Inverted Totalitarianism: Collapse of American Liberalism, Part 2

Also at Antemedius

Yesterday in Part 1 of this conversation between veteran journalist Chris Hedges and Paul Jay of The Real News Network we heard Hedges talk about the collapse of the liberal classes as the main driver and mechanism for change in America.

Today in Part 2 Hedges gives us his thoughts on what we can do about it, beginning with clear recognition of what the current political/social system is and how it developed as well as acceptance that because of the nature of the current system “traditional mechanisms for reform within the system, within the political process, no longer function”, and moving to some suggestions of the kinds of fundamental starting point actions we could take to plant the seeds for causing real change in and reforming American society.



Real News Network – September 6, 2010

Chris Hedges: “Inverted Totalitarianism – Collapse of American Liberalism, Part 2”

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    • Edger on September 6, 2010 at 2:14 pm
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    at dKos.

    • Xanthe on September 7, 2010 at 3:54 am

    Iraq marches – very scary.  And a lawyers’ organization went to court so that the officers’ names were on their uniforms.  They weren’t in the first demonstration.  

    I believe that people, including policemen – especially policeman, pick up on the costumes they are wearing.

    And we can expect some of this in our unemployed, no safety-net future.  I suspect there will be rough handling this time around – age, sex, demeanor notwithstanding.  And tasers will be at the ready.

  1. find themselves sharing and cooperating. And I think this will change the fundamental nature of community and the current notions of competition and acquisition. Perhaps living to work as an autonomous economic unit will give way to working to live (together) and an awareness that happiness, health, and yes, leisure are not commodities.  

    However, the dark side is horribly frightening. Prejudice and militarism have run amok. Miranda is shrinking and the jails are expanding. And when I talk to Teabaggers, they always bring up the issues of immigration and ammunition, though not necessarily together. We’re living a propaganda nightmare, with vitriol and blame being thrown around like fireballs. Will change be nonviolent? Will soldiers and police refuse their orders?

    You’d think we’d finally get beyond this crap. And now, Machiavelli on steroids for the  Corporate Prince. Shit!

  2. BP Environmental and Social Disaster: “What Would You Live and Die to Protect?” by Dahr Jamail

    Jamail makes a list:

    Here are some recent headlines from this summer:

    *Greenland Ice Sheet loses 100 square miles, biggest loss  since 1962 (Aug. 2010)

    *Russia’s drought-driven halt to wheat exports panics world grain markets (Aug. 2010)

    *Pakistan’s worst flood in recorded history claims some 1,100 lives (July, 2010)

    *International study confirms accelerating warming trend (July, 2010)

    *Rapid decline in phytoplankton population stuns scientists (July, 2010)

    *Flash floods seen increasing as Milwaukee gets eight inches in two hours (July, 2010)

    *Senate climate bill collapses (July, 2010)

    *Coral reef deaths soar in record ocean heat (July, 2010)

    *First half of 2010 was hottest such period on record (July, 2010)

    *Carbon lobby launches “CO2 is Green” campaign (July, 2010)

    *Massive Greenland glacier retreats one mile in one night (July, 2010)

    *Military declares climate change “a catalyst for conflict” (June, 2010)

    *Malaria soars with small rainforest reductions (June, 2010)

    *Oceans have stored more heat than they released since 1993 (May, 2010)

    *Climate change is causing “irreversible” destruction of ocean life systems (June, 2010)

    *Himalayan glacier melt puts 60 million people at risk of food shortages (June, 2010)

    *Warming pushes many small mammal species to the brink (June, 2010)

    This is happening not because any of us want it, but because those in power, answerable only to their corporate sponsors, are playing out their mantra of “every means should be used to further expansion.”

    Expansion of growth. Expansion of profits. Expansion of power.

    [Jamail began his article saying]

    Lewis Mumford, a US historian and philosopher of science and technology, has written, “The chief premise common to both technology and science is the notion that there are no desirable limits to the increase of knowledge, of material goods, of environmental control; that quantitative productivity is an end in itself and that every means should be used to further expansion.”

    [and concludes this section]

    Mumford has said a change in this mindset of perpetual expansion would likely only happen with “an all-out fatal shock treatment, close to catastrophe, to break the hold of civilized man’s chronic psychosis.”

    The whole article is here

  3. but you really should add some personal context to your essay.

  4. Cybermen!

    Warmest regards,

    Doc

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