The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress

The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress

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by Chris Hedges
     
 

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Many liberals are disappointed with Barack Obama. Some talk of “betrayal,” while others are writing abject letters to the White House asking the president to come back to his “true self.” Chris Hedges, however, is a progressive who doesn’t feel betrayed. “Obama was and is a brand,” he argues. “He is a product of the Chicago

Overview

Many liberals are disappointed with Barack Obama. Some talk of “betrayal,” while others are writing abject letters to the White House asking the president to come back to his “true self.” Chris Hedges, however, is a progressive who doesn’t feel betrayed. “Obama was and is a brand,” he argues. “He is a product of the Chicago political machine. He has been skillfully packaged by the corporate state.”

In his newest book, Hedges argues that the conscious inertia of the left is destroying the progressive movement. Inaction and empty moral posturing leads not to change, but to an orgy of self-adulation and self-pity.

Hedges argues that the gravest danger we face as a nation is not from the far right, although the right may well inherit power. Instead, the threat comes from a bankrupt liberal class that has lost the will to fight and the moral courage to stand up for what it espouses.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Former New York Times correspondent Hedges (The Death of the Liberal Class) offers a collection of his recent articles (many culled from his regular column at Truthdig.com), grouped under a handful of topics: "Politics," "Israel and Palestine," "The Middle East," "The Decay of Empire." It's indicative of the longtime war correspondent's experienced eye and commitment to social justice that these areas include subject matter of especially pressing concern, whether the task is understanding the assault underway on organized labor in Wisconsin and elsewhere, liberal disillusionment with Obama, or the dynamics of foreign dictatorships subsidized by the U.S., as in the timely "Inside Egypt" and other dispatches providing vivid background and astute observations on a roiling Middle East. Hedges is equally direct and damning in assessments of Israel's ongoing occupation and colonization of Palestine, including some stirring reportage from within the shadow of the mammoth and destructive separation wall. While things may be changing given the current international upsurge of mass public democratic action, the author's pointed descriptions of the dangers of American "political passivity" deserve careful consideration along with much else in these powerfully written pages. (Apr.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781568586618
Publisher:
Nation Books
Publication date:
04/12/2011
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
File size:
519 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist. He spent nearly two decades as a correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans, with fifteen years at the New York Times. He is the author of numerous bestselling books, including Empire of Illusion; Death of the Liberal Class; War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning; and Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, which he co-wrote with Joe Sacco. He writes a weekly column for the online magazine Truthdig. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

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World As It Is 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
bassammaelborno More than 1 year ago
The Rebel, is one who opposes authority or restraint, one who breaks with established custom or tradition. Above all, he seeks an Internal Change, a change in the Attitudes, Emotions, and Outlook of the people to whom he is devoted. He often seems to be temperamentally unable to accept success, and the ease it brings. He kicks against the pricks, and when one frontier is conquered, he soon becomes ill-at-ease, pushing on to the new frontier. He is drawn to the unquiet minds and spirits, for he shares their everlasting inability to accept stultifying Control. He may, as Socrates did, refer to himself as the Gadfly for the State, the one who keeps the state from settling down into a Complacency, which is the first step towards Decadence. No matter how much the Rebel gives the appearance of being egocentric, or of being on an ego trip, this is but an Illusion. Inwardly, the authentic Rebel is anything but brash. True to the meaning of the Rebel, as one who renounces authority, he seeks primarily not the substitution of one political system for another. He may favor such a political change, however it is not his chief goal. He rebels for the sake of a Vision of Life and Society, which he is convinced, is critically important for himself and all others. The Rebel fights not only for the relief of his fellow Man, but also for his Personal Integrity. For him, these are but two sides of the same coin. The function of the Rebel is to shake the fixated mores of the rigid order of Civilization, and it is this shaking, though painful, which he believes is necessary, if the society is to be saved from boredom and apathy. Civilization begins with a rebellion .... it gets its first Flower from the Rebel. The authentic Rebel knows that the silencing of his adversaries, is the last thing he wishes. Their extermination would deprive him, and whomever else, from the uniqueness, the originality, and the capacity for insight, that these enemies, who being Human, also have, and could share with him. If we wish the death of our enemies, we cannot talk about the Community of Man. In our losing of a chance to dialogue with our enemy, we are the poorer. In Greek mythology, Prometheus, one of the Titans, steals fire from the Gods on Mount Olympus and then brings it as a gift to Man, marking the birth of Human Civilization. For this rebellion, Zeus sentences him to be chained to Mount Caucasus, where vultures consume his liver during the day, only to have it grow back every night, so that it can be eaten away once again the following day. This is a tale representing the agony of the creative individual, whose nightly rest only resuscitates him so that he can endure his agonies the next day. Throughout history, there has been observed a regularity in which society martyrs the rebel in one generation, only to worship him in the next. From Rollo May (Existential Psychologist 1909-1994)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Essays with his views and disillusions on how the world is. Great reading.
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