My goodness, this week just started and it already is awash in spectacularly written and extremely poignant essays. In this one, Chris Hedges once again hits the nail squarely on its head. It is required reading in my view, and particularly so for those who tend to avoid political topics.

The Contrary Perspective

Donald Trump Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at FreedomFest Saturday, July 11, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Chris Hedges (Courtesy of Truthdig)

The increase in nihilistic violence such as school shootings and Friday’s lethal assault on a Planned Parenthood clinic, the frequent executions of poor people of color by police, and the rise of thuggish demagogues such as Donald Trump are symptoms of the collapse of our political and cultural institutions.

These institutions, which once made possible piecemeal and incremental reform, which sought to protect the weak from the tyranny of the majority and give them a voice, acted as a safety valve to ameliorate the excesses of capitalism and address the grievances of the underclass. They did not defy the system of capitalism. They colluded with the structures of privilege and white supremacy. But they provided some restraints on the worst abuse and exploitation. The capturing…

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