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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 reporters at The New York Times awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for the paper's coverage of global terrorism. He also received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism in 2002. The Los Angeles Press Club honored Hedges' original columns in Truthdig by naming the author the Online Journalist of the Year in 2009, and granted him the Best Online Column award in 2010 for his Truthdig essay "One Day We'll All Be Terrorists."
Hedges is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York City and has taught at Columbia University, New York University and Princeton University. He currently teaches inmates at a correctional facility in New Jersey.
Hedges began his career reporting the war in El Salvador. Following six years in Latin America, he took time off to study Arabic and then went to Jerusalem and later Cairo. He spent seven years in the Middle East, most of them as the bureau chief there for The New York Times. He left the Middle East in 1995 for Sarajevo to cover the war in Bosnia and later reported the war in Kosovo. Afterward, he joined the Times' investigative team and was based in Paris to cover al-Qaida. He left the Times after being issued a formal reprimand for denouncing the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq.
He has written nine books, including "Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle" (2009), "I Don't Believe in Atheists" (2008) and the best-selling "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America" (2008). His book "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning" (2003) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. His latest book is "Death of the Liberal Class" (2010)
Hedges holds a B.A. in English literature from Colgate University and a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, Calif. Hedges speaks Arabic, French and Spanish and knows ancient Greek and Latin. In addition to writing a weekly original column for Truthdig, he has written for Harper's Magazine, The New Statesman, The New York Review of Books, Adbusters, Granta, Foreign Affairs and other publications.
Looking Back on 40 Years of Occupation
It is not in Israel's interest -- or our own -- to continue to fuel increased Palestinian strife and rising militancy. Economic sanctions and an arms ban against Israel are our last hope. A new regional conflict with Israel could spell the end of the Zionist experiment in the Middle East. It may be quixotic, perhaps even impossible, but it is the last measure left to save Israel from itself.
Thursday, December 7, 2017(4 comments)
Zero Hour in Palestine
The United States is the only nation, with the exception of Israel, to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Trump's decision will enrage Muslims throughout the world. Palestinians in Gaza City, Bethlehem and Rafah have already marched through the streets chanting "Death to America," "Death to Israel" and "Down with Trump." They burned American and Israeli flags and photos of Trump.
Sunday, December 3, 2017(8 comments)
A Women's Revolt That Targets Far More Than Sexual Abuse
This women's revolt is not solely about sexual abuse. It is about fighting a corporate power structure that institutionalizes and enables misogyny, racism and bigotry. It is about wealth and power give elites the right to engage in social and sexual sadism. It challenges the twisted ethic that those who are crushed and humiliated by the rich, the famous and the powerful have no rights and no voice.
Sunday, November 26, 2017(7 comments)
The world is not bifurcated into good and evil. The United States too is guilty for the killings at Srebrenica. We should have learned the central lesson of the Holocaust a long time ago: When you have the capacity to stop genocide and you do not, you are culpable.
Sunday, November 19, 2017(9 comments)
Behind the Mask of the "Moderates"
It does not matter, as illustrated by the Republican tax plan now before the U.S. Senate, what is just or what the public supports. There are no institutions left in the United States that can authentically be called democratic. The end result of this elaborate charade is embodied in the rise of the grotesque spectacle of the Trump administration.
Monday, November 13, 2017(54 comments)
RT America Torched in Witch Hunt '17
Wall Street is run by a criminal class. Our debt is unsustainable, especially once the dollar is no longer the world's reserve currency, and like all decaying empires we are headed for collapse. The DNI report clarifies what the ruling elites fear -- not fake news but the truth. And the truth is that the elites have destroyed the country and are traitors to democracy.
Sunday, November 12, 2017(9 comments)
Fight the Disease, Not the Symptoms
If we can build counter-capitalist movements that include the working class we have a chance. If we can, like the water protectors at Standing Rock, mount sustained acts of defiance in the face of severe state repression, we have a chance. We cannot be distracted by the symptoms. We must cure the disease.
Monday, November 6, 2017(3 comments)
The Cost of Resistance
Those who resist are free not because they have attained many things or high positions, but because they have so few needs. They sever the shackles used to keep most people enslaved. And this is why the elites fear them. The elites can crush them physically, but they cannot buy them off.
Sunday, October 29, 2017(24 comments)
Reality is under assault. Verbal confusion reigns. Truth and illusion have merged. Mental chaos makes it hard to fathom what is happening. We feel trapped in a hall of mirrors. Exposed lies are answered with other lies. The rational is countered with the irrational. We are entering a period of national psychological trauma.
Sunday, October 22, 2017(2 comments)
Our Ever-Deadlier Police State
Police officers have become rogue predators in impoverished communities. Under U.S. forfeiture laws, police indiscriminately seize money, real estate, automobiles and other assets. In many cities, traffic, parking and other fines are little more than legalized extortion that funds local government and turns jails into debtor prisons.
Monday, October 16, 2017(5 comments)
Only Nonviolent Resistance Will Destroy the Corporate State
While refusing to be baited into violent confrontations with the radical right, we must also be vigorous in using militant, nonviolent tactics to block hate speech. All propaganda and all organizations based on ideas or theories of racial or ethnic superiority should be illegal.
Sunday, October 8, 2017(3 comments)
Faces of Pain, Faces of Hope
The vast disparity between the glittering world that people watch and the bleak world they inhabit creates a collective schizophrenia that manifests itself in our diseases of despair -- suicides, addictions, mass shootings, hate crimes and depression. Our oppressors have skillfully acculturated us to blame ourselves for our oppression.
Monday, October 2, 2017(23 comments)
The End of Empire
The deep disillusionment and anger that led to Donald Trump's election -- a reaction to the corporate coup d'etat and the poverty afflicting at least half of the country -- have destroyed the myth of a functioning democracy. The empire will collapse and the nation will consume itself within our lifetimes if we do not wrest power from those who rule the corporate state.
Sunday, September 24, 2017(4 comments)
The Abuses of History
The political squabbles that dominate public discourse almost never question the sanctity of private property, individualism, capitalism or imperialism. They hold as sacrosanct American "virtues." They insist that Americans are a "good" people steadily overcoming any prejudices and injustices that may have occurred in the past.
Sunday, September 17, 2017(6 comments)
The Silencing of Dissent
The establishment politicians in the two leading parties, each in service to corporate power and responsible for the assault on civil liberties and impoverishment of the country, are no longer able to use identity politics and the culture wars to whip up support, leading in the last presidential election campaign to an insurgency by Bernie Sanders, which the Democratic Party crushed, and the election of Donald Trump.
Sunday, September 10, 2017(19 comments)
The Great Flood
Droughts, floods, famines and disease will eventually see the collapse of social cohesion in large parts of the globe, including U.S. coastal areas. The insecurity, hunger and desperation among the dispossessed of the earth will give rise to ad hoc militias, crime and increased acts of terrorism. It is the beginning of the end. Ask not for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.
Sunday, September 3, 2017(14 comments)
Diseases of Despair
A decline in status and power, an inability to advance, a lack of education and health care and a loss of hope are crippling forms of humiliation. This humiliation fuels loneliness, frustration, anger and feelings of worthlessness. In short, when you are marginalized and rejected by society, life often has little meaning.
Monday, August 28, 2017(7 comments)
How "Antifa" Mirrors the "Alt-Right"
There is no moral equivalency between antifa and the alt-right. But by brawling in the streets antifa allows the corporate state, which is terrified of a popular anti-capitalist uprising, to use the false argument of moral equivalency to criminalize the work of all anti-capitalists.
Sunday, August 20, 2017(7 comments)
The Corruption of the Law
Stone understood a seminal fact that eludes our day's Federalist Society and the Republican and Democratic party leaderships: Corporations cannot be trusted with social and political power. Stone knew that the law must be a barrier to the insatiable corporate lust for profit. If the law failed in this task, then corporate despotism was certain.
Monday, July 24, 2017(19 comments)
Trump and the Christian Fascists
Let us give all Americans a reality-based hope for the future. Time is running out. If we do not act, American fascists, clutching Christian crosses, waving American flags and orchestrating mass recitations of the pledge of allegiance, united behind the ludicrous figure of Donald Trump, will ride this rage to power.
Sunday, July 16, 2017(5 comments)
Eugene Debs and the Kingdom of Evil
We have to begin all over again. And we must do so understanding, as Debs did, that any accommodation with members of the capitalist class is futile and self-defeating. They are the enemy. They will degrade and destroy everything, including the ecosystem, to get richer. They are not capable of reform.
Monday, July 10, 2017(31 comments)
Eating Our Way to Disease
The animal agriculture industry knows its products are harming us, but it, along with the medical and drug industries, is making billions from illnesses caused by our diet.
Sunday, July 2, 2017(6 comments)
The Battle Over What It Means to Be Female
How, in an age in which some born with male bodies self-identify as women, can those born female define their unique oppression based on their experience? As laws in Europe, Canada and the United States are rewritten to broaden the definition of what it means to be female or male, how will such change affect the struggle for equality by those born as females?
Monday, June 19, 2017(29 comments)
We Can't Fight Climate Change if We Keep Lying to Ourselves
The inability to see what is in front of our eyes replicates the blindness of all past civilizations that celebrated their eternal glory at moments of precipitous decline. The difference is that life across the whole planet will go down this time. These illusions only tranquilize us at a moment when we should be rising in collective fury against those who are orchestrating our doom.
Sunday, June 11, 2017(13 comments)
The Age of Anger
With the rise of Trump, it is clear the "cord of consciousness" has also been severed in the twilight days of the American empire. Once we no longer acknowledge or understand our own capacity for evil, once we no longer know ourselves, we become monsters who devour others and finally devour ourselves.
The Death of the Republic
The despotic forces that destroyed ancient Rome and other empires are destroying us. And removing Trump would not halt the disintegration.
Monday, May 15, 2017(29 comments)
Trump Is the Symptom, Not the Disease
Demagogues rise up in failed states that destroy their own democratic institutions and the rule of law. What is done to the populations we allow to be demonized will be done to all of us.
A narcissist and imbecile may be turning the electric shocks on and off, but the problem is the corporate state, and unless we dismantle that, we are doomed.
Monday, May 8, 2017(3 comments)
Chris Hedges: Going to the Daytime Emmys
The soap operas of 2017 are quaint anachronisms: Who needs "make believe" when the news and the nation's political and cultural life are saturated with tawdry melodrama?
Monday, May 1, 2017(10 comments)
Reign of Idiots
Heading the mindless generals, economists, bankers and politicians is the King of the Idiots, who victimizes the mass of Americans between tweets.
Friday, April 28, 2017(61 comments)
Terrorizing the Vulnerable
Undocumented people are living in fear as the Trump administration accelerates arrests under a brutal policy whose "family values" call for ripping families apart.
Putting the War in Syria in Full Context
It's been more than a week since the Trump administration abruptly switched out of "America first" mode and into intervention mode in Syria, and the public should be asking important questions.
Monday, April 10, 2017(15 comments)
The Pandora's Box of War
Amid the U.S. outrage over Syrian civilian deaths from banned weapons, we should not forget America's role in creating and perpetuating the seemingly endless conflict.
Sunday, March 26, 2017(41 comments)
The Warring Kleptocrats
It is all entertainment all the time. It is the natural result of a media that long ago gave up journalism to keep us amused. Trump was its creation. And now we get a daily "Gong Show" out of the White House. It is good for Trump. It is good for the profits of the cable news networks. But it keeps us distracted as the kleptocrats transform the country into a banana republic.
Sunday, March 19, 2017(21 comments)
A Last Chance for Resistance
The crawl toward despotism within a failed democracy is always incremental. No regime planning to utterly extinguish civil liberties advertises its intentions in advance. It pays lip service to liberty and justice while obliterating the institutions and laws that make them possible.
Sunday, March 12, 2017(17 comments)
The Dance of Death
The Trump appointees -- Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions, Rex Tillerson, Steve Mnuchin, Betsy DeVos, Wilbur Ross, Rick Perry, Alex Acosta and others -- do not advocate innovation or reform. They are Pavlovian dogs that salivate before piles of money. They are hard-wired to steal from the poor and loot federal budgets. Idiots and charlatans, the handmaidens of death, lure us into the abyss.
Sunday, March 5, 2017(13 comments)
Donald Trump's Greatest Allies Are the Liberal Elites
Trump, who is as gullible as the most habitual television viewer, exemplifies our cultural and political death. He is no more "authentic" than Hillary Clinton. But he appears on our screens as more authentic because he is more deeply embedded in the medium that controls our thoughts. He is what is vomited up from the perverted zeitgeist of a nation entranced and dominated by electronic hallucinations.
Sunday, February 26, 2017(12 comments)
The Return of American Race Laws
White Europeans who are undocumented are not being targeted. The executive orders of President Trump are directed against people of color. They begin from the premise that white Americans are the true victims of neoliberalism, deindustrialization and falling living standards. The Trump orders are written not to make America great again but to make America white.
Sunday, February 19, 2017(12 comments)
James Baldwin and the Meaning of Whiteness
Whiteness is a dangerous concept. It is not about skin color. It is not even about race. It is about the willful blindness used to justify white supremacy. It is about using moral rhetoric to defend exploitation, racism, mass murder, reigns of terror and the crimes of empire.
Sunday, February 12, 2017(61 comments)
The Elites Won't Save Us
We are in the twilight stages of the rolling corporate coup d'e'tat begun four decades ago. We do not have much left to work with. We cannot trust our elites. We cannot trust our institutions. We must mobilize to carry out repeated and sustained mass actions. Waiting for the establishment to decapitate Trump and restore democracy would be collective suicide.
Sunday, February 5, 2017(26 comments)
Make America Ungovernable
Trump loyalists are counting on enough support from the police, the military, private contractors and the organs of internal security such as Homeland Security and the FBI, along with newly empowered white vigilante groups, to physically crush those who defy them. They will attempt to use fear and even terror to paralyze the population into acquiescence.
Sunday, January 29, 2017(2 comments)
The American Psychosis
To recover our mental balance we must respond to Trump the way victims of trauma respond to abuse. We must build communities where we can find understanding and solidarity. We must allow ourselves to mourn. We must name the psychosis that afflicts us. We must carry out acts of civil disobedience and steadfast defiance to re-empower others and ourselves.
Sunday, January 22, 2017(49 comments)
Revolt Is the Only Barrier to a Fascist America
Revolt is a political necessity. It is a moral imperative. It is a defense of the sacred. It allows us to live in truth. It alone makes hope possible. corporate forces have us by the throat. And they have my children by the throat. I do not fight fascists because I will win. I fight fascists because they are fascists.
Sunday, January 15, 2017(13 comments)
Building the Institutions for Revolt
Politics is a game of fear. Those who do not have the ability to make power elites afraid do not succeed. The platitudes about justice, equality and democracy are just that. Only when power becomes worried about its survival does it react. Appealing to its better nature is useless. It doesn't have one.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017(43 comments)
The Real Purpose of the U.S. Government's Report on Alleged Hacking by Russia
The Democratic Party must maintain the fiction of liberalism just as the Republican Party must maintain the fiction of conservatism. These two parties, however, belong to one party -- the corporate party. They will work in concert to get rid of Trump, silence all dissent, enrich the war industry and promote the farce they call democracy.
Sunday, January 8, 2017(23 comments)
When Fear Comes
The more despotic a regime becomes, the more it creates a climate of fear that transforms into terror. At the same time, it invests tremendous energy and resources in censorship and propaganda to maintain the fiction of the just and free state. Once rights become privileges that the state can revoke, they will eventually be taken away from everyone.
Monday, January 2, 2017(26 comments)
Defying Donald Trump's Kleptocracy
Trump is impulsive, ignorant and inept. His corruption and greed are so unfettered he may become a burden and embarrassment to his party and the nation, as well as a danger to himself. The longer he stumbles in the unfamiliar corridors of governmental power the more vulnerable he becomes. But if we are not in the streets to hold the system accountable he may be able to cling to power and inflict significant damage.
Sunday, December 25, 2016(18 comments)
In the Time of Trump, All We Have Is Each Other
Trump will use the familiar tools that make possible the authoritarian state: mass incarceration, militarized police, crippling of the judicial system, demonization of opponents real and imagined, and obliteration of privacy and civil liberties, all foolishly promoted by the political elites on behalf of corporate power. America was pillaged and cannibalized for profit. We now live in a de-industrialized wasteland.
Monday, December 19, 2016(5 comments)
"Fake News" in America: Homegrown, and Far From New
Trump is adept at communicating through image, sound bites and spectacle. Fake news, which already dominates print and television reporting, will define the media under his administration. Those who call out the mendacity of fake news will be vilified and banished. The corporate state created this monstrous propaganda machine and bequeathed it to Trump. He will use it.
Sunday, December 11, 2016(29 comments)
Trump is the sick expression of a dysfunctional political system and mass culture that celebrate the most depraved aspects of human nature -- greed, a lust for power, a thirst for adulation and celebrity, a penchant for the manipulation of others, dishonesty, a lack of remorse and a frightening pathology in which reality is ignored.
Monday, December 5, 2016(27 comments)
The Mafia State
What comes next, history has shown, will not be pleasant. A cruel and morally bankrupt elite, backed by the organs of state security and law enforcement, will reduce workers to the status of serfs or slaves. The most benign dissent will be criminalized and crushed. America's elites have no external or internal constraints. They are barbarians. We will remove them from power or enter a new dark age.
Sunday, November 27, 2016(9 comments)
We Are Waiting For The Barbarians
The U.S. Constitution will be in effect suspended. Personal freedom, including freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom to organize and freedom of assembly, will be abolished. Privacy will be formally eradicated. Search warrants will be unnecessary. When they come, the loss of freedoms will be openly acknowledged and made permanent.
Sunday, November 20, 2016(11 comments)
We Are All Deplorables
The suffering of the white underclass is real. Its members struggle with humiliation and a crippling loss of self-worth and dignity. The last thing they need, or deserve, is politically correct thought police telling them what to say and think and condemning them as mutations of human beings.
Sunday, November 13, 2016(89 comments)
It's Worse Than You Think
The rot of our failed democracy vomited up a con artist who was a creation of the mass media -- first playing a fictional master of the universe on a reality television show and later a politician as vaudevillian. Trump pulled in advertising dollars and ratings. Truth and reality were irrelevant.
Thursday, November 10, 2016(4 comments)
Chris Hedges Unmasks American Empire in "Unspeakable"
Truthdig columnist and former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges has been shining a light on the most overlooked people and issues for nearly four decades. Now, he addresses these burning topics in a rare, extended conversation with fellow radical journalist David Talbot, founder of Salon and Hot Books.
Sunday, November 6, 2016(22 comments)
Defying the Politics of Fear
Our only chance to overthrow corporate power comes from those who will not surrender to it, who will hold fast to the causes of the oppressed no matter what the price, who are willing to be dismissed and reviled by a bankrupt liberal establishment, who have found within themselves the courage to say no, to refuse to cooperate.
Sunday, October 30, 2016(44 comments)
Candidates Trump and Clinton have no plans to halt our slide to oblivion. They are part of the circus. They, like all of the other elites, profit from the system that is destroying us. They lack the incentive and probably the capacity to challenge the structures and assumptions that define corporate capitalism. Today's politics is just one more product of a diseased culture.
Sunday, October 23, 2016(10 comments)
How Power Works
When the state decides to isolate, discredit and crush you it has innumerable ways to do so. The press often is manipulated. Employers blacklist you. A gullible population is made to believe the caricature of you as a traitor or an enemy. Such smear campaigns are now directed against Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden.
Sunday, October 16, 2016(27 comments)
Donald Trump: The Dress Rehearsal for Fascism
Any system of prolonged political paralysis and failed liberalism vomits up monsters. And the longer we remain in a state of political paralysis -- especially as we stumble toward another financial collapse -- the more certain it becomes that these monsters will take power.