The global economic crash that we’ve entered into is going to be more disastrous for capitalism than was the case for the Great Depression. This is because now, the system has no way to stabilize itself amid the widespread impoverishment and loss of profits that will ensue. After the Great Depression, the United States and the other core imperialist countries moved towards welfare statism, neutralizing the class conflict that had been arising amid the crisis. But no such fix will come during this even greater shock to the system.
Haruki Murakami said that “Everyone, deep in their hearts, is waiting for the end of the world to come.” It’s with this self-awareness of my attraction to the apocalypse that I confront the converging crises of our era. These crises point towards an outcome that’s not as dire as the literal end of the world, but that still conjures the sense of fascinated suspense which Murakami described.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Feb 22, 2020
On the show this week Chris Hedges talks to Professor Benjamin Hett about the collapse of democracy in Germany’s Weimar Republic which lead to fascism, and what features of the collapse are applicable to the democratic experiment in America.
Waking from the Ancient Madness of Ownership
leftymathprof on Jan 24, 2020
For thousands of years we’ve endured wars, poverty, and other cruelties, all unnecessary. And now the madness is about to kill all of us with a climate apocalypse, which is coming much bigger and faster than most people realize. These problems can all be traced to a practice that we have long accepted as normal: the practice of not sharing with our cousins. Trade increases inequality, making corruption and plutocracy inevitable. Competition makes us insane. To avoid extinction we’ll need two revolutions.
When America next experiences an economic downturn, it won’t be like the relatively small recessions that the country used to regularly undergo before the 2008 crash. It will be a collapse of such magnitude that the global economy won’t ever be able to recover, like it eventually did after the Great Depression. It will likely be the end of the growth period of capitalism, and the beginning of an unprecedented contraction that leaves civilization dramatically changed.
When the imperialists carry out reckless actions like the recent assassination of a top Iranian military official, aren’t they at least partly conscious of the ways this endangers their power structure? Don’t they see that the more resources the American war machine consumes and the worse proletarian living conditions become as a result, the greater the likelihood becomes that a revolution will happen? Don’t they see the obvious and growing signs of the U.S. empire’s collapse? Don’t they see that the more the neoliberal order exacerbates climate change and destabilizes the economy, the more the bourgeois power structure comes under threat?
Ten years ago, Americans were beginning to confront the reality that their nation was irrevocably in decline. The economy had entered into a downward spiral, the country had been in a nine-years-long war, and democratic rights were disappearing. Given the history of collapsing empires, it’s unsurprising that all of these trends have continued since then. And the geopolitical and cultural dynamics that have developed throughout the 2010s aren’t surprising either.
The power structure that now dominates the globe is a logical extension of the project for colonizing Africa, Oceania, and the Americas that the European imperialist powers began over five centuries ago. From the start of this project, it’s been a constant rule for those in the colonizing powers that one’s society is at war with a weaker enemy. The indigenous people, who have been portrayed as not capable of running things, have had to be brought under the colonial boot according to the ideology of imperial conquest. And in accordance with the global rise of capitalism that colonialism precipitated, the same dynamic of subjugation has existed between the poor and the rich.
The United States, like the other parts of the world that have been ravaged by rampant economic inequality and corporate despotism, is headed for a social breakdown. This gets more apparent every time wealth disparity is shown to be at a decades-high level, every time the military budget is expanded billions of dollars to fight endless wars, every time the country’s militarized police shoots an innocent person. Ten or twenty years from now, our society’s current form will have taken on an extreme version of itself: no real freedoms, basically no semblance of democracy, and conditions for the majority of people that are in or approaching squalor.
As I’ve watched young people around the world take part in the climate actions of the last few weeks, I’ve gotten the sense that I’m watching a spectacle which has been orchestrated to create the illusion that we’re still in an earlier, more stable time for the planet’s climate. Legitimate as the passion and commitment of this generation of teen climate activists is, their efforts are being packaged by the political and media establishment in a way that encourages denial about our situation. These ruling institutions neither want us to recognize the real solutions to the crisis, nor to see the irrecoverable and massive damage that’s already been done to the climate.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Sep 4, 2019
Why does the US tolerate levels of poverty comparable to the least developed parts of the world? Pulitzer-winning journalist, author and host of “On Contact” Chris Hedges joins Rick Sanchez to share his insights. He explains how vast swaths of the US and its people are “sacrifice zones” to rapacious capitalism.
with Abby Martin
Empire Files on Aug 27, 2019
Abby Martin sits down with renowned Marxist Economist Richard Wolff to discuss the growing popularity of socialism under Trump and its historical roots in America, misconceptions about Russia and China’s economic success and Marx’s theory of alienation and monopoly capitalism.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Aug 10, 2019
On Contact host Chris Hedges talks to Roger Hallam, co-founder of the British-based group Extinction Rebellion. The global grassroots movement uses nonviolent acts of civil disobedience by occupying areas of capitals of major industrial countries in protest, to reverse what they argue is a one-way track to global extinction. Activists are demanding the ruling elites state the truth about the climate emergency and implement radical measures to halve carbon emissions by 2025 and terminate the 150-year binge on fossil fuels.
Apparently, if we add up all the ‘values’ that make up Planet Earth, we arrive at the figure of $5 quadrillion! We’ve reduced the irreducible to the level of an accountant’s spreadsheet. Yet, it’s exactly this kind of thinking that’s created the disaster that, forget 10 years, it’s already with us and it’s been building to this since the start of the Industrial Revolution approximately 200 years ago.
Paradise or Extinction
leftymathprof on Jun 8, 2019
The climate apocalypse will soon kill all of us (including the plutocrats), if we don’t take drastic measures right away. But the plutocrats are blocking those measures, because they don’t want anything cutting into their short-term profits. In this video I discuss the crazy culture that has us headed toward extinction. To survive, we need an immense cultural change.