Comment : 'Death By Oligarchy'


Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and a New York Times best-selling author.

He knows the world, having reported from more than 50 countries during his career, as foreign correspondent for The New York Times for 15 years.

His latest book (his 13th bestseller, and that's hard to do when you write about politics) is 'America: The Farewell Tour". His essay 'Death By Oligarchy' pulls no punches.

Some selected excerpts :



Death By Oligarchy
Oligarchs are blinded by hubris, wealth and power. Their cloying sense of entitlement sees them outraged by even the most tepid reforms or mildest of criticisms. They lack empathy and compassion, along with remorse or guilt, for what is done to those outside of their tiny, elitist circles. Privilege does strange and unpleasant things to human beings.
The repugnant characteristics of the rich are skillfully masked by armies of lawyers and publicists, a servile and intimidated press, good manners and the fig leaf of philanthropy.
The rich's carefully packaged economic and social models are designed to create a new form of serfdom for the working class and further consolidate the concentration of wealth and power into their hands.
All our institutions — the press, the courts, legislative bodies, the executive branch and academia—have been perverted to serve the oligarch’s narrow, selfish interests while an oppressed citizenry, struggling to survive, is seething with mounting rage and frustration.
[The New Oligarchs] are no longer capitalists. We define capitalists as those who make money from the means of production. These are a criminal class of financial speculators that rewrite the laws to steal from everyone, including their own shareholders. They are parasites that feed off the carcass of industrial capitalism. They produce nothing. They make nothing.
Greed is bottomless. It is the disease of the rich. The more the oligarchs accumulate the more they want. This is the dark side of human nature. It has always been with us.
All societies are plagued by social inequality, but ... when the society exists only to serve the greed of the rich, when income inequality reaches the levels it has reached in the United States, the social fabric is torn apart and the society  destroys itself.
Aristotle warned about the danger of oligarchies nearly 2,500 years ago. We stand on the cusp of social and political disintegration, bequeathed to us by oligarchs who have seized total power.
The ruling oligarchs will stymie all attempts at reform. This makes a crisis inevitable. Once we enter this crisis, the oligarchs will become the most potent enablers of despotism.