Chris Hedges at Oxford College: YouTube (8:32) Manifesto for Liberty, Snowden Displayed Moral Courage

Cultural Intelligence, YouTube

The rest of those speaking (YouTube for each)

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!

Continue reading “Review (Guest): War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning”

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.

Journal: Spinney, Boyd, Green, Kuhn on “Can America Be Salvaged?–Public Intelligence Aspects”

Collaboration Zones, Communities of Practice, Ethics, Policies, Reform, Threats
Idiocy in America
Idiocy in America

This lengthy piece is organized as follows:

1)  Chuck Spinney on how our partisan “leaders” are disconnected from reality and leading us over a cliff, with reference to John Boyd.

2.  An extract and link to the always brilliant CounterPunch where David Michael Green discusses the core issue: Can America be salvaged?

3.  A Phi Beta Iota editorial commentary on Thomas Kuhn (The Structure of Scientific Revolutions), Robert Steele (Paradigms of Failure, Data Pathologies), and Howard Zinn (A Power Governments Cannot Repress).

CHUCK SPINNEY: The article in Counterpunch by David Michael Green, “Can America be Salvaged?” is an brilliant expository argument describing  what are in effect the destructive outcomes of self-referencing/incestuously amplifying OODA loops that are becoming ever more disconnected from reality.

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Review: American Fascists–The Christian Right and the War On America

6 Star Special, America (Founders, Current Situation), Religion & Politics of Religion

American FascistsLast Call for Sanity in Face of Christo-Fascism,

March 14, 2007

Chris Hedges

Of all the books I have read, inclusive of a good number on religion, on knowledge, and on the pathologies of power, this book is perhaps the single clearest, most up to date, and most compelling definition of the extreme right in America as the world’s new fascists.

I created the image that I am uploading with the review several years back, when Condi Rice and others had the temerity to call General Tony Zinni a traitor when Zinni, the most recently retired Command-in-Chief of the US Central Command, made a clear public case for NOT invading Iraq. Collin Powell was more subdued, saying “if you break it, you own it,” but Bush-Cheney do not compute nuances, and were not listening. They both reflected this book’s basic premise, that when dissent is considered treason, one is dealing with a neo-fascist regime.

The author is uniquely qualified as both a graduate of a top-level divinity school, and a world-class investigative journalist, to make this case.

He opens the book with an annotated list of fourteen features of fascism that set the stage, and I list them here because of their importance–buy the book to get the whole picture:

1. Cult of Tradition
2. Rejection of Modernism
3. Action for Action’s Sake
4. Critics are Modernists
5. Dissent is Treason
6. Fueled by Frustration
7. Lacking Identity, Contrives Birthright
8. Humiliated and Delusional vis a vis external enemies
9. Pacifism is evil
10. Elitist contempt for weak (similar to poorest of whites contempt for hard-working blacks)
11. Cult of Hero, Cult of Death
12. War as Sexual Sublimation
13. Selective Populism (generally White versus All, but Colored can “Become” White)
14. Newsspeak, Hijacking of Language

This very educated and quietly balanced author cites Karl Popper’s seminal work on Open Society and its Enemies on the pathological outcomes from faith in excess, faith that is intolerant of others. It is clear throughout this book that America is under siege from two faiths in excess–the external far enemy of violent intolerant Islam, and the more subversive internal danger of neo-Nazi fascists in waiting, mobilizing the dispossessed whites who do not read a lot, and get “all they need to know” from Pat Robertson’s 700 Club and other similar self-serving channels whose primary role is to raise cash for the Hitler’s in Waiting.

Blinding insight from this author: the extreme right does not limit it’s cherry-picking to intelligence–it routinely cherry-picks from the Bible, which contains ample violence and bigotry and hatred for the ends of the extreme right: channeling fury into funding.

The author discussed “dominionism” as the fascist rendition of the Christian faith.

Key intellectual and patriotic contributions in this book include a study of the evangelicals and the number that take the Bible literally, the naming of names at the top who are a danger to American democracy, and in three pages of damning indictment, the manner in which neo-fascist Kenneth Blackwell, Secretary of State for Ohio, stole that state’s electoral votes for Bush by manipulating and disappearing voting registrations and actual votes.

Chisto-Facism is a closed system that demands total obedience and indoctrination into a culture of hate that demonizes all who do not “believe.” Holy Cow! This is not just fascist, it’s a cult!

As the book draws to a conclusion, the author compares totalitarian regimes and their elaborate spectacles for the masses, with the Christo-fascists in America. The similarities are compelling, especially when the author discusses how Hitler used homosexuals as an early target group to test drive his extra-judicial witch-hunts.

A very helpful description of the conversion process, which is scripted, deceptive, and akin to “love bombing” as practiced by the Moonies, shows that individual are being recruited into a closed system that labels all “non-members” to be outside the circle. As the author sums it up, this system divides families, friends, and communities.

The author frightens me when he discusses how the non-profit (i.e. not taxed) extreme rightist religion fuehrers favor unrestricted capitalism, the elimination of all taxes, while paradoxically including international bankers with Muslims and others who will be “Left Behind.”

On that note, the author says that the Left Behind series is a window into the souls of the blindly faithful.

My two take-aways from this superb book:

Labor unions and the progressives need to get back into the fight for America’s soul. See also my review of “The Left Hand of God.”

School Boards are the weak link in the entire infrastructure of government. The extreme right has adherents from School Boards to State Legislators to Congress. On the one hand, this leads to a complex range of decisions in which our Constitutional separation of church and state is undermined every single day; and on the other, it leads to the unholy alliance of these extremists, who help elect neo-conservative extremists, even if they do not receive the promised concessions after the election (See also my review of “Tempting Faith,” and of “American Theocracy”).

This author is a brave and intelligent man. He is calling it as it is: a fascist is a fascist. I am reminded of the number of white Nazi’s admitted to the US after WWII under special intelligence exemptions. Otto Reich, Karl Rove, and the Bush Family are the current manifestation of American fascism. It’s time we run them out of town.

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