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The Dangerous Fantasy of Hope Rooted in Self-Delusion

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/12/21/dangerous-fantasy-hope-rooted-self-delusion


Very well written. However, the problems all revolve around Capitalism and the current state of affairs have the Capitalists destroying us. Hope aside, being realistic leads one to believe humanity is on its last legs.


A couple of prognostications from Chris Hedges:

Far worse pandemics will sweep the globe with higher rates of infections and mortality, an inevitable result of our continued consumption of animals and animal products, and the wanton destruction of the ecosystem on which we and other species depend for life.
We appear to have bought four years with Biden’s election, but if we do not use it wisely – and there is nothing in the Biden nominations that offer any encouragement – we are merely reconstructing a shabby Potemkin village that will soon be flattened by the gale-force political and environmental hurricanes that are gathering around us.

Chris’s observations are generally accurate – courageously so, in the context of a mad national consciousness. Everyone has their blind spots (even Aleph, believe it or don’t!), Chris’s are laid bare by crude shortcomings in his predictions, by off-target prognostications like these. Firstly, he imagines himself perched atop the crest of the current pandemic, in order to foresee something even worse beyond that crest. That’s a presumptuous place for Hedges to position himself.

His second prognostication above, about buying four years, seems to originate from somewhere outside of California, where we have ecological apocalypse now. As it happens, this could be the week California decisively assumes pandemic leadership, with Pennsylvania.


Ranking is momentum-based on Johns Hopkins’ test-positivity factored with “per-capita newcases” & “immediate mortality” – the ratio of totals on hand for deaths and cases.

>                       JH      per-capita    immed
>                   positivity   newcases   mortality
>                       %           %           %
>  1. Pennsylvania     36.6        68.0        1.71
>  2. Tennessee        18.2       100.3        0.98
>  3. Idaho            44.2        75.6        1.08
>  4. Alabama          32.4        66.6        1.01
> --- --------------------- ----------- -----------
>  5. Kansas           38.6        76.1        1.46
>  6. California       11.7        74.8        0.52
>  7. Oklahoma         18.9        79.7        0.65
>  8. South Dakota     41.3        83.5        2.64
>  9. Mississippi      22.8        62.5        1.42
> 10. Ohio             15.9        80.3        0.76
> 11. Arkansas         17.4        67.8        1.60
> 12. Nevada           15.7        80.1        1.14
> 13. Texas            16.6        49.1        1.21
> 14. Utah             18.4        82.1        0.49
> 15. Iowa             34.9        62.1        2.49
> 16. West Virginia    10.2        64.8        1.51
> 17. New Hampshire    10.1        50.3        0.80
> 18. Indiana          12.0        88.7        1.27
> 19. Georgia          12.8        49.0        0.80
> 20. Kentucky         13.3        66.1        0.75
> --- --------------------- ----------- -----------
> 21. Arizona          14.2        76.9        1.04
> 22. New Mexico       11.6        81.3        1.68
> 23. South Carolina   11.0        48.0        0.98
> 24. Delaware          8.3        69.3        0.65
> 25. North Carolina    9.9        49.7        0.85
> 26. Rhode Island      7.0        93.9        1.21
> 27. Missouri         16.6        56.6        1.54
> 28. Louisiana         9.6        50.6        1.19
> 29. Montana          13.6        70.2        1.25
> 30. Virginia         10.5        37.5        0.82
> 31. Oregon            5.9        31.9        1.43
> 32. Wyoming          11.0        78.6        1.22
> 33. Wisconsin        12.2        70.2        1.36
> 34. Connecticut       6.2        58.6        1.26
> 35. Florida           9.2        44.5        0.96
> 36. Massachusetts     5.1        60.5        1.04
> 37. Nebraska         10.2        73.0        1.34
> 38. Illinois          8.6        67.7        1.79
> 39. Colorado          8.5        66.2        1.44
> 40. Michigan          9.7        55.7        2.03
> 41. New York          5.0        46.7        0.89
> 42. North Dakota      8.0        78.7        2.19
> 43. New Jersey        7.4        50.9        1.15
> 44. Minnesota         8.2        76.3        1.33
> 45. Maryland          6.0        40.2        1.54
> 46. Maine             4.8        24.1        1.28
> 47. Alaska            5.4        74.1        0.45
> 48. Washington        8.6        31.6        0.81
> --- --------------------- ----------- -----------
> 49. D.C.              3.3        32.6        1.06
> --- --------------------- ----------- -----------
> 50. Vermont           2.0        15.9        1.77
> 51. Hawaii            2.6         8.3        1.51

Chris, The danger in this country is that a large enough minority of folks are losing their frigging minds, and sacrificing long established relationships with friends, family, and co-workers for a blind allegiance to failed reality TV host.


Actually, being a “reality TV host” is the only endeavor in which Trump has succeeded without utilizing bankruptcy or extortion as profit centers.

In addition to the isolation Covid-19 wrought, borders are closed, and an increasing percentage of the population are falling into poverty, or will soon be, giving Trump and the GOP features essential to solidifying authoritarianism, so they want this Covid-19 gig to last as long as possible.


You said it. I have seen first-hand how formerly pleasant and reasonable co-workers have turned into (my words here) raving , paranoid fervent followers of DJT, at the expense of all reason, patience, and logic. A temperamental lashing out at me for even suggesting that Trump DID lose the election fair and square, certified by the same Electoral College that made him the winner 4 years ago, is followed by a punishing lecture on not “taking a certain tone” with them about Trumps foibles and deep dark faults. There is simply NO REASONING with so many who follow Trump; and not just follow him, but adulate him. And as Chris states so ominously, their numbers have ONLY INCREASED since 4 years ago. So, Trump or no Trump, his base is right here, rabid and foaming, “standing back and standing by”, as Trump once exhorted the “Proud Boys” to do. We are indeed much deeper in “The Big Muddy” than we’ve ever been…


There is only one solution to our continued alienation,fear and division.

The solution as its always been is Spiritual in nature .

We Are All One

A wonderful short book to find our way is …

The Essential Path


Very, very true, PonyBoy. And what is really terrifying to me is I know so many of these people personally and many are college educated and otherwise intelligent, one is even a CEO of a large corporation who makes a high six figure salary.

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I think Jesus said it this way: “LOVE YOUR ENEMY.”

Or, Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel.

Knowing there are different rules in the spirit world than the physical world.


Never be fooled by someone’s education or salary as to their mental stability or competency.

Nothing is a given anymore.


Yes this is the way …

If our “hope” prevents us from facing reality

We have no hope of changing it

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I remember the idolic fervor of people towards Ronald Reagan. He was also a media star, a celebrity, with zero experience or knowledge of how polities work. However, our culture has a major blind spot-it equates fantasy with reality. And Ronnie played them like his wealthy handlers wanted.
It’s interesting that very few television programs featured wealthy people. Most were about average joes or even the poor. Once Ronnie got into office, the tube was crammed with rich people, whether series or documentaries.
Paul Krugman had an op/ed piece last week about when the GOP went into full authoritarian fantasy mode. He opined that Ronnie’s era was Patient Zero. Not that there weren’t nut jobs. It’s just they were fringe nut jobs.
When hope is used as a means to keep people down, it becomes cancerous. And when we can no longer even talk with friends and relatives who are devoted to Trump without being flamed…that’s like going back to 1860.
Stay tuned. BTW, there are a couple very odd vids on YouTube featuring streakers. One shows a streaker wearing only a panda head skateboarding on I-71 in Columbus, Ohio. The other, a jogger wearing only a horse’s head on the pierhead in Duluth, Minnesota.


Always Chris hedges commentary, whether written or televised. So right so smart. Enjoy? not so much anymore. Yes still his truth helps set our minds right. Piercing the dogma and fake zeitgeist. But knowing we and Chris are right does not make it any easier to read anymore. The truth is so awful that escape has become the norm. Even for those frontline and steeped.

God speed, deus ex machina, or whatever miracle none of us live under, but the enemy does…


Well, I think the appointment of Deb Haarland is very good! (to respond to your point about there has been nothing to give you any hope!)
Also, the scientists talking directly to the president-elect and also John Kerry, as bad as it indeed is, also give me some faith/hope, for they are able to deal with things in reality.
We shall see.
As a climate activist, I will be able to have a felt-sense how it’s gonna be formquite early on

I wonder when the majority of people will come to realize all hope is lost. Once delusional hope is dead (murdered), humanity will be free to either construct a new meaning to life on this planet or accelerate our demise out of desperation to maintain the status quo. Seems the latter, not the former, based on current events, but I’ll probably be dead and gone before the plot is written.

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Another accurate assessment and grim outlook from Mr Hedges. He identifies the influence of corporate power in the economic and social policies of recent administrations as a problem. I agree. However, I believe the arm lock the Pentagon and the defense industry has on the Congress and the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people is another problem. Maybe he will address it in another article.

It is really hard in real-time to identify the problems causing the cracks in the nation and solve them before they become fissures. It is much easier to see them in retrospect. However, this is what politicians and an administration must do. I agree with Mr Hedges that the new Democratic boss and his appointees look too much like the old boss. Time will tell, but the opposition is ready to rumble, the Russians are unrelenting, the Chinese are expanding their sphere, millions of our people are suffering, and climate change marches on. As Chris reminds us, time is short and nations do fail.


Our greatest collective failure as a people is our inability to recognize that for 40 years the two main political parties that 95% of us keep in Washington DC, have not represented us.

Yet, we insanely continue that support.

Education in this country has failed us.


For decades we have not have had real education. It has always been indoctrination.