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Chris Hedges: Third World America

with Chris Hedges
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
December 12, 2012

[Talk given on Sept. 26, 2012]

unitedforchangetv·Nov 21, 2012

In this lecture, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges will examine how America has devolved, economically and politically, into a Third World country and the role that inverted totalitarianism plays in consolidating the control of rapacious elites over our political and economic systems. He will also discuss the implications of the current arrangement for the world and what are the steps necessary for the masses of people in this country to begin to push back.

Chris Hedges spent two decades as a foreign reporter covering wars in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. His latest books are Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, Death of the Liberal Class, and The World as It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress.


Chris Hedges: Obama’s Assault On Our Civil Liberties Far Worse than Bush + Glenn Greenwald: “An Injury to One is an Injury to All” Conference

The Quiet Revolution: Combating Climate Change by Lesley Docksey

Stand Still For the Apocalypse by Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges with Jeremiah Wright on Poverty in the U.S.

America The Gutted

Finding Freedom in Handcuffs by Chris Hedges

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20 Responses

  1. […] Chris Hedges: Third World America […]

  2. […] Chris Hedges: Third World America […]

  3. […] Chris Hedges: Third World America […]

  4. Maybe I am projecting, but in the last year I’ve noticed how sad Chris Hedges appears when he talks. It makes me sad and I also understand why he may feel this way. We are very fortunate to have people such as him, Noam Chomsky etc.

    • I’ve noticed the same, too.

    • Little wonder, considering the dire focus of his attention. It takes great strength to confront the tragedy of the commons. I think it is reasonable to describe his outlook as one that engages critically with the suffering of humanity, but more directly with the horrendous cynicism that is hastening the decline of America. There are of course alternative perspectives.
      Joanna Macy for example does not evade the truly grim facts, but she has a different order of philosophical and spiritual response. Others, like Elisabet Sahtouris, recognise the symptoms but offer creative and resourceful cures.
      I think we must read Hedges and absorb his litany of pain as a necessary signal, but remember that this pain is a message, alerting the sentient organism to an imminent threat. How we respond to this threat is therefore the key.
      Despair is an admission of impotence, and despite Joanna Macy’s stirring message, hope is really only a means of coping, that may encourage procrastination, deferring responsibility to some external force or potential saving idea.
      Personally I think we must be pragmatic, face the facts and act according to our best judgement and capacity. Anything else is simply unrealistic. My own perception is that the world is turning and changing and we live in a time of immense opportunity. We can empower youth, demand accountability from professed leaders and politicians, refuse to patronise destructive industries, resist tyranny in any form, and organise intelligently.
      In short, as the English philosopher Roger Scruton put it at the recent Forum 2000 conference in Prague, it is one thing to have ideas, but what distinguishes the sophist from the social exemplar, is their determination to live a life that embodies the ideas they advocate ~ to walk their talk.

  5. […] Chris Hedges: Third World America […]

  6. […] Chris Hedges: Third World America […]

  7. […] Chris Hedges: Third World America […]

  8. Hedges’ message is terribly bleak, but real.
    Apologists for establishment business as usual may deride his dire warnings, but those of us who have any sense of the destructive implications of unfettered globalism, know it is the truth.
    We have made such a fetish of industrialism, it no longer serves intelligent human need ~ indeed, industry itself is a debatable proposition, as William Blake and others made so abundantly and acutely relevant to the unfettered creative imagination ~ but now, it threatens all life itself.
    To become stewards of natural processes and ecosystem sustenance requires a complete revolution in education, social organisation and our provisioning logic.
    Paul Hawken writes and speaks eloquently about “blessed unrest.” Vandana Shiva has been advocating earth democracy and sustainable organic practices for a generation.
    Countless individuals ~ indeed, the educated majority world-wide ~ confirm the principle that living within our planetary means is the only way, and that we must condemn fanatical dogmatisms that contravene the pre-eminent logics of sustainability.
    However, the unelected lunatic hierarchy of privileged controllers are exhausting our means. They have appropriated the global commons. To what end? What will it take to change course?
    Power is a lethal illusion unless it is grounded in the ethical source of cosmic existence, embedded in the self-transcending context of an accessible abiding wisdom.
    How we approach that mystery is both a privilege and responsibility. Those that can, will grasp the nettle. Those who cannot, must be prepared to condone the constraints of enlightened tutoring.
    Our self-proclaimed “masters” are false gods. We must call their bluff.

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