Video: Chris Hedges in Eugene, 1 hr 24 min
author: Todd Boyle
Chris Hedges spoke in Eugene, Oct. 3, 2018 to the Community Rights Lane County. He is on the west coast for his latest book, "America: The Farewell Tour"
From the book's website, "Chris Hedges's profound and provocative examination of America in crisis is "an exceedingly... provocative book, certain to arouse controversy, but offering a point of view that needs to be heard" (Booklist), about how bitter hopelessness and malaise have resulted in a culture of sadism and hate.
America, says Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Chris Hedges, is convulsed by an array of pathologies that have arisen out of profound hopelessness, a bitter despair, and a civil society that has ceased to function. The opioid crisis; the retreat into gambling to cope with economic distress; the pornification of culture; the rise of magical thinking; the celebration of sadism, hate, and plagues of suicides are the physical manifestations of a society that is being ravaged by corporate pillage and a failed democracy. As our society unravels, we also face global upheaval caused by catastrophic climate change. All these ills presage a frightening reconfiguration of the nation and the planet. Donald Trump rode this disenchantment to power.
In his "forceful and direct" (Publishers Weekly) America: The Farewell Tour, Hedges argues that neither political party, now captured by corporate power, addresses the systemic problem. Until our corporate coup d'état is reversed these diseases will grow and ravage the country. "With a trademark blend of... sharply observed detail, Hedges writes a requiem for the American dream" (Kirkus Reviews) and seeks to jolt us out of our complacency while there is still time."
The US economic collapse is endogenous, not exogenous.
Workers are consumer demand and not only "cost factors"; CEOs are not "job creators" but tricksters and tax-evaders.
Capitalist contradictions, myths, and fairytales lead to huckster logic and self-righteousness. Job-creating schemes, food stamps, health care, liberating education enable sharing, self-determination, creativity, abundant life, interdependence and plural economics. The state should serve the public interest and fight poverty and not be a bonus pot for special interests and private interests. New economic indicators are necessary that measure gross domestic happiness and don't count environmental destruction and weapon-making as positive.
The richest eight persons own more wealth than 3.5 billion people, the international organization Oxfam reports. Hans-Peter Martin's 2018 book is titled "Game Over."
Can we hear the wake-up calls or see the writing on the wall? Investing in children, students, the poor, seniors and the disabled create public spirit and joy in life. Are the conventional political parties paralyzed, polarized and spineless errand boys for the banks? Is the corporate media discredited by setting advertisers and profit over the audience and the majority?
more at www.steadystate.org, www.onthecommonsorg, www.therealnews.com, www.freembtranslations.net, and www.openculture.com