What I’m Reading Today – Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges

Death of the Liberal ClassI ordered this online and I have been very impressed. This is the first book by Chris Hedges that I have ever had. I am annoyed with myself for not having discovered him earlier.

Here is an excerpt – The inability of the liberal class to acknowledge that corporations have wrested power from the hands of the citizens, that the Constitution and it guarantees of personal liberty have become irrelevant, and that the phrase consent of the governed is meaningless, has left it speaking and acting in ways that no longer correspond to reality. It has lent its voice to hollow acts of political theater, and the pretense that democratic debate and choice continue to exist.

I think the correctness of his reading is illustrated today by the negotiations over the debt ceiling held between Congress and the President. The liberals, toothless and pointless, are not at the table. The great accomplishments of the liberal and progressive movements over the past one hundred years lay like so many cuts of meat served up on the negotiating table between the two sides, and the Progessives in Congress may just as well not exist. The President proposes cuts to both Social Security and Medicare with no one to stop him. Even the AARP folded like a house of cards. Liberalism as an effective political force is a joke, a satire on its past and a cautionary tale of expediency and stupidity destroying a movement. In particular, the willingness of its candidates to court corporate money and to sell out teachers, workers, soldiers and retirees speaks more of a moral vacuum than it does of effective politics. Without idealism and morality, political movements based on doing the right thing for the poor, the working class and the disadvantaged, have no identity.

I am often asked what we should do about a Wall Street excess, an unfair law, the rich evading taxes and many other things. I’ve taken to dodging the question because explaining to concerned citizens and students that there is no one to turn to, no one to vote for, no one to ask for help, … is depressing in the extreme.

There are two parties in the United States. One is devoted to privilege and a desperate need to stay in power. The other is devoted to privilege and a desperate need to stay in power. Neither deserves a single vote or a moment of serious concern.

Nevertheless, the only remaining arena of possible action is there. However, I have been getting a sense of the nation, that perhaps other choices beside the peaceful are being considered. I do not want to see violence but it is more and more likely.

James Pilant


To get your own copy, you can go here. jp

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