Monday, November 29, 2010
Chris Hedges, On the Failure of the "Liberal Class"
While I obviously don't agree with him in every particular, I think his diagnosis of the central problem is basically right: the Democratic Party has allowed (even encouraged at times) the dismantling of the New Deal institutions that had been put in place to protect the economically vulnerable from the predations of greed and the power of the wealthy.
I see the Tea Party movement (the rank and file, not the astroturfing financiers) mostly as a symptom of the betrayal of the lower two-thirds of the US wealth scale by the institutions in our society whose historical role has been to defend them. The Democratic Party has been deeply corrupted by the limitless wealth available to the oligarchy who seek, and the evidence would indicate too often succeed at, buying their souls.
Someone once asked Sherrod Brown, a Democratic senator from Ohio, why people in southeastern Ohio were becoming a reliable Republican voting bloc. He answered, "Because the Democrats stopped talking to them."
The thing is, eventually the people in Southeastern Ohio and the rest of the underclass across the nation will reach a point where they Will Not Be Ignored. I pity whatever institutions are in the path of their wrath then. I don't think the United States as a functioning entity will survive the coming convulsions. In fact, in many respects it is already gone, sacrificed on the twin altars of Greed and Imperialism.