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

with Chris Hedges
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
December 3, 2012


Image by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

Lannan Foundation and Nation Books presented Chris Hedges with Reverend Jeremiah Wright on 12 November 2012 at the Newberry Library in Chicago. Hedges spoke about poverty in the U.S., then followed by a conversation with Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Distributed by

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.


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

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  9. Rocket, I’m not as well-versed as yourself in the philosophy of sophists like Protagoras, but I am told that all we know about him is attributable to Plato and his contemporaries.
    I suppose the root of my scepticism about late Christian dogma is this idea of vicarious atonement.
    I simply cannot accept that. My conviction is that the only worthwhile or ethical sacrifice is the mystical surrender of self to a metaphysical reality that must by definition be subjective. No man nor god can accomplish this for another. The role of the superior man, or “god” may be as an agent or focus of angelic communion, but cannot become a substitute for individuated Daimonic communion. That is the real classical idea, that of personal Genius or the Muse.
    So whatever one’s idea may be of an exemplary avatar, a great initiate, magus or holy man/woman, it remains the task of each individual to determine their own mystical path to the “Gospel Truth.” That is what I would call Gnostic.

    • David, the 2 closest things that i have read to explain the sacrificial death motif are these:

      1. the Buddhist idea of the Bodhisattva (one who suffers for another). The Dalia Lama lays this out in his book ”The Good Heart: the Buddhist perspective of Jesus”.

      2. Soren Kierkegaard’s short essay ”The difference between a genius and an Apostle”.

      S.K. compares and contrasts Plato and St. Paul . the decisive qualitative difference is one of authority . you should be able to find it on line . S.K. warns of ”aesthetic impertinence ”. in other words , let us not confuse the muse with divine revelation which is by the organ of faith as an epistemology just as valid epistimically as a priori and a postiori . When i am writing music or performing sometimes the muse shows up and its pure magic . sometimes it does not . but this is not the same as the unveiling of divinity . The Daimonic communion differs from the idea of the Orthodox communion of the followers of Jesus of Nazareth who worship him as the maker of the heavens and the earth . This is why i reject any comparison with the two .

      one more thing –Protagoras and the Sophists were at odds with Platos’ account of Socrates . The last line in Plato’s ”Apology” where Socrates says ”i leave you who think you are judges to face the real judge ” . This general monotheistic statement is in direct odds with the Sophist maxim ”Man is the measure of all things”. There seems to be a almost Hebraic ring to it. is it any wonder that Justin Martyr would say ”The death of Socrates in Athens was the dress rehearsal for the death of Christ in Jersuslam”.

  10. I admire Chris Hedges most when he foregoes emotive religious hyperbole and sticks to delivering the incisive socio-political rhetoric. In my opinion that is his real strength, and when his intellect shines most forcefully. I can do without the satanic melodrama. Once we get to the real stuff, he is incomparable and formidable.

    • David , Hedges’ spiritual mojo is his motor for his social injustice Jeremiads . He studied under Harvey Cox at Harvard , an excellent theologian who influenced the work of Bruce Cockburn and many others.

      • I get that R, & thanks for the heads up ~ only I found his initial tirade slightly off-putting. I respect his passionate sincerity, but do not subscribe to his theological preferences ~ like yourself however, he is so genuine he commands recognition.
        I realise the cumulative gospel corpus is an inspiration for some exceptional intellects, it just doesn’t strike me as original, what with the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs and other precursor texts. Unique maybe, but not original ~ like the Qur’an.
        Was it Jefferson who warned us against the man of “only one book?”

        • David , i recommend Harvey Cox ”Feast of Fools” if want serious originality. but if you want to get to Cox and his influence over Hedges ..”The Secular City” says it all. it basically states that the difference between the OT. mentality and the N.T. mentality is a shift away from tribalism to universalism , and the social stasis to mobility .

          Ironically, Hedges is a naturalist and applys his faith in christ in the same way that Crossan does; namely more political than supernatural. Typical Harvard.

        • Rocket, wouldn’t that difference you refer to from Cox be the distinction between ancient Hebrew and classical Greek? For my money, classical is synonymous with pagan ie “gnostic,” in the Platonic sense. I’ll take a look at Feast of Fools. Crossan leaves me cold as religious ditch-water ~ however noble his Irish intentions or “magical” anthropomorphisms.
          What do you make of former Canadian Prof of Greek and NT at U. of Toronto, Tom Harpur’s “the Pagan Christ ~ Recovering the Lost Light?” Does that resonate with you at all? Strikes me as a bit more down to Earth without sacrificing authentic theurgical plausibility. After all, as Harold Bloom opined in his Omens of the Millennium, American Christianity is strictly speaking demonstrably Gnostic.

        • David, I will check out Harpur. ”Feast of Fools” is amazing in showing our need for mythos. It is really insightful! Bloom has not said anything that cannot be found in Hans Jonas definitive work on the subject. He just puts it in literary terms… which is important.

          The Attic and post Attic period in Greece is way too complicated to be lumped into Gnostic big tent… especially the Tragedians. Nietzsche was clear about that in ”Birth of Tragedy”.

        • Thanks R, I take your point about the “big tent.” I’m not a classicist per se ~ more of a metaphysical generalist ~ so my broad, largely intuitive understanding goes something like Eleusis (sacramental myth) pre-Socratics (confer Popper;) Hellenic mysteries (Orphics ~ Indian/Egyptian ideas ~ ecstatic religion the historical Dionysos;) drama, academic philosophy, multi-polar Hellenistic developments; Jewish/Persian influences, culminating in Alexandrian Neoplatonist theurgy…and Hermetic mysticism.
          My hunch is patchy temporal linearity does not light up the tent, but recursive (symbolic) iteration does. The key being initiatory transmission…esoteric protocols.

        • D– my reply to your dec 7. if you want to jump to Plotinus and the neo-platonists, and christian platonists like Origion , Gregory of Nyssia’s remark of Plotinus ascending toward the ONE is brilliant in its christian specifics that as de Chardin points out is the ONE is a PERSON to ascend to inwardly.

          this helps throw light Eleusian pre pre-socratic mysterys in its desire to seek personage via Hesod’s Theogony , but failure in obtaining it.

        • D– the symbolic /esoteric universals are important , but the pagan Pantheondid not have what it took to define what it means to be human , and so Greece eventually ended up with Protagorus maxim ”Man is the measure of all things ”…Ugh.
          I view the post -christian era as being more effective in defining the human becuase there was the template of Jesus of Nazareth to do it with . That Hebraic thrust brought into the conversation an explosion of gentile personalism

  11. This post is extraordinary and one which everyone should see. It demonstrates vividly the major socioeconomic ills of our society as explained by one of the most brilliant spokespersons and philosophers of our time, Chris Hedges. Just the fact that it is also done with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s “spiritual leader” for 20 years or so, also clearly demonstrates the extraordinary deficiencies in character present in our current president, one who is quite willing to exercise political expediency for personal gain, at the expense of everyone else. Barack Obama is not fit to be president of this country and I think we shall see that soon,

  12. The brilliant Chris Hedges explains it all to those with eyes to see and ears to hear. And if you watch until the end you too will be forced to remember and to choose sides.

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