On RAI with Paul Jay, Chris Hedges discusses the psychology of the super rich; their sense of entitlement, the dehumanization of workers, and mistaken belief that their wealth will insulate them from the coming storms – December 5, 13
The Pathology of the Rich – Chris Hedges on Reality Asserts Itself
Video link: http://youtu.be/L6unS2JF8TA
PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay in Baltimore. And welcome to Reality Asserts Itself.
A few weeks ago, we did a series of interviews with Chris Hedges, and one of the things we talked about was the weakness of the left, the weakness of the people’s movement, if you will. Well, we’re going to continue that discussion now. And Chris joins us again in the studio.
Chris, as everyone probably knows by now, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and a senior fellow at the Nation Institute. Along with Joe Sacco he wrote the New York Times bestseller Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt. And he writes a weekly column for Truthdig.
Thanks for joining us.
The garbage trucks of Gaza city are at a standstill due to an ongoing fuel shortage affecting all aspects of daily life, including garbage collection, sewage and waste disposal and other vital services. But the local donkeys are here to help.
But the fuel shortage is not only causing the garbage overflow. Gaza’s main power plant has no fuel, leaving all Gazans in an energy blackout for up to 18 hours a day. Families have no heat, light or cooking facilities and are surrounded by rotting garbage. Continue reading…>>
The Syrian economy is being hit by the combined impacts of the US-NATO sponsored terrorist attacks and the economic sanctions regime. The ultimate objective of the US-NATO covert war on Syria is the destabilization of the Syria economy and the destruction of Syria as a nation state.
The human species, led by white Europeans and Euro-Americans, has been on a 500-year-long planetwide rampage of conquering, plundering, looting, exploiting and polluting the Earth-as well as killing the indigenous communities that stood in the way. But the game is up. The technical and scientific forces that created a life of unparalleled luxury-as well as unrivaled military and economic power-for the industrial elites are the forces that now doom us.
A free Palestine has so much to offer. Agricultural industry, tourism industry, cultural and arts and very rich natural resources, but none of these can be economically developed as long as Israel maintains a 10-meter-high separation wall and hundreds of military checkpoints within Palestinian lands, and as long as Israel continues to control the borders, effectively blocking the entire Muslim world from visiting and frequently turning away Christians – and even Jews – from its borders.
The consequences of the recent assault on Gaza will only be visible when the dust has settled. But it will surely not depart from the aim expressed by former Israeli official Dov Weisglass in 2006: “The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.”
USA (4.5% of the world’s population) spent 41% of the world’s expenses in military, China (19.2% of the world’s population) spent just 8%. Most Americans can not understand the real picture anymore.
How does America sell Pax Americana democracy to a doubtful world when the mind of its Presidents, past and present, is trapped in a speeding bullet? America has been planning a rash departure from reality for decades ‘it’s the American Dream’.
The EU is actually helping sustain the Israeli Occupation by importing fifteen times more from the illegal settlements than from the Palestinians themselves
Sanctions are working in the hurting people. But not forcing Iran to abandon its nuclear programme. Expecting uprising to overthrows the Islamic regime?
Iran sanctions now causing food insecurity, mass suffering. Yet again, the US and its allies spread mass human misery, morally indefensible and counterproductive.
Why does Prime Minister Fayyad wish to ‘improve’ the Paris Protocols, despite the severe limitations that it imposes on the PA’s ability to choose their own economic regime and adopt trade policies?
We will all swallow our cup of corporate poison. We can take it from nurse Romney, who will tell us not to whine and play the victim, or we can take it from nurse Obama, who will assure us that this hurts him even more than it hurts us, but one way or another the corporate hemlock will be shoved down our throats. The choice before us is how it will be administered. Corporate power, no matter who is running the ward after January 2013, is poised to carry out U.S. history’s most savage assault against the poor and the working class, not to mention the Earth’s ecosystem. And no one in power, no matter what the bedside manner, has any intention or ability to stop it.
Hundreds of billions went to Fannie, Freddie, AIG, the automakers and others. At the same time, millions lost jobs, homes and futures. Who cares about them when only money power and helping corporate favorites matter.
One failed program followed another. Economic duress deepens. Current US median income is lower than when the National Bureau of Economic Research declared recession over in June 2009. Perhaps for Wall Street, not Main Street.
Record numbers of Americans need food stamps. More join their ranks monthly. Real unemployment approaches 23%. Average unemployment duration is near a record high.
The official added that Israel wants to see the PA perpetually busy and occupied with its internal political and economic problems which would give Israel a sort of carte blanche to pursue its settlement scheme. Israel is interested in weakening the PA regime, but never in destroying it.
US elections are farcical. Obama and Romney represent two sides of the same coin. Neither offers choice. Democracy never existed and doesn’t now. Rhetoric substitutes for reality. Republicans and Democrats offer the worst of all possible worlds. Ordinary people are entirely shut out.
Protesters, who are not affiliated with a single political faction, are vowing to keep up the pressure until their demands are met. Their demands include the sacking of the Fayyad government and the annulment of the 1994 Paris Economic Protocol, which critics say put the entire Palestinian economy at Israel’s mercy.
Despite for many years receiving one of the highest per capita aid worldwide, the economies of the West Bank and Gaza Strip have failed to achieve any lasting developmental outcomes and suffer from major weaknesses which undermine their very survival. This book argues that the dominant, mainstream approach to the study of aid and aid effectiveness is theoretically and empirically inadequate for a comprehensive understanding and analysis of the workings of aid in developing countries. Alaa Tartir finds that this book adds an important, distinctive and timely contribution to the scholarly work on Palestine.
Apparently, Americans are the first people in history who are so idealistic, or so thoroughly brainwashed, that they prefer to pay for wars and bail out banks than to make their mortgage payments and help their children with student loan debt.
Uri Avnery argues that foreign aid and Israeli handouts from stolen Palestinian tax revenue provide only temporary relief from Israel’s economic strangulation of the Palestinians, and that a “Palestinian Spring” targeted at the occupation may come sooner rather than later.
Yes, we can, no, you can’t is policy. That’s what occupation is all about. Tyranny defines it. Author Sandy Tolan calls it the “show that time and the world forgot.”
All indications point to 2012 being a turning point year of unrelenting economic crises spreading outward from Europe and the US to Asia and its dependencies in Africa and Latin America. The crises will be truly global.
After going from defeat to defeat on the periphery of world power and not satisfied with running treasury-busting deficits in pursuit of empire building against economically weak countries, Obama has embraced a policy of encirclement and provocations against China, the world’s second largest economy and the US’s most important creditor, and Russia, the European Union’s principle oil and gas provider and the world’s second most powerful nuclear weapons power.
A declassified FBI investigation uncovered AIPAC’s receipt of the report from Israel’s Economics Minister, who refused to divulge how he obtained it. IRmep’s Center for Policy and Law Enforcement filed a petition demanding $6.64 billion in compensation for exporters that suffered confidential business information loss to AIPAC and Israel. The report’s public release now provides crucial evidence for civil damage claims to be filed in court against AIPAC.
Why are we hearing non-stop, loud-mouthed sabre-rattling against Iran when we should be extending the hand of friendship and reconciliation? Why the West are demonising Iran instead of righting the wrongs? Why not live and let live? Because the political establishment is still smarting. They are the new-generation imperialists.
Fayyad cannot be held primarily responsible for this collective self-delusion; at most, he facilitated it. And in the process he provided all actors with a breathing space that is now disappearing. Ultimately, the ones who convinced themselves he was capable of completely transforming Palestine are most responsible for squandering the brief respite his premiership offered.
My friends, you have not yet recognized that we are at war within our country. We are living on capital, on the fat accumulated by past generations of inventors, builders and social reformers. It will soon be gone and our war will become exactly like those of Tunisia, Egypt or Syria. Perhaps like Afghanistan. You don’t believe it? Just look at the speed of collapse in Greece.
When you hear the tornado warning, it’s up to you. As a proud, free American you can find a rock to crawl under and say your prayer: the Federal government and Homeland Security have the Endless, World-wide War against Terror to fight and cannot be bothered by a Joplin , Missouri nursing home in the path of a tornado.
Street-based movements lack the organization and leadership to project, let alone impose a new political or social order. Their power is found in their ability to pressure existing elites and institutions, not to replace the state and economy. Hence the surprising ease with which the US, Israeli and EU backed Egyptian military were able to seize power and protect the entire rentier state and economic structure while sustaining their ties with their imperial mentors.
The fall of the African dictators will deprive Europe of valuable allies in the fight against irregular migration. The political vacuum and the social and economic instability that follows will create a new wave of desperate migrants daring the high seas to reach the coats of Europe.