Portrait of Chris Hedges

Okay, seriously, I thought Chris Hedges might be a nut, but he’s definitely not

I was just reading the article that I said I would in my last post. And on the second page Hedges claims that “The real enemy of the liberal class has never been Glenn Beck, but Noam Chomsky.” Am I reading that right? Chomsky is my hero and Glen Beck is a lunatic. So Chris Hedges must be a nut.

Who’s crazy? Maybe I’m reading him wrong at that point. He has so many other interesting points to make. Still confused.

[Update August 1, 2011]

The old title was: “Okay, seriously, Chris Hedges might be a nut”

Okay, so I’ve been set straight. Turns out that Chris Hedges is definitely not a nut. In Death of the Liberal Class, he is talking about just how similar the Liberal class is morally and politically to, say, conservatives like the Republicans. I appreciate this kind of analysis. Here in Canada we’ve seen this similarly between the Liberal Party of Canada and the Conservative Party of Canada. It’s tough though because I would still rather have the Liberals than the Conservatives. But better still to have the NDP. In the American context, however, there is no popular third choice. And, unfortunately, the difference between Democrats and Republicans is arguably smaller. This is, I believe, what Chris Hedges argues.

Of course, many voices claim the NDP has failed the left and they too are not progressive or radical enough. This kind of critical discourse is important, but in my view it should not come at the expense of strategic participation in democratic processes. Simply, we should take power in the ways we can to improve the lives of those with the fewest prospects and the least privilege.

So, thank you Zak and John and others who have mentioned that Chris Hedges has an important and well-considered view.

Here is a bio from Wikipedia of Chris Hedges, and here is bunch of links to video presentations by Hedges.

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  1. Hedges isn’t a liberal. His most recent book is Death of the Liberal Class, in which he criticizes American liberalism and its failure to address the most important issues: welfare, the military industrial complex, corporate greed, etc. It is a weaker form of the Republican party, differing only on subjects like abortion and gay marriage.
    So, he’s saying that Chomsky is an enemy to the liberal class because he uncovers their moral bankruptcy. Glenn Beck does not. It isn’t that Glenn Beck isn’t an enemy, it is instead that he does not expose the liberal class like Chomsky does. Beck, by playing along in the political game, ironically, gives the liberals legitimacy. Chomsky does not.

  2. Hi John. I much appreciate that you would take the time to leave your well spoken comment here. Of course, you are right. The Chris Hedges interview, to which I link in the preceding post, is very good. Do you think I ought to rename the title of this post? Sometimes I don’t know what to do about these things. And certainly, today, in the wake of a Conservative majority, I am experiencing some strategic uncertainty.

  3. What up Sherwin. I agree with John. Hedges makes this point elsewhere, that people like Chomsky are much more dangerous to the established power structures because he exposes the leaders of “our side”, the ones who are supposed to be working for us. He mentions in one article that Chomsky said something like how he doesn’t talk about CNN cause it’s too easy, it’s too obvious, it’s the “liberal” leadership that really needs to be exposed because they’re not “liberal” or “left” at all. They’re simply not as crazy and ruthless as those to the right of them. Chomsky usually goes further and mentions that this is a near historically certainty with cultures and civilizations, that you would be hard pressed to find the “liberal” elites of any society being out of step with the rulers. But I’m sure you already know all that, as you said you’re a fan of Chomsky.

    Anyways, I thought I’d just comment on your question about the title. It might be a good idea to change it, that’s why I clicked on this page, was wondering why someone would say that about Hedges. Then again, you were asking a question and within that context, there’s nothing wrong with the title.


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