Recently saw a video and then found a review of the book: America: The Farewell Tour by Chris Hedges. He presents the evidence of the USA in a death spiral that will be complete when the Dollar is no longer the standard of exchange. England had a death spiral starting about the time of WWI and ending with the failure to take back the Suez Canal and the loss of the Pound Sterling as the currency of exchange. He says that the 'corporate international state' that presides over the western nations is causing the failure of capitalism (free market economics). It is destructive ruthless and relentless force that consumes the population, and places the start at about 40 years ago, “It practices only the politics of vengeance. It uses coercion, fear, violence, police terror and mass incarceration as forms of social control while it cannibalizes the nation and the globe for profits,” there is “no institutions left in America that can authentically be called democratic,” and “the malaise that infects Americans is global.” It is a sickness that is consuming the planet while it is using the energy obtained to appear strong. It will be followed by collapse and the chaos that always follows.
President Donald Trump capitalized on defining this problem to become president, and the Democratic party and their supporters chose Trump because he was the weakest candidate. All major media outlets especially Fox televised defended Trump during the primary to make him the GOP candidate. They paid out more then all the other candidates from all parties combined including media's preference, Hillary Clinton. I believe that they rightly saw Trump's weak points, but they down played his strong points. The attacks on President Trump effectively uses those identified weak points.
This is one of the best truths Chris Hedges said on the video, politicians all lie. They lie for expediency. We are in a time when the lies are becoming permanent lies. Donald Trump pours out an almost continuous stream of expediency lies as does all the leading politicians. The problem is that the media does not question the lies. They for me have turned lies of expedience to permanent lies. And the public has recognized that they hear lies from all sources of information. Trump inflates the performance of the economy and the effectiveness of his 'Make America Great Again' campaign slogan. On absolute measurement terms he lies, but on relative terms to Obama's performance he is succeeding and meeting the promise made. Chris only wants to apply absolute measurements and only to Trump.
On the video Chris Hedges is asked to present his solutions: $15 minimum wage, ban on for profit health care (national health care), dismantle nuclear weapons, end trade agreements, and give citizenship to undocumented workers. He presented Shumer, Pelosi, and Sander's 2018 and before platform that even Hillary Clinton ran on and the was part of Obama's transforming America plan.
When I look at his action list I go back to the Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire reason for collapsing. History presents many other and near the present day: USSR, Yugoslavia , and in the final gasps Venezuela. They all created class societies with the elite controlling government to created special laws for each class and prevent mobility between classes. They all created if needed a welfare state to control the mob that receive the transfer of wealth from the middle class. They all in the end reduced defenses in order to maintain the levers of control and every one of them were willing to kill their opposition within the nation. In the end the suppressed middle class rise up in revolution or the weaken borders let in invaders, usually those invaders are welcome guest workers earlier in the spiral downward.
Chris Hedges has not presented is that the corporate international state that presides over the western nations is actually creating a class society with barriers to mobility, is creating a welfare state, and inviting in workers or moving work to the impoverished workers, little difference. They are doing all the things that he say will solve the problem. Chris Hedges how can the same things destroy a civilization and rebuild it?
I never want to leave a subject without presenting a direction that may work. Life on the planet has survived millions of years by adapting and the means of determining what works from what does not is called 'spontaneous order'. This may appear to be chaos but a balance is reach in which the living things on the earth learn how to relate to the other living things, order. It is spontaneous because nothing dictates what the order will look like and what changes will happen over time.
The is a template that has worked for humans to develop a language, created the family structure, and community structure. Why would it not work for human civilization? The Constitution of the United State is based on a document the Declaration of Independence that present a view of what spontaneous order in a human civilization should define as it's principles. The Classic liberal thinkers of the time provided the understanding. We need to go back and review their thinking. Be careful to include those that are in line with the Declaration because those that supported class societies the norm of the day also wrote. The corporate state is really not new.
To deal with the corporations can be addressed with anti-trust laws,a tool if used properly insures that the free market operates on 'spontaneous order'. The goal of anti trust is to prevent skewing of the spontaneous order that would occur if the number of players were numerous. Thus anti trust defines a minimum number of players and the reach of those players that is how many average players they represent is needed for quasi spontaneous order, the market is skewed less the ~ 10%. This goes for free speech, the restriction that our two party system has place on entry of third parties, etc..
The Constitution defines federalism, the next body of government that is jealous to retain power and with many of them together, they check the upper government body. The state constitutions that all but one have bicameral legislatures need to change the representative in their senate body be the representative body for county governments of which there are many in a state, the next lower body of government. All bodies of government shall have enumerated powers that shall only allow them to do thing that can not be done by a lower body. Thus the bodies will be much smaller and more focused.
Government at any level can not put up barriers to the mobility of people between classes. The transfer of wealth by taxes to other citizens shall be voted upon by those paying the taxes and not by the recipients at regular intervals, each year. And of course the congress or the executive branch can not transfer authority to a government agencies. The supreme court shall be limited to saying a law is unconstitutional and can not impose actions to be performed by government or individuals. And the decision of the court can be challenged. For example the next lower body of governments can nullify a court decision by a super majority in each state's legislatures. Congress already can pass a law to nullify a court decision.