Chris Hedges, "America: The Farewell Tour"

Chris Hedges, "America: The Farewell Tour"

SUBTITLE'S INFO:

Language: English

Type: Robot

Number of phrases: 1541

Number of words: 10585

Number of symbols: 48082

DOWNLOAD SUBTITLES:

DOWNLOAD AUDIO AND VIDEO:

SUBTITLES:

Subtitles generated by robot
00:06
if any of you came here this evening with the idea of hearing how well we're all doing in America these days you might want to leave now because what Chris Hedges provides in his searing new book America the farewell tour is a pretty bleak account of the mess that we're in just in the first few pages Chris notes that civilizations over the past six thousand years have the habit of eventually squandering their futures
00:37
through acts of colossal stupidity and hubris then he adds we are not an exception we are entering this final phase of civilization Chris and experienced journalists goes on to detail the evidence of decline and and growing despair in the opioid crisis increases in gambling the prevalence of pornography the spread of magical thinking the resurgence of hate groups the explosion of xenophobia and so on he
01:10
examines these developments sees the rise of Donald Trump and his authoritarian populism as an outgrowth a natural exploitation of these trends and issues a passionate call to action to reverse this disintegration while there's still time anyone familiar with Chris's extensive writing over the years won't be surprised by the sharpness and forcefulness of his critique the detail and broad scope of his reporting and the
01:41
many scholarly references woven into the book for the first two decades or so of Chris's professional life he reported overseas as a correspondent covering conflicts in Central America the Middle East and the former Yugoslavia much of that period he spent with the New York Times and he was part of the team of times reporters who in 2002 when the Pulitzer for explanatory reporting for their stories before and after the 9/11
02:11
attacks profiling the global terrorism Network and the threats had posed for the past decade chris has been a columnist for the Kress of news and commentary website TruthDig and he hosts the show on contact on Rt America a graduate of Harvard Divinity School Chris was ordained a minister in the Presbyterian Church four years ago he's also taught at Princeton and several other universities and conducts college credit courses in the New Jersey
02:42
prison system plus he's written about a dozen previous books over the past decade and a half including his first war is a force that gives us meaning which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and six years ago days of destruction days of revolt with cartoonist Joe Sacco which was a best-seller Chris has spoken here several times before and I'm sure we're in for a very spirited and provocative discussion so please join me in
03:14
welcoming and back thank you so I'm gonna speak for about a half hour and then we'll open it to questions for half hour that's the every book that I've written has a kind of template and for instance days of destruction days of revolt which I did with the great cartoonist Joe Sacco one of the finest journalists in America and if you have not read footnotes in Gaza which he spent six
03:49
years on it's a masterpiece on the israel-palestine conflict I knew it was it was gonna be a rough one to go through and I got up actually got up Easter morning before everyone in my house was awake so that it would be still and quiet and that book just reduced me to tears that book was really modeled on let us now praise famous men the great work by James Agee and what are the photographs by Walker Evans this
04:22
book my kind of model was Emile Durkheim's great study of suicide at the end of the 19th century in France where Dirk who was an amazing sociologist very much like w eb des bois where he would go out he didn't he didn't remain trapped in his particular academic Enclave but really went out and listened and interviewed that which is of course what made Dubois such remarkable and
04:54
important presence and sociologists within the United States writing about african-american african-american communities and he came to the conclusion this is where we get the term anomie that societies that disintegrate that's societies and decay communities in decay create diseases of despair that's not his term that's his idea pathologies that are expressed that that
05:26
that that that rise up from failed states and those would be self-loathing a sense of a lack of self-worth alienation all as Durkheim says that comes when you no longer have faith or belief in the established order the established ideology and established institutions and and and that that those kinds of pathologies are expressed in
05:59
very self-destructive activities gambling hate crimes sexual sadism which is what pornography is and although I went to the extreme and my book Empire of illusion I had written about the porn industry but for this book I went to kink.com hopefully none of you know what it is I didn't know what it is derekjjensen had to tell me what it was they bought the old National Guard
06:31
Armory in San Francisco and run the largest BDSM operation in the world which is live-streamed look Torre it is tortured as clearly I mean women are waterboarded and stuff and then people will be people can stream in and say what they want done to the women I mean just appalling but anyway I went to these classes for like which were held in the basement of the armory for Dahms dominate dahm dahm what do they call them people who are dominant people who like what do they
07:04
call no they're not dominatrix their their their their dweeby guys who dress in black and me sitting in the basement I was not dressed in black and I actually wrote the gambling chapter out of the Trump Taj Mahal before I even knew Trump was even go to announce which was inappropriate decay I mean there was mice all over the place the lights were burned out and people were shooting up in the elevators and most of the Taj Mahal was mothballed it gets a nice picture of what's gonna happen to the
07:36
rest of the country if he remains in power and then I was with these white hate groups nights the alt-right proud boys which of course hate groups or product of a diseased society the 3% ORS I was actually at one point at night around a bonfire with these guys in upstate New York and I of course living in mortal fear that someone there would
08:06
Google me and at a bathhouse with my research assistant who was terrified quite justifiably so and at one point across the bonfire in the dusk we saw two or three of these guys pointing at me that's when like we we got out like as fast as we actually when we got to the car she was so frightened she she'd like crawl down to the floor and and their counterpart on the left and I've been very critical as some of you may know of the black bloc and antifa for
08:38
much the same reason I was in these de-industrialized pockets Anderson Indiana and one of the things I liked about as a writer I lie in joy reporting I I I like it because it when I go out it often shatters my own assumptions about what is happening and it keeps me intellectually honest so sometimes you know I can go into a subject and think that I have a great
09:09
body of knowledge I wrote a book on the Christian Right which has become unfortunately I think fairly relevant to our particular political situation it's called American fascists the Christian Right and the war on America I was trying to reach out to them and but I come out of the liberal church my father was a Presbyterian minister of course as you heard I'm a graduate of Harvard Divinity School but I didn't really know much about the Christian right and I
09:40
went in there with all sorts of assumptions and and and I would say even stereotypes about the kinds of people who embrace this form of fundamentalism which i think is is heretical it's Christian heresy but I couldn't listen to these stories of dislocation and pain sexual domestic abuse struggles with addictions evictions bankruptcies without having it break my heart and it
10:11
rewrote I rewrote the whole book the first chapter is called despair and it drove home to me what despair does and at the great study of the raw one of the great studies of the rise of fascism by fred stern is called the politics of cultural despair hannah errant in the origins of totalitarianism holds up despair again i think going back to Durkheim that sense of worthlessness that sense and it propels people into a kind of
10:40
magical thinking I also in the book was with Preppers and survivalists in Utah who have a little food in their bunker and a lot of ammunition but I think that magical thinking what anthropologists call it crisis cults is a natural response to people who are just so overwhelmed by reality that they can't cope and when I was in Anderson so Anderson Indiana used to have most of
11:12
the big GM plants and then Clinton gave the gift of NAFTA to the American working class and GM hightailed it down to Monterrey Mexico where they pay workers without any benefits or job security $3 an hour so your union salary of 25 and if you were a senior level over time you know you could be making $50 an hour you had benefits you had a pension plan you you were medically covered you had you were
11:43
in the UAW at job secured Saul vanished and Anderson went into the kind of tailspin that many de-industrialized pockets of the United States went into with all of the attendant problems including of course the rise of a casino like this whole idea of economic development through gambling I watched that work try to work in Yugoslavia and it doesn't come to a good end the idea that you're going to fill
12:13
state revenue shortfalls with gambling I mean so what was fascinating about Anderson is that most of these old UAW workers voted for Bernie Sanders but when the general election came around they voted for Trump because they weren't going to vote for Clinton after NAFTA they were acutely aware and perhaps their anger was even greater at the Democratic Party than the Republican Party because it was the Democratic Party that had betrayed them that had
12:46
pretended to fight for their interests and their concerns that continued to use the feel your pain language of traditional liberalism but had thrust a knife in their back and that betrayal is very dangerous it as it is you know two Baldwin's when James Baldwin writes about I'm and one of his essays he writes about why he thinks african-american middle-aged men don't have a midlife crisis the way white
13:18
middle-aged men do he said because african-american men are not prone to believe in the American Dream given the the forms of oppression that mutating our protein and exists throughout our how to exist and and having always existed throughout American history and I think that there's a certain wisdom in that that that these of course the highest and I write about suicide the highest percentage of people who commit suicide in this country which is an epidemic are middle-aged white men people who
13:50
realized that in fact the society has there is no place for them they they that the American the quote-unquote American dream was a lie and so what's happened and and it's been a process over a few decades is that we have undergone what John Ralston saw calls a coup d'etat in slowmotion a corporate coup d'etat and slow-motion Sheldon Wolin if you don't know Sheldon
14:22
Wolin please read him we just lost him a couple years ago I did a 3-hour interview with him right before he died on YouTube which was very humbling I had reread all his books I had pages of notes there wasn't you can watch it it's it's remarkable intellectual pyrotechnics there was just nothing that I couldn't throw at that guy it was really quite spectacular as we had not been interviewed in over a decade was the last interview he gave but his book
14:54
democracy incorporated and then his masterpiece politics and vision are kind of seminal works and politics and vision is often considered by political scientists as one of the great political books on political philosophy produced in America and the 20th century and I think that's not hyperbolic Wallen calls the system inverted totalitarianism and that he means that like the late roman republic you still have the facade you
15:24
have the the iconography the language the institutions of an open society of a democratic state but internally corporations have seized all of the levers of power to render the citizen impotent and of course what that does anytime a cabal seizes power whether it's Minh Arkell communist fascist corporate is and redirects all of the systems of government and institutions towards
15:58
their own empowerment and enrichment then you you you get a form of political paralysis the political system seizes up it no longer responds to the rights and legitimate grievances of the citizenry and in fact extracts more and more and more out of a population that is already under deep distress and of course that is what has happened and that's one of the reasons why it's important to get
16:29
out to places like Indiana or buy right out of Scranton Pennsylvania where the city went bankrupt or almost went bankrupt and they had to sell off all of their utilities their sewer system this is not uncommon throughout de-industrialized centers in the United States and of course corporations buy it up and then jack up the prices and these are gotting the IFRIC it's in the book I can't remember the average per capita income per family is like forty thousand dollars a year or something that's pence
17:01
not much and and so you're extracting more and more and more from a population that has less and less and less and that is the process I mean clump Trump sorry Trump is as of course turbocharged the kleptocracy but it was there before he came in and and so what we're facing and what we're producing and what's ahead of
17:31
us is the inevitable collapse of the American Empire all of the warning signs that have brought down other empires throughout history are flashing red within the American Empire and I'll just take a few of those off one is the political paralysis the inability of the system to address the the injustice --is the economic deprivation the loss of rights of the population and in fact to make it worse
18:04
the other of course is something that even Bernie Sanders doesn't like to talk about and that is the bloated militarism and imperialism that is hollowing the country out from the inside so you have now 17 years of warfare in the Middle East there's a term at RF people have read Alfred McCoy wrote a good book I think it's called this American Century is a great historian but he talks about what he calls micro militarism it's a
18:36
term that historians use and what it is is that late empires inevitably overreach they carry out acts of military folly in an effort to recapture a lost power so for instance the in the Athenian Empire they invade Sicily their entire fleet is sunk thousands of soldiers are killed and the Empire unravels their revolts throughout the empire or you look at the slow decline
19:08
of the British Empire which really began at the end of World War one but culminated in 1956 when Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal and the British invade attempt to invade and and going back to socco's book the Israelis take over Gaza for a hundred days and carry out wholesale massacres which is what his book is about footnotes in Gaza and and they have an Eisenhower and will not support them largely because he
19:39
won't give them credit to carry out this act of military adventurism and they retreat in humiliation and then what happens is the pound sterling is dropped as the world's reserve currency and that of course is the deathblow of the american empire which is going to happen one day the the once the dollar is no longer the reserve currency the the economy seizes up imports become phenomenally expensive we can't live off of the sale of Treasury bonds and because nobody wants them
20:09
and you can look at what happened to the British economy in the 50s if you want to know what's coming and so you have a situation where you're squeezing your population harder and harder and harder for less and less and less and and this is a characteristic with Joseph Tainter writes about it in his great study the collapse of complex societies where he looks at I think it's 24 different civilizations but he talks about that
20:41
final moment when the elites retreat to the equivalent of the Forbidden City or Versailles or in our country it's what a writer in The New Yorker called richest Stan which means you fly on private jets and you never have any contact at all with anybody who doesn't make a few million dollars ear and and so they have no connection with the reality and they squeeze in this case of course it's through debt peonage you know they
21:11
borrowed all these banks all goldman sachs which is a criminal organization goldman sachs all of these corporations were able to borrow from the Fed trillions of dollars I mean there's various numbers for seven and at virtually zero percent interest but it does have to be paid back and so how is it paid back it's it's extracted from us that's 1.4 trillion dollars in student
21:42
debt that is you're late on your credit card it's 28% that is you know even if you have health insurance as anyone who has it can tell you the costs keep rising astronomically in terms of copay what they don't cover what the the pharmaceutical industry which can jack up our you know the mile on but that's just one of many examples in the in the EpiPen so so you're extracting more and more from a population and how do you
22:15
how do you deal with this kind of calcification or failed see and that is that at the same time you strip citizens of their rights you you reinterpret constitutional rights you overturn them by judicial Fiat so for instance with Citizens United which allows the Koch brothers to control with dark money or Sheldon Adelson these
22:47
figures are elections it becomes the right to petition the government or a form of free speech this is this is how citizens united is justified Edward Snowden exposes the fact that we are the most surveilled watched monitored eavesdropped population in human history and I covered the Stasi state in East Germany and of course nothing is done to
23:19
restore the constitutional right of privacy and if you wonder why it's so dangerous that they have everything on every one of us including medical records you go back to Hannah Arendt's great book origins of totalitarianism and she writes about how despotic governments take information or have files information on every citizen so
23:50
that at the moment that they seek to criminalize that person or a group they can twist whatever information they have to justify it as a crime we also have courtesy of Barack Obama's signing of the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act section 1021 which overturns the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act which had before prohibited the military from acting as a domestic police force and as
24:22
some of you may know I sued Obama in federal court and to the chagrin of the national security state one and the very courageous judge Katherine Forrest ruled in our favor and issued a temporary injunction and I within hours of that injunction lawyers from the NSA and had flown up and demanded in the name of national security that she reinstate this act now this act allows
24:51
the military to seize US citizens stripped them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military facilities and in her opinion which is worth reading she said this opens the path for the government to criminalize an entire group of people and she cites the 110,000 japanese-americans who were interned in World War two you militarized police forces and you
25:22
create legal and physical mechanisms among demon ah the demonized segments of your population so that at a moment that the country becomes restive with a flick of a switch you can impose martial law or tyranny so in marginal communities you have already reins of terror 94% of the people in our prison system never get a jury trial they're forced to plea out
25:53
and I have taught her in prison for 10 years and my the students I have with the longest sentences invariably went to trial did not commit the crime for which they are charged went to trial though many people who are forced to plea guilty didn't commit the crime and nobody deserves almost no one in the system deserves the length of sentences or the conditions they're held under and and they get the longest sentences because it has is a message sent to everyone else which is basically don't
26:25
try this I mean they won't peel off the the charges and that's how a plea works they stack all sorts of try and they know you didn't do it I mean they love to put kidnapping on no matter what you did because it's 25 years so and and it will go back to Aaron so Aaron writes about she herself is expelled from Germany strip diverse German citizenship find yourself in France and writes about the plight of the stateless and she said once you create a mechanism within your society whereby for a
26:57
segment of that society rights become privileges and we see it with what's happening to undocumented people around us then you have the infrastructure and the legal tools so that those privileges can be taken away from everyone and let's be very clear just to conclude that these corporate our corporate masters will stop at nothing if they
27:28
feel that their profits are being impeded and the great example of that and I was out there as standing rock so here you had a nonviolent protest by water protectors to safeguard their own not only their water but their land and the response of the state this was under Obama was incredible incredibly violent
27:57
so over 700 arrests the use of attack dogs we're all talking about nonviolent protesters sub-freezing temperatures you're using water cannons laced with pepper spray against people constant infiltration and this is something that I keep telling the kids who I loved in Zuccotti they weren't quite aware of the extent to which the state is able to monitor and infiltrate although there were moments in Zuccotti when it was out of a Doonesbury cartoon because some guy
28:29
who clearly lifted weights and was in his 30s would show up in a baseball cap and and tell everyone he was at Reed College but he forgot his ID card and the question was always the same after a few a little chitchat he goes so who are the leaders that was all with him and I mean the great the power of occupy was that everything was transparent we're not going to win this game unless we're transparent and it gets the whole issue if somebody wanted to ask about it about
29:01
non-violence which is the only way we're going to win this game and so I remember one of these cops went to the head of the medical it was a medical tent in there and said to the woman running in the medical tent so eventually came us so who are the leaders and she goes I am he goes oh really he goes well what's your title she goes god but what's not funny is that because these activists were using
29:33
electronic media but you know digital communication they knew who was important and after the under Obama coordinated national effort they shut down occupy which for me was one of the great tragedies of our time because if the state had responded rationally to the very moderate demands of the Occupy movement forgiving student debt
30:04
universal health care a jobs program especially targeted people under the age of 25 it would have actually gone a long way to ameliorating the pressure which has now only gotten worse but unfortunately the state did not respond rationally and I know I'm a little over but just let me close by talking about Trump Trump is the symptom
30:35
he's not the disease and I watched this same kind of political deformity and deterioration in Yugoslavia and you can go back and look at vimar Eric vogelin writes about it in the in Hitler and the Germans where he talks about how you know this idea that Hitler mesmerised or hypnotizes ridiculous what it tapped into was a kind of in Kohei rage and
31:09
frustration and sense of betrayal because after the 1929 crash the socialist government the social-democrats under Ebert in Vai Mar imposed the same kinds of programs of austerity that were pushed on him by the banks so they even suspended if you can believe it unemployment insurance people could even get unemployment insurance and that Nazis were in twenty eight were polling in the single digits after the crash of course and and the policy of
31:40
austerity and I and then it gets into the whole we can go back to Rosa Luxemburg on the fry Corps and all that but the they they people embraced these figures who were everybody knew they were buffoonish in the same way that everyone knows Trump is buffoonish as the same way that everybody knew Radovan Karadzic are slobodan milosevic our friend your twos men were buffoonish because they because of the anger at the system and my fear as I watched the
32:13
Democratic Party and the mainstream commercial media is that they don't get it they continue to play this reality show game did Russia try and interfere that well yeah probably but Trump is not a product of of Russian interference Trump is a product of grotesque social inequality and of course the Democratic Party doesn't want to address that issue because they are an appendage of
32:43
corporate power yes they're not the they are in the spectrum of corporate power that doesn't want to be identified as a racist or xenophobe or a homophobe but they do nothing to halt the cannibalization of corporations Nord and and of course that a part of that is the wars that we are waging it makes no sense to remain with the Taliban now controls more territory in Afghanistan they did than they did when we went in so why are we
33:16
still there well I mean look at the stock prices of Raytheon Halliburton you know cruise missile costs what 1.1 million dollars let's drop 50 of them on Libya it's it's good for money it's good for profit for the war industry but it's not good for anyone over there and it's certainly not good for us and then I guess I'll happy to take any any questions anyone else [Applause]
33:50
and I agree with you for the most part it's very depressing and you didn't even mention climate you know I didn't it's in the book that's the pick-me-up chapter but I think I'm older than you and yes you know the empires have collapsed but this happened very quickly I mean within the scope of my lifetime I was born in the 40s I grew up in the 50s in Massachusetts and the country was on a roll
34:20
not everyone not not the blacks in the south we didn't know about well I didn't know about it but the people who were left had gotten through the depression they had gotten through the war they had been led by Roosevelt and we felt that progress was just inevitable and in the 60s because the country was doing so well it seemed okay to open things up my late husband was at the EEOC the whole idea
34:50
was to be more inclusive and it all sort of began to turn in 1980 or in the 70s with Nixon in 1980 with Ronald Reagan and Milton Friedman which gave you this corporate culture but it's happened so fast that I don't see why it can't still be turned around okay I mean it's a good question it started actually earlier because it started with
35:22
I mean you had the collapse of capitalism in the 1930s right Roosevelt was a product of the radical movements the Communist Party we've kind of erased the Communist Party from American history I'm not a communist but they you know the whole whole sit-ins that Martin Luther King used you know Ruskin was aware of this they'd been be used in the 1920s by the Communist Party would you and that's why paul robeson or w/e two boys join the Communist Party because even the Socialists under Debs were hostile to African Americans and and so
35:55
we Roosevelt astutely understood I mean Roosevelt said that his greatest achievement was that he saved capitalism and he understood that if the private sector didn't create jobs for American citizens given the unemployment good job we better create jobs so he created twelve minute jobs if if elderly people are slit early starving and malnourished in their apartments then we better create Social Security and the corporate oligarchs made two fatal mistakes one
36:27
they went after the radicals in the they recreated the red scares of the 1920s in the 1950s and Shrek err Ellen trekker has written two very fine books on this and you forget how pervasive that purging was and we're not talking about necessarily Communists we're talking about anybody with a social conscience so the FBI was going into high schools with a list this is in trekkers book saying him him hurt her out no evidence nothing and they're blacklisted the the
36:59
assault on journalism it's how I have stone ends up in his basement writing I have stones weekly the assault on Hollywood on entertainment so that began to destroy the the the popular radical movements which has in points out were the forces that opened up our democracy we had a we have a closed system every time I hear by the deification of the founding fathers I just want to fall over I'm these people were racist they
37:31
supported the genocide I mean read what they wrote about eradicating the Indians Washington was the wealthiest man in the United States they were misogynist you know on and on and on and we paid for with blood we had the bloodiest labor Wars of any industrialized country so they went after the radical movements then they went after the liberal class and I wrote a book on it called death of the liberal class where and as Chomsky points out I told Noam for the liberal class everything I learned about the liberal class I learned from Noam Chomsky so I should have put by
38:02
Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky except I didn't get his permission to do it as Chomsky points out the liberal class was never designed to be the political left it was designed to be the safety valve what Karl Popper writes about in the the enemies of the open society it was designed to ameliorate to adjust the system the way Roosevelt did and so they have Visser ated the liberal establishment and then we got the great traitor of liberalism Bill Clinton who
38:33
really sold American people down the river oh and we can just take it off NAFTA the greatest betrayal of working men and women since the taft-hartley Act deregulating the FCC so these troglodytes from Clear Channel and Fox News can consolidate control we have about six corporations are five control 90% of what people listen to and it's indoctrinated trap talk about it's fake news I mean real fake news he passes the
39:06
94 omnibus crime bill so the prison population explodes from 700,000 he destroys glass-steagall he destroys welfare and 70% of the original recipients in the old welfare program were children and every time I heard Hillary Clinton talk about her concern for mothers so and Obama went any better but that's another story so that the the the we we created this it was a gradual process and in that process we D industrialized so as
39:37
Charles Mayer the Harvard historian says by the 1970s we had shifted from an empire of production to an empire of consumption meaning that we were borrowing to maintain both a lifestyle and a military we could no loan afford and now we're paying for it that's a long answer go ahead thank you I agree with every word that you spoken tonight mm-hmm but I want to pick up with what that lady said at the very end we must not get defeatist we have to think that
40:08
there is a way out of this and to describe it is very important but we have to start structuring our thought I mean for example all of us are many people are in the system so there excuse me there is a leverage of people to change their minds to change the philosophy and I'd like you to speak a little bit about that because I don't want us to get so down that we really think we can't I mean this this gets to
40:40
the whole issue of hope I you know I come out of war I spent 20 years covering war i I don't share the cultures mania for hope I heard very bleak situations I was in Sarajevo during the war and my job as a war correspondent was to make a very cold rational calculation about the weapons systems around me and the possibility for destruction and then to act and we mentioned she mentioned
41:12
climate change which I haven't spoken about but I mean we've known about climate change since 1902 and we've done nothing which kind of implodes the New Atheists now I can't the Chomsky calls them the religious fanatics for the state religion sam harris etc the the it implodes this idea that we're rational human beings and I think that you know Reinhold Niebuhr has her are you inside
41:42
no let me are you in such despair yourself I mean there's not as a criticism but have you given up so much hope but I have but but the fact is you can't use the word hope if you don't resist oh but and so we have to we have to carry out because the very act of resistance or rebellion at that moment makes you a free human being but at the same time it doesn't do us any good not
42:12
to grasp the crisis the the the mortal crisis that we face not only as a nation but as a species and I think that is the great existential struggle of the whereby we we have to see reality for what it is and then we have to resist but most people who rebel the great you know the great rebels Toussaint L'Ouverture are Sitting Bull or Malcolm or they they you know but in the eyes of
42:45
the world they didn't succeed but in fact what they did is hold up that other narrative and I would then go into my own background as a seminarian I once asked Daniel Berrigan the great radical priest and poet how he defined faith and he said faith is the belief that the good draws to it the good even if
43:15
empirically everyone everything around us says otherwise and I think that if we are going to resist successfully we are going to have to do so in a not in an orthodox way emma goldman fundamentally i think had a deep religious impulse we are going to have to believe as beragon says that the good draws to it the good even if empirically everything around us gets worse but you know Sartre writes
43:46
about it the the utopianism of the practical I can't remember his exact phrase my son's here you can tell us but III we are gonna have to see how dire it is and look I'm not the only one in this room who has kids and even if we fail we have to I want my kids to look back and say he tried so I think on the one hand we do have to face how bleak it is on the other hand we can't let that despair [ __ ] us but I look at this you know
44:19
this kind of inevitable human progress or technology will save us as as foolish as the denial of global warming thank you [Applause] two quick questions if Trump for a chance is impeached do you feel that the backlash could result in on civil strife and the second question is you are on RT and I do watch our tea for time time things I have some
44:54
interesting programming but I do feel a little one-sided I was wondering what is your experience with art okay well in terms of Trump Trump skills go back to Noam Chomsky and he Trotsky says correctly that if we lose Trump and get Pence it's gonna be worse why because and that's why I mentioned my book on the Christian Right the the Trump has no ideology it's an ideological vacuum he doesn't I mean as far as I can tell he's in the early stages of dementia and it certainly
45:24
appears that way Ronald Reagan had it but they covered it up a little better so what he is filling that vacuum with is the fascist ideology of the Christian Right and if you think it's not fascist flick on the TV and watch Sarah Sanders who lies like the day is long and then tells you what a great Christian she is I come back another time and talk about the Christian Right but let me just say at its core it's it's about heat at its
45:55
core it's a very frightening movement it has all the hallmarks of a totalitarian movement and it is fused the Christian religion with the state which the German Christian Church did as far as RT excuse me uh isn't quite answered the question the question was if he's in peace will there be civil strife well yeah but I'm saying that one it'll be worse and I'm not sure that there will be civil strife because they will have pence pence is is
46:25
a product of the Christian Right and while Trump caters to the Christian Right you have to remember the crib a have all these institutions they built Liberty University with its own law school and its own systems of indoctrination through cable channels and so IIIi don't think there'll be civil strife because in fact that Christianized fascism which this segment of the population yearns for will become
46:57
more pronounced in terms of our tea look if we had a functioning public broadcasting system critics of corporate capitalism and imperialism would have a voice but PBS in particular is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Koch brothers and and and the destruction of public broadcasting in the 60s you could watch Baldwin Malcolm they were all on Zinn Chomsky it's vanished and so critics such as myself
47:29
are being pushed to the margins not only of the electronic media landscape but the Internet now they've imposed all these algorithms in the name of fake news of course proper not thank you the Washington Post this anonymous site that listed us as tools of Russia right for TruthDig but all of the sites that reprint my stuff common dreams counterpunch they've all been targeted and alternate so you get what they call impression so before they impose the algorithms if you typed in imperialism
48:01
and I had written an article recently on imperialism it would come up now it doesn't now we have we charted it in truth dig the impressions have fallen in the last year from over 700,000 to below 200,000 as they perfect the algorithm alternates traffic has fallen by 63% world socialist website then we have to add net neutrality and the question is why the reason is because nobody is buying this neoliberal crap this ideology read David Harvey spoke on
48:30
neoliberalism that has just been a kind of ideological veneer for unadulterated greed by the 1% was your experience though well my experience is that they allow me you know to express these views remember I covered Eastern Europe so if you wanted to hear Vaslav Havel the only place you were gonna hear Havel was Voice of America Havel didn't support American imperialism or the US war but that was the only space that he had and I'm you know critics such as my
49:02
gnomes completely blacked out Nader I mean these people are just blocked out and that's the goal and and once we throw in net neutrality on the goal is to create tears on the internet so that these left-wing sites become harder and harder to access go ahead so with our mainstream media increasingly corporatized and spewing out false narratives with no one speaking up about the fate of people like Julian Assange yeah with no one talking about what
49:34
Edward Snowden tried to warn us about and with Google and Yahoo shutting down websites and d-flat do the platforming controversial sources every day how can we possibly extricate ourselves from this situation without any broad voice I mean there's there's no kind of well anything we can turn okay so it's not like there aren't huge segments of the population that are conscious I mean you
50:04
see the group here tonight there are people who are conscious and they know they're being lied to and I you know in in the start let's go back to the Stasi state of East Germany or the old Czech Republic both of which I covered as I covered the Velvet Revolution so what was amazing was how conscious people were even with the imposition of the iron control of information so when the
50:35
Velvet Revolution took place everyone knew that Havel and you know there's something about Havel I was in the Magic Lantern theater with him every night in Prague the interesting thing about habul is that he wasn't charismatic he wasn't a particularly good speaker but they knew he won gonna sell them out he had the moral authority oh and and I've told this story but I'll tell it again there there is you know and fear will make people quiet but they know and so that whole winter there were posters all over
51:06
Prague of Yann Pollock who had a charles university student who to protest the 1968 Soviet invasion had gone to vents less square lit himself on fire four days later died of his burns they his funeral was which attracted hundreds of people mostly students was never broadcast by state media or covered his grave became a shrine they exhumed his remains cremated his remains gave them to his mother said she couldn't bury them that winter his poster was everywhere when the communist government fell 10,000 people marched to Red Army
51:39
Square and renamed it Yan Pollock square mark tacuba shaiva the great singer sang the prayer from our toe the anthem of defiance that was broadcast on the airwaves as the Soviet tanks rolled in after the overthrow of Dubcek in the imposition of the pro-soviet government she her recording stock is destroyed she's banned from the airwaves between 1968 and 1989 she works at an assembly line at a toy factory I was invent celeste square she walked out on the balcony she began to sing the
52:10
prayer for Marta and every check in that crowd knew every word that is the power of resistance what Auden calls the ironic point of light that flashes out wherever the just exchanged the messages and that's why tyrants and despots are terrified of the truth because people see it people feel it and there's more people out there that yeah I mean you're right I mean and they are trying to shut it down but the the lies are now so egregious and so transparent that you
52:43
know a marginal critic such as myself suddenly becomes a threat because that truth is a threat and so totalitarian systems are quite effective at and the corporate state is quite effective at controlling the message but I and I just traveled all over the country for this book I can tell you people are far more conscious but with the internet completely in the power of these corporations and knowing everything about us and using it against us
53:16
how can we know that wasn't around in in 1969 and this is what we face today how can we overcome that and and that parallel your experience you know as despotic regimes deteriorate they force resistance to create parallel systems so I write about Anderson Indiana where they these old former Catholic Worker people have bought a warehouse does the end of the book chapter freedom and they are literally
53:48
because their stories are not told people trapped in the gig economy they literally print they print they print it up and write it and disseminate it I'm not saying I mean you're right to be concerned about it but that doesn't mean they're gonna win so broad question 2016 was probably the first time I had been politically engaged after being in the Army for some time and being deployed just that's a whole another world to even explain that
54:19
to people that a culture that really doesn't want the story of what happens overseas in the name of empire to be told at all that's right um but where where does the left go from go from here um if I find it to be a very sad state Jill Stein's name has pretty much been drug through the mud she she can probably no longer effectively participate in the political system the Democratic Party as much as Ocasio Cortez seems like she'll bring change
54:50
she she still has to go up against a huge apparatus yeah that will silence her I think where we go where do we go um we go to the street we look at people like Standing Rock we look at the all of the great radical movements that were shut out of power I mean we've gone through vicious periods of American history you know people I was I don't know if you know James Caan but if you don't you should read them cross Anna Lynch and we've just lost him just a
55:21
most important theologian in America and one of the great moral voices of our time but as James kept saying you know people will say Malcolm was so radical Malcolm Malcolm said what he said in Harlem when King got up and said what he said in Montgomery it meant that the next day walking down the street he could be dead and I think that we have to uncover or find again with us that kind of moral courage represented by the
55:51
great figures of resistance and we have to begin what we saw in South Africa which brought down apartheid which is non-cooperation we have to do everything in our power to build alternative structures to pit power against power and we have to do everything in our power to obstruct the workings of the corporate state and that's what the Wobblies did that's what the old CIO did that's what they did in the civil rights movement that's what the Communist Party did that's what the Progressive Party
56:24
did we have antecedents they erase this from American history that's what the bonus marchers did which of course MacArthur went in and evicted them by force and you know we have the politics is a game of fear and we have to make them frightened of us that's our goal that's the only way they're kept in check so there's a passage in Kissinger's memoirs which hopefully is not being sold in this bookstore do not go buy it it's 1971 tens of thousands of anti-war
56:56
protesters around the White House Nixon has put empty city buses and and around the White House's barricades and he's standing at the window looking out wringing his hands next to Kissinger going Henry they're going to break through the barricades and get us it's our job to make people in power feel fear that's our job and until we do that and believe me you know I so I have relatives who are on Wall Street and Zuccotti which was absolutely did not pose any physical threat to these predators on Wall Street
57:28
they were terrified they wouldn't even go out for lunch they were getting they had all their private security firms tweeting or telling them every hour they're on Bond Street now they have a giant puppet octopus in front of Goldman Sachs you know really you know they're a lot you know you know why they're so scared because they know even better than we do how corrupt and fixed the system is that's why Bernanke was on his knee and unfortunately Obama didn't stand up for us he stood up for the bankers so
57:59
that's it that's the only Hubbell we we didn't talked about climate change I mean that's why Standing Rock is so important that's why blocking the railroad tracks in the North West who are bringing down the pediment isn't that's what we got to do that's it and and and I think they they understand how hated they are and and that makes them weak and that's gets into the whole issue of violence as the great and they were talking about revolution by the way I'm talking about the overthrow of the corporate state and for the homeland security person who's here that's
58:30
overthrow Oh Vee are because these people are going to kill us and they're gonna kill my children and and in the end you know they these corporate forces have us they have us by the throat and they have my kids by the throat and I don't know if we're gonna win I don't even know if we're gonna survive as a species but in the end I don't fight fascism because I win I fight fascists because they are fascists and that moral
59:02
almost religious quality is one that we have to embrace what Niebuhr called sublime madness that understanding that radical evil must be opposed even if everything around us says that we will fail and when we find that and when we have the courage to stand up and defy it we may not win in an ultimate sense but we will be free I mean I teach in a prison they imposed a rule in the prison that although my students had to walk past the guards down the corridors with
59:33
their eyes down and they refused they walk down the quarters with their eyes up it sounds a little but it's not that's what we have to do and we have to understand that not the Democratic Party no but no system now there are no institutions in this country left that are authentically democratic there are no institutions that are going to protect us or protect our children or protect the ecosystem on which we depend for life it's up to us and at least let
01:00:04
us find that courage so that whatever generation comes after us will say they were not passive and they were not complicit as a fundamentalist say say on prophet I think you mister calling but that's why I came here tonight was to get the answer on dealing with despair and your latest article by the way in
01:00:37
truth peg is about climate change yeah and you go all the way to the wall basically implying that no matter what we do we're gonna lose this battle and that's um I would like you to do an article and TruthDig about what you said tonight because I've never heard you say all this stuff before so I have said it before and and I but I think the point is I mean if we take the climate the
01:01:07
global warming I mean just a factual understanding I mean even if we stop all carbon admissions today we are still going to be dealing with catastrophic effects of climate change and of course under the the Trump administration they're rolling back whatever tea pad before they have and we don't have any time left and I think part of it's an imperative for us to grasp how little time we have left I mean climate scientists are quite
01:01:39
clear that once we get below 2% above 2% Celsius we may get into the kinds of feedback loops that have that create of the temperatures on Venus which are 800 degrees that that and it rains sulfuric acid um that that's where we are and and there is no serious climate scientist that disputes that and yet you know I think I talk about the mania for hope I think if we understood the emergency
01:02:09
that we're in we might begin to react but it's of course it fills me I mean my youngest son will his favorite book is out of the blue so it's like NARR Wales and I'm thing it may very well and probably will be that in your lifetime everything single one of those species doesn't exist that's and I think that when we understand how precarious our situation is and stop fooling ourselves we will react and and it goes back to that
01:02:41
sublime madness I mean that in the end it is most revolutionaries rebels throughout history don't succeed but we have to and and I think that way we actually overcome despair by resisting I mean I do I mean I was been a Ritz boutique a rat never heard that from that statement from you before I mean look you know I've been arrested in front of the White House I've been arrested in front of goldman sachs and
01:03:13
it that that kind of solid eras rested with a hundred and thirty three vets in front of the White House and in the winter snowing and so as Vietnam vets Iraqi war vets Afghan vets and it was I mean it was a religious experience it was so moving these people knew the horror of war the poison of militarism and when it when it came time to walk to
01:03:45
the White House fence and get arrested it's on YouTube somebody's beating a drum that's it nobody speaks in fact most of the people in the crowd are crying and when you sit home alone when you attempt as an individual to cope with the profound despair that we almost feel it will conquer you but when you build relationships and not electronically but the way relationships can only be built and that is
01:04:15
person-to-person when you build community and when you carry out acts of resistance that act of resistance is the best antidote to despair thank you we have one more yes I I okay I actually had a serious question but it's I realized time is short basically you never hear anything about the money system in progressive discussions and I would love that to be addressed more not the money system he'll talk about banks and so on but
01:04:53
it's much more complex than that but I do want to take this opportunity to thank you personally I realized as that progressive about two years ago that I could no longer continue to kill and exploit animals for my pleasure you know you don't get to talk about it that much but you inspired me to go vegan and it's it's changed my life completely so I just say thank you well let me if you care about climate change the animal agriculture industry many people argue is the greatest
01:05:24
contributor to global warming and you can get up tomorrow and that's something you can do it's also healthier but that I mean it was it the environmental factor that pushed me to become vegan because whatever I do in my life it's it's an act it was an easy action to take and again it it is part of that assault that we all must carry out against corporate power and then we get into a whole issue of how they treat animals and the and the antibiotics they
01:05:54
pump into them and everything else but yeah thank you for bringing that up I think it's an important thing that we can all do I am in light of your comments about resisting taking it to the streets shutting it down I know that buzzword now is we all need to choose civility but I just noticed when you when you began you've made some comments about the antifa demonstrators and they didn't sound very positive could you sort of expand on that a bit well I've
01:06:23
written about it I movement I wrote about the black bloc and I call them the cancer of Occupy look the problem with an Tifa and the black bloc is that in the name of diversity of tactics they really only have one tactic they serve the interests of the state and the interests of the state is to demonize the resistance movement make people afraid of it and in infiltrated and I would argue that the huge
01:06:55
percentage of these people are cops infiltrate it and get them to carry out acts of violence to justify state repression you want to know who wrote the best about an anarchist violence is Lenin he got it he understood how dangerous that was to the revolution and look resistance is not a form of catharsis it's a form it's tactics its strategic our job is to bring them down
01:07:24
and as the great theorist of revolution crane Brinton Jeffrey Davies have all and others have pointed out no revolution succeeds and this was true in the revolutions I covered in Eastern Europe until a significant percentage of the the security apparatus and the civil bureaucracy defects because once they defect it creates paralysis so I was in East Germany you have demonstrations in leipzig erich honecker the communist
01:07:55
dictator for 19 years sends down an elite paratroop division which is gonna fire on the crowd they get there the local communist authorities block it Hahn occurs out of power within a week that's because these people no I mean these you know I used to get in a battle about taunting the cops in Zuccotti and I remember kind of flippantly which I shouldn't have done you know saying to a group in Zuccotti the people who carried out the most
01:08:26
egregious abuses in Zuccotti were the white church they were the officers once the white shirts weren't around the there was a lot of almost fraternization between the blue uniformed and the kids so I in this talk I said look you know you'll we only have to deal with the white shirts for a couple of these white shirt at [ __ ] for a couple hours a day these cops have to deal with them all day long so they've shut down Zuccotti and I'm giving a talk in New York and at the end this man comes up to me
01:08:58
and he goes I'm a white shirt at [ __ ] and I read all of your books now he might be the only one but I shouldn't have said that because we will not succeed unless we bring with us substantial sections of those within the power system and look I think they passed section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act because ultimately the elites don't trust the police to protect them and when we in
01:09:30
this two-year legal battle we went before the it was Obama appealed it to the Second Circuit the appellate and of course they were stuck because it's totally unconstitutional so they don't want to have to rule on it and they four months they sit on it sit on it and sit on it and I was also a plaintiff in clapper versus Amnesty International about wholesale surveillance before the Snowden revelations where government lawyers got up and said that I and the other plaintiffs were just speculating about government surveillance and then
01:10:02
added if the government was monitoring them we would tell them okay so they threw it out because we didn't have standing that's the way they deny our rights and so then the Second Circuit said he doesn't have standing he can't bring the case and we filed a cert but during that whole to the Supreme Court they wouldn't take it but during that two-year battle we went to the Democratic leadership we went to Pelosi the lawyers we said look they passed section 1021 every year boy if they do is pass it and say it
01:10:33
doesn't apply to u.s. citizens and we drop the lawsuit but of course they weren't going to put because it does apply to u.s. citizens and I forgot your question and Tifa oh yeah so an Tifa plays into what they want which is a militarized states and as I tell look I was overseas somebody that asked question was overseas he'll second me having been around special forces we
01:11:04
have 60,000 of them they're called death squads the state has the capacity to inflict levels of violence that we can't even begin to imagine and that's just a route that is utterly self-destructive and so I have been quite vocal in my attacks against an T from the Black Bloc because I see them as counterproductive to what we're trying to accomplish [Music] [Applause]
01:11:46
you

DOWNLOAD SUBTITLES: