page 286 - The belief that we can make things happen through positive thoughts, by visualizing, by wanting them, by tapping into our inner strength, or by understanding that we are truly exceptional, is peddled to us by all aspects of the culture, from Oprah to the Christian Right. It is magical thinking. We can always make more money, meet new quotas, consume more products, and advance our careers. This magical thinking, this idea that human and personal progress is somehow inevitable, leads to political passivity. It permits societies to transfer their emotional allegiance to the absurd— whether embodied in professional sports or in celebrity culture—and ignore real problems. It exacerbates despair. It keeps us in a state of mass self-delusion.
Once we are drawn into this form of magical thinking, the purpose, structure and goals of the corporate state are not questioned. To question, to engage in criticism of the corporate collective, is to be seen as obstructive and negative. And these cultural illusions have grossly perverted the way we view ourselves, our nation, and the natural world. This magical thinking, coupled with its bizarre ideology of limitless progress holds out the promise of an impossible, unachievable happiness. It has turned whole nations, such as the United States, into self-consuming machines of death. - Chris Hedges - Death Of The Liberal Class
What is the liberal class? Of who does this, and others, author speak when using the term "liberal class"? If you look at Wikipedia's definition, liberalism is all about freedom, fairness, liberty and so on - but, if we consider the world around us and how ideas of freedom, fairness and liberty are used by and dispersed among the people, then we will come up with a slightly different idea about liberalism.
Consider the excerpt above: we have been fed this self concept that we are each special and unique and that we inherently and unequivocally deserve to live, no matter our actions. Those of us who have access to, either by our status or by our proximity to, a higher quality of life and lifestyle are only able to live the way we do because of money. Money has purchased our comfortable lifestyles. We have become liberal in our decadence and in our enjoyment, all because we have the means to do so. Money pays for our fairness. Money pays for our liberty. Money pays for our freedom. Without money, living in the world the way it is now, we would be less free.
Is freedom really free if it was bought and paid for? Those of us who have the means to live comfortably are all living lives of liberty. We are the liberal class: we can afford to live with dignity, fairness, equality, liberty, etc. Our liberty is bought and paid for.
We claim to be liberals, fighting for liberty and freedom, but all we need to do is throw money at all those who need a little liberation and they can go on down to their local market and get a bushel of liberty. If one reads a little further into the book in the link above, the author describes the disintegration of our middle and upper class societies into a state of disconnection from reality, thinking that everything is perfect as long as my life is perfect. As long as we feel like we are able to be a hero, then we won't think about solutions to better the poverty in the world. As long as we feel like we are fulfilling our potential of being youthful, beautiful and desirable beings, then we won't give thought to the enrichment and upliftment of those who were not lucky enough to be born into liberal lives.