CHRIS HEDGES is a Truthdig columnist, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a New York Times best-selling author, a professor in the college degree program offered to New Jersey state prisoners by Rutgers University, and an ordained Presbyterian minister. He has written 12 books, including the New York Times best-seller “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” (2012), which he co-authored with the cartoonist Joe Sacco. His other books include “Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt,” (2015) “Death of the Liberal Class” (2010), “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle” (2009), “I Don’t Believe in Atheists” (2008) and the best-selling “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America” (2008). His latest book is “America: The Farewell Tour” (2018). His book “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” (2003) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction and has sold over 400,000 copies.

Originally posted on Truthdig https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-coming-collapse/

Editor’s Note: Chris Hedges is a brilliant man and an influential public intellectual. He is also almost always unfailingly radical in his diagnosis of what ails the world, and America, particularly, as evidenced in the essay above. That said, he has his blind spots. Not too long ago he was a classical liberal in the way he saw communism. And, despite his demonstrable and impressive erudition, he seems to have a poor grasp of the realities defining complex civilizations still very much in rapid transformation, such as China. In that he appears to share a Western intellectual’s conceit, the idea that all civilizations and systems must be measured by Western benchmarks and ideologies. This attitude is so pervasive, and in consequence often invisible even to the sufferers, that many evidencing this trait would be offended and possibly outraged to be so described. But the facts are eloquent. Consider this passage, from Hedges’ compellng book,  America: The Farewell Tour

Severe repression? Modern-day serfs? At best, Hedges opinion here is badly dated. Alarmingly, another leading American public intellectual and acerbic critic of capitalism and the US style of imperialism, the formidable Morris Berman, shares Hedges’ views. Maybe in due time their views will change, or become much more nuanced and less hostile, but until that happens, such opinions remain cautionary signs in a body  of work with few peers. Despite such surprising statements, I wholeheartedly recommend all the books written by Hedges and Berman. They belong in every educated person’s bookshelf, especially those committed to social change.—PG