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Make America Ungovernable


#1

Make America Ungovernable

Chris Hedges

Donald Trump’s regime is rapidly reconfiguring the United States into an authoritarian state. All forms of dissent will soon be criminalized. Civil liberties will no longer exist. Corporate exploitation, through the abolition of regulations and laws, will be unimpeded. Global warming will accelerate. A repugnant nationalism, amplified by government propaganda, will promote bigotry and racism. Hate crimes will explode. New wars will be launched or expanded.

And, as this happens, those Americans who remain passive will be complicit.


#2

No oligarchy can tolerate democracy for long. In order to ensure its own permanence it must finally destroy every vestige of democracy. This is what is unfolding right now.


#3

Well, based on the Washington Post's reporting today, Trump's Achilles heel, his image, has already allowed Priebus to put some minor reigns on Bannon, basically a checklist before policy goes out. Oh, and Trump is to be kept in the loop on stuff. He watches cable a ton and discusses the White House decor. Bannon obviously is the brains, but his boss is still not interested. That may be our only salvation.


#4

Hedges had me for the first half of his op-ed, but totally lost me after that. I do not see a massive shut down of corporate America as a realistic goal. Just because larger and larger numbers of Americans are becoming increasingly alarmed by our new Administration does not mean most Americans are anywhere near ready for a total change in our economic system. Huge troubles are coming. There's no doubt about that, but unless several Republican Senators help out, it will be very difficult to stop all of the coming nightmarish onslaught. Any Republican brave enough to step too far out of line will likely be primaried out of a job at the next election. My hope is that we can get things back to the relatively fine situation that we have just been almost enjoying. With the coming right-wing Supreme Court, it may only take a few decades to get back to where we were.


#5

As usual, another great piece by Chris Hedges, but I do have to agree with 'MonkesTale' that the shutting down of corporate power is not in the cards with our anti-Trump mobilization campaign. While many Americans have figured out that Trump is an imbecile, most Americans still don't recognize the corporate State as the biggest threat to our existence. This is why the Democratic Party has been unable to ween themselves off of corporate reliance to fund their hollowed out attempts to seize power from the arch rival Republicans.
The removal of Trump may be a popular decision, but replacing his right wing, corporate acquiescence with an anti-capitalist, socialist ideology is still far off from the mainstream American consciousness. The risk of removing Trump then leaves us with the distinct possibility that we would simply replace one imbecile with another. Just as we saw with the removal of Mubarak in Egypt during the "Arab Spring", the people had no clear idea of who or what would replace the sullied dictator. In the end the military took control and the removal of Trump here may end with a similar regressive politic.


#6

An excerpt from our very own Declaration of Independence:

...That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,...

I'm down. Mr Hedges. I withdraw my consent to be governed, and that's my Declaration of Independence!


#7

"And, as this happens, those Americans who remain passive will be complicit."

Since you actively wrote against Bernie, what does that make you, Chris?

(sorry, i'm not getting reply notifications due to a CD glitch.)


#8

"Americans who remain passive will be complicit."

I know you have to sound firm on your stances, but this kind of language, absent concrete programs, will serve mainly to keep people from contributing to the resistance.

Does it mean marching in Washington? For ordinary folks, taking time off to do this means quitting their jobs.

Does it mean boycotting? Direct us to the boycotts and the people organizing them.


#9

Sanders was a sheepdog. He had no plan to seriously challenge the real power that fleeces us & keeps America in lock-down, which is the Pentagon. In fact, he's another Pentagon stooge, just mouthing liberal platitudes. He could promise all kinds of socialist goodies secure in knowledge that as long the War Machine keeps going full-tilt there'll be no money for health care or education.

Also: the election's over & very few people knew in advance how aggressive the Trumpers would be. It's now time to quit blaming each other & join together.


#10

I think we know how Trump operates now.

  1. Only appoint people who agree do follow your every command, and when possible, fire people who don't. He will have a lot more federal judges to appoint than just on the supreme court.

  2. Defund the states out of revenge. This will be especially true for states that don't take violent police action against protestors or states that use their own legislative and executive powers to undermine Trump's. Remember his victory tour and how often he thanked individual states for voting for him over Hillary? The states that went blue last year will be on the top of his hit list to cut funding for.

  3. Buzz Windrip's Minute Men: Trump may have lost the popular vote, but you can't win the presidency without having a lot of people behind you. We already know that many of these supporters are ready to engage in violence against liberals, (and likely public officials Trump doesn't have the authority to fire), not just minorities. He hasn't publicly made the call to arms yet, but he won't have to; there will be plenty of militant underlings to do that for him. Remember the Bundy clan getting away with an armed coup in Malheur NWR? That was under Obama's watch. Things will get a lot worse under a president who has said he'd pay their legal fees.


#11

“Resistance alone, however, is not enough. It must be accompanied by an alternative vision of a socialist and anti-capitalist society. It must reject the Democratic Party’s attempt to ride anti-Trump sentiment back into power.” But the enemy is not the “corporate state”, the enemy is capitalism that produces corporate states and the degree of fascist governance necessary to rule and profit. Without the destruction of capitalism nothing will ever change for the benefit of anyone other than the 1% owners.

Trump will only be allowed to accomplish what the permanent shadow government of his fellow one percenters will allow. I see no indication that our owners are ready to trade in their “inverted totalitarianism” for an outright dictatorship, with all the expense and violence necessary for its maintenance. Indeed they have already begun to rein in Trump and will destroy him if necessary. However this does not mean that our owners are not prepared to further destroy what’s left of economic and environmental regulations, workers rights, and social programs to pay for the rising cost of the empire’s wars to continue our owners dominance of the world’s economies and resources.

Democracy exists to the extent that the majority is willing to fight for. So do protest the attempts to further erode what little democracy we are still allowed. Any attack on any minority must be protested and even more important, perhaps, is preserving net neutrality and existing independent information sources.

Do we “have the power to make the country ungovernable”? Probably, but if there is no leadership by a unified socialist front than it will only accomplish a change of some owners, probably worse than the ones replaced.

Three months is not realistic. But resistance and continued protest to maintain the present level of Trump’s unpopularity is doable. We must maintain the democracy that exists in the social gains that have been achieved for minorities, women and radicals. That is the base of resistance to history’s bloodiest empire, the U.S. Empire, which except for a few years has been at constant war for its entire existence. Constant warfare is the price of capitalism as capitalists cannot cooperate, they only know how to compete and destroy competitors.

It has always been time “not to cooperate” and subvert “systems of power”. Resist and subvert the consumer economy by being a bad consumer and enjoy the freedom that frugality allows the mind and person. Socialists have been fighting capitalism for a century and a half. There have been failures but as a movement in history socialism is still new and it’s power is evident in the fact that some of its failures have been spectacular.

Keep the eyes on the prize. Capitalism is at a dead end and is failing worldwide. The owners can gain some time through austerity economics and outright oppression but their days are numbered. Trump has already shown that he will do nothing for the ordinary person and will only serve himself and his fellow one percenters. I do not expect it to take long for the Trump supporters to become disillusioned. Where will they go? Hedges believes they will be seduced by the fascist “corporate power” but I believe that is only possible, over the long run, if their economic situation is improved. How long can either of the big business parties keep their game going when the economic conditions only worsen for most in capitalism’s dead end?

As I have written here before people do not demand change from knowledge or information. They will only act from fear and pain. The Trump election is proof of that. The revolution has started except in the fake mainstream news where one would never even know there were poverty or unemployment problems. But although people may be full of fake news in their personal lives they know all too well what the fake news ignores.

The majority of people down through the ages have never been that well informed. After a hard day’s work, or a hard day’s survival with no job at all, all most people want is a little entertainment and escape.

Knowledge and information are the domain of intellectuals. It is from them that leaders must come who can discern the growing areas of unrest, can unite and inspire those who are in pain towards a common goal of destroying capitalism.

The only thing that can threaten the control of the falling American Empire would be a global socialist political movement. One cannot predict exactly how that could happen or when but we are now in a revolutionary time. The unrest that propelled Trump’s victory will only increase as the elite, in their own best interest, will continue to “harvest” wealth from the middle and lower classes. Global capitalism faces growing challenges and increasing war and terrorism from a growing impoverished and war torn world.

This is not a scenario for any kind of national or global totalitarianism as many recently fallen and falling authoritarian leaders have found out. The world and the U.S. will continue into chaos and war while enough owners continue to prosper and foster it. What will come from all the coming political, financial and ecological collapse cannot be foreseen but the parameters are drawn between the extinction of the human race or a new dark age of barbarism… or a socialist world that would finally bring about an enlightened, civilized, age where all equally share earth’s bounty.

Throughout history the enlightened have always been a minority; it is when they reach out across all barriers to the majority that change can happen. With the great danger and trouble ahead there will also exist great opportunity. Capitalism is falling on its own as Marx wrote. Connect, educate and find ways to reach people perhaps by helping, not lecturing, them. Also seek to make protest a learning experience.

To work for socialism is the only choice left for those who would seek to prevent disaster. There are many ways to work for socialism starting with resistance and decreasing participation. In any way one can, no matter how small, work for replacing capitalism with socialism. Join a socialist party and work toward a unified world socialist movement. To do otherwise is a waste of time and one might as well be watching TV or playing video games.


#12

This sounds too warlike. Let's not fan the flames. We need to think a few steps ahead and use smart strategies. Any talk of "fight" is an irresponsible use of the wrong word. That's what they want. Low profile passive resistance on a large scale is what's needed. Boycott.


#13

"It is impossible to have a rational dialogue with people who view reality through the binary lens of black and white-us and them."~Chris Hedges

Mr. Hedges is saying something I and many others have been expressing here at Common Dreams for some time. The Duopoly, the Republicans and the Democrats want us all to stay in this 'US and Them' mentality/conversation, whatever you want to call it, so that we won't be drawn to another political party that puts People, Planet, and Peace over Profit. If that ever happened, the Corporate chains on our votes and our minds, would be broken. If on November 8th, 2016, the People, the 120 Million voters who voted for Republicans and Democrats, had instead voted for a political party that puts People, Planet, and Peace over Profit, our world would have been forever changed. Refusing to believe that We the People have that power to break free of those chains will surely continue to rob us of any freedom we once had.


#14

Thank you Rusty for your words of Enlightenment! Please don't be a stranger to Common Dreams as many here, myself included, can gain from your words of wisdom.


#15

And no people can tolerate tyranny for too long. We are starting to see that now.


#16

In the POTUS Pot empirePie Feb. 6th, 2017

Put us in the pot of POTUS 45
bring it to a simmer & let us seek the heat
like the missile of the twitterer &
the executioner, judgement exempt
for we are the sacred city on the hill
& what we do is shameless as “we do unto others”
the slogan of the slow cook while forever war feeds the flame of the POTUS Pot


#17

A "National Strike" is being called for Friday, February 17th.

A strike is a good thing as a show of resistance, but without any mechanisms to provide for the millions of striking workers, those of us who live from paycheck to paycheck, who don't get paid sick leave, and where the difference in one day's pay is the difference between whether the rent gets paid, or if food gets on the table, this will be a hardship that'll make it difficult for the resistance movement to achieve the desired goal.

When one looks at some of the comments here, it's clear that support for a National Strike isn't where it needs to be in order to be effective. But let me ask this... If not now, when?

Do we wait until Trump's Coup de tat is complete? Do we wait until the day when going to at protest or posting on a comment board can get you arrested? Do we wait until people's brains have gotten so tired countering the endless stream of lies that they actually start to believe what Trump and Steve Bannon is saying to them?


#18

Our salvation lies not in getting rid of Trump but in getting rid of the oligarchy that our entire government serves now. Wealth inequality lies at the root of all of our grievances.

--- commondreams@discoursemail.com wrote:


#19

So the election's over and it's time to quit blaming each other, eh? How conveniently you overlook the issue of massive election fraud which stole the Dem nomination from Bernie Sanders. As long as the DNC keeps on stonewalling and refusing to acknowledge any complicity in what is now happening (remember the Pied Piper strategy?), there will be no "unifying". Oh, and until the election system is cleaned up, no future elections will be reliable anyway. Check out the Sane Progressive's videos on this.


#20

The likelihood of another imbicile appearing that is as charismatic and cunning about people as Trump is nil. He is the only real power in this coup.