We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

If He Can’t Lie, It’s Not His Revolution: Chris Hedges vs. Emma Goldman

Click here to access article by L. Raymond from Affect
Most people I know who actively work for social justice make an effort to ignore Chris Hedges.  When he puked up a nasty little screed demonizing militancy in the Occupy movement last year, Hedges –  in the words of Occupy Wall Street organizer Amin Husain – “almost derailed us” (Sadly, Amin was wrong about the “almost” part).  But it’s hard to look the other way when Hedges drags the name of several generations of anarchists through the dirt, as he did in a recent column; and it is perilous to ignore the fact that he represents a powerful network of liberal recuperators who have been undermining resistance in this country for years while claiming to promote it.
I think that undermining resistance is what Hedges is all about. That is a role he either has adopted as a liberal or more subversively as a counter-revolutionary in service to the ruling class. His writings always come wrapped in moralistic tones that preach non-violence. 

You see, the ruling class understand violence thoroughly. They know how effective it can be to demoralize any group that threatens their hegemony over society and the world. It is no accident that the US spends half of its tax money on instruments of violence. They fear that one day the worker wage-slaves of the earth will use violence against them. Hence, the need to corral any talk of militant tactics by oppositional groups. Hedges does this by pretending to be one of them, anarchists or people using Black Bloc tactics, by using their language and exhibiting knowledge of anarchist-revolutionary history that he re-invents to fit his theme of non-violent resistance which the ruling class does not fear.

See also my recent commentaries on Hedges' influence: here and here..