According to Chris Hedges, liberal institutions are to blame for the downward spiral of the American political system. In his Big Thinkinglecture at Congress 2012, he argues that the liberal class—the press, universities, liberal religious institutions, labour unions and the Democratic Party—have forsaken their core values and sold out to corporate interests.

Chris Hedges was a foreign correspondent for nearly two decades for The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Science Monitorand National Public Radio, and the author of such books as War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2002), American Fascists (2007), I Don't Believe in Atheists (2008) and Empire of Illusion(2009). He is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute and has taught at Columbia University, New York University and Princeton University.

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