The Death of the Liberal Class
Hedges is certainly correct that the liberal class has abandoned the historical objectives of liberalism—that of defending real, progressive democratic reform—but he greatly generalizes the differences...more
That piercing stench is the aroma of failure and betrayal lying in a dumpster outside a lobbyist’s condo. Chris Hedges, toting his kit, approaches the body and examines it for evidence of foul play. A uniform steps aside, giving Hedges room. He bends down and opens the surprisingly fat wallet. It is clear that the vic was once a powerful presence, as Hedges can see from the wallet’s contents, scattered about the corpse. The Social Security card is worn...more
I really liked most of this book. It's a great work for anyone that wants to understand the outrage that has kindled movements like Occupy Wall Street. Piece by piece Hedges indites the liberal institutions that are supposed to make us think and edge progress along. He rightly points out that what we tend to call liberals today (and are yelled about on such outlets as Fox news) have basically sold out to corporate culture in or...more
The liberal class plays a vital role in a democracy. It gives moral legitimacy to the state. It makes limited forms of dissent and incremental change possible. The liberal class posits itself as the conscience of the nation. It permits us, through its appeal to public virtues and the public good, to define ourselves as a good and noble people. Most importantly, on behalf of the power elite the liberal class serves as bulwarks against radical movements by offering a safety valve for popular frust...more
Some of us are old enough to remember the last wave of genuine dissidents who made a difference. Some of them were actual US Senators; Fulbright and Proxmire and Hatfield spring to mind, with others like Wellstone an...more
The company specialized in buying up niche lifestyle magazines. The plan was always to flip the company. But the econo...more
As I generally do, I was listening to National Public Radio (my driving companion when I'm not listing to gangster rap) and I first heard a story Hedges Laments The 'Death Of The Liberal Class'. I was struck listening to Hodges talk about his life and the liberal class. It was a soon after that that I ended up being at Barnes & Nobel and quickly bought the book when I saw it. You must understand that this is about a year (I don't know why it took me so long to read it, it was really good), a...more
Chris Hodges is a radical. He is a vociferous critic of what is wrong with America and the human race, and many of his ideas strike a receptive chord in a lot of people who don’t go quite as far as he does, but still appreciate his thoughts. For the most...more
All that aside, this book belongs in the hands of all of us who call ourselves liberals as a reminder of all the selling out that we've done to the corporate state and as a challenge to resist it. I...more
By that definition, it's easy to take most of todays politicians who claim to be liberals to the cleaners for neglecting, or outright defiling, their...more
the failure of what he calls the liberal class to challenge
unbridled capitalism and the corporate state which increasingly
lacks moral legitimacy. The liberal establishment has historically been supported by five pillars -- a free press, liberal religious institutions, labor unions, and the Democratic Party. However, each of these has been preoccupied with its own status and privileges, rather than promoting social justice and progress. The...more
If you want some sort of context to the awful politics in America at the moment this is not as bad place to start. Chris Hedges is morally outraged and he won't take it any more. It is a rant and a rant I mostly agree with but there is something lacking in the structure that makes this in the end a bit of a chore to get through.
The Liberal class in America has failed and it has been cowardly and stupid and basically bought off.
By Liberal I think Hedges means the intell...more
But it's only an expression; it won't convince anyone who isn't inclined to believe this way already. I buy about a th...more
Despite a fair amount of hyperbole, Hedges makes a fair argument that we are currently living in a corporate controlled "inverse totalitarian state" in which the progressive movement, once so strong during the early part of the the 19th century has been completely co-opted and is now impotent to make any real political changes without radical civil disobedience.
One thing that I enjoyed about this book was its vignettes of different progressive historical movemen...more
Quoting John Gray, classical liberalism has four principle features or perspectives: it is individualist, in that it asserts the moral primacy...more
In many ways, there is a lot of valuable stuff here. Hedges does provide some concrete explanations that illuminate how America’s social structure underwent a fundamental shift once the US entered the first World War and journalism morphed from a system of balanced truth into a propagandizing system that like a puppet-master, pulled on emotional strings that influence human behavior rather than provide balanced truth that f...more
The disconnect between the liberal establishment and the realities for the rest of us has increasingly widened as the Left courts the same donors at the top of the corporate food chain, the .05%. That disconnect upsets me the most. It means they’re not encountering the world, not seeing the painful realities and unintended consequences of their policies. The hermetically-sealed bubble they live in is...more
It is a worthy read because it is intellectually challenging; not because it's hard to grasp (you DO have to know your history), but because it confronts and challenges our preconceived...more
Hedges is known as the best-selling author of War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2002), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.
Chris Hedges is currently a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York Ci...more
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The wounded, the crippled, and the dead are, in this great charade, swiftly carted offstage. They are war's refuse. We do not see them. We do not hear them. They are doomed, like wandering spirits, to float around the edges of our consciousness, ignored, even reviled. The message they tell is too painful for us to hear. We prefer to celebrate ourselves and our nation by imbibing the myths of glory, honor, patriotism, and heroism, words that in combat become empty and meaningless.”