Chris Hedges - "It's a really dangerous time"

Chris Hedges is a fierce critic of war around the globe and a leading journalist on global politics. This week, he joined Economic Update in an especially popular episode: “A Corporatized America.”

Chris Hedges is a fierce critic of war around the globe and a leading journalist on global politics. This week, he joined Economic Update in an especially popular episode: “A Corporatized America.”

Here are some of the comments: 

“Hedges & Wolff! True modern day prophets!”

“Two of the greatest minds on the left. Always insightful and bleakly realistic.”

“Dr. Wolff and Mr. Hedges are 2 international treasures.”

Keep reading on for the highlights, or enjoy this Economic Update on YouTube or your favorite podcast player.

Richard Wolff starts off the episode with his usual quick updates on many topics of interest including capitalism taking credit for improving people’s living conditions, Bernie Marcus, billionaire founder of Home Depot, calling workers fat, lazy and stupid (and blaming socialism for everything), Prof Wolff’s perspective on the whole Southwest Airlines debacle and what the “phantom” representative George Santos teaches us about capitalism.

“The big business donors in this country are more like Bernie Marcus of Home Depot than you might imagine. That's the type. And that's where these ideas that you may find bizarre come from, maybe out of the mouths of the Republicans but the idea, the source, the cause? Big business."

With Chris Hedges joining the show, Wolff first asks for his analysis of the way western media, like the New York Times, has covered the war in Ukraine from an American perspective. Hedges argues that outlets like the Washington Post turn into cheerleaders for war and the military gives journalists a traditional dog and pony show in the field. The reality, Hedges warns, is that “once the chaos envelops a landscape at war, both sides lie like they breathe.” One CBS report found by April 2022, only 30% of aid reached the front lines and much of the weaponry we’ve shipped abroad has no oversight- but even this documentary has faced opposition from the governments at war.

It's the war industry, unfortunately, that drives policy. The two parties are completely captive to it.”

Wolff turns back to America’s domestic politics. With Trump seeming to experience some political losses recently, will Ron DeSantis be the next figure up for the right? “With or without Trump,” Hedges respondswe still live mired in this political divide, political morass with these political distortions because of what the two parties have done to the economy and to the livelihood of working class men and women.” Inequality, he continues, is what is popularizing this neo-fascist, white supremacist movement among some working class Americans. This is a dangerous moment in U.S. politics, especially with unregulated automatic weapons, and the lack of action by the Democratic party is only making things worse.

“This political stagnation is extremely dangerous, coupled with the fact that we have an uncontrollable militarism romping around the globe talking about defending Taiwan and bringing down Putin. It's a really, really dangerous time.”

Well what can we do about all of this? Chris Hedges says labor power is the greatest tool we have to change the policy of rampant militarism and capitalism.

Hedges: “I would say strike, strike, strike. History has shown that is an effective weapon and the only one we have left.”

Wolff: “I could not agree more.”

You can enjoy every episode of Economic Update by checking each episode in our weekly roundup, subscribing to us on YouTube or following Economic Update on your favorite podcast app. Recent episodes include “What's Wrong with Capitalism,” “Economics For A New Year” and “Surging US Labor Activism” with the author of Stuck Nation, Bob Hennelly.

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