“Power Concedes Nothing Without a Demand” by Chris Hedges

by Chris Hedges
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
March 14, 2011


Image by Daveypants via Flickr

The liberal class is discovering what happens when you tolerate the intolerant. Let hate speech pollute the airways. Let corporations buy up your courts and state and federal legislative bodies. Let the Christian religion be manipulated by charlatans to demonize Muslims, gays and intellectuals, discredit science and become a source of personal enrichment. Let unions wither under corporate assault. Let social services and public education be stripped of funding. Let Wall Street loot the national treasury with impunity. Let sleazy con artists use lies and deception to carry out unethical sting operations on tottering liberal institutions, and you roll out the welcome mat for fascism.


via Truthdig

Copyright © 2011 Truthdig

Chris Hedges spent two decades as a foreign reporter covering wars in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He has written nine books, including Death of the Liberal ClassEmpire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009) and War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2003).


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9 thoughts on ““Power Concedes Nothing Without a Demand” by Chris Hedges

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  7. Regarding this obvious failure of public institutions to respond to the “common welfare,” I would eagerly suggest you take a look at Public Choice Theory.

  8. Close, but not quite. Who is this “they” to whom you refer, Chris? Who is it that keeps stealing our rights and keeping us down? Is it the wealthy? Is it the Congress? Is it the President?

    Don’t be ridiculous. I could kick Bill Gates ass without too much trouble, I suspect. And if not, I have friends who could do it easily. Most of the folks in Congress are cowards, and Obama looks pretty helpless.

    These people have no power to do anything. Frankly, most of them can’t even care for themselves without assistants and attendants.

    So what they say has zero force — until it is put in to action by others. And who are these others? Why, they are ordinary people just like you and me.

    The power of the wealthy to enslave the world and to wreak death and destruction exists only because we will it into existence with our belief in it.

    We continue to fail to solve our problems because in confronting them in this manner we call them into existence. IGNORE the government and the wealthy and the heads of big corporations. When a CEO or a Senator or even Obama opens his mouth, continue as if nothing were happening. Ignore them completely.

    Address your efforts, instead, to your brothers and sisters who are busy carrying out the demands of the “rulers.” Do you tolerate members of your family or your community of friends joining the military? Why? Do you tolerate friends and family joining the police force? Why? Do you tolerate friends and family working for the mega-corporations and helping to destroy the planet? Why?

    The “rulers” are insignificant bugs that we put into place to avoid having to take care of things by ourselves. We can squash them any time we want to, or just consign them to irrelevance.

    It is pointless to stand in the streets screaming and begging to be heard. That just empowers them. It inflates their enormous egos still further. And it says to everyone that their authority is real. It is not.

    Do not empower them by acknowledging them. Deal directly with those who support the fascist state, who rationalize and justify death, destruction, rape, loot, plunder, and slavery. Don’t stand in the streets complaining. Don’t make it a matter of us and them. Instead, remove your support for the system and for anyone who supports the system.

    Stop paying taxes. Stop obeying. Stop listening. Refuse to tolerate injustice. Step in. Shut it down. And demand that everyone around you do the same. Do not “let it slide” because it’s someone you know! Zero tolerance for injustice and those who support it.

    Pogo had it right: We have met the enemy and he is us.

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