Matt Taibbi concluded that the 2008 Wall Street bailout had “built a banking system that discriminates against community banks, makes Too Big to Fail banks even Too Bigger to Failier, increases risk, discourages sound business lending and punishes savings by making it even easier and more profitable to chase high-yield investments than to compete for small depositors.” In this post-crash environment, the largest financial institutions gained more of a hegemonic grip than ever, with the five biggest banks having come to own almost half the industry by 2015.
Underneath the bluster of a Trump administration that still acts like the United States is the world hegemon, the ruling class is working to pragmatically respond to the loss of America’s status as a dominant power. In 2017 the Pentagon put out a report that admitted American global influence is rapidly declining, and now that the U.S. is sure to soon lose its superpower status, the corporatocracy has to address this issue.
BlackRock is a global financial giant with customers in 100 countries and its tentacles in major asset classes all over the world; and it now manages the spigots to trillions of bailout dollars from the Federal Reserve. The fate of a large portion of the country’s corporations has been put in the hands of a megalithic private entity with the private capitalist mandate to make as much money as possible for its owners and investors; and that is what it has proceeded to do.
with Chris Hedges
acttv on Jun 16, 2020
Julianna welcomes back Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author, Chris Hedges, to discuss how as lawmakers and activists are working together to make real changes in policing that are worth celebrating, it is important to name the statements that are opportunistic and performative, like police officers taking a knee with protesters before proceeding to pepper spray them. Chris talks about why these faux actions are so insidious.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Jun 18, 2020
The US “War on Drugs” has ramped up in the Caribbean Sea, with the United States targeting alleged cocaine trafficking into the United States. Meanwhile, the United Nations reports the amount of land being used to grow the coca plant has decreased in Colombia. RT America’s John Huddy reports. Then Chris Hedges, host of “On Contact,” breaks down the “War on Drugs,” and comments on the recent US uprisings against police brutality and capitalism.
Covid-19 has brought about the era of biopolitics, an era that will continue for the foreseeable future. This is because the virus is far from being defeated; a resurgence of it is likely to happen this fall, and the neoliberal world’s refusal to sacrifice business for public health is sure to perpetuate the pandemic for as long as neoliberalism exists. Biopolitics is also here to stay because we’ve reached a point in the climate crisis where global weather patterns are much more compatible with viruses than they used to be. More viruses are going to appear in the coming years with increasing ferocity, which will necessitate an irreversible series of changes to how society functions.
I have never heard it louder than I did this morning.
The Interstate highway, I-80, that is, two miles or so north of my abode in Iowa City.
It’s a highway to Hell in the heartland of the deranged Superpower that leads the world in per-capita Greenhouse Gassing.
Many of the same extreme right operatives who created the “Tea Party” are behind the anti-science and anti-intellectual spectacles opposing measures designed to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. And with much the same agenda.
“Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.” — Aristotle
It has been an extraordinary week. On the heels of a pandemic and months-long lockdown, a nationwide uprising erupted in response to the brutal killing of George Floyd. In some 75 cities across at least 16 states, and around the world, militant, multiracial gatherings of thousands of rightfully-enraged people overwhelmed police forces, prevented arrests, forced the evacuation of, and burned, a police precinct, and damaged and burned dozens of buildings. Mainstream news reporters from around the world were arrested and fired upon with rubber bullets on live television. Police SUVs drove into crowds of people. It has been the most extensive, and the most threatening, explosion of popular rage against the machine since the uprisings of 1967-8.
“The longer the ruling elites refuse to address the root causes behind these protests, the more they loot the treasury to enrich themselves and their fellow oligarchs, the more they engage in futile and absurd efforts to deflect blame, the more unrest will spread. The last desperate resort by the oligarchs to save themselves will be to stoke the fires of racialized violence between disenfranchised whites and disenfranchised people of color.” — Chris Hedges
The ruling class has more class consciousness than the lower classes do. They’re the ones who have to manage the relationship between the classes, and to keep this relationship in balance so that revolution is prevented. This makes them especially equipped to engage in what Marxists call dialectics—the practice of assessing material factors and opposing social forces. With this ability, they can adapt the power structure to be able to best respond to whatever threatens their interests.
“But I can tell you that the ruling elites, given what they’re doing in Washington and their utter refusal to respond in a rational way to what’s happening to larger and larger numbers within the citizenry, are playing with fire and playing with their own destruction.” — Chris Hedges
with Chris Hedges
RT America on May 30, 2020
On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to John Ralston Saul, author and president emeritus of Pen International, about how the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the weakness of American society, and accelerated the decline of the American Empire.