Chris Hedges' "Empire of Illusion" talk at New School
(December 8, 2009)
Hedges uses as metaphor, the life and death of Michael Jackson - the star who lost track of his real self and became the celebrity commodity that the star system had created - to describe the end of American Democracy in terms of a schizophrenic culture befuddled, and on the verge of a corporate feudalism.
It is time to abandon the Democratic Party, Hedges says, because they have abandoned the middle class, the working class ... the only ideas that are not victims of a virtual corporate reality are on the left of the political spectrum, socialism. He describes himself as a Radical Keynesian: full employment, the poorest have access to good health care and everyone has a chance to go to university.
In the question and answer after the talk Chris Hedges shows just how nimble his mind is right now. In answer to a question about the post literate image based culture he takes us from Plato as fascist to the codification of the illusion of the present in the hand-helds of our kids... ..gorgeous!
The key to his clear thinking; turn off the Illusion - he doesn't own a TV - plus using the internet 'correctly' - understanding that the constantly vibrating monitor can destroy thinking - go to places where things don't constantly move, places where one can silently contemplate a thing, an idea - like an art gallery, or on a camping trip where reality replaces the illusion ... so you'll always remember...
Google plugs an ad onto the front of this ten minute preview (instead of the love = diamonds ad FORA.tv has) of the 01:22:22 talk.
The kicker? One year and eight days after this speech Chris Hedges turned this depressing requiem into rebirth, getting himself arrested as part of the Veterans for Peace "Hope Is Action" civil disobedience against the wars (Afghan, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan) at the White House fence (Thursday December 16 2010).
See my article on that, here: "Hope Is Action" - Chris Hedges & Veterans for Peace.
Chris Hedges: Empire of Illusion
at The New School