This essay comes with a caveat: that the process of descent into a failed state has already been very much at play. And for a long time, too. At least since the 2008 economic crash, the core of global imperialism has been transitioning into the kind of instability which its military has inflicted upon nations like Libya and Yugoslavia. And during this last year in particular, the collapse has been accelerating.
“We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh
One of the biggest lies that people in the global north were sold and have largely internalized is that we are separate from the biosphere from which we evolved and on which we depend upon for our very survival. Even as we stand on the precipice of ecological collapse, human supremacy over nature has been the unchallenged narrative. As a result, those who have taken up the struggle to protect this fragile arrangement of existence are often otherized. Their “cause” is treated as just one of many. The “treehugger?” The “environmentalist?” The person who “cares about the earth?” How noble. How non-threatening. It becomes just another cause in a myriad of causes.
with Chris Hedges
XR America on Apr 1, 2021
Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Presbyterian minister, author, and television host. He’s led a rich and active life including decades spent as a foreign correspondent, reporting from over 50 countries. His most recent books include Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt (2015); and America: The Farewell Tour (2018).
Within today’s capitalist world, particularly the core imperialist countries, the system is held together by a type of cultural hegemony which fits our increasingly grim conditions. This cultural hegemony goes deeper than the set of myths and propaganda narratives that the imperialist media spins to justify the U.S./NATO empire’s perpetual war operations, or the free market fundamentalist dogma that our ruling class uses to justify its cruel neoliberal economic designs. These ideological constructs remain dominant in our culture because for the average person in our society, no cohesive alternative cultural narratives are detectable. It’s due to our lack of culture and guiding ideology that the hypocritical, dishonest ideologies which our ruling class has manufactured are allowed to go unchallenged.
A young Kansas grain farmer and I were riding on a train through Iowa when the subject of the climate crisis came up. He was a blonde-haired, blue-eyed son of a multigenerational Midwest farming family. I’d grown up on a potato farm in Northern Maine. Both of us spent our teenage years in overalls. We compared tractor models (him, John Deere; me, 1960s FarmAll).
In The Foundations of Leninism, Stalin concluded that “the chain of the imperialist front must, as a rule, break where the links are weaker and, at all events, not necessarily where capitalism is more developed, where there is such and such a percentage of proletarians and such and such a percentage of peasants, and so on.” In other words, the potential for proletarian revolution is increased more by the weakening of capital in a given country than by any other aspect of the material conditions.
Something feels bizarre about living in the current era, the era in which the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists just concluded that we’re metaphorically 100 seconds away from the extinction of humanity. This strange feeling has been present for a while now, going back to when the Bulletin’s “Doomsday Clock” reached 2 minutes to midnight in January of 2018 for the first time since 1953.
Whenever I hear about an instance of imperialist online censorship, or a short-term plan by a ruling class technocrat to further the erosion of free speech, I wonder: what’s the endgame of this? How far do these oligarchs plan to take their campaign to control the flow of information and suppress dissent? Because the destabilizing events the U.S. empire has undergone during the last year is small compared to what the climate’s meltdown will ultimately do to the capitalist world; as professor Jem Bendel concluded in his 2018 paper Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy, at this point in the deterioration of the climate we need to view “collapse as inevitable, catastrophe as probable and extinction as possible.”
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Dec 5, 2020
On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to Fabian Scheidler about how the global economic machine came to dominate our lives, and with looming social upheavals caused by predatory capitalism, what can be done to blunt its destructive power.
“Your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings… are… a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States, at this very hour.” – Frederick Douglass, July 4th, 1852
theAnalysis-news on Nov 2, 2020
Trump’s economic policies have not addressed the fundamental forces that have gutted industrial jobs under the administrations of both parties, says economist Michael Hudson on theAnalysis.news podcast with Paul Jay.