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Chris Hedges
Truthdig / Truthdig Op-Ed
Published: Tuesday 20 November 2012
The crises are fostering a class war that will dwarf anything imagined by Karl Marx.

Elites Will Make Gazans of Us All

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Gaza is a window on our coming dystopia. The growing divide between the world’s elite and its miserable masses of humanity is maintained through spiraling violence. Many impoverished regions of the world, which have fallen off the economic cliff, are beginning to resemble Gaza, where 1.6 million Palestinians live in the planet’s largest internment camp. These sacrifice zones, filled with seas of pitifully poor people trapped in squalid slums or mud-walled villages, are increasingly hemmed in by electronic fences, monitored by surveillance cameras and drones and surrounded by border guards or military units that shoot to kill. These nightmarish dystopias extend from sub-Saharan Africa to Pakistan to China. They are places where targeted assassinations are carried out, where brutal military assaults are pressed against peoples left defenseless, without an army, navy or air force. All attempts at resistance, however ineffective, are met with the indiscriminate slaughter that characterizes modern industrial warfare.

In the new global landscape, as in Israel’s occupied territories and the United States’ own imperial projects in Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and Afghanistan, massacres of thousands of defenseless innocents are labeled wars. Resistance is called a provocation, terrorism or a crime against humanity. The rule of law, as well as respect for the most basic civil liberties and the right of self-determination, is a public relations fiction used to placate the consciences of those who live in the zones of privilege. Prisoners are routinely tortured and “disappeared.” The severance of food and medical supplies is an accepted tactic of control. Lies permeate the airwaves. Religious, racial and ethnic groups are demonized. Missiles rain down on concrete hovels, mechanized units fire on unarmed villagers, gunboats pound refugee camps with heavy shells, and the dead, including children, line the corridors of hospitals that lack electricity and medicine.

The impending collapse of the international economy, the assaults on the climate, the resulting droughts, flooding, precipitous decline in crop yields and rising food prices are creating a universe where power is divided between the narrow elites, who hold in their hands sophisticated instruments of death, and the enraged masses. The crises are fostering a class war that will dwarf anything imagined by Karl Marx. They are establishing a world where most will be hungry and live in fear, while a few will gorge themselves on delicacies in protected compounds. And more and more people will have to be sacrificed to keep this imbalance in place.

Because it has the power to do so, Israel—as does the United States—flouts international law to keep a subject population in misery. The continued presence of Israeli occupation forces defies nearly a hundred U.N. Security Council resolutions calling for them to withdraw. The Israeli blockade of Gaza, established in June 2007, is a brutal form of collective punishment that violates Article 33 of the Fourth 1949 Geneva Convention, which set up rules for the “Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.” The blockade has turned Gaza into a sliver of hell, an Israeli-administered ghetto where thousands have died, including the 1,400 civilians killed in the Israeli incursion of 2008. With 95 percent of factories shut down, Palestinian industry has virtually ceased functioning. The remaining 5 percent operate at 25 to 50 percent capacity. Even the fishing industry is moribund. Israel refuses to let fishermen travel more than three miles from the coastline, and within the fishing zone boats frequently come under Israeli fire. The Israeli border patrols have seized 35 percent of the agricultural land in Gaza for a buffer zone. The collapsing infrastructure and Israeli seizure of aquifers mean that in many refugee camps, such as Khan Yunis, there is no running water. UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) estimates that 80 percent of all Gazans now rely on food aid. And the claim of Israeli self-defense belies the fact that it is Israel that maintains an illegal occupation and violates international law by carrying out collective punishment of Palestinians. It is Israel that chose to escalate the violence when during an incursion into Gaza earlier this month its forces fatally shot a 13-year-old boy. As the world breaks down, this becomes the new paradigm—modern warlords awash in terrifying technologies and weapons murdering whole peoples. We do the same in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

Market forces and the military mechanisms that protect these forces are the sole ideology that governs industrial states and humans’ relationship to the natural world. It is an ideology that results in millions of dead and millions more displaced from their homes in the developing world. And the awful algebra of this ideology means that these forces will eventually be unleashed on us, too. Those who cannot be of use to market forces are considered expendable. They have no rights and legitimacy. Their existence, whether in Gaza or blighted postindustrial cities such as Camden, N.J., is considered a drain on efficiency and progress. They are viewed as refuse. And as refuse they not only have no voice and no freedom; they can be and are extinguished or imprisoned at will. This is a world where only corporate power and profit are sacred. It is a world of barbarism.

“In disposing of man’s labor power the system would, incidentally, dispose of the physical, psychological, and moral entity ‘man’ attached to that tag,” Karl Polanyi wrote in “The Great Transformation.” “Robbed of the protective covering of cultural institutions, human beings would perish from the effects of social exposure; they would die as the victims of acute social dislocation through vice, crime, and starvation. Nature would be reduced to its elements, neighborhoods and landscapes defiled, rivers polluted, military safety jeopardized, the power to produce food and raw materials destroyed. Finally, the market administration of purchasing power would periodically liquidate business enterprise, for shortages and surfeits of money would prove as disastrous to business as floods and droughts in primitive society. Undoubtedly, labor, land, and money markets are essential to a market economy. But no society could stand the effects of such a system of crude fictions even for the shortest stretch of time unless its human and natural substance as well as its business organization was protected against the ravages of this satanic mill.”

There are 47.1 million Americans who depend on food stamps to eat. The elites are plotting to take these food stamps away, along with other “entitlement” programs that keep the poor from destitution. The slashing of trillions of dollars from Medicare, Medicaid and other social programs, given the political impasse in Washington and the looming “fiscal cliff,” now seems certain. There are 50 million people considered to be living below the poverty line, but because the poverty line is so low—$22,350 for a family of four—this figure means nothing. Add the tens of millions of Americans who live in a category called “near poverty,” including all those families attempting to live on less than $45,000 a year, and you have at least 30 percent of the country living in poverty. Once these people figure out that there is no economic recovery, that their standard of living is going to continue to drop, that they are trapped, that hope in the future is an illusion, they will become as angry as protesters in Greece and Spain or the militants in Gaza or Afghanistan. Banks and other financial corporations, handed trillions in interest-free money from the Federal Reserve, meanwhile hoard $5 trillion, much of it looted from the U.S. Treasury. The longer this worldwide disparity and inequality is perpetuated, the more the masses will revolt and the faster we will internally replicate the Israeli model of domestic control—drones overhead, all dissent criminalized, SWAT teams busting through doors, deadly force as an acceptable form of subjugation, food used as a weapon, and constant surveillance.

In Gaza and other blighted parts of the globe we see this new configuration of power. What is happening in Gaza, like what is happening to people of color in marginal communities in the United States, is the model. The techniques of control, whether carried out by the Israelis or militarized police units in our inner-city drug wars, whether employed by military special forces or mercenaries in Pakistan, Afghanistan or Iraq, are tested first and perfected on the weak and the powerless. Our callous indifference to the plight of the Palestinians, and the hundreds of millions of poor packed into urban slums in Asia or Africa, as well as our own underclass, means that the injustices visited on them will be visited on us. In failing them we fail ourselves.

As the U.S. empire implodes, the harsher forms of violence employed on the outer reaches of empire are steadily migrating back to the homeland. At the same time, the internal systems of democratic governance have calcified. Centralized authority has devolved into the hands of an executive branch that slavishly serves global corporate interests. The press and the government’s judiciary and legislative branches have become toothless and decorative. The specter of terrorism, as in Israel, is used by the state to divert gargantuan expenditures to homeland security, the military and internal surveillance. Privacy is abolished. Dissent is treason. The military with its mantra of blind obedience and force characterizes the dark ethic of the wider culture. Beauty and truth are abolished. Culture is degraded into kitsch. The emotional and intellectual life of the citizenry is ravaged by spectacle, the tawdry and salacious, as well as by handfuls of painkillers and narcotics. Blind ambition, a lust for power and a grotesque personal vanity—exemplified by David Petraeus and his former mistress—are the engines of advancement. The concept of the common good is no longer part of the lexicon of power. This, as the novelist J.M. Coetzee writes, is “the black flower of civilization.” It is Rome under Diocletian. It is us. Empires, in the end, decay into despotic, murderous and corrupt regimes that finally consume themselves. And we, like Israel, are now coughing up blood.

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ABOUT Chris Hedges
Chris Hedges is a weekly Truthdig columnist and a fellow at The Nation Institute. His newest book is “The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress.”

Trish House's picture

Aratingata77, the way out of

Aratingata77, the way out of this is to help people recognize that fighting over and hoarding resources is no longer the answer. We must realize that with today's technology and through the free right of men to use land and natural resources to make ourselves self sustaining we can all live in peace and abundance. We now have the technology to monitor global disasters and to quickly respond to help people in need. This may be true for the first time in the history of man, so we should take advantage of this unique place in time to organize ourselves into a cooperative, healthy, nourished & safe population with a goal of creating a great quality of life for every person & living thing on Spaceship Earth.

Excellent piece, but one

Excellent piece, but one observation... the fifth paragraph starts with "Market forces and the military mechanisms that protect these forces are the sole ideology that governs industrial states and humans’ relationship to the natural world." Market forces are not the sole governing ideology; they are more accurately described as conduits through which both constructive and destructive processes may flow. The primary governing ideology is the clearly psychopathic level of greed and megalomania occupying positions of power.

The problem isn't market forces, the problem is the huge number of psychopaths who have systematically inserted themselves into policy making channels by way of taking over powerful institutions, on a scale and with a sophistication never before achieved. Until society recognizes the cancer of psychopathic greed and megalomania in positions of institutional power, and determines effective ways of rooting it out, or at least reducing its control over policy, it won't matter what type of economic or political system we have, and the world will continue toward the dystopia which Chris Hedges so accurately describes.

Trish House's picture

To manage the psychopaths we

To manage the psychopaths we have to take care of the soil in which they grow. We are organic farmers and we know that the balance of nutrients in the soil creates the environment for healthy plants to grow. If we want a healthy culture we must ensure the basic mix of elements that makes it possible to suppress the noxious plants that attack the resources of the plants with value. To grow up healthy plants need land, nutrients and water, people need these too. And while our culture denies these basic elements of human survival and manipulates the cultural soil so that our survival is filtered through the corporate/banking/military/government barriers that select the best of what nurtures all the people, we support instead an environment that allows noxious types to flourish.

We must move to a culture that reflects the philosophy of the original inhabitants of this land. It was a culture in which all people had a right to share the land and resources and in which all people had an active share in the government. This can be done and it must be done if we are to move away from the dreadful future that Chris describes so well.

Commenter WoeToPoe asks:

Commenter WoeToPoe asks: ‘What gave the Jews the right to displace and subjugate the Palestinians?’

You might as well ask some analogous questions. Hitler’s question: What gave the Czechs the right to ‘displace and subjugate’ the Sudeten Germans? What gave the ancestors of the great majority of today’s North Americans the right to ‘displace and subjugate’ the aboriginals? What gave the Union the right to ‘displace and subjugate’ the Confederacy to the point of abolishing slavery?

These questions are analogs. But there’s no need to duck the questions as asked.

First, Jews had the ‘right’ to ‘displace’ the Palestinians for much the same reason as European settlers had the ‘right’ to ‘displace’ aboriginal Americans. A century ago there were few ‘Palestinians’ to displace: under Ottoman Turkish domination most of the land west of the Jordan was and had been vacant or thinly settled for centuries. Shortly before and then after 1917, when the British ended repressive Ottoman rule, many Jews bought and settled land therein, and many (mostly Syrian) Arabs too likewise moved in.

Second, Israelis had - and have - the ‘right’ to ‘subjugate’ the Palestinians simply because repeatedly and to this day this has been their only alternative to being slaughtered (or first returning to totally indefensible borders and then being slaughtered). In the name of the Palestinians, wars of would-be extinction of Israel - in 1948, 1967, 1973 and arguably 2006 - were waged by outside powers. Since the 1990s, Palestinian ‘leaders’ have added terror wars of their own.

Trish House's picture

Why do we assume or grant

Why do we assume or grant each other the "right" to kill other people for resources? Why cannot we assume as easily the attitude that we can all share resources and manage well the quality of lives of all people? In this Day we have technology that will allow us to ensure that all people are fed, housed & cared for. There is no longer an excuse that we may kill others so that WE can live.


JOEWEINSTEIN, "What gave the ancestors of the great majority of today's North Americans the right to 'displace and subjugate' the aboriginals?"
Simply, the belief in the 1840's in the inevitable territorial expansion of the United States, especially as advocated by southern slaveholders who wished to extend slavery into new territories. And, like the Jews takeover in Palestine, sanctioned by God, of course. Manifest Destiny as applied on two sides of the world. The Czechs had no "right" to 'displace and subjugate' Sudeten Germans. Political "beliefs" alone should not be cause for immoral/deadly actions to be taken against a person or group unless they actively threaten the general populace or are committing acts of violence in the guise of nationalism or racism. No need to answer the 'Union/Confederacy' query as you obviously see no problem with allowing slavery to exist. As for "A century ago there were few 'Palestinians' to displace," we're not talking about a century ago when the Balfour Declaration was drawn up. We're "talking" about 1947 and the "forcible removal" of over "700,000" Palestinians from "their" ancestral homes and businesses.

Perhaps we should speak of the "Sykes/Picot" agreement in 1916 that "mandated" whole countries to the winning allied powers (England/France)
"after" duplicitous arrangements were made with Arab leaders "guaranteeing" them the right of self-determination if they agreed to assist in the defeat of the Ottoman-Turks. Also, "why" did European settlers have the 'right' to 'displace' aboriginal Americans? To "slaughter" with superior weaponry millions of Native Americans and Meso-Americans and then either enslave them or place them in arid and squalid "reservations?" Yours is incontestably a Machiavellian viewpoint, profligate and parochial, where the ends justify the means, no matter the morality of the situation and, judging from your comments below that somehow the Palestinians "have a pretty good deal" or something to that nature, there's not much point in debate. Besides, "you" never answered my Native American "superior weapon" analogy. Would "you" be willing to just "pack-up"and move out if so ordered and then live "happily" on an internment camp?
Somehow...I highly doubt it.

Unlike your diatribe, I don't

Unlike your diatribe, I don't equate mass slaughter with peaceful settlement. North of the Rio Grande the bulk of European-origin settlers - earliest as well as later ones like my grandparents - came in peace for economic opportunity: to farm - largely on unsettled or thinly settled land - whether already open or woodland - or to work and do business in towns. Few of these settlers came with animus against aboriginals or with interest in slaughtering or enslaving them. Aboriginals died en masse mostly from lack of immunity to European-borne pathogens.

The mass displacement in 1947-48 was essentially of the Palestinians' own making. Pursuant to the UNGA Partition Resolution of 29 Nov 1947, Palestinian Arabs had the option to declare and operate their own state by 15 May 1948. Instead, their 'leadership' decided to invite or agree to the Arab' states' invasions - informal before 15 May, formal after 15 May - aimed at wiping out Israel. Of the approx 1.3 million Palestinian Arabs, most stayed in their homes where they were. Of the approximately 500,000 who fled their homes, relatively few did so from Jewish gunpoint demands; most did from heed to appeals by Arab leaders to get out of the way of friendly invaders, or from panic (largely unwarranted when you consider that over 100,000 Arabs simply stayed at home in what became Israel). And whatever your standards for 'forcible removal', they were at the same time and shortly thereafter imposed on nearly 1,000,000 Mideastern Jews in Arab lands.

Thanks for clarifying your position on the Sudetens. Evidently for you, because their national and even individual survival should be counted a mere 'political belief', Czechs had no right to do what they had to do to defend themselves, namely 'displace' (sort of) and 'subjugate' (sort of) the Sudetens. Hitler definitely agreed with your position and acted accordingly. He accepted your absolute one-sided morality: Sudetens were getting not-quite-equal treatment from the Czechs, so it was just fine to abolish the Czech nation and slaughter Czechs.

By contrast I accept that sometimes there are rights in conflict and that my (or your) right to survive may override someone else's rights of lesser urgency. Call it Machiavellian if that helps you feel better.

As far as your so-called 'analogy' is concerned, I neither understand what precise scenario you have in mind nor exactly what it's supposed to be an 'analogy' to.

Insofar as I think I follow your idea, you seem to presume that Israel ordered - or orders - people to live in internment camps. That idea is utterly mistaken. Before 1967 Israel was in no position to order ANYTHING for people who had fled to and then lived on the other side of the armistice lines! Operating special long-run camps rather than integrating Palestinians into the existing economies and cities of Egypt and Jordan - including the ones in Palestine itself - was the choice of those occupying nations! After 1967, when she occupied the West Bank and Gaza, Israel refrained from closing the camps in hopes that an overall peace settlement would facilitate investment and local acceptance needed for constructing decent permanent housing (either in existing or new towns, according to local choice). However, Arab states rejected such a settlement. Later, even with ample foreign support, the Palestinian leadership has opposed closing the camps and replacing them by permanent housing, because that would signify acceptance of the Israel-Palestine demographic reality - the population exchange, roughly during 1947-1960, involving hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs and even more Mideastern Jews. The Palestinian leadership prefers - for the sake of excuse for perpetual warfare against Israel - a permanent refugee and 'displacement' status for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who in fact live in Palestine. In this stance the Palestinian leadership is being supported by would-be humanitarians in the USA and throughout the world, who have unconditional never-ending patience, sympathy and UN and NGO charity for Palestinians - so long as they are refugees in camps.

But you have stumbled on a half truth- there WERE for a while camps in Israel. Namely, in the early years so many Jewish immigrants came to Israel - both European Shoah survivors and displaced refugees from Arab lands - that for some years thousands of new Israelis lived in camps. Yes, dissolving Palestinian refugee camps in favor of permanent housing (the great majority of them within Palestine itself) in favor or permanent housing - has been an anti-priority of the Palestinian leadership. But dissolving the Jewish refugee camps and replacing them with permanent housing was a top Israeli priority and early achievement.

Anyone can find plenty of

Anyone can find plenty of evidence for the overall essence of Hedges’ sturm-und-drang prophecy: that the world is (and has been) going to pot. Whether Gaza is a particularly useful model - when you look carefully at the specific factors operative there - is another question.

For reasons noted by Aratinga77 wannabe prophet Hedges has incorrectly described the kind of dystopia that Gaza is. Gaza is NOT a good example of a zone of a colonially exploited zone in the economic sense.

To be sure, for sixty years Gazans have been ideologically and politically exploited by Moslem supremacist regimes who, in the name of a ‘Palestine cause’, have been seeking not a two-state solution but a one- or zero-state solution: no Israel (and not necessarily a Palestinian state either).

Rather than an economically exploited zone, Gaza is the world’s first example of something else: AN INTERNATIONALLY SPONSORED and PERMANENTLY SUPPORTED WELFARE-WARFARE THUGOCRACY.

Gaza lives uniquely and comparatively well on international welfare payments. Her per-capita income quite exceeds that of non-oil neighbors like Egypt or Syria. The reason is that most Gazans are classed as refugees. [In the UN special bureaucracy, Palestinians are the world’s only folks who automatically inherit the status of ‘refugee’ from parents or earlier ancestry, so that by bureaucratic definition and soaring birthrates the numbers of Palestinian ‘refugees’ can only increase forever.]

Ordinary civilian needs are largely covered by welfare payments from USA and European governments, via the UN, and yet more from western NGOs. Very little comes from Mideast and other Moslem states (even the per-capita wealthy oil-rich states) - including supposed ‘friends’ of the ‘Palestine cause.’

But Gaza does get another kind of welfare from Iran and other such ‘friends’: weapons. These are vitally needed because - per charter and policy - the Hamas regime (like the PLO, only more so) deems the essential mission of Palestinian nationhood to be not development of a civilian economy or a democratic polity but perennial hatred of and warfare against Jews and especially a Jewish state. Yes, Hamas is great on internal repression - of women, of Christians, of gays, of unauthorized entrepreneurs. But Hamas offers a way out to young not-apparently-gay Moslem men: warfare against Israel.

Although Gaza gets lots of welfare, everyone - including here Hedges - treasures Gazans not as full and potentially productive human beings but as victims - whether of Israel, or of Israel’s enemies, or of circumstance. None of the many ‘friends’ of Palestine - whether in the West or in the Mideast - are rushing to recruit Gazan migrants, even as cheap labor. Once upon a time many Gazans crossed daily to work for reasonable wages in Israel, but entrenchment in Gaza of a regime dedicated above all to warfare versus Israel has ended that.

Hedges one-sided half-truths don’t aid his credibility. Despite his talk of ‘blockade’ daily electric power and all sorts of other necessities still enter Gaza from Israel. Despite his implication that Israel is a model of suppression of dissent, that country is far freer - indeed for its Moslem inhabitants - than are all those supposedly ‘emerging democracies’ in the area. He makes sure to accuse Israel of violating the same system of (ta-da!) ‘International Law’ that in other contexts he could claim (again, half correctly) was made up for the convenience of Western elite regimes. He speaks of Israel violating countless UN resolutions - resolutions of a nature and in numbers which he ought to know full well exist only in Israel’s case precisely because of a cynical and corrupt UN vote-trading process which panders to several dozen mostly tyrannical and backward anti-Israel regimes.

Hedges sorrows over Gazan civilian casualties - without noting these as an inevitable consequence of Hamas fighters using Gazan civilians as human shields. He also laments all sorts of other constraints imposed on occasion by Israel - which owe to the basic fact that Israel is forced to treat Gaza as an enemy entity - thanks precisely to the internationally approved and supported entrenchment of a Hamas-run welfare-warfare state.

Prior to the 1967 war Gamal

Prior to the 1967 war Gamal Abdel Nassar Hussein the then President of Egypt told the then Palestinians to abandon their lands in preparation for the attack upon Israel better know as the Yom Kippur war that was about to occur. Given the numbers advantage that the Arabs had, they were sure Israel would have been driven into the sea. Well that didn't happen. Much to the chagrin of the Palestinians that abandoned their lands. So the question is, when has any country that won territory in war ever give that territory back? Never to my knowledge. To put this in perspective, all the historic events that have occurred since has been the backdrop of this singular event. Israel has had to defend itself from Terrorists that have been invested in their demise. Now to be sure there is some validity to the misery that the Palestinians have had to endure. But you have as a backdrop Hamas, and all the other terrorist organizations that do not want peace. There is no result short of the annihilation of Israel that will satisfy them. There is no simple answer to this problem. It is complex and fraught with emotions on all sides. Only Israel knows what it's like to live surrounded by your enemies. So when I read an article like this one, it has to be put in context.

Thank god for you Mr. Hedges.

Thank god for you Mr. Hedges. You are a true word-master with courage.

To anyone doubting the

To anyone doubting the validity of Hedges' indictments, I suggest you carefully look at the specifics of the National Defense Re-Authorization Act recently signed into law by President Obama. The pieces are already being put in place to crush the mass rebellion that is sure to come here in the "Land of the Free and The Home of the Brave." Kafka, Orwell and Marx amongst others did and have, accurately predicted what will be the inevitable end of mankind on the planet.

And to ARATINGA77, I agree that the so-called "government in Gaza" is a dysfunctional one often merely jockeying for power and position despite the pernicious effects on the rest of the Gazan populace. Arafat was a master at the game. However, there is little doubt that Israel is simply overseeing an internment camp...more often than not through deadly military means. Which leads me to ask you the question: What gave the Jews the right to displace and subjugate the Palestinians in the first place? Could it be because they're "God's chosen people?" a boatload of bullshit! Palestinian's had lived in that region for 1,900 years! Then they watched their homes and businesses bulldozed by Israeli occupation forces with the blessing and financial backing of Western powers, most notably the United States. If Native Americans, suddenly, developed a weapon that was superior to any that the U.S. military could cope with and then "demanded" a return of their ancestral lands, how many Americans do you wager would simply "pack-up" and move peaceably into squalid internment camps? As to your "increasing inequality" statements,
I am in total agreement.

"Those who cannot be of use

"Those who cannot be of use to market forces are considered expendable. They have no rights and legitimacy."

"There are 47.1 million Americans who depend on food stamps to eat. "

"Beauty and truth are abolished."

This is life? Better off dead.

"...own male elite, who live

"...own male elite, who live among them and occupy their days with fulminating against Israel."

This brings to mind FauxNews, Donald Trump, Mitt Rom (i forget), Koch Bros, McCain, Arpaio, and the elite US male line-up goes on who fulminate "nationalism" and dehumanization. I think the tie-in to Bibi is a bit tenuous but the article works very well.

I find this article very useful to make me remember these are human beings, and not things...I am human being...the major media dehumanizes me and my thoughts.

Thanks Mr hedges-we are already Gazan's - limited medical, food and housing...police state.

Aratinga77 You do a good job

You do a good job at blaming the victim argument---one which has been used for centuries to keep women down,blacks in the states here etc.

As an old man told me one

As an old man told me one time, “if a mad dog can’t find anybody else to bite, he will always bite himself” ! The end of the Cold War and the loss of our declared enemy and the only other super power on this planet has turned out to be our waterloo, nobody else to bite !

Gaza is not a useful example

Gaza is not a useful example of the class war you are forecasting. The people of Gaza are victimized by their own male elite, who live among them and occupy their days with fulminating against Israel. When Israel actually occupied Gaza, there were attempts to organize Gaza for productivity. When Israel pulled out of Gaza, the male elite destroyed everything that could be used by Gazans, most notably the greenhouses in which food was raised.

The reason for the blockade is to reduce the traffic in lethal armaments that would otherwise be used against civilian populations both in Israel and in Gaza (if these represent any opposition). If there were actually a responsible government in Gaza that would control the creation and use of weapons against Israel's people, I am sure there would be a truce, even a peace. Israel gains nothing from the poverty of Gaza! Meanwhile, the application of birth control in Gaza would improve the lives of these poor people who have six-eight-nine children -- but we are not supposed to mention that! UNRWA has been feeding them for decades, which is a great way to increase a desperate population.

I agree that the increasing inequality in the world and in the U.S. is threatening the welfare of all who live here. This is a political as well as an economic task for all of us to take on. If you want to bring Gaza into it, take a look at the map of the Middle East and see the other nations of the area, with resources and huge amounts of land, where the same desperate poverty has been produced by the inequality, the same inequality, that has always been present. We are sliding toward the common dystopia, as you say. It seems one can always find enough people willing to take jobs as prison guards, soldiers, secret police, torturers. It is a growth industry, here in the United States as everywhere else.

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