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Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt

Tim Knight from Slope of Hope's picture





 

I just finished Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt by Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco. It is superb, and I've spent a fair amount of time typing in passages from the book below in order to capture some of its theme.

The "me" of twenty years ago wouldn't be caught dead reading a book like this. It is, after all, an unflinching assasination of our present capitalist system. As a younger person, I was wholeheartedly (and more than a little ignorantly) devoted to a dog-eat-dog, lassiez-faire capitalist system. And, in my adult life, I have lived that way, at least inasmuch as I created, built, and sold a successful business and have, before, during, and after that time, been a very active participant in the financial markets (both by way of trading as well as writing). 0805-revolt

Experience and observation have moderated my views, however. At the outset I will say that I still regard capitalism as the most proper, natural, and constructive economic system, but I'm a much firmer believer in a modified version - - consistently-regulated with a distribution of wealth more akin to the 1970s than the present day - - than I ever imagined I would be.

This passage from the preface of the book captures the pages that follow nicely:

The ruthless hunt for profit creates a world where everything and everyone is expendable. Nothing is sacred. It has blighted inner cities, turned the majestic Appalachian Mountains into a blasted moonscape of poisoned water, soil, and air. It has forced workers into a downward spiral of falling wages and mounting debt until laborers in agricultural fields and sweatshops work in conditions that replicate slavery. It has impoverished our working class and ravaged the middle class. And it has enriched a tiny global elite that has no loyalty to the nation-state. These corporations, if we use the language of patriotism, are traitors.

Days of Destruction take the rather novel approach of combining superb journalism (Chris Hedges) with world-class graphic art (Joe Sacco). It is part graphic novel and part diatribe. And, I need to tell you right now, this is not a feel-good book, and the balance of words and art work well. The Walt Whitman piece, I Sit and Look Out, is offered within these pages to embellish the picture further:

I sit and look out upon all the sorrows of the world, and upon all oppression and shame;
I hear secret convulsive sobs from young men, at anguish with themselves,
remorseful after deeds done;
I see, in low life, the mother misused by her children, dying, neglected, gaunt, desperate;
I see the wife misused by her husband--I see the treacherous seducer of young women;
I mark the ranklings of jealousy and unrequited love, attempted to be hid--
I see these sights on the earth; I see the workings of battle, pestilence, tyranny--
I see martyrs and prisoners; I observe a famine at sea--
I observe the sailors casting lots who shall be kill'd, to preserve the lives of the rest;
I observe the slights and degradations cast by arrogant persons upon laborers, the poor, and upon negroes, and the like;
All these--All the meanness and agony without end, I sitting, look out upon,
See, hear, and am silent.

And if you need any more convincing as to the non-fuzzy-feelings you will have while reading it, here is another poem offered - a brief haiku in the chapter about Camden, New Jersey:

The sack of kittens
Sinking in the icy creek
Increases the cold

There are several broad regions of the United States covered in the book, including the Indian reservations of South Dakota; the mean streets of Camden; the wretched lives of the produce-pickers in Southern Florida; and the "moonscape" of West Virginia's coal country. It is this last area that includes a talk with Larry Gibson, an activist in West Virginia who grew up there, had to leave for a while due to family poverty, and has returned to try to fight for the region's sake. He says the following, which is perhaps my favorite section of the entire book:

“Living here as a boy, I wasn’t any different than anybody else. First time I knew I was poor was when I went to Cleveland and went to school They taught me I was poor. I traded all this for a strip of green I saw when I walking the street. And I was poor? How ya gonna get a piece of green grass between the sidewalk and the street, and they gonna tell me I’m poor. I thought I was the luckiest kid in the world, with nature. I could walk through the forest. I could hear the animals. I could hear the woods talk to me. Everywhere I looked there was life. I could pick my own apples or cucumbers. I could eat the berries and pawpaws. I love pawpaws. And they gooseberries. Now there is no life there. Only dust. I had a pigeon and when I’d come out of the house, no matter where I went, he flew over my head or sat on my shoulder. I had a hawk I named Fred, I had a bobcat and a three-legged fox that got caught in a trap. I wouldn’t trade that childhood for all the fancy fire trucks and toys the other kids had.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for that point of view. There was a time in my life I craved a lot of stuff. There was a time I thought rich people were rich because they were sharper and harder-working than the rest of us.

I've certainly learned otherwise. I've learned that "stuff" is boring and unfulfilling. And I've learned that some rich people - - and I've known a lot, including a couple of billionaires - - can at times be some of the biggest dumb-fucks you'd ever encounter. One in particular thought he was some kind of genius, when in fact he was simply born into a rich family and was too blinkered to recognize that his accidental circumstance had no bearing on his (dim) wit.

The chapter goes on with another activist.........

Gunnoe is a thin woman with curly black hair. She is part Cherokee. Her vocal opposition to the coal companies, like Larry Gibson’s, has engendered the fury of many of her neighbors, who fear the loss of the coal industry will mean and end to any viable employment. One of her dogs was shot dead and left in the parking lot where her children catch the school bus. Another dog was shot and killed while tied up in the back of her house. The gas tank to her truck was filled with sand, requiring $1,200 in repairs. Her children have been taunted at school as “tree huggers.” She has erected a six-foot protective fence around her house that she calls “my cage.” But she says that even for the miners who blast away the mountains, the destruction can be overwhelming.

I figure even if there's no such thing as hell, the universe would have conjured one up for whatever low-lifes would stoop to killing a dog (it should be mentioned that Mr. Gibson's dog was also killed, and his current dog was hanged, but he was able to save him in time). Humans I can do without. Dogs, on the other hand, have no business being harmed. Particularly by "people."

0805-hedges

Gibson again:

“It’s a sacrifice zone. It’s so the rest of the country can have electric toothbrushes and leave the lights on all night in parking lots for used cars and banks lit up all night long and shit like that. We have been a national sacrifice zone. Hell, that phrase was created thirty-five, forty years ago. Now it’s terminal. There is no way to stop it. I haven’t had any hope for a long time. But the only reason I keep going is, why the hell not? I’m going to die. Shit, might as well hold my head up. I don’t want Bill Raney, the president of the Coal Association, to be able to tell his lies without somebody saying, “Bill, that’s shit, that’s not true.” These corporations are going to strip the whole country. If you have this reality, then you become a guerilla. You blow up the damn thing. I can’t go to there, because they will put me in penitentiary, and I don’t want to go there. I know they would catch me eventually.

Hedges' training in divinity (his father was a minister, and he himself got his Masters degree from Harvard) is present, although not heavy-handed, throughout the book. But his firm Chrstian beliefs certainly don't lead you to a polite, hands-in-lap, gentle list of suggestions in the final chapter. The man is Pissed. Off. And he uses the (presently inert) Occupy movement as the shining example of what should be happening in America:

There comes a moment in all popular uprisings when the dead ideas and decayed systems, which only days before seemed unassailable, are exposed and discredited by a population that once stood fearful and supine. This spark occurred on September 17., 2011, in New York City when a few hundred activists, who were easily rebuffed by police in their quixotic attempt to physically occupy Wall Street, regrouped in Zuccotti Park, four blocks away. They were disorganized at first, unsure of what to do, not even convinced they had achieved anything worthwhile, but they had unwittingly triggered a global movement of resistance that would reverberate across the country and the capitals of Europe. The uneasy status quo, effectively imposed for decades by the elites, was shattered. Another narrative of power took shape. The revolution began.

Hedges goes on:

The American dream, we now know, is a lie. We will all be sacrificed. The virus of corporate abuse – the perverted belief that only corporate profit matters – has spread to outsource our jobs, cut the budgets of our schools, close our libraries, and plague our communities with foreclosures and unemployment. This virus has brought with it a security and surveillance state that seeks to keep us all on a reservation. No one is immune. The suffering of the other, of the Native American, the African American in the inner city, the unemployed coal miner, or the Hispanic produce picker is universal. They went first. We are next. The indifference we showed to the plight of the underclass, in Biblical terms our neighbor, haunts us. We failed them, and in doing so we failed ourselves. We were accomplices in our own demise. Revolt is all we have left. It is the only hope.

Hedges doesn't agitate for a particular candidate; he doesn't suggest a new set of regulations; he doesn't ask that Blankfein be brought to trial. He wants a revolution, not unlike that would swept away the Communists from Eastern Europe. He states:

The preconditions for successful revolution are:

+ discontent that affects nearly all social classes;
+ widespread feelings of entrapment and despair;
+ unfulfilled expectations;
+ a unified solidarity in opposition to a tiny power elite;
+ a refusal by scholars and thinkers to continue to defend the actions of the ruling class;
+ an inability of government to respond to the basic needs of citizens;
+ a steady loss of will within the power elite itself together with defections from the inner circle – a crippling isolation that leaves the power elite without any allies or outside support;
+ a financial crisis

Well, I guess some of those elements are in place already, right? But he's just getting started:

Welcome to the revolution. The elites have exposed their hand. They have shown they have nothing to offer. They can destroy but they cannot build. They can repress but they cannot lead. They can steal but they cannot share. They can talk but they cannot speak. They are as dead and useless to us as the water-soaked books, tents, sleeping bags, suitecases, food boxes, and clothes that were dumped into garbage trucks after the New York City police raid that November night. They have no ideas, no plans, and no vision for the future.

Get back into your cages, they are telling us. Return to watching the lies, absurdities, trivia, celebrity gossip, and political theater we feed you in twenty-four-hour cycles on television. Invest your emotional energy in the vast system of popular entertainment. Run up your credit card debt. Pay your loans. Be thankful for the scraps we toss. Chant back to us our platitudes about democracy, greatness, and freedom. Vote in our rigged corporation elections. Send your young men and women to fight and die in useless, unwinnable wars that provide huge profits for corporations. Stand by mutely as our legislators plunge us into a society without basic social services while Wall Street speculators loot and pillage.

0805-wreck
Our dear friend, Lloyd Blankfein - - the man doing God's work, remember? - - is often cited in Days of Destruction. He is held up as just about the closest thing to the anti-Christ as can be imagined, almost directly responsible for the murder of millions.

The rogues’ gallery of Wall Street crooks – such as Lloyd Blankfein at Goldman Sachs; Howard Milstein at New York Private Bank & Trust; the media tycoon Rupert Murdoch; David and Charles, the Koch brothers; and Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan Chase & Co. – no doubt think the Occupy movement has passed. They think it is back to the business of harvesting what is left of America to swell their personal and corporate fortunes. But they have no concept of what is happening around them. They are as mystified and clueless about these uprisings as the courtiers at Versailles or the Forbidden City, or the inner sanctums of the communist elites in Eastern Europe, who never understood until the very last days that their world was collapsing.

The political philosopher Sheldon Wolin uses the term inverted totalitarianism in his book Democracy Incorporated to describe our political system. In inverted totalitarianism, the sophisticated technologies of corporate control, intimidation, and mass manipulation, which far surpass those employed by previous totalitarian states, are effectively masked by the glitter, noise, and abundance of a consumer society. Political participation and civil liberties are gradually surrendered. Corporations, hiding behind this smokescreen, devour us from the inside out. They have no allegiance to the country.

The novel 1984 is also an important touchstone in Days of Destruction, and Orwell is quoted frequently as a fount of truth.

We, like those who opposed the long night of communism, no longer have any mechanisms within the formal structures of power that will protect or advance our rights. We, too, have undergone a coup d’etat carried out not by the large stone-faced leaders of a monolithic Communist Party, but by our largely anonymous corporate overlords. George Orwell wrote that all tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but that once the fraud is exposed they must rely exclusively on force. We have now entered that era of naked force. There are no excuses left.

Either you join the revolt or you stand on the wrong side of history. You either obstruct through civil disobedience, the only way left to us, the plundering by the criminal class on Wall Street, and accelerated destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species, or become the passive enabler of a monstrous evil. You either taste, feel, and smell the intoxication of freedom and revolt, or sink into the miasma of despair and apathy. You are either a rebel or a slave.

The way you react to this book depends a great deal on who you are and what your experiences in life have been so far, particularly with respect to your own financial and personal security. I found the book partly inspiring, partly infuriating, but very readable. One of the few things the United States still has going for it - - for now, at least - - is freedom of expression, and I'm glad a book like this is available to all who care to be more aware than their fellow countrymen, and I'm grateful to live in a place where I can be permitted to offer my favorite passages from the book and encourage you to read the whole thing yourself.

 


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Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:39 | Link to Comment Nehweh Gahnin
Nehweh Gahnin's picture

...he uses the (presently inert) Occupy movement as the shining example of what should be happening in America...

 

"they have no concept of what is happening around them."

 

Great review.  But your parenthetical in the first quote is akin to Hedges' observation in the second.  Occupy is not "presently inert".  No more so than when Washington retired the Continental Army to Valley Forge, one of the greatest "victories" of the revolutionary war.

 

It always boggles my mind when people want to consign the Occupy movement to the dustbin.  That dismissal assumes that the most aware of the citizens in September 2011 failed to learn anything, it assumes that the movement shouted out its angst and left the field satisfied, it assumes that the direct actions and civil disobedience were the be-all-end-all of the movement, bereft of any underlying structure and coherence.  That would be great if the elites believed that.  That would be a gift if they believed that the whole point of the movement was merely to change the language and conversation.  But the barrage of legislation (cf. N.D.A.A.), executive orders and Fed/World Bank/IMF actions speak to the contrary.  The fraud is exposed.  Get ready for the only tool left in their kit. 

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 08:47 | Link to Comment gwar5
gwar5's picture

I gave up on Hedges for being his own worst enema (sic). Hedges was a seminary grad, but rejected God and religion. Fine, no problem...

 

Except that now he wastes his life being terminally pissed at the Universe for actually behaving randomly and living up to his expectations. Notwithstanding, Hedges unbelieveably insists that he also still gets to judge everthing anthropomorphically, as if the world was a man on trial, and he finds everything guilty, as charged, for the crime of being unfair. Hedges is a deeply conflicted strange old man shaking his fist at the darkness as his candle dims. 

And no surprise, Hedges is also a MSM member and purveyor of the NWO who fancies himself as one of the elite. Ergo, whosoever does not share his angry, invisible vision to fix the world must be an idiot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 07:58 | Link to Comment dontgoforit
dontgoforit's picture

Dark; very dark.  Where there is lack of faith the natural flow of things is away from the light.  This situation will work itself out, but folks are going to have to be diligent.  My generation got carried away by free-love and pot.  "Reap what ye sow" brothers & sisters.  So now, we gotta make the effort to fix it.  C'mon man; we're not that weak.  We will fix it, like generations before us have.  Whiners will stand up if they're lead properly.  And that's where we are lacking right now - weak leaders; but that will change, too.  Work, pray; pray, work! 

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 08:44 | Link to Comment Oquities
Oquities's picture

Cronyism is the biggest source of our ills.  we know who these people are.  this is not the first time in history they have done this to a country.  their best tool is guilt, enforced through political correctness, and their mothers taught them the value of using this emotion to manipulate others.  you know who they are.  Chris Hedges listed some of them together in one area, and they belong to the same group.  he ignored this obvious connection due to his own biases and fear.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 09:19 | Link to Comment Oquities
Oquities's picture

among countless others in high positions in the house, senate and administration, they head up the Fed, US Treasury, SEC, CFTC, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.  the hands in tne puppets.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 06:15 | Link to Comment dolly madison
dolly madison's picture

I see many comments about how it is government that is the problem, not corporations.  You are wrong.  It is both.  The corporations and the government are doing a corrupt dance together.  The corporations pay off the government to get special favors.  But when there is a new industry, like computers once were, that are not paying off the government, the government comes after them in order to get them paying, hence the antitrust suit against Microsoft.  Once they are happily paying, the dance goes on. 

This is what happens over time with representative democracy and corporations.  Right now, the only thing to do is to wait until it collapses by revolution or by disaster.  Then we will hopefully do better with the next system.  I prefer more participatory democracy to a system.  More of everyone having a say instead of a few elite. 

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 07:15 | Link to Comment Watauga
Watauga's picture

Perhaps we should try free markets, liberty, and respect for private property BEFORE we condemn capitalism as an economic theory.  Our government has never allowed the practice of capitalism, as the State has always controlled markets, regulated away enemies and promoted political contributors, and taxed whomever it could to pay off political allies.  Don't even START on how awful our "capitalist" or "free market" system is UNTIL we have a chance to try it out for once.  This stuff sickens me, buying into the Statist line that capitalism and free markets have failed.  Bullshit.  What has failed in Statism, plain and simple, and only jackasses and sheep buy the Party freaking line to the contrary.  Go lick Obama's boots some more then get back to me.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 02:47 | Link to Comment dolly madison
dolly madison's picture

What you are missing is that representative democracy leads to statism.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 06:31 | Link to Comment SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

corporations are people.

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 00:11 | Link to Comment Almost Solvent
Almost Solvent's picture

my friend

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 03:53 | Link to Comment forrestdweller
forrestdweller's picture

do you really think there will be a revolt in a country where 60 percent of the people are obese.

first, revolting is too much effort. throwing rocks, burning things, killing people and storming big government buildings. it requires a bit of physical exercise.

second, being obese means you are not hungry. there will only be a revolt when people are hungry. they are not hungry! they should be.

so, you can wait for the revolt until americans are lean and mean. that will take a long time.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 07:05 | Link to Comment Fred C Dobbs
Fred C Dobbs's picture

First it takes getting mad.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 03:41 | Link to Comment Kreditanstalt
Kreditanstalt's picture

What Hedges will never get is that it is not just corporations.

It's the governments.  And not just this or that level of government, this or that individual or this or that party.

The problem is the INSTITUTION OF GOVERNMENT itself.

Hedges' answer is more government, mob rule and socialism when the OPPOSITE is needed.

And there's no room in Hedges' society for individual liberty.  It's all about GROUPS.  The man worships large crowds of demonstrators, mobs.  In a Hedgian world, would I still be free to exploit others, to make money selling something, to invest, to move my money on a moment's notice?   Doubtful...

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 06:42 | Link to Comment zyphryx
zyphryx's picture

Hedges de Robspierre?

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 04:14 | Link to Comment bunnyswanson
bunnyswanson's picture

Reinstating the 13th amendment (no attorneys in govt) and reenacting Glass Steagall along with apply the RICO act would get the thieves and scoundrels a bit farther away from the head of the table.  Dismantling the stranglehold the 1% have on public TV would be another remedy.  Gee, sounds like how it was a few decades ago to me.

The masses were being entertained with access to vast sums of easy credit and purchasing power, circuses and the red carpet, jobs were plentiful, everyone had a new car and a new home.  Now...stunningly, we all see it was a psyops, all a big mindphuck (which Hitler incorporated into Nazi Germany to sway the people's support of this plan).

If it were not for the internet, we'd be screwed.  But I do feel we have a chance to turn this around.  Ridicule is propaganda.  These maestroes are weak links in the chain and need to be removed.  Think ahead and what is in store for Americans.  There will be no where to run and no one will come to your aid.

Hey, it's not about you, it's about the future generation you selfish fool.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 09:39 | Link to Comment Nehweh Gahnin
Nehweh Gahnin's picture

Reinstating the 13th amendment (no attorneys in govt) and reenacting Glass Steagall along with apply the RICO act would get the thieves and scoundrels a bit farther away from the head of the table.  Dismantling the stranglehold the 1% have on public TV would be another remedy.

 

And how do you propose to do that?  By voting?  By calling up your representative?  The rest of your post evidences some understanding.  The first part, meh, pie in the sky.  It ain't gonna happen.  That ship has sailed.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 02:53 | Link to Comment malek
malek's picture

 but I'm a much firmer believer in a modified version [of capitalism] - consistently-regulated

You have so many insights, Tim, but still fail to realize that you just proposed continued out-sourcing of regulation to a small special group of people.
That's never going to effing work, we need simple laws overseen by everyone!!
Belief in regulation is exactly the fallacy that lead us into the current disaster.

I've recently read or listened to a few pieces from Chris Hedges on Jesse' website, and was saddened that Chris seems to be stuck in the same circular logic.

In the end it's the never ending struggle between realists who strive for consistent rules, and utopists who target consistent outcomes and are ready to bulldoze any rule for that.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 01:35 | Link to Comment dvfco
dvfco's picture

What a country - we can land a one-ton device on Mars - hundreds of millions of miles from earth - and have it land within a minute or so of its expected landing. 

We can win 50+ medals in one Olympic games.  We have a citizen with more gold medals and total medals than the majority of countries on earth.

But, we get fucked every single day by the elite 550 elected scum and all the people who put them into the seats of power in which they sit. 

We're better than this.  We have to get the fuckers out and move on.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 01:29 | Link to Comment dvfco
dvfco's picture

I'm sorry to say I skimmed the comments to get to a point, which is predicated on a portion of these comments.

1) I believe we do not need to have a 'REVOLUTION' as in King/Colonist to overthrow our government, banking system, current way of being daily raped by our government and corporate America - our government's corporate sponsor. 

2) As in the 1700s, the colonist couldn't win an all-out war, but they won a 'guerilla' war.  Today, we will never have tanks and surface-to-air weapons, etc.  But, we do have information.  We can find 10,000 people ruining our country and over 100,000,000 people doing the right thing every day.  Well, if 100 people surrounded and took out each member of the federal government (leave my old friend Ron Paul alone!) and each member of corrupt local governments, it wouldn't be too hard to do. 

3)  Local imprisonment, assassination, etc. would be very effective.  Most of the elite destroying the country would run.  However, we really need to focus on the government, as corporations as necessary.  While there are thousands of evil things done, we are the #1 country on earth from what we have developed.

4) Further, there are other governments that we support who make congress "Occupied Territoy."  We have sold out to the Israeli and Chinese governments.  Every government office is presently being watched by these nations, and presumably others.

5) Take them all out and either bury them or hold them until a new government can be formed.  Then, try them all for high crimes, treason, etc. With the exception of maybe 2 or 3 Supreme Court Judges, I don't know anyone in the Federal Government worth keeping and who has not digraced our homeland.

6)  Look at what anonymous has done, despite being 'hacked' by the FBI. If the entire Internet, twitter, etc. lit up with 12/31/12 choice of time and date to sack the existing government structure - nothing could stop us.  We'd be talking about 300,000,000 to 10,000.

7)  Like the majority of the 'Arab Spring', we'd have an army unwilling to attack its own.  Most in the military would do all they could to uphold our constituion, if they were only permitted to by the superiors.

IF THEY AREN'T OUT VOLUNTARILY BY 12-30-12, WE TAKE THEM BY 12-31-12.  How beautiful would it be to wake up and find not one of our +/-550 members of our 3 branches of government still in power. 

Finally, we hold emergency elections after disbanding all Federal agencies (other than the military), allowing the states to re-emerge and exert the governing powers to which they were entrusted in the Consitutition, and ban anyone who has held any federal elected offfices from running for office, ban any and all contributions to those running for office, and only allow those running to have free air-time and radio time, but otherwise - no corporate money and no donations over $50.

It's a wonderful dream.  We're going down the shitter now as it is.  Yes, there are 1,000 problems with this dream, but they could all be handled, and we (the people) would have a say in that plan and our future.  No, we've got DICK!

Is it possible?  And no, I'm not threatening anyone, I'm just theorizing.  Are there better ways to disempower those running the joint?  Also, we gotta get rid of the MSM.  I don't want messages force fed my way that are written by politicians.  They get their licenses renewed when they hire 100% new broadcasters and reporters and fire anyone who has written a political or business piece for a major journal in the year leading up to 12/31/2012.

I dunno, but it sure is a nice dream.  No taxes until mission complete.  No Fed - ever again. 

Oh, and one last thing, we get to go mid-evil on some people's asses - like Bernake / Greenspan / etc.

 

 

 

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 00:55 | Link to Comment MedTechEntrepreneur
MedTechEntrepreneur's picture

"The virus of corporate abuse – the perverted belief that only corporate profit matters – has spread to outsource our jobs,..."

The virus of corporate abuse ? I am far more worried about the virus of Big Government abuse, Neomarxism.  Big Government greedy for taxation to feed the gov monster and big labor with fat pensions that  have chased business off-shore.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 00:32 | Link to Comment swamp
swamp's picture

WE DO NOT LIVE IN A CAPITALIST SYSTEM. For those who think we do, keep drinking the Kool-aid.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 07:15 | Link to Comment Fred C Dobbs
Fred C Dobbs's picture

Agreed and we do not need another collective "ism" to replace it.  Chris Hedges is still learning.  

Sun, 08/05/2012 - 23:59 | Link to Comment Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

"a unified solidarity in opposition to a tiny power elite"

Well, yep, this is the problem, isn't it?  I can think of few, if any, developed countries that are as politically polarized as the USA. 

Sun, 08/05/2012 - 23:40 | Link to Comment Arkadaba
Sun, 08/05/2012 - 23:46 | Link to Comment Mercury
Mercury's picture

...but I'm a much firmer believer in a modified version - - consistently-regulated with a distribution of wealth more akin to the 1970s than the present day - - than I ever imagined I would be.

Well, someone's looking forward to four more years.

What happens if you've managed to amass a tidy sum for yourself mostly through hard work and good choices...not from drowning kittens in sacks and poisoning the environment?

Answer that and I'll tell you how big of a number you'll have on the left side of your distribution formula.

Without getting too chicken-and-eggy here you may have noticed that since the (apparently) glory days of the 1970's, the rise of the rapacious, all-powerful, soul-destroying mega-corporation has pretty tightly tracked the expansion of the size and scope of government into every last facet of your life.  Go ask a small business owner what his biggest obstacle is today.

If the government were small and weak and mega-corporations were running around raping the world blind that would be one thing. But that's not the case because the two work hand-in-glove.  Crony-capitalism if you will.

Before anyone gets too fired up by any proposed, new wealth spreading system, they might want to consider how they may have helped drop the ball regarding our

government restraining system.

 

Sun, 08/05/2012 - 22:53 | Link to Comment boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

" However, those people are not where you can confront them in the street. "

We know (or can find out) where they all live. We CERTAINLY know where most of the culprits work !!!

They have no idea we are "on" to them........the crooks still call themselves "public servants" like WE still think that. LOL

....like shooting fish in a barrel.

Sun, 08/05/2012 - 22:48 | Link to Comment Money 4 Nothing
Money 4 Nothing's picture

Wake the Fuck up America.

This shit will be going down before November, get geared up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5H2EkYE9zAA&feature=related

Sun, 08/05/2012 - 22:36 | Link to Comment OutLookingIn
OutLookingIn's picture

APATHY

The Depression of Apathy

Sounds like an oxymoron, and I suppose it is. But for one to undergo the experiance of an apathetic exsistence, one must first experience depression. We have not only the economic version present, but the emotional as well. Little wonder that 70% of the population is doped up on something to help them cope!  

The populace must first overcome this apathetic, moribund, inactive, drug/entertainment induced stupor that currently enslaves the majority. No chance of this happening anytime soon. I greatly admire Chris Hedges and understand his prophetic message, but for the time being, he is but one voice crying out in the wilderness of this aimless society.

Sun, 08/05/2012 - 22:22 | Link to Comment Ckierst1
Ckierst1's picture

"It is, after all, an unflinching assasination of our present capitalist system. As a younger person, I was wholeheartedly (and more than a little ignorantly) devoted to a dog-eat-dog, laissiez-faire capitalist system."

I dunno.  Before we beat up on the laissez faire capitalist system it would be nice if we tried it first instead of just giving it lip service as an ideal.  it occurrs to me that the closest we ever came to laissez faire was probably when de Tocqueville was out and about in the US.  Our history has been a tug of war between Hamiltonians, Whigs and Republicans, socialists and Keynesian/monetarists (or do I repeat myself?) on the one hand peddling "internal improvements" and Jeffersonians/antifederalists/classical liberals, etc. and, most recently, Austrian Schoolers, on the other.  It is mercantilism for at least the last 150 years.  You can't blame laissez faire capitalism when the "internal improvements" crowd is choosing winners and losers and imposing an elite.  That's a genre of mercantilism.  Ain't no level playing field that I can see.

Sun, 08/05/2012 - 22:53 | Link to Comment LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

The strip mines are pure capitalism.  And you missed the point that there's more to life than ... capital.  Then again, you missed the point.  

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 00:05 | Link to Comment Ckierst1
Ckierst1's picture

Strip mines are merely a method of mining coal.  They have their place and there are places where it is simply not economic to mine the coal underground or it's inefficient.  What makes you think that strip mines "are pure capitalism".  Like they don't have them in socialist (marxist?) countries. Like they don't have to compete in world markets?  Like statist strip mines are better than "capitalist" strip mines (in pseudo-capitalist countries like the US)? FWIW, not all strip mines are on private property.  Some are on subsidized public lands and so are hardly pure capitalism.  Even on private land you may find that the government has irrationally managed to discover that somehow the surface estate is separable from the mineral estate (split estate) and that the problems of such mining (as well as those of underground mining) may be visited upon those living on the surface.  That's another government screwup.  I'm supposed to have missed the point?  I agree, there is more to life than capital.  There is also capitalism in life.  There is also waste and inefficiency when you don't allocate resources efficiently and that's very socialist or hadn't you noticed?  You need to make sure you apply proper economics to create wealth and efficiently allocate resources.  If you don't then it is at the whim of your flawed philosopher kings.  Good luck with that.  Socialism doesn't share prosperity, it shares misery.

Sun, 08/05/2012 - 22:08 | Link to Comment onlooker
onlooker's picture

REVOLUTION is a very exciting topic and when pissed off people talk it, they seldom think of the realistic version of a 21 Century Revolution in the United States of America.

 

I suppose that definitions of Anarchy, Revolution, Rebellion, Civil Unrest, Martial Law, Riots and all that stuff needs to be reasoned thru and analyzed from previous  events in this Country and well as other Countries similar to ourselves. Remember the Russian Revolution killed off more humans, horses and livestock than all of WW1. a bunch of children, women, sons and daughters

 

A call to arms is impractical. Stand and fight is not exactly where we are. Yes, there is a wealthy elite that has savaged America and continues to do so. If we as a Nation are to survive, things must change. However, those people are not where you can confront them in the street. You can confront the Army and Police they own, but not them. The only solution I see is to gain standing with the media via monetary pressure and presence at the locations they inhabit, as well as continued pressure on the political system ( not much success there lately eh ).

 

There is no question that people are searching for a solution to the criminal treatment of the workers, citizens, and especially the young of this Nation. I hope we can arrive at a process to make things right. The stakes are such that “talk is cheap” is indeed true. But if peace is kept and solutions can be found, “cheap talk” has huge value. But, actions must accompany the rhetoric------ and there in lies the problem, lies and more lies.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 01:00 | Link to Comment Freddie
Freddie's picture

The sheep are eaqsily controlled by TV.  They traded liberty for a clicker.  I bet you watch a lot of TV and in doing - you support The Matrix.   F Off.

Sun, 08/05/2012 - 22:52 | Link to Comment engineertheeconomy
engineertheeconomy's picture

The Criminal Elite can easily be placed under citizen arrest. Every single one of them. The party begins Dec 21st, 2012. Bring handcuffs and Mace

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 06:15 | Link to Comment Ying-Yang
Ying-Yang's picture

Begs the question... why wait until 12-21-2012, Mayan thing?

A lot could happen between now and then. Syria and Iran come to mind.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 02:38 | Link to Comment Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

Didn't some guy recently try to make a citizen's arrest of the Fed?

Sun, 08/05/2012 - 21:56 | Link to Comment steveo77
steveo77's picture

What I am amazed at is that there haven't been numerous incidents of people taking up arms against the causes of the worst of the problems.   I see the overall angst, the face eating, near random attacks.    And I think that many people "get it!" and almost everyone knows they are being screwed in an unfair way.

I would say 10 to 15% took the red pill.   Where is Morpheus?

Sun, 08/05/2012 - 21:51 | Link to Comment tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

"when in fact he was simply born into a rich family and was too blinkered to recognize that his accidental circumstance had no bearing on his (dim) wit...."

and this is precisely one of the grand lessons of life and of the bible....no man is anywhere but where god wants him...no one...not a single exception....jehovah raises up and razes down....

it is the folly of man to worship his wisdom....the first shall be last and the last first....however, the stupid fuck will see himself as superior to others and therefore wish to control life and others....but the apostle, speaking the word's of the father, told us to consider others higher than ourselves.

if god has blessed you, bless the unfortunate. failure to do so will lead to damnation (loss).

Sun, 08/05/2012 - 21:50 | Link to Comment bigwavedave
bigwavedave's picture

Its actually pretty easy to crash the system. Remove all deposits frm JPM and put them in your local co-op bank. Simple. Without JPM it all unravels.

Sun, 08/05/2012 - 22:15 | Link to Comment otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

wow-that easy?

Sun, 08/05/2012 - 21:57 | Link to Comment steveo77
steveo77's picture

Big Wave, you live in Vegas?

Sun, 08/05/2012 - 21:24 | Link to Comment q99x2
q99x2's picture

The Constitution of the US was good and it takes a lot of destruction to weaken it. Wouldn't want to be on the wrong side of things once it is restored.

Sun, 08/05/2012 - 22:39 | Link to Comment Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

"The Constitution of the US was good and it takes a lot of destruction to weaken it. Wouldn't want to be on the wrong side of things once it is restored."

BULLSHIT !

The Constitution was the first nail in the coffin of freedom.  It was the desire for a more centralized and powerful Federal Government that the Constitution was ratified above and on the grave of the Articles of Confederation.  And not long after the ratification of the Constitution came in 1787...in fact proposed in 1790 and ratified in 1791... came the First Bank of the United States...the forerunner of the Federal Reserve and evil brainchild of Alexander Hamilton.

Where ever you have centralized federal government, you will inevitably have a centralized banking system.

And these two things are the linchpins of tyranny.

This would have been very hard to do....if not impossible under the Articles of Confederation.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 02:36 | Link to Comment Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

I call Bullshit on your bullshit.  Google Andrew Jackson.  For many prosperous decades the USA operated w/o a central bank.

As far as centralized authority goes, getting back to the rule of law under the Constitution would be a major improvment in getting away from centralized power.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 20:31 | Link to Comment Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

"I call Bullshit on your bullshit.  Google Andrew Jackson.  For many prosperous decades the USA operated w/o a central bank."

Get off the hash pipe and learn to read.  What does Andrew Jackson and the fact we prospered without a central bank have to do with anything I said?  OF COURSE WE PROSPERED WITHOUT A CENTRAL BANK...THAT WAS MY POINT IN POINTING OUT THE FIRST NATIONAL BANK YOU IDIOT !  Centralized (read FEDERAL banking) will always come with Centralized (FEDERAL GOVERNMENT).  Of course we know the first bank was killed  by Jefferson and the Second Federal Bank was killed by Jackson....all the while having the Constitution. 

BUT GUESS WHAT MORON....WHAT DO WE HAVE NOW.....THE FUCKING FEDERAL RESERVE.

THE CENTRALIZED GOVERNMENT MUST ALSO HAVE CENTRALIZED BANKING EITHER UNDER ITS DIRECT CONTROL OR INFLUENCED BY IT (BY APPOINTMENTS).

AND YOU GOT CENTRALIZED GOVERNMENT BY HAVING THE CONSTITUTION WHICH GAVE BIRTH TO FEDERALISM....AND NOW THE HOME GROWN AMERICAN VERSION OF TYRANNY !

DROP THE FANATIC RELIGION OF CONSTITUTIONALISM AND GROW UP AND LEARN SOMETHING ABOUT THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION AND HOW IT WOULD HAVE STOPPED THE MISSION CREEP OF FEDERALISM AND TYRANNY AND ALSO THE TYRANNY OF CENTRALIZED BANKING


Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:20 | Link to Comment Ckierst1
Ckierst1's picture

It is true that we functioned for many years without a central bank but it is also true that the statists in government have reinstated central banksterism three times and that the nation has existed under central banksterism longer than not.  The kleptocratic mercantilist elitist state requires the ability to inflate, manipulate, propagandize, coerce and enslave.  It needs fiat money to finance regime wars, to buy political power and to refinance failed TBTFs.  It needs these to strip wealth from the middle class.  It needs to control "investment" to herd sheeple into the proper financial killing fields.  It needs the politicians to control the military and police and to make bad law for the purpose of limiting the peoples' options and independence and to rendering them vulnerable.  Break the cycle by recognizing that you are being used and taking the steps that are necessary to preserve your wealth, independence and liberty.  Do not permit the PTB to define money and value.  YOU decide what is worthwhile.  Free (black?) markets will decide if you are right.

P.S. - Remember, you can only have two functioning political parties and Ron Paul can't be the POTUS candidate of one of them.  Sheeple!

Sun, 08/05/2012 - 22:35 | Link to Comment Uchtdorf
Uchtdorf's picture

Not just good, it was genius! It is torn to shreds now, but restore it we must.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:11 | Link to Comment Ckierst1
Ckierst1's picture

I disagree.  The Constitution was a bait and switch.  The ConCon was only supposed to amend the ArtofCon not come up with a replacement.  Everything was done behind closed doors and Joe SixPac wasn't invited.  The purpose was to create a greatly empowered central government - they only haggled over who was empowered.  A benevolent and loving God doesn't inspire usurpers.  Among the first things they did was protective tariffs, central banksterism and putting Washington and Hamilton at the head of an army to surpress tax protesters.  The Bill of Rights was an afterthought.  I think it still is.

Sun, 08/05/2012 - 22:46 | Link to Comment engineertheeconomy
engineertheeconomy's picture

I have a copy thats well over 100 years old. Not for sale at any price

Sun, 08/05/2012 - 21:13 | Link to Comment grunk
grunk's picture

Was it Friday or last night there was a post about not fighting back? Kind of a "the best revenge is living well somewhere else." I couldn't find it.

That article, while probably having some merit, depressed me. This article, while bleak, gives me a little more hope (except for the dog and cat stuff). People will eventually say, "Enough!" to this inhumanity.

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