Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, and other morally upright dissenters and critics of the current system who cry out against the enormous injustice committed by the power elite are like good apples addressing other good apples about the rottenness of what they take to be bad apples, when in fact they are oranges. 
If we approach this important issue from the standpoint of my ‘game theory’ of value systems, I think my general idea here will become clear. It seems fairly obvious that the corporate power elite (and their minions, to a somewhat lesser extent) are not concerned with moral-political-economic justice in the least. ‘Justice,’ as an aim or concern is not even on their menu, although concern over the appearance or semblance of justice is absolutely vital to their success. This is why they so lavishly reward that hired gang of public relations and media whores for their clever feats of whitewashing, distraction, disinformation, and deception. It is quite obvious that the power elite play at an entirely different game than Chomsky, Hedges, Nader, and Co. The objective of their game has everything to do with the consolidation of power, with market shares and the boundless accumulation of wealth, with buying off the Congress and commanding the air waves, with the maximization of personal pleasure, and with the constant fabrication of false images and masks to conceal the truth about what they are really up to. Their aims have nothing whatsoever to do with justice—which is simply and rightly regarded as a positive obstruction to the attainment of their actual aims. These aims are venal and reliably mediocre—scarcely more noble or dignified than those of an Afghan warlord or a Florentine condottiere—to anyone with a modicum of good breeding and spiritual refinement. Regrettably (for the rest of us), these ‘movers and shakers’ are often little more than clever sociopaths, unfettered megalomaniacs, and moral-spiritual louts. How else could they strong-arm their way into positions where they are capable of wreaking so much economic, political, cultural, and environmental damage, without remorse or a moment’s thought about the consequences? These men and women make the deranged generals of WWI look good by contrast.
Obviously, their way—their game—is a perfectly viable and playable game, at least for a limited time. The duration of play may be as short as a decade or two—or it could go on for centuries, depending on how long the game resources and the absence of serious opposition hold out.
What the good apples really want is for everyone to play the apple game. And if the oranges don’t voluntarily ‘come over’ and begin to play by apple rules and submit themselves to apple referees, the apple directors have, in effect, called for a popular uprising to overthrow the orange team and to reinstall political-moral-economic justice as the principal value/virtue under apple rule.
The success of this campaign led by good apples depends, of course, upon greater hegemony of justice-loving apple game-players over and against unjust oranges—or upon a miraculous ‘game-change’ initiative on the part of well-placed, powerful oranges. It almost seems as if this miracle will have to occur—if a game-change is to really turn things around for humanity and for the beleaguered biosphere—since the masses can usually (but not always) be relied upon to follow where they are led—and the oranges indisputably have the upper hand at this time.
When I say that the orange game is, by far, the dominant game today, I certainly do not mean to trivialize the grim seriousness of this fact by referring to it as a ‘game.’ The stakes couldn’t be higher, since the severe imbalances in virtually all major arenas of our present-day civilization appear to be poised for collapse: the teetering economy (domestic and global); profit-obsessed, psychopathic corporatism; a corrupt and paralyzed government that has betrayed and misled the American people by whoring itself out to the highest bidders; a narrow and stultifying system of mis-education that does not teach persons how to think for themselves, but only how to serve obediently within the greedy, corporate system (if they are fortunate enough to get a job); religion which has either degenerated into a consoling, frothy form of New Agey escapism or has been politicized by demagogues and proto-fascists in order to foment and exploit the rage and confusion of the unreflective masses, a goodly number of whom are armed to the teeth. The examples set by the nihilistic, ruling elites—who are contemptuous of (and, at the same time, duly afraid of) the smelly masses squirming, teeming, and simmering just outside the carefully guarded perimeters of their gated communities—have taught us well, if badly: for they have made it clear that it is every man for himself.
But all of these questions and conflicts have been thoroughly and far more eloquently explored—hearkening all the way back to the heyday of the great Greek philosophers, historians, and poets. Thucydides fully understood the messy problems bound up with the competing claims of power and justice, and Plato seems pretty much to have gotten it right in the Republic when he observed that unless kings become philosophers or philosophers can be persuaded (and allowed) to rule, injustice and corruption are almost bound to flourish. Characters in his dialogues—Thrasymachus, Callicles, and Meno, to name a few—are living portraits of ‘orange’ gamesmen. They cynically tell us that justice is the ‘will of the stronger’ and that it is ultimately conventional or arbitrary—not grounded in nature or in some kind of transcendent Logos, or reason. Socrates is perhaps the shiniest, most polished apple to be found among the medley of fruits that have appeared throughout the course of Western civilization. When Jesus told us that we must ‘Render unto Caesar…’ (since Jesus was concerned chiefly, if not exclusively, with a kingdom not of this world), He may have been leaping out of the ‘apple’ cart and into an entirely different sort of vehicle. I dare not claim that this new trail that He blazed has no relevance whatsoever to these pressing questions and conflicts which pertain more directly to moral, political, and economic justice here and now in mundane reality, but insofar as followers of Christ are divested from this world and devoted to a radically different plane and arena of experience, they have only a limited stake in mundane problems and affairs. By that definition, we may wonder if more than three or four genuine followers of Christ are living on this planet today—if that many.
Nevertheless…as different as Plato of Athens and Jesus of Nazareth were—along with the markedly different cultural/religious backgrounds from which they emerged—they had far more in common, spiritually, than either of them have in common with Anglo-American philosophy and culture, which is unapologetically materialistic, pragmatic, utilitarian, nominalistic, and hedonistic. Anglo-American culture and its imperial ambitions are nothing if they are not thoroughly this-worldly. ‘Worlds’ that cannot be weighed, measured, analyzed, touched, bought, or conquered by main force are merely imaginary, unreal, and of no real consequence to the typical ‘modern.’ If something isn’t tangible, edible, marketable, and/or directly useful to us here and now, it is implicitly discredited and viewed with skepticism by the ministers and conscriptees of the contemporary materialistic-pragmatic-scientistic worldview. 
The study of history—of the ideas, the traditional ways of seeing and judging that our forebears lived by and died for—happens to be one of those pursuits that are deemed a useless waste of time and energy from the modern “live-like-there’s-no-tomorrow-because-there-isn’t-one” standpoint. As a consequence, few of us are even remotely aware of what a serious study of the past can teach us about the prejudices, weaknesses, and blind spots afflicting our modern worldview. Many of us have fallen for the ridiculous idea that simply because we came into existence after the heyday of the ancient Hebrew, Greek, Roman, Chinese, and Indian cultures, we are automatically more advanced and fully developed human beings! This rampant delusion is patently absurd—even when we readily allow all the technological and scientific advances to count towards our credit (even though the actual inventors of this technology constitute a tiny subset of the general population). Anyone who has seriously studied and reflected upon the cultures of the past—as it has been recorded in the great works and deeds of the poets, philosophers, statesmen, historians, saints, and artists—will, if he or she is honest and fair—acknowledge the superior wisdom, courage, moral rigor, and comprehensive understanding found in the cultivated figures of the past when place beside their descendents of today. I know it is a cliché by now, but if our material and technological achievements eclipse anything the past has to hold up in comparison, the moral-spiritual and aesthetic standards of the educated man or woman of today are on a par with those of Rome at its nadir, not at its Republican heights—closer to the chaotic and cacophonous conditions of Babel than to those of wise Solomon’s reign. Of course I compare the leading, educated figures from past and present, since—as representative men and women—they set the tone and the standard for the many, who, as ever, follow the examples of their leaders, or their mis-leaders, as the case may be.
At any event, both Plato and Jesus—each in his distinctive manner—recognized a cardinal distinction between the spiritual and the instinctual/appetitive sides, or aspects, of our composite human nature. Moreover, they both taught that the spiritual or philosophically reflective aspect of our nature should become the rightful ruler over the instinctual-appetitive part. Neither appears to have simply advocated a violent or harsh repression of our primitive, inherited drives and instincts but a wise moderation and constructive channeling of those impulses that we share with the beasts. Such moderation and civilized expression of these instinctual and often aggressive energies was enormously aided by accurate self-understanding coupled with a deep understanding of the city, or man in society. Obviously, we are in a much better position to manage and to wisely express these energies when we understand them, rather than when they are poorly or wrongly understood. Nevertheless, a truly liberal education—a thorough acquaintance with the literary, philosophical, and scriptural legacy of our Western past—is, itself, rapidly becoming a thing of the past. So-called ‘educated persons’ of today—as we approach what may very well be the brink of a new Dark Age, if we haven’t already fallen, collectively, into its glutinous grip—are typically myopic, narrowly trained specialists in some modern technical area of expertise or another. Such persons have, at best, a fragmented and sketchy grasp of the rich legacy from our cultural past—a priceless gift that has been allowed to fall into a pitiable state of neglect, so that the living connection with that potentially redemptive and tutelary heritage is all but severed. And for what have the shepherds and custodians of our culture abandoned their sacred offices? For a soulless, anxiety-fueled technocracy and all the petty little gadgets, conveniences, and weapons of global destruction that we parade as badges of our superiority. It’s enough to make one want to weep with shame and disgust—this profoundly demoralizing realization of the depths to which we have sunk after being seduced and betrayed by those who enthusiastically and uncritically threw aside the riches of the past in their mad scramble for these pernicious powers that have been unleashed by and upon us.
 Their goodness or badness as oranges is, for the most part, irrelevant, since the apples are holding them up to apple standards of goodness and badness, not orange standards. Apple standards, roughly speaking, are those of Socrates, while those of oranges lie somewhere between Machiavelli and Stalin.
 Unless, of course, it happens to be a piece of modern ‘art.’ Though useless, impractical, lacking in order or meaning, these peculiar ‘exceptions’ often fetch enormous sums at auctions attended by the rich and clueless.