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Quotes of the day: Chris Hedges
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Published Wednesday, September 17, 2014 @ 10:55 PM EDT
Sep 17 2014

Christopher Lynn "Chris" Hedges (born September 18, 1956) is an American journalist specializing in American politics and society. Hedges is also known as the best-selling author of several books including War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2002)— a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction— Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009), Death of the Liberal Class (2010) and his most recent New York Times best seller, written with the cartoonist Joe Sacco, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (2012). (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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A culture that does not grasp the vital interplay between morality and power, which mistakes management techniques for wisdom, and fails to understand that the measure of a civilization is its compassion, not its speed or ability to consume, condemns itself to death.

A society without the means to detect lies and theft soon squanders its liberty and freedom.

It is one of the great ironies of corporate control that the corporate state needs the abilities of intellectuals to maintain power, yet outside of this role it refuses to permit intellectuals to think or function independently.

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 danger is not Islam or Christianity or any other religion. It is the human heart- the capacity we all have for evil. All human institutions with a lust for power give their utopian visions divine sanction.

The fact that alienated people can be counted on to vent their spleen in ineffectual directions- by fighting among themselves- relieves the government of the need to deal fundamentally with the conditions which cause their frustrations.

The failure to dissect the cause of war leaves us open for the next installment.

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 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.

The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.

The rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug.

The split in America, rather than simply economic, is between those who embrace reason, who function in the real world of cause and effect, and those who, numbed by isolation and despair, now seek meaning in a mythical world of intuition, a world that is no longer reality-based, a world of magic.

There are always people willing to commit unspeakable human atrocity in exchange for a little power and privilege.

This magical thinking, this idea that human and personal progress is somehow inevitable, leads to political passivity. ... It has turned whole nations, such as the United States, into self-consuming machines of death.

Unfettered capitalism is a revolutionary force that consumes greater and greater numbers of human lives until it finally consumes itself.

Violence is a disease, a disease that corrupts all who use it regardless of the cause.

War is always about betrayal, betrayal of the young by the old, of idealists by cynics and of troops by politicians.

We have to grasp, as Marx and Adam Smith did, that corporations are not concerned with the common good. They exploit, pollute, impoverish, repress, kill, and lie to make money. They throw poor people out of homes, let the uninsured die, wage useless wars for profit, poison and pollute the ecosystem, slash social assistance programs, gut public education, trash the global economy, plunder the U.S. Treasury and crush all popular movements that seek justice for working men and women. They worship money and power.

We make our heroes out of clay.

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.

We should not forget that the true purpose of education is to make minds, not careers.

Patriotism, often a thinly veiled form of collective self-worship, celebrates our goodness, our ideals, our mercy and bemoans the perfidiousness of those who hate us.


Categories: Chris Hedges, Quotes of the day


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