Chris Hedges on the Necessity of Revolt

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Was the Occupy movement a study in failure or a trigger for future change in our systems of power? Quite possibly both. In this Moyers Moment from a 2012 episode of Moyers & Company, journalist Chris Hedges describes how Occupy Wall Street changed his mind about the futility of popular revolt — even as it fizzled — and how he now feels nonviolent civil disobedience is “our only hope.”

Watch the full conversation between Bill Moyers and Chris Hedges.

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  • Virginia Heenan

    Thank you for the interview with Chris Hedges: it was an excellent exchange and revealed both the point of view of the guest and the skill of the interviewer. Chris Hedges has always struck me as a modern day prophet. Though it is not always easy to read his writing or comfortable to listen to him speak, I always choose to do so as I can better examine my own values and actions afterwards. This program is one of his best interviews. Thank you.

  • James Tennier

    This was the most profoundly sad talk I’ve ever been a party to. We should all be aware but no one is. Just so sad.
    Seems “they will all call HIS name” is coming sooner rather than later.

  • Listenings

    Chris tried to back out of what he said about movements being a fantasy. He said even if a movement were to arise, it would not make a difference. Then came the Occupy movement and he no longer believes what he said. He should just say that and tell why he thinks the occupy movement is that exception. Don’t squirm out of it.

    Also, the occupy movement is no where near how the civil rights movement was so the two cannot accurately be compared.

  • TP

    Thank you for this interview. This content and infromation is still affecting my thoughts. Thank you for having this programming. Thank you!!

  • Lucia Perry

    I have had this perspective for years. Since World War I, we have fallen in love with War, in which we band together in extremity and become heroes with a Purpose– while unconsiously fighting for corporations. War is the psychopompos (deliverer of souls) for Death. Science enables wider and more efficient Death. Psychology can also be abused to get at human insecurities so that they can be manipulated. Instead of the search for self improvement and helping others, we are barraged with advertising and attempt to buy happiness. This is an illusion. We are told to close our minds to dissent, to fear anyone pointing to the disaster of our world view, to accept a kind of larger sibling who will have our backs. Trouble is, our big brother is ambitious and greedy and is using us as a way to become king. The rich buy government, which causes the reduction of regulation, which has protected our environment and our middlle class. Since our educational system teaches nothing about civics and public funds are being stolen to give to unregulated charter schools, the education disparity grows. We go into self-protection mode, because we fear the rabble. Our leaders don’t have vision, that perspective which sees the results of our short term greed. When we treat our world, the animal kingdom, the seas and rivers, the land and each other as commodities, as tools to our wealth, we take the side of Death. the selfish and greedy. Evil thrives on Despair, so which side are you on? You MUST not look away from what our world has become, so that we can all rise up and say NO!

  • Anonymous

    Occupy needs constant new recruits so that when people burn out, there are fresh ones to replace them. Occupy opened many people’s eyes, now it needs to catch fire — like a prairie fire, if anyone has seen the way that kind of fire works.

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  • Bernadene

    I was there for six weeks in October and November. [hello Ben and Luke in this two guys are awesome!] The commitment and energy was magic! I was with NOWDC in DC for an entire month of actions and teach ins in April, after all the USA occupation camps had been dismantled by the coordinated effort of DHS. Chris is absolutely correct: the world wide Occupy movement is just starting. “This occupation is not going anywhere!” ends many of the chants at OWS demonstrations. Check out The Occupied Wall Street Journal, and Occupy Wall Street on FB. Off the computer and into the streets! We will prevail.

  • Gracie D.

    I saw this conversation and agree with Chris Hedges. I am in agreement with him, especially the Goldman Sachs analysis. I am retired and can’t join the Occupy movements now, but I would if I were younger. I got this idea after listening to him. I would really like to see the Occupy movement sponsor a referendum to reduce the number of the House of Representatives members, at least by 10%. Since Congress doesn’t represent the people as they should, our tax dollars are wasted on their salaries, benefits and other expenditures. The Occupy movement would be perfect for this!

  • SAC0219

    omg!!! I just found out that you are back Bill! Wonderful, wonderful! I watched this morning your conversation with Khalil Gibran and am now getting ready to “catch up” with all of the shows on my computer! You are one of the few true journalists out there right now bringing us any meaningful and honest discourse on the grim realities in our society today (and some hope, as well, for making meaningful change!)
    I am so glad that you are back and I pray, I will admit for my own selfish reasons, that you may live in good health and prosperity a very, very long time!

  • 19OBERT63

    Profound,despairing, daring achievement by Chris Hedges.A beautifully illustrated book that I hope will attract all generations.
    Melville and Hawthorne expressed that the”normal” human response to the American experience is a sense of sorrow. It is an elegant sorrow, no self-pity,an honest searching for a truth that bravely engages relaity without American Idol, superheroes and video games. Mr. Hedges is too intelligent, too experienced to deny possible doom, but seeks
    seeds of truth so that his grandchildren can find enough seeds to plant for hope..

  • shep

    Too bad there isn’t a “HIS”.

  • Anonymous

    Systemic racism made extreme income inequality possible. The only hope is for the white middle class and poor as a majority population to stop allowing themselves to be used by those in power, mostly white elites, who have benefited from extreme privileges based on presumed race and gender superiority. Income inequality directed at people of color has spread to engulf the white middle class due to their own compliance with racist systems, feeding into the greed of elites.

    Let’s not get confused by trying to focus on exceptions to the rule: The relatively few black people who’ve become rich are not in positions to shape major policies beyond a certain point, so they do not represent a majority — but most people of color have been harmed by systemic oppression based on race. Even President Obama has his limitations because the Military Industrial Complex serves to promote the ideology of supremacy, and extreme Republicans in Congress show how subtle racism operates by ganging up against Obama due to race. With Democrats going along with a lot of nonsense, the inertia is blocking progress for everyone.

  • Ms. M.

    Why do you have to be younger to join Occupy? Isn’t it a movement that’s supposed to be geared toward everyone? I would think they’d welcome your age and experience. And certainly you could “join” just by communicating your ideas on their web sites via the Internet.