The idiots take over in the final days of crumbling civilizations. Idiot generals wage endless, unwinnable wars that bankrupt the nation. Idiot economists call for reducing taxes for the rich and cutting social service programs for the poor, and project economic growth on the basis of myth. Idiot industrialists poison the water, the soil and the air, slash jobs and depress wages. Idiot bankers gamble on self-created financial bubbles and impose crippling debt peonage on the citizens. Idiot journalists and public intellectuals pretend despotism is democracy.
A torrential outpouring of insight here. Hedges puts into words what we all know, down deep, to be true.
Chris… you nailed it!!!
Chris Hedges is a very bright guy, and he’s very good at telling us what’s wrong and why.
But he doesn’t tell us how to fix things. and that’s what we’d like to know.
How do you “fix” a society that is fixated on “reality TV” that is not real and its shock jock POTUS ?
This acrticle, as many others by Mr. Hedges, is laser focused and poignant.
I take issue with one sentence - “We are his victims.”
I believe this lies at the core of empire and subsequent decay - the citizens exist in the victim paradigm and thus, do not feel empowered to change its’ course.
see comment below - look for your answers within and you will know what to do
I agree. We are not victims. No government can govern long without the consent of the governed. Most of the country has been asleep for a long time. Now, however, the country seems to be awakening from the nightmare that is Trump and the long sordid history of the U.S… If we withdraw our consent, cease our cooperation, stop buying the dross of capitalism, we can and will change this filthy rotten system. One sign of hope: in 8 to 12 years, the young people of America will be a large enough voting block to start voting in progressive candidates. They tried in the last presidential election, but there were too many of the old who refused to see reality and refused to change. Enough of these old voters will be dead in 8-12 years to make way for real change.
I think the whole system needs to crash first because the corruption has fully infiltrating our voting systems. So no amt of progressive voters will change the outcome because that’s all planned in advance.
I agree with you totally, though, that our consent has ended and the country is waking up. I do believe we will win ‘in the end whenever that may be’ because I do believe are headed for a complete empire failure. It’s inevitable.
The idiots in power are complemented quite nicely by the idiots who vote for them.
It would almost seem good to end Medicare in order to kill off old folks faster (just kidding), but, anyway, I agree that it will help somewhat when more old folks die off.
I’d step back even further from the victim and from ‘asleep’. Reminded of Hillary Clinton openly expressing scorn for poverty, long understood as being IMPOSED and undeniably racist by African Americans, the youth of whom were to be, according to Clinton, “brought to heel” (swallow the most recent version of the myth pablum being dished out, or else).
Note that when someone like Hillary Clinton claws onto the “enemy” as being effectively slammed into political place (“the violence of some black youth”), then the abusive politicians express the full scope of poison in their agenda.
The mistake is in thinking that because it is expressed in racist terms, that it is limited to racism. The demonstrable fact is that it is ‘dog-whistle’ for everyone to ‘come to heel’ so that those who are not black do not get “niggered” by those in power. This is key to keeping the ‘aspiring’ in usefully cowed lines. Somehow they effectively deny it by saying they are “paying their dues” or failing that, called ass-kissers without any connection being made to the practices of the absolute vileness of identity-specific abuses with which they are channeled.
What does not get done because it would not advance one’s aspirations in the system? It is not ‘asleep’ but rather a personal horizon of the nefarious form of ‘dog-whistle’ trauma threat.
The underlying premise of predatory capitalism is that it is a zero sum game. Trump and his vapid ‘loser’ feeds voraciously on the same carcass of abusive politics that have been hammering entire dog whistle threat campaigns since who-knows-when. It is criminal from A to Z.
He has told us in many of his writings: one thing only, revolution. And that solution may, in the end, destroy, rather than restore us.
I think he has advocated “non-violent” revolution.
Is Trump an idiot? Do idiots reign? Is capitalism idiocy? Hedges is absolutely on target, as usual, with his criticism but as much as I detest capitalism and it’s elite 1% I do not consider them idiots. To call them idiots is much too nice and sort of excuses them. They, of course, consider themselves to be exceptional and take great pride in their power and wealth and so do, unfortunately, the brainwashed and conditioned numbed and dumbed majority that their masters rightful consider “useless eaters”.
But what would you tell the idiots to learn? Do you have any better ways for them to keep and add to their obscene wealth and power? If so they are eager to hear from you and might even make you rich too.
Capitalism has always been short sighted as todays profit and quarterly profits is the main concern. The destructiveness of capitalists and ruling elites of the past has more to do with the impossiblity of ever increasing wealth for an elite thereby forcing bad decisions that solve immediate problems but snowball into the elite’s eventual destruction.
Same old same old. Another falling empire and elite destroying itself. The question is “will it take all of us with it?” The fragility of the technocracy and the ever expanding number of weapons of mass destruction seems to doom the human race even before environmental destruction and global warming will although they will keep increasing the violence and warfare. Die by fire or ice or no more air to breathe, is dead. Dead is dead. Individuals and the human race itself are all slated for destruction. But like an individual the human race could choose a healthier and longer life.
That healthier and longer life is possible through socialism. An end to private property and class systems is the way for all to share equally in non destructive, negative, ways.
Yes do resist and even find personal freedom through limiting one’s consumption and participation in capitalist slavery. The owners of the world are 1,810 billionaires on the Forbes 2016 rich list that own $6.5 trillion, “as much wealth as the bottom 70 percent of humanity.” If you work for a living or are starving to death they still own you. But they are not the enemy, the capitalist system that produces them is the enemy. Leave the “idiots” alone and work in any possible way to destroy the capitalist system that psychopaths and sociopaths excel in, thanks to not feeling guilt or empathy.
It has become an either or, pressing situation. Either destruction of the human race as another failed species or adapting via socialism and having a future.
Outstanding, eloquent comment! Thank you.
Here is a link to a prescient essay by Albert Einstein on Socialism and capitalism:
His wisdom and spiritual depth live on in his writings. (Perhaps placing a microscopic disc into the brain of the diabolical despot that activates when his eyelids close every night with a recording of this and any other number of Einstein’s essays on humanity would erase all the considerable evil he has learned beforehand.)
Sorry, but I believe–and believe that Hedges does also-- that we are long
past launching a successful “non-violent” revolution.
I envision a deadly world-wide revolution along the lines of the Russian
revolution during WW I. And it won’t be pretty.
Actually your assertion is without basis.
Also the man walks the walk trying to help out incarcerated individuals. Hedges also essentially puts his life on the line with his writing and activism. He spent time and resources and incurred risk taking part in a lawsuit against the NDAA provision allowing for indefinite incarceration of US citizens without charge by the military.
The first step is easy to see but impossible to implement: a voluntary reduction in human population on the planet.
Yes, the old are living too long these days - and I am one of them! Most of my age group peers still drink the Kool Aid of salvation through the Democratic Party and its service to capitalism. They recognize the obvious danger of Trump, but not the more subtle danger of Hilary Clinton and her ilk.