Chris Hedges responds to the liberal attacks on Cornel West after last week’s interview. (If anything, the things being said behind the scenes are even worse.)
And if I could take the opportunity to plug my fund drive, this is my real value to readers: I am not affiliated with the status quo. Believe me, just about any discussion with bloggers who work for the Democratic establishment and related institutions ends pretty much as Hedges describes: “We can’t expect that.” Or: “Yeah, like the Republicans would allow that to get done. We have to settle for this.”
They continue to pound home the idea that Democrats are mere helpless victims, incapable of representing the needs of working men and women instead of the military-industrial-media complex. It’s as if the Republicans take their hands and make them vote for those things.
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The liberal class, which attempted last week to discredit the words my friend Cornel Westspoke about Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, prefers comfort and privilege to justice, truth and confrontation. Its guiding ideological stance is determined by what is most expedient to the careers of its members. It refuses to challenge, in a meaningful way, the decaying structures of democracy or the ascendancy of the corporate state. It glosses over the relentless assault on working men and women and the imperial wars that are bankrupting the nation. It proclaims its adherence to traditional liberal values while defending and promoting systems of power that mock these values.The pillars of the liberal establishment—the press, the church, culture, the university, labor and the Democratic Party—all honor an unwritten quid pro quo with corporations and the power elite, as well as our masters of war, on whom they depend for money, access and positions of influence. Those who expose this moral cowardice and collaboration with corporate power are always ruthlessly thrust aside.
The capitulation of the liberal class to corporate capitalism, as Irving Howe once noted, has “bleached out all political tendencies.” The liberal class has become, Howe wrote, “a loose shelter, a poncho rather than a program; to call oneself a liberal one doesn’t really have to believe in anything.” The decision to subordinate ethics to political expediency has led liberals to steadily surrender their moral autonomy, voice and beliefs to the dictates of the corporate state. As Dwight Macdonald wrote in “The Root Is Man,” those who do not make human beings the center of their concern soon lose the capacity to make any ethical choices, for they willingly sacrifice others in the name of the politically expedient and practical.