Yet another annoying, idiotic glorification of the Western world’s most overrated parasite. It’s more than a little ironic that the person who is canonized as this great prophet of capitalism and “The Worker” never actually did much work and relied on the benevolence and cash of his industrialist benefactor, Engels.
This is very straightforward.
Hedges is actually honest in his analysis of the state capitalist regime in which we live, but his fundamental dishonesty is that he absolves the role of the government in allowing for these conditions.
The final stages of what we call capitalism, as Marx grasped, is not capitalism at all. Corporations gobble down government expenditures, in essence taxpayer money, like pigs at a trough.
He takes the standard line that the world is nothing but evil, rapacious capitalist predators and we are completely at the effect of these predations. And the last bastion of human munificence, the nation state, is embattled and in danger of being rendered completely helpless. Like the entire Marxist canon and everything that borrows from this ideology (Keynesianism, etc), it is designed to inculcate fear and reaffirm total deference to democracy.
He refers to capitalist pigs, but what about the government pigs who benefit handsomely from the campaign contributions, extortionate fines extracted by the regulatory state, usurious bailout schemes, and a seemingly endless appetite for increasing taxes?
What about the government pigs who hold the power to dispense favors like this in the first place?
He correctly references the absence of economic value in leveraged speculation, but conveniently ignores the artificially suppressed interest rate regime by the Federal Reserve which allows firms to take on that leverage in the first place.
He makes a startlingly casual reference to the Federal Reserve’s utterly unprecedented expansionary monetary policy, and doesn’t even give a single mention of the possibility that this might be contributing to disproportionate wealth redistribution, depressed wages, trade deficits, and outsourcing.
He laments the 2008 bailouts, but conveniently ignores the role the government and the Fed played in manufacturing the crisis in the first place. He makes no mention of GSE’s, housing policy and of course, the so-called Greenspan Put, the implicit guarantee that the Fed would lower interest rates if stock values dropped by 20%.
In short, it is another sad, tired piece of shit which seems geared towards enshrining a permanent state of cynicism, antipathy and fear towards the so-called 1%. Just like the toxic rants of Marx, it attributes completely malevolent intent to market actors and pure benevolence to the nation state. And worst of all, he leads you to believe that those who hold seats of power in the government actually represent you and have your interests at heart.