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Saturday, April 06, 2013

Joe Bageant Quotes: A History Talks Vol 1, Issue 15


Joe Bageant
The following quotes are from Joe Bageant's (1946–2011) classic Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War
“The four cornerstones of the American political psyche are 1) emotion substituted for thought, 2) fear, 3) ignorance and 4) propaganda”
 

“Republican or Democrat, this nation's affluent urban and suburban classes understand their bread is buttered on the corporate side. The primary difference between the two parties is that the Republicans pretty much admit that they grasp and even endorse some of the nastiest facts of life in America. Republicans honestly tell the world: "Listen in on my phone calls, piss-test me until I'm blind, kill and eat all of my neighbors right in front of my eyes, but show me the money! Let me escape with every cent I can kick out of the suckers, the taxpayers, and anybody else I can get a headlock on, legally or otherwise." Democrats, in contrast, seem content to catalog the GOP's outrages against the Republic, showing proper indignation while laughing at episodes of The Daily Show. But they stand behind the American brand: imperialism. They "support our troops," though you will be hard put to find any of them who have served alongside them or who would send one of their own kids off to lose an eye or an arm in Iraq. They play the imperial game, maintain their credit ratings, and plan to keep the beach house and the retirement investments if it means sacrificing every damned Lynndie England in West Virginia.”
 
“If middle-class Americans do not feel threatened by the slow encroachment of the police state or the Patriot Act, it is because they live comfortably enough and exercise their liberties very lightly, never testing the boundaries. You never know you are in a prison unless you try the door.”
 
“This book is written from a changing town in Virginia, but this class of mine, these people--the ones who smell like an ashtray in the checkout line, devour a carton of Little Debbies at a sitting, and praise Jesus for a truck with no spare tire--exist in every state in our nation. Maybe the next time we on the left encounter such seemingly self-screwing, stubborn, God-obsessed folks, we can be open to their trials, understand the complexity of their situation, even have enough solidarity to pop for a cheap retread tire out of our own pockets, simply because that would be the kind thing to do and surely would make the ghosts of Joe Hill, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Mohandas Gandhi smile.”
 
“man! Can you believe they actually allow this stuff to be sold over there? Glad we got laws against that crap in this country." I remind him that the socialist party is probably the largest political party on the planet. "Aw bullshit!" he said. I asked, "Then what the hell do you think is the largest party?" "The Republican Party of course! We're the only country with real political parties." Now this is from a guy who has an MBA from one of the South's universities, holds local office, and has influenced public affairs.”
 
“Remember when welfare mothers were robbing us all blind and driving Cadillacs? ”
From Honk If You Love Caviar
 
"How about them political elites, huh? Five million bucks for Chelsea Clinton's wedding, 15K just to rent the air-conditioned shitters -- huge chrome and glass babies with hot water and everything. No gas masks and waxy little squares of toilet paper for those guys."
"Yes, it looks big time from the cheap seats. But the truth is that when we are looking at the political elite, we are looking at the dancing monkey, not the organ grinder who calls the tune. Washington's political class is about as upwardly removed from ordinary citizens as the ruling class is from the political class. For instance, they do not work for a living in the normal sense of a job, but rather obtain their income from abstractions such as investment and law, neither of which ever gave anybody a hernia or carpal tunnel. By comparison, the ruling class does not work at all."
"Yessiree, it was gonna be a "systemic collapse," by god, and if you needed proof, just look at the way both George Bush and Barack Obama agreed that some American corporations were too big to let sink, therefore it was time for the public to start bailing out the boat. Meanwhile, the royal economists were unanimous in that this "rescue" was going to require another 10 trillion bucks somewhere down the pike -- a very short pike. So it must all be damned serious and we gotta do this thing. Right folks?
In an unusual display of common sense, the American public said "Bullshit," by margins of three or four to one, depending upon region. That did not bother political and economic elites much. What the fuck do the proles know anyway?"
 
 

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