CHRIS HEDGES has been sounding the tocsin for some time against the corporate-dominated status quo that is destroying the lives of human beings, beasts, and nature itself at a demonic rate. Obviously we have reached the point when the abyss is looking at us straight in the face, and the usual methods for obtaining some relief, particularly elections, have been shown to be for the most part a rigged game and a fraud. Never as strong and wonderful as its panegyrists would have it, American democracy is now in its dying bed, mortally wounded by the combined impact of a virulent, shameless corporatism and a pathetically confused and disorganized citizenry.
We don’t agree with some of Hedges’ positions (i.e., his defense of religion, his unwarranted, out-of-all-proportion admiration for Cornel West, a fellow liberal in many regards who, until very recently, when he finally saw the light, still defended Obama, etc., etc.) but we salute and support his call for non-electoral action at a juncture in history when it’s obvious that all precincts of theoretical democratic power in the United States (the White House, the governorships, Congress, the media, the Supreme Court) have been taken over and largely hollowed out by the cancerous forces shilling for the global plutocracy. <WATCH VIDEO BELOW>
Our only peeve with this impassioned declaration is Chris’ misuse of the word “radical”, which he absentmindedly applies to the imperial corporatists. The word “radical” is an honorable word, but in labeling the corporate malefactors and their minions as such, Hedges, like most liberals, muddies the context and further stains a word whose real meaning is simply to look at the root of a social problem. Perhaps he means “extremist”, a more apt word for his intent, but even this word is loaded with too many layers of propaganda by now, since as the famous quip has it, is it wrong to be an extremist in the pursuit of justice? Your extremist may be my hero. Or, as Winston Churchill himself advised, “Your terrorist may be my freedom fighter.” It all depends on who’s doing the talking, and whose ox ends up being gored.
Why do we harp on this? Words have power, especially in an ambit horribly toxified by pervasive propaganda in support of a malignant and irredeemably cynical corporate system.
“Radicals” have been maligned (and neutralized) for generations in the US by the doctrinal watchdogs—media, politicians, etc.—because they represent social forces that, by daring to look at the actual causes of festering social problems—crime, unemployment, unending wars, wholesale political corruption, etc., invariably end up indicting the system itself, not just a mere politician or administration. In so doing, they carry the threat of recommending solutions inimical to the comfortable status quo that creates such insufferable conditions. —P. Greanville
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