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A philosophical and political discussion with Cornel West and Chris Hedges


The following video is well worth investing 90 minutes. <media src="" href="" source="YouTube" caption="Chris Hedges and Cornel West in Conversation - Wages of Rebellion | The New School" width="560px" date="October 14th, 2015"> I can't even summarize this. Watch all of it. If you don't understand it, be worried, then rectify the situation. Because they explain exactly what's going on. With no deviation and no exaggeration. I was surprised to see how reasonable West has gotten. He was on the Obama bandwagon for a few years. Here are some choice quotes that I manually transcribed. <bq author="Chris Hedges">It's not a radical movement's job to seize power. Its job is to make power fear it.</bq> <bq author="Cornel West">Indifference to evil is more evil than evil itself.</bq> <bq author="Chris Hedges">Once any cabal, whether it's monarchic, oligarchic or anarchic, seizes power totally, it engenders political paralysis. In essence, you have...which we have with the Democratic party with Clinton and Obama, a self-identified liberalism that is a faux-liberalism. So it speaks in the traditional feel-your-pain language of liberalism, but it assiduously serves the interests of that oligarchic corporate cabal. And that means that the government is thrown into crisis because it is unable to respond to the rights, grievances, injustices, the most basic needs of the citizen. And all of that is getting worse in the name of austerity. The most dangerous institution in America is the war industry and the military. They are doing what in late empire these forces always do, which is expanded beyond the capacity of empire to sustain imperialism and military adventurism. Officially we spend less than 54% of discretionary spending on the military, but that masks all sorts of other spending, veterans affairs, nuclear arsenal and the whole black budgets, especially the intelligence budgets that we're not allowed to see. By some estimates, we're spending up to 1.6 trillion dollars per year on war. And total war, which was imposed on us by the corporatists, after WWII, who conspired with militarists not only for profit, but to make war on those social movements: it had both a political and economic agenda. And so the country is disemboweled physically, our infrastructure is crumbling, our unemployment figures are completely fictitious.</bq> <bq author="Cornel West">There's a wonderful line in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason where he says that examples are the go card [unclear. -ed.] of judgment. That people would rather see sermons than hear sermons. It is only by example, it is only by living a certain kind of life, tied to a certain kind of community, weaving a grand vision that embraces all of humanity, if not all of sentient beings, that a sense of the good becomes contagious. That's the only thing. Dysfunctional species that we are, in the face of space and time where narcissism, tribalism, envy, hatred, revenge, resentment---those are the dominant tendencies of our history as a species. And how do you break the cycle? Of the hatred, the domination, the resentment, the revenge and so forth? It's by examples of people who are profoundly motivated with a deep sense of love of something beyond themselves, beyond their families, beyond their clans. That's what democracy is: a moral ascension toward an embrace of something beyond just your individual, your own family or your own tribe.</bq>