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Posted on Dec 6, 2010
AP / Jacob Silberberg

Two Iraqi men detained by Americans in 2006.

By Chris Hedges

Innocence, as defined by law, makes us complicit with the crimes of the state. To do nothing, to be judged by the state as an innocent, is to be guilty. It is to sanction, through passivity and obedience, the array of crimes carried out by the state.

To be innocent in America means we passively permit offshore penal colonies where we torture human beings, some of whom are children. To be innocent in America is to acquiesce to the relentless corporate destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species. To be innocent in America is to permit the continued theft of hundreds of billions of dollars from the state by Wall Street swindlers and speculators. To be innocent in America is to stand by as insurance and pharmaceutical companies, in the name of profit, condemn ill people, including children, to die. To be innocent in America is refusing to resist wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that are not only illegal under international law but responsible for the murder of hundreds of thousands of people. This is the odd age we live in. Innocence is complicity.

The steady impoverishment and misery inflicted by the corporate state on the working class and increasingly the middle class has a terrible logic. It consolidates corporate centers of power. It weakens us morally and politically. The fraud and violence committed by the corporate state become secondary as we scramble to feed our families, find a job and pay our bills and mortgages. Those who cling to insecure, poorly paid jobs and who struggle with crippling credit card debt, those who are mired in long-term unemployment and who know that huge medical bills would bankrupt them, those who owe more on their houses than they are worth and who fear the future, become frightened and timid. They seek only to survive. They accept the pathetic scraps tossed to them by the corporate elite. The internal and external corporate abuse accelerates as we become every day more pliant. 

Our corrupt legal system, perverting the concept that “all men are created equal,” has radically redefined civic society. Citizens, regardless of their status or misfortune, are now treated with the same studied indifference by the state. They have been transformed from citizens to commodities whose worth is determined solely by the market and whose value is measured by their social and economic functions. The rich, therefore, are rewarded by the state with tax cuts because they are rich. It is their function to monopolize wealth and invest. The poor are supposed to be poor. The poor should not be a drain on the resources of the state or the oligarchic elite. Equality, in this new legal paradigm, means we are all treated alike, no matter what our circumstances. This new interpretation of equality, under which the poor are abandoned and the powerful are unchecked, has demolished the system of regulations, legal restraints and services that once protected the
underclass from wealthy and corporate predators.

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The creation of a permanent, insecure and frightened underclass is the most effective weapon to thwart rebellion and resistance as our economy worsens. Huge pools of unemployed and underemployed blunt labor organizing, since any job, no matter how menial, is zealously coveted. As state and federal social welfare programs, especially in education, are gutted, we create a wider and wider gulf between the resources available to the tiny elite and the deprivation and suffering visited on our permanent underclass. Access to education, for example, is now largely defined by class. The middle class, taking on huge debt, desperately flees to private institutions to make sure their children have a chance to enter the managerial ranks of the corporate elite. And this is the idea. Public education, which, when it functions, gives opportunities to all citizens, hinders a system of corporate neofeudalism. Corporations are advancing, with Barack Obama’s assistance, charter schools and educational services that are stripped down and designed to train classes for their appropriate vocations, which, if you’re poor means a future in the service sector. The eradication of teachers’ unions, under way in states such as New Jersey, is a vital component in the dismantling of public education. Corporations know that good systems of public education are a hindrance to a rigid caste system. In corporate America everyone will be kept in his or her place.

The beating down of workers, exacerbated by the prospect that unemployment benefits will not be renewed for millions of Americans and that public sector unions will soon be broken, has transformed those in the working class from full members of society, able to participate in its debates, the economy and governance, into terrified people in fragmented pools preoccupied with the struggle of private existence. Those who are economically broken usually cease to be concerned with civic virtues. They will, history has demonstrated, serve any system, no matter how evil, and do anything for a salary, job security and the protection of their families.

There will be sectors of the society that, as the situation worsens, attempt to rebel. But the state can rely on a huge number of people who, for work and meager benefits, will transform themselves into willing executioners. The reconfiguration of American society into a corporate oligarchy is conditioning tens of millions not only to passively accept state and corporate crimes, but to actively participate in the mechanisms that ensure their own enslavement.

“Each time society, through unemployment, frustrates the small man in his normal functioning and normal self-respect,” Hannah Arendt wrote in her 1945 essay “Organized Guilt and Universal Responsibility,” “it trains him for that last stage in which he will willingly undertake any function, even that of hangman.”


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By Chris, December 7, 2010 at 9:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I just pray the people who claim that “corporations aren’t the problem, but government is,” will some day grow up and learn to think a little more deeply.

I’m sure these people are amazed at puppets, never realizing there’s a human being’s hand in there making it move and making it talk.

The world must seem so magical to them.

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By QuantumBubbler, December 7, 2010 at 9:32 am Link to this comment

“Not sure it is this writer (Quantum Bubblegum) is saying.”

Thanks for the stammering effect, mdgr.

I agree with this:
Goethe’s quote was dead-on, as was Hedges’ article. Thank you for the article, Chris. It took my breath away.

Your observation is brilliant! “Bubblegum’s viewpoint, however, appears excessively convoluted.”

I have of late been involved with convolutions of such an excess of logic as to cause conundrums to echo in the vast recesses of my mind… hahahaha

I really appreciate the transition from stammering to flattering at the closing, and I quote:

“Or else they are a supercilious sophomore in college,* perhaps a Polysci major, someone yet to discover who the fu*k s/he is.”**

Thank you very much. Read my other post after this one. Please comment more!


*I’m 57.

**No, but when I was 18 a visiting fellow from India cozied up to the head of the polysci department was head over heels flipping out about a mathematically geared population representation schematic I outlined.

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By RayLan, December 7, 2010 at 8:48 am Link to this comment

@Denys
“Jews and Homosexuals got all goodies from this administration”
What goodies might those be? Equal rights to marry - as it should be constitutionally? That’s not a ‘goodie’, it’s a right. The gay community HAS been victimized for centuries, as were women and blacks by the way, it’s not simply a role.
The spate of gay teen suicides and bullying of young gays is a fact, not a posture.
Your conspicuous homophobia is a case in point.
I’ve always maintained that homophobia is the last acceptable prejudice.

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By Lance, December 7, 2010 at 7:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mankind has submitted itself to one corrupt and wicked system after another. Do you see the pattern? Government by men is doomed to failure. Anyone with the slighest level of awareness can see that the system is floundering and due for a collapse of its own making.
But this time it will not be replaced again by a government of human origin. It will be replaced by the fast approaching righteous Kingdom of Jehovah God. Please read your Bible and pray for guidance, gaurd your heart and search for Jehovah while He may still yet be found. This current system with all its evil and injustice will soon be done away with.

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By elisalouisa, December 7, 2010 at 7:19 am Link to this comment

Our leaders have sold out to the corporate state and Wall Street, no longer concerned with their constituents. That is the evil that exists. Many Americans are unable to comprehend this, it just hasn’t sunk in that government officials have betrayed us, such a thought going against the very core of what many have
been taught and also the propaganda on MSM that tells them the way things are. 
Tao Walker  your writing reveals you are true to yourself, a trait not common “in these latter days.” It is quite obvious that some posters are trolls, their comments written not with a desire to exchange views but only to “stir things up,” the intent being to lessen the meaning of what Mr. Hedges so eloquently writes.
Thanks Chris Hedges, Daniel Ellsberg, Medea Benjamin, Ray McGovern, Dr. Margaret Flowers and others who will attempt to chain themselves to that fence that separates the people from the seat of power, an act meant to “wake up” those in the White House as well as the American people.

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, December 7, 2010 at 7:19 am Link to this comment

A few months before I was laid off at my last job in the states (before moving to Ukraine), my immediate boss came to me and told me that I (meaning the entire department) had to be very careful what we did, that upper management was watching our every move.  He told me to be very careful what I looked at on the internet (I was spending lots of time there as I was in charge of doing a RoHS conformance assessment of our equipment for European sales), to watch how much time I spent talking about non-job related issues with my colleagues (I was helping a female colleague who was going through a difficult divorce and was very distraught) and to keep my nose to the grindstone.  His caution was meant to make me fearful.  It was an attempt to intimidate me into conforming to what my employer decided I should act like.  I got laid off so you can guess how I reacted to his warning.  I think my response was something to the effect “F..k them”

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By truedigger3, December 7, 2010 at 6:58 am Link to this comment

Re: By Kitty Antonik Wakfer, December 7 at 4:52 am
“I urge Chris to look more deeply and widely at the issues he finds disturbing and he will find that government is the culprit.”
——————————————————————————
Another Tea-bagger who doesn’t know what she is talking about.
So, the government is the problem and Wall St., BP, Salmonila in our food…are OK.
And yes, let us wreck public education and replace by corporate run, for profits, schools.
We have here, corporate run, for profits, prisons and the result is a disater.
In her book the Big business/Money should be left free to exploit and abuse the average citizens and dump shoddy and dangerous products and ruin the environment.

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By drbhelthi, December 7, 2010 at 5:17 am Link to this comment

Three ideas.
When I first saw the former body-ditch area, the
„shower room,“ and the „improved furnace“ at Dachau,
Fall 1956, it took a while for the horror feeling to
impact. Now, a “few” years later, it still does.  It
aint a good feeling, and the scene has shifted to the
“U.S.ofA.”.  Nor is it about a religious cult that
continues to masterbate with the figure of “six
million.”

Who are the folk who identify themselves as
“Indians”?  The only Indians in the U.S.A. are folk
who were born in India.  Folk whose heritage is
traced to tribes of the original indigenous, continue
to be members of those indigenous tribes. Columbus
did not discover anything. He only blundered onto a
land, unknown to him, that existed before the
“country” of his “mother queen,” which “new land” he
falsely titled with a name familiar to him. The rest
of us are immigrant offspring, paying for the
expansion of genocide initiated by “Columbus” at the
behest of his “queen.” Which genocide has recently
been exported to “Moslem lands.” The last body-guard
of Adolf Hitler evidenced that the current movement
was spear-headed by a NAZI spy, born in Doerlitzsch,
thirty miles S.E. of Leipzig.

WIKI leaks releases.  Regardless of who, which group
or agency is behind the leaks, they are revealing.
They remind me of some events that occurred around me
over the years, and are too accurate to be
falsifications.  As far as killing the messenger,
that is S.O.P. with dictator-types, well recorded in
Hebrew history. One former OSS member, who remained
in U.S. Army intelligence, even after NAZI SS General
Gehlin transformed the OSS into the CIA, once told
me, “- no novel is as good as the real thing.”  WIKI
leaks is no novel.

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By Elroy, December 7, 2010 at 3:11 am Link to this comment

One reader here observes that it is “harder than ever
for the powerful to control what people read, see and
hear.” If that were so there would be no need for
this December demonstration.

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By TAO Walker, December 7, 2010 at 1:05 am Link to this comment

Hard to say whether “Inherit The Wind” is being deliberately or just carelessly disingenuous below, when he claims this Old Indian touts “the wisdom of Native Americans.”  If it’s only the latter, maybe he’ll be good enough to provide particulars….as in a specific link to a comment BY (not about) Yours Truly.  That’s likely to be an exercise-in-futility, however, because of the scarcity of evidence that r eal wisdom is much of a virtue among “Americans” of any kind of-late….as “gerard” seemed to testify with such painful reluctance earlier. 

Probably, though, “Inherit The Wind”‘s gratuitous reference was nothing but a weak (and not untypical) attempt at “guilt-by-association”....with perhaps the hope of drawing someone else into his name-calling mud-slinging exchange with another commenter.  Could that sort of immature behavior, which is rampant here in these latter days, be among the things about her fella and gal americans that is so apparently depressing for “gerard”?

Chris Hedges, too, exhibits the symptoms of one struggling with the debilitating effects of poor and worsening emotional health, in circumstances that have engendered the condition, and exacerbate it relentlessly, but which offer no genuinely therapeutic ways to respond to it.  So there is an often desperately reactionary resort to ideological motivations and institutional methodologies which are themselves part-and-parcel of “The Problem,” difficult as that is for our tame Sisters and Brothers to recognize and acknowledge.   

There is real Medicine to bring about the healing “gerard” and others know is so needed….but it’s not to be found within the fever-dream virtuality of the disease process.

HokaHey!

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By Anarcissie, December 7, 2010 at 12:30 am Link to this comment

JDmysticDJ—In response to your question, I just thought it was kind of interesting that Ayn Rand and Stalin had also employed the same trope.  The idea also appears in Christianity, of course: all are damnably guilty of sin until they are saved—by acquiring the correct beliefs.  So here we have the Reverend Hedges once again preaching to the choir, and I thought I might try to kick the discourse into some new channels.  Regrettably, only you nibbled at the bait. I couldn’t even interest our resident troll.  I must be losing my touch.

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By David J. Cyr, December 7, 2010 at 12:26 am Link to this comment

QUOTE (of an avatar being… a thumb sucking extraordinarily wide eyed girl…
terrified?):

“Just because you happen to be born in a certain geography and grow up in that place, does not mean you are complicit and guilty of mass murder the State commits.”
_____________

Yes and no.

However, there’s a great difference between the unchosen involuntary complicity that a person is born into, and the heinous criminal conduct of those who free-will choose to be accomplices, civil obediently corporate party voting for all the crimes of the corporate state.

Which are more evil: the thoughtless ignorant conservatives, or the thoughtful highly educated “progressives” who insist that every evil must be (D) done well?

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By radson, December 7, 2010 at 12:07 am Link to this comment

Inherit and Patrick


Thank you for your comprehension .

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By Kitty Antonik Wakfer, December 6, 2010 at 11:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

While I understand and agree with Chris’ emotional distress on many issues included here, his reasoning is faulty in places. I’ll address just two of these.

Government is the culprit in all the situations Chris bemoans. Corporations are creations of governments and therefore would not exist without them. Government entities - FDA primarily in the US - with and without cooperation of corporations are the cause for the unavailability of and/or extremely high price of numerous chemicals (and many devices) aimed at elimination or prevention of various human physical ailments. The claim that all of this control of items is to “protect” individuals is bunk. The individual is capable of deciding for him/her (hir) self (with or without the assistance of an “expert”) whether some chemical or device will be of value to hir - in this day of computers especially. Value is subjective, and *only* the individual can decide the amount that some item or transaction has for hir.

Chris writes further, “Public education, which, when it functions, gives opportunities to all citizens, hinders a system of corporate neofeudalism.” Nonsense!
The method by which the population of an area becomes reverential and deferential - if not actually fearful - of the government *is* the State schooling system - “public education”.
“The idea is that if the state has power over a child for six or seven hours every day, 5 days a week, for 12 years, the state will have ample opportunity to mold and shape the child’s mind into one of conformity, obedience, respect for state authority, and unconditional trust in official pronouncements of the state.” http://www.fff.org/blog/jghblog2010-12-02.asp
This method of the modern US public schools had its origins in Prussia and the ideas were imported by several US ideological leaders after visiting there in the first half of the 19th century. The campaign for these ideas became government policy in the early 20th century. http://www.fff.org/freedom/0795n.asp

I urge Chris to look more deeply and widely at the issues he finds disturbing and he will find that government is the culprit.

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By cammy, December 6, 2010 at 11:30 pm Link to this comment

The system we have has been in place for a long time. Not just the last 10 years.

The allied forces went in and bombed German towns at end of war2, knowingly killing hundreds of thousands of Germans. Their justification?? The Germans were all complicit in state crimes. Nobody cared about the thousands of children killed or women raped. Did they deserve it? If you think so then you’re no better than the evil perpetrators that reside on both sides of the Atlantic.

Logically, this kind of “thinking” does not meet with reason.

Before Iraq was invaded and bombed, the citizens of that nation were waiting in hope to get rid of the dictator Hussein, and boy were they ever wrong to think the U.S. was any better. Are all Iraqi’s “complicit” in state crimes that happened under Hussein? Does this make Albrights statement justified: “we think it is worth it” when asked about the children dying from sanctions?

Hannah Arendt also said “when everyone is guilty, nobody is”. You can take that in either two ways.
1) Because everyone is guilty then nobody seems to take responsibility. (which is what she probably meant)
Or
2) When everyone is considered guilty of mass murder or whatever the crimes may be, then nobody is going to be brought to justice (nobody guilty)....even those that manipulated and orchestrated the events.

The systemic failure that is going on in the Western “civilization” is happening for many reasons but the growing attitude that “we are all complicit” in state crimes is very concerning to to some of us.

People should always take responsibility to the best of their ability for seeking the truth and speaking out in voice and action. There is nothing else one can do besides violence, which is not the route to go. Just because you happen to be born in a certain geography and grow up in that place, does not mean you are complicit and guilty of mass murder the State commits. This kind of thinking has gotten mankind into lots of trouble throughout time.

Western Civ is winding down, but unfortunately those who have the main power lines are not going into the night quietly and seem to be quite comfortable bringing all of us down with them.

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By SteveL, December 6, 2010 at 11:29 pm Link to this comment

It has been predicted that the U.S. would someday facture into regions that would
be easier to govern.  All this in this article makes me think it will happen sooner
than later.

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By Inherit The Wind, December 6, 2010 at 11:17 pm Link to this comment

Mooncrow: I didn’t think anyone could be more obnoxious, hateful, racist and bigoted than you who constantly uses racist epithets.

But I was wrong.  In this Denys character we have a true nazi apologist and holocaust denier.

But you are brother and sister in arms.  For all of Tao Walker’s insistence on the wisdom of Native Americans, you are proof that they are no different than anyone else, and that Native Americans have their fair share of shitheads just like the rest of us.

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, December 6, 2010 at 11:15 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE (of a bleating liberal avatar):

“CHRIS…YOU MUST CLIMB OUT FROM UNDER YOUR DEPRESSIVE FUNK..OTHERWISE THE AUTHORITIES COULD CHARGE YOU WITH LEADING A SUICIDE CULT…LIFE IS HARD BUT THERE ALWAYS SOLUTIONS…ASK EINSTEIN…”
_________________

E = mc2

Enablers = Mass capitulations times Mass capitulations

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By frecklefever, December 6, 2010 at 10:50 pm Link to this comment

CHRIS…YOU MUST CLIMB OUT FROM UNDER YOUR DEPRESSIVE FUNK..OTHERWISE THE
AUTHORITIES COULD CHARGE YOU WITH LEADING A SUICIDE CULT…LIFE IS HARD BUT THERE
ALWAYS SOLUTIONS…ASK EINSTEIN…

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By PatrickHenry, December 6, 2010 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment

Moonraver,

“Yep, I’ve been banned almost as many times from Commondreams as from the Miami herald site—both are basically right wing sites, the only difference being that CD operates as a safety valve for dissident whining—probably subsidized by the FBI or some other government goom squad.  Indians don’t last long on Commondreams, because we tend to say uncomfortable truths about genocide—and other cute gringo pasttimes”.

Maybe they banned you for your charming personality.

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By gerard, December 6, 2010 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment

P.S.  One of the most terrifying things about the United States is how stupifyingly serious the country takes itself, as a whole. Nut-cases with a public voice calling for Assange’s head, hundreds threatening Assange’s life and even his children!  Entire government agencies ordering their underlings not to read such and such, on pain of disqualifying themselves for future government jobs. 

What is this but terrorism—or at the very least a over-the-top attempt to use this event to further scarify people into accepting more groping, scanning, and Xray “surveillance”. 

There’s a cartoon somewhere on Truthdig which I stumbled on, from Romania.  It’s a sketch mirroring the famous Marilyn Monroe, skirt blowing up as she stands over a heater to reveal ...  Priceless!  It’s significant that it comes from overseas.  If we could only see ourselves as others see us, at least part of the time.

Actually, I am so deadly tired of all this long-faced, dire, blind, self-conscious,pompous fear and loathing, I could scream.  We need to wake up here, and smell the electronic roses and save these guys from the lions at the center of this Roman Circus.

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By radson, December 6, 2010 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment

moonraven

An ‘ass ’ is directly where your,re heading and to obfuscate what ? Polish atrocities committed against the Indian Folk -Really,yet you claim to be historically knowledgeable ,especially pertaining to genocides and in the context of this article ,innocent complacency’ .I have a lot respect for the Indian peoples ,do you have any respect at all.

hoka

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By Ellen Mason, December 6, 2010 at 9:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Another aspect of this is how so many people can see themselves as good Christians, while carrying out barbaric deeds against others. 

The answer is, of course, that they only apply a sense of Christian community to a small subset of people that they see as like themselves.  George Bush is a premiere example, who actually thought God was talking to him while he condemned thousands to needless death and millions to lives of misery.

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By gerard, December 6, 2010 at 9:14 pm Link to this comment

It would seem that the urgent job of the moment is to try to keep “the Hangman” away from Assange and Manning.  Watch the London Guardian for updates and people speaking in their support, giving reasons why, and pointing out the obvious—that the freedom of the internet is under attack from Clinton and Obama who only recently were extolling its value.
See, for example, today, John Baughton “Western political elites obfuscate, lie and bluster—and when the veil of secrecy is lifted, they try to kill the messenger”  etc. etc.

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By Rudolfo, December 6, 2010 at 9:05 pm Link to this comment

When will C. Hedges quit repeating degenerate holocaust lies?  He writes ...

“Arendt also quotes an interview with a camp official at Majdanek. The camp official concedes that he has assisted in the gassing and burying of people alive.”

There were no gassings at Majdanek.  The museum has lowered the death figure from the 1,500,000 of the Nuremberg trial to 78,000.  The ‘gas chamber’ on display there has a large easily broken plate glass window.  The fact is that the room was a fumigation room used to delouse clothing to prevent typhus, not a ‘homicidal gas chamber’.

Hedoges even repeats the ‘buried alive’ idiocy.  Not even the USHMM or wiki support this lie.

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By moonraven, December 6, 2010 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment

radson:

You are just making an ass of yourself now.

We Indians are pretty good students of history. 

Maybe because we have such long memories involving genocidal goons.

If I had said I was going to tell a Polish joke, and mentioned the Warsaw uprising only to suddenly have jews riding in one limo through the streets of Berlin, maybe you could have legitimately been confused. 

But I didn’t,
and you weren’t. 

You were just trying to obfuscate the obvious and make yourself appear knowledgeable in the process.

But you did so ineptly—speaking of ineptitude.

This “conversation” is over.

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By outerpartymember, December 6, 2010 at 8:37 pm Link to this comment

The level of complexity orchestrated to hedge power and wield power over our world is terrifying.I do not think the vast majority of our citizenry has the intellectual or psychological vigor required to confront the reality of the situation. I see history possibly could repeat itself anew. buffoonery is running rampant through are institutions and every day life becomes much more dangerous because of these buffoons.The powerful have erected a fortress contrived by a fiendish order of creatures that I would scarcely call human. Our population acts like its in a giant skinner box hoarding the propaganda fed to them courtesy of their beneficent tyrants that destroyed this country because its what ended up being the bottom line. We buy and sell misery, we have no virtuous among us, we are the mass psychotic that is destroying the sanctity of life. I am one man in a densely packed city among hundreds of thousands of illiterates not to mention the other realities. I have a bad premonition that the people will forget what true freedom really means. Instead we are receiving messages from our inner party members on our social websites with party news about how we should conduct ourselves. The noose is starting to tighten around freedoms neck and no one seems to mind. I would have never believed in mind control unless I lived to see it in my life time.

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By radson, December 6, 2010 at 8:35 pm Link to this comment

Moonraven

Thx for your reply ;if I insulted your obvious historical ineptitudes then forgive yourself .Your lack of appreciation and comprehension speaks for itself and do try to explain yourself at the ‘circle’ not even ‘Geronimo ’
would offer you a ride ,regardless if the moon is riding high and a raven is flying by in the ruined cities that you so despise.

hoka

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By moonraven, December 6, 2010 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

radson:

I am sure you really thought I was referring to Warsaw, Pennsylvania, right?

Especially after indicating that it was a HITLER story about JEWS.

Give me a break.  It’s folks like you, who nitpick the obvious out of pure fatuousness who believe you will be riding in the limousine.

Me, I’ll be riding in Geronimo’s Cadillac.

Through your ruined cities.

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, December 6, 2010 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE (of an avatar being… a silly rabbit just noticing Godzilla’s” foot rapidly descending?):

“Things haven’t really gotten bad enough to foment the rise of a demagogue.”
_____________

The corporate state doesn’t need a singular demagogue to protect and preserve its militarized financial dictatorship.

That protection is much better provided by the great mass of Dems agog with whatever (D)s are next false advertised to be surely bringing change we need… that Dems will never ever deliver under any circumstances.

The loyal liberal collaborators never disappoint the corporate state. They always pretend they were just fooled again.

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By TAO Walker, December 6, 2010 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment

What if all this awful stuff is symptomatic of sickness, instead of being the “wages” of “sin”?  If that is the case, how likely is it the CONdition will yield to the methods of politics, even those driven by the motives of religion? 

“Civilization” presents here as a disease.  Essential to its process is the co-opting and subversion of a component in Earth’s immune system.  That component, as it happens, is “the Human element.”

Our Mother Earth has AIDS.  Her immune system is deficient in that aspect of its organic function that needs to be provided by Humanity, much of which not only fails in its function, but actively attacks the rest of Her Living Arrangement.  Our domesticated Sisters and Brothers are, just like all our Relatives who’ve been subjected by people to this degrading and degenerative regime, CONgenitally and CONstantly ill.

There remains, though, despite the seeming “CONquest” of Life here by the invasive retro-viral form whose physical manifestation is the complex of symptoms called “civilization,” sufficient of Humanity’s organic function to resist for now the otherwise inevitably terminal phase of its process.  We’ll just naturally go on doing what we are, as best we can, as long as possible.

Us surviving free wild Human Beings certainly will welcome as much of the domesticated people as can see The Way clear of their CONdition, and back into the organic integrity of our natural form and function.

HokaHey!

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By curmudgeon99, December 6, 2010 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment

My father, rest his soul, many long years ago firmly believed that the US was ready willing and able to join the Axis in WWII. Read up on the German-American Bund and how strong it was as well as who the members were.

It’s not a secret that the Wehrmacht drove Ford trucks and the 3rd Reich used IBM IT.

People who approached Smedley Butler to conduct a coup against FDR were later supporters of the Bund. Many felt betrayed when FDR joined on the side of the allies and voiced that disapproval at the time.

And don’t forget that the Bush/Walker bankers had to be threatened with punishment before they gave up their banking relationship to the 3rd Reich.

Don’t forget all those ‘good’ Nazis we welcomed after the war for their expertise.

Has it happened here?

In the wise words of that sage of the right - “You Betcha”.

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By gerard, December 6, 2010 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment

from Heather Broooke, London Guardian, today:
“WikiLeaks: The revolution has begun and it will be digitalized.”
  “We are at a pivotal moment where the visionaries at the vanguard of a global digital age are clashing with those who are desperate to control what we know. WikiLeaks is the guerrilla front in a global movement for greater transparency and participation. There are projects like Ushahidi that use social networking to create maps where locals can report incidents of violence that challenge the official version of events. There are activists seeking to free official data so that citizens can see, for example, government spending in detail.

Ironically, the US state department has been one of the biggest cheerleaders for technical innovation as a means of bringing democracy to places like Iran and China. President Obama has urged repressive regimes to stop censoring the internet, yet a bill before Congress would allow the attorney general to create a blacklist of websites. Is robust democracy only good when it’s not at home?

It used to be that a leader controlled citizens by controlling information. Now it’s harder than ever for the powerful to control what people read, see and hear. Technology gives people the ability to band together and challenge authority. The powerful have long spied on citizens (surveillance) as a means of control, now citizens are turning their collected eyes back upon the powerful (sousveillance).

This is a revolution, and all revolutions create fear and uncertainty. Will we move to a New Information Enlightenment or will the backlash from those who seek to maintain control no matter the cost lead us to a new totalitarianism? What happens in the next five years will define the future of democracy for the next century, so it would be well if our leaders responded to the current challenge with an eye on the future.”

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By radson, December 6, 2010 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

moonraven

‘The intellectual answered that the Warsaw Uprising was an aberration, and explained that at one of the Nuremberg rallies Hitler had promised that by the end of the nazi process of “purification” of Aryan territory, that there would only be enough jews left to ride through the streets of Berlin in one limousine.’

You are referring to the ‘Warsaw Ghetto Uprising ‘and
not the Warsaw uprising .There is a profound difference between the two.

cheers

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By mdgr, December 6, 2010 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

By QuantumBubbler, December 6 at 1:10 pm:

>True evil, as Goethe understood, is not always palpable. It is “to render invisible another human consciousness.”

>As in to render invisible the Tea Party?

>Et tu Chris Hedges?

>I’m surprised Chris can even hit the nail on the head as he has this isolated column. Way to go, now get back to your job with the ‘intelligentsia’... bash the uneducated commoners


Not sure it is this writer (Quantum Bubblegum) is saying.

Goethe’s quote was dead-on, as was Hedges’ article. Thank you for the article, Chris. It took my breath away.

Bubblegum’s viewpoint, however, appears excessively convoluted.

Or else they are a supercilious sophomore in college, perhaps a Polysci major, someone yet to discover who the fu*k s/he is.

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By Blackspeare, December 6, 2010 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

The USA is not quite there yet, but well on it’s way.  Things haven’t really gotten bad enough to foment the rise of a demagogue.  10% unemployment is only considered horrible in the USA, the rest of the world considers it normal.  When unemployment reaches 15-20% with corresponding runaway inflation then and only then will society be breached and either extreme right wing or extreme left wing will become dominate.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, December 6, 2010 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment

MoonRaven

Right there with ya.

Funny thing is there are folks now posting all sorts of inane stuff. Missing the
central point of Chris Hedges series of articles.

If you do not actively resist the current crimes and state of affairs that your
(not mine) government are doing, then you yourself are complicit.

Good Americans mirroring the good Germans under the Nazis. You as a Native
understand this more than most.

It is so much easier and safer to engage in cyber debates. Ironically proving
Chris Hedges point. I hope I can get off of work and get to DC and meet with
Chris Hedges myself.

So how many angels can dance on the head of a pin anyway? Or better yet, how
much blood can a good liberal Democrat stand on their hands before they do
something about it?

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By Ken, December 6, 2010 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Great article.  But painful to hear.  But most people need to feed their families and such and are happy at all to have any kind of a job.  Though it should not excuse use from speech or writing to help the middle and lower class.

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By tihsstaezevahc, December 6, 2010 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” is a famous statement of Karl Marx (1818-1883), written in 1875.

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”
(Matthew 25.35-40 ESV)

There is no contradiction. You can believe on the fundamental principles of these 2 quotes without being a Marxist or a Christian.

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By moonraven, December 6, 2010 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment

Michael,

Of course nobody on the rez supports those greedy, genocidal parasites!  We Indians aren’t stupid—nobody with a life expectancy of less than 50 can AFFORD to be stupid.

Glad to hear about the resurgent AIM activity in Minneapolis.  That’s where AIM got its start—advocating for the folks whose tribes had been DE-RECOGNIZED by the gringo government who had been dumped in urban areas with no services for them.  In fucking Minneapolis, for christ’s sake, where I remember seeing Minnehaha Falls frozen solid in APRIL!

Yep, I’ve been banned almost as many times from Commondreams as from the Miami herald site—both are basically right wing sites, the only difference being that CD operates as a safety valve for dissident whining—probably subsidized by the FBI or some other government goom squad.  Indians don’t last long on Commondreams, because we tend to say uncomfortable truths about genocide—and other cute gringo pasttimes.

Everybody is guilty.

Admitting it might bring the possibility of change.

But I seriously doubt it.

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By tihsstaezevahc, December 6, 2010 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

I posted this inadvertenly in another thread but its in respons to a comment made by ITW.

The way I see it is if Mr. Hedges religious background reinforces his instinctive moral compass to bring us awareness and lucidity to the debate, there is really no bearing on religion, then more power to him.

The psychological connection of religion and morality deserves to be broken. Morality, justice, equality, fairness and their associated abstract platitudes are a product of evolution and survival of the human species; religion developed because of them and alongside the human tribal instinct that gave rise to modern societies, not the other way around. In general we are moral because of evolution not because of religion. The morality that is found in the scriptures a product of human evolutionary development which religion has hijacked as its own.

So to bring the strawman of Mr. Hedges religious background is a flawed argument.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, December 6, 2010 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment

As an aside, I mean that I am far from being alone for being banned from
posting articles or commenting on hosts of “progressive” sites like Common
Dreams, Op Ed News, Huff Post, Daily KOS etc etc.. For daring to point out the
Dems naked complicity and assistance in wars, corporate healthcare, loss of
rights etc etc etc.

I could be wrong but I am convinced that it was organized. Who knows how
manny have had this happen.

Thank you TruthDig for “allowing” the ideals of open discussion and exchange
of ideas. How very democratic of you all.

Not to mention very Un-Democratic Party of you.

Cheers..

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By gerard, December 6, 2010 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment

Further considerations on the problems raised by Assange’s leaks see Clay Shirkey, the opening paragraphs of which are:

      “Wikileaks and the Long Haul”

  “Like a lot of people, I am conflicted about Wikileaks.
  “Citizens of a functioning democracy must be able to know what the state is saying and doing in our name, to engage in what Pierre Rosanvallon calls “counter-democracy”*, the democracy of citizens distrusting rather than legitimizing the actions of the state. Wikileaks plainly improves those abilities.
  “On the other hand, human systems can’t stand pure transparency. For negotiation to work, people’s stated positions have to change, but change is seen, almost universally, as weakness. People trying to come to consensus must be able to privately voice opinions they would publicly abjure, and may later abandon. Wikileaks plainly damages those abilities. (If Aaron Bady’s analysis is correct, it is the damage and not the oversight that Wikileaks is designed to create.*)
  “And so we have a tension between two requirements for democratic statecraft, one that can’t be resolved, but can be brought to an acceptable equilibrium. Indeed, like the virtues of equality vs. liberty, or popular will vs. fundamental rights, it has to be brought into such an equilibrium for democratic statecraft not to be wrecked either by too much secrecy or too much transparency.”  etc. etc. 
—from “Wikileaks and the Long Haul” by Clay Shirkey,The Times’ Paywall and Newsletter Economics.

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By gerard, December 6, 2010 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment

Further considerations on the problems raised by Assange’s leaks see Clay Shirkey, the opening paragraphs of which are:

      “Wikileaks and the Long Haul”

  “Like a lot of people, I am conflicted about Wikileaks.
  “Citizens of a functioning democracy must be able to know what the state is saying and doing in our name, to engage in what Pierre Rosanvallon calls “counter-democracy”*, the democracy of citizens distrusting rather than legitimizing the actions of the state. Wikileaks plainly improves those abilities.
  “On the other hand, human systems can’t stand pure transparency. For negotiation to work, people’s stated positions have to change, but change is seen, almost universally, as weakness. People trying to come to consensus must be able to privately voice opinions they would publicly abjure, and may later abandon. Wikileaks plainly damages those abilities. (If Aaron Bady’s analysis is correct, it is the damage and not the oversight that Wikileaks is designed to create.*)
  “And so we have a tension between two requirements for democratic statecraft, one that can’t be resolved, but can be brought to an acceptable equilibrium. Indeed, like the virtues of equality vs. liberty, or popular will vs. fundamental rights, it has to be brought into such an equilibrium for democratic statecraft not to be wrecked either by too much secrecy or too much transparency.”  etc. etc. 
—from “Wikileaks and the Long Haul” by Clay Shirkey,The Times’ Paywall and Newsletter Economics.

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By TK, December 6, 2010 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is the closest Chris has come to hitting the nail squarely on the head.  The missing piece of the puzzle is the misery facing an unprecendented number of immigrants living in the country, their survival and participation in a cruel system that will never recognize them and the un or intended negative consequeces that grip us all and allow the wealthy to become not rich but poor. To the victor go the spoils.

The ease in which the immigrant and poor in general are cowed and swept under the carpet, then exploited for political, personal and economic gain is the mordern day eqivalent “The Tale Of Two Cities”. 

If Chris came to LA, San Bernardino, Riverside, San Diego and Orange Counties he would see a different kind of Newark NJ one with a happy face painted on it and sunshine and realize that the success of the few is the failure of all and the problems identified in other parts of the world are diverted to US a castastrophe on which scale the US has never known and is soon becomming powerless to confront, yet alone resolve.

The tentacles of misery are not exclusive to the lives of the immigrant it manifests in the daily lives of us all in the form of unabated population growth and urban sprawl. As a result the greater good gives may to growth and development, divisions in culture, society at large, social ills, increased cost, inadequate and deteriorating public services, gangs, crime, language barriers, housing, unemployment and corrution (Search: Bell Calif and San Bernardino County coruption) to get some idea of the extent of the challenge) and to realize how divided and dicinegrated life in So Cal has become.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, December 6, 2010 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

MoonRaven

I noticed your post about voting for Dems and Rethugs and the ties to
Indigenous slaughter here in the US. Could not agree more.

I am a proud Irishman, my honey is Ojibwe. In Minnesota white, comfortable
“liberals” support the Dems. In the Red Lake region of Minnesota, arguably one
of the most authentic (in practice and philosophy) tribes in the Mid West, the
peopleon the Rez do not support the Dems or Rethugs.

You may just appreciate this. In Minneapolis AIM (American Indian Movement)
have just restarted AIM street patrols, after an elder was found beaten up. I
have worked with CUAPB Communities (United Against Police Brutality) doing
Cop Watch Patrols.

I am working right now to get both groups working together.

As for This place and Common Dreams. Well at least Truth Dig “allows” this
conversation to happen.

I have been banned from “progressive” liberal sites like Common Dreams, Op
Ed News and countless “progressive” blogs and list-serves. Right wingers are
allowed at these sites.


For DARING to point out the Democratic Party’s naked, open complicity in, well
name the topic. Wars, corporate healthcare, loss of rights etc etc etc.

I also know, for fact that I am far from alone. I am convinced that there is an
organized attempt to suppress and/or marginalize or discredit the real voices
of dissent in this country.

Chris Hedges has become a paragon of sorts.

I have become amazed at the empty words and rhetoric as well as unbelievable
cowardice of the so called “progressives” here in the US.

We can only hope that they wake up and organize a real opposition to the
corporate duopoly. Before it is too late.

Megwetch, my friend
In Irish
Go Raibh Maith Agat, Mo Chara

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By G.Anderson, December 6, 2010 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment

The Rich are innoscent because they are rich, the poor are guilty because they are poor. The middle class, is merely on parole.

The middle class is hoping to escapte to the elite, but when that hope is crushed, then, that’s when revolution begins.

Not being strung out on the poisons that the corporations produce is a revolutionary act. The psychopharmecuticals, the drugs created for disease caused by the poisons we eat, the fast food, the street drugs, the pornography, the violent movies that jerk off our anger.

The media products they produce, that keep on spinning the endless self absorption of a culture of narcisssm.

Someday American’s will escape the laws that have made them slaves. It is those same laws that have made the elite royalty. That is the function of our elected officials, but soon there will be a reckoning for them.

The corporations, cannot sustain themselves and at the same time destroy the infrastructure that supports them.

It is over for them. Why? Because a few years ago, most people reading this blog by Mr. Hedges would have been outraged at him. Now they agree, and not only that they are looking for ways to act.

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By gerard, December 6, 2010 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment

Possibility?  For the first time in human history, a worldwide system of profound influences has worked its way without moral guidance to the place where it is so top-heavy that it is likely to fall of its own fragility, creating a profound worldwide disaster.

People sense this, some understanding, others feeling. They recognize this new danger, fearful in its enormity. They also sense that there are no “patterns” for action that seem adequate to whatever tasks are required—except (possibly) electronic intercommunication.

Enter Assange:  “To radically shift regime behavior we must think clearly and boldly for if we have learned anything, it is that regimes do not want to be changed.  We must think beyond those who have gone before us, and discover technological changes that embolden us with ways to act in which our forebears could not.  Firstly, we must understand what aspect of government or neocorporatist behavior we wish to change or remove. Secondly we must develop a way of thinking about this behavior that is strong enough to carry us through the mire of politically distorted language, and into a position of clarity. Finally, we must use these insights to inspire within us and others a course of ennobling, and effective action.”

This is the opening paragraph of Assange’s essay (“State and Terrorist Conspiracies”) explaining what he had in mind when releasing the recent “leaks.” It sets forth a tall order, envisioning creative new ways of thinking and acting.  He may have opened some doors a crack, and others will need to step forward to widen the entry to a more possible future for humanity.

Predictably, the “system” is over-reacting and stimulating attempts to “kill the messenger” rather than to heed the message, which would require significant changes. The first thing required of all of us is, of course, moral courage.  The second—equally important—is to consider the “message” here and determine whether it is viable, and if so, specifically how can it best be implemented. (An additional complication may be that most people are far from understanding what the “technological changes” have made—are making—possible.)

Unfortunately, Assange’s full message is, so far as I know, not available for study.  He is not being permitted to speak for himself, apparently. Excerpts of the full essay appear in a critique appearing on ZunguZungu.com—if it is still there, as it was yesterday.

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By JDmysticDJ, December 6, 2010 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

By Anarcissie, December 6 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment

Your possible incident from history is informative, or an example of disinformation, but it totally lacks any relevance. No one here is advocating the liquidation of the innocent who are guilty, but pointing out that the guilty can not be innocent, and that the guilty are not innocent. Clearly enlightenment is the goal, not liquidation. In my opinion your convoluted obfuscation only serves to prolong the greater liquidation, and I suspect that your meaningless post is a result of an inclination to be contradictory , or perhaps your ego has been bruised in some way, and you’re attempting to compensate… in some way.

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By ocjim, December 6, 2010 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

In historical societies with a long period of prosperity, change that debilitates the average citizen is so slow that citizens gradually accept it, each blow to their well-being a mild buffeting until their generation passes on deteriorated conditions, a starting point for a next generation not experiencing the superior conditions their progenitors started with.

This process began for us about Reagan’s time with redistribution of wealth from poor to the rich. Deregulation ended with the taxpayer bailout of S&Ls;. The Bush II regime finished building the gallows for the hanging of democracy, a sort of infrastructure we won’t recover from.

With these gallows it became easier for proto-fascist forces to control money and wealth, spreading fear and intimidation by taking away good jobs and any semblance of a safety net. We will be in recession for many years, with the rich continuing to take from the poor.

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By ashqar, December 6, 2010 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Inherit The Wind,

I’m interested to know what you mean by the phrase “fundamentalist medieval Christian roots” — because I think you’ve coined a three word oxymoron with this incohetent string of buzzwords. 

I was also mystified by your stream of Christianesque jargon you use to describe what you say is merely Chris Hedge’s perennial resort when writing things that apparently confuse and disturb you.

There’s nothing about original sin or Hell or “the travesty of travesties to enslave men and women” or anything else you cite in your grandiose bit of pipsqueakery.  Nor does he blame the victim, or pronounce you “guilty” for being victimized; he does the opposite.

What he writes is uncomfortable, I’ll grant you that.  And the challenge he presents to us is daunting to say the least.  But he’s not bullshitting you, so I think you should return the favor and not bullshit us and definitely not yourself.

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By de profundis clamavi, December 6, 2010 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment

Chris Hedges is the modern day moral and philosophical descendant of Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Jesus. Join Chris in Washington at the demonstration against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, to be held in Lafayette Park on December 16th.

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By Sabagio, December 6, 2010 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

I was at the fall of the Berlin Wall. Remember that day?  East Germans and Czechs, abandoning their junk cars, crossing the border into the West and singing “We Shall Overcome?” To this day, I don’t think anyone knows for sure why and how that happened.  Spontaneous societal combustion?  I saw a PBS documentary where Russian leaders blamed the Beatles for causing the collapse of the Soviet system.  It is a message our political and corporate leaders don’t seem to get.  It CAN happen here.  Marie Antoinette got the message but not in time to save her head.  Maybe they can learn something from the Nigerian government.  It formed an anti-corruption agency, and according to the BBC, is about to charge former US Vice-President Dick Cheney over a bribery scandal that involves a former subsidiary of energy firm Halliburton.  Improbabilities have a habit of coming true.  Maybe, some day….

Sabagio Mauraeo

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By moonraven, December 6, 2010 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

Michael Cavlan:

This site, as well as Commondreams, is infested with those windbags.

Reading those folks is like watching scabs form on a kneecap.

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By moonraven, December 6, 2010 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

To be innocent in America is voting allegiance to the system that created itself on the corpses of indigenous people and which actively maintains a process of genocide, both physical and cultural, against those same indigenous people.

Reservation, bantustans:  APARTHEID.

If narcissist can post apocryphal Stalin stories, I may as well post an even more pointed apocryphal Hitler story:

After surviving jews were liberated from concentration camps in Poland, a journalist interviewed a well-known intellectual regarding why the jews made so little effort to resist the program of genocide against them.

The intellectual answered that the Warsaw Uprising was an aberration, and explained that at one of the Nuremberg rallies Hitler had promised that by the end of the nazi process of “purification” of Aryan territory, that there would only be enough jews left to ride through the streets of Berlin in one limousine.

“You see”, said the intellectual, “nobody resisted because every one of us was certain that HE would be one of the ones in the limousine!”

Cowardive has millions of reasons and excuses for its existence.  Not one of them will save anybody.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, December 6, 2010 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

David Cyr

I am with you Brother.

Dear God. Can we add to the list of guilty those “progressives” who blog and
debate endlessly on the “progressive” version of how many angels dance on the
head of a pin? Which long dead revolutionary leader and philosophy is correct.

So much easier and safer than organizing an actual opposition to the madness.

This is a maddening experience, to say the least.

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By QuantumBubbler, December 6, 2010 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

Stanman, conscious sentient life forms seek and encourage ORDER (so no go on your proposal)

Anarcissie: What an Ayn Rand link! http://fare.tunes.org/liberty/library/taifc.html
Chris Hedges should be honored this has resurfaced pursuant to a column he authored. Thank you for sharing! You should probably fb it… know what I mean?

Only in a quantum world could one be guilty for something they didn’t do! But it is a quantum world at root…

I can’t wait for Chris’s column next week to see what vine he seizes and what undergrowth he slashes open to expose the startled natives. smile

MrFreeze, I think that Balkas got it right in his comment…

For my own quantum-metaphysical point of view I use this axiomatic observation: God created Man and the rest is history. Subsequent claims declaring a greater value of ‘sums of men’ will prove erroneous.

The signal to noise ratio between a man and his inner being is (or can be) 0%... between two people…25% would be damn good! Oh, excuse me, I was epistemically [sic]co-relating…

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By Susan McLoughlin, December 6, 2010 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment

I completely agree with Chris Hedges evaluation of the passivity of the average citizen but overcoming the inertia of a long held trust in the system and hope for positive change is almost impossible. One would think that by now there would be wholesale rioting in the streets. Why isn’t it happening? What does it take to make fathers and mothers angry enough to turn on their government and the corporate elite? Figure that out and there is hope for change. Or perhaps it is just a matter of time!

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By prosefights, December 6, 2010 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

Liberal arts educated bureaucrats are a problem.

Tuesday November 22, 2010 15:51

http://www.prosefights.org/nmlegal/prccrd/prccrd.htm#rivera3

Michael A Rivera
Chief of Staff
New Mexico Public Regulations Commission
1120 Paseo de Peralta Room 333
Santa Fe, NM 87504
505-827-4433

Hello Mr Rivera,

Opinion determination by Ms Patricia Torres in her November 16, 2010 response letter, a opposed to determination based on facts supported by citations to regulations, rules and laws, appears to void her response on behalf of the PRC CONSUMER RELATIONS DIVISION.

Ms Torres writes opinion,

As we understand, NCUSIF is an extension of the National Credit Union Administration that was established by Congress to protect insured members’ share (savings) accounts at federally insured credit unions. The share/savings insurance fund is similar to the deposit insurance protection offered by other financial institutions for protecting member shares when financial institutions face financial difficulties or failure. Therefore, this type of insurance protection does not fall within our authority.
but fails to cite regulations, rules and laws.

Ms Torres writes,

Please note that we regulate insurance companies licensed to do business in New Mexico. As NCUSIF is not a licensed insurance company in New Mexico, we have no jurisdiction over this matter.
Our assertion that NCUSIF is charged to cover loss of our insured stolen $22,036.00 is fact supported by NCUA publication.

[see link for more details of our, so far, 18 year old battle.]

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By StanMan, December 6, 2010 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

I am saddened by this very truthful evaluation of where this country and its countrymen find themselves today.  “Innocence”, empathy, compassion, and courage have gone out with the Dow’s rise.  That’s what America is today - profits before people.

I believe every one of us should STOP PAYING TAXES to the IRS.  Maybe that form of civil disobedience would be one that the hypocrites in this corrupt US government would understand.

Chris, your voice is loud and influential.  Is there a chance avoiding taxes could gain muster?  I know there are tax resistance groups…but people are afraid to act on their own.  A nation-wide call for this that the public knows about would really stir things up.  It’s either fight them with guns or fight them by not paying taxes.  I have never felt so empty about this country as now.  Tax cuts for the rich, and cuts in Social Security, Medicare, education, health to pay for this!  What a disgusting mess this country and its leaders have created for us all.

It is time for the REAL REVOLUTION!  And instead of just writing these words, I am ready to act.  Let’s all join forces to overcome the US Government, which is the true enemy of the people.

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By radson, December 6, 2010 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment

blueworld

A very interesting point of view ,that does touch on the theme of innocence and its grass-roots meaning .

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By David J. Cyr, December 6, 2010 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE (Chris Hedges):

“The mass of those who serve systems of terrible oppression and state crime are not evil. They are weak.”
_____________

There’s plenty ample evidence of that weak mass here, within the Truthdig forum.

The cowering avatar fiction creatures way outnumber the natural persons standing, by a percentage comparable to that in which American election votes in support of the corporate state regularly outnumber votes in favor of creating a government of, by and for natural persons.

Liberals haven’t any courage, because they have no convictions that require it.

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By Peter Benway, December 6, 2010 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just an editorial remark - the sentence “To be innocent in America is to acquiesce to the relentless corporate destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species.” is ambiguous. An improvement might be: “To be innocent in America is to acquiesce to the relentless corporate destruction of life”.

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By Anarcissie, December 6, 2010 at 11:50 am Link to this comment

Here’s Ayn Rand in much the same mode:

http://fare.tunes.org/liberty/library/taifc.html

Speaking of Stalin, here’s a Stalin story which I have been unable to verify, although one ex-citizen of the Soviet Union told me it definitely sounded like him:

Stalin gave his secret police minister Beria a list of people who were to be arrested and liquidated immediately.

‘But, Comrade Stalin, these people are completely innocent,’ protested Beria.

‘It is precisely the innocent who are the most guilty,’ replied Stalin.

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By Philip Toal, December 6, 2010 at 11:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

PSmith

Compelled to extend the German case to the European one, Germans today are in
danger of being excluded as having a brutal history of complacency, the German
airwaves provide comfort to the populace in regurgitating the “we didn`t know of
the bad apples in our midst.“
Comforting indeed, to a populace complacent in what is happening in Afganistan
today, in their name.
I also agree with Chris, complacency is a terrible virtue.
The U.S , Greece, Ireland, Portugal etc. is re-defining the word.
May I mention another one, - Neutrality. As in Switzerland, neutral to all/no-one.

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By drbhelthi, December 6, 2010 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

“Certainly I understand some points & the gist of
your message, but I think you unfairly demean the
greatest majority of Americans.” (Blueworld)

As far as “The greatest majority of Americans”
is concerned, they are being demeaned
by the NAZI-types who proposed and passed
the Patriot Act.

Its imp-representatives such as TSA personnel,
who violate state and federal law
by feeling up the titties and cunts
of beautiful women and the penises
of men, and confuse children with their pre-seductive
handlings, are similar to the demeaning of the German
citizenry just before the NAZI furnaces were fired
up.

Its time for you to turn on your brain, “Blueworld.”

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By M L, December 6, 2010 at 11:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything. There are those of us who would rather die on our feet than live on our knees.

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By David J. Cyr, December 6, 2010 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

QUOTE (of a blue world view confused liberal avatar being, which scolded the natural person Hedges, for making an avatar perceived unfair comparison):

“comparing our situation now to Nazi Germany - that’s way out of line”
_____________

What’s “out of line” with morality is the (convenient for liberals) belief that the crude unsophisticated German fascists, who quickly failed, were far worse than the highly evolved American fascists, who continue to succeed today… after centuries of success.

American liberals have created the world’s most sustainable fascism.

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By kerryrose, December 6, 2010 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

To Blueworld

You misunderstand Hedges characterization of ‘weak.’  He uses ‘weak’ in place of ‘evil’ in discussing those who commit murder and atrocities at the hand of the state.  He does not mean the work-a-day job.

If someone shoved you in a gas chamber, would you be as kind to label them ‘weak’ rather than evil?  They are, afterall, just putting food on the table.  Right?

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By drbhelthi, December 6, 2010 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

“Particularly by comparing our situation now to Nazi Germany - that’s way out of line. Clean air is not the same thing as ending the incineration of humans in those horrible ovens.”

Perhaps out of line for those who choose to not view the larger picture. The incinerator on former Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, for example.  That is not used - - .  Yet.

Comparing clean air with NAZI incinerators not only misses the bullseye, it misses the entire target, and qualifies for “maggies drawers.”

All the Allied soldiers who were killed, freeing the German folk and Europe of Hitlerism, means little to persons who can think only in terms of NAZI incinerators.

However, delineating WWII to NAZI incinerators does cover a small corner of the larger picture.
Perhaps - - .

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By blueworld, December 6, 2010 at 11:01 am Link to this comment

If I didn’t know better I would swear you were a very young activist to whom the world is always black & white.  Many of the points you made are, as usual, excellent, but many are also quite overboard I think. 

How is it that you see people who have been virtually enslaved by this system, working to feed their families etc. as “weak”?  Rather, considering what they’re able to accomplish I would say “courageous”. 

You consider it weak that people generally don’t sit & starve graciously in order to attain ideal legislation?  It’s weak to be unable to bear watching your children do without so much?  Food?  Health care?  I’m sure you’re familiar with Maslow’s Pyramid. 

Certainly I understand some points & the gist of your message, but I think you unfairly demean the greatest majority of Americans.  Particularly by comparing our situation now to Nazi Germany - that’s way out of line. Clean air is not the same thing as ending the incineration of humans in those horrible ovens.

Inspiration doesn’t come from frothy rhetoric a la Cotton Mather.  Your civil disobedience inspires.  I would prefer that you save the venom for the nobles & inspire leaders to help guide the necessary large-scale civil disobedience. 

We elected leaders because we didn’t have the time or money or qualifications to do the jobs ourselves.  Now it’s our fault because we still don’t?  Help create some leaders & stop condemning unfairly.  Not everyone who’s outside the jail is a collaborator.

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By elisalouisa, December 6, 2010 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

Right on PSmith. Our topsy-turvy world is doing away with the word evil, thus absolving those who commit heinous acts against life. Evil, by whatever name exists and its perpetuity is virtually assured.  Jung in his writings made this clear, which is but one reason his work is not widespread. 
As to our problems today and unchecked corporate power, many do not really know what is going on. The capitalist system has been good to much of the middle class and even working class for so long they truly do not see that it has taken a wrong turn. It’s as if they are in a hypnotic state. They cannot fight an enemy they do not see. That is the genius of this dark force. Few see the destructive nature that it beholds, which is disguised as “good” when it comes upon them. Many who do not fight the evil perpetuated do not even see the crimes committed. For me the jury is still out as to whether such people are innocent or guilty. Some feel it is pointless to fight the threatening tide that engulfs them. Small acts of resistance are in vain, having been so convinced by the powers-that-be.
Then there are those who have removed the hypnotic veil, such as Mr. Hedges, chaining themselves to that fence, consciously
protesting against injustice, knowing that is the light that has
saved the world through the ages.

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By JDmysticDJ, December 6, 2010 at 10:36 am Link to this comment

PSmith

Thank you for the volume of work and references. Anyone who is unaware, should find your posts instructive, hopefully an epiphany will result. According to one school of thought, “Ignorance is bliss,” and the ignorant are blessed by their lack of knowledge and responsibility, while another school of thought declares that ignorance is sin, when it is the result of spiritual or humanitarian apathy. Perhaps the greatest sin is having knowledge, but failing to act.

Those hoping for a restoration of innocence sometime in the future, after the fact, via divine grace, are deluding themselves. The time for preserving the last shreds of innocence is now. Relying on the absolution of divine grace, resulting from some future repentance, was the rationale of the “Good Germans.” This hope for divine grace did not prevent the suffering of the people of the world. The “Good Germans,” did not escape the suffering, preserve innocence, or restore lost innocence, it was a lesson in learning; the cost of this lesson is beyond our ability to actually comprehend. No amount of Jungian therapy can restore the innocence, delete the suffering of those who suffered, or resurrect the dead.

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By mrfreeze, December 6, 2010 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

Quantumbubbler - What a great question. I believe Hedges is getting at something fundamentally wrong with human nature that is perhaps “enhanced” or made legitimate by the virulent capitalism and materialism of corporations/businesses. I agree with you that a lot of good has come from enterprises; unfortunately, there’s something in the DNA of the corporate “way” that has reduced being a citizen into being “a consumer.” This has made it far easier for each of us to look at each other as nothing but functionaries and peons.

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By David J. Cyr, December 6, 2010 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

QUOTE (Chris Hedges):

“The reconfiguration of American society into a corporate oligarchy is conditioning tens of millions not only to passively accept state and corporate crimes, but to actively participate in the mechanisms that ensure their own enslavement.”
____________

In his writing that, Hedges himself illustrates why possibly well intentioned “progressive” liberals are the greater part of the Problem. They’re always worrying that fascism is coming… denying the objective reality that it’s been here all along, ever evolving from 1492 to present day. That “reconfiguration of American society” Hedges warns of is not just beginning to occur now, during the present day resource wars that have been electorate supported by 99% popular mandates. It was the Civil War (1861 - 1865) that reconfigured the United States into a corporate state (a natural transition for a nation designed by founding individuals who were, in their time, the equivalent of what global corporations are today).

Whether cast in the 10’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 00’s, or teens, every vote — every vote — for any Republican or Democrat has always been a vote in support of the corporate fascist party in America.

Not only all the “normal” Americans today, but also all the “normal” Americans for many generations before the less successful fascists (the Nazis) ever existed, have already been conditioned from birth to not just “passively accept state and corporate crimes” but to actively participate in them, as free-willing accomplices. That’s not just in development now!

Fascist states allow elections when the majority can be relied upon to always vote for fascists… as 129,391,711 Americans so “historically” eagerly did together in 2008.

Every time a natural person votes for a corporate party candidate they hang themselves with the same rope they’ve hung billions of people all over the planet with.

There are no “good” Democrats in any good sense of that word.

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By Jodi Hendrickson, December 6, 2010 at 10:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well said, Chris!

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By balkas, December 6, 2010 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

we humans weren’t like this until a point of time.  we became avaricious,
murderous, hateful, envious, etc., since first priestly rule.  it had been priests
who began a dehumanizing experiment on us; in order to establish a
permament disorder.

i think that it is important to distinguish between what we are and what we become
after, say, age say of 7.
at that time or earlier children begin to be conditioned just like pavlov
conditioned his dog.
hopefully, pavlov, had unconditioned the dog after the experiment.

pavlov’s discovery represented one of the most valuable discoveries. however,
supremacists avoided to teach people importance of conditioning.

and nearly all teachers, priests, nobles use this experiment on other humans.
condtionong children can be done verbally and nonverbally.

one one get’s proud or teary at a mere flag, conditioning has taken place. this
occludes looking at what the flag represents.
it is a mere symbol and as such it stands for many events.  one shld be taught
to react to an event and not a symbol.
but, then, how wld supremacists obtain meat for war or hands for menial work
in a plant owned by an unknown person? more cld be said

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By QuantumBubbler, December 6, 2010 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

Most corporations and also private companies are involved in good works.

It would be helpful if Chris Hedges would name names… ticker symbols perhaps…
Nothing like precision, or is Chris just adding general combustible theories to the flame of his supposed shared revolutionary visions?

I repeat, “Most corporations (93% to 99.4%?) and also private companies are involved in good works.”

I would really appreciate knowing which ones Chris is concerned about.

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By Frank Swift, December 6, 2010 at 9:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The sad, gloomy picture that Chris describes is real.
Most people who are desperate to survive, are so consumed with their plight that they spend little time if any, in finding out the true cause of their problem in order to fight it…or feel so helpless and hopeless that they will accept “solutions” from those who created the problem.  But there are some exceptions among them and along with those who haven’t been affected as badly yet, can join in refusing the insanity.

It is clear throughout our history, that politicians can’t be relied on to solve such problems. It was the power of the people who were frustrated by injustices who joined together in making changes. Is that too much to expect, today? Is it “too late” to demand justice and sanity?  Only if we think so.  Let’s not make ourselves powerless with such thinking. Let’s not wait for the greedy, heartless, among us destroy themselves and take us along with them.  Let’s communicate and form a huge coalition for demanding change. There are many NGO groups working against war and other problems, who have large memberships. We can contact them for help in a unified effort.

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By omygodnotagain, December 6, 2010 at 8:26 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges has written about a theme very close to my heart, the nature of evil. Evil happens not necause there are bad people, but Evil happens because good people do and say nothing. If one wants to get an idea of the type of person who oversaw the millions killed by Stalin and Hitler in the concentration camps and gulags, just walk into any corporation and look at middle management. They were just doing their job, feeding their families obeying the law.

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By Inherit The Wind, December 6, 2010 at 8:23 am Link to this comment

Nothing new or edgy here. 

It’s merely Hedges going back to his fundamentalist medieval Christian roots that teach we are all born in sin, inherently evil, and condemned to burn in Hell for all eternity, simply for the crime of being born.  “Original Sin”—the travesty of travesties to enslave men and women.

Unless, of course, we embrace The Savior, which Hedges has merely transferred from Jesus to political action.

I’m sorry, Chris, but I don’t buy that I’m “guilty” for being gamed by crooks.  It’s back to the old “blame the victim” thinking.

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By QuantumBubbler, December 6, 2010 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

True evil, as Goethe understood, is not always palpable. It is “to render invisible another human consciousness.”

As in to render invisible the Tea Party?

Et tu Chris Hedges?

I’m surprised Chris can even hit the nail on the head as he has this isolated column. Way to go, now get back to your job with the ‘intelligentsia’... bash the uneducated commoners!

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By thebeerdoctor, December 6, 2010 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

How strange to read this gloomy but accurate diatribe on St. Nicholas Feast Day.

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By kerryrose, December 6, 2010 at 7:11 am Link to this comment

Hedges is right.  Innocence is purity of deed, but we define it as ignorance.  For instance, Assange is an innocent because he does not accept the corruption and lies of the state and seeks truth.  Those that wave the flag and call themselves ‘patriots’ and consider criticism of the state to ‘unpatriotic’ are just ignorant.

If I read the comments in my local paper concerning any union issue, the vitrol and hatred is shocking.  Regular working folk absolutely hate and despise the unions and name-call anyone who is a union member.  As far as I am concerned this conversion is the corporate states success.

The new movie ‘Waiting for Superman’ vilifies teachers unions, and now, reading local comments, everyone hates teachers and teachers unions.

How in the world are regular people turning against others who make a decent wage and have some job security?  Why don’t they just demand the same for themselves?

This is the hardest thing to understand.  How working people have been trained to look out for the interests of the corporate class.

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By wardad, December 6, 2010 at 7:03 am Link to this comment

Powerful stuff Chris.  It’s a difficult matter, isn’t it?  It’s so easy to reduce to a black and white bottom line (to use the corporate phrase.)  But then, people got to eat.  They have that mortgage.  They have them kids.

It is easy to take that stand when you have the security; when you know that your arrest will not take food out of your children’s mouth; when you know your next pay check is just another column away.  With all due respect, of course.

I know.  I know.  “Imagine if we all started demanding!”

That would be amazing.  But how can we, “normal” people, people that live within the constraints, resist in quieter, simpler ways?  Can we buy less of The Man’s food?  Can we work towards becoming producers rather than being consumers?  Can we live simpler, less materialistic lives?  Can we raise consciousness in the small spaces that The Overlords make available to us?  Can those of us that are strong but find ourselves shackled behind illusionary “gold bars” as well as the very real, human needs of survival, shake off the
distractions and resist, rebel, and remake in ways that make the corporate state as IRRELEVANT as is possible within our own lives and those of our families?

I know this sounds like capitulation.  How can you go along to get along and not be guilty?  I get it.  But for most people of consciousness, calls for DIRECT ACTION, decrees of culpability, and demands of absolute refusal to compromise
given the circumstance individuals find themselves in, and the dominate memetic culture that rejects collective action and denies the public good; given these constraints, these calls ring hallow.  In the end, the greatest impact most
people can have is through a transformation of how they live and through the choices they make.  In so doing the form counter-communities and provide the example.

In an episode of “The Simpsons” years back commenting on advertising,  Springfield was attacked by monstrous, walking billboards that were destroying the city.  Lisa identified the secret, “Stop looking at them.”  It can be the same
here.  While we do not want to ignore the crimes of the corporate state, we want to make the corporate state irrelevant by living our lives in such manner that
their power over us is diminished.  It’s a slower process than reenacting 1831, 1848, or 1871.  This is not 1968 and we are not Parisian students.  But a resistance of rejection is a road to empowerment.  The revolution you seek Chris,
will be in how we live our lives, in what we accept as relevant, and in what we can capture of our own security, independent of the world the Corporate State makes for us.

The twentieth century is over.  The diamond shaped class structure that existed here in the United States and Western Civilization, made possible by both collective arrangements at home and let us not forget, colonization and imperialism abroad, is over.  The “New Normal” is the historical, “Old Normal.”  Democracy has been thwarted and the “Herculean Forces” of dominion and greed, “The Beast” of Revelations if you will, has once again surfaced and gained
it’s ground.  Mammon is his god and his “mark” is as you say.  It is the willingness to embrace the hangman’s noose and draw back on the lever to the trap door; to kick the chair out from under your fellow man.

But the resistance will exist and will continue in the varied forms in which it has always existed.  It can not ever be completely destroyed.  It will continue to be seen in art, in music, in poetry and prose.  It will continue in the forms of DIRECT and INDIRECT ACTION.  It will manifest itself in all of the spaces in which it sees fit to emerge. It is growing in my garden.  The revolution you seek, we seek, is the the Hydra and she is always emerging.  Therein dwells our hope.

Take heart.

Peace,
ward

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By ardee, December 6, 2010 at 7:02 am Link to this comment

Despite all the criticisms one usually finds below a Hedges article, or perhaps because of them, I rise to applaud Mr. Hedges for ,yet again, bloodying the nose of the American citizen.

It seems that there are those who do not like their noses rubbed in the complicity they share with the heinous actions of American troops and intelligence services done in our name. These people would, perhaps, be more comfortable with their complicity if no one mentioned the facts.

Of course there are also those few who post here who believe that the only solution to terrorism is to continue to murder tens of thousands of innocents to kill or capture a handful of suspected terrorists. They, in their comic book vision of foreign policy, fail abysmally to realize that these actions increase the membership of those groups and only are effective in raising the profit levels of the MIC. How sad for them, and, unfortunately, for our nation.

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By Robespierre115, December 6, 2010 at 6:36 am Link to this comment

Hedges is again a voice of wisdom in the wilderness. This is also a good pill for those “liberals” who try to make excuses for Obama and his corporate image among other things.

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