Friday, November 18, 2011

Chris Hedges On The Inevitable

Image credit: Occupy Together

Chris Hedges, from an editorial at Truthout a couple of days ago, discusses the folks who run our country, and what they no doubt think of the rest of us:
Get back into your cages, they are telling us. Return to watching the lies, absurdities, trivia and celebrity gossip we feed you in 24-hour cycles on television. Invest your emotional energy in the vast system of popular entertainment. Run up your credit card debt. Pay your loans. Be thankful for the scraps we toss. Chant back to us our phrases about democracy, greatness and freedom. Vote in our rigged political theater. Send your young men and women to fight and die in useless, unwinnable wars that provide corporations with huge profits. Stand by mutely as our bipartisan congressional supercommittee, either through consensus or cynical dysfunction, plunges you into a society without basic social services including unemployment benefits. Pay for the crimes of Wall Street.

The rogues’ gallery of Wall Street crooks, such as Lloyd Blankfein at Goldman Sachs, Howard Milstein at New York Private Bank & Trust, the media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, the Koch brothers and Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan Chase & Co., no doubt think it’s over. They think it is back to the business of harvesting what is left of America to swell their personal and corporate fortunes. But they no longer have any concept of what is happening around them. They are as mystified and clueless about these uprisings as the courtiers at Versailles or in the Forbidden City who never understood until the very end that their world was collapsing. The billionaire mayor of New York, enriched by a deregulated Wall Street, is unable to grasp why people would spend two months sleeping in an open park and marching on banks. He says he understands that the Occupy protests are “cathartic” and “entertaining,” as if demonstrating against the pain of being homeless and unemployed is a form of therapy or diversion, but that it is time to let the adults handle the affairs of state. Democratic and Republican mayors, along with their parties, have sold us out. But for them this is the beginning of the end.

This Is What Revolution Looks Like
There are any number of thoughts that have come to mind reading this article, and these words in particular. One is that after I Don't Believe In Atheists, I've learned not to trust Chris Hedges when he tells me what's on someone else's mind. He certainly doesn't understand atheists. Still, this quote describes my own predispositions concerning the rich, so I suppose I take them more seriously on that account. These folks, the MOTUs if you will, certainly have been feeding us a combination of meaningless pap and outright lies via their news and entertainment empires. They are not ashamed to laugh at all the little people as we're fighting for our futures here. If they don't think the way Hedges describes, then I doubt their thoughts differ in any way besides some trivial detail.

But the more important thing is this - these so-called Masters Of The Universe can't even run their own businesses properly. Europe is about to collapse into a depression, not because it doesn't produce things of economic worth, but because its financiers and politicians (and ours) won't take a temporary loss. They need virtually all of Europe's citizens to lose their pensions, their livelihoods, and their health care in exchange for keeping their fat asses afloat. That's what this has boiled down to, not some unsolvable economic problem.

That's why they will ultimately lose. They have become too soft and weak-minded to even handle their own affairs properly. They have lived so high and so foolishly that they need us to bail them out. All they have left is force, which they have used so early in this campaign that you have to wonder if they have any courage at all. We, on the other hand, learn to live without more every day. Our lives get harder as they get softer. One day, all that wonderful pap on the TV won't be enough.

Hedge's column uses the word "revolution", which means a change so sudden and large that the established authority can't keep up with it. What that amounts to, even if the revolution is a peaceful one, is chaos and uncertainty. They might be interesting times, but they are by not good times. That's what the ancient curse "May you live in interesting times" means to me.

As I've written before, what's coming is something that no sane person should want, but there's a sad inevitability to all this. I don't see the greedy fatheads who run things, or their pet politicians, making any better choices yet, so it looks like things will get a lot uglier before they get better.

If I were you, I'd be getting ready for some chaos about now.


Bogman said...

Revolution my arse. Not a chance that these OWS people will accomplish anything like a revolution. Wall st. is a liberal institution, USA is a liberal country and these so-called "banksters" are not going anywhere. What is inevitable is decades more of capitalism, development, CO2 and globalisation. Nothing Chris Hedges can do about it.

Cujo359 said...

Wall Street is a "liberal institution"? Surely you're joking.