Chris Hedges, “America, the Farewell Tour”

I have watched Chris Hedges giving lectures and interviews on his recent book America, the Farewell Tour (August 2018). Watch the two below and find others to watch.

Hedges talks about many things, but the main thesis which he is advancing — in my view — is that American civilization is in decline. This is caused by the failings of corporate capitalism and the State. Hedges cites the idea of  Sheldon Wolin that America lives in an “inverted totalitarianism” — the control of the State by corporations, otherwise called “fascism.” The symptoms of the decline of the American State are a bloated militarism and a rising national debt which will result in a collapse of the dollar.

One of the causes of these failings is the dis-industrialization of America causing massive unemployment and poverty, especially among Blacks. Another failure is the ecological disaster, which now is practically inevitable. The socio-psychological symptom of this decline is, what Emile Durkheim called, anomie — a disintegration of a feeling of face-to-face community, leading to a sense of loneliness and despair, resulting in many cases in suicide, affecting mostly middle-aged white males. Hedges’  response to this situation is not to hope, but to resist and rebel — even in the face of the seemingly inevitable.

It appears to me that Hedges is a social democrat who thinks things can be changed by political reform and, if necessary, by revolution. He sees that both the Democrats and the Republicans are both an appendage of corporate power. He cites various abuses by the government, especially such measures as the Patriot Act which justifies violent methods in dealing with non-violent protests, such as the Occupy Movement or the Water Protectors.

The resistance which he has in mind is to go out into the streets to participate in massive protests against government policies, as, in fact, has and is happening, and should continue to happen. He says this frightens those in power to comply.

Corporate Totalitarianism: The End Game

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