Thursday, October 19, 2017

With bells on...

I'm at a loss how to comment, with any good sense, about US politics (or even about British politics, especially Brexit) these days. "Sometimes the only thing you can do is stare blankly."* For now, I'll rely on anyone remaining more clear-headed than I'm feeling:
(*A line from "The Long Earth" by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter - my current read.)

Jim Haygood, a regular in the comments section at naked capitalism, on 17 October wrote, in the afternoon "Water Cooler" segment:

Truthdig has posted an awesome interview of Chris Hedges by WSWS.

Cris Hedges: Politicians like the Clintons, Pelosi and Schumer are creations of Wall Street. That is why they are so virulent about pushing back against the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party. Without Wall Street money, they would not hold political power.

The Democratic Party doesn’t actually function as a political party. It’s about perpetual mass mobilization and a hyperventilating public relations arm, all paid for by corporate donors. The base of the party has no real say in the leadership or the policies of the party, as Bernie Sanders and his followers found out. They are props in the sterile political theater.

These party elites, consumed by greed, myopia and a deep cynicism, have a death grip on the political process. They’re not going to let it go, even if it all implodes.
Bring it, Lord!

INDEEDY! (With bells on!)

I'll add a little more from the Chris Hedges interview, this on identity politics:
Chris Hedges: Well, identity politics defines the immaturity of the left. The corporate state embraced identity politics. We saw where identity politics got us with Barack Obama, which is worse than nowhere. He was, as Cornel West said, a black mascot for Wall Street, and now he is going around to collect his fees for selling us out.

My favorite kind of anecdotal story about identity politics:
Cornel West and I, along with others, led a march of homeless people on the Democratic National Convention session in Philadelphia. There was an event that night. It was packed with hundreds of people, mostly angry Bernie Sanders supporters. I had been asked to come speak. And in the back room, there was a group of younger activists, one who said, “We’re not letting the white guy go first.” Then he got up and gave a speech about how everybody now had to vote for Hillary Clinton. That’s kind of where identity politics gets you. There is a big difference between shills for corporate capitalism and imperialism, like Corey Booker and Van Jones, and true radicals like Glen Ford and Ajamu Baraka. The corporate state carefully selects and promotes women, or people of color, to be masks for its cruelty and exploitation.....The new form of feminism is an example of the poison of neoliberalism. It is about having a woman CEO or woman president, who will, like Hillary Clinton, serve the systems of oppression....


Anonymous said...

Chris Hedges, himself, represents a form of identity politics.

Twilight said...

Anonymous ~ Hmm. does your comment, I guess. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Didn't mean that in a bad way. Dictionary: 'political activity or movements based on or catering to the cultural, ethnic, gender, racial, religious, or social interests that characterize a group identity.' Hedges' Pulitzer Prize winning progressive journalism is about identity politics, which places a brand on him, too. Just seemed ironic to me that Hedges observations and writings about identity politics makes him an observer and a subject at the same time.

Twilight said...

Anonymous ~ I see what you're saying - thanks for the clarification. I hadn't been reading Hedges' stuff recently, until this one. I used to be a regular reader of his articles, until I found his subject matter, and his style, more and more depressing, without offering suggestions as to the best way to deal with situations, other than via "revolution". That is, as yet anyway, simply fantasy. I did like this current piece of his though.

"Identity Politics" as a "thing" and as a term is one I wasn't aware of until the last couple of years - though what it refers to has been going on for ever - one way or another.