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The Phantom Left by Chris Hedges

by Chris Hedges
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Truthdig
November 1, 2010

The American left is a phantom. It is conjured up by the right wing to tag Barack Obama as a socialist and used by the liberal class to justify its complacency and lethargy. It diverts attention from corporate power. It perpetuates the myth of a democratic system that is influenced by the votes of citizens, political platforms and the work of legislators. It keeps the world neatly divided into a left and a right. The phantom left functions as a convenient scapegoat. The right wing blames it for moral degeneration and fiscal chaos. The liberal class uses it to call for “moderation.” And while we waste our time talking nonsense, the engines of corporate power—masked, ruthless and unexamined—happily devour the state.

The loss of a radical left in American politics has been catastrophic. The left once harbored militant anarchist and communist labor unions, an independent, alternative press, social movements and politicians not tethered to corporate benefactors. But its disappearance, the result of long witch hunts for communists, post-industrialization and the silencing of those who did not sign on for the utopian vision of globalization, means that there is no counterforce to halt our slide into corporate neofeudalism. This harsh reality, however, is not palatable. So the corporations that control mass communications conjure up the phantom of a left. They blame the phantom for our debacle. And they get us to speak in absurdities.

[...]

via Truthdig

Copyright © 2010 Truthdig

Chris Hedges spent two decades as a foreign reporter covering wars in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He has written nine books, including Death of the Liberal ClassEmpire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009) and War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2003).

see

A Recipe For Fascism by Chris Hedges

Ralph Nader: Corporate socialism controls American government

Anti-communism 101: Hijacking history by William Blum

Excerpt from Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges

The Insane Prelude to the Corporate Takeover of the Planet By Siv O’Neall

Chris Hedges: The Liberal Class + Death of the Liberal Class? (interview/debate)

The World Liberal Opportunists Made by Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges: Death of the Liberal Class

Chris Hedges: Death of the Liberal Class Q&A

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73 Responses

  1. I did this sound piece using sound bites of Chris Hedges talking about the Empire of Illusion http://soundcloud.com/brianrouth/the-empire-of-illusion

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