On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges is joined by Russell Banks, author of Cloudsplitter, The Sweet Hereafter and Lost Memory of Skin. In his books, screenplays and short stories, Banks uncovers the humanity of the marginalized. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil explores deindustrialization in the US.
It constitutes the greatest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War affecting huge numbers of people and demanding all that is best in us. Yet instead of compassion, understanding and unity, all too often intolerance, ignorance and suspicion characterise the response to the needs of refugees and migrants.
Anxiety and depression are at unprecedented levels worldwide and the numbers are growing. The World Health Organization (WHO) describe it as an epidemic, and estimate that 615 million people are suffering from one or other of these debilitating diseases. A staggering number, that in all likelihood is an indication only of the depth of the problem; anxiety as documented by the WHO, is primarily a developed nation’s issue. The 800 million living in extreme poverty in India for example are not polled, and are too overwhelmed by the daily demand for survival to even question if they feel depressed or anxious; so too the 500 million living on the margins of life in sub-Saharan Africa, or rural China.
A basic income — the concept of everybody getting a regular check from the government regardless of circumstance — is one of those ideas that sound wonderful on the surface but proves to be much less so once we examine the details.
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges discusses playwright Eugene O’Neill’s shattering of the American myth in the play “Mourning Becomes Electra”. Hedges is joined by his wife Eunice Wong who is playing Lavinia Mannon in Target Margin Theater’s production of the play and director David Herskovits.
The idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) has been championed by both progressives and conservatives. Not everyone on the left, however, is behind the idea. Is the UBI a means of redistributing wealth, attacking poverty and protecting workers from technological displacement? Or will basic income serve to advance an agenda of austerity and privatization?
Poverty blights the lives of billions of people throughout the world: in developing countries, where it is acute, and industrialised nations, where it’s hidden but growing. It rises out of social injustice, makes exploitation and abuse inevitable, brings death and disease, robs people of opportunity and dignity, feeds anger and resentment.
Curse the war culture! It leaves us at a loss for words, bereft of metaphors to describe our situation. Our minds become blank slates, unable to recognize dangers at the door unless they carry assault weapons or drop bombs on our heads.
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges is joined by Linh Dinh, author of “Postcards from the End of America”. Dinh traveled across the US to lift up the voices of those who have been disappeared by our corporate state. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil reveals the stark statistics of those living in poverty in America.
After 10 years and three terms, Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa’s time in office has ended. Under his administration Ecuador made far-reaching economic and social gains, despite having inherited a country on the brink of collapse.
Speech to Kairos group, Union, Columbia
[Edited version for clarification, January 23, 2017]
The focus of my talk today will be Jesus’ first sermon and the long background behind it that helps explain what he was talking about and what he sought to bring about. I’ve been associated with Harvard University’s Peabody Museum for over thirty years in Babylonian economic archeology. And for more than twenty years I’ve headed a group out of Harvard, the International Scholars Conference on Ancient Near Eastern Economies (ISCANEE), writing a new economic history of the ancient Near East.
Throughout his Christmas message and in keeping with the hymn of the time, Pope Francis repeatedly called for Peace in our World. “Not merely the word, but a real and concrete peace” brought about by changing those attitudes, patterns of behavior and socio-economic systems that bring about conflict. Peace not simply in relationship to armed conflict, but peace for all people in a range of situations. Continue reading →