Chris Hedges: how the liberals lost their way

This review has moved to my new page @ http://ronbc2.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/death-of-the-liberal-class/

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4 thoughts on “Chris Hedges: how the liberals lost their way

  1. Hedges bete noir is the utopian vision he sees inherent in fundamentalist views in religion and extreme political systems. The collapse of the utopian vision of communism also discredited socialism and the things Hedges holds dear such as defence of the working class. He wants a new utopian vision but he doesn’t like utopian visions.

    • Perhaps harsh on poor Chris, but certainly true. Hedges calls for an ideals-based activism which would be quite similar to that of the “American fascists” he hates. The cynic would suggest that fundamentalism, too, is threatened by corporatism, which has no social values at all — surely a worse crime than having the wrong ones? For now, the fundamentalists are lined up with the corporatists, but what would happen to them if they found themselves on the wrong side suddenly? For example, what if billions in profits were available from stem cell products — would the corporations allow religious objections to stop them?

      Hedges’s guru for many of the ideas in the book is Russell Jacoby, whose vicious review of the latest poststructuralist mush is notorious. If you haven’t yet read it, it’s here: http://dissentmagazine.org/article/?article=3790. And there is a reply and response here: http://www.dissentmagazine.org/online.php?id=445.

  2. Manthorpe in the Sun today points out re Egypt that liberal views created the revolution but the hard men will take over as they always do. It takes exceptional circumstances for liberal democratic views to prevail in the face of narrow interests.
    That is hardly the fault of the liberal class.

    • “That is hardly the fault of the liberal class” — No, it’s not. One response I had to Hedges’s book is that he’s inflating the importance of his own class, and thereby inflating his estimation of how much real change they could make.

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