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Chris Hedges on the Lack of a True Left in America

“The American left is a phantom. It is conjured up by the right wing to tag Barack Obama as a socialist and used by the liberal class to justify its complacency and lethargy. It diverts attention from corporate power. It perpetuates the myth of a democratic system that is influenced by the votes of citizens, political platforms and the work of legislators. It keeps the world neatly divided into a left and a right. The phantom left functions as a convenient scapegoat. The right wing blames it for moral degeneration and fiscal chaos. The liberal class uses it to call for “moderation.” And while we waste our time talking nonsense, the engines of corporate power—masked, ruthless and unexamined—happily devour the state.”

“The loss of a radical left in American politics has been catastrophic. The left once harbored militant anarchist and communist labor unions, an independent, alternative press, social movements and politicians not tethered to corporate benefactors. But its disappearance, the result of long witch hunts for communists, post-industrialization and the silencing of those who did not sign on for the utopian vision of globalization, means that there is no counterforce to halt our slide into corporate neofeudalism. This harsh reality, however, is not palatable. So the corporations that control mass communications conjure up the phantom of a left. They blame the phantom for our debacle. And they get us to speak in absurdities.”

Chris Hedges

5 thoughts on “Chris Hedges on the Lack of a True Left in America”

  1. Very interesting. I’m not sure I agree completely, either, but the premise that a “true left” is no longer a political force in the US is pretty true. The definition of “center” in this country has moved considerably to the right in the last decade. What used to be considered centrist or even moderately conservative is not considered left-leaning or liberal. What used to be far-right is now moderate. And of course the extreme right is now the mainstream right. What used to be the moderate left is now the extreme left, and thus marginalized.

    To say that we’re dead or gone is pretty unrealistic, obviously we exist as we’re chatting right here on this website. But to get our voices out in parity to the center/right spectrum will take some work. MSNBC alone won’t balance out basically everyone else.


  2. Interesting perspective. The left conjures up the right exactly the way the right conjures up the left. Everyone believes everyone besides them is moving more left or right but are not the most left or the most right.

    I find myself siting exactly in the middle moving absolutely none while being referred to as moving left by some and moving right by the others.


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