The Shift Is Underway: Chris Hedges On Class War And Social Movements

Chris Hedges, an American journalist and author who writes primarily about politics and society, has recently published three articles for Truthdig that I found to be very interesting. The first and third articles have to do with social change and social movements. The second has to do with class warfare.

In this post I want to share a number of quotes from each of the articles.

I share these articles, and there are many like them being written today, because there are growing numbers of social and political movements across the land. These movements are popular, local expressions of discontent and reaction to what is taking place in government as well as in the economy.

And, there is seemingly a class war being waged in the United States today, a plutocratic class war on the middle, working poor, and poor classes in our country. There is a growing income inequality gap between to the top 1% income earners in America and the rest of us (the top 1% income earners own 40% of the wealth in America), safety nets such as Social Security and Medicare are being threatened, and voter identification laws that many believe are intended to suppress the vote of women, minorities, and the poor are being enacted in many states.

Hedge’s articles are a critical, political analysis of what is happening in the social movements and current state of class relations in America today. I trust that these quotes will give you some sense of the mood of Hedge’s analysis.

This first quotes are from ”The Sparks of Rebellion,” published in Truthdig on September 30, 2013.

“The revolutionists of history counted on a mobilized base of enlightened industrial workers…. But now, with the decimation of the U.S. manufacturing base, along with the dismantling of our unions and opposition parties, we will have to search for different instruments of rebellion.”

“The dispossessed working poor, along with unemployed college graduates and students, unemployed journalists, artists, lawyers, and teachers, will form our movement.”

” … nonviolent movements succeed twice as often as violent uprisings ….”

” … mass resistance must work on two tracks. It must attempt to stop the machine while at the same time building alternative structures of economic democracy and participatory democratic institutions.”

The second set of quotes are from “Let’s Get This Class War Started,” published October 20, 2013 in Truthdig.

“Once oligarchs achieve unchecked economic and political power, as they have in the United States, the citizens too become disposable.”

“The rich have a snobbish disdain for the poor … and the middle class. These lower classes are viewed as uncouth parasites, annoyances that have toi be endured, at times placated and always controlled in the quest to amass more power and money.”

“The blanket dissemination of the ideology of free market capitalism through the media and the purging, especially in academia, of critical voices have permitted our oligarchs to orchestrate the largest inequality gap in the industrial world…. Oligarchs do not believe in self-sacrifice for the common good. They never have. They never will. They are the cancer of democracy.”

The third, and final, set of Hedge quotes are from the article “Our Invisible Revolution.” It was published in Truthdig on October 28. 2013.

This article is about a battle between ideas, the ideas that support, sustain, and justify global capitalism and the ideas that support and sustain a vision of a viable alternate “new society.”

“As long as most citizens believe in the ideas that justify global capitalism, the private and state institutions that serve our corporate masters are unassailable. When these ideas are shattered, the institutions that buttress the ruling class deflate and collapse.”

“It appears that political ferment is dormant in the United States. This is incorrect. The ideas that sustain the corporate state are swiftly losing their efficacy across the political spectrum.”

“Once ideas shift for a large portion of a population, once the vision of a new society grips the popular imagination, the old regime is finished.”

Occupy Wall Street, the Chicago Teacher Union strike, Moral Mondays in North Carolina, this fall’s Strike for $15 minimum wage, last week’s Wal-Mart strikes in Southern California, and more … it looks like a shift has begun.

Explore posts in the same categories: Economics, Labor, Politics, Social-Economic Justice, Uncategorized

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