Laura Flanders sat down with professor and author Noam Chomsky, to discuss his latest publication, OCCUPY, OWS, anarchism, racism, corporate power and cooperative potential. Recorded 4/24/12 at MIT for Free Speech TV.
“You can’t sustain a democracy in an oligarchic state. The writers on Athenian democracy understood that 2000 years ago,” says Chris Hedges, whose new book The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress explores the problems of a crumbling empire, inside and out.
Chris joins Laura in studio for a conversation about the death of Bin Laden and the continuing concern over terrorism, the end of empathy in the U.S., and what avenues are left for progressives to fight back. “The elites are not going to help us,” he warns, “We’re going to have to help ourselves.”
“We have a choice,” says Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Chris Hedges. “You can either be complicit in your own enslavement or you can lead a life that has some kind of integrity and meaning.” Hedges argues for moral responsibility in a world bankrupt of it, and discusses the downfall of what he refers to as the liberal class in his newest book. From World War I to the present, he traces the rise and fall of liberal values, and paints a grim portrait of the future.
For all that, Hedges maintains some hope, and he joins Laura for a special conversation about liberalism and radicalism, past and present, and what we can do to ensure a better future.
We’ve heard plenty about the recession in the U.S., but what about the rest of the world? Countries across Europe have faced budget crunches and conservative governments are using the crisis as an excuse to roll back the social safety net that most have enjoyed for decades. Many of the problems–and the solutions–sound sadly familiar. Lowered taxes on the rich and corporations, falling wages, and deregulation led to the crisis, which is being shifted onto the backs of the working class–as Michael Hudson notes, putting the class war back in business. Hudson joins us in studio, along with Richard Wolff, to discuss the economic crisis in Europe, what we can learn about the response to it and apply back at home. Here’s a hint: it involves organized labor.
Last week, Mike Papantonio told us that there was no fund from BP to pay for the oil disaster, and raised some questions about Kenneth Feinberg, the administrator of the damages to Gulf residents.; Today investigative journalist Greg Palast answers some of those questions–and raises a few of his own.
Palast has been investigating BP for years, and right now is working on The Amazon to Arctic Investigation (and could use your help). He’s also got a bit of his own experience with Kenneth Feinberg, and he joins us in studio to lay out the history of cases like this, where the people hurt by corporate negligence end up getting doubly screwed when it comes time to get their benefits.
Yet another coal miner was killed on the job this week, and journalist and author Jeff Biggers says that the situation has reached crisis level–that it’s a war on miners. He also notes that abuse of the land and abuse of the people who work on it has always gone hand in hand, so as pressure for mountaintop removal and new coal mines mounts, so do safety violations–the latest being a story broken by NPR, that a methane gas monitor at the Little Big Branch mine, where 29 workers died in an explosion in April, had been deliberately shut down.
The Bush administration thrived on secrecy; Obama promised more transparency, but has yet to really deliver. What’s more, when information does come out, it seems that accountability is nearly impossible to get: the torture memos were released, but there will be no trials. We ask Daniel Ellsberg, one of the world’s most famous whistleblowers, if there’s anything the people can do to take the power back.