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Make the Rich Panic


#1

Make the Rich Panic

Chris Hedges

It does not matter to the corporate rich who wins the presidential election. It does not matter who is elected to Congress. The rich have the power. They throw money at their favorites the way a gambler puts cash on his favorite horse. Money has replaced the vote. The wealthy can crush anyone who does not play by their rules. And the political elites—slobbering over the spoils provided by their corporate masters for selling us out—understand the game. Barack and Michelle Obama, as did the Clintons, will acquire many millions of dollars once they leave the White House.


#2

Hedges is not clear on what kind of revolution should happen. All the changes he advocates stop short of removing the rich from power and destroying their capitalist system. At one place in his article he condemns Lenin as a hijacker of revolution and then quotes him two paragraphs later.

Capitalism cannot be reformed as the twentieth century proved. Capitalism must be destroyed and replaced by a socialist system . Ultimate ownership of the means of production by the state and a distribution of commodities that would ensure that everyone would have the basic necessities of life with a guaranteed income is only possible when limits are set on the amount of private and business wealth permitted by the owner, the state.

American corporations have studied socialism and have shown us what socialism could look like with subsidies and tax exemptions to the big corporations here in the U.S. If those corporations were owned and operated by the workers, it would be socialism. As it is now, it's socialism for corporations. There is no free market as long as monopoly capitalists can hoard money, stifle innovation and competition, bust unions so labor makes less and less for the value they contribute and outsource jobs so labor has to compete with third world wages. The ultimate goal of the global capitalists is to make the whole world one big third world plantation of slaves.

There is only one choice left and that is either corporate feudalism, with most people barely subsisting, or socialism providing a decent living for most at the expense of the few. "From each according to their ability and to each according to their need." It is not really the wealthy one percent that is the problem but the capitalist system itself.

Meanwhile only vote for a socialist party of your choice or if there are no socialist candidates to vote for don’t vote at all. "Boycotting elections alone will not oust the oligarchy, but it is the only proven non-violent way to delegitimize a government." fubarandgrill.org/node/1172


#4

This type of article which is calling for all out revolution scares the progressives back too their 401k's.


#5

"And by April he [Sanders] is done. Then he fades away.”

Not if he can align with the Green Party as their presidential candidate after he is defeated by Hillary. That could be the beginning of the popular movement that is necessary to bring down capitalism.

"Radical movements are often their own worst enemies. The activists within them have a bad habit of fighting over arcane bits of doctrine, forming counterproductive schisms, misreading power and engaging in self-defeating and ultimately self-destructive internal power struggles."

Exactly so. That is why a single all-encompassing party is needed as the anchor and spokesman for all US voters to the left of center.

Bernie's pending defeat as a Democrat might have a silver lining - if he and the Greens can come to an agreement and launch the authentic progressive movement that we'd all like to see.


#7

Why can't Chris announce his candidacy for POTUS? If elected, would he then join the ranks of the Bushes, Clintons, and the current POTUS?


#8

The rich panic in Illinois is curious, their recent panic gave us a near billionaire in Springfield, and a corporate autocrat as mayor of Chicago. Panic....don't hold your breath. Having Bernie's voice, if only for the primaries, is better than no progressive voice at all. The notion that Bernie's presence will do some kind of irreparable damage to the left is nonsense.


#9

I entirely agree with Hedges in principle. And he is talking in principle. In practical terms, as someone who has been through a real (not advertised) revolution, I see it impossible to happen here. Podemos and Syriza are happening amongst people who have a strong sense of community, who are overall way much better educated, who have a practice of public civic engagement from the top down not necessarily institutionalized as here, who have an overall culture where morals and principles are important than money, and who have a proven history of being able to radically change things (for better or worse). What I take from Hedges in this article is more or less "don't get your hopes high on Bernie, as his changes at best will just be minor reforms." But he should also aknowledge that even Podemos and Syriza, are not doing more than just reforms, they are not fomenting a revolution.


#10

“So,” he said of Sanders, “How serious is he? He makes Clinton a better phony candidate. She is going to have to agree with him on a number of things. She is going to have to be more anti-Wall Street to fend him off and neutralize him. We know it is bullshit. She will betray us once she becomes president. He is making her more likely to win. And by April he is done. Then he fades away.”

This statement is so out of character coming from Mr. Nader. Sanders is making Clinton more likely to win? What? Unreal!


#12

Hedges' title for this article "Make the Rich Panic" isn't bad, but
far more accurate, dangerous, insightful, and effective would be, "Make
the Empire abandon it's metropole, HQ, and political facade of the US".

First, "the Rich" is not an accurate name for the enemy that we face --- that
thing, that 'system', and that cancerous 'structure' that we need to get
out of Dodge is the highly-integrated, but well hidden, six-sectored;
corporate, financial, militarist, media/propaganda, extra-legal, and
dual-party Vichy-political facade of this Disguised Global
Capitalist/hustler EMPIRE, which has 'captured', controls, and almost
fully "Occupies" our former country.

Second, an accurate (or at least "adequate") diagnosis of the Empire which is
actually the CAUSE of all ---- the subordinate 'identity issues' (which truthdig,
common dreams and the other so-called progressive alt media write hundreds of
useless articles about), and which are the multitude of 'symptom
problems' (that most people protest against), and which encompass our
entire "ailing social order" ---- needs to be diagnosed like the hidden
cancer that Empire actually is:

As Zygmunt Bauman hauntingly puts it, “In the case of an ailing social order, the absence of an adequate diagnosis…is a crucial, perhaps decisive, part of the disease.”13

Berman, Morris (2011-02-07). Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire (p. 22). Norton. Kindle Edition.

Third, the EMPIRE (not some of its confusing, vague, distracting, and
dissembling symptoms, like; corporatocracy, oligarchy, plutocracy,
foreign imperialism, fascism, corporate-stateism, deep state, etc.,
etc., et al. ad nauseum) has to be simply and non-violently; exposed,
'called-out', its mask ripped off, and sent packing out of our 'New
World' of America --- just as our forefathers had the clarity, focus,
and guts during the only successful and First American Revolution
against Empire, to kick the then wannabe global British EMPIRE out of
the New World (which was to be the first Empire-free area on earth).

So, there's a simple 1, 2, 3 plan for kicking the Empire out of its American hiding place.


#13

moved post to proper place


#14

n addition to the suggestions of RUSTY the concept of private property must be removed. This does not mean everyone must live inside some common room with their fellows and not have their privacy, it simply means that the land on which a home may stand belongs to the commons.

The original Socialist party platform of the CCF called for virtually everything Mr Hedges calls for and more. It was later "tamed down" so as to make it more palatable but it was far more radical than the platform of the heir of the CCF here in Canada wherein they want to preserve Capitalism working within that system.

Mr Hedges points to the schisms that form inside of these more radical parties on matters of doctrine suggesting they their own worse enemies. To an extent this is true but the alternative must be recognized as well and that is the tendency to compromise to the point that those so called Radicals and their platform no different then the platforms of the parties they seek to displace.

Radical change has to be radical change.


#15

Yes, Suspira, "Radical change has to be radical change."

We have to change from Empire 'posing' as "free-market capitalist democracy" (an oxymoron that even Francis Fukuyama now understands as one) to "socialist democracy" --- which will certainly be a radical change, eh?


#16

You're right. Hedges is limited by his liberal and christian background. One can only imagine the inner battle he must be going through, especially as a newly ordained minister, which is why he is so vague about revolution. I cannot even find him that authoritative on libertarian socialism which is what his involvement with OWS should have taught him. He criticized the Black Block as he believes revolution must be non-violent. Of course it is the rulers who decide how much violence there will be with little regard as to how non-violent revolutionaries try to be.

So Hedges wants a non-violent revolution with no guarantee of a workers paradise or socialist utopia. it's hard to tell exactly what he wants politically but from this article I would call it radical liberalism. Scare the rich into doing right. LMFAO


#17

" We have nothing to fear but fear itself"


#18

If the only changes one makes are the ones the Empire allows than the Empire will remain.

It will take on yet another guise.


#19

Hedges: " The wealthy can crush anyone who does not play by their rules."

That is exactly why Bernie has no chance for the Democratic nomination for President. The economic, billionaire, elites have already selected Hillary for their next President because she is their Wall Street whore!


#20

“We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.” K. Rove


#21

While it is difficult for me to disagree with anything that Chris Hedges says, he is assuming that Sanders has no chance of upsetting Hillary. He may be right, but at least Americans for the first time since the advent of television, will see where the blame clearly lies. Hedges is correct in stating that in contemporary America, citizens have lost faith in their government and have little hope for the future, but the majority of Americans still are unaware or unwilling to place the blame squarely at the feet of the corporate State. This seriously complicates what kind of revolution will take place. Marx was quite convinced that communism would arise in one of the industrialized nations like England or Germany rather than a poor, peasant populated country like Russia. The Arab Spring thought that by eliminating Mubarak, that Egypt would be better off, but they didn't play out very well either. Hedges refuses to fall into the trap of predicting what kind of revolution will occur or when and where it will happen... if it happens at all! At the same time Hedges comes very close with each and every article he writes to being arrested on charges of 'sedition' by corporate America and therefore has to stop short of laying out the course of action.
Lenin empahsized taking control of the newspapers, removing the State's propagandists and executing the nobility. A contemporary parrallel would be asking the 99% to storm the headquarters of Verizon, the New York Times and Comcast and executing Rush Limbaugh along with the Bush and Clinton families. No leader of the 99% in America will ever make such a clarion call unless they have a death wish. Instead our hopes lie with some as of yet spontaneous uprising that spreads to other parts of the country before engulfing the entire nation in a civil war. But like the Egyptians are only now coming to understand, you must be able to know what ailed your country and have a plan to repair it. Unlike the majority of the poor Russian peasnats that joined Lenin to overthrow the monarchy, most Americans are not quite sure of which side of the fence they're on. They hate Wall Street but fall over backwards in their worship of the rich and famous. They claim that unions are bad but cry that they're underpaid and unappreciated. They say that global warming is a serious threat and they finance heavily the purchase of their new F-150's. Until the majority of Americnas, or at least a sizable minority, can understand how corporations, governments, the media and the well being of the 99% are all interconnected, a successful outcome of a revolution is very much in doubt.


#23

The only weak point in your argument (which I approve of, by the way) is the fact that if Sanders runs as the presidential candidate and appears to have the slightest chance to win as a front runner, any party that accepts him will not be allowed under our 2-party system to appear on the ballot; or if by miracle they do appear, the corporate programmed voting machines will mysteriously malfunction; or if by some remote, long-shot happenstance, the machines manage to function correctly, the National Guard, using war-ready military equipment, thoughtfully provided throughout the nation for just such results, will cancel the whole farce election process and re-establish corporate control.

At that point, the unwashed masses would have seen the whole dirty process unfold in full view before them..

Surround Bernie Sanders with personal protection and let the games begin.


#24

Yes they do. In fact, that's exactly what you're doing right now.

Hedges is saying that we need mass radical direct action against those in power and their defenders, that people need to take to the streets and remove by force the corrupted 'leaders' and to dismantle existing power structures. Your response is that you already knew all about Sanders because you're such a great Marxist/anarchist and Hedges isn't and Hedge's isn't this or that blah blah.

That's. Exactly. What. He. Is. Talking. About. Radical theory is well and good until it comes to actually expressing solidarity and actually moving outside of our "critical spaces" to join with other people to make actual change on a revolutionary scale.

The "99 percent" will never all be Marxes and Bakunins, and if you keep waiting until the day that we can all sit down and engage one another in Hegelian dialectic then nothing will ever change, but all us "true radicals" will get to feel good in the fire knowing we had the most sophisticated analysis.