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When theocracy meets plutocracy - Dukakis Hugging Moon Maiden [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Chad

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When theocracy meets plutocracy [Dec. 19th, 2010|12:07 pm]
Chad
I'm reading Chris Hedges' America's Fascists, which does often read like Stephen King for politically conscious progressives, but which I prefer to think of as a genuine cry of anguish from the perspective of an American and a Christian seeing the values of both identities being perverted. Here's probably the "money shot" of the book:

This is the apotheosis of capitalism, the divine sanction of the free market, of unhindered profit and the most rapacious cruelties of globalization. Corporations, rapidly turning America into an oligarchy, have little interest in Christian ethics, or anybody's ethics. They know what they have to do, as the titans of the industry remind us, for their stockholders. They are content to increase profit at the expense of those who demand fair wages, health benefits, safe working conditions and pensions. This new oligarchic class is creating a global marketplace where all workers, to compete, will have to become like workers in dictatorships such as China: denied rights, their wages dictated to them by the state, and forbidden from organizing or striking. America once attempted to pull workers abroad up to American levels, to foster the building of foreign labor unions, to challenge the abuse of workers in factories that flood the American market with cheap goods. but this new class seeks to reduce the American working class to the levels of this global serfdom. After all, anything that drains corporate coffers is a loss of freedom - the God-given American freedom to exploit other human beings to make money. The marriage of the gospel of prosperity with raw, global capitalism, and the flaunting of the wealth and privilege it brings, are supposedly blessed and championed by Jesus Christ. Compassion is relegated to private, individual acts of charity or left to churches. The callousness of the ideology, the notion that it in any way reflects the message of the gospels, which were preoccupied with the poor and the outcasts, illustrates how the new class has twisted Christian scripture to serve America's god of capitalism and discredited the Enlightenment values we once prized.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: mossymonkey
2010-12-19 10:07 pm (UTC)
I only wish it were, as Hedges contends, new--in many ways it's exactly the ethos that Jesus got all upset about, except that in his time, the corrupted faith was Judaism.

The problem is the institutionalization of power and class and the inevitable consequences. Our system of government is perhaps one of the best designs to fight this, but our attitudes as a people are not so oriented. Maybe we need to suffer more. I just don't want to be part of that if so.
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[User Picture]From: anne_jumps
2010-12-20 01:14 am (UTC)
America once attempted to pull workers abroad up to American levels, to foster the building of foreign labor unions, to challenge the abuse of workers in factories that flood the American market with cheap goods.

Indeed.
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[User Picture]From: nitasee
2010-12-22 06:52 pm (UTC)
I read this book - what last year - and found it had many good comments like that. But you're right, that is the "money shot" of the book.
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