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Quotes of the day: Chris Hedges

Published Sunday, September 18, 2016 @ 10:41 PM EDT
Sep 18 2016

Christopher Lynn "Chris" "The Hedge" Hedges (b. September 18, 1956) is an American journalist, activist, author, and Presbyterian minister. 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), the New York Times best seller, written with cartoonist Joe Sacco, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (2012), and his most recent Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt (2015). (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A democracy survives when its citizens have access to trustworthy and impartial sources of information, when it can discern lies from truth. Take this away and a democracy dies.

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

Battling evil, cruelty, and injustice allows us to retain our identity, a sense of meaning, and ultimately our freedom.

Economics dominates politics- and with that domination comes different forms of ruthlessness.

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.

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.

No real journalist makes $5 million a year... Those in power fear and dislike real journalists.

One needs solitude and quiet to think. The cacophony of modern culture is designed to make that impossible.

Patriotic duty and the disease of nationalism lure us to deny our common humanity.

The arts often realize human truths well before other branches of human endeavor.

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

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.

The moral certitude of the state in wartime is a kind of fundamentalism.

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 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 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.

The vanquished know war. They see through the empty jingoism of those who use the abstract words of glory, honor, and patriotism to mask the cries of the wounded, the senseless killing, war profiteering, and chest-pounding grief.

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

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.

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 addictive. Indeed, it is the most potent narcotic unleashed by mankind.

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

War is not about flag-waving and patriotism. War is about killing and death.

We live in imaginary, virtual worlds created by corporations that profit from our deception.

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

Categories: Chris Hedges, Quotes of the day


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