The Liberal Class Is A Corpse by Chris Hedges

by Chris Hedges
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
November 12, 2012

change in chains

Image by spo0nman via Flickr

The presidential election exposed the liberal class as a corpse. It fights for nothing. It stands for nothing. It is a useless appendage to the corporate state. It exists not to make possible incremental or piecemeal reform, as it originally did in a functional capitalist democracy; instead it has devolved into an instrument of personal vanity, burnishing the hollow morality of its adherents. Liberals, by voting for Barack Obama, betrayed the core values they use to define themselves—the rule of law, the safeguarding of civil liberties, the protection of unions, the preservation of social welfare programs, environmental accords, financial regulation, a defiance of unjust war and torture, and the abolition of drone wars. The liberal class clung desperately during the long nightmare of this political campaign to one or two issues, such as protecting a woman’s right to choose and gender equality, to justify its complicity in a monstrous evil. This moral fragmentation—using an isolated act of justice to define one’s self while ignoring the vast corporate assault on the nation and the ecosystem along with the pre-emptive violence of the imperial state—is moral and political capitulation. It fails to confront the evil we have become.


via 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 Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, Death of the Liberal Class, and The World as It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress.

Copyright © 2012 Truthdig


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Liberals Are Useless by Chris Hedges

14 thoughts on “The Liberal Class Is A Corpse by Chris Hedges

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  6. True, the liberal class is very dead, but it is not useless.

    It is best understood now as a sheepskin, which also serves as some insight to its use when it was alive and kicking.

    True to its bourgeois nature, the liberal class was always profoundly ignorant, most to the point on Marx, which is as seminal to a modern objective and scientific understanding of sociopolitical realities as are Mendel, Darwin, Freud and Einstein to their own fields, regardless of how we may have naturally grown further from each in specific ways over time.

    If the liberal class were useless there would be no Democratic Party and thus no modes operandi (usually in the form of a shell game) with which to implement corporatist agenda, which is falsely labeled as Republican Party.

    We certainly do not live in a liberal “post-racial” society – note, the only substantial differences (aside from state vs. national statures) between Obama and Romney as executive leaders were their racial identities, and that incendiary reality was enough to galvanize the voting populace to a sublime state of ironic political blindness.

    That is why Obamacare was borne from Romneycare, and why Romney had to flip-flop on it and on Choice and on a few other things during the presidential campaigns – they have to maintain the illusion somehow.

    Meanwhile anything Obama said during campaigning was basically meaningless – have we already forgotten his first award-winning presidential campaign?

    He will continue to do the bidding for the 1% and the military-industrial complex and the banksters that own our society – if he fails to walk that line they will get rid of him, it’s pretty simple.

    So far Obama has never proved himself to be in any way independent from the corporate state, nor even just loyally informant in the most basic ways (remember, knowledge is power), to the people whose interests he technically represents – the brut facts of the realpolitik rule.

    All this because of how useful the liberal class is.

    • Markyuri , very good points. However , i think we must consider that Liberalism just like authentic Conservatism has just run out of gas. I don’t think it was because Liberals never understood Marx , because Lukacs and Croces work is much more an accessible form of Marxism to read then say ”Das Kapital” . It is because Marxism is a 19th century ideology that was just one of the gods that has failed , along with Freud being replaced by Jung , and Einstein being replaced Quantum , as well as Darwinism having run its course into social Darwinism . This can also be said that Gloria Steinem is a long way away from the ethos of the feminism of Susan B. Anthony ( who was pro-life). So much for 19th century thought . its played out , and we are living in the ruins of it .

      This is the very problem with systems and ideologues in and of themselves . They just exhaust themselves or are morphed into something different. And this Morphing has caused a merging with the Morphed Conservatives until realpolitik has become a hybrid charade entrenched in power giving us no other choice but to build 3rd parties .

      • Thanks for your reply to my comment rocketkirchner. It’s a lot of subject matter to cover. I’ll try to be brief.

        If the topic is liberal class acquaintance with Marx, as I believe we have both agreed to address, then Lukacs and Croce can hardly serve as an excuse for the gap. Most liberals have at least heard of Marx, even if they have been discouraged from becoming adequately knowledgeable about Marxism. Both Lukacs and Croce are virtually unknown, and in that sense cannot provide any help here.

        The word “gods” is a good point to bring up, but not a word I used or would use. I might be OK with “cultural heroes” for the personages I mentioned relative to the lasting and foundational oeuvres they have left as legacy to humanity. Heroes are hard enough to emulate, but at least worthwhile. There are real dangers to trying to be godlike. Also, the religious allusion seems misplaced frankly. All the personages I mentioned were leaders in the modern revolution of scientific methodology.

        Regarding “Freud being replaced by Jung,” hard to tell what you mean here. The point seems more like a personal preference of some sort, not based on the historical contributions of Freudian theory and practice. Freud and Jung were more or less contemporaries, and in important ways covered different intellectual territories. It seems in no way plausible that the advancements that branched out of Freudian theory and practice were in any way supplanted by Jungian theory.

        Regarding “Einstein being replaced [by] Quantum” – well that’s a confusing statement because it is too simple in its summing up to convey any good understanding of the theories involved. Einstein’s work on particle-wave duality is actually partially the foundation of Old Quantum Mechanics theory. It is true that Einstein to his death was never happy with some of the precepts of QM theory, but how does that apply to your point? Anybody interested in an education in physics would be ill advised to skip either Newton or Einstein, regardless of whether Einstein’s theories supplanted Newton’s, or if String Theory might be the newest kid on the block. There is a historically progressive aspect to scientific discovery, and it’s even best to study and learn about it along those same lines of progression which usually mirror a growing complexity of understanding on the subject matter. Einstein kept a portrait of Newton on his study wall. Likewise, I don’t think we should be taking either of their portraits down.

        I have to admit, your remark about “Darwinism having run its course into social Darwinism” is the most surprising. The Theory of Evolution (Darwin’s theory) is as close to being a fact as theories get. The fallacies of Social Darwinism come nowhere close to even touching, much less displacing it. If anything, the popularity of Social Darwinism speaks to the lack of familiarity and solid understanding of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution – as serious a condemnation of our corporate-capitalist educational system as is illiteracy on Marx.

        I notice you do not mention Mendel in response to my mention. Again, if one wants to understand modern genetic theory and practice, one must start with an introduction to Mendel’s discoveries preferably, at the latest, in high school.

        You wrote of 19th century thought as “played out” and as having been exhausted of relevance to us. It’s easy to feel exhausted by the constant bombardment we experience with either disinformation or distraction encouraging us to ignore history’s most important lessons on political theory. Marx is not dead. Any adequately informed modern political theory will rest on knowledge of the seminally important ideas that Marx developed, even if they turn out to be divergent in many ways. Being unaware of what Marx said and meant is not an edge up on the matter that might allow for some sort of “fresh start.” Marxist concepts such as ownership of the means of production and the perversion of democratic practice in capitalist society by the ruling class (think Citizens United), are perhaps even more relevant today than ever before.

        I happen to agree that one area we should pursue is third party politics, but that begs the question on dismissing Marx. What should our politics rightly be about? What should a third party look like? How should it function? Any answers to any of these questions rest on a clear vision of the power matrix under which we continue to be politically enslaved. Marx was right on with most of his analysis on this.

        It’s not just unnecessary (which may be good enough reason), it’s not wise to re-invent the wheel here. Remember what Santayana said?

        • Points well made again Markyuri. You just happen to catch me right before i was to give a lecture at the University before the atheist group here called SASHA . It was called “Soren Kierkegaard’s influence on Modern Atheism”. I started the lecture with all of the ”isms” of the 19th century using the Hegelian dialectic. So i was in a very existential mood yesterday .

          just to let you know where i am coming from –i am a very eccentric christian who plays bars for a living and worked on 3 times (2000, 2004, 2008) with Ralph Nader as a Nader debater for his run for the be president .

          now to the matter at hand — i was not totally dismissing Marx . know doubt you have read ”the god that failed ” about former Marxists . in that i was talking about and using the term ”god ”, with a small g. 19th century thought has run its course in many ways , by the end of the 20th century . The Transhumanist movement has devolved in a utopia of ”technological singularity ” and has claimed that it will be the Omega point , when that is nowhere near what Teliard de Chardin had in mind when he coined the phrase . ALL of this has to do with movements morphing . Analogy : the Roman Empire never fell –it just morphed thru his
          tory as the Spanish Empire , the French Zenith , the British, American , etc…..

          in regards to Einstein and Quantum , it is not say that Einstein is dead , but that as you know M and String are seeking a common ground between both. so there is a watering down of pure Einsteinian thought. The watering down of Darwinian thought is the same sociopolitically as the Creation mythos in Genesis . the public schools have been so charged with this inane battle as to what to teach that Darwin’s work unfortunately has become a red herring . real politik–ouch !

          third parties — they should look like the opposition to the power structure of of this 2 party authoritarian lockdown that we all live under. First and foremost is electoral reform or third parties will get nowhere. This includes –pressing for getting into the debates from the lowest office to the presidential debates. the electoral college must be abolished .there is a whole list a mile long on what 3rd parties should do . or for that matter independents that run for the presidency . but –take the Green party –they have made major strides in say towns around this country, and even john Eder got elected to the House in Maine . This all takes time.

          Mendel –my knowledge of Genetics is not good enough to comment on . Freud by and large has been supplanted by Jung . Adler got faster results with a patient , and undercut Freud . that does not take away from Freud’s brilliance . But Jungian thought is 21st century , way ahead of its time . all for now .

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  8. I voted for Jill Stein. While Obama is certainly the more likable of the corporate whores who ran in the election, he is nonetheless a corporate whore drenched in blood, completely immoral, unethical, corrupt and dishonest. If the so-called left in the US had any courage at all Stein would have won, but the fear-mongering “lesser of two evils” approach continues to reign so we have this “victory” by Obama. Am I enjoying the republican’s distress? You better believe it, but I also recognize that the democrats are pretty much the same. Both parties support endless war, totalitarianism, and the killing of the biosphere, so both parties are enemies of humanity.

  9. Chris has really been telling it like it is. I only wish he would start working with the ever growing 9-11 truth movement. I truly believe that exposing the truth about the false flag terror of 9-11-01 is the best opportunity we have to bring about the dramatic changes we so desperately need.

  10. MY TAKE on
    The Liberal Class is a Corpse by Chris Hedges

    I discount all that have set their path to talk about the CAUSES and not the CURES. And in the article I found just that plenty of reasons stated about the CAUSES but seemed none about the CURES.

    Now what is wrong with one rattling the sword for others to use without her or him being the commander and chief?

    Plenty wrong with that picture. Who in their right mind would follow anyone preaching war on one end of their spectrum of understanding yet on the far end of it telling of all the miseries that follow those who wield the swords of destruction?

    May sound a bit like MUM BOO JUMBO but stay fixed and finish reading before setting in my judgment.

    About 10% of our world’s population was born leaders. Out of that 1% have followed the wrong path to eternal life. Those 1% have bought off on the old Wicca life style some call it today Gaia, but in the end it is only the age old CAIN SPIRIT that inhabits those that summon it up to empower them to Kill the SONS of LIGHT.

    Yes those that meet those tenets are for sure in minority but with the Age of Unrighteous mammon facing all of the worlds people those elites are in control of power, riches and seemed glory among the populations here and abroad. They set and judge who can and cannot help their agendas then kill at will all who cannot be of benefit.

    And that is the CAIN SPIRIT working at will in a few hundred million while others languish in the filth and poverty seen around our planet. And the very last thing those who are languishing need is a voice screaming out at them you are a CORPSE.

    I suggest you be a VICTOR in that a voice of victory for that is what the Lord Jesus Christ as our KING demands. Study King David when he was on the run from being killed by Saul, he took with him whores, thieves and other sordid folks and made a habitat in the Waddi David, yet during that time he taught them how to survive in the protection racket and they survived.

    And by doing so he took some of them into his Kingdom that was to come.

    Dwight Baker

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