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Tag: Herman Melville


Melville, Capitalism and Slavery

A new history of the events behind Herman Melville’s 1855 novella “Benito Cereno” takes up the question of how slavery shaped the “psychic and imaginative” dimensions of contemporary capitalism, rather than merely the “social or financial” aspects.

Posted on Aug 3, 2014 READ MORE



The Myth of Human Progress and the Collapse of Complex Societies (VIDEO)

In “Moby Dick,” Herman Melville makes our murderous obsessions, our hubris, violent impulses, moral weakness and inevitable self-destruction visible in his chronicle of a whaling voyage. He is our foremost oracle.

Posted on Apr 13, 2014 READ MORE



The Two Faces of Empire

The captain ready to drive himself and all around him to ruin in the hunt for a white whale has been used as an exemplar of unhinged American power. But what’s really frightening is our soberest politicians, scholars, journalists, professionals, and managers, men and women who enable the wars, devastate the planet, and rationalize the atrocities.

Posted on Jan 27, 2014 READ MORE



The Myth of Human Progress and the Collapse of Complex Societies

Chris Hedges takes a page from “Moby Dick” in this speech, in which he sketches out a cautionary tale about the American character and, by extension, the ultimate fate of the human race.

Posted on Jan 26, 2014 READ MORE


Chris Hedges: Flee Society’s Dazzling and Deadly Fantasies

The American people’s collective inability to overcome commercial illusion and confront the grim realities of the economic and environmental crises means they will remain slaves to fiction and its apocalyptic outcomes, Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges told Paul Jay on The Real News Network’s new show, “Reality Asserts Itself.”

Posted on Jul 21, 2013 READ MORE



roberthuffstutter (CC BY 2.0)

Chris Hedges and Herman Melville Assault the Fruits of ‘Enlightenment’

A description of the lives of Polynesian islanders in Melville’s book “Typee” shows that the inhumanities of capitalism visible today and constantly attacked by Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges were plainly recognized in American literature of the mid-19th century.

Posted on Jul 20, 2013 READ MORE



Flickr/Pete Simon

We Are All Aboard the Pequod

Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” is a portrait of the American character, and like the crew of Ahab’s ship we are complicit in self-annihilation.

Posted on Jul 7, 2013 READ MORE



Flickr / albertogp123

A New Resistance to Standardized Tests

A fresh national movement to oppose the standardized testing of young students is afoot. The Bartleby Project aims to invalidate state test results by getting parents and their children to simply opt out of testing; if enough did so, that would make schools’ yearly progress ratings meaningless.  (more)

Posted on Sep 4, 2011 READ MORE


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