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Death of the Liberal Class

Написано Chris Hedges

Озвучено Arthur Morey

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В настоящее время недоступен на Scribd

Death of the Liberal Class

Написано Chris Hedges

Озвучено Arthur Morey

оценки:
4.5/5 (24 оценки)
Длина:
9 часов
Издатель:
Издано:
19 окт. 2010 г.
ISBN:
9781611200195
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Описание

The liberal class plays a vital role in a democracy, and posits itself as the conscience of the nation. It permits us to define ourselves as a good and noble people. Most importantly, the liberal class offers a safety valve for popular frustrations and discontentment by discrediting those who talk of profound structural change. Once this class loses it's role, then democracy breaks down and the liberal class becomes an object of ridicule and hatred. The Death of the Liberal Class examines the failure of the liberal class to confront the rise of the corporate state and the consequences of a bankrupt liberalism, making the liberal class irrelevant to society at large and ultimately the corporate power elite they once served.
Издатель:
Издано:
19 окт. 2010 г.
ISBN:
9781611200195
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Об авторе

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, New York Times best selling author, former professor at Princeton University, activist and ordained Presbyterian minister. He has written 11 books, including the New York Times best-seller Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt(2012), which he co-authored with the cartoonist Joe Sacco. His other books include Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt, (2015) Death of the Liberal Class (2010), Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009), I Don’t Believe in Atheists (2008) and the best-selling American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America (2008). His book War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning(2003) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction and has sold over 400,000 copies. He writes a weekly column for the website Truthdig in Los Angeles, run by Robert Scheer, and hosts a show, On Contact, on RT America.


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4.5
24 оценки / 9 Обзоры
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Отзывы читателей

  • (5/5)
    This is a powerful, prophetic book, but very gloomy.
  • (5/5)

    3 people found this helpful

    This book covers the decay of liberalism from World War 1 through the rest of the 20th Century. Liberals started off championing the working class but degenerated into a lame "rising tide floats all boats" support for the rich and powerful. This shift was basically driven by a desire for liberals to save their own necks from various threats such as the McCarthy black list or just getting turned down for academic tenure.I have read a bit about much of this history and find great resonance between my own outlook and that of Hedges. Still I found this book to be rather gut-wrenching. The elite has such power to suppress threats to its own privileges! Hedges covers this history in considerable detail, from Eugene Debs to Ralph Nader. Hedges does have some constructive suggestions. The way forward is to build alternative structures starting at the grassroots level and pretty much ignoring the existing power structures. Of course there are rich traditions from which we can draw. Hedges is a Christian which comes through in the book but not in an overbearing way. We really need to pull resources from all the spiritual traditions of the world!

    3 people found this helpful

  • (5/5)

    2 people found this helpful

    This book describes that when the Liberal class no longer functions, we are in trouble. Chris Hedges details that the death of the liberal class removes an important check and balance against the powers that be. I can see what he is talking about all around me. The simple fact is, if things remain the same, the working and middle classes are getting really ticked-off. We have politicians and leaders that no longer work for us. They are controlled by American corporations, like Halliburton, that steals from U.S. citizens, and it is allowed to. It is time to remove corporate protection for officers of corporations, and we should not allowed any corporation or business to contribute to politicians or fund political action committees, and lobbyists should be removed from congress. The forefathers of this country were terrified of corporations, and so should we be. They own this country and our politicians. If nothing changes our democracy is done. The middle and working classes are beginning to hate democratic institutions and the top one percent. Something needs to be done now, before it is to late.This is the book to really start you thinking.

    2 people found this helpful

  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Similar to his other book Empire of Illusion, this book focuses on American History and how the Liberal class was weakened and died over the course of American History. Well written and insightful, and since I know only a little bit about American History it was very informative as well.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (3/5)

    3 people found this helpful

    Hedges has compiled a damning critique of the failure of liberalism. To use the terms of another reviewer, the book is a fiery philippic denouncing the timidity and hypocrisy of liberal elites. Though Hedges never defines liberalism or who exactly constitutes the "liberal class," it's clear that he sees liberals as the conscience of modern society and that their downfall began with their misplaced patriotism and consequent support of Woodrow Wilson's propaganda drive during World War I. This role as modern conscience is key to both liberalism's vitality and its original sin: it is an engine for social good (equality and liberty) but it is also inherently intertwined with the nodes of power of the modern world, state and corporate power (which he sees as inextricably combined in the twentieth century).Liberalism is a vast political and social terrain, and Hedges would have improved the clarity and precision of his arguments if he had provided a clearer sense of who constitutes the liberal class and who is outside it. Hedges is also far too fond of long quotes and many sections seem strung together with only a modicum of original writing.Hedges is damning of much post-war liberal culture: Abstract Expressionism, 60s counterculture, academe, and much more all come under his relentless guillotine. I agree with much--probably most--of what he says. The problem is that this seems to be a compilation (of admittedly important criticisms) more than a sustained argument about the systemic causes of liberalism's decline and it offers little in the way of solutions. Such gloomy works--valuable and potent, certainly, and deserving of a broad audience--would work better as pamphlets and broadsides, if we only had a surviving economy for such printed work.

    3 people found this helpful

  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Really dissects where the liberals went wrong. Brought home even more so by the Sanders campaign in 2016.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (3/5)
    Great analysis; but seems to have been a little rushed. Better fact checking would have been useful. M Ignatief is not the leader of Canada's Labour Party.
  • (3/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Chris Hedges is still too young for this old man's rant about the present malaise of the United States of America. His disenchantment dates back to 2003 when his anti-Iraq War advocacy led to his separation from the warmongering New York Times. Prior to that Hedges had covered the Middle East and the Balkans for the New York Times, in the middle of the sausage making of foreign politics reporting for an American audience. The moral failure (Hedges also studied divinity!) of so many of his liberal friends and institutions in standing fast against a blatantly unjust war underlies much of the writing of this philippic against the Liberals.He never discusses what constitutes liberalism and the Liberal Class. With him, liberalism is sort of a warm feeling of doing the right often progressive thing. If he had discussed this, he would have noted that US Liberals are a fairly conservative bunch in a global view. After all, the US founding fathers were liberals. They wanted "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", mostly for themselves. They and their descendants were and are quite happy to keep others in bondage or in wage slavery. Otherwise, they would pay the army of cheap labor, the Wallmart greeters and packagers, the bellhops and concierges, the shoe shiners and ushers, gardeners and nannies a decent wage including health care. The lack of descent universal health care, education and transport infrastructure is no accident but an effect of a government of the rich, by the rich and for the rich. The United States of America has, from the beginning, been horribly afraid from "liberté, égalité, fraternité". Solidarity is un-American (only charity is acceptable if asked for by meek applicants).Just as most European liberals such as the German FDP are the party of the rich and the professionals (managers, lawyers, doctors), the US Democrats mostly represent elite interests. There is no Liberal Class, they are part of the ruling class with a more centric outlook.Thus, it is no wonder that the progressives, Hedges so admires, are mostly left out in the cold, shut out of the governing process and have to fight tooth and nail to get even a piece of progressive legislation enacted. Hedges' stories about the failure of his heroes from the First World War on to achieve progressive successes instantly falsifies his titular claim of the death of the Liberal Class. While Hedges interviewed Zinn and Chomsky, he did not get their message that the US bipolar political organization is a scam. The New York Times does not write for the masses but a tiny elite. With a circulation of one million, it is directed at and reaches the small sliver of Americans who decide. For most Americans, politics is just a form of entertainment (Hollywood for ugly people). Hedges' chapter on politics as spectacle is his best, a reworking of the classic panem et circenses charge adapted to a Dancing with the Stars USA.His rant fails to present countermeasures. His attack on the internet, technology and globalization is severely outdated. The new media are just the path to outflank the gate-keeping New York Times and the other media conglomerates. Unfortunately and ultimately, it is the passivity of the general population, and the poor among them, that prevents reform. It is not a lack of activists (Hedges' main charge) but a failure of resonance, of getting people off their couches, that keeps the plutocracy in power.Overall, given his quite thoughtful interviews, I expected a deeper, more reasoned book. Enjoyable as a passionate but fruitless rant, thus itself one piece of the typical inconsequential output of the Liberal Class.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (2/5)
    If this book is an example of Liberal Intelligence, the very thing that is dying, then the medium is the message and the Liberal Class is not worth saving and needs to evaporate as soon as possible. This is my second book by this author: why would a publisher want to share this self absorbed bellybutton gazing?