If we really saw war, what war does to young minds and bodies, it would be impossible to embrace the myth of war. If we had to stand over the mangled corpses of schoolchildren killed in Afghanistan and listen to the wails of their parents, we would not be able to repeat clichés we use to justify war. This is why war is carefully sanitized. This is why we are given war’s perverse and dark thrill but are spared from seeing war’s consequences. The mythic visions of war keep it heroic and entertaining…
The wounded, the crippled, and the dead are, in this great charade, swiftly carted offstage. They are war’s refuse. We do not see them. We do not hear them. They are doomed, like wandering spirits, to float around the edges of our consciousness, ignored, even reviled. The message they tell is too painful for us to hear. We prefer to celebrate ourselves and our nation by imbibing the myths of glory, honor, patriotism, and heroism, words that in combat become empty and meaningless.
The public’s inability to grasp the pathology of our oligarchic corporate elite makes it difficult to organize effective resistance. Compliant politicians, entertainers, and our vapid, corporate-funded popular culture and news media hold up the elites as leaders to emulate. We are repeatedly assured that through diligence and hard work we can join them. We are taught to equate wealth with success. This narrative keeps us from seeing the truth.
Chris Hedges, Wages of Rebellion The Moral Imperative of Revolt
The Palestinians are poor. They are powerless. They have no voice or influence in the halls of power. They are demonized. They do not have well-heeled lobbyists doling out campaign contributions and pushing through pro-Palestinian legislation. No presidential candidate is appealing to donors—as Hillary Clinton did when she sent a letter to media mogul Haim Saban denouncing critics of Israel—by promising to advance the interests of the Palestinian people. Palestinians, like poor people of color in the United States, are expendable.
Justice for Palestine will never come from the traditional governmental institutions or political parties that administer power.
Our self is elusive, it is not fixed. It is subject to forces beyond our control. To be human is to be captive to these forces, forces we cannot always name or understand. We mutate and change. We are not who we were. We are not who we will become. The familiarity of habit and ritual as well as the narrative we invent to give structure and meaning to our life helps hide this fragmentation, but human life is fluid and inconsistent.
Those who place their faith in a purely rational existence begin from the premise that human beings can have fixed and determined selves governed by reason and knowledge. This is itself an act of faith. We can veto a response or check an impulse, reason can direct our actions, but we are just as often hostage to the pulls of the instinctual, irrational, and the unconscious. We can rationalize our actions later but this does not make them rational.
Where are the so-called academics and intellectuals? Where are the professors of Northeastern? Where are the professors of journalism? Where are the Middle Eastern Studies professors that can talk about the dispossession of Palestinians since 1948?
There are professors beholden to trustee boards half of them should be in prison.
Let me call them, not by their honorific titles in positions of power,
but by the names they have earned for themselves by draining the
blood of the innocent into the sands of Gaza.
Let me name them, for who they are: Terrorists.
If you want to resist, if you want to create change, you can’t do it through political parties, the courts or through a corporatized media. You must step outside the system and create popular mechanisms, mass movements that will put pressure in a cruder way on the centers of power.
Chris Hedges, ‘The Pathology of the Rich’, The Real News Network
There are no excuses left. Either you join the revolt or you stand on the wrong side of history. You either obstruct through civil disobedience, the only way left to us, the plundering by the criminal class on Wall Street and accelerated destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species, or become the passive enabler of a monstrous evil. You either taste, feel, and smell the intoxication of freedom and revolt, or sink into the miasma of despair and apathy. You are either a rebel or a slave.
To be declared innocent in a country where the rule of law means nothing-where the poor and working men and women are reduced to joblessness and hunger, where war, financial speculation, and internal surveillance are the only real businesses of the state, where habeas corpus no longer exists, where you, as a citizen, are nothing more than a commodity to corporate systems of power, one to be used and discarded-is to be complicit in this radical evil. To stand on the sidelines and say, “I am innocent” is to bear the mark of Cain. It is to do nothing to reach out and help the weak, the oppressed and the suffering, to save our besieged planet.
I might go so far as to say that Days of Destruction, Days of Revoltis a necessary document for anyone who cares about the United States of America. The quote in question may seem inflammatory and radical but it is at the tail end of a long and ghastly series of essays detailing all of the communities we have failed, all of the corruption we have supported, all of the exploitation we have endured. In light of the evidence it is not only not an extreme statement but possibly the only sensible response to a power structure that has rotted away a truly bewildering amount of civil liberties and basic human rights. I have so much to reexamine about my way of life.
We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy.