Sunday, June 8

America's Democratic Collapse

Wow. This is an amazing speech made by author Chris Hedges last month: America's Democratic Collapse

Most of what he has to say I've seen elsewhere, but Mr. Hedges does a great job of piecing it all together in a cohesive whole that is both powerful and frightening. Considered separately, things like no-bid contracts, warrantless wiretaps, and the shift in measurement of inflation and unemployment. When put into context as a cohesive whole, however, a horrifying picture of growing totalitarianism starts to emerge.

Intuitively - I'm the intuitive thinker in the household, A is the logical one - I've felt that A and I are standing astride a widening chasm between "have" and "have not" for quite some time. We have been very very fortunate to keep a strong enough toehold on the "have" side when so many of our friends in the past few years lose theirs and have started to fall in. Mr. Hedges' speech confirms to me that widening chasm really does exist, and that it is likely a result of intentional action by an extremely small and powerful group of people.

There is this little voice in the back of my brain chiding me, however. Is the fact that Mr. Hedges' words match what I'm already thinking what makes it seem so "right"? Is he telling me, in a way, what I want to hear? Or is the fact that his points resonate so strongly because they are true? I'd like to think I'm intelligent enough to know the difference and that it is the latter. But even if it is the former, would it change anything we need to do to fix what's wrong? Probably not. We still need to repeal the so-called Patriot Act. We still need to stop fighting an illegal and immoral war in Iraq. We still need to reverse the flow of power away from the average working citizen toward the corporate elite.

Ugh. That's a daunting list. It's going to take more than turning out to vote to, in the oft-quoted words of Gandhi, be the change you want to see in the world. Where to begin?

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