Review (Guest): War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning

5 Star, Consciousness & Social IQ, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, War & Face of Battle
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Chris Hedges

5.0 out of 5 stars When Cultures of Violence get mixed with the Myths of War, November 19, 2013
This review is from: War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning (Paperback)

War is a Force that Gives us Meaning

When cultures of violence get mixed up with myths of war

Chris Hedges is a scholar of immense talents, who has “been there, done that;” (and bought the Tee shirt). He is as familiar with the art of war as is Sun Tzu, and arguably much smarter. Plus his sensibilities are different: keener, and in the right place — more refined and more severely tilted towards an instinct for building a better more humane world. With his own considerable experiences as a war correspondent as backdrop, Hedges uses his award-winning literary skills and his “over-sized” intellect to enlighten us about things that we already should know about: That war is hell; and that everything that glorifies it is a monumental but soothing lie!

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Review (Guest): War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning

5 Star, Culture, Research, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Military & Pentagon Power, Misinformation & Propaganda, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), War & Face of Battle
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Chris Hedges

5.0 out of 5 stars When Cultures of Violence get mixed with the Myths of War, November 19, 2013

Herberg L. Calhoun

When cultures of violence get mixed up with myths of war

Chris Hedges is a scholar of immense talents, who has “been there, done that;” (and bought the Tee shirt). He is as familiar with the art of war as is Sun Tzu, and arguably much smarter. Plus his sensibilities are different: keener, and in the right place — more refined and more severely tilted towards an instinct for building a better more humane world. With his own considerable experiences as a war correspondent as backdrop, Hedges uses his award-winning literary skills and his “over-sized” intellect to enlighten us about things that we already should know about: That war is hell; and that everything that glorifies it is a monumental but soothing lie!

Why should we already know this? Because all of the “true” soldiers, all of the “true” military patriots — from George Washington down to Generals Dwight Eisenhower and Wesley Clark — have told us that it is so. And yet, as this author’s essay so aptly punctuates, we are all still intoxicated by war. It is a deadly insidious drug that we still just cannot give up. We readily “mainline it,” “we sample it,” “wallow in it,” tell lies about it, wish to be draped in its vicarious glory, and as a nation with an out of control military industrial complex, we have severely “OD-ed” on it.

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Reference: 2011 Brave New Dystopia

04 Education, 06 Family, 07 Other Atrocities, 11 Society, Civil Society, Collective Intelligence, Corporations, Money, Banks & Concentrated Wealth, Officers Call, Power Behind-the-Scenes/Special Interests, Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy
Chuck Spinney Recommends...

2011: A Brave New Dystopia

truthdig, Posted on Dec 27, 2010

By Chris Hedges

The two greatest visions of a future dystopia were George Orwell’s “1984” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.” The debate, between those who watched our descent towards corporate totalitarianism, was who was right. Would we be, as Orwell wrote, dominated by a repressive surveillance and security state that used crude and violent forms of control? Or would we be, as Huxley envisioned, entranced by entertainment and spectacle, captivated by technology and seduced by profligate consumption to embrace our own oppression? It turns out Orwell and Huxley were both right. Huxley saw the first stage of our enslavement. Orwell saw the second.

We have been gradually disempowered by a corporate state that, as Huxley foresaw, seduced and manipulated us through sensual gratification, cheap mass-produced goods, boundless credit, political theater and amusement. While we were entertained, the regulations that once kept predatory corporate power in check were dismantled, the laws that once protected us were rewritten and we were impoverished. Now that credit is drying up, good jobs for the working class are gone forever and mass-produced goods are unaffordable, we find ourselves transported from “Brave New World” to “1984.” The state, crippled by massive deficits, endless war and corporate malfeasance, is sliding toward bankruptcy. It is time for Big Brother to take over from Huxley’s feelies, the orgy-porgy and the centrifugal bumble-puppy. We are moving from a society where we are skillfully manipulated by lies and illusions to one where we are overtly controlled.

Orwell warned of a world where books were banned. Huxley warned of a world where no one wanted to read books. Orwell warned of a state of permanent war and fear. Huxley warned of a culture diverted by mindless pleasure. Orwell warned of a state where every conversation and thought was monitored and dissent was brutally punished. Huxley warned of a state where a population, preoccupied by trivia and gossip, no longer cared about truth or information. Orwell saw us frightened into submission. Huxley saw us seduced into submission. But Huxley, we are discovering, was merely the prelude to Orwell. Huxley understood the process by which we would be complicit in our own enslavement. Orwell understood the enslavement. Now that the corporate coup is over, we stand naked and defenseless. We are beginning to understand, as Karl Marx knew, that unfettered and unregulated capitalism is a brutal and revolutionary force that exploits human beings and the natural world until exhaustion or collapse.

Read full article (also below the line as a safety copy)…

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Journal: Body Count in Afghanistan

08 Wild Cards, Ethics, Government, Military
Full Story Online
Full Story Online

Chuck Spinney
Chuck Spinney

Afghanistan’s Sham Army

Nov 9, 2009

By Chris Hedges

Success in Afghanistan is measured in Washington by the ability to create an indigenous army that will battle the Taliban, provide security and stability for Afghan civilians and remain loyal to the puppet government of Hamid Karzai. A similar task eluded the Red Army, although the Soviets spent a decade attempting to pacify the country. It eluded the British a century earlier. And the United States, too, will fail.

American military advisers who work with the Afghan National Army, or ANA, speak of poorly trained and unmotivated Afghan soldiers who have little stomach for military discipline and even less for fighting. They describe many ANA units as being filled with brigands who terrorize local populations, exacting payments and engaging in intimidation, rape and theft. They contend that the ANA is riddled with Taliban sympathizers. And when there are combined American and Afghan operations against the Taliban insurgents, ANA soldiers are fickle and unreliable combatants, the U.S. advisers say.

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Review: Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle

5 Star, Banks, Fed, Money, & Concentrated Wealth, Budget Process & Politics, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Congress (Failure, Reform), Corruption, Culture, Research, Democracy, Economics, Education (Universities), Electoral Reform USA, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page
5.0 out of 5 stars Potential Straw to Break the Camel’s Back
September 19, 2009
Chris Hedges
I disagree with those who dismiss this book, however erudite their claims. The author first impressed me with American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.
Reading this book on the heels of Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny and Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher’s Journey through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling, on top of my own cry of the heart in the preface “Paradigms of Failure” in Election 2008: Lipstick on the Pig (Substance of Governance; Legitimate Grievances; Candidates on the Issues; Balanced Budget 101; Call to Arms: Fund We Not Them; Annotated Bibliography), I have to say in the strongest possible terms that this is a capstone book of great service to both those who know it all and those who know little at all.