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
Sunday, November 3, 2013
Our Invisible Revolution
I've often been critical of Hedges' articles in the past largely because of his dramatic condemnation of Black Bloc tactics which I don't think he ever understood, and it appears, he still doesn't understand. In this article as in an earlier article, he continues to refer to Black Bloc tactics as anarchists. In the article published last year, he condemned anarchists who use these tactics as "the cancer of the Occupy movement.”
In this piece he appears to be making overtures of reconciliation to people and anarchists who have used such tactics. He goes even further by extensively quoting an earlier anarchist, Alexander Berkman, and making favorable references to many other important anarchists throughout history. Apparently, it was okay for Berkman in 1892 to attempt to assassinate businessman Henry Clay Frick.
He refers to himself as an "activist", but one who is doing the intellectual work of undermining ruling class ideology (the "invisible revolution"). I will grant Hedges the importance of undermining ruling class's ideology of capitalism, and I hope he continues this work. I also hope he spends more time condemning the violence perpetrated everywhere and at all times by ruling capitalist classes, increasingly against even peaceful protestors; by not doing this, he makes many people wonder which side he is on. In any case, I think he should make a public apology for last year's article, and at the same time, recognize the importance of learning tactics of combat against the enforcers of the ruling class. This knowledge will be extremely valuable when the time comes for the resistance to translate into revolution which he acknowledges in only one sentence: "[revolution] is where we are headed". The latter sentence is followed by a lengthy argument filled with his usual warnings about violence.
For another critique of Hedges' article, I suggest you read "Chris Hedges: Half Right and Half Dangerously Wrong" by John Spritzler.