Chris Hedges: ‘Giving’ and Taking
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Author:  Catherine [ Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Chris Hedges: ‘Giving’ and Taking

Chris Hedges has some very critical things to say about Bill Clinton and his new you agree with him or not?

[url=]‘Giving’ and Taking

Bill Clinton has written a new book. It is called “Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World.” He will give a portion of the proceeds to charity. Giving, the former president informs us, gives us fulfilment in life and is “the fabric of our shared humanity.”

His book is the political equivalent of “Marley & Me” It is filled with a lot of vapid, feel-good stories about ordinary and wealthy Americans setting out to make the world a better place. It smacks of the philanthropy-as-publicity that characterized the largesse of the robber barons—the Mellons and the Rockefellers—and has become a pastime for our own oligarchic elite. Clinton’s call for charity is the equivalent of well-scrubbed prep school students spending a day in a soup kitchen, doling out food to the people whose jobs were outsourced by their mommies and daddies. It does little to alleviate suffering. But it is a balm to the conscience of the oligarchic class that profits handsomely from the impoverishment of the working class, globalization and our anti-democratic corporate state. The rich love to dine out on their own goodness.

The misery sweeping across the American landscape may have begun with Ronald Reagan, but it was accelerated and codified by Bill Clinton. He sold out the poor and the working class. And Clinton did it deliberately to feed the pathological hunger he and his wife have for political power. It was the Clintons who led the Democratic Party to the corporate watering trough. The Clintons argued that the party had to ditch labor unions, no longer a source of votes or power, as a political ally. Workers would vote Democratic anyway. They had no choice. It was better, the Clintons argued, to take corporate money and use government to service the needs of the corporations. By the 1990s, the Democratic Party, under Clinton’s leadership, had virtual fund-raising parity with the Republicans. In political terms, it was a success. In moral terms, it was a betrayal.

The North American Free Trade Agreement was sold to the country by the Clinton White House as an opportunity to raise the incomes and prosperity of the citizens of the United States, Canada and Mexico. Goods would be cheaper. Workers would be wealthier. Everyone would be happier. I am not sure how these contradictory things were supposed to happen, but in a sound-bite society, reality no longer matters. NAFTA would also, we were told, staunch Mexican immigration into the United States.

"There will be less illegal immigration because more Mexicans will be able to support their children by staying home,” President Clinton said in the spring of 1993 as he was lobbying for the bill.


The comments make interesting reading....

Think about this one:

Because I don’t wish to spend even a small part of whatever time I have left researching the pros/cons, strengths/weaknesses, vision/blindness of Presidents past, I don’t pretend to be knowledgeable on the topic.

I just wanted to state that if, as a citizen, I must be screwed, I’d rather it be by some leader with class, style, intelligence, personality, ability to use the English language and just a hint of being a sexually viable, sentient, thinking human being!

Guess that rules out George W. Bush

...and this one:

It amazes me how the extreme Left so hates the Clintons that they actually seem to PREFER Republicans in power because then they can write and say ANYTHING about them...But about Dems they don’t like they’ll feel stifled.

Face it: The 8 years under Bill Clinton were the best 8 years this nation had since Jan 1965, when LBJ started his second term. By my count that’s 42 years, of LBJ expanding Viet Nam, Nixon continuing it and sinking the economy, Ford fumbling, Jimmy Carter STARTING the Draconian measures needed to fix it only to be sunk by Reagan/Bush41--who made a mess of everthing they touched, to Clinton, pulling us out to health, to Bush43 sinking it all again.

Yet Bill Clinton, arguably the MOST successful President in the last 42 years, even by extreme Left-wing standards, is sliced and diced for remembering and acting by the adage that “politics is the art of the possible.”

In fact, if you ask the question: was JFK a better President than Clinton? Was Ike? (maybe, maybe not) How about Truman?, You’ll rapidly come to the conclusion that Bill Clinton was the BEST President America has had since FDR died in 1945--that’s 62 years, folks! The BEST 8 years of the last 62, by a DEMOCRATIC President that you vitriolically condemn.

Just what the HELL do you want?

Author:  Guest [ Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:24 am ]
Post subject: 

Catherine wrote:
. . . do you agree with him or not?

I'll have to read the book to comment, and I'll probably never get to it.

BUT . . .

Hedges wrote:
Clinton’s call for charity is the equivalent of well-scrubbed prep school students spending a day in a soup kitchen, doling out food to the people whose jobs were outsourced by their mommies and daddies.

This quote seems to be the center of his argument, and it's worth further analysis. It's extremely uncomfortable to be pushed out of the "go to school and get a job" lifestyle model after one has spent his or her whole life being bred to believe that model. And while it's very important to have consciousness of the indifference of humanity as a whole -- including the so-called ruling elites, it's more important to take matters into one's own hands and gain parity, someday replacing these so-called elites, most of whom are just as stupid as we are.

Crying poor puts people in a position of trying to go back in time, using the political process, which is a broken system. It becomes an endless he-she situation where everyone involved is guaranteed to fail, in military terms, because they're fighting the battle the wrong way.

And we could easily say, "Here comes some enterprising author, pretending to want to help people with crucial information, but laughing all the way to the bank as his un-unique views soar to the bestseller list." That would be a cheap shot, but he's leaving himself wide open to it.

It isn't a crime to be rich; it is a crime to be indifferent. If that theme matches Hedges 100%, then I agree with him 100%. But the tone of the excerpt above tends to suggest otherwise.

Here's another quote:

Hedges wrote:
We face the prospect of having two families govern the country for 16 years. The system is rigged. Our democracy is a consumer fraud. The government has given up any pretense of serving the interests of citizens. The corporations rule. And for all Clinton’s charm and talent for self-promotion, he is largely to blame.

What's the problem in this statement? (Aside from the fact that it states the obvious: "the system is rigged.") The problem is the attitude "he is largely to blame." For two reasons. One: assigning blame to others gives our power away to others -- even when those "others" are wrong. People who win in life don't think that way. Two: Clinton really isn't "largely" to blame. Hedges says himself, a couple sentences earlier, "The system is rigged." And then he changes the subject from "the system" generally to "Clinton" specifically, implying that no other U.S. President in the past twenty years has shown any signs of corruption under our "rigged" system!

So we're left with Clinton bashing. Hedges' real intention is Clinton bashing. Nothing more, nothing less. Maybe someone whose needs are already met has time to waste blaming their misery on others, but I don't. And you, dear reader, shouldn't either, if you're serious about winning.

It's up to you.

Author:  Catherine [ Tue Sep 18, 2007 5:54 pm ]
Post subject: 

Excellent response, GR....there are a few other Chris Hedges editorials in this forum. Check them out.

Author:  Guest [ Wed Sep 19, 2007 11:53 am ]
Post subject: 

Catherine wrote:
...there are a few other Chris Hedges editorials in this forum. Check them out.

Cool. He was an easy target. Before I move on, I'll turn the screws in him a little tighter with the following quote from Victor Frankl:

Victor Frankl Man's Search for Meaning wrote:
We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.

Frankl, Victor E.; Man's Search for Meaning (Revised and Updated); New York: WSP/Pocket, 1984. p. 86

Author:  DO.g's [ Wed Sep 19, 2007 12:46 pm ]
Post subject: 

I see- so a president that is fiscally responsible and makes money for people is OK. His magnanimosity is such that the methods used to garner this advantage are sufficient to call him the greatest! It matters not that he and so many other presidents made America great by lying, cheating and stealing from every other country the wealth of America and continued the growth of the corporations that profit from these policies- death and mutilation of people and economies so the people of America can feel thst much better than the rest of the world's people- and better entertained- keep them depressed and starving while America basks in wealth and pomposity.

Developing leaders that kill for money and then having them write books about caring and sharing is the universal way of laughing at absurdities. :roll:

And the poor continue to increase here and elsewhere, despite the best rhetoric of the body politic and it's sheeple.

Like Frankl said- no matter what- the attitude remains- whether one acts on it or not! Oh Hillary- from what thoughts do you spawn your logic?

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