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Posted on Apr 30, 2012
AP/Mahesh Kumar A.

People collect scraps from a garbage dump in Hyderabad, India.

By Chris Hedges

When civilizations start to die they go insane. Let the ice sheets in the Arctic melt. Let the temperatures rise. Let the air, soil and water be poisoned. Let the forests die. Let the seas be emptied of life. Let one useless war after another be waged. Let the masses be thrust into extreme poverty and left without jobs while the elites, drunk on hedonism, accumulate vast fortunes through exploitation, speculation, fraud and theft. Reality, at the end, gets unplugged. We live in an age when news consists of Snooki’s pregnancy, Hulk Hogan’s sex tape and Kim Kardashian’s denial that she is the naked woman cooking eggs in a photo circulating on the Internet. Politicians, including presidents, appear on late night comedy shows to do gags and they campaign on issues such as creating a moon colony. “At times when the page is turning,” Louis-Ferdinand Celine wrote in “Castle to Castle,” “when History brings all the nuts together, opens its Epic Dance Halls! hats and heads in the whirlwind! Panties overboard!”

The quest by a bankrupt elite in the final days of empire to accumulate greater and greater wealth, as Karl Marx observed, is modern society’s version of primitive fetishism. This quest, as there is less and less to exploit, leads to mounting repression, increased human suffering, a collapse of infrastructure and, finally, collective death. It is the self-deluded, those on Wall Street or among the political elite, those who entertain and inform us, those who lack the capacity to question the lusts that will ensure our self-annihilation, who are held up as exemplars of intelligence, success and progress. The World Health Organization calculates that one in four people in the United States suffers from chronic anxiety, a mood disorder or depression—which seems to me to be a normal reaction to our march toward collective suicide. Welcome to the asylum.

When the most basic elements that sustain life are reduced to a cash product, life has no intrinsic value. The extinguishing of “primitive” societies, those that were defined by animism and mysticism, those that celebrated ambiguity and mystery, those that respected the centrality of the human imagination, removed the only ideological counterweight to a self-devouring capitalist ideology. Those who held on to pre-modern beliefs, such as Native Americans, who structured themselves around a communal life and self-sacrifice rather than hoarding and wage exploitation, could not be accommodated within the ethic of capitalist exploitation, the cult of the self and the lust for imperial expansion. The prosaic was pitted against the allegorical. And as we race toward the collapse of the planet’s ecosystem we must restore this older vision of life if we are to survive.

The war on the Native Americans, like the wars waged by colonialists around the globe, was waged to eradicate not only a people but a competing ethic. The older form of human community was antithetical and hostile to capitalism, the primacy of the technological state and the demands of empire. This struggle between belief systems was not lost on Marx. “The Ethnological Notebooks of Karl Marx” is a series of observations derived from Marx’s reading of works by historians and anthropologists. He took notes about the traditions, practices, social structure, economic systems and beliefs of numerous indigenous cultures targeted for destruction. Marx noted arcane details about the formation of Native American society, but also that “lands [were] owned by the tribes in common, while tenement-houses [were] owned jointly by their occupants.” He wrote of the Aztecs, “Commune tenure of lands; Life in large households composed of a number of related families.” He went on, “… reasons for believing they practiced communism in living in the household.” Native Americans, especially the Iroquois, provided the governing model for the union of the American colonies, and also proved vital to Marx and Engel’s vision of communism.

Marx, though he placed a naive faith in the power of the state to create his workers’ utopia and discounted important social and cultural forces outside of economics, was acutely aware that something essential to human dignity and independence had been lost with the destruction of pre-modern societies. The Iroquois Council of the Gens, where Indians came together to be heard as ancient Athenians did, was, Marx noted, a “democratic assembly where every adult male and female member had a voice upon all questions brought before it.” Marx lauded the active participation of women in tribal affairs, writing, “The women [were] allowed to express their wishes and opinions through an orator of their own election. Decision given by the Council. Unanimity was a fundamental law of its action among the Iroquois.” European women on the Continent and in the colonies had no equivalent power.

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Rebuilding this older vision of community, one based on cooperation rather than exploitation, will be as important to our survival as changing our patterns of consumption, growing food locally and ending our dependence on fossil fuels. The pre-modern societies of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse—although they were not always idyllic and performed acts of cruelty including the mutilation, torture and execution of captives—did not subordinate the sacred to the technical. The deities they worshipped were not outside of or separate from nature.


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By heterochromatic, May 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

dia—-hetero has collected food for the homeless and helped set up food
pantries and green markets ........in addition to working full-time at the hospital
in NYC with the catchment area comprised of more poor and uninsured folks.

ain’t nobody ever going to go after that baby for the million bucks of medical
care….but the baby DID get every bit of the care she required…..didn’t she?


don’t know about where you live, but that’s the law in these parts…...no one
gets turned away when the need is pressing despite us knowing that we’re not
gonna get the bill paid.


in NYS, there’s what is known as the Bad Debt and Charity Pool that reimburses
part of the cost ...and we eat the balance and move on.

Report this

By diamond, May 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment

“What heterochromatic like all his Libertarian buddies fail to mention is that by the time a poor person goes to the emergency room their condition is far worse then it could have been. Also, once they leave they become “debt slaves” owing thousands of dollars and filing for medical bankruptcy.”

God, yes. And did you hear the one about the tourist who landed in America and had to have an emergency caesarean and gave birth to a premature baby. That woman now owes $1 million. Yes, that’s not a mistake - she owes $1 million for having the misfortune to have a premature baby and have her travel insurance say it wasn’t covered in her policy. This routinely happens to people who have the bad luck to find themselves ‘ill while uninsured’ in America, so the phenomenon of America’s deplorable health care system is not confined to Americans alone. And I suppose Hetero has never seen or heard of the army of homeless Americans who eat out of garbage cans and sleep under bridges in cardboard boxes. This fate has even befallen the corporate rich, if they were unlucky enough to have serious, long term illness that sent them bankrupt and forced them to sell their houses and since medical bankruptcy is the number one bankruptcy in America it happens much more often than most people are aware of. Hetero is one of those people who say, ‘Don’t be silly, the crocodile is only nibbling on my toes, it’ll be okay’ when in fact the crocodile is already up to his waist and still munching. Hetero ignores that fundamental law of the universe: never smile at a crocodile. Like so many others he is a sleepwalker.

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By heterochromatic, May 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

Korky—you give me the impression that you’ve some difficulty distinguishing
what you believe from what everybody knows.

Report this

By Korky Day, May 2, 2012 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

Mark E. Smith’s idea of success is pathetically low.

By success, I meant that those “elected” in the fraudulent election would not take office and continue the war crimes, fleecing the 99%, etc.

Worse, he wrote, “when people vote, they are consenting to be governed by whoever wins”.

Words such as those are not on any ballot.
Almost everyone knows better than that.

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By Korky Day, May 2, 2012 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

President Barack Obama would not be failing, or he wouldn’t be in office, if the USA had a democracy.
Vote in this fun poll I wrote titled
“Democratic reform USA 2012”.

It’s at this small, non-profit site:

http://www.demochoice.org/dcballot.php?poll=DemoRefUS

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americanme's avatar

By americanme, May 2, 2012 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

And it’s a slam dunk for the tall Native American as the pinche gringo troll goes through the hoop.

Game over!

Report this

By Ed Romano, May 2, 2012 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

Felicity, Yes, but what is often overlooked is that the German people elected Hitler to office. He did not seize power. Do you think the American electorate is any wiser? If you do, show me in our history where that is true. Time and again we have been bamboozled by the political agents of the system….only to fall for the same baloney a little while later. We are in the mess we are in world wide because the level of intelligence among the mass of human beings is what it is, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to improve anytime soon.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, May 2, 2012 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

avericanme (moonraven), if you’re a native American, then I’m a basketball.  You’re just an agitator.  Go to hell.

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By americanme, May 2, 2012 at 9:05 am Link to this comment

Reza the Rabid Racist wrote:

“OK maybe you got me. I could be wrong. But that
doesn’t automatically validate idolizing Native
Americans in a “noble savage” fashion. That shit is
just uncalled for.”

1.  I would like you to indicate who on this thread mentioned noble savages or automatically idolized Native Americans.

2.  I’ll save you the trouble of scanning the thread.  No one is the correct answer.

3.  You come here with your deliberate ignorance to get attention and use potty talk.  I think you are probably yet another clone of heterochromatic.

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By americanme, May 2, 2012 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

Hetero is so ignorant that he doesn’t even know he was suppose to DEFEND Arendt with everything and anything, since she was Jewish.

Personally, the very fact that hetero the hickey came out snarling to bite the ankles of her spirit is enough for me to know she was someone very special and very brave and told it like it was.

But then, I already knew that since I had been reading her books since the 50s….

The banality of evil is displayed every daqy on this site by cynical shills promoting genocide and thievery.

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By americanme, May 2, 2012 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

vector:  You pegged heterochromatic correctly.  he recives two bits for every post here.

And since he has no ideas, no facts and no information, he fills each post with potty talk personal attacks at the folks who know something about the world we live in.

He should be put away for life and fed through a slot in the door.

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By phibete, May 2, 2012 at 8:24 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges, if you have not already read Iaian McGilchrist’s magisterial work, THE MASTER AND HIS EMISSARY: THE DIVIDED BRAIN AND THE MAKING OF THE WESTERN WORLD, I urge you to do so. You and McGilchrist are on the same page of history.An evident polymath, McGilchrist looks at the same trends you see and deplore, deplores them as you do, but in addition, offers a troubling, possibly hopeful, explanation based on the interaction of the right and left hemispheres of our brains. Quick read on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Master_and_His_Emissary

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By heterochromatic, May 2, 2012 at 7:56 am Link to this comment

Ed- well, neighbor, I don’t blame you for being scared. Sometimes I wonder if I
have much in common with me any more. I wonder if any of us are what we were

Report this

By Ed Romano, May 2, 2012 at 7:25 am Link to this comment

Het, I’m from very nearby, though I was probably gone by the time you came on the scene. My father had friends in the neighborhood. I remember as a boy in the 30’s seeing men rooting through garbage cans in an alley behind a restaurant for something to eat. This was at a time when my father was chauffer for J.P. Morgan’s wife up in Westchester. I didn’t know it at the time but some of those experiences were my introduction to Capitalism 101…..I think I remember seeing somewhere that you voted for McGovern in ‘72. I was a delegate for McGovern at the convention in Miami, and this idea that I might have a few things in common with you is very scary for me.

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By heterochromatic, May 2, 2012 at 6:09 am Link to this comment

vec—- for the life of me, I don’t have the faintest idea why you would call me a
Libertatian, which is pretty much a grotesque thing.

I guess you do it because you’re a Falangist.

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By heterochromatic, May 2, 2012 at 6:05 am Link to this comment

NG—- my argument w/ Arendt took place at a meeting of the Society for
Philosophy and Public Affairs, a group of Phil Professors (with the occasional punk
undergrad such as myself).

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By vector56, May 2, 2012 at 5:59 am Link to this comment

“and there’s not a citizen of this country who isn’t guaranteed health care in an
emergency or who starves to death because no one will feed them.”

What heterochromatic like all his Libertarian buddies fail to mention is that by the time a poor person goes to the emergency room their condition is far worse then it could have been. Also, once they leave they become “debt slaves” owing thousands of dollars and filing for medical bankruptcy.


As far as life under Gaddafi;


http://ronabbass.wordpress.com/2011/08/29/amazing-facts-re-gaddafi-libya-not-revealed-to-westerners-vid-2/

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, May 2, 2012 at 4:26 am Link to this comment

ChaviztaKing, May 1 at 10:43…...
The ‘self-centered’ way of life, isn;t the exclusive domain of the left.  Look at the cultural habits of the right.  Prostitot pageants, big loud cars, big loud everything, consumption and the flagrant insistence on the right to exercise ‘personal freedom’ (like the freedom to be as wasteful as your money allows) at the expense of future generations. 

I agree with you about the power of corruption and the ego’s of left (and right) political leaders, and of many others achieving fame and notoriety.  We seem extremely susceptible to faults of the ego.  But generally, on the left, they do not promote an ideology which worships ego.  Jesus does not want you to be rich. 

Overall, having recognized ‘power corrupts’, it seems a far more progressive tax structure is in order.  If we do not return ill-gotten gains through some mechanism to a place from where they can be used to educate against the evils of the ego, these monies will continue to fuel unchecked self-worship.

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By ChaviztaKing, May 1, 2012 at 11:43 pm Link to this comment

Dear friends, I was talking with a leftist anarchist
from Spain.  And he told me that the problem of this
whole world, and the problem of all humans, including
the humans of right-wing parties and left-wing
parties, and even the problem of most left-wing
organizations, progressive movements is that most
humans are still within the the egocentric philosophy
of life. And behaving according to the dictates of
the ego. 

For many many reasons that are very hard to explain
right now, most humans of this world are still too
selfish, too narcissists, and are mind-controlled by
their high levels of egocentrism, egoism, narcissism,
selfishness.  That’s one of the major problems of the
whole world.  The egocentric way of life.

And even the leaders of the left-wing organizations,
progressive liberal leaders, progressive writters,
intellectuals are still too egoists. As soon as
intellectuals and writers get high levels of
popularity, fame, glory, they forget about their
leftist ideology, their heroic intentions of saving
the poor from poverty.  And the egoism destroys all
those heroic intentions that many of the world
leftist leaders might have.

And even today many of those leaders of Socialist
Workers Parties have not been able to control their
egos, to represse their natural selfishness and
pride. Leaders like Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero,
Michelle Bachelet, and now Barack Obama who promised
a progressive populist reformist anti-war political
program, it seems to me that Obama was also not able
to say NO to fame, glory, pride, and selfishness that
comes when people are presidents of USA.

Except of course JFK, Washington, Jefferson, Luther
King and a few other US presidents and leaders that
were able to say not to luxuries, fame and pride !!


.

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By Ali Reza, May 1, 2012 at 10:51 pm Link to this comment

“Reza:  All science is Pseudoscience, you retrograde
racist.”

Keep saying that and see if it sticks. Knowledge is
power and I’m glad you’re keeping yourself far away
from any position of power.

“Well you have that factoid wrong. The evidence out
there is that the mega fauna populations actually
increased a little when the Clovis people came. The
reason for the extinction of the mega fauna about
13,000 years ago is till as yet unknown.”

OK maybe you got me. I could be wrong. But that
doesn’t automatically validate idolizing Native
Americans in a “noble savage” fashion. That shit is
just uncalled for.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 1, 2012 at 10:36 pm Link to this comment

Interesting Heterochromatic where did you find this out? Any thing written down by Hannah Arendt that backs up your claim? Where can I find this out and it seems contrary to what I know about her.

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By diamond, May 1, 2012 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment

“there’s a hell of a big difference between “as good as it was”  or still going in the
right direction….and the desolation that you’re pretending is all around us.”

Well, that’s just incoherent. Nothing is still ‘going in the right direction’: that’s the problem. It’s all going in the wrong direction and all national governments can do is obey orders from the multinationals and their media lapdogs or be hung drawn and quartered in the polls. You may call that democracy but no fair minded or well-read person would. It’s used to be called ‘manufacturing consent’ but now they don’t give a fig about consent. I don’t tend to focus on ‘as good as it was’ - I’m aiming for ‘as good as it gets’. Original, I know, and hasn’t been tried in the past twenty or thirty years, not since Reagan and Maggie got their aged hands on political power and started dismantling civil society. A lot of people have reached retirement age and discovered that the corporations raided their pension funds too. The neo-liberals call that progress but I call it embezzlement.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 1, 2012 at 10:17 pm Link to this comment

Also: Native Americans caused quite a few extinctions as they crossed over the Bering Strait; they’re the reason we no longer see giant sloths and the like.- Ali Raza

Well you have that factoid wrong. The evidence out there is that the mega fauna populations actually increased a little when the Clovis people came. The reason for the extinction of the mega fauna about 13,000 years ago is till as yet unknown.

The Pleistocene or Ice Age extinction event

The Late Pleistocene extinction event saw the extinction of many mammals weighing more than 40 kg.
          _____________________________
  In North America around 33 of 45 genera of large mammals became extinct.
  In South America 46 of 58
  In Australia 15 of 16
  In Europe 7 of 23
  In Subsaharan Africa only 2 of 44

The extinctions in the Americas entailed the elimination of all the larger (over 100 kg) mammalian species of South American origin, including those that had migrated north in the Great American Interchange. Only in North America, South America and Australia did the extinction occur at family taxonomic levels or higher.

There are two main hypotheses concerning the Pleistocene extinction:

  The animals died off due to climate change: the retreat of the polar ice cap.
  The animals were exterminated by humans: the “prehistoric overkill hypothesis” (Martin, 1967).

There are some inconsistencies between the current available data and the prehistoric overkill hypothesis. For instance, there are ambiguities around the timing of sudden extinctions of Australian megafauna. Biologists note that comparable extinctions have not occurred in Africa and South or Southeast Asia, where the fauna evolved with hominids. Post-glacial megafaunal extinctions in Africa have been spaced over a longer interval.

Evidence supporting the prehistoric overkill hypothesis includes the persistence of certain island megafauna for several millennia past the disappearance of their continental cousins. Ground sloths survived on the Antilles long after North and South American ground sloths were extinct. The later disappearance of the island species correlates with the later colonization of these islands by humans. Similarly, woolly mammoths died out on remote Wrangel Island 7000 years after their mainland extinction. Steller’s sea cows also persisted off the isolated and uninhabited Commander Islands for thousands of years after they vanished from continental shores of the north Pacific.[1]

Controversial alternative hypotheses to the theory of human responsibility include the Younger Dryas event and Tollmann’s hypothetical bolide, which claim that the extinctions resulted from bolide impact(s). However, such hypotheses would predict an instantaneous, regional extinction(s), and thus cannot account for the planet-wide species losses that occurred over an interval of thousands of years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quaternary_extinction_event

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By heterochromatic, May 1, 2012 at 10:13 pm Link to this comment

Hannah Arendt was as nutty as anyone else, and was not a real big fan of the
American constitution. she thought that it placed too many restrictions on the
government.

She was frightened by American left-wing political protesters and I got into an
argument with her over her support for the Richard Nixon/John Mitchell preventive
detention program.

Report this

By CanDoJack, May 1, 2012 at 9:44 pm Link to this comment

What I think is most interesting about societal
continental divides is not the actions or lack of
them that impel the toboggan slide toward ultimate
destruction but, rather the behaviors en route to the
final nadir.

A Scientific American article in the 2005/September
issue [I think] said that if an environmental turn
around did not begin that year, civilization would be
beyond the point of no return.

I saw no reason to dispute that statement. But, I am
not a scientist qualified to voice an opinion of
value. However, I don’t recall any scientist who was
qualified who argued against the conclusion either.

I opine I am not alone in assuming we have now been
on an irreversible course of destruction since 2006.

I have long respected immensely the work of Hannah
Arendt. Arendt was such a consummately accomplished
student of the human condition as well as the human
condition caught in the ‘final solution’ that she was
unappreciated and depreciated by many of her own
people. The problems Arendt identified then—
diminishing human agency and political freedom, the
paradox that as human powers increase through
technological and humanistic inquiry, we are less
equipped to control the consequences of our actions—
present an apt metaphor of the prisoners of current
events on the toboggan ride to hell.

Notable already are the notions of those who are
confident that our destruction of the environment of
toboggan Earth is unimportant since ‘they - the true
believers’ will be raptured by Jesus and taken to
heaven (talk about asylums).

Indications that we are still in the ‘denial’ stage
of terminal illness on a mass level is the chronic
anxiety statistic with which Hedges begins his
article. I would bet that the illness as well as the
number who have it are exceedingly euphemistic.

Evidence that the human mind is really squirrelly is
also seen in the reality that the denial is so strong
that the focus of attention on solutions
(environmentally) is on resurrecting 50 year old
antiquated nuclear reactors which are
probabilistically the left fist in a ‘if the right
one don’t get you the left one will’ scenario.

And all that is just a harbinger of the terrors to
come. A harbinger that screams like a siren that the
shepherds of our flock think they have a destiny for
us when we are no longer worth being sheared.

And those mutton pluckers think they are going to
escape harm.

This article may not be Hedges’s best article but, I
think it is the most realistic one.

“We profited as a nation from this demented vision,
we remained passive and silent when we should have
denounced the crimes committed in our name, and now
that the game is up we all go down together.”

That voice was probably heard in the Dachaus whose
survivors, as represented by the current
administration of the government of Israel, repeat
and intensify on their subjugated the horrors of
their own experience.

Anyway, having just seen the 3D version of Titanic I
suppose we can look forward to some incredible Oscar
contending flicks of the terminally depressed
plummeting from the new Twin Towers Temple.

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By elisalouisa, May 1, 2012 at 8:54 pm Link to this comment

Michael:“I am not saying that its illegal to use someone else’s photo, but
doesn’t the photograph that Chris Hedges uses for this article look familiar?”

Yes Michael. It was used sometime back on another Truthdig article(link provided).

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/this_time_were_taking_the_whole_planet_with_us_20110307/

Very haunting photograph.

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By heterochromatic, May 1, 2012 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment

and there’s not a citizen of this country who isn’t guaranteed health care in an
emergency or who starves to death because no one will feed them.


we have poor people and we have people who are worse off than merely poor, but
we don’t have mass serfdom.

you’re way out of line defending a military dictatorship overseen by a nasty old
lunatic on the ground that he didn’t steal ALL of the wealth that he appropriated as
his property and fed his subjects with some of it.

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By redteddy, May 1, 2012 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment

@Mark E Smith

But I don’t feel as if anything has been stolen, not in terms of the commons
though I understand what you’re getting at.  So why don’t I feel anything has
been stolen?  Because I haven’t grown up during that age.  I also don’t feel put
upon every time I have to show a passport (TSA is something else entirely)
because I never lived in the age whereby people traveled internationally without
one. My family owns land but its not not here in the US.  Recently I discovered
that there were squatters on the land.  My mother hired a lawyer to have them
removed or face arrest, we could have simply said “Oh well, we’re not living on
it so let them use it”. The problem of course comes when you want to reclaim
land you financially sacrificed to own to begin with.  If we were living in an age
where land was owned by the commons there would be no question of property
rights and property protection under the law but we don’t live in that age and I
cannot pretend to.

I agree the forests and nature have been exploited but we are not going to go
back to an age where the earth beneath your feet isn’t covered in concrete and
tar, not in urban centers anyway.  We can protect those who presently live in the
forests but we ourselves are not going to go back to the forests and if we did
we would still be destroying it if not in part.  Our sheer numbers globally means
we are destined to destroy part of it. The idea of the commons is no more and
there is no way for our large populations to claim the commons and still
provide for everyone without damage and hurt.  But this was a little of a red
herring because the discussion of violence vs non-violence was regarding
movements which claim to want to garner the support of others.  If you want to
think of the commons then you also have to think of the communities that
didn’t consent to have their public places and private centers they frequent
defaced and vandalized.

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By OzarkMichael, May 1, 2012 at 8:32 pm Link to this comment

I am not saying that its illegal to use someone else’s photo, but doesnt the photograph that Chris Hedges uses for this article look familiar?

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By vector56, May 1, 2012 at 8:31 pm Link to this comment

Freedom with no food or health care makes one a Surf.

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By heterochromatic, May 1, 2012 at 8:28 pm Link to this comment

vec—- are you really that much a materialist that if
Gaddafi fed the slaves then everything was
good…..cause if you are, you belong over with the
Heritage Foundation.

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By elisalouisa, May 1, 2012 at 7:58 pm Link to this comment

“And it is our souls that the culture of imperialism, business and technology
seeks to crush.”

Perhaps the collective soul of such a culture was crushed long ago.

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By vector56, May 1, 2012 at 6:21 pm Link to this comment

“edteddy—- when you’ve spent more time with Smith, you’ll find out that he’s
foolish enough to talk about the virtues of Gaddafi’s crazy-assed dictatorial
misrule of Libya. “

heterochromatic’s above statement makes it clear that he is nothing more than a “two bit” provocateur.


Take the time to look up how the people of Lybia lived under Gaddafi; free health care, free housing, free education both at home and abroad, gas was 14 cents a gallon! Under these religious “crazies” we help put in power the Women and “Black” Lydians will suffer most.

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By heterochromatic, May 1, 2012 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment

more idiocy from the crazy racist…...

quite enjoyable

 

waiting on hearing about Ice People.

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By americanme, May 1, 2012 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment

Reza:  All science is Pseudoscience, you retrograde racist.

Science is just another religion used to justify genocide and thievery.

I am not an elitist, but some of you folks are just toooooooooooo unwashed.

Reza:  Try reading DeLoria’s books, beginning with Custer Died for Your Sins—educate yourself.

I would be embarrassed to be as uneducated and unaware as most of you posting on this site.

Must be that big thick Wall of Denial that keeps you from learning anything.

And it’s internet form to SITE the SOURCE you just plagiarized an OPINION from.

Duh.

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By Ali Reza, May 1, 2012 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment

Just found out who Vine Deloria is.

“In 1995, Deloria argued in his book Red Earth, White
Lies that the Bering land bridge never existed, and
that the ancestors of the Native Americans had not
migrated to the Americas over such a land bridge, as
has been claimed by most archaeologists. Rather, he
asserted that the Native Americans may have originated
in the Americas, or reached them through transoceanic
travel, as some of their creation stories suggested.
[7]

Deloria’s position on the age of certain geological
formations, the length of time Native Americans have
been in the Americas, their possible coexistence with
dinosaurs, etc. were influential in the development of
American Indian Creationism, which generally rejects
scientific explanations of origins of indigenous
peoples in the Americas.[7][8] Deloria has been
criticized for his embrace of American Indian
creationism, by such scholars as Bernard Ortiz de
Montellano and H. David Brumble, who says such views
are not supported by the scientific and physical
evidence, and contribute to problems of pseudoscience.
[9] Deloria often cited Christian creationist authors
in support of his views relating to science. He also
relied on Hindu creationists, such as Michael Cremo.
[10]”

BTW: the left NEVER indulges in pseudoscience.

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By Ali Reza, May 1, 2012 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

“The Bering Land Bridge white-initiated myth—and all of
its other deliberate lies about indigenous folks were
debunked 50 years ago by Vine DeLoria, Jr.”

Who?

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, May 1, 2012 at 5:35 pm Link to this comment

Smith can’t resist the chance to do some dirty voter suppression work for the Republicans.

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By heterochromatic, May 1, 2012 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment

higher education abroad was paid for only for Gaddafi loyalists….... and you forgot
to mention that Gaddafi made the trains run on time.


zero political rights or freedom . absolute censorship.

duplicitous little Duranty-headed dope.

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By Mark E. Smith, May 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment

Korky Day writes, “Efforts to lower the vote turn-out enough to discredit an election have never succeeded in the USA.”

It’s the other way ‘round, Korky. Efforts to get out the vote have never succeeded in the USA. Despite the corporations spending billions of dollars funding election campaigns, they can barely muster a 50% turnout, even in Presidential race years, and nowhere near that in midterms. And even that much turnout is partly due to people voting for third party and independent candidates who don’t get a dime of those corporate billions.

But when people vote, they are consenting to be governed by whoever wins, not by the candidate they vote for, so the winner gets to claim the entire turnout as a mandate, because the half the eligible electorate that voted, consented to be governed by whoever won.

That’s probably not what most third-party voters intend to do, but that’s what results.

Some say there are only two choices, the bullet or the ballot. They’re wrong. There is a third option: nonviolently discrediting the government by withholding consent.

It hasn’t worked here because it hasn’t been tried. Too many people still believe that it is their precious right to cast an uncounted, unverifiable ballot for people who can’t be held accountable. Some voters even believe that their vote for candidates who won’t allow public opinion to influence policy decisions, is their voice in government. And some even believe that delegating their power to a government that doesn’t represent their interests is a sign that they care and that they aren’t apathetic—as if anyone who really cared would delegate their power to a government that doesn’t represent their interests.

There’s still a lot of consciousness raising to do, Korky, but more and more people are waking up every day.

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By heterochromatic, May 1, 2012 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

where you from Ed?

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By Korky Day, May 1, 2012 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment

I loved people much better after I became an atheist.
Nevertheless, I don’t mind allying with Chris Hedges the Christian.

Efforts to lower the vote turn-out enough to discredit an election have never succeeded in the USA.  One would need to get enough people to pledge ahead of time to abstain.

Until then, vote against the Duopoly:  Green, Libertarian, Socialist, Ron Paul, etc.

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By Mark E. Smith, May 1, 2012 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment

Prior to the US-engineered invasion, there were no homeless in Libya and no tenements. Gaddafi used his country’s oil money to provide decent housing for every Libyan. They also had pure drinking water at the tap, something very few people in the US have any more, which cost billions of dollars to provide and was totally destroyed and polluted by US/NATO depleted uranium bombs. They had no student debt—higher education, even abroad, was paid for by the Libyan government. And of course they had free health care. Most of the things that Occupy is demanding were things that Libyans enjoyed before the US invasion. Free housing, health care, and education? Sorry, that’s something only evil dictators give their people—democracies will shoot you for daring to even mention such radical ideas.

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By Ed Romano, May 1, 2012 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment

Het, Funny I never smelled you.

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By Mark E. Smith, May 1, 2012 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment

I said that vandalism isn’t violence, and redteddy replied:

“Yes it is.  If you spray paint my home or destroy property in my neighborhood it is indeed an act of violence.  Destruction of property is a form of violence as the definition of violence is ‘behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage or kill someone or SOMETHING.’”

In Ned Ludd & Queen Mab, Peter Linebaough wrote:

“Looking back two hundred years from the vantage pointof 2011, it is easier to see that the proletariat was not insular or particular to England. It had suffered traumatic loss as we have seen in a few of the myriad commons of 1811 such as the Irish knowledge commons, the agrarian commons of the Nile, the open fields of England enclosed by Acts of Parliament, the Mississippi delta commons, the Creek-Chickasaw-Cherokee commons, the llaneros and pardos of Venezuela, the Mexican comunidades de los naturales, the eloquently expressed nut-and-berry commons of the Great Lakes, the customs of the sikep villagers of Java, the subsistence commons of Welsh gardeners, the commons of the street along the urban waterfront, the lascars crammed in dark spaces far from home, and the Guyanese slaves building commons and community—and these losses were accomplished by terrifying machines—the man-of-war, the steam engine, the cotton gin—which therefore were not seen as ‘improvement,’ ‘development,’ or ‘progress’ but as hell itself.”

In other words for people to have private property, the commmunal property or commons was stolen by force of violence that meets your definition of violence completely. Can you claim the loss of something you stole or that was stolen for your benefit? Maybe you didn’t know it was stolen?

There were forests here. They fed and sheltered people, asking nothing in return except that they not be destroyed. The pavements and buildings here now are much worse violence, their construction having involved “physical force intended to hurt, damage or kill someone,” and which did indeed hurt, damage, and kill millions, than any vandalism directed at the proceeds of and monuments to the enormous genocidal violence involved in the theft of the global commons for private profit.

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By americanme, May 1, 2012 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

Ah, that’s the lumpen no-neck’s excuse for never having worked:  He grew up in the projects.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOh.  Sound of out-of-tune violin playing.

Must have been tough being white there.

And that’s his excuse for promoting genocide against all non-whites.

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By heterochromatic, May 1, 2012 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment

930 Mace Ave apt 5d

lived there until the summer before high school.

——————-

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By Ed Romano, May 1, 2012 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

Het, Bullshit.

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By heterochromatic, May 1, 2012 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

you lose the bet, Ed

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By Ed Romano, May 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

Het, Yeah, but it’s a safe bet you didn’t.

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By Ed Romano, May 1, 2012 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

Weylguy, I think it isn’t a division between the sane and the insane so much as it is a division between those with imagination and those with none….. I think you’re right to say that most of us are insane, but you could spend your life looking for a sane man and never find one, because that creature is rarer that a sweet smelling elephant. We are all cracked in one way or another and ....if you stop to think about it….who do you know who is perfectly well glued together ? Imagination is the thing that’s needed….the imagination to know what it’s like to walk in another person’s shoes. This is the gift that’s missing.

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By heterochromatic, May 1, 2012 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

Ed—- one of those posters grew up in a housing project in the Bronx.

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By redteddy, May 1, 2012 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

@Mark E. Smith

Yes it is.  If you spray paint my home or destroy property in my neighborhood it
is indeed an act of violence.  Destruction of property is a form of violence as the
definition of violence is ‘behavior involving physical force intended to hurt,
damage or kill someone or SOMETHING.’  The whole problem with diversity
tactics is it leads to autonomous actions such as the foiled bombing in
cleveland.  The idea that its okay to destroy property taken to its next logical
conclusion is “why not blow up a bridge?” If there isn’t anyone on the bridge
then what’s the problem with blowing it up.

Not supporting the war machine would also entail not paying taxes and not
supporting corporations simply means changing one’s lifestyle and opting out
of popular culture. Start community food gardens, engage in local economies
and small local business. The only issue with getting off the grid while still
living in an urban or suburb is entails being able to control ones energy source
which means having the money for solar and alternative means of garnering
energy.  I agree that governments derive their powers from the consent of the
governed but I am not sure if not voting helps too much except to show
discontent.  Do you remember for years there were all these articles
discussing how so many americans don’t vote?  Up until Obama young people
seemed to never vote. I think this shows Americans have been disenchanted
with the system for a very long time.  I would LOVE to see no votes or only 10%
of the
population who did vote.  THAT would be a powerful statement, it would also
throw the system into confusion. If such an event were ever to occur I still think
other countries would continue to side with the US in wars of aggression. Why?
Because these are resource wars and most of these nations are backing the US
based on their own perceived interests.  Sometimes those interests means
never siding with the US.  No, I
think the only way to stop other nations from siding with the US is if you can
get young men and women to stop volunteering to go to war. Better still is if
you can convince the members of the armed forces to do what they never do
which is simply refuse to take orders, ANY orders.  Then you would have a
disarmed nation-state and a de facto peaceful coup. Then of course the
problem would be filling that vacuum which is what happened in Egypt.

I agree wholeheartedly with starving the system.

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By redteddy, May 1, 2012 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

@Mark E. Smith

Yes it is.  If you spray paint my home or destroy property in my neighborhood it is indeed an act of violence.  Destruction of property is a form of violence as the definition of violence is ‘behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage or kill someone or SOMETHING.’  The whole problem with diversity
tactics is it leads to autonomous actions such as the foiled bombing in cleveland.  The idea that its okay to destroy property taken to its next logical conclusion is “why not blow up a bridge?” If there isn’t anyone on the bridge then what’s the problem with blowing it up.

Not supporting the war machine would also entail not paying taxes and not supporting corporations simply means changing one’s lifestyle and opting out of popular culture. Start community food gardens, engage in local economies and small local business. The only issue with getting off the grid while still living in an urban or suburb is entails being able to control ones energy source which means having the money for solar and alternative means of garnering energy.  I agree that governments derive their powers from the consent of the governed but I am not sure if not voting helps too much except to show discontent.  Do you remember for years there were all these articles
discussing how so many americans don’t vote?  Up until Obama young people seemed to never vote. I think this shows Americans have been disenchanted with the system for a very long time.  I would LOVE to see no votes or only 10% of the
population who did vote.  THAT would be a powerful statement, it would also throw the system into confusion. If such an event were ever to occur I still think other countries would continue to side with the US in wars of aggression. Why? Because these are resource wars and most of these nations are backing the US based on their own perceived interests.  Sometimes those interests means never siding with the US.  No, I
think the only way to stop other nations from siding with the US is if you can get young men and women to stop volunteering to go to war. Better still is if you can convince the members of the armed forces to do what they never do which is simply refuse to take orders, ANY orders.  Then you would have a disarmed nation-state and a de facto peaceful coup. Then of course the problem would be filling that vacuum which is what happened in Egypt.

I agree wholeheartedly with starving the system.

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By Ed Romano, May 1, 2012 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

Good Evening Comrades, I see everything is humming a long as usual here in the asylum. One of the inmates says that things in this country aren’t nearly as bad as another writes they are. I think it is a safe bet to make that this inmate doesn’t pick the city dump along with his family for something to eat as many in Latin America do thanks to the extraction of wealth from their country by Wall St…..He hasn’t witnessed his family be incinerated by U.S. drones…. Oops, sorry. Our mistake….He doesn’t live in the South Bronx, a housing project in Detroit, Watts etc. His kids aren’t among the millions who go to bed hungry every night right here in the land of the free, home of the brave…..No. But this patriot is busy telling everyone who is aware of these atrocities what liars and fools they are.  Is this a country ( Ooops, sorry. I mean asylum ) or what ?

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By weylguy, May 1, 2012 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment

Like him or not, Chris Hedges (my favorite writer) tells it like it is.

The old adage “Whom the gods would destroy, they first drive insane” is quite true. The critical part is the realization that when that times comes, its citizens are unaware that they’re insane. The frustrating part is that the number of sane people remaining are too few to effect much change, and so are forced to watch the disintegration.

Hedges, like Cassandra, sees the future but is powerless to warn others about it. That’s because they’re insane.

Let it crash and burn. A good chunk of the world, including the environment and many lives, will go with it. But it’s unstoppable.

Candide, feeling the same way about his generation, famously said “Tend your garden.” That’s also my advice.

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By Mark E. Smith, May 1, 2012 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

@redteddy

Vandalism isn’t violence.

What I suggest, have continuously suggested, and will continue to suggest, is that people stop supporting the system.

Since you’re an ex-pat, you’ve done that. Thank you.

For those like me who still have a stake here, it is important not to support the war machine, not to support corporations, and not to vote to delegate our power to government. A vote is the consent of the governed. “Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed…” It is important to withhold our consent. Refusing to vote is legal, nonviolent, and effortless.

What would happen if, after the corporations have spent billions of dollars funding the 2012 election campaigns in order to gain the consent of the governed for their puppet politicians, only 10% of the electorate voted? Do you think the corporations would throw money away like that again? It would undo Citizens United without legislation, a Constitutional Amendment, or any other efforts, and would do so immediately. With only a very small turnout, do you think that other countries which wish to continue to present themselves as democratic governments would continue to recognize the US as a democratic government and would continue to ally with the US in its wars of aggression? With only a very small turnout, do you think that foreign creditors would have as much faith in the ability of the US to repay loans? Would government be able to claim a mandate? Would politicians who took office after a 10% election turnout have any credibility or be taken seriously?

I’m not asking people to oppose the system, although I’ll support their efforts to do so in whatever manner their conscience dictates, I’m only asking people to stop supporting the system. Given what we know of this system, some of which I enumerated in a previous comment, is that too much to ask?

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By colin2626262, May 1, 2012 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

My God, my God, please don’t let us forsake you.  Oh . . . Lord . . . have mercy upon us and forgive us for our sins.  Help us to live with you and love you and love one another, so that this world, and our society, can be pleasing to you and so that we can live here on earth together, in peace, in happiness, and in prosperity.  We can all have enough food to eat and a place to sleep, a home, if we shared, if we weren’t so greedy and selfish and unfeeling toward other people.  We have to live not just for you but for others, since you are within us all.  If we claim to love you but hate our brothers and sisters, then we are liars and there’s no truth in us, as it says in the New Testament.  Lord, God of my soul, you are right here with us, right now, and we can be with you and help one another in the same way you help us, by giving us love.  We can give love to others if only we have faith in your love for us, if only we keep praying to you.  Many of us do pray.  There are many, many believers in the world.  The atheists are in the minority, Lord.  They are the most pitiful of us all, and they need the most help.  But we, as believers, are strong, and we can show love and bring others to you through the love we demonstrate and the truth we expound to a needy, lost world, a world of confusion, illusion, self-delusion, and chaos.  All the wars, the bloodshed, the conflicts large or small, can be resolved, if only we remember you, Lord, if only we pray to you and feel your love so that we can give your love to others.  Love ends all fighting.  Love ends all selfishness.  Love ends all sorrow.  Love defeats death.  And love is from you, God, so we must pray to you, or else we will die.  We will kill ourselves if we don’t love you.  Help us not to do that, Lord.  Help us to live and keep living, forever and ever.  Amen.”

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By heterochromatic, May 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

dia—- you’re freaking out. nothing is anywhere near to as bad as you’re claiming.

there’s a hell of a big difference between “as good as it was”  or still going in the
right direction….and the desolation that you’re pretending is all around us.


(I’m still getting mail from the union that I used to work for and that union is still
part of what the weirder right-wingers claim to be union thugs beating down
anyone not black and voting for Obama)

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By colin2626262, May 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

Lord, help us to return to you.  I would ask you in this prayer to help us to pray to you, but I know, and you know, that only we can choose to pray.  We have to make that choice.  We were given free will.  We can choose to live.  We can choose to be good.  We can choose to love.  We can choose happiness.  We can choose life.  Or we can choose the opposite of all those.  We can choose not to pray.  We can choose suicide.  We can choose death.  But why would we want to choose to live an evil life than ends in death?  Why would we want to live miserable lives that are so hateful to us we would rather they ended?  Why would we want that for ourselves?  The answer is we don’t want that.  We want life.  But we have to work for that life, that spiritual life that you gave us and that you want us to keep living in, forever.  We can be connected to you through prayer in this life and in the next life.  Love never ends, and prayer never ends.  It only ends if we decide we want to end it.  I don’t want your love for me to end, God.  And I know no one else would want love, or life, to end for themselves if they knew how to experience love, if they knew how to live.  As a society, we’re living in the wrong way.  We’re not living right.  Our sense of right and wrong has dissipated with our lack of spirituality.  Writers like Chris Hedges remind us of that, and they are doing a service to humanity, but we also need writers to remind us that there is an answer to all this immorality and suffering, and that answer begins and ends with your name, Lord.  You are the Truth.  You are Life.  You are Love.  You are God.

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By colin2626262, May 1, 2012 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment

There is one answer to all this madness, and that is faith in God.  I’m not talking about Christianity or any other dogmatic faith.  I’m talking about what I said religion was, a relationship with God.  Even if you’re skeptical about the power of faith or its reality, you have nothing to lose by trying to pray and see if there really is a God, a God who loves you, gives you the ability to love others, and gives you happiness.  If you’re living without God, you’re already in despair.  You’re living in sin, and you will die in your sins if you don’t have faith in God.  If you’re living without God, if you’re not praying to God on a daily basis, you’re lost, you’re alone, you’re suffering inconsolably, you don’t have a friend who truly understands you or cares about you, and saddest of all, you’re living an evil, hateful life, which is contributing to an evil, hateful society. 
  I do have to follow my own teaching.  This is why I pray now, saying, “Lord, have mercy on me and help me to follow your will so that I can be a good person, a loving person who feels love in myself and for others.  My God, I know I have strayed from you in the past, and I’m sorry.  I need to return to you.  I have no feelings of love or joy unless I’m with you.  I have nothing without you, no purpose, no meaning, only an empty life.  Without you, when I’ve strayed from you, I’ve sought solace in my lusts, leading me to a selfish, unhappy life of guilt and shame and unendurable sorrow.  That is not why you gave me life.  That’s not why you gave anyone life.  You gave us life to be joyful and loving and kind and innocent, pure as children, and we are your children.  But we have forgotten your love at times, and we’ve become sinners, evil people who don’t know how to live and don’t know what to live for.  Lord God, I call on you for help.  I am suffering, I have problems, and yet I know you can help me.  You can turn my suffering into joy, my pain and sorrow and tears into a smile.  There is no hope for me, or for anyone, without your love.  You are not indifferent to our suffering.  You are always with us, helping us, if we call on you for help.  And when we die, you will still be with us, loving us eternally.  There is no end to your love for your creation.  We cannot grasp all the reasons why you do what you do.  We don’t know all the answers.  But we do know that if we love you, if we have faith in you, if we pray to you, we will live, and we will be happy.  This is what you want for us.  Why don’t we want what you want?  Why don’t we want to live?  Would we rather die?  Would we rather commit suicide?  God forbid.  None of us wants to die.  We all want to live.  So please help us, God, to live.  Please help us to be good.  We cannot be good without you.  We cannot love unless you give us love, and you give us love when we pray to you.  Then we can give that love to others.

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By colin2626262, May 1, 2012 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

How do we change society for the better?  How do we make society more loving, more just, more compassionate?  How do we reverse the ugly, self-destructive horrors, the violence, the hunger, the homelessness?  Prayer is the answer. 
  It starts with us.  It started with God.  It started, in the beginning, with God’s love for us.  But if we want to be loving, kind, empathetic, united as a people, we have to start loving God more than we are, and we have to make our religion, our love for God, public.  It obviously does society no good if you keep your love private, if you don’t share it with others.  I myself also have to take my own advice and pray and not just write about it, either.  I have to do it.  If I don’t, I’m nothing but a hypocrite.  If I don’t show love to others, if I choose not to pray to the God of love, the God who really does exist and really does love me, I will kill myself, along with the unbelievers who don’t know any better.  That’s what Chris Hedges was writing about, although he didn’t use the kind of religious language I’m using.  He was writing about suicide, how we are going to commit collective suicide if we don’t change our way of life.  But it has to begin with the individual not wanting to commit suicide.  No one wants to die, and yet many people feel they wish they were dead.  They don’t have a reason to live.  They don’t have love.  That’s why.  They don’t feel any love.  That’s what life is: love.  If you don’t feel love, you feel dead, and you feel alone, deathly alone, without a friend, with no one to talk to, no one to understand you, no one to comfort you or keep you company, no one to save you from loneliness, from death, or from despair.   
  This is why our society has degenerated to what it is today.  It’s become a society of despair, of despairing people who don’t care whether they live or die.  If they don’t care whether they live or die, why would they care if the natural world lives or dies?  Why would they care if other people live or die?

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By colin2626262, May 1, 2012 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

Some may see prayer as impractical.  “It doesn’t do anything,” they might say.  “It doesn’t work,” some atheist might say.  It does work.  And it does everything.  Why?  Because love is everything, and that’s what prayer is.  When you pray to God, you might ask for something, and then you might not get what you want, and so you then might say prayer doesn’t work or God doesn’t care about you.  But you have to understand that we as human beings are limited in what we know about God.  We do not understand God’s will in the world or in our lives.  All we can do is try to follow God’s will.  If we keep praying, even though we don’t feel our prayers have been answered in the way we want them to be, we establish our relationship with God.  We give love to God through prayer, through thinking of God, directing our minds to God, talking to God, spending time with God, meditating on God, and then God gives love to us, unconditional love that never ends.  This is prayer.  But it takes effort.  You can’t just say a mechanical prayer or say God’s name and think you’ve prayed.  You have to follow the words of Christ and pray with “all your heart” and “all your mind” and “all your soul” and “all your strength.”  You have to have faith like a child, knowing that we are not simply beings with reason.  We also have feelings.  There are experiences we have that are not subject to rational calculations.  We are greater than the sum of our bodily parts.  We pray using our brains, yet we are not reducible to neurotransmitters.           
  In the end, those who don’t pray become evil.  We weren’t born evil.  We were born as children, who are good.  But when we grow up, we may stray from God.  We may have doubts about God’s goodness in a world of suffering.  But, again, as the Book of Job points out, we are not in a position to question God, since our human minds cannot fathom God.  Trying to use our rational minds to understand God is like trying to fit the ocean in a little cup.  It doesn’t work.  We can only pray and form a relationship with our Friend, who loves us and will always love us.  Life has no end when you are living with God.  The love of God is eternal, and that is who we are.  We have not recognized who we truly are.  We’ve been living lives of desperation, loneliness, despair, misery, all because we have decided we don’t need to live for God, that God is an outdated concept, a primitive belief that belongs in the dustbin of history.  Marx infamously said religion was an opiate, the drug the masses took to make them feel better about their miserable lives, looking to a future life for consolation.  No, religion makes this life, this life on earth, livable.  God makes us able to live happy lives, lives of love and joy and meaning.  There is the question for some: What does it mean to be religious?  It means to love God, as Jesus taught, and to love others.  How do we love God?  How do we practice religion?  What defines a religious person?  These questions are all simple.  Prayer is the answer.

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By colin2626262, May 1, 2012 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment

The corporate state, the government we have that is controlled by Wall Street, has decided we don’t matter.  These forces in society have decided we actually are matter and that’s it.  They don’t think we have souls.  They don’t think there’s anything in life other than money.  There’s no need for truth, no need for beauty, no need for poetry, no need for literature or music or anything that can empower us and give us transcendent feelings of joy and meaning.  No, all there is to them is a bleak world of stock prices and bank accounts.  The mystery of life, the search for answers to the ultimate questions of existence, is to them a meaningless quest.  That is because they have become cynics and have given up searching themselves, thinking they understand all there is, since the only thing there is to understand, according to them, is how to survive materially.  Well, we also have to survive spiritually.  We also have to love and be loved.  We have to feel love, or else life is a living death. 
  Chris Hedges, whom I admire for his writing, does not mention that there is a God who loves us.  If we are going to live spiritual lives, we cannot ignore our connection to the source of life and love, and the way we connect to that source is through prayer, which everyone knows how to do.  We have to pray more.  We have to become better people, morally, if we expect our society to become more just.  Unlike Karl Marx, I don’t believe the state is going to transform itself through an ideology of workers rights, leading to an end to economic injustice.  There will be no communist utopia, only a society made up of people demanding change because they know that love is what rules us, and love must be the change.  We must be more loving, and that starts with our religious beliefs, our prayers.  We cannot simply pray.  We have to act.  But our actions will only be good, will only be loving, if we are following the will of God, if we are praying to God and allowing God to act through us.  God is real, a real Being, who loves us more than we can ever know, who forgives us for our sins and helps us with all our problems, all our sufferings.  We can overcome the world and set up the kingdom of God on earth, but we all have to work for that kind of society, a society of love and compassion.  We can’t be lazy.  We can’t shirk our duty to God and to one another.

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By colin2626262, May 1, 2012 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

When human beings are thought of only in terms of what they can produce in a capitalist economy, human life becomes meaningless.  Our lives lose value.  We become intrinsically worthless.  The theory and practice of capitalist society is self-defeating in the worst sense.  It is not only immoral but self-destructive, suicidal.  It is sin, on a mass scale, affecting everyone, including the oppressors who perpetuate the system.  No one can escape.  Pre-modern societies give us a window into a more imaginative social structure.  We did not always, as a species, turn to wage slavery and have an entire economy of exploitation serving a few oligarchs.  There have been instances of a more communal, self-sacrificing understanding of social relations.  There is a precedent for a way of life in which human beings did not worship themselves and seek to selfishly dominate others, as seen in imperialist wars and the mentality of colonialism.   
  Pre-capitalist societies, such as those of Native Americans, had a belief system that contributed to a communitarian ethos that valued nature.  Native Americans were basically exterminated, and one reason was that their way of life did not fit into the idea of an exploitative, capitalist order.  Hence, they were expendable.  We have to try to go back to these pre-modern ways of thinking if we’re going to survive.  What we eat and how we grow food, what we consume, the products we are dependent on, all have to be rethought of in terms of their essentialness.  In other words, we should be focusing on the basic necessities of life, making sure everyone has enough of them.  This should be the focus of the economy, not amassing wealth, not the stock market, not anything related to money, which, in essence, is not real. 
  Modern society as we see it today is in some sense a child of Enlightenment thinking, which viewed human beings as separate from nature and understood rationalism and scientific progress as the greatest of goods, a utilitarian mindset.  Industrial society has been made possible through reason and technological advancement.  However, reason is only a small facet of human existence.  Our advances in science and technology, for example, have not brought us happiness.  We may have increased our rationality, but it’s been at the expense of our feelings, how we ourselves feel and how we feel about others.  Empathy, another word for love, has been forgotten.  This is why our society is destroying itself.  It is an uncaring, unloving, materialist absurdity, where people are no longer seen as embodiments of the divine, no longer even worthy of love or respect.  Instead, we are seen as simply bodies, without worth, without any inherent dignity or sacredness, just flesh.  This is the consequence of our spiritual degradation, our pride and self-exultation, our thinking that we are all alone here on earth without a sense of higher purpose.

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By colin2626262, May 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

I read the latest column from the writer Chris Hedges.  I may be wrong, but it seemed he was indirectly responding to some of what I wrote last week in his article this week.  He wrote about how American society has gone insane.  The environment is being exploited and destroyed.  Senseless wars, like the so-called “war on terrorism”, are waged without respite.  So many millions of people are living in poverty in the US, not to mention globally, the tragedy being that there would be enough for everyone if we did not have hedonistic plutocrats in control.  Our culture is one of illusion, as evidenced by what passes for news: mostly celebrity gossip and political theater.
  The powerful in society, the elites, are seeking ever greater amounts of wealth for themselves at the expense of the rest of us.  The masses of people, I being one of them, who are being exploited for this wealth have to be repressed, by use of force if necessary.  We have to suffer in our material lives so that the rich can stay rich and even get richer.  And they don’t care about our suffering.  We are only commodities, in the language of capitalism, human commodities being used and then discarded when we no longer have the value of earning money for our masters.  This will lead not only to society’s collapse but to the destruction of our lives, of life itself.  We will die collectively if this continues. 
  The free market, Wall Street, the almighty dollar, we are told by the intelligentsia, define us.  Capitalism, which is supposedly synonymous with democracy, is what America is all about.  We achieve success in life according to how much money we earn.  Anyone who disagrees is not living in reality.  Just don’t mention how many people are suffering in this reality, how reportedly a quarter of the population feels they suffer from brain diseases called anxiety and depression.

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By diamond, May 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

“things were better in the seventies, but that doesn’t mean that things are
going to result in a return to the 19th C.”

‘Are going to’? They already have. Where have you been? Wake up, for God’s sake. The unions have been destroyed, the common good has been discredited, civil society has been dismantled and global capital is ransacking democracy the way the Goths sacked Rome. Margaret Thatcher said that the 19th century was Britain’s Golden Age and she also said ‘There is no such thing as society’. Did you think she was joking? She showed no evidence of having any sense of humor whatsoever, so what are the odds? This is their creed and we are living their creed, whether you realize it or not.

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By heterochromatic, May 1, 2012 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

dia—- things were better in the seventies, but that doesn’t mean that things are
going to result in a return to the 19th C.

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By Marcus Riedner, May 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One day I hope to meet Mr. Hedges and give him a really big hug. He seems like a man who needs a hug.

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By diamond, May 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

“Bullshit”.

Well, actually it’s not bullshit, Jimbob. By any measure the average American worker in the seventies was better paid, had better working conditions and was better educated than his 21st century counterpart. This is a fact. It’s not a question of looking back to some golden age but a sober assessment of the facts which leads any reasonable person to conclude that America has been put on a conveyor belt back to the 19th century - and so has everyone else, except for the Scandinavians. The reason this has happened is simple: in the nineties democracy was spreading like wildfire and something had to be done about that. It was.

‘...the new phenomenon - the globalization of capital - which is changing the shape of the world and which, in fact, is eroding the authority of nations, and the ability of ordinary people through the votes cast in and old democratic entities, to influence their won destinies. It is not much use being allowed to choose your own government if, in fact, they are powerless’. (From ‘The Return of the Strong’, Robert Harvey)

In the nineties the fastest spreading political system was liberal democracy. In Western Europe, the cradle of liberal democracy. there were once three dictatorships, Spain, Portugal and Greece - all three became democratic. In Eastern Europe there were twelve communist autocracies and only one democracy, Austria. Now even Serbia has to be counted as a democracy and the communist autocracies have fallen.

So, did the neo cons need to go to war to promote democracy? Clearly not since it was already progressing at a rate of knots across the globe. Their agenda was exactly the opposite and still is, to stop democracy in its tracks and reduce it to mush, which with the help of their manufactured ‘war on terror’ they have largely succeeded in doing. Who could ever have imagined that the Olympic games, supposedly a showcase for brotherhood and humanism, would lead to the British government mounting guided missiles on a tower in a built up area of London? They say they’ll remove them after the games but I wouldn’t even want to calculate the odds that they won’t.

‘People’s personal freedom must be protected from the tyranny of the majority, this means that the police should have no right to enter people’s homes without warrants, or detention without trial, or interrogation without lawyers. The state has to make the case for intruding on the freedom of the individual, rather than the individual defending himself against state authority, because by definition, the state is infinitely more powerful’.

Writing in 1995 Harvey could still write this without the insane bleating of the police state chanting ‘war on terror, war on terror, war on terror’ to drown him out. We all know, deep down, that he’s right and what he says makes sense but sense has been drowned out by the screams of the tortured (including children) and the noise of the men in black and the Swat teams putting on their body armor prior to kicking down some citizen’s door, having come back after planting evidence.

‘Elites never give away their power unless they have to: the more intelligent do so because they realize this is the means to guarantee their continuity and social stability’ (Harvey).

Look into Mitt Romney’s eyes. Look into Marty Feldstein’s eyes or Larry Summers’, Ben Bernanke or the eyes of any member of the gleaming ranks of the corporatocracy and note how much intelligence you see there. A rat-like cunning, yes, intelligence, no.

“State run industries were bought up by the multinationals at knockdown prices: in 1999 alone more than seventy countries had privatization programes and sold assets of $185 billion’.

(Harvey)

The people who talk about the threat of world government haven’t been paying attention. We have world government: it just isn’t elected.

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By heterochromatic, May 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

red—- it’s easier to see this way…..


http://tinyurl.com/c4ltxw4


but yeah I had heard of it from my nephew who is off at the May Day festivities.

He tells me that some of the same sort of knuckleheads are planning to do some
random destruction late tonight in hope of touching off a violent confrontation
with the NYPD.

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By redteddy, May 1, 2012 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment

@heterochromatic

Have you seen this? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-
2137918/Cleveland-Bridge-bomb-plot-Occupy-anarchists-arrested-plotting-
blow-Ohio-bridge.html?ITO=1490

Five members of occupy cleveland planned and failed to bomb a bridge.

How anyone can believe this is helpful to the movement is beyond me?  It
doesn’t even matter if #occupy disavows these people because what its done is
give the government everything it needs to justify further crack-downs and
increase its surveillance culture. It frightens off average americans the way they
became frightened of muslim extremists to the point that the state can justify
increase harassment of everyday non-violent muslims by targeting the whole
group. Does any of this affect poverty? No.  Is it an act of justice? No. Does it
frighten Goldman Sachs? No.  Does it bring social unity in the face of injustice?
No.  So again I wonder what’s the bloody point.  As I said Hedges was right that
diversity tactics is a cancer within the occupy movement.

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By redteddy, May 1, 2012 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

@heterochromatic

Have you seen this? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-
2137918/Cleveland-Bridge-bomb-plot-Occupy-anarchists-arrested-plotting-
blow-Ohio-bridge.html?ITO=1490

Five members of occupy cleveland planned and failed to bomb a bridge.

How anyone can believe this is helpful to the movement is beyond me?  It doesn’t even matter if #occupy disavows these people because what its done is give the government everything it needs to justify further crack-downs and increase its surveillance culture. It frightens off average americans the way they became frightened of muslim extremists to the point that the state can justify increase harassment of everyday non-violent muslims by targeting the whole group. Does any of this affect poverty? No.  Is it an act of justice? No. Does it frighten Goldman Sachs? No.  Does it bring social unity in the face of injustice?
No.  So again I wonder what’s the bloody point.  As I said Hedges was right that diversity tactics is a cancer within the occupy movement.

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By Gary Brumback, May 1, 2012 at 11:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

History of inhumanity notwithstanding, the past need
not be a prologue for our future. And the cliche that
things will have to get worse (or more insane) is a
dangerously risky one and totally insensitive to the
plight of so many oppressed and exploited.

The Democracy Coalition could just be the slowly
emerging escape route from the asylum. I urge Chris
Hedges and readers to add their names to this
coalition. See http://www.uschamberofdemocracy.com for
details.

Best regards,

Gary Brumback

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By felicity, May 1, 2012 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

When I was a girl, our Saturday afternoon ritual was
to go to the movies - two double features, a cartoon,
a short, and a news reel (admission, 11 cents.)  What
stuck and still sticks were the news reels of Hitler
ranting in a huge public square filled with cheering,
saluting Germans. Heil Hitler.

Most of the free-world saw the same thing I did.  A
lot of people saw a ridiculous little man being
adored by people who should have known better.  But
they didn’t know better.  They became his military,
his Brown Shirts, his Nazis, his police.  Without
them, he would have simply remained a silly little
man given to irrational ravings effecting absolutely
nothing.

It’s only when people aid, abet and work for those
who will only lead to their ruin that those can have
any power at all.

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By heterochromatic, May 1, 2012 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

did they ban your moonraven identity and has it driven you to be even more
desperate and crazed?

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By americanme, May 1, 2012 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

Notice the perversity of the no-neck:  talking about Gadafi’s ass when he supported the sodomization of Gadafi’s ass with a metallic instrument.

“GlobalPost correspondent Tracey Shelton said there is some question as to whether the instrument was a knife from the end of a gun, which Libyans call a Bicketti, or a utilitiy tool known as a Becker Knife and Tool, which is popularly known as a BKT.”

http://conspiracionilluminati.com/2011/10/25/gaddafi-sodomized-video-shows-abuse-frame-by-frame-graphic/

Now he is channeling Hillary Clinton.

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By heterochromatic, May 1, 2012 at 10:56 am Link to this comment

redteddy—- when you’ve spent more time with Smith, you’ll find out that he’s
foolish enough to talk about the virtues of Gaddafi’s crazy-assed dictatorial
misrule of Libya.

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By redteddy, May 1, 2012 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

@Mark E. Smith

You’re right I don’t understand.  If numbers don’t help you win, if numbers only
get more people killed, then what is the point of movement building?  What is
the point of having a movement at all?  Egypt does have the military in power
and the muslim brotherhood as the majority political stake holder but your
claim that more people have been tortured and killed than Mubarak’s entire
reign in office is unsubstantiated.  Don’t be arrogant by accusing me of living in
a dream, you haven’t spoken to me long enough to know. Edmonds says our
civilian government has no oversight or power over the MIC, did you have to
read her book to know this? Why had Edmonds formed a whistleblowers group
if she doesn’t believe this can change? It would seem pointless no?  A
whistleblowers group has to appeal to someone either government or society
doesn’t it? She could have spoken up, written a book and then slink away. 
You’re point seems to be that dissident groups will be crushed whether they are
violent or not.  Fine.  So please explain to me what’s the point of violence if its
worth naught if you do and naught if you don’t?  What’s the point of fighting at
all?  What’s the point of organizing at all?  I’m not concerned about respect for
authority, I’m concerned for the respect of other human beings.  If a group
claims to represent the 99% or be the 99% and then goes about behaving in a
manner that is odious to the 99% than all anyone can show by their lack of
presence is “not in my name”.  Hedges was right, everything in that video shows
he was right,  cancer affects the body in a negative way and the amount of
disapproval of certain diversity tactics by many OWS members proves that this
has become a cancer in the movement.  If not why all the infighting? Struggles
between members and anarchists? Why the ‘split’?  Why are there no more GA’s
in NY? NY GA’s had become so contentious it was no longer a safe place.  Some
people had no self-discipline and so resort to violence. Again you can ask me
what I think but don’t presume to know what I think. I don’t believe you have to
ask nicely and then get what you want.  I said when small groups escalate
violence within a largely peaceful group of activists you alienate the larger
groups of those who are members and those who would be members.  Violence
is not attractive nor welcoming so why engage in it at all, especially when you
claim that its basically fruitless anyway?  Again I am curious as to why you
would bother with any movement since all movements in the US are doomed for
failure? What’s the point of protesting in NY for May Day?  What’s the point of
protesting?  Why waste your energy AT ALL on breaking a window?  Its not
sticking it to anyone so what’s the point? Large corporations have insurance for
that kind of stuff so its not as if they even really pay for it. Its only the people
who live there that will feel annoyed as they see their local supermarket
vandalized and graffiti sprayed on the walls of their town.  There are many
actions an entire nation of people can take to re-gain control but acts portrayed
in the video are not among them. All I can glean from your post is that asking
nicely doesn’t work, demanding doesn’t work, large movements will be crushed,
small movements will be crushed, violence will be crushed, pacifist tactics will
be crushed.  So what exactly is it that you believe would work?  What do you do
personally?  I’ve been an expat for a long time but you may be a stakeholder, so
what exactly is it you plan to do? Because from where I’m standing nihilism also
isn’t going to work.

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By americanme, May 1, 2012 at 10:00 am Link to this comment

The no-neck troll heterochromatic would pay big bucks—if he had big bucks—to be on Fox News for just 15 seconds.

That’s what he has been practising for here with his potty mouth insults and his screaming while sticking his fingers into his very large ears.

But, alas, he has not been snatched from the confines of truthdig and sent even to the bench of the big time potty mouth disinformation pitchers.

And he continues to take it out on us.

Now, maybe if he had a real job in NYC on Wall Street he’d make enough money to buy his way outa here forever and onto Fox News.

But, ya know what, although there is no joy in Mudville from his repeatedly striking out, I won’t give him a dime to pack his bags.

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By Flickford, May 1, 2012 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

Not to worry! In the latest Newsweek comic book featuring Superman’s chest on
the cover with the S rendered as a $, Yahoo economist Daniel Gross assures us
that America is Winning - so quit the chic declinism whining! Our American
Exceptionalism proudly places us as #4 in the top ten list of countries with the
worst income inequality - we’re better than Chile, Turkey and Greece! We’re #5 in
GNP internationally! We’re number 12 on the list of countries that has at least a
secondary education! We’re number 31 on the 2011 Quality of Life Index! We are
clearly winning and kicking ass! Yay!

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By americanme, May 1, 2012 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

Ali Reza:

The Bering Land Bridge white-initiated myth—and all of its other deliberate lies about indigenous folks were debunked 50 years ago by Vine DeLoria, Jr.

You are not only behind the times, but you are just here trying to justify genocide.

Ain’t gonna stick to the wall, spaghetti-head.

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By americanme, May 1, 2012 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

JimBob:

Good thing I am not white.

As I get older I absoutely reject the nostalgia for the unreal.

Unless by the unreal one means literature.

And this ain’t that, kiddy-os.

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By gregorylkruse, May 1, 2012 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

Yesterday, on The Real News Network, Lia Tarachansky
reported from Tel Aviv on the celebration of
Independence Day in Israel.  A small group trying to
draw attention to the eradication of 500 Palestinian
villages which resulted from Ben-Gurion’s declaration
were threatened with arrest for reading out the names
of the villages.  One Zionist shouted at the group
that they should be glad the police were on hand to
deny them their right to speak, because he and his
gang would like nothing more than to take them and
shoot them one by one. This is the kind of blind
insanity that Hedges is parsing.

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By Lisa Simeone, May 1, 2012 at 6:47 am Link to this comment

As the Ancient Greek proverb goes: “Those whom the gods wish to
destroy, they first make insane.”

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By heterochromatic, May 1, 2012 at 6:47 am Link to this comment

vec—- I’m nut rushin” and jess ‘cause Marx ain’t right don’t mean I’m all in on FOX
news…. simply lax witted is such

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By vector56, May 1, 2012 at 5:34 am Link to this comment

“Marx’s failure to understand humanity “

heterochromatic;

again you repeat the above talking point like a Fox News model; but repetition does not make it so.

As citizen Robespierre115 points out the people of Latin America are moving in a different direction so don’t rush to put the final nail in Marx’s coffin.

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By timothy price, May 1, 2012 at 5:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris is right on and a great read.  Not only does Occupy have the growing capacity of the many to right the course, but it must first “clean up the mess”.. clean up the messy details about 9/11,  about the Federal (not federal) Reserve,  about the millionaire Congress, about the lobbyists, about the media.. oh so much cleaning
to do. We ask that the force be with us.

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By standingwest, May 1, 2012 at 5:20 am Link to this comment

Very well said.

We are, indeed, living in difficult times.  Every day mass media lowers a bucket into an apparently bottomless well of depravity and violence and douses us with such force that it sometimes threatens to extinguish what is often only the faintest flicker of peace within us.

We cannot have the light without the dark. And as our light continues to shine with an ever increasing intensity, we must come to terms with the fact that the shadows will grow longer.

In the movie Network, Howard Beale tells us that first we’ve got to get mad.  But to stay in that place of anger can lead to hatred or despair – and that becomes the message we put out into the world.
 
This is why so many of us choose to stay asleep.  The more aware we become, the easier it is to take on the pain and suffering of others.  But we need to remember that although we may take up their struggle, in order to be of greatest service to others, we must somehow find the strength to move beyond our own pain and suffering.

The fire of our anger can consume us to the point where all that remains is the ashes of despair – or it can cause us to burn so brightly that those with whom we come in contact may not only see the truth because of its light, but begin to burn with the same fire as well.

My own awakening was a slow and painful process of nearly twenty years.  But never the less, it did eventually happen because of the words of people like Howard Zinn, Chris Hedges, Jello Biafra, David Icke, Alan Watts, and Gregg Braden.
 
Gandhi tells us that we must be the change that we want to see in the world.  It is impossible to change what other people think.  Instead, we must continue to do what we feel in our heart is right, and be content with that.  In the end, it’s the only thing we CAN do…

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By surfnow, May 1, 2012 at 4:49 am Link to this comment

Ken Kesey understood and predicted this a half a century ago in his absolutely brilliant ” One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.” Do yourself a favor and read or re-read it. He had it down. The System or as he refers to it ’ The Combine” will not accept individuality or honesty- you must be dishonest, corrupt and malacious to survive and as he correctly concludes the lunatics really are running the asylum.

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By S. Wolf Britain, May 1, 2012 at 2:46 am Link to this comment

Yes, Chris Hedges, some of what you say here is
right-on; but you need to face that your support for
“cooperation”, if anything above local-level communal
living and food production, etc., is supporting
globalism and one-world government which is a false
“unity” designed to be capitalism’s final enslavement
of us all. Global capitalists, who are neo-liberals
mostly in favor of worldwide hegemony, are now
eradicating human rights and civil liberties in the
guise of “promoting” them; and at the top they are
eugenicists who believe in the eradication of most of
the human species from the face of the planet. In
other words, they want to mass-murder seven billion
people. And your support for the “imagination” of
“global unity” is a trap that will see the final
realization of the goals of the globalist plutocrats
to subjugate and control everything and everyone.
Please don’t continue to fall for it. They are the
destroyers of the earth in the guise of “saving” it.

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By Mark E. Smith, May 1, 2012 at 2:04 am Link to this comment

@redteddy
I don’t think you understand. Numbers aren’t going to help. The capitalist imperialist United States of America has already killed millions of people. Millions were killed in the genocide of Native Americans. Millions more were killed in the slave trade. Millions more were killed in Latin America for Standard Oil and United Fruit. Millions more were killed in Asia, of which Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the Vietnam war were only a part of the slaughter. At least ten million have been killed in Africa, either by the US directly or by US-installed dictators, armed, trained, funded, and directed by the US for the purpose of securing US national interests (actually private corporate interests that don’t even pay taxes to the US government in return for relying on US military force for their existence), which happen to include African coltan, cobalt, oil, uranium, copper, diamonds, cobalt, gum arabic, and other natural resources, and millions more in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and other wars of aggression which we may or may not know about. The US capitalist imperialist system is in business and it is the genocide-for-profit business. Having more people on your side only means that it will have more people to kill, which is good for the profits of the defense contractors and will increase the Department of Homeland Security budget. You think you can win through numbers?

Do you think Egypt won anything? The same military junta is in power as before, and it has arrested, tortured, and killed more protesters since Mubarak stepped down than while he was still their figurehead. The “elected” civilian government in Egypt will have no more power over the military junta there than our civilian government has over our ruling military junta. Read Sibel Edmonds’ book. Our civilian government has no oversight and no power whatsoever over the military-industrial complex. You’re living in a dream world.

Dissident groups will be crushed whether or not they are violent. If they are violent, the excuse will be their violence. If they are nonviolent, the excuse will be that they are dissidents. Do you think that COINTELPRO only targeted violent groups? Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is one of the icons of the nonviolence movement. It was proven in court that the US government was involved in his assassination. Again, you’re totally out of touch with reality.

As for the “consent of the mainstream public,” the overwhelming majority of the mainstream public did not consent to the Iraq war or to the bank bailouts. The United States government has stated clearly and distinctly many times that it does not allow public opinion to influence policy decisions. That’s one of the extremely rare occasions that the government has told you the truth and you refuse to believe them.

You’re concerned about respect for authority, not about justice. Nothing the Black Bloc could do is a vulgar as calling human beings a cancer or exterminating millions of humans like flies the way that the US government has. You believe in the system and think that if you ask it nicely and politely, it will stop being a capitalist imperialist tyranny and become some sort of moral government? Really?

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By redteddy, May 1, 2012 at 1:26 am Link to this comment

@Mark E. Smith
Who said anything about corporate marketing or election campaigns?  I said
that Hedges understands that to come even close to confronting the corporate-
state you have to have the majority of citizens behind you.  Tahir Square would
not have worked if it was simply one small fraction of society out there
throwing a fist at the government.  No revolution can happen without the will of
the people, no revolution can happen with only a handful of young anarchists. 
Its like the cavalry charging ahead leaving the infantry behind, at some point
the cavalry will be surrounded and wonder why there is no one at its flank and
rear.
The destruction of property or violence targeted towards the state will only lead
to an excuse for the powers that be to crush small groups, something that is
more difficult to do without the consent of the mainstream public. If the
mainstream public sees Occupy as a radical fringe element offensive and
destructive they will turn their back on the movement not join it.  This gives the
State the excuse for more surveillance and escalation of violence against what
would be a small group of people.  You cannot alienate the majority of
americans with hubris and arrogance and expect them to be at your side if the
government began a serious attack against militant activists. All you would be
doing is playing into their hands and discovering you don’t have the infantry
behind you.

What I saw on that video was a young black occupier fighting off black bloc and
calling them out on their destructive behaviour, telling them this was not a a
time for destruction.  I saw a young white male wipe his spit on the camera that
was filming him.  I saw thugs running through the streets fighting their own
members who were trying to defend their peaceful march from punks who just
wanted to vandalize an organic supermarket as well as the bank. What I saw
was so vulgar that I wouldn’t want to be associated with a group that behaved
in such a manner.  What I saw was disrespect, no pertinent message, no moral
authority, no call for justice, just simple nihilism.

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basho's avatar

By basho, May 1, 2012 at 12:22 am Link to this comment

*****

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By anabellla, April 30, 2012 at 11:13 pm Link to this comment

brilliantly written!
gonna join this site.
ur amazing….!!!!
viva liberta!

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By Ali Reza, April 30, 2012 at 10:56 pm Link to this comment

Also: Native Americans caused quite a few extinctions
as they crossed over the Bering Strait; they’re the
reason we no longer see giant sloths and the like.

The only reason they didn’t trash the planet completely
is because they lacked the wherewithal to do so.

I could probably write a book about how bad this essay
is.

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By Ali Reza, April 30, 2012 at 10:55 pm Link to this comment

This article doesn’t even begin to make sense. To name
just one item: the “Gesellschaft” configuration of
industrial society gives more breathing room for
imagination than it does in traditional “Gemeinschaft”
societies where conformity to norms is of much higher
importance. Remember that the Native American
societies being idolized here are, in essence, East
Asian societies. Very conformist, for the most part.

Furthermore, what’s with this stupid dichotomy between
things like “art” and things like “the collection of
scientific and factual data [and] stock market
statistics”? Personally, I am a fractal animator.
(Here is an example of my work:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbGyaiz89bs) Benoît
Mandelbrot, founder of the modern field of fractal
analysis, turned his insights into geometry both
towards novel computer graphics and how the prices of
stocks and commodities evolve over time. I use the
latter as well, as my stock portfolio is based
strongly on his work. The author bloviates about how
narrow our worldview has become over the years and yet
fails to see the basic unity in things. Maybe he
doesn’t see the beauty in numbers but that doesn’t
mean everyone else has to share his incredibly limited
vision.

And finally, why does he think that “our souls” seek
to crush “the culture of imperialism, business and
technology”? Why does he think our creative tendencies
automatically aspire to a kind of impractical, bong
rip philosopher lifestyle? My artwork is proudly non-
representational, like the motifs you see on the
inside of a mosque. My videos are usually set to music
without any words. It’s an outgrowth of my seething
misanthropy. Chris Hedges needs to pull his head out
of his ass.

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By Expat1968, April 30, 2012 at 9:14 pm Link to this comment

Once again Chris is spot on. Thanks.

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By V, April 30, 2012 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

GradyLeeHoward,

I remember exchanging some thoughts with you at Bill Moyers Journal. The first airing of his new program was pretty good. After that it was all downhill.

I am not sure why Chris is reaching into the past for examples of a better way of life. We really should be taking the best parts of what existed and what exists now to make something better for the future even given our current rate of decline as a civilization. Morris Berman has talked quite a bit about the kind of downward death spiral this country is engaged in.

But this is an election year and someone like Bill Moyers is going to pull out the trump card and tell you that this is the most important election of a “fill in the blank”. At least Chris Hedges and Morris Berman have no illusions about correcting our current problems with elections.

The only sensible alternatives that I have seen put forward in a meaningful manner have been laid out by the Zeitgeist Movement / Venus Project. I am not currently part of the movement. But they seem to understand that the system will be crushed under its own weight. The key is to use some of the what the current system has to offer to make some sort of transition without trying to patch this one back together with more band aid laws that really fix nothing and just put off the inevitability of a final exhaustion of a system that was doomed to fail at its inception.

For those of you who are looking for solutions. You need look no further than the mirror. We don’t need anymore books, documentaries, or investigations to tell us that things are messed up. That much is pretty self evident to anyone who is alive and capable of critical thinking.

Keep them on their toes Grady.

V.

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By gerard, April 30, 2012 at 8:05 pm Link to this comment

Old Man Turtle:  You and TaoWalker are not forgotten.
Hope all is well with you.

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