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Confronting the Culture of Death

Confronting the Culture of Death

Chris Hedges

The issue before us is death. Not only our individual death, which is more imminent for some of us this morning than others, but our collective death. We have begun the sixth great mass extinction, driven by our 150-year binge on fossil fuel. The litany of grim statistics is not unfamiliar to many of you.


“These Christian fascists, like all idol worshippers, endow themselves with absolute power and authority. They claim to speak and act for God. They externalize evil. Evil, for them, is not the constant struggle to combat the dark forces within our own hearts but is embodied in the demonized other—Muslims, immigrants, blacks, feminists, artists, intellectuals or homosexuals—and once the other is eradicated, evil itself will somehow miraculously be eradicated; except of course it won’t, and these Manicheans will, in frustration, oppress and kill new groups of demonized human beings with an even greater fury.”

As witness to these creatures and as one who has read the Bible I am often left with one pertinent question: “What did Jesus ever do to deserve Christianity?”


Rarely do you see Walter Benjamin cited these days. I notice the Britannica entry does not mention an article he wrote that is still referenced by translators The Task of the Translator.

Sometimes it might be worthwhile, particularly in dealing with “enemies”, to consider just what it is we are contemplating doing if and when we endeavor to ‘walk a mile in the shoes of another’.

I would submit that we are then entering the realm of the discipline of translation. How are we orienting our perspective. One of my favorite examples of this subtle but often invigorating consideration is the well known strophe from the Tao te Ching “The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step”; which can also be translated as “The journey of a thousand miles starts from where your feet are”.

When we ‘take a stand’ we commit to the task of cultivating ongoing cognizance of where our feet are. When admonished to always move forward, query as to whether or not one is being admonished into an abyss might call for an orthogonal step of retrospect in another direction.


Shit howdy, this is good. This burns bright. I will try to take away from it some new spark in myself, or some help for what is there already.

Have you heard Arvo Pärt’s “Stabat Mater,” Mr. Hedges? I listened the other day for the first time and thought, “This is the grief I need. A grief almost great enough to do justice to the losses that have been and are coming. Almost.” I can’t live or even die properly in the fireball glare of the losses, shriveling and blackening, without the grace and mercy of grief.


Here is one of my favourite quotes which gets to the crux of the human story.
Its from the book… Awaken The Species

“There’s a saying in the cosmos: Eternal Life brings Eternal Peace.”

“If on the other hand, you imagine that you have a limited time in which to experience what you desire to experience,you will give up your peace to acquire it,or to hold onto it if and when you do acquire it.”
It seems that there is never enough stuff for the billionaires and they just want more !
This is the illusion of insufficiency played out in the context of human affairs .


"Jesus did not come to make us rich…"


What indeed?

Christianity may have been made in Jesus Christ’s image, however, some men have twisted and distorted it to fit their own ideological bent.


In the meantime, the phony liberals engage in childish distractions:



We will endure only by inverting the world’s values.

While I am a great fan of Hedges and have a deep respect for his spirituality, I have never shared his faith that religion can ever play a major role in “inverting the world’s values”. Religion has, in fact, played a major role in creating the very values Hedge’s seeks to invert. For the sake of argument, though, let’s say that some worldwide religious movement that incorporates saving the planet somehow miraculously rises that “nothingness” that plagues the West. Should such a miracle occur (and it would be a miracle), it would take generations to develop. That kind of time is a luxury we no longer have.

Nor is the Earth going to “punish” us. This planet doesn’t give a rat’s ass about us or any other life form. It will continue on until it, too, is consumed by the natural process of the Sun meeting its end.

If we as a species are to survive (and that is by no means a certainty, nor should it be), we will have to actively and aggressively address the problem, putting aside politics, religion, belief systems and all our other many differences. Util then, the question before us is: are we intelligent enough to survive the problems our intelligence has created or are we only intelligent enough to engineer our own extinction?

At this point, the only differences between us and the dinosaurs is that we can see our end coming, the dinosaurs could not.


Do MAGA people read Hedges, doubtful, and that’s a shame, because the “Jesus did not come to make us rich, did not bless the white race above other races - Jesus after all, was a person of color”, would scare the hell out of them.


Play a game of dominoes:
30 domino, all fossil fuel uses - transport, household, manufacturing, agriculture, chemical, etc in category or class, 2% and under to 25% for transport, 40% for household/industrial, etc. The object of the game is to guess which domino to tip first, the others to follow: Answer to the game: ONE hint:
The first domino is indirectly percieved to be a mere 2% domino emissions count.
Write your guess in simple terms the first fossil fuel domino to tip.
The domino question if carried out: Projection:
Significant reduction global temperatures in 5 years.
Good luck. You made need help to figure it out.

Speaking of the culture of death, here is Abby Martin.



1 Like

Oh good God! Only Chris Hedges could wrench my heart open so wide!

What Chris says rings true, but one element is missing, for me at least. That is–our entire worldview is now of the FATHER God; the warrior mentality. Chris mentions “hyper masculinity,” and I believe that is where it comes from.

What is missing is the feminine aspect of Divinity. The Sacredness of all is also related to the feminine, or the MOTHER Goddess aspect. We have lost the soft, the appreciation of the cycles of birth, death, resurrection and rebirth. Corporatization has raped the earth and hence, the goddess. Nature has become a commodity and has lost its sacredness.

We must regain our balance. Male/Female in balance. Mind/Soul in balance.


What he did was ask imperfect men to follow him; some who were unable to give up the mantle of power. But there is something else to consider: Most of the holy writings passed down through the ages, were eliminated from what we call our “bible.” Thanks to Constantine and the Holy Wars, Christianity has been altered and perverted.

I believe, however, that the “Spirit” speaks to all of us even in this day. Listen.


Sometimes you’re so awesome old goat!

Thanks for the link. This is somewhat ‘off message’, but in the thread you link to there is a link to a documentary about the history of the London finance model that is quite interesting.

Your rationality is admirable, but have you never heard of Spirit/Soul?

Thanks for posting this. I watched it a little while ago. The “City” is pretty well linked to the culture of death.


So true ,balance is everything as you say .The sacred feminine has been written out of our history to the detriment of life on Earth .
A great read on this is…The Chalice and the Blade .