With the 20-year anniversary of 9/11 approaching and America’s recent defeat to the Taliban in mind, I invited Chris Hedges on my podcast this week to discuss the collapse of the American empire and to pre-empt the propaganda onslaught we’re about to be hit with.
Hedges is one of the great journalists, thinkers, war reporters and truth-tellers of our time. He won the Pulitzer Prize for reporting on global terrorism while at the New York Times, who later fired him for courageously speaking out against the Iraq war.
Hedges was a war correspondent for many years and has seen awful human degradation, societies in collapse, social bonds being ruptured, and people turning to “self-destructive behavior and magical thinking.” Alarmingly, he sees all of these signals of decay here in America.
Shortly before recording, the horrendous news about Texas banning abortion hit. Hedges has studied the Evangelical Christian Right in America and wrote a prescient book in 2008 titled, “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.” So on the podcast, we also discussed the decades-long battle on women’s reproductive rights, and he detailed the cynical methods used shame women that he witnessed during his reporting. We also talked about how this strain of fascism has only gotten worse in America since that book was published.
However, as a teacher, an ordained Presbyterian minister, and a graduate from Harvard’s Divinity School, Hedges recited some teachings of great philosophers and theologians to lay out a moral imperative for solidarity and struggle and explains why we must not succumb to despair.
With all the rough news and dark subjects we discussed, I did not expect to be uplifted by the conversation (no offense, Chris!). But I was. Chris is a brilliant mind and a courageous activist. I hope you’ll give it a listen and share with someone who may enjoy it.
For a full transcript of this episode, go here:
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If you missed this announcement, read my post on it here.