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Flint’s Crisis Is About More Than Water


Flint’s Crisis Is About More Than Water

Chris Hedges

What is in the mind of someone who knowingly poisons children and impairs their lives? Why did the politicians, regulators and bureaucrats who knew the water in Flint, Mich., was toxic lie about the danger for months? What does it say about a society that is ruled by, and refuses to punish, those who willfully destroy the lives of children?


“Whole populations in our poorest communities are poisoned or, in countries such as Iraq, murdered en masse. But we have no context for measuring human actions and human evil. We find our collective identity in childish nationalist cant and patriotic propaganda that bombards the airwaves, not in the cold reality of our callousness and ruthlessness. We do not know who we are.”

Did “we” ever know? The “we” of the U.S. citizenry has always been exploited and misinformed. The greatest period of literacy in the U.S. was the first half of the 19th century. There were reforms that came from it but the only reforms that last are those that either favor the wealthy or do the wealthy no harm. Every study has shown that few rise above the level they were born into. For many, hard work means illness and early death.

History itself is a river of blood. The thinking of clinical psychopaths is so different from normal thinking that any analysis that leaves out this factor fails from the outset. The tragedy is that psychopaths have always ruled thanks to their inability to feel guilt or empathy which allows them to quickly rise and assume positions of power. In other words, history has been largely run by the insane and humans have progressed despite it.

The U.S. is exceptional on always having been a violent psychopathic society that has now progressed to it’s final destructive end. There is overwhelming blood drenched historical evidence that the elite circles of the U.S. and the U.K. are an exclusive club of sociopaths, psychopaths and trusted sycophants ruling in the name of white supremacy. Our collective situation as normal humans grows more perilous every day as our insane destructive elites not only possess weapons of mass destruction but are, blinded by profit, causing an environmental catastrophe.

“In recent centuries, a set of legal instruments were put in place that encourage and reinforce psychopathic tendencies through a system of incentive structures that reward selfish behaviors. This enabled the misguided philosophies of neoclassical economics and neorealist politics to gain undue influence over our thinking about social policy and institutional design.”

How Will the 99% Deal With 70 Million Psychopaths? http://goo.gl/YpDIbi

The newest weapon of mass destruction is neoliberalism. It’s economic purpose is to impoverish the world and create a neo-feudal system of slaves under a world capitalist oligarchy “the new world order”. Genocide will be practiced in many forms to reduce the population down to an ideal size of profitability. Instead of bread and circuses it’s electronics and circuses. The only problem is that the entire history of capitalism is constant warfare. The essence of capitalism is to compete and destroy one’s competitors. With Germany and Japan now openly rearming it’s beginning to resemble the 1930’s. World War III will come before any “new world order”.

Capitalism is the insane belief that the worst people will somehow do the best for everyone. Unfortunately they infect the whole society and when a whole society is antisocial, for the sake of elite individuals, the river of blood becomes a flood. Americans conditioned to authority and brainwashed from birth will live in wage labour/bondage as long as the Ponzi scheme started in Virginia in 1607 at Jamestown, the system of White Supremacy(Racism) and capitalism, exists.

Paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions and a godlike technology is a lethal mix that is destroying the ecology and, probably, the human race in the sixth mass extinction event the technology is causing. Capitalism is elitist, as all class systems are, and racist. A revolution that is not a socialist revolution will only be another redistribution with the new boss the same as the old boss. Socialism provides the only form of direct democratic governance, equality, and is the only cure for sick societies and an insane world.


Pragmatism is a philosophy that TPTB love to inculcate in the masses. Effectively breaking the empathic drive, pragmatism resorts to a counting game, usually based upon money. TPTB are very good at this game; humanity not so much. It is past time for humanity to wake the fuck up.


What do you mean, " We don't know who we are?"

We are the Super Bowl. We are the Super Power. We are Jeep! We are Budweiser!
We are Pepsi Cola!



We hold these truths to be self-evident, that the domination of the many by those few that control vast wealth is a clear and present danger to our republic and people, that those few are criminally advantaged by corruption of government utilizing the wealth they possess with the collusion of our elected representatives.

We hold that government Of, By and For the People has been perverted, subverted, by vast wealth to buy our political processes, our media, so critical to any democracy, our courts, and "regulatory" agencies, turned into de facto employees of those they are charged to regulate. Candidates, elections, legislation are all managed for and by great wealth to the detriment and subjugation of our people, our economic/financial structures, our common environment and collective future - we have been made wage, interest and rent slaves to the wealth and advantages of a few and the rights guaranteed by our great documents have been undermined and made a mockery!

"That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men (and women), deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."


The corporate coup d'etat continues full steam ahead.

The dots to be connected are getting bigger and bigger and in this article, Chris Hedges shows that the dots are so big now that they overlap. In the intersection between the failures we either have hope or resignation.

The repeated failures of the system have led to many, many interest groups that often acted independently. Now the issues are so big and so important that the efforts of more and more of these groups are connected.

We see it in the climate actions, money in politics, corruption of most institutions, etc.

The only effort that is large enough to stand up to power, in my opinion, is the Bernie movement.

I know that Chris does not think that this effort goes far enough, but it is the only path that is wide open now. Bernie has done the radical thing of bringing issues into the national debate, issues that the corporate media buried, like TPP.

Thanks for this excellent summary of how far we have fallen from our principles.


What a brilliant post.


"We do not possess the intellectual skills—and this is by design—that permit us to question power, to see ourselves as part of a long human continuum. We have forgotten, or never been taught, that each individual must be seen as an ultimate end if we are to retain any human decency and hope. Once we depersonalize others, once we forget who we are and where we came from, we make evil possible."

Certainly, the above is true of some, perhaps even many. But it is not true of those who indeed see the connections among things and are at a loss as to how to alter the calculus given that, as Mr. Hedges aptly explains, the institutions of power--inclusive of media, the courts, so-called representatives, and would-be regulatory agencies like the EPA--have all been co-opted by the 1% corporate power-houses.

The preference for the functional system, for left brain and for action rather that reflection, all tie in with the modern world's asymmetric reliance on all things YANG.

Mr. Hedges can brilliantly define the symptoms of a failed society and quote many impressive sources to make his case. However, I don't think he really understands the root of all this hierarchical power is found in patriarchy. And patriarchy in every way possible removes its counterbalance--the Female and all things Yin or Feminine.

One of those things is empathy.

Another is the maternal care of children.

I, too, have noticed not just a war on women but also one on children. Seeing the poisoning of the kids in Flint, the microcephaly impacting more than 1000 newborns in Brazil, the apparent abduction of several thousand children from Europe's refugee camps, the insanely callous way that all those migrant children escaping Honduras and Central America were treated at the U.S. border (their intended destination for Deliverance), the child soldiers of Congo, and a worldwide trafficking in children for the sex trade... the regard for life is abysmal.

And leading the way into this black-hole of spiritual bankruptcy are those that make war at their pleasure and/or on the basis of falsified evidence. And those who profit from the killing fields.

Yes, the bureaucrats keep the trains running on time. And this part of society is too clone-like and cog-like to question the system. But again, it is a grand mistake to lump ALL citizens into the category of "little Eichmanns."

The existing system that has 68 billionaires owning more than half the world's wealth is causing the vast majority to run like rats on treadmills just to keep up. THAT is exhausting. Most are fighting and/or struggling to survive. And the elites want it that way, since those who are already tired out have little fight left in them--physically, psychologically, and perhaps even morally.


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All those things are about men. Sure, women go along with Super bowl and the whole macho design because what option do many otherwise have... if they want the affection of their fathers, husbands, boyfriends, and brothers?


As always, Siouxrose gets it so right. She understands how American capitalistic culture has destroyed the spirituality of our humanness. With exception of many great thinking minds in America, the general population no longer understands what it means to be truly human. ..Steve Riley


I concur SR1. I too do not agree with all of Hedges conclusions, especially this one:

We do not possess the intellectual skills—and this is by design—that permit us to question power, to see ourselves as part of a long human continuum.

Many of us do possess these skills, and put them to work for the greater good everyday. I am lucky enough to be surrounded by people who understand what the hell is going on and are taking action, daily. If folks could actually slow down, take time for study and introspection, and connect to their humanity, we might find these skills are actually inherent in many people. Too bad the system we are trapped in makes that nearly impossible for most people.


Rave on Chris Hedges, rave on until we get healed.


Democracy is dead in Michigan.

Legalizing emergency management and putting it into practice was a devastating crisis of immense proportions, which was allowed to happen in the good ole USA with hardly a peep.

Just how much are the good folks in Detroit and Flint expected to bleed to keep our patriotic illusions afloat? How many poisonings, deaths and indignities are they supposed to endure before the rest of us wake up and start building the democracy we not only need, but also deserve?

There are powerful forces at play in our chocolate cities. Do you think they will stop after emaciating black and brown communities? If you do, think again.


Osho writes in one of his books that we need to change the way history is recorded. Imagine if we recorded only the scientific advances, advances in happiness/peace and advances in art/culture. The dark ages would no longer be a story of wars, disease, crusades and religious perversion but one of emptiness and waste. The psychopaths would be relegated to the dust bin of Ozymandias (someone who was a legend in his own mind but forgotten by history).


Well said, Rusty! As I have said in the past...welcome to government by sociopath.


Truer words have never been written, the US Costitution as a blueprint for government, and your words as a draft for a new Declaration of Independence under our Constitution. Emphyrio, your and the reply of rusty to this article need to be copied, saved and utilized by CD's readers in the future. The revolution, hopefully, has begun.


What happened to the verbal flogging because he used the "We" frame? Always full of twists and turns, SR, lol.


A very concise, precise, and timely analysis of the social contruction of knowledge and the ways in which ideological dogma can shape the individual. A good read that aligns perfectly with this theme is Kafka's Metamorphosis.


Understanding that you aren't actually making a blanket condemnation of all penis bearers, I just wanted to share the fact that I opted for doing street photography instead of watching the Superbowl.