Capitalism

Heyyyyy! Think the Time Is Right for a Palace Revolution

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Uh oh, the violent teabaggers are at it again, hyperbolizing about totalitarianism and advocating open revolt:

What can a poor boy do?

The mounting anger and hatred, coursing through the bloodstream of the body politic, make violence and counter-violence inevitable. Brace yourself. The American empire is over. And the descent is going to be horrifying. […]

"I think it is possible, I do not say it is probable, that we will have a revolution, a civil war that will see the end of the United States of America[,]" [said former New York Times tax reporter David Cay Johnston]. […] "If we end up with violence in the streets on a large scale, not random riots, but insurrection and things break down, there will be a coup d'état[.]" […]

How do we resist? How, if this descent is inevitable, as I believe it is, do we fight back? […]

Your face is a mess

Camus wrote that "one of the only coherent philosophical positions is revolt. It is a constant confrontation between man and his obscurity. It is not aspiration, for it is devoid of hope. That revolt is the certainty of a crushing fate, without the resignation that ought to accompany it." […]

[W]e are not slaves. We have a choice. We can refuse to be either a victim or an executioner. We have the moral capacity to say no, to refuse to cooperate. Any boycott or demonstration, any occupation or sit-in, any strike, any act of obstruction or sabotage, any refusal to pay taxes, any fast, any popular movement and any act of civil disobedience ignites the soul of the rebel and exposes the dead hand of authority.

Ha ha, yeah, it's not a Tea Party guy, but lefty war correspondent Chris Hedges, who is pretty lucky he doesn't live in Oregon. I can't decide whether the intro to this remarkable rant is more a call to arms or a cry for help:

Will you heed this man's call to arms?

There are no constraints left to halt America's slide into a totalitarian capitalism. Electoral politics are a sham. The media have been debased and defanged by corporate owners. The working class has been impoverished and is now being plunged into profound despair. The legal system has been corrupted to serve corporate interests. Popular institutions, from labor unions to political parties, have been destroyed or emasculated by corporate power. And any form of protest, no matter how tepid, is blocked by an internal security apparatus that is starting to rival that of the East German secret police. The mounting anger and hatred, coursing through the bloodstream of the body politic, make violence and counter-violence inevitable. Brace yourself. The American empire is over. And the descent is going to be horrifying.

Corporate vampires = SEXY-TIME

Those singled out as internal enemies will include people of color, immigrants, gays, intellectuals, feminists, Jews, Muslims, union leaders and those defined as "liberals." They will be condemned as anti-American and blamed for our decline. The economic collapse, which remains mysterious and enigmatic to most Americans, will be pinned by demagogues and hatemongers on these hapless scapegoats. And the random acts of violence, which are already leaping up around the fringes of American society, will justify harsh measures of internal control that will snuff out the final vestiges of our democracy. The corporate forces that destroyed the country will use the information systems they control to mask their culpability. The old game of blaming the weak and the marginal, a staple of despotic regimes, will empower the dark undercurrents of sadism and violence within American society and deflect attention from the corporate vampires that have drained the blood of the country.

Whole thing here. Jesse Walker wrote about "the Children of George Metesky" earlier this week, and his "Paranoid Center" piece from last year remains a defining text of our current semi-freakout.

Hedges, who is so marginalized by the corporate forces who control our information systems that a quote of his was used as the start of this year's Oscar winner for Best Picture, will, without a doubt, hear not one word of oppobrium from the same thick chunk of the commentariat that has spent much of the last nine months warning about the imminent outbreak of carnage whipped up by Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and the Tea Party movement. It's one thing to call for open "revolt" and "sabotage" in order to "fight back" against the, uh, totalitarian capitalists…but criticizing the growth of government? That's incitement to violence.