unhinged 'the breakdown of american society will trigger a popular backlash, which we glimpsed in the occupy movement, but it will also energize the traditional armed vigilante groups that embrace a version of american fascism that fuses christian and national symbols (trump anyone?). the longer we remain in a state of political paralysis, dominated by a corporate elite that refuses to respond to the growing misery and governed by an ineffectual liberal elite, the more the rage of the white male underclass - whose economic status often replicates that of poor blacks - will find expression through violence. if it remains true to the american tradition, this violence will not be directed at the power elite but will single out minorities, dissidents, activists, radicals, and scapegoats.

the language of violence always presages violence. i have watched this take place in wars i covered as a foreign correspondent in latin america, the middle east, africa, and the balkans. the impoverishment of a working class and the snuffing out of hope and opportunity always produce angry mobs ready to kill and be killed. a discredited liberal elite gets swept aside. thugs and demagogues play to the passions of the crowd. (trump again) i know each act of the drama. i have heard it in other tongues in other lands. i recognize the stock characters: the same buffoons, charlatans, and fools, the same confused, enraged crowds, and the same impotent and despised liberal class that deserves the hatred it engenders.

the unraveling of america mirrors the unraveling of yugoslavia. the balkan war was not caused by ancient ethnic hatreds. it was caused by the economic collapse of yugoslavia. the petty criminals and goons who took power harnessed the rage and despair of the unemployed and the desperate. they singled out convenient scapegoats, from ethnic croats to muslims to kosovar albanians to gypsies, and armed their own vigilantes (trump again). they set up movements that unleashed a feeding frenzy leading to war and self-immolation. there is little difference between the ludicrous would-be poet radovan karadzic, who was a figure of ridicule in sarajevo before the war, and the moronic glenn beck or sarah palin. there is little difference between the oath keepers and the secvian militias. we can laugh at these people. they are often idiots and buffoons. but they are also dangerous' - chris hedges
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