Hope Lies in the Streets ~Chris Hedges

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  • #239352

    sonofspy777
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    @sonofspy777

    The decay and rupture of the social bonds that once held our societies together have unleashed the dark pathologies of opioid, alcohol and gambling addictions and led to an explosion of hate crimes and mass shootings, along with suicide. (Photo: Mr. Fish / Truthdig)

    Global finance capital has seized control of the economies of most nation-states. The citizens watch, helplessly, as money and goods are transferred with little regulation across borders. They watch as jobs in manufacturing and the professions are shipped to regions of the global south where most workers are paid a dollar or less an hour and receive no benefits. They watch as the taxes of the rich and corporations are slashed, often to zero. They watch as austerity programs dismantle or privatize utilities and basic social services, jacking up fees to consumers. They watch as chronic unemployment and underemployment devastate workers, especially the young. They watch as wages stagnate or decline, leaving working men and women with unsustainable debts. This economic tyranny lies at the root of the unrest in Hong Kong, India, Chile, France, Iran, Iraq and Lebanon as well as the rise of right-wing demagogues and false prophets such as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    It does not matter whether liberals or conservatives, Tories or Labour, Republicans or Democrats are in power. Finance capital is impervious to political control. The newly defeated Labour Party in Britain, by adopting a Brexit-neutral stance in the election, badly misread the zeitgeist. Yes, its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, had to contend with hysterical warnings of economic collapse and endured a smear campaign—amplified by a media mouthing the accusations of his Tory opponents—that included claims he was a threat to national security and an anti-Semite, but his and Labour’s failure to appreciate how desperate workers were for a solution, even one growing out of magical thinking about the promise of Brexit, was a mistake. Brexit is not a realistic alternative to economic tyranny. But it at least offers a hope, however unfounded, of shattering the bonds of corporate power. It posits itself as a weapon in the war between the insiders and the outsiders. That this desperate hope by the outsiders is peddled by con artists and charlatans such as Johnson and Trump is part of the sickness of our age, an echo of the economic distortions and right-wing populism that saw fascists rise to power in Italy and Germany in the first part of the 20th century.

    Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, Exxon Mobile, Walmart, Apple and Amazon are the modern versions of the East India Company or La Compagnie Française de l’Orient et de la Chine. These and others among today’s global corporations, with the assistance of the World Bank, the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund, have created unassailable monopolies and effectively hollowed out many nation-states, both physically and culturally. Forlorn, derelict urban wastelands, populated by the bitterly dispossessed, are as common in France or Britain as they are in America’s Rust Belt. Governments, captive to corporate control, have been prostituted to transfer wealth upward, swell corporate profits and crush dissent at the expense of democracy.

    https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/12/16/hope-lies-streets

    The human race has few (if any) problems that couldn’t be solved by massive wealth.  And we’re literally surrounded by it, like a fly in amber.  Now if we only had brains… —Ben Bova

  • #239373

    elias39
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    @elias39

    If hope lies in the streets, dog help us all because Americans don’t do ‘the streets’.  Decades of emasculation and a state-owned mainstream media all but ended Americans right to protest. Hope fades by the day.

    • #239425

      ravensong
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      @ravensong

      Today’s nationwide protests will definitely separate the wimps from the brave.

      Promote Freedom From Religion, and Separation of Church and State.

      See how much you will pay for Healthcare under Bernie Sanders Medicare for All plan:
      https://www.mfacalc.com/
      Together, together, my friends, we have begun a political revolution to transform America, and that revolution, our revolution, continues! ~ Bernie

      • #239765

        The Red Menace
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        @twilightsporkle

        You mean the ones organized by MoveOn, an organization that exists almost entirely to protect the “legacy” of Bill and Hillary Clinton, stymie the left, and kneecap any movement towards social justice?

        Here’s what’s going to happen sat these “protests.”

        A bunch of middle-aged people who have economic security and free time are going to show up in pink beanies. An “event organizer” is going to hand them pre-printed signs, and then herd them along the parade protest route, and maybe get a few of them to chant a slogan. if things really pop off, maybe some white dudes with dredlocks and John Lennon T-shirts will come up and start banging on 5-gallon buckets and calling it a “drum circle.” A few hours will pass, and you’ll go home and the only thing that will be different will be that your ankles hurt.

        if you try to go off-slogan? You will be carefully “isolated” out of the parade. If you do anything to actually have an impact like, Oh I dunno, block traffic, the ‘event organizer” will happily help the cops break your shoulder. You can bring your own sign, but if it doesn’t conform to the desired image, someone is going to yank it out of your hands.

        American have been meandering aroudn the streets with flimsy signs and pithy slogans for nearly sixty years. And it’s changed nothing. because it’s not supposed to. This “tactic” was invented by people whose one and only goal was to look “with it.” And that’s still the entire point.

        These “demonstrations’ are nothing more than a fashion parade.

  • #239411

    Stockholmer
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    @stockholmer

    Or will we have to take to the streets, as the people are doing in Chile, Lebanon, France, Hong Kong and elsewhere, to demand the overthrow of corporate rule?

     

    None of those actions will succeed, NONE (France may have a bit of reform, but certainly not the end of corporate rule.)

    sorry but brutal truth is what it is

    Hedges is selling snake oil (especially the myth of the American mass street uprising in numbers sufficient to cause a revolution, which is as likely as me shitting out daily bricks of gold starting in the new year.)

    • #239428

      ravensong
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      @ravensong

      @stockholmer

      “Hedges is selling snake oil (especially the myth of the American mass street uprising in numbers sufficient to cause a revolution, which is as likely as me shitting out daily bricks of gold starting in the new year.)”

      After decades of imploring Americans to get up off their couches, step away from their TV’s and engage in direct actions to try to participate in direct actions to stop war, economic injustice, plutocracy, social injustice, and fascism, I am 100% positive that what you say in the quote above is true.

      I will be leaving the US after I send in my early ballot in the 2020 election.

      Promote Freedom From Religion, and Separation of Church and State.

      See how much you will pay for Healthcare under Bernie Sanders Medicare for All plan:
      https://www.mfacalc.com/
      Together, together, my friends, we have begun a political revolution to transform America, and that revolution, our revolution, continues! ~ Bernie

      • #239637

        Stockholmer
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        @stockholmer

        The US destruction of instruments of mass traction such as giant, pervasive, nationwide trade unions has knee-capped streets-generated revolutionary threats to TPTB there. In France, for instance, or Italy, the unions can help make a general strike backbreaking for the systemic controllers.

        Good luck getting at-will employed, non unionised,  at or near minimum wage drones to rise up in a righteous rage of unified class-based anger, especially when a third to half of them (or more if you are in hillwilliam red state land) are RW’ers who would chop a pinkie finger off their left hand if that action guaranteed they could then chop off a black lesbian’s entire leg.

  • #239414

    GZeusH
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    @gzeush

    Last time I looked in the streets, I saw roadkill, cigarette butts, and fast food wrappers.  Didn’t see any hope, but I did see a lot of garbage.

  • #239442

    peacecorps
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    @peacecorps

    When massive numbers do take to the street, both the left or right will side with the government against them depending on whether the masses are protesting ‘our’ guy or ‘their’ guy.

    Few seem to consider it possible that regular people might resent corruption and repression enough to take to the streets, regardless of the ‘team’ in power.

    National problems (slavery/racism, income inequality, pathetic health care, weak unions) are not solved with more states' rights. Global problems (climate change, migration, trade, war) are not solved with more national sovereignty.

    A CEO, an American worker and an immigrant sit at a table with a dozen cookies in front of them. The CEO grabs 11 of them, then leans over and warns the worker, "Watch out for the immigrant. He is trying to get your cookie."

  • #239644

    Voltairine
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    @voltairine

    As Zizek keeps asking: What do we do the next morning after revolution?

    Overthrowing the old system means zit if we don’t have a better new system to replace it. To create better system we must accept the hard fact that we need creative systemic thinking, and for that we need to think also and especially math, how the current math works – as bad master – and what could be better math to serve our social relations as a good servant and friend.

    Aloha!

  • #239785

    djean111
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    @djean111

    The pictures of the “hundreds of protesters” I saw showed people holding signs that said “Trump/Pence” have to go.  Um, sweeties, that is not the way it works and not the way it will work.   Pence is actually good for the GOP AND the Democratic Party.  War, austerity.  Part of the Establishment.  The ballot box is the only way to go, and that won’t work either, if the DNC puts a Vichy Dem on the ticket.

    I wonder if the “Trump and Pence will be impeached and then Pelosi will be president and then she will name Hillary as VP and then Pelosi  will step down and then Hillary will be QUEEN!!!!!” fantasy is still in play for the hillbots.  I don’t think Daenerys or Cersei wanted the Iron Throne more than Hillary wants the Oval Office.  All murderous, though.

    I will not vote for a Vichy Dem. Period. As always, I decide who is a Vichy Dem.

    Bernie's ISSUES or Bust!

  • #239786

    David the Gnome
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    @davidthegnome

    I like Hedges – but I do not think there is hope to be found in the streets, not yet.  First, there needs to be a type of mass consensus about what exactly is needed.  Then there needs to be a plan to implement whatever structures can meet those needs.  Whatever the demands are – stopping carbon emissions, a guaranteed income, jobs, healthcare… you can be sure that none of them will be done without taxing the wealthy to pay for them.  So the politicians will resist it, the oligarchs will resist it, the radio hosts will tell the right that it is some evil socialist/commie plan to take away their freedom.  So, protesters and counter protesters, might get a few million to show up.

    The problem is, in order to create lasting change, we will need more than a few million to show up and stay until the goal is accomplished.  I just don’t see that happening right now.  People would have to be willing to lose their jobs, health insurance, homes – and more, for those of us, of course, who still have those things.

    I think it is more likely that the eventual collapse of the system will force some kind of shift of priorities, even among the elite.  Perhaps it will be the loss of internet, the breakdown of our ancient power grid, failure of the food delivery system.  The more extreme possibilities would be a nuclear attack or EMP of some kind.  Maybe even a massive pandemic.

    The system, as it is right now, is not sustainable.  I do not expect though, that millions of us will take to the streets to change it, not unless or until some kind of mass disaster occurs.

    Honestly… I do not think a new system will be created without the destruction (in one form or another) of the current one.

  • #239800

    MizzGrizz
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    @mizzgrizz

    I personally am not sure there is hope to be found anywhere in present known forms of dissent.Protest is ineffective at best and showing off at worst.The electoral route to change is permanently blocked.

    The hope will have to come through some way of breaking through that hasn’t been invented yet,whatever that may be.Am open to suggestions.

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