Chris Hedges “American Sadism”
Chris Hedges "American Sadism"
Streamed live on Jun 27, 2021
Liberals like Chris Hedges are almost always extremely efficient and eloquent in their diagnoses of what ails society. In this talk, Hedges provides, for example, a good anatomy of what constitutes the main working parts of the imperialist organism, currently managed by Joe Biden (the collective Biden, not the real, physical Biden). This, Hedges insists, is just an army of professional bureaucrats dedicated to the design and implementation of policies conducive to the perpetuation of a global, deeply undemocratic oligarchic cabal, with HQ in Washington. For ideological and career reasons, these individuals are not likely to change their views easily. Many, like graduates from fancy universities working on blue ribbon foundations, NGOs, and think tanks, or as part of the national "security" apparatus, are embedded in the most prestigious and (financially) rewarding parts of the imperialist structure. The status quo is good for such people, who also suffer from an inherent short-term and myopic kind of thinking. The problem with Chris is that his analysis, good as it is, does not advance much in the manner of solutions, aside from recommending extra-electoral mass mobilizations (something we certainly agree with). And Chris's anti-communism and anti-Sovietism do not help matters much, either. A great deal of our dissatisfaction with Hedges stems from his diehard eurocentric values, which naturally privilege the US/EU way of looking at things. In an intro to Rainer Shea's critique of Hedges, we said:
We think the author is spot on with this critique of Hedges. For a long time we too have watched with mounting frustration Hedges spout fiery revolutionary rhetoric invariably laced with wild denunciations of communism and Marxism redolent of rightwingers, mainstream liberals and crafty anticommunists. Like Chomsky, who shares some of these traits, and most left-liberals, Hedges is excellent at describing the evils of capitalism, but disgraceful when it comes to viable tactics and strategies. (In the 1970s Chomsky even declared that, due to its exceptionalism, capitalism could be eliminated in the US through the ballot box.) In Hedges case, maybe the muddle-headedness and praxis shortcomings stem from his apparent religious temperament, after all he's a graduate of Harvard's Divinity School, one of the more esoteric and elegantly anachronistic schools in that temple of bourgeois privilege and underhanded reaction. Whatever the reason, Hedges remains stuck on a paradox: he seems to want revolutionary change and the elimination of capitalism, but he cannot bring himself to embrace precisely the only —or shall we say the only historically-tested—tools that can make that future possible.
See Chris Hedges’ counter-revolutionary advice for revolution, by Rainer Shea, also on this site.
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