The crawl toward despotism within a failed democracy is always incremental. No regime planning to utterly extinguish civil liberties advertises its intentions in advance. It pays lip service to liberty and justice while obliterating the institutions and laws that make them possible. Its opponents, including those within the establishment, make sporadic attempts to resist, but week by week, month by month, the despot and his reactionary allies methodically consolidate power. Those inside the machinery of government and the courts who assert the rule of law are purged.
A gloomy, but oh so necessary reminder of what we face and its urgency, all the more so with climate change closing in on us.
And, by the way, if anyone is betting on the system to do its traditional swing back to the Democrats and see Democrats retake Congress, en masse, in 2018, you may want to rethink that, give recent polls that show Democratic party favorability ratings at a dismal low, behind Pence, Trump and the GOP in that order. Unless the party makes some fundamental changes and, quick, they will suffer the same lack of voter turnout in 2018 that gave us Trump in the first place. Given the way the party core still refuses to face and/or grasp the reality of their failure, this is almost assured.
Always a pleasure to read. I do fear for Chris Hedges safety though, as many of the Alt-Right will target Hedges as a "traitor", "Communist" or the face of the liberal conspiracy. His anti-corporate language has raised the ire of sycophants and sociopaths everywhere, but his limited audience made possible by the MSM's conscious decision to ignore and demonize Hedges at every corner is probably the only reason the 'authorities' haven't yet swiftly disposed of him. In other words. most people have no idea of who Chris Hedges is.
I agree with Hedges that many on the left are dreaming if they think that we can depend on our current and compromised institutions to keep Trump in check. Trump is far too valuable to corporate America to allow anything to get in way of his corporate friendly policies. Things will get worse before they get better.
The "current and compromised institutions" that we thought would provide checks and balances ?
Would my time have been better spent going fishing on the day my civics class covered checks and balances...since there really are none ?
While I heartily agree with Hedges' summation of the current work in progress Trump presidency (maybe that should best be called the Trump/Bannon administration?) ...
...I come away from this list of Trump's present and proposed sins and chicaneries wondering at the one question that wasn't discussed in the article.
Besides the 'WTF happened to our democracy' question that we are all asking ourselves each day Trump shows his contempt for our institutions and traditions!
The question that I wish Hedges' would have answered is what will happen - actually happen in concrete terms - when these cronies settle in and start changing our country. In fact, I would ask most progressive pundits that same question of - 'What will happen to us once the appointment stage is finished'... and these Trump cronies settle in to their appointed offices collecting salaries being paid by the people they do not represent.
What will we get when the billionaires take over the country for themselves and run things for their benefit?
Glad to see Hedges getting real again and talking to people in that way he has of putting facts together on their own merits and mostly in his own words.
Always an honor, Chris! Yes, America the Beautiful, has been corporate, gang-rapped, for nigh onto (2017-1492=) 525 years. We, the people, have our DNA rooted into tribal, wilderness, matriarchal societies. The rat race existence-only, survival living, in pre-fab boxes, is toxic and deadly to our nature! Who wouldn't, still love to BE ABLE to just - HOWL AT THE FULL MOON - or run deliriously laughing through the 1000's of contiguous square miles wild hardwood forests that are no longer there. NOT HAPPENING - at least for however long, maybe another millennium, that it will take for Earth to heal herself. Will we make it past the next few years of imbecilic, corporate-caused climate and nuclear catastrophes? - it's anyone's guess - just to have that millennium. Yes, Chris. Time. Without capitalism. Without private ownership. Without wealth accumulations beyond one's needs for a satisfying domicile. First it was enforcement by white guys with swords, then rich guys with armies. Now it's a very scary, laxed-minded progeny of trust-fund grifters, littering creation with thermo-nuclear bombs, radioactive debris, clear-cut forests, polluted cities - and yet to come - another Sandy, another Fukushima, another - and others. We must get the word out!
It occurred to me today, mister trump's legacy on protecting jobs,industrial sector jobs in steel is based on pipelines and most likely a cheap steel wall. That's his legacy addition to our economy. Oh, how proud of our steel wall and pipe, miles of pipe, oh and how proud are we of dirty fuel oil uses only fit for large ocean-going vessel engines; the Alberta Tar sands globalization future trans-oceanic shipping til we drop plan for our future. (this message brought to you by BNSF, the engine that connects us.)
=Impeachment by 2018=
if not SOONER,
(emphasis on sooner)
ah yes, the wall... I didn't verify this, but I read today that letters were already going out to Texas landowners on the border offering $2,000/acre for land being taken to build the wall. I wonder how many of those people voted for Trump.
The wall should be built on north south tracks so it can be easily adjusted to accommodate all the ensuing wars that will take place between Mexico and the US with positioning depending on the most current victor.
Ultimately, when the US disintegrates into a series of balkanized warlords the rolling wall will end up somewhat north of the old 1845 Mexican borders, which would be about a 40% bite out it's sacred ass. This will prove even smaller as Canada pushes the northern border down to capture some of the better norther US hockey teams that have stolen some of their frozen thunder over the years with multiple NHL Stanley cup trophy's.
I have deep respect for Chris Hedges. That said, it's safe to presume that we'll have 8 years of Trump, barring a recession in the next two years, protests or not.
Capitalism--it's near-term perceived failure or success is all that matters. If the economy continues to fatten the bank accounts of the wealthy while allowing everyone else to tread water, that's success, as defined by both members of the duopoly. Expectations dialed downward, it's not a high bar to jump over for the Trump team.
Liberty, privacy, fairness, sustainability, truth be damned. It's all about pocketbooks now. And the fact that the Democrats abandoned the working class in favor of their corporate puppet masters long ago, relegates them to Republican Lite.
Chris Hedges has acknowledged this many times so I conclude with this: protest, and protest loudly, but don't do it with anything but systemic revolution in mind. The status quo is a death spiral--confront it, destroy it!
Robert O. Paxton on The Anatomy of Fascism and Trump
28 min interview March, 2017
author of Anatomy of Fascism
Hedges refers to the long slide into despotism but then relates it only to Trump who is merely a recent phenomenon. We can argue about when the slide into despotism began but it certainly became evident with the killing of Kennedy! What Trump may or may not do is sorta moot, since the power he now brandishes was usurped long ago by administrations previous to his brand of crazy, it's just that Trump will bring it home to roost!
Washington's abuse of human rights has here to for been largely reserved for foreign lands, minorities and indigenous populations. Ask First Nations indigenous peoples, Latin american, Vietnamese , Afghanis or Iraqis how adherent our 'government' is to human rights! And now the oligarchs are consolidating power and taking over. All that has transpired during and since the election have closely resembled a CIA psych-op, except this time we are the victims of this corporate facist take over!
I always enjoy Mr. Hedges perspicacity and political acumen, but if it is true that we now have the last chance for resistance, it seems to me, rather than preaching to the choir, we need positive, cogent, plans to be successful in resistance, in the near future or it could be too late.
Chris Hedges hits another one out of the park! Read and heed!
Imagine the worst before there's no longer a need to
its hard to see how a third party can grow fast enough to take the baton from the Dems. But I think its the only way.
We lost our vote voice after the Powell Memo of '72. This man mapped out the steps to buying our prior dependent on our votes representatives. Wow! Now they could depend on corporations to help them win, and PAY them! Whoo hoo! Install a faux "news" station owned by a gossip rag owner, Murdoch, and a Saudi oil king- yep, they'll have our interests at heart! Brainwashing begun! Now we have this crazy making fascist dictator, with arrogant puffed up republicans who care not one whit for what we say. I've been hung up on when calling their offices. Niiiice. Cogents plans would perhaps be civil disobedience, or our nation, our Constitution will be lost.
What makes you think it will be only eight years? If the Article V Constitutional Convention takes place, we could have a President-for-Life, just like Haiti and other banana republics.
Since you mentioned putting the wall on tracks so it could be moved north or south depending on skirmishes over the coming years, it came to mind, for the benefit of his rich friends, it would better serve them just to build the wall way north of the border far inland. All the manufacturers looking for cheap labor could locate anywhere south of the wall, yet be assured of being able to put a Made in USA label on the product. Cheap Mexican labor would be readily available, never again having to worry about getting stopped at the border. There'd be no need to cross into the North, since any jobs remaining north of the wall would be low wage, non-union, thanks to the push by Trump and the Repugnicans to establish the whole country a RTW territory. It doesn't appear wages in Mexico will ever be allowed to rise to bring up the standard of living, so it's much better for industry to have more cheap labor.
Every day I hear odd things out of the mouth of Donny. It's not a normal odd, more like a nightmare odd, or a Twilight Zone odd. Statements about Obama wiretapping the Trump Tower is one example, while the FBI refutes that statement. His intentions to greatly increase military spending while reducing funds to any program that benefits the average American is another example. I'm afraid we have the beginnings of another Hitler in the world, someone who talks goofy and shows he's goofy starting with his cabinet choices. The executive orders he's put in place as it relates to immigrants and Green Card holders is typical of what Hitler did when he began terrorizing Europe, trying to eliminate his perceived Jewish threat. With DT, for right now, his perceived threat are any Muslims. Who knows what he might include in the near future.