CHRIS HEDGES—Liberals like Chris Hedges are almost always extremely efficient and eloquent in their diagnoses of what ails society. In this talk, Hedges provides, for example, a good anatomy of what constitutes the main working parts of the imperialist organism, currently managed by Joe Biden (the collective Biden, not the real, physical Biden). This, Hedges insists, is just an army of professional bureaucrats dedicated to the design and implementation of policies conducive to the perpetuation of a global, deeply undemocratic oligarchic cabal, with HQ in Washington. The problem with Chris is that his analysis does not advance much in the manner of solutions, aside from recommending extra-electoral mass mobilizations (something we certainly agree with). And Chris’s anti-communism and anti-Sovietism do not help matters much, either.
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CALEB MAUPIN—Forerunners of the “color revolutions”, Caleb discusses the CIA-supported Hungarian uprising of 1956 and the Czech “Prague Spring” of 1968, the latter term symbolising the coming in from the frozen cold of communist tyranny. Every nation that heeded the capitalist siren song of the West became a corrupt neoliberal regime, warns Caleb. And each of these regimes were at the time of their birth hailed as great improvements over communism by many people who still define themselves as being anti-imperialist and “on the left”.
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BRUCE LERRO—But what excuse do left-liberals have? Most left liberals are upper middle-class. They have the resources to build a party. Why don’t they? What keeps left liberals from pouring resources into the Green Party, which has always been at least truly left-liberal? Clearly the number of people in the United States who are for Bernie Sanders convinces me that the population would welcome such as party.
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BRUCE LERRO—Thus DSA, Jacobin magazine, Socialist Alternative and Global Exchange will always find a welcoming ear on the radio waves and journals of the Left Gatekeepers. Noam Chomsky, proclaimed anarchist, can come onto Democracy Now whenever he wants. But Michael Parenti, who will defend the Soviet Union or China and who is quite capable of matching Noam Chomsky, rarely gets on the air.
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RAINER SHEA—By applying his familiar dishonest framing tactics to demonize militant anti-capitalist strains in modern America, Hedges is trying to undermine the strains of our society that seek to carry out practical steps towards revolution. The overthrow of the bourgeoisie, especially in the highly militarized United States, will require some amount of violent struggle. As Lenin concluded while he was participating in an actual anti-capitalist revolution, “The replacement of the bourgeois by the proletarian state is impossible without a violent revolution.” But Hedges attacks both those who acknowledge the necessity of violence, and those who seek to apply Lenin’s other lessons for building proletarian power.