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Chris Hedges and Robert Scheer Assess the Merits of a Life of Virtue in a Careerist's World

In this week’s episode of “Scheer Intelligence” on KCRW, Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer speaks with Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges about the rewards of Hedges’ unorthodox career as a minister and journalist covering the disintegration of societies on multiple continents, his working habits, and the consequences of elite neglect of the forces that turn civilized populations barbarian.

The two spoke in Philadelphia in late July as Democrats pilloried Republicans and their presidential candidate, Donald Trump.

“The Nazis before 1933 were buffoonish figures, as were Radovan Karadžic and Slobodan Miloševic in Yugoslavia,” Hedges remarked. “And as Trump is. But when these buffoonish figures take power, they become extremely frightening.”

“They are frightening,” Scheer replied. But “what you’re saying is they didn’t come from nowhere.”

“Right,” said Hedges. “The Nazis came out of the collapse of Weimar. And Radovan Karadžic came out of the economic collapse of Yugoslavia.”

“And Donald Trump came out of the collapse of the American economy,” added Scheer.

“There you go,” said Hedges. “That’s how fascism — and voting for Hillary Clinton’s not going to make it better. We may get rid of Trump; we’re not getting rid of the phenomenon. Trump is not the phenomenon. Trump is responding to the phenomenon. Unless we radically change that phenomenon, we’re finished.”

What is the phenomenon? Neoliberalism, a regime of economic policies supported and embodied by the Clintons that destroy the supply of jobs and good wages that ensures social order by satisfying a public’s basic needs.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly

Transcript:

Robert Scheer: Hi, this is Robert Scheer with another edition of “Scheer Intelligence,” where the intelligence comes from my guests. And I certainly have an intelligent one now, and it’s part of a series I call “American originals”—people that have somehow come out of our crazy-quilt of a culture and actually have integrity, have an interesting point of view. And Chris Hedges is certainly such a person. We’re going to talk about events of—we’re doing this in Philadelphia at the time of the Democratic convention. Chris has been leading demonstrations, as well as writing about it. I’ve been covering this for Truthdig. And we’re going to get to that. But I’d like to pick up on the theme of the American original, and basically address one question, [which] is: Why didn’t you sell out? The culture leads people to have careerism trump everything. You certainly were the good student, you ended up at Harvard Divinity School. The other day, in one of these demonstrations, you wore your clerical collar—

Chris Hedges: They asked me to; I don’t usually wear it.

RS: OK, but you actually—and as I understand it, in order to be in the prisons, teaching prisoners, it’s convenient for you to have finished your degree. But you did finish; you’re a Presbyterian minister. And you’ve certainly written bestselling books; you’ve been enormously successful. I remember going to see “The Hurt Locker” movie, and it begins with a quote from you, from the book “War [Is a Force That] Gives Us Meaning.” And you know, you have it all, and yet you have—I don’t want to get too mushy here, but you have a heavy dose of integrity. And I want to begin with something I know about you and your relation to your father. So let’s begin there: I mean, the making of Chris Hedges.

CH: Well, I think it is kind of reduced to, in many ways, to that relationship. Because my father was a veteran from World War II; he’d been a sergeant in North Africa, was very involved in the antiwar movement. He was involved in the civil rights movement. We lived in a small, rural farm town in upstate New York at a time when Martin Luther King was one of the most hated men in America. And finally, my father was—and this would have been in the 1970s—involved in the gay rights movement, largely, or I think mostly, because his youngest brother was gay. [My Uncle Jamie] lived with his partner in Greenwich Village and had been disowned by the members of my father’s family [but not my father]. … And my father took a lot of heat for those positions, in particular standing up for GBLT rights within the church. And he was admonished and told to stop, and he didn’t, and eventually [he was] pushed out of the institution. So I grew up with an example—and it was a great gift—of what it means to take a moral stance, and I was never naive about the cost. I didn’t believe that people were rewarded for virtue; I saw that they were not. And I remember when I was ordained, I went before the committee and they said, are you willing to abide by the rules of the church? And my answer, which probably should have disqualified me, was: When the church is right. Because on the issue of gay rights, my father was right and the church was wrong. And when you have someone you care for—I was very close to my dad—with that kind of integrity. And the last time I saw him, I was the Balkan bureau chief for The New York Times; he was making $26,000 a year as a chaplain in a juvenile detention home, because he couldn’t get a church, in a windowless office in the basement with files on young men, boys, who had, you know, terrible—and he was deeply committed to them. And I remember walking down the halls, the last time I saw him, and I certainly understood who the greater person was. And I think that in that sense, I was never a careerist; I went to El Salvador in the 1980s to fight fascism; to give a voice to, at that time—

RS: When you say you went, in what capacity?

CH: As a reporter, as a freelance reporter. I mean, when I went to El Salvador, I only had enough money for a one-way ticket. This was a time when half of the country was landless; they had risen up against the oligarchs; the death squads were killing between 700 and 1,000 people a month, backed by the Reagan administration. And so, yes, I did well; but I was never a careerist, in the sense that my career was never the point. When I was covering, I covered the war in El Salvador for five years, and during that time The Washington Post offered me a job. But they said I had to come back and work in the Metro section in Maryland. And I said, no; I came here to cover the war. I mean, that wasn’t a good career move. I was eventually hired by the foreign desk of the Times; this was actually quite rare, by the time I got into the Middle East. But I looked for reporting assignments where I could put myself in places, often, of extreme danger, but certainly where people were suffering horrific oppression, and give them a voice. And of course, eventually ended up in Sarajevo during the war in Yugoslavia. Now, these were not reporting positions that other New York Times reporters wanted; in fact, the executive editor at the time of The New York Times, Joe Lelyveld, said when I asked to go to Bosnia, he said “The line starts and ends with you.” And so I was freed from that careerism, which is rampant and has a kind of sickness at The New York Times. And eventually, of course, led to my split [with] the Times. But I think a lot of it has to do with the example that my father set.

RS: Well, let’s dispose of that—your split with The New York Times. You were there for 15 years, you were a bureau chief at one point—

CH: I was the Middle East bureau chief and the Balkan bureau chief.

RS: Yeah, and you were at one point part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning [team]—

CH: Covering Al-Qaeda, based in Paris.

RS: Yeah. And, ah, and then what was the falling out about?

CH: Well, I stood up and denounced Bush’s call to invade Iraq.

RS: This was at a college speech?

CH: Well, I’d been doing it on Charlie Rose and all sorts of places. But I gave a commencement address that they got, you know, the home—I was booed, it was quite an event because I was roundly booed by most all of the 1,000 people in the crowd. They got up at one point and began singing “God Bless America”; they cut my microphone—RS: Where was, what school—

CH: Rockford College, Rockford, Illinois.

RS: And you were there, just invited to speak—

CH: To give the commencement address.

RS: Oh, commencement address, yeah.

CH: And so the cable news channel—

RS: Well, when was that?

CH: 2003. Right after the invasion.

RS: Ah.

CH: And so, because there was footage of it, this was just looped. I was lynched. You know, the same way they lynched Jeremiah Wright, where actually if you listen to Jeremiah Wright’s talk at the National Press Club, it’s an incredibly thoughtful, one-hour talk on the history of white supremacy and how it works, and they—

RS: We should mention, Jeremiah Wright was the minister of the congregation—

CH: Obama’s pastor, who he threw under the bus.

RS: —He threw under the bus. And I did what you—you know, the good thing about the internet, you can get smeared [laughs] very effectively by things taken out of quote. But if people are the least bit curious, they can generally get the original document. And I remember when he was being smeared, I was able to get not only his speech at the press club, but his sermons.

CH: Yeah, which are great.

RS: They’re marvelous.

CH: They’re marvelous.

RS: And they were unifying, and really devoid of any kind of—

CH: Well, and also, coming out of divinity school, I can tell you, theologically honest in a way that most preachers are not. So I got—so then The New York Times had to respond. They issued me a written reprimand, which under guild rules, you give the employee a written reprimand and then, if they continue in that behavior, you can fire them. So that was the first step to being fired; I was not fired, as the executive editor of The New York Times, Dean Baquet, who I saw recently, reminded me. But I knew my time was terminal. So I arranged to go to The Nation Institute; once, soon as that was set up, I left the paper.

RS: Going back to this question of how do we get [the] “other” Chris Hedges—which is kind of the whole point of this series; I like to figure out, there are these interesting people I can talk to, and then how do I help mint more of them or encourage other people to be like that. And you know, sometimes when I talk to people they say, you know, Chris Hedges, he’s so negative and he’s so down, and everything, and what kind of guy is he like, and everything? But actually, you’re not really like that, right? You have an incredibly strong life force, right?

CH: Yeah.

RS: As a parent, as—even when you eat [laughs] and so forth. And so you must hear the same thing, right? That you’re on the heavy-duty side of things.

CH: Yeah, that’s the public perception. But you know, I’m, the older I get the more reclusive I become; I don’t really don’t socialize at all. I don’t have a Twitter account, I don’t have a Facebook page, I don’t—so I’m kind of cut off on purpose. But I think you’re right, that is the perception.

RS: I want to talk to you about your habits of work, because they really impress me, and then we’ll get to other political issues. But you actually, first of all, still read.

CH: Oh, I read two to three hours a day, at least.

RS: Right. And you and your wife read together, and—

CH: Right, we don’t have a TV.

RS: In fact you’re about, next week I think you’re going off for a month of—why don’t you describe what you and your wife are going to do for the next month? [Laughter] Because it’s a side of you that I don’t think people really know.

CH: Yeah, we go off to an island off the coast of Maine where there’s no cell phone and internet service, and we always take a book to read. Last summer it was “Paradise Lost.” We read other books, too, but we kind of centered around that one book. And we’re, you know, completely cut off by choice on that island; half of the island is national park, there’s only 50 houses, there’s a little grocery store, that’s it. So every day we’re outside with our kids, we pack a lunch. I mean, I grew up in the country, and even when I was overseas I would come back—at the time I had a house in Maine, and hike for five weeks. So I mean, the outdoors has always been—for many reasons; one, I could never meditate. I can’t sit still, so I need the physical movement. But also, just because when you’re out at 5,000 feet under a canopy of stars, you’re reminded of your place in the universe and the enormity of time, and it puts life in perspective. And it also—you have to grasp the beauty, but also the fury, and the destructive force of nature, having been caught on these peaks in lightning storms. You, it’s—and that’s something that I worry about, and have been, worked very hard to instill in my own children, by taking them into the outdoors; that they don’t lose that contact with the natural world. RS: So let me ask you, as a minister, about our place in the world. And here we’re at a convention, not so bad as the Republican convention, but this constant invocation of a notion of God to endorse, you know, sometimes reasonable positions, often godless positions; certainly not very sensitive to human life, when we talk about war and peace. And what is it about religion that you still hold on to?

CH: Well, I should preface that by saying that I have no love for institutional religion, which the theologian Paul Tillich correctly called “inherently demonic.” He said, “All institutions are inherently demonic, including the Church.” And that’s correct. By that he means that institutions seek to perpetuate themselves at the cost of morality, and the Church is no different; we’ve seen it recently with the Catholic Church and the pedophilia scandals. So I, like my father, have a very antagonistic relationship with the institution. But the religious impulse—and I should be clear that I don’t, there’s no evidence that Jesus ever existed as a historical figure, or God as a human concept; I don’t believe in heaven and hell, I don’t think good people are blessed. I mean, I was in Sarajevo when 2,000 children were murdered by snipers and shell fire; I hardly believe that God saved me because somehow my life was more precious than theirs. But I think that religion, like art, struggles with the transcendent forces in human life—these non-reality elements: beauty, truth, justice, a search for meaning, the struggle with our own mortality—and that we can’t be complete human beings unless all of that search and discovery into issues like beauty or truth, or a life of meaning, are examined constantly. The Buddhists have a saying, they say you can memorize as many sutras as you want; it will never make you wise. And I think that also, religion at its best—and one doesn’t have to come out of a religious tradition to have this sentiment; I mean, Albert Camus had it—grasps that happiness is not achieved through the acquisition of things, or the amassing of power or wealth. But happiness, or happiness that has any kind of sustainability, comes with the capacity to be vulnerable, the capacity to love, the capacity to sacrifice for the other. Yes, it’s bittersweet, because when you reach out to the oppressed—and I have, in the developing world, throughout my life—you are hurt because of the suffering they endure. And yet it does give you a life of purpose, a life of meaning. And those bonds of solidarity, I think, give you a happiness, if that’s the right word, that is very different from the kind of emotional highs, or adrenaline-fueled highs, that take the place of happiness in a consumer, capitalist society.

RS: Let me ask you about your role as a minister, because I know you didn’t do it just as a convenience to gain entry to prison. You’re coming in as a minister, right?

CH: Well, I was—I was, I am, I’ve been teaching for many years in a prison. And I had health insurance through the Presbyterian Church, and then there was some discussion that it should be revoked because I wasn’t ordained. And so I took the five ordination exams, including Biblical Greek—they’re all three hours long—and passed them. And then I had the thorny problem of ordination, which I dreaded, in some suburban church with a bunch of white Presbyterians. So I did it in a friend of mine’s church in the inner city; I threw out the Presbyterian [hymnal], I hired a blues band; it’s all on YouTube, if you type in my name and “ordination.” Cornel West came and spoke; James Cone, the father of black liberation theology, preached. And we geared it towards the families of my students in prison, so it was all really built around the monstrosity of mass incarceration. I rewrote the Prayer of Confession to say, you know, where were you when they crucified Sitting Bull? We were not there. Where were you when they crucified Matthew Shepard on the cross? We were not there. Where were you when they crucified Malcolm and Martin? Where were you when they crucified three million Vietnamese? Where were you—you know, so that it had, for me, it was theologically real. And moving.

RS: You’re constantly bearing witness to “where were you.” And your most recent piece—as we are at the Democratic convention, I happened to read the other morning—was about your visit to Poland.

CH: Right.

RS: And you raised the question—not you, really, more people in Poland who are worried about the rise of neofascism and what has happened to the Polish movement—

CH: Solidarity.

RS: Solidarity, after communism was defeated. I found that an incredibly depressing and alarming article. And I don’t know if you meant it that way, but I would recommend that everyone read it, because you raise the most fundamental question about barbarism in the modern era. Which is that the major barbarism did not come from people of so-called primitive culture.

CH: Yeah.

RS: Or uneducated, or given to all sorts of ritualistic tendencies that might be destructive; it came, beginning in Germany, in the most civilized, well-educated society, people who respect—

CH: Yes, although we should be clear that after [1933], the Nazis destroyed culture in the same way that neoliberalism has destroyed culture.

RS: Ninety—

CH: After 1933.

RS: Thirty-three, yeah.

CH: So that if you were 10 years old, you were pretty much yanked out of your family into the [Hitler] Youth and indoctrinated.

RS: OK. And in your article, you actually have one of the people you interview questioning what is human nature, and that human nature is not necessarily some enduring, innate quality; it’s something that is learned and taught. But the fact of the matter is—and I’m half Jewish and half German, so I’ve wrestled with this ever since I was born, in the beginning of all this, back in ’36. I’ve been back to Germany, I’ve visited my relatives. My father’s brother — my half brother was in the U.S. Air Force bombing our hometown in Germany — and my father’s brother was one of the people being bombed, and he was in the German army, wounded at Stalingrad. So I’ve wrestled with this, and yes, there was a gap in the workings of German education. But the fact is, they still had the best music, and they had the best science, and they had all of this in Germany. And it didn’t save them at all, it didn’t help them at all. And I have always found that very depressing when I apply it to the United States.CH: Well, because I think that the problem was that—I mean, just as under Stalinism, there was a war against culture, replaced with faux culture. You know, the whole attack on Jewish science was part of Nazism and Stalinism. So you’re right, except that it shows how swiftly a society that reaches those cultural heights can be reoriented towards barbarism. And I would argue that that is one of the fundamental dangers in the United States, is the war we’ve made on our own culture. The Nazis made, had a huge movie industry, and they didn’t make—they made some horrible propaganda films. But most of it was fluff, was garbage, was Hollywood-type entertainment. And you know, mindless entertainment; spectacle. Spectacle—fascists do spectacle very well. Stalin did spectacle very well. And that creates a kind of cultural milieu where people lose the capacity to think critically and self-reflect, which is what authentic culture is about; that capacity to get you to look within yourself, look within your society. And it’s replaced with this collective narcissism, which has been on display at this convention. And that’s very dangerous. And we’ve seen Trump ride that collective narcissism, and exploit it through right-wing populism, and do what proto-fascist movements always do, which is direct a legitimate rage and a cultural narcissism towards the vulnerable. Undocumented workers, Muslims, homosexuals, you know, on and on and on. So the destruction of culture is a key component—actually, my first book, “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning,” and the wars that I covered, noted that a culture that goes to war destroys its own culture before it destroys the culture of the enemy.

RS: But basic to that manipulative concept, obscuring your own responsibility—the denial of, say, Jesus, who may not have existed but it was attributed to him in Luke, of the Good Samaritan—trying to understand the other, and that the other also has a soul, and so forth. Obliterating that, making people throwaway people, whether they’re the people you deal with in jail, or the people we’re bombing. As the Democratic convention is going on, a Democratic president is randomly killing people with drones and what have you. And you even had Madeleine Albright get up there to a standing ovation—I was stunned—and she’s a woman who at one point defended the bombing, starvation, actually, in Iraq, and you know, this is the price you pay. And I was thinking about that; essential to this whole narrative is that idea that Reagan pushed—he wasn’t the first, but the Germans had it too—that you are the city on the hill. You are the place that God is watching.

CH: Right. Well, that’s what the collective narcissism is about. And with collective narcissism, means you externalize evil. So every moralist—I mean, having covered war, I know how thin that line is between victim and victimizer. I know how easily people can be seduced into carrying out atrocity; I’ve seen it in every war I’ve covered. And I think the best break against that is understanding those dark forces within all of us, and the capacity we all have for evil. That’s what makes Primo Levi such a great writer about the Holocaust. And so collective narcissism essentially says we—it creates a binary world, as you correctly point out, where other human beings embody evil, and when we eradicate them, we have eradicated evil. And that, of course, propels a society into committing atrocious acts of evil in the name of good. And that’s what the Nazis did, and I would argue that’s what we do in the Middle East; that’s what we do in this vast system of mass incarceration; that’s what we do in our internal colonies; that’s what we do to our poor.

RS: And that’s what we do in our foreign policy. And there is a common theme that we saw at both the Republican and Democratic conventions. And it was surprising to me how much they had in common in this respect: that we are the aggrieved. It’s like the people in Germany after World War I, who became convinced that they had been victimized by the rest of the world. Right, whether it was Jewish bankers in New York, or it was the French, or the Allies, or what have you. And it was interesting, we’re recording this at the point when Barack Obama’s going to speak at the convention tonight. But last night, listening to the speeches, they had you know, first responders; 9/11 was a big theme, because after all, Hillary Clinton, senator from New York, and she had the credentials of having been around during 9/11 and so forth. And it was all about, you know, this—first of all, sort of a continuation of the idea that no other people in the world have ever been attacked in this way. Right? You know, we are a nation—

CH: Well, it’s the—you know, all of these societies that descend into this, I think what you correctly called barbarism, sanctify their own victimhood. This is what’s killed Israel. And you sanctify your—once you sanctify your victimhood, it’s beyond understanding. And it gives you a license, or you believe it gives you a license, to do anything.

RS: OK. So I want to end this by raising one last subject, and indulge the listeners to listen a bit longer. And that has to do with, where are we at this moment in history? And when I read your article about your visit to Poland—you were invited there to give a talk?

CH: It was actually in the Czech Republic, but it was on the—it was a huge, 50,000 people came to a big arts festival right over the border in Ostrava in the Czech Republic from, right on the border with Poland.

RS: OK. And you raised a very fundamental question about the rise of neofascism in Poland, but by inference, in the rest of the world. And not everybody agrees with me; I’ve called Trump a neofascist precisely because of the scapegoating of the victims of undocumented and Muslims, to avoid paying attention to the damage that people like Trump, and Goldman Sachs, have done to our society. So I think there’s a certain logic to using, an accuracy to using that word. And in your article, you raise this very troubling notion that this didn’t just come because we have a particularly devious, charismatic personality in the form of Donald Trump, which is the way the mass media is basically treating it. A guy appears, and he’s a great snake-oil salesman, and he’s conning everything, but he’s really ruthless. He has no movement, he doesn’t really represent any ideological force; he’s just out for himself and blah, blah, blah. OK. But that didn’t happen with neofascism in Poland. It happened because of something called neoliberalism.

CH: That’s right.

RS: And maybe you could spell that out, because I think the analogy—CH: Well, you know, it was interesting reporting from Poland, because I certainly understood the American landscape, but it’s as if when you go to the eye doctor’s and he flicks the lens, and suddenly it’s a little clearer—it was like that going to Poland. Because here you had the overthrow of communism, the rise of this courageous democratic movement “Solidarity,” this opening up of the society. Then the shock therapy, [Jeffrey] Sachs and others, descended upon Poland, destroyed the economy, threw massive numbers of workers out of jobs, de-industrialized state institutions that had once provided jobs. Then in the name of austerity destroyed public broadcasting, destroyed the school system, destroyed subsidy for the arts. When I lived in Zagórów I used to go to the opera, which was a great opera, because everybody was a state employee, for five dollars a night. And then you got the distortions within the political process. And now Poland is on the verge of building a party militia; thirty to forty thousand armed. They have an army; it’s not to be an army, it’s internal control. And that’s what neoliberalism does, ultimately.

RS: And the people the neoliberals used to claim to support, the Solidarity folks, the Lech Walesas, you say basically they’re finished.

CH: They’re—Lech Walesa is demonized every night as a Soviet agent on state television.

RS: And you say in your article that the young people in Poland, according to the people you were interviewing, are all more with the neofascists—

CH: Yes, because—well, two million of them are trying to find jobs abroad. You had the same thing, a Clinton-like liberal center that pushed through these neoliberal economic policies, which were devastating the Polish working class. It was exactly the same. And so people have turned against that establishment. This was the mistake of the inheritors of Solidarity, is that they allowed these economic policies to go through, as did Nelson Mandela and others. And there are political consequences to that, and I think they’re very far advanced in Poland, but we’re not far behind.

RS: So the compelling part of this narrative is that we may be revisiting history, and unfortunately, not as—what was the expression? First time is tragedy—

CH: And the second time is farce. That’s Nietzsche.

RS: You know, maybe Trump is farce, but he’s also dangerous.

CH: Well, but the Nazis before 1933 were buffoonish figures, as were Radovan Karadžic and Slobodan Milosevic in Yugoslavia. And as Trump is. But when these buffoonish figures take power, they become extremely frightening.

RS: They are frightening. On the other hand, what you’re saying is they didn’t come from nowhere.

CH: Right. Well, but the Nazis came out of the collapse of Weimar. And Radovan Karadžic came out of the economic collapse of Yugoslavia.

RS: OK. And Donald Trump came out of the collapse of the American economy.

CH: There you go. That’s how fascism—and voting for Hillary Clinton’s not going to make it better. We may get rid of Trump; we’re not getting rid of the phenomenon. Trump is not the phenomenon. Trump is responding to the phenomenon. Unless we radically change that phenomenon, we’re finished.

RS: So this is a very difficult message to get across, because it puts pressure on people in terms of their careerism, their comfort zone, and so forth. And you know, sitting at the Democratic convention last night, I got enormously depressed. Because first of all, it was a parade of people who have been hurt by the society, and somehow out of that hurt, support Hillary Clinton. I don’t know why, why she—but somehow they found a whole collection of people who have real problems, health problems and so forth. And somehow, it’s almost like she has the—she can put hands on and heal. You almost had that feeling that the Democratic Party can heal you; just come in your wheelchair and we’ll heal and you’ll walk again. It almost had that feeling of a revival church. And no sense at all of responsibility. Because once [Bernie] Sanders went over, as you point out, once he embraced Hillary Clinton, people then became, you use the expression of “useful idiots.” They stopped thinking, and two things happened: We’re going to have the first woman president, and we got this barbarian at the gates in Donald Trump. And this is now a time to stop thinking.

CH: Well, it’s political infantilism. I mean, you ignore the structures of power, which is just what they want you to do. Both campaigns are just fear-based campaigns. Trump plays on fear; the Democrats play on fear. And until we develop some political maturity and understand how what Sheldon Wolin calls “inverted totalitarianism,” or the corporate state, works, we’re spun and manipulated by it. Which is what this convention is doing.

RS: So what are we to do? What are we to do in this election? Do we sit it out?

CH: Well, third party. I mean, we have to—you know, like, Syriza ten years ago was pulling at four percent, and now controls Greece. We have to walk into the political wilderness and try and build an alternative movement. That’s our only hope. I mean, you know, the climate is disintegrating at such a rapid rate, we don’t have any time left. But that’s it; that’s our only hope. And mass acts of civil disobedience, the capacity to say no, the capacity to refuse to cooperate; you know, very effective campaign that brought down the apartheid regime in South Africa. That’s where we have to go.

RS: Well, thank you, Chris Hedges, certainly a heavy dose of intelligence. That’s it for “Scheer Intelligence.” My producers are Josh Scheer and Rebecca Mooney. Special thanks to our engineers at KCRW, Mario Diaz and Kat Yore. And this was recorded at Baker Studios in Philadelphia. See you next week.

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