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Power and the Tiny Acts of Rebellion

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In Manuel de Lope's novel "The Wrong Blood," set during the first rumblings that led to the Spanish Civil War, he writes "... nobody knew this at the time and those who had premonitions wouldn't go so far as to believe them, because fear rejects what intuition accepts."

But the signs are now so palpable that even fear is not working. Our worst premonitions are becoming reality. Our intuition has proved correct. We are reaching the breaking point. An explosion, unless we halt the increased pressure, seems inevitable. And what is left for those of us who cannot embrace the contaminants of violence? If the system shuts us out how can we influence it through nonviolent mechanisms of popular protest? How can we restore a civil society? How can we battle back against those who will mobilize hatred to cement into place an American fascism?

I do not know if we can win this battle. I suspect we cannot. But I do know that if we stop resisting, if we stop rebelling, something fundamental will die within us. As the corporate vise tightens, as the vast corporate system begins to break down with fossil fuel decline, extreme climate change and the expansion of global poverty, even mundane and ordinary acts to assert our common humanity and justice will be condemned as subversive.

It is time to think of resistance in a new way, something that is no longer carried out to reform a system but as an end in itself. African-Americans understood this during the long night of slavery. German opposition leaders understood it under the Nazis. Dissidents in the former Soviet Union knew this during the nightmare of communism. Resistance in these closed systems was local and often solitary. It was done with the understanding that evil must always be defied. The tiny acts of rebellion--day after day, month after month, year after year and decade after decade--exposed to everyone who witnessed them the heartlessness, cruelty and inhumanity of the oppressor. They were acts of truth and beauty. We must take to the street. We must jam as many wrenches into the corporate system as we can. We must not make it easy for them. But we also must no longer live in self-delusion. This is a battle that will outlive us. And if we fight, even with this tragic vision, we will lead lives worth living and keep alive another way of being.

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Chris Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.

Hedges was part of the team of (more...)
 
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Some of us began to glimpse the foreclosing of our... by Philip Zack on Monday, Nov 22, 2010 at 3:16:59 PM
I agree with "P.Orin Zack" in that we must "...sho... by Ethan Allen on Tuesday, Nov 23, 2010 at 2:10:33 PM
A system in decay, humanity and goodness in declin... by Ned Lud on Monday, Nov 22, 2010 at 7:13:58 PM
The curtain to the whole sick show is the 9/11 att... by Saman Mohammadi on Monday, Nov 22, 2010 at 7:29:29 PM
If a middle-aged highly educated, "teacher of the ... by Elizabeth Hanson on Monday, Nov 22, 2010 at 8:13:35 PM
But I hate to say it.....bush could go on live TV ... by 911TRUTH on Tuesday, Nov 23, 2010 at 12:20:16 AM
The average American is a relatively simple person... by Robert Tracey on Monday, Nov 22, 2010 at 7:34:15 PM
Y'LL after decades of indoctrination lost basic in... by John Smith on Monday, Nov 22, 2010 at 8:09:39 PM
A growing number of ordinary Americans are without... by Harvey Solomon on Monday, Nov 22, 2010 at 8:40:35 PM
Some of us saw this coming at various times in the... by Bruce Morgan on Monday, Nov 22, 2010 at 9:04:21 PM
like take our money out of the big banks and put t... by Michael Shaw on Monday, Nov 22, 2010 at 9:34:29 PM
My wee bit of resistance. I have two families to w... by Faith Carr on Monday, Nov 22, 2010 at 9:36:54 PM
~....You are living the life I would love to live.... by Charlene Richards on Monday, Nov 22, 2010 at 11:24:02 PM
Way to go, Faith.We are not alone, just seems we a... by Ned Lud on Tuesday, Nov 23, 2010 at 6:50:37 AM
Just a little story from here:I have been growing ... by Ned Lud on Tuesday, Nov 23, 2010 at 7:26:04 AM
Have connected acreage behind our "living space" W... by Faith Carr on Tuesday, Nov 23, 2010 at 8:19:56 AM
A locksmith once told me, that, "If a man made a ... by Michael McCoy on Monday, Nov 22, 2010 at 11:25:39 PM
Check out Riki Ott's website to take our country b... by Mac McKinney on Tuesday, Nov 23, 2010 at 12:09:19 AM
Our little college town has had four open communit... by Vernon Huffman on Tuesday, Nov 23, 2010 at 12:29:34 AM
If I was reading, writing like this, when I had op... by Steven G. Erickson on Tuesday, Nov 23, 2010 at 3:34:35 AM
I have a story of abuse. I have become acquainted ... by Ned Lud on Tuesday, Nov 23, 2010 at 6:40:34 AM
Blocked from every side: Congress, the presidency,... by Marika on Tuesday, Nov 23, 2010 at 6:42:05 AM
There are various kinds of 'Tiny Acts of Rebellion... by Jack Flanders on Tuesday, Nov 23, 2010 at 9:54:20 AM
Folks, if you recognize that the government is com... by Phil Weingart on Tuesday, Nov 23, 2010 at 11:01:51 AM
... as long as it applies to big business and the ... by Jack Flanders on Tuesday, Nov 23, 2010 at 1:36:07 PM
... as long as it applies to big business and the ... by Jack Flanders on Tuesday, Nov 23, 2010 at 1:36:08 PM
It would be great if government regulated corporat... by Vernon Huffman on Tuesday, Nov 23, 2010 at 3:02:08 PM
It seems to me that the system is permanently brok... by Jack Flanders on Tuesday, Nov 23, 2010 at 5:57:21 PM
I think not so much on the division of labor as on... by Marika on Wednesday, Nov 24, 2010 at 3:23:06 AM
As I see it, the division of labor creates the sur... by Jack Flanders on Wednesday, Nov 24, 2010 at 8:37:57 AM
First of all, the lesson from Enron is that even t... by Phil Weingart on Tuesday, Nov 23, 2010 at 10:12:23 PM
I am well aware of the evidence supporting your po... by Jack Flanders on Wednesday, Nov 24, 2010 at 12:46:36 AM
Chris,Right on, my brother."And what is left for t... by Franky Lamouche on Tuesday, Nov 23, 2010 at 6:40:28 PM
Nonviolent direct action, as taught by Gandhi, MLK... by Vernon Huffman on Thursday, Nov 25, 2010 at 2:05:18 PM