a good health care system, programs that provide employment, quality public education or an end to Wall Street’s looting of the U.S. Treasury. Most polls suggest Americans do. But it has become impossible for most citizens to find out what is happening in the centers of power. Television news celebrities dutifully present two opposing sides to every issue, although each side is usually lying. The viewer can believe whatever he or she wants to believe. Nothing is actually elucidated or explained. The sound bites by Republicans or Democrats are accepted at face value. And once the television lights are turned off, the politicians go back to the business of serving business.

We live in a fragmented society. We are ignorant of what is being done to us. We are diverted by the absurd and political theater. We are afraid of terrorism, of losing our job and of carrying out acts of dissent. We are politically demobilized and paralyzed. We do not question the state religion of patriotic virtue, the war on terror or the military and security state. We are herded like sheep through airports by Homeland Security and, once we get through the metal detectors and body scanners, spontaneously applaud our men and women in uniform. As we become more insecure and afraid, we become more anxious. We are driven by fiercer and fiercer competition. We yearn for stability and protection. This is the genius of all systems of totalitarianism. The citizen’s highest hope finally becomes to be secure and left alone. 

Human history, rather than a chronicle of freedom and democracy, is characterized by ruthless domination. Our elites have done what all elites do. They have found sophisticated mechanisms to thwart popular aspirations, disenfranchise the working and increasingly the middle class, keep us passive and make us serve their interests. The brief democratic opening in our society in the early 20th century, made possible by radical movements, unions and a vigorous press, has again been shut tight. We were mesmerized by political charades, cheap consumerism and virtual hallucinations as we were ruthlessly stripped of power. 

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The game is over. We lost. The corporate state will continue its inexorable advance until two-thirds of the nation is locked into a desperate, permanent underclass. Most Americans will struggle to make a living while the Blankfeins and our political elites wallow in the decadence and greed of the Forbidden City and Versailles. These elites do not have a vision. They know only one word—more.  They will continue to exploit the nation, the global economy and the ecosystem. And they will use their money to hide in gated compounds when it all implodes. Do not expect them to take care of us when it starts to unravel. We will have to take care of ourselves. We will have to create small, monastic communities where we can sustain and feed ourselves. It will be up to us to keep alive the intellectual, moral and culture values the corporate state has attempted to snuff out. It is either that or become drones and serfs in a global, corporate dystopia. It is not much of a choice. But at least we still have one. 


To read more of Chris Hedges’ writing on the themes from this column, check out his books “Death of the Liberal Class” and “The World As it Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress” here and here, respectively.


New and Improved Comments

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, April 27, 2011 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

Defining becomes a from of obstruction planned or not. The root the head, how about the real problems, people are loosing their rights, liberties and have lost many things already gone, this has been going on for some time now.

Check out Britts 14 points of fascism and tell me you do not see some familiarity? From voting irregularity to glorifying nationalism, to creating scapegoats, obsession with national security, corruption protected and accepted, suppression of labor, power of corporations, obsession with crime and punishment.  Now this is not all fourteen but some that have come to mind.  What is going on, is not just one thing, this is a choreographed program instituted by special interests to keep status quo or even regress to the 1850s! The Republicans seem to be in the drivers seat with the dispatchers hidden away safely out of site.

The events as they unfold every day seem to be so much worse then the day before. Child labor laws being lifted, Right to collective bargaining taken away, never ending wars, the list goes on, folks, we need a wake up call.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, April 27, 2011 at 8:46 am Link to this comment

Art X, April 27 at 12:34 pm,

The more I argue with you, the better I know
your dialectic.  First any conservative or
Right-Winger counts on the stupidity of his/her
adversary, and then, when there is no other way
out, the conservative or Right-Winger simply
plays stupid.  And if that doesn’t work,  the
conservative or Right-Winger pretends not to
understand, or, if challenged, the conservative or
Right-Winger will change the subject in a hurry,
quote platitudes which, if their adversary
accepts, then the conservative or Right-Winger
will immediately relate to an entirely different
matter, and then, if again attacked, the
conservative or Right-Winger will give ground
and pretend not to know exactly what their
adversary is talking about.  Whenever you try to
attack one of these conservative or Right-Winger
apostles, your hand closes on a jelly-like slime
which divides up and is poured through your
fingers, but in the next moment collected again.
But if you really struck one of these
conservatives or Right-Wingers so telling a blow
that, observed by the audience, the conservative
or Right-Winger couldn’t help but agree, and if
you believed that this had taken you at least one
step forward, your amazement will be great the
next day.  The conservative or Right-Winger will
not have the slightest recollection of the day
before, and rattle off the conservative or Right-
Winger’s same old nonsense as though nothing
at all had happened, and, if indignantly
challenged, affect amazement and memory loss,
with the exception that the conservative or Right-
Winger had proven the correctness of his
assertions the previous day.  This is your
dialectic strategy
and this was the dialectic
strategy of Adolph Hitler.

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Art X's avatar

By Art X, April 27, 2011 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

“Democracy is a form of governance.  Capitalism is a form of
commerce.”—MarthaA

This is an oversimplified and actually wrong way of seeing things. I (and I believe RayLan) are talking about “society.” The idea that a society is composed of separate, clearly-distinguishable parts like “governance” and “commerce” does not hold up to ethnographic scrutiny. And in fact it turns out to be another power-facilitating delusion.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, April 27, 2011 at 8:31 am Link to this comment

rancone, April 27 at 11:40 am,

Individual ownership of capital is cyclically recapitalized at the
expense of the U.S. collective without collective benefit from the
recapitalized capital.

I also am for private ownership, but not private ownership of
capital that is cyclically recapitalized at the expense of the U.S.
collective without collective benefit from recapitalized capital.

I favor socialized capital — socialized capitalism with the U.S.
collective supporting and benefiting from the revenue stream of
its own capital—
  and private capital standing alone with
privatized capitalism, so that privatized capitalism competes with
social capitalism and the survival of the fittest prevails, so that
economic Darwinism is applied in fact to privatized capitalism,
rather than in the fiction of Thomas Malthus.

Report this

By rancone, April 27, 2011 at 7:40 am Link to this comment

By MarthaA, April 27 at 11:05 am and
By MarthaA, April 27 at 11:11 am
“Democracy is a form of governance.  Capitalism is a form of commerce.” ... “Do you accept the standard of “like terms” being compared to “like terms”..”
and
“Both capital and commerce can be owned and operated collectively or individually.”
I agree with both of these conventions. I especially like the like terms comparison. Also I agree that “capital and commerce can be owned and operated collectively or individually.” The US economy is a mixed economy - both occurring. Perhaps where we disagree is that I find a place - and perhaps a strong place - in the economy for individual ownership. But I take it that that individual ownership is not absolute. The right of ownership itself is conferred by the political. Thus the political has a right and duty to regulate and redistribute the profits of the individual ‘ownership’. The tension is what is the proportioning of that regulation and redistribution.
Tension is healthy - just not when managed by the Robert’s court.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, April 27, 2011 at 7:11 am Link to this comment

Raylan April 26, 2011, Art X April 26, 0640pm, & Raylan April 26, 2011 06:30,

Democracy is a form of governance.  Capitalism is a form of
commerce.

It is generally accepted practice to use “like terms” when
making comparisons, ie; comparison of “forms of government” with
other “forms of government” and “forms of commerce” with other
“forms of commerce.”

Do you accept the standard of “like terms” being compared to
“like terms” or are you one of the “triumphant exceptions” to
the use of “like terms” with regard to comparison and contrast?

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, April 27, 2011 at 7:08 am Link to this comment

Redslider April 27, 2011 1:41am,

People trained to dialectic follow the dialectic they are trained to
follow; like cows in the field they accept the frame of the “freedom
of the field,” rather than the “freedom of the farmer.”

Don’t you think that it is time that the American Populace, the 70%
majority common population of the United States, challenge their
relegation to the “freedom of the field” and demand the “freedom
of the farmer,” so that the American Populace can participate as a
class and culture in the making and enforcing of legislated law and
order that controls the farm, rather than to continue as subjects of
the farmer destined to be used as assets of the farm in a dairy
herd and or fodder for the slaughter house?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQMbXvn2RNI

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, April 27, 2011 at 7:05 am Link to this comment

Rancone April 26, 2011 9:35pm,

Capital is the means of production and distribution and capital can
be owned collectively or individually.

Also, commerce is the multiplication of sales and purchases
without the multiplication of things.

Both capital and commerce can be owned and operated collectively
or individually.

There is NO legitimate dichotomy of either/or with regard to
individual or collective ownership of capital and commerce.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, April 27, 2011 at 7:03 am Link to this comment

DeProf06 April 26, 2011 7:12pm,

Do you suppose that unchallenged Right-Wing dialectic, that is
argued by the Left and Liberals in the context of the frame of the
Right-Wing’s dialectic they pretend to oppose, is the cause of the
problem you complain about in your post?

If the Left and Liberals are going to represent their own agenda
they will have to represent their Left-Wing agenda within the
frame of Left-Wing dialectic, so that the logic of their argument is
supported and positively reinforced by Left-Wing dialectic, rather
than intentionally undermined and distorted by the accusation,
condemnation, and denunciation of Right-Wing dialectic.

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By rancone, April 27, 2011 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

By DaveZx3, April 26 at 10:58 pm

“I think that liberty is more possible when
corporations and governments are extremely small, and
the power is local.

But if I can’t have everything, I would at least want
an extremely small government, because it is easier
to control big capitalism in the absence of big
government than it is to control big government.  (if
you can’t comprehend that statement, I will be happy
to explain it.”

By thethirdman, April 27 at 1:38 am requested the explanation. I also look forward to this explanation.
I hope the explanation does not ignore that the planet has 7 Billion inhabitants, has nearly 200 countries and an extreme range of religions etc. That is, the pastoral cottage industry in the hamlet, is not even an eighth grade explanation.
We await to be explained to.

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, April 27, 2011 at 2:29 am Link to this comment

@MarthaA
“My preference for government would be socialized capitalism,
like the only socialist bank in the United States, The Bank of North
Dakota. The concept would work well for the nation as a whole.”

Do socialism and capitalism exists on a continuum?
There is something inherently combustible in a debt-leveraged economics like capitalism, since it is always barreling towards future gains, like a runaway train.
What makes matters worse, is that these future gains are simply usury - the charge for borrowing capital - the blessed yield as a percent of market price.
Yes, the fever can be controlled, but it’s the disease that needs to be cured.
European nations are socialized capitalist, but they were just as impacted by the real estate bubble as the US.
One is either part of the solution or part of the problem.

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, April 27, 2011 at 2:08 am Link to this comment

@DavZX3
“Capitalism and corporations are not inherently evil. 
It is only when they become very big and get married
to big government that they become dangerous.”
First of all they get married to big government because they become very big. It’s big government that bails them out because they are ‘too big to fail’.
But that’s like saying a few weeds are ok, it’s only when they spread that they become a problem.
The nature of unregulated capitalism is to get big.
It is an economic system that is wired to keep growing. The only limits that could be placed on it, would be governmental regulations, but by then corporations are big enough to buy their way out of such laws, through powerful lobbies.
So yes, capitalism wouldn’t be evil when it got big, if it weren’t evil when it was small. - Demon seed.

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kerryrose's avatar

By kerryrose, April 27, 2011 at 1:59 am Link to this comment

rancone

I am glad your content with your salary, but you realize that if you weren’t working for less than you are worth (less money than your added value) you would be fired immediately (all the easier if there is no unions).  But your complaint about only the distribution of profit negates the fact that Capitalism is defined by the distribution of profits, or surplus.

The government can not tell business how to distribute its’s profits.  The government can make labor laws and other social regulations, but by the very nature of capitalism part of the profits will ALWAYS be spent to undermine such regulation.

This is why Capitalism will always be caught in this vicious circle depending on how much profit they can spend to undermine government regulation by buying politicians and judges.  It is inherently unstable and undemocratic.

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By Briar, April 27, 2011 at 1:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The problem isn’t corporatism - the problem is capitalism.  And that is why corporatism wins, because every American has been convinced that freedom means freedom to make money and choice means chosing what to spend that money on.  Even suggesting to an American that capitalism and democracy are one and the same thing elicits such a violent reaction that the discussion shuts down immediately.  In such an atmosphere, where patriots and capitalists are presented as one and the same thing, the corporations can laugh all the way to their banks.

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Not One More!'s avatar

By Not One More!, April 27, 2011 at 12:23 am Link to this comment

How many of you supported Obama’s supposed health care even though it didn’t cover everyone? How many people have stopped speaking out against the war now that Obama is in charge. How many people on this site support the death penalty?

We have the majority of the people voting for democrats or republicans, and both parties are complicit in oppressive practices, all for the benefit of the corporate elite.

Two considerations.

First - We are mice, and we keep voting for cats to be our leaders. The cats keep getting fatter, and we keep voting for them, first for the white cat, then the black cat and hope for a different outcome. Even when there isn’t a desired change, we still keep voting for them (see Einstein’s definition of insanity).

Second - We only have 545 elected officials, and both parties have been in charge at times, and still nothing changes. Charlie Reese (a former columnist) wrote:

“Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them. Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits? Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?”

I have to wonder why people, who supposedly are against the war, against corporate bailouts, and for universal health care, would continue to vote for the Democratic party?

When I see that Nader and McKinney getting less than 5% of the vote, that is a sad reflection of how few people actually walk their talk.

I realize that the fix is in; we are a stupid species that keeps handing the stick to the person who will beat us over the head.

And then some ask why people aren’t making a stand? How can they when they only get less than 5% of the people supporting them. That is practically a death sentence.

Who is going to step up after Nader is gone? By the way, he is still involved writing about issues:
http://www.nader.org/

so it goes.

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By carlosjr, April 27, 2011 at 12:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t seen how monastic communities are gong to be safe from raiding
corporate fascists whenever they imagine something of value within those
communities.

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By May, April 26, 2011 at 11:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris needs to read Nicholas Shaxon’s book:
Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men who Stole the World
and John Bogle’s book:
http://www.vanguard.com/bogle_site/sp20060208.htm

The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism

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redslider's avatar

By redslider, April 26, 2011 at 9:41 pm Link to this comment

Nice try, MarthaA.

I ask a few questions - you answer none of them;
I make two rather simple observations about communications, you make up a label for it and attack the same label you, alone, made up;
And, I suspect the one thing that really rankles you, I didn’t blindly accept your thesis about the N. Dakota bank job and suggested, instead, that more information is needed. Again, I asked a few simple questions that you never answered, completely ignored.

And, voila! you have a whole Dick&Jane; of talking points on categorizing people and assigning your one-dimensional fictions to the pigeon holes you’ve created for them.

Well they are fictional, Martha. I didn’t have any strategy. I asked questions, I considered responses. That’s all Martha, nothing more. That was the sum total of my strategy. No attacks, no platitudes, no nothing. All the rest you made up in your head. No great “dialectic” there, just conversation.

What you did make a convincing argument for, is that the robotic faction on the left is really not much different that the robotic faction on the right (and not all on the left or the right are robots). The robots, though, neither are equipped to think for themselves. They simply parrot what they they’ve been told and populate it with their one-dimensional people. They even give them names - “right-wingers, over there! left-wingers, over here!”  When they don’t seem to fit into your neat little boxes you seem to prefer to assign the parts you don’t understand to some great litany of strategic game-playing, and recite some self-invented rules on how its played. But its just your game in the end, and I’m afraid you are playing it all by yourself.

You might try ‘Mack’, he might want to play with you. he’s a genius, you know. I think you two might get along fine. His genius and your bank - yes, that would be a good match.


Enjoy yourself. I’ve got other plans.

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By thethirdman, April 26, 2011 at 9:38 pm Link to this comment

DaveZx3, I call bullshit on your 8th grade explanation of “big government vs.
small government” razzmatazz.

First and foremost, capitalism and corporations ARE inherently evil. 
Fundamentally, the only way to accumulate capital in this wonderful dreamboat
of capitalism is to obtain (steal in most cases) a resource or product for less
than it is “worth” and sell it for what it is actually “worth” or to obtain
something for what it is “worth” and sell it for more than it is “worth.”  Those
are the only two ways to accumulate capital in this wonderful system.  As for
corporations, their sole reason for existence in this world is to organize a
system of externalizing costs (onto us) and increasing profit margins.  They are
immortal beings created with the sole purpose of making money and absolving
responsibility.  I don’t care which value system you hold, they put the E in
inherently Evil.

As to the rest of your point, it is simply retarded.
“it is easier
to control big capitalism in the absence of big
government than it is to control big government.  (if
you can’t comprehend that statement, I will be happy
to explain it”
I simply cannot comprehend, so please start explaining.  I think you might
agree there was a relatively small government at the end of the 19th century
here in America and it did an oh-so-wonderful job at limiting the powers of
big business.  You must have gone to public school in the 80’s.

All these Tea Baggers have this quaint vision of liberty in the Real America that
used to be.  Wake up hillbillies, that America never existed, and it’s even less
likely to exist now.  You owe all of your material comfort to centuries imperial
expansion, and we’re simply not that good at it anymore.  You can toss around
your catch words of liberty and freedom, but by this point in our history they
are a joke.  They literally don’t mean anything any more when you advocate for
the freedom of companies. 

Small government good, taxes bad, poor people lazy, business good, Go
America, Go America, Go Fuckin’ America! Come on man, grow up.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, April 26, 2011 at 9:21 pm Link to this comment

DaveZx3, April 26 at 10:58 pm,

It isn’t government in and of itself that enslaves the majority
population as there are different forms of government.  A
deregulated government that is conservative, authoritarian,
autocratic and EXTREME, like the current United States
government, is the type of government that enslaves the
majority and it doesn’t matter whether it is communist or capitalist.

My preference for government would be socialized capitalism,
like the only socialist bank in the United States, The Bank of North
Dakota. The concept would work well for the nation as a whole.

The Bank of North Dakota is the only state-owned bank in the
United States, established by legislative action in 1919, to
promote agriculture, commerce and industry in North Dakota. The
Bank acts as a funding resource in partnership with other financial
institutions, economic development groups and guaranty agencies.
The Bank of North Dakota has four established business areas:
Student Loans, Lending Services, Treasury Services and Banking
Services.

http://www.banknd.nd.gov/

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By mk, April 26, 2011 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As long and rambling as this discussion has been, it is driving toward something.
It is time to leave the old ideological battles behind. It is time to evolve, to live in
harmony with nature. The era of exploitation is over. It is time for something new
(which is actually very old).

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By rancone, April 26, 2011 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment

By kerryrose, April 26 at 10:08 pm

yes - I have no compunction with the results of performing work in an organized effort to produce a surplus. I am rewarded more or less to the degree of my contribution. I think this is the natural state of organized society as soon as society has obtained a size beyond the individual tribe.
What I am trying to introduce is the concept that ownership is never absolute. Society provides the rights and limits of ownership. To me this is the argument in our time.
The right to own a nuclear power plant must be limited to recognize the risks of that production plant. Not to limit the rights of ownership through regulations and redistribution of profits is not to recognize the inherit ownership by everyone of all resources natural and human. It is simply to privatize profits and have the risks and other costs born by the public at large. This is what is unacceptable in our current business and political environment.

Report this

By DaveZx3, April 26, 2011 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

This is all really McCarthyism with a different
colored suit on.  THE CAPITALISTS ARE COMING, THE
CAPITALISTS ARE COMING!!!! 

Capitalism and corporations are not inherently evil. 
It is only when they become very big and get married
to big government that they become dangerous.  So why
do you lefties like big government, when you know
it’s going to eventually enslave you, as it sucks up
to anything and everything except the common man? 
And when are you going to admit that
communist/socialist governments are no better, and
actually far worse? 

In my opinion, the political spectrum is not
polarized by left/right, capitalism vs communism, but
liberty vs bondage.  Give up on the left/right, will
ya?  It is like an old lame dog, and needs to be put
to sleep. 

I think that liberty is more possible when
corporations and governments are extremely small, and
the power is local. 

But if I can’t have everything, I would at least want
an extremely small government, because it is easier
to control big capitalism in the absence of big
government than it is to control big government.  (if
you can’t comprehend that statement, I will be happy
to explain it) 

You will always have tyrants, but just don’t hand
them the reins to anything big.  Keep everything as
small as possible, and this will help to minimize
their damage. 

For me, I really value liberty, thank you, and I
believe that capitalism is fundamental to liberty. 
If I am free, then I should be able to own stuff, and
make stuff and sell stuff.  But if I am lying,
cheating and stealing, then I should be put in jail. 
Is capitalism to blame if I am a crook, or am I to
blame? 

As Louiss123 said, (By louiss123, April 25 at 2:43
pm) “In browsing through all the letters..I see not
one mention of the word Liberty.”  Please
read his/her post again, because it is absolutely
correct.  Liberalism does not seem to be about
liberty.  Thanks Louiss123 for those words of wisdom.

It is about freedom and liberty.  Try not to forget
that.

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kerryrose's avatar

By kerryrose, April 26, 2011 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment

rancone

So you have no problem renting your body, mind, and creativity and then walking away from your work allowing the final product, profit, and distribution of the profit to someone else?

Or if you are a manager type, you don’t mind organizing the numbers, or tracking the time cards of workers, or protecting the corps legal interests so that the same person (or group of 14 people) can attain the profit and distribute to how they see fit?  Even if they are distributing the surplus to people that make you spiritually ill?

Is this the inevitable and good system that you are talking about?

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, April 26, 2011 at 5:46 pm Link to this comment

redslider, April 26 at 7:12 pm,

The more I argue with you, the better I know your
dialectic.  First any conservative or Right-Winger counts
on the stupidity of his/her adversary, and then, when there is no
other way out, the conservative or Right-Winger simply plays
stupid.  And if that doesn’t work,  the conservative or Right-Winger
pretends not to understand, or, if challenged, the conservative or
Right-Winger will change the subject in a hurry, quote platitudes
which, if their adversary accepts, then the conservative or Right-
Winger will immediately relate to an entirely different matter, and
then, if again attacked, the conservative or Right-Winger will give
ground and pretend not to know exactly what their adversary is
talking about.  Whenever you try to attack one of these
conservative or Right-Winger apostles, your hand closes on a
jelly-like slime which divides up and is poured through your fingers,
but in the next moment collected again.  But if you really struck
one of these conservatives or Right-Wingers so telling a blow that,
observed by the audience, the conservative or Right-Winger
couldn’t help but agree, and if you believed that this had taken
you at least one step forward, your amazement will be great the
next day.  The conservative or Right-Winger will not have the
slightest recollection of the day
before, and rattle off the conservative or Right-
Winger’s same old nonsense as though nothing
at all had happened, and, if indignantly
challenged, affect amazement and memory loss,
with the exception that the conservative or Right-
Winger had proven the correctness of his
assertions the previous day.  This is your dialectic
strategy and this was the dialectic strategy of
Adolph Hitler.

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By rancone, April 26, 2011 at 5:35 pm Link to this comment

By RedwoodGuy, April 26 at 11:07 am
““And more I find it sustainable to allow individual ownership of the means of production. However I also find it absolutely necessarily for the political to control the total cost of production.”

The second sentence nullifies the first.”
Exactly.
I can live with ambiguity.
I can live with tension.
Production ownership can exist.
Labor unions can exist.
Ownership can exist with less than total control of what is perceived to be owned.  Society, I think, should set the limits on the perception of what is owned and what is controlled.
Capitalism, private ownership of production,  is good - it has created great amounts of incentive to produce great amounts of things that advance and benefit the aggregate society. The regulation of the profits of capitalism is a necessary function of the political system. The original idea of the regulation of commerce had in part to do with the States with sea ports could not overly enrich themselves by taxing States with no or lesser sea ports. That is regulation was used to proportion the natural benefits. This is why I am such a strong supporter of regulation.
The nuclear power industry contains the same conundrum. Profits are privatized - injury and risk are absorbed by the general public - by society. This is another example of the general public, the political, insufficiently regulating.
The ambiguity is that neither private or public ownership is ether good or bad; or that regulation is either good or bad - all just are.
Our weakness as a society is that the necessary tensions and the strength of tension are, and have been for a century in the US, not carefully nurtured and deliberately manged by our elected leaders.

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By ardee, April 26, 2011 at 5:35 pm Link to this comment

philipw, April 26 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

ardee
socialized unregulated capitalist.  This is the capitalism Hedges is talking about.  Largely unregulated because they pull the strings.  Socialized because the people finance them and bail them out when they err.  So its not really capitalism, but a way to control and milk the people from the top down.

Thank you for the response. I trust you understand my confusion at a “mixed metaphor”...I think that govt welfare for corporations is not a real example of socialism at work but an example of the ownership of government by corporations, the very definition of fascism in fact.

I apologize for my lack of understanding of your point however. Communication is hard enough as it is you know. Further, some here use every opportunity to disparage socialism, so I leaped…Thanks for making the landing so soft.

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By Leefeller, April 26, 2011 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment

While everyone is fretting about what is the root and what is the head, how about stepping back and taking a look at the whole thing not only one fourteenth of the problem. (I know Anacissie ) Take a look at this and then check out the rest of Britts fourteen points of fascism, there may be a root but I do not see it, from what I can tell it is like a grand plan.

“9. Power of corporations protected”

By Laurance Britt

“Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of “have-not” citizens.”

Look familiar, have I seen this someplace? It is not capitalism, it looks like fascism to me, maybe I am the deluded one?

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By redslider, April 26, 2011 at 4:21 pm Link to this comment

kerryrose - that’s a fair question (the last sentence a little feisty - but no matter).  I’ll take it a face value - that its an open question, not a “dare”. If that’s the case, then I suggest we go talk it and see - away from this forum where we can examine the case and see what it holds.  If I can’t convince you that there may be more to this than ‘capitalism’, or even the either/or of capitalism/socialism, then you can return here and say, “red slider is full of shit.”  If, on the other hand, I present enough of a case that there may be more than just an indictment of capitalism (and that it may not be the root of all problems), then you return and simply say, ‘red slider may be onto something.’  Simple as that. Fair enough?

If you wish to explore the matter, you can go to my facebook page ‘red slider’ (the logo with the boy and the magic-box) and check in as a friend and message me. we can take it from there.  If you wish.

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By gerard, April 26, 2011 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

And by the way, while we’re still on the subject:
  Just what, exactly, are the corporations winning?
    1. Universal hatred from other people
    2. Heaps of money and nothing to buy
    3. Envy
    4. Lack of awareness of others
    5. Never being satisfied
    6. Boredom
    7. Vague awareness of a bottomless pit

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By kerryrose, April 26, 2011 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment

Redslider

I wish you would explain how Capitalism is NOT the root of all the problems.

I’ll bet I can trace Capitalism to your every example.

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By kerryrose, April 26, 2011 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

By the way, my last comment was talking about Industrial Capitalists.  There are also Merchant Capitalists (reselling product at a profit) and Financial Capitalists (began by lending money to Capitalists at interest, now lending to the government and the workers) that have branched from the Industrialists.

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By DEProf06, April 26, 2011 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

I see the media takeover as the linchpin to the galloping fascism.  The masses are completely clueless as to the situation.  The teabaggers are blatantly ignorant, and immensely proud of it - believing and repeating every lie told them by a media that would have made Stalin blush.  But those on my side are part of the problem as well - believing that peaceful assembly in Madison or hundreds of signatures on a petition at moveon.org are somehow going to slow the takeover by the Koch brothers or reform the astonishingly corrupt courts.  It’s possible that this country’s abundant natural resources will prevent us from becoming Haiti or Rwanda, but IMO when Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act, basically handing the entire mass media over to the fascists, he signed the death warrant for the American Experiment.

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By redslider, April 26, 2011 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

MarthA,

I got your point entirely Martha; think you may have missed mine. I only mentioned Mao as a side-bar, on his methods of communication with the majority and grassroots. Not about politics at all. Same for my remarks on his treatment of the emperor - not about the politics, but what he communicated to his enemies - respecting their culture even as he neutralized its dominance.  Thought it interesting the way these things were done and think there are lessons to be learned, here and now, about how to increase democratic participation in these processes and communicate in more effective ways.  That was my sole point.

As to the N.Dakota bank - the links and info remain fairly superficial and raise as many questions as they answer. I see no reason, at this point, to think ‘socialized banking’ solves all the problems of capitalism, any more than I buy the left’s assertion that capitalism is the root of all problems. Though everyone seems fixed on ‘their answer’ as the panacea for everything, I’ve yet to meet the one that was.

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By kerryrose, April 26, 2011 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment

To be Marxian textbook:  Capitalism can never be democratic because the capitalist has to pay a laborer less than the value of the laborer’s work. Two of the costs of production for a Capitalist are the raw materials and tools PLUS the labor of worker to transform them.  The final product has added value from the labor of the worker.  The Capitalist gets the surplus and distributes it without any input from the wage laborer.  The ‘white collar’ workers represent some of the ways the Capitalist distriutes the surplus.  The managers (of which this country is drowning in) only exist to grease the wheels, in whatever ways their function dictates (bookeeping, law, yell at the workers) in order to let the Capitalist continue to make a surplus… more and more surplus. 

I suppose it’s better than feudalism, but it certainly isn’t the end point of perfection for humanity.  In France they have a protest song, ‘Humanity can do better than Capitalism.’

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By MarthaA, April 26, 2011 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

redslider, April 26 at 1:18 am,

The point you missed in my MarthaA, April 25 at 6:41 pm post is that
Mao Tse-tung was only symbolic of what the DLC authoritarian,
autocratic, conservatives in the Democratic Party are doing to the
majority population in the United States—circumventing the whole
majority population of the United States, as if the majority population
of the United States are irrelevant.

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By Art X, April 26, 2011 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

Martha—I respectfully disagree. Capitalism is not okay. It is inherently exploitative and power-concentrating. Also, it is rooted in the fallacy of infinite growth. That fallacy means capitalism has basically been an industrial-financial ponzi scheme that has enriched a small minority while bringing our ecosphere to the brink of collapse. The way forward, the way to better societies, requires organizing our societies and lives based on democracy, not the production of profit. And democracy and the profit-producing logic of capital are fundamentally incompatible.

http://democracylight.blogspot.com/2011/03/modernity-as-cultural-system.html

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By RayLan, April 26, 2011 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment

Democracy and capitalism are at odds by their very nature. The natural dynamic of capitalism is to expand and aggregate wealth (and capital) by leveraging private debt. The rich get richer and the poor get… well you know. More and more is owned by fewer and fewer - that is the condition of oligarchic totalitarism which is light years away from democracy.
The excesses of Capitalism are not solved just by regulation - because the system never stabilizes—because excess is the very breath of capitalism. - The success of excess.
Extricating a society from the grips of such a system is no easy task. All the plugs have to be pulled one by one - until HAL (the computer) sings Daisy Daisy give me your answer do

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By MarthaA, April 26, 2011 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

redslider, April 26 at 1:46 am,

The Bank of North Dakota is a socialist bank, the only one in the
United States—it is NOT in any way a capitalist bank.
You need to learn the difference between capitalist and socialist.
Capitalists ARE private greedy individuals, while socialists are
community.  Of course it loans money to individuals—
money from the collective, to be paid back to the collective without
usury to any private individual or private corporation.

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By MarthaA, April 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

Art X, April 26 at 3:04 pm,

Capitalism is OK—just not PRIVATE capitalism.  Social capitalism
like is used by the Bank of North Dakota would work great, but is
the ONLY socialist bank in the United States.

The Bank of North Dakota is the only state-owned bank in the
United States, established by legislative action in 1919, to
promote agriculture, commerce and industry in North Dakota. The
Bank acts as a funding resource in partnership with other financial
institutions, economic development groups and guaranty agencies.
The Bank of North Dakota has four established business areas:
Student Loans, Lending Services, Treasury Services and Banking
Services.

http://www.banknd.nd.gov/

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By Leefeller, April 26, 2011 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

If a person is going to do nothing at all about anything, they should in the very least do it well!

Me thinks the world is becoming overloaded like a photograph I once saw,.. which depicted an overloaded donkey cart with the donkey tipped up in the air off the ground in front of the cart. This may be the picture of the world

Water has been running out in the Middle East and this may be followed by a shortage of food, to me this suggest very heavy seas are before many,.... maybe even us?

As the void, the furthering absence of simple things like integrity, honesty, accountability and compassion become only long lost memories,..... what can this mean?

It means,.... I need to stock up on Tequila!

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By entropy2, April 26, 2011 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

@Mack—goodness, are you still at it?

Well, I know it’s a mistake to feed the troll, but…what the hey.

First - wearing your ignorance like a badge of honor doesn’t make you an iconoclast.
Second - knocking back a sixpack before breakfast (honestly, that’s what you sound like) doesn’t make you Jack Kerouac.
Finally - you may have convinced one person that you’re a genius, but I’m not sure you count.

Anyway, I’ve spent way more of my brief moments on this Earth talking to you than I should have. This will be my last response to you. So go ahead and get the last word(s) now—blowhards like you seem to cherish that.

Good luck.

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By Art X, April 26, 2011 at 11:04 am Link to this comment

I don’t think there is any good reason for people interested in constructing good, democratic societies to try to salvage the term “capitalism.”  From a historical, socio-cultural point of view, capitalism is “the organization of society so that money makes money.” Capitalism is about organizing social relations and everyday life (and at this point, our identities and bodies!) so that people with money can make more money, and as we know, money is power in a capitalist society. When capitalism functions as intended, and money makes money, the people with a disproportionate amount of the money (the wealthy) gain more money and more power. In this way, wealth and power concentrate in relatively few hands—plutocracy (rule by the wealthy) is thus the ‘proper’ and inevitable form of government under capitalism. It’s how capitalism works.

We don’t need capitalism to have a good society—we need true democracies—societies in which any governing is done by and for the people being governed in any particular situation, and those people govern themselves by aiming for consensus based on the good of everyone affected by a decision, rather than the selfish self-interest aimed at profit that is the fundamental value in capitalism.

More on the idea of true democracy here: http://democracylight.blogspot.com/2011/04/path-to-utopia-of-true-democracy.html

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By entropy2, April 26, 2011 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

@RedwoodGuy—well, of course, the legal concept of private property is a human construction, as are all aspects of culture. However, the concepts of territory and possession are entirely natural. Now, I’d rather not worry that someone has moved into my house while I’m out buying a pack of gum. On the same token, should 1% of the population “own” half the wealth? Hell no! But they wouldn’t own it if the state didn’t support their dubious claims with its monopoly on coercion.

As to the appropriate use of resources, I agree that ravaging the landscape because you have a piece of paper that says it’s OK is total BS. But even the greediest fool would not foul his own home, and again, absentee land ownership would be very rare without a coercive power behind the rentier.

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By DB Schell, April 26, 2011 at 10:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wash, rinse, repeat. That’s what I see in Hedges articles. They same important
issues new references. Is that bad? Is that what you think I’m about to write? On
the contrary, everyone should be beating this drum but also adding to it a
dynamic and cohesive solutions laundry list, a Common Sense, if you will.

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By philipw, April 26, 2011 at 10:32 am Link to this comment

ardee
socialized unregulated capitalist.  This is the capitalism Hedges is talking about.  Largely unregulated because they pull the strings.  Socialized because the people finance them and bail them out when they err.  So its not really capitalism, but a way to control and milk the people from the top down.
  Socialized anarchy is contol from the bottom up as in Hedges communities where thier is minimal government and capitalism above, but where people unite for thier common welfare and have government representatives who are responsible to them-the people.  Noam Chomsky best describes it (youtube).
  You make a good point and it is taken, these terms vary with country used and over time.

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By RedwoodGuy, April 26, 2011 at 10:18 am Link to this comment

@race-to-the-bottom,

Well said!

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By RedwoodGuy, April 26, 2011 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

@entropy2,

“However, I don’t agree with your contention that the principle of private property is negative, in and of itself.”

I’d ask then how do you rationalize ‘private property’ when there’s no support for it in the natural universe? The answer should address the limits, who sets them, and using what criteria? Who shall decide when enough is enough? Who shall decide what is good purpose and what is not?

I didn’t precisely say it was ‘negative.’ My meaning is that private property rights can only lead - and will always lead - to exploitation of the majority by a minority.

When a man cuts down a forest to extract his due profits under private property rights, by what possible measure will you contrive to calculate lost opportunity costs that the missing trees represent to the environment, or to simple enjoyment?

Profit, is an exploitive concept. If private property doesn’t exist for profit, then what for? To make a contrast here, so that my argument is more clear, I would pit “common good” against the concept of profit.  So, let’s say we cut the forest down and use the wood in common good to build shelters (like beavers). Compare that idea to the idea of cutting it down for profit.

The notions of private property and profit are only about 7,000 years old. Since the age of farming. Not much compared to the age of the universe.

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By entropy2, April 26, 2011 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

@Mack—whatever…thought I’d ask. Rant on.

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By race_to_the_bottom, April 26, 2011 at 8:42 am Link to this comment

We should stop talking and thinking along the lines of “corporate control”. Corporations are dead legal entities. They are nothing but the MEANS to an end; a tool. The END is to maximize profits for the owners of capital. NOTHING more.

And the owners of capital are by definition the capitalist class, and in the era of imperialism, which we have been in since the late 19th century,  the finance capitalist class.

All this talk blaming “elites”, CEOs, hedge fund managers, etc. obscures the fact that these are merely agents of the finance capitalists. Other agents of finance capital in politics, the media, academia, various blogs, drag this red herring around the camp to throw the dogs off the scent of the real enemy, the finance capitalist class.

It is interesting that such a fundamental truth goes unrecognized on all these left blogs. It can only be because everyone has considered this and discarded it and I am completely wrong, or that bloggers on the left have a blind spot here or are afraid of being tainted with the specter of Leninism. You notice nobody, even the most oppressed, speaks of the expropriation of the finance capitalist class, even when they talk of socialism. The finance capitalists have no such problem. Their hirelings constantly speak of the expropriation of the working class, i.e., lower wages, longer hours, cutting benefits, pensions, and social spending, etc. And they don’t just talk; they DO it. This requires not further evidence.

On the other hand, I think raising the slogan against corporate control, CEOs, etc and the other agents of finance capital is a useful TACTIC in the struggle, but, STRATEGICALLY,  we should never be lose sight of where the main headquarters of the enemy is located.

This has been the strategic error of social democrats everywhere, and now we see the results. The lesson of the post-WWII period is that it was possible for the working class and the people generally to win some BATTLES against the finance capitalists. The people thought they had won the WAR and demobilized their forces, or rather their social democratic leadership did,  but as long as the finance capitalists are are allowed to continue to exist as a class, they regroup and launch a counteroffensive, which we are presently experiencing. Unfortunately, we have no army to send to the front. We don’t even have a general staff.

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By stop-media-consolidation, April 26, 2011 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

from article: “It is burlesque.”

In addition to “American Idol” there should be “American Amendment” or
“American Executive Order”.  The judges can be constitutional experts or the
like, forecasting what the effects of each amendment idea would be like.  Then
the country calls in and votes. 

For instance, some idea like, say, if corporations are persons, then as a person
they are subject to criminal law, and if such a person were to be found guilty of
a felony, then that “person” must do time just like any natural person.  The idea
here would be some outline of what incarceration would look like for a
corporation.  Judge says 10 years, that corporation gets nationalized for 10
years; the executive management & board get a ‘vacation’ from their duties
(and salaries/bonuses—maybe their accounts get frozen); some joint task
force from the Justice dept./IRS does interim management; other employees
free to stay or be replaced by the open free market; production/investment
continues; taxes are collected and payroll done from revenues first, then any
profits go to to the Treasury.  After 10 years, rinse and try again.  No felonies,
then none of it applies.

If the country calls in and votes a winner, enact it.  Burlesque? maybe, but who
cares?

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By plenum, April 26, 2011 at 8:19 am Link to this comment

A prophet has no honor in his own land. - (Spanish proverb)

———
Knocks me over the way Hedges writes, punch after punch. Endlessly sums the situations up from one angle then another.  Just about every sentence he writes is a quotable quote… 
————

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By entropy2, April 26, 2011 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

@Mack—would you consider taking your p***ing match offline? It’s pretty selfish to clog up the thread with long-winded rants.

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By entropy2, April 26, 2011 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

@RedwoodGuy - good points about the impossibility of separating politics and the economy. Likewise regarding the “monopoly of coercion” afforded the state.

However, I don’t agree with your contention that the principle of private property is negative, in and of itself. And, (imo) it’s certainly not co-equal to coercion. If you take away property, coercion is still bad…if you take away coercion, property returns to a more natural state. The accumulation and protection of property beyond what a person needs and can reasonably use requires coercion. We are territorial by nature, but it doesn’t mean we have to support legal structures that engender concentration of wealth and power. Anyway, if you haven’t already, you might want to check out Henry George’s thoughts about property—land in particular.

http://www.ourcommonwealth.org/

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By Imalily, April 26, 2011 at 8:09 am Link to this comment

As Thomas Paine said, the real revolution was in the hearts of men.  This is about demanding justice for everybody, not just the priviledged few.  There is strength in numbers.  Let’s do it for our children!

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By RedwoodGuy, April 26, 2011 at 7:29 am Link to this comment

Furthermore, the idea of “economy” and “politics” as separate forces acting on society is completely arbitrary. It’s a product of our never-ending taxonomical quest to pretend we can isolate and define all unique things and phenomena with special words, and thereby gain control over them.

If you get arrested by the political system for buying drugs in the economic system, you will begin to understand that there is only one system. Or, if you understand how Goldman-Sachs purchases favor in the political system by using money made in the economic system, you also see there is only arbitrary and abstract distinction.

It would be reasonable to refer to the entirety of it as the “control system.” And BTW, the third leg of that control system is the franchise on the use of force.

We don’t have capitalism. We don’t have democracy. We don’t have socialism, etc. We have a unique control system, based on a few crude principles that are worshipped in god-like fashion. The first principle is private property. The second is the use of deadly force to protect the first. With these two principles in place, you are guaranteed to make a society of inequity and exploitation. What exact flavor that takes is only mildly interesting. The exploited will be unhappy under any flag.

In America, it is an article of faith that capitalism is some sort of “natural law.” How many people question property rights?

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By entropy2, April 26, 2011 at 7:23 am Link to this comment

My, my, my…the corpodems and obamapologists are out in full force today. Listen folks, the Democratic party has abandoned the working class, continued dismantling our constitutional rights, knuckled under to the MIC and generally sold out to the corporate elite at every turn.

Dems lack two things: principles and guts.

Now, I have voted almost 100% Dem in every election since ‘74 (more the fool, I). I donated, worked the phones on election day and voted for BHO (double the fool, I). The Dems give great lip service to caring about the unwashed, but show their true allegiance to the plutocracy when it comes down to a vote.

Excuses and scare tactics will not cut it anymore. I seriously don’t care if the Repubs put up a Palin-Bachmann ticket next year - I am through with the Dems.

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By RedwoodGuy, April 26, 2011 at 7:07 am Link to this comment

@rancone,

“And more I find it sustainable to allow individual ownership of the means of production. However I also find it absolutely necessarily for the political to control the total cost of production.”

The second sentence nullifies the first. As does the entire argument you make subsequently. One can not own and not own simultaneously. And this is why capitalism is deadly to any society.

On the one hand all owners naturally seek dominion over their property. And on the other hand society seeks to remove it. That is an unavoidable tension created by the concept of private property and ownership rights.

What must be questioned then is ownership. How do you own the sky? The earth? Its resources? You don’t obviously, and that’s the rub here. We are forced to build a house of cards, called the economy, on the flimsy idea that we can own the earth’s resources and products of resources. To suggest you own a stand of trees is not one dither different than suggesting you own a tribe of people.


The question isn’t really about private versus public ownership. It is about moving beyond ownership as an idea. Ownership doesn’t exist in nature, cooperation does.

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By rancone, April 26, 2011 at 6:51 am Link to this comment

kerryrose - yes and no me thinks. In the end people are probably controlled more by the economic system than the political system. As we see in the Middle East at this time when the economics are unbearable people change the political to effect change in the economic. All this to agree to a degree with your observation. However at the analysis level I find it helpful to clearly separate the two mechanisms. And more I find it sustainable to allow individual ownership of the means of production. However I also find it absolutely necessarily for the political to control the total cost of production. That is the individual owners of production cannot only recognize direct costs and the rest is profit. Total costs includes the cost to the environment, the sustainable cost of any process. The exhausting of a resource, oil, or any other resource, has a cost to the total population. The political must regulate the capitalist to recover, a tax, to offset this exhaustion for the development of alternatives for all of society. Non individual ownership, the Soviet system, actually did a less better job of offsetting the total cost of ownership then our poorly regulated economic system of individual ownership. Labor also is a resource to the capitalist - and yes people require nurturing and this is a cost, a tax, on the capitalist. Allowing the capitalist, the employer, to own the health care of labor is to allow the capitalist to own labor. We all should really object to the owning of a person by another. These are two brief examples of why I support capitalism as a component of a well (strongly) regulated political and econmic system of organizing a society.

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By SherryJones, April 26, 2011 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

There is a VAST difference between a man who thinks capitalism/corporatism should be unfettered (Republican) and a man who thinks it should be controlled (Democrats).  Discussions with visionaries is fun, but when they insist on skipping every stage between reality and utopia they lose support.  No doubt society needs new values besides profit, like fairness, accountability, safety, peace.  But we are having a hard enough time convincing Americans that there should be any consideration of the public good at all, without insisting we should scrap capitalism entire.  Dismissive impatience with half-measures, and voting for third-party candidates, only undermines progress.

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By rancone, April 26, 2011 at 6:29 am Link to this comment

ardee to control the Senate 66 votes are required. 65 does not get the job done. This has been demonstrated as you point out. The acid test is if you desire to remove a member of the SCOTUS this is the number certain. This is the only number to do what has to be done. Nancy P. did an admiral job in the House - could of been better had she had not to rely on blue dogs who were encouraged by the weak Senate. Repeating the misstatement that 59 is almost 66 - well this is not horseshoes more like horses…

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By RayLan, April 26, 2011 at 4:51 am Link to this comment

CH is describing, not just a political struggle but a spiritual one. The Empire is vying for our souls. It produced a Garden of Earthly Delights to incite greed and hunger as a way of life. It hopes to trap us in this illusion of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness so the Jaba- the-Hut of corporate materialism can feed. What can you expect of a culture whose favorite pastime is Vegas gambling and whose life blood is Wall Street casino captilalism played with loaded criminal dice?

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By kerryrose, April 26, 2011 at 2:45 am Link to this comment

rancone

It is absolutely appropriate to equate economic and political systems.  If people give up their democracy when they enter the workplace, how much democracy do they affect outside the workplace to control that system?

What is apparent is that the strength and money of the undemocratic economic system affects the democratic political system. The only way to solve this is to democratize the workplace.

You should have no problem with this because it is an advantage for the 99% of people who are wage laborers.  It only affects the 1% of people who are capitalists.

It surprises me that almost everyone here defends Capitalism in one way or another, and yet probably none of you are Capitalists.  Unless you are a CEO or self-employed, you are a wage laborer.

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By ardee, April 26, 2011 at 2:44 am Link to this comment

rancone, April 25 at 10:26 pm

My comment stands and your criticism seems superficial and rather unnecessary to boot. The Democrats had, at one point, 59 members in the Senate, and, that’s about as close to a bullet proof majority as one may get.

Here is a link to the numbers as far back as 2009:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/111th_United_States_Congress

The chart shows the obvious, democrats could have passed any legislation they desired and a democratic President would have signed it. Bush 43 never had close to these numbers yet managed to move his agenda along rather easily.

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By ardee, April 26, 2011 at 2:36 am Link to this comment

philipw, April 26 at 1:58 am

It might be nice for you to learn your subject prior to attempting to recommend solutions. Twice you post rather puzzling terms:

If you attack the socialized unregulated capitalists, you may only strengthen them.

Unregulated capitalism is about as far from socialism as one can get.

Even those who lose thier (sic) houses due to unemployment with prior responsible behavior is unfortunate, but the solution is the economy without job loss and a system possibly like socialized anarchy (libertarianism)

Once more, anarchy and Libertarianism are the exact opposite of socialism, the former a system lacking in any sort of regulation or control,thus freeing capitalists to let their consciences be their guide ( funny, not so much actually) and one in which the individual receives no help from a government, sink or swim buddy. The other a system wherein the worker owns the means of production, and state run programs assist those in need and administers education, infrastructure and all social programs.

This is, of course, a simplified definition and I would urge you to read and research yourself to clarify your own political positions.

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By stonejaxx, April 25, 2011 at 10:57 pm Link to this comment

The world is increasingly less tolerant as we cling to “American Exceptionalism.”

Imagine, while there are floods, high temperatures and climate change, we don’t join the world and help. Instead, we turn the other way as if to say we are the only ones who matter.

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By katsteevns, April 25, 2011 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment

Truthout comment on the same article:

Jonathan Stephenson

Mon, 2011-04-25 20:20

All revolutions end up violent in an empire, for it not you have to believe that the leaders of the empire are willing to sacrifice themselves, it won’t happen. One side or the other, or both will turn to violence.

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By philipw, April 25, 2011 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment

If you attack the socialized unregulated capitalists, you may only strengthen them.  Each action has an equal and opposite reaction, and they are more powerful to begin with.  They even have private armies who could easily be called to put down the masses.  Maybe a little patience is needed: look at how the women’s movement has progressed or how the Mexicans are slowly and peacefully, without firing a shot, taking back their country, lost in the colonization onslaught in the southwest states.  As Hedges points out, small local communities is one of the slow ways.  Do not overlook that it is not just economics and politics—more importantly it’s the state of mind, consciousness, and psychology of the people.  When people have matured and achieved responsibility in their behavior, when they work for a system where all are allowed to progress and evolve their consciousness for individuality, equality, community, and loving, then the evil, elite, exclusiveness empires will crumble. Greedy capitalsim is only the barbaric behavior of a few power hungry who cannot dominate over the long haul.  In the short haul they may be the end of all of us unless they are slowed down in thier pathological expansionism, and power and status glory. In the meantime, people like Hedges help move us in that direction.
  Hedges needs to realize that in the great majority of cases the foreclosures are counterfeit owners who are less than glorified renters without money who helped create a bubble, bubbles pop, should pop, and should be allowed to adjust, and these people should rent while real owners can then buy a house responsibly.  Legislation giving them a chance against investors would be nice.  No more giveaways, just responsible mature behavior please.  The idea of nice homeowners is a nice thought in contrast to mean greedy capitalists, but is not reality, greed arises everywhere immaturity opens the door.  Even those who lose thier houses due to unemployment with prior responsible behavior is unfortunate, but the solution is the economy without job loss and a system possibly like socialized anarchy (libertarianism)

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By redslider, April 25, 2011 at 9:46 pm Link to this comment

@MarthaA The Bank of N. Dakota makes loans (sometimes grants) to the private economy. That makes it part of the private as well as public economic structure. Its loans are converted into and enable private capitalist activities. That’s not an entirely socialist undertaking.  Perhaps, as you put it, my points ‘went over your head’? At least you didn’t answer any of the questions I posed.  And, yes, I read your links and those you provided before as well as some additional materials.  found all of them to be rather superficial - leave a lot of things to be investigated, questions to be answered.

But perhaps that my peculiarity, not to simply embrace ideas until I have a good deal of information about them; at least enough to answer some of the obvious questions. Just my way of judging what I can support.

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By MarthaA, April 25, 2011 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment

redslider, April 26 at 12:42 am,

There is nothing about the Bank of North Dakota
that is private at all—all socialist.

The Bank of North Dakota is the only state-owned bank in the
United States, established by legislative action in 1919, to
promote agriculture, commerce and industry in North Dakota. The
Bank acts as a funding resource in partnership with other financial
institutions, economic development groups and guaranty agencies.
The Bank of North Dakota has four established business areas:
Student Loans, Lending Services, Treasury Services and Banking
Services.

http://www.banknd.nd.gov/

We need more banks like the 92 year old Bank of
North Dakota that keep
private greed separate from the business of banking.

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By redslider, April 25, 2011 at 9:18 pm Link to this comment

@Martha on the earlier posts - I’m not sure what point I missed? I generally agreed with your assessment on Mao’s tactic to out flank and neutralize the minority. I simply added that he didn’t simply ignore the influence of the emperor, but neutralized him by eventually assigning him to a ‘consultative council’ and then ignoring him, but managing not to further inflame an entrenched minority by killing him or running him out of the country or otherwise humiliating him. 

I don’t agree, if that is what your suggesting, that the situation is the same here and now. The split is not a 30-70 minority here (more 50-50) and unless you wish to also add a large civil war to the mix, we’ve got problems he didn’t have. I also think it falsely divisive and reactive to split classes by academic standing, as you seem to do. It is a hallmark of totalitarian societies - left or right - to throw intellectuals - as a class - out of windows, even as they use the products of the intelligensia to rationalize there own doctrine. I have no use for societies which would use a broad-brush to tar people, no matter how well-intended they may be. Silencing people on that account, on might as well throw Marx out the same window.

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By redslider, April 25, 2011 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment

@MarthaA  

The Bank of North Dakota is a good example of trying to tame some of the worst features of self-interested Capitalism with respect to how an economy is run and for whom it is run. I like that it uses the mechanism of Capitalism itself to attempt to bring the voice of public interest into the economic process. Beyond that, I can’t tell how it actually works or what vulnerability it has, and I could find no knowledgeable critique either way. My one question would be about how the bank example prevents capitalist control of the political processes that run the bank; the same question that arises with capitalist control of the political process of the U.S. that we now experience. Is the N. Dakota legislature not as susceptible of being bought or corrupted as any legislature, and thereby controlling the decisions of the state (even the definitions of ‘public interest’)? What prevents that from happening? Private greed still seems to operate at the level of corporations and businesses themselves. I don’t see how the bank changes that.

My other observation is with respect to labor. As far as I can tell, N. Dakota remains a threat-based economic system in so far as labor is concerned, people still work or not, eat or not, live or die based upon what owning individuals say or do. How, and to what degree does the bank set wages or benefits of whole sectors of the economy? Does it still leave the ‘means of survival’ in the hands of owners who can use it to manipulate labor to realize their own selfish ambitions. What part do unions play in the decisions of the bank? 

Otherwise it seems a better direction to take than a capitalism with no public-interest investment at all. Not an answer, but better.

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By RedwoodGuy, April 25, 2011 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment

By now I have noticed the great TruthDig Divide. There are those dyed in the wool Democrats who think victory is perpetually coming by the next election, and there are those ready to chuck the whole enterprise and march off on their own in some form of rebellion, metaphorical or literal. And no one is changing uniforms!

As one of the latter, I have to keep asking, why have all recent Dems (Carter/Clinton/Obama) ADDED TO the misery rather than beat it back? What part of the DOMA, or the NAFTA, Rubin’s Robbers, or Bailouts don’t you see clearly? I am not being facetious. How do you reconcile all that Wall Street love with anything one could call progressive?

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By MarthaA, April 25, 2011 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

redslider, April 25 at 7:41 pm,

I guess my post went over your head, because apparently you missed the whole point.

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By RedwoodGuy, April 25, 2011 at 7:51 pm Link to this comment

@SherryRose,

“Redwood, Consider if Gore had won in 2000.”

I have. I doubt we’d be substantially better off. Different here and there in the details, but not in any substantial and meaningful way.

Al Gore is a major corporatist, with not a sliver of difference from the Clinton/Obama mold. For starters, just look at his outrageous and bald-faced hypocrisy on GW. That tells you everything you need to know about the man and his likely directions. Not a man of character. Which means, bendable to the monied interests. Al Gore couldn’t carry Ralph Nader’s spit bucket. Let’s put it that way.

Establishment figures from these parties (gangs really) aren’t the answer to anything. I understand, but do not support your belief in Democrats. An argument could be easily made that Bill Clinton was more responsible for the destruction of the middle class than Ronald Reagan. The NAFTA, the China trade deal and Gramm-Leach-Bliley are three of the biggest and most devastating body blows ever delivered to working people. Yeah, thanks Bill.

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By swanto sez, April 25, 2011 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment

REDSLIDER:

Just what the world needs, another half-baked
ideological tyrant! No doubt you think you have it
all figured out, don’t you?

That would explain the nastiness and superior
attitude you cop when somebody disagrees with you,
like “Mack”

From what I’ve read here of your comments, I think
your just a typical ranter with a half-assed grip on
history, just so much to impress people with.

Your remarks about Mao and the Cultural Revolution
are a perfect example of how the gaps in your
intellect combine with an urge to domineer.

The Cultural Revolution had NOTHING to do with
removing the Emperor. Mao had no other way of
eliminating the competing ideas growing WITHIN the
communist party. The analogy to this is not a peasant
revolution, but the “night of the long knives” in
Nazi Germany.

Of course, I understand why your type would wish to
avoid such comparisons. Nonetheless, such a mistake
is gross, and you have to go to the back of the
“waiting to be anointed superior” line.

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By MarthaA, April 25, 2011 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

kerryrose, April 25 at 6:51 pm,

Actually capitalism in and of itself isn’t the problem, the problem is
that capitalism as we know it is only private.  Capitalism would
work great if capitalism was socialized for the benefit of the
majority population so that all would receive benefit instead of
only a few at the top of the private capitalism pyramid.

Socialized capitalism is what is being used by the Bank of North
Dakota, the only socialist state bank in the United States and it
has worked wonderfully ever since it was put into action and made
it great through all the bankers corruption.  If you want to know
about the one socialist Bank of North Dakota,
Google Bank of North Dakota. 

The Bank of North Dakota principle needs to be
used in all states to turn private greed in our
economy around, along with regulating
corporations again, because when the free
market’s greed gets corrupted, their free asses
don’t waste any time whining for public welfare,
which isn’t free, so their free market is a lie or
there would be no whining for public welfare, but
still welfare from the majority population
invariable will be used to support the free
capitalists, that freely receive welfare from an
un-free public—forced public socialism always
has had to bail their private free asses out, so
their free isn’t free to the public, it’s just a free
ride for the private capitalists to to take
advantage of the majority population, which
should not have been allowed, but it was,
because of conservative fascist Congress
colluding in their fascist corruption, otherwise if
socialism is good for saving the capitalists free
market for them, socialism would be good for the
majority population as well. 

It isn’t right that the capitalist are the only ones
that receive benefit from socialism from the
majority population, instead of the majority
population; and then ungratefully deny it until
their last breath, while the majority population as
a whole are in need and are only allowed to rely
on individual charity from a church or starve,
while the socialism of the majority population is
given by the billions of dollars to the corrupt
bankers so they can continue in their corruption
against the majority population.

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By rancone, April 25, 2011 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment

“The Democrats have had large majorities in the Legislature as little as a handful of months ago, and, with a democratic President as well did not do one damn thing to make a difference..” Ardee you are incorrect.
A majority in the House means subtracting out a number of blue dogs. A sufficient majority in the Senate requires a two thirds Democrats excluding Joe L. Not having a clear picture of the requirement paralyzes the necessary action of achieving “decisive” majorities that cannot be diluted by one or two changelings.

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By ardee, April 25, 2011 at 6:14 pm Link to this comment

SherryJones, April 25 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment

In 2000 the Koch brothers supported Nader and Bush won.

Many Republicans supported the efforts to split the Democratic vote, so freaking what? The Democrats have had large majorities in the Legislature as little as a handful of months ago, and, with a democratic President as well did not do one damn thing to make a difference. In fact it was as if Bush was still in office!

You are certainly free to vote as you wish, over and over and over again, making absolutely no difference to the slide into fascism we see all around us. But some of us, and in increasing numbers each election cycle, understand that doing the same damn thing and getting the same damn result is insanity.

You may continue to post trite and stale loyalist mantras all you wish, you may continue to support our current President, Bush-with-a-brain, and a party too incompetent, or too bought and paid for, to make any difference at all. Others are free to try and build a real progressive party and break the mold of corporations ruling government.

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By rancone, April 25, 2011 at 6:12 pm Link to this comment

“Our democracy was doomed since the adoption of capitalism.”
I consider this a false choice. Capitalism is an economical model - probably the only economic model that fits with a republic/democracy. The current fallacy is to equate the economic model (capitalism) with the political model (democracy). The founders in the constitution (the political) permitted the regulation of the economy (capitalism) for the common good. 
It is only the lack of regulation which is hampering our political and economic models.
Today, although it has not always been so, the only choice for a proper degree of economic regulation by our political entity is to vote for the Democrats. A strong majority in the U.S. house, a super majority in the U.S. Senate and of course the Executive in Democratic control. Sufficient majorities to replace members of the SCOTUS if need be - and I recommend that it is necessary. So the power is for all who find fault with where we are is to quit quarreling or attempting to divine some esoteric utopia (argue between that what isn’t Capitalist must be Marxist) or mixing economic models and political models.  The power is to simply unite behind the Democrats for decisive majority’s in both houses and the executive (and by extension and action the judicial). In 2010 the democrats did not have sufficient, read decisive, majorities in any political body. President Obama, my president once and will be again, needs to be pushed strongly in a progressive democratic direction.  Collaboration to get things done may be pragmatic in the current framework - but we need to change the framework for the President.

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By redslider, April 25, 2011 at 5:10 pm Link to this comment

kerryrose, that is a bias of socialist theory, that what isn’t Capitalist must be Marxist. As if Smith and Marx were the alpha and omega of all economic theory. An arrogant conceit which I simply do not accept. Sooner or later all either/or’s get smashed. that’s how progress happens.

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By Leefeller, April 25, 2011 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment

Il capo di tutti capi was a poster name used here awhile back.  I suspected he was a joke at the time. If I recall it was a poster who wanted something or was selling something, I cannot remember, it has been awhile, She or ITW may remember and recall the name and what was going on with it?

If I recall they were jacking around with some Italian dialog back then?

If I recall, he wrote with an Italian accent and this was at the time I was writing with my Leefeller lisp!

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By kerryrose, April 25, 2011 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment

Hedges is basically suggesting that we develop an alternative to Capitalism, although he doesn’t call it that. 
A community that develops an alternative economic structure that is democratic is Marxian.

And he is correct.  If we do not overthrow the Capitalists (cut off their heads) we need to develop an alternative universe.  If it works people can choose to buy goods from the Capitalists or the Community.  If the system caught on it could be successful enough to overthrow Capitalism without violence.

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By redslider, April 25, 2011 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment

Mack, I reported your post as abusive for the simply reason that you didn’t use quotes when quoting me and often fused your comments with mine, thus making it seem I’d said things I hadn’t (or equally that you claimed to say things that I had). In my world, that’s both distortion and plagiarism. No, parentheses are not sufficient, since I also used those in my original post.  Your posting is abusive. And, pretty much makes my original point about the non-trivial defects in your writing.  I for one will be ignoring your future posts. They’re a waste of my time. Schools out.

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By katsteevns, April 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

By entropy2, April 25 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

“That’s why I am less inclined toward protesting and civil disobedience. We don’t need to fight the power, just make it irrelevant!”

.....hhhmmmm…......

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By redslider, April 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

Friends, a small correction we all know, but should say anyway - GORE DID WIN IN 2000!  Don’t ever forget that. He wasn’t denied for not winning; he was denied by people who refused to lose, even when they had.

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By redslider, April 25, 2011 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

@MarthaA - yes, Truthdig (and others, now and to come) are places to extend our knowledge and test ideas - a tool that is of enormous importance, even if we are still in our infancy at learning how to use them effectively.

One side note on Mao - I have long been intrigued by the processes of communications he used to begin the ‘cultural revolution’ (though I think the excesses of that little episode were an inexcusable failure of the leadership, not the people). In any case, the methods of letting the grass-roots filter up their ideas through their own groups, each sustained idea moving ever closer to the leadership, was brilliant and has much to teach us about how to proceed with our own movements and parties. For me, it wasn’t simply that he bypassed the Kangde Emperor (he actually found uses for that deeply embedded cultural icon), but where and how he transferred consultative power to the people and how he triaged that power up through the grass-roots.

I Appreciate your recalling of his maneuvers vis a vis the emperor. 

@kerryrose - I don’t think you hear much about getting rid of capitalism because a good many of the people that write here assume that it is commonly understood as one of the goals. So don’t feel something is being left out or unnoticed. I can’t contribute to that argument, since I am not wholly persuaded by it. What I can offer is that 1) I do see that all the varieties of capitalism I am aware of are threat-based economies that are fatally flawed by the fact that they depend on the ownership of the “means of survival” as essential and inseparable from the ownership of the “means of production”. But, neither am I so easy going on the varieties of socialism I’ve seen, and find that they also also appear to share some of the same weaknesses. Socialists have long claimed that it is only capitalism that stands in their way, but I don’t entirely buy that, either. My own work leads me to believe that Capitalism and Socialism not only have their own weaknesses, but there are some very large flaws they share in common. What I have been able to tease out of that idea has yielded some very surprising (to me) implications for an economics that might dispense with those flaws altogether. But my competence is not in economics or economic theory, so I must wait to see if I’m onto something or just entertaining some whacko idea. Haven’t found a trained economist to sit down and talk it a little yet.  Anyway, have no doubt that capitalism and the structures of the ruling class are foremost in many of our minds.

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By JPSayles, April 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment

Yes all this happened.  What accelerated and enabled the past decade was 21st century media technologies that our founding father’s could never have anticipated.

All of this can be changed, here’s how

http://politicalfinancereform.org/

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By SherryJones, April 25, 2011 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment

Redwood, Consider if Gore had won in 2000.  The composition and decisions of the Supreme Court. Tax breaks for the rich.  The Iraq War.  Climate change.  Not sure about the housing collapse, but overall we would be far better off.  Bush’s win strengthened the corporate state. Obama is forced to undo the damage that Nader third-party candidacy caused.  In my opinion, grass-root skepticism about the corporate state is at an all time high, and Democrats could win big next November.  Our best bet for progress is to support them and empower them to rewrite the rules on behalf of the people!

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By malek, April 25, 2011 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment

The “Ministry of   Information”  and the   drones who listened   to it in Orwell’s
1984,  is now a reality in 2011;  FOX,  CNN, Progressive “News” and   the
programmed democratic-republician automatons they’ve created.

A friend   recently commented that discussing politics these days,  with most
people, is like talking to the   TV

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By JDmysticDJ, April 25, 2011 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment

“The Corporate State Wins Again,” what happened to the moral and existential imperative, did it suddenly cease to exist? Does Hedges now share the view of many who have rejected his exhortation to action and civil disobedience, as being only futility?

As I recall, many “turned on, tuned in,” and became politically active, while a small minority “turned on, tuned in [?], and dropped out,” not just from a harmful paradigm, but from political action as well. Where are they now, what have they accomplished? Did they forestall the encroaching tide for even an instant? There might be enclaves of monastic communities in secluded rural areas, or in the inner cities, but have they been able to stop the on-slaught? As it turned out, “turning on” turned out to be just one of the many opiums of the masses. “Turning on” created blissed out foggy minds that were troubled with a suppressed psychic guilt that stifled real commitment and constructive action. The trend towards Intellectualism became a cultish frivolous romanticism, replete with moral decadence. I’ll suggest that only the uncontaminated, or rehabilitated, few have remained true to the cause, and have remained unconfused by the nearly overwhelming magnitude of disinformation.

Defeatism only leads to defeat. Now it’s Hedges who needs to be exhorted to continue, and not to “drop out.” Civil disobedience leads to a post disobedient depression, Hedges appears to be abandoning the baby at birth. Has Hedges now joined the ranks of our worst traitors? I’m hoping that Hedges is only experiencing a temporary malaise.

The babble continues unabated from us, while constructive action awaits implementation.

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By entropy2, April 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

@SherryJones

In 2000 the Koch brothers supported Nader and Bush won.  Naysayers on the left are their own worst enemy. No wonder Democrats don’t win decisively and are not empowered to make fundamental change!  Thanks to Chris and the gang we’re heading over the cliff at 100 mph.

Typical corporate Dem koolaid.  If it makes you feel better to blame the left instead of the cowards and tools who sold us down the river, knock yourself out. Excuses and fear…that’s all the moribund Democratic Party has left to sell. Sorry, we’re not buying the BS anymore.

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By proletariatprincess, April 25, 2011 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

Good riddence, Mack.  We have an overabundance of arrogance and hubris already without your trivial contribution.

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By redslider, April 25, 2011 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

Mack, I see your posts, and see none deleted. Some take a little more time to get posted, so I can’t say if you’re right.

What I do see is that your rants make few real suggestions, let alone demonstrate any genius. Your “convention idea” (if I infer its meaning, you don’t state it precisely) has been proposed in many forms - by me and others, for a long time. TDoff, on the other hand, made some very concrete suggestions. Some I agree with, some I am less enthusiastic about (though I do like his general aikido approach to things). You make few, if any concrete suggestions.

Besides that, you seem to like to wave your ego around and assault anyone who doesn’t agree with you (whatever ‘agreeing’ might mean). If you have specific reservations or specific objections to specific ideas, well hey, have at it.  But just belittling people who are (believe it or not) as intelligent as you claim to be doesn’t get you any points; and, yes, we all do it for free. I haven’t seen anything of yours, yet, that I would even consider paying for.  As for your “muse”, my own discipline and life’s work is poetry and poetics - and frankly, if that little sample you provided is any indication, I don’t think you should quit your day job.  Nothing there that I can see that would make it through the first cut.  Strictly ‘high school’ stuff, as you say. Early high school at that.  And those are measured opinions I generally do charge for. In your case, its free. smile

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By kerryrose, April 25, 2011 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment

What about revolutionaries?  Capitalism is the problem, and capitalism is never a stable system or a democratic system.

All the problems we have now stem from Capitalism.  An undemocratic economic system must be overthrown and replaced with a democratic system. 

Otherwise these problems are continually recurring.  It is why Europe has a strong labor and socialist representation.  They have alternatives, but we are so brainwashed that no one on this blog has even mentioned getting rid of Capitalism.

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By MarthaA, April 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment

redslider, April 25 at 5:18 pm,

Spreading broad awareness is what this Truthdig Forum is about,
and there is no other reason for me to be working night and day
on this forum trying to spread awareness.  Otherwise, the “70%
majority common population” seem to be in the process of being
encircled by a 30% minority population of the Republican’s
American Aristocracy and the New Democrat’s Professional Middle
Class and made as irrelevant as the “old divine imperial forbidden
city of China” that Mao Tse-tung encircled and passed by without
bother, because it was tactically irrelevant. 

The whole point of mentioning Mao Tse-tung circumventing “the
forbidden city” where the whole government resided is that for a
whole majority population in the United States to become tactically
irrelevant and circumvented in the same way is unacceptable as a
political solution in a nation that claims democracy with life, liberty,
the pursuit of happiness, and freedom and justice for all. 

The 70% majority common population, the American Populace, the
majority population, is striving to be aware and politically
represented in the government of the United States, so that the
majority population’s class and culture cannot be made to be
tactically irrelevant as a majority population in the same manner
as the Chinese government’s “divine forbidden city,” nevertheless,
that is what the 30% majority population of the American
Aristocracy and the American Middle Class have been striving to do
from the beginning of our nation, and it appears they have for the
most part finally propagandized enough to succeed in doing so, if
the propaganda can’t be broken, although I will never give up
striving against our government’s political circumvention of the
whole majority population.

I’m thankful for this Truthdig Forum where one’s liberal political
views can be expressed democratically without being shouted
down by conservatives and moderates.

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By RedwoodGuy, April 25, 2011 at 2:39 pm Link to this comment

@SherryJones,

Bill Clinton and the Democrats won decisively. Barry Obama and Democrats won decisively. And in both cases, corporatism and state capitalism became further entrenched, and progressive ideals were left further in the dust. I can’t see how we can possibly afford to elect more Democrats, can you?

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By Sark, April 25, 2011 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think this article makes some important points but misses the biggest problem we have. There is a strong relationship between the increased use of electronic voting machines and the move to the right and corporate take-over.

Today we vote using machines manufactured, programmed and serviced by hard-right Republican supporting corporations with an agenda. Election integrity is greatly compromised by the use of these machines. It has been proven over and over that these machines are easily hacked and manipulated yet the voters continue to allow faith based voting.

Politicians can be secure in their office as long as they do the deeds requested by their corporate owners. Elected and selected judges are now in place so that corporations are assured that judgments will go in their favor. Citizens United only served to solidify the propaganda machine.

We can march, protest, call and write but until our votes are counted as cast, it will matter little to those selected for office by a manipulated vote count.

If you really want to have positive change, work for hand counted paper ballots in you community and state. Our lives, liberties, freedom and rights are too important to leave the counting to the machines.

As for those monastic communities, I can see the drones flying over….....

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By Virginia777, April 25, 2011 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

SherryJones:

“Naysayers on the left are their own worst enemy.”

I agree with you SherryJones.

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By ArtX, April 25, 2011 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The idea that voting for members of the Democratic party can take us from plutocracy to democracy is just not tenable at this point. Most of the institutions of the US government, including the Constitution, were created and are managed to ensure that the wealthy rule and to suppress any moves toward real democracy. (The Supreme Court has gone so as far to mandate plutocracy by defining the use of wealth to dominate politics, the media, and economy as “free speech”.)

The path to democracy is along a different track, one that does not involve trying to take power from the plutocrats, or assuming the power plutocrats lose as their industrial-financial ponzi scheme collapses. The path to democracy is about constructing whole new (very local, permaculture-oriented) societies in which the kind of power plutocrats wield does not exist—societies based on true democracy… http://democracylight.blogspot.com

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