Monday, August 27, 2018

Hedges on America's New Serfdom

Think of it as neofeudalism in which the masses, stripped of economic and political clout, are consigned to servitude. Chris Hedges writes of the ascent of neofeudalism.

We live in a new feudalism. We have been stripped of political power. Workers are trapped in menial jobs, forced into crippling debt and paid stagnant or declining wages. Chronic poverty and exploitative working conditions in many parts of the world, and increasingly in the United States, replicate the hell endured by industrial workers at the end of the 19th century. The complete capture of ruling institutions by corporations and their oligarchic elites, including the two dominant political parties, the courts and the press, means there is no mechanism left by which we can reform the system or protect ourselves from mounting abuse. We will revolt or become 21st-century serfs, forced to live in misery and brutally oppressed by militarized police and the most sophisticated security and surveillance system in human history while the ruling oligarchs continue to wallow in unimagined wealth and opulence.
“The new tax code is explosive excess,” the economist Richard Wolff said when we spoke in New York. “We’ve had 30 or 40 years where corporations paid less taxes than they ever did. They made more money than they ever did. They have been able to keep wages stagnant while the productivity of labor rose. This is the last moment historically they need another big gift, let alone at the expense of the very people whose wages have been stagnant. To give them a tax bust of this sort, basically reducing from 35 percent to 20 percent, is a 40 percent cut. This kind of crazy excess reminds you of the [kings] of France before the French Revolution when the level of excess reached an explosive social dimension. That’s where we are.”
It is predicted that the Republicans, if they can hang onto Congress in November, will follow up their tax cuts for the rich by pleading poverty (entirely self-inflicted) to justify cuts to social security and medicaid, thus further impoverishing working class Americans including the Gullibillies they've  groomed so well.


Anonymous said...
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Owen Gray said...

The Republicans know exactly what they're doing. And they lack the integrity to have any second thoughts about what they're doing.

The Mound of Sound said...

Well, Anon, that link was certainly vile. You seem to be a particularly disgusting pile of shit.

The Mound of Sound said...

I think this is entirely calculated, Owen. First tell the Gullibillies how much better off they are from seven-digit tax breaks for the rich and then, having driven the deficit through the roof, scold those same Gullibillies for their greedy dependence on social security and health care as you slash both.

John B. said...

As Trump adds billions to the debt in emergency farm aid to compensate for the unintended consequences of his trade wars, it should prove to be a great day for more “unintended” consequences. The libertarians should like these ones. Count on it.