Biden Admin Chris Hedges Chris Hedges Original Original

Chris Hedges: The Collective Suicide of the Liberal Class

No one can, or should, take them seriously. They stand for nothing. They fight for nothing.
Original illustration by Mr. Fish

By Chris Hedges / Original to ScheerPost

Liberals who express dismay, or more bizarrely a fevered hope, about the corporatists and imperialists selected to fill the positions in the Biden administration are the court jesters of our political burlesque. They long ago sold their soul and abandoned their most basic principles to line up behind a bankrupt Democratic Party. They chant, with every election cycle, the mantra of the least worst and sit placidly on the sidelines as a Bill Clinton or a Barack Obama and the Democratic Party leadership betray every issue they claim to support.

The only thing that mattered to liberals in the presidential race, once again, was removing a Republican, this time Donald Trump, from office. This, the liberals achieved. But their Faustian bargain, in election after election, has shredded their credibility. They are ridiculed, not only among right-wing Trump supporters but by the hierarchy of the Democratic Party that has been captured by corporate power. No one can, or should, take liberals seriously. They stand for nothing. They fight for nothing. The cost is too onerous. And so, the liberals do what they always do, chatter endlessly about political and moral positions they refuse to make any sacrifices to achieve.          

Liberals, largely comprised of the professional managerial-class that dutifully recycles and shops for organic produce and is concentrated on the two coasts, have profited from the ravages of neoliberalism. They seek to endow it with a patina of civility. But their routine and public humiliation has ominous consequences. It not only exposes the liberal class as hollow and empty, it discredits the liberal democratic values they claim to uphold. Liberals should have abandoned the Democratic Party when Bill Clinton and political hacks such as Biden transformed the Democratic Party into the Republican Party and launched a war on traditional liberal values and left-wing populism. They should have defected by the millions to support Ralph Nader and other Green Party candidates.

This defection, as Nader understood, was the only tactic that could force the Democrats to adopt parts of a liberal and left-wing agenda and save us from the slow-motion corporate coup d’état. Fear is the real force behind political change, not oily promises of mutual goodwill. Short of this pressure, this fear, especially with labor unions destroyed, there is no hope. Now we will reap the consequences of the liberal class’s moral and political cowardice.

The Democratic Party elites revel in taunting liberals as well as the left-wing populists who preach class warfare and supported Bernie Sanders. How are we supposed to interpret the appointment of Antony Blinken, one of the architects of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and supporter of the apartheid state of Israel, as Secretary of State? Or John Kerry, who championed the massive expansion of domestic oil and gas production, largely through fracking, and, according to Barack Obama’s memoir, worked doggedly to convince those concerned about the climate crisis to “offer up concessions on subsidies for the nuclear power industry and the opening of additional U.S. coastlines to offshore oil drilling” as the new climate policy czar? Or Brian Deese, the executive who was in charge of the “climate portfolio” at BlackRock, which invests heavily in fossil fuels, including coal, and who served as a former Obama economic adviser who advocated austerity measures, to run the White House’s economic policy? Or Neera Tanden, for director of the Office of Management and Budget, who as president of the Center for American Progress raised millions in dark money from Silicon Valley and Wall Street while relentlessly ridiculing Bernie Sanders and his supporters on cable news and social media and who proposed a plank in the Democratic platform calling for bombing Iran?

The Biden administration resembles the ineffectual German government formed by Franz von Papen in 1932 that sought to recreate the ancien régime, a utopian conservatism that ensured Germany’s drift into fascism. Biden, bereft like von Papen of new ideas and programs, will eventually be forced to employ the brutal tools Biden as a senator was so prominent in creating to maintain social control – wholesale surveillance, a corrupt judicial system, the world’s largest prison system and police that have been transformed into lethal paramilitary units of internal occupation. Those that resist as social unrest mounts will be attacked as agents of a foreign power and censored, as many already are being censored, including through algorithms and deplatforming on social media. The most ardent and successful dissidents, such as Julian Assange, will be criminalized.

The shock troops of the state, already ideologically bonded with the neofascists on the right, will hunt down and wipe out an enfeebled and often phantom left, as we saw in the chilling state assassination by U.S. Marshals of the antifa activist Michael Reinoehl, who was unarmed and standing outside an apartment complex in Lacey, Washington, in September when he was shot multiple times. I witnessed this kind of routine state terror during the war in El Salvador. Reinoehl allegedly killed Aaron Danielson, a member of the far-right group Patriot Prayer during a pro-Trump rally in Portland, Oregon in August.

Compare the gunning down of Reinoehl by federal agents to the coddling of Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old accused of killing two protesters and injuring a third on August 25 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Police officers, moments before the shooting, are seen on video thanking Rittenhouse and other armed right-wing militia member for coming to the city and handing them bottles of water. Rittenhouse is also seen in a video walking toward police with his hands up after his shooting spree as protesters yell that he had shot several people. Police, nevertheless, allow him to leave. Rittenhouse’s killings have been defended by the right, including Trump. Rittenhouse, who has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations for his legal fees, has been released on $2 million bail.

We stand on the cusp of a frightening authoritarianism. Social unrest, given a continuation of neoliberalism, the climate crisis, the siphoning off of diminishing resources to the bloated war machine, political stagnation and the failure to contain the pandemic and its economic fallout, is almost certain. Absent a left-wing populism, a disenfranchised working class will line up, as it did with Trump, behind its counterfeit, a right-wing populism. The liberal elites will, if history is any guide, justify state repression as a response to social chaos in the name of law and order. That they, too, are on the Christian Right and the corporate state’s long list of groups to be neutralized will become evident to them when it is too late.

It was Friedrich Ebert and the Social Democratic Party of Germany, siding with the conservatives and nationalists, that created the Freikorps, private paramilitary groups composed of demobilized soldiers and malcontents. The Freikorps ruthlessly crushed left-wing uprisings in Berlin, Bremen, Brunswick, Hamburg, Halle, Leipzig, Silesia, Thuringia and the Ruhr. When the Freikorps was not gunning down left-wing populists in the streets and carrying out hundreds of political assassinations, including the murder of Walther Rathenau, the foreign minister, it was terrorizing civilians, looting and pillaging. The Freikorps became the antecedent of the Nazi Brownshirts, led by Ernst Röhm, a former Freikorps commander.

All the pieces are in place for our own descent into what I suspect will be a militarized Christianized fascism. Political dysfunction, a bankrupt and discredited liberal class, massive and growing social inequality, a grotesquely rich and tone-deaf oligarchic elite, the fragmentation of the public into warring tribes, widespread food insecurity and hunger, chronic underemployment and unemployment and misery, all exacerbated by the failure of the state to cope with the crisis of the pandemic, combine with the rot of civil and political life to create a familiar cocktail leading to authoritarianism and fascism.

Trump and the Republican Party, along with the shrill incendiary voices on right-wing media, play the role the antisemitic parties played in Europe during the late 19th and early 20th century. The infusion of anti-Semitism into the political debate in Europe destroyed the political decorum and civility that is vital to maintaining a democracy. Racist tropes and hate speech, as in Weimar Germany, now poison our political discourse. Ridicule and cruel taunts are hurled back and forth. Lies are interchangeable with fact. Those who oppose us are demonized as human embodiments of evil.

This poisonous discourse is only going to get worse, especially with millions of Trump supporters convinced the election was rigged and stolen. The German Social Democrat Kurt Schumacher in the 1930s said that fascism “is a constant appeal to the inner swine in human beings” and succeeds by “mobilizing human stupidity.” This mobilized stupidity, accompanied by what Rainer Maria Rilke called “the evil effluvium from the human swamp,” is being amplified and intensified in the siloed media chambers of the right. This hate-filled rhetoric eschews reality to cater to the desperate desire for emotional catharsis, for renewed glory and prosperity and for acts of savage vengeance against the phantom enemies blamed for our national debacle.

The constant barrage of vitriol and fabulist conspiracy theories will, I fear, embolden extremists to carry out political murder, not only of mainstream Democrats, Republicans Trump has accused of betrayal such as Georgia governor Brian Kemp and those targeted as part of the deep state, but also those at media outlets such as CNN or The New York Times that serve as propaganda arms of the Democratic Party. Once the Pandora’s box of violence is opened it is almost impossible to close. Martyrs on one side of the divide demand martyrs on the other side. Violence becomes the primary form of communication. And, as Sabastian Haffner wrote, “once the violence and readiness to kill that lies beneath the surface of human nature has been awakened and turned against other humans, and even made into a duty, it is a simple matter to change the target.”

This, I suspect, is what is coming. The blame lies not only with the goons and racists on the right, the corporatists who pillage the country and the corrupt ruling elite that does their bidding, but a feckless liberal class that found standing up for its beliefs too costly. The liberals will pay for their timidity and cowardice, but so will we. 


[Chris Hedges writes a regular original column for ScheerPost every two weeks. Click here to sign up for email alerts.]

Chris Hedges
Chris HedgesChris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years for The New York Times, where he served as the Middle East Bureau Chief and Balkan Bureau Chief for the paper. He previously worked overseas for The Dallas Morning NewsThe Christian Science Monitor, and NPR. He is the host of the Emmy Award-nominated RT America show On Contact. 

Copyright 2020 Chris Hedges

61 comments

  1. When I first heard, “Hitler was a victim of bad press.” I thought it was a joke. Apparently a third of the country doesn’t. I wonder if Maddow & Hannity avoid Chris’s work as totally as I avoid theirs. I’m sure they have too much money and too little time to spend it–much less to face the truth.

    1. I don’t think Rittenhouse was coddled with his ridiculous bail amount from what was obvious to anyone with scruples, a defensive act of violence.

      1. since when should it be ok for a 17 year old to take an assault rifle and put himself into the middle of a political protest of any kind? If that’s legal, then our law is no law at all

      2. I wonder what “scruples” allowed the shooting of two people before this “defensive act of violence”? Is the opposite of that an “offensive act of peace”? I’d like to see it. Will anyone pay the price for having radicalized a young, impressionable person whose life is now ruined?

    1. You obviously didn’t read a word of this essay if that is all you got….
      Go tell Neera Tanden you failed

    2. When we are offered two despicable candidates as the only choices then who you vote for is the least important component in the equation.

      Joe Biden was specifically chosen by the cabal that runs the DNC to put us to sleep just like Obama did.

      In spite of all his vile rhetoric Trump has failed miserably to best the acheivements of the arch corporarist Barry the Drone

      Obama managed to deport almost twice as many immigrants in his first term as Trump, prosecuted more whistleblowers, invaded Libya Syria and Yemen (assisted by hilary,biden,kerry etc. while Maddow acted as his personal cheerleader.

      If you think your vote for Biden has somehow changed this equation, then I’ve got a bridge in brooklyn for sale that you might be interested in.

    3. Sorry, but your premise is flawed. Chris Hedges is not advocating a political program; it is precisely the weakness & consequences of liberal politics that he describes. Think of this essay as a warning.

    4. How about voting for NON-CORPORATE candidates? Y’know, someone who maybe ISN’T a warmongering puppet of Wall Street? Maybe someone who ISN’T a rapist? Has that alternative ever crossed your mind? God. Liberals are so f’n myopic. Dare to criticize Joe Biden and liberals automatically get defensive and accuse you of being a Trump supporter. Unbelievable, yet increasingly expected.

      Chris Hedges is spot-on. Liberals stand for nothing but platitudes.

    5. The votes that have the most weight in the life you lead are the daily ones where you choose how to spend your time, attention, and resources.

      When you have the option, vote for yourself.

      Some ways I try to do that…

      – Educating myself on personal finance as well as macro economics and then being fanatically judicious about my choices, avoiding debt as much as possible.
      – Continuing to educate myself on how to complete repairs or do jobs that I might otherwise hire out. (Changing a lower ball joint on my car today.) There’s a wealth of “how to” guides on the internet – YouTube is a great source.
      – Networking with other “regular folks” to cooperate on projects that can’t be completed solo – bartering skills/time/labor/resources.
      – Growing/raising some of my own food and buying from local growers.
      – Recycling goods as much as possible. Before something gets thrown away, it gets stripped for whatever potentially future useful things might be on it.
      – Essentially, keeping my money in my pocket when I can. If/when I do have to spend it, try do some research and make an informed decision to support a particular company/business.
      – Putting the time and effort into taking care of my physical and mental health.
      – Treating passive entertainment the way I would a very old, expensive bottle of whiskey – just a little bit every now and then, no binging.
      – Spending free time with the folks who are important to me and on the things that .

      This is in no way meant to imply that things are “fair” for everyone and the above is a cure-all for any circumstance. They aren’t and it isn’t. There are systemic issues that skew the playing field, sometimes in seemingly insurmountable ways.
      But I feel that if the unwashed masses actually band together and do as much as we can to support ourselves and each other, and not be mindless – or worse, willing – participants in the marketing, economic, and political chicanery being wielded against us, that is our best chance for tipping the tables and getting more than the current fare of stale crusts.

      1. There is no political will out there among the politicians and the political parties to do anything approaching what you recommend here, which is why it will make the difference. These are good suggestions and they will work in families, small communities, certain kinds of groups and organizations. More importantly they will work for one’s self individually, which is where all real work is done, internally. The program for where the world is and where it’s headed was written a long time ago in very broad terms and it’s going there faster all the time. Good intentions will no longer make any headway collectively against the consequences of all the “good intentions” that were brought to bear in the past. The conspiracy of unconscious, self-interested, self-serving human nature is what we are always up against.

      2. Passive resistance,
        Active acceptance.

        Being the best possible you.
        Finding the best in others.

  2. Democracy works only when loud, messy, robust, passionate fully and honestly reported debate occurs in people’s assemblies and the mass media on a full spectrum of issues and is not impeded by a collapsing Venn diagram or Overton Window of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable …

    when that full, free and robust debate is not happening, and when knowledge is contracting rather than expanding, only then does decorum and civility suffer …

    which can be construed as symptoms of civilizational collapse rather than causes.

    A Western Civilization that has lost consensus on basic fundamental fact such as what is male and female and who is man and who is woman and what constitutes evolutionary mammalian biology would seem to be in grave distress …

    especially given the ideologically driven, social media based and elite and media supported Freikorps blitzkrieg by the Trans Pharmaceutical Surgical Industrial Complex against children and teenagers and against women and women’s’ rights … and which asks not for compassion for people suffering from Gender Dysphoria but demands societal approval of profitable forever medical experimentation that would make Dr. Mengele blanche …

    Then there are other minor issues which require debate such as right to an income if not a property interest in a job, Medicare For All, free college tuition, a minimum wage of $22 per hour, housing for everyone, demilitarization of policing, repealing structural white supremacy, ending regime change operations and endless wars, repeal of the “corporations are people too” SCOTUS rulings, severe punishment of police for infringing on First Amendment assembly rights as well as making America actually democratic once and for all …

    … let alone the minor issue of Global Heating causing immediate Climate Catastrophe leading to SuperStorms and drought and famine leading to human species extinction.

    Thank you Chris Hedges and Robert Scheer.

    RE: “political decorum and civility that is vital to maintaining a democracy”

    1. Thom, I wish we could ally together against the advance of fascism, and climate driven extinction, but sadly, there doesn’t appear to be any room in your vision of liberal society for people like me to live in peace and dignity.

    2. You clearly have no compassion for people suffering from gender dysphoria or you wouldn’t write things like this in the first place. You are part of the problem, not some wise outside observer as you style yourself to be.

  3. Who are these “liberals”? Chris seems to mean the people who were willing to vote for D Party lesser evil candidates. Have a heart Chris. We can’t all be activists and news junkies. If someone would rather watch sports or movies than read about politics I can’t blame them. Politics is important but also it is boring.

    1. Unfortunately, I think what Chris Hedges is saying here is that we have gone far past the point where an interest in politics is going to make any difference in the outcomes that are overtaking us. The choices are gone. The choices are really all the same. I think Chris is all heart, and his heart has been broken (long since) in such a way that it can’t be put back together. Now it’s just a matter of what do I do with that, and I am really not sure except that day by day I have to be looking at these “things” and seeing them clearly for what they are. They are not good.

    2. You don’t seem to realize how serious, how precarious, human life (not to speak of democracy) is at this moment in history.

    3. The worst illiterate is the political illiterate. He hears nothing, sees nothing, takes no part in political life. He doesn’t seem to know that the cost of living, the price of beans, of flour, of rent, of medicines all depend on political decisions. He even prides himself on his political ignorance, sticks out his chest and says he hates politics. He doesn’t know, the imbecile, that from his political non-participation comes the prostitute, the abandoned child, the robber and, worst of all, corrupt officials, the lackeys of exploitative multinational corporations. – Bertolt Brecht

    1. Yes. That is the tragic, cutting edge of Truth. That is what makes real change possible… eventually.

  4. “mobilizing human stupidity” includes Keith Olberman – Captain Brunch liberal to the rescue.

  5. It is the essence of liberalism to urge defection from one bourgeois party (ie, the Democrats) to another (ie, the Greens or Nader) to ‘force’ the first to adopt a more liberal, ‘left wing’ agenda.

    1. Yeah, I do worry that Chris ultimately endorses a more politically conscious form of liberalism that struggles for piecemeal reforms and entitlements within an unjust capitalist system. If that is the case, he’s condemning people for some of the same mistakes that he is making himself. There can be no more half measures or hypocrisy. The past failures of social democracy in the US prove that we can no longer allow the oligarchic elite to control the terms of the debate, and negotiate protections and benefits for ordinary people within a cruel model that uses and disposes of them for profit. He has alluded to the need for revolutionary socialism in recent interviews, but I wish that he would highlight this in his analysis and elaborate on it more, instead of being so reticent. We need a positive and robust vision of a future state of equality and justice, and not vague references to resistance or civil disobedience without showing where those efforts should lead. It’s time for the working class to stand up and take what is rightfully ours, and I think Chris knows this. I wish he would stop being so timid and proclaim the real leftist alternative to liberalism. If we do not do this, people will continue to pursue right-wing, fascist alternatives that have entered public discourse through their loud and loathsome defenders.

      1. I think that Hedges is trying to square a circle that can’t be: he thinks there’s a need for ‘revolution’, but being a liberal and against violence under all circumstances, especially and above all by the oppressed, tries to invent ways of having one without any of the force, conflict and actual physical battles that inevitably accompany and are necessary in all social revolutions. He resorts to moral philosophy in the vain hope that ordinary people would desist from the absolute necessity of organising themselves both politically and militarily, as one follows inevitably from the other as crises deepen, and ignores actual history: every social revolution begins with widespread struggles against one faction or another of the ruling class, the formation and use of organised militias by the revolutionary class, and ends either in victory or bloody defeat.

        The latter will definitely ensue if there’s any irresolution, pacifism or illusions among mass leaders that a new society somehow might be ushered in with ‘compromise’ (especially with that faction of the rulers not involved in the initial issue sparking the conflagration), and without resort to force or the dreaded v-word. Hedges throws ‘revolution’ around like confetti but when confronted with its actuality, especially with those who lead and carry them out, stoops to labelling the latter as ‘psychopaths’ as he’s done frequently with respect to Lenin and Trotsky.

        As things begin to heat up with the approach of evictions in the coming ice cold of the US winter, talk of ‘revolution’ likely no longer will be so cheap or abstract, and will boil down to prosaic but fundamental matters of everyday survival– food and shelter. The question of power and who rules will be posed point blank and in very concrete terms. But for that question to be answered in favour of all the oppressed the latter must be organised and led as a viable contender for power that stops at nothing short of expropriating the capitalist class.

  6. Americans may not be aware due to zero coverage in the MSM, but what is necessary to freighted the ruling class is what is currently taking place in India and France right now!
    It’s called protesting en mass and a general strike. Just think about this for a moment. 250 million people are striking in India against the Modi government. Yes that’s right. 250 MILLION PEOPLE. That’s 3/4 of the population of this country!
    In France hundreds of thousands are in the streets of Paris protesting against the Macron government that is trying to make it a crime to photograph or video record police. If we are to have any hope of taking the grip the ruling and political class has around our throats, France and India are showing us how it will be done.

  7. Just the other day the new incoming ‘leader’ emphatically stated: “This is not who we are”!
    Obviously he never looks in the mirror.
    Never mind the reflections of history, ‘exceptionalism’ is a global class disease; ineradicable, and highly contagious, and being a long time committed member of the American Imperial duopoly, Biden will – as American political history tells, skirt the issues, until it’s too late, just like….
    Sounds too repetitive!
    It just struck me, when they brazenly subvert the law, it is never treasonable.
    Has any ex American President ever been prosecuted for his infamies???

  8. – – – – – The View From The Canopy – – – – –

    “The liberals will pay for their timidity and cowardice, but so will we”.

    You know, it seems almost worth it, to see that lot dragged down.

  9. “The German Social Democrat Kurt Schumacher in the 1930s said that fascism “is a constant appeal to the inner swine in human beings” and succeeds by “mobilizing human stupidty.”

    I disagree, fascism succeeds by mobilizing human rage resulting from betrayal, and injustice…….

    It’s the failure of establishment political parties and crony politicians who slowly but surely lay the groundwork for fascism. Decades of neoliberal exploitative economic policies compounded by endless imperialist wars triggers working-class anger developing into contempt and a desire for revenge.

  10. Great piece of writing, as always, combining substance and style. Thank you , Chris Hedges, for reminding us how the left could and should be, like it is in other countries, including in my native France. So many workers who used to vote Labor, meaning the Democratic party, defected to Trump’s side because so little was actually done for them when the Democrats were in charge.

  11. And meanwhile Lord Death is stealthily destroying every remnant of failed humanity as the political fools sustain their opportunistic blindness to our earth perishing.

  12. Thank you Chris. I am totally indebted to your research and erudite articles from which I have learned so much.
    If I were to sum up what is wrong with the West right now in, I would say GREED and POWER. We have lost our moral compass and trying to itemise the symptoms does not properly diagnose the condition and therefore cannot recommend the treatment. We have lost the ability to implement the second commandment “Love thy neighbour as thyself. ” And every time we do that we wind up in big trouble. We have to start visualising a better world so that we can create it. Negativity leads to negativity and right now we have a pandemic of negativity. We have to change the energy to positive. We have done it before so it is not a new idea. It is US – THE CITIZENS – designing the world we want to live in and then taking measures to implement it. And we have to stop being terrorized by the politicians and corporations. Numerically they are the minority. So how about remembering the Battle of Britain when””Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few”” Those outnumbered pilots had guts and determination and a belief they could win against the odds. And it is that positive energy that changes the outcomes. Enough of what is wrong – let’s start a conversation about fixing it. Others have done it. So can we.

  13. Liberals are, first and foremost, self obsessed.
    Anything that adds to their self image and status is grasped with both clenched fists and swallowed whole.
    The SMUG MIDDLE CLASS and their ilk will cause the implosion of humanity beyond recognition.
    Their only redeeming feature being the total destruction of the ruling class at the same time.

  14. Chris Hedges hits the nail on the head yet again. Now if preachers sounded like this I would still be going to church.

  15. Heading toward a fascist state? Certainly, but at this point are we not full-blown Nazi now? Because I’ve read historians who don’t see a major difference between what the Germans did to the Jews versus what white Americans did to Blacks around the same time. And prior.

  16. It’s so sad to see all the Deluded and Deranged Treasonous Traitors commenting here on Scheerpost calling out Hedges as the one who is lying. Hedges is one of the only voices left bothering to talk truth against the tyranny destroying the USA and the world. The right wing Republicans only hate the USA with all their vileness and they project that hatred onto everyone else. Way to go you hypocritical fools. Trump is nothing but a pathological lying criminal conman who has you licking his shit right out of his anus. And just to be balanced, the so-called left wing Democrats are trying their hardest to be just the same and for all intents and purposes there is no difference between the two now. . The corporate oligarchs are laughing all the way to their Wall Street banks as they steal everything in sight as the citizens fight amongst themselves all according to their plan. You are all losers and idiots.

  17. Good article, but I worry that Chris ultimately endorses a more politically conscious form of liberalism that struggles for piecemeal reforms and entitlements within an unjust capitalist system. If that is the case, he’s condemning liberals for some of the same mistakes that he is making himself. There can be no more half measures or hypocrisy. The past failures of social democracy and liberal reformists in the US prove that we can no longer allow the oligarchic elite to control the terms of the debate, and negotiate protections and benefits for ordinary people within a cruel model that uses and disposes of them for profit. He has alluded to the need for revolutionary socialism in recent interviews, but I wish that he would highlight this in his analysis and elaborate on it more, instead of being so reticent. We need a positive and robust vision of a future state of equality and justice, and not vague references to resistance or civil disobedience without showing where those efforts should lead. Trump supporters and neo-fascists on the right can also champion resistance and activism against the political establishment, but we know that is an incoherent and false solution. It’s time for the working class to stand up and take what is rightfully ours, and I think Chris knows this. I wish he would stop being so timid and proclaim the real leftist alternative to liberalism. If we do not do this, people will continue to default to right-wing, fascist alternatives that have entered public discourse through their zealous and loathsome defenders, for want of something better.

  18. Yes, liberals refers to middle class capitalists who vote Democrat. We spent the last 25 years talking about the Democrats’ war on the poor, to which liberals respond, “Huh?”

  19. We call bullshit on your snark to substance content ratio. Yet, you do nothing to counter the overall argument, which is that two perpetrators of the same crime under roughly the same circumstances had wildly different fates. Look no further than 45’s proclamations on them “looked like self-defense”/”there has to be retribution”.

    Do you have something of substance to respond with about the actual thesis of this piece? Charlatan who loves a riddle?

  20. Chris Hedges has never been one to mince his words. In that he is fearless. He is often on target with his assessments. The two huge and frightening things to take away from his assessment in this article is that, “All the pieces are in place for our own descent into what I suspect will be a militarized Christianized fascism.” And true to the nature of fascists is the practice of demonizing and criminalizing any and all who oppose them. Julian Assange being a case in point who is currently languishing in the U.K. Belmarsh prison where his health has been so ignored he is in danger of dying in prison while he awaits US extradition proceedings. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30383-4/fulltext

  21. Actually, it’s the Trump administration that more closely resembles von Papen, and the Democrats who are proving themselves to be totalitarians with their mask mandates, lock downs, mandatory vaccinations, censorship, cancel culture, violence and Global Reset that Biden refers to as “Build back better” plus their willingness to destroy the entire election system and Constitution just to get rid of Trump.

    “They chant, with every election cycle, the mantra of the least worst and sit placidly on the sidelines as a Bill Clinton or a Barack Obama and the Democratic Party leadership betray every issue they claim to support.”

    But the Democrats are not the “least worst,” as I think Chris recognizes later when he boosts the Green Party.

    “The Biden administration resembles the ineffectual German government formed by Franz von Papen in 1932 that sought to recreate the ancien regime, a utopian conservatism that ensured Germany’s drift into fascism.”

    At least the ancien regime had social security. The problem was the von Papen government danced to the tune of the West, just as Trump has had to dance to the permanent government when he’s tried to bring troops home. Maybe he didn’t really want to, but he was still blocked and often by Democrats.

    Chris unintentionally does the job of the elites in perpetuating the false “left-wing,” “right-wing” divide among populists and libertarians at both ends of the “spectrum.” They are in far more agreement than either are with the corporate elites. He does it throughout, referring to “goons and racists” excusing a confessed if not adjudicated murderer (Reinoehl) while assuming the guilt of Rittenhouse before he is tried.

    1. Clearly each case has resolved to meet your expectation. Let’s hope you get to enjoy the fruit of your labor before the bottom falls out of the economy. Should be an easy accomplishment since you didn’t negotiate a higher fee than 30 pieces of dirty corporate silver.

  22. I do think Chris Hedges is right, but I pray that he may be wrong. Anyone with money and brains has already purchased a safe haven in another country. Alas, I have the brains, but not the money, so am stuck in the USA.

  23. I agree that people feel betrayed by the promises of America that didn’t/don’t follow – but the thing Chris doesn’t really elaborate on here is how much race is being used to divide and anger the majority of white people who are Trump fans in the voting booth and streets. It’s helpful and important to lay out the specifics of Germany’s rise to fascism but the US has the added history of owning black people. The Black Lives Matter protests have been infiltrated on the streets, and the movement distorted in the media, all to stoke the fears of white people. At the same time the pro-Israel machine’s US-entertainment influence is promoting what appears as an identity-politics heyday but is adding to the anger and fear of many whites who feel blamed and shamed for being white, pushing them further into the radical camps. Another influence of the pro-Israel machine is working overtime promoting Zionism to Christians from the radical to the moderate, strengthening ties to Israel by accelarating involvement in Church and Christian-group trips to Israel, which do not include meetings with Palestinians who are living under Israel’s boot in worsening Apartheid conditions. These propaganda trips to Israel are also a long-standing “tradition” directed toward US elected officials from National to local offices, as well as corporate heads.

    The Wars that the top Democrats seem to love and facilitate benefit Israel by destabilizing the Middle East and keeping low-to-high-level dictators in place against the Arab populations who are rightfully bitter against Israel for their involvement in the chaos, for their treatment of the Palestinians, and most for Israel’s attempted Judiazation of both Muslim and Christian Jerusalem as well as all of Occupied Palestine. Remember Palestine?? Because Israel is so involved in US domestic and foreign policies, the pro-Israel machine will now be pushing the IHRA International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance to hoodwink and further divide America like it’s doing in Europe — the most glaring example being the now-devastated UK Labour Party, which it has delivered into the hands of the most liberal and pro-Israel in the Party, rendering UK Labour useless for years to come, while helping to deny Jeremy Corbyn the Prime Ministership because of his unwavering acknowledgement of the Palestinian People and their right to exist. The pro-Israel machine is, no-doubt, chomping at the bit to bring that successful level of destruction to the Left in the US, leaving the Israel-protecting liberals with even more power. It’s vital to note that Kenneth Stern, who took the lead drafting the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, warned the Biden Administration NOT to adopt it because he claims the pro-Israel lobby weaponizes it to silence critics of Zionism.

    Even now, one must tiptoe around criticism of Israel in the US. Already 32 states have adopted laws, executive orders or resolutions that are designed to discourage boycotts against Israel to the point of veritable loyalty oaths to Israel in order for State contracts. After the devastation of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, the city of Dickinson required people desperately needing assistance to sign a pledge never to boycott Israel in order to receive aid. The Federal-level Israel Anti-Boycott Act (H.R. 5595), which would combat the peaceful Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement to bring Israel into International Law, was introduced, co-sponsored by many House members, both and D and R, and passed overwhelmingly with only less-than-ten prinicipled Reps voting against.

    The Christian fascism that Hedges so aptly warns against is all tied up with Israel. Ironically, many Christians are not concerned with Jews per se and many in the radical Right don’t like Jews — but the key for many Christians is Israel. Despite their feelings toward Jewish people, their fear of and/or hatred of Muslims is far greater. The pro-Israel machine has been pushing hard on anti-Muslim sentiment in the US since the “first” Gulf “War” — which was essentially a global drive-by… but also a budding opportunity to promote anti-Muslim ideaology through US media, including movies and “news”.

    The fear that many Americans have is also the fear of losing basic conveniences like electricity and running water. The TV shows brown and black people in the US, but especially aboad, living in dire circumstances which is a not-so-subtle message that if ‘those people’ rise to power and majority in the US, we’ll just crumble like them. TV does not show the circumstances that led to the brown and black people living that way, which are the result of ongoing Colonialism by the rich… nations, people and corporations. The US, via Trump at this point, is pretending to “make peace” by offering weapons-sales and the granting of other people’s property and land to Arab dictatorships in exchange for “peace” with a country they were not at war with – Israel.

    Until Americans — and it’s basically up to whatever Left is not compromised by the pro-Israel machine — find the backbone to face the reality that Israel is embedded in our Nation at every conceivable level to our detriment, the horrifying scenario that Chris Hedges lays out will continue at an accelerated pace, with or without Trump or Biden or Harris.

    As to the discussion of a need for armed rebellion, there are steps to be taken before that scenario. The US is a country of Laws full of people who are not involved as citizens, who do not have much bearing on those laws, and who don’t keep tabs on the corporate and foreign lobbyists who basically write laws for Congress to decide on. There is much traceable corruption if our Laws are truly scrutinized. I suggest old-fashioned teach-ins, along with massive demonstrations as a start. The reality of ‘general strikes’ will come slow to the US. It’s a huge country, hard to organize, and kept in psychological check. And now with Covid, people are too afraid to lose the jobs they do have.

    The one issue that seems to cross the most political boundaries is Healthcare — or lack of — made especially stark by Covid. I suggest we organize massive local, but coordinated by date nationally, periodic and regular daytime demonstrations to insist the Biden Administration pay attention to the calls for Universal Healthcare. First and foremost the demonstrations need to be peaceful so that people can come as families — social distanced, masked, of course. And no weapons allowed. I suggest it’s vital that organizers call on local Veterans to keep the peace by surrounding and interspersing themselves throughout crowds to keep the ever-present infiltrators and instigators out and identified. Much of violence at demos is perpetuated by instigators and the media conveniently overlooks their presence and deliberate actions. There are plenty of local groups to connect with for organizing, although the focus should remain on Healthcare. However, addressing Healthcare means addressing costs and money. This gives the chance to point out, especially in printed literature — yes, good old-fashioned flyers handed out — where our money is now going in massive amounts: police, military involvement abroad, foreign spending on countries with atrocious human-rights records, subsidies to industries, etc. And groups with specific issues can hand out their own flyers but not have time as speakers. Not to sound dictatorial but there are many agendas out there and the point of these demos would be bring people together around Universal Healthcare solutions. There are plenty of angles and stories to tell regarding lack of Healthcare and the possibilities for the US if everyone had access.

    Another tactic I believe that has merit is organizing constant contact with elected officials, both House and Senate, on this issue. Not sure, with Covid, if district offices are open for rolling constinuent visits, but the phones are… and they should be constantly ringing on this issue. Staffers are paid to listen to citizens and pass on our concerns.

    Good Lord, I didn’t mean to write a book…

  24. As a soon-to-be former European living in a Scotland whose populist devolved government wants to be independent of the English, I can but observe that we have people constantly wanting to write a constitution which distributes power fairly. We don’t currently have a written constitution. In the calls above for Chris Hedges to build something new after so expertly predicting the implosion of the American social edifice, I hear no calls for him to set up a party calling for a constitutional convention to at least update the constitution.
    The Constitution has become a bit of an idol. The bit about the Senate running trials and the Chief Justice presiding at impeachments seems wrong. Overhauling it might also address the question of why you need such large standing armies when the 2nd amendment has all your protection needs covered. There’s some duplication there. The Convention might address use in official documents of the antiquated language of hyphenation attached to ethnicities, so that for example African-American becomes an American by Demand and a Native American, American by Invasion. Either that or you would all have to wear bonnets covered in shamrocks, Thistles or stars of David to identify yourselves as Potato Famine Americans, Highland Clearance Americans or German Refugee Americans. This might be a start towards eliminating the siege mentality of the white supremacist faction. But I shall retire from this text here, being also opposed to the filibuster. That has to go, I would think, along with the electoral college.

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