Hedges: “We’re in a pre-revolutionary society… this is extremely dangerous”

A couple of videos for your viewing pleasure.

The first is Chris Hedges in a brief interview on the state of the current American revolution, which he believes has already begun. Before things boil over, they ferment. He believes the revolutionary fermentation is already in process — for example, read here — and it’s only a matter of time before further revolt is forced on us by what he calls the “ruling elite.”

Offered for your consideration. I’ve been using the term “critical mass” — as in, “the Movement of the 60s had critical mass, which we haven’t achieved yet” — and I think the concepts are the same. We both agree that there’s a beneath-the-surface revolt that’s gaining momentum.

I don’t think that living in revolutionary times is any fun; and I think that revolutions very often go disastrously wrong. So I’m not cheering this one, and I’m angry indeed that the greed-mad (I mean that clinically) barons are determined to force us to rise up. Even without the climate chaos they may force on us, the next few decades will not be peaceful.

But decide for yourself. Here’s Hedges on why he thinks we’re ripe for revolution, in the start of one already, and what we should do (source here):

Some notes:

▪ At 7:15: “What happens in moments of breakdown, is that people not only turn against an ineffectual liberal elite, that in essence has presided over political or economic paralysis, but they also jettison the values that elite purports to defend. And that’s what’s dangerous. And we’re certainly barreling towards that kind of a crisis. I worry that we’re not only weakened, but unprepared.”

▪ At 8:45, Hedges talks about what vision replaces the current one, since people need to be fighting for something, not just against something. And he makes a nice connection between the current prison population and anti-revolutionary forces and critiques in our society.

▪ At 11:00 he talks about the recipe for revolution in current society as a fusion between “declassé intellectuals” — students whose lives are burdened and broken by debt and joblessness — and service workers, “who are in essence the working poor.” Think a student debt strike would light a fire? I do.

▪ He ends by articulating a vision (in my view, viable) of where and how change will come from.

“It’s going to come off the ground, it’s going to come by stepping outside of the mainstream, it’s going to come by articulating a very different vision about how we relate to each other, how we relate to the economic system, and ultimately how we relate to the ecosystem.”

The essay they reference, “Our Invisible Revolution,” is here. A related piece, “The Revolutionaries in our Midst,” is here. I think Hedges would offer these as further evidence that, well, it’s started.

The lives of the very very rich

I want to close this piece with a fun look at how the other .001% lives. These are the lives of the winners, the people your losses are supporting. This piece is delivered in an adoring tone — after all, it’s “lifestyles of the rich and famous” on steroids. But listen past the love to the images, to the lives themselves (h/t the writer Masaccio, from this excellent piece):

Be sure not to miss the Personal Jets segment at 12:30. You’ve been to the airport, right? Not like this. At 20:45 there’s an interesting segment about dueling excess, the Battle of the Megayachts. And part three talks about the problem of spending it all, which leads to sports teams. The one thing the show doesn’t talk about is … buying politicians. But I’m sure you thought of that.

Nothing is out of reach for these people — things, people, power, control. This is both incredibly childish and incredibly dangerous. In just the sports arena, about Russian billionaire Roman Abramowich’s massive spending on the now-world-champion Chelsea football (soccer) team, one commentator says on film, “British football is pretty much ruined.” But hey, a single human on the planet is happier. So win-win, right?

Not all of the wealthy are this corrupt, this evil. I know several — admittedly only millionaires — with intact visions and consciences, highly motivated to do good, and highly effective. But they are the few.

The many are in charge. And the damage won’t stop until we stop it. Most men and women this wealthy are currently drunk on the drug called More. It’s literally true that David Koch, worth $36 billion, wants you to have less so he can have more. As I said on a recent Virtually Speaking, the rich are in a tulipmania-type bubble, and the commodity is greed. They literally can’t get enough, and it’s killing us. They really have to be stopped.

À la résistance,


To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius

Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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