“Fake news” is fake news.
The people who created Facebook and Google must be smart. They’re billionaires, their companies are worth multi-multi billions, their programs are used by billions around the world.
*This essay (below) was published on Counterpunch on Friday, January 12, 2018. It was written and submitted before I learned about Donald Trump’s sickening racist comments calling Haiti and Africa (home to 48 nations) “shithole countries.” Trump’s racist remarks have led me to alter and add text (seen in italics) in this essay’s next-to-last paragraph.
Liberals and other Democrats are getting dumber by the day. I keep running into them and hearing the same story over and over: things are bad because Trump is the president.
The Occupy Wall Street movement that spread across the country six-plus years ago lacked proper organization and strategy, but it deserves credit for having the right enemy – the corporate and financial ruling class. The same can be said to no small degree about the sadly Democratic Party-captive Bernie Sanders campaign, which targeted “the billionaire class” as the main culprit behind the miseries of life in the brutally class-disparate United States. Both populist phenomena – Occupy and the Sanders “movement” – failed to build lasting people’s organizations and failed to properly situate the “One Percent”/“Billionaire Class” within the specific historical contexts of capitalist class rule and capitalism’s “evil twin” imperialism. Neither offered anything like a revolutionary alternative to the nation’s unelected and interrelated dictatorships of wealth and empire. Still, both demonstrated a reasonable opening understanding of who calls the shots under what Noam Chomsky is right to sardonically call “really existing [U.S.] capitalist democracy, or RECD, pronounced as ‘wrecked’”: the U.S. corporate and financial oligarchy.
Bernard Fall, the great French-American writer on the wars in Vietnam, wrote a piece in his Street Without Joy about his early days in Vietnam, during the French war there. One day Fall was in Cambodia doing interviews and research, and afterwards went with a pair of French officers that he’d interviewed to the local club tennis courts, and watched them, in their spotless tennis whites, play a full match of tennis. Early on in their game, a Cambodian NCO came up to the court and attempted to get one of the officers to sign some papers he had. The NCO got a brushoff—the French officers were busy with their game—and so the Cambodian NCO just went off to the sidelines, squatted on his haunches the way Cambodians do, full out in the tropical sun , and waited while the two French officers in their tennis whites batted the ball back and forth. Fall watched, with a feeling of dread coming over him, as the post bugler sounded Last Post, the colors were lowered, the Cambodian standing to attention while the French officers continued playing tennis. Fall wrote:
A “Hollow” Man Who Was “Unwilling to Fight the Good Fight”
What on Earth motivated the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and law professor David J. Garrow to write an incredibly detailed 1078-page (1460 pages with endnotes and index included) biography of Barack Obama from conception through election to the White House? Not any great personal affinity for Obama on Garrow’s part, that’s for sure. Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama is no hagiography. On the last page of this remarkable tome, Garrow describes Obama at the end of his distinctly non-transformative and “failed presidency” as a man who had long ago had become a “vessel [that] was hollow at its core.”
with Chris Hedges
Earthbound on Mar 15, 2017
Truthdig columnist and Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges addresses fascism and the rise of the Trump war machine in the keynote speech at the “After Trump and Pussy Hats” event in Vancouver, British Columbia, on March 3, 2017.
with Chris Hedges
goingundergroundRT on Jan 28, 2017
We talk shop with former UK business minister Vince Cable over Theresa May’s attempts at post-Brexit damage control. We speak to the Director of a new Oliver Stone-exec produced film about mainstream media parroting government lies. We ask Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Chris Hedges about why if you are a journalist who cares, you don’t get a promotion.
On the day President Trump is inaugurated, thousands of writers in the United States will express their indignation. “In order for us to heal and move forward…”, say Writers Resist, “we wish to bypass direct political discourse, in favour of an inspired focus on the future, and how we, as writers, can be a unifying force for the protection of democracy.”
with Chris Hedges
Watching the Hawks RT on Jan 11, 2017
Award winning journalist and host of RT’s On Contact Chris Hedges enters the Hawks Nest to discuss the future of the United States in the hands of Donald Trump and what is next for the neoliberal supporters of Hillary Clinton.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Jan 7, 2017
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges discusses strategies of resistance with Michael Gecan, author of “Going Public: An Organizer’s Guide to Citizen Action”. RT Correspondent reports on the godfather of community organizing, Saul Alinsky.
by Thomas S. Harrington
Common Dreams, Nov. 10, 2016
November 13, 2016
I would love to share, my liberal friend, in your sense of incredulity about the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of United States. I would love to stand with you in the sense of woundedness that, while certainly painful up front, carries with it the secondary compensation of a warm and nurturing solidarity. I would love to sit with you and fulminate in righteous anger about the unparalleled vulgarity and cruelty of Trump and his followers.
“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
George Bernard Shaw
Change is a word that both intellectuals and the intelligentsia of America are discussing in these times. However, one is justified to wonder what kind of change they mean. As a rule when intellectuals/liberals speak of change, they mean reform (and not enough of it, at that: that is, the leisurely conforming of the lives of the collective with their own. The radical, politically-socially committed intelligentsia means something else and their thought and conclusions take another avenue of meaning: their aim is transformation or, if you prefer, radical change. However, it is an unfortunate paradox that no more than liberals, the intelligentsia does not always know what to do with its convictions.
The battle between Sanders and Clinton over the term “progressive” presented an opportunity to discuss some history. Now that Sanders is supporting the very person who misappropriated the term it is even more important to define what does progressive mean, if it is more than a euphemism for the vague term “liberal.” This article argues on the contrary that “progressive” has a very precise meaning conferred by its history.