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BP and the ‘Little Eichmanns’

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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.”

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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.”


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By TWylite, May 17, 2010 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The short version of this column is “corporations suck”. It’s the same column Hedges writes every week, much like the same movie Michael Moore makes over and over. Hedges should just copy-paste those two words for each column instead of composing an overabundance of extraneous circumlocution. It would save more pixels for future generations.

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By samosamo, May 17, 2010 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

****************


Seems like the msm has wrapped up the oil spill. Msnbc quaintly
reports that a ship is siphoning off oil. Doesn’t mention at a rate
considerably less than what is still pouring into the gulf.

As far as that goes here at truthdig nothing is being reported as
if it is all over, just this piece by hedges which more on the
greed that some people need instead of accounts of how efforts
are even being done much less considered.

Once again, out of sight, out of mind.

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By balkas, May 17, 2010 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

let’s stop trying to love one another; let’s try to learn to live with one another.

Genetic engineering which was started by priestly class some 8-15 k yrs ago on us humans [not on crops] we have become genetic mutants.

By 7 or 6 k yrs, civility and civilization we had pre-priestly rule, had already nearly vanished.
By now i cannot find a human being; humans having been mutated into an extraterrestial specie.
We are no longer with or of biota and planet.

Just as it may have taken millenia to change geneticly our humaness into s’mthing horrendous, it may take centuries or millennia to become geneticly changed again, but this time as we must have been: caring, sharing, peaceful; repecting our nurturer, the planet.

But do we have centuries to start the new experiment; consisting solely of education [no pills or needles necessary]?

As long as we have WMD, N-war is an ergodic [having zero chance of not occuring]event. This means we are gone for sure. it is just matter of time

It wld be nice if MSM wld print this message. They hadn’t before. Guess why? Because it landed on desks of even more mutant people than the rest of us. tnx

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By mike112769, May 17, 2010 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

ITW has a point: The further down the chain-of-command you go, the greater the chance for corruption. Real change comes from the bottom (most of us) and works its way up, not the other way around.

We are the best chance for change. Stop buying/using products from these companies. The only way they will listen to us is if we stop feeding them.

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By Flummox, May 17, 2010 at 11:01 am Link to this comment

Kong:

“One can reference Marx without advocating communism.  After all, the man got a lot of things right and his materialistic perspective was as revolutionary as the dehumanizing industrial forces that inspired it.”

So true - many people hear the name Marx and immediately jump to the USSR, such as “we had Three Mile Island and they had Chernobyl”, but have no idea that Marx played a significant role in the development of European Social Democracy. What was Sweden’s “Chernobyl”? What has happened that equates Denmark with catastrophic environmental degradation? How can the UK’s Labor party be painted as having the least regard for the environment?

I think people see the word “Marx” and just go little crazy, a sort-of Pavlovian response. They don’t want to think about his ideas, much less even know what they are. It is just Marx is bad and bringing up his name is wrong.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, May 17, 2010 at 10:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The oil spill in the Gulf has already been forgotten.  Our 15 minute attention span does not allow for prolonged crises.  The headlines today are that the oil is being siphoned through a long tube.  Problem solved - on to the next disaster.  Within the next week or so the media and especially the leftist bloggers will be severely criticized for trying to make the spill out to be worse than it was and BP will be praised for their response to it.  They might even use film footage of the spill in future advertising.  “BP - taking care of our environment.”

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By Inherit The Wind, May 17, 2010 at 10:22 am Link to this comment

Kong, May 17 at 10:18 am #
(Unregistered commenter)

Inherit the wind said:
“As usual, Hedges condemns everything and everyone and his ONLY answer is…MARXISM!”

I think Hedges considers a down-scaling of central bureaucracy and a return to a plurality at a local level of governance to be part of the answer.  Whether the forms of government these municipalities (city-states?) take is another matter, though much of Hedges’ writing is socialist in nature so that’s the form I’d wager if I had to guess.  Diluting power would minimize inherent corruption that seeps into any structure.

One can reference Marx without advocating communism.  After all, the man got a lot of things right and his materialistic perspective was as revolutionary as the dehumanizing industrial forces that inspired it.

I appreciate your thoughtful answer but my experience tells me you’ve got it all backwards.  If you are right, then the Tea-baggers are right.

However, what I have, working as a contractor around governments, is that the Federal Government is the cleanest, least corrupt, and most efficient government body.

Sounds absurd?  It does until you evaluate the state governments and you find they are LESS efficient, less able, and MORE corrupt, and I don’t care if it’s New York, Arkansas, Oregon, or Texas.

Then you find that county governments are even LESS efficient, and more corrupt.

Finally, at the town level, corruption is sickening.  How many towns have honest building inspectors, just for starters?  My current town has been amazingly clean for years but there’s a new guy who is always finding things wrong even when they aren’t, not just what he should find wrong. It’s like he’s LOOKING for someone to offer him something, and since he’s an older man from a former Warsaw Pact nation, it has me wondering.

Remember the outrage over Eminent Domain being allowed to let richer developers get poorer people’s homes so they can put up another Wal-Mart or Home Depot?  Where do you think that corruption happens?  On the local level, where it doesn’t make the front page of anything but the local “Weekly Bugle”

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By gerard, May 17, 2010 at 10:00 am Link to this comment

What is required now is not so much faith in God as faith in human beings.  If you emphasize and repeat all the evidence of human failure and none of the creative, life-saving, loving actions, it is hard—even impossible—to have faith in human beings.

Without a remnant of faith in human beings, it is impossible to act on the side of life.  I hope that everyone who reads Hedges will save a small space at least, and fill it with confidence in the over-riding power of life itself, and act accordingly—each one where he/she is, doing what he/she can for tomorrow and the next day and the day after that.

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By gerard, May 17, 2010 at 10:00 am Link to this comment

What is required now is not so much faith in God as faith in human beings.  If you emphasize and repeat all the evidence of human failure and none of the creative, life-saving, loving actions, it is hard—even impossible—to have faith in human beings.

Without a remnant of faith in human beings, it is impossible to act on the side of life.  I hope that everyone who reads Hedges will save a small space at least, and fill it with confidence in the over-riding power of life itself, and act accordingly—each one where he/she is, doing what he/she can for tomorrow and the next day and the day after that.

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By purplewolf, May 17, 2010 at 9:26 am Link to this comment

“After all the animals are destroyed,the waters polluted and the last tree cut down, only then will you realize you cannot eat money.” old Native Indian saying.

Seems like this is truer today. Let the sheeple ask their God to clean up the latest mess they have made, after all they claim prayer works. Wonder how long it will take to happen and if it doesn’t, they will find another excuse to explain why it didn’t happen, like the pagans(natives included), gays, non-believers etc…

Funny how the people who condemn those who were taught(mostly the pagans and eco-friendly) to take only what you need, respect nature and the earth and to leave the earth a better place than you found it, are the same people who abuse the earth the most, all in the name of greed and think nothing of it.

Over populate the planet as your bible tells you to, never mind the impact excessive humans cause, create wars(helps keep the population down a little) and blow up Mother Earth, it will regrow things eventually, tear down more of the landscape and put up buildings to house most, but not all of the people that have been added because of superstitious heresy. If things get to bad then pray, God will make it better-right.

As for using common sense, forget it. I asked my daughter, now 36, why people don’t think and use the sense they should have been born with. She answered that they don’t teach common sense in schools. That may answer a lot of how and why we have ended up with the dumbed down society we see so much of today. Many children are taught to believe what is told to them from the time they were born, many are indoctrinated into religion as a small child to the government run schools, never questioning things, especially authority figures, never researching and seeking out information on their own, as it is somehow sinful,illegal or not acceptable to ask questions. Remain being the sheeple that you are in your ignorance and denial.

So by tuning out what is actually happening because of their never ending greed, politicians, the elite along with the mega corp moguls, think it doesn’t exist as long as they refuse to see or think about it. They seem to think it won’t touch them as it will the rest of the earth and living things in it. They would be wrong.

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By Bill Ferguson, May 17, 2010 at 9:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

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.

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By mrfreeze, May 17, 2010 at 9:05 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges is always thought-provoking and this piece certainly addresses what everyone knows: that those who are running our country (and perhaps the world) are a venal, cynical and preternaturally greedy cabal of elitist capitalists.

Here’s the ultimate problem: Given the opportunity, each and every one of us would become those very elitists. It’s in our human nature to desire total self fulfilment and the wealthy exploit this flaw (if you want to call it that) in order to convince the “average Joe” that he too may join the ranks of the wealthy and powerful. So the capitalists pump out a steady stream of propaganda reinforcing the notion that we’re so much better off than our ancestors without ever mentioning that the price for our bloated and out-of-balance lifestyles is the destruction of the very earth we depend on.

To quote Kurt Vonnegut in Slaughterhouse Five: So it goes!

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By G.Anderson, May 17, 2010 at 8:29 am Link to this comment

To seperate the corporations from the governments that they control is the first mistake.

Having weakened and castrated governments to the point where they are impotent has created a crisis of capitalism, that is moving from market to market, from oil, to capital, to agriculture, to health.

This is the crisis of our age, and ultimately the end of capitalism itself.

Because the corporations cannot function as government, and in the void that the corporations have created, thousands of undiscovered disasters, waiting only the initial body counts, will begin to materialize.

Under Plutocratic rule government has been turned into an institution whose primary job is protecting the corporations from liability for their malfeasance, and guaranteeing them access to cheap recources and cheap labor.

Regulatory agencies no longer protect the public, instead they protect the profits of the corporations, making the corporate view seem legitmate, and consumption seem safe. Acting as a mouth piece of the plutocracy, condeming and stifling any thing that would threaten profit.

In fact consumption, whether it is financial products, food, medical, etc., may carry lethal and or catastrophic risks to the consumer.

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By frecklefever, May 17, 2010 at 8:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

CHRIS IS A MAN OF CONSCIENCE AND I HOPE SOMEDAY HE WILL DO A
PIECE ON THE MURDER OF AMERICANS BY ILLEGALS. IT AS TIMELY AS THE
OIL SPILL—GO TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION.COM FOR AN EYE OPENER.

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By Druthers, May 17, 2010 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

rfidler and Bubba

I think you do not grasp the breadth of the situation we are in. 
A solution implies something positive and it is evident that as long as populations continue playing follow the leader we are going over the cliff.  There will always be an “outcome,” time waits for no man, but the outcome can be catastrophic.
I have traveled widely, I have seen the aftermath of war and we are now witnessing Corporations behaving exactly like Eichmanns.  Cold, distant, detached with only the plan and end in sight, indifferent to suffering, concerned with implementing what is their reason for being - continued expansion, profit and power.  The Ceo’s of these corporations are now so powerful they control societies and governments; they are imposing their organigrams solely for their own benefit and taking down entire countries.
Genocidal and Eichmann are both appropriate terms.
They are now behaving like cannibals.
A friend once told me in a siropy voice, “God gives us strength to bear what we must.”
The only thing I could think of to reply was, ” You need to travel more” because the world is full of people being crushed as deliberately as the witch hunters crushed women between doors with stones, burned them or buried them alive.

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By Anarcissie, May 17, 2010 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

Well, true, once again Hedges is preaching hysterically to the converted.

But maybe there isn’t any solution.

I’m not saying human beings couldn’t change their minds and behave differently and more rationally (at least), to say nothing of more sympathetically.  But the evidence is that they won’t.

Their response to the oil crises of the 1970s was to develop the SUV.

Liberals want more regulation; they love regulation.  Bt as ITW points out, the highly regulated “Marxist” states had worse pollution than we do.  We had Three Mile Island; they had Chernobyl, which is still killing people.

The problem is that people want more; not a better life, just more stuff, regardless of how much they have, or what kind of system they live under.  As Hedges says, it’s a sort of death wish.

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By Anarcissie, May 17, 2010 at 8:19 am Link to this comment

Well, true, once again Hedges is preaching hysterically to the converted.

But maybe there isn’t any solution.

I’m not saying human beings couldn’t change their minds and behave differently and more rationally (at least), to say nothing of more sympathetically.  But the evidence is that they won’t.

Their response to the oil crises of the 1970s was to develop the SUV.

Liberals want more regulation; they love regulation.  But as ITW points out, the highly regulated “Marxist” states had worse pollution than we do.  We had Three Mile Island; they had Chernobyl, which is still killing people.

The problem is that people want more; not a better life, just more stuff, regardless of how much they have, or what kind of system they live under.  As Hedges says, it’s a sort of death wish.

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By MarthaA, May 17, 2010 at 8:15 am Link to this comment

Sorry, Chris, Right-Wing Conservative Republican exploiting of the populace and the environment is NOT done in the name of progress, in no way; Right-Wing Conservative Republican exploiting of the populace and the environment is selfishly and unfairly done in the name of MONEY, WEALTH, PROFIT, CAPITAL, and POWER.

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By rich, May 17, 2010 at 7:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Bohm believes that humans are capable of an evolution of mind.  We are ready to step out of the box of limited thinking, and adopt a higher conciousness.”

While it seems true that if you change your mind your bootie will follow, it’s not so simple—as the 60s generation showed. A split between mind change and action is the problem but finding the secret sauce that has balance is the trick. 

Chris if you read this, we won’t “take the planet down” but we can take much of life on the planet down with us. There’s a difference.

We are arrogant about our abilities, and ignorant even beyond what Chris notes. We’re just beginning to see the part played by climate change in human development and the rise and fall of civilations.

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By Bubba, May 17, 2010 at 7:18 am Link to this comment

As usual, Chris offers no real, adequate solutions.  One would think he doesn’t have any.  One would think, therefore, that there aren’t any or that he’s not looking that hard to find them.  And one would be correct, wrong and correct once more in that order. 

Will he ever read Henry George’s Progress and Poverty? 

Yes, doom is lurking right around the corner.  But Chris is doing as fine a job as any in ignoring what would lead us away from it.

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By NH Bill, May 17, 2010 at 6:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris,

Great stuff, but please don’t throw out the baby with the bath water!

NH Bill

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By Diana T Brooks, May 17, 2010 at 6:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you for that powerful painstaking glimpse of how the world is perceived by us “naturalist”, connection to the great architect dwells in nature and beyond. What can people do who is witnessing the decline of our quality of life and possibly the onset of the “new world order”? Don’t worry Mother Earth will rejuvenate herself after the damages, but one thing these lil eichmanns fail to grasps-this system is inter dependent on other systems within our galaxy. They(eichmanns) will lose. “Feel the vibrations of the discontent”. When the smoke clears some us will still be standing…I have faith in this universe we live in and homostasis must be maintained at all cost.

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By Ned, May 17, 2010 at 6:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Polanyi said “socialism” is rooted in a market society?  And, eir, Oscar Hammerstein wrote the lyric “You’ve got to be carefully taught.”

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By Kong, May 17, 2010 at 6:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Inherit the wind said:
“As usual, Hedges condemns everything and everyone and his ONLY answer is…MARXISM!”

I think Hedges considers a down-scaling of central bureaucracy and a return to a plurality at a local level of governance to be part of the answer.  Whether the forms of government these municipalities (city-states?) take is another matter, though much of Hedges’ writing is socialist in nature so that’s the form I’d wager if I had to guess.  Diluting power would minimize inherent corruption that seeps into any structure.

One can reference Marx without advocating communism.  After all, the man got a lot of things right and his materialistic perspective was as revolutionary as the dehumanizing industrial forces that inspired it.

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By rico, suave, May 17, 2010 at 6:08 am Link to this comment

Why don’t hyperventilators like Hedges understand that to call a corporate bigwig a “genocidal Eichmann”, merely because he’s a bigwig, sucks all the meaning out of the words “genocide” and “Eichmann”?

Why do fringe wackos, on either side of the spectrum, insist on abusing language so obscenely?

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By balkas, May 17, 2010 at 5:55 am Link to this comment

Technology is a part of knowledge. Alas, technology had been viewed as a separate entity; having no connection to parts of knowledge like morality, peace, peace of mind, security, etc.

And in a very incivilized world [had one seen it as such?; it’s still not late to see it]one cld have easily come to a firm conclusion that techonology wld be abused; or, rather, abuse most of us.

We need to realize that the first civilized clans ands groups of people have been destroyed in mesopotamia ca 7k yrs ago.

Natch, once we became incivilized, one cld expect wars, famine, slavery, sefdom, exploitation, genetical transformation of some or most humans into mutants; sans morality or our pristine and very valuable feelings.

So genetic engineering began at least 10 k yrs ago, but not of crops, but humans.
It does seem that we may need centuries to make another genetic transformation.

I cld be mistaken; may be our old selves [pre-priestly-royal rule]can be restored in just decades or even yrs.tnx

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By SoTexGuy, May 17, 2010 at 5:23 am Link to this comment

Hedges is a force.

He sees the things, both big and small, that comprise the whole picture.

His writing skills are enviable.

Adios!

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By Peacedragon, May 17, 2010 at 4:50 am Link to this comment

As alwas, Chris delivers the bad news. I wonder how he avoids
falling into a deep depression.

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By NYCartist, May 17, 2010 at 4:45 am Link to this comment

Shame on you, Chris Hedges for using “these deformed individuals” = ableist language of the worst kind, if that’s your intro. Shame on whoever wrote it, you or poster at TruthDig.

It furthers stereotypes and pain for individuals who have physical deformities.

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By bogi666, May 17, 2010 at 4:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Unless we “emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our mind” a refrain from Bob Marley’s Redemption Song, which means, as mentioned in other comments, we need a change in consciousness and become engaged in living with mindfulness, the ability to discern our own thoughts and the thoughts of others from facts. Mindfulness is the emancipation of the song. American society has been forged into mindlessness, narcissistic, consumerist, gluttons unable to discern even their own thoughts from facts. Mindlessness is institutionized by the governements,businesses[through advertising]and the false doctrines of the pretend christians as well as other religions. This institutionization legitimizes mindlessness through obedience. Shoe removal at airports is obedience training for adults.

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By Druthers, May 17, 2010 at 4:23 am Link to this comment

How can it be that people now speak about and say they long for a “free market” instead of a free society?
Merchandise and money circulate freely - humans are glued inside their respective countries except for tourism when they represent a credit card, otherwise see the welcome offered to immigrants. Try becoming an immigrant in any country without money in your pocket!
We are like squirrels in a cage looking for solutions as we spin the wheel.
Are there solutions for problems as vast as ours have become? I wonder.

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By Ouroborus, May 17, 2010 at 4:09 am Link to this comment

Hedges’ opening paragraph really says it all. His truth
is recognizable to those of us who’ve been around the
block (so-to-speak) and still hold the values known for
eons to keep the life by the understood values of life
itsownself.

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By Inherit The Wind, May 17, 2010 at 4:02 am Link to this comment

diamond, May 17 at 5:43 am #

When you turn an economic system into a religious cult as has happened with Friedmanite/Randian voodoo economics the consequences are completely predictable: and we’ve seen those consequences again and again. When is someone going to say ‘All of this is bullshit. Let’s start over. Let’s stop these people plundering the economy for the profit of 1% of the population and starting wars to feed the amoral corporate monster they’re part of’? The values of the corporate state and the economic rationalists are not human values and that’s why they pollute everything they cannot kill and deliberately create a human underclass as economic cannon fodder. It’s blindingly obvious to me that they have to be stopped before they destroy the earth and everything on it, including us.

***************************************************

In few sentences, Diamond lays out both the problem and WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE far better than Chris Hedges does in two pages of fanatical ranting.

Basically, everything CH talks about can be found in Lord of the Flies, Star Trek IV: “To hunt a species to extinction is illogical” and by killing off the humpback whale mankind dooms itself, and by a Gahan Wilson cartoon in Playboy in the ‘60’s: A VP of a corp is reporting to the CEO that the crazy environmental protesters are at the gates—and both execs are wearing gas masks.

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.

Hedges over-simplifies the problem and solution in a Menckenian contradiction (simplistic solutions are inevitably wrong).  What led us to the BP blowout is a complex web of factors that can be traced back to 1981: with Reagan de-regulation and ending the search for energy independence championed by Ford (!) and Carter.

This is why I detest CH’s writing.  He take an important issue, and trivializes it with his apocalyptic vision an inability to see a solution, unless it’s…Marxism.

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By UreKismet, May 17, 2010 at 3:22 am Link to this comment

Few in the world would seriously disagree with the analysis above, sure the allegedly ‘politically conscious’ would expend a deal of energy pointlessly trying to lay the blame on where we are at whoever didn’t share their political view, but essentially most of us know in our hearts that humankind is on a one way trip to nothingness.

But that said, what next?  The author described those in control as master manipulators and we know exactly what has happened in the past every time people have tried to turn the ship around.

They get manipulated into ‘compromise’ aka surrender to the manipulators.
And yes that includes those who go for “violent and bloody revolution” just as much as those who try to “change the system from within”.

The only thing my mind keeps coming back to is the notion of a multiplicity of much smaller societies, small enough so that every time the Eichmans get control of one of them, the amount of harm they can do is limited.
Who knows, make societies small enough and they may just become so ‘inefficient’ that there is employment for all who need employment.  Wouldn’t that be a radical notion.

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By Ronda Levine, May 17, 2010 at 3:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Along with littlebird, I’m looking forward to the day
that we stand up to the corporation. Between oil
spills, mishaps with FEMA, the problems with sweat
shops, factory farming, etc. it’s scary to think of all
the damage, with reckless abandon, that happens every
day.

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By kerryrose, May 17, 2010 at 2:38 am Link to this comment

In physicist David Bohm’s book ‘Wholeness and the Implicate Order,’ he asserts that our political and social systems are a product of the way humans think.  We can never solve these problems using the same thinking that created the problems.  The solutions would just be ‘patches’ to an inherently flawed system.

Bohm believes that humans are capable of an evolution of mind.  We are ready to step out of the box of limited thinking, and adopt a higher conciousness.

Perhaps this idea needs to be explored and educated to a new generation.  The old neanderthal guard that rules the world by the dollar can be evolved with a new generation.

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By twinsbrewer, May 17, 2010 at 2:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Always remember that BP used to be the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, and it
overthrew (with US help) a democratic Iranian government in 1953 that made the
fatal mistake of wanting to take a larger cut of the local oil profit. A murderous
tyrant was installed and brutalized Iranians for the next 20+ years, until he was
upended by a psychotic fundamentalist revival. 99.9% of Americans don’t know
this, and 99.9% of Iranians will never forget it.

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By eir, May 17, 2010 at 2:11 am Link to this comment

“You’ve got to be carefully taught”—Stephen Sondheim

We are waiting on these disfigured children to reform themselves and save us from their savagery.

We are just bodies on a spreadsheet, some warm some cold.  We have to take control.

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By Commune115, May 17, 2010 at 2:08 am Link to this comment

As a banner in Greece read a few weeks ago: “Marx was right.”

But for action, let’s revisit Bakunin!

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By Ma77hew, May 17, 2010 at 1:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris.

Thank you. Your words are hard and punch through the walled up illusion that we
stare at in the cave. The thoughts ring true as a bell which tolls for the coming
fall.

It would be very inspiring to hear you present these as the sermons they are.

Thank you again for your courage and insight in the madness that is this moment
in time.

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By diamond, May 17, 2010 at 1:43 am Link to this comment

When you turn an economic system into a religious cult as has happened with Friedmanite/Randian voodoo economics the consequences are completely predictable: and we’ve seen those consequences again and again. When is someone going to say ‘All of this is bullshit. Let’s start over. Let’s stop these people plundering the economy for the profit of 1% of the population and starting wars to feed the amoral corporate monster they’re part of’? The values of the corporate state and the economic rationalists are not human values and that’s why they pollute everything they cannot kill and deliberately create a human underclass as economic cannon fodder. It’s blindingly obvious to me that they have to be stopped before they destroy the earth and everything on it, including us.

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littlebird's avatar

By littlebird, May 17, 2010 at 1:34 am Link to this comment

So, do weee the people stop (re)hashing all that is religiousophical and start formulating an anti-conglomerate stratagem?

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By esi42, May 17, 2010 at 1:33 am Link to this comment

Holy fire and brimstone Chris!

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