Monday, December 29, 2008

Presented with little comment

Coalitions of environmental, anti-nuclear, anti-capitalist, sustainable-agriculture and anti-globalization forces have coalesced in Europe to form and support socialist parties. This has yet to happen in the United States. The left never rallied in significant numbers behind Cynthia McKinney or Ralph Nader. In picking the lesser of two evils, it threw its lot in with a Democratic Party that backs our imperial wars, empowers the national security state and does the bidding of corporations.

If Barack Obama does not end the flagrant theft of taxpayer funds by corporate slugs and the disgraceful abandonment of our working class, especially as foreclosures and unemployment mount, many in the country will turn in desperation to the far right embodied by groups such as Christian radicals. The failure by the left to offer a democratic socialist alternative will mean there will be, in the eyes of many embittered and struggling working- and middle-class Americans, no alternative but a perverted Christian fascism. The inability to articulate a viable socialism has been our gravest mistake. It will ensure, if this does not soon change, a ruthless totalitarian capitalism.
Chris Hedges, Why I am a Socialist

It's entirely possible that he's right. Society certainly seems pretty shattered right now, and I'm not convinced that Obama is going to be able to fix things. We'll see.

7 comments:

Random Goblin said...

I have to say that I think this is beyond ridiculous.

Bryant said...

What is? Our economic system fairly clearly has gaping holes in it; and yet we are supposed to believe free market platitudes blindly?

Random Goblin said...

There's a whole lot of spectrum between "flagrant theft of taxpayer funds," "disgraceful abandonment of our working class," and a national turn towards "a perverted Christian fascism" because of a lack of "a democratic socialist alternative" on one hand and blind belief in free market platitudes on the other.

You're right, our economic system has serious problems, but Chris Hedges is not talking about economice--he's painting a hilarious and ridiculous fantasy of dire leftist alarmism.

Bryant said...

I don't think he's that far off. And at any rate, I think that in America the most far right schemes are treated with respect while anybody to the left of the very moderate Harry Reid is treated as a crazed nut ball.

Also people are going to want solutions; and simply telling them "Don't worry the market will take care of things" isn't going to be enough.

Random Goblin said...

And at any rate, I think that in America the most far right schemes are treated with respect while anybody to the left of the very moderate Harry Reid is treated as a crazed nut ball.

Sorry, that's complete bullshit. You only think that because you spend all day on Townhall for god knows what reason. Your perspective is unbelievably skewed.

The extreme right isn't taken seriously, any more than the extreme left.

Also people are going to want solutions; and simply telling them "Don't worry the market will take care of things" isn't going to be enough.

You are right. But saying that the only choices are unlimited capitalism and command-economy socialism is a ridiculous false dichotomy.

Bryant said...

I think perhaps it is your perspective that is skewed. Did you hear that Ann Coulter got on the Today show this morning? Yeah her lifetime ban lasted a day.

Who that is as radical as Ann Coulter on the left is allowed on TV regularly? The most radical person we have is Michael Moore and as someone's who's familiar with both their work, there's no comparison.

I'm not in favor of a command economy socialism - I'm in favor of a strongly regulated capitalism, with worker and environmental protections, and a progressive taxation policy that takes the most from those who benefit the most. I'm in favor of national health care and a strong safety net for those who hit rough patches. And all of that is dangerous socialism, apparently.

Random Goblin said...

Nevertheless, the US just elected Obama. So apparently we don't think it's all that dangerous after all.

Anyway, Coulter is a nasty bitch, but she's not nearly as far-right as she could be. She's a shock celebrity, not a legitimate political voice. We should be glad we don't have shock celebrities in the news. I think you're confusing extreme vitriol with extreme politics.

I'm not saying Coulter's a moderate or anything; don't get me wrong. But she gets all that attention because she is a nasty bitch, in other words, it's not what she's saying that gets her attention, it's how she says it. Be glad that the left doesn't have anyone like that.