Chris Hedges in Missoula
Chris Hedges can be difficult to listen to because his assessment of where capitalism is taking the human species is bleak: annihilation.
It’s also true.
Because Hedges’ perspective is the antithesis of “business friendly” I wasn’t sure if the Missoulian would even cover it, but they did. Here’s an excerpt:
Hedges saved his harshest criticism for the Democratic Party, which he said serves the interests of the wealthy instead of the poor and downtrodden that it used to champion.
In particular, he accused former President Bill Clinton of undercutting the labor movement with the North American Free Trade Act and triggering the latest economic collapse by deregulating the nation’s banking industry. He has sued the Obama administration for violating the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution with rules allowing the military to hold American citizens without due process for vague terrorism-related associations.
With this in mind, I’m considering reviving an idea a friend first introduced to me in 2008 as he pitched his support for John McCain for president. Basically he contended that Democrats are more dangerous in power because they neutralize their base while carrying out the same essential policies of the elites, who reside not in America, but a magical place Hedges called Richistan.
There is also an addiction analogy I’ve used, describing how recovery doesn’t usually happen until an addict hits bottom. Maybe a Republican in charge in 2016 will provide the accelerant we need, if we make it to 2016 without WWIII going hot.
Even though I try to remind myself to remain skeptical of Democrat politicians, sometimes I let my defenses down. I did that recently with Dirk Adams because he says stuff like this on his campaign website:
The Senate is a representative body. It belongs to the people, not the parties. The people of Montana and the people of every state deserve Senators who show up. Who listen. Who debate. Who explain.
I can promise you right now that I will never dodge a question. You will know where I stand on every issue. You will know who is working for me and who to get in touch with. I will never turn down an opportunity to hear your thoughts or explain my positions. I don’t know if that’s how political consultants would tell me to behave, but I don’t give a fig for any other way of operating. And if every candidate would take the same tack, I don’t know who would be elected, but I know that we as a party and a country would be better off.
Actually, we would be better off if people like Dirk Adams and his fellow Wall Street gambling addicts weren’t enabled by the party that should be acting as a counter-weight to the corporate takeover we’ve witnessed.
What am I talking about? James Conner provided some important context to what kind of Democrat Dirk Adams would be in office last September. In his article, Conner quotes from this Politico piece examining Adams’ past in banking:
The only Democrat currently running for an open seat in Montana is a career banking executive with a business record that could be problematic for his party if his bid gains steam. In fact, his last bank failed only 18 months ago: the Controller of the Currency closed Home Savings of America of Little Falls, Minnesota in February 2012 when Adams was chairman and CEO of the holding company.
The Treasury Department’s Inspector General chalked the failure up to “an aggressive growth strategy” based on adjustable-rate mortgages and poor risk management practices, among other “questionable activities by the management.” The FDIC, acting as the bank’s receiver, could not find a buyer.
This is the kind of behavior that blew up the economy. Now Dirk Adams wants to portray himself as a rancher. That’s rich. Wait, what was that Dirk?
Personally, I think Montana voters are pretty smart. Montanans know cow patties when they see them. So they can tell the difference between real ideas and a pile of power-grabbing partisan nonsensical BS.
In the reality that exists beyond the political rhetoric, fewer and fewer citizens are even bothering to go through the motions of voting. Can you blame them?
Chris Hedges tried to provide some inspiring oratory after his thoroughly depressing assessment, but my cynicism prevented me from buying in. I left before the end of the Q&A, but a friend told me Hedges talked about being good friends with Greenwald, someone I’ve grown suspicious of because of the kind of corrupting cash that can transform even the most stalwart critic of the US empire into another player in the shadow-play on the cave wall.
Ultimately it was worth listening to what Hedges had to say. I agree with his opinion that resisting what the elite know is coming will be most effective at the local level.