SOCIALISM: “What It Means to Be a Socialist” / Chris Hedges / MUST READ ☮

We live in a revolutionary moment. The disastrous economic and political experiment that attempted to organize human behavior around the dictates of the global marketplace has failed. The promised prosperity that was to have raised the living standards of workers through trickle-down economics has been exposed as a lie. A tiny global oligarchy has amassed obscene wealth, while the engine of unfettered corporate capitalism plunders resources, exploits cheap, unorganized labor and creates pliable, corrupt governments that abandon the common good to serve corporate profit. The relentless drive by the fossil fuel industry for profits is destroying the ecosystem, threatening the viability of the human species. And no mechanisms to institute genuine reform or halt the corporate assault are left within the structures of power, which have surrendered to corporate control. The citizen has become irrelevant. He or she can participate in heavily choreographed elections, but the demands of corporations and banks are paramount.

History has amply demonstrated that the seizure of power by a tiny cabal, whether a political party or a clique of oligarchs, leads to despotism. Governments that cater exclusively to a narrow interest group and redirect the machinery of state to furthering the interests of that group are no longer capable of responding rationally in times of crisis. Blindly serving their masters, they acquiesce to the looting of state treasuries to bail out corrupt financial houses and banks while ignoring chronic unemployment and underemployment, along with stagnant or declining wages, crippling debt peonage, a collapsing infrastructure, and the millions left destitute and often homeless by deceptive mortgages and foreclosures.

A bankrupt liberal class, holding up values it does nothing to defend, discredits itself as well as the purported liberal values of a civil democracy as it is swept aside, along with those values. In this moment, a political, economic or natural disaster—in short a crisis—will ignite unrest, lead to instability and see the state carry out draconian forms of repression to maintain “order.” This is what lies ahead.

We will, as Friedrich Engels wrote, make a transition to either socialism or barbarism.

Continue reading . . .

1 thought on “SOCIALISM: “What It Means to Be a Socialist” / Chris Hedges / MUST READ ☮

  1. Very, very good piece. There is an evangelical quality to Hedges’ writings and defense of socialism that befits the son of a Presbyterian minister and who once preached himself. He is a contemporary embodiement of the Social Gospel which reigned in the early part of the twentieth century. My how Christianity has become perverted since then. But Hedges reminds of those great preachers like Walter Rauschenbausch and others. Onward Christian soldiers! This is where Christianity could have gone but, alas, we are left today with Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz and, ‘my favorite book is the Bible,’ Donald Trump.

    We will soon see if a relatively unbridled socialist message, represented by Bernie Sanders, can overcome the firewall American corporatism has built around it that sends people running for the exits when they hear the word “socialism”. I see no prospect that it can, considering how the news outlets in America, are completely cowed but I hope I am pleasantly surprised.

    The more likely scenario is that Hillary Clinton will square off against Jeb! in perhaps the dullest, saddest, most energy deficient, cliche-ridden presidential campaign in recent history.

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