Democracy in America Is a Useful Fiction by Chris Hedges

by Chris Hedges
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Jan. 25, 2010

"Stop Bitching - Start a Revolution"
photo by Dandelion Salad

Corporate forces, long before the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, carried out a coup d’état in slow motion. The coup is over. We lost. The ruling is one more judicial effort to streamline mechanisms for corporate control. It exposes the myth of a functioning democracy and the triumph of corporate power. But it does not significantly alter the political landscape. The corporate state is firmly cemented in place.

The fiction of democracy remains useful, not only for corporations, but for our bankrupt liberal class. If the fiction is seriously challenged, liberals will be forced to consider actual resistance, which will be neither pleasant nor easy. As long as a democratic facade exists, liberals can engage in an empty moral posturing that requires little sacrifice or commitment. They can be the self-appointed scolds of the Democratic Party, acting as if they are part of the debate, and feel vindicated by their cries of protest. Much of the outrage expressed about the court’s ruling is the outrage of those who prefer this choreographed charade. As long as the charade is played, they do not have to consider how to combat what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls our system of “inverted totalitarianism.”


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 Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009) and War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2003).


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Overrule the Court: Sign the Motion to Amend

Mr. Obama, Do You Believe Us Now? By Timothy V. Gatto

Time to Reign in Out-of-Control Corporate Influences on Our Democracy by Ralph Nader

Alan Grayson: We Can’t Let Blackwater Take Over The Government

from the archives:

This Is What Democracy Looks Like (2000)

The Looming Collapse of the American Empire by Chris Hedges

15 thoughts on “Democracy in America Is a Useful Fiction by Chris Hedges

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  15. This was a great read. “It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it; consequently, the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using the word if it were tied down to any one meaning.” – George Orwell

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