By Arlen Grossman/ The Big Picture Report
“All resistance must recognize that the corporate d’etat is complete.” — Chris Hedges
Is Hedges correct? Have we as a nation and a world gone so far overboard into global corporate capitalism that it’s too late to recover?
In his 2010 book The Death of the Liberal Class, Chris Hedges makes a strong case that the once influential “liberal class” has allowed corporations to gain massive influence in all aspects of our society: politics, education, finance, health care, media, etc. Liberalism was at its height during the New Deal, but we have since watched the dismantling of democracy as ordinary citizens have lost their rights and power to ever-expanding corporate control over all aspects of our lives. The liberal class has been bought off by corporate money and cushy jobs. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are examples of “liberal” presidents unable to stand up to the powerful forces of American and multi-national corporations. By allowing unfettered capitalism and globalism to grow so powerful, liberalism has lost power, and true progressives and radicals have been marginalized.
Hedges says that “corporate interests have seized all mechanisms of power, from government to mass propaganda.” Now we have permanent war, broken labor unions, an increasingly concentrated corporate media, a repressive security state, a bought-off Democratic Party, an ultra-conservative Republican Party, staggering income inequality, a decimated environment, and a disappearing middle class.
In his final chapter, Hedges says “all resistance must recognize that the corporate d’etat is complete. We must not waste our energy trying to reform or appeal to systems of power. This does not mean the end of resistance, but it does mean very different forms of resistance…the economic devastation of global capitalism will soon be matched by ecological devastation.”
He goes on to say “We must direct our energies toward building sustainable, local communities to weather the coming crisis, since we will be unable to survive and resist without a cooperative effort.”
Hedges paints a very bleak picture of our future. He says the corporate coup d’etat we have undergone is beginning to fuel unrest and discontent but that revolt will likely come from the right, not the left. He claims the idea of wide-spread popular revolts and mass movements against the corporate state are just fantasies.
Is Hedges too pessimistic, too radical, too unrealistic? He makes a strong case for his point of view. If he is wrong, if there is still hope of getting this country back on track, then how will it happen and who will do it? How will we find a way to return control of this country to its citizens. President Obama is unable or unwilling to take on the powerful banks or the Military Industrial and Security complex. So scratch him off the list. The Democratic Party is mostly bought off by corporate interests, and the Occupy and other left-wing movements and organizations have weakened as corporate control has strengthened. How can we ever turn it around? Right now the answer eludes me.