The ruling corporate elites no longer seek to build. They seek to destroy. They are agents of death. They crave the unimpeded power to cannibalize the country and pollute and degrade the ecosystem to feed an insatiable lust for wealth, power and hedonism. Wars and military “virtues” are celebrated. Intelligence, empathy and the common good are banished. Culture is degraded to patriotic kitsch. Education is designed only to instill technical proficiency to serve the poisonous engine of corporate capitalism. Historical amnesia shuts us off from the past, the present and the future.
Will the psychopaths slow cook us with their fossil fuels or zap us first with their thermonuclear toys?
Consider this: there were the seven days of creation; then came the apple.
Most likely a combo of both . . .
"...Totalitarian Movements, with their Messianic Leaders, their Millennial Mirages...and their Demon Scapegoats..."
Check, check, check...
"It hastens its Self-Immolation, while holding up the supposed inevitability of a Glorious National Resurgence.
Idiots and Charlatans, the Handmaidens of Death, lure us into the Abyss."
We have no choice other than to Resist, and to bring the Light of Day, so our Fellow Humans can see and act.
Always profound - always to the point. Chris Hedges is the fearless philosopher who has the strength of History behind him.
Despite what someone might think about his bleak outlook, we have to remind ourselves that even after the fall of the Roman Empire, the sun did rise again once the dust had settled. Yes, this time the collapse of civilization will take on a global dimension, which only means that the death toll will be significantly larger and the Dark Age that follows may take a lot longer than 500 years before it ends.
We also have to remind ourselves that after the fall of the Empire, people still survived. We may find ourselves in sort of neo-feudalism where small nation-states pull together for their own mutual benefit. When historians study the so-called "Dark Ages", where a thousand years of science and medicine was replaced by superstition and cultism, they tend to focus only on Europe, while ignoring the fact that the Middle East, North and Central America and East Asia continued to enjoy the fruits of uninterrupted civilization. It was only when the barbaric hoards of Northern Europe decided to conquer the rest of civilization do we see the emergence of our current exploitation culture dominate the world.
We may also find that the Earth has a remarkable ability to heal itself once the rape has ended and Gia has eradicated much of the human "infection". One can even call the impending environmental collapse a deus ex machina whereas the Earth is "saved" through the culling of human civilization.
Or perhaps none of this will happen and instead we will have some sort of 2nd Great Awakening where all of the sudden the human race understands its own folly and we finally pull together to end this insanity and build a world we can all live in. (The sum of Western History doesn't support this idea, but one can remain hopeful, can we not?)
Chris, Reading your article makes me want to 'self-annihilate' so that I will not have to endure the 'rosy picture' of a future you portend.
Back in the late 50's and early 60's my folks let me stay up late after they had gone to bed, so that I could watch Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff movies that at that time were really scary. I have been an admirer of film ever since, and still love a good horror movie.
You talk about destruction and being lured into the abyss, but I see no solutions, no alternatives to, 'certain doom.'
Granted, your vision and our current political upheaval is frightening, however, we live in a country founded on the rights of freedom, and there are far more of us citizens who will fight to retain those freedoms, than there are those who will go silently into the abyss.
You might want to consider these things in future articles.
"(...) we cannot fail to recognize that the satisfaction of the instinct is accompanied by an extraordinary high degree of narcissistic enjoyment, owing to its presenting the ego with a fulfillment of the latter’s old wishes for omnipotence.” Freud as quoted by Hedges.
This is where some anthropologists (Dr. Donna Haraway for example, linked below) invite us to consider the fact that it is important to know what thought and thinking is thinking the thoughts, etc... (she starts at about min.10:00. Notably the 3 major eponyms proposed for the epoch in which we find ourselves: the anthropocene, capitalocene and the Chthulucene,
Worth bookmarking for later to kick back and feed the mind. Busting through the straightjacket of the brittle (now privatized) academic framework - toward the constant reinvention of open space/negative space that serves as vessel that can be handed on as adaptable to changing circumstances. What does it mean to hold open space for another?
Another excellent piece from Hedges which sadly leaves one grappling with "what to do"?
As an aside----has anyone else noticed the uptick in the use of the phrase "deep state" of late? We've gone from "oligarchic duopoly" and "neoliberalism" to now "deep state".
An excerpt from "wikispooks" (which I had not heard of until this morning!----https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Deep_state)
"In February 2017, the Washington Post wrote that the "deep state" is a "sexy new label being used in Washington to describe embedded anonymous bureaucratic bias against President Trump"
While "deep state" was called a "sexy new label" by wapo (and yes, wapo is part of the dreadful MSM)-----I do have a concern about the diminishment and/or distraction from the consistent root of the problems humans/life on earth face by the passing use of various phrases that are tossed out and changed every few years while the psychopaths (and the deep state!) charge ahead obliterating all in their path on the way to . . . ?? Where the hell are they going actually? The barren land of ultimate greed devoid of biodiversity?
Excellent point about the white-washing of the term "Deep State". When I use the term, I'm talking about the militaristic-corporate powers who have been holding onto the strings of power since the end of the American Civil War. Our current state of affairs is the culmination of that power grab where they no longer work in the shadows.
So to call the current "Deep State" that term is actually misleading, because the term implies a sort of "shadow government" where the "shadow" no longer exists. Now what we're looking at is an "all-in" Oligarchy and Corporatocracy and the "shadow government" are those of us on the Progressive side of the spectrum who are seeking to undermine the current status quo by pointing out its faults to anyone who will listen in an effort to eventually overthrow said Oligarchy in favor of a more Democratic government.
The danger, of course, of calling Progressives agents of the new "Deep State", is that the media is now starting to cast the truth-tellers as enemies of the state.
It's interesting how language can work against us after it's been twisted to the will of the enemy...
When the electrical grid fails, we die. 440 Nuke plants can only survive a few weeks if that, with no off-site grid power. Generators were never designed to run more than a few days. Without the grid, Spent fuel rods will no longer be cooled as we witnessed at Fukushima and those spent fuel pools will boil off in about 10 days, IIRC.
But instead of the Pacific dying, the whole world will die.
"we live in a country founded on the rights of freedom" - you are correct - but needed to explain a bit more, that you meant freedom to exploit at any cost and in as vicious way as possible - both nature and people...especially the poor, the old, the browns, and super-especially those in far away places that some people ignorantly call "neo-colonies"...and others "undeveloped"
Sorry Bill. The Dark Ages will last for 240,000 years. That is the decay time for Pu-239 to be at a safe radiation level after 440 nuke plants blow up from not being cooled by the electrical grid.
Bill----you lay out some interesting possibilities, thank you for the post.
While I long for the "2nd great Awakening" (and I did have hope for this for quite some time) I feel we've passed too many tipping points and do not see this as possible any more. And damn . . .it is hard to be fully awake in 2017! Being awake means witnessing the massive death and destruction humans are leaving in our wake. How to fully integrate this into one's psyche is another story . . open to suggestions on how to do that without turning to mind altering substances!
Bottom line (for me) and stated simply: My spiritual side doesn't want to live in a world without monarch butterflies or piping plovers (I could go on . . )
So, I'm going with your second to last paragraph as a likely outcome: Earth healing after the human rape has ended----- though I wish I knew I would have the consciousness to see that happen in the future or had a "vision" or some such thing . . . . perhaps that is selfish.
Or at least figure out---- before I die---- why some people feel a deep love for the nonhuman world and others could care less. I don't believe it is as simple as "education" or exposure to the "natural world" that instills this capacity in humans. I believe it is something much more and something I most likely will never understand.
I do believe we humans protect what we truly love and a huge % of the population will never love/have reverence for nonhuman life and that is why it is dying at the hands of humans. Psychopaths/sociopaths don't even have reverence for human life let alone monarch butterflies!
I realize too that it is easier to ponder and to wax on about these things while typing in a nice shelter, sipping tea and not being hungry or drowning/overheating or freezing to death.
"They've got the guns, but...we've got the numbers." Jim Morrison.
It snowed here yesterday, but here I sit sipping coffee, reading Hedges, and trying to stay positive about Life. Meanwhile, I have purchased a bag of butterfly wildflower mix, and the seeds are already in cold stratification awaiting planting in a month or so.
Our future may seem large and dismal on the whole, but my future is small and full of whatever Hope and Beauty I can yet create.
I don't think you need the entire electric grid to power the pumps to circulate the water in the cooling ponds. A few small generators will do that. Isn't the main problem when you have a coincident disaster like the earthquake/Tsunami at Fukushima that makes it impossible for people to attend to the back-up plan?
(I admit I need to do more reading on this)
While I may have sounded bleak, I am with you on this. Nothing like having seeds on hand and cold stratifying no less! I have a several bags of seeds that were gathered in the fall/winter waiting to be scattered as well.
Watching a fallow field or turf grass morph into abundant life via native seeds/plants/shrubs/trees is one of the greatest joys I have ever experienced. I hope liatris is in your mix!
Yes, there still remains life altering beauty for those who choose to see.
Great point, Thomas_Jefferson, no need for anyone to blunt it.