Pretty good as always, yet the concrete “what is to be done” question doesn’t really get answered. Maybe it’s impossible, but maybe he and others need to listen to that old social worker who was talking essentially about having a plan, breaking it down into pieces and taking action. This doesn’t mean we can’t change on the fly as democratically as possible (which is a necessity), but it’s almost useless to say “we need to…” The left had been saying “we need to” for forty years as things have gotten worse.
Of course, there has to be a “we” in the first place. The organizers and activists must organize each other in order to organize others. And then have something to offer everyday people, materially and ideologically. In this sense, at the moment, “we” don’t exist. I’m not putting this soley on Hedges. As one person he has done more than his share, but if he was part of an organized left, he would be able to accomplish more. Maybe his copping to being a Keynesian is part of why having a plan and building a movement isn’t at the top of his list, but that may not be fair. There is of course always a role for people of the left as public intellectuals and, well, cheerleaders. His analysis is sound, and many of his books sounded the alarm long before most people had put two and two together. His sense of urgency and yes morality is needed. His voice of urgency was rare and early, and it has been a touchstone for some on the left for decades. But, again, we, what’s left of the left (i.e., what remains), are not on the path that leads to a mass movement, let alone an international. Until we have a broad-based group or organization that offers a clear vision, a concrete way to win, and actual support to struggling people, we will not present any impediment to corporate rule and the destruction it creates.
Journalist, author and war correspondent Chris Hedges took questions after speaking at The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy NY on November 10, 2017 on fascism and empire in the age of Trump.
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Chris Hedges is the best-selling author of War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2003), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. A quote from the book was used as the opening title quotation in the critically-acclaimed and Academy Award-winning 2009 film, “The Hurt Locker.” The quote reads: “The rush of battle is often a potent and lethal…
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