PATRICE GREANVILLE—Despite his sophisticated understanding of politics and history, Hedges is sometimes reluctant to use an outright anti-capitalist framework to analyze the challenges confronting ordinary people, and while sometimes praising the Communists for their contributions to the anti-corporate struggle, he manages, like many liberals, to praise and curse at the same time. He retains a rather left-liberal attitude toward Marxism in general, and a rather simplisitic vision of actually existing socialism, beginning of course with the Soviet Union, which he seems to regard as some sort of tyranny.
CAPITALISM & SOCIALISM
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JOE LAURIA—The misery of American workers and the shrinking of the middle class began long before Trump, however, and both Democrats and Republicans are to blame. Bill Clinton moved his party firmly behind neoliberal economic policies, begun in full under Ronald Reagan, that have devastated workers. All presidents since, including Trump, have adhered to these policies.
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CAITLIN JOHNSTONE—Social media isn’t for organizing the leftist revolution you bonehead, it’s for creating more leftists. It’s for reaching the mainstream. A leftist’s first and foremost job is to create more leftists. If the left becomes a potent political force, all the censorship protocols they’ve been putting into place these last few years will be used to stop it from infecting the mainstream herd. You shouldn’t want this.
Trying to stop fascism by making it invisible is like trying to avert a charging bull by putting your hands over your eyes. If you want to stop the rise of fascism you need to change. Change your sick society. Profoundly. Not just cover up the manifestations of that sickness. Compartmentalizing and covering up the problem instead of pouring money and resources into creating a healthy society which addresses the underlying problems is the most shitlib thing ever.
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ED CURTIN—Harry Houdini, the magical performer who was able to escape from any trap, any nightmarish enclosure, any lockdown, once said, “It’s still an open question, however, as to what extent exposure really hurts a performer.”
The question has been answered. It doesn’t hurt at all, for phony events still mesmerize millions who are eager to suspend their disbelief for the sake of a sad strand of hope that their chosen leaders – whether Biden or Trump – are levelling with them and are not playing them for fools. To accept that Trump and Biden are scripted actors in a highly sophisticated reality TV movie is a bit of “reality” too hard to bear. Exposing them and their minions doesn’t hurt at all. There’s no business but show business.
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Cuba’s placement on the state sponsors of terror list is meant to be a thorn in any plan by the Biden administration for rapprochement. Taking Cuba off the list will require a review process that could take months, delaying any new initiatives to roll back Trump-era policies. It will also cause further pain to Cuba’s economy, already battered by tightened sanctions and the pandemic that has devastated the island’s tourism industry. The new terrorism label will likely scare off many businesses that import to Cuba, banks that finance transactions with Cuba and foreign investors.