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Author Topic: The Anti-Democratic Elite Fix Was IN From The Very Start of the USA  (Read 3479 times)

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VIDEO: Chris Hedges to Robert Scheer: Why Do You Respect America’s Founding Fathers? (Part 5/7)
In the fifth installment of Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges’ interview with Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer about Scheer’s new book, “They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy,” Hedges challenges him on his reverence for America’s founding fathers—a group of elite, white, property-owning males who amassed great wealth and treated many people terribly.

"This is part five of my conversation with Robert Scheer, the author of They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy.

I love the book. It’s brilliant. You’re a great writer. And it’s an important book.

I wouldn’t say they are destroying democracy; I would say they have destroyed democracy. You have held up throughout this conversation the founding fathers. 

And I want to go back to Thomas Paine, who was the real radical, who called for—he didn’t use the word socialism, but a type of socialism, who was an abolitionist, who was a proponent of direct democracy, which the founding fathers were not, who opposed the genocidal campaigns against Native Americans, which all of the founding fathers embraced with relish, ho wanted rights for women.

And I think Zinn points out that all of these freedoms that you talk about were reserved for a very small, select group of largely slave-holding white males, our aristocratic class, who replaced the aristocratic class of Britain, and that it was—Washington, by the time he was president, was the wealthiest person in the United States, largely by seizing Indian lands with land speculators and selling it for profit—of course, he himself was a large slaveholder—And that through the constitutional conventions that were held after independence, you really saw a rolling back of that populism and radicalism that Paine, who himself became a pariah, spoke so eloquently about, and of course Common Sense and his journalism were used to fuel—most of the people fighting the revolution were yeoman farmers.

So they created mechanisms by which we would never have a voice—the Senate, the Electoral College.
That’s how you had Al Gore win 500,000 more votes than Bush and Bush still wins or Nader did not lose the election.

Everything was built into the system to create a kind of protection of rights for a very select few. And we saw throughout American history—and Zinn does this in his book—the struggle by labor, by women, by African-Americans, the Communist Party.

We have erased the importance of the Communist Party in this country all through the ‘20s and ‘30s. These radical movements that opened up that space in American democracy, all of those movements have been shut down in the name of anticommunism, starting with Wilson but running right through, past McCarthy.

Labor is a spent force. You talk about labor, where you have less than 12 percent of the American workforce is unionized. Only 6 percent of the labor force in the private sector is unionized. We have created an oligarchic state, a form of neo-feudalism.

You have half this country living in poverty or near poverty. We have a looming climate crisis, especially since we are not—and Barack Obama drills like Sarah Palin—we are not able to stop the ravaging of the planet, whether it’s the tar sands or dropping drill bits up into the summer Arctic sea ice by Shell Oil, profiting off the death throes of the planet. These people are barreling forward in terms of the impoverishment of the working class, the destruction of the environment.

And they have created mechanisms—they certainly are prepared for unrest. They have run scenario after scenario after scenario, and they have created mechanisms—militarized police, drones, security and surveillance—an evisceration—Obama’s assault on civil liberties is worse then, as I said before, anything Bush has done. They’re ready to go. They know something’s coming, and they’re totally prepared.

And I don’t see in that mechanism that they have put into place—and what they have done in terms of creating both a legal, a judicial, and a security system that is so powerful, so pervasive, and, as you said, far beyond anything the Stasi ever dreamt of—I don’t see how at that point appealing or believing that the system is reformable is anything but futile." --Chris Hedges

This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.. -- Psalm 34:6


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