Wikileaks welcomes the CIA to the Tweeter

Possibly the most epic burn ever.

Chris Hedges: No Act of Rebellion Is Wasted | #classwarfare #OWS

We may feel, in the face of the ruthless corporate destruction of our nation, our culture, and our ecosystem, powerless and weak. But we are not. We have a power that terrifies the corporate state. Any act of rebellion, no matter how few people show up or how heavily it is censored by a media that caters to the needs and profits of corporations, chips away at corporate power. Any act of rebellion keeps alive the embers for larger movements that follow us. It passes on another narrative. It will, as the rot of the state consumes itself, attract wider and wider numbers. Perhaps this will not happen in our lifetimes. But if we persist, we will keep this possibility alive. If we do not, it will die. 

From a Hedges column just over a year ago.

No one can say for certain what 2012 will bring, but for starters, let’s go back to first principles.

We’re citizens of a democratic society, deriving our rights and our obligations from a public sphere that is both the sum of its parts and something more. I’ll say it once more for emphasis: we are citizens.

Not taxpayers. Not customers. Not shareholders. Not consumers. We are not defined in terms of how much profit we create or how much we spend on goods and services or pay in taxes. We have an intrinsic value that goes beyond generating returns for investors.

For 2012, let us at least rededicate ourselves to the idea of engaged citizenship.

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Income inequality, the 99 percent, and the dysfunction of American society | via Esquire | #uspoli #OWS

Income inequality is a symptom, not the disease. People realize that now. They see the symptom erupting in all directions, but, at a visceral level, they can sense the deeper pathology at work in their lives. The disease is a lack of accountability, a failure of the responsible institutions, political and otherwise, to do their jobs as a check on the inebriate gluttony of the financial sector of the economy, abetted by its pet economists and its legions of fans in the business media, and the disease is also a political system so awash with the proceeds that it can’t clear a space to do anything about making whole the victims of this reckless pilferage.

Income inequality is the medical shorthand. The butcher’s bill will run to volumes.

A little further reading on how the United States got to where it is today.

Note the backhanded compliment paid to the New York Times, and how people missed the signs leading to this in the 90s because “a pack of ignoramuses decided to chase the president’s penis all over Washington.”

Not much to add to this, really, other than to note, once again, that there are people currently governing our country who look at what’s going on in the United States – ignorance, distractions, polarization in economic and cultural terms, belligerent stupidity – and think it’s a good thing worthy of emulation.

I know I keep going on about the cultivation of stupidity, but demented greed isn’t a civic virtue either.

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The cruel reality of the American class system: We Are Not All Created Equal | #classwarfare #uspoli

There are some truths so hard to face, so ugly and so at odds with how we imagine the world should be, that nobody can accept them. Here’s one: It is obvious that a class system has arrived in America — a recent study of the thirty-four countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that only Italy and Great Britain have less social mobility. But nobody wants to admit: If your daddy was rich, you’re gonna stay rich, and if your daddy was poor, you’re gonna stay poor. Every instinct in the American gut, every institution, every national symbol, runs on the idea that anybody can make it; the only limits are your own limits. Which is an amazing idea, a gift to the world — just no longer true. Culturally, and in their daily lives, Americans continue to glide through a ghostly land of opportunity they can’t bear to tell themselves isn’t real. It’s the most dangerous lie the country tells itself.

More than anything else, class now determines Americans’ fates. The old inequalities — racism, sexism, homophobia — are increasingly antiquated [fig. 1]. Women are threatening to overwhelm men in the workplace, and the utter collapse of the black lower middle class in the age of Obama — a catastrophe for the African-American community — has little to do with prejudice and everything to do with brute economics. Who wins and who loses has become simplified, purified: those who own and those who don’t.

Read more: http://www.esquire.com/features/thousand-words-on-culture/american-class-syst…

It may be the day after Christmas, but this seems more appropriate for Halloween. This is some scary shit.

Retreating to the comfort zone in the face of something like this would usually point to some nostrum like “well, at least we’re talking about it openly.” But the thing about nostrums is that they’re designed to soothe, to paper over, to stifle discussion and make confrontation with unpleasant truths easier to avoid. I don’t find any comfort in that, and in truth, I’d have grave doubts about anyone who did.

We can’t congratulate ourselves for being able to talk about class, about inequality, about polarization between haves and have nots. Or more accurately, we can, but we shouldn’t. Talking about something honestly is all very well, but if you’re not prepared to pursue the implications of what you’re talking about, you might as well not bother.

So let’s address those implications. Is this what we want for our country, our future? Is this the kind of society we want to become? If so, then as Marche argues, the least we can do is have an honest conversation about it.

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The annual “Santa Busted” photo …

(Santiago, Dec. 22, 2011)

Chris Hedges: Zero Point of Systemic Collapse | Adbusters Culturejammer Headquarters

The cultural belief that we can make things happen by thinking, by visualizing, by wanting them, by tapping into our inner strength or by understanding that we are truly exceptional is magical thinking. We can always make more money, meet new quotas, consume more products and advance our career if we have enough faith. This magical thinking, preached to us across the political spectrum by Oprah, sports celebrities, Hollywood, self-help gurus and Christian demagogues, is largely responsible for our economic and environmental collapse, since any Cassandra who saw it coming was dismissed as “negative.” This belief, which allows men and women to behave and act like little children, discredits legitimate concerns and anxieties. It exacerbates despair and passivity. It fosters a state of self-delusion. The purpose, structure and goals of the corporate state are never seriously questioned. To question, to engage in criticism of the corporate collective, is to be obstructive and negative. And it has perverted the way we view ourselves, our nation and the natural world. The new paradigm of power, coupled with its bizarre ideology of limitless progress and impossible happiness, has turned whole nations, including the United States, into monsters.

Chris Hedges, almost two years ago, on “junk politics.”

There’s really only one acceptable narrative, and it’s part of the function of the message machine to ensure that we stay within its parameters. The rest of it is just kabuki theatre designed to produce the illusion of choice, of debate, of a genuine multiplicity of viewpoints.

Something to keep in mind whenever you see Sun News meat puppets ranting about the Maoist collective at the State Broadcaster.

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