Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Hedges Warns the Sanders Supporters

The political commentator, Chris Hedges, had some home-truths to tell the Bernie Sanders supporters which is worth repeating to drive the point further home.

“…Democratic electoral campaigns, at best, raise political consciousness. But they do not become movements or engender revolutions. They exist as long as election campaigns endure and then they vanish. Sanders’ campaign will be no different. No movement or political revolution will ever be built within the confines of the Democratic Party…”

“…The Democrats, like the Republicans, have no interest in genuine reform. They are wedded to corporate power. They are about appearance, not substance. They speak in the language of democracy, even liberal reform and populism, but doggedly block campaign finance reform and promote an array of policies, including new trade agreements, that disempower workers…”

“…If Sanders is denied the nomination—the Clinton machine and the Democratic Party establishment, along with their corporate puppet masters, will use every dirty trick to ensure he loses—his so-called movement and political revolution will evaporate…”

“…Do Sanders’ supporters believe they can wrest power from the Democratic establishment and transform the party? Do they think the forces where real power lies—the military-industrial complex, Wall Street, corporations, the security and surveillance state—can be toppled by a Sanders campaign? Do they think the Democratic Party will allow itself to be ruled by democratic procedures? Do they not accept that with the destruction of organized labor and anti-war, civil rights and progressive movements—a destruction often orchestrated by security organs such as the FBI—the party has lurched so far to the right that it has remade itself into the old Republican Party?... In Europe, America’s Democratic Party would be a far-right party. The Republican Party would be extremist…”

“…The political system, as many Sanders supporters are about to discover, is immune to reform. The only effective resistance will be achieved through acts of sustained, mass civil disobedience. The Democrats, like the Republicans, have no intention of halting the assault on our civil liberties, the expansion of imperial wars, the coddling of Wall Street, the destruction of the ecosystem by the fossil fuel industry and the impoverishment of workings. As long as the Democrats and the Republicans remain in power we are doomed…”

“…I am all for a revolution, a word Sanders likes to throw around, but one that is truly socialist and destroys the corporate establishment, including the Democratic Party. I am for a revolution that demands the return of the rule of law, and not just for Wall Street, but those who wage pre-emptive war, order the assassination of U.S. citizens, allow the military to carry out domestic policing and then indefinitely hold citizens without due process, who empower the wholesale surveillance of the citizenry by the government…”

“…The billionaire class and corporate oligarchs cannot be tamed. They must be overthrown. They will be overthrown in the streets, not in a convention hall. Convention halls are where the left goes to die….”

Strong words from someone who has first-hand experience of American party-politics. Yet even Chris Hedges falters at the last hurdle.
 His own revolution is one that merely “…brings under strict civilian control the military, the security and surveillance apparatus including the CIA, the FBI, Homeland Security and police and drastically reduces their budgets and power… that nationalizes banks, the arms industry, energy companies and utilities, breaks up monopolies, destroys the fossil fuel industry, funds the arts and public broadcasting…” 
His is the revolution of the welfare state that “…provides full employment and free education including university education, forgives all student debt, blocks bank repossessions and foreclosures of homes, guarantees universal and free health care and provides a living wage to those unable to work, especially single parents, the disabled and the elderly…” 
These palliatives are the very same palliatives Sanders hopes his “Nordic” reforms will emulate.




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