dominance and the theft of human rights essentially has played a big role in

Dominance and the theft of human rights essentially

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dominance and the theft of human rights, essentially, has played a big role in this . And that it really began going downhill fast when the Reagan administration came to power. And particularly when they decided that they were going to change our schools . Chris Hedges: Yeah. Although I think that, you know, it’s been decades in the making. And I think that we have seen profound cultural transformation in American culture, or cultures. Because, you know, we once had distinct regional and ethnic cultures, these were all systematically destroyed in the early part of the 20th century by corporate interests who used mass communications as well as an understanding of human psychology to turn consumption into an inner compulsion. And with that we lost the old values of thrift, of regional identity that had it’s own iconography, esthetic expression and history, as well as diverse immigrant traditions . Thom: But, you know, Chris, I guarantee it there’s somebody listening right now going, “These young kids these days! They don’t understand!” You know, kind of thing. And is it possible that there is some redeeming value in this new culture that has been created out of corporatocracy and what I would argue is a form of fascism, basically an external control of our government ? Or is it something that we just need to pull down and start over? And if so, how? Chris Hedges: Well, Sheldon Wolin , the great political philosopher who taught at Berkeley and later Princeton, now 86, has written his sort of magnum opus called, “ Democracy Incorporated .” And he argues that we live in a system that he calls inverted totalitarianism . The classical totalitarianism, in classical totalitarianism, like fascism or communism, economics is always subordinate to politics. But in inverted totalitarianism, politics is subordinate to economics. And with a rise of the consumer society, with the commodification of everything, including human beings and natural resources, you have built into it a form, an inevitable form of self annihilation. Because nothing has intrinsic value when society is no longer recognized as sacred. You exhaust everything for their, for its ability to make money. No matter how much human misery you create, no matter how much you go, how far you go to destroy the ecosystem that is sustaining the human species. And that with the rise of celebrity culture, of consumer culture, and on federate capitalism, you get what Benjamin Demott has called, I think quite correctly , junk politics . Thom: Yeah. And we have a junk politics junk culture . And I think perhaps the most important point you just made is, and we just talked about for the last hour, is t his loss of a sense of the sacred. And, you know, it’s interesting, I think some months ago I had you on, and I was taking the atheist position and we were having this debate because in the previous hour I had had an atheist on and I had taken the religious position and had a debate, my reality is a little bit of both, and between heart and mind, I guess, to use Jefferson’s old letter to his girlfriend in France. How do we, it
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