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“The graveyard of world empires—Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Mayan, Khmer, Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian—followed the same trajectory of moral and physical collapse.”
[…]
“The difference now, as Joseph Tainter points out in ‘The Collapse of Complex Societies,’ is that collapse, if and when it comes again, will this time be global. “

jpratt27

The Dance of Death

By Chris Hedges

The ruling corporate elites no longer seek to build.

They seek to destroy.

They are agents of death.

They crave the unimpeded power to cannibalize the country and pollute and degrade the ecosystem to feed an insatiable lust for wealth, power and hedonism.

Wars and military “virtues” are celebrated.

Intelligence, empathy and the common good are banished.

Culture is degraded to patriotic kitsch.

Education is designed only to instill technical proficiency to serve the poisonous engine of corporate capitalism.

Historical amnesia shuts us off from the past, the present and the future.

Those branded as unproductive or redundant are discarded and left to struggle in poverty or locked away in cages.

State repression is indiscriminant and brutal.

And, presiding over the tawdry Grand Guignol is a deranged ringmaster tweeting absurdities from the White House.

The graveyard of world empires—Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Mayan…

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46 thoughts on “The Dance of Death #climatechange #neoliberalism #auspol 

  1. Hedges is a truly insightful writer. His explanation for our tailspin is better than most. These lines caught my eye: “Sigmund Freud wrote that societies, along with individuals, are driven by two primary instincts. One is the instinct for life, Eros, the quest to love, nurture, protect and preserve. The second is the death instinct. The death instinct, called Thanatos by post-Freudians, is driven by fear, hatred and violence….”

  2. A bit off-topic, but I just discovered your book (The Martian Patriarch). I favor Sci-fi books, movies, tv, so it sounds like something I’d enjoy. However, it doesn’t seem to be available as an eBook … ?? Did I miss something or is it only in hard copy? I rarely buy the latter so I’m hoping you can direct me to the former. 😉

  3. Carmen seems to be on the right track – Pastor Hedges, a blatant anti-secularist, is a miserable public figure – a Johnny-come-lately to the poor micro-Left.
    He is utterly without humor, joy, or self-analysis. Every week it is the same sermon, the same dull litany that everyone should know by now. Join him in his Christian crusade to revivify a monkish life devoted the reading of classics and pontificating at lecterns, and watch your hold on sanity disappear.

  4. Robert,
    I’ve just spent time doing some research on Chris Hedges. I must say that, before this, I had only read ‘snippets’ of his writing. I can see now that his opinions are very controversial and, in particular, his criticism of New Atheists make him sound not much different than some of the most ardent fundamentalists. Needless to say, I’m less than impressed. 😦

    • Fair enough, but please don’t fall into the demonization trap like notabilia. It’s one thing to critique the message, but quite another to shoot the messenger.

      I highly recommend reading Hedges’ 2006 bestseller American Fascists – The Christian Right and the War on America.

      Regarding New Atheism, many secularists including myself have been critical. If you’re so inclined, see:

      Why our Lack of Understanding leads to Conflict on Religion (and why we are all really agnostic)

      Machinations of the Thought Police

      • I wrote that comment first thing this a.m. and have read some more. What I’m finding is that I agree with certain things he says – that neoliberalism is responsible for a great deal of our woes, that YES – the Christian Right has basically taken over politically in the US, and I am definitely onside about the eradication of the sex trade industry – I find that his criticism is not followed up by any sensible suggestion of change. I don’t know about you but it seems to me an easy thing to criticize, lambast, and vilify and the mark of a truly intellectual person is that they’ve got workable solutions. He doesn’t. For instance, suggesting non-violent ‘revolution’. . . is that realistic??

        Another thing that struck me is that I’ve been reading Counter Punch for awhile now and I’d never noticed anything of Chris Hedges’ on there. . .and then got a notification of a radio program . . . but it strikes me as odd that I’ve never read any of his blog posts on that site. Wouldn’t you think they’d be touting his opinions? Also, I see that he was ordained in 2014. He has such a dark opinion of humanity that I wonder if he’s a closet ‘End Times’ believer? He rather sounds like some of them. Perhaps he’s clever enough not to want to be associated with some of those asshats and keeps that aspect of his thinking closely guarded?

      • Good points, but after reading ‘American Fascists…’ it’s very hard for me to see Hedges as an End Times believer – quite the contrary, in my view.

  5. Pingback: The Dance of Death  | Truth Dig – JoAnn Chateau

  6. I haven’t done any research on this, but I wonder if we will exhaust oil and other fossil fuels before any major collapse occurs?

    In fact, I have been pondering that, if someone comes up with a super cheap form of producing solar energy in the next say, 15 -20 years just for home hearing and running motor cars will that make a real difference?
    I am not that savvy to know. Maybe someone here has a better insight?

    • Climatologically speaking, enough fossil fuels have already been burned to produce some sort of catastrophe for modern civilization. So now, it’s only a question of how bad the collapse will be.

      Solar and wind power have already become cost-competitive with fossil fuels. The biggest impediment today is developing the social mechanisms necessary for a speedy transition. What’s holding us back, obviously, is the corruption of government by big money and corporate influence.

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