There are two sets of principles. They are the principles of power and privilege and the principles of truth and justice. If you pursue truth and justice it will always mean a diminution of power and privilege. If you pursue power and privilege, it will always be at the expense of truth and justice— Chris Hedges
The most terrific Chris Hedges quotes that are little-known but priceless
It is the cult of self that is killing the United States.
This cult has within it the classic traits of psychopaths: superficial charm, grandiosity and self-importance ; a need for constant stimulation; a penchant for lying, deception and manipulation; and the incapacity for remorse or guilt.
Poor people, especially those of color, are worth nothing to corporations and private contractors if they are on the street. In jail and prisons, however, they can each generate corporate revenues of $30,000 to $40,000 a year.
It is better to be an outcast, a stranger in one’s own country, than an outcast from one’s self. It is better to see what is about to befall us and to resist than to retreat into the fantasies embraced by a nation of the blind.
Wealth breeds a class of people for whom human beings are disposable commodities. Once oligarchs achieve unchecked economic and political power, as they have in the United States, the citizens too become disposable.
One needs solitude and quiet to think.
The cacophony of modern culture is designed to make that impossible.
Becoming vegan is the most important and direct change we can immediately make to save the planet and its species.
Turn off your televisions. Ignore the Newt-Mitt-Rick- Barack reality show. It is as relevant to your life as the gossip on “Jersey Shore.” The real debate, the debate raised by the Occupy movement about inequality, corporate malfeasance, the destruction of the ecosystem, and the security and surveillance state, is the only debate that matters.
The press, or at least most of it, has lost the passion, the outrage, and the sense of mission that once drove reporters to defy authority and tell the truth.
The true purpose of education is to make minds, not careers.
The greatest danger that besets us does not come from believers or atheists;
it comes from those who, under the guise of religion, science or reason, imagine that we can free ourselves from the limitations of human nature and perfect the human species.
Inverted totalitarianism, unlike classical totalitarianism, does not revolve around a demagogue or charismatic leader. It finds expression in the anonymity of the Corporate State. It purports to cherish democracy, patriotism, and the Constitution while manipulating internal levers.
We are the most illusioned society on the planet.
We have to become adults. And it's hard; it's painful. I struggle with despair all the time. But I'm not going to let it win. It is incumbent upon all of us that at the same time we recognize how dark the future is, we also recognize the absolute imperative of resistance in every form possible.
If we don't hold fast to our moral principles, nobody's going to.
We don't have to have a majority, but once ten, fifteen, twenty million people start voting left, we'll scare the piss out of the Democrats, and they'll have to respond. But they're not going to respond to us until that happens.
We live in imaginary, virtual worlds created by corporations that profit from our deception.
War in the end is always about betrayal, betrayal of the young by the old, of soldiers by politicians, and of idealists by cynics.
I'm not saying we're going to win. I am saying rebellion becomes a way to protect your own dignity. Corporations are, theologically speaking, institutions of death. They commodify everything - the natural world, human beings - that they exploit until exhaustion or collapse. They know no limits.
The purpose of bread and circuses is, as Neil Postman said in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death, to distract, to divert emotional energy towards the absurd and the trivial and the spectacle while you are ruthlessly stripped of power.
The more we retreat from the culture at large the more room we will have to carve out lives of meaning, the more we will be able to wall off the flood of illusions disseminated by mass culture and the more we will retain sanity in an insane world.
Positive psychology is to the corporate state what eugenics was to the Nazis
The rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug.
The failure to dissect the cause of war leaves us open for the next installment.
War is addictive. Indeed, it is the most potent narcotic unleashed by mankind.
Again, although I'm not a particularly religious person, I go back to the religious left that I come out of: There are moral imperatives to fight back. As Daniel Berrigan says, "We're called to do the good." And then we have to let it go. It's not our job to know where the good goes.
The imperial projects will continue, Wall Street will be unimpeded in its malfeasance and criminal activity, social programs will continue to be cut, maybe not at the same speed as under a Republican Administration, but it's all headed in the same direction.
War is not about flag-waving and patriotism. War is about killing and death.
It's the willingness on the part of people who seek personal enrichment to destroy other human beings… And because the mechanisms of governance can no longer control them, there is nothing now within the formal mechanisms of power to stop them from the creating, essentially, a corporate oligarchic state.
What kind of a world are we going to leave the next generation? I, at least, want my children to look back and say, "My daddy was being arrested at the White House fence and booed off commencement stages. He was trying."
The few surviving Armenians no longer ask to go home.
They do not ask for restitution. They ask simply to have the memory of their obliteration acknowledged. It is a moral obsession, the lonely legacy passed onto the third and fourth generation who no longer speak Armenian but who carry within them the seeds of resentment that will not be quashed.
Legitimate rage on the part of working men and women is directed not only towards government but, I think quite correctly, towards liberals, who speak in a very hypocritical language about caring for their interests and yet support institutions that carry out an assault against working men and women.
The arts often realize human truths well before other branches of human endeavor.
There are no impediments now to corporations.
None. And what they want is for us to give up. They want us to become passive. They want us to become tacitly complicit in our own destruction.
The inability to grasp the pathology* of our oligarchic rulers is one of our gravest faults.
The moral nihilism of celebrity culture is played out on reality television shows, most of which encourage a dark voyeurism into other people's humiliation, pain, weakness, and betrayal.
Jesus was a pacifist.
There are always people willing to commit unspeakable human atrocity in exchange for a little power and privilege.
The moral certitude of the state in wartime is a kind of fundamentalism.
And this dangerous messianic brand of religion, one where self-doubt is minimal, has come increasingly to color the modern world of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
The enduring attraction of war is this: Even with its destruction and carnage it can give us what we long for in life. It can give us purpose, meaning, a reason for living.
The charade of politics is to make voters think that the personal narrative of the candidate affects the operation of the corporate state. It doesn't really matter on the fundamental issues whether the President is Republican or Democratic.
The belief that rational and quantifiable disciplines such as science can be used to perfect human society is no less absurd than a belief in magic, angels, and divine intervention.
The cable news channels have cleverly seized on the creed of objectivity and redefined it in populist terms. They attack news based on verifiable fact for its liberal bias, for, in essence, failing to be objective, and promise a return to genuine objectivity.
Rape, mutilation, abuse, and theft are the natural outcome of a world in which force rules, in which human beings are objects.
Many of us, restless and unfulfilled, see no supreme worth in our lives.
We want more out of life. And war, at least, gives a sense that we can rise above our smallness and divisiveness.
I have seen children shot in El Salvador, Algeria, Guatemala, Sarajevo, but I have never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport.
Our system doesn't work, and it doesn't work, ultimately, not because of Sarah Palin, or the christian right, or Glenn Beck. It doesn't work because the liberal class failed us. The liberal class failed to find the intellectual and moral fortitude to defend liberal values at a time that they were under egregious assault.
There was in the House only one dissenting vote, from Barbara J.
Lee, a Democrat from California, who warned that military action could not guarantee the safety of the country and that 'as we act, let us not become the evil we deplore.
They [Harvard academia] liked the poor, but didn't like the smell of the poor.
The violent subjugation of the Palestinians, Iraqis, and Afghans will only ensure that those who oppose us will increasingly speak to us in the language we speak to them—violence.
And let's not forget that internally, we are, like all dying empires, being hollowed out from the inside in terms of infrastructure. I live near Philly, I live in Princeton. The school system is shattered with closings and layoffs. Libraries are being shuttered. Head Start is being cut back. Unemployment benefits are not being extended. You know, we've reached a point of both physical and emotional exhaustion.
War, we have come to believe, is a spectator sport.
The military and the press have turned war into a vast video arcade game. Its very essence-death-is hidden from public view.
Of the past 3,400 years, humans have been entirely at peace for 268 of them, or just 8 percent of recorded history.