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BP and the ‘Little Eichmanns’

Posted on May 16, 2010
U.S. Navy / MC2 Justin Stumberg

By Chris Hedges

Cultures that do not recognize that human life and the natural world have a sacred dimension, an intrinsic value beyond monetary value, cannibalize themselves until they die. They ruthlessly exploit the natural world and the members of their society in the name of progress until exhaustion or collapse, blind to the fury of their own self-destruction. The oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico, estimated to be perhaps as much as 100,000 barrels a day, is part of our foolish death march. It is one more blow delivered by the corporate state, the trade of life for gold. But this time collapse, when it comes, will not be confined to the geography of a decayed civilization. It will be global.

Those who carry out this global genocide—men like BP’s Chief Executive Tony Hayward, who assures us that “The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume’’—are, to steal a line from Ward Churchill, “little Eichmanns.” They serve Thanatos, the forces of death, the dark instinct Sigmund Freud identified within human beings that propels us to annihilate all living things, including ourselves. These deformed individuals lack the capacity for empathy. They are at once banal and dangerous. They possess the peculiar ability to organize vast, destructive bureaucracies and yet remain blind to the ramifications. The death they dispense, whether in the pollutants and carcinogens that have made cancer an epidemic, the dead zone rapidly being created in the Gulf of Mexico, the melting polar ice caps or the deaths last year of 45,000 Americans who could not afford proper medical care, is part of the cold and rational exchange of life for money.

The corporations, and those who run them, consume, pollute, oppress and kill. The little Eichmanns who manage them reside in a parallel universe of staggering wealth, luxury and splendid isolation that rivals that of the closed court of Versailles. The elite, sheltered and enriched, continue to prosper even as the rest of us and the natural world start to die. They are numb. They will drain the last drop of profit from us until there is nothing left. And our business schools and elite universities churn out tens of thousands of these deaf, dumb and blind systems managers who are endowed with sophisticated skills of management and the incapacity for common sense, compassion or remorse. These technocrats mistake the art of manipulation with knowledge. 

“The longer one listened to him, the more obvious it became that his inability to speak was closely connected with an inability to think, namely, to think from the standpoint of somebody else,” Hannah Arendt wrote of “Eichmann in Jerusalem.” “No communication was possible with him, not because he lied but because he was surrounded by the most reliable of all safeguards against words and the presence of others, and hence against reality as such.”

Our ruling class of technocrats, as John Ralston Saul points out, is effectively illiterate. “One of the reasons that he is unable to recognize the necessary relationship between power and morality is that moral traditions are the product of civilization and he has little knowledge of his own civilization,” Saul writes of the technocrat. Saul calls these technocrats “hedonists of power,” and warns that their “obsession with structures and their inability or unwillingness to link these to the public good make this power an abstract force—a force that works, more often than not, at cross-purposes to the real needs of a painfully real world.”


Square, Site wide
BP, which made $6.1 billion in profits in the first quarter of this year, never obtained permits from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The protection of the ecosystem did not matter. But BP is hardly alone. Drilling with utter disregard to the ecosystem is common practice among oil companies, according to a report in The New York Times. Our corporate state has gutted environmental regulation as tenaciously as it has gutted financial regulation and habeas corpus. Corporations make no distinction between our personal impoverishment and the impoverishment of the ecosystem that sustains the human species. And the abuse, of us and the natural world, is as rampant under Barack Obama as it was under George W. Bush. The branded figure who sits in the White House is a puppet, a face used to mask an insidious system under which we as citizens have been disempowered and under which we become, along with the natural world, collateral damage. As Karl Marx understood, unfettered capitalism is a revolutionary force. And this force is consuming us.

Karl Polanyi in his book “The Great Transformation,” written in 1944, laid out the devastating consequences—the depressions, wars and totalitarianism—that grow out of a so-called self-regulated free market. He grasped that “fascism, like socialism, was rooted in a market society that refused to function.” He warned that a financial system always devolved, without heavy government control, into a Mafia capitalism—and a Mafia political system—which is a good description of our corporate government. Polanyi warned that when nature and human beings are objects whose worth is determined by the market, then human beings and nature are destroyed. Speculative excesses and growing inequality, he wrote, always dynamite the foundation for a continued prosperity and ensure “the demolition of society.”

Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt, By Chris Hedges, Truthdig Columnist and Winner of the Pulitzer Prize -- Get Your Autographed Copy Today Also Available! Truthdig Exclusive DVD of Chris Hedges' Wages of Rebellion Lecture The World As It Is: 
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By Onion, June 13, 2010 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

I seriously think and my opion only but I think there is no way this country can be taken unless the citizens turn on themselves.  If we as citizens are put in the fox hole together there will be hell to pay for the idiots who put us there.  The corrupt police will turn on their masters in a heart beat in order to protect their families and their patriotism once they wake up to the illusion.  Like the man said this ain"t Israel They don’t have to show us how to defend ourselves and they don’t give us welfare as subsistance we earn what little we have and no one is going to walk away from this game with all the marbles.  They have stuck their hands in the wrong cookie jar and I believe they will eventually draw back a nub.  They hav never really ever won any war and this one ios they create it will definitly be their last.

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By PatrickHenry, June 13, 2010 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt,  I am only one of tens of millions of armed American veterans who still remember what this nations principles once stood for, if the economy did fall and the government attempted a totalitarian regime, there would be blood in the streets.

This is not Israel and there is very little they can show us about warfare. Their forte being sneak attacks against the ill armed or prepared.

Against a Longbow, a Barrett light fifty would be in order. Commercially available able to be fired by a little old lady.

BTW, the men and women manning those machinizations are Americans and our children, rebellion in the ranks would surely ensue on any attempts to subdue the American populace.

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By Night-Gaunt, June 8, 2010 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

By PatrickHenry, May 28 at 7:59 pm #


Naked before them with a mini-14.

Let me know how that works against LRAD or one of the microwave based “non-lethal” weapons they have or even an AH-64 “Long Bow” will ya? Mini-14 vs armored flying tank killer…taking any bets? They are getting lots of urban warfare training in the various middle eastern wars right now. Can be useful here to. They have been working with the experts in Israel who have 40 years worth of experience for tactics and weapons to fight in such environments. The bureaucracy behind it keeps it going, without it it would function poorly or not at all.

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By Arouete, June 8, 2010 at 2:08 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges’ Columns BP and the ‘Little Eichmanns’

“At that point the great monuments to empire, from the Sumer “

cAVEAT! the hyperlink for sumer is an attack page.  “This web page at has been reported as an attack page and has been blocked based on your security preferences. Attack pages try to install programs that steal private information, use your computer to attack others, or damage your system. Some attack pages intentionally distribute harmful software, but many are compromised without the knowledge or permission of their owners.

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By prosefights, May 28, 2010 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

’ America is dying in the manner in which all imperial projects die. Joseph Tainter, in his book “The Collapse of Complex Societies,” argues that the costs of running and defending an empire eventually become so burdensome, and the elite becomes so calcified, that it becomes more efficient to dismantle the imperial superstructures and return to local forms of organization.’

Friday May 28, 1020 13:59

We are dealing with undergraduate liberal arts graduate polysci major and lawyer Layne.

Layne and the other liberal arts grads would like to get us for harrassment.

So limit email and phone calls.

Swiss International Hans Buehler broadcast sent to Layne.

Hans Buehler sent me the tape.

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By PatrickHenry, May 28, 2010 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment


Naked before them with a mini-14.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 28, 2010 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment

Alan MacDonald, we almost became a member of the Axis in 1934 if the oligarchs here had been successful in their attempt to take over. FDR was informed (he had no idea) and the matter was quietly settled. No prison, no confiscation, no arrests or trials it was hushed up. So they bide their time and infiltrated and thought and then made their move in 1980. Its been down hill ever since.

When they let the economy finally crash they will make their move. We are naked before them.

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By Onion, May 28, 2010 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

I have read that all civilization was started in Egype ancient Egypt the one they are still attempting to understand the building of the pyramids.  There were capitol cities in Monroe in the 8th century B.C. There wer distinguished lines of leaders throught out these times. There were counsils, senators, chamber of committies.  They invented writing and tried to connect it with Asiatic influence.  There were 24 charachters and letters in all. A system of numarical symbols for mathmatics was developed. How and why did all of this disappear. How and why was all of this blotted out. There was Queen Hatshepsut Greatest woman Pharaoh of Black Egypt 18th Dynasty. Daughter of Thutmose she pushed for the expansion of foreign trade, international diplomatic relations, perfection of national defense, vast public building programs, building of a great navy for commerce and for war.  The Africans themselves had invented writing Written records found on statues,altars, tombstones, graffiti etc were so distinctly African that their native origin could not be successfully disputed.  Moreover the African system of writing was very different from the Egyptian.  It was simpler and had vowels where Egyptian had none.  There were twenty-three charachters or letters in the African alphabet, four vowel signs, seventeen consonants, and two signs of the syllable.  New concepts and new or special words could be easly introduced by the picture system.  Clarity and easy reading was assured by measured spacing between words. The development of writing is not explained by the simple statement of a need to communicate. The idea of permamence seemed to motivate the drawing of pictures and symbols which were man"s first step toward the art of writing. The world’s oldest city, with the greatest numbet of temples that were also the oldest, must have been the place where the largest mass of historical data would have been found, had not the plunderers from different countries destroyed, stolen, and carried away so much of it.  The Thebans were the oldest ( first) men on Earth. They originated the system of astrology and philosophy.  We need not be as much concerned about their antiquity, which was already well-established, as we are about the loss of so much of the additional evidence concetning the development of philosophy and the beginning of the space sciencs of astrology. Ancient Greek scholars, through Herodotus, referred to the completion of their education in Ethiopia with pride and it appears as a matter of course.  So much has been built up against the Black and Brown Races since those far away times that it will be difficult for many people of today to realize that whites of the ancient world did not seem to regard the question of Ethiopia as the principal center of learning as even debatable.  We have to remind ourselves that Racism as we know it today was practically non-existant. The Greek historian, Erathosphenes, refers to Menes as “The Theban” and first king of Thebes (meaning the Thebald or Upper Egypt when it was united with Lower Egypt and the beginning of the First Dynasty (3100 B.C.) The same historian noted that Menes’ reign of sixty-two years was one of the longest in history, and that of his nephew, Atothones, ran a close second, fifty-nine years. This was the early period before Memphis was founded.  The Roman Legions, the Arabs, and Jews 9 called Solomonids by most historians as well as Asiatics had pushed hard into Thebes which was the center the Black Civilization. The Blacks were pushed Southward always Southward. Eventually by the time the Blacks were selling their own doom the Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and the Turks had taken over Egypt and Arabs now ruled the Eastern Sudan. The Arabs along the East Coast, operating from Zanzibar stringhold, had not themselves ventured far into the interior of Africa. Their Afro-Arab agents generally spearheaded slave-hunting operations. There is tons mor of this info.

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By Alan MacDonald, May 28, 2010 at 4:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Global Empire and the fascism disease?

Chris, I have long loved F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Gatsby” on many levels, not the least of which is his amazing prescience, as a non-economist, regarding the coming Great Crash and Depression—- and more importantly, his concluding passage on the destruction of the real ‘new world’ American Dream of democracy at the hands of empire “rolling on under the night”.

However, I just now read an article in the World Socialist Web Site that doubled my amazement at Fitzgerald’s prescience (not only of political economics, but now apparently of pure political pathology) and which I would like to share with you, because it so obviously bears on your theme of fascism coming to the now chaotic American (global) Empire, as it did to Germany—- probably with even more existential impact.

Here’s the WSWS article:

And here’s the quote from Fitzgerald’s “Gatsby” referenced in this WSWS article/speech, “Imperialism and the political economy of the Holocaust”, by Nick Beams (12 May 2010):

“Civilization’s going to pieces,” broke out Tom violently. “I’ve gotten to be a terrible pessimist about things. Have you read ‘The Rise of the Colored Empires’ by this man Goddard?”

“Why, no,” I answered, rather surprised by his tone.

“Well, it’s a fine book, and everybody ought to read it. The idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be—will be utterly submerged. It’s all scientific stuff; it’s been proved.”

“Tom’s getting very profound,” said Daisy, with an expression of unthoughtful sadness. “He reads deep books with long words in them. What was that word we——”

“Well, these books are all scientific,” insisted Tom, glancing at her impatiently. “This fellow has worked out the whole thing. It’s up to us, who are the dominant race, to watch out or these other races will have control of things.”

“We’ve got to beat them down,” whispered Daisy, winking ferociously toward the fervent sun.

“You ought to live in California—” began Miss Baker, but Tom interrupted her by shifting heavily in his chair.

“This idea is that we’re Nordics. I am, and you are, and you are, and——” After an infinitesimal hesitation he included Daisy with a slight nod, and she winked at me again.

“—And we’ve produced all the things that go to make civilization—oh, science and art, and all that. Do you see?”

There was something pathetic in his concentration, as if his complacency, more acute than of old, was not enough to him any more.”

Chris, I’d be interested if this confluence between the greatest American novel of the 20th century, and the most dangerous political-economic ideology of the 20th century hits you as shockingly as it hit me.  And whether you think that anything can be done to detour or prevent the now global preeminence of American ‘super-power’ in the 21st century from birthing a truly existential Holocaust, which Nazism failed to accomplish.

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

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By Onion, May 27, 2010 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment

Our genusis can predict who has WMD’s and Nukes even who blew up ships they never saw.  They can even predict how many troops are required to murder innocent women, children and farmers in other lands who never did anything to them.  They can even tell you how man Suns are in the Milky Way and how many Galaxies are in the Universe. They know how many people on the planet have to be exterminated to balance nature for us all.  They can tell you where the oil is under the miles of earth and how many miles it is to the Planet Jupiter.  They can’t tell you who Murdered Kennedy, can’t tell you what the next financial quarter is going to look like they only know it will arive, They can’t tell that by using poor workmanship on an oil rig that it will eventually blow something into a visious mess.  They can’t also tell you they intend to clean up their mess or who is responsible for it.  They can’t tell you what to do about the open border or the theft of Trillions od dollars.  They do know that it is war that is needed and that is a definate to get the terrorist but they don’t know how many terrorist there are.  I wonder if the Oil spill will continue like the war on terror.  So what the Gulf States are a sewer now and time will only make it a worse sewer.  Better hope for your God boys and girls because your Government just like the folks they govern don’t know a damn thin about anything. They know who destroyed the World Trade Center they have evidence.  They found a fully intact passport from one of the USA trained hijackers on the gound in the rubble.  Did anyone bother to check it for fingerprints.  B P dumps oil into the ocean so where is Al Gore hiding out.  You or I try dumping something into the Ocean and Al Gore will be up ur Butt like an enema on steroids. What are they saying about the mass of plastic in the Pacific ocean as big as the state of Rhode Island. Hell could be like this you know.  Things getting hot yet anyone starting to sweat.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 26, 2010 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment

As Rachel Maddow has shown tonight the only technology that has advanced between the 1979 Ixtoc spill (200ft) and 2010 (5,000 ft) is how deep they can drill but not anything else. Nothing in the way of advancing beyond relief wells to end this horror. What does that tell us about the free market morality?

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By PatrickHenry, May 26, 2010 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

I would much rather have our nation use its technological and industrial might to fix the screwups like the oil spill and the great Pacific garbage patch, than squander our domestic industry and wealth fighting meaningless wars like Iraq and Afghanistan.

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By Rainy, May 26, 2010 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well said.  Then you must also be pro-life and anti-illegal-immigration.

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By Onion, May 23, 2010 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment

I have known this for years now.  You are so absolutely correct and right on the money.  Keep up this language it is required to the general public like required reading.  They seem to look up to the rich and so called educated idiots who are in so much control of our natural lives and livelihoods.  I took a class once there were PhD’s folks from high level Transamerica Corp, Physicists, Real Estate wealth folks and etc 100 folks in all in the class from all walks of life.  I was amazed at how massively inept and controlled their minds were.  They actually did not have the ability to think at all.  It was incredible to me.  They understood this and were there to break out of this paradox which was extremely brave of them I thought.  There was a woman there who was a Brain surgeon and I was set up to date her to help break her out of her shell and me too.  Every time I called her I talked to her mother who was so apologetic and didn’t know why her daughter could not break herself away from the hospital for some simple fun times and communication.  These folks are so lonely and have so much built up sorrow inside them it is very pitiful to see them break down and be in tears big hurting and can’t and won’t change.  They actually have no way of seeing any difference in their behavior from the rest of the world and the destruction they live in.  It is really quite pitiful.  The Gulf shows how dangerous they can be to the entire world.  This information should become a main course for required reading.  Good luck on more of this kind of reporting.  Thanks for your input I am very grateful someone else recognizes this.

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By LocalHero, May 22, 2010 at 11:00 pm Link to this comment

Now, onto more important things. There is a solution. Disengagement. It’s possible - tens of thousands have done it and our ranks are increasing every day. I’ve done it. Don’t buy their newspapers & magazines. Don’t watch TV. Don’t vote. Don’t use their banking system. Do not join (or allow anyone else to join) the military. Don’t eat their poisoned food. Don’t use their gasoline.

I sold my car 5 years ago & now travel almost exclusively by bicycle (in Michigan). In those years, I’ve taken the bus 5 or 6 times and a train twice. I don’t have a credit card, pay no taxes (except unavoidable ones) and don’t have a “job.” Hell, I don’t even have a government issued ID. I rely on the universe to provide for me and my family and it does. I’m happier and healthier than I’ve ever been and have no fear of the future.

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By LocalHero, May 22, 2010 at 10:41 pm Link to this comment


First, I don’t believe for a minute 98.45634% of the hogwash that came out of the Holocaust (and a high percentage of those have been retracted over the years) and Mr. Hedges has the absolute right to make any reference he chooses. We still have free speech here unlike most of the world (including Israel).

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By Night-Gaunt, May 20, 2010 at 8:31 pm Link to this comment

I wonder what Rand Paul would do?

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By SteveL, May 20, 2010 at 8:03 pm Link to this comment

BP and their contactors obliviously don’t care about those working for them, the
environment, or anything else but short term profits.  The only way they will get
to message is to put them out of business and sell off their assets to pay for the
mess they created.

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By pb, May 20, 2010 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Don’t get me wrong, I am sad and furious about what BP has done.  I think its
executives are negligent and likely criminally so.  However, I can’t help noticing
that Chris Hedges performs the same dehumanization of his subjects as he
accuses them of performing.  This is highlighted by language like: “deformed
individuals,” “incapacity for ... compassion,” etc.  And his apparently flippant and
thoughtless dismissal of those who “do not recognize ... a sacred dimension,”  his
barely implicit equation of such people with nazis, I found personally insulting
and, given his overall tone, actually threatening.  Has the inflammatory teabagger
bullshitapalloza taught us nothing?  Isn’t it time to be careful and critical
(especially self critical) in our discourse, especially our public discourse?  Isn’t it
time to stop (even metaphorically) threatening to line other people up against the
wall?  Just a thought.

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By RenZo, May 20, 2010 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment

@ JDmysticDJ,May19 12:10 pm #
“Our current democracy reminds me of my first car.”

This essay, though short, is one of the best pieces of writing I have seen in a good while (maybe even better than this one of CH). You are gifted, mahn. Talk more, write more. I laughed and also got the point.

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By bran, May 20, 2010 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Hedges,

I continue to be extremely grateful for your tireless advocacy and superb insights. I recommend your work to everyone I know, and I do my very damnedest to wake people to the corruption that pervades every facet of our corporo-facist society. Your work is a constant inspiration. Thank you so much!

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By raykeith7, May 20, 2010 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment

the external picture’s of the environmental havoc is a mirror of the internal picture of america’s government & financial systems in havoc & on life-support w/paper money & promises.
hope springs eternal prior to ‘crude on the potomac.

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By Alphysicist, May 20, 2010 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

“Cultures that do not recognize that human life and the natural world have a sacred dimension, an intrinsic value beyond monetary value, cannibalize themselves until they die. “

I could not agree more.  However, it may be worth considering the following: in a previous article CH states that proponents of ID are people who are trying to suppress rational discourse.  In general I do not know (some of them certainly are), but if we take what the die hard evolution theory fans claim about life is that it arose as a result of physical laws and chance.  This is perhaps our current most sophisticated view on life, human and other, and I do not see how a sacred dimension can enter, unless we are willing to compromise.

I do not wish to understate the value of Darwin’s work, as it is the foundation of the biological sciences, and its success is undisputable.  For comparison, however, it is interesting that quantum mechanics is equally successful (quantum electrodynamics is the most successful quantitative theory), and there is much more debate about its meaning.  Actually, inspite of how successful quantum mechanics is, many physicists believe that it is not the final answer, and they can express this view without any risk to their careers.  I wonder how in the biological sciences, which is a much less quantitative science than physics, one is essentially not allowed to doubt aspects of Darwinism.

Let me also express appreciation of the article by CH of the previous week: the essence of religion is indeed the push for conscious individual choices on moral issues; or moral autonomy.  In fact, I believe that a deep appreciation of this state of affairs makes formal religiousness unnecessary, moreover, this appreciation is not even unique to members of particular religious communities. 

However, I, personally, still find inspiration in religious institutions (the Catholic Church in particular) and I believe they can still be helpful in driving that main point across.  Not only the institution itself, but the remnants of the culture it inspired, which are accessible: to read Augustine, St. Thomas of Aquinas, the life of Filippo Neri, etc. etc.

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By tom, May 20, 2010 at 1:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

And, at Tony Hayward’s (BP CEO) hanging, will Obama and Salazar be present? For a lesson in future rig disasters, and blame?

Hayward was a big mucky-muck when the Exxon Valdez went aground, 20 years ago. (ExxonMobil only owned the tanker, not the cleanup crews, etc. BP had already bought the town of Valdez, and hired no one for the cleanup crews who knew what they were doing, no booms or cleanup tanker.) No containment procedures were in place then, either, although (as in the Gulf) such was promised. No US Gov’t verification, they be bad, too.

I particularly liked the story about the charred corpses in the “escape vehicle” from the rig, that some sad souls jumped into. No escape. Poor parents and wives, kids, etc. Call Hayward on that, and he will blame Transocean.

Oddly enough, from what I have learned, Halliburton (the Cement Man) is not to blame. Wasn’t told the well went about 4000 feet further down, resulting in greater pressure from the oil and gas.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 19, 2010 at 5:46 pm Link to this comment

By Tony Wicher, May 19 at 2:56 pm #

@Night Gaunt

”...I don’t know whether Ward Churchill is really a paid disinformation agent or just a would-be radical polemicist, but that “little Eichman’s” statement of his was used to discredit the anti-war movement.”

I am sorry but I didn’t see that reaction. If anything it didn’t help the “Truthers.” And in a way he was correct wasn’t he? As I pointed out before, see below.

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By steve.a.parr, May 19, 2010 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment

Hedges discussion of the unchecked exercise of power
is entirely applicable to the tar sands developments
in Alberta. The scale of the environmental
exploitation taking place is being carried out at a
devastating pace. But there are legal avenues to halt
this madness. The tar sands can be stopped:

Ask Aboriginal groups like the Beaver Lake Cree. They
have filed claim with Alberta courts to strike down
17,000 tar sands permits on their traditional
territories near Lac La Biche. The tar sands
developments infringe their aboriginal rights to hunt
and fish, because the tar sands threaten to
exterminate any form of life that they could possibly
hunt or fish. The Constitution of Canada protects
aboriginal rights, and so if the Beaver Lake Cree is
successful, the expansion of the tar sands may be
greatly curtailed.

If you want to learn more about this important court
case and find out how you can support the Beaver Lake
Cree, please visit

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By dihey, May 19, 2010 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment

Why have so many of you missed the obvious historic analogy of “little Columbus” or “little Cortes”, or “little Pizarro” which, although still quite ridiculous in this context, are much closer than “little Eichmann”? Columbus and his men did not set out to kill all indigenous people they met but infected and thereby killed most with smallpox etc. Eichmann on the other hand did set out to deliberately kill all Jews and Gypsies.

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By tabulrasa, May 19, 2010 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment

Well, that was cheerful.

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By prosefights, May 19, 2010 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment

Explosion on Deepwater Horizon bring to focus necessity of BTUs to keep modern societies operating.

Lots of BTUs wasted.

1 barrel of crude oil = 5,800,000 BTU.

Our focus is on the relation of generation of electricity to the BTUs required to produce 1 kWh of electricity.  And, of course, we too are concerned with pollution caused by producing the BTUs.

1 kWh = 3412.14163 BTU.

Albuquerque Journal Wednesday, May 19, 2010

PNM’s CEO Sees Challenging Future

In impromptu remarks, Price warned shareholders, “The days of cheap electric power are meeting the hard reality of sustainable power.” Sustainable power, from wind, solar and other non-traditional sources, will be more expensive for customers, Price said.

Heat Rate is the number of BTUs required to produce 1 kWh of electricity.

Public Service Company of New Mexico stated on a foil that heat rate does not apply [N/A] to solar PV, trough, and wind generation of electricity.

On the same foil Heat Rates for fossil fuels and even geothermal generation were shown.  All were more than TWICE 3412.14163 BTU.

Yahoo! business posted.

Fraud Alert
by Kelly Greene Monday, May 17, 2010

Scam artists increasingly are targeting people trying to repair their nest eggs. Here’s what to watch for.

Alternative Energy

Heightened awareness of global warming, along with President Barack Obama’s challenge to end U.S. dependency on foreign oil, has created a pool of baby boomers receptive to “green” investments—some of which are fakes, Mr. Huddleston says. ...

Steering Clear of Fraud

Although every investment has its own set of wrinkles, there are some basic ways to steer clear of various types of investment fraud. If it seems nearly impossible to evaluate an investment product’s underlying risks, “avoid it like the plague,” Ms. Crawford says.

Economic decline may as result of fewer BTUs available for generation of electricity? 

Renewables may not work to practically make a difference in electricity production?

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By Joe, May 19, 2010 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It may sound like the criticism of BP executives is overblown, I assure you it is not.  As an MBA student last year I had the displeasure of sitting in on a presentation from an executive at BP in Moscow.  He was smart, and well spoken but he had no conscience, no soul and I’m sure he could talk his way out of anything.  That is as dangerous of a man as one could ever imagine.  He couldn’t care less about the environment or the damage that his work has caused or will cause in the future.  Guys like that need to be stopped!....and this comes from an MBA student who is as type A as anyone.

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By durkheim, May 19, 2010 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

When I first read this piece I thought it may be a
bit overblown but understandably so as we are
witnessing now, seemingly helplessly, a lot of life
being suffocated in the Gulf of Mexico. Hedges’s
essay is a powerful interpretation, which I find all
too persuasive, of the oil mess in the Gulf - & much
else in the modern West. What Hedges describes is, as
the German social philosopher Jurgen Habmermas
ominously puts it, the colonization of the lifeworld
by systems of money & power. But a friend’s response
to this essay caused second thoughts. He said: Hedges
blames individuals too much & Eichmann is too central
to his argument. Our institutions & cultures are the
deep cause, not bad individuals. Hedges is way out of
line when he calls Obama a “faceless puppet in the
White House.” Hysterical screaming is not what we
need. Instead, what we need is humility & a little
more sense that we all, not just a few rich guys at
the top, share responsibility for what happened in
the Gulf. These points are, I think, right & worth
considering along w/ the Hedges essay.

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By garyrose66, May 19, 2010 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

Bravo!  Hedges’ words should be read on every news program every day for the next several months as this worst environmental disaster in history continues to unfold.  BP are clearly criminals, serial occupational killers, and serial environmental destroyers.

The US government should immediately stop all BP operations in the US, and revoke their corporate charter until they can demonstrate that they have the proper and required permits and safety systems in place.  Further, before being allowed to reinstate their charter to operate in the US again the government should charge BP a fee of 50 billion dollars payable in full before getting a permit to operate again. This is like any landlord who requires a security deposit before renting their property.  The fee will, of course, be held as security and paid out, as a down payment to compensate the US for the damage done to our lands, our seas, our environment and our people.

Also in the meantime citizens can begin to boycott BP gasoline which done through avoiding both the BP,and ARCO brands.

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By Tony Wicher, May 19, 2010 at 10:56 am Link to this comment

@Night Gaunt

Webster Tarpley, author of “George Bush, the Unauthorized Biography” (1992) the definitve work on George H.W. Bush and “9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in U.S.A.” (2005). His web site is It’s a great information resource - even though I might not agree with everything Tarpley says. I don’t know whether Ward Churchill is really a paid disinformation agent or just a would-be radical polemicist, but that “little Eichman’s” statement of his was used to discredit the anti-war movement.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 19, 2010 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

Liquor Store Larry you still haven’t shown us where these two men are “extremists” have you?

Just give us a few highlights shall you?

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By Druthers, May 19, 2010 at 10:03 am Link to this comment

Liquor Store Larry,

You sound as though you might have had one too many.

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By Liquor Store Larry, May 19, 2010 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

Beyond the obvious price we pay for the greed of various corporations, which I might add, it does not require a whole lot of intellect to see, who in their right mind does not recognize that both Ward Churchill and Chris Hedges are angry neurotic radical extremists? Is the Pope Catholic?

If anyone ever asks me where they can go to read the words of those who complicate every issue into ambiguity and bury the meaning of thoughts beneath so much high falootin prose that those who are easily impressed presume the author MUST KNOW what they are talking about, I will direct them here.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 19, 2010 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

And who is this Webster Tarpley? Seems to me considering how Ward Churchill talks it is Tarpley who is disinforming. (What better way to counter someone than to call them an agent of the very organizations they speak against.)

Didn’t you read what I said just below? Without the clerks, secretaries and others keeping the machine of bureaucracy going it won’t. That was his point and it is still a valid one. Who disagrees here on that point?

However in BP’s case it is the corruption of the gov’t with corporate in collusion to let them get away with murder and ecocide. The same with the aristocracy here that rules this supposed republic. They pay them off and call the tune. That is one of our biggest problems that have lead to so many disasters that did not have to be.

They also have been systematically wrecking our republic from the inside in an inverse totalitarian way. But sooner or later they will want to over throw it and gave a direct dictatorship ruled by them.

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By Alan MacDonald, May 19, 2010 at 9:08 am Link to this comment

Polanyi’s insight and Blake’s satanic mills brought back memories, and more.

Chris, I’ve been re-reading your superb essay, and the more times that I do, the more enlightenment and concern it brings.

Thank you for your inclusion of Polanyi’s prescient thoughts and truth on this matter of inevitable ‘capture’ and “crude fictions” of Empire.

What particularly caught my attention was his reference to protection of humanity from its “ravages of this satanic mill”—- which immediately caused my now thankfully re-programmed “analogy-thinking” brain to be transported back to Mount Hermon and our favorite William Blake hymn, “Jerusalem”, and to fond memories of a liberal and humanist education melded with some serious youthful thoughts of the religious.  Pleasant thoughts of youthful wonder informed by a now passing casual time of humanist education and spiritual hope.

I suspect that your inclusion of that Polanyi quote may have caused you to dream of similar times, places, and anxious intellectual wrestling to meld truths.

Anyway, pleasant memories turned to the terrible question of what I might say to my overburdened and over-electronically-influenced/entertained public high school students today, that might fill-in enough of the missing analogies in their educationally blighted job training regime to prepare them for what is coming.  What can be done to recapture a sense and sensibility that you and I took for granted and of which these innocent lambs are unaware, unprepared, and thus helpless—- through no fault of their own?

The worst of the elite have all the options to choose a liberal humanist education before they willingly select the mammon of investment banking and required Empire officer’s uniform, but the potentially best of America’s working-class hopes are being aborted like Huxley’s “Brave New World” technicians managing/culling embryos.

Best hopes against Empire,
Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

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By Tony Wicher, May 19, 2010 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

I’m afraid Hedges discredits himself by quoting Ward Churchill, who (according to Webster Tarpley) is a CIA disinformation agent whose “little Eichmans” statement set back the 9/11 truth movement several years.

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By JDmysticDJ, May 19, 2010 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

Our current democracy reminds me of my first car. The car had problems when I got it, and I did not take care of it the way I should have. Before long: it was leaking oil, burning oil, the cooling system was shot, the electrical system was shot, It had a broken leaf spring, the suspension was shot, It was hard to shift and it had no reverse gear, the front bumper, grill and hood were pushed in, the interior was torn up, the door handles came off, a widow was busted out, the windshield was severely cracked and ready to fall out, the tires were bald, and the brakes were bad, (The radio worked.)

The car was belching pollution, it was a threat to everyone else on the roads, it was costing me a fortune for gas and oil, I had to jump start it if I wanted to go anywhere, and to make things worse, the bank still had the title.

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By Leefeller, May 19, 2010 at 8:00 am Link to this comment

“‘Little Eichmanns’” seems a tad subjective if instead
Hedges had said “Little Popes” maybe it would have been
more approbate or “Little Hitlers” of course it seems I
am going were many posters have gone, to the why didn’t
the author write about this; this way?

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By SteveL, May 18, 2010 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment

Listening to the flat earth and no nothing types defend the oil companies is tiring. 
The best thing the U.S. could do is liquidate all the assets of B.P. to pay for the
mess and you would never see this happen again.

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By ThomasG, May 18, 2010 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment

I agree with Chris Hedges.  What Hedges has stated is the way that privatized capitalism originated in Britain 500 years ago and what he says is how privatized capitalism progressed from Britain to the New World, and what Chris Hedges says does go on in the United States in the same manner as privatized capitalism’s origin in Britain.

It is time for a change.

Capital is an asset that provides a revenue stream.  An asset that provides a revenue stream, capital, can provide for the greater greed, privatized capitalism; or the greater good, socialized capitalism.

Again, it is time for a change.

It is time for socialized capitalism for the greater good. 

On a cyclical basis, socialized resources bring capitalism back to life from capitalism’s cyclical death with socialized capital that is then used for privatized benefit.

It is time that socialized capital be used for socialized capitalism, rather than to continue to use socialized capital to recapitalize privatized capital without socialized benefit to the American populace that cyclically recapitalizes privatized capital without benefit.

It is time for an end to socialism for the rich and privatized capitalism for the populace.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 18, 2010 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

Liquor Store Larry, but do you have anything relevant to what Hedges said in the article? What is so transparent to you in this? No bureaucracy can operate without all the little cogs of workers keeping the paperwork going and the logistics of operation functioning. No dictatorship or any organization, for that matter, can operate without them. Not Eichmann necessarily so much as all those who we don’t know or would recognize their names had they been published of the clerks and secretaries who actually kept it going. Why the Twin Towers were targeted.

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By renoliz, May 18, 2010 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The answer is not to scream hysterically and call people [or corporations] appalling names.  We need forms of energy to have the lifelstyle we all so love.  It is wonderful to have electricity and a means to travel.  Coal and oil does this for us. We, the people, are contributing factors.  Alas, it is hopeless as visionaries with solutions are few and persons who yell and yet live selfishly are many.  Sadly, we are not able to work together to see that we all have a chance at a decent life.  I am saddened at the lack of thought that went into into this article.  If we don’t find solutions, we won’t make it another 100 years.  Just blaming corporations without looking at who and what we ourselves are will not work.  I am not a fan of big business but the unwashed masses are seemingly willing to forgo real thought or discipine in their own lives as well.  Too many articles like this and I will lose my respect for Truthdig.  Maybe I will turn to Glenn Beck for my “news”.

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By samosamo, May 18, 2010 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment


Hey, Chris, isn’t about time for one of your deep involved
articles that explains to those commenting about ‘getting the
word out’ to everyone so they can ‘open their eyes’ and start
doing whatever it it they would do when they find out about all
this stuff that they haven’t seen and don’t know?

Explain how thoroughly the once public msm has been slowly
and inexorably subverted to a conservative privatized, no make
that a neoconservative, control and that NOTHING the ‘men
behind the curtain’ DON’T want the carefully cultivated
dumbstream of america garden to know just won’t happen. But
lest I forget, that won’t work because the venue to do that IS the
MSM and they will go to the grave protecting those masters just
like a tigress protecting her young.

So when this site may have say 200k or 300k people signed up
and quasi-involved in reading posts and commenting, just think
if the 10s of million dumbstreamers that eagerly await the time
to get home and turn on their drip, drip, drip intravenous
dosage of msm crap that they use for gathering information to
make those all too important day to day decisions to live their
addiction to the next day’s dose.

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By dihey, May 18, 2010 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment

Druthers, May 18 at 11:12 am
Mr. Hedges cheapens the murder in Auschwitz-Birkenau of several of my High School classmates in Amsterdam among which a sweet girl on which I had a crush. That is unforgivable if not criminal.
I am speaking of first hand experience. You are not.
Mr. Hedges’ dragging of Eismann into an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico disqualified him of writing about all ramifications of that spill.
I called him an idiot. He is much worse than that. He is a falsifier of history which places him in the company of the falsifiers of history which he conjures up.

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By Alan MacDonald, May 18, 2010 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment

It’s critically important to clearly explain and get out the word on the existential threat of this Global corporate/financial/militarist EMPIRE.

Chris, thank God for your continued efforts, despite the resistance, to explain that Empire is the seminal cause of this, and all these other dozens of ‘symptom only’ crises that are caused by the one metastasizing cancer of Empire.

Your efforts, along with Sheldon Wolin, David Korten, Chalmers Johnson, Chomsky, Andy Bacevich, Hardt & Negri, and many others may hopefully cut through the fog that this Global Empire has deployed to confuse, distract, divide and conquer the good, average, honest, working-class people of our faded democracy.

Hopefully some real hope, beyond the charade of ‘hope’ and ‘change’ that the Empire’s master magician casts, can clear the illusions of this damn Empire and allow sanity and humanism to re-balance the poles of eternal duality before an existential collapse.

I sense that you are tiring, as I am, of writing against the rages of this Empire, but there seem to be some reasons to genuinely hope—- and, what the hell, there’s little else to do anyway.

Your use of Churchill’s analogy of “little Eichmanns” is appropriate to convey the inevitable death-spiral of Empire-thinking.  Your gagging on the arrogance of Empire-thinking in “The End of History” actually coming to an ignoble end in Nietzscheism was very apparent in your last essay.  While your rejection of a technocratic “Power-elite”, massive GINI inequality, and the poison of Empire’s secrecy is clearly on target.

None of these characteristics of Global Empire would seem to offer any breathing room for optimism, and yet there are weaknesses in Empire’s armor that might be exploited.

Both the empathy/love in humanism and religion, and the truth of rational/scientific thought of a second enlightenment might ally to confront ‘empire-thinking’ with a stronger ‘democracy-thinking’ (or “Democracy Matters”, Cornel West).

I’m just crazy enough to hope that ‘analogy-thinking’ in the sense that George Lakoff offers might be the key to both exposing this far more sophisticated, two-party ‘Vichy’ façade of Global Empire to the people and to build a new humanism in which the metaphor of lions lying with lambs is accomplished in the mind.

Anyway, Chris, the first order of business is to do the Paul Revere schtick and continuing to holler, “The Empire is coming.  The Empire is coming”, as you and I are doing.  Who knows, maybe even the Tea Partiers, who don’t even understand that it was an occupying political, economic, and military Empire, and not local self-government, that was the target of our minute-men fore-farthers.

Best luck in getting out the alarm—- and them hearing it,
Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

BTW, I do think that, despite J.R. Saul’s concern with globalism, it will take a Global People’s Anti-Empire (pro-democracy) Movement to succeed.  People outside the US can teach us about the ‘tip of the empire’s spear in the face’, before we experience it directly.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, May 18, 2010 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Phillip Zimbardo, author of The Lucifer Effect, on how people become evil.  He was an expert witness during the trials of the military personnel involved in the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib.  This has enormous implications for many things which are happening in yhe world today.

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By RenZo, May 18, 2010 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment

@ thebeerdoctor
from his comments on May 18 at 1053
“positive actions often do not involve massive government or monetary muscle”
“Do you believe that it is right to kill for gasoline?”

I thank you good beerdoctor for reminding me of the real issue, the human level of action, and the proper focus. Very few, and Hedges is one of the elite who is one of those, can address the enormous national and international audience of white knuckled FUDdy duddies who sit home and worry without being productive.

I do not believe it is right to kill for gasoline, but I cannot stop those who do the killing. Not directly. Even elections don’t get the results promised during campaigns.  We can only preach to our neighbors, but do we?

I disagree with nothing thebeerdoctor wrote, but education is the true deficiency. We are being side tracked in this country by the cleverly financed co-op to put Jesus in children’s minds and take reason out. If I had children in school nowadays, I would be very upset that reasoning is not the goal of education. One can learn (memorize) facts, opinions and religious aphorisms all throughout one’s life, but if reaoning is not installed early, it will never appear (just look around). Jesus does not teach reasoning, but our schools should. This is one absolutely necessary condition for the eventual improvement of life in US and on Earth, that people think clearly without undo encumbrances from particular philosophical systems such as creationism/exceptionalism, orthodoxy, bigotry, and racism.

There are other necessary long term and short term goals that need to be established and achieved, but we can take a local interest in our boards of education. Start attending, make friends, take friends, speak up, ask questions, make suggestions, run for office, take a stand, become a leader. Locally. Don’t just write angry letters at websites and other bloggers. Do something that matters. Children matter enormously, even more than enormously, given the debt, limited resources and damaged environment we will leave them. How can they ever succeed if they can’t think.

Turn off the TVs and teach children to think (for themselves)::TOTV::TCTT::

Thank you good beerdoctor.

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By Leefeller, May 18, 2010 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment

People must take heed for the sky is falling, it is 2000 all over again and the world will quit turning.

Fret as one has never fretted before, wring those hands, but don’t panic even though things are dire and will only get worse, much worse. What things you ask? All things I say!

On the other hand one could buy some rutabaga seeds and grow their own food, and hope the water stays on,.... at least until they come to take you away!

An…d thats the way it is.. today on Tuesday!

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By REDHORSE, May 18, 2010 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Hedges use of Eichmann to represent loss of American intelligence, soul and humanity is spot on—for us all. The “tell” is the lament by so many here that he offers no solution.. There isn’t one. We are a fractured nation. The me/mine professional victims, the politically correct and the liemeister corporate press in the name of “specialness” shouted down all calls for unity. A house divided could not stand—and it fell. Puff up like a toad if you want to but—-it’s over.

    The chaos we all squabble and snivel over (pick any topic) here is the result of all meaning stolen from our lives by the axiety fear driving consumerist vampires who seized our society. In the sense that we understand America as envisioned by our founding fathers there is no government. There are some people who will shoot you, imprison, torture or disappear you, but no government. Our sin?? We didn’t care when they did it to others—-and now they’re doing it to us. We’re in freefall. Got some money, you can slide awhile. No money—root hog or die.

    My advice?? Who loves you—who do you love?? Who can you trust with your back? Can you get food and water independently of the supermarket? Is there any chance of community or do you feel there are like minded individuals you can trust? How far from a city can you get and how quickly? What do you value? What would you die for?

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By truedigger3, May 18, 2010 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment

Re: By foweler, May 17 at 5:04 pm

foweler wrote:
When have we ever had unrestricted capitalism? It has always been influenced by people in govt and govt has always been run by former corporate employees.


Your logic is totally flawed.
Unrestricted capitalism, will lead to extremely powerful corporations that will control the governmnet which will help the corporation in rigging the market to their advantage and eventually leading to restricted capitalism or for better description, rigged capitalism. IT IS INEVITABLE.!!

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By Lesley Palmer, May 18, 2010 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I couldn’t agree more with Inherit the Wind.  I have had many dealings with government, and local governments are the worst. Corrupt, venal, back-stabbing, and so rigged that it is a miracle that anything gets accomplished. For those who think the federal government is the problem, I suggest you become involved with your local city hall, county government, or school board.  You will exit these experiences with your head spinning. Rules and regulations are designed to save us from our worst selves.  Anyone naive enough to think that we will do the “right thing” on our own is deluded.

And yes, Bill Ferguson, we are slaves to our energy consumption, we are not willing to conserve, we are not willing to pay more for energy-at least not now and not in service of developing alternate sources, and the oil companies know it. Until we comprehend the extent of our slavery and move, as a nation, to end the slavery, we are getting EXACTLY what we deserve.

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By Liquor Store Larry, May 18, 2010 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

‘Little Eichmanns’?  Leave it to Hedges to connect the Jews to anything and everything!

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By Night-Gaunt, May 18, 2010 at 11:09 am Link to this comment

More than likely the inferno will be after our use as a slave population has been spent. It would be cheaper to grind us up for mulch than waste energy burning our corpses to ashes. But as long as there is, at present, a surplus of us, they will be able to with impunity once they take over and the Bill of Rights is so much toilet paper to them.

When everything is private they will own us lock, stock and work hour till the end. When we are worked into and early grave, only without the grave.

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By marcus medler, May 18, 2010 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

The managers of Global monopolistic and
piratical companies are not administrators like
Eichmann. They are greedy hooligans
concerned not about paper and files but their
yachts and personal jets.

I would pull from history men like Sir Frances
Drake and Spanish gold seekers, Christopher
Columbus for example. They raped, killed and
plundered indigenous America.

These famed “men” of history are better
examples .

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By wildflower, May 18, 2010 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

RE Hedges: “Those who carry out this global genocide—men like BP’s Chief Executive Tony Hayward. . . are, to steal a line from Ward Churchill, “little Eichmanns.” . . . “The corporations, and those who run them, consume, pollute, oppress and kill.”

It’s become clear that lawmakers in the 21st Century have a double standard with respect to public safety threats. In some cases, they lawyer up and even show an eagerness to make radical “public safety exceptions” like those involving Miranda Rights of the accused while in other cases - particularly public safety threats involving the conduct of corporations - they lawyer down giving those who pose such threats free reign to continue as Hedges states polluting, oppressing, killing and committing global genocide.

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By ocjim, May 18, 2010 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

“so that when the final collapse arrives we can be herded, uncomprehending and fearful, into the inferno.”

The same forces that are engendering the end through plunder are selling tickets for the “Endtimes Express.”

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By ThomasG, May 18, 2010 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

Back Street America, the American populace, needs to get seriously into Propaganda Analysis. 

Propaganda analysis is binary emotional rhetoric; two polarized choices that are emotionally good or bad that lead to a conclusion to accept one or the other choice.

Propaganda analysis consists of analyzing content for the definition of three words—— binary —— emotional —— rhetoric ——; surely this is something that anyone in the populace can do, so that everyone in the populace can make an informed decision as to whether or not they are being propagandized.

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By shalom, May 18, 2010 at 9:23 am Link to this comment

You write with a power and clarity that gives your words remarkable resonance. I’m not a fan of the title either, but know why you, (just about, the ultimate firebreather), would use a reference so skin crawlingly horrible to draw in a mass audience of readers, (and responders). I think of Thomas Hobbes way too often these days and see democracy run amuck, really trampled by the morally deaf, blind and dumb corporate greed that has replaced man and the natural world at the center of its pyramid with money. So, now that you got it, what do we do about it to derail the freighttrain to hell?

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By RaySunshine, May 18, 2010 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

Presently, corporate officers and directors have only 2 duties, i.e. a duty of loyalty to the corporation and a duty of care in making decisions.

We need to impose a fiduciary duty on all publicly-held corporations; and we should withhold privatizing profit from those corporations who act irresponsibly when their conduct impacts the public good.  If the Govt. is stuck with the clean-up bill, it should be allowed to recoup that cost from the profits from the activity, i.e. socialize the profits.

The willingness of BP (and others) to forego an additional $500,000 of cost for a proper blow-out preventer should cost them the profits they sought to create at taxpayer expense!!!

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By Peter Bountres, May 18, 2010 at 8:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just like the movie Avatar? But who are the Mercenaries in this story? the US Armed forces, or is it Blackwater, or both.

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By ThomasG, May 18, 2010 at 8:47 am Link to this comment

Druthers, May 18 at 11:12 am,

What you say is true, this is the history of capitalism, as revealed by the Enclosure Movement in Britain where capitalism first emerged by way of the textile industry, and all of the peasant populace were evicted and dispossessed or all of their property without compensation to make way for sheep so that their wool could be used by the industrial capitalist in the textile industry.  It was a time when men went from eating sheep to sheep eating men.  This is the way privatized capitalism is and this is the reason we need to adopt socialized capital and socialized capitalism so that capitalism will fulfill the design of its creator, Adam Smith, and be of benefit to everyone that is a part of the economy, rather than a scheme of socialism for the rich and capitalism for the populace.

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By Druthers, May 18, 2010 at 7:12 am Link to this comment

I disagree with you.  The methods these corporations and banks use, methods that are treating people like objects is just as calculating as if they were handling canned goods.  Maximum profit by any means.
I had many old friends who were survivors of the camps, Buchenwald, Auschwitz, few survived Treblinka and the methods applied for effeciency are the same that big business uses today.  People put out on the street are considered just a pound of flesh, the banks are just doing their business.  The Indians in Bophal totally disposable.  Companies now chose to go where there are no protections for the human work force including children.  That is what the term Eichmann has come to represent. A person totally devoted to the machine he represents, doing his job with no thought of the consequences and sleeping like a baby with a clear conscience.

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By Lesley Palmer, May 18, 2010 at 7:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you, Chris. Someone has to be the canary in this coal mine.

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By thebeerdoctor, May 18, 2010 at 6:53 am Link to this comment

Of all the comments posted (and I indeed read all of them), PSmith’s comment about FUD, strikes a chord here. Fear Uncertainty Doubt, the 3 prong system that made the Microsoft corporation the multi-billion dollar behemoth that is is, seems to run through Hedge’s doom and gloom because no matter how dire or accurate his claims are, it is always assumed that corporate power is so powerful that the only action left is to bemoan that the ship of state is sinking.
FUD operates to keep you gripped in apocalyptic suspense so that you never consider that positive actions often do not involve massive government or monetary muscle. That community based initiatives are far more effective for change, is one of those truths that have been brutally dismissed by those whose true agenda is to continue the present day shit-cycle, just as long as they get their cut.
The writer Jerry Mander pointed this out 18 years ago, when he observed the difference between nuclear power and solar energy. Solar energy has been diminished in effectiveness because it does not involve that massive monetary and regulatory muscle that the current political agendas always assume.
Hedges complaints about BP remind me that it was not long ago that Exxon/Mobil was the villain of the week. I knew someone who said to me years after the Alaska oil tanker spill: “they just don’t care”, while gassing up his Chrysler mini-van, to make a 200 mile trip to go camping and get back to nature.
These are the same folks who tell me that the Microsoft has become more open because they offer a choice of browsers on their latest operating system. But when I ask them, why is it that if I wanted to buy a computer and put in my own operating system, I can not in the U.S.A., because every machine sold comes loaded with their junk, unless I want to fork out even more money to the all knowing one at Apple, Steve Jobs.
But there again, there are community based alternatives, which Microsoft and Apple want you to never hear about.
So look at the spill in the gulf and ask yourself: Do you believe that it is right to kill for gasoline? If you do, you should not complain about President Obama’s “right wars”.
As an A.A.C.M. musician once said to me: Peace On Earth Begins With Me.

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By dihey, May 18, 2010 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

Here is the new paradigm. When you run out of arguments/evidence or you fear that your readers will yawn and move on to more exciting matter yell: “Hitler”, or “Himmler”, or “Goebbels”, or “Eichmann”, or “Nazi” even if your subject has absolutely nothing in common with these criminals and Nazism. I, whose father and mother were incarcerated in concentration camps for having worked actively against Nazism have the absolute right to flag idiots like Chris Hedges.

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By Mike789, May 18, 2010 at 6:20 am Link to this comment

““obsession with structures and their inability or unwillingness to link these to the public good make this power an abstract force—a force that works, more often than not, at cross-purposes to the real needs of a painfully real world.”

Social Darwinism inundated the 20th Century and spills out the coffer dams of it contrary (Existentialism) into the 21st. The world “as feasible material” demystifies, obfuscates the underlying question of why we are what we are (onotological question). A time there was when a “Protestant work ethic” mediated our labor and resulting gain with our notions of creation. 

The idea of a comprehensive world view (Weltanschauung) once intrigued wise thinkers. Think-tanks now, instead, center on the confounding of opposing perspectives rather than embracing diversity and juxtaposing seeming opposites for a new whole thus seeding the intellectual turf for self-nullification. What a waste of time.

Divergent thinking (in extremis) may preclude the balance offered by Convergent thinking

Scientists had professed that we are heading for an “Omega Point” where technologies merge and a new world view is attained. Is it that we are subliminally pushing ourselves, compelled by some arcane demiurgical force, toward this goal ~ and no sentimental obstacle of humanitarian ethic slow the tide?

The collective unconscious continually harried by a persecuting super-ego was best expressed by the Doors lyrics, “If all else fails, we can whip the horse’s eyes and make them cry…and bleed.”

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By Torsten, May 18, 2010 at 5:27 am Link to this comment
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“  the deaths last year of 45,000 Americans who could not afford proper medical care, is part of the cold and rational exchange of life for money.”
[Paraphrasing Margaret Thatcher: “The trouble with socialism is that after a while you run out of other peoples’ money.]

“  technocrats…inability or unwillingness to link these to the public good make this power a force that works…at cross-purposes to the needs of a painfully real world.”
[Does this bring us to Communism?]

“BP…never obtained permits from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.” 
[This is poor supervision on the part of the Obama government which only acted reactively in the manner of most bureaucrats: Hope for an outlandish pension, drink coffee, smoke cigarettes, eat donuts, and hope that no one notices you or publicizes your short comings.]

“Drilling with utter disregard [utter disregard? qualified to an absolute—Mr. Hedges sounds like someone who utterly disregards the spirit of enquiry in favor of sensationalistic smearing—absolute, and out-of-control histrionics.] to the ecosystem is common practice among oil companies, according to a report in The New York Times. [The NYT’s is a tabloid that is going out of business because of its excessively polarized slant. A reference best avoided.]

And what is the recommendation? Term limits? No pension for govt employees? No unionization for govt employees? Voting power of govt employees limited to 20 percent of a full vote? No vote allowed for anyone receiving taxpayer support? No campaign contributions from lobbyist? Requirement that politicians have a degree in economics (Austrian not Keynesian) rather than law? torsten at sonnet. Com

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, May 18, 2010 at 5:10 am Link to this comment

Several commentators have mentioned the terrible environmental record of the former Soviet Union.  I live in Ukraine and know a few workers who survived Chernobyl but are now very sick.  But one has to be careful when broad brushing the Soviet experience.  In the Soviet case, the state assumed both mantles ... as supplier of goods and services and the regulator of those suppliers.  There were no counter balancing forces at work to make sure things were done correctly.  The ministry that built the reactors had no offsetting EPA or NRC to insure they did things right.  They did things as cheaply as they could and as fast as they could.  Safety was not of supreme importance to them.

In the unregulated free market, we have the same problem.  Suppliers of goods and services make safety decisions which are, for the most part, economically influenced.  Thus, BP cuts corners on their well and we get an environmental disaster of the same proportions as Chernobyl.  Only when you have conflict between the two sides can one expect acceptable outcomes.  Businesses do things efficiently but ignore issues which cost them money and governments, when they are working correctly and independently of industry, make decisions which are in the public interest.

Thus, in a strange way, the Soviet Union operated in basically the same way as an unregulated free market ... without effective checks and balances to insure that things were done in the best way.  Surprising outcome when one thinks about it.  But a lesson to be learned when thinking about the relationship between free markets and government.  When done correctly, they serve different masters.

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By thecrow, May 18, 2010 at 4:57 am Link to this comment

“A BP-led consortium on Tuesday won a deal to develop Iraq’s largest oilfield – the only successful foreign bid in a historic televised auction.”

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By PatrickHenry, May 18, 2010 at 3:58 am Link to this comment

Like Eichmann, we need a trial with some accountability.

Jail time and massive fines are all the Corporate types will pay attention to.  Many Government heads should roll as well.

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By bachu, May 18, 2010 at 3:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lyndon Laruche had predicted all these things year back.

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By Druthers, May 18, 2010 at 1:21 am Link to this comment

When you speak of Chris Hedges being blind I think it is quite the contrary.  He has probably seen more than enough of the horrors man inflicts on man to avoid believing in pipe dreams.
If there is not a new Bretton Woods organized soon we will likely see the whole edifice come crashing down on our heads, accompanied by a depeletion and destruction of our natural resources.
If you do not see the implications of this deep sea gusher you will surely see the results.

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By Shift, May 18, 2010 at 12:30 am Link to this comment

An old rooster crows at an overcast sky until the sun returns.  That’s his job and he takes it seriously.

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By Virginia777, May 17, 2010 at 11:47 pm Link to this comment

“Cultures that do not recognize that human life and the natural world have a sacred dimension, an intrinsic value beyond monetary value, cannibalize themselves until they die.”

Yes, they do, Chris Hedges. Absolutely.

beautifully put.

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By Lawrence Baker, May 17, 2010 at 10:59 pm Link to this comment
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BP and Obama are lying SOB’s and to add further insult they suggest that the American public is so stupid that we can not estimate the flow of oil. Of course, we need to see video of the TOTAL damage before we can do that! Tell those SOB’s to produce All of the video of the leaking wellhead, preventer and pipe string. TODAY!

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By Dark Markets, May 17, 2010 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment
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...“little Eichmanns.” They serve Thanatos, THE FORCES of DEATH, the DARK INSTINCT   Sigmund Freud identified within human beings that propels us TO ANNIHILATE ALL LIVING THINGS, including ourselves. These deformed individuals lack the capacity for empathy. They are at once banal and dangerous. They possess the peculiar ability to organize vast, destructive bureaucracies and yet remain blind to the ramifications. The death they dispense, whether in the pollutants and carcinogens that have made cancer an epidemic, the dead zone rapidly being created in the Gulf of Mexico, the melting polar ice caps or the deaths last year of 45,000 Americans who could not afford proper medical care, is part of the cold and rational exchange of life for money.”
  Very good.  To put it in plain English, most of the social “Leadership” of America - whether Protestant, Catholic, or Jewish, corporate or political elites, and our education system and press-media, are WORSHIPING MONEY -  PRANCING AROUND the Golden Calf of GREED and GOLD. 
  Unfortunately, Michael Lind’s book “Made in Texas: George W. Bush and the SOUTHERN TAKEOVER of American Politics” captures this LUST for GREED & GOLD, which, like SLAVE PLANTATIONS dependent on the MASS-MURDEROUS SLAVE TRADE, = DEATH & DESTRUCTION. 
  Lind explains the difference between “PRE-MILLENIALIST” and “Post-Millenialists”  To simplify in a nutshell, Post-Millenialist believe that the world can be improved by Good Acts pending the return of Christ, who will rule and judge over the human-improved world.
  The PRE-MELLENIALISTS = the ARMAGEDDON cults, who posit that the human race is so fouled and degraded (the way that Nazis looked at “untermensch”),  that upon returning, Christ must first SCOURGE the world of millions (billions) of souls who FAIL his final judgement. 
  Ergo,  IF the world is going to be SCOURGED with DESTRUCTION,  why the hell try to improve it?  Indeed, improving humanity’s plight could actually DELAY the return, so is to be avoided if not despised.
  Needless to say, this theocratic mind-set worked will to justify the cruelty and sadism of slavery, and (as Lind explains) the rampant violence inherent in the stratified, heirarchical, conformist, intolerant, theocratic, ruthless Southern autocratic, salvery-based culture & economic system.

  What is truly disturbing about Lind’s depiction of the near-Naziesque purpose to wipe out or enslave all opposing tribes and races in this WASP/Celtic tribal warrior society of the US Deep South,  is that the JEWISH faith and culture have IDENTICAL core “values”!!
  Most notably in the warrior priests, “prophets,” and kings who made it their business to SLAUGHTER every man, woman, and child who stood between them and their conquest of Palestine. 
  Lind explains that this “Dark Side” - this “HERRENVOLK” quality of the Jewish faith - has now percolated to the top IN AMERICA,  especially in the NEO-CONS who agitated for the US invasion of Iraq, and, in fact,  found Dick Cheney and George W. Bush as the PERFECT FRONT-MEN to accomplish their own long-held plans to get the US to enact “Regime Change” - and a PERMANENT OCCUPATION - of Muslim Iraq !! 
  Well, there you have it.  Lind’s Chapters, “That Old Time Religion” and “ARMAGEDDON” are a must-read,  they explain the PSYCHOLOGICAL and THEOLOGICAL basis for the “DARK INSTINCT” the insightful Chris Hedges speaks of.
  To put the above in a nutshell,  “WE ARE ALL like chimpanzees on a WARTIME RAID to DESTROY a rival chimp troupe:  we are KILLER APES who will TEAR EACH OTHER LIMB-FROM-LIMB at the least provocation, and systematically EXTERMINATE our rivals.
  Or, go re-watch DR.STRANGELOVE” - the “STRANGE LOVE” of death & destruction, it’s all there in Kubrick’s masterpiece!
which started as a modern war drama, but Kubrick turned it into a SATIRE to relieve the darkness & doom…

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By rollzone, May 17, 2010 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment

hello. wow. so many weird words to say this oil blowout is the dooming of mankind. laurels getting in your way? you wax so tangenitally -you must be grooming for a life in politics. you certainly are not working on an iPad: in our demise. so the little devil anhilist in capitalism is us. our civilization is crashing and burning, and in your elitist enclave: you will relish in what small contribution you have made to social chaos. if you believe in what you write, you are blind to yourself. if not, you are just another wannabe fraud.

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By lemony, May 17, 2010 at 8:20 pm Link to this comment
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First of all Chris we could drastically change the path we are on in 0-100 years or there about.  But when I tell anyone how this could be done and that it doesn’t necessarily cost anything, doesn’t necessarily kill anyone/anything, doesn’t necessarily destroy anything and is readily available to everyone, they go “la la la la la I don’t want to hear you.”  People do not want to know!  Chris if I were to tell you you’d probably scream at me like all the others.

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By speakthetruth, May 17, 2010 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment

One of the most accurate assessments of our current state that I have read - anywhere!

Thank you, Chris (regretfully) for a brilliant piece!

While we may be awakening, there is nowhere to run and to revolt is precarious. Perhaps, it is time for the majority to stop playing.

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By jc, May 17, 2010 at 7:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Too bad will not be able to leave the planet, for another one…that sums it all up. The constellations are only a pipe dream for me.  Excellent well done!!!!!

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By omygodnotagain, May 17, 2010 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment

The problem is boredom, so many of our needs, food, heating, schooling have been solved, we are bored.
We buy things when we have money because we are bored, we gossip because we are bored, we like spectacle because we are bored, even porn has got boring, materialism’s greatest flaw is boredom. The utopian fantasy of Marx, that if workers had time and the means of production they would realize their potential is just nonsense. These corporate elites keep accumulating money because they are bored, what else can they do, sit on their yachts, entertain super models. become bored then what?  It is noteworthy that Bill Gates when he was a Corporate behometh kept just accumulating wealth. But even that got boring so he is now trying to cure disease in Africa, change the education system.
What can 7 billion people do, to stop from getting bored.  Maybe we will become extinct from boredom.

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By msgmi, May 17, 2010 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment
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What’s most appauling is that MMS is staffed by sycophants who kow-tow to corporate business entities and hasengaged in criminal enterprise with them while Capitol Hill is asleep at the switch. They have been opearting in an illegal and unlawful manner for years. It’s time to send a message to the civil servants of the MMS; indict them, prosecute them, and jail them; to include their co-conspirators. The ball is in Obamas court and DOJ. Can anything more can be expected besides resignations and a whitewash?

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By Adam Holland, May 17, 2010 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ward Churchill used his “little Eichmanns” line to
slander the victims of 9/11.  I can’t think of a worse
phrase to borrow to describe the villains behind the
devastation taking place in the Gulf of Mexico.  Did
the author use this phrase to deliberately offend some
subset of his readers or to attract attention to his
column?  In either case, these are the motives I
associate more with Anne Coulter than Chris Hedges. 
It’s sad to see this sort of poor judgement mar the work of
someone with good intentions.

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By MeHere, May 17, 2010 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

Thanks C. Hdeges, and
thanks, amunaor who says:

“We have become a nation that produces nothing of significance, other than the
manufacture and export of munitions, enabling a corporate oligarchy of
empire, a rule through brutish force, as it itself luxuriates and washes its
people in the bath-water of consumption, flowing from the taps of exploited, cheap labor everywhere.”

Until at least half of the population understands that paragraph no solutions
will emerge, but we’re very, very far from that.  Most people are pleased with the thought that a) all countries have problems and other places are worse off, and/or b) it’s either the fault of the Republicans or the Democrats.  And that’s as far at it goes—nowhere.  So, it’s naive to ask C. Hedges or anyone else for solutions, or that he should skip using cars and airplanes.I doubt that he is aimlessly using oil-based transportation the way most in the US do.

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By turbamagna, May 17, 2010 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

Indeed, a Tsunami is about to hit, and very little, if anything will be left!

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By samosamo, May 17, 2010 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment



I feel as you do, little remorse about the loss of human life
anymore as I have commented here already that the number of
humans on this planet has far exceeded the number where the
environment can sustain that overabundance of humans. And
not a jot of what is considered ‘high tech’ has much if anything
to do with improving that life on this planet. It is all used for
suppressing those not considered as ‘life worthy of life’ and that
is definitely not just pertaining to the human animal.

And so to revert back to mythology, but mythology with a good
bit of sense about what has become of this life on earth for far
too many people by the irresponsible and unchecked growth of
humans, we can now count on the presence, not the arrival
because she is already here, of:
““NEMESIS was the goddess of indignation against, and
retribution for, evil deeds and undeserved good fortune. She
was a personification of the resentment aroused in men by
those who commited crimes with apparent impunity, or who had
inordinate good fortune.
Nemesis directed human affairs in such a way as to maintain
equilibrium. Her name means she who distributes or deals out.
Happiness and unhappiness were measured out by her, care
being taken that happiness was not too frequent or too
excessive. If this happened, Nemesis could bring about losses
and suffering. As one who checked extravagant favours by
Tykhe (Fortune), Nemesis was regarded as an avenging or
punishing divinity.
I could go further back into history than the time of nixon’s ill
fated terms, as that is when, for me, the act of the seditious
think tanks were created for the express purpose of a major
power grab that for all intend and purposes has worked for
those that inherited that power and the results are what we see
all over the world everyday. But not without its consequences.

There are tons of mythologies all about and it is just for those
who may want to sort them out as favorites or because they may
be helpful in their dealing with others, but to me NEMESIS is
most worthy of the events of the last 40 or 50 years and it has
everything to do with ‘keep playing with fire and you will get

And finally, a poem about NEMESIS written for Chalmers


She’s new to the neighborhood, her family just moved in
From Greece or somewhere, she’s a great tall gawky girl
With braces and earrings and uneven skin:
Hormones and acne, her change is coming in,
And today, she’s playing hooky. January fog.
Orange lights on the school zone sign beat out their tattoo
And caution the Homeland’s socked-in morning rush
With their strobe-light samba: Condition Amber,
As she sits invisible, swinging her legs to the beat,
Perched up high on aluminum over
The uncanny Day-Glo of the key-lime fluorescence
That says: School at the top this composition.
I see her and she lets me. I’m and old family friend:
Sometimes I play poker with her Aunt Erato.
Her name is Nemesis and she’s just moved in,
She’s new to the neighborhood, she’s checking it out.

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By RenZo, May 17, 2010 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

Although your observation is categorically correct, that societies ignorant of the sacred dimension cannibalize themselves, I think the causal mechanism lies in the industrialization and globalization (or de-localization) of human commerce. India, arguably the most spirtual society in history, is becoming as industrially cannabalistic as its big brothers in the West, isn’t it? I don’t think there is a likely remedy for this progression until a very major catastrophe thins us out, forces us back to the land in smaller communities and humbles us greatly. I am becoming less and less concerned about the loss of human life, and more and more concerned about the decimation of the less technological species. We apparently will perversely kill them all off before our own swann song, pirouette and demise. They could have had a chance at replacing us in a few million years as the sentient species of note on the planet.

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By amunaor, May 17, 2010 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

The sea of flesh should be frothing and angry. How else to calm the storm than by reflection?

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By gerard, May 17, 2010 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment

Self-hatred causes considerable frothing at the mouth, it seems.

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By yfic, May 17, 2010 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment
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Good lord. Hysterical much, Mr. Hedges?

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By amunaor, May 17, 2010 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment

Thank you very much Chris, very thought provoking!

Meanwhile, the ‘eichmanns’ of industry, continue to soil their diapers—

Barack Obama sending nuclear experts to tackle BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil leak:

Here we find a puncture wound from the Multinational Oil Vampire, spewing out, not only, flammable black liquid, with intermittent belches of highly flammable propane, methane; but add to this volatile cocktail the oxygen molecule within seawater, enter the mindless overlords of science wishing to nuke the gurgling fountain beneath the waves. Such is brutish mindlessness, with not an iota of concern that it might relocate the gulf coast somewhere up near Wisconsin?

Prior to the incineration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; science, corralled by the bestial minds of brute force, while seeking to violently dislodge the secrets of nature, similar concerns for the possibility of setting off a chain reaction within the atmosphere or lighting up the oceans were brushed aside by the brutes of industry and profit. From that moment forward, science never did recoup its independence. Why would it bite the hand that feeds it?

We have become a nation that produces nothing of significance, other than the manufacture and export of munitions, enabling a corporate oligarchy of empire, a rule through brutish force, as it itself luxuriates and washes its people in the bath-water of consumption, flowing from the taps of exploited, cheap labor everywhere.

We squander the entire planets resources, in effort to secretly out maneuver the other; weaponizing the most brilliant thoughts that bubble to the surface into methods of killing, stealing, deceiving, then celebrating and weeping about the glorious gore of war; calling ourselves the enlightened ones.

We offer ourselves up in sacrifice to the psychic-vampires, who seek to maintain division by stirring up xenophobic fears, inciting the mind to hatred, lending the warrior mindset, cause célèbre to spill more innocent blood onto the ground of personal, special and corporate interests, here, there and everywhere.

T.S. Elliot said, “At the end of all our searching, we shall arrive at the beginning and know the place for the first time.”

I suspect that we are the Martians; having trashed and sucked the Martian ‘orb’  host dry, the human virus sought out greener pastures; setting its arks adrift to anchor elsewhere. As we venture out ‘again’, where next; where does our extraterrestrial ‘Universal War on Terror’ drop its profit anchor next?

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

“Just look at that pile of dead bastards over there”
WikiLeaks—Collateral Murder

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By, May 17, 2010 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment

Bill Ferguson said: “Chris:
Please stop using planes,auto’s,trains and while your
at it please stop cooling and heating your home. Because after all, the fuel for these things probably came from petro. Then I’ll know your serious.

And the oil companies existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you keeps people with Fuel.

Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want them to provide that Fuel.

You need them to provide that Fuel.”

This is what’s known as a straw man fallacy—something that shouldn’t be committed within the context of such a serious issue, and not if one wants democracy to work.  It’s irresponsible.
For example, we can have plenty of fuel without the environmental destruction caused by an unregulated profit motive. For another example. oil companies don’t “keep people with fuel”; the people doing the work do, not the people taking the profits.

Let’s do a little thinking before posting.

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By Rudolfo, May 17, 2010 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

Hedges invokes the holocaust in article after article.  Invoking Eichmann’s name in an article about the BP oil spill is insane.

As Hannah Arendt noted, Eichmann’s trial was a show trial.  A show trial is taking place right now, at this very moment John Demjanjuk is on trial in Germany for being a guard at Sobibor.  This surreal event comes after a previous trial of Demjanjuk, for being a guard at Treblinka, held in Israel.  He was identified by 5 eyewitnesses, convicted and sentenced to death in 1988.  After it was revealed that forged documents were used to extradite him from the US, and US politicians Pat Buchanan and James Traficant became involved, the Israelis released him !  No harm no foul !  The Zionists have been after him ever since and have extradited him again, this time to Germany.  He is 90 years old !  This is absolutely insane.

Eichman thought that he was going to be exonerated.  You can google his final statement to the court.  He was a functionary responsible for transporting Jews, not killing them.  His prosecution as a ‘war criminal’ had nothing to do with justice and everything to do with promoting militant Zionism and blackmailing the west.

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By foweler, May 17, 2010 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment
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“So, do weee the people stop (re)hashing all that is religiousophical and start formulating an anti-conglomerate stratagem? “

They tried that in 1776 when they set up a Republic, the multiplicity of many smaller societies idea. It didn’t last as the Constitution (never legally ratified BTW)superseded the Articles Of Confederation. The monster that has grown from that fundamentally flawed document has enabled the most unholy union of Corporation and Govt. Mussolini’s Fascism is alive and well in America, it was before he coined the term.
Our system was a throwback to the old British Mercantile system until the widespread govt takeover of business during WW1. The “capitalists” lost some of their govt protectionist favors when Wilson rolled back the interventions after the war but not for long. FDR put the whole thing back into place in the 30’s with a lot of the same people running the departments. What we have now is the “Raw Deal” come home to roost.

I love it when people point to “unrestricted capitalism” as the source of all of our problems. When have we ever had unrestricted capitalism? It has always been influenced by people in govt and govt has always been run by former corporate employees. If it WERE unrestricted maybe competition, the natural system of human check and balance, would keep people honest, or at least behaving that way. The profit motive, that “evil” thing that drives businessmen is their biggest weakness when the people can effectively vote with their dollars. If they fail to “serve” the consumers they go out of business, at least when they don’t have govt to back them up like they do now.

Unrestricted govt is the source of all of our problems. How can people who fear the power of monopoly in the hands of human nature possibly think it a good idea to put a monopoly in the legal use of force, the drafting of law, the final word in conflict resolution, and control of a non-backed currency into the hands of a group of humans? Doesn’t anyone see the contradiction there? Do you think your votes actually do anything? When was the last time you didn’t have to hold your nose as you pulled the handle? Guess what, they have a monopoly in who ends up on the ballots too.

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By moonraven, May 17, 2010 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

I have to pick a nit here:  the folks responsible for the BP disaster were not the “little Eichmanns” Ward Churchill referred to in his essay, On the Justice of Roosting Chickens”.

The folks responsible for this disaster are anything but little.

And they aren’t the guys TAKING orders, but the ones GIVING them.

They cannot be BIG Eichmanns, either, because Eichmann’s defense when he was on trial for war crimes was that he “only followed orders”, so
they must be Big Something Elses.  (Big Drillers of New Assholes for the Planet, perhaps?)

But, whatever those guys should be called, this time the chickens have come home to roost covered with petroleum.

Way to go, heckuva job and you betcha.

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By prole, May 17, 2010 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment

“Hannah Arendt wrote of ‘Eichmann in Jerusalem.’ “No communication was possible with him, not because he lied but because” Arendt came to discover in reporting on the event, it was a show trial choreographed by Ben Gurion for propaganda aims. The Eichman trial was for the autocratic Ben Gurion a chance in front of the whole world to promote militant Zionism, incarnated in the new Israeli state. As he himself boasted beforehand, “the fate of Eichmann, the person, has no interest for me whatsoever. What is important is the spectacle”.  Arendt called it, “just the kind of Zionist propaganda that Ben-Gurion wants and that I consider a disaster”. She held that “Justice demands that the accused be prosecuted, defended and judged, and that all the other questions of seemingly greater import ... be left in abeyance.”  The Knesset had even passed a new law shortly before the theatrical trial dubbed ‘the Eichmann Law’ which decreed that “in case the accused pleads guilty as charged, the court may continue the proceedings as if the accused had not pleaded guilty”, in order to prevent a quick, undramatic trial.
  Arendt, who admired the wartime resistance forces, was provoked by the way the prosecutor had portrayed them at the trial, as if “whatever resistance there had been had come from Zionists, as though, of all Jews, only the Zionists knew that if you could not save your life it might still be worth while to save your honor”. She was especially moved by the testimony of one witness who told of an ordinary German non-com Schmidt, who defied his own army and nation to aid Jews underground in Polish forests for a few short months without pay or reward, before he was finally discovered and executed. For Arendt, the tale was like an epiphany: “In those two minutes, which were like a sudden burst of light in the midst of impenetrable, unfathomable darkness, a single thought stood out clearly, irrefutably, beyond question—how utterly different everything would be today in this courtroom, in Israel, in Germany, in all of Europe, and perhaps in all countries of the world, if only more such stories could have been told”.

The publication in ’63 of ‘Eichmann in Jerusalem’ made Arendt something of a pariah in Israel (the book wasn’t published there until 2000) and one of her most outspoken critics at the time, philosopher Gershom Scholem, accused Arendt of lacking ‘Ahabath Israel’ (lov of the Jewish people) to which she replied in part: ”… the only kind of love I know of and believe in is the love of persons. .. this ‘love of the Jews’ would appear to me, since I am myself Jewish, as something rather suspect. I cannot love myself or anything which I know is part and parcel of my own person. To clarify this, let me tell you of a conversation I had in Israel with a prominent political personality who was defending the – in my opinion disastrous – non-separation of religion and state in Israel. What [she] said – I am not sure of the exact words any more – ran something like this: ‘You will understand that, as a socialist, I, of course, do not believe in God; I believe in the Jewish people.’ I found this a shocking statement and, being too shocked, I did not reply at the time. But I could have answered: the greatness of this people was once that it believed in God, and believed in Him in such a way that its trust and love towards Him was greater than its fear. And now this people believes only in itself? What good can come out of that?” 

“The corporations, and those who run them, consume, pollute, oppress and kill. The little Eichmanns who manage them”…deserve their day in the dock too and a similar fate, as long as it’s not just a show trial – another ‘spectacle’ – orchestrated by some latter day Ben Gurion up to more evil. In the meantime, like the courageous Sgt. Schmidt, we must defy these new Nazis and aid the resistance movements wherever we find them.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 17, 2010 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment

“Demolition of society”, certainly our society and to replace it with a modern barbaric society as conceived of by psychopaths. Literally as the growth of the corporate-state and the rise of such predatory Capitalist based Christianity where the rich are blessed and anyone else is not fits into their self serving ethos.

The top 10% owns so much of not just the USA but the world and want more. A new Guilded Age is what they want and they are working toward it hence our present economic situation. The want the world the way it was before the New Deal and gov’t regulation of any kind.

“As usual, Hedges condemns everything and everyone and his ONLY answer is…MARXISM!  Yet the various Marxist and professed Marxist states have been in general the WORST polluters, with the LEAST regard for the environment.  Of course, the worst is still Chernobyl, where the air, water and ground are deadly to this day.”-Inherit The Wind,

Too bad there hasn’t been any “Marxist states” yet in existence! All Stalin/Lenin/Mao did was replace several power centers; church, corporation and state with one mega-state with them being the ultimate monopolists. No Marx & Engels at all. No ownership of the means of the production by the workers. So the comparison is wrong in its premise. Just imagine no regulations and the state and corporation is owned by the new aristocracy so no limits on pollution. Just what Ron Paul & Ayn Rand wants!

Seems to me that Chris Hedges is right on correct and politically incorrect for the Reich wing in spades. Something that brings out the spin meisters attacking him for being one of them!?

<ub>NYCartist,</b> he was speaking of deformed in their personalities not in their bodies. A metaphorical reference—don’t be so thin skinned.

The problem is that we don’t have an infrastructure to get off of hydrocarbons. We must as soon as possible along with strict regulation via a carbon tax and funnel that money into alternative and bridge sources of power. A child tax too, money if you adopt, is also needed. Energy miser tech is also needed and turn the lights off and disable the vampire drain of ready on setting of our appliances. Also called “instant on.”

People can also blame Marx with no knowledge of him or Engels as is done constantly. It is no help to the situation.

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