Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The rise of the corporate state and the “Death of the Liberal Class”

“The danger when a liberal class breaks down is that there becomes no mechanism anymore by which mounting rage and anger can be expressed within the system.” (Video below @ 28:53)

From “Death of the Liberal Class” by Chris Hedges (2010): 

Inside cover excerpt:
For decades the liberal class was a defense against the worst excesses of power. But the pillars of the liberal class—the press, universities, labor movement, culture, Democratic Party, and liberal religious institutions—have collapsed as effective counterweights to the corporate state. In its absence the needs of the poor, the working class and even the middle class, no longer have a champion. The death of the liberal class has permitted the rise of a new and terrifying political configuration.

Back cover:
Liberals conceded too much to the power elite. The tragedy of the liberal class and the institutions it controls is that it has succumbed to opportunism and finally to fear. It abrogated its moral role. It did not defy corporate abuse when it had the chance. It exiled those within its ranks who did. And the defanging of the liberal class not only removed all barriers to neofeudalism and corporate abuse but also ensured that the liberal class will, in its turn, be swept aside.

Excerpts from pp. 9-13:
The inability of the liberal class to acknowledge that corporations have wrested power from the hands of citizens, that the constitution and its 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.

The liberal class refuses to recognize the obvious because it does not want to lose its comfortable and often well-paid perch...

The media, the church, the university, the Democratic Party, the arts, and labor unions—the pillars of the liberal class—have been bought off with corporate money and promises of scraps tossed to them by the narrow circles of power...

The death of the liberal class means a new and terrifying political configuration. It permits the corporate state to demolish, without impediment, the last vestiges of protection put into place by the liberal class. Employees in public-sector unions—one of the last havens from the onslaught of the corporate state—are denounced for holding “Cadillac health plans” and generous retirement benefits. Teachers’ unions in California and New Jersey are attacked by corporate pundits and politicians who portray teachers as parasites thriving at taxpayer expense. The establishment of charter schools will help hasten the extinction of these unions. The increasing restrictions imposed on public-sector employees, despite their ostensible union protection, are draconian and illustrate the corporate state’s final attack on unionized workers. In turn, labor organizations (for the diminishing number of workers who still have unions) facilitate the disempowerment and impoverishment of workers...

Here's Hedges speaking about his book at The Sanctuary for Independent Media on October 17, 2010. If you have limited time, start at 20:45 where Hedges says, “And so we end up with a Democratic Party that speaks in a voice of such flagrant hypocrisy that it has killed its own credibility.”

And @ 32:50: “...what’s happened as we are propelled down this road towards an oligarchic or neofeudal society is that we are creating a permanent underclass, a permanently enraged underclass.”

Explore Hedges’s message and see if your gut picks up on the truth of it. Mine did, and I can see that the United States of America is marching toward a terrifying future. 

And as Hedges states, all resistance will be need to be local.