Chris Hedges talks to author Amitav Ghosh about the natural world and sacred forces that sustain life and the conflict when treated by the human species as an inert commodity to exploit. In his novel Gun Island, Ghosh explores how these ecosystems have turned with a vengeance on the hubris and collective lunacy of modern industrialized society.
PR: Kenn, this question haunts me: Is it still possible, amid constant inundation by the mass and social media simulacrum, for literature, poetry or a music to rouse the heart and foment rebellion against one’s complicity in what amounts to a bondage of sensibility? Naturally, we are given to outrage but, for the most part, it is directed, if we are honest, at our own sense of powerlessness against the mind-stupefying roil of events.
“Your communications, as they happen largely today, don’t actually take place between you and the person that you are talking to. They happen between you and Facebook, who then provides a copy of it to the person you are talking to, or you and Gmail, who then gives a copy of it to the person that you are talking to and every time these transactions occur through these service providers, they keep a record of it.”
“Socialism is a society coming together and taking control of the major centers of economic power: the banks, factories and industries, the major natural resources, the major sources of energy, all the centers of the economy. All the centers of economic power being controlled by society and functioning to work in the benefit of society. If you think that that could come into being as the result of a bunch of people going to the polls and clicking for one candidate, that’s delusional, could never happen.” — Caleb Maupin
“It is through this sort of unholy connection of technology and sort of an unusual interpretation of contract law that these institutions have been able to transform this greatest virtue of humanity—which is this desire to interact and to connect and to cooperate and to share—to transform all of that into a weakness.
“The principle of self-reliance–that one can and should solve one’s problems utilizing one’s own resources and skills and not become dependent on foreign powers–was the guiding philosophy of North Korea’s founding leader Kim Il-sung since the Korean people’s anti-colonial struggle against the Japanese. And it has been the country’s guiding philosophy ever since. North Korea’s experience during the Korean War–when countries that had pledged support didn’t come through with supplies of armaments in its moment of desperate need–reaffirmed its belief that to guarantee its survival, it cannot rely on others and needs to develop its own resources.” — Soobok Kim from ZoominKorea
Abby Martin interviews former Technical Director of the National Security Agency, Bill Binney, who blew the whistle on warrantless spying years before Edward Snowden released the evidence. They discuss mass surveillance and the Intelligence Industrial Complex.
“The Outer Space Treaty represents the basic legal framework of international space law. Among its principles, it bars states party to the treaty from placing weapons of mass destruction in Earth orbit, installing them on the Moon or any other celestial body, or otherwise stationing them in outer space. It exclusively limits the use of the Moon and other celestial bodies to peaceful purposes and expressly prohibits their use for testing weapons of any kind, conducting military maneuvers, or establishing military bases, installations, and fortifications (Article IV).” Outer Space Treaty
Humankind, being an inherently tool-making species, has always been in a relationship with technology. Our tools, weapons, machines, and appliances are crucial to forging the cultural criteria of human life. At present, amid the technology created phantomscape of mass media’s lurid — yet somehow sterile — imagery, one can feel as if one’s mind is in danger of being churned to spittle.
During an event discussing his latest book, America: The Farewell Tour, Chris Hedges was asked about where he finds hope. His answer points to the power of faith, resistance, and the importance of values. This is from an event at Zaytuna College, America’s first Muslim liberal arts college.
Author, Virginia Eubanks, explains to Chris Hedges how the goals of Victorian-era poorhouses have evolved with 21st Century high-tech to exert control and surveillance of needy, poor and homeless people. Eubanks is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University Albany, SUNY. She is the author of Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police and Punish the Poor.