by Chris Hedges
December 30, 2008
The corporate forces that are looting the Treasury and have plunged us into a depression will not be contained by the two main political parties. The Democratic and Republican parties have become little more than squalid clubs of privilege and wealth, whores to money and corporate interests, hostage to a massive arms industry, and so adept at deception and self-delusion they no longer know truth from lies. We will either find our way out of this mess by embracing an uncompromising democratic socialism—one that will insist on massive government relief and work programs, the nationalization of electricity and gas companies, a universal, not-for-profit government health care program, the outlawing of hedge funds, a radical reduction of our bloated military budget and an end to imperial wars—or we will continue to be fleeced and impoverished by our bankrupt elite and shackled and chained by our surveillance state.
Copyright © 2008 Truthdig
Chris Hedges spent two decades as a foreign reporter covering wars in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. His latest books are Death of the Liberal Class, and The World as It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress.
John Nichols and Phil Gasper: Return of Socialism
Chris Hedges: The Myth of Human Progress
Chris Hedges: Injustices are Everywhere, So Resist!
Jesus was a Communist by Darren Pedigo
The Corporation (2003) (must-see video)
Einstein and Socialism by Rich
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First, I am completely against new names as attempts to dump baggage. That baggage that we want to dump is history, is experience, is a long list of mistakes and lessons of the past attempts at socialism that would be a stage to communism. We should be looking at and learning what we can from those mistakes, and showing both to the people and groups that we try to interact with.
Secondly, what I find worryingly lacking in the above manifesto of a socialist is an attack on the fundamentals of the capitalist system as such. Please read my, shorter, thing as the example of what I mean:
Thanks, Kon. Just read your article and would love to post it here with your permission. More people need to read it, in my opinion.
konstantin,please enlighten us on what you feel are the “positive “fundamentals of capitalism,i’m all ears,and will these fundamentals the billions of human souls that are murdered every year by capitalism!!!!!! hokahey/it is a good time to live
All of production is done for a profit and endless profit is required in order to keep the system in normal operation.
That captures the “souls” (by which I assume you mean the alienation) and those that physically die from lack of food, clean water, wars etc. The system cannot do otherwise. I just think that there is a real danger in not keeping that very clear and pointing instead at the abstract corporate from as the root of all evil. We want socialism, not government capitalism, and the two are too often confused.
God spawn “The Commonwealth Labor Party of America”
COMMONWEALTH – ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonwealth )
There is no better alternative to the politically tainted term “Socialism” than the word “Commonwealth”. In addition, a Commonwealth doesn’t imply a State that gives handouts to it’s citizens like “Socialism” does. Rather, a Commonwealth implies a Sate that legislates with the health and welfare of a mass majority of it’s citizens in mind.
In my mind there is no larger majority in America than it’s labor force. This is why America’s successful growth of a large and once prosperous middle class can be attributed greatly to the rise of worker’s unions.
America now needs a
COMMONWEALTH LABOR PARTY
Nice job Hank, Ben, George. You’ve got people actually asking to be a socialist! Kick ’em hard enough and they’ll give you whatever you want…
Some interesting points here, particularly about the tendency of a recently proletarianised middle class to swing to the right during a period of economic crisis. Here in the UK, the left has more or less disintegrated with just a few groups adopting a progressive, pro-working class, anti-facist politics. Worryingly, it’s the far right such as the British National Party who are poised to make the running in the crisis. What we are also facing is the possibility of a government of ‘national unity’ should the decline of sterling escalate into a collapse. This is something I’ve dealt with in a bit more detail here: http://daveslh.wordpress.com/2009/01/01/2009%E2%80%A6/
I agree but the term “socialist” has been given such a bad name (that is not an accident) that it would be helpful to come up with a different term one that would not carry all the baggage that turns so many Americans off. I wish I had a better suggestion.
Good point, Don. I have seen that to be true for a very long time. We just need to educate people on what Socialism really is and what it’s not. See some of the posts listed in the archives, What is Socialism? listed below this article under “see”.
All good points. That along with the quotes from Eistein and Orwell, does not bode well for the people of the USA.
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