How Some of Us Think

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

“See better, Lear; and let me still remain / The true blank of thine eye”

Earl Of Kent, King Lear, ~William Shakespeare~

How to Think

by Chris Hedges

Cultures that endure carve out a protected space for those who question and challenge national myths. Artists, writers, poets, activists, journalists, philosophers, dancers, musicians, actors, directors and renegades must be tolerated if a culture is to be pulled back from disaster. Members of this intellectual and artistic class, who are usually not welcome in the stultifying halls of academia where mediocrity is triumphant, serve as prophets. They are dismissed, or labeled by the power elites as subversive, because they do not embrace collective self-worship. They force us to confront unexamined assumptions, ones that, if not challenged, lead to destruction. They expose the ruling elites as hollow and corrupt. They articulate the senselessness of a system built on the ideology of endless growth, ceaseless exploitation and constant expansion. They warn us about the poison of careerism and the futility of the search for happiness in the accumulation of wealth. They make us face ourselves, from the bitter reality of slavery and Jim Crow to the genocidal slaughter of Native Americans to the repression of working-class movements to the atrocities carried out in imperial wars to the assault on the ecosystem. They make us unsure of our virtue. They challenge the easy clichés we use to describe the nation-the land of the free, the greatest country on earth, the beacon of liberty-to expose our darkness, crimes and ignorance. They offer the possibility of a life of meaning and the capacity for transformation. [..]

We march collectively toward self-annihilation. Corporate capitalism, if left unchecked, will kill us. Yet we refuse, because we cannot think and no longer listen to those who do think, to see what is about to happen to us. We have created entertaining mechanisms to obscure and silence the harsh truths, from climate change to the collapse of globalization to our enslavement to corporate power, that will mean our self-destruction. If we can do nothing else we must, even as individuals, nurture the private dialogue and the solitude that make thought possible. It is better to be an outcast, a stranger in one’s own country, than an outcast from one’s self. It is better to see what is about to befall us and to resist than to retreat into the fantasies embraced by a nation of the blind.

If the only real achievement of Barack Obama’s presidency is to have opened the eyes of Americans to the depth of the corruption and control of the elites, then he will have achieved more than I expected.

9 comments

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    • TMC on July 12, 2012 at 7:31 am
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    • RUKind on July 13, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Hell, 27th in math and science is better than 28th. Only half, or a little more, of the country believes in creationism. Teaching to the test may destroy creative learning but it does give numeric justification for charter schools, voucher plans and firing those pesky union teachers.

    And as for world-wide corporate oligarchy – serf’s up!! I’m putting a fresh coat of wax on my board next week.

    On a serious note, any claim we may have to exceptionalism comes from the rights and freedoms that the Right is working so hard to destroy. In particular, accepting immigrants as new citizens. Our strength comes from our ability to embrace our diversity. It’s that diversity that scares the shit out of the Tea Party types.

  1. elsewhere, which was titled “Turning a Blind Eye to Catastrophic Truths.”  If anyone is interested, the comments at the end of the article are quite interesting.

    I don’t think Chris Hedges misses much in his article.  Obviously, reality is difficult for the “bible-belt,” since they’ve already blocked out anything that doesn’t fit in with their indoctrinated “realities.”  Those people who are working also have a hard time with reality. They consciously seek to avoid it, fatigue being one reason, but, most probably, an inborn fear of losing their jobs underlies their inability or refusal to see things realistically.

    Creativity is being stifled, in every sense imaginable, and is gradually fading in our society.

    The utter lack of accountability and disregard for the rule of law has brought us to where we now find ourselves. We have become a lawless, immoral and wanton country, whose depravities are endless . . . . . and nothing to stand in its path.

  2. elsewhere, which was titled “Turning a Blind Eye to Catastrophic Truths.”  If anyone is interested, the comments at the end of the article are quite interesting.

    I don’t think Chris Hedges misses much in his article.  Obviously, reality is difficult for the “bible-belt,” since they’ve already blocked out anything that doesn’t fit in with their indoctrinated “realities.”  Those people who are working also have a hard time with reality. They consciously seek to avoid it, fatigue being one reason, but, most probably, an inborn fear of losing their jobs underlies their inability or refusal to see things realistically.

    Creativity is being stifled, in every sense imaginable, and is gradually fading in our society.

    The utter lack of accountability and disregard for the rule of law has brought us to where we now find ourselves. We have become a lawless, immoral and wanton country, whose depravities are endless . . . . . and nothing to stand in its path.

  3. I’m afraid the Barack Obama’s presidency has closed millions of eyes to the depth of the corruption and control of the elites. Many of the same people who were against the corruption of the previous administration are now accepting, apologizing for (or ignoring) much of the same corruption that has carried over from the previous administration to this administration (I.E. IT’S ALL GOOD NOW, SINCE IT’S ‘OUR’ GUY).

    Obama is confirming what those capable of thinking critically and independently (which is a tiny percentage) already knew, but I’m pretty sure we’re looking at a net closure of eyes. The disease of willful ignorance to corporate corruption has seriously infected ‘our’ side (when before, the disease of willful ignorance to corporate corruption was almost exclusively quarantined within the other side).

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