Death of the Liberal Class

Death of the Liberal Class

Book - 2010
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The liberal class plays a vital role in a democracy. It gives moral legitimacy to the state. It makes limited forms of dissent and incremental change possible. The liberal class posits itself as the conscience of the nation. It permits us, through its appeal to public virtues and the public good, to define ourselves as a good and noble people. Most importantly, on behalf of the power elite the liberal class serves as bulwarks against radical movements by offering a safety valve for popular frustrations and discontentment by discrediting those who talk of profound structural change. Once this class loses its social and political role then the delicate fabric of a democracy breaks down and the liberal class, along with the values it espouses, becomes an object of ridicule and hatred. The door that has been opened to proto-fascists has been opened by a bankrupt liberalism

The Death of the Liberal Class examines the failure of the liberal class to confront the rise of the corporate state and the consequences of a liberalism that has become profoundly bankrupted. Hedges argues there are five pillars of the liberal establishment - the press, liberal religious institutions, labor unions, universities and the Democratic Party-- and that each of these institutions, more concerned with status and privilege than justice and progress, sold out the constituents they represented. In doing so, the liberal class has become irrelevant to society at large and ultimately the corporate power elite they once served.
Publisher: New York :, Nation Books,, [2010]
Copyright Date: ©2010
ISBN: 9781568586441
Branch Call Number: 320.510973 HE
Characteristics: 248 pages ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Schreiber, Brad 1978-
Farkas, Mark


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Aug 06, 2019

"The failure by the liberal class to articulate an alternative in a time of financial and environmental collapse clears the way for military values of hypermasculinity, blind obedience, and violence."
Impassioned, intelligent, and necessary book about the failures of liberalism and the Democratic party to live up to its ideals. Like the magazine The Baffler, Hedges, who also wrote "War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning," has a very sharp, critical mind and attacks liberals from a more progressive perspective. Makes a good companion piece to Thomas Frank's "Listen, Liberal."

I found this book fascinating. Chris Gedges is talking about the liberal class and political culture in an American context, however it’s relevant for us too. It exposes the truth about the horror movie we are in, and as the author says “we will not see any structural changes within our lifetime”. Compelling and passionate. (submitted by library customer BM)

Oct 04, 2017

What to make of Chris Hedges? I greatly admire his social advocacy and his unapologetic criticism of government and society. This book is thought provoking and a good read. My only problem with Hedges, and this book specifically, is that he doesn't really offer genuine alternatives. He makes the case that things are so bad that only revolution and dramatic change (and all the destabilizing and negative consequences that will ensue) is the only thing that can be done. That is wrong. By not offering a solid alternative to the current corporate state he just comes across as a Jeremiah, foretelling gloom and doom. We've seen dramatic revolutions in history before and their results are not pretty. He needs to think through what he expects once the corporate state has dissolved. Still, interesting book and, again, he is good at reporting on injustices that we should all be aware of.

Mar 06, 2015

For all those folks who believe in miracles, this book is a real one! I am one of the few ones in USA to call himself a “liberal”. However, I have had to accept many critics from conservatives points and in general I’ve been upset with this class who cannot even call itself “liberal”. “Death of the Liberal Class” is the book that our nation should have read instead of rants by (M)ann Coulter and legions like her.

This is a book to remember the many Americans and situations that made our nation, such as union members, journalists and Communists!!!
You see how the very existence of this book is a true miracle here in our FoxNews/Republican/Tea Party devastated nation?!
Those forgotten people mentioned by author Chris Hedges were key in letting most people live well in America. Chris Hedges shows how the liberal movements eventually went derailed, they became useless and even toxic (such our entertainment media) or a plain betrayal to their ideals, such as workers unions and the Democrat Party, colleges, artists, the revered government (including IRS),etc.

blahblahblah345662 Sep 25, 2013

There was a previous comment stating "reality has a left-wing bias", and I agree, which is why I refuse to accept 'reality'. No longer will I imagine myself in the shoes of the working poor, and instead I will hyper-focus on non-economic issues. I will avoid this thing called 'facts' and information based on the 'scientific method'. It's a fast-paced world, and snap judgements work better. Dealing with 'reality' bums me out anyway, and it's easier to complain about people right in front of me anyway, instead of 'looking at the big picture'.
(but seriously, if you remove the velvet glove from the iron fist smashing us down, the reaction from it will be just as harsh.)

Mar 06, 2013

It's on my Re-read List.

Jan 28, 2013

Chris Hedges, one of the foremost thinkers today in America (right there beside Michael Parenti, Prof. Michael Hudson, Prof. Donald Gibson, etc.), gets it perfectly right with this book, and is correct in going back so far (there are still too many people unaware of all the deletary legislation passed in 1913: the oil depletion allowance, the Federal Reserve Act, the 16th amendment to pay the interest to the bankers for the Federal Reserve Act, and the alteration of the tax and financial structure of foundations, allow for the hiding of wealth and ownership by the super-rich). All those lobbyists didn't spring up one day like so much fungus (although it sometimes appears that way). When a submediocre author, Jaclyn Friedman, appears out of nowhere to cast epithets and accusations at WikiLeaks' Julian Assange, it is important to know that she was published through Perseus Books, and that at that time, Perseus was owned by Perseus LLC, which was the official business address - - listed on their tax filings - - of "American Friends of Bilderberg, Inc." with the directors listed as: David Rockefeller, Henrey Kissinger, Richard Perle, and so on. So also, it is important to understand during the trial of the "assassin" of Sen. Bobby Kennedy back in 1968, the mystery witness brought forward -- when the original mystery witness was identified by 16 other witnesses as an olive-skinned brunette woman in her late 20s or early 30s, with a slight foreign accent - - is instead a petite Nordic-appearing blonde, late 'teens or 20 years of age, who was in a full leg cast and on crutches at the time, who would later go on to a career as a lobbyist working on the consolidation of the US media. --- This stuff all tracks!

Sep 07, 2011

This book is misguiding. To critique something like the liberal class you have to define it. Liberal or conservative is just an ideal or what we may call someone's position in politics and to me there is no such thing as a "liberal class". I got the feeling that the authors disappointment with the liberal class was just a disillusionment when he states that "liberal institutions were created to make the world a better place." The same is said of democracy and look at our electoral system.

Aug 16, 2011

Very coherent analysis, including historic precedents on the self destruction of liberal institutions. If you still vote for the lesser of two evils, read this book.

Apr 27, 2011

Fantastic. Everyone should read this. One of the best I've ever read.

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