Chris Hedges has an article at Truthdig entitled Is America ‘Yearning for Fascism’? In it, he makes an argument that he’s been making on and off since 2008, which is that the United States is going to go down the same road that Yugoslavia did in the 1990’s. Hedges seems unfazed by the fact that this country is no closer to a civil war today than it was five years ago. The two biggest acts of violence of the last year, the Boston Marathon bombings and the Sandy Hook massacre, were both carried out by isolated misfits not associated with any political group.
One is, in fact, struck by the stability of U.S. society, especially considering the extreme inequality of wealth that exists in this country. The Occupy movement came and went without making even a dent in the status quo. It would perhaps be more useful for Hedges to try to analyze the reasons for this, rather than make dubious apocalyptic predictions.
What is strange about this article, though, is that Hedges suddenly and inexplicably quotes Cynthia McKinney – yes, that Cynthia McKinney, the one who earlier this year claimed that the Boston Marathan bombings were a false flag operation. Why would Hedges, or anyone else for that matter, care what this woman has to say (except perhaps as an example of a particular type of political lunacy)? Hedges writes:
- It is time for us to stop talking about right and left,” McKinney told me. “The old political paradigm that serves the interests of the people who put us in this predicament will not be the paradigm that gets us out of this.
Somebody as historically literate as Hedges must surely know that the claim of going beyond right and left is a common theme in fascist rhetoric. (Yes, I am implying that McKinney is leaning towards fascism. This is someone who repeats Alex Jones nuttery, after all.)
McKinney also says:
- I am a child of the South. Janet Napolitano tells me I need to be afraid of people who are labeled white supremacists but I was raised around white supremacists. I am not afraid of white supremacists. I am concerned about my own government. The Patriot Act did not come from the white supremacists, it came from the White House and Congress. Citizens United did not come from white supremacists, it came from the Supreme Court.
What did come from white supremacists were lynchings, sundown towns, racist police departments, and a black underclass. And McKinney wants to make common cause with these people.
I have always had deeply mixed feelings about Hedges. He sometimes makes good arguments, but there are times when he seems to have drifted off into the ether. (Here is an article in which I write about a talk that Hedges gave in Oakland a few years ago.)