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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 8/12/19

Fear vs. Fear

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By stepping outside the system, including in our voting patterns, we begin to make the ruling elites afraid. Change comes from pressure. But if we are not willingly to become outcasts, that pressure will never happen. It was not the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, for example, led by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, that first proposed the Green New Deal. It was articulated 12 years ago by the Green Party, which called for massive job and public works programs to transition our energy infrastructure to renewable energy. The deal was promoted by Howie Hawkins when he ran for the governorship in New York in 2014 and by Jill Stein during her 2016 presidential run.

The proposal for a Green New Deal by the Green Party has a fundamental difference from what is touted by progressive Democrats. It does not argue that structural change and a transition to renewable energy will come by making alliances with corporate power. Instead, it insists that we bring about a transformational change in our economy by crushing corporate power and establishing a socialist system.

"The Democrats don't have real solutions," Hawkins, who is seeking the Green Party nomination for the presidency, told me in New York. "Trump is a racist scapegoater. He is a freeloading leech who doesn't pay his own employees, contracts, taxes. He lies to the people. He needs to go. But if you replace him with a Democrat, they're not going to enact 'Medicare for All.' They're not going to do a Green New Deal. They are backing Trump, who now wants a war for oil in Venezuela, while the planet is burning from burning oil. It's madness.

"The historic role of third parties in this country is to raise issues that major parties won't take up," he went on. "Like the Liberty Party and the question of slavery. They were the abolitionists when the Whigs and the Democrats didn't want to touch the issue. We can go for 150 years of history and show how that's the case.

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"We are not going to get to 100 percent clean energy if Exxon gets to reinvest its earnings in more oil exploration extraction and sales," he said. "The Koch brothers and all their interests in the oil industry, those should be publicly owned. We take the earnings, because we'll use fossil fuels during the transition, and reinvest it in renewable. That's the socialist solution. You can get some socialist programs, like Social Security or Medicare for All, which Bernie Sanders champions, but as long as the capitalist oligarchy has power based on their concentrated ownership of the economy, which translates into political power, they can roll it back.

"When I talk about a Green New Deal, I'm talking about an economic bill of rights like [Franklin] Roosevelt called for at the end of his 1944 State of the Union address," Hawkins said. "A job. Income. Health care. Housing. Education. The civil rights picked that up with the [1963] March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, with the Freedom Budget, and the [1968] Poor People's Campaign. But we still don't have it. The other part is 100 percent clean energy by 2030. We have to reorganize all sectors [of the economy] agriculture, manufacturing, the military, transportation -- toward sustainability. Or we'll never get to 100 percent clean energy."

Switch off the electronic images. Ignore the media burlesque. The endless political shows, which turn presidential campaigns into mind-numbing, two-year-long marathons, are entertainment. Do not trust anyone in power. We will save ourselves by building mass movements to overthrow corporate power. I am not certain we will succeed. But I am certain that if we fail, we are doomed.

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Chris Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.

Hedges was part of the team of (more...)
 

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7 people are discussing this page, with 8 comments  Post Comment


gk thomas

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Chris is right, of course, but how do you wake up a population with diverse views on everything? How do you organize the masses before it is too late?

Submitted on Monday, Aug 12, 2019 at 2:46:41 PM

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kappie

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A truly depressing article but chris is totally 100% correct.how do you convince people that both parties suck,that the news is only to protect the corporations.It is truly depressing to see what the world will be in even 10 years because unfortunately nothing is going to change unless some miracle happens and the people do start rebelling and i don't see that happening with so many diversions to keep us divided and no news to inform us.

Submitted on Monday, Aug 12, 2019 at 7:42:50 PM

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Lois Gagnon

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Chris as always is 100% correct. As a Green I intend to do everything I can to make sure Howie is the Green Party nominee. We need his expertise on this.

As a side note, Senator Markey who is pushing his fake Green New Deal has a copy of the Green Party version. I gave it to him so he has no excuse about not understanding what needs to be done. He's a big phony and so is AOC.

Submitted on Tuesday, Aug 13, 2019 at 12:14:48 AM

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Davey Jones

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Chris is 100% right. How to get the masses on the right track?

First Americans need to get their heads out of their a$$3$.

Trump is a total fake, he was put in to make conservatives look stupid. He is totally misleading the right.

But many on the right buy into the whole thing.

Many are waking up, he was brought in to make the immigration thing look stupid, and make everyone that wants immigration reform look stupid.

Stupid 'mericans. Always falling for the card tricks, losing at the shell game that is constantly being played on them.

Trump was brought in the bring the spirit of hate and no justice.

Hate is not a good substitute for truth and justice. 'Mericans on both sides are choosing the pathway of hate rather than the pathway to justice, and by choosing this path we will all lose.

Submitted on Tuesday, Aug 13, 2019 at 1:54:20 AM

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Robert Gormley

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Wow, I got depressed reading this, but everything he

says is true. The re-election circus is a total waste of

time and money. People need to start waking up that they

have been lied to.

Submitted on Tuesday, Aug 13, 2019 at 11:32:06 AM

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Daniel Geery

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The theologian-philosopher, Reinhold Niebuhr, offers advice, with "The Serenity Prayer, commonly quoted as follows: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."

Stop jumping up and down like crazed chimps, as many like to do. Accept the laws of gravity, entropy, biology, and that we have been overpopulating and f*cking up the planet for many centuries. Note that 99.99% of all species that ever graced this once former paradise, but only one has been doing it all on their own. click here

And ask questions such as why Chris Hedges isn't doing a damn thing to advocate for Tulsi Gabbard or Marianne Williamson, nor ever telling us the truth he well knows about 9/11.

Submitted on Tuesday, Aug 13, 2019 at 10:16:34 PM

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Daniel Geery

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Let's also stop promoting nuclear Armageddon and supporting those who do, as so many like or love to do. For example, click here

Submitted on Tuesday, Aug 13, 2019 at 10:23:22 PM

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Joseph Mitchener

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Odd that Chris fails to mention the underlying cause of all of our environmental problems . . . population overshoot. The 1972 "Limits to Growth" MIT simulation of humanity vs Earth's resources predicted a dramatic decline in our plant's population starting in 2030. This was due to the predicted shortages of food, water and other resources. Thirty years later the Univ. of Melbourne compared those predictions to history. They gave the simulation an A- for accuracy.

So, why have our media not been screaming about this for decades? Because our mainstream media are owned by the very rich. The rich want masses of proles so they can be rented for peanuts. They also need huge number of proles to purchase those things they own (almost everything). They couldn't care less if the masses of losers starve after they have been fleeced. Odd that Chris fails to mention overpopulation.

Submitted on Wednesday, Aug 14, 2019 at 2:48:52 AM

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