Tuesday, December 29, 2015

“We do not count within the political process” —Chris Hedges



“…This truth, emotionally difficult to accept, violates our conception of ourselves as a free, democratic people. It shatters our vision of ourselves as a nation embodying superior virtues and endowed with the responsibility to serve as a beacon of light to the world. It takes from us the ‘right’ to impose our fictitious virtues on others by violence. It forces us into a new political radicalism. This truth reveals, incontrovertibly, that if real change is to be achieved, if our voices are to be heard, corporate systems of power have to be destroyed. This realization engenders an existential and political crisis. The inability to confront this crisis, to accept this truth, leaves us appealing to centers of power that will never respond and ensures we are crippled by self-delusion.

“The longer fantasy is substituted for reality, the faster we sleepwalk toward oblivion. There is no guarantee we will wake up. Magical thinking has gripped societies in the past. Those civilizations believed that fate, history, superior virtues or a divine force guaranteed their eternal triumph. As they collapsed, they constructed repressive dystopias. They imposed censorship and forced the unreal to be accepted as real. Those who did not conform were disappeared linguistically and then literally.

“The vast disconnect between the official narrative of reality and reality itself creates an Alice-in-Wonderland experience. Propaganda is so pervasive, and truth is so rarely heard, that people do not trust their own senses. We are currently being assaulted by political campaigning that resembles the constant crusading by fascists and communists in past totalitarian societies. This campaigning, devoid of substance and subservient to the mirage of a free society, is anti-politics.

“No vote we cast will alter the configurations of the corporate state. The wars will go on. Our national resources will continue to be diverted to militarism. The corporate fleecing of the country will get worse. Poor people of color will still be gunned down by militarized police in our streets. The eradication of our civil liberties will accelerate. The economic misery inflicted on over half the population will expand. Our environment will be ruthlessly exploited by fossil fuel and animal agriculture corporations and we will careen toward ecological collapse. We are ‘free’ only as long as we play our assigned parts. Once we call out power for what it is, once we assert our rights and resist, the chimera of freedom will vanish. The iron fist of the most sophisticated security and surveillance apparatus in human history will assert itself with a terrifying fury…”

From The Illusion of Freedom by Chris Hedges


Hedges graduated from Harvard Divinity School and was a foreign correspondent for The New York Times for nearly two decades. He is the author of many books, including: War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, What Every Person Should Know About War, and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.  His most recent book is Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle


3 comments:

  1. Hedges' article jumped into my mind as I awakened with a jolt last night at 3:00 am. I am surrounded by people who believe that Trump is the only solution and an equal number who choose to believe that Hillary, as a woman with connections and financial backing, is the Savior-in-Chief. The delusions of chosen beliefs have become frightening.
    Hedges also wrote, "Magical thinking has gripped societies in the past. Those civilizations believed that fate, history, superior virtues or a divine force guaranteed their eternal triumph. As they collapsed, they constructed repressive dystopias. They imposed censorship and forced the unreal to be accepted as real. Those who did not conform were disappeared linguistically and then literally."

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  2. I wonder about the political anonymous voting process. 20 or more years ago before these new electronic voting booths, I pulled the ballot box votes. The metal box was about 18x18x24 inches. The ballot was the size of the old punch card that was slipped in an envelope. When the box was opened, there was a channel and all the hand filled out ballots were neatly stacked in order. So, if you were the 6th voter, you were 6 from the bottom. The judges are there to record everything.

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  3. Hedges has always been prescient.
    However, I once again must urge people to stop nay-saying Sanders & start working. This "can't win, won't win" attitude of basically like-minded people is a huge part of the problem. Contact Bernie.com & sign up to help, make donations (unlike everyone else, they've made it easy--you can actually mail $$$ in). Bernie 2016...or what Chris Hedges says.

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