Why Prophets Like Cornel West Make Liberal Sell-Outs Attack by Chris Hedges

by Chris Hedges
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
May 23, 2011


Image by anokarina via Flickr

The liberal class, which attempted last week to discredit the words my friend Cornel West spoke about Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, prefers comfort and privilege to justice, truth and confrontation. Its guiding ideological stance is determined by what is most expedient to the careers of its members. It refuses to challenge, in a meaningful way, the decaying structures of democracy or the ascendancy of the corporate state. It glosses over the relentless assault on working men and women and the imperial wars that are bankrupting the nation. It proclaims its adherence to traditional liberal values while defending and promoting systems of power that mock these values.

The pillars of the liberal establishment—the press, the church, culture, the university, labor and the Democratic Party—all honor an unwritten quid pro quo with corporations and the power elite, as well as our masters of war, on whom they depend for money, access and positions of influence. Those who expose this moral cowardice and collaboration with corporate power are always ruthlessly thrust aside.


via Truthdig

Copyright © 2011 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.


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9 thoughts on “Why Prophets Like Cornel West Make Liberal Sell-Outs Attack by Chris Hedges

  1. Pingback: The Obama Deception: Why Cornel West Went Ballistic by Chris Hedges | Dandelion Salad

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  3. Pingback: Thank You Cornel West by Joel S. Hirschhorn « Dandelion Salad

  4. That’s Obamanible Wall $treet-Walker. And the JEB is up in 2012, as Barry takes a dive for the burning Bushs. Prophetically Preframed ENOUGH?

  5. I can’t help thinking that while Hedges’ (and Wests’) critique of the “liberal class” is pertinent, it’s based upon a fundamental misunderstanding of what “liberal” really means.

    The term “liberal” has been demonized in US political discourse over the past twenty years or so, so that its actual meaning has been lost.

    Evidence that people no longer understand what “liberal actually means is found in this sentence: “The liberal class… gradually deformed basic liberal tenets to support unfettered capitalism, the national security state, globalization and permanent war.”

    But, if one reads classical liberal theorists like Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, that’s exactly what liberals DO believe in, those ARE their tenets.

    Furthermore, it is entirely consistant for the “liberal class” (by your definition) to “abett” the cult of the self, as one of the basic “tenets” of liberalism (by my definition) IS to promote the individuals’ rights vis-a-vis the state.

    So, presumably, you’re actually talking about something other than “liberal”.
    Perhaps “progressive”, although you imply that belief in the “inevitability” of progress is only a liberal belief; I think “progress” can be defined on many dimensions, including humanitarian ones.

    Or maybe “communitarianism”, which I personally would endorse, but good luck trying to sell the US public on that notion; it sounds too similar to communism, and a society that understands socialism and communism and liberalism to be one and the same things will not make a distinction between communitarianism and communism.

    I don’t think I’m picking nits to insist on clear definitions of who and what we’re talking about. If we accept the definitions imposed on us by the status quo over the last twenty years, we actually limit our own goals, and narrow the range of debate and discussion I’m pretty sure neither Hedges nor West actually want that.

  6. come on. i mean, the critique about the “liberal class” is fine, but cornell west a “prophet”? seriously? he who used your column to refer to “brother paul krugman”? what a joke. newsflash Cornell, Krugman is equally not your brother. Cornell West is as liberal as all the rest of them and should not be defended.

  7. Lo, thank you so much for all you do! Hedges is one of my favorite writers. It made me sick to see all those liberal idiots attacking West last week. I’m glad to see Hedges put them in check!

    Your blog continues to totally rock!

  8. Pertinent interview with West on the Ed Show:


    For whatever reason our political class ends up being miserable corporatists, which is dubiously blamed on campaign contributions.

    But for whatever reason, this is exactly the policies Americans prefer, to their own detriment. So be it, amerigah gets exactly what it deserves.

    But unacceptable is the cold-killer Obomba. While his corporatist war on the poor was in many ways a surprise to West & the rest given his platform (you’d think the insurance petroleum & financial industries threatened his family or something), his warmongering wasn’t.

    We knew exactly Obomba’s bloodthirsty, misguided militaristic aims abroad beforehand, which ‘lefties’ seem to excuse out of party loyalty.

    What people don’t have any clue about is what’s going on in these blacked-out warzones.

    Perhaps if the gory graphics were allowed in the press the electorate be a bit less infatuated with birtherism, twatting on tweeter, Gaga & cashing out on the next market bubble, and a bit more responsible for the unspeakable & unjustifiable horror their revenue is being used to inflict.

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