The United States is a laboratory for democracy – a centuries-long experiment in what does and does not work for people making decisions together. Moments of abject failure and soaring success punctuate long periods of disruption, shut-downs, and the regular ransacking of our laboratory. Our experimental efforts have often been thwarted by undemocratic interests. The equipment has been smashed or corrupted. The results ripped to shreds. The data distorted. The facilities destroyed. The funding cut off. Every aspect of our experiment in democracy has been tampered with by those who fear the will of the people.
with Chris Hedges
WSWS on Jan 16, 2018
On January 16, 2018, the World Socialist Web Site will video livestream a discussion on Internet censorship, featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges and WSWS International Editorial Board Chairperson David North. WSWS reporter Andre Damon will moderate the discussion. The webinar will explore the political context of the efforts to censor the Internet and abolish net neutrality, examine the pretexts used to justify the suppression of free speech (i.e., “fake news”), and discuss political strategies to defend democratic rights. Hedges and North will also field questions from on-line listeners.
Most of the media’s attention on journalist Michael Wolff’s “explosive” new book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House has focused on the disclosure that Trump’s former political strategist Steve Bannon used the words “treasonous” and “unpatriotic” to describe Donald Trump, Jr. and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner’s infamous June 2016 meeting with Russians claiming to possess damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
The empire has no clothes. Be the boy who dares to speak the truth: there is no democracy. All around you, the courtiers are clapping and cheering, but their trembling hands are showing. They are terrified to admit the truth. There is no democracy in the US empire; rich people and corporations run the show. Study after study has shown this. The courtiers of power have been applauding the empire for so long, they’re afraid to speak the truth. But you cannot afford to let yourself be fooled. The empire has no clothes. There is no democracy in the Unites States.
Censorship is the foe of freedom. It comes in many forms. The choking grip of control silences dissent. The bullhorns of propaganda blare out lies and fictions of consent. The maddened clench of greed stifles outlets for a diversity of expression, creativity, opportunity, and invention. The lurking spies of mass surveillance send chills down once-fearless spines. The data collectors of corporations mine our lives for ways to shrink-wrap our worldviews into commoditized sales pitches.
A major chapter in American history – rarely taught in our schools – is how ever larger corporations have moved to game, neutralize and undermine the people’s continual efforts to protect our touted democratic society. It is a fascinating story of the relentless exercise of power conceived or seized by corporations, with the strategic guidance of corporate lawyers.
Nobody, not racist warmakers, not imaginary non-racist warmakers, not founding fathers, not radical protesters should be made into a deity, larger than life, in marble or bronze, on horseback or otherwise. Nobody is that flawless, and nobody’s story so withstands the test of time. We need human-sized statues and memorials of whole movements.
A story that appeared in the leading inside-Washington political journal The Hill last week bore a headline that ought to send a chill down the spine of anyone who believes in democracy: “Half of Republicans Would Back Postponing 2020 Election if Trump Proposed It.” Read the report’s opening 90 words and let them sink in:
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Aug 13, 2017
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges is joined by Diane Ravitch, former assistant secretary of education under President George H.W. Bush and author of Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil looks at the growth of the charter school industry.
The unraveling of a society’s institutions, stability and reasonable order does not sound alarms to forewarn the citizenry, apart from economic yardsticks measuring poverty, jobs, wages, health, savings, profits and other matters economic.