Human Rights

Meet Joe Bageant: One of America's Best Redneck Populist Writers

Have you been missing out on one of AlterNet's most popular authors? Here are 10 of Bageant's best works from the year.

Author Joe Bageant's distinctive style has graced the pages of AlterNetfor a few years, and we wanted to make sure you haven't been missing his great essays on the American mindscape, wealth and democracy, the role of corporations in our economy, and most of all, the life and culture of redneck society.  Bageant is author of the popular book, Deer Hunting With Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War (Random House Crown), about working class America. You can read the complete archive of his on-line work, along with the thoughts of many working Americans on the subject of class on his website.

Many of Bageant's essays from this year have been read by over 50,000 people on AlterNet. Here are 10 of his most popular:

1. To the Hope and Change Crowd -- How's It Working Out for You?
Obama promised change -- and sure enough, things are changing for the worse.

2. Our Produce-or-Die Culture Is Killing Us -- And We're Idiotically Grinning and Bearing It
We've been reduced to "human assets" in a relentless economic machine. And we can't even complain: appearing cheerful is vital when all of life is monitored by an employer.

3. Our Economy Was a Scam and Now We're Dead Broke
America is broke. And the easy credit, phantom "growth" economy has been exposed for what it was: a credit scam.

4. The Health Insurance Racket Is Manufacturing Entertainment Value from Pulling the Plug on Grandma
"There ain't any health care debate going on, Bubba. What is going on are mob negotiations about insurance, and which mob gets the biggest chunk of the dough."

5. Consciousness Capitalism: Corporations Are Now After Our Very Beings
Capitalism has raped the resources of the world. Now corporations are left to strip human experience from life, then rent it back to us.

7. Look Out, Are You About to Join the White Underclass?
"We're starting to hear a little discussion about the white underclass... Mainly because so many middle class folks are terrified of falling into it."

8. How Unions Gave My Redneck Family a Chance at the American Dream
Restoring dignity to laboring America won't be easy. It won't be pretty, and it won't be "within the system." Because the system is the problem.

9. A Redneck View of Obama's Presidency
"It don't matter who gets to warm his butt in the White House chair. The top dogs eat high on the hog and the little dogs eat the tails and ears."

10. Bageant: We've Let Corporations and Media Rob Our Souls -- It's Time to Do Something Meaningful
The most chilling accomplishment of American capitalist culture is that we have commodified our own consciousness.

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