Saturday, August 11, 2012

Inspiration: Chris Hedges, from journalist to truth seeker


Prior to just completing Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt by journalist Chris Hedges, I had never heard of him, but since found out, he apparently left the New York Times after speaking out against U.S. military action in a commencement speech.

He has since turned on media in a big way.

One passage which he already released in blog form in 2010 is particularly biting.



Wolin is Sheldon Wolin who brilliantly looked into democracy and why it's often not the be all end all.

Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt teams Hedges up with one of America's best journalists, Joe Sacco, who portrays in comic style the disaffected through their own personal histories.

Hedges takes a broader approach, but shows from destitute Indian reservations to hollowed out inner cities, slavery riddled tomato fields to destroyed coal-rich mountain areas how profit seeking culture is catching up to our own fringes.

The chapter Days of Theft sums it up for the massacred Indians, who along with Liberians and countless others were over the years colonized or exploited economically in some form by those behind the United States government.
The old conflict between Indians and Euro-Americans, between colonizers and colonized, between masters and serfs, is the template for the last act of the corporate state. The tyranny we imposed on others is now being imposed upon us. We too are wage slaves. We, too, no longer know how to sustain ourselves. We, too, do not grow our own food or make our own clothes. We are as dependent on the state as the Indians who were herded into the agencies and stripped of their self-sufficiency. Once trapped on reservations, once the buffalo herds no longer existed, once Indians could no longer move in bands to gather wild potatoes, wild turnips, berries, medicines, and cottonwood bark for their horses in the middle of winter, once they could no longer hunt in different places to prevent exhausting the game supply, they became what most of us have become—prisoners. CHRIS HEDGES


The book does beg the question of whether the pre and post war boom in Europe and the United States was attributable to profiting off colonies and the backs of Third World workers? After biting those societies, it is our own which is being nibbled on the edges, the book asserts, while people in their majority seem to prefer false but momentary comforts of technological gadgetry, pharmaceutical drugs and mass media over more communal and nature-based experiences.


Another unanswered and important questions resolves around unions and worker organizations. The saying goes unions built the middle class. As they are being vilified it would also be important to study whether they are broken (now protecting their own status quo while not creating general progress) and whether they can be fixed?

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