Chris Hedges, author of War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, discusses the present state of affairs, best described as a convergence of the fictional dystopias in 1984 and Brave New World; the language of tyranny, ranging from soft seduction to overt threats, depending on the audience; how working class outrage is diverted away from the entrenched elite, and focused on scapegoats and fantastic conspiracies; the destruction and co-option of traditional Leftist institutions; and how federal debt is currently serviced by issuing more debt, a problem of sustainability that neither party will address.
MP3 here. (20:10)
Chris Hedges, whose column is published Mondays on Truthdig, is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York City. He spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.
Hedges was part of the team of reporters at The New York Times awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for the paper’s coverage of global terrorism. He also received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism in 2002. In 2009 the Los Angeles Press Club honored Hedges’ original columns in Truthdig by naming the author the Online Journalist of the Year and granting him the Best Online Column award for his Truthdig essay “Party to Murder,” about the December 2008-January 2009 Israeli assault on Gaza.
He has written nine books, including Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, I Don’t Believe in Atheists and the best-selling American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. His book War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.