Chris Hedges: War Exposes The Lies Of Patriotism

Beware of military recruiters

Image by Steve Rhodes via Flickr

by Chris Hedges
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
October 10, 2012

Oct 8, 2012 by

55 Water Street NYC at the Veterans Memorial. The Vets for Peace had a gathering to send a message to end these unjust wars. Just as Chris Hedges began his very inspiring and moving speech, fireworks started and continued throughout his talk adding poignantly to his message.

Chris Hedges at Vets for Peace 10/7/12

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.

Transcript: The Maimed by Chris Hedges

From the archives:

Ch 11: Exit Free (A collective in the USA that helps women leave the military by discharge or desertion) by William T. Hathaway

War Is Betrayal by Chris Hedges

Don’t Enlist, But Don’t Just Take My Word For It by Lo

Before You Enlist! (2006) (must-see)

Soldiers of Conscience: To kill or not to kill?

Chris Hedges: War is a Force that Gives us Meaning (2004; must-see; transcript)

12 thoughts on “Chris Hedges: War Exposes The Lies Of Patriotism

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  7. Nobody says it better. What an orator, and how powerful are those words spoken with such eloquence, passionate feeling and obvious sincerity.

    The cross of death is indeed a ghastly spectre and a monstrous contradiction. This contradiction has been substantially addressed and its political implications explored and elucidated through Joe Atwill’s extraordinary scholarly thesis that de-constructs the intricacies of a religious counterfeit imposed by the Roman Flavians; “Caesar’s Messiah.” Whatever our view of the veracity of this appropriated typology, it articulates the authentic religious heritage of an extremely ancient Gnosis however.

    Notwithstanding its controversial political, ideological and dogmatic ramifications, in its purely spiritual context, it is evident that the mystical significance of the solar cross will never be properly understood nor resolved until its brutal symbolic geometry has been humanised; and its literal associations naturalised, by the quintessential esoteric acceptance of the profoundly affective doctrine of the Rose of the Spirit, that blooms at its centre in order to redeem the world.

    The metamorphosis of death is redolent with the process of decay, just as the cellular architectures wood are consumed and transformed by the wonders of mycelial symbiosis into miraculous organic substance that is eventually reconstituted into a living tree. The tree of life is an eternal idea we can all relate to, for it relates the spell-binding universal story of Nature’s self-organising and regenerative processes. As indigenous native American tradition teaches us, each tree is a living community. So this profound spiritual trope is more than just an alchemical Hermetic allegory, Orphic axiom, or sublime qabalistic doctrine; it is also an empirical biological reality, that embodies and demonstrates our deepest concepts of ecological truth.

    • David , the contradiction does not lie in the cross per se , but rather the notion and proclamation of the paradox of the God-Man Jesus death on the cross as having salvific merit . the contradiction of the Orthodox gospel that Feuerbach objected to in his famous work ”The Essence of Christianity ” , as he called ”the minds projection ” that causes religious illusion is a straw man argument , because when a contradiction meets truth in any form be it an eternal verity or an infinite reference point it becomes a paradox. ergo , the paradox is judging the critic , not the other way around , hence the echo effect bringing about the critic being the victim of an ”acoustic illusion ”.

      the proclamation of the cross is foolishness to the unregenerate ,and a scandal to the class structure as Martin Hengel’s brilliant book ”Crucifixion ” points out . but this begs the question as to what kind of clarification in regards to what kind of Gnosis are we talking about ? is it is the Gnosis of say texts like the second treaty of Seth , that clearly states that Christ did not suffer in the flesh but only ”appeared as if he suffered ” , or is it the Doxology of say the climax in Mark’s gospel were he really does suffer and the Roman Centurion commits treason by admitting that ”Truly this was the SON OF GOD ”? anti Caesarean statement …utter inversion of the imperial mindset that keeps the war machine afloat.

      if it is the latter, than the paradox of the GOD/MAN Christology is of utmost relevance in inverting the natural order of war and oppression that Empires and Governments still engage in , starting with the impartation of divine grace to the inner man first ( the kingdom of heaven is within you )…. then it grows outward. this indeed does get to the root of the matter does it not? namely man’s heart must be really changed.

      i concede that nature has its own regenerative process as you pointed out . But in regards to man , does there not need to be something or someone to regenerate man because of man’s obvious track record thru world history of a down ward spiral ? taking care of the earth is a by product of this inner change that man needs. for that which does not advance goes into retrograde . and as attractive and seductive as Spinozas Monism is , or any kind of pantheism , i cant see that it has the power needed to lift man above nature in order for man to be a proper steward of nature . i give you St. Francis as the template , who was the mirror of Christ in regards to Pacem in Terris , and the inversion of the established order of destruction . Hedges would agree with me on this one .

      • Good to hear from you Rocket, I thought you might respond to this. Two points only, as regrettably I’m off-line for a spell from today. The experience and context of Gnosis is ancient enough, and certainly pre-dates the Jewish Wars, Josephus, Zealots, Essenes, Therapeutes, Mandaeans, Philo etc; so we must trek back to Plato and beyond ~ probably to Zoroaster and even to India (& China) ~ for a complete understanding of the continuum of such notions and practices. It’s a colossal topic, and worthy of very deep reflection and study.

        I have to pick up on your phrase “the power needed to lift man above nature in order for man to be a proper steward of nature.” I’m not sure this is true, notwithstanding the example of Francis. I actually think this idea is really the problem, that we have to be “above nature.” I would suggest that the perception we have of Nature “big N, small n” nature” is quite wrong. There is just Life and this permeates and informs all things, even way beyond our technological and “historical” horizons. Obviously one cannot prove this if it is a conjecture beyond measurement, but we can infer it from what we know and experience directly All of Life is intelligent in my estimation, and it is only our hubris and ego conditioning and intellectual pretensions that prevent us from recognising and accepting this truth. Spiritual enlightenment can come in many forms and cultural guises. It can come through science, or philosophy or mystical revelation or the discipline of yoga, or by other esoteric symbolic means, like theurgical practice or “shamanic” inheritance.

        So I would disregard the medium (pace McLuhan & Joyce) and get to the message, to the “quintessential” quick, that many concur is actually Love. I do not support the notion of sacrifice either human or animal, other than in its true (greater) Jihadist or Sufi expression, as the surrender of unrealised self to Will (the Dao-de.) Professor Tariq Ramadan seems to have grasped this and advocates it with consummate learning when he discusses the individual within their community or Ummah. How we arrive “there” to fully realise the gift of birth and the potential of incarnation, is the mystery of Love, and I leave that to each of us to understand in our own way, and to manifest that energy through Life, however we will, each according to our unique and sovereign capacity.

        In that sense I suppose I must be some sort of Spiritual Anarchist…

        • David , i would use a transcendental hypothesis as a buffer against a creeping neo –Animism . And also a free will matter of choice only concerning the sacrificial death motif that brings one into a higher dialogue than the noble death motif . Both may be motivated by love , but the former has in it the expatiation vicarious suffering that is needed to not only perfect the the Boddhisatva , but also to appease the Deity in question .

          Even in the difference between Mahayana and Hinayana Buddhism ( thou transtheistic ) there is this understanding . if one cannot stand still on a moving train than it seems to me that nature must be transcended in order redeem it . and maybe also to enjoy it to its max ( though that is indeed a subjective statement , i am willing to live with it ) .

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