The collapse of the Tower of Babel" by Cornelisz Anthonisz, Etching, 1547
It never ceases to amaze me how despite the current state of affairs most of us still have faith in the existing power structure and those of us that never had any faith, are simply incapable of 'knowing what we want' never mind 'knowing how to get it.' Articulate voices of feasible resistance and alternative ways of structuring ourselves are few and far between. Fuck the left-wing. Fuck the right wing. Fuck the isms and the ists. Inside ourselves we know what makes sense and what needs to be done but we fear being labeled lunatics if we express it. Unless one dives deep into esoteric political and/ or philosophical ghettos it is hard to find a cohesive assessment of this sorry state of affairs that will be comprehendible to those who aren't politically/ philosophically literate beyond the existing rigid boundaries of 'literacy.'
Anyway, the point of this rant is to highlight an essay by journalist Chris Hedges that just came out in the new Adbusters (#88), Hedges presents a very readable 'state of affairs' without coming across as a lunatic or extremist and his words are all the more prescient, frightening, inspiring and hopeful as a result. Some choice quotes,
We can march in Copenhagen. We can join Bill McKibben's world wide day of climate protests. We can compost our backyards and hang our laundry out to dry. We can write letters to our elected officials and vote Barack Obama, but the power elite are impervious to the charade of democratic participation. Power is in the hands of moral and intellectual trolls who are ruthlessly creating a system of neo-feudalism and killing the ecosystem that sustains the human species. And appealing to their better nature, or seeking to influence the internal levers of power, will no longer work.
The philosopher Theodor Adorno wrote that the exclusive preoccupation with personal concerns and indifference to the suffering of others beyond the self-identified group is what ultimately made fascism and the Holocaust possible...
...The indifference to the plight of others and the supreme elevation of the self is what the corporate state seeks to instill in us. It uses fear, as well as hedonism, to thwart human compassion. We will have to continue to battle the mechanisms of the dominant culture, if for no other reason than to preserve through small, even tiny acts, our common humanity.
Read the whole thing here.