Chris Hedges and Richard D. Wolff at the Left Forum 2015: Marx: The System is the Problem

Unions Behind Labor Day

Image by Democracy Chronicles via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

with and Chris Hedges

Left Forum 2015 on May 30, 2015

In past revolutions – for example, against slavery or feudalism – the revolutionaries defined their goals in terms of freedom, liberty, equality, democracy, and so on. At the same time, they often allied those goals to actively supporting the newly emerging capitalist system. Capitalism, many hoped and expected, would secure, in the words of the French Revolution, “liberty, equality and fraternity.” Marx’s work says “no, capitalism did not and cannot secure liberty, equality, fraternity or democracy; indeed capitalism’s social dominance is now the systemic obstacle to their achievement.” Marx’s critical analysis of capitalism as a system informs and invites the next necessary step in realizing the greatest social goals of modern history.

Left Forum 2015: Chris Hedges

Deep Dish TV on Jul 2, 2015


Left Forum 2015: Richard D. Wolff

Deep Dish TV on Jul 2, 2015


Chris Hedges “Wages of Rebellion”

mediasanctuary on Jun 1, 2015

Journalist, author and war correspondent Chris Hedges spoke in Troy NY on Friday, May 29, 2015, part of the Spring 2015 season at The Sanctuary for Independent Media.

Chris Hedges, whose most recent book “Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt” (Nation Books) was published on May 15, 2015 is also the best-selling author of “War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” (2003), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. A quote from the book was used as the opening title quotation in the critically-acclaimed and Academy Award-winning 2009 film, The Hurt Locker. The quote reads: “The rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug.”

Revolutions come in waves and cycles. We are again riding the crest of a revolutionary epic, much like 1848 or 1917, from the Arab Spring to movements against austerity in Greece to the Occupy movement. In “Wages of Rebellion,” Chris Hedges–who has chronicled the malaise and sickness of a society in terminal moral decline in his books “Empire of Illusion” and “Death of the Liberal Class”–investigates what social and psychological factors cause revolution, rebellion, and resistance. Drawing on an ambitious overview of prominent philosophers, historians, and literary figures he shows not only the harbingers of a coming crisis but also the nascent seeds of rebellion. Hedges’ message is clear: popular uprisings in the United States and around the world are inevitable in the face of environmental destruction and wealth polarization.

Focusing on the stories of rebels from around the world and throughout history, Hedges investigates what it takes to be a rebel in modern times. Utilizing the work of Reinhold Niebuhr, Hedges describes the motivation that guides the actions of rebels as “sublime madness”–the state of passion that causes the rebel to engage in an unavailing fight against overwhelmingly powerful and oppressive forces. For Hedges, resistance is carried out not for its success, but as a moral imperative that affirms life. Those who rise up against the odds will be those endowed with this “sublime madness.”

From South African activists who dedicated their lives to ending apartheid, to contemporary anti-fracking protests in Alberta, Canada, to whistleblowers in pursuit of transparency, “Wages of Rebellion” shows the cost of a life committed to speaking the truth and demanding justice. Hedges has penned an indispensable guide to rebellion.

Hedges, whose column is published Mondays on Truthdig, has written twelve books, including the New York Times best seller “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” (2012), which he co-authored with the cartoonist Joe Sacco. Some of his other books include “Death of the Liberal Class” (2010), “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle” (2009), “I Don’t Believe in Atheists” (2008) and the best selling “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America” (2008). His book “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” (2003) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. In 2011, Nation Books published a collection of Hedges’ Truthdig columns called “The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress.”

Hedges previously spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.

Hedges was part of the team of reporters at The New York Times awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for the paper’s coverage of global terrorism. He also received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism in 2002. The Los Angeles Press Club honored Hedges’ original columns in Truthdig by naming the author the Online Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011. The LAPC also granted him the Best Online Column award in 2010 for his Truthdig essay “One Day We’ll All Be Terrorists.”

Hedges is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York City. He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University and The University of Toronto. He currently teaches prisoners at a maximum-security prison in New Jersey.

from the archives:

Chris Hedges on Book TV: Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt

Richard D. Wolff: The Coming Crash and The Recession That Never Ended

Chris Hedges: Bernie Sanders is Giving Legitimacy to the Democratic Party

Can the Working Class Still Change the World? by Kyle Brown

The Socialist Alternative to a World of Injustice by Danny Katch

10 thoughts on “Chris Hedges and Richard D. Wolff at the Left Forum 2015: Marx: The System is the Problem

  1. Pingback: Who Is Karl Marx, The Critic? by The Anti-Social Socialist – Dandelion Salad

  2. Pingback: Michael Parenti: Marxists vs Liberals on Capitalism – Dandelion Salad

  3. Pingback: Chris Hedges, Richard D. Wolff and C. Jama Adams: W.E.B. DuBois: What His Life and Work Can Teach Us Today – Dandelion Salad

  4. Pingback: Chris Hedges and Richard D. Wolff at the Left Forum 2016: Rosa Luxemburg: Reform or Revolution? | Dandelion Salad

  5. Pingback: Cornel West and Richard Wolff: Marxism, Capitalism and Wage Slavery | Dandelion Salad

  6. Pingback: Richard Wolff: Is China’s Bubble About To Burst? Look Out US! | Dandelion Salad

  7. Pingback: Chris Hedges: Nobody Wants the Wars in Iraq or Afghanistan Except Raytheon, Halliburton, Northrop Grumman | Dandelion Salad

  8. Pingback: The Realpolitik of Revolution by William T. Hathaway | Dandelion Salad

  9. Well, there must be those who are praying fervently for the opportunity to dispense ample vials of hemlock to silence the likes of C H. Of course, the big difference is, those reactionary criminals are impotent to act, because books cannot be unwritten, even if some still get burned. Socrates did not publish, we rely upon Plato, his student and amanuensis.

    Today, not only do we enjoy widely distributive public reach, through a press with a legacy of almost 600 years; we have been gifted the wondrous miracle of the Internet, and can gain immediate access to critical information and opinion, unprecedented in history ~ thro’ the noble offices of websites of integrity like Dandelion Salad.

    So here we face the very real paradox of Popper’s Open Society, it must always find a way to elude its own excesses; but we are witnessing the complete inversion of what was hitherto a hard-won tradition of free speech ~ albeit never entirely free, as anyone with even a modicum of learning can attest. The voices of truth have always been marginalised by those who sought hegemony and control, through religious indoctrination or purported ownership of the symbolic means to determine moral standards by pseudo-science.

    So today, rather than silence us, the nuclear playboys of the world have adopted the twin tactics of orchestrated opposition, deploying cultural analgesics and academic subversion ~ through deceptively appropriating all ethical argument in the name of “diversity,” peddling “authentic” “radical scholarship” and toxic, pornocratic, violent entertainment fuelled by “food like substances” as Michael Pollan so charmingly (Harold Blooms favourite epithet) describes the American diet.

    It is all just another PR trick. The mighty Wurlitzer keeps grinding out the trendy totalitarian songbook of “advanced” MK-ULTRA style weaponized psychology. However clever and devious these masters of black propaganda are…..and they are clever enough….the chink in their hi-tech armour is beginning to reveal a seismic chasm.

    As Chris Hedges explains, privatisation insinuates its effects at every level. The whole tissue of falsehood is held together by blind faith alone ~ faith in infallibility, not of a pope or emperor, but in the apotheosis of this corrupt & corrupting system of neoliberal, multinational ideology & “free” market pretence ~ the hyper-strategic tension of packaging lies to sell more lies, whilst sanctioning murder, mayhem and ecocide.

    Oh what a tangled web we weave….but the bluff is being called right now ~ in trumps.

    No more excuses! The hard facts are raining down upon us like epistemological hailstones. You can don your plastic hard-hat with its “I’m a bigoted denialist” logo indelibly branded upon it, or ~ (more sensibly…) seek intelligent educative recourse, by cultivating refuges of flourishing habitat, like intelligent living forests ~ not just replete with creatures and thriving ecosystems, but abundant in eco-systemic ideas!

    Your health, well-being (“eudaimonia”) and intergenerational future depend on it ~ “it” being the capacity and willingness to confer, consult and share resources….for the benefit of all, not just a select and “chosen” few diseased trillionaires & tyrants.

Comments are closed.