A complaint, Mr. Hedges. Physics has not moved past Newton. His three laws still apply. Newtonian mechanics still apply. For the very, very fast we have relativistic mechanics. For the very, very small we have quantum mechanics. The important thing is both of these branches of physics resolve back to Newtonian mechanics when you remove the very, very fast and the very, very small. V/c approximates zero when V is a whole lot smaller than 186,000 mi/sec. at which point the equations become Newtonian mechanics equations. Quantum mechanics tells us that everything is quantized – time, length, mass, just about anything you can think of. But the individual quanta are very, very small. When you zoom out to a macroscopic size, all those quanta which were so big in the atomic realm merge to become a continuum. And bring you back to Newtonian mechanics. Sadly, you weren't talking about physics which is far more fascinating than most philosophers.

But you were talking about Philosophy. I agree that the ancients are a great source for the prompting of thought (Friedrich Nietzsche? Really? You're a brave man, Chris Hedges). I was disappointed to see that you hadn't included any of the Hindu Upanishads (the Bagavad Gita comes to mind). These are religious texts but (as is true in most eastern religions) at their base they are philosophical treatises (very different from the Abrahamic religions with which most are familiar). Continuing there is always my favorite – Gautama Buddha. Religious? Yes. But at it's core, it's philosophy. For bigger pictures you need to go further east. Lao-Tzu (daoism, the Tao-te-ching), the towering figure – Confucius. It's frequently mocked by saying "Confucius say...." but the guy was sharp and well worth listening to and finally Sun Yat-sen, a political philosopher and politician who is revered by both mainland China and Taiwan (go figure that one out)

At the end of the day, well done, Chris. But expand your philosophers beyond Eurocentric ones. My meager offerings are only a hint.

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Not to get ahead of central point in Mr Hedges' paper on the power-elites keeping the masses unschooled in the ways & means of how power operates, and deprive them of the language to dissect, critique, protest, and push-back on the inherent exploitation and manipulation by those elites to concentrate influence and decision-making, I sometimes wonder about how well the masses can be educated to understand these power structures. I'm not demeaning the ability of regular people to comprehend political theory or participate in political discourse, not at all. But the Elites have found ways to fracture and divide the population with a variety of political positions, be it on the Left or the Right. Most of the time, these "planted" positions, mouthed by acolytes on either side, are skillfully design to aghere to certain cherished political ideologies; Big Govt vs Small Govt, Lower Tax rates vs Higher Taxes, more social spending vs less, more individual responsibility and less Govt handouts, even on War and Peace issues overseas, who to support and fund, who to attack and bomb, etc.

The net result is the population is divided along those lines. And fail to muster much of a challenge t the power elites. Voting for the Dems or Reps is a non-choice. And as long as those wedge issues rule the roost, the majority of voters end up using their once-in-4-year vote to absolutely zero effect.

And this is where I started. How can we get a population to demand a revolution, recognizing that the ballot box (and its sacred-cow status of respecting democracy and the voice of the people through it) is a sham, and a managed circus, more like a sporting event every 4 years, than a genuine choice to determine the direction of the country (just ask the British about the 52-vs-47% BREXIT referendum). Democracy is already defunct, and yet, this pretense keeps repeating every 4-5 years.

How do we get the people to see through the false narratives, set out a coherent and unified voice on where the country should go next?

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Perfect comment.

The Dems. are fighting each other while the Repubs. are planning a revolution.

I don't know what to say.

Just 2 party's who are both corrupt.

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Chris hits it out of the park more often than Babe Ruth.

Thanks, Chris, and thanks especially for your Sermon for Julian Assange.

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Sep 15, 2023·edited Sep 15, 2023

YES To Understanding The Canon

I've objected strenuously on this site to educated upper middle class white men telling the rest of us that BIPOC and LGBTQ aren't relevant. With philosophy, as this piece makes clear, the situation is different. It's not about organizing political alliances for some immediate cause or acting in support of a union picket line. Rather it's about examining the thoughts, the assumptions, the epistemologies by which we make judgements, the basis for actions.

We in North America and Europe still live in a reality determined by western philosophers. In some ways beneficial, like democracy and civil rights. In some ways not so good, like the Aristotelian either/or--which becomes either with us or against us, good or bad, true or false, superior or inferior. A source of so many cultural, religious, and political antagonisms.

Enlightenment philosophers were certain that rationalism would solve all human problems. It is said, however, that the Enlightenment died in the trenches of WWI. Furthermore, we now live in a post-Einstein world of relativity and for a century with physicists trying to explain that the photon is not neatly either or wave or a particle and reality at its most basic has some really weird features. But the empirical facts presented by science don't interpret themselves; we need hermeneutics, a philosophical method for considering meaning and how it is is conveyed in words and images.

If we don't understand how we think and believe nor where those ideas and beliefs came from, why would we expect anything to change? If we don't know how to assess an argument, how can we make good decisions? Without familiarity with the western philosophical canon, how would we understand the 3rd World, Indigenous, and Queer critiques of it? Critiques that took the canon seriously enough to merit engagement, not simplistic dismissal.

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Rafi, I find your words the most thoughtful in the comment section. I'm contemplating posting something myself but do not dwell in the rarefied intellectual realm Mr. Hedges and his followers dwell.

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Sep 16, 2023·edited Sep 16, 2023

Then post a comment based on your own experience. I went back to college at 50 after being a union blue collar worker for over 25 years. I know we working people can read write, and think. Whereas many highly educated people cannot--they rely on cliches, faulty arguments, or intimidation.

I worked hard to refine my writing style by practice, such as doing these posts. (And editing them.) Just because someone is not articulate doesn't mean what they have to say isn't important. They may have thought of something no one else has.

BTW, I don't see Hedges as totally dwelling in "the rarefied intellectual realm." He's capable of it; necessary for academic writing and for political theory. Actually he's implying most people are as shown in what the prison students produce.

IMO, the "secret" is to read as much and as widely as possible. After a couple of decades or so, you learn which writers you can trust. But then I'm a slow learner...

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Rafi, I did post a comment shortly after I wrote this. Mr. Hedges' intellect is just one part of his amazing character. I hit 90 this year and I only half jokingly say it hit me back. I will share one story with you that I think you'll enjoy. I am the only college grad in my family but everyone else can dance rings around me. My father who left his home at 13 so obviously did not have a formal education. Studied under a German machinist and became an excellent one. Went on to establish a business on Roosevelt Field on L.I. NY. If you are unfamiliar with it Google it. Fast forward to his retirement. Got bored so went to work on an assembly line for a friend. Young man comes along. Shows dad a blueprint and asks dad to

build it. Dad looks at it and says it won't work. Oh, says young man. Where did you get your degree? Dad says I don't have one. Well, I just graduated from MIT, build it old man. Dad does. It doesn't work. This happens twice. Uber boss comes along and asks dad what's going on. Dad explains. Boss explains what he wants. Dad builds it and it becomes a prototype. That will give you an insight into my perspective on education vs intelligence. If you'd like to take this further my email is: rhana3@verizon.net. Take care.

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I just watched Hedges' discussion with Stella on the RNN ... I for one, am no longer entertained by his obssession with darkness, which seems driven by his need to protect his place in the independent media food chain ... and as grossly unfair as the plight of Assange has been, you'd still have to stand on your head to make the case that the Assange's fate is a top-tier working class issue ... A divorced and unemployed mother of four never gives a thought to Assange and Hedges knows it ... whatever happens to Assange has no direct bearing on her ability to find gainful employment at a living wage in a union environment ...

This man has a very nasty, cynical side and is actually using Stella to sustain his image for his passive followers ... he'll talk about Assange until he's blue in the face, but refuses to comment on hard news and the tyranny that is now in our face ... don't forget that for the past two decades, he has urged us to resist tyranny even when things look bleak, but that all changed with the lockdowns ... Chris Hedges threw the working class under the bus with COVID as he has refused to stand with us in protest against the illegal and unconstitutional mandates and passports ... on this topic, he has only said "it's tough decision" ... thanks for nothin' Chris ...

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Sep 15, 2023·edited Sep 15, 2023

I'm not sure whether you're agreeing or disagreeing with me. If the latter, re-read my last 3 paragraphs where I set up an argument against Euro-American assumptions.

I didn't get specific since that's not the theme of the article and because I'd already written 4 paragraphs. I have book cases full of sound alternatives to the dominant western systems on many subjects. Econ, politics, ecology, philosophy, history, anthropology, ethnobotany, consciousness, comparative religion, psychology, etc.

I particularly recommend Sheldon Wolin, Cornel West, and Eugene V. Debs. From my own background, I would point to the history of Indigenous Continent by Pekka Hamalainen, the anthropology and archeology of The Dawn of Everything by David Graeber and David Wengrow, and Indigenizing Philosophy through the Land by Brian Burkhart. These three books alone reveal how the ideas of Native Americans were and are a lived critique--and therefore the propaganda that there are no alternatives is patently false.

For that matter, Euro-American thought has counter philosophies as well. The western esoteric tradition, the Romantics, the Transcendentalists, etc.

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You're misunderstanding my main point. Which is exactly that thought, ideology, and therefore philosophy, "is the basis for collective action." For individual action, too. We don't just jump to straight into doing; thoughts and feelings precede action. Even for those who don't reflect much on what they believe.

My 1st paragraph was in reply to the summary above the article "cultural left determined to banish 'dead white male' philosophers and the 2nd paragraph of the article "dismissed as anachronistic." I'm saying that as someone who was a blue collar worker for over 25 years, as well as BIPOC and LGBTQ, that I agree with Hedges' approach--we need to know the foundations of that which we oppose.

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As much time as I spent listening to Chris Hedges I must tell my own observations and conclusions.

I am not American I am human. I am not Christian, Jew, Moslem I am me. I have no religion other than the one of the nation I now inhabit and the one passed down by my father by his father and his father's father. My father said all religion is the same and Quebec says all religion is the same; 3.5 dollars Canadian and all the religion in the world will get you a cup of coffee at Tim Hortons regardless of your gender, race or religion. There are no Chik Fil As in Quebec.

The American Bible: The Life and Morals of Jesus of Jesus of Nazareth was assembled in 1820 by Thomas Jefferson philosopher, statesman, evolutionary botanist, former President of the United States and leader of the American sovereignty movement.

Quebec Bill 21 says no religion is acceptable in the administration , education or dispensation of healthcare, education, justice or welfare in Quebec. Prayer is done in private places such as closets and in secret with whatever security so as to eliminate the contamination of the society by superstitious nonsense. The Canadian ACLU and the extreme right Regent's University believe the 80% of Quebec citizens who love bill 21 are simply being undemocratic because we know what theocracy looks like.

In 1948 and 1967 Quebec was poor and illiterate Today healthcare, education and welfare are human rights not god granted privileges. In 1964 after the Klan and John Birch Society took over the GOP thanks to Reagan America's middle class has greatly diminished authority and it looks more and more like Jerusalem at the time of Jesus.

In 1964 for thirty pieces of silver Ronald Iscariot Reagan said liberal democracy is America's world nightmare and in 2023 America is inheritting the wind.

Thomas Jefferson believed in the words and deeds of my brother Jesus who was born and died upon a Roman cross between two thieves for the crime of speaking truth in a world where as the New York Times believes the only news not fit to print is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

I am75 and was born in Quebec under the laws written by the Church of Rome under the nonsense determined by 2000 years of Roman colonialism.

I am me, in Quebec Autism is real and race, gender and religion are FANTASY.

In 1492 my forefathers fled the Basque to escape their "Christian" brothers who blamed them for all the misery of their short and brutal lives. In 1492 Christopher Columbus under that same "Christian Church set sail to find new jews to slaughter so good Christian souls did not need to live short brutish lives in a universe that hated jews.

I am not very smart 62 years ago the Rabbis of Chelm decided I was not one of the wise because I couldn't do kindergarten. The Protestant school board determined I was slothful because I wrote great IQ tests and couldn't "wouldn't" do school. This week's article on autism in Quebec in La Tribune had the subtitle The Diagnosis that explains everything. All this before the Chabad Rabbi and his wife delivered the honey and the Challah and let the sound of the Shofar bring in a new year and a time to reflect on what is . I wanted to give them both big hugs but could only embrace the Rabbi who shares my name and not his wife who needs hugs even more than this six year old child. I know wat was I believe in evolution and evolution is the study of what is and what was. We have what is called the Days of Reflection.

The week ends with the Day of Atonement when the Almighty determines what will be . Name are inscribed in the Book of Life for the next day of atonement but before the book is closed and sealed we read the Story of Leviathan. Not Hobbes Leviathan but Jonah's Leviathan.

What is the story of Jonah? Why do we read Jonah at the most sublime moment of the Aramean Calendar. What does Jonah tell us in our moment of terror?

Jonah tells us even God can't foretell or ordain the future.

I know the story of Armageddon I live a few minutes from Magog which is 15 minutes from Sherbrooke home of Bishop's University and I know what the Bishops used to say.

Jefferson said the Bishops were full of shit. Jefferson said Dr Samuel Johnson the great conservative philosopher and linguist was full of shit. Jefferson said the constitution of 1789 was full of shit because evolution happens and every generation stands on the shoulders of new giants and stone tablets turn to dust.

Religion from Dr Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language 1755


You can either believe all men are created equal or be a conservative. They are oxymorons and America is dying because of conservatism


In 38 BCE in the city of Alexandria in Egypt before there were enough Christian's to fill a circus clown car the jews of Alexandria we slaughtered because something needed to be done in a dispute between Alexandria's Greek speaking people and the Latin speaking Caesar in Rome. Killing jews is met with the same joy and celebration as burning witches.

As Jefferson had written Jesus died on a Roman Cross between two thieves whose crime was poverty in a land of Law where telling the truth was the ultimate sin.

I am me. I am autistic and the diagnosis explains absolutely nothing. My wife attended the University of Chicago. There were no high holiday services in Woodlawn only old abandoned synagogues and "Christian " churches. Obama was defeated in Woodlawn's congressional primary because he is too conservative. I went to Hillel on the UofC campus to hear wise men and charlatans debate who was most ignorant and everybody won a blue ribbon.

I learned how to write when I was over fifty because of natural selection . I married a PhD in Education and I had a whole university faculty of education to teach me how to reads. My wife had a Master's degree in Science Education but when we arrived in Chicago the University of ChicaGO NO LONGER BELIEVED IN EDUCATION THEY BELIEVED IN BUSINESS AND FINANCE AND MEDICINE AND LAW BECAUSE YOU GOTTA PAY THE BILLS EVEN AS YOUR CHILDREN STARVE FOR MORALS ETHICS AND PURPOSE.

My brother Jesus was not a conservative he was a jew. And Jews do not not believe in God's virtue they believe all men are created equal but go tell that to the Rabbis of Chelm.

The Enlightenment ended in 1793 when the God Blessed Christian Church of Russia decided Vilnius Lithuania was an abomination the eyes of the the God of the Russian Empire.

Lithuania was the center of the enlightenment and the Rabbis of Lithuania were not our Rabbis of Chelm.

I know American history. I don't know why I know American history but I know John Meacham and Michael are high ranking members of the Ministry of Truth and well versed in Newspeak and double think and the constitution was obsolete as soon as Eli Whitney patented the Cotton Gin. I know Adams never conceded to the blasphemous Thomas Jeffersonof Virginia and graduate of the College of William and Mary and I know Virginia was a Roman democracy in 1689.

I don't know why I know history autism explains nothing it is just why I never passed 101 anything.

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Reading this I almost wished I were in prison so I could take this course. As a white, middle class 90 year old woman what are the chances. Perhaps as a surrogate mother/grandmother I could sit in. Since my son, who had no children, died I've accumulated many surrogate children and grandchildren. I've been an admirer of Mr. Hedges for many years. I also enjoy reading the comments. I resonate with Rafi Simonton. Jon Carver makes some excellent points. I can feel his rage and hope it's not harming him. How do we look at our past, contemplate our future and address our present. The most cynical of us have to admit some progress has been made. The most optimistic of us have to admit some horrific things have occurred. I live in Florida and have a front seat on seeing the demise of our country. It seems WOKE may have died but there's been an awakening. Just this past week I attended 6 different groups ready to challenge the powers that be. I'm hopeful the groups will join forces and become a movement before it's too late. Apologies for blathering. I'll just pull the "old" card. :-)

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Thank you for this article Chris! It was brilliant and insightful!

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Great article. I love these.

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Thank you.

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The best question to ask yourself here is are you a Good Citizen or Good Person?

In my first class, I spoke about Aristotle’s distinction between the good citizen and the good person. The good person’s loyalty is not to the state. The good person “acts and lives virtuously and derives happiness from that virtue.” The good citizen, on the other hand, is defined by patriotism and obedience to the state. The good person, like Socrates or Martin Luther King, Jr. inevitably comes into conflict with the state when he or she sees the state turning away from the good. The good person is often condemned as subversive. The good person is rarely rewarded by or fêted by the state. These accolades are reserved for the good citizen, whose moral compass is circumscribed by the powerful.

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Seems we are doing OK here in France.

Do people in the US actually read Philosophy?

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