8 October 2011
Standing amongst protesters from the Occupy D.C. protest, Hedges explained the deep sense of frustration that is giving the movement impetus in the US and worldwide. The underlying problem, he says, is that the US government has been “bought” by big business, which means it always prioritizes the interests of Wall Street and large corporations over those of people.
Instead of democracy, the US has become a plutocracy, oligopoly, corporatocracy or even a kleptocracy, where, in Hedges view, the mainstream media has become a propaganda arm of the corporate state.
He said “increasing numbers of Americans across the political spectrum are seeing through that mendacity, and I think the corporate state is in trouble” and that the ‘Tea Party’ “has all the hallmarks of a classically fascist organization”. Asked if Obama was any different from predecessor presidents, Hedges said: “Barack Obama is certainly intelligent enough to understand where power lies and what he has to do to stay in office and whose interests he has to serve. And he has served those interests as assiduously as did Geoge W Bush. The fact is there is no way within the American political system to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs.
“It doesn’t matter whether its Bush, or Obama, or McCain or anyone else. We live in a society in which the citizenry has been utterly disempowered — rendered impotent.”
“It doesn’t matter what citizens want. Even when we voted, for instance in 2006, against the war in Iraq and turn the control of the Congress back over to the Democrats, what does the Democratic Party do? It continues to not only fund the war but to increase troop levels in Iraq by over 30,000.
“ObamaCare ends up being 2,000 pages written by corporate lobbyists, the equivalent to the bank bailout bill to the pharmaceutical and (health) insurance industry — £400 billion in subsidies.
“Obama has expanded the reach of imperial wars, including proxy warts in Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan, he has not restored habeas corpus. On all of the major structural issues, there is no difference — there is a complete continuity.
“And of course the working class and the poor and increasingly the middle class have to pay the price. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s Democrat or Republican. And that’s the fuel of these movements.
In particular, Hedges highlighted the mounting sense of anger and disgust that most Americans feel about how Wall Street managed to “loot the US treasury and get right back to its old games”. In an earlier interview with TruthDig, Hedges said the US establishment is “very, very frightened” of the Occupy Together protests, adding, “they do not want movements like this to grow.”
In the RT interview Hedges said the media is misguided in seeking to portray Occupy Wall Street a rerun of the “Hippy” protest movements of the 1960s. Instead, he said it is unique, all the stronger because it is united in its opposition to the “corporate state”, and of its time.
Hedges said it is impossible to predict how the Occupy movement will end, or how quickly it will achieve its goal of shifting power away from the 1% and back to 99% … but he seemed relatively optimistic.
Another interview Chris Hedges did with CBC with a truly asinine interviewer, Kevin O’Leary