Biden Admin Chris Hedges Chris Hedges Original Original

Chris Hedges: The Great Delusion

The real lesson we should learn from the rise of a demagogue such as Trump and a pandemic that our for-profit health care industry proved unable to contain is that we are losing control as a nation and as a species.
Original illustration for ScheerPost by Mr. Fish

By Chris Hedges / Original to ScheerPost

Joe Biden and the systems managers of the deep state and empire are returning to power. Trump and his coterie of buffoons, racists, con artists and Christian fascists are sullenly preparing to leave office. U.S. pharmaceutical corporations are starting to disseminate vaccines to mitigate the globe’s worst outbreak of COVID-19 that has resulted in more than 2,600 deaths per day. America, as Biden says, is back, ready to take its place at the head of the table. In the battle for the soul of America, he assures us, democracy has prevailed. Progress, prosperity, civility and a reassertion of American prestige and power are, we are promised, weeks away. 

But the real lesson we should learn from the rise of a demagogue such as Trump, who received 74 million votes, and a pandemic that our for-profit health care industry proved unable to contain, is that we are losing control as a nation and as a species. Far more dangerous demagogues will arise from the imperial and neoliberal policies the Biden administration will embrace. Far worse pandemics will sweep the globe with higher rates of infections and mortality, an inevitable result of our continued consumption of animals and animal products, and the wanton destruction of the ecosystem on which we and other species depend for life.

“One of the most pathetic aspects of human history,” Reinhold Niebuhr wrote, “is that every civilization expresses itself most pretentiously, compounds its partial and universal values most convincingly, and claims immortality for its finite existence at the very moment when the decay which leads to death has already begun.”

Biden’s appointments are drawn almost exclusively from the circles of the Democratic Party and corporate elite, those responsible for the massive social inequality, trade deals, de-industrialization, militarized police, world’s largest prison system, austerity programs that abolished social programs such as welfare, the revived Cold War with Russia, wholesale government surveillance, endless wars in the Middle East and the disenfranchisement and impoverishment of the working class. The Washington Post writes that “about 80 percent of the White House and agency officials he’s announced have the word ‘Obama’ on their résumé from previous White House or Obama campaign jobs.” Bernie Sanders, apparently rebuffed in his efforts to become secretary of labor in the Biden administration, has expressed frustration with the Biden nominations. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was denied a seat by House Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee because of her support for the Green New Deal. The message of the Biden administration to progressives and left-wing populists is very clear – “Drop dead.”     

The list of new administration officials includes retired General Lloyd J. Austin III who is being nominated to be secretary of defense. Austin is on the board of Raytheon Technologies and a partner at Pine Island Capital, a firm that invests in defense industries and also includes Antony Blinken, Biden’s nominee to be secretary of state.  Blinken, who was deputy national security adviser and deputy secretary of state, is a strong supporter of the apartheid state of Israel.  He was one of the architects of the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and a proponent of the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, resulting in yet another failed state in the Middle East.

Janet Yellen, former Federal Reserve chair under Barack Obama, is slated to be Treasury Secretary. Yellen as the chair of Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) and later as a member of the board of the Federal Reserve, backed the repeal of Glass-Steagall, which led to the banking crisis of 2008.  She supported the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). She also lobbied for a new statistical metric intended to lower payments to senior citizens on Social Security.  Yellen backed “quantitative easing” that provided trillions in virtually no-interest loans to Wall Street, loans used to bail out banks and corporations and engage in massive stock buy-backs while the victims of financial fraud were abandoned.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry is to become a special envoy for climate. Kerry championed the massive expansion of domestic oil and gas production, largely through fracking, and, according to Obama’s memoir, worked doggedly to convince those concerned about the climate crisis to “offer up concessions on subsidies for the nuclear power industry and the opening of additional U.S. coastlines to offshore oil drilling.”

Avril Haines, a former Obama deputy CIA chief, is to become Biden’s director of national intelligence. Haines oversaw Obama’s expanded and murderous drone program overseas and backed Gina Haspel’s nomination to be the head of the CIA, despite Haspels’ direct involvement in the CIA torture program carried out in black sites around the globe. Haines called Haspel “intelligent, compassionate, and fair.” Brian Deese, the executive who was in charge of the “climate portfolio” at BlackRock, which invests heavily in fossil fuels, including coal, and who served as a former Obama economic adviser who advocated austerity measures, has been chosen to run the White House’s economic policy.

Neera Tanden, a former aide to Hillary Clinton, has been picked to be director of the Office of Management and Budget. Tanden, as the head of the Democratic Party’s thinktank, the Center for American Progress, raised millions in dark money from Silicon Valley and Wall Street.  Her donors include Bain Capital, Blackstone, Evercore, Walmart and the defense contractor Northrup Grumman. The United Arab Emirates, a close ally of Saudi Arabia in the war in Yemen, also gave the thinktank between $1.5 million and $3 million. She relentlessly ridicules Sanders and his supporters on cable news and social media. She also proposed a plank in the Democratic platform calling for the bombing Iran. 

The perpetuation of the deeply unpopular wars and onerous neoliberal policies by the Biden administration will be accompanied by a fevered demonization of Russia, most recently blamed for cyber-attacks.  A new Cold War with Russia will be used by the corporate Democrats to discredit domestic and foreign critics and deflect attention from the political stagnation and the corporate pillaging of the country. It will allow MSNBC and The New York Times, which spent two years slogging empty Russiagate conspiracies, to disseminate a daily stream of emotionally charged rumors and shady accusations about Russia.  Cable celebrities such as Rachel Maddow will hyperventilate night after night about Russia while ignoring the corruption of the Biden administration.  The only reason Russia is not blamed for rigging the election in 2020, as opposed to 2016, by the Democratic Party is because Trump was defeated. 

Biden, after his defeat in the Democratic Party Caucus in Nevada by Bernie Sanders, where Sanders got more than twice his vote, immediately played the Russian card, telling CBS News that the “Russians don’t want me to be the nominee, they like Bernie.”  Hillary Clinton started this dirty game when she attacked 2016 Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein as a “Russian asset” and in 2020 leveled the same charge against Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.  The Democrats need an enemy, real or fictious, and Silicon Valley and major manufacturers will not allow them to target China.

More of the same means more disaster. If we want to reclaim our open society and save the ecosystem, we must abolish the corporate stranglehold on global economic and political power. If we want to avert zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19, swine flu, avian flu, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (Mad Cow disease), Ebola, and SARS we must stop consuming animals and their bodily secretions. We must abolish factory farming and adopt a vegan diet.  And we must keep fossil fuels in the ground.

Razing the rainforest for cattle grazing and vast tracts of farmland devoted to growing monocrops to feed animals destined for human consumption are responsible for up to 91 percent of Amazon rainforest destruction since 1970. The loss of forests is one of the single biggest contributors to climate change. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of ocean dead zones. Oceans could be devoid of fish by 2048. Each minute, 7 million pounds of feces are produced by the animals raised for human food in the US alone. The continued destruction of natural habitat, coupled with the vast factory farms which use 80 percent of the antibiotics in the U.S. and incubate drug-resistant pathogens that spread to human populations, presage new forms of the Black Death.

The belief that we can maintain current levels of consumption, especially of animal products, capitalist expansion, imperial wars, a reliance on fossil fuels and abject subservience to unfettered corporate power, which has solidified the worst income inequality in human history, is not a form of hope but suicidal self-delusion. We are not headed under the policies of the Biden administration and the global ruling elite for the broad sunlit uplands of a new and glorious future, but economic misery, vast climate migrations, waves of new and more virulent pandemics, of which COVID-19 is a mild precursor, along with irreversible ecological systems collapse and frightening forms of societal breakdown, authoritarianism and neofascism.         

Global warming is inevitable. It cannot be stopped.  At best, it can be slowed. Over the next 50 years the earth will most likely heat up to levels that will make whole parts of the planet uninhabitable. Tens, perhaps hundreds, of millions of people will be displaced. Millions of species will go extinct. Cities on or near a coast, including New York and London, will be submerged.

Oceans absorb much of the excess CO2 and heat from the atmosphere. This absorption is rapidly warming and acidifying ocean waters, resulting in the deoxygenation of the oceans. Each of the earth’s five known mass extinctions was preceded by at least one part of what climate scientists call the “deadly trio” – warming, acidification and deoxygenation of the oceans. The next mass extinction of sea life is already under way, the first in some 55 million years.

This is not defeatism. It is realism. We appear to have bought four years with Biden’s election, but if we do not use it wisely – and there is nothing in the Biden nominations that offer any encouragement – we are merely reconstructing a shabby Potemkin village that will soon be flattened by the gale-force political and environmental hurricanes that are gathering around us.

One of the lessons I learned from covering wars and revolutions as a foreign correspondent is that the political, economic and cultural systems that are erected by any society are very fragile. The façade of power remains in place, as I saw in Eastern Europe during the 1989 revolutions and later in Yugoslavia, long after terminal rot has consumed the foundations. This façade fools a society into thinking the structures of authority remain solid, impervious to collapse. So, when collapse comes, which should have been long predicted, it appears sudden and incomprehensible. The ensuing chaos is disorienting and frightening. The cognitive dissonance between the perception of power and its rapid dissolution feeds self-delusion.  It creates, as I witnessed in the former Yugoslavia, what anthropologists call crisis cults, as well as bizarre conspiracy theories, fascism and the embrace of inchoate violence to purge society of the demons blamed for the national debacle. Hatred becomes the highest form of patriotism. The vulnerable are scapegoated. Intellectuals, journalists and scientists rooted in a fact-based world are despised. Ruling elites and ruling structures lose all credibility. This collapse is often a portal to a world of nihilism and blood-drenched fantasy. 

After four years of lies, the stoking of racist violence, stunning ineptitude, rampant corruption and an abject failure to cope with a national health crisis, Trump expanded his base by 11 million votes. This should be a huge, flashing red light. Worse, 70 percent of Trump voters, 51 million Americans, believe that “radical Left Democrats” and the deep state rigged the elections through “voter fraud,” including the importation of Venezuelan voting software, illegitimate mail-in ballots and the wholesale destruction of Trump ballots by election officials. One hundred and twenty-six Republican House members joined a lawsuit filed by 18 Republican state attorneys general asking the Supreme Court to overturn Biden’s victory. The vast majority of Republican senators refused to acknowledge the election results following the November vote. Electors from the Electoral College were forced in several states to deliver their votes to state legislatures under armed guard. Some two dozen armed protesters carrying American flags and chanting “Stop the Steal” descended on the home of Democratic Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. Seven hundred members of the white nationalist group the Proud Boys took over streets in Washington last weekend to protest the alleged theft of the election, leading to more than three dozen arrests, four stabbings, the vandalizing of four Black churches, and Black Lives Matter banners and signs ripped down and burned.

Trump may be gone soon, but he leaves behind a party that is openly authoritarian, dismissive of democratic norms, an enemy to science and fact-based discourse and which attempted a coup d’état. The next time around they won’t be so disorganized and inept.  This hostility to democracy by one of the two ruling parties, supported by millions of Americans, many of whom were betrayed by Biden and the leaders of the Democratic Party, will not dissipate but grow, especially as the hammer of economic dislocation, including the looming evictions of millions of Americans, pummels the country.

The decades-long corporate assault on culture, journalism, education, the arts, universities and critical thinking has left those who speak this truth marginalized and ignored. These Cassandras, locked out of the national debate, are dismissed as unhinged and depressingly apocalyptic. The country is consumed by a mania for hope, which our corporate masters lavishly provide, at the expense of truth. It is this delusional hope that will doom us.

The Austrian writer Stefan Zweig, who with a handful of other writers and artists desperately tried to warn of the suicidal folly of World War I, wrote of what he called “the mental superiority of the defeated.” His anti-war play Jeremiah, based on the Biblical prophet Jeremiah who issued warnings in vain, illustrated that those who face reality, however bitter, are able to endure and rise above it.

“Awaken, doomed city, that thou mayest save thyself,” the prophet cries out in Zweig’s play. “Awaken from your heavy slumbers, heedless ones, lest you be slain in sleep; awaken, for the walls are crumbling, and will crush you; awaken.”

But the warnings from Jeremiah, called “the weeping prophet,” were ignored and ridiculed. He was attacked for demoralizing the people. There were plots against his life.  When the Babylonian army captured Jerusalem, Jeremiah, like Julian Assange, was in prison.

“I was always attracted to showing how any form of power can harden a human being’s heart, how victory can bring mental rigidity to whole nations, and to contrasting that with the emotional force of defeat painfully and terribly ploughing through the soul,” Zweig wrote in his memoir, “The World of Yesterday”. “In the middle of war, while others, celebrating triumph too soon, were proving to one another that victory was inevitable, I was plumbing the depths of the catastrophe and looking for a way to emerge from them.”

We cannot use the word hope if we refuse to face the truth. All hope rooted in self-delusion is fantasy. We must lift the filter from our eyes to see the danger before us. We must heed the warnings of our own prophets. We must destroy the centers of power that lure us and our children, like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, to certain doom. The walls, daily, are closing in around us. The radical evil we face is as real under Trump as it will be under Biden. And if this radical evil is not smashed, then the world ahead will be one of torment and mass death.


[Chris Hedges writes a regular original column for ScheerPost every two weeks. Click here to sign up for email alerts.]

Chris Hedges
Chris HedgesChris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years for The New York Times, where he served as the Middle East Bureau Chief and Balkan Bureau Chief for the paper. He previously worked overseas for The Dallas Morning NewsThe Christian Science Monitor, and NPR. He is the host of the Emmy Award-nominated RT America show On Contact. 

Copyright 2020 Chris Hedges

78 comments

  1. Spot on Chris.

    The contempt of the corporate shills in the Democrats for the ordinary American has been laid bare with not a single olive branch given to the 99% by that evil bastard Biden.

    The arrogance of Biden and the people who he surrounds himself with will result in the final disintegration of the US and will ensure a fascist will take over in four years time. Even Hitler had faith in ordinary Germans until he lost the war. None of the elites of the US have any empathy or regard for the people they supposedly serve, but in fact persecute. They absolutely hate them.

    I knew they were bad, but until Biden became president I thought that there must be some good in them. But they are in Biblical terms agents of death.

  2. “The radical evil we face is as real under Trump as it will be under Biden. And if this radical evil is not smashed, then the world ahead will be one of torment and mass death.”

    I don’t think it is possible to confront the Empire. It will follow its ordained trajectory and fall by its own weight. What we can do is create communal institutions that will help us survive the coming disaster, and prepare to scale them up when the time comes.

    1. I do agree with Paul Easton above. We should march and we should strike if possible while dealing with COVID but most definitely we MUST start taking care of each other and build communal institutions where we learn what our Grandparents and Great-grandparents knew how to do.

      Get to know your neighbors. Stop buying useless stuff. Learn to cook and make clothing. Grow food. Trade, barter, reuse. Share and teach your skills. Get educated and educate others. We lasted this long because we are able to work together. Even people we don’t like can be important community members. We are, like all the other smart animals, social animals and we solve problems by sharing what we know.

      We have become disconnected and reliant on “the system.” It was fun I guess but it is over. Personally, I think we will be happier taking back our power and joining with our neighbors to build a better way of surviving that we can work with and understand while hopefully saving the planet. Pretty sure the oligarchs won’t be able to do this and I am sure they don’t think we can do anything to improve our lot. Boy are they in for a big surprise cause I think we will do it. Why? Because it is in our blood and bones and spirit and because it simply must be done. I wish I was younger.

    2. I agree. Small units of realistic, like-minded humans with respect for what remains of nature and an activated sympathy for those–humans, animals, and plants–suffering most unjustly, are all we can hope for. Unless, that is, we
      –everyone of us–are swept away by plague or colossal disaster.

  3. Dead right Chris, I think the climate driven ecological collapse is now unstoppable and has been for many years. The first blue water event probable next year will rapidly lead to all the social disasters you predict. When the elites finally wake up their first reaction will be self preservation and will search for a quick fix. My guess is a virulent pandemic biologically engineered and released. Who knows, was the current one a trial.

    1. You had me agreeing up until you veered into conspiracy ideation territory suggesting that covid-19 was biologically engineered and released. Nonsense. The virus is completely natural. Its structure and biology are like thousands of other naturally occurring coronaviruses. Please desist with the QAnon-like tripe.

      1. Jeffh,

        It’s important not to reply to posts like Paul Scofield’s, with dismissive comments, the prosaic equivalent of name-calling. Comments such as Mr. Schofield’s: “My guess is a virulent pandemic biologically engineered and released. Who knows, was the current one a trial.”, need to be accepted at face and responded to wth restraint, the objective being to correct, inform and elevate the shared level of understanding. Ultimately, my hope would be that all of us would be on the same civilized team, working together for the common good.

  4. “He was one of the architects of the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and a proponent of the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, resulting in yet another failed state in the Middle East.”
    Libya is not in the Middle East. It is an Arab state as are so many that Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama destroyed at behest of Israel. The plum of course is Persia/ Iran which will be next. Americans are not known for honoring their words and treaties.
    Nor is Libya yet another failed state. Libya was the most successful nation in Africa, and Gaddafi had agreed to get out of the weaponizing of Arabs and terrorism in return for being left alone. He dreamed of expanding his successes across his continent and setting up a gold based African currency. As Cato emphasized over and over “Carthago delenda est”. Libya was a DESTROYED, ANNIHILATED state, not a failed state. And the Orange Abomination was not responsible, but rather the chortling bloody hyena Hillary, who as a result, saw her star rise into the Establishment firmament as a Great Leader. Biden tagged along at her coat tails (though surprisingly he had NONE during his Election?)

    1. Overall point well taken, but you are a bit nitpicky on Hedges for “failed state.” He clearly is agreeing with you on what happened and it can be both “destryed, annihilated” AND “failed”. Failed states come by their failure many ways…

      As for what gets to be in the “Middle East,” since that is not a national or poltical boundary, you nor Hedges don’t get to define it anymore than the Encyclepedia Brittanica — which, for the record, says Libya IS in the Middle East.

      https://www.britannica.com/place/Middle-East

      1. I don’t think it is a good idea for the editor to offer “correctives” to reader responses. The editor has a de facto authority which tends to override the effect of a reader’s response. At the very least, editorial correctives encourage the reader to look over his or her shoulder before commenting. Finally, the editor has ready access through articles, interviews, and podcasts which are preferable to intervening in published reader responses.

      2. This is a fair argument. I know this is a controversial activity. For the record, WordPress labels me “editor” but I am really more akin to the moderator of a forum. (Robert Scheer is the editor of this site, in the general sense, with final say on its overall direction.) I am trying to nurture (incite) conversation that is not abusive nor grounded in baseless conspiracy.
        If you look around, you will see that most similar sites no longer even have comment sections. There are a lot of reasons for this.

      3. Great comment. Factual, accurate, short, and witty. You even ruffled someone’s little feathers. Who cares what your organizational label is. Paraphrasing Twain, you too are are human being, and worse I can say of no one. Let’s raise a toast to those who tremble at the “authority” of a web worker’s comment and yet still find the courage to post a response. This bodes well for our shared future.

        PS: Thank you Chris Hedges for your excellent article.

  5. Okay, my guess is, most of us reading this are big Hedges fans, and that again, this is preaching to the choir. The problem is, those that support data, information, critical thinking, science and evidence are not the ones that need to be convinced. As noted, conspiracy theory and white nationalist action are escalating, and you cannot use logic or fact to combat cult thinking. So what do we do? Every article says the same thing over and over. We get it. We agree. I’m exhausted of pointing out the flaws of the neo liberal establishment. Of Biden, of Dems, blah blah blah. I am sure you are too. So what? Pontificating all day has not changed anything. The question is HOW DO WE SLOW or stop this inevitable cycle? Everyone wants a revolution until it happens . What is the point of these articles without next steps? Asking for a friend.

    1. Can’t speak for Hedges, but some of his writing argues we must fight on because it is the right thing to do, without hope of victory. Personally, I find life is always paradoxical and we both always make a difference and make none at all, if you know what I mean.

      1. I’m glad to say I have no self respect and no affinity for hopeless struggles. I try to live in reality and I don’t like to lose.

    2. I get frustrated too but Hedges’ job is to inform. It’s for others to decide what to do. To have any change we have to get vast numbers of working and middle class people to demand it. The same people who have been poisoned for decades to hate each other through our vapid politics.

      To do so we must convince them that there is a way for them to have a meaningful say in what happens in their lives. The discussion should center on how the average person can have real power. We have to convince them they won’t win the culture war or anything else unless the power of the elites is broken.

      I’d suggest we focus on three things: Establish fair elections with universal participation; a bailout for the working people; and placing real limits on the power of the elite through breaking up the corporations and a maximum limit on personal wealth.

    3. I agree that Hedges tends to lean toward the obvious without offering much in solutions. I personally have given up almost all hope of any solutions coming from within the system.

      Personally I lean toward local movements acting in conjunction with other local and global movements i.e. extinction rebellion working in tandem with smallers groups like rising tides. Other examples would be local work bank programs where all members share their skills on a one to one basis. Under this model a doctor would offer one hour of his services in exchange for say one hour of a mechanics services, no claims that my services are worth more than yours.

      This whole thing is coming down and the best solution I ever heard is there is no one solution but a myriad of solutions worldwide. Since we a fighting a worldwide ideology I find this most useful.

      Having spent the last 15 years living in extreme poverty in the richest country in the history of the world, my illusions have long since been shattered. I warn you to be wary of any movements based solely on identity politics as they are easily co opted. Sometimes the most unlkely people you would believe will become your friends and allies, and those you believe are on the side of truth and justice are quite the opposite. Personally I believe that no one, no matter how well meaning, including Hedges who has not lived in extreme poverty can offer any
      solutions to that particular problem.

      1. “Hedges tends to lean toward the obvious without offering much in solutions. I personally have given up almost all hope of any solutions coming from within the system.”

        Actually, by implication, he does. His critique puts the problem beyond the purview of science. The issue has become a nonsecular one.
        Take the example of Ecocide: as Michael Moore’s last makes plain, Nature is the only solution, and is already about it -war, plague, famine, pestilence. Hedges’ sociology and Moore’ ecology are telling us we’re in the end times.

        Chiliasts are always caricatured and dismissed, so they refrain from enunciating the obvious civilizationally old exhortation. It’s the destiny of every living thing. “Progressiveism is an ignis fatuus. It’s the time for heideggerian ontotheology.

  6. “a pandemic that our for profit health care system was unable to contain.” A look at the statistics clearly shows that the quality or type of health care system a country has, has little to do with containing the pandemic. Also I am surprised he thinks the Democratic Party believes in democracy any more than the Republicans. What about the rigging of the primaries against Sanders?What about Russiagate?

    1. A quick review of Hedges writing will easily see he is not enamored of the Democratic Party’s support of democracy, and has written extensively about treatment of Sanders, Russiagate, etc. Is it so wrong, though, to think that those who vote for that party in a two-party system seem slightly more interested in pursuing democracy as an experiment?

      As for the healthcare system issue, I think you raise a great question – but neither the article in question (where the point was an aside) nor your comment provide much evidence to take the conversation in question. In England, clearly, we are seeing how complicated it would be to untangle fault when the government’s actions can be laissez faire with the background of the NHS. Also, have to qualify that public health systems are not at all identical, in terms of care, quality, coverage, etc. Have to factor in a nation’s wealth, development, health, etc. as well — can’t just compare Cuba to Canada, etc. Do you have evidence? Write it up!

  7. One further point to add to this excellent, justifiably gloomy piece–dislocations of the sort described will mean the end of democracy around the globe as threatened people rush to support dictators of various stripes. This in turn will make a nuclear conflict more likely, so humanities end may be achieved quickly by that route rather than more slowly from the effects of the climate crisis.

    All of which makes whatever we can do doubly urgent. It’s for all the marbles, after all.

  8. Your writing is like poetry. I love it. However, noone will listen. The common man will not listen and does not care. More importantly, he is invested in remaining ignorant, coddled by corporations. Americans are weak, spoiled, and bratty. Hell, i’m one of them but i at least have self awareness.

    We live in a world where Kim Kardashian is making policy and has access to the white house along with her deranged race traitor of a husband. She was “humbled by her privilege” when she decided to fly out “30 of her closest friends” to a private island where everyone got their own private villa for her 40th birthday party. Millions of people worship her surgically deformed body just like millions of people worship many of the deformed characters and goblins who profit off of our deranged society. At the end of your essay, I didn’t feel fear or sadness, but relief that

    American society and human society in general will most assuredly get what’s coming to them. Out of the ashes of a truly broken society will emerge a new human society. We are like parasites and we are too clever to ever truly be wiped out. We’ll find a new way to exploit the earth or learn to work within its confines. We will inevitably repeat our mistakes over and over until we become more enlightened than the primitive apes we are today.

    1. Gee, you sure know a lot abut Kim K. I am clueless (can’t even spell her name here) and I am proud of it! Resist your Celebrity Diversions, it might help you focus more.

      Keep in mind Two Important things for humanity’s future: Artificial Intelligence is coming on so fast, the next generation will embrace it like smart phones. These cute little robots will be like toys to kids growing up. Say goodbye to humanness.
      Secondly: We don’t really have that much time to heal and make amends. After every failed culture or annihilated civilization, people and the Earth rose up anew. But now–like no other time–we have catostophic climate change, AND-
      this is an important perspective to grasp-unlike other times, this planet has few resources left to save us as we climb back up through the muck and mire. Maybe solar will save us, but nothing much below the ground will be available for our survival. Party to Extinction, my friends…

  9. this site censors like all US media; while Palin advocates for Assange pardon, AOC does not

    1. This site believes comments are part of the site which is an editorial site which exercises editorial judgement. That is NOT censorship. I continually baffled that some educated people on the Left can’t understand that anti-censorship is not defined as “publishing any fool thing anybody wants published.” I let you drive-by unedited comments for months antagonizing folks with your unfiltered slingshot comments because I thought some of them were worth the hassle. Others abused the privilege, getting nastier and nastier, and now here we are, with heavier moderation as an experiment. This is not the town square, and there is a fathomless internet out there, with a free “YuriBlog” WordPress site just waiting for you one blog over.

      1. false—your censorship reflects your fragility and insecurity….something observed about the amerikan national character since Tocqueville wrote, “the least reproach offends amerikans; the slightest sharp sting of truth turns them fierce”. Gorer observed how insecure Americans are, especially males: “only in amerika is the father vestigial: the amerikan mind and conscience is feminine” you are merely 1 proof

      2. Sure. OK. I am “feminine” because we are editing an publication as we see fit, as if “feminine” is a bad thing. As for quoting de Tocqueville, that was quaint a 100 years ago. He said lots of smart things, but he was a great generalizer and also thought France should conquor Algeria “to restore national pride” and that “I personally believe that the laws of war enable us to ravage the country and that we must do so either by destroying the crops at harvest time or any time by making fast forays also known as raids the aim of which it to get hold of men or flock.” So, yeah, he was fallible, too, and maybe needed some editing…

  10. Geez Chris you need to stop being so optimistic. I like to tell my trump voting neighbors not to worry. With Biden we’re still going to have a racist old white man with dementia and a history of sexual assault in the oval office!

    I’d say the train already left the depot on climate change, but although I feel rather hopeless I am not ready to stop fighting .

    Quite honestly Harris, Biden and the “cabinet that looks like America”, will probably inflict much more damage than Trump with their agenda of “pragmatic action”. Go back to sleep oh ye democratic sheeple. Listen to the siren call of sexual and racial diversity brought to you by msnbc and national petroleum radio. And remember two years from now when you lose the house it was the ruskies and fox news what done it!

    Forward into the fog with our rainbow coalition of war mongering mass murders and corporate shills. Look out world Americas back!

  11. Hedges is clearly positioning himself for relevancy in the new ‘age’. Speaking of the environment and encouraging veganism. Really? Come on.

    One thing’s for sure- in my opinion- not facing the possibility that non-Trump “supporters’ (i.e. unregistered voters, soured Dems, libertarians and Greens- among others) might join up with ‘Trumpers’ justifiably disgusted by the collapse of the working-class economy. might just be an oversight. This is all about the working class. Today’s announcement of a $600 payoff translates to about $6 per day over ten months. That’s what the US government thinks of its most vulnerable.

    [Moderated. If folks want to proclaim the pandemic is a hoax, this is not the place. Sorry. We know people have died, people who are sick, people treating the dying in the ICUs. There is a free blog waiting for you at WordPress, or better yet you can tell your friends on Facebook. It’s a bridge too far, here. 400,000 extra deaths this year in US, as of today, deadliest year in US history. Talk about disaster capitalism, talk about forces exploiting the pandemic, roast those who have dropped the ball or made the wrong policy or whatever, but this is not the place to say it is “just a flu.”]

    The beat goes on.

  12. “All hope rooted in self-delusion is fantasy. ” Which is why we are glued to our TVs, twitter feeds, or cyber reality addictions…they feed this fantasy…thanks

  13. Prophetic wisdom Chris.
    The triple pandemic of obesity, heart attacks and strokes is the result of animal fat coursing through the bodies of at least half the world’s population.
    We are self destructing in so many ways it is akin to mass suicide.
    Our hubristic ignorance has brought us to the edge of extinction.

    1. More like burning the candle at both ends — extending life while shortening it, etc. Many indicators of quality of life are still improving, despite appearances, such as the percentage of humans involved in war. Yet, these benefits often seem like accidents, no more or less a product of our enlightenment than the destruction our pursuits are causing.

      1. “any amerikan that has not read Tocqueville is a twerp”. Kurt Vonnegut Jr
        Admired by at least 10 Marxists that I can name
        “amerikans cannot think except by means of slogans; they identify garbage as quality. the stupidity and ignorance of amerikans has long been a topic of hilarity in Europe”. Paul Fussell
        another peurile editor straw man attack expected
        “Amerika requires a stupefied population”. C Lasch
        “Amerikans, especially males are afflicted with a basic insecurity….amerikans bewilder Europeans”. Geoffrey Gorer (his ethnography described by Margaret Mead, “brilliant, penetrating; Alfred Kazin, “brilliant, objective”)

      2. You are a font of quotes. Pretty sure Vonnegut didn’t use your spelling style, though, Yuri.

        The irony of Europeans, their culture and history forged by their endless pursuit of global colonialism, world war and genocide, lecturing ANYBODY about their insecurity is laughable. And based on many years I spent there, they have no shortage of class and racial divides and insecurities, for all the many wonderful aspects of the places and peoples.

  14. Okay so this guy works for RT the Russian propaganda Outlet. Enough said. Sorry but I I don’t think I want to start smashing anyting based on his recommendations

    1. Or you could think for yourself after engaging with various vigourous viewpoints which are in turn wrestling with the gleanings of your current lifetime of lived experience, inherited belief systems (from family, culture, media) and personal bias based on genetic predisposition (how is your startle reflex?), perceived “selfish” survival needs and so on. You could do that.

    2. There is far more truth to be found on RT than any of the US corporate owned and promoting propaganda outlets. You might try having an open mind, but then you have clearly stated you have no such intention. Your loss and why the USA is going down the drain once and for all.

  15. I thought good article, until I got to the bit about America being a Democracy, which it is most certainly NOT ! Lost interest after that.

  16. As a 4th cousin to FDR I habitually see the good and over-look the evil. Then Chris comes along and peels back the blinders, as only he can do. For this I am forever grateful. I am in constant need, it seems, for my dose of Chris. Someday I hope to be cured of my delusions though they be many and innate in nature. Thank you Chris for Being.

  17. Not that I don’t agree with the sentiment, but a sober review will show the general public has never had control in the history of the species.

    It truly is an issue of personal agency and application of time.

    Build hospitals and schools or cars and screens to distract?

    Get to fucking work on it rather than sitting on your ass peddling banal semantics.

    Why not throw down with the corporations? If pathetic rhetoric is the effort of the public, it’s all going to hell anyway.

  18. When neo-liberals are seen as wanting more and more donations, the people see them as working for Big Money, and welcome populists to take over.

  19. Trump had managed in a single term to turn the US from democracy into a conservative dystopia, which renders him one of the most successful conservative presidents in the past 50 years. He is more corrupt than Nixon, more overwhelmingly and exclusively conservative than Reagan, more damaging to US relations with the world than W Bush, and more detrimental to democracy than any president before him.
    The Obama administration, on the other hand, of which Biden was part and Hedges himself claims Biden is an Obama continuation, was one of the most progressive in US history. While each and every Democratic administration have tried to implement universal healthcare, the ACA is the first to provide, through the potential Public Option, universal access for the first time in US history. In addition, its financing scheme is the largest wealth transfer from rich to poor – a 7 billions dollars annually – in history. The previous Democrat administration had also managed to generate progress in almost every area of public life, from LGBTQ, through race and gender relations, international and multilateral agreements, education and more.

    Hedges bizarre and blatantly false opening statements – there is no ‘deep state’ in the US, and Hedges’ associating it politically demonstrates he have no understanding of what the term means and its clandestine, a-political nature – and the puerile, ignorant attempt to paint one of the most disastrous, insidious and conservatively successful administrations in US history as a “coterie of buffoons”, renders his entire demagogic text as pure Neo Progressive propaganda BS, and need be treated as such.

    1. Sorry but there will be no public option being pushed by the Biden administration. That writing has been on the wall for months now.

      1. Without a Democrat Senate, there is no possibility of expanding the ACA to include a Public option. With it, it would be difficult to avoid addressing the Healthcare ‘deficit’ (to put it mildly), and the Public Option is the easiest way forward, unless it would be undermined by some progressive Democrats who hate the ACA with similar passion as Trump and his bigoted GOP.

        In any event, the ACA was mentioned in my previous comment above merely to point at Hedges’ bizarre and demagogic attempt to paint the Democrats – the only progressive force in US politics – as agents of the fabled (and non-entity in the US) ‘Deep State’.

  20. Chris, I have been reading you for years. Your writing always deeply scares me and makes me feel depressed. BUT your work always clears my head – like camphor up the nose, so I can pull back the veil of distraction and see the world as it is…an ugly mess. Most of what you said would happen in your articles years ago, has sadly come to pass. I am horrified and disgusted, but not surprised by what is happening to America in this election; you said it was falling apart from rot and so it is. I also know to feel no relief that Biden can do anything but maintain the corporate state as it is…drones and platitudes. You have stripped me of my illusions so that there is little pain control. I often debate if I want to live through what is coming. It breaks my heart to consider all of the beauty and grace we are losing. Yet, I do what I can, where I am, with what I have. Old quote – source is muddy. Keep burning up the veil Chris, like the red pill of the Matrix. I choose to be awake as horrifying as it is. Knowing what is makes it so I can bathe in gratitude for the blessings I have now and live in the moment knowing that the future is ominous and personal loss certain. I go garden, marvel at Gaia’s beauty, wash my soul and go out again to do what I can with what I have left.

    1. Alysia,
      “I do what I can, where I am, with what I have.” Old quote – source is muddy…

      I believe this is from Teddy Roosevelt. I have it on a plaque at home w/ his name on it.
      “Do what you can, where you are, with what you’ve got.” Not sure of that now…
      I’m not at home to check it exactly, but a great quote!

      Onward Through the Fog

  21. I read Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges and have perused a number of his articles. I agree with him on many things, and find him to be an intelligent, analytical and sincere person concerned with the truth.

    As a medical practitioner and someone of extensive science background, I am very interested in knowing whether Mr. Hedges has considered that the “deadly” virus serves the same propaganda purpose as “weapons of mass destruction” in creating primal fear around vague circumstances. After all, most Americans – even those who claim to enthusiastically support science – are wholly ignorant in the realm of infectious disease, microbiology, virology, epidemiology, immunology, etc. They therefore submit themselves to blind faith in pharmaceutical companies, bureaucrats, corporate-infiltrated health organizations, group-thinking doctors, and, terrifyingly, politicians and celebrities who also claim to “support” science.

    If one takes Sheldon Wolin’s theory of inverted totalitarianism and replaces “war” and “deadly enemy of unknown location” with “pandemic” and “novel virus”, one can see the same effect is achieved – massive profits, political opportunism, insidious removal of civil liberties under the pretext of life-or-death safety, and advancement of corporate control.

    The COVID narrative is clearly goaded by mainstream media outlets that near- unanimously drive fear in the absence of convincing evidence. The COVID narrative has been spurred by politicians looking to achieve specific political aims (including removing Donald Trump from office and tanking the economy that was very likely due to result in his re-election). The power Democrats in this country, and I now suppose the Left in general, have ruthlessly maintained an astoundingly unscientific group-thinking narrative about SARS-Cov-2. They have taken many “scientists” along with them, despite most of the claims about this virus’s risk and its fatality rate not holding up to 4th grade principles of science, not to mention the basic clinical sense that experienced medical practitioners should have.

    I am a vegan myself, and have in the past written articles and an essay on the potential pitfalls of factory farming and wildlife markets in creating pandemics. However, I am concerned with the truth above all, and in my professional opinion, horrific animal husbandry was not likely to be the primary culprit in this pandemic. Either way, it certainly doesn’t account for the unscientific response and campaigns of misinformation.

    So is Mr. Hedges playing along with the COVID propaganda due to an “end justifies the means” destruction of Donald Trump, or is it because he is understandably more experienced with war than medicine/disease? I am perplexed at why progressives and socialists in general seem to be advocating further destruction of truth and the working class by propagating the COVID narratives, including the “300,000 deaths” and economic shutdowns. That many positive tests, with or without the presumed “symptoms” does not even constitute disease from COVID, let alone death from it. Infection does not equal disease. Correlation does not prove causation. A widespread (let alone mandated) vaccine manufactured and “tested” in 9 months cannot be universally hailed as “safe, we all promise!” or even necessary, just because Pfizer (represented in the Business Roundtable) and politicians said so.

    Where are all the Left-leaning truth-upholders on these issues?

    1. Disaster capitalism is a thing. So are pandemics. If you are arguing that “300,000 deaths” is a lie, then bring evidence. These arguments that a pandemic response must err toward letting nature take its course smack of utilitarian cynicism. Just as it can be argued that the shutdowns have strengthened authoritarianism and tyrants, so have AVOIDING shutdowns been credited with being the favored tactic of value-less corporations and immoral tyrants (i.e., look at Belarus). If the Left is eternally stuck in a dialectical position of being the enemy of our enemy, we are simply a revolving door of conspiracy theory and we lose our moral position. Of course, there is no “Left” monolith, as its anarchist wing is anti-government, while the rest is strewn along the road of using government as a moderate leveling of the playing field all the way out to centralized uniparty regimes. This site represents some stretch of that spectrum, hopefully as “Left-leaning truth-upholders” and eschews a purity test based on ideology or solution (or lack thereof).

      1. How so? I don’t think so.

        I am responding because we get so many comments which argue the pandemic is, fundamentally, a lie used to support authoritarianism and big business. This one is much more articulate and reasoned than most, but it lands in the same place.

        Where I live, all the anti-vaxxers and COVID-HOAX folks are white, and either suburban or rural, and have been almost enitrely shielded from the ravages of this disease, while the ones hit are the Latinx and African-Americans who are “essential workers” and living in crowded, multi-generational conditions with many have preexisting conditions.

        My great-grandfather was a silver miner who died from the 1919 influenza pandemic, probably with pre-existing conditions. My father dodged polio when it swept through his preschool, killing several friends. Would progressives, radicals, anarchists, etc., have tolerated people then who screamed that these diseases, which so affected the masses, were hoaxes? I hope not. Keep asking questions, but do not accept pseudoscience simply because it is “alternative”.

      2. Would you prefer hearing that the pandemic is not a lie, yet is being used to support authoritarianism and big business?

      3. As I said earlier, these forces are opportunistic. In Belarus, much of the United States and other places, IGNORING the pandemic was the choice of authoritarians, corporate forces, cynics, etc. Elsewhere, it is deployed as an excuse to impose restrictions or trim workforces. Oversimplistic narratives may be motivational for some, but I see them as deadening real understanding and struggle with complex realities.

    2. Scientific evidence regarding a novel pathogen comes over time through the scientific method – research, a process, and peer review. However, my critique was directed to that very point – the “300,000+ deaths” claim is far from an indisputable fact delivered by science. It involves anecdote, it involves policy bias, it involves testimonials, it involves inevitable groupthink and following orders, it involves money. But perhaps astoundingly to many who are not scientists and have never practiced medicine in this age, the widely promulgated message to “trust the science” actually involves very little science. More significantly, the sound science that contradicts the media narrative is being ignored.

      Look, for example, at the widespread “belief” in asymptomatic spread. It’s still being used as the primary justification for economic lockdowns in this country. Yet, about a month ago —using May/June data that had preliminary release back then— an almost 10 million person study in Wuhan was published in Nature. Nature is of the most recognized peer-reviewed scientific journals in the world. The study found only 300 asymptomatic cases, and among 1,174 contacts, ZERO cases of asymptomatic transmission. Even after a 2 week isolation with close contacts, there was NO detected spread from any of these asymptomatic people to even their closest contacts. This is real science— “evidence”— and it completely undermines the media narrative. Glaringly, the mainstream media did not report on this major study’s publication, just as it does not report on highly credentialed independent doctors and scientists from around the world when they effectively contest the media narrative.

      It seems most people are not even aware that calling a positive SARS-CoV-2 test “COVID” (as WHO initiated) is fundamentally inaccurate. That’s because “COVID” stands for Coronavirus “Disease”-2019, but a positive test does not indicate disease. A positive antigen or antibody test (provided it’s not a false positive) only indicates infection. Infection and disease are not the same thing *by any means*. In many cases of viral infection, the immune system can eliminate or control infection before symptoms of disease ever arise or progress. The early data from the Italian Health Authority told us that essentially 100% of fatalities had another disease, with an average of 3 diseases each. Also, SARS-Cov-2 manifests as no symptoms– or possibly a cold– in nearly all “positive” individuals. The CDC’s own survival rate is nearly 100% in all people up to age 69. Given all of the above, why then even assume —let alone aggressively insist — that COVID is responsible for death in the ~5% of those positives age 70+ who died… when they had multiple *severe* diseases innately much more likely to have caused death?

      The dreadful telltale COVID symptoms, one might say? Well, COVID does not have pathognomonic (specifically diagnostic) symptoms. It only has correlative findings that also correlate to dozens of other common diseases, from hospital admission straight through to autopsy. Therefore, a positive SARS-CoV-2 test in a healthy person, (or in a person with other overt or covert diseases), is actually of little to no diagnostic value. The stage for deception, groupthink and human error to parade around on here is enormous. No one can scientifically state that a positive SARS-CoV-2 test in a person with cold symptoms, clots, or fulminant respiratory distress has “COVID.” The patient can have those symptoms from hundreds of cold virus strains, cardiovascular disease, or many other diseases, all while having detectable level of SARS-CoV-2 at time of testing. Not to mention that lying in bed on a ventilator with ARDS of any origin (including chronic alcoholism) actively promotes clot formation. Contrary to what one would expect with a SARS coronavirus, lung and respiratory disorders were not in the NYS DOH’s top five comorbidities in fatality data. However, cardiovascular disease – already the most common disease among the dying in this country – was. An astounding 48% of the U.S. population (concentrated more in certain minorities and the poor) have cardiovascular disease according to the CDC.

      No doctor should put newspapers above internationally recognized scientific researchers, or their own educated clinical sense. However, many do. There are plenty of doctors who forsake fundamentals – out of blind faith in pharmaceutical companies, out of cultural pressure and groupthink, out of ignorance, out of exhaustion, or sometimes even for their paycheck.

      I understand that some might continue to argue for “erring on the side of caution”, believing economic shutdowns are the most empathetic and practical action they can support with the level of knowledge they have on viruses and medicine. But I have a level of knowledge that would only make me complicit if I did the same. I also came from poverty, and assure you that sacrificing the elderly and minorities to benefit the majority or restore normalcy is the opposite of my profile. Survival – though the poor get little credit for it – often requires more work, more critical thinking and more risk-benefit analysis skills than is needed in American higher education. Continuing to force the poor further into poverty— evictions, homelessness, alcoholism, drug addiction, crime, suicide, domestic violence, mental illness, isolation and poor nutrition— over a virus with this epidemiological profile is not only scientifically unjustified, it’s criminal. This is especially true given that the media, multinational pharmaceutical industry and many internet business-equipped giants are simultaneously bringing in hundreds of billions in profits from this narrative.

  22. Thank you, Chris Hedges, for your essay.

    Thanks also to scheerpost.com for providing this forum.

    Finally, thanks also to reader, Ena, for her very well stated and accurate account of “the story behind the story.”

    The 300,000 deaths are certainly real. I don’t think anyone disputes that. Rather, there is a very obvious campaign of misinformation being spread with regard to the number of positive cases, and the number of deaths attributed to Covid-19.

    The evidence in support of this is abundant, and one need not be a journalist or professional researcher to find this information.

    For instance, this from Johns Hopkins University:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20201122214034/https://www.jhunewsletter.com/article/2020/11/a-closer-look-at-u-s-deaths-due-to-covid-19

    A concise overview of the magnitude of misinformation can be read in this recent essay by Richard Gale and Dr. Gary Null Phd:

    https://prn.fm/honest-perspective-covid-19-pandemic/

    It is unclear to me why the certain members of the left continue to ignore the inaccuracies not only in the number of deaths attributed to Covid, but also in the inherent flaws of the test and misinformation regarding safe, inexpensive, and proven treatments.

    I define a Progressive as one who pursues the truth regardless of what uncomfortable place that may lead one to.

    We need voices such as Chris Hedges, and all of the other excellent contributors at Scheerpost, to take a deep look into what seems to me, and many others, to be a massive fraud being unleashed on the public. I won’t speculate here regarding where this is all leading us.

    1. Holy crap. I’m sorry to say this, because you seem earnest and may be merely naive, but this is just a textbook manipulation of facts to fit a false and a quite dangerous narrative.

      First, you link to an article by an independent student publication of John Hopkins and present it as coming from the university itself. “Our articles and content are not endorsed by the University or the School of Medicine” write the site’s publishers.

      Then, the link is actually from the Way Back Machine because, as you assuredly know, the article was later WITHDRAWN by its publisher because it distored the facts, and is now replaced with a lengthy explanation of why the story and its main claims were bogus.

      “Editor’s Note: After The News-Letter published this article on Nov. 22, it was brought to our attention that our coverage of Genevieve Briand’s presentation “COVID-19 Deaths: A Look at U.S. Data” has been used to support dangerous inaccuracies that minimize the impact of the pandemic. … Briand was quoted in the article as saying, “All of this points to no evidence that COVID-19 created any excess deaths. Total death numbers are not above normal death numbers.” This claim is incorrect…”
      To read it all: https://www.jhunewsletter.com/article/2020/11/a-closer-look-at-u-s-deaths-due-to-covid-19

      Next up, you present an article by quack anti-vaxxer, HIV/AIDS denialist and laetrile cancer scammer Gary Null which cobbles together some at-times interesting scientific analysis that does not in any way fully support the piece’s bombastic conclusions which quoting from, and are in-line with, the Great Barrington Declaration — the grim product of a Libertarian think-tank funded by the Koch brothers which argued we should basically lock away the vulnerable and go on with our lives.

      Oh, and Gary Null has a phony PhD he slaps after his name and is not a doctor or scientist.

      It does not seem that you really want to “pursue the truth regardless of what uncomfortable place that may lead to” if you are going to use such pathetic sources with such clear ideological and/or profit agendas as long as they reinforce the ever-migrating “COVID IS A HOAX” conspiracy crowd that now, here, 12 months in, finally admits death rates are indeed showing the deadliness of the pandemic even as they quibble about false-positives and whether some modest number of these “excess” deaths were mislabeled.

      Your definition of progressive sounds more like “muckracker” or “truthseeker,” of which Hedges, Scheer, Ellen Brown, Danny Sjursen and others posted here are definitely great examples. However, a credible definition of a “progressive” is one who supports “a social or political movement that aims to represent the interests of ordinary people through political change and the support of government actions.” Unfounded conspiracy theories directly embarrass and undermine real such movements.

      1. This article seems to have everything in reverse but it isn’t carefully explicit about this. Ultimately we really don’t get much information but are encouraged to be afraid of something or sneer on command. Here are some examples:

        For profit healthcare is a success and but the author seems to have some other definition of failure. As a reader you have your own definition which is (of course) being manipulated.

        The heads of industry – especially large Defense Contractors – go in and out of Government appointments. This is as common as US History is known – so it’s hard to tell why this is mentioned.

        There’s always someone in every adminstration who once advocated bombing or overthrowing somewhere at one time. If we can forgive and forget the folks in the press for this why can’t we give our leadership the benefit of amnesia too?

      2. For-profit healthcare has successes in terms of the care the wealthy get, which is likely near the top of of the world. However, your comment glibly ignores the MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of Americans who can only receive healthcare if they wait in an emergency room for hours, after allowing their health to deterioate in silence for days, months, years, received palliative care and then are sent back to fend for themselves. To the extent that this is mediated, it is through the New Deal-style Medicare programs, which is a response to, not an outcome of, for-profit medicine. Finally, we see that nonprofits like Kaiser provide much better overall care (with certain deficits that all for-profits share, such as mental health) than the old rich doctor network model.

        Now, if you are going to defend the revolving door of the military-industrial complex as fine “because we’ve always done it that way” you are likely just in the wrong part of the internet for your ideology, one of those who believes that since we were the “good guys” in WWII we were also thus before and afterwards…

      3. To Editor/Moderator of SP comment section of Hedges article: The Great Delusion.

        No wonder Hedges gets only 50 comments not his usual 1000-2000 comments at TD just nine months ago .

        And in big part it is extremely intrusive moderating and editing, so only SP political line is supported especially about COVID while plausible alternatives are attacked ad hominem selectively addressing specific points only ignoring majority of other points or specific questions formulated by tens of thousands of doctors specialists in infections diseases worldwide, calling them sold out to whom exactly because not to big Pharma that has the money for it.

        And always rejection of skepticism comes from position of supposedly ultimate authority of MSM Media or state institutions using arguments of primitive simplicities like: these scientists are good honest informed, others no good, those have vested interests others are pure driven by truth only and make no mistakes or if they do not worth investigating as inconsequential to official narratives. No matter that Fauci is riddled with conflict of interest makes money on vaccines and lied in public profusely to.. “save us” fro ourselves as we are incapable to know what p’s god or bad for our families. Still he is a guru of the left as long as he continues fear mongering.

        Such ultimate authority quoted today sadly coming from institutions previously decried by Hedges and the left as corporate or Imperial, peddling lies promoting vested interests. socially destructive policies enabling environmental devastation for profit.

        Like NYT Hedges himself left to hold on to journalistic truth about war. He was labeled as dangerous, forced to resign as he allegedly stifled Iraq war effort endangering lives of our troops or other nonsense NYT righteously proclaimed making readership protected from ideas Hedges promoted based of hard proofs rejected by NYT as Iraqi propaganda disinformation.

        Hedges chose truth.Under tremendous fear mongering pressure did not choose to err on a side of threat of “possible” nuclear annihilation by Saddam nuclear bomb, but on a side of people interest and against hoax of Saddam bomb against utmost experts assuring us of its existence.

        Why today everything NYT writes about pandemic numbers and deaths copied from JHU bio-security Center (often contradicting WHO and CDC statements) run not by doctors but CIA surveillance affiliates involved with bio terrorism, is taken as truth despite own NYT admission in August that PCR tests are over-sensitive return positives for people who are not actively infected Incapable of spreading infection but just shedding previous infection debris that brought them no symptoms.

        Why those numbers are not investigated, to establish real scale and scope of pandemic, by those who blame it on failure of public health system? Is it not behavior of membership of crisis cult Hedges is writing about in the article, unable to challenge cult’s dogma of big bad pandemic? Unable to investigate official narratives as it would spoil their politics of extreme opportunism, advantageous blame game and utilitarianism of elite made economic collapse.

        Among all people Hedges should have been more sensitive to this totalitarian drift in media sphere he acutely felt in 2003, he and SP succumbed to in 2020 along with MSM to different degrees while FB and twitter engaged in open censorship Long before pandemic, a blatant censorship often criticized by Hedges.

        Now a comment stating empirical fact that many more people die of preventable diseases yearly because of total failure of healthcare for profit than of COVID and flu combined will be censored by left and right publications as well as corporate center under guise of spreading misinformation.

        Why In 2020 again suddenly being “wrong “ became “dangerous” as it was in 2003 and compels self appointed truth guardians of Social Media even here at SP to “save“ all of us from knowing “wrong ideas” instead of letting us to make our own judgment as adult fully capable sovereign people. As Hedges wrote many time there can be no greater good that justifies mass infantilizing of population into enslaved by propaganda dependents of state or corporate oligarchy.

        12 years I commented Hedges columns, as often criticizing as supporting him, you make impossible to continue in the same courageous spirit of rational inquiry, skepticism, digging for truth Hedges used to embrace.

        As this comment will unlikely be published I will put it on variety of venues to inform about fallacy of supposedly SP righteous suppression of free speech, Hedges Used to fight for decades.

      4. We “censored” none of what you say we did. I have only outright trashed or trimmed (with a [moderated] tag) a handful of comments that were offensive, rude or promote outright lunacy or have spammy links. Nor is this Twitter, a social media platform; this is a comment section on a single blog on the vast internet where all can make or post to forums. As you see, regardless of your dare, this reasonable, considered comment is published now!

        Questioning the MSM or govt treatment of the pandemic is all well and good. If you go through our archives, you will see we have posted quite a bit of critical voice on the issue. OF FREAKING COURSE healthcare for all but the rich is an overpriced disaster in this country, that is hardly controversial!

        Knowing about the tragedy of thalidomide, and even having a friend affected by it, mean I have to swallow the argument that vaccines cause autism, against the preponderance of evidence? How is this different than the right’s (or Alex Cockburn’s, RIP) refusal to accept climate change? If somebody wants to argue that the Holocaust never happened in a comment, should that be allowed to stand here? Why?

        The comments are less here than the now defunct website you mentioned for several reasons that have absolutely zero to do with moderation or my (recent) burst of comments. One, we are a small, new publication started by volunteers with maybe 2 percent of the resources of our predecessor, in terms of staff, mailing lists, SEO promotion, design/infrastructure, and so on. Two, we urge the FREE reposting of all our original work. We support Hedges and are a reliable home for him on the Internet, as we are for a growing number of others, but are excited everytime his work is picked up by much larger traffic sites like Common Dreams, and even send it out to other sites ahead of publication — you are free to comment there, instead.

        As for promoting us on other sites as suppressors of free speech, that is your right. Moderating a comments section is NOT a supression of free speech, nor is my joining the conversation down here “at the bottom.”

        For all concerned on this issue, please point us to quality contrarian articles on the pandemic that do not come from right/liberatian/GOP circles or those who have discredited themselves by being devoted anti-vaxxers, anti-scientific, snake-oil salesmen or others who fit any facts into their preconceived narrative.

  23. As is evident, I am not a scientist,. Nor am I a medical professional or journalist. What I am, though, is a concerned citizen, and father, who is finding it very difficult to know what is truth and what is false propaganda in the face of world events that are changing society in profound ways.

    Perhaps I am wrong, but it seems to me that attributing deaths due to Covid with individuals who also have co-morbidities such as heart disease, or other immune compromising conditions, is not scientifically valid.

    Similarly, conducting vaccine trails while using only healthy individuals, and not a true random sample of the population, would be equally misleading.

    It seems to me that if great numbers of doctors, epidemiologists, virologists, and other professionals from around the world are willing to speak out against the very questionable testing, treatment, and overall handling of the Covid crisis, and do so independently, without monetary incentive and at great risk to their careers, what they have to say deserves a close, unbiased, and more open minded response.

    A central theme of Chris Hedges’ writing is exposing the total corruption of corporate money in all aspects of our lives. This includes the military industrial complex, and more central to this conversation, the for-profit medical industrial complex. In the face of such enormous profit, it is not inconsistent to believe that the official response to Covid has in some way been influenced by this.

    In closing, I ask that you consult with Chris Hedges, Ellen Brown, and Robert Scheer regarding Dr. Gary Null’s integrity. All have been guests on his program.

    1. I will ask them. If they have been guests on his show, which I kind of doubt, I would think it because they did not do due diligence in researching his positions. Often, on a book tour, authors are booked on literally hundreds of radio programs and you do your 5 minutes with each without knowing if you are on a normal or niche program.

      I appreciate your skepticsm of all things corporate and profit-oriented. I have little doubt that the pharmaceutical companies and their govt. puppets would do anything to suppress cheap, generic drugs which could help in treatment, or to steer public monies toward certain companies or patents based on connections, nepotism, nationalism, etc. See: Naomi Klein on disaster capitalism and the way it so opportunistically jumps onto any crisis to find an angle.

      All that said, the enemy of my enemy is NOT my friend. Am “alternative” voice can be one of wisdom or just a crank, and for somebody like snake oil salesman Gary Null, PROFIT is equally their driver as they use criticism of big pharma to make their own millions, stay in the spotlight, etc.

      1. It seems that the deeper that the editor is wading into attempting to reply to, or simplistically to reject, comments expressing skepticism of the official COVID narrative, the more the editor is displaying the need for Americans, as a society and individually, to inform themselves. There is an abundance of evidence to support skepticism, even if that evidence is not reported by the NYT. Instead, what we see here is an example of the inability of the so-called left in this country, in most cases, to act more as gatekeepers than truth seekers when it come to questioning foundational elements of American mythology (other examples include the assassinations of JFK, RFK, MLK, Malcolm, 9-11).
        ps. The editor’s denial that Chris Hedged et al have been guests on Gary Null’s program, each of whom I have personally hear being interviewed, is yet another indication of the editor’s own need to move away from pontificating on the basis of propagandistic, deeply-conflicted sources of “information”, including on issues of public health.

      2. LOL, I never denied they were likely on the radio show. I said that when you have a book in this anti-intellectual country, where even NPR bans nearly everything left of the middle from its airwaves, you go on every radio show that will have you to try and reach as wide an audience as possible. It is not an endorsement of the host (although personally, it is questionable whether it is a tacit approaval). I’ve done it myself. For the record, Robert Scheer has also been on Null’s show, he thinks.

        Since the United States has been completely divided from day one on COVID, both between states, parties, cultural/political tribes, even between the CDC, the WHO and the White House as has been been made much of in the election and everywhere else, the idea of an “official narrative” is a bit much, isn’t it? Go on social media and all day you can read about all the alternative views on COVID + response from the most extreme to simply questioning.

        But, of course we should all inform themselves! And it is quite possible to think the NYT is an shallow, establishment publication that is always worst on foreign policy and the intelligence agencies that does some good domestic reporting AND Gary Null is phony and snake-oil hustler who has some interesting guests.

  24. Below are 11 episodes of The Gary Null Show and his Progressive Commentary Hour in which Chris Hedges was a guest, all within the last 5 years. You can cut and past each to your search engine.

    In addition, there are 6 episodes with Ellen Brown as a guest. Ms. Brown also hosted a popular and informative radio show for several years on Dr. Null’s Progressive Radio Network.

    Perhaps I misspoke with regards to Mr. Scheer’s association with his show, as I could not find any instances.

    I did not mean to make this the subject of conversation, but since you’ve questioned my sources, I felt compelled to respond.

    When doing your research, I would just advise against the use of Google or Wikipedia, as these sources have been corrupted by special interest money, especially that of Big Pharma, and use their platform to attack and slander those, such as Gary Null, who attempt to expose the misdeeds of the corporate state.

    Chris Hedges appearances on Dr. Null’s radio show:

    https://prn.fm/progressive-commentary-hour-chris-hedges-abby-martin-catherine-austin-fitts/

    https://prn.fm/progressive-commentary-hour-chris-hedges-utrice-leid/

    https://prn.fm/gary-null-show-10-12-16/

    https://prn.fm/the-gary-null-show-06-20-16/

    https://prn.fm/the-gary-null-show-03-18-16/

    https://prn.fm/progressive-commentary-hour-12-15-15/

    https://prn.fm/the-gary-null-show-05-26-15/

    https://prn.fm/the-gary-null-show-05-06-15/

    https://prn.fm/progressive-commentary-hour-09-18-18/

    https://prn.fm/gary-null-show-09-03-18/

    https://prn.fm/gary-null-show-11-01-17/

    Ellen Brown’s appearances:

    https://prn.fm/progressive-commentary-hour-04-12-16/

    https://prn.fm/the-gary-null-show-04-29-15/

    https://prn.fm/progressive-commentary-hour-corona-feds-1-5-trillion-injection-overnight-lenders/

    https://prn.fm/gary-null-show-cvoid-19-updates-03-17-20/

    https://prn.fm/gary-null-show-08-22-18/

    https://prn.fm/gary-null-show-04-15-18/

    1. As I said before, I didn’t doubt that they would appear on the show. I have appeared on radio shows that I am ideologically opposed to, to further conversation.

      Wikipedia is not the issue, the links on Null are easy to find in many books and magazines that are scanned and accessible, and his positions are all there in the record. If you want to side with a self-proclaimed dietician who exploits the misery of the ill and their loved ones to sell them magic cures for cancer and tells them to avoid doctors, that’s your call. But I’m not going to allow more than a token amount of that here, you can take it to Reddit.

      Null is in the same genre as those “Loose Change” 9/11 truthers who support bizarre, elaborate fantasies by sprinkling them with a bit of truth spice (i.e., that big pharma is dangerous, science is corruptible/fallible, etc.) which, in a world of government secrecy and capitalist ruthlessness seem “refreshing” as explainers. When you really examine their alternative “science” (as I spent many years doing, in fact) you find that it all falls part like a stale donut.

  25. Corporate farming is a disaster but that does not mean we need to go vegan. Look into permaculture and check out people like Joel Salatin and Gabe Paul. Its possible to produce sufficient and much healthier meat. In fact its critical that we do as, with correct methods animal farming will actually help reduce fossil fuel dependence, use of chemicals and and help capture more than enough carbon to reverse climate change. We will have to pay a lot more for our food, and Americans will have to cut down some on animal protein, but if we break up industrial farms and reorganize on permaculture lines it will provide lots of new, more fulfilling jobs and produce far healthier and safer food.

  26. Editor= defensive and insecure
    your projections are farcical! unable to think dialectically you cannot comprehend the connection to your feminine mind and insecurity—self loathing narcissism as both Marxists Lasch and Sennet described you in the 1970’s…today an epidemic…Twenge, Campbell, Konrath, etc
    “laughable”
    don’t pretend you know anything—u claim u lived in other nations, but r monolingual and cannot comprehend how different you are from Europeans, S amerikans, Asaians
    “the amerikans are the living refutation of the cartesian cogito ergo sum. amerikans do not think yet they are. the amerikan mind, puerile, primitive lacks characteristic form and is therefore open to any form of standardization…..” Julius Evola. who demonstrated that amerikan individualism is conformism as did the Parsonian, Philip Slater, “amerikans poorly understand that individualism produces uniformity”—USA the most individualistic society on earth
    David Riesman described you as “over-conformist semi-automatons”
    “What unites the slavophiles, Alexandr Herzen, Peter kroprotkin and the Marxists is the belief that western individualism is an enemy of individuality”. Vladimir Golstein (1999)
    “individuality has disappeared in Amerika”. Horkheimer/Adorno ….they described your conversations as the same: “shallow, bombastic, fatuous”
    “the men amerikans most admire tell them the most extravagant lies; the men they most despise try to tell them the truth”. HL Menkhen
    “obama’s job is to lie to a nation of liars”. Kiese Laymon
    u r 1 more proof ms censor

    1. You’re done here, Yuri. I find no value in these rants filled with juvenile insults and the blizzard of name checks of intellectuals you cherrypick from. I’ll post this one for the record to let others judge and they can make groundswell of support or not. Originally, it seemed you had something to say beneath the disordered presentation, but I was wrong.

  27. The U.S. is not doing well on the ecological front either. It is very difficult these days for an ecologist to be listened to by anyone. Genuine conversations about such topics as net primary productivity and soil health which has been in decline for quite some time are rare indeed. It is as if people have lost all connections to the land/ vegetation/animal complex and expect Grand Mother Earth to deliver what ever they fantasize.

    Wildlife is treated as a commodity and I have noticed that airports now record data on nearly every bird strike including species as small as sparrows. The new bureaucratic word for what is left of an animal that is struck by a plane or goes through the engine is “Snarge”. The data is given to “Wildlife Services” which is the agency under the Agricultural Dept that kills millions of animals every year for the benefit of capitalism. EG: Wildlife Services (data from their own website) killed a total of 2,652,405 animals in 2018. This included such species as morning doves, meadow larks, kill deer plovers, thousands of sea gulls, swallows, ravens and many more, financed largely by our tax payer dollars. There is no mention of the ecological services that these species supply to our biosphere. They are just fodder for an agency budget. Reduced to “Snarge” in bureaucratic reports.

    Professor Doug Tallamy from the University of Delaware stated that “We are living off the ecological interest that was generated by a healthy ecological bank account long ago, but we are eating up the principle of that account at a steady and alarming rate”.

    I think we are living on the planet of the damned. The cockroaches, ants and centipedes may have their victory dance after all.

    PS- Good to see you back on line again.

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