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Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges

Death of the Liberal Class (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Chris Hedges

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3941038,784 (4.09)7
Title:Death of the Liberal Class
Authors:Chris Hedges
Info:Nation Books (2010), Edition: First Edition, First Printing., Hardcover, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:NON-CIRCULATING, from Hackley Public Library

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Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges (2010)



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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! ( )
2 vote kukulaj | Sep 12, 2016 |
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. ( )
  TegarSault | Aug 22, 2016 |
For decades the liberal class was a defense against the worst excesses of power. But the pillars of the liberal class— the press, universities, the labor movement, the Democratic Party, and liberal religious institutions—have collapsed. In its absence, the poor, the working class, and even the middle class no longer have a champion.

In this searing polemic Chris Hedges indicts liberal institutions, including his former employer, the New York Times, who have distorted their basic beliefs in order to support unfettered capitalism, the national security state, globalization, and staggering income inequalities. Hedges argues that the death of the liberal class created a profound vacuum at the heart of American political life. And now speculators, war profiteers, and demagogues— from militias to the Tea Party—are filling the void. ( )
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  MarkBeronte | Mar 4, 2014 |
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. ( )
  robrod1 | May 23, 2013 |
This is a powerful, prophetic book, but very gloomy. ( )
  nmele | Apr 6, 2013 |
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At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas
which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will
accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say
this, that or the other, but it is "not done" to say it, just as in
mid-Victorian times it was "not done" to mention trousers
in the presence of a lady. Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never
given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the
highbrow periodicals.
—George Orsell, "Freedom of the Press"
For Eunice,
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Ernest Logan Bell, an unemployed twenty-five-year-old Marine Corps veteran, walks along Route 12 in Upstate New York.
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Asserts that the liberal class has failed to confront the rise of the corporate state and argues that the five parts of the liberal establishment--the press, liberal religious institutions, unions, universities, and the Democratic Party--are more concerned with status and privilege than justice and progress.… (more)

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