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The Greeks Get It

Posted on May 24, 2010
AP / Petros Giannakouris

Numerous riots have gripped Athens during the last year or so of unrest.

By Chris Hedges

Here’s to the Greeks. They know what to do when corporations pillage and loot their country. They know what to do when Goldman Sachs and international bankers collude with their power elite to falsify economic data and then make billions betting that the Greek economy will collapse. They know what to do when they are told their pensions, benefits and jobs have to be cut to pay corporate banks, which screwed them in the first place. Call a general strike. Riot. Shut down the city centers. Toss the bastards out. Do not be afraid of the language of class warfare—the rich versus the poor, the oligarchs versus the citizens, the capitalists versus the proletariat. The Greeks, unlike most of us, get it. 

The former right-wing government of Greece lied about the size of the country’s budget deficit. It was not 3.7 percent of gross domestic product but 13.6 percent. And it now looks like the economies of Spain, Ireland, Italy and Portugal are as bad as Greece’s, which is why the euro has lost 20 percent of its value in the last few months. The few hundred billion in bailouts for other faltering European states, like our own bailouts, have only forestalled disaster. This is why the U.S. stock exchange is in free fall and gold is rocketing upward. American banks do not have heavy exposure in Greece, but Greece, as most economists concede, is only the start. Wall Street is deeply invested in other European states, and when the unraveling begins the foundations of our own economy will rumble and crack as loudly as the collapse in Athens. The corporate overlords will demand that we too impose draconian controls and cuts or see credit evaporate. They have the money and the power to hurt us. There will be more unemployment, more personal and commercial bankruptcies, more foreclosures and more human misery. And the corporate state, despite this suffering, will continue to plunge us deeper into debt to make war. It will use fear to keep us passive. We are being consumed from the inside out. Our economy is as rotten as the economy in Greece. We too borrow billions a day to stay afloat. We too have staggering deficits, which can never be repaid. Heed the dire rhetoric of European leaders.

“The euro is in danger,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel
told lawmakers last week as she called on them to approve Germany’s portion of the bailout plan. “If we do not avert this danger, then the consequences for Europe are incalculable, and then the consequences beyond Europe are incalculable.”

Beyond Europe means us. The right-wing government of Kostas Karamanlis, which preceded the current government of George Papandreou, did what the Republicans did under George W. Bush. They looted taxpayer funds to enrich their corporate masters and bankrupt the country. They stole hundreds of millions of dollars from individual retirement and pension accounts slowly built up over years by citizens who had been honest and industrious. They used mass propaganda to make the population afraid of terrorists and surrender civil liberties, including habeas corpus. And while Bush and Karamanlis, along with the corporate criminal class they abetted, live in unparalleled luxury, ordinary working men and women are told they must endure even more pain and suffering to make amends. It is feudal rape. And there has to be a point when even the American public—which still believes the fairy tale that personal will power and positive thinking will lead to success—will realize it has been had.

We have seen these austerity measures before. Latin Americans, like the Russians, were forced by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to gut social services, end subsidies on basic goods and food, and decimate the income levels of the middle class—the foundation of democracy—in the name of fiscal responsibility. Small entrepreneurs, especially farmers, were wiped out. State industries were sold off by corrupt government officials to capitalists for a fraction of their value. Utilities and state services were privatized.


Square, Site wide
What is happening in Greece, what will happen in Spain and Portugal, what is starting to happen here in states such as California, is the work of a global, white-collar criminal class. No government, including our own, will defy them. It is up to us. Barack Obama is simply the latest face that masks the corporate state. His administration serves corporate interests, not ours. Obama, like Goldman Sachs or Citibank, does not want the public to see how the Federal Reserve Bank acts as a private account and ATM machine for Wall Street at our expense. He, too, has helped orchestrate the largest transference of wealth upward in American history. He serves our imperial wars, refuses to restore civil liberties, and has not tamed our crippling deficits. His administration gutted regulatory agencies that permitted BP to turn the Gulf of Mexico into a toxic swamp. The refusal of Obama to intervene in a meaningful way to save the gulf’s ecosystem and curtail the abuses of the natural gas and oil corporations is not an accident. He knows where power lies. BP and its employees handed more than $3.5 million to federal candidates over the past 20 years, with the largest chunk of their money going to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt, By Chris Hedges, Truthdig Columnist and Winner of the Pulitzer Prize -- Get Your Autographed Copy Today Also Available! Truthdig Exclusive DVD of Chris Hedges' Wages of Rebellion Lecture The World As It Is: 
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By elisalouisa, May 24, 2010 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

Nice to see you back archivesDave, did not read Creature from jekyll island page by page but did leaf through it, wish more people would do the same thing.
Can you forecast anything as to the Euro and as you say the new currency?

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By OscarG, May 24, 2010 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Greeks have courage !!! . They really know what to do .

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Tennessee-Socialist's avatar

By Tennessee-Socialist, May 24, 2010 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment

ofersince72: you have to apply a bit of psychology to the personality disorder of americans. This personality disorder is called “1776 Americanistic Personality Disorder” written in an article by the progressive writter Jason Miller.  Most people in USA suffer from this super-patriotism disorder, for them blind super-patriotism blinds them from the truth that USA has been an evil empire since 1776, founded by oligarchic-bankers in favor of the oligarchic-banking class. And that the USA was not really founded by men with humanist, egalitarian values.

So this Americanistic Personality Disorder is what makes people in USA support wars, bombing the hell out of countries, and fascism.

These are the main traits of Americanistic Personality Disorder:

Specific Culture Features

Americanistic Personality Disorder appears to prevail in a very high percentage of those in the upper strata of the socioeconomic order in the United States (and to persist tenaciously because these individuals have little motivation to alter their pathological behavior as they are largely immune from the consequences of their actions). While it is epidemic amongst the opulent, this characterological deficiency does not recognize socioeconomic boundaries. Various segments of the middle, working and impoverished classes comprise a notable percentage of those exhibiting this condition, including those practicing deeply conservative Christianity, many residents of reactionary states such as those in the south, Kansas, Tennessee, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming, and many members of the Republican Party.

Diagnostic Criteria for 1776.0 Americanistic Personality Disorder:

A pervasive pattern of greed, selfishness, and lack of empathy, beginning the moment he or she begins to intellectualize and presented in nearly all contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

1. lacks empathy due to an excessive degree of self-absorption
2. believes that he or she is exceptional and morally superior
3. frequently engages in exploitative behaviors
4. requires frequent acquisition of goods he or she doesn’t need
5. usually resorts to some form of overt or covert violence, coercion, or extortion to resolve conflicts
6. perceives others as obstacles to his or her success
7. disregards laws and rules except as a means to achieve his or her agenda
8. demonstrates deep hypocrisy by projecting a righteous, benevolent image while committing reprehensible acts
9. refuses to accept the consequences of his or her actions

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By Tennessee-Socialist, May 24, 2010 at 8:15 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous: I do support and advocate violence, guillotines and bloody revolution against the Monopoly-Capitalist class who think that all US citizens are scared of them. I am fucking tired of capitalism, let’s fix this problem really easy and quick Bolshevik and French Revolution style without any debates. I hate debating, debating is a waste of time and is for wussies, what we need is will power, guillotine for bankers and lots of anger and rage.

Don’t worry if the scared wussies without balls progressive-liberals, democrats and republicans label you.  Remember that people who hate violence are full of fear and lack balls and lack will power.

What USA need is men with a lot of balls

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By ofersince72, May 24, 2010 at 8:13 pm Link to this comment

Nobody seemed to mind how corporate America worked
as late as 2007-2008..

when Obama told everyoe he was going to bomb the hell
out of Afghanistan during his campaign for elections.

didn’t matter then either….

only when their presious Wall Street came tumbling down.

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By Leefeller, May 24, 2010 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment

You know this may be sort of like the Inquisition, maybe I can make some money selling pop corn. So many fanatics in one place Hedges has developed fanatics paridise!

I likie fear, I kind of thrive on it, Fear is important, without it maybe one could live a happy life but would be missing on all the drama!

Can I get my Espresso at Starbucks before you guys start the damn revolution, you know it would be nice to let someone know so they
can stock up on Tequila and granola bars too!

This seems really revolting, but what the hell one can complain about every and anything, hey! Lets call it the whining revolution, instead of teabags how about waving I phones and I pads!

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By Inherit The Wind, May 24, 2010 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment

Eugenio Costa:

Please soak your fingers in imodium.  Your digital diarrhea is becoming intolerable.

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By ofersince72, May 24, 2010 at 7:45 pm Link to this comment

Go to the OIL DRUM site,,,
check the fracking operation in Penn.

we tore up all the other countries
now our own.

4 million gallons of water per well
12 to 16 wells per site

something more to demonstrate about

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By archivesDave, May 24, 2010 at 7:31 pm Link to this comment

Ofersinse, EC, Shenonemous, P Smith, gerard, Anarcissie, MeHere: Most of Europe is about to experience the flames of Greece and the USA can’t be that far behind.

      “ordo ab chao” .... Problem,...Reaction,...Solution.
  Georg Hegel and ‘Zeitgeist’ have it pinned down.
  The Bank for International Settlement rising from
  ashes of the Third Reich is to become ‘Europe’s
  Phoenix’ tho it never really died.
And please note the collusive incestuous
relationship between the BIF, the IMF, the G-20, and the Federal Reserve:  “Meet the ol’ Boss,..Same as the new…”
I wonder what the new currency will be termed besides just a bunch of digits on a piece of plastic
(or skin).

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By TrueVirginian1, May 24, 2010 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment

And this is supposed to be a site that won some kind of a award for their
coverage? So disappointed! You have a nut case that advocates bloody revolution,
some other loon talks about neocons, fascists and “tea party” members sounding
like he has all the right answers! What are you smoking/drinking people? None of
you is offering any solutions except bitching and name calling! You have “your
President” and since it has been getting so much worse , you are running out of
options! You can’t blame Bush anymore so you try to find others: Tea Party
members, regular working people, anyone that is against big,fat, inefficient and
corrupted government! Present your “Manifesto” comrades or shut up, because
you have nothing of importance to say! Comprende?

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By Tennessee-Socialist, May 24, 2010 at 7:15 pm Link to this comment


Go to these 2 links to download audio speeches by Bob Avakian the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party and Dr. Michael Parenti digging out the ugly truths of the US Empire. And also about the real truth of US founding Fathers, US History and US Imperialism and that in 1776 USA was founded by oligarchs and bankers as an oligarchic-empire and not as a beacon of liberty, freedom and social egalitarian democracy as people are taught in schools



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By ofersince72, May 24, 2010 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment

right back to the



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By D.R. Zing, May 24, 2010 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment

I must have missed the comments about breaking up the corporations that own the news media.

Right now we’ve got companies setting policy employing journalists to report on their policies.

It is mind control. 

Break up the corporate news media.  Only one national news outlet per company, and if your company owns a national news media outlet, that is all it can own, just that one national news media outlet, nothing else. 

By and large, journalists are alright.  The companies they work for suck.  Hence journalism sucks. 

Break up the news media corporations.

Let journalists start being journalists again instead of simple parasites crawling up Tiger Wood’s ass. 

It won’t cure all the maladies Mr. Hedges mentions. But it will be a start in ripping away the idiot helmet covering so many American heads at the moment.

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By ofersince72, May 24, 2010 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

Archives Dave,

Your point was well taken yesterday, but
I am not the one that has been grazing in the grass
for the last forty years pal.

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By ofersince72, May 24, 2010 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment

I am sure Eugenio’s anger is the same as the citizens
of Bagdad, or Kabul, or Nicaragua, or Hanoi, or Saigon,
or El Salvador,  AND ON AND ON AND ON

and only now, the intellectuals wake up, because it is
effecting them….

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By Shenonymous, May 24, 2010 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

Just trying to put a rational spin on things:
Hedges says “the foundations of our own economy will rumble and
crack as loudly as the collapse in Athens.”

Instead of offering a rational argument, Hedges’ usual gloom and
doom tale of woe now seems to be instigating and fomenting public
riots using incendiary language and attempting to whip up enough
emotion that would motivate action.  Is he hoping that Greece’s
violent riots are to be emulated by an insane American public!?  But
his rhetoric does not really say precisely what action would be a
remedy.  Are Americans just to go out and cause mayhem without so
much as an organization, without so much as a coherent cause? How
exactly is the American public feeling what is going on in Greece,
Spain, Portugal, when Jack Bauer is giving he bad guys what for in the
final season episode tonight!  One is compelled to drag out Eric
Hoffer’s True Believer once again as the antidote to Hedges reactionary
journalistic style.

Feudal rape?  He calls again on the faceless American public which will
do no good as the faceless American public is really not listening. 
Calling for communism only makes them laugh derisively.  Only
Truthdiggers are subjected to his new harangue and Eugenio Costa’s
incessant postings.  Those under severe socialism in South America are
not doing any better than their capitalistic counterparts in democratic
countries.  So it is merely to fill up more journal space that Hedges
brings them into his paragraphs. 

One of the facts that was not thrown in this mess of an article is the
support China gives to the United States financially because so goes the
USA so goes China’s economy.  The billions of dollars owde by the US
to China is so inextricably linked to their economy they are permanently
coerced to make sure the US does not fail. They know it and we know
it.  It is not the end of that globalization!  M’thinks Hedges’ zenith of
gloom and doom is over the edge.  People are working to fix the
problem.  Lots of people. 

Hedges accuses that Obama refuses to intervene in a meaningful way,
but he does not really know that Obama has refused since he is not
privy to any financial negotiations that are going on, nor does he say
what that meaningful way would be!  What Hedges does, as is his usual
offering, is to conjecture on whatever it is he wishes to speak about
and he pretends to be an expert at not just a few things, which is what
a wise man would do, but he pretends to be an expert at everything.

Not having an effective mechanism of mass control ought not to be a
surprising situation to anyone conscious given that the advents of
several inventions instigated the 21st century into a speed demon
leviathan of many domains that normally would take a getting used to
period when in fact everything has been speeded up exponentially and
the world simply has not caught up.  It is like springing the 20th
century on that Yanomamo Amazonian primitive tribe found in Brazil
and expecting them to learn calculus or give them a cell phone and
expect them to make a call to Dylan Ratigan.  The It is a difficult thing
to see these dynamics when there are reactive brains such as Hedges
calling for a riot.  It is the mob mentality that Jefferson was so afraid of
and why he did not trust democracy and would trust socialism even

The 289th Ferengi Rule of Acquisition states - Remain calm, play your
cards close to your belly, and buy by buy gold gold gold.

Listen, one only needs to read one of Eugenio Costa’s posts and you’ve
read them all.  Yahoo communist mountaindoodoo.

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By Anarcissie, May 24, 2010 at 6:10 pm Link to this comment

gerard, May 24 at 9:41 pm:
’... Saving lives is not the only reason for uing non-violence to work for change.  Another equally important reason is that violence is counter-productive to the degree that it almost always makes things worse by creating hatred and a desire for revenge, which eventually leads to further violence. ...’

The problem with violence, as a deliberate strategy, is not what is does to its objects, but to its users, who are obliged to organize themselves into military groups and accept authoritarian, hierarchical control (because that is the form of social organization which is most effective at producing and directing violence).  Unless the activists in question are fascists, this is probably not what they are aiming for; but history shows that that is what they get, often in a worse form than that which provoked revolt.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment

Like Erik Prnce gives a good crap about the mercenaries he hires?

He doesn’t even give them life insurance—their family members get their life insurance benefits when they are offed from the Federal government—that is, your tax money.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment

Germany will be burning soon as well.

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By MeHere, May 24, 2010 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment

C. Hedges is not advocating violence.  He’s expressing outrage.

One lesson to learn from the reaction to the crisis in Greece is that, while
things were “good” with money circulating and consumer goods easily
available, nobody listened to those who pointed to the faults existing below the
surface. This was similar to the conditions prevailing in Argentina prior to the
worst recession that country had ever experienced. They voted twice for a
government that ended pushing them over the cliff. The leadership had
followed Chicago School economics and IMF recommendations.
Disadvantageous contracts were granted to foreign companies to buy basic
services. It was a fictitious economy based on borrowing and corruption. Social
services deteriorated while consumer goods were flying off the shelves. The
national currency was artificially pegged to the dollar 1-to-1. Eventually, there
was a run on the banks and the government froze all bank accounts. When the
currency was reverted to its real value, many lost their savings. Everything that
could go wrong, went wrong. All along there were expert and reasonable voices
sounding the alarm but it was only after the economy was in shambles that
most people got angry.

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By ofersince72, May 24, 2010 at 5:46 pm Link to this comment

This debate is at least twenty-five years too late.!!

this debate is being carried on by a bunch of well read
individuals that just woke up politicaly during the
Bush administration.

This debate is being waged by those that were throwing
yellow ribbons around trees during Desert Storm.
and shut their eyes in the ninties because the thievery
was working for them.

Smitten in the new century.

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By gerard, May 24, 2010 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

Just to repeat for the hellof it—since nobody picked up on it with a counter comment(and this time without the typos!) 
  Saving lives is not the only reason for uing non-violence to work for change.  Another equally important reason is that violence is counter-productive to the degree that it almost always makes things worse by creating hatred and a desire for revenge, which eventually leads to further violence.(Need a current example?  War in Afghanistan.)
  Probably the reason governments resort to violence is that governments, if allowed to function without democratic influences, use war to make money as well as to make political/economic points.
  Violence is easy to fall into because it is a method inherited from ancient times, and governments, if left to their own limited devices, react retro-actively.  That is because governments (and the officials and financiers connected with it) tend to act as non-persons, regardless of what our silly Supreme Court says about “corporate personhoodo”. Our government at present is acting like non-persons.  Violence will only make things worse because violence kills persons.
  The current struggle worldwide is the search for a way to get rid of violence, a better way of making social changes, a more creative, visionary answer to the same old questions.
  The world and its people need to be cared for, rescued from governmental abuses, encouraged to make themselves heard in huge numbers.  They don’t need to start breaking windows and burning tires in the strets.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

“The greatness of Lenin is that he WASN’T AFRAID TO SUCCEED — in contrast to the negative pathos discernible from Rosa Luxembourg to Adorno, where the only authentic act is the true failure, the failure which brings to light the antagonism of the constellation (what, apropos of Beethoven, Adorno says about the two modes of the artistic failure — the unauthentic, due simply to the authors subjective deficiency, and the authentic, which brings to light the limitation of the very objective social constellation — bears also on his own politics71). In 1917, instead of waiting for the right moment of maturity, Lenin organized a preemptive strike; in 1920, finding himself in a position of the leader of the party of the working class with no working class (most of it being killed in the civil war), he went on organizing a state, i.e. he fully accepted the paradox of the party organizing-creating its base, its working class.

Nowhere is this greatness more palpable than in Lenin’s writings of 1917, which cover the span from his initial grasp of the unique revolutionary chance (first elaborated in the ‘Letters From Afar’) to the “Letter to Central Committee Members,” which finally convinced the Bolshevik majority that the moment to seize power has arrived. Everything is here, from ‘Lenin the ingenious revolutionary strategist’ to ‘Lenin of the enacted utopia’ (of the immediate abolishing of the state apparatuses). To refer to Kierkegaard, what we are allowed to perceive in these writings is Lenin-in-becoming: not yet ‘Lenin the Soviet institution,’ but Lenin thrown into an OPEN situation. Are we, within our late capitalist closure of the ‘end of history,’ still able to experience the shattering impact of such an authentic historical openness?”

Slavoj Zizek

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment

Those bank employees fried for the Finance Capitalists who hired them.

Remember—when you sell yourself to Capitalists, you are also selling them your blood instead of theirs.

You would be surprised at how many Vietnam vets, who were mostly drafted, realized who they were dying for—namely the Clintons and the Cheneys and the Bushes and the Gingriches—all of whom were draft avoiders.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 5:15 pm Link to this comment

These kind don’t worry about tens of thousands of Vietnamese civilians roasted by napalm—that’s not murder—but, oh, a few roasted bank employees might cost them extra pay.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment

The real murder is the the for profit Health Insurers and BP in the Gulf and the banks and the financials.

Here’s the secret of your success, Charlie, you are a worthless Capitalist money-crazed whore who would sell out his own mother, and does is regularly.

Also bloody murder doesn;t bother you at all as long as is your kind killing millions of innocent women and children.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment

“Here, Lenin’s reproach to liberals is crucial: they only EXPLOIT the working classes’ discontent to strengthen their position vis-a-vis the conservatives, instead of identifying with it to the end.52 Is this also not the case with today’s Left liberals? They like to evoke racism, ecology, workers’ grievances, etc., to score points over the conservatives WITHOUT ENDANGERING THE SYSTEM. Recall how, in Seattle, Bill Clinton himself deftly referred to the protesters on the streets outside, reminding the gathered leaders inside the guarded palaces that they should listen to the message of the demonstrators (the message which, of course, Clinton interpreted, depriving it of its subversive sting attributed to the dangerous extremists introducing chaos and violence into the majority of peaceful protesters). It’s the same with all New Social Movements, up to the Zapatistas in Chiapas: the systemic politics is always ready to “listen to their demands,” depriving them of their proper political sting. The system is by definition ecumenical, open, tolerant, ready to “listen” to all — even if one insist on one’s demands, they are deprived of their universal political sting by the very form of negotiation. The true Third Way we have to look for is this third way between the institutionalized parliamentary politics and the new social movements.

The ultimate answer to the reproach that the radical Left proposals are utopian should thus be that, today, the true utopia is the belief that the present liberal-democratic capitalist consensus could go on indefinitely, without radical changes. We are thus back at the old ‘68 motto ‘Soyons realistes, demandons l’impossible!’: in order to be truly a ‘realist,’ one must consider breaking out of
the constraints of what appears ‘possible’ (or, as we usually out it, ‘feasible’).”

Slavoj Zizek

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment

Instructive story about Stalin (dicta fere, from memory):

An Air Force officer, who had been sent to the gulag, was recalled because his expertise was needed.

He is called in with a group to meet Stalin and plan a new initiative.

He says directly to Stalin’s face: “A lot of innocent people have died in the prison camps.”

Stalin suddenly disappears.

Sometime later Stalin comes in from the flower garden with a bouquet of flowers, and hands it to the officer.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

Leo Strauss’ very Germanic flaw: Athens will never live on Jerusalem’s terms.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment


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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment

You ain’t going to buy the core of those young Greek demonstrators off.

They know the score.

They know what their future looks like going along.

They have nothing left to lose.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment

Nihilism has its uses. It is a useful, instructive stage. And it is not compromised. Every revolution has a necessary nihilistic element.

“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose,

Nothing don’t mean nothing honey if it ain’t free, now now….”

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By JDmysticDJ, May 24, 2010 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment

Hedges began his article with a sound analysis of Greece’s economic problems, and the response to those economic difficulties by the people of Greece, but he quickly morphs into an essay in support of his iconoclastic, cynical, and what I consider nihilistic beliefs. He advocates a change in government, but he does not define what he means by change. Again, Hedges’ critique of social injustice is, in my view, without flaw, but the impetus of his article seems to be a criticism of progressives as opposed to radicals, and he attributes the values traditionally attributed to progressives, to radicals alone.

Hedges cites Dwight MacDonald in order to give credence to his personal beliefs,”… As a satirical gadfly, cultural critic and detector of cant, Macdonald was a worthy successor to the sage of Baltimore, H.L. Mencken.” (From the provided biographical sketch.) H.L. Mencken is perhaps the most aggrandized cynic in our nation’s history. He was a constant critic of democracy, the common man, a frequent expresser of anti-Semitic views, and a man who quite clearly expressed his belief in elitism, especially his own. In short, he was a boorish pessimist who was famous for spreading his negativity about the human condition.

Whether Macdonald was the equivalent of Mencken is not clear to me. He seems to have had good credentials in the 60’s anti-war movement. Macdonald’s biography notes that he went from being a Trotskyite, to a pacifist, to an anarchist.

Hedges says of Macdonald, 

“Macdonald argued that democratic states had to dismantle the permanent war economy and the propaganda that came with it. They had to act and govern according to the non-historical and more esoteric values of truth, justice, equality and empathy.”

Hedges further says of Macdonald’s beliefs,

“Our liberal class, from the church and the university to the press and the Democratic Party, by paying homage to the practical dictates required by hollow statecraft and legislation, has lost its moral voice. Liberals serve false gods. The belief in progress through war, science, technology and consumption has been used to justify the trampling of these non-historical values.”

Hedges’ point seems to be that these, “…non-historical and more esoteric values of truth, justice, equality and empathy” are exclusive to radicals. The term liberal is not sufficiently descriptive, and it could apply to a variety of political beliefs, but it seems clear that Hedges’ intent is to diminish progressives, and to imply that progressives are the equivalent of neo-liberals.

Hedges concludes,

” the Radical stresses the individual conscience and sensibility. The Progressive starts off from what is actually happening; the Radical starts off from what he wants to happen. The former must have the feeling that History is ‘on his side.’ The latter goes along the road pointed out by his own individual conscience; if History is going his way, too, he is pleased; but he is quite stubborn about following ‘what ought to be’ rather than ‘what is.’ ”

Progressives are quite clear about, “What ought to be,” and have goals and objectives as to how to achieve “What ought to be.” Hedges is quite clear about the way things are, but he leaves the method for achieving “What ought to be” unstated, and he criticizes progressives for seeking “What ought to be,” within the confines of democracy, and thus, discourages attempts to achieve “What ought to be,” fueling the cynicism and counter productive negativity.

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By Leefeller, May 24, 2010 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment

Offersence73, is that you?

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By Jgray, May 24, 2010 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment

CH in a past article:
“My analysis comes close to the analysis of many
anarchists. But there is a crucial difference. The
anarchists do not understand the nature of violence.
They grasp the extent of the rot in our cultural and
political institutions, they know they must sever the
tentacles of consumerism, but they naïvely believe
that it can be countered with physical forms of
resistance and acts of violence. There are debates
within the anarchist movement – such as those on the
destruction of property – but once you start using
plastic explosives, innocent people get killed. And
when anarchic violence begins to disrupt the
mechanisms of governance, the power elite will use
these acts, however minor, as an excuse to employ
disproportionate and ruthless amounts of force
against real and suspected agitators, only fueling
the rage of the dispossessed.”

“The increasingly overt uses of force by the elites
to maintain control should not end acts of
resistance. Acts of resistance are moral acts. They
begin because people of conscience understand the
moral imperative to challenge systems of abuse and
despotism. They should be carried out not because
they are effective but because they are right. Those
who begin these acts are always few in number and
dismissed by those who hide their cowardice behind
their cynicism. But resistance, however marginal,
continues to affirm life in a world awash in death.
It is the supreme act of faith, the highest form of
spirituality and alone makes hope possible. Those who
carried out great acts of resistance often sacrificed
their security and comfort, often spent time in jail
and in some cases were killed. They understood that
to live in the fullest sense of the word, to exist as
free and independent human beings, even under the
darkest night of state repression, meant to defy

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment

A lot of Dolphins and Killer Whales are like that, smiling on the outside, really PISSED OFF on the inside when they get the whole story.

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By Inherit The Wind, May 24, 2010 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment

truedigger3, May 24 at 1:36 pm #

By Inherit The Wind, May 24 at 12:22 pm #

ITW wrote addressing me
“Since CH seems to be advocating violent protests, I find it hard to believe that either you OR GRYM would support that.  GRYM doesn’t seem to.  Do you?”


NO. Of course I don’t support violence.
But it seems to me that Chris Hedges is not endorsing violence but is expressing anger and frustration over the political naivite and ignorance of the majority of the US population and their failure to grasp what is really happening to them which Chris Hedges gave a good accurate description.
It is hard to cure that ignorance and naivite when the MSM is owned and controlled by corporatocracy/Big finance and the nonexistence of any REAL political opposition.
Most of the population are struggling making a living and raising their families and don’t have the luxury to surf the net and read political and economic analysis and different point of views other than that is pumped out 24/7 by the MSM.


We actually aren’t very far apart on this.  I do, however, think Hedges actually admires the violent resistance, and that it’s not a misunderstanding.

Contrary to what one poster assumes, I have no PERSONAL grudge against Hedges.  I don’t know the man. My beef is totally based on my repeated observation that he takes intellectual shortcuts that I can demonstrate invalidate his thesis.

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By nemesis2010, May 24, 2010 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

By Leefeller, May 24 at 5:27 pm

”Nemesis, I tried your anger management technique and must have started spinning counter clockwise, something to do with all my watches and time peaces being digital!”

Don’t turn counterclockwise! Pleeeeeeeeeaaaaase don’t do that. In order to rid yourself of negative energy you must turn clockwise—that’s to your right. If you fall that’s okay. If others see you and think you belong in an asylum, that’s okay too.

Remember to close your eyes and think beautiful thoughts. I’ve provided a link to a training video in my comment to Señor Costa because he is completely coming aprt with hatred when it all really doesn’t matter because time is an illusion and joy and alignment are one.

I find that recordings of whales and dolphins really help one to get in touch with Source smile

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment

Here’s an interesting query for the Obama-smooching Progressive Corporate Fascist Imperialist Democrats:

What if, instead of a natural event, the BP environmental terrorism and the Federal non-response had happened under sweet Georgia Bush?

What tune would you Obama-smoochers be singing now?

Well, you see, there’s the difference between the radical left and the “Progressive Democrats” forgeries.

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By nemesis2010, May 24, 2010 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

By Socrates, May 24 at 9:20 am

Inherit The Wind
You sound like a CIA operative or perhaps a corporate executive.”

That would be a non-Jew Jew AIPAC/Mossad troll.

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By nemesis2010, May 24, 2010 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

By Eugenio Costa, May 24 at 4:16 pm

”“Chris Hedges is currently a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York City.[7] He spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans”
This guy doesn’t lack cojones, you witless, cowardly American cabrons.

Oh Sr. Costa, that’s not very nice, calling people cabrones. (you forgot to put the “e” between the “n” and the “s.”) And don’t forget the accent over the “o” in singular form amiguito. (Cabrón y Cabrones)

If Hedges and others of his ilk desire a violent protest here like they are experiencing in Greece then let them lead the way or STFU. Reporting on a war is not exactly the same as actually fighting one. I know something about that because I was in the Marine Corps from 1965-1969, so trust me on this one.

Why aren’t you in street burning down the house, Mr. Costa? ¿Tal vez le faltan los huevos? It’s easy to type all that b.s. from the safety of your office or home. Why don’t you channel all that anger and go out into the street and burn something, an AmeriCorp flag made in China, stomp on some Big Macs, or give up drinking over-priced Starbuck’s espressos? (all symbols of Predator Capitalism & Western decadence)

Are you in the U.S. Mr. Costa? Are you a dissatisfied citizen? I’m asking because you sound like an AmeriCorp extremist izquierdista. You know, one of those anuses that do nothing but piss and moan about AmeriCorp while enjoying all the benefits of living in the Empire.

You, and others like you, don’t seem to get the message. AmeriCorp is the Big Dog and you’re not. AmeriCorp doesn’t have to send National Guard to the streets. It flies drones over your neighborhood—piloted by a kid in a compound in Florida sitting in front of a military computer, it’s the ultimate single shooter game—and blow you and yours away.

Have you ever stopped to think that maybe articles like this one are designed to get people like you to spout off about the U.S. government so that the boys in black can trace you and begin surveillance? Duh!

You have to stop fearing death and shift your reality. Go center your center with your center and the Source and rid yourself of all that bitterness and hate and stupid. Be one with the Source, become a Galactic human.

Being a Galactic Human:

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment

No reason for anger or resentment.

The US is collapsing in on itself.

It is almost fiesta time.

Anger and resentment, in any case, interfere with cold calculation and a clear head.

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By Leefeller, May 24, 2010 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

As luck would have it, the new world order is forming before me very own eyes, let me get another bottle of Tequila before it gets finished!

Nemesis, I tried your anger management technique and must have started spinning counter clockwise, something to do with all my watches and time peaces being digital! Guess I had forgotten what clockwise is and got mixed up with loosey goosey and righty tighty. Well anyway, I got angry when I fell into the river we have 55 acres here and our back yard is kinda big, so I lost my bottle of Tequila. But on the other hand, I have always enjoyed getting F___d by the wealthy and past business partners.

Wonder, are the wealthy stupid Americans too? Where in hell is my granola bar!

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

Yes, Leo Strauss’ “Athens and Jerusalem” is the message, or rather, closer to Strauss’ meaning, “Athens in the service of Jerusalem.”

Nietzsche in the Genealogy of Morals has a different idea.

Much more important, so do the Greeks and the Athenians.

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By Jgray, May 24, 2010 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

Gmonst, good post, thanks.

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By Géza Éder, May 24, 2010 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

ITW, stop posturing as “rational” at least.  You quite obviously hate Hedges, otherwise you would not be here every single week to write about how awful he is :-D CH is very consistent and not very powerful, so you can’t be here to be surprised at his ideas, neither can you be here to defend people against his views.  You’re here because you seem to have a personal grudge against him.  You also seem to prefer to respond to the most simple-minded people with the most radical and extremist views (the meaning of this pattern is not really that complicated to understand); you love to nitpick details (that you yourself seem to have no deeper understanding of btw). 

Anyway, you can argue against Hedges.  He seems to be pretty honest so it’s quite easy too.  There are rational and cohesive arguments against a lot of what he’s saying (even though in my opinion he’s right), you just don’t seem to be finding any of those.

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By jgray, May 24, 2010 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh my God. This is one of the best articles i have ever
Two questions:
1) So if the “state” is the enemy, and we know the
corporations are the enemy, what does Macdonald suggest
is the correct answer? the goodness of man in small
2) What the hell are we going to do?

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By TrueVirginian1, May 24, 2010 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

Anybody that glorifies Stallin is insane! He was as prolific of a killer as Hitler!
Russia has hired a PR company to clean his image so obviously a chupacabra
Costa got the “new,improved and cleaned up” message! Stallin and other “red
heroes” are the very example of faults of totalitarian regimes. Yes, Josef S. was a
huge fan of Machiavelli, meaning he would do what he thought was needed to
save “bigger cause”!
I am for letting Greeks choose their own future, whatever this could be. Impose
First secretary or Great Leader who cares!

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

Yessir, make sure you bring your granola for your peaceful, non-violent antiwar demonstrations.

You won’t be hungry when you are mowed down.

And the survivors will be nicely radicalized.

The whole Gandhi “non-violence” business is misuderstoond—Gandhi knew the British would be bloody and violent.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment

Say what you will, as most Russians know, and as Stalin himself knew, he was brutal, but without Stalin there would be no Russia today.

And the movement to have him canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church is, in the old Soviet and present Russian context, not absurd at all.

Churchill killed more for sheer greed and ego, and for a failing British Empire, many of them his own people, like the Australians he sold out at Singapore.

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By Old Man Turtle, May 24, 2010 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is what people get when they try to confine their efforts and attention to meeting the demands of some political-“economy,” instead of being an integral and healthily-functioning part of the greater natural ecological arrangement.  No other species on Earth suffers from such self-destructive delusions about what is going-on here.  That might have truly sentient beings doubting seriously modern man’s boastful claims to being the most “intelligent” of Earth’s peoples.

Humans have been played for fools by even bigger fools, until the poisonous fruits of all that folly are now eliminating all of their witless cultivators from the Hoop of Life here.  What someone earlier referred to as “The Turning” is what the Hopis and others have long called The Purification.  It is as natural and inevitable as every other cycle here, including the cleansing menses of female mammals.

So we’re all just going with the flow, like-it or lump-it.  Bottom line, there’s absolutely nothing to be afraid-of.

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By TrueVirginian1, May 24, 2010 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

to Prole,

Thanks for intelligent and informative post. Quite possibly some elements are
stirring additional violence to change public opinion. There are ways to
accomplish powerful changes in a peaceful way. Greece as a cradle of Democracy
should know better! (in my opinion)
Quick note on Israel. I hope you and many of the astute readers know that it is
not about free Palestine. Palestine is “just” a card the Arab nations are using to
keep their masses in check. Israel does what every nation should: “raison d’etat”
or “reason of State”. It does what it needs to do in order to survive! Are innocent
Palestinians getting killed? Absolutely! Comparing Israel to Nazi Germany by
Theodoros Pangalos, was inappropriate. He could have made a point without it.

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By mrfreeze, May 24, 2010 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment

To John Ellis - Your comment about why I would blame the victims is off-the-mark. I was simply trying to get sense of what the commentators on this thread felt about the Greeks themselves. (Obviously you’re the only person brave enough to answer because it’s easier to rage against the “system” instead of taking a broad-based look at the issue.)

In the end, the Greek people will suffer a lot of hurt not only because of the exploitation of the institutionalized, financial criminals that exist, but also from their own questionable personal practices.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment

“Chris Hedges is currently a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York City.[7] He spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans”


This guy doesn’t lack cojones, you witless, cowardly American cabrons.

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By Gmonst, May 24, 2010 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

If we burn it all down we have to build something to replace it.  Hedges always seems pitifully short on the vision side.  Unless human nature has changed no political system, capitalist, socialist, communist, religioist will prevent those who have power from taking advantage of that power to their own benefit. 

Its really a moral dilemma, and the sad truth is that most of us if given wealth and power would slide down the slippery slope until we were what we once hated.  Its easy to sit back and think otherwise, but take a look at your own life, note those personal times when you are selfish, when you get your own first before sharing.  When you look the other way to someone in need.  I don’t say this to inspire guilt but realism that humans are selfish creatures by our nature.  We have enough social tendencies for us to organize, but each one of us is still running programs which drive us to be the alpha of our group.  If we feel powerless in the world we come to someplace like here to say our piece and feel powerful, like we have a place to be a big dog.  Any realistic political change has to take that human tendency into account.

That’s why I am personally an advocate for free market capitalism with strong controls to protect against monopolies, environmental malfeasance, market rigging, and speculatory gaming.  We need an economy based on the creation of goods, and services.  I am a fan of more progressive taxes on both individuals and corporations which make getting further ahead like ever deepening sand for the extremely wealthy.  Basically capitalism with enough socialism to keep it functioning smoothly and keep things fair.  In my mind this is just about as good as we could ever expect from human organization.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment

German will be burning soon enough.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment

Nope—no Colonels will return in Greece.

That’s over with.

The real worldwide revolution has begun.

American tanks on the streets of Athens will mean thousands of Americans killed around the world.

The Greek Left is not pretending.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment

Facing down the National Guard with live ammunition is a real learning experience.

Sort of really makes clear what the American sham democracy really is under all the cosmetics.

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By prole, May 24, 2010 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

“The fusion of corporatism, militarism and internal and external intelligence agencies—much of their work done by private contractors—has given these corporations terrifying mechanisms of control. Think of it, as the Greeks do, as a species of foreign occupation. Think of the Greek riots as a struggle for liberation”...or think of it as an opportunity for provocateurs to create the pretext for another military coup as in ’67 in Greece; and then an indefinite period of overt fascist rule all over again. The rioters may well be joined by undercover infiltrators intent on shutting down their protests. Innocent victims and attacked bystanders may actually be the dirty handiwork of the police to turn public opinion against the rioters. The day when American-made tanks return to the streets of Athens may not be far off. The ‘center-left’ PASOK Party which currently governs in Greece was founded in the immediate aftermath of the restoration of parliamentary democracy in Greece in ’74. If Greece is to avoid a repetition of the events of ’67, the defiant rioters for rule from below better be on guard because the empire is sure to strike back. Any kind of resistance movement anywhere can expect to be made an example of by the international ruling elites and Greece is on the brink. If they can’t be bought off with large subsidies, the iron fist will come out of the velvet glove in a hurry. Wish them luck. PASOK’s social democratic origins and more left-leaning redistributive policies during it’s early years under founder and PM, the late Andreas Papandreou were almost completely abandoned during the reign of Costas Simitis from ’96 – 2004, like Blair’s New Labour in the UK. Since returning to power again last fall, PASOK, with new PM George Papandreou, Andreas’ son, has moved even further to the right, adopting regressive tax and wage measures that are straight out of the IMF playbook. If a new military government is imposed in Greece, it may also serve other purposes than brutally restoring order domestically. It could also align itself more closely with the U.S. and Israel in foreign affairs. Greece tradionally has been quite cool to Israel over the years, and despite its many other shortcomings, PASOK could never be confused with AIPAC, unlike its counterpart Democratic Party in the U.S. In Dec. ’08, Theo Pangalos, currently deputy PM in the govt. and then an MP received a Christmas present of three bottles of Golan wine from the Israeli embassy which he quickly returned with this cheery letter of rebuke:

“Dear Mr. Ambassador,
Thank you for the 3 bottles of wine that you sent me as season’s greetings. I wish to you, your family and everybody in the Embassy a happy new year. Good health and progress to you all.
Unhappily I noticed that the wine you have sent me has been produced in the Golan Heights. I have been taught since I was very young not to steal and not to accept products of theft. So I can not possibly accept this gift and I must return it back to you.
As you know, your country occupies illegally the Golan Heights who belong to Syria, according to the International Law and numerous decisions of the International Community.
I take the opportunity to express my hope that Israel will find security into its internationally recognized borders and the terrorist activities against Israel territory by Hamas or anybody else will be contained and made impossible, but I also hope that your government will cease practicing the policy of collective punishment which was applied on a mass scale by Hitler and his armies.
Actions such as those of these days of the Israel military in Gaza remind the Greek people of holocausts such as in Kalavrita or Doxato or Distomo and certainly in the ghetto of Warsaw.With these thoughts allow me to express to you my best wishes for you, the Israeli people and all the people of our region of the world.”
Athens, 30/12/2008
Theodoros Pangalos, Member of Parliament (Greece)

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

Russian anti-Stalin researchers have come up with a figure of roughly seven million casualties that can be attributed to the Stalin regime—much less than the seventy million the Capitalists have tried to pin on it.

These are no Stalin apologists.

They also conclude that the starvation in the Ukraine was probably not deliberate.

Interestingly enough, in the now opened Soviet archives the Communists knew there were innocent people in the masses sent to the gulags, for example, but they thought it was necessary to get the guilty.

Khrushchev later said he knew he had blood on his hands, which is more than any vicious, murderous British or American Capitalist ever admits.

Also it is to be noted that Stalin was no atheist.

Even the Russian anti-Stalinists don’t deny that a lot of those seven million were guilty and rightly executed.

The British Capitalists killed at least a hundred million innocent bystanders around the world, including masses of their own people and of women and children.

So yes, pig, “Screw off pig”, is an adequate response to your kind.

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By TrueVirginian1, May 24, 2010 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

To Costa!
Why do you have to insult Americans to present your point of view? This was about
Greece wasn’t it? America with all its problems and inequalities is still the best
place to be. Greece, on the other hand, since the times of Hellenic era did not
accomplish much. Are we to blame for that too, Costas? What happened to the
Nation of Plato, Socrates or Hippocrates? 
Murdering innocent and burning the buildings??

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By JEA, May 24, 2010 at 11:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you very much, Chris, for the chuckles.

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By nemesis2010, May 24, 2010 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

All of you armchair-revolutionaries hold your breath until you see Chris Hedges out in the streets burning down his city and neighborhood. Those Greeks in the streets have something you lack—balls—so until you actually grow a pair keep eating your Doritos, watching American Idiots on the tele, and admiring how bad-ass you are in the imaginary revolution in your little heads filled with fluff and Cheetos dust.

Transition from type 0 to type 1 civilization:

Dreaming of a type 1 civilization:

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By nemesis2010, May 24, 2010 at 11:53 am Link to this comment

By Eugenio Costa, May 24 at 2:06 pm

”The time for polite debate and discussion with the Hyper-Capitalist pigs and the Right Wing was over long ago.”

Ayyyyyy Sr. Costa you are exhibiting such anger. I feel so sorry for you because I was just like that until last week when I learned… no… I was “ENLIGTHENED” about real reality. I found that my intelligence was blocking my knowing and that in turn had me out of alignment. You too can be free of all that anger and frustration and hate and bitterness by becoming one with the Source and the universe. You must become a Galactic man.

You feel the way you do because you are out of alignment. Joy and alignment are one. You must align yourself with Source in order to experience real joy. To properly align with Source you have to do the exercise that I’ve been doing for the past few days (an exercise to rid yourself of all that negativity) and you’ll never been happier.

I’m a new man Sr. Costa, I was able to release all that negative energy (bad energy) and align my center with that of Source and here I am! For the first time in my life I’m one with the Source and the universe, even every particle of dust; I’m a Galactic man. You need to shift your reality immediately and get in touch with your higher self. Remember time is but an illusion and knowing is everything.

Go out into your back yard or to a nearby park, stand straight and extend your arms outward from your sides, and close your eyes. Start spinning, in a clockwise rotation. As you spin you are casting out all that negative energy and the centrifugal force is centering your center into your center and aligning your center with that of Source. You’ll feel all the negative energy flowing from your body and the higher you begin filling your most inner being. A few days of this exercise will make you a Galactic man and you’ll be free of all that hate and bitterness and learn to love getting f—ked over by the super-wealthy elite.

Suerte amigo smile

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By rico, suave, May 24, 2010 at 11:48 am Link to this comment

“Screw off, pig.”

I am sure that’s about the best rebuttal your intellect is capable of.

And the Stalin and Mao body counts are lies manufactured by capitalists??!!

Does any other poster agree with that?

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

One of the incidents of the American War in the Philippines you probably did not learn about in school:

American “Christian” ministers in American “Christian” churches waving the dried and mummified genitals of Filipino men and women killed by American military forces to the thunderous applause of their “Christian” congregations.

Bet you thought Twain’s “War Prayer” was fiction.

Stupid American boobs may be inaccurate—how about stupid, brutal, barbaric, hypocritical and vicious?

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

One follows H.L.Mencken in his utterly correct denomination of most Americans as members of Boobus Americanus.

Twain came to a similar conclusion.

In fact, in regard to the American war in the Philippines, which was the first step of overseas empire and terrorism, and in which the US military killed masses of women and children as unapologetic policy, Twain proposed resigning the American flag—making it red and bla k, for blood and death, with skulls instead of stars.

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By Leefeller, May 24, 2010 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

Eugenio Costa,

Don’t forget about worrying about the gays!

When I want to make a point, the best thing to do is insult the everyone in general instead of those responsible in specific, then no one is missed.

“You” stupid Americans is supposed to be incendiary, like if I lumped all Mexicans together and said “you” Stupid Mexicans, which I would never say nor believe. Every group of people has their stupids and those some who care and there are always the opportunists. but lumping is so much easier.

My dislike for opportunism is strong but not everyone is an opportunist nor is everyone stupid, though I would be hard pressed to prove it.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

Commoditize yourself. And do it honestly and with integrity.

That will fix the “system”, sure, sure.

What a crock.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 11:27 am Link to this comment

Commoditize yourself—HAHAHAHA.

That will solve it all.

And do it honestly and with integrity.

What a crock.

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By TrueVirginian1, May 24, 2010 at 11:24 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges, you write yet another passionate piece. I do however think you
contradict yourself in many instances. You blame the system rather than
people. In capitalism people are supposed to bring their services to the market
for proper exchange. Honesty and integrity is crucial. It is not system’s fault
that human nature takes advantage of it. (Bernie Madoff, Leahman Brothers
and others)
You talk about living under constant fear:(terror, radical Islam) but forget to
mention progressive agendas: man made global warming (rising oceans),
ozone hole, ice age (what happened?) or overpopulation (looks like we are
facing demographic decline in the next 30-40 years) Same thing! Both sides
are for re-distribution of wealth. One side wants it from the bottom and middle
upwards, other from the top down. Having almost 92 mln. illiterates in the US
no wonder the gap in income is the largest since the 1930’s!
I also blame you for not coming up with solutions! Protests, strikes or bank
burning will in the end create chaos and worsen current situation. You sound
like the party of “no” that critiques the existing status quo yet doesn’t have a
better solution! Obviously large governments and numerous social programmes
will have to be cut in order to bring some stability back. (anybody listening in
California and DC?) Are politicians guilty? Absolutely! They promise, what they
know, they can’t deliver in order to get elected. (is it any different in the US?)
The current system has to go but what do you propose instead? We can’t have a
“vacuum”. Socialism does NOT work, Euro-capitalism is on the verge of
bancruptcy, our system is facing double-dip recession and high inflation.
I am for going back to small, state,local government with clearly (constitution)
defined roles with strong set of rules for business conduct. Folks that lost their
retirements, pensions and savings deserve to see the “corporate leaders”
brought to justice. Government officials that were laying should face similar
fate. Maybe going back to basic values of honesty, integrity and trust is what
we need to rebuild our society?

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 11:24 am Link to this comment

Corporate bodyguard fees for BP executives should have just gone up astronomically.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

Bank employees should wake up—getting firebombed in Greece is an occupational hazard.

Maybe they should demand combat zone benefits.

One burning bank says more than a thousand protest signs.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

“My name is Audrey, and I work for a private Health Insurer, but I am a nice person, just trying to make a living. Can’t hold that against me, can you?”

Screw you Audrey.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

Bank employees work for the enemy.

They are collaborators.

Even the Greek police—some of them—are sympathetic to the demonstrators.

Screw the banks and who works for them.

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By Foxzpuffin, May 24, 2010 at 11:14 am Link to this comment

I generally agree with 98% of what Chris Hedges writes, and I agree with most of
this column. But I am disturbed and saddened that I read no mention of the 3
deaths as a result of the riots. Three bank workers died. Oh yes. Collateral

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By TWylite, May 24, 2010 at 11:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yeah, riots and genocide against the “capitalists” are just what this country needs. Then everything will be rainbows and unicorns - a real Workers Paradise, just like Kampuchea.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 11:04 am Link to this comment

As Hedges says, the Greeks get it.

Apparently you Americans are just too dumb to add 2 plus 2 and get 4.

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By gerard, May 24, 2010 at 11:01 am Link to this comment

Saving lives is not the only reason for jsuing non-violent to work for change.  Another equally important reason is that violence is counter-productive to the degree that it almost always makes thins worse by creating hatred and a desire for revenge, which eventually leads to further violence.

Probably the reason governments resort to violence is that governments, if allowed to function without democratic influences, use war to make money as well as to make policical points.  Besides, violence is a method inherited from ancient times, and governments, if left to their own devices, act retro-actively.  That is because governments (and the officials connected with it) tend to act as non-persons, regardless of what our silly Supreme Court says about “corporat personhoodo”. Our government at present is acting like non-persons.  Violence will only make things worse because violence kills persons

This may sound a bit fuzzy-headed, but it makes real sense if you stop to think about it. At least that’s my take—sort of.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 11:01 am Link to this comment

One third of all for profit Health Insurance premiums goes for advertising and executive salaries.

That alone is $700 billion a year.

Get it—that is skimmed right off the real economy, take right out of your hide and your coverage.

And the Democrats’ Health Insurance reform made it actually compulsory to buy it in some cases.

Moreover, it was exactly what the private Health Insurers wanted, and it will be an added economic disaster.

What do these Health Insurers make?

What do they export?

Are the Communist Chinese, who already provide free health care for a billion and a half people, going to contract with US Health insurers to screw them like they are screwing you?

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 10:56 am Link to this comment

Meanwhile Communist China has already recovered from the world wide depression and is moving on to the next step economically with a high growth rate.

Plus you Americans owe them trillions because your friendly neighborhood financial elute sold out the whole of US industry, heavy and light, to them decades ago.

And you idiots are worried about Mexicans?

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

The Right Wing Finance Capitalist elite, and that includes not only the Republicans, but also Obama and the Democrats, are aiming for status quo ante—that is restoration of the very situation that got you to this catastrophe.

And they expect you, the American people, to pay for it by thirty years of debt credit serfdom, and after you, your children, and then your children’s children.

That’s why they bailed out the banks and financials and not the people at large.

Just how stupid are you American boobs?

Just how brainwashed by the main stream media?

The generation from 15-25 has no future except debt—get it?

The US is bankrupt.

USD is no longer the world reserve currency.

The genuine US economy is in the tank.

The Gulf disaster will make it worse—tens of thousands just lost their livelihood.

By the old reckoning (pre-Clinton) the unemployment rate is twenty percent.

States and municipalities are facing bankruptcy and cutback in services.

There is no social welfare to speak of (Clinton got rid of most of it).

the infrastructure is obsolete.

Technologically the US is thirty years behind Japan.

Real estate is not recovering.

Foreclosures are still increasing.

Meanwhile two losing wars continue, costing trillions, and the Financial Capitalists are trying to start two more (with Iran and Pakistan).

Has the last forty years made you all stupid?

It does not compute—get it?

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By REDHORSE, May 24, 2010 at 10:34 am Link to this comment


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By David, May 24, 2010 at 10:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As interesting and occasionally useful as I find your columns, Chris, I have to confess increasing difficulty understanding what you, as a socialist, see as necessary for the working class.

To be precise, what must we do? What are our political tasks? What are our intellectual tasks? What is the role of the working class in realizing this vision of socialism? What is your vision of socialism?

On the one hand you decry the barbarism that the world is sinking into, and yet in your recent Adbusters piece, you argue that violence is not the way forward, not the proper response: “When you go down that road,” you write, “you end up pitting your monsters against their monsters.”

Fair enough. So I am perplexed by your call on the masses to “riot.” You are a man who understands language, so you know what rioting means, and what it can lead to. Is that the way forward for the working class, to simply “riot” their way to socialism? 

I can hardly claim myself to have all the answers, but it seems to me, as I follow your work, that you really haven’t thought through what socialism is, or what a socialist ought to be doing in these strange days.

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By REDHORSE, May 24, 2010 at 10:09 am Link to this comment

TY COSTA: Thought Americans were culturally interconnected and gaining strength through shared experience our common humanity being the evolving root and this realization suspended fearbased otherness. Guess there are too many wounds too deep to heal. It’s a damn bloody reality. The last two hundred years has left us all in a very fragile state. I may be too old to change. I always see an American before I see an ethnicity.

        I do agree with SHIFT. Old institutions have failed to evolve. They’re dieing. World population, climatic catastrophe and diaappearing natural resources are the issue. Only a realignment that brings technology, science and a new valuation of the human into sustained natural support of the planet makes any sense. Can we get there from here?? Who knows?

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

The time for polite debate and discussion with the Hyper-Capitalist pigs and the Right Wing was over long ago.

And part of that Right Wing is the Corporatist Fascist Democrats, not just the Republicans.

The US has been regressing for forty years.

It is now bankrupt and in the midst of financial collapse and the elite, Republican and Democrat, expect you, the people, to pay the bill for their incompetence and theft and fraud with thirty years of debt credit serfdom.

The Right Wing and the Finance Captialists have to be exterminated for the survival of the species.

It is you or them.


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By rico, suave, May 24, 2010 at 9:56 am Link to this comment

Eugenio Costa:
What planet are you from?

Do the names Mao, Stalin, Hilter mean anything to you? Name me a “capitalist” who comes within a factor of ten of killing as many people as those populist heroes did.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

Capitalists are by definition violent and terrorist.

Who was the first to gas the Kurds? The British, with Winston Churchill glorying in the “terror” on “primitive villagers”.

Who killed 400,000 Iraqi children between the two Gulf Wars—the US military, by deliberately bombing the water supply. Moreover they admit it, and admit the casualties, and Albright said “it was worth it”.

Who killed a million Iraqis in the second attack on Iraq—the US.

Who covered Iraq and Serbia with low level radiation from the explosion of depleted uranium? The US.

Who killed anywhere from one million to four million Vietnamese and left the country poisoned by Agent Orange and covered with mines and unexploded munitions? The US.

What private for profit Health Insurance executives kill thousands of Americans monthly cutting off their health care coverage legally and illegally? The US ones.

What Capitalists are destroying the Gulf of Mexico through US collusion and greed?

Including the lives and livelihoods of tens of thousands of Americans.

The US is a predatory Capitalist warfare state.

It is by its nature violent and terrorist.

And you morons have the temerity and idiocy to question whether Hedges is approving violent protests?

What a joke.

If Americans had any brains they would have got violent against their terrorist masters long ago.

The Greeks show the way.

The rest of you go feast on your yogurt and bean sprouts.

The regime will be shooting you down too soon enough.

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By mrfreeze, May 24, 2010 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

As much as I’d like to believe that the Greek people are fighting a war against the greedy capitalists (belive me, I REALLY want to believe this), I’m not quite sure this is entirely true. Certainly there has been a lot of ugly financial manipulation perpetrated against many economies, Greece being the subject here; however, my understanding is that the Greeks themselves have been less-than-honest with a huge black market and a culture of tax evasion. I also understand that far too many Greeks are public employees and are drawing from pensions at what seem to be early ages.

So, my sincere question is: on a scale of 1-10 (10 being high), how much responsibility do the Greeks themselves have for the current situation?

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By Druthers, May 24, 2010 at 9:43 am Link to this comment

To bring the US to a halt violence is not necessarily needed.  A sit down strike at home would stop internet communications, banking, transportation etc. Modern societies are very fragile.  Hospitals, fire departments and other administrations really vital to the POPULATION should be kept running.
It won’t happen, but if widely followed it might be effective.  Violent attacks on specific centers is always what those in power want.  That furnishes them with good TV images with which to scare viewers and are easy to counter.
Greece is a country; in Thessalonique during the Military dictatorship I saw the entire city stop in the street when the Greek flag was lowered on a pole by the sea - people cars, everything.  There was total silence and it was very impressive but the US is an empire and as T.S. Elliot said, “This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.

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By truedigger3, May 24, 2010 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, May 24 at 12:22 pm #

ITW wrote addressing me
“Since CH seems to be advocating violent protests, I find it hard to believe that either you OR GRYM would support that.  GRYM doesn’t seem to.  Do you?”


NO. Of course I don’t support violence.
But it seems to me that Chris Hedges is not endorsing violence but is expressing anger and frustration over the political naivite and ignorance of the majority of the US population and their failure to grasp what is really happening to them which Chris Hedges gave a good accurate description.
It is hard to cure that ignorance and naivite when the MSM is owned and controlled by corporatocracy/Big finance and the nonexistence of any REAL political opposition.
Most of the population are struggling making a living and raising their families and don’t have the luxury to surf the net and read political and economic analysis and different point of views other than that is pumped out 24/7 by the MSM.

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By Satyagraha, May 24, 2010 at 9:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

—Part 1—

Trying to integrate the perspectives of Inherit the Wind (May 24 at 7:55 am), Fat Freddy, PSmith (May 24 at 8:40 am post), Everest Mokaef, Shift, and Redhorse all of which I might disagree with on some crucial particulars, but see some nugget of value in.

Let’s start with the part of Hedges’ column that made the most moral sense: Man (including men, women and intersex) should be the measure of things, not History (or profits, or The Future, or some other ideology-stoking abstraction).  This is humanism that is anti-religious in the same sense that Jesus was anti-religious: You have said Lord, Lord but I never knew you; what you do to the least of my brethren you do to Me; before you make your religious offering at the altar, reconcile with your brother; you say it is it unholy to heal the sick on the Sabbath, but the Law was made for Man, not Man for the Law.

The message underlying these radical Gospel passages is that our relationship to Man, to our brother and to the least of our brethren is the measure of our relationship to God. The measure of our relationship to God is not saying ‘Lord, Lord’, making offerings at the altar, or the arcane ritualistic self-denials of the Sabbath or any other ritualistic reputation-enhancing performances—or by identifying yourself as a Christian, a Jew or Muslim, etc. for that matter.  At the time Jesus made this distinction it was a distinction between Jesus-style God-centered humanism and what he saw as the humanity-crushing whitened sepulchres of religious law.  Today, the humanity-crushing whitened sepulchre ideology that dominates the globe is that of capitalism, and the humanism of Jesus stands in just as stark a contrast to that ideology as to the ideologies of the various “religions”.

These Gospel passages clarify the humanist universality inherent to Jesus’ exclusivist-sounding cry that there is no way to the Father but by the Son.  There is no way to the abstract voice-in-the-unconsumed-burning-bush perfection of “I Am That I Am” except in loving relation to the sons (and daughters, and in between) with whom we inhabit our human journeys from dust to dust.

In capitalist countries these Man-centered ideas are not alien.  Most self-consciously “capitalist” countries went through some kind of Man-exalting revolution or several and are now in uneasy facilitative-corruptive co-existence with the mechanisms of representative government.  Capitalist systems also tend to co-exist with laws that do an at least passable job of protecting the kinds of civil liberties that have the potential to transform power relations, like free speech and freedom of assembly and religion.

Many ideological agents of capitalism (the editorial writers of the Economist come to mind) fall into embracing absurdities that excuse mass starvation, environmental autogenodice, and murderous wars of resource extraction only after convincing themselves—sometimes by cognitive dissonance but also to some extent by solid empirical evidence—that capitalism is the least worst existing system for making Man the measure of things.

(continued in Part 2)

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By Satyagraha, May 24, 2010 at 9:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

—Part 2—

At the very least, capitalism is the least worst system that can get murderous conquering armies behind it and rape the resources of the earth.  Other systems that can command conquering armies and rape the earth—fascism, Bolshevist varieties of communism, etc—are considerably worse systems as measured by the outcomes for Man under these alternative systems.

Other nicer non-killing non-raping ideologies—like Orwell’s democratic socialism or Ralph Nader’s intensely democratic anti-corporatism—look much better than capitalism, bolshevist communism and fascism on paper, but these kinder gentler systems do not have a knack for conning large sections of the pre-drinking age population to kill millions and die in the thousands on their behalf. Thus these better systems languish as disembodied verbiage in lecture halls, the bookshelves of temporarily rebellious teenagers, and the columns of Truthdig.  Either that or, like Norway and other democracies with a viable public sector, they end up more culturally and to some extent militarily integrated with one conquering ideology or another, usually capitalism.

It is still theoretically possible for more humane ideologies to figure out a way to gain rapid coordinated control over resources and territory—perhaps by celebrating murderous riots in Greece and then channeling that violent energy in a more organized, conquest-oriented way.  The cost of this approach might be that these nicer Man-measuring systems will have to slough off their niceness and morph into a riff on one of the three ideological abominations that have ravaged the sons of Man over the past two centuries: capitalism, communism and fascism.  (Under “fascism”, incidentally, I would include the nightmarish conflagrations of revolutionary fervor and religious atavism that have movements of growing power in most major religions today.  The pathologies of the New Atheism that Hedges has accused of fascism are a more curious case.  I would put the New Atheism more on the Jacobin side of things: a closer cousin to the modernist-futurist mass murderous pathologies of capitalism and communism than to the backward-looking and tradition-shackled mass murderous pathologies of fascism).

In standing up to the rigid abstractions of capitalism in defense of Man, are mob riots in Greece good models of transformative action?  Mob riots may be undertandable in the same way that atrocities exacerbated by adversity and desperation are understandable.  Not everything understandable is admirable, however. There may be something admirable about gathering the victims of capitalism together and taking a forceful stand, but deindivudated mob frenzies that murder low level employees are not really “taking a stand”.

Perhaps Hedges is forced to look to collatoral damage-doing forces of change for guidance because the other self-styled “progressive” forces of change seem so anemic before the magnitude of the horrors they are facing and will face.

If we must learn grudging lessons on the principles of non-anemic action from the likes of arsonists and murderers, let us look instead to suicide bombers.  They are also murderers (and predominantly fascistic murderers these days), and in that sense they are criminal agents of new sytematic horrors to come.  However, suicide bombers have one virtue that mob rioters do not: the ability to face death alone with courage.  Thanks to the courage of many throughout the world to face death alone WITHOUT killing, systems of mind control, theft, torture and murder like capitalism, communism and fascism have all been transformed into less totalitarian and genocidal varieties of themselves than they once were.

Instead of killing as we die, then, let us instead live to the death while speaking truth, being peace and doing justice on behalf of the children of Man.  That revolution is the only revolution worth dying for, and there is no revolution worth killing for.

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By Reverend Unruh, May 24, 2010 at 9:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well now, I have encountered someone who argues for violence anonymously
many times. This is the first time I remember seeing it with a name on it that
wasn’t out as radical right wing.

I am kind of stunned, if anyone took your bad advice seriously it would be
terrorism and you would be in a conspiracy with them to commit it, making
truthdig a terrorist organization. Wow.

I would never have been so bold even if it weren’t against my principals and basic
common sense.

It also seems to me that if someone were to take your advice this would probably
be their target list,

Want To Boycott BP But Can’t Find Their Gas Station?

I just don’t see how Chris Hedges thinks any good is going to come out of that. In
fact, I’d like it explained. Thank you.

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By REDHORSE, May 24, 2010 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

I don’t know if riots are an immediate solution to anything here in America or even possible. Our country is so fractured by “specialness”, where would one find two coins of common political purpose to rub together. We were united in the 60’s and serious change occured. Folks of all colors and political persuasion died and some are still doing serious time and are going to die in prison over that one. Besides, every Greek sees himself/herself as a Greek, but the American psyche is shattered. We no longer have a Country, we have a so called “homeland”. To ensure division, racebaiters and haters shout down any attempts at dialogue and we’re only allowed to see our history through the eyes of victimhood. Many posters here openly advocate our political fall and destruction and, we are in freefall. The deeper horror is that Mr.Hedges is correct: We are an occupied country. Corporate fascism has superimposed a police state over our Constitution and Bill of Rights. That’s really where we live. You can now legally be arrested without warrant, held without bail and murdered without trial. Now, go ahead and rationalize it. That’s right, “it’s o.k. as long as they do it to somebody else” (1984/ORWELL). That’s why you’re in the shape you’re in.

    Mr. Hedges admiration of the Greeks and the fact that they still have a fire in the belly is understandable. But, riots aside, what is the vehicle of change here? The vote? It’s a pretty common belief that “W” fixed the vote in his second election. The vote did change the Congress and the Presidency in the last two major elections but we were betrayed. Corporations now finance their own political parties and gather signatures and place initiatives on our ballots for votes that do not serve the peoples best interest. Remember, we are governed “by the people, for the people”. Radical idea isn’t it? It’s almost but not quite a felony.

    Well,it was a good piece. I enjoy Mr. Hedges Like him, we all know what’s happening. “—-Oh—Brother-Brother—Brother—there’s too many of you dieing—What’s goin’ on?—What’s goin’ on?—-What’s goin’ on?——”.

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By Leefeller, May 24, 2010 at 8:28 am Link to this comment

Shift wrote;

“According to Joanna Macy PH.D., eco-philosopher, we are on the verge of a great change, the Great Turning. ““It is a name for the transition from the industrial-growth society to a life-sustaining society.”“

Instead of calling it the Great Turning, why not call it something with a little more pizazz, how about naming it the Great Enema?  If this seems crude it could be called the The Mother of All High Colonics!

Tempting the elite to bend over like the forced masses may be the hard part, for how often in history has this been willingly done by the aristocracy’s and those in power? 

Though I think it is nice and fuzzy and I agree with the concept, in the end it may only be wishful thinking, it would feel good to be wrong!

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By Inherit The Wind, May 24, 2010 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

truedigger3, May 24 at 9:33 am #

By Go Right Young Man, May 24 at 8:20 am #

GRM wrote:

“ITW, May 24 at 7:55 am

Excellent post.”


Watch out!
GRM likes and agrees with your post, So deffinitely something is wrong with your post.
May be it is a good idea to re-examine your post.!


That gave me a chuckle!

Just like you, GRYM is right once in a while.  Only maybe a little more often than you (as long as I don’t say “TEA-BAGGERS!”).

Since CH seems to be advocating violent protests, I find it hard to believe that either you OR GRYM would support that.  GRYM doesn’t seem to.  Do you?

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By Inherit The Wind, May 24, 2010 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

Socrates, May 24 at 9:20 am #

Inherit The Wind

You sound like a CIA operative or perhaps a corporate executive.  You are attempting to muddy the water here.  Chris Hedges is right in almost everything he details.  His book, Empire of Illusion is breath-taking to behold.  This new article he has submitted smacks of truth.  If you tell me what you have published I would be interested in reading it.

Cripes! Not another one! Rational thought is becoming a thing of the past here!

If I was CIA, I’d NEVER say what I’d said. I’d parrot you and others, and meanwhile crack TruthDig’s security to find your IP address and the location of the PC on which you are posting…and identify you….Now THAT is a reason to be paranoid.

But if you followed, you’d notice that I always identify where Hedges makes invalid, unsupported, and even demonstrably WRONG assumptions (which he does constantly) and then show his argument cannot be supported without those invalid assumptions.

Furthermore, I frequently chastise Hedges for making it HARDER to convince people to deal with an ACTUAL problem he is addressing because of his invalid arguments.

Finally, it’s not only ridiculous but it’s insulting to accuse someone who says something you don’t like of being a CIA op.  You would do better to actually review my points and rebut them rather than making an ad hominem attack on me, trying to discredit me.

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By truedigger3, May 24, 2010 at 8:09 am Link to this comment

Re:By PSmith, May 24 at 9:31 am #

PSmith wrote:

Charles Munger is the wisdom-sharing half of the Berkshire Hathaway duo of Warren Buffett and Charles Munger.


I will take anything said by either Charles Munger or Warren Buffet with a grain of salt if not with outright skepticism.
Berkashire Hathaway had invested billions of dollars in Goldmans Sacks and it owns an oil company.
Both of these two characters have speculated heavily in commodities especially in oil and metals.
They are part and parcel of the problem.!

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By Eugenio Costa, May 24, 2010 at 8:04 am Link to this comment

Expect Germany to be burning soon too.

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