Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Acts of rebellion

One of the most prophetic voices in alternative media--and I mean "prophetic" in the Old Testament sense of someone who gets to the heart of the truth--is that of Chris Hedges, who was a war correspondent for the New York Times for many years, and also has a master's degree in religious studies. The reason he now writes for alternative media is that he no longer fits into the mainstream media paradigm, which is based in falsehood.

Whenever I'm suffering from a particularly bad case of Cassandra complex (see http://radicalpantheist.blogspot.com/2008/12/cassandra-complex.html), it's comforting to read Hedges, and know I'm not alone in my thoughts.

However, I don't agree with the basic premise of his latest essay at Truthout, "Power and the Tiny Acts of Rebellion." He thinks the level of corporate control of the American government is so complete that all avenues of change in the system have been closed, and all that is left to us is resistance, doing what we can to clog the system's works, until it collapses of its own dead weight. I think there are still avenues open. But it's going to require some political jiu-jitsu to find our way through them.

Aside from his loss of hope, though, I agree with Hedges' analysis of the truly dire political situation we are in, with which he opens his essay:

"There is no hope left for achieving significant reform or restoring our democracy through established mechanisms of power. The electoral process has been hijacked by corporations. The judiciary has been corrupted and bought. The press shuts out the most important voices in the country and feeds us the banal and the absurd. Universities prostitute themselves for corporate dollars. Labor unions are marginal and ineffectual forces. The economy is in the hands of corporate swindlers and speculators. And the public, enchanted by electronic hallucinations, remains passive and supine. We have no tools left within the power structure in our fight to halt unchecked corporate pillage."

It's time to get creative.


--Michael Hasty

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