I finished reading some of Chris Hedges recent articles posted online. They are written like a love letter to someone dear to him. They captivate and draw me in with the passion, heart and accuracy of his words. Though he is a learned man, quite intellectual, his writing is such that this is not stale journalism- rather it pours out from the bones raising prickly hairs on my arms with such accuracy. This is resonance. Please see the following excerpts I find more than exceptional…

A glass tower filled with people carefully selected for the polish and self-assurance that come with having been formed in institutions of privilege, whose primary attributes are a lack of consciousness, a penchant for deception and an incapacity for empathy or remorse. The curious onlookers behind the windows and we, arms locked in a circle on the concrete outside, did not speak the same language. Profit. Globalization. War. National security. These are the words they use to justify the snuffing out of tiny lives, acts of radical evil. Goldman Sachs’ commodities index is the most heavily traded in the world. Those who trade it have, by buying up and hoarding commodities futures, doubled and tripled the costs of wheat, rice and corn. Hundreds of millions of poor across the globe are going hungry to feed this mania for profit. The technical jargon, learned in business schools and on trading floors, effectively masks the reality of what is happening—murder. These are words designed to make systems operate, even systems of death, with a cold neutrality. Peace, love and all sane affirmative speech in temples like Goldman Sachs are, as W.H. Auden understood, “soiled, profaned, debased to a horrid mechanical screech.”

We seemed to have lost, at least until the advent of the Occupy Wall Street movement, not only all personal responsibility but all capacity for personal judgment. Corporate culture absolves all of responsibility. This is part of its appeal. It relieves all from moral choice. There is an unequivocal acceptance of ruling principles such as unregulated capitalism and globalization as a kind of natural law. The steady march of corporate capitalism requires a passive acceptance of new laws and demolished regulations, of bailouts in the trillions of dollars and the systematic looting of public funds, of lies and deceit.The corporate culture, epitomized by Goldman Sachs, has seeped into our classrooms, our newsrooms, our entertainment systems and our consciousness. This corporate culture has stripped us of the right to express ourselves outside of the narrowly accepted confines of the established political order. It has turned us into compliant consumers. We are forced to surrender our voice. These corporate machines, like fraternities and sororities, also haze new recruits in company rituals, force them to adopt an unrelenting cheerfulness, a childish optimism and obsequiousness to authority. These corporate rituals, bolstered by retreats and training seminars, by grueling days that sometimes end with initiates curled up under their desks to sleep, ensure that only the most morally supine remain. The strong and independent are weeded out early so only the unquestioning advance upward. Corporate culture serves a faceless system. It is, as Hannah Arendt writes, “the rule of nobody and for this very reason perhaps the least human and most cruel form of rulership.”

Our political class, and its courtiers on the airwaves, insists that if we refuse to comply, if we step outside of the Democratic Party, if we rebel, we will make things worse. This game of accepting the lesser evil enables the steady erosion of justice and corporate plundering. It enables corporations to harvest the nation and finally the global economy, reconfiguring the world into neofeudalism, one of masters and serfs. This game goes on until there is hardly any action carried out by the power elite that is not a crime. It goes on until corporate predators, who long ago decided the nation and the planet were not worth salvaging, seize the last drops of wealth. It goes on until moral acts, such as calling for those inside the corporate headquarters of Goldman Sachs to be tried, see you jailed, and the crimes of financial fraud and perjury are upheld as lawful and rewarded by the courts, the U.S. Treasury and the Congress. And all this is done so a handful of rapacious, immoral plutocrats like Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs who sucks down about $250,000 a day and who lied to the U.S. Congress as well as his investors and the public, can use their dirty money to retreat into their own Forbidden City or Versailles while their underlings, basking in the arrogance of power, snap amusing photos of the rabble outside their gates being hauled away by the police and company goons.

Those who resist—the doubters, outcasts, renegades, skeptics and rebels—rarely come from the elite. They ask different questions. They seek something else—a life of meaning. They have grasped Immanuel Kant’s dictum, “If justice perishes, human life on Earth has lost its meaning.” And in their search they come to the conclusion that, as Socrates said, it is better to suffer wrong than to do wrong. This conclusion is rational, yet cannot be rationally defended. It makes a leap into the moral, which is beyond rational thought. It refuses to place a monetary value on human life. It acknowledges human life, indeed all life, as sacred. And this is why, as Arendt points out, the only morally reliable people when the chips are down are not those who say “this is wrong,” or “this should not be done,” but those who say “I can’t.”

There are streaks in my lungs, traces of the tuberculosis that I picked up around hundreds of dying Sudanese during the famine I covered as a foreign correspondent. I was strong and privileged and fought off the disease. They were not and did not. The bodies, most of them children, were dumped into hastily dug mass graves. The scars I carry within me are the whispers of these dead. They are the faint marks of those who never had a chance to become men or women, to fall in love and have children of their own. I carried these scars to the doors of Goldman Sachs. I had returned to living. Those whose last breaths had marked my lungs had not. I placed myself at the feet of these commodity traders to call for justice because the dead, and those who are dying in slums and refugee camps across the planet, could not make this journey. I see their faces. They haunt me in the day and come to me in the dark. They force me to remember. They make me choose sides. As the metal handcuffs were fastened around my wrists I thought of them, as I often think of them, and I said to myself: “Free at last. Free at last. Thank God almighty, I am free at last.”

Read the full article: Finding Freedom in Handcuffs

Get back into your cages, they are telling us. Return to watching the lies, absurdities, trivia and celebrity gossip we feed you in 24-hour cycles on television. Invest your emotional energy in the vast system of popular entertainment. Run up your credit card debt. Pay your loans. Be thankful for the scraps we toss. Chant back to us our phrases about democracy, greatness and freedom. Vote in our rigged political theater. Send your young men and women to fight and die in useless, unwinnable wars that provide corporations with huge profits. Stand by mutely as our bipartisan congressional supercommittee, either through consensus or cynical dysfunction, plunges you into a society without basic social services including unemployment benefits. Pay for the crimes of Wall Street.

The process of defection among the ruling class and security forces is slow and often imperceptible. These defections are advanced through a rigid adherence to nonviolence, a refusal to respond to police provocation and a verbal respect for the blue-uniformed police, no matter how awful they can be while wading into a crowd and using batons as battering rams against human bodies. The resignations of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan’s deputy, Sharon Cornu, and the mayor’s legal adviser and longtime friend, Dan Siegel, in protest over the clearing of the Oakland encampment are some of the first cracks in the edifice. “Support Occupy Oakland, not the 1% and its government facilitators,” Siegel tweeted after his resignation. 

Read the full article: This Is What Revolution Looks Like

Thank You Chris for using your extensive and refined skills for the people of this planet, the earth herself and all the living creatures.

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When hard times hit

June 28, 2011

How else will we find the truth unless we ask for it, and how do we decide to ask for it unless prompted by some doubt? So the conditions for doubt arise in our lives.

Wherever we feel insecurity, darkness, fear, sadness; that is exactly the place begging for us to ask questions. That is the morning light of a new consciousness and we must see it through for full transformation.

Until this point it is assumed that everyone should wish to know the truth- why would anyone want to live under the haze of illusion? This is one of my principle assumptions but it is simply not true. Why? One who’s fear is that they are really unloveable would be terrified of the truth because in their minds this could possibly be true and to know this, really know it as fact would be unbearable.

How to escape this self-imposed psychological imprisonment and slavery to fear?

If you suspect someone you love is cheating you or lying to you, that is a huge suffering. You may go on for years in anguish too timid to find out. But what is the WORST thing that can really happen? If they are, then definitely there may be some difficulty at the beginning but you know one thing for sure is that you will put an end to it.

Religions, friends and mothers can all tell you the good loving truths that make you feel at peace and have the potential to dispel all your myths-turned-fears but it is you and you alone who must desire to know these truths for yourself. Otherwise though they may be true, your scepticism will blind you.

The only way I know how to overcome this dilemma is by experience. Experience of suffering for a long time in that ‘affraid to know’ place: denial and constant telling myself stories of how things must be a certain way- pretending to know rather than really ever asking. When finally I got very depressed (condition and opportunity arising for me to ask some serious questions) it came from within very strongly that I should know truthfully EVERY singly thing in my life that causes me suffering. To only suffer a little, a ‘tolerable’ amount, to let some things slide is still unhappiness and suffering. To eradicate any trace I decided that no pain caused be truth was worth a prolonged ‘behind-the-scenes’ pain- ignorance and illusion.

One day you may wake up and whether you want to or not you may see the walls of the prettified castle you built around yourself crumble down. Because you were too afraid to look outside of those walls you now see how you could have spent all those years outside of that illusion or delsusional happy state, or mediocre state or good enough state. You will not get that time back.

Are you seeking the truth for everlasting peace? Are you afraid of suffering and why? Are you ready to love yourself so fiercely that you’ll ask any question? …and then really listen for the answer?

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