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Chris Hedges: The Corporate State Wins Again

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:06 AM
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Chris Hedges: The Corporate State Wins Again
from truthdig:



The Corporate State Wins Again

Posted on Apr 25, 2011
By Chris Hedges


When did our democracy die? When did it irrevocably transform itself into a lifeless farce and absurd political theater? When did the press, labor, universities and the Democratic Partywhich once made piecemeal and incremental reform possiblewither and atrophy? When did reform through electoral politics become a form of magical thinking? When did the dead hand of the corporate state become unassailable?

The body politic was mortally wounded during the long, slow strangulation of ideas and priorities during the Red Scare and the Cold War. Its bastard child, the war on terror, inherited the iconography and language of permanent war and fear. The battle against internal and external enemies became the excuse to funnel trillions in taxpayer funds and government resources to the war industry, curtail civil liberties and abandon social welfare. Skeptics, critics and dissenters were ridiculed and ignored. The FBI, Homeland Security and the CIA enforced ideological conformity. Debate over the expansion of empire became taboo. Secrecy, the anointing of specialized elites to run our affairs and the steady intrusion of the state into the private lives of citizens conditioned us to totalitarian practices. Sheldon Wolin points out in Democracy Incorporated that this configuration of corporate power, which he calls inverted totalitarianism, is not like Mein Kampf or The Communist Manifesto, the result of a premeditated plot. It grew, Wolin writes, from a set of effects produced by actions or practices undertaken in ignorance of their lasting consequences.

Corporate capitalismbecause it was trumpeted throughout the Cold War as a bulwark against communismexpanded with fewer and fewer government regulations and legal impediments. Capitalism was seen as an unalloyed good. It was not required to be socially responsible. Any impediment to its growth, whether in the form of trust-busting, union activity or regulation, was condemned as a step toward socialism and capitulation. Every corporation is a despotic fiefdom, a mini-dictatorship. And by the end Wal-Mart, Exxon Mobil and Goldman Sachs had grafted their totalitarian structures onto the state.

The Cold War also bequeathed to us the species of the neoliberal. The neoliberal enthusiastically embraces national security as the highest good. The neoliberalcomposed of the gullible and cynical careeristsparrots back the mantra of endless war and corporate capitalism as an inevitable form of human progress. Globalization, the neoliberal assures us, is the route to a worldwide utopia. Empire and war are vehicles for lofty human values. Greg Mortenson, the disgraced author of Three Cups of Tea, tapped into this formula. The deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocents in Iraq or Afghanistan are ignored or dismissed as the cost of progress. We are bringing democracy to Iraq, liberating and educating the women of Afghanistan, defying the evil clerics in Iran, ridding the world of terrorists and protecting Israel. Those who oppose us do not have legitimate grievances. They need to be educated. It is a fantasy. But to name our own evil is to be banished. ..............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_corporate_state... /



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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:08 AM
Response to Original message
1. recommend
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ewagner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:35 AM
Response to Original message
2. Somebody finally said it.
Somebody (Chris Hedges) who has mainstream credibility and can say it without being branded as a DFH or wacko has spoken what we've suspected since Ray-Gun's administration.

...and now the Tea Partyers...serve their corporate masters with zealotry and guns...

god help us.
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moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:19 AM
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3. K/R
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Marblehead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:21 AM
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4. They won, we lost
We pinned our hopes on Obama and that was a mistake.
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:28 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. But part of the problem is that people pin their hopes on an individual or on Congress.....

..... no dramatic change has ever happened without a mass movement of the people, and that requires much more than going to the voting booth.


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Marblehead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:10 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. I agree
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:57 AM
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6. Reading that is like having someone put my thoughts in digital
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 07:57 AM by mmonk
or print and having it read back to me. Especially the part about Democrats driving us toward this at 60 miles an hour while Republicans are driving us in this direction at 100 miles an hour. It sort of shows the constraints of our ability to influence direction under the way the two party system has transformed itself.
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ewagner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:15 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. agreed n/t
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Kokonoe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:49 AM
Response to Original message
9. K & R
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CrispyQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:28 PM
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10. And excellent commentary.
"Most Americans will struggle to make a living while the Blankfeins and our political elites wallow in the decadence and greed of the Forbidden City and Versailles. These elites do not have a vision. They know only one wordmore."
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
11. K&R
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
12. The truth hurts
We're in for some big fundamental changes in society, and it's not going to be pretty. No, I don't suggest that violence is at hand; I see a cynical meanness as our future lot.
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L0oniX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
13. K & R
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Bozita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:59 PM
Response to Original message
14. Recommended bigtime!
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MilesColtrane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:22 PM
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15. dupe
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Perhaps you should check the posting time on each of the OPs, n'est-ce pas?
nt
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MilesColtrane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Perhaps
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crickets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:35 PM
Response to Original message
18. Chris Hedges nails it, for the most part.
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 04:35 PM by crickets
"The Democrats are always able to offer up a least-worst alternative while, in fact, doing little or nothing to thwart the march toward corporate collectivism." --> Got it in one, especially as long as we quietly allow them to do this by not asking for better representation, insisting that they must do more for their constituents, and loudly yanking the public discourse toward more socially responsible government. The so-called radical left (waves) should not and cannot sit down and behave because our ideas are "politically inconvenient" or "ill-timed" or "asking too much too soon" or... You get the picture.

His conclusion that "The game is over. We lost." is one I refuse to share. To concede defeat is not the way.
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