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The illusion of freedom...

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  • The illusion of freedom...

    If you are a conservative, you will detest the ground Chris Hedges walks on, but long before I ever heard of Hedges, what he has written below, The Illusion of Freedom is basically what my own observation of this nation led me to think, and to believe of, as our REALITY. I will only quote a part of his longer article.

    What struck me here, was how the right wing voters have been so concerned about socialism, to be distracted by that, which is clearly not a threat to America, as to be oblivious to the rise of fascism in America, which is oligarchy. Now Hedges clearly calls himself a liberal, but this is NOT the liberalism of the democratic party, nor is it the liberalism of most of the democratic voters. I think the liberalism of Hedges is genuine liberalism, before it was corrupted, into a hybrid composed of social justice warriors, bickering over micro aggressions, transgenders and the sort, and the corporatism of the democratic party. A melting together of social liberalism, and oligarchy fascism, while not perceiving the fascism, as fascism.

    The seizure of political and economic power by corporations is unassailable. Who funds and manages our elections? Who writes our legislation and laws? Who determines our defense policies and vast military expenditures? Who is in charge of the Department of the Interior? The Department of Homeland Security? Our intelligence agencies? The Department of Agriculture? The Food and Drug Administration? The Department of Labor? The Federal Reserve? The mass media? Our systems of entertainment? Our prisons and schools? Who determines our trade and environmental policies? Who imposes austerity on the public while enabling the looting of the U.S. Treasury and the tax boycott by Wall Street? Who criminalizes dissent?

    A disenfranchised white working class vents its lust for fascism at Trump campaign rallies. Naive liberals, who think they can mount effective resistance within the embrace of the Democratic Party, rally around the presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders, who knows that the military-industrial complex is sacrosanct. Both the working class and the liberals will be sold out. Our rights and opinions do not matter. We have surrendered to our own form of wehrwirtschaft. We do not count within the political process.

    This truth, emotionally difficult to accept, violates our conception of ourselves as a free, democratic people. It shatters our vision of ourselves as a nation embodying superior virtues and endowed with the responsibility to serve as a beacon of light to the world. It takes from us the “right” to impose our fictitious virtues on others by violence. It forces us into a new political radicalism. This truth reveals, incontrovertibly, that if real change is to be achieved, if our voices are to be heard, corporate systems of power have to be destroyed. This realization engenders an existential and political crisis. The inability to confront this crisis, to accept this truth, leaves us appealing to centers of power that will never respond and ensures we are crippled by self-delusion.




    The longer fantasy is substituted for reality, the faster we sleepwalk toward oblivion. There is no guarantee we will wake up. Magical thinking has gripped societies in the past. Those civilizations believed that fate, history, superior virtues or a divine force guaranteed their eternal triumph. As they collapsed, they constructed repressive dystopias. They imposed censorship and forced the unreal to be accepted as real. Those who did not conform were disappeared linguistically and then literally.


    The vast disconnect between the official narrative of reality and reality itself creates an Alice-in-Wonderland experience. Propaganda is so pervasive, and truth is so rarely heard, that people do not trust their own senses. We are currently being assaulted by political campaigning that resembles the constant crusading by fascists and communists in past totalitarian societies. This campaigning, devoid of substance and subservient to the mirage of a free society, is anti-politics.
    No vote we cast will alter the configurations of the corporate state. The wars will go on. Our national resources will continue to be diverted to militarism. The corporate fleecing of the country will get worse.

    Poor people of color will still be gunned down by militarized police in our streets. The eradication of our civil liberties will accelerate. The economic misery inflicted on over half the population will expand. Our environment will be ruthlessly exploited by fossil fuel and animal agriculture corporations and we will careen toward ecological collapse. We are “free” only as long as we play our assigned parts. Once we call out power for what it is, once we assert our rights and resist, the chimera of freedom will vanish. The iron fist of the most sophisticated security and surveillance apparatus in human history will assert itself with a terrifying fury.


    The powerful web of interlocking corporate entities is beyond our control. Our priorities are not corporate priorities. The corporate state, whose sole aim is exploitation and imperial expansion for increased profit, sinks money into research and development of weapons and state surveillance systems. Universities are awash in defense money but cannot find funds for environmental studies.

    Our bridges, roads and levees are crumbling from neglect. Our schools are overcrowded, decaying and being transformed into for-profit vocational centers. Our wages are being suppressed and the power of government to regulate corporations is dramatically diminished by a triad of new trade agreements— the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trade in Services Agreement. Government utilities and services, with the implementation of the Trade in Services Agreement, will see whole departments and services, from education to the Postal Service, dismantled and privatized. Our manufacturing jobs, sent overseas, are not coming back. And a corporate media ignores the decay to perpetuate the fiction of a functioning democracy, a reviving economy and a glorious empire
    If Hedges is right, if his perception of reality, is reality, one wonders where this ends? Does it end, as he seems to think in a bloody revolution, because as he says, with the given system, there is no way to change it from the inside, using the voting booth? In this belief, he doesn't see sanders as a workable answer, for the power structure, even with a peaceful political revolution as sanders talks about, would never work. Hedges probably thinks the current power structure, the oligarchs, would simply have their media to report that sanders died in his sleep, as many old people do, since they would not have to put a bullet in this head, in the way JFK, and RFK were removed.

    But what about Trump? Is he also a threat to the oligarchs? Does Trump even understand what he is up against? That he would not be allowed to even mess with any trade agreements that are all set up to put the power into the hands of these elites, even superceding the US gov't? Turning over America to Virtual States?


    For me, I hope Hedges is wrong. And that we can see the power taken back from the oligarchs, as FDR once pulled off. I would never want to see blood in the streets as he thinks is the only way forward. But, I have no doubt that this gov't by and for the people has been taken over, and the People are only under an illusion, if they think they have any real say so, in the direction of this nation.
    Last edited by Blue Doggy; 12-28-2015, 01:26 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Blue Doggy View Post
    If you are a conservative, you will detest the ground Chris Hedges walks on, but long before I ever heard of Hedges, what he has written below, The Illusion of Freedom is basically what my own observation of this nation led me to think, and to believe of, as our REALITY. I will only quote a part of his longer article.

    What struck me here, was how the right wing voters have been so concerned about socialism, to be distracted by that, which is clearly not a threat to America, as to be oblivious to the rise of fascism in America, which is oligarchy. Now Hedges clearly calls himself a liberal, but this is NOT the liberalism of the democratic party, nor is it the liberalism of most of the democratic voters. I think the liberalism of Hedges is genuine liberalism, before it was corrupted, into a hybrid composed of social justice warriors, bickering over micro aggressions, transgenders and the sort, and the corporatism of the democratic party. A melting together of social liberalism, and oligarchy fascism, while not perceiving the fascism, as fascism.


    If Hedges is right, if his perception of reality, is reality, one wonders where this ends? Does it end, as he seems to think in a bloody revolution, because as he says, with the given system, there is no way to change it from the inside, using the voting booth? In this belief, he doesn't see sanders as a workable answer, for the power structure, even with a peaceful political revolution as sanders talks about, would never work. Hedges probably thinks the current power structure, the oligarchs, would simply have their media to report that sanders died in his sleep, as many old people do, since they would not have to put a bullet in this head, in the way JFK, and RFK were removed.

    But what about Trump? Is he also a threat to the oligarchs? Does Trump even understand what he is up against? That he would not be allowed to even mess with any trade agreements that are all set up to put the power into the hands of these elites, even superceding the US gov't? Turning over America to Virtual States?


    For me, I hope Hedges is wrong. And that we can see the power taken back from the oligarchs, as FDR once pulled off. I would never want to see blood in the streets as he thinks is the only way forward. But, I have no doubt that this gov't by and for the people has been taken over, and the People are only under an illusion, if they think they have any real say so, in the direction of this nation.
    It's impossible to say isn't it ?

    With so much dishonesty and corruption occurring - from top to bottom - how on earth could anyone truly find out ?

    It will be corrected one way or another eventually . . history shows us this over and over.

    מה מכילות החדשות?


    • #3
      Corporations do not vote. Massive amounts of money have not helped Jeb Bush be a contender for 2016. The people of this country are the ones to blame for the condition it is in. The people still have the power of the ballot if they want, the most, are just not sufficiently stressed to exercise that power. Only half of eligible voters show up at the poles and a majority of them are sadly uninformed. It's not the fault of corporations, it's the fault of the voters.

      מה מכילות החדשות?


      • #4
        Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
        Corporations do not vote. Massive amounts of money have not helped Jeb Bush be a contender for 2016. The people of this country are the ones to blame for the condition it is in. The people still have the power of the ballot if they want, the most, are just not sufficiently stressed to exercise that power. Only half of eligible voters show up at the poles and a majority of them are sadly uninformed. It's not the fault of corporations, it's the fault of the voters.

        If you believe that then I think you've seriously underestimated the power of lobbying groups. There's a reason why lobbying is such a massive business in the US and companies put such vast quantities of cash into it so saying companies don't vote is massively missing the point.
        Do Apple get a vote? No
        Do they have massive power in US politics and can get things done in their favour? You bloody bet they can and do.

        Just look at how much power the gun lobby and oil company lobby has and then try and claim they don't have a sway in US politics.

        http://www.statista.com/statistics/2...ing-in-the-us/

        $3.24 Billion last year spent on lobbying I wonder why they spent that?
        I wonder if they were trying to buy influence and convince politicians to vote for stuff they wanted.

        מה מכילות החדשות?


        • #5
          Originally posted by PeterUK75 View Post


          If you believe that then I think you've seriously underestimated the power of lobbying groups. There's a reason why lobbying is such a massive business in the US and companies put such vast quantities of cash into it so saying companies don't vote is massively missing the point.
          Do Apple get a vote? No
          Do they have massive power in US politics and can get things done in their favour? You bloody bet they can and do.

          Just look at how much power the gun lobby and oil company lobby has and then try and claim they don't have a sway in US politics.

          http://www.statista.com/statistics/2...ing-in-the-us/

          $3.24 Billion last year spent on lobbying I wonder why they spent that?
          I wonder if they were trying to buy influence and convince politicians to vote for stuff they wanted.
          Lobby money is worth more than any vote. The banking cabal spent a few million to get particular deregs, and made billions. Quite a return on investment. Of course they were regulated in the first place to protect America from what their greed would create. They could make more money, billions, by being able to indulge in high risk behavior with the money of others. They gamble with the other persons money. And if they win, they pay themselves billions in bonuses due to the high profits. If they lose, well, they are so big, also because of deregulation which they bought also, the gov't cannot allow them to fail, so the taxpayers bail them out, and after the bail out, they paid out in bonuses almost as much as the bailout was. So the taxpayers paid their bonus, basically, a bonus that came due to irresponsible banking behavior, which the deregulations allowed. So yes, they may not have a vote, but that does not matter. LOL

          We used to regulate these guys to keep them from imploding our economy. Lessons learned from the last time they crashed our economy. When Reagan stupidity put us on the path to get gov't out of the way, which meant deregulating the dangerous men, we allowed the regulated to deregulate themselves, and then write their own regulations if they screwed up and had to be regulated again. That is what money and an ideological belief of the GOP has created. And that is where we are today. They destroyed what FDR created, And just look at the mess these guys have made, even affecting Europe. Yet the GOP voters blame it on socialists or communists. I think it may be fascism, so these GOP voters have had their wires crossed. The blame the wrong thing. A bit confused I think.

          מה מכילות החדשות?


          • #6
            Originally posted by Blue Doggy View Post

            Lobby money is worth more than any vote. The banking cabal spent a few million to get particular deregs, and made billions. Quite a return on investment. Of course they were regulated in the first place to protect America from what their greed would create. They could make more money, billions, by being able to indulge in high risk behavior with the money of others. They gamble with the other persons money. And if they win, they pay themselves billions in bonuses due to the high profits. If they lose, well, they are so big, also because of deregulation which they bought also, the gov't cannot allow them to fail, so the taxpayers bail them out, and after the bail out, they paid out in bonuses almost as much as the bailout was. So the taxpayers paid their bonus, basically, a bonus that came due to irresponsible banking behavior, which the deregulations allowed. So yes, they may not have a vote, but that does not matter. LOL

            We used to regulate these guys to keep them from imploding our economy. Lessons learned from the last time they crashed our economy. When Reagan stupidity put us on the path to get gov't out of the way, which meant deregulating the dangerous men, we allowed the regulated to deregulate themselves, and then write their own regulations if they screwed up and had to be regulated again. That is what money and an ideological belief of the GOP has created. And that is where we are today. They destroyed what FDR created, And just look at the mess these guys have made, even affecting Europe. Yet the GOP voters blame it on socialists or communists. I think it may be fascism, so these GOP voters have had their wires crossed. The blame the wrong thing. A bit confused I think.
            The gov't doesn't HAVE to bail out the failing banks. They choose to. OUR GOVERNMENT CHOOSES TO. The gov't shouldn't be budding into private industry by over regulating it, but when the private industry fails, the gov't should continue to stay out of it. No bailout for banks. The banks will walk the rope more carefully when they know there is no safety net below. People will be more careful about what banks they invest in.

            Large corporations having control of our economy, is only reality because OUR GOVERNMENT, who you want to give more regulatory control to, has orchestrated and or allowed it to happen. Wake up, our gov't did this.

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            • #7
              Corporations have money and power because we buy their stuff. Nobody, aside from the government, forces anyone to buy their stuff. We choose to buy their stuff because we choose to not make our own stuff. As a society, we migrated to the urban centers, where we lacked the ability to produce for ourselves, and became dependent on external employment for our subsistence, both for the goods that we need, and the money to buy them. We became wage slaves. The corporation, with all its power and influence, with it's concentrated production capabilities, is the only way wage slaves can survive. Of course the corporations they created to produce goods and capital for them has to continuously cut corners for them in order to provide those goods and capital, but that is apparently better than thinking and working for themselves, they are a generation or more removed from that, the skills and experience lost, and the path back to independence seems astronomical Now, the image of success is the the fruitless suburb, where it is still hard to produce for ourselves, but technology is gradually making it easier, but our mindset is still stuck in wage slave mode, and no one has the time or the energy, or even the desire to be independently productive. In fact, such people are considered weird, and I will be mocked for saying this. The only acceptable solution to the wage slave, as demanded by the thread starter, is to fortify the institution of wage slavery. Cause he doesn't know how to do anything else.

              Of course, once you have corporations fulfilling that role, your just a hop, skip and a jump from the government taking over.
              Last edited by Commodore; 04-30-2016, 03:34 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Commodore View Post
                Corporations have money and power because we buy their stuff. Nobody, aside from the government, forces anyone to buy their stuff. We choose to buy their stuff because we choose to not make our own stuff. As a society, we migrated to the urban centers, where we lacked the ability to produce for ourselves, and became dependent on external employment for our subsistence, both for the goods that we need, and the money to buy them. We became wage slaves. The corporation, with all its power and influence, with it's concentrated production capabilities, is the only way wage slaves can survive. Of course the corporations they created to produce goods and capital for them has to continuously cut corners for them in order to provide those goods and capital, but that is apparently better than thinking and working for themselves, they are a generation or more removed from that, the skills and experience lost, and the path back to independence seems astronomical Now, the image of success is the the fruitless suburb, where it is still hard to produce for ourselves, but technology is gradually making it easier, but our mindset is still stuck in wage slave mode, and no one has the time or the energy, or even the desire to be independently productive. In fact, such people are considered weird, and I will be mocked for saying this. The only acceptable solution to the wage slave, as demanded by the thread starter, is to fortify the institution of wage slavery. Cause he doesn't know how to do anything else.

                Of course, once you have corporations fulfilling that role, your just a hop, skip and a jump from the government taking over.
                Large and small Gov't's often regulate to the point that have to hire a "Professional" to do things that you can do yourself. Unnecessary technicalities that are rules to trap you into paying someone who knows the unnecessary demands. And you also have laws proclaimed to exist in the name of public safety, yet designed with the intent to trap people with fines. Some proving that it doesn't help public safety. Everything is designed to get the money to the government's.

                I came from a do it yourself family, in the Jack of all Trades area. The skills of my father and his brothers may have come from growing up poor, and being forced to create things that wealthier people could buy, or wanting things that don't yet exist. When I think of all the things my father did with help of family, he would not be able to do these same things today without permits, inspections, fines, doing it over, etc. Most of what my father did was superior to what a hired professional cutting corners would do. But regulations are not consistent with necessity and the safe, strong, superior end result. In the 70's he designed, built and wired a sprinkler system with 1 water head that watered the entire front lawn. This is before inground sprinklers were popular or affordable to the average citizen in our area. 40 years and it's still going safely. Though he had to disconnect the system when selling the house, because it wasn't "up to code". It was constructed in a fashion that the inspector was not familiar with. Most likely beyond his comprehension. He couldn't calculate that it was better than the required design.

                Point is that it's not just the people wanting to buy instead of do, Along with the lack of education to do for yourself, it's forced upon many is many different area's.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by msc View Post
                  Large and small Gov't's often regulate to the point that have to hire a "Professional" to do things that you can do yourself. Unnecessary technicalities that are rules to trap you into paying someone who knows the unnecessary demands. And you also have laws proclaimed to exist in the name of public safety, yet designed with the intent to trap people with fines. Some proving that it doesn't help public safety. Everything is designed to get the money to the government's.

                  I came from a do it yourself family, in the Jack of all Trades area. The skills of my father and his brothers may have come from growing up poor, and being forced to create things that wealthier people could buy, or wanting things that don't yet exist. When I think of all the things my father did with help of family, he would not be able to do these same things today without permits, inspections, fines, doing it over, etc. Most of what my father did was superior to what a hired professional cutting corners would do. But regulations are not consistent with necessity and the safe, strong, superior end result. In the 70's he designed, built and wired a sprinkler system with 1 water head that watered the entire front lawn. This is before inground sprinklers were popular or affordable to the average citizen in our area. 40 years and it's still going safely. Though he had to disconnect the system when selling the house, because it wasn't "up to code". It was constructed in a fashion that the inspector was not familiar with. Most likely beyond his comprehension. He couldn't calculate that it was better than the required design.

                  Point is that it's not just the people wanting to buy instead of do, Along with the lack of education to do for yourself, it's forced upon many is many different area's.
                  I've spent far too much time flipping through the International Residential Code book. It's a surefire cure for insomnia. I suspect if people truly understood the power they possessed, and took pride in what they did, they would not allow such regulations to be placed on them.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Commodore View Post

                    I've spent far too much time flipping through the International Residential Code book. It's a surefire cure for insomnia. I suspect if people truly understood the power they possessed, and took pride in what they did, they would not allow such regulations to be placed on them.
                    Our gov't tries to convince us that things are more complicated than they are and only certain select people are intelligent enough to handle it. I suspect if people were forced to do things on their own, they'd say, "well that wasn't as complicated as I thought". I myself have procrastinated attempting certain things because I believed may have been beyond my intellectual capability, but more often than not have found things to be much simpler than anticipated.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by msc View Post
                      Our gov't tries to convince us that things are more complicated than they are and only certain select people are intelligent enough to handle it. I suspect if people were forced to do things on their own, they'd say, "well that wasn't as complicated as I thought". I myself have procrastinated attempting certain things because I believed may have been beyond my intellectual capability, but more often than not have found things to be much simpler than anticipated.
                      "You don't need the biggest tomato at the fair, you just need something to eat."

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by msc View Post
                        The gov't doesn't HAVE to bail out the failing banks. They choose to. OUR GOVERNMENT CHOOSES TO. The gov't shouldn't be budding into private industry by over regulating it, but when the private industry fails, the gov't should continue to stay out of it. No bailout for banks. The banks will walk the rope more carefully when they know there is no safety net below. People will be more careful about what banks they invest in.

                        Large corporations having control of our economy, is only reality because OUR GOVERNMENT, who you want to give more regulatory control to, has orchestrated and or allowed it to happen. Wake up, our gov't did this.
                        The problem lies with policy and regulation that the elites bought. Only govt can change it back to the NEW DEAL model.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Commodore View Post

                          I've spent far too much time flipping through the International Residential Code book. It's a surefire cure for insomnia. I suspect if people truly understood the power they possessed, and took pride in what they did, they would not allow such regulations to be placed on them.
                          Some regulation is needed. But you can have too much. Many of them are to protect elite income.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Blue Doggy View Post

                            The problem lies with policy and regulation that the elites bought. Only govt can change it back to the NEW DEAL model.
                            You mean the one that extended and deepened a recession into the Great Depression, from which we could only recover after all potential competitors where blasted to smithereens?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Blue Doggy View Post

                              Some regulation is needed. But you can have too much. Many of them are to protect elite income.
                              Reminds me of a video...
                              Bob the Builder can fix almost anything. SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/AdultSwimSubscribe About Robot Chicken: Robot Chicken is Adult Swim's long-running stop-mot...

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