Charlie Rose recently discussed the #Occupy movement with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now and writer Chris Hedges of Truthdig.com. This was a thought-provoking show in which all of the participants take the #Occupy movement seriously. What follows are some of my notes regarding the interview.
Amy Goodman indicates that we are in the midst of a revolution. Chris Hedges describes this revolt as one that strives to regain democracy and is opposed to the current system of “inverted totalitarianism.” It’s not “classical totalitarianism. It doesn’t find its expression through a demagogue or a charismatic leader, but through the anonymity of the corporate state. . . . [In a system of inverted totalitarianism, “corporate forces purport to pay a fealty to electoral politics, the Constitution, the iconography and language of American patriotism, and yet have so corrupted the levers of power as to render the citizens impotent. We see that in one piece of legislation after another. . . . The formal structures of power are tone deaf. . . [Under the corporate state] there is no way to appeal to the system. It doesn’t matter what the citizens want.”
Amy Goodman points out that while most Americans support the #occupy protests, the protesters are portrayed by many as merely engaging in class warfare. At 14:50, Goodman points out that the #Occupy protesters and the Tea Party have many overlapping concerns. At 21:00 Hedges indicates that there are stark differences with the Tea Party which, he claims, has deep elements he would describe as fascist. Another difference is that the Tea Party targets government because “the corporations want government to become more anemic; it speaks in the language of violence and the gun culture” and they direct their rage toward “vulnerable people such as Muslims, undocumented workers, homosexuals and intellectuals, all sort of the classic rubric that one finds in a fascist movement.”
Goodman also discusses the importance of citizen journalism. “When police tell people to turn off their video camera, that’s exactly when they need to turn their video cameras on. . . . We need media in this country that allows people to speak for themselves. Ultimately, the media can be the biggest force for peace on earth.” Goodman believes that this movement will be sustained through the winter and beyond, and that “the organized parties, the Democrat and Republican parties are running scared.”