(commentary by Scott Creighton – Some of us understood this a year prior to the selection of Barack Obama (I can hardly call what happens in this country these days an “election”), that his primary function was to put a new, friendlier face on the neoliberal counter revolution taking place in America and to provide that transition with the all important “left cover” that would silence critics of the previous administration as it’s policies continued and even accelerated under the new one. Hedges is writing about what we call the “fake left” and how they are desperately trying to maintain the efficiency of that left cover model because without it, honestly, there isn’t much left for the neoliberals to hang their hat on. The Tea Party is over, their contingency has gotten wise to the game. What started out a long time ago as a movement away from this counter revolution, was hijacked, first by Ron Paul and then by a gaggle of pro-corporate rain-makers. The people caught on and now that little pysop is over. The libertarians have also come to understand that their Libertarian Party (Big “L”) is bought and paid for as well. That leaves the Dems. Most liberals understand what Hedges is talking about here, understand it and agree with it. But the mass media needs to continue the illusion because ultimately it’s the illusion that will be the justification or the narrative for the next election cycle. They can’t have it appear like everyone has given up on the fraud that is Barack Obama, because then it will look strange when he “wins” another term in office. They have to maintain the narrative even if they can’t maintain liberal’s faith in the man. And that’s why they will continue to attack those liberals who dare to speak truthfully about what Obama is actually doing.
Though I posted Hedges’ article from last week about his interview with Cornell West and though I certainly agree with everything West said about Obama in that interview, I have to say that to me it seems that Cornell’s main gripe with the man seemed to be more about his personal rejection by Obama after he won the election. It was his spurned loyalty that appears to have motivated Cornell’s anger at least as much as Obama’s betrayal of his so-called “liberal” roots. I wonder what side of the fence West would be on today were that betrayal of his affections never to have happened. Had Cornell West been sitting up on the stage during the inauguration, would he speak out like he does now?
Tucked in near the end of Hedges’ article I found this little gem. The implication for Hedges’ own personal re-education about a few things that have happened over the last 12 years speak for themselves.
“Prophets put forward during their day ideas that the mass of people, including the elite, denounce as impractical and yet at the same time sense to be true. This is what invokes the rage against the prophet. He or she states the obvious in a society where the obvious is seditious. Prophecy is feared because of the consequences of the truth.” Hedges
It’s hard to call Cornell West a “prophet” when I myself have been writing about the mechanisms of the selection of Barack Obama since before the election when West was still shilling for the man like he was the second coming of Christ. And I was simply one of many. To me that hardly qualifies the man for sage status.
But what is interesting about what Hedges wrote is that I certainly hope that he himself becomes capable of taking a step back and evaluating his own rage against a few lesser known prophets; ones who’s truths are still considered seditious, even by him.)
by Chris Hedges, Truthdig
The liberal class, which attempted last week to discredit the words my friend Cornel West spoke 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.
By extolling the power of the state as an agent of change, as well as measuring human progress through the advances of science, technology and consumption, liberals abetted the cult of the self and the ascendancy of the corporate state. The liberal class placed its faith in the inevitability of human progress and abandoned the human values that should have remained at the core of its activism. The state, now the repository of the hopes and dreams of the liberal class, should always have been seen as the enemy. The destruction of the old radical and militant movements—the communists, socialists and anarchists—has left liberals without a source of new ideas. The link between an effective liberal class and a more radical left was always essential to the health of the former. The liberal class, by allowing radical movements to be dismembered through Red baiting and by banishing those within its ranks who had moral autonomy, gradually deformed basic liberal tenets to support unfettered capitalism, the national security state, globalization and permanent war. Liberalism, cut off from the radical roots of creative and bold thought, merged completely with the corporate power elite. The liberal class at once was betrayed and betrayed itself. And it now functions like a commercial brand, giving a different flavor, face or spin to the ruthless mechanisms of corporate power. This, indeed, is the primary function of Barack Obama.
[read the rest, here]
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