True-pro journalist Chris Hedges appeared on Canadian television, and brooked no nonsense:
Fill-in for Lang : Well Kevin made this point that nobody knows what they want. What do you say to that? We know that this is a very diverse group, there are many different agendas at play … what is the sense you have of what this movement would like to see happen?
Hedges : They know precisely what they want ; they want to reverse the corporate coup that’s taken place in the US and rendered the citizenry impotent and they won’t stop until that happens and frankly if we don’t break the back of corporations, we’re all finished anyway since we’re rapidly trashing the ecosystem on which the human species depends for survival. This is literally a fight for life – it’s that grave, it’s that serious. Corporations, unfettered capitalism, as Karl Marx understood, is a revolutionary force – it commodifies everything – human beings, the natural world which it exploits for profit until exhaustion and collapse. The bottom line is we don’t have much time left – we are on the cusp of perhaps another major banking crisis in Europe, defaults in Greece, followed by Spain, Portugal. There’s been no restrictions, no regulations on Wall Street – they’ve looted the US Treasury, they’ve played all the games that they were playing before and we’re about to pay for it all over again.
Hedges : I would say that those who are protesting the rise of the corporate state are in fact on the political spectrum the true conservatives because they’re calling for the restoration of the rule of law. The radicals have seized power and they have trashed all regulations and legal impediments to a corporate reconfiguration of American society into a form of neo-feudalism. And that’s what we’re really asking for – is the restoration of the rule of law.
O’Leary : Ok, but you don’t see any value in the banking system providing a financial infrastructure …
Hedges : That’s not what I said.
O’Leary : I’m asking you.
Hedges : A banking system that functions as a banking system should. And in Canada you do not have a banking crisis because you did not tear down the walls between commercial and investment banks and turn all of your banks into hedge funds. If, instead of handing massive sums of money to CitiBank, Wells Fargo – which are basically zombie banks that still hold tremendous toxic assets – we had created ten regional banks with $10 billion each and leveraged them 10 to 1, people could have been saved. Six million people have been pushed out of their homes because of foreclosures and mortgages. We could have reinvested in communities, small businesses which cannot get credit would have gotten credit. Instead they’re just sitting on the capital and not lending it.
O’Leary : So we’re certainly giving you an opportunity to speak your mind. Just so we can come full circle, what do you suggest should be done with Goldman Sachs specifically?
Hedges : They should be prosecuted. When you shove sub-prime mortgages on families that you know can’t repay it and then you dice up those mortgages as assets and sell them and bet against them through AIG, that’s fraudulent activity.