“It’s a word that gets thrown around a lot and I think it’s a word that a lot of people don’t know what it means. Neoliberalism is an economic term.” — Caleb Maupin
Updated: August 11, 2018, added a poem by Luis Lazaro Tijerina
Hundreds of thousands of people showed up across the United States at more than 600 gatherings three weeks ago. They came out to protest Donald Trump‘s “zero tolerance” immigration policy in highly choreographed, Democratic Party-affiliated “Families Belong Together” rallies and marches. Liberal celebrities marched and spoke. Local, state, and federal Democratic Party politicians and office-holders gave passionate speeches denouncing Trump’s separation of Central American migrant children from their parents at the southern U.S. border.
If one had wanted to create a psychosocial experiment to study the liberal political mentality, one could not have come up with a better solution than to have Donald Trump follow Barack Obama as president of the United States: one a blank screen, the Archangel, the other, the Antichrist, a raging volcano. The Archangel departed from office to a fond and teary-eyed farewell. The Antichrist was greeted with anger and outrage. There were protests around the country. There were attempts to prevent his election. He is probably the first president in American history to be docketed for impeachment before he even took office.
Previously published April 1, 2017
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Apr 1, 2017
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges is joined by Professor Albert Raboteau, author of American Prophets: Seven Religious Radicals and Their Struggle for Social and Political Justice. They discuss the theological and ethical motivations of prophetic figures and their importance in an age of radical evil. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil looks at the legacy of Dorothy Day who established the Catholic Worker Movement.
*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.