The World Liberal Opportunists Made by Chris Hedges

by Chris Hedges
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
October 25, 2010

The lunatic fringe of the Republican Party, which looks set to make sweeping gains in the midterm elections, is the direct result of a collapse of liberalism. It is the product of bankrupt liberal institutions, including the press, the church, universities, labor unions, the arts and the Democratic Party. The legitimate rage being expressed by disenfranchised workers toward the college-educated liberal elite, who abetted or did nothing to halt the corporate assault on the poor and the working class of the last 30 years, is not misplaced. The liberal class is guilty. The liberal class, which continues to speak in the prim and obsolete language of policies and issues, refused to act. It failed to defend traditional liberal values during the long night of corporate assault in exchange for its position of privilege and comfort in the corporate state. The virulent right-wing backlash we now experience is an expression of the liberal class’ flagrant betrayal of the citizenry.

The liberal class, which once made piecemeal and incremental reform possible, functioned traditionally as a safety valve. During the Great Depression, with the collapse of capitalism, it made possible the New Deal. During the turmoil of the 1960s, it provided legitimate channels within the system to express the discontent of African-Americans and the anti-war movement. But the liberal class, in our age of neo-feudalism, is now powerless. It offers nothing but empty rhetoric.


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).


Chris Hedges: Death of the Liberal Class

Chris Hedges: Death of the Liberal Class Q&A

Chris Hedges: Collapse of American Liberalism + Inverted Totalitarianism

Chris Hedges and Derrick Jensen on Totalitarianism and Resistance

16 thoughts on “The World Liberal Opportunists Made by Chris Hedges

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  13. Well that about sums it up. I have been despairing for the last 10 years how every person I talk to (I mean fellow people of modest means) lower their heads and avert their gaze when I raise the topic of massive income inequality. They’re genuinely frightened of losing what little they have if they speak up. They just hide and try to work harder. The result? I (and they probably) are on half the income I had a decade ago.

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  15. My Brief Assessment of Where We Are

    The oil barons, the CIA, and an elite cadre of individuals are aware of peak oil and have been for a number of years. If you don’t know what peak oil is you should start with this video by Dr. Bartlett (view all eight parts):

    And then Google ‘peak oil’ to begin to understand how dependent our nation is on oil.

    You will learn that without a viable substitute to oil our economy, our culture, and our very survival is in question. It is clear that without drastic change in the way humans interact with nature and themselves large populations will face extreme poverty, hunger, and death in coming decades.

    Given the above, our ruling elite have made a basic decision: to secure the resources they need to maintain their lifestyle at all costs, even if those costs include democracy, civility, and the rule of law itself. This decision is motivated entirely by fear. Those who subscribe to this strategy have determined that there is no peaceful way to allocate resources; that the only certain way to secure resources is through military domination. End of story.

    The rest is commentary and explanations concerning why those in power do the things they do and why it all seems so bazaar to those who don’t understand the fundamental forces at work. You don’t have to understand peak oil to be among those who ratify or accept the justifications for extreme strategies such as unconscionable acts of war, decimation of constitutional protections, tax code privileges for the few, bank bailouts, and the like. These phenomena come out of the basic unwritten, unexpressed, decision to secure resources at all costs. Those who are at the center of this effort believe they are doing what they have to do and will one day be seen as heroes for doing so.

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