Death Of The Liberal Class Book Summary By Chris Hedges

*This post contains affiliate links, and we may earn an affiliate commission without it ever affecting the price you pay.

"Death of the Liberal Class" is an incisive and powerful indictment of modern liberalism and its leading figures.

It takes readers inside today's failing liberal institutions to uncover the ways in which contemporary politicians have been unable to uphold their promises and values.

Christopher Hedges' examination of the state of American democracy is thought-provoking and essential reading for citizens of all political persuasions, offering a dose of realistic perspective while still holding on to a spark of hope.

Death Of The Liberal Class Book

Book Name: Death Of The Liberal Class (The failures of contemporary liberal institutions)

Author(s): Chris Hedges

Rating: 3.6/5

Reading Time: 16 Minutes

Categories: Politics

Author Bio

Chris Hedges is a celebrated journalist and author.

His work includes having served as The New York Times' foreign correspondent in places like Central America, the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans.

Apart from his extensive journalism career, Hedges has written two bestselling books--Empire of Illusion and War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning--which touch upon relevant issues of our time.

He also recently penned Death Of The Liberal Class which has been hailed as one of his most powerful works to date.

The Decline Of Liberalism And The Rise Of A One-Sided Political System In The United States

Political System In The United States

In his book, Death of the Liberal Class, Chris Hedges explores how the American liberal class has destroyed itself by ceding power to the conservative agenda.

Instead of believing in principles of liberty and equal opportunity for all, politicians and the general public have embraced a worldview that only gives credence to those at the top.

The media in particular has become entrenched in promoting this mentality rather than giving due attention to other points of view.

As a result, there is no longer any incentive to stand up for the little guy or challenge oppressive systems as they are so entrenched with power.

This has led to catastrophic consequences too- such as going to war against ideas not people.

Its time we find out why liberalism is dying a slow death in America before we can harvest anything from its ruins.

The Decline Of The Liberal Class: Why Failed Policies Signal A Dark Future For Working Families

The liberal class has been unable to protect American workers from exploitation and neglect.

This is illustrated no better than through the story of Ernest Logan Bell, a 25-year-old Marine Corps veteran with virtually no income who has been unemployed for several years.

Not only have liberal policies failed to increase worker wages, but they’ve also done little to stop outsourcing jobs to developing nations like China or India.

This has resulted in a higher rate of poverty and unemployment among American citizens.

Furthermore, regulators and liberal politicians have not imposed strict regulations when it comes to financial speculation – allowing banks to continue trading in risky ways that put many working families’ savings at risk.

Even more recently, Congress had the chance to create laws that would help put an end to this type of activity but these laws never materialized due to lack of enforcement and penalty provisions that weren’t rigid enough.

How The Liberal Class Is Shutting Out Dissident And Radical Voices

The liberal class of today has a major problem – it has excluded and purged itself of radicals and unconventional thinkers to its detriment.

This issue is something that can be traced back to the 1950s, when figures such as political philosopher Sheldon Wolin were blacklisted for voicing even mildly controversial opinions.

Since then, the process of ostracizing individuals with unpopular or provocative views from liberal circles has only grown in intensity.

People who criticize the status quo are no longer accepted in these circles, leading to their loss of jobs, broadcast opportunities and careers.

Those who dare to argue against popular positions risk expulsion from any traditional liberal organization or publication.

This cycle of exclusion and expulsion within the liberal circles reduces their influence on society at large and inhibits reform within their own ranks; an example seen in play being author’s his loss of writing opportunities after delivering a controversial speech before 1,000 guests critiquing American wars.

The inability of this group to accept opposing viewpoints has hamstrung them and put them in their current position.

The Loss Of Liberal Values And Critical Thought In Art Has Led To A Devaluation Of Creative Expression

Creative Expression

It is clear that the arts have long since abandoned their liberal values and instead have allowed money to take the place of political expression.

In the past, institutions such as universities, media outlets, and even the U.S.

Democratic Party were responsible for promoting and propagating liberal ideas and projects.

Artists too would use their artistic abilities to express feelings and social commentaries concerning political issues in critical works displayed in classrooms and galleries alike.

However, today it seems that most artists forgo any personal feelers or meaningful work in favor of making a profit from art.

More often than not, students at large art schools are only taught how to turn their artwork into income- with no larger concerns about politics or theoretical considerations being discussed- as those topics dish out little monetary reward anyway.

Due to this shift in priorities, wealthy patrons who finance the work of these artists are more interested in aesthetic value rather than anything politically relevant or thought-provoking; so naturally, mass production has become a common trend among many money-driven creatives just trying to make a living through their craftsmanship.

Corporate Control Over Liberal Values: How The Media And Beyond Are Affected

The liberal class has suffered a great loss due to the takeover of major media outlets by corporations.

In 1910, 58% of U.S.

cities had newspapers that were independently owned and not controlled by corporate interests.

By 1930, this figure dropped to an astonishing 20%, with newspaper ownership being dominated entirely by large corporations.

Instead of being free and independent, the media now represents the vested interests of its owners who have no local presence in their respective communities.

This corporate control results in targeted biases against those whose agendas are counter to that of big business or conservative values – be it pacifists who advocate for non-violent means, individuals mobilized against injustices, or musicals highlighting a corrupt political system like The Cradle Will Rock in 1937 which received almost no press coverage despite its popularity amongst audiences.

Moreover, little to no mainstream media reporting is done on projects or endeavors that espouse progressive ideals.

All these elements combined underline the detrimental effect corporate control has had on liberalism and freedom of expression in many facets and institutions today.

How Corporations Are Able To Gain Control Through Permanent War: Exploring The Manner In Which Private Interests Subvert Government Goals

We live in a system of total corporate control, where wars never seem to end because the profits for those involved keep stacking up.

It’s become painfully clear how commercial interests influence the media and culture – pushing their own agenda without any regard for the consequences.

But there is much more going on beneath the surface.

The United States has been continuously pitted against both real nations and abstract threats, like the War on Terror, with no end in sight.

As a result of these protracted conflicts, many violations of basic human rights have taken place.

For example, people living in America have experienced targeted drone strikes that take away their right to a fair trial simply because they are branded as enemies by this so-called War on Terror.

What’s even scarier is that many military obligations have been transferred from our government’s hands to private companies like Military Professional Resources Inc., which naturally have their own self-serving interests when it comes to conducting foreign policy.

And profiteers from warfare often lobby for increases in military gear spending and resources by creating misinformation campaigns – ceaselessly ensuring conflict remains plentiful and profitable for them at all times.

But what this means is that liberal groups with designed set out to fight such injustices no longer yield any results – leaving us stuck in a world of total corporate control where war will always remain eternal until something effective can be done about it.

The Decline Of The Liberal Class: Blind Faith In Institutions Led To Disillusionment

Blind Faith

Many liberals have been overly optimistic in their belief that technology and a free market would bring about utopia, when the reality is much darker.

For years, the liberal class had faith in these ideals, dreaming that globalization would spread wealth to all people on earth, and science and technology would lead to lasting improvements in living conditions.

However, despite the promises of a utopian world through advancements in technology and economic growth, it became clear that global wealth was not being evenly distributed.

The free market also revealed its capabilities of destruction when left unchecked – something which classical liberal thinkers had already noted long ago.

The difference between classical liberalism and modern liberalism is stark: while the former was deeply rooted in skepticism and evaluating each new idea carefully without taking sides, the latter embraced unquestioned optimism for progress – something which led even President Woodrow Wilson to condone violence as an answer for achieving liberal goals.

This lack of skepticism from modern liberals has caused many to be blindsided by issues such as income inequality that are ingrained in capitalism’s nature.

The Price Of Silence: How Greed And Comfort Hinder Liberalism’S Cause

Many current liberals have been tempted to abandon their ideals in exchange for something more tangible—namely, higher wages and luxurious lives.

Institutions that used to be havens for liberal thought, such as universities and churches, now offer salaries too large for those with a conscience to turn down.

For example, professors at elite schools may make up to $180,000 per year—an income that can persuade people not to bite the hand that feeds them.

Non-liberal institutions have also gotten into the act of buying off potential critics.

Powerful corporations are willing to pay handsomely for silence; union leaders may earn huge salaries or become junior partners at large companies if they promise not to criticize corporate interests.

With offers like these on the table, it’s easy for liberals who are passionate about improving social justice to stay silent and accept the perks of a cushy job rather than fight against an exploitative system.

Though these rewards might be appealing in the moment, it’s important to remember that by accepting them, many modern liberals are neglecting their duties; without vocal opposition from people within its own ranks, our society has facilitated corporate domination with no consequence.

The Danger Of A Society Without A Functioning Liberal Class


The death of the liberal class is not just a problem for those it was originally intended to protect, but it can also be disastrous for the democratic system as a whole.

Having a liberal class is essential for having policies in their countries that are not too extreme and are focused on helping people, rather than exploiting them.

It helps safeguard against policies that just serve those in power and offers hope to those who have been wronged.

The liberal class also serves as an attack dog, attacking radical movements and providing moderate solutions which stabilize the government by discrediting more extreme methods of change.

This can help prevent violent upheaval or overthrow of the government by unhappy citizens.

Without A Liberal Class, We Risk A Revolt From The Far-Right And Need To Reorganize Society Into Small Communities For Survival

Unless we institute the essential liberal reforms, society as we know it will soon collapse.

Blind capitalism has caused many of the most pressing problems in our world today; unregulated markets have devastated the environment and contributed to climate change.

Worse yet, these conditions facilitated the rise of far-right forces, like what happened in Germany prior to WWII.

The only way to put a stop to this cycle is to make revolutionary changes in our social and political structure, starting with restructuring human society into small communities.

This must be done so that people can rebuild their lives without reliance on production industries that are hallmarks of blind capitalism.

In order for these communities to thrive and remain sustainable, they must include no more than a few families at a time.

Only with these modest and self-sufficient societies can we inspire a new kind of politics – one that is not so easily swayed by money or wishful thinking – and ultimately create a better future for everyone.

The death of the liberal class is imminent unless we take action now, implement necessary liberal reforms, and construct greener alternatives for economic development.

Wrap Up

Death Of The Liberal Class, by Chris Hedges, is an eye-opening book that paints a frightening picture of the consequences of liberal failure.

In it, Hedges paints a vivid portrait of modern society lacking in ideological protection for the meek and government regulations that keep it in check.

It’s a sobering read, but ultimately provides a thorough analysis of how we can put this system back on track – if we take the necessary steps to do so.

At its core, Death Of The Liberal Class serves as a final warning that unless our current status quo changes drastically, dire consequences are inevitable – ones that could be catastrophic if not reversed in time.

With its timely warning, this book offers readers the chance to make real change before it’s too late

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.