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BILL MOYERS: This week on Moyers & Company…

CHRIS HEDGES: The power of journalism is that it is rooted in verifiable fact. You go out as a reporter, you seek to find out what is factually correct. You crosscheck it with other sources. It's sent to an editor. It's fact-checked, you put it out. That's all vanishing.

BILL MOYERS: And…

JOE SACCO: I've always had a problem with journalists who say things like, "Well, I pissed off both sides. I must be doing something right." That is the laziest sort of phrase I've ever heard.

BILL MOYERS: Welcome. Here we are, barely halfway through the summer, and Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have stepped up their cage match, each attacking the other, throwing insults and accusations back and forth like folding chairs hurled across the wrestling ring.

Governor Romney pummels away at the economy; President Obama pummels away at Mr. Romney—when he was or wasn’t at his company Bain Capital, his tax returns and his offshore accounts. All the while, as they bob and weave their way through this quadrennial competition, punching wildly, the real story of what’s happening to ordinary people as capitalism runs amok is largely ignored by each of them. But not in this book “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt”—an unusual account of poverty and desolation across contemporary America. It’s a collaboration between graphic artist and journalist Joe Sacco, about whom more later, and my guest on this week’s broadcast, Chris Hedges.

CHRIS HEDGES: All of the true correctives to American democracy came through movements that never achieved formal political power.

BILL MOYERS: This is just the latest battle cry from Hedges, who, angry at what he sees in the world, expresses his outrage in thoughtful prose that never fails to inform and provoke. As a correspondent and bureau chief for “The New York Times,” he covered wars in North Africa, the Balkans and the Middle East—leaving the paper after a reprimand for publicly denouncing the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

In such books as “War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning,” his weekly column for the website “Truthdig” and freelance articles for a variety of other publications, Chris Hedges has taken his life’s experience covering the brutality of combat and shaped a worldview in which morality and faith, and the importance of truth-telling, dissent and social activism take precedence, even if it means going to jail.

Welcome, Chris Hedges.

CHRIS HEDGES Thank you.

BILL MOYERS Tell me about Joe Sacco. He was your companion on this trip. And he was your, in effect, coauthor. Although he was sketching instead of writing.

CHRIS HEDGES: I've known Joe since the war in Bosnia. We met when he was working on his book, “Gorazde.” And I was not a reader of graphic novels. But I watched him work. And I certainly know a brilliant journalist when I see one. And he is one of the most brilliant journalists I've ever met.

He reports it out with such depth and integrity and power, and then he draws it out. And I realized that an extremely important component of this book was making visible these invisible communities, because we don't see them. They're shut out. They're frightening, they're depressing. And they're virtually off the radar screen in terms of the commercial media.

BILL MOYERS: This is a tough book. It's not dispatches from Disneyworld. It paints a very stark portrait of poverty, despair, destructive behavior. What makes you think people want to read that sort of thing these days?

CHRIS HEDGES: That wasn't a question that Joe Sacco and I ever asked. It's absolutely imperative that we begin to understand what unfettered, unregulated capitalism does, the violence of that system, which is portrayed in all of the places that we visited.

These are sacrifice zones, areas that have been destroyed for quarterly profit. And we're talking about environmentally destroyed, communities destroyed, human beings destroyed, families destroyed. And because there are no impediments left, these sacrifice zones are just going to spread outward.

BILL MOYERS: What do you mean, there are no impediments left?

CHRIS HEDGES: There's no way to control corporate power. The system has broken down, whether it's Democrat or Republican. And because of that, we've all become commodities. Just as the natural world has become a commodity that is being exploited until it is exhausted, or it collapses.

BILL MOYERS: You call them sacrifice zones.

CHRIS HEDGES: Right.

BILL MOYERS: Explain what you mean by that.

CHRIS HEDGES: Well, they have the individuals who live within those areas have no power. The political system is bought off, the judicial system is bought off, the law enforcement system services the interests of power, they have been rendered powerless. You see that in the coal fields of Southern West Virginia.

Now here, in terms of national resources is one of the richest areas of the United States. And yet these harbor the poorest pockets of community, the poorest communities in the United States. Because those resources are extracted. And that money is not funneled back into the communities that are sitting on top of, or next to those resources.

Not only that, but they're extracted in such a way that the communities themselves are destroyed quite literally because you have not only terrible problems with erosion, as they cause when they do the mountaintop removal, they'll use these gigantic bulldozers to push off all the trees and then burn them.

And when we flew over the Appalachians, and it's a terrifying experience, because you realize only then do you realize how vast the devastation is. Just as when we were both in the war in Bosnia, you couldn't grasp the destruction of ethnic cleansing until you actually flew over Bosnia, and village after village after village had been razed and destroyed.

And the same was true in the Appalachian Mountains. And these people are poisoned. The water is poisoned, it smells, the soil is poisoned. And the people who are making tremendous profits from this don't even live in West Virginia--

BILL MOYERS: You said something like, "While the laws are West Virginia are written by the coal companies, 95 percent of those coal companies--"

CHRIS HEDGES: Right.

BILL MOYERS: "--are not in West Virginia."

CHRIS HEDGES: That's right. They no longer want to dig down for the coal, and so they're blowing the top 400 feet off of mountains poisoning the air, poisoning the soil, poisoning the water.

They use some of the largest machines on earth. These draglines, 25-stories tall that are very efficient in terms of ripping out coal seams. But by the time they left, there's just a wasteland. Nothing grows. Some of the richest soil, some of the purest water, and these are the headwaters for much of the East Coast, You are rendering the area moonscape. It becomes inhabitable. And you’re destroying you know, these are the lungs of the Eastern seaboard. It's all destroyed and it's not coming back.

And that violence is visited on these communities. And you see it played out. I mean, Camden, New Jersey, which is the poorest city per capita in the United States and always, the one or two in terms of the most dangerous, it's a dead city. There's nothing left. There is no employment. Whole blocks are abandoned. The only thing functioning are open-air drug markets, of which there are about a hundred.

And you're talking third or fourth generation of people trapped in these internal colonies. They can't get out, they can't get credit. And what that does to your dignity, your self-esteem, your sense of self-worth.

BILL MOYERS I was struck by your saying Camden is “beset with the corruption and brutal police repression reminiscent of the despotic regimes that you covered as a correspondent for the New York Times in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.” You describe a city where the per capital income is $ll,967. Large swaths of the city, as Joe Sacco Shows us, are abandoned, windowless brick factories, forlorn warehouses.

CHRIS HEDGES At one point in the 50s, it was a huge shipyard that employed 36,000 people. Campbell’s Soup was made there, RCA used to be there. But there were a variety of businesses it attracted in that great migration a lot of unskilled labor from the South, as well as immigrants from New York

Because without an education, it was a place that you could find a job. It was unionized, of course, so people had adequate wages and some protection. And then it just-- everything went down. With the flight of manufacturing overseas.

It's all gone. Nothing remains. And that's why it's such a stark example of what we've done to ourselves, without realizing that the manufacturing base of any country is absolutely vital to its health. Not only in terms of its economic, but in terms of its, you know, the cohesion of a society because it gives employment.

BILL MOYERS: But give me a thumbnail sketch of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, the Pine Ridge Reservation.

CHRIS HEDGES: Well, Pine Ridge is where it began, Western exploitation. And it was the railroad companies that did it. They wanted the land, they took the land, the government gave them the land. It either gave it to them or sold it to them very cheaply. They slaughtered the buffalo herds, they broke these people. Forcing a people that had not been part of a wage economy to become part of a wage economy, upending the traditional values.

And it really is about the maximization of profit, it really is about the commodification of everything, including human beings. And this was certainly true in the western wars.

And it's appalling. You know, the average life expectancy for a male in Pine Ridge is 48. That is the lowest in the Western Hemisphere outside of Haiti. At any one time, 60 percent of the dwellings do not have electricity or water.

BILL MOYERS: You write of one tiny village, tiny village, with four liquor stores. And that dispense the equivalent of 13,500--

CHRIS HEDGES: Right.

BILL MOYERS: --cans of beer a day. And with devastating results.

CHRIS HEDGES: Yes. And they start young and some estimates run that, you know, alcoholism is as high as 80 percent. This contributes, of course, to early death. That's in Whiteclay, Nebraska. There is no liquor that is legally sold on the reservation, itself. But Whiteclay is about two miles from Pine Ridge. And that's where people go. They call it "going south." And that's all they do, is sell liquor.

That's true everywhere. You build a kind of dependency which destroys self-efficiency. I mean, that's what the old Indian agencies were set up to do. You take away the livelihood, you take away the buffalo herds, you make it impossible to sustain yourself, and then you have lines of people waiting for lard, flour, and you know, whisky.

And that has been true in West Virginia. That's certainly true in Camden. And it is a form of disempowerment. It is a form of keeping people essentially, at a subsistence level, and yet dependent on the very structures of power that are destroying them.

BILL MOYERS One of the most forlorn portraits is in your description of Immokalee, Florida. You describe Immokalee as a town filled with desperately poor single men.

CHRIS HEDGES: Most of them have come across the border illegally. Come up from Central America and Mexico, especially after the passage of NAFTA. Because this destroyed subsistence farms in Mexico, the big agro businesses were able to flood the Mexican market with cheap corn. Estimates run as high as three million farmers were bankrupt, and where did they go? They crossed the border into the United States and in desperate search for work. They were lured into the produce fields. And they send what money they can, usually about $100 a month home to support their wives and children.

BILL MOYERS: And they make $11,000, $12,000--

CHRIS HEDGES: At best.

CHRIS HEDGES: It's brutal work, physically.

BILL MOYERS: Yeah.

CHRIS HEDGES: But they're also exposed to all sorts of chemicals and pesticides. And it's very hard to show the effects because as these workers age, you know, they're bent over eight, ten hours a day. So they have tremendous back problems. And by the time they're in their thirties, the crew leaders, they'll actually line up in these big parking lots at about 4:00 in the morning, the busses will come.

They just won't pick the older men. And so they become destitute. And they go back home physically broken. And it's hard to tell, you know, how poisoned they've become, because they're hard to trace. But clearly that is a big issue. They talk about rashes, respiratory, you know, not being able to breathe, coughing, it's really, you know, a frightening window into the primacy of profit over human dignity and human life.

BILL MOYERS: Fit this all together for me. What does the suffering of the Native American on the Pine Ridge Reservation have to do with the unemployed coal miner in West Virginia have to do with the inner-city African American in Camden have to do with the single man working for minimum wage or less in Immokalee, Florida? What ties that all together?

CHRIS HEDGES: Greed. It's greed over human life. And it's the willingness on the part of people who seek personal enrichment to destroy other human beings. That's a common thread. We, in that biblical term, we forgot our neighbor. And because we forgot our neighbor in Pine Ridge, because we forgot our neighbor in Camden, in Southern West Virginia, in the produce fields, these forces have now turned on us. They went first, and we're next. And that's--

BILL MOYERS: What do you mean we're next?

CHRIS HEDGES: Well, the--

BILL MOYERS: We being—

CHRIS HEDGES: Two-thirds of this country. We are rapidly replicating that totalitarian vision of George Orwell in “1984.” We have an inner sanctum, inner party of 2 percent or 3 percent, an outer party of corporate managers, of 12 percent, and the rest of us are proles. I mean--

BILL MOYERS: Proles being?

CHRIS HEDGES: Being an underclass that is hanging on by their fingertips. And this is already very far advanced. I mean, numbers, I mean, 47 million Americans depending on food stamps, six million exclusively on food stamps, one million people a year going filing for personal bankruptcy because they can't pay their medical bills, six million people pushed out of their houses.

Long-term unemployment or underemployment-- you know, probably being 17 to 20 percent. This is an estimate by “The L.A. Times” rather than the official nine percent. I mean, the average worker at Wal-Mart works 28 hours a week, but their wages put them below the poverty line. Which is why when you work at Wal-Mart, they'll give you applications for food stamps, so we can help as a government subsidize the family fortune of the Walton family.

It's, you know these corporations know only one word, and that's more. And because the mechanisms of governance can no longer control them, there is nothing now within the formal mechanisms of power to stop them from the creating, essentially, a corporate oligarchic state

BILL MOYERS And you say, though, we are accomplices in our own demise. Explain that paradox. That corporations are causing this, but we are cooperating with them.

CHRIS HEDGES This sort of notion that the corporate value of greed is good. I mean, these deformed values have sort of seeped down within the society at large. And they’re corporate values, they’re not American values.

I mean, American values were effectively destroyed by Madison Avenue when, after world war one, it began to instill consumption as a kind of inner compulsion. But old values of thrift, of self-effacement, or hard work were replaced with this cult of the “self”, this hedonism.

And in that sense, you know, we have become complicit, because we’ve accepted this as a kind of natural law. And the acceptance of this kind of behavior, and even the celebration of it is going to ultimately trigger our demise. Not only as a culture, not only as a country, but finally as a species that exists, you know, on planet Earth.

BILL MOYERS: As we came here, I pulled an article published in “Nature” magazine by a group of rather accomplished and credible scientists who have done all the technical studies they need to do, who come to the conclusion that our planet's ecosystems are careening towards an imminent, irreversible collapse. Once these things happen, planet's ecosystems as we know them, could irreversibly collapse in the proverbial blink of an eye. Connect that to what you've been reporting.

CHRIS HEDGES: Well, because the exploitation of human beings is always accompanied by the exploitation of natural resources, without any thought given to sustainability. I mean, the amount of chemicals and pesticides that are used on the produce in Florida is just terrifying.

And that, you know, migrates from those fields directly to the shelves of our supermarkets and we're consuming it. And corporations have the kind of political clout that they can prevent any kind of investigation or control or regulation of this. And it's, again, it's all for short-term profit at long-term expense.

So the, you know, the very forces that we document in this book are the same forces that are responsible for destroying the ecosystem itself. We are watching these corporate forces, which are supranational. They have no loyalty to the nation state at all, reconfigure the global economy into a form of neo-feudalism. We are rapidly becoming an oligarchic state with an incredibly wealthy class of overlords.

Sheldon Wolin writes about this in “Democracy Incorporated” into what I would call, what he calls inverted totalitarianism, whereby it's not classical totalitarianism, it doesn't find its expression through a demagogue or a charismatic leader, but through the anonymity of the corporate state that purports to pay fealty to electoral politics, the Constitution, the iconography and language of American patriotism, and yet internally have seized all of the levers of power. This is what it means when lobbyists write all of our legislation, or when they stack the Supreme Court with people who serve the interests of corporations. And it's to render the citizen impotent.

BILL MOYERS: And what is it, you think, led us to this point of this mind-boggling inequality, mind-boggling consumption, which obviously many of us like, or we wouldn't be participating? And the grip that money has on politics? What are the forces that got us to this?

CHRIS HEDGES: I think it began after World War I. You know, Dwight McDonald writes about how after World War I, American society became enveloped in what he called the psychosis of permanent war, where in the name of anti-Communism, we could effectively banish anyone within the society who questioned power in a serious kind of way.

And of course, we destroyed populist and radical movements, which have always broadened democracy within American society, it's something Howard Zinn wrote quite powerfully about in “A People's History of the United States.” It has been a long struggle, whether it's the abolitionist movement that fought slavery, whether it's the suffragists for women's rights, the labor movement, or the civil rights movement. And these forces have the ability to essentially destroy those movements, including labor unions, which made the middle class possible in this country. And have rendered us powerless. And--

BILL MOYERS: Except for the power of the pen. You keep writing, you keep speaking, you keep agitating.

CHRIS HEDGES: I do, but, you know, things aren't getting better. And I think, you know, like you, I come out of the seminary, and I look less on my ability to effect change and understand it more as a kind of moral responsibility to resist these forces. Which I think in theological terms are forces of death. And to fight to protect, preserve, and nurture life.

But you know, as my friend, Father Daniel Berrigan says, you know, "We're called to do the good, or at least the good insofar as we can determine it. And then we have to let it go." Faith is the belief that it goes somewhere.

BILL MOYERS: So let's talk about you. You've been showing up in the news as well as well as just reporting the news, you took part in that mock trial down at Goldman Sachs.

CHRIS HEDGES: Goldman Sachs is an institution that worships death, the forces of Thanatos, of greed, of exploitation, of destruction.

BILL MOYERS: And I still remember the picture of you and the others sitting down, locking arms, and blocking the interests of the company. What was that about?

CHRIS HEDGES: That was personal for me. Goldman Sachs runs one of the largest commodities index in the world. And I've spent 20 years in places like Africa, and I know what happens when wheat prices increase by 100 percent. Children starve. And I knew I was going to get arrested because, you know, I was, I covered the famine in Sudan and was in these huge U.N. tents and feeding stations trying to save.

And you know, the people who die in famines were usually elderly and children. The place was, I mean, everyone had tuberculosis. I have scars in my lungs from tuberculosis, which I successfully fought off. And those are sort of the whispers of the dead. All those children and others who couldn't didn't have the ability to go in front of a place like Goldman Sachs and condemn them.

BILL MOYERS: But surely those people, as you were arrested, there were people working for Goldman Sachs looking down from the windows--

CHRIS HEDGES: They were taking pictures--

BILL MOYERS: Taking pictures, laughing. Surely you don't think they would wish that outcome in Africa or anywhere else, right?

CHRIS HEDGES: Well, it's moral fragmentation. I mean, they blind themselves to what they do all day long, and they define themselves as good human beings by other criteria, because they're a good father or a good husband or because they go to church. But it is that human trait to engage in what I would have to describe as a system of evil. And yet, look at it as just a job.

BILL MOYERS: But are we all then therefore, and I come back to this, aren't we all part of this system that in some way produces Pine Ridge, Immokalee, the coal fields, the inner-cities, and the starving children in Africa? Aren't we all who have jobs and participate in the culture and are in the economic game, aren't we all, in a way, as complicit as those people looking down on you from those windows at Goldman Sachs?

CHRIS HEDGES: No. Because you know, the people who actually run the commodities index are very tiny, elite, and extremely wealthy group. And they're highly compensated. These people make hundreds of thousands, often millions of dollars a year. And most of us don't make that. And that personal enrichment, I think, is a powerful inducement to ignore their complicity in what is clearly a crime against other human beings.

BILL MOYERS: But do you think what you did made any difference? Goldman Sachs hasn't changed.

CHRIS HEDGES: Well, that doesn't matter. I did what I had to do. I did what I believed I should've done. And faith is a belief that it does make a difference, even if all of the empirical signs around you point otherwise. I think that fundamentally is what faith is about. And I'm not a very good Christian anymore. But I retain enough of my Christian heritage and my seminary training to still believe that.

BILL MOYERS: What are you?

CHRIS HEDGES: A, you know, a sinner.

BILL MOYERS: Welcome to the clan.

CHRIS HEDGES: You know, a doubter.

BILL MOYERS: But you're driven by something. I mean, I talked to you when you wrote your first and remarkable book “War is the Force that Gives Us Meaning.” I haven't seen anyone as affected in their life after their experience as a journalist as you had been. I mean, there have been others, I just don't know them. But somehow what you're doing today goes back to what you saw and did and felt and experienced in all those years you were overseas and on the frontiers of trouble.

CHRIS HEDGES: Well, because when you spend that long on the outer reaches of empire, you understand the cruelty of empire, what Conrad calls, "The horror, the horror." And the lies that we tell ourselves about what is done in our name. Whether that's in Gaza, whether that's in Iraq, whether that's in Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, El Salvador, I mean, there's a long list.

And when you come back from the outer reaches of empire, you are, and I think, you know, many combat veterans feel this who come back, you're forever alienated. And you to speak a very unpleasant truth about who we are, a truth that most people don't want to hear. And yet I think to hold that truth in and to remain silent and not to speak that truth destroys you.

That it's better to get up and speak it even as you correctly point out, you know that Goldman Sachs, you know, everyone at Goldman Sachs gets up the next morning and does it. I mean, this was also true as a war correspondent. I mean, the Serbs would kill.

They'd block all the roads into the village, we'd walk in with our satellite phones, we'd file it, we never believe they weren't going to do it again the next day. But somehow not to chronicle it, not to take the risks to report it, was to be complicit in that killing. And I think that same kind of thought goes into what's happening here.

BILL MOYERS: But do you think taking sides marginalizes your journalism? I mean, when you were being arrested, and some businessman was quoted in the paper passing by and looking at those of you being carried away and said, "Bunch of idiots." He needs to hear what you, read what you say. Do you think he will once he knows you've taken sides?

CHRIS HEDGES: Well, I think that in life we always have to take sides.

BILL MOYERS: Do journalists always have to take sides?

CHRIS HEDGES: Yes. Journalists always do take sides. You know, you've been a journalist a long time. The idea that there's something objective and impartial is just a lie. We sell it. But I can take the same set of facts-- I was a newspaper reporter for a long time, and I can spin that story one way or another. We manipulate facts. That's what we do. And I think that the really great journalists--

BILL MOYERS: Not necessarily to deceive though. Some do, I know, but--

CHRIS HEDGES: Right, but we do.

BILL MOYERS: We choose the facts we want to organize--

CHRIS HEDGES: Of course, it's selective. And it's what facts we choose, how we place, where we put the quotes. And I think the really great journalists, like the great preachers, care fundamentally about truth. And truth and news are not the same thing.

And the really great reporters, and I've seen them, you know, in all sorts of news organizations, are management headaches because they care about truth at the expense of their own career.

BILL MOYERS: What do you mean truth as opposed to news?

CHRIS HEDGES: Well, let's take the Israel occupation of Gaza. You know, if I had a dinner with any Middle East correspondent who covered Gaza, none of us would have any disagreements about the Israeli behavior in Gaza, which is a collective war crime. And yet to get up and write it and say it within American society is not a career enhancer.

Because there's a powerful Israeli lobby, and it's a lobby that I don't think represents Israel, it represents the right wing of Israel. And you know it. But, the great reporters don't care. And they're there.

But you know, large institutions like “The New York Times” attract huge numbers of careerists like any other large institutions, the Church of course, being no exception. And those are the people who are willing to take moral shortcuts to promote themselves within that institution.

And when somebody becomes a headache, even if they may agree with them, even if they may know that they are speaking a truth, and it puts their career in jeopardy-- they will push them out or silence them.

So I think that one can take sides, and Orwell becomes the kind of model for this. But one can never not tell the truth. And I've often written stories that are not particularly flattering. And there's much in this book about people in Pine Ridge or Camden, you know, that is not flattering. I mean, we're interviewing people that are drug addicts and this kind of stuff. And--

BILL MOYERS: Drug dealers--

CHRIS HEDGES: --prostitutes and--

BILL MOYERS: Yeah, drug dealers--

CHRIS HEDGES: Yeah.

BILL MOYERS: --prostitutes.

CHRIS HEDGES: So we're not, you know, the lie of omission is still a lie. But I don't think any foreign correspondent who covers war, whether it was in Bosnia or whether it was in Sarajevo can be indifferent to the tremendous human suffering before them and not want that human suffering to stop.

BILL MOYERS: But there is a price, as you have said, to be paid for stepping outside of the system that enabled your name and reputation and becoming a critic of that system. I mean, what price do you think you've paid?

CHRIS HEDGES: I don't think I paid a price, I think I would've paid a price for staying in. I wouldn't have been able to live with myself. You know, I was pushed out of “The New York Times” because I was publicly denouncing the invasion of Iraq. And again, it comes down to that necessity to speak a truth, or at least the truth as far as you can discern it.

I've spent months of my life in Iraq. I knew the instrument of war. I understood in all the ways that this was going be a disaster-- including upsetting the power balance in the Middle East. It's one of the great strategic blunders of the United States, it's empowered Iran. And to remain silent would've been the price. Was it good for my career? Well, of course not.

But my career was never the point. I didn't drive down Mount Igman into Sarajevo when it was being hit with 2,000 shells a day because it was good for my career. I went there because what was happening was a crime against humanity. And as a reporter, I wanted to be there to chronicle it.

BILL MOYERS: Well, you should. But, so you don't think journalism is futile?

CHRIS HEDGES: I think journalism is essential. I think it's essential. And we're watching its destruction. You know, journalism, the power of journalism is that it is rooted in verifiable fact. You go out as a reporter, you seek to find out what is factually correct. You crosscheck it with other sources. It's sent to an editor. It's fact-checked, you put it out. That's all vanishing.

That's what we're really losing with journalism. Yes, you know, commercial journalism, there were things they wouldn't write about. You know, as Schanberg says, "The power of great newspapers like “The Times” is that at least it's stopped things from getting worse." I think that's right.

BILL MOYERS: But can it make things better? I mean, do you think you can accomplish more as a dissenter, and I look up on you now, when I ask you what's your faith, I think your faith is in dissent, if I may say so. It's in "This far and no further." But do you think you can accomplish as much as a dissenter than as a journalist?

CHRIS HEDGES: Yeah, it's not a question that I've asked. Because the question is, “What do you have to do?” I certainly knew after 15 years at “The New York Times” that running around on national television shows denouncing the war in Iraq was, as a news reporter, tantamount to career suicide. I mean, I was aware of that.

And yet, you know, as Paul Tillich writes about, you know, "Institutions are always inherently demonic, including the Church." And you cannot finally serve the interests of those institutions. That for those who seek the moral life, there will always come a time in which they have to defy even institutions they care about if they are able to retain that moral core. And in essence, what, you know, “The New York Times,” or other institutions were asking is that I muzzle myself.

BILL MOYERS: But all institutions do that, don't they?

CHRIS HEDGES: All institutions do.

BILL MOYERS: Intuitively or explicitly.

CHRIS HEDGES: That's right. And I think for those of us who care about speaking, you know, the truth, you know, or if you want to call it dissent, we are going to have to accept that at one day, there's going probably mean a clash with the very institutions that have nurtured and supported us. And I have been nurtured and supported by these institutions.

BILL MOYERS: But your columns, your essays, your recent book, this book, contained repeated calls for uprisings, for civil disobedience. You even say in here, quote, "Revolt is all we have. It is our only hope. It is our only hope." Unpack that from our viewers who are sitting there thinking, "What is he asking me to do? What does he mean by revolt? What's he talking about?"

CHRIS HEDGES: Nonviolence civil disobedience. And accepting the fact that engaging in that process will mean arrest. I've lived in societies that are rent and torn by violence, and I don't want us to go there. And I think that we don't have a lot of time left. And that for those of us who care about veering off into another course, a course that's rational and sane and makes possible the perpetuation of not only the human species but the planet itself, we have to take this kind of radical action. And if we don't, then as things disintegrate and as the paralysis within the centers of power become more and more apparent, then we will fuel very frightening extremes.

You know, again, which I saw in places like Central America or Bosnia. And I look at this as many ways, a kind of, a preventive action. A way to respond peacefully. A way to respond, in a Democratic fashion, to the problems in front of us before it's too late.

BILL MOYERS: Bear with me as I explore this, 'cause there's a paradox at two levels. One at a conceptual level, and the other at a practical level. You write in here, "Either you join the revolt or you stand on the wrong side of history. You either obstruct through civil disobedience, or become the passive enabler of a monstrous evil." But in an early book, “Death of the Liberal Class,” which I think is one of your best, you wrote that, "The fantasy of widespread popular revolts and mass movements breaking the hegemony of the corporate state is just that, a fantasy."

CHRIS HEDGES: I wrote that before Occupy. And I was writing out of a kind of belief that this was what was absolutely necessary and yet I saw no signs within the wider society that was happening. And then suddenly, on September 17th, Zuccotti Park appears. And mostly fueled by the young. And I was writing out of a present reality. And I didn't see Zuccotti coming. I was writing out of a kind of despair, for all of the reasons that I said.

BILL MOYERS: Why did you take hope from that? Because after you'd been down there? You subsequently write that "By the end, even the most dedicated of the Occupiers in Zuccotti Park burned out."

CHRIS HEDGES: Yeah.

BILL MOYERS: "They lost control of the park. The arrival in cold weather of individual tents, along with the numerous street people with mental impairment and addictions," that you're nothing if not honest in what you write, even about those people you support, "tore apart the community. Drug use as well as assaults and altercations became common." So how is that square with what you said earlier that the Occupy Movement gave us a blueprint for how to fight back?

CHRIS HEDGES: Because this is the trajectory of all movements. You know, it's not a linear progression upwards. And the civil rights movement is a perfect example of that. All sorts of failures, whether it's in Albany, Mississippi or anywhere else. You know, there were all sorts of moments within the civil rights movement where King wasn't even sure he was going to be able to hold it together. And what happened in Zuccotti is like what happened in 1765 when they rose up against the Stamp Act.

That became the kind of dress rehearsal for the rebellion of 1775, 1776, 1905. The uprising in Russia became again the kind of dress rehearsal. These movements, this process, it takes a very long time. I think the Occupy was movement and I was there.

I mean, I certainly understand why it imploded and its many faults and how at that size, consensus doesn't work, everything else. And yet it triggered something. It triggered a kind of understanding of systems of power. It, I think, gave people a sense of their own personal power. Once we step out into a group and articulate these injustices and these grievances to a wider public, and of course they resonated with a mainstream. I don't think it's over. I don't know how it's going to mutate and change, one never knows. But, I think that it's imperative that we keep that narrative alive by being out there because things are not getting better.

The state is not responding in a rational way to what's happening. If they really wanted to break the back of the opposition movement, rather than sort of eradicating the 18 encampments, they would've gone back and looked at Roosevelt. There would've been forgiveness of all student debt, $1 trillion, there would've been a massive jobs program targeted at those under the age of 25, and there would've been a moratorium on more closures and bank repossessions of homes.

That would've been a rational response. Instead, the state has decided to speak exclusively in the language of force and violence to try and crush this movement while people continue this dissent.

BILL MOYERS: In one of your earlier books, you wrote that, quote, "We stand on the verge of one of the bleakest periods in human history, when the bright lights of civilization blink out, and we will descend for decades, if not centuries, into barbarity." Do you really think that's ahead?

CHRIS HEDGES: If there's not a radical change in the way we relate to the ecosystem that sustains life, yes. And I see, if you ask me to put my money down, I see nothing that indicates that we're preparing to make that change.

BILL MOYERS: But here's another paradox then, you present us with a lot of paradoxes. You just-- you and your wife a year and a half ago had your fourth child. How can you introduce another life into so forlorn a future?

CHRIS HEDGES: That’s not an easy question to answer. I look at my youngest son, and his favorite book is “Out of the Blue,” which are pictures of narwhales and porpoises and dolphins. And I think, "It is most probable that within your lifetime, every single one of those sea creatures will be dead." And in so many ways, I feel that I have to fight for them.

That even if I fail, they'll say, "You know, at least my dad tried." We've deeply betrayed this next generation on so many levels. And I can't argue finally, you know, given the empirical facts in front of us that hope is rational. And I retreat, like so many people in my book, into faith. And a belief that resistance and fighting for life is meaningful even if all of the outward signs around us deny that possibility.

BILL MOYERS: That faith in human beings?

CHRIS HEDGES: Faith in that fighting for the sanctity of life is always worth it. Because you know, if we don't fight, then we are finished. Then we signed our own death sentence. And Camus writes about this in “The Rebel,” that I think resistance becomes a kind of way of protecting our own worth as an individual, our own dignity, our own self-respect. And I think resistance does always leave open the possibility of change. And if we don't resist, then we've essentially extinguished that hope.

BILL MOYERS: H. L. Mencken, the celebrated iconoclast of the early part of the last century once wrote, "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 those more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debouched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime, he is a good citizen, driven to despair." Is that you?

CHRIS HEDGES: Yeah--

BILL MOYERS: A good citizen driven to despair?

CHRIS HEDGES: Yes. And a good citizen driven to despair who will not remain apathetic and passive. And, you know, in every single place that we went to, Camden, West Virginia, Pine Ridge, we found these utterly magnificent human beings. I mean, this woman Lolly in Camden, African American woman, who you know, raised her own children. And I think by the time she was done, 19 others.

Her fiancé was shot and killed, one of her little seven-year-old daughters died of an asthma attack because they didn't have the right medicine. And I said, "Lolly, how do you do it?" And she said, "I never ask why." And when you spend time in the presence of people like that, and they were everywhere you know, they understood what they were up against.

It is deeply empowering. Because not to resist, not to fight back is on a very personal level to betray these people. And when you build relationships, as over the two years Joe and I did, with figures like that, it really, you know, almost comes down to something that simplistic. You can't betray Lolly. You can't betray any of these great figures who've stood up. Because their fight is our fight. And oftentimes they've endured far, far more-- well, they have endured far, far more than I have endured or ever will endure.

BILL MOYERS: The Book is, “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt.” Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco. Thank you very much Chris for being with me.

CHRIS HEDGES: Thanks Bill.

BILL MOYERS: For all his power of expression, sometimes words fail even Chris Hedges, and a picture can say more in a single frame, well-drawn, than paragraphs of explanation. That’s what makes his partnership with graphic artist Joe Sacco on their book, "Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt," so potent and so effective. Joe Sacco has traveled all over the world, using the techniques of the comic book illustrator as a tool of journalism, telling stories with insight and humanity.

JOE SACCO: My name's Joe Sacco and I'm a comics journalist. Drawing really often provides mood and atmosphere, and writing is that sort of precision. The facts. And you can put those two things together with comics, which I think is what makes the medium very powerful.

When I’m in the field, I meet people who are really in hard situations. I'm not interested in tears. I'm not even interested in sentimentality. But I am interested in telling people's stories as well as possible who are oppressed or are poor.

Chris and I had already worked on a magazine piece about Camden and we decided we would expand that. You can read about poverty. You can read about despair. Or you can read about resignation. But to see it is really, it's eye-opening.

I didn't do that many stories in the book, maybe five or six. They all moved me quite a bit. I think the one that was sort of hit me in this way, because it was so unfamiliar to me was the woman who came out from Guatemala, the one that we call Anna in the story.

Her waiting by the phone after her husband had made the long, arduous trip so the United States. Waiting eight days, knowing he had to cross a desert where many people die. And that sort of story really touched me. Because when we think of migrant workers, we can be so dismissive of them. They're just working in a fields. Oh, you see them bent over and they're just doing their job, and you know they're getting minimum wage. And you sort of feel sorry for them in a sense.

But to get a sense of, and to actually hear an individual story like that, for some reason that just really got to me when I was drawing it.

When I was about seven years old. I started drawing stories. Because I liked forms of self-expression and that was just one I never let go of. I never really drew just for the sake of drawing. There always had to be a story to go with it.

A story can be more true if you just let it be told. It's very important for me, with my work, not to create these angelic people. You want to show people as nuts and bolts. Those are the people who seem real. With the Michael Red Cloud's story, a story about his drug dealing days, making big money, partying, having women with him at all times. Now, he wasn't necessarily pleased with how he'd lived his past life, he wasn't. But to me, the idea is just to present the complete human being. You know, he's a real person. I was moved by his story, or I saw the changes that he made through his story. And then you see the hard things in the context of his upbringing, in the context of what was around him, in the context of what he learned from people around him.

You see the commonalities between people who have nothing around them but despair. They are born into a context which simply doesn't provide them opportunities or even the thought of opportunities. To me, it's incumbent upon the journalist to go and see for himself or herself what's actually going on. Journalism to me isn't like a tennis match, where you're just watching the ball, and each side is hitting it, hitting it back and forth to each other.

At some point, you have to arrest where the ball is, and that's where truth is, you know? And like I say, truth doesn't necessarily reside in the middle. And I've always had a problem with journalists who say things like, "Well, I pissed off both sides. I must be doing something right." That is the laziest sort of phrase I've ever heard.

You know, hundreds of stories that still need to be told. I'm interested in sort of answering questions that journalism doesn't really put its finger on.

To me, it's very important to remind ourselves of the costs of what is going on in this world. The human costs.

I feel like I wouldn't be where I need to be for myself if I didn't look to those things, and I didn't face them squarely. I just feel that's who I am, and what I have to do.

BILL MOYERS: At our website BillMoyers.com, we welcome another artist, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Mark Fiore. Over the years Fiore has nimbly moved from drawing traditional political cartoons for print into the freewheeling world of web animation.

NARRATOR: In this country of ours, so proud, strong and free, We did things and made things the whole world could see. But times, they have changed, now we needn't get dirty, Since Wall Street makes things so many find purty. It's all different now, thanks to the bankers' ascendance, Inventing new-paper contraptions, 'fore I finish this sentence! We'll package and bundle and wager and bet, What's good for the Street will be good for you yet! And if things should go wrong and our faces turn pale, Our most favorite part is, we're too big to fail!

BILL MOYERS: We are delighted to showcase Mark Fiore’s creative, funny animated essays. You can find them at BillMoyers.com.

Coming up on the next Moyers & Company, Marine veteran and author Karl Marlantes on what it is like to go to war and the price our fighting men and women pay on the battlefield and when they come back home:

KARL MARLANTES: We are raised in a Judeo-Christian culture. I mean, "Thou shalt not kill," even for the atheists in our culture is a tenet you just do not violate unless you're, you know, crazy or a sociopath or something. And so all your young life, that's drilled into your head. And then suddenly, you know, you're 18 or 19 and they're saying, "Go get 'em and kill for your country." And then you do that. And then you come back. And then it's like, "Well, thou shalt not kill" again. Well, believe me, that is a difficult thing to deal with.

BILL MOYERS: That’s it for this week. See you next time.

Watch By Segment

Full Show: Capitalism’s ‘Sacrifice Zones’

July 20, 2012

There are forgotten corners of this country where Americans are trapped in endless cycles of poverty, powerlessness, and despair as a direct result of capitalistic greed. Journalist Chris Hedges calls these places “sacrifice zones,” and joins Bill this week on Moyers & Company to explore how areas like Camden, New Jersey; Immokalee, Florida; and parts of West Virginia suffer while the corporations that plundered them thrive.

“These are areas that have been destroyed for quarterly profit. We’re talking about environmentally destroyed, communities destroyed, human beings destroyed, families destroyed,” Hedges tells Bill.

“It’s the willingness on the part of people who seek personal enrichment to destroy other human beings… And because the mechanisms of governance can no longer control them, there is nothing now within the formal mechanisms of power to stop them from creating essentially a corporate oligarchic state.”

The broadcast includes a visit with comics artist and journalist Joe Sacco, who collaborated with Hedges on Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, an illustrated account of their travels through America’s sacrifice zones. Kirkus Reviews calls it an “unabashedly polemic, angry manifesto that is certain to open eyes, intensify outrage and incite argument about corporate greed.”

A columnist for Truthdig, Hedges also describes the difference between truth and news. “The really great reporters — and I’ve seen them in all sorts of news organizations — are management headaches because they care about truth at the expense of their own career,” Hedges says.

 

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  • Polekeep

    I thought I was totally unrealistic to  believe that there are those in control of the ‘systems’, economic, political etc., [among other components] who are so selfish, greedy and are master manipulators who could actually care even from an intellectual perspective, what happens to others they abuse. THEY DON’T ! As I understand him, Chris drives that point home and that’s liberating for me. I now can give full vent to my hatred to how capitalism morphed into something truly ugly. With its treatment of those it exploits, and the planet, that is no better than communism at its worst with its gulags, or slavery be it white on black or white on white. I had inklings of this 30 years ago when I was a young buck of 30. Now that I’m literally double that age, it saddens me to realize that I was a young and uneducated and an uncaring  fool who has woken up maybe too late.

  • Anonymous

    Cris Hedges has given me hope that we are not alone. Today, a great tragedy is being reported in the media. People go to see a movie in Colorado and many are slaughtered by a gun crazed maniac. The madness of a sick society divided by the haves and have not. A psychiatrist cold have saved these people, or maybe the NRA. The consequences of greed are taring us apart.

  • John Doe

    You have the general drift of things but there are three thing which you have not taken into the big picture.
    1. Not only the corporate sector is responsible for the failed polices of or society. but also the greed of our public sectors plays even a greater part.
    2. The creation of the welfare state and civil right have completely under mind and destroyed all family life and work ethic, of the greatest people who ever lived, in these united states.
    3. The complete demonizing of the physical working class and yes there is to many dam people in this world you bunch of  mindless animals,
          

  • Joncee

    Unfettered capitalism did not morph Polekeep it has always been monsterous. It was previously known as feudalism. In unregulated capitalism, wealth mirgates toward the top “the rich get richer” … We desperately need corporate controls, limitations, and anti-trust laws etc.

  • Joncee

    This is a fantastic show ! If Chris Hedges can keep trying, so can I.

  • Marilynehlers

    I  think  there  are  so  many  of  us  that make  our  futile call  to   our  Representatives  that  see exactly  what  Chris  is  saying..what  of all the many people  asking  us  to  contribute  so  they  can fix  this  or  that, we would  be  thrilled  to  have  a  rallying  place.  Or a person   like   Martin  or  even  Gloria  to  follow…she  had  it  right  Decent..decent..So  ,out  of    your $2,.oo0  a  year  pension..  one  can  only  try  to  make  democracy  work…dissent, dissent. dissent!

  • http://www.pbase.com/proletariatprincess proletariatprincess

    Despair.  That is the word that dare not speak it’s name.  It is unamerican to despair.  Yet we are a country in despair.  And we are in denial of our despair not withstanding all the pharmacudicals they sell us to help us forget.  We cannot forget…at least not for long.  Nor should we forget.  Nor should we allow ourselves to be manipulated to make us forget our despair because we need to recognize it for what it is.
    If there is indeed a time for every purpose under heaven, then this is the time in the USA for despair.  We need to see what is happening here and not close our eyes to the despair around us, because if we ignore it, we will be destroyed in the worst possible way.
    Chris Hedges talks about faith, but I don’t hear him say the word hope.  I think that is the very definition of despair.  Giving up hope.    Barack Obama talked about hope and we listened, but he is just a corporate state politician and it meant nothing. 
    The Occupy movement has given us the quickening of hope and Chris Hedges, Joe Sacco and Bill Moyers are doing the work that needs to be done whether it is effective or appreciated now or not.   
    Attention needs to be paid and hope may oneday replace despair.

  • Mary Bess

    Chris Hedges, a prophet for our times.  

  • Lois Adams

    So true an assessment of the world we live in and so depressing in being able to change the course. Look at the continuing challenge in the world’s ability to accept Climate Change, to accept the hopeless imbalance of  wealth among a nation’s population, in opportunities  for education, for
    health,  for basic jobs.  The world’s people will have to rise to
    the occasion and this will not happen overnight.  Certainly
    not in our current setting.  It took along time to get where  we are today.  Will we have enough time to rectify our dilemma?

  • Steve H

    It’s painful to realize that one doesn’t really comprehend the  tragedy of war unless you’ve been there. It’s even more painful to have lived through one.

    As this episode points out, too, war isn’t just experienced on a military battlefield. We all are locked in mortal combat with the dark side of our being as Jung points out so eloquently in “The Undiscovered Self”. Corporate capitalism systematically exploits our dark side as it rapes, plunders and exploits natural and human resources.

    My appreciation to Bill Moyers and Chris Hedges for laying it out so clearly. It was impressive to see Chris exercise so much control of his emotions while not hiding them at all. His responses were clearly coming from his heart. It’s too bad that those who need to see this episode probably won’t.

  • Carl Howard

    I’m actually deleriously happy to finally see Chris Hedges on Moyers rather than some of the cavalcade of “centrist” or “third-way” alleged experts who have been appearing on the program this year.
    Next on your must-book list:  Glen Ford of The Black Agenda Report!

  • prharnett

    An excellent interview — Chris Hedges speaks with clarity, intelligence, and knowledge — thanks Mr. Moyers for including his voice in the PBS dialogue.
     

  • John_Fortier

    I’m 78, Korean vet, retired teacher, active volunteer, involved citizen, and I am afraid to give my children and grandchildren copied of ‘America’s Sacrifice Zones’, but I feel I must.

    It speaks truth to power like nothing I’ve ever read or heard.

    Thank you both.

  • Buggylama

    Excellent comments!!!

    I am trying to retire or at least take a leave of absence from the internet commenting compulsion that is a big problem for me.

    Anyhow, the word for the day is “struggle”.

  • Buggylama

    I wasn’t trying to say that you folks who made the excellent comments should “struggle” not to make such excellent comments.

    I just wanted to clear that up.

    It is my problem, not yours, and I must struggle with it.

    Apart from that, however, I still think it is appropriate for “struggle” to remain the word of the day.

  • The Gubbler

    WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!
     
    The Residents – Serenade For Missy
     
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVg9dYOPNEk

  • Anonymous

    Talk about Orwellian, my local public television affiliate listed this show on the program guide, but apparently having acquiesced to the concerns of the local powers that be, ran a previous (also excellent) segment.

    Thank you, WTVI, for protecting the tender sensibilities of  my co-workers, friends and neighbors who couldn’t possibly have benefited from the blasphemous notion that our corporate overlords and their political servants are destroying our democracy and our planet.

    Nothing to see here, Charlotteans, move along. Now they’ll let us continue to run Big Bird.    

  • The Gubbler

    Big Bird is OK in my book, only I haven’t watched since I was a child in the seventies.
     
    The goddamned truth is that Sesame Street has slowly inched closer to bland lifeless crowd-pleasing cuteness since those fine days with Snuffaluffagus and the awesome but sometimes scary robot Sam.

    Zappa – Absolutely Free
     
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrYDMuzzSag
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

  • The Gubbler

    This is just what I was trying to avoid.

    Skip over all my comments and go straight to the meat, or tofurkey as you like at the end and make your way backwards from there.

    Hedges is asking the “forbidden” questions that fill in some of the empty spaces in Chomsky’s incredible writings and lectures, if you would prefer it that way.

    OK I give up!!!

  • Scott Tramposch

    Thank you Bill, as always, for finding those who speak my mind.

  • JonThomas

     I must be mediocre..in a “third-way” of course.

    Or perhaps my “centrist” leanings may be alleged… wait, which way do I lean if I’m centrist?

    The jestful point I am hoping to finally get around to making, be it buried under a cavalcade of sardonic humor, is that I’ve liked Mr. Moyer’s guests this year. :)

  • Allis Alexander

    How powerful this was to watch. It affirms my despair and moves me to action. Get the word out and react.

  • Mckrch94

    These 2 gentlemen “get it”  thanks for this program

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1407435670 Deborah Stark

    THANK YOU, Bill Moyers, Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco, for this eminently humane and unflinchingly relevant presentation. I cannot begin to articulate the depth of my appreciation for your work. It is helping me to make some decisions in regard to my own life and what I need to do going forward. 

  • kk

    stunning. I so wish Americans would look at these issues!  A whole super class of people are dying and so goes the nation…

  • guest

    Mr. Hedges was perhaps the most articulate speaker on the side of reason I have heard.

    Bill, you know perfectly well why he continues to act knowing his actions may never foment positive change.

    Refer to last weeks program. Shiva paraphrased the ‘Gita. “I do not assay the results of my actions, I only do what must be done.”

    I do the things I do because I choose not to forfeit my humanity. My attitudes and ACTIONS define who I am. Those are dictated by conscience.

     

  • guest

    PS Hedges, if you insist that Jesus be your savior, you’ll need to retool your theology.

    A good start might be Fthr. Thomas Merton’s “New Seeds of Contemplation.”

  • Buggylama

    I’m not Hedges but…???

    YOU need to retool YOUR theology GUEST!!!

  • Buggylama

    Think you’re pretty smart???

    I don’t and neither does Jesus or Father Thomas Merton.

  • Buggylama

    public image limited – albatross

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEToKGfjlmM

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_N6V7CFLEOGZGCP63IWUHHCLUCU pamela

    Gosh you are certainly a nasty one. What are you, twelve?

  • S. Mujahid

    peace and blessings 2 Moyers 4 having Hedges and other guests speaking TRUTH, as journalism seems too cozy these days w/apathy. your guests give a huge blast agnst apathy and for empathy. thank you, and may our Creator reward the soldiers of truth…

  • Brian

    Eschatological world view, mythos and logos.
    Chris Hedges show the darker side of our entire cultture/species, when we do not allow for excluding the part of our world we do not like.
    We often think ourselves free of ‘sin’, when it comes to polluting, and then we hop aboard a plane, for pure enjoyment, and we and 200 other people spew 50,000 gallons of jet fuel, so we can suntan down some tropical isle. Two car families. Insurance, Healthcare. We are, by far, the most elite, pampered, certain generations of humans to walk the earth. And we make a fetish out of our insecurity.
    Karen Horney, in “The Battle for God” talks about the world view that early fundamentalists of three religions lived in, where the sacred text represents eternal verities, and that it would make no sense to an ancient Christian, or ancient Greek to try to find the historical point for Abraham or Demeter.
    Logos, the rational contemporary mind, can only look and focus on fixed points.  So, my rational Darwinian scientist friend can speak intelligently about DNA and his expertise, and then blithely palm off other urgent information, like the Gaza conflict, as somebody elses problem.
    We are entering a Dark Age, and one we may not survive. This is beyond the understanding of the mythos thinkers, and the logos thinkers, because it is in our nature to be self centered and satisfied that we are in command, or God is in command.
    Both counts, an existential verity like Hedges preaches, is beyond the scope, beyond the pale of the tautologies we live by.  4AverageJoe

  • Buggylama

    Not trying to be nasty.

  • Blair Mountain

    save Blair Mountain!!! www_blairmountainmuseum_org. On the ground organizers working to preserve labor heritage!!!

  • Buggylama

    I’ve been thinking about you for the last couple hours.

    I don’t know what to say to make you feel better… you probably shouldn’t.

    It doesn’t make me feel much better, until the drum solo, and then only a bit…

    Dizzy Gillespie – Salt Peanuts

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOmA8LOw258

  • Buggylama

    You fellas have got to make your mind up about “Absolutely Free”

  • Ginifinik

    Thank you, this is what television should do.  Thoughtful, education.

  • Buggylama the proud

    All of us must pay our dues at various times over the course of our lives, be they meaningless and insignificant or tremendously important.

    Some of our lives thrust us into the position of internet gatekeeper and there we invest our emotions.

    Others do other stuff which is probably much worse.

    Some of us are gamblers at heart and can’t resist the impulse to double down and do other silly things for no reason and ruin everything period end of story.

     
    This is the gist of the forbidden comment as I can recall.

    And yes I am particular about which version. You owe it to me to reproduce the link correctly this time.

    You just do…

    Nice pretty leaves (flower power sucks), happy now???

    Zappa – Absolutely Free

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Thw9-_iwxNM

  • John Hepworth

    Thought after watching your excellent interview

    “Chris Hedges is reassuringly lucid- another virtue Albert Camus admired and championed…..yes….THE MACHINE KEEPS SPEEDING UP ……it never slows down…you adjust to the speed or else you fall off ..…..the speed may stay the same for a while and you may begin to adjust a little…….but then it speeds up again !…..people are naturally becoming more and more desperate….many feel overwhelmed ….but increasingly the only serious option for effectively coping in such an unbalanced, “Market Fundamentalist” culture is to have faith….. as Chris Hedges repeatedly point out- a strong spiritual faith experienced at a personal “gut” level as authentic and real viz. another realm of experience DOES exist and it both influences and transcends this one……such a faith eliminates the power of the speeding machine because it robs it of any trace of credibility…….St. Paul refers to this paradox of faith when he says “When I am weak, then I am strong”…..because we are now politically “power-less” as Hedges correctly points out a number of times in the interview- we are now “weak” but for many this is St. Paul’s paradoxical strength-giving weakness….those wonderful “Nuns of the Bus”  have it too….so “be not afraid” WE’RE  not the ones who are barking up the wrong tree !!

  • Stefa Shaler

    After watching your interview with Chris Hedges, I’m sitting in awe and gratitude. It’s the best Bill Moyers Show I’ve seen and the best presentation by Chris Hedges I’ve seen. That’s saying a lot because I’ve gained immeasurably in the past from both of you. In this show the interview, accompanied by spot on photos and videos of the content, is brilliant–a tour de force! Thank you!

  • Tim Mannen

     Mr. Moyers, your interview with Chris Hedges was one of your best, and enlightening as always.
    You and your team are “da bom”, and I wish I could work with you (moving copy, making coffee, whatever) just to be in the light and energy of the work you all do so well.

    Thank You for helping to save America from it’s likely decline,
    and for filling my head with ridiculous ideas of hope and love being possible in todays AMERICA.

    YOU  are a blessing beyond words. Keep up the excellent work.

  • Dan Freeman

    I did not know of Chris Hedges, Bill.  What an amazing Earth hero.  I am so glad you interviewed him on his new book, however, uninviting it must be!  Dan in NE Ohio

  • LJH

    Yes, yes! I couldn’t agree more. So well said.

  • LJH

    This interview brought me to tears. I wonder if Bill could do a whole series with Chris Hedges. I am fascinated with his description of “moral fragmentation,” and the idea that we must inevitably clash with the very institutions that nurtured us. Amazing, deep, thoughtful, and the kind of truth and morality that I think so many of us long for. I keep wishing for television as good as the Joseph Campbell interviews, I think I just got my wish.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joyce.donohue1 Joyce Donohue

    One of your best programs Bill.  Chris Hedges is one brave person who believes that we all need to ‘step up to the plate’ much more than what we are doing.   May his and Joe Sacco’s work give the young people the courage to continue their occupy movement, and give the Seniors strength to support them.

  • Beverly Bassett

    Thank you Bill Moyers.  Your interview with Chris Hedges put the puzzle pieces together for me and left me with some quietly powerful peace of mind.   

  • Pierreletranger

    I have this question for Chris Hedges:

    Is it possible that mankind is such a destructive species that it should not survive? Would it be better for the universe to be rid of homo sapiens? By allowing man to destroy himself, maybe you’d be saving the universe.

  • Possum

    The “Great Divide” has always existed. It now controls our Congress, government and daily lives. The 99% must stop it. We no
    longer live in a Democracy. Our founding fathers never intended for the state to exist. It’s up to us to make the changes.

  • Outraged

    So true! The human species is doomed.

  • David

    What do we do? What is the solution? I mean in the real world where I at least am trying  to make ends meet. The time you need to accomplish what needs to be done is a full time job.  I want to help and to not do so is betraying my children.  What a dilemma. 

  • cipher

    One of the best illustrations I’ve come across of the destructive impact of human greed upon civilization and the planet, and one of Moyers’ best since he returned to PBS.

    Thank you, Bill.

  • a friend.

    The point is that anything you can contribute is fine. You will find a way.  
    Then you will have done the best you can, and will look back at your life in your senior years and appreciate this, without regret. integrity is everything. Anyway, to me this is true. 

  • Bill Lawlor

    I live fifteen minutes from Camden, and used to work downtown.  Crossing over the Ben Franklin Bridge via train and looking down upon the city fills me with despair every time.  I’ve written to President Obama and urged him to visit this city to get a taste of what poverty is doing to our country.  Like corporate America, Obama’s response to places like Camden is disappointing to say the least.  The fact of the matter is no one cares about these people.  The only product they are given are guns; the only means of economic growth are drugs.  The only thing Camden’s kids can look forward to is an early death.  This self-proclaimed greatest country in the world has abandoned its children.

  • Brian D Smith

    The drug *war* isn’t about drugs; it’s about transnational corporate
    control over markets, labor and natural resources in conjunction with
    U.S.-led militarization. Basically; it comes down to power and control.
    When peasant and Indigenous communities continue to exercise communal
    title over lands rich in resources, the US steps in.
    Our Native Americans can tell you about that tactic.
    [Now we've expanded into Africa]

    Since the Nixon presidency, the U.S. government has poured a trillion
    dollars into the “war on drugs” in countries such as Columbia and
    Afghanistan. Direct links between drug war policies and improving
    *investment climate* are revealed through careful examination of U.S.
    engagement in Columbia called plan Colombia.[sic]
    { Since I Know people from Columbia and they prefer Columbia with a U, I will use that preferred spelling.}

    A 2008 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on Plan
    Columbia found that the agreement failed to meet its targets for
    reducing drug production, with the “estimated flow of cocaine towards
    the United States from South America” rising from 2000-2006.
    As I have noted before; cocaine was $55,000 a kilo(kg) in 1980
    and in 2007 it was $15,000 a kg. Quite an *investment climate.*

    Instead of causing a change in strategy, Plan Columbia’s failure to
    reduce drug trafficking and production was minimized in favor of an
    emerging series of metrics linked to security and * improving the
    business environment.* Previous U.S. efforts to enforce
    narcotics-related sanctions on Columbia had negatively impacted U.S.
    investments. Thus the militarization of the *extractive industry*. U.S.
    trained “energy battalions” protect pipelines, roads and other
    infrastructure. Police are deployed with special instructions to care
    for transnational corporations.

    This notion of “security” calls
    up the Columbia model: para- militarization in the service of capital.
    This model includes the formation of paramilitary death squads, the
    displacement of civilian populations, and an increase in violence. In
    the commercial sector, it is workers, small businesses and a sector of
    the local elite who are hit hardest by drug war policies. It is violence
    that controls workers and displaces land-based communities from
    territories of interest to transnational corporate expansion.

    For generations, Indigenous and peasant communities in Columbia had
    defended their collective title to their lands, yet paramilitary groups
    effectively forced them to flee. This phenomenon is concisely described
    by David Maher and Andrew Thompson:
    “…paramilitary forces continue
    to advance a process of capital accumulation through the forced
    displacement of communities in areas of economic importance. Large
    sections of Columbia’s citizenry continue to abandon their lands as they
    are forcibly displaced from their homes, satisfying the voracious
    appetite of foreign (mainly U.S.) multinational corporations (MNCs) for
    Columbian territory as the economic program is further entrenched in
    Columbian society.”

    In 2001, paramilitaries were responsible
    for half of all forced displacements in Columbia. Guerrilla groups
    caused 20% of the cases, with paramilitaries and guerrillas together for
    another 22%. “Paramilitary groups not only bear the bulk of the
    responsibility, they are also more effective in instigating
    displacement.”

    Well-documented cases of Chiquita Brands,
    Drummond mining corporation, and BP, have traced the links between
    paramilitary groups, the U.S. and transnational corporations.

    From the perspective of the U.S. State Department, Plan Columbia is not a
    failure. Quite the contrary: it has allowed for the creation of an
    effective new model for *U.S. intervention*. Even the GAO’s director of
    international affairs and trade, in testifying be­fore the House of
    Representatives, stated that “international programs face significant
    challenges reducing the supply of illegal drugs but support broad US
    foreign policy objectives.”

    The drug war “strategy is complex
    and dangerous, since it links a multiplicity of apparently opposed legal
    and illegal actors who nevertheless receive benefits in the form of
    increased power or wealth.” At the same time it is clear that “the
    exploitation of the people and of the nations’ and the region’s
    resources deepens.”

    From an ongoing investigation by Dawn Paley, with commentary by yours truly.

  • Carl Howard

     That’s fine, but I have had some extreme reservations about some of them, who simply spout think-tank or boardroom-generated talking points, and have nothing of a practical nature to offer but more of the same, austerity is great, let’s have more of it.
    These are toxic talking points which already have plenty of elbow room wherever The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise institute, or even the insidious Council on Foreign Relations hold sway; there is no need for further acknowledgement for such unsustainable ideas in forums where legitimately thinking and dedicated observers, writers and activists come to speak to the nation.

  • LJH

    Hi David, I think just by asking that question you are on the right track. No matter how busy we are, we make choices everyday, and if we are aware of the consequences of our actions, we make better choices. If you keep asking yourself how you can make a difference, the answers will come to you. It all starts with awareness. Good Luck!

  • Ograyw

     I like this.  “MY attitudes and ACTIONS define who I am.

    O GRAY

  • JonThomas

     Good Morning Carl,

    I know you aren’t commenting to please me, but I do like this comment more than your first one, probably because it’s not so much a “catch-all” statement. I like the detail.

    There have been a few of those type  guests, but there have been some excellent ones also.

    I shall not go on to list them, but sometimes I do like to hear the “acceptable” answers. It helps me to keep up with the already-decided-on program to be carried out by the big dogs.

    I don’t watch any of the news channels anymore. I hear a little bit of FOX, which is always a joy, when I fix granddad’s dinner. Granddad needs medicine to keep his blood pressure low. Fox is how I get my blood pressure up.

    Over the many years, the Guests that Mr. Moyers’ has on have always, consistently been those whose ideas and works are, in some way, joyfully edifying.

    I have been disappointed at times with what some of them have said in a few, small parts of their comments, but unlike what the main stream, or even NPR, often presents, I rarely want to throw my shoe at Mr. Moyers’ guests.

    Mr. Hedges was fine, and it’s good to see people who act in accord with their beliefs and principles, but for saying and acting on the things he is saying now, many of us were drummed out of the acceptable circles 20-25 years ago.

    Listening to him, I get the feeling that much of it is for a book, or fan audience, maybe a “to-be” audience. That’s fine, he has a family to support, and maybe it’s just his style that puts me off, but I think there were many other guests this year who spoke to me of things which,even  if only for a moment or 2, granted my heart and mind wings of elation.

    His concept of moral fragmentation is too much like compartmentalism for me to get excited about it…a concept that’s been around for a very long time. Again though, it’s good though to see people understanding, and embracing such concepts.

    The “Sacrifice Zone” is a good way to get people to lift their heads out of what they have been conditioned to accept as normal American life, but this too is not nearly new.

    For example, if you want to see one in the making, pay attention to the area of Alaska where that Gold mine fight is going on right now.

    Anyway, I didn’t mean to cut Mr. Hedges down, he seems a kindred spirit of sorts, but I really think all Mr. Moyers’ guests have been sparkling treasures.

  • Julie Myers

    Born in 1957, I’ve lived in an age of so few heroes… The deaths of those I’ve had are the defining moments of my childhood memories, as well as the history of our nation. Chris Hedges ascended to that level for me in this interview. I respected him so much for his writing in “Death of the Liberal Class.” His words in this interview are powerful and eloquent, but it is his presence that speaks volumes about the peace that is possible through pursuit of truth and good… taking a stand for the forces on the side of life.
    Thank you, Bill Moyers, for providing a forum for one of the last voices of dissent left in my generation. Please continue to bring these modern day ”heroes,” “prophets,” and “oracles” to the fore. It inspires a glimmer of hope that change will come, although I may not live to see it.

  • Jdjekm

    To resolve our current situation to which we are all doomed unless we change the direction of our collective behavior, lead by the “Big Money”, all we (the 99%) have to do is to stop BUYING everything we do not need for basic survival.  Take away the MONEY and all will change…money is the corporations, congress, war mongers etc. LIFE BLOOD, without money they DIE. Problem with this approach are many but most people are addicted to what is produced by those mentioned above…BIG MONEY are the “pushers” and we buy their drugs(stuff). The solution lies with us but I fear that material things are more important to people than honesty, character, integrity, fairness and bottom line LOVE. James Cammrone got it right when he said the US is the Titanic and is headed for the ice burg and we are  close to destruction and that it is too late to change course…BIG MONEY will never let lose of the raines they control…we can take it back by simply not giving them our money….last thing, do you think the climate is going to change from HOT, HOT, HOT and getting hotter???? No chance in hell because MONEY is more important than LIFE. So be it…..

  • Noel_hedemark

    How stupid.

  • R-F-fisher

     I’m Mad! I’m Mad as Hell and I’m Not Going to Take it Anymore!
    I’m Mad that my Sons and my Grandchildren will NOT have the same
    opportunities that I did in their lives!! I’m informing myself and
    Getting Involved for the future of my Children, not mine. Something I
    didn’t have the time to do when I was working. I ignored bad news and
    looked the other way just so I could stay focused on ‘Making Money’! The Greatest Country in the World has a Disease! A Disease caused by Greed!
    An Uncontrolled Greed that has finally Eaten it’s way through our
    Society to become a Terminal Condition Nourished by Unregulated
    Capitalism. Just like a Cancer that slowly and quietly eats at
    your body, our Great Country is under attack and being destroyed from
    within, not from abroad! The true enemies of our Great Country are
    not the Terrorist, it’s the Lack of Morality by our Elected Officials,
    the largest Corporations, big Banks, Wall Street Financial Intuitions
    and even our 4 big Media outlets! They are all contributing to and
    feeding this disease! Only a few Reporters and a very few (3
    or 4) Politicians are addressing the Real Issues in this Country and
    pointing out what could happen IF we don’t change course soon.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UKUBFYWO4BWUZ4YUZNKILW4XB4 Galen

    this man is courageous, he has many heartfelt compassionate views for the middle class and how they have been disregarded and the forgotten society, the at least 80% of our country.

    when this recording got to the part where Bill confronts him once more, being the tremendous interviewer he is, when Hedges gives a very bleak look at the future of what was once a great country and society (which i agree with), Bill had to ask him about having his FOURTH child!  in the humanness of this very intellectual thoughtful man, he was very conflicted, had no real answer, because there wasn’t one in his own defense.      i would have to say it was total arrogance, putting him and his wife’s needs and desires above his bleak outlook of the country and globe he for sees (while bringing ANOTHER child to face It), not to mention over population as a whole, and i could not deal with more of him.   this was a very hypocritical moment in the interview on a couple levels and i shut it off.

    his large picture views and stances, giving up a more egoic monetary future in his business was/is very courageous, but when you start to see and hear his personal small world actions, its slams his truth telling in the face.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UKUBFYWO4BWUZ4YUZNKILW4XB4 Galen

     Julie………. i agree to the level of his courage in the larger picture of society, but became very disheartened when Bill called him out on having four children.    read my above post…….. thank you.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UKUBFYWO4BWUZ4YUZNKILW4XB4 Galen

     well done,Brian, thanks.

  • alchemyst

    Everything that was said on that episode it is absolutely true, and  I agree with it a 100%

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UKUBFYWO4BWUZ4YUZNKILW4XB4 Galen

     you nailed it, awareness is huge, correction is just around the corner for this person.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UKUBFYWO4BWUZ4YUZNKILW4XB4 Galen

     David…..  i agree with LJH, when he/she gives you credit for EVEN realizing the so-called dilemma.    awareness is over half the battle and with your perception you will be fine and so will your children.    maybe it would also help to not paint it as a dilemma or so much as a problem in realizing you do not really have to physically do a thing.   you are putting your children first, most importantly, and you just being aware things are not quite right when it comes to how society is being treated, just with your insightful awareness and love of your children, you are already doing all you can.     your mindful take on the larger picture, while dealing with your closer small world of you immediate family, will alone take you to places you never imagined you would go.   try not labor or stress over this one bit, just have self confidence and keep doing what you are doing.     you are miles ahead of most people, congratulations and thanks for sharing your very meaningful post!

  • Emj_58

    I feel the despair Hedges feel. As teacher of inner city children who live in poverty, I do not have means to help them. In order to find support for my despair, I turned to my own family. Hedges also has to find his foundation of support through his family. No one can handle despair without support.

  • JonThomas

    In an earlier comment, in defense of previous guests,  I spoke of the things that didn’t impress me about this guest’s ideas.

    I thought it good, and fair, to mention at least one thing I did like, and was even genuinely, enjoyably, surprised to hear(there were more things I could praise, but this one captures the essence.)

    In this exchange…

    BILL MOYERS:
    “Except for the power of the pen. You keep writing, you keep speaking, you keep agitating.”

    CHRIS HEDGES:
    “I do, but, you know, things aren’t getting better. And I think, you
    know, like you, I come out of the seminary, and I look less on my
    ability to effect change and understand it more as a kind of moral
    responsibility to resist these forces. Which I think in theological
    terms are forces of death. And to fight to protect, preserve, and
    nurture life.”

    Mr. Hedges makes the statements… “Which I think in theological
    terms are forces of death. And to fight to protect, preserve, and
    nurture life.”

    Once you delve into the principles surrounding the actions and intents, conscious and unconscious , of all humans and human enterprises, it really does come down that binary.

    Life or death.

    While theology has traditionally been the realm to which such ideas have been relegated, perhaps the time has finally come that humans are ready to hear, understand, and contextualize the fullness, and seriousness, of the situation and plight under which all of humanity has always found itself.

    Usually, the moment you dare express such thoughts you become discountable.

    Are we as a culture, religious and/or secular, ready for such in-depth discussion and understanding? Will the American people lift their heads from their peanut butter & jelly and accept such straight-forward principles?

    Theology aside, either you are acting in accord with that which preserves, promotes, and nurtures life…or you are acting against it.

    Even someone called a job creator will defend his actions, whether sincerely or not(he may really be acting in short and long term self-interest, everything else be damned, or be killed,) as someone who is “nuturing life” by giving a person a means to support his family.

    However, if the results, or consequences of that job-giving enterprise serves the death of anything “alive”(and please don’t confine your thinking to just living entity, it could even be a positive idea, like a union, to hit on a recent topic,) then, in reality, non-existence may be served.

    Well, that’s deep enough…thank you once again Bill!!…And Mr. Hedges…Thank you, keep up the good work!!!

  • Anonymous

    We are wrongly putting our foot print in almost every country…including the Corporations pushing their GMO foods, the derivatives that   were pushed  by “salesman” from the Banks, selling to those ignorant (through no fault of their own) of our Banking system.  America really is earning the name of  The Ugly American…once we were admired as honest,
    not so much these days.  I am sad for what is happening to our country by the Greedy!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UKUBFYWO4BWUZ4YUZNKILW4XB4 Galen

     you are absolutely correct.    but do not understand what that has to do with my post.    my angst was not about what a good/greatly courageous person he is, but that he would need/have 4 child.     what does having more then a couple children have to do family support.

    most all of us feel the despair, its heart wrenching, but that was not my point.

    just in your attitude and empathy, already goes a long way to helping these unfortunate children.    sometimes that caring alone, looking in their eyes,  your love and patience, goes a long ways to giving them a brighter future, and is the only goal you need, you have you and your family to be concerned about as far as monetary necessities.

    thank you for the job you are doing, its just as courageous as this author………. well done!

  • Sheila

    Thank you Mr. Moyers for your interview with Chris Hedges.
    It stopped me and my sister in our tracks, how refreshing to hear another human being speak the truth about what is truly happening in our world today.

  • B Benvenuti

    Thank you. For myself, the timing of this was perfect. Bring on the day.

  • Lem

    I agree with Chris on the essentialness of radicalism as the primary instrument for fundamental change in America. The question of the times is oxymoronic: Can we create “reasoned Capitalism” or “Capitalism with a heart for humanity”?

    It becomes increasingly more difficult as the oligarchical hegemony with its personified corporations usurping individual democracy through what I call ” Economic Terrorism”. The real or perceived threat of loss of income, status or power from the 99% by the 1%. This unbalanced force keeps us coopted from true revolution. In essence we have become meek and complicit in our own inevitable demise.

    Hope comes when we muster the courage to forsake personal loss for something greater. I trust that time is imminent!

  • Tammera

    I just watched this show and intend to read the book.  Moyers asked Hedges how he could have children with this bleak view of the future of mankind.  I believe it is the children of people like Hedges (who has faith in human kind that we can and will change our world for the better) and others who care so deeply about the future of human kind that will rise up to make the changes necessary.  How could he not have children?  It is what we teach our children, to be selfish and self-centered, greed oriented, or to be compassionate human beings who put the livelihood, health and well being of all living creatures first and foremost.  So many people are so detached from severe poverty and the certain death that comes from extreme neglect that it is too difficult for them to think about uprising and revolt…for what they ask?  The more people bring this into the light, into our hearts, through writing, through television, through protest and revolt….the more human kind will understand the importance and the urgency of our plight as a world.  Amen to people like Hedges and others such as Kozol who wrote Amazing Grace, who bring to our minds, hearts and our conscience the  realization of what is going on, here and now, in our own country and how what happens here, spreads throughout the entire world. 

  • Denise

    thank you both, gentlemen, for your integrity and speaking the truth about life today……… may your message spread like wildfire

  • http://profiles.google.com/viniciusdm2009 Vinicius de Mello

    Public School districts have their  sacrifice zones.  In Chicago, we have a mayor and president of our school board saying publicly that the poorest neighborhood schools, who teach the most vulnerable in the system are not going to get help and will get less resources in terms of services and specialized personnel.  CREaTE Chicago, a collaborative of local education researches, has documented on how TIF funds have not been used in these zones. NYC has its zones as mentioned in the  study, A Rotting Apple: Education Redlining in New York City by the Schott Foundation. Big mayor corporate plans for public school districts are not education plans. The “black box” formulas that are used to close schools behind closed doors are then used to bring in drill and kill test taking factories known as charter schools, for the most part.  This is a sad state of affairs. Parents, teachers and students need to organize and stand up to the corporate goons looking to get another revenue stream from the tax payers by offering a cheaper product! 

  • guest

     My offhand and insensitive comment was directed to Mr. Hedges. If it lit your fuse, it certainly did not set the charge that was already present.

    My theology is that of a former atheist who chose faith to avoid an early death from nihilism and terminal cynicism.

    My skepticism of seminarians is rooted in everyday life. In my state, there is a seminary adjacent every high school and jr. high.

    The people who attend them are among the most money hungry blood smeared people anywhere.

    I also live near a Trappist (OCSO) monastery (Abbey of Holy Trinity). They will not sell Thomas Merton’s books. Only the Abbot will acknowledge knowing of him.

    I assume they are (still) offended by his friendships with Thich Nhat Nanh and the Dalai Lama.  Merton spent his monastic life at Gethsemani abbey near Louisville; they too are Trappists.

    I suggest Tolstoy’s “The Kingdom of God is Within You” for an elevated treatise on the practicability of that which constitutes true Christianity.

    He believed (as do I) the true Gospel of Jesus is contained in Mathew V. Is it interesting to anyone (excepting me) that those pushing for a literal interpretation of the Bible never suggested taking the Beatitudes at face value?

    One could also look at William Lloyd Garrison’s “Declaration” from the Peace Convention of his day. He is said to have had an impact on Tolstoy.

    One must also look to early Christian history to understand why it exists in its current form. The teachings of Augustine of Hippo are said to have provided the foundation for the Christian Inquisitions and laid the groundwork for “just war.”

    One cannot leave out the effect on Christ’s teaching and the legacy left by Paul. From the eye of an amateur historian, he offered the Roman emperors the Holy Cloak of Christianity to clothe the body of bloody empire.

    They ignored the true teachings of Christ, and continued to conduct the business of empire unchecked. Later, the church, itself, would become an engine of war. Nothing that occurred during the reformation changed anything regarding Holy murder or subjugation of other humans.

    Mr. Hedges, if you are doubting your faith, perhaps you do need to retool. Mathew V is still a guiding light for every human who believes life is sacred, and oppose those who wantonly destroy it.

    why yes, this should be in a personal journal.

     

  • Choassoc

    An important presentation…thank you Chris Hedges and Bill Moyers for bringing truth.

  • Shumphreys

    What is saddest I think, is that the people that REALLY need to hear this are the ones that refuse to watch PBS. They are the ones that get their facts from Fox News. One man in our area offered proof of his view point by telling folks to look at all the postings supporting his position on YouTube! As though TRUTH is a popularity contest.

    Moyers asked what can folks do, I think they should get involved in their own communities. Write and respond to Letters to the Editor of small town papers. Many will still read their local paper that never watch PBS. Volunteer time at local schools, at community centers, share your skills–teach knitting, quilting, cooking, start a book club, start a community garden, start a religious studies class, meet your neighbors invite the nieghbor ladies to tea and a gab fest, get involved at home.Too often the best and the brightest takle the BIG issues and ignore what is out their front and back doors.

  • Pickipanfil

     There is no such thing as “human capitalism”. Capitalism commodifies everything, even human life, in order to create and increase capital. If stops to do so, capitalism disappears.
    The logic of capitalism implies oppression, exploitation, destruction and greed.

  • Picki

    Thank you Chris and Bill for a thoughtful discussion. 

    I disagree with Chris on one thing: capitalist development leads to destruction of the planet and human species not only because of human greed. Greed is a major (im)moral component of capitalism but what drives the capitalist system is not greed. Greed appears as a consequence of an exploitative and oppressive economic model.
    The commodification of everyday life is one of the major mechanisms of capitalism but the system itself is driven by the so-called necessity (for growth) to increase and expand capital.
    However, capitalism as an economic model works with most of known political systems but it seems to work better (or best?) with totalitarian, oligarchic, authoritarian regimes, e.g. China, US, Russia. Capitalism failed to deliver the best profits to its perpetrators in more or less democratic countries therefore it needs to reform its political environment here in the West in order to increase capital, following its logic.   

  • http://www.facebook.com/howard.sturrup Howard Sturrup

    This episode is just a complete downer but we cant look away from whats really happening in the world because  we  all are  connected to  all the  good  an  horrific things  going on  around us.

  • Ehpersky

    Is there a corporate defense or justification, a conservative or Republican response to the corporate plundering and destruction within this country.  Do the perpetrators have a station on the moon to escape to.   I just saw a title, or headline that said, “economic inequality proves that the market system is working.  It’s the combined bipartisan political/corporate policy to maintain poverty, destroy the middle class and steal every particle of wealth and treasure and resource from America. 

    Peter Edelman was quoted recently.  He
    pointed to the recent recession but also longer-term changes in the economy
    such as globalization, automation, outsourcing, immigration, and less
    unionization that have pushed median household income lower

     That’s the political and economic explanation.  What about the land. The environment.

  • Susan

    Chris – I will read you BECAUSE you have taken sides.
    Incredible program (again), Bill!  Enraging, though.  Sickening.
    The world is such a hard choice between trying to figure out what you can do to fight this stuff & crawling under the bed.  I have both kinds of days.
    Thank you, again.

  • Jburton

    Free market capitalism has elevated roughly 3b people out of abject agrarian poverty over the past 150 years. what economic system can claim a superior outcome? Please, Hedges misses all the fabulous things that capitalism has done to advance the quality of human life over the past two hundred years. Like Churchill said about Democracy, capitalism is “the worst economic system in the world…..except for all the others”.

    Until I hear a credible alternative, Hedges has no credibility with me. Socialism? How are those folks in Cuba doing?

  • Susan

    Take a look at this GQ article - 

    July
    2012 GQ – Amber Waves of Green – by Jon Ronson  (not sure I can put a link in here, so google it)

  • Susan

    A complete downer, for sure… but you’re right.

  • Ross Daisomont

    Bill  that was just great – It is an eye opening segment .  I have the  beginnings of  fixing this mess . It will take me 25 years  from now to get to the white house .  But I have to do it because it needs to been done , and I do know what needs to done and how to do it .. 

  • tyrdofwaitin

    I watched with a combination of fascination and horror as Chris Hedges revealed  some painful realities of the early 21st century and most painfully, I believe he is spot-on in all ways.

    As a baby boomer, I’ve been inured to the “unintended” consequences of late stage capitalism.  I thought we had succeeded; I thought I was a success; I thought well-being was going to everyone’s. Sadly, I discovered in my early adulthood how much of what appeared to be progress and wealth were, in fact, a house of cards.

    Today, the forces of power at the highest levels and despair on the ground seem ready to explode.  It pains me as an activist in the 60s and 70s, to see all that we fought for then, now in jeopardy.

    I admire Mr. Hedges’ ability to articulate these “truths” and especially to carry them, it seems, for all of us.  I worry about Mr. Hedges.  It is too much for any person to carry.

  • guest

     Noted. I too, in a heavy handed post tried point the direction he could take to assuage his doubt.

    Hedges’ vulnerability to despair is typical of one who expects divine intervention.

    Neither Howard Zinn nor Noam Chomsky expect(ed) Jesus to show up and save us. I have never seen or read of either of them doubting their causes.

  • http://twitter.com/umbrarchist umbrarchist

    There is nothing about CAPITALISM that prevent us from making double-entry accounting mandatory in our high schools.  It could have been done 50 years ago.  What would the state of the economy be if that had been done?  Nobody Knows!  But our brilliant CAPITALIST economists don’t suggest  any such thing.

    Double-entry accounting is 700 years old.  But we can’t teach it to everyone 43 years after the Moon landing with computers everywhere.  The is Ridiculous!  But we have all of this blather about STEM education.  How about STEAM education.

    Science Technology Economics Accounting Mathematics

    How does anyone understand Economics without Accounting?  What happens to the DEPRECIATION of all of these cars and computers?  What is Demand Side Depreciation?  Oh, that is not defined in any of our economics books.

  • Isonjim

    Hello. Doesn’t your argument weaken when you confuse the words ‘socialism’ and ‘communism’?? Why not refer to Sweden, Denmark, and Canada, none of which is as wealthy as America, but which, perhaps, are happier places to be.
    I don’t want communism anywhere, but I must say as an observer that the embargo of all things Cuban since their revolution makes any criticism of their politics unreasonable.  I know you don’t want to hear any of this, but someone needs to point these things out.

    Sincerely, JimIson

  • birndout

    I fully expected the Wall Street occupiers to fizzle out early from lack of reserves. After all, the French Revolution was not a French Spring movement of academics, but of the common people. And the common people here haven’t yet connected the greedy elite to the misery index. Mr. Hedges knows only too well that greedy corporations have the backing of Bible belt communities that have been indoctrinated not to question authority. They live with the hope of eventually joining the rich and any critic of the elite quickly gets labeled a godless socialist by those guarding the gates. Will Americans revolt before it’s too late, and lose this great country to mismanagement and greed? There was no middle class before the end of WWII, and it looks like there won’t be one after the next couple of decades either, thanks to our lobby-controlled government. I feel for Chris Hedges; too much knowledge is a formula for clinical depression.

  • birndout

    Kim Kardashian earned $40 million last year, and Justin Bieber got close to one billion hits for one song, and the U.S. only has a 26% rate of college graduates. I think I just lost the will to live.

  • Anonymous

    When you make a deal witht the devil, there’s always hell to pay. And the ole devil is callin’ in the debt. 

  • Emj_58

    Thank you for your kind words and support. Let’s take care of the children that are on the planet now. Providing a healthly home should be a priority for all nations to offer its’ children citizens.

  • Susan

    Peace of mind?  How?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sven-Bergstrom/1725533074 Sven Bergstrom

     ”What economic system can claim a superior outcome?” 

    Answer: A regulated economic system that serves the common good, not just those at the top.  A democratically-operated economic system that asks the question.  “Is this good for everyone?”
    Socialism is never – not even once – mentioned in the interview so why do you bring it up?   

  • Mike D

    Hedges is a former seminary student and his outrage and despair comes from a sense that the sacred is being relentlessly defiled.

    But let us not forget that that there is a hierarchy of the sacred – the cosmos, life and human consciousness. And the summit of consciousness is the quest for beauty, truth and love. 

    We cannot predict the effects on the earth’s support systems by this onslaught but what I do know, without question,is that the forces of the banality of evil, however seemingly powerful, can never ultimately prevail. I know this from the fact that consciousness is part of Mother Nature – irrepressible. This show is an ironic example. In spite of his dark vision, Hedges spoke with deep poetic passion and I never felt more fully engaged, more fully conscious. 

  • Odyssey33

    Beautifully spoken… Converging our greatest gifts.. Experiential wisdom with intellectual knowledge. Thank you for your summation …directly from the heart.

  • Pprice519

    Overpopulation fuels corporate greed and depletes the planet. Each one of us can accept responsibility and work to solve the population issues. Seems like having a 4th child on this 7 billion plus planet is selective awareness.

  • delta enthalpy

    overall this is not a message that resounds mefight my damndest for the sake of people who have shown themselves perfectly willing to discard me at the first possible opportunityhow can I take this seriously when I consider James Holmes a hero

  • Blue Ninja

    This program is even more upsetting when you juxtapose it with a recent headline from The Guardian, “£13tn: hoard hidden from taxman by global elite – New study estimates size of offshore economy – as much as Japanese and US GDP put together.” Google it. Just make sure you have a paper bag nearby to breath in so you don’t hyperventilate from rage.

    Given the fact that there is over $21 trillion (trillion, did I say trillion? I mean TRILLION. With a “T”) USD sitting in offshore accounts it seems that there is something very real that the citizens of this planet might do to improve things. If only we could all come together as a species. All I know is that something needs to be done or as Hedges said we aren’t going to make it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ted.buila Ted Buila

    Civilized serious meaningful conversation is not dead.  Thanks to both of you.  ted

  • Anonymous

    I have come to the conclusion that most humans do not learn from their mistakes until they have suffered enough to have the error ingrained in their psyche, or until they have destroyed everything they had built. Societies are even slower to learn because they are led by the most ambitious and aggressive (mostly males), whose egos need to dominate others at any cost.

    Our planet is overburdened with the demands of humans. Vast areas of forests and other habitat for the other species of life on earth are being decimated to satisfy people’s needs, appetites and desires. The planet has an amazing tolerance and ability to heal itself, given the chance, but we are taxing it beyond the limits. We are basically damaging and devolving the ecosystem to the point where our species will not survive.

    For all of our technological capabilities, we lack the most basic wisdom of introspection and understanding of the broader interconnectedness of life. Even those of us who are better educated, more enlightened, and more generous still lack the will to dedicate our individual lives to the principles we espouse. We make endless excuses, saying we are powerless to affect change. Or worse, we deny the need to mend our ways because the problem is with “them”.

    Humanity was a promising experiment, but it has failed. I fully expect that humans will cause our own extinction after causing upheaval and destruction beyond repair. I think it is in our nature. But I don’t despair, because the earth and whatever life remains will be better off without humans. Eventually, in some future millennium, there will evolve a new species of “nice” creatures. They will encounter the crumbling remnants of our civilization and will wonder why our consciousness failed to develop.

  • Private Private

    I am posting my reply to “Living Under the Gun” here. Not sure why the comments were closed after only a few days.

    Every year many people are killed by vehicular homicide. People are accidentally and intentionally mowed down with a ton or more of solid metal. Why is there no out cry to force all cars to have computerized drivers? We have the technology and could do it. The reason is drivers of vehicals are a majority. And majorities do not like being alienated.

    Gun owners, like Blacks, women, those who choose to have abortions, Gay and Lesbians are all minorities. I am so sick and tired of Liberals and Neo cons ganging up on the minorities across the isle.

    Psychology teaches us that intent to kill is not born from opportunity. A person must first decide to kill before they then decide what manner to kill in.

    To back this information up, this is a link to the Bureau of Justice statistics: http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=43. In it you will find that the vast majority of violent crimes including murder occure without a weapon, including guns.

    This data suggests that guns do not increase a persons likelyhood of commiting murder; the presence of a gun merely changes the manner in which a person commits murder.

    More people frankly are beat to death with hands and feet than all weapons combined.

    Now we talk about access to guns and bullets. First off there is no way to allow access to “good guys” and to deny “bad guys” that is 100%. The only way to restrict is based off criminal and mental health history. Notice how ALL these murders have no report criminal or mental health history. So the only way to net these people from access to guns is to restrict ALL guns. This is not fair. Again some people kill using vehicals, but we do not take the exception and make it a rule.

    When I hear about limiting ammo and magazine size I almost am astonished at how this lacks any logic. Why would the killer, most who plan these things out over several months, not just make repeated trips over a period of time until he has the require ammo amount needed?

    Additionally, if you limit magazine size how does that change much? Can he not just reload smaller mags? It does not take long to do that. Could he not just have another gun? Or maybe he calls up some people and finds what he needs illegally. It would be reasonable to assume a person who wants to commit this type of crime is not worried about violating a firearm law.

    The point to all this is there is no way to stop murder. It has happened in HUGE LARGE quantities way before guns were invented. Attacking guns is jsut a political standing post for politicians and political pundants to grab followers. If anyone was really serious about reducing murders, they would attack why people murder. That would require taking a step back from the sensationalizing from the media of these incidents, and trying to study and understand the pyschology of this individuals. Why do people kill with their bare hands? How could anyone strangle someone? Why would anyone kick someone to death, or drag them behind a truck?

    Find the answer to those questions and find a way to reach peopel BEFORE they kill and you will have prevented more murders than all the bans, “in my lifetime combined.”

  • Obtrusive Elusion

    It is a sad fact that a significant number of people do want to kill other people. You are right that background checks don’t necessarily stop this from happening. Neither would limits on magazine size, or on the amount of ammo that a person can purchase at any given time. Eliminating all guns from the planet also wouldn’t stop killers, because they would use knives, fists, or a big rock. This however is not an argument against gun control. The point of gun control is to make it more difficult for a potential killer to attain an effective weapon of mass murder. Just because these methods are imperfect, and because alternate methods for killing exist, does not mean that you shouldn’t make it difficult. An automatic firearm with a large magazine is an extremely effective weapon for mass murder. No legitimate reason exists for owning such a weapon. Its capabilities are far beyond any self defense justification. If you weigh the potential risk against the necessity of owning such a weapon, you have to come down on the side of restrictions. If you can understand why you wouldn’t want to allow unrestricted ownership of explosives, lethal microbes, hazardous chemicals, or radioactive material, then you can certainly understand the reasons for gun control. I certainly agree that people with psychological problems should get attention before they kill someone, and not just after it’s too late.

  • Obtrusive Elusion

    Many public intellectuals make the same points. What makes Hedges stand out is that he is willing to try to do something about it, even at personal cost. This isn’t just intellectual entertainment and self promotion, but a moral imperative which requires decent people to act.  From a practical standpoint, you may know that you’ll lose, but from a moral standpoint you have to try anyways. This display of moral backbone is inspirational.

  • Obtrusive Elusion

    I agree with your prediction for humanity. We’re a violent, ignorant primate species driven by greed, sex and fame/status. We’re the equivalent of an asteroid strike or a supervolcanic eruption. We’re just intelligent enough to master technology and be incredibly destructive, but not intelligent enough to gain wisdom. 

    We are this way because we’re a product of evolution. Life is aggressive, competitive, and preys on other life. Evolution might one day produce another intelligent species, but that species would have the same inherent fatal flaws in its character. Evolution would have to produce a species that skips over human intelligence to some superior intelligence, for that species to survive. This species would have to possess sufficient intelligence to correct its own evolved behavioral predilection for collective self destruction.

  • Obtrusive Elusion

     I think that’s a convoluted way of saying something quite simple. We need an economic system with a moral component.

  • Obtrusive Elusion

    Isn’t the demand for growth (e.g. increasing quarterly profits) just an expression of greed?

  • Kenegbert3rd

     Looks that way, I agree, but let us not turn the lights out yet.  Who knows who (or how many) watches Mr. Moyers and Jon Stewart and their ilk and says, ‘I’ve had it, I’m going to do something positive to help fix this mess’?
         No less a grand literary master and seer than William Burroughs called the human race ‘homo sap,’ but that doesn’t mean he was right about everything.  I think (and hope) that we can prove him wrong about this as well.

  • Pdigesu

    The american banking system is the safest place for your money. (1980′s) Banking and loan scandal infected 35% of the american banking system
    The market will alway go up in the long run (1990′s) it finally could not and only financial scandal could try to pump it up and mask it.
    REAL ESTATE is the safest investment, homes will never go down. (2000) the banks corrupt the mortgage loan system reversing for the first time the value of the home.
    What’s left? our pensions / social security and in 1986 the same wolves tried to dump it into the soon to collapse market through 401′s. Did not succeed but they probably will in the end.

    Everything that grows, grows to a limit. (Physics)

    Thats why this kind of dog eat dog capitalism does not work and if you still don’t believe it you are walking blind.

    Price control, industrial control, government control, supreme court control by the people NOW.

  • Pdigesu

    And now under unjust supreme court laws, a greater number of womam. Absolute power or even a little power corupts absolutely.

  • Pdigesu

    Can we afford Capitalism, by proffesor Rich Wolf.

    This should be your next guest Bill !!

    Watch his presentation please.

  • Anonymous

    I just lost all respect for Chris Hedges.  Sigh.  A number of people have been highly critical of him because of his “faith”.  I guess they were right.  His son is less likely to say “at least my dad tried” and more likely to say “you f**ker, why did you bring me into a world of suffering, knowing what is in store for me?”

    BILL MOYERS: In one of your earlier books, you wrote that, quote, “We stand on the verge of one of the bleakest periods in human history, when the bright lights of civilization blink out, and we will descend for decades, if not centuries, into barbarity.” Do you really think that’s ahead?CHRIS HEDGES: If there’s not a radical change in the way we relate to the ecosystem that sustains life, yes. And I see, if you ask me to put my money down, I see nothing that indicates that we’re preparing to make that change.BILL MOYERS: But here’s another paradox then, you present us with a lot of paradoxes. You just– you and your wife a year and a half ago had your fourth child. How can you introduce another life into so forlorn a future?CHRIS HEDGES: That’s not an easy question to answer. I look at my youngest son, and his favorite book is “Out of the Blue,” which are pictures of narwhales and porpoises and dolphins. And I think, “It is most probable that within your lifetime, every single one of those sea creatures will be dead.” And in so many ways, I feel that I have to fight for them.That even if I fail, they’ll say, “You know, at least my dad tried.” We’ve deeply betrayed this next generation on so many levels. And I can’t argue finally, you know, given the empirical facts in front of us that hope is rational. And I retreat, like so many people in my book, into faith. And a belief that resistance and fighting for life is meaningful even if all of the outward signs around us deny that possibility.BILL MOYERS: That faith in human beings?CHRIS HEDGES: Faith in that fighting for the sanctity of life is always worth it. Because you know, if we don’t fight, then we are finished. Then we signed our own death sentence. And Camus writes about this in “The Rebel,” that I think resistance becomes a kind of way of protecting our own worth as an individual, our own dignity, our own self-respect. And I think resistance does always leave open the possibility of change. And if we don’t resist, then we’ve essentially extinguished that hope.

  • moderator

    The thread was closed by accident, please feel free to comment on it now.

    Sean @ Moyers

  • Anonymous

    HOPE for the “Hedged Moyer “:
    Throughout all my years in
    journalism (35 yrs) I’ve never seen an interview more engaging, more
    challenging, or more theologically hopeless as the one between you and
    Bill Moyers. It was the ‘self talking to the self.’ I was amazed as the
    Bill Moyers ‘older-self’ conversed with his ‘younger-self’ and the Chris
    Hedges ‘younger-self’ talking to the ‘older-self.’ JESUS!

    I want to encourage both of you — you’re both doing an incredible job. Stay solid. 
    HE is the SOLID ROCK.  Our hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’
    blood and righteousness; We dare not trust the sweetest frame, But
    wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock, We stand; All
    other ground is sinking sand.(Matt 16: 16-19)

  • B Benvenuti

    My inbox is packed with people’s comments. Here’s to hoping they are just as inspired to look in the mirror and ask themselves, “What I can I do better?” “How can I be a better example of the solution?” If not, all the flowery praises or finger pointing criticisms are just hot air. What needs to go “viral” is personal accountability. That is what I wished people would take away from this conversation. Stand up against greed, wastefulness, selfishness, even if it seems like the results are invisible, you’ll see them in the mirror.

  • Tomaidh

    One year ago, I was in Cuba, having traveled through Mexico.
    The Cubans are doing better than the Mexicans.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UKUBFYWO4BWUZ4YUZNKILW4XB4 Galen

    you need help, quickly!!

    your god is a mess….. hello ;0

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UKUBFYWO4BWUZ4YUZNKILW4XB4 Galen

    no need for trying, when it seems to be your nature.

  • Beyond Belief

    The words of Harry Truman Fit here.. “Of course I believe in the free enterprise, but in my system of free
    enterprise, the Democratic principle is that there never was, never has
    been, and never will be room for the ruthless exploitation of the many
    for the benefit of the few.”
    — President Harry Truman

    As for throwing the fear word of “socialism” around.. We don’t need another witch hunting Mc Carthy era. Nobodys advocating “Socialism”on this Show. Every time you use that word to demean someone with views you disagree with, consider what the end results of what you are contributing too could be. Fear is blind and deadly.

    Basically this is what the show is saying below:

    THE SYSTEM OF “FREE ENTERPRISE” NEEDS ADJUSTMENTS TO FIT THE REAL NEEDS OF HUMANITY. It is a simple and true statement.

  • Acollver

     My worries are that Chris Hedges’ warning about corporate assaults on “sacrifice zones” is both too little and too late.  I say too late because it is so hard to find any evidence that we the people have the collective will or the capacity to rise up and cram the corporate genies back into their bottles; too little because in fact the sacrifice zone now is the entire planet.   Increased burning of coal, oil and natural gas, as promoted in the interest of corporate profits, respects no geographic boundaries.  The entire planet is being sacrificed–and that means you, me and especially our children and grandchildren.  No longer can we take comfort in the thought that the harm is done somewhere else.  We have met the victims and they are us.  For the latest hard facts on global warming, see “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math,” by  Bill McKibben in the August 2nd, 2012 issue of Rolling Stone.

  • Questions/solutions

    Is there a political solution short of revolt? The nations founders wanted
    to create a safe government where power was not too concentrated, but the result
    is ineffective government with little accountability. Power is now concentrated in the
    hands of the corporations who lobby and write legislation.

    Can all the groups that have been on this program be combined to work more
    effectively, maybe forming a third party? What would the ideal form of
    government look like given todays technology? Should more power be concentrated
    in one branch so it is more accountable?

    Parties drive the process necessary for elections, but the election process
    could be changed, shortened, especially changing the primary process which is
    the start of the extreme politics we see today.

    Is there a better example of government anywhere which is less driven by
    greed? How about in the past, maybe some elements from Native American culture?
    Congress is a big part of the problem, how do we fix it to make congress focus
    on governing verse the election process?

  • B Benvenuti

    My inbox is packed from comment thread, great to see. Here’s to hoping they are just as inspired to look in the mirror and ask themselves, “What I can I do better?” “How can I be a better example of the solution?” If not, all the flowery praises or finger pointing criticisms are just hot air. What needs to go “viral” is personal accountability. That is what I wished people would take away from this conversation. Stand up against greed, wastefulness, selfishness, even if it seems like the results are invisible, you’ll see them in the mirror.

  • JonThomas

    I’m reading all these comments and while most show concern and genuine desire to see change, too few agree on what change is needed, or even if change can happen.

    Others seem willing to go full revolt.

    Many blame capitalism.

    One or two deny that greed exists.

    My favorites are the ones who castigated Mr. Hedges for having children. They seemed upset enough, that given the chance, they’d go straight to “castrate.”

    The funny thing is, that while a lot of these are people who have been conscious of the problem for a very long time, many of these weren’t listening decades ago when they were being warned.

    Unfortunately, the main stream of society still isn’t ready.

    Nutcases! Conspiracy theorists! Extremists! Socialists! Communists! Liberals! Militias! Radicals! Anarchists!These were the labels over the years used to denigrate and discredit.

    This isn’t to say that it should be “sour grapes” or bitterness, at least dissent over the corporate-consumerist model is becoming acceptable.

    Back in the 60′s there was a short awakening, but selfishness itself is a narcotic, a soporific, hypnotic drug.

    A nice soft bed is inviting.

    So, are we seeing the awakening?

    Will people be able to coalesce into a coherent voice?

    Will the masters be able to co-opt the dissent?

    Perhaps a few shiny trinkets thrown to the people?

    A dog, a bone?

    Some soothing music for the beast?

    LOOK…over there!

    Appeasements and distractions.

    Better yet, an enemy…yes, that’s the best one…an enemy that we can all agree upon.

    That way no one will see that corporations, by definition, are entities that cannot be held responsible for anything.

    The whole concept of a corporation is to diffuse responsibility.

    Is it wrong for me to ask some sort of exchange for the tomatoes I grow? It could be anything agreed upon.

    But, what if my tomatoes caused people to get sick?

    If it were just me, I could/should be held responsible.

    But, what if it was the corporation I started? Then there is no person responsible.

    See, while greed that leads to injury of others is a problem that absent of the diffusion can be followed to a responsible party, the entities that we call corporations ensure that the actual greed is never prosecuted. Instead, as it leads to exploitation of profit sources, it is celebrated.

    A recent example is that of Bain Capital. In the news we hear that company was one that was involved in predatory take overs and job exportation.

    If there is blame to be found, who is responsible? Was Romney the CEO? Even if he was, is he the one who did ordered such things?

    The banks… Who is responsible? The banks(the corporations themselves? The customers who wanted the products? The CEO?

    We (I use “we” as a vehicle, but I allow those who stand against corporations to exclude themselves) have given “life” to entities-and the concept of entities, that are by definition, irresponsible.

    That in itself is irresponsible!

    Well, enough of me, begone with me!

  • JonThomas

    First, reduce our support from all items produced by corporations.

    Stop spending without need. Especially if such spending supports those who work against your ideals. It’s like giving arms to your enemy in the middle of a war.

  • Anonymous

    in an otherwise good interview, I could have done without the Israel bashing. When someone casually tosses the “war crimes” charge, it needs to challenged.

    1) Just what should Israel do, utterly capitulate and “go back to Poland”?
    2) Mr. Hedges, please list all the other countries that would not respond militarily to thousands of rockets being fired on their civilians.
    3) I’m sure you know that Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza and was rewarded with more terrorism (which is why they didn’t carry out planned initial withdrawals from the West Bank).

    Do the Israeli government and the settlers (in the West Bank) share some responsibility for the awful situation in Gaza and stalemate in the peace process? Absolutely. But, to put all the blame on the Jews and absolve the Arabs is grossly inaccurate – and grossly unfair.

  • Brian D Smith

    Both sides need to learn how to get along and live in peace. Germany did it.
    Take the walls down and give the Palestinian Casinos…. Like America did with our Native Americans.
    Other than that; everyone needs to get rid of their out dated religions and update the software into the Mythology of the Planet for Everyone.

    “The Bible [ Torrah and Quoran as well] is/ are the most over-advertised books in the world. It’s very
    pretentious to claim it to be the word of God, or accept it as such and
    perpetuate this tribal mythology, justifying all kinds of violence to
    people who are not members of the tribe.

    The
    thing I see about the Bible that’s unfortunate is that it’s a tribally
    circumscribed mythology. It deals with a certain people at a certain
    time. The Christians magnified it to include them. It then turns this
    society against all others, whereas the condition of the world today is
    that this particular society that’s presented in the Bible isn’t even
    the most important. This thing is like a dead weight. It’s pulling us
    back because it belongs to an earlier period. We can’t break loose and
    move into a modern theology.

    One
    of the great promises of mythology is, with what social group do you
    identify? How about the planet? To say that the members of this
    particular social group are the elite of God’s world is a good way to
    keep that group together, but look at the consequences! I think that
    what might be called the sanctified chauvinism of the Bible is one of
    the curses of the planet today.”

    from

    Joseph Campbell

  • http://twitter.com/umbrarchist umbrarchist

    Physics makes machines wear out and therefore DEPRECIATE. Physics cannot tell the difference between a Capital Good and a Consumer Good. Our economists do not even talk about the Net Domestic Product.

    Economists doing bad math while lecturing us about economics are immoral but there is more to this than morality.

  • http://twitter.com/umbrarchist umbrarchist

    Economists often remind me of Flip Wilson talking about the Devil.

    “The Capitalism made me do it.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1454220436 Crystal Powell

    Divine intervention never looks like what we think it looks like… nature will be the intervention that is required that or a possible undenable visit from a people beyond our world… do call me crazy, any of us would have to be a fool to think that we are the only life form in the universe.

  • Tina Armendariz

    Who will cry for us When the verdicts in and time has run out and the guilty declare, with a shameless shout who will cry for us?When we have filled our bellies till the land is bareAnd indulge ourselves without a careWho will cry for us? We made our bed of shame and dread when we denied our brothers and turned our head. We justified our every deed and declared ourselves superior by creed. With lofty notions and selfish dreams we failed to hear our brothers screams,And trusted so convenientlyour masters lies and evil schemes.When the dawn breaks, but the dark remainsAnd the shadows form around the window pains.When the clouds turn gray, but the rain is dry, and the thirsty ground lets out a sigh, When the trees bend, but there is no windAnd the wild life has long since died When the earth no longer hears our pleas. and nature no longer provides our needs.Who will cry for us?We bled this land of hope and plenty,As long as pleasure was ours to takeAnd did not concern ourselves for anyof the souls that we would break.So why would they cry for us?

  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.simons.142 Paul Simons

    I am moved by listening to this man search for meaning and hope in the face of what he (and I) see as the devastation of our nation and culture by the powers of greed.

  • Lisa

    Canada on the whole has greater health and wealth than the U.S. 

  • http://twitter.com/bobintexas2 Bob Burnitt

    There is NOTHING the oligarchs have not invaded and destroyed. Anything and everything. From Agriculture to Used Car Lots. Its OVER. All banking used to be LOCAL. Now NONE of it is. The thieves do their thievery with impunity. That is the BIG Problem. The lawmakers are nothing but puppets of the REAL Aristocracy, the Kleptocrats. The lawmakers are there to keep the peons in line and to PROTECT the Fascist THUGS. The middle class is going back to where it came from, NOWHERE. Everything *I* have ever cared about has been ruined by these suit and tie thugs. And the masses could not care less as long as there is a football game, or Nascar on the TV and some Beer in the cooler. The Rothschild’s of the world will sit on their REAL Wealth while the rest of us have our phony fiat “currency” if we are lucky. Its a SERFDOM. The Big Collapse is a comin’. Bob Burnitt Ellis County Texas

  • WOW!

    What will the rich and powerful have left after the destruction of everything and everyone is complete? Short term profits and long term neglect, what is it all for? What is there to gain if nothing will be left? This concept blows my mind. I would think that someone so interested in creating a position for themselves so exclusive and so powerful would realize that it is for nothing if in x number of years the whole thing will finally be exhausted. Realization of this is critical for all the young wealthy, soon to be heirs to positions of power. There must be a mental change that greed is useless at this point. Although it may be too late for our environment, those that can make a difference must at least try to save whats left.

    This interview will hopefully wake some people up.

  • PRdream

    Chris Hedges takes back Christianity from the Right and restores our faith in God and humanity.

  • Mass citizen

    Not begone with you. Join with me, with the us who responds and cares. We need you. Good questions that say — you care, you’re awake. That matters to Life. To me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003020764394 Annette Kattau

    Bravo this needs to be seen prime time everyday all over many people do not pay attention until its too late, and it is almost too late. Our local leaders need to see this although they sit and dictate they don’t really see.Chrsi Hedge my hero

  • bzz

    I did not interpret that at all.. “one who expects divine intervention.”..I took doubt as in such.. However maybe at one time he might have thought that way until he faced reality…But then I could be misinterpreting.

  • krishna

    Tina “who will cry for Us”. is this something you wrote. Its beautiful and moving. Couldn’t agree more…

  • Michael Collins

    I very much enjoyed your talk with Chris Hedges but continue to wonder when, and in what way, are “we the people” going to be asked to actually do something: as in the days of the Nestle’, grapes, lettuce boycotts?
    Michael

  • victor

    I was absolutely blown away and have now way to understand or describe how I felt when I saw that people could just blow away mountains and everything on them and absolutely not care even one bit about the consequences to anybody or anything. With the Wall Street guys here and LIBOR guys in Europe I don’t think we are “civilized” at all. And it makes me wonder.

  • meli

    do not despair. life is unjust . just try to create a connection with the godhead, where infinite possibility lies. i often despair due to my sorry state of finances and often those better off than me blame me for the financial difficulties. in any event, we are not here forever but we must do what we can until it is time to go by natural means. we cannot change things that we have no control over. this is a game of sorts but the game, sooner or later, does come to an end. all good and bad things come to an end here due to change but i think the good carries on elsewhere. just try to change the things you can and forget about the rest. there are always choices you can make. i don’t need 40 million dollars .

  • Anonymous

    At last, two brilliant men who tell the truth. Growth and greed and the destruction of our life force. My daughter wants a baby and can’t have one. I don’t know why she would, but I’m heartbroken for her anyway. And freedom of speech in America? A memory.

  • MT

    Thank you for posting that and opening my eyes a bit further. I have relatives who live in Charlotte, NC. They are exactly the kind of people I wish this show could reach: intelligent and goodhearted but unquestioning of the trickle down mantra. How frustrating that WTVI intercedes to hide other viewpoints from them!

  • Anonymous

    “Does the great entrepreneurial risk-taker who reaps large profits have any balancing obligations owed to American society and the law?”

    “… a simple and poor society can exist as a democracy on a basis of sheer individualism. But a rich and complex industrial society cannot so exist; for some individuals, and especially those artificial individuals called corporations, become so very big that the ordinary individual is utterly dwarfed beside them, and cannot deal with them on terms of equality.”

    Read more at

    http://lifeamongtheordinary.blogspot.com/2012/07/organization-of-labor-part-three.html

  • silverman

    1)Suicide is surging as a cause of death among American military service
    people, with nearly one suicide a day in the first half of this year,
    according to Pentagon statistics reported by the Associated Press. That’s more than the number of soldiers killed in action in Afghanistan in the same time period

    2)“It’s the willingness on the part of people who seek personal enrichment to destroy other human beings…”

    Putting exhibit 1) together with exhibit 2), it seems some of the soldiers are weak. The corporations are more able to kill than the soldiers are…

  • Luke

    Some really fine and thoughtful comments here.What I take out of these comments is that most of the viewers here likely had never either heard of Hedges or at least had not heard him speak at length or read him before. The significance of this that I see is that we must search out independent outlets to inform us on pressing issues.. Bill Moyers is a step in that direction but what is most impressed on me here is that I’ve been hearing Hedges say almost verbatim what he stated to Moyers on coutless occasions the last few years on scores of talks posted to youtube etc. Any kind of mass media is always going to be way behind on the real substance of issues….if they ever do get to it or even grasp it in the first place. The issue here is not simply speed of information but the necessity to get away from relying on our televisions or any mass media personalities, through whichever medium we find them, to become informed. Peace to all

  • Middleway

    A way to understand what is going on in the world is to recognize that Wall Street, global corporations, and most governments are basically modern day pirates. http://youtu.be/w2p8892vOaw

  • MBrecker

    Another aspect of this is corporate power in the Olympics. Dow Chemical (who produced Agent Orange) is a major sponsor. Anothere example: sodas which have an average of about 40 grams of sugar (80 packets of sugar) in a can. To me, this is making profit off of a dangerous product thru a global platform. Will anyone protest at the Games? If they did, it would totally censored.

  • Shannon H.

    Help! When I watched a few days ago, there was a very short segment with quotes by a journalist about why he felt it was important to speak up – that those who speak up care about their country more. It was a famous past journalist. Can anyone remember the quotes or point me in the right direction? I can’t find it now!
    Thank you!
    Shannon H.

  • Nathan

    Hedges admitted on the broadcast that his job as a journalist is “to manipulate.” Consider yourselves suckers.

  • Dave-slightly upset

    Bill Moyers and or website moderator – you have hurt my feelings and there is no good cause.
    You deleted my post which was not in any way offensive.
    Did my use of the word ‘anti-Christ’ offend you?
    Was it my quoting “you cannot worship both God and money”?
    was it my attempt to lighten Chris Hedges mood by telling him to Keep up Faith?
    If you dont want my thoughts here then I dont guess I will watch your show. Now both you (Mr Moyers) and Jim Hightower have let me down. Is it too much to ask that I be granted the right to speak?

  • moderator

    Hi Dave,

    So I checked and your comment was never taken down and is still up under: http://billmoyers.com/segment/chris-hedges-on-capitalism%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98sacrifice-zones%E2%80%99/

    Sometimes due to the high volume of comments, you need to scroll down or load more comments in order to see your own. I hope this helps, because we would hate to lose you as a viewer!

    thanks
    sean@ moyers

  • william segen

    my paranoia detector is blinking on ten. what’s your prob?

  • JonThomas

    Is your paranoia about something you see, or that he didn’t realize there are 2 threads on the same basic issue?

  • moderator

    Please see my comment below. Thanks! You can find the comment in the
    http://billmoyers.com/segment/... thread.

    thanks,
    Sean @ Moyers

  • http://www.facebook.com/frank.elliott.562 Frank Elliott

    This is the most relevant to our age discussion I have seen yet. It’s only hopeless if we fail to share this with everywone we know, including the republican friends, and family members we know…who will choose to remain self deluded, smug, and hard of heart. Here is the secret to passing through to Heaven, and not passing through.
    It just might be that “our trial” on Judgment Day will involve being shown these things on the big screen, and asked “what did you do?” I pity the fool who does nothing after hearing this. This is not beign discussed in church today…too depressing…the congregants will go where they can be made to “feel good”.

  • John Hepworth

    Dear Moderator
    Hi…I posted a comment yesterday – it was my 2nd time writing about my reaction to this (terrific) interview….although it showed up for a while it has now disappeared and I’m wondering why that is…..was anything in it deemed out-of-line or do you prefer to limit viewers to writing no more than one comment ?….…also I used to be able to click on an icon and have the choice of seeing either the newest viewer comments first or else the oldest….…is this still available ?…..finally let me say that I think you have an absolutely fabulous website here and one that is truly valuable- is downright “therapeutic” for those of us coping with these decidedly distressing times (!!) and of course the program and Bill himself is nothing short of a miracle and “water in the desert” as the deep sense of gratitude and real sense of delight that 95% of the comments people write in testifies.

  • mnp-light-love-wisdom

    Thank you Dear Mr. Moyers for this very clear and valid discussion on what is really going on on this planet. I suggest you look at the documentary “Thrive” it is a very interesting presentation. Thank you for trying and let us all Thrive, instead of just a few. Light to you and yours .

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HRZCGB3T2ZHBJZUVRGGSJAE3GQ Nadine

    Canada’s last 3 fraud elections:

    Harper cheated in 2006 with in-and-out fraudulent
    transactions to get around spending limits.

    Harper cheated in 2008 by calling an illegal election.

    Harper cheated in 2011 with misleading and deceptive phone
    calls.

    Stephen Harper is not our Prime Minister. Harper stole all 3 last elections. It’s much worse than we’ll ever know.

    http://www.leadnow.ca/robocall-fraud

  • moderator

    Hi John,

    Your latest comment should be up, for no good reason it got kick to our spam file. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

    Sean @ Moyers

  • http://www.facebook.com/frank.elliott.562 Frank Elliott

    I am encouraged by all the positive comments below. We have one hope against God’s “final solution” for us…please, people, share this with your family and friends…never mind that their minds are closed, and have come to think “liberal”, “dissident” is something that is vile, and should be crushed ( as in China ! ). Just “scratch” one of your republican family and friends, and you will hear a snarling epithet against some one minority or another! They don’t seem to be even vaguely aware how elitist/facist they have become! Stand up to them, my friends..tell them to their face.

  • Anonymous

    I’m a bit late to the conversation, but I just had to share this. I saw this:
    http://www.embersproject.org/2012/07/17/free-market/
    on Reddit just a couple of days ago, and it’s like it’s tailor-made to what they were talking about here. Yes, it’s a long read, but it sure is relevant.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nouveau.poor Nouveau Poor

    Excuse me for being blunt, but I think anyone who gives a damn about other people and our future is “vulnerable to despair.” In fact most people are unless they have some sociopathic disorder. Even callous people feel despair. Our consumer ethic says despair is bad, evil, lazy, weak — it will hurt your protestant work ethic, make you unpopular and unsuccessful and not interested in buying new cars, computers or fancy clothes. Well, it’s time we grew up and found the courage to face ourselves. Hedges is a role model as far as I am concerned. Because he didn’t hide from his true feelings about what’s happening in our country — this caused him to change his life and act much more responsibly. Oh yeah, talking about social responsibility — that’s another thing that will make your teeth yellow and your friends abandon you.

  • Hu man Species Member

    I remind myself every morning before I gird my loins for the day ahead that I am entering a Victorian-era lunatic asylum. The question is, when did it become normal to let the inmates run the asylum?

  • mscandaceb

    BRAVO!!!!!

  • Kate Tirion

    Chris Hedges’ Death of the Liberal Class made me really angry. This interview made me cry! I weep for the state of things, for how difficult it is to stir people to take action, for my grandchildren. And it underscores the shape I am giving to my life now, and the work I do in creating a living model of a different way of being in the world. Thank you Bill, for all that you do in helping us to understand why things are the way they are, and what we can do about it.

  • Invictus Corruptus

    In my opinion Capitalism is the ‘beast system’ spoken of in the book of Revelation. Ironic how many of the televangelists and evangelists speak of this period as the end times, a period in history where Capitalism is the economic model used most around the world and yet with that belief, wouldn’t Capitalism then be the ‘beast system’?

    Revolt would be the only way for change but with this country so divided, so distracted, so caught up in their own worlds, revolt will never come. But in the end even revolt wouldn’t work. Our political and financial systems The economic and financial terrorists run the show.

    But with that said, we all must fight the good fight. What multinational corporations, Wall Street, the banks, etc, etc represent is evil. Its all about greed or the love of money which as the bible points out is the root of all that is evil..Society is proving this.

  • http://twitter.com/rowlandville Rowland

    Born in 1961, I was raised to love this country. My father told me I could be anything I wanted to be. He also said that we should never allow the GOP to be in control again or, my father, born in 1920 said, “They’ll ruin this country just like they did when I was a boy.”

    In the years since I was a boy, I have come to view this country in the same way as a conservative friend of mine does, who said to me earlier this year, “Hell, I can’t even pledge allegiance to the flag no more. It don’t belong to me.”

    That preface leads to my question to any of y’all who know: Is there a place left in this world where the people are citizens like we were raised to believe we were? Canada? Germany? Is there anywhere we can go where the people still reign supreme?

    If not, in a country where the media is corporate owned, the congressional districts gerrymandered, and the politicians fully-vested employees of major corporations, what options do we have? I suspect that we don’t many – if any – that have much of a chance of success.

  • Ellen Dibble

    This show aired last night; a kernel I’ll think on a long time is the idea that dissent is anathema to institutions, something like that. Wasn’t it Thomas Jefferson who said something similar about the necessity of revolution? Anyway, I “cross” that idea about institutions having the seeds of their own inflexibility and demise, cross that with various statements by heads of various business schools to the effect that what is needed is institutions (organizations, I suppose). And I guess you could say that about any country or set of people who have basically been parented or lorded over for a matter of decades. They need to know how to be groups, not how to be individuals. But institutions, starting with the Catholic Church, as I’m thinking now, start by defining heresy. I guess every religion does that, by definition, religion meaning that which binds, the ligature, and it’s all the easier to do that when the link is a belief, not something knowable. Now we have articles of belief involving, say, economics.

  • Daniel Pfeiffer

    Thank you, Mr. Moyers, that was perhaps the most impressive (if inescapably depressing) airing of our current state of affairs on the airwaves to date. As to your question about whether journalists should choose a side, I’d have to answer yes. As Mr. Hedges said, it is the journalist’s job to shape the facts into a compelling narrative that represents a basic human truth, at least as he/she sees it. This is something I feel we have far too little of in today’s corporate media environment – how else to answer the question of how we have come to be so uninformed, in a time when there are more news channels than ever?

    For those looking for a way to combat feelings of helplessness in their ability to affect change, I’ll echo some of the comments here to say that awareness is its own form of powerful resistance, and not to be underestimated, for it shapes ones decisions in all sorts of ways. My own little form of resistance? Denying commercial news programming any of my attention and urging everyone I know to do the same. What if they gave a (crappy) broadcast and nobody came? :)

  • Tyler A.

    Chris Hedges is an exceptional journalist and writer and I was excited to see him on this weeks Moyers and Company. This interview did not dissapoint. We need more free thinkers like this in the world. I will certainly be checking out his newest book.

  • Carl Howard

    Thanks for this response. I don’t have a lot of verbiage in me at the moment, but what you said is pretty sensible.

  • wayne2i

    “The power of journalism is rooted in verifiable fact”? That is, everything that Chis Hedges isn’t. For all you need to know about the mendacious Chris Hedges: http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=3&x_outlet=18&x_article=2280

  • mbrecker

    Another example of the “corporate oligarchic state”.
    I just found out that during the Olympic Opening Ceramony, NBC censored seven minutes about honoring the victims of the 7/7 London bombings. Instead, a Michael Phelps interview was run.

    What does this tell you? If you’re not “American” or making GE tons of money, you don’t count? Insult 62 million Brits all in one go. Amazing, NBC.

  • Seth Larson

    This was one of the most amazing and moving interviews I’ve ever seen. I categorize this as “must watch” television for every american.

  • Ann S

    Chris Hedges had me until you asked him about just having had his fourth child and Hedges completely skirted his own responsibility for the additional impact his children will have on the planet’s ecosystem. As a professional working in the environmental field for the last 28 years, we need all the help we can get so I thank him for his work but not for his blind faith that he can have as many children as he chooses. Some of us have made the larger decision to help the planet by not having any children but it angers me when I hear of others making money via his book talking about the environment and then he ignores the one thing he can do to help all future generations and that is limit the number of children he and his partner have to 2 children. Yes it is a hard decision but at 7 billion humans and on our way to 9 billion, it is a decision that will be forced on future generations.

  • John Maple

    America sounds more like the People’s Republic of China, here, in these places, than the America I grew up with. Sad.

  • http://atlantarofters.blogspot.com The Sanity Inspector

    Deploying H. L. Mencken as an argument booster is a dangerous thing, for there is always a caustic counter-quote lurking out there. Such as, “When A annoys or injures B on the pretense of saving or improving X, A is a scoundrel.”

    But I think a quote that should be better known is this one from G. K. Chesterton: “Too much capitalism does not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/THEno1Sonicfan Christopher Hagan

    Sad, but true..
    Maybe if we all had the courage to
    squarely face fact – call it despair if you must – the precipice would recede
    before the “lemmings” jump to their demise.

  • Ralph Deeds

    Great interview! Two admirable men: Hedges and Moyers. How about an interview with Norman Solomon? (War Made Easy)

  • kyloe

    “It is too much for any person to carry.”

    I respect what you have outlined, but the above statement is the greatest insult to all intellectuals, not only to Chris. Though, it’s surely not intentional.

    I will further elaborate, on your good interests, that America’s time of change isn’t solely the restructuring of the private criminal undertakings in every corporate interest, but merely incorporates the liberation from it in the state of the individual’s pirate reality.

    Chris openly states that he adopted the traditional Christian morals, all the while recognizing that every religious institution is being demonized and paraded as secular fundamentalists: such as corporate interests likening Christianity and Blackwater as somehow they were synonymous.

    Chris employs a timeline of how traditional values in all things family, science, culture, religion etc. have not skewed, but morphed into such unrealistic proportions that its deviations “destroy”.

    And as John Lennon and many others communicated in the 6-70′s; it’s too the power of the individual that can give rise to the power of the people. And it’s the power of those people that become resilient and liberate the masses, by simple virtue.
    But, it’s those masses whom define the next generations framework.

    It’s not a weight that these people carry, it’s a power in which they choose to condemn.

    As Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, etc. they all found the same truth: Corporate Rules.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chatham-Hale-Forbes-Sr/1611897204 Chatham Hale Forbes Sr

    What sane and reasonable citizen can fail to deplore, resent, and look for ways to resist these would-be oligarchs. These homegrown fascists are seriously anti-American in spirit.

  • Toni B

    It is my hope that all of us will wake up and see how life has evolved since ww1…are we any better off?

  • http://vbonnaire.wordpress.com/ Valentine Bonnaire

    This is just fantastic, Mr. Moyers, Mr. Hedges. Thank you.

  • http://vbonnaire.wordpress.com/ Valentine Bonnaire

    Listening to Hedges on the ocean — feels that same thing. My novel Heart of Clouds is for these kids! In Wattpad right now. The sanctity of life! You are so correct Mr. Hedges. ps: my non nom de plume self worked for the NYT as many years as you did — in SB, CA. You are the kind of jour no our gen believed in post Watergate, you are. Bravo!

  • micha peled

    This is a very thought-provoking conversation. If indeed a revolt is the only sane option… what are we all still doing at home?
    I’m an independent filmmaker (footage of my latest film, Bitter Seeds, will appear in a Moyers & Co. upcoming program), and I’d like to discuss with Chris Hedges a project idea. How do I reach him?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_USCXSTBDTKZ74KNSKNIYJ5CAG4 Heidi

    I agree…it makes him a different kind of hero.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_USCXSTBDTKZ74KNSKNIYJ5CAG4 Heidi

    Like he said, maybe it will be the trigger…the dress rehearsal. That inspires my hope. I also find it inspiring that so many very intelligent people are discussing an on-going, non-violent movement/protest. I wish I could find a way to do more myself.

  • magnolia

    Oh my. Thank you Chris Hedges for telling it like it is. You voice what so many of us know in our souls and many of us refuse to accept as true: the current form of capitalism is evil and the crumbling away of the world as we have known it is a direct result thereof. Bill, of all the fabulous shows you have aired since January, this is the absolute best. Thank you.

  • Socialmedic

    It has also been known as the “Dust Bowl” era. At that time were produced the collaboration on the book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by Walker and Evans, and the proliferation of Novels and pamphlets by John Steinbeck, most notably The Grapes of Wrath and Their Hearts Were Strong. We have been here before but the world population was smaller and fascism had not gone global. The necessity for Corporate regulation was heard loud and clear back then. I have no explanation for the public amnesia of the last three decades that has enabled the political Right to undo 200 years of social progress in America.

  • Anonymous

    Thank-you.

    This should be made compulsory viewing in every school. All politicians should be required to write a handwritten personal rebuttal of every point made, or, what it is that they plan to do to correct the issue.

    I know, blue sky thinking! You can wish though

  • gin9rrsnap

    It’s actually worse – they plan on
    casualties, in fact, desire that the population reduce, er, kill each other off. And now they are going to be more and more blatant about it. I suspect we ‘human beings’ (find out the legal meaning of that term) have been manipulated in ways we cannot even imagine. They have access to ways of control that are insiduous. It was all in place before we were born. But there are more of us than there are of them. Awareness is key.

  • Mary Pendergast

    is there a transcript?

  • Anonymous

    Yes, the one flaw that was glaring. He deftly avoided an answer about having 4 kids. Given the cogent discussion here, I can overlook this glitch. I have two and, as it now seems, there will be no grandkids. I am content with that, especially as I see little hope for the future,what with the rise and influence of the GOP/TeaParty and its frightening heroes.