Chris Hedges: We Have Undergone A Corporate Coup D’état In Slow Motion

Save democracy fight corporate fascism

Image by Nney via Flickr

with Chris Hedges
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
October 3, 2012

Oct 2, 2012 by

Chris Hedges: The system has not been able to respond in a rational way, the way the Roosevelt administration responded rationally through the New Deal. And because of that, we’re in deep, deep trouble. So I think all of our hope now has to be invested in acts of civil disobedience.

US Elections: Pick Your Poison


The Real News Network



HEDGES: Well, certainly there are differences, but not enough that they matter. It’s how you want to ingest your poison. You can get it from Romney, who will tell you to stop whining and playing the victim, or you can get it from Obama, who will tell you that it hurts him more than it hurts you. But either way you’re going to get it.

We are all going to walk off what they call the fiscal cliff in January, no matter who is president. Wall Street will continue its malfeasance and criminal activity and fraud unimpeded. The imperial wars and proxy wars will expand. There’s—the paralysis that has made the ruling elite unable to respond to the chronic underemployment and unemployment will continue. The savaging of municipal, state, and federal budgets will continue. The power of the fossil fuel industry to determine our relationship to the ecosystem, you know, in essence ultimately making life for the human species extremely precarious, will continue.

The assault against civil liberties—and Obama’s assault against civil liberties have been worse than those carried out under George W. Bush, not only interpreting the authorization to use military force act of 2001 as giving the executive the prerogative to assassinate American citizens, but of course the FISA Amendments Act, which sees tens of millions of Americans monitored without warrants, eavesdropped, all of their communications stored in supercomputers in Utah, the use of the Espionage Act six times under the Obama administration to shut down whistleblowers, anything that challenges the government narrative, exposes corruption, crimes, including war crimes, and, of course, the National Defense Authorization Act—and I was part of a lawsuit against the president in that, which allows the U.S. military to seize American citizens, hold them without due process in military facilities until the end of hostilities, which in an age of permanent war is forever. All this is under Obama.

And I think we have to look closely at the continuity between the Bush administration and the Obama administration and what would be a Romney administration. The security and surveillance state or the corporate state—and I would argue that we have undergone a corporate coup d’état in slow motion—is preparing for unrest. It is not responding rationally.


Chris Hedges spent two decades as a foreign reporter covering wars in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. His latest books are Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, Death of the Liberal Class, and The World as It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress.

from the archives:

How Do You Take Your Poison? by Chris Hedges

Wake Up: Reject the Two-Party Plutocracy by Joel S. Hirschhorn + Gary Johnson: Let’s End The Growing Police State

Not A Gaffe, But The Real Romney by Ralph Nader + Whose Taxes Would Mitt Romney Raise?

Lance Selfa: What do socialists say about Election 2012?

Glen Ford vs. Michael Eric Dyson: Debate on Obama’s Presidency + Glen Ford: Obama is not the lesser evil

Moyers and Company: Challenging Power, Changing Politics with Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala

Chris Hedges and Lawrence Lessig on The Corporate Coup d’Etat

13 thoughts on “Chris Hedges: We Have Undergone A Corporate Coup D’état In Slow Motion

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  13. Excellent interview and transcript, thanks.

    In times of accelerating media convergence through the Internet, it is sometimes helpful to track back to figure out we got to the place we’re in. Our cultural bearings may be deeply uncertain and ambiguous, until we manage to clarify and co-ordinate this rapidly shifting information landscape. One might expect things to be more focused, but in fact the exponential diversity of opinion has created an opportunity for massive perceptual confusion, that disinformation spinners can exploit to the full.

    Here is John Ralston Saul on tvo (back in 2009 I believe,) when his original Collapse of Globalism (2005) was reissued. It was he who used the expression “a coup d’etat in slow motion” in his 1995 Massey Lectures, that Chris Hedges refers to so frequently. How inspiriting and prescient it is hear real sense for a change from a senior Canadian intellectual (he is president of PEN International;) this was the country that used to be the envy of much of the world, and once delivered some of the best ever social and environmentally responsible development aid, from any government, internationally; that even created the autonomous indigenous region of Nunavut, “our land” in Inuktitut ~ how priorities can change when governments are corrupt…

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