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Forum Post: Chris Hedges Is The Defacto Government Agent Here.

Posted 6 years ago on Feb. 9, 2012, 3:35 p.m. EST by LloydJHart (190) from Vineyard Haven, MA
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Chris Hedges Is The Defacto Government Agent Here.

By Lloyd Hart

Instead of calling the Black Bloc a cancer Chris should have examined where the expression that collects in the Black Bloc is coming from. Why are people that identify with the Black Bloc expressing themselves this way? I tend to try to find some understanding. Chris Hedges is not an activist he is just a writer so he really doesn't understand how anti-poverty, eco activists and revolutionaries come to their commitment.

I identify with the Black Bloc because nuclear power killed my father and made me and my sister sick. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't want to smash something that would stop the madness.

Chris hedges unfortunately is desperate for an occupy movement that squandered all it's public support and hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations on an absolutely non-confrontational protest that changed absolutely nothing. What Chris doesn't get about the public is that they will support someone that is willing to fight for them like the militant unions of the 1920s and 1930s but when Occupy chose not to say what they want when the world asked them "What do you want?" and then went side ways like all liberals, Occupy lost the moment and is now finished and not trust worthy. Chris is just upset and hasn't realized that Occupy is just another progressive failure and he is looking to scape goat in the Black Bloc instead of joining the Black Bloc as the next natural evolutionary reaction to the wide spread poverty created by the democrats and republicans and their pals in the pentagon and on wall st..

The Black Bloc are the only ones responding appropriately to the madness all around us. If you can't see that your blinded by your own comfort.

But it's ok, we don't need Chris Hedges' permission to revolt. The left has had to fight off liberals throughout history in order to get the job done and will do it again. Had the labor movement of the 1910s, 20s, and 30s listened to liberals like Chris Hedges we would have a minimum wage economy today,,,,,,,,oh yeah, right, we did listen to liberals for the last thirty years and we do have a minimum wage economy today. Damn.

What Chris doesn't get , that what is happening with folks in the streets is a response to a complete and utter betrayal by the 1% against the working people of this nation. You can call it Occupy or you can call it what it really is, a worker's rights movement. Occupy of course is finished as a tactic and only served as billboard advertisement of worker discontent any way. The reality is that as people see that they can't survive in the new screw the worker normal they will hit the streets in greater numbers and will get more and more militant.

The job growth Obama is bragging about doesn't even keep pace with the population growth entering the job market and the jobs being created are mostly minimum wage that can't possibly keep pace the the crippling and artificially inflated cost of living. So Chris by writing his immature and childish spat against activists attempting to deal with a well armed police state is beside the point.

With poverty radically deepening and democrats and republicans not wanting protesters on the streets challenging both parties for their corruption during a presidential election, protests are simply going to get more militant. In fact Chris Hedges in this context actually sounds like the one working for the government, the agent planting stories in the media trying to channel worker discontent into this falls phony elections where the workers get screwed anyway. How many free trade deals did Obama sign last year?



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[-] 8 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

What exactly is revolutionary about the black bloc? What exactly is revolutionary about fighting cops and smashing store windows? Any petty criminal can do that, but that doesn't add up to a revolutionary program. What is revolutionary about alienating the mass base of the movement? How is a majoritarian revolution to be made by alienating the majority? Most of all, what is the revolutionary program of the black bloc? What will their post revolutionary society look like? Exactly how will it be revolutionary and what exactly the will process of getting from fighting cops and smashing store windows to a post revolutionary society look like?

I'm all for a majoritarian revolutionary movement that will lead us to a genuinely democratic, egalitarian and peaceful society as different from bourgeois democracy as bourgeois democracy is from feudalism but it doesn't seem to me that the black block has anything to do with the development of that kind of majoritarian movement.

[-] 1 points by Nicolas (258) from Québec, QC 6 years ago

Indeed. Unhappy people "challenging the social order" by smashing windows and wrecking shit is nothing new and has never changed anything. It's a way to relieve frustration and anger, legitimate as they may be, dressed up in ideological justification. Movements like that which did succeed, and they are the exception, have always resulted in new tyrannies.

Peacefull, continuous, dissident assemblies, building a new society, person-block by person-block, that's new. It's the long way, it's the hard way, but there is real hope in it, and not just self-righteous satisfaction.

[-] 1 points by tbuontempo (194) from Jersey City, NJ 6 years ago

I am not sure if your question(s) is/are rhetorical or not, so I am going to answer it by assuming they are not rhetorical.

To be simple, the act of smashing windows and fighting cops begins the long struggle of destroying the state. I do not know what else one would think. In these two actions, each of us is showing we do not respect the state nor it's control of property.

As to the revolutionary questions, and violence, what revolution has not been violent. There was massive violence in India, and Gandhi was, like Dr. King here, preaching non-violence as a psychical strategy which holds the sword of Damocles over the head of the Establishment: "Deal with me, or there will be violence."

One of my degrees is in American History. There are two things I understand about this violent, authoritarian, debt-slave creating government: one, it is violent that is how it stays in power, two, this illegitimate government in Washington must be destroyed.

So Red, drop the idealized version of how this is going to end. Get on the street and watch up close and first hand, like I do in NYC, what this terrorist government is willing to do to its own people.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 6 years ago

The jails are full of petty criminals who have smashed windows and gotten into fights with cops without a thought in their mind about smashing the state. If anything these folks tend to buy into capitalism and the state that protects it completely. I can't see any meaningful distinction between a petty criminal who smashes a window and a declared anarchist who does he same thing.

Most democratic revolutions have involved winning over those institutions of society that have a sanctioned monopoly on violence, but have not been, in and of themselves especially violent or, to the extent that they have been violent such violence has not been especially pro-active but has been more typically self defence. There are dozens of examples of this. The Russian Revolution, the premier example of a 20th century revolution, involved the relatively nonviolent taking of the Winter Palace. Rather extensive violence followed in the civil war, which was no so much a revolutionary act as it was the defense of an accomplished revolution.

ALL states use violence to stay in power. The US is not unique in that regard. That is the nature of the state. That is what a state IS (that component of government with a sanctioned monopoly on violence).

The legitimacy or illegitimacy of a putatively democratic state is determined not by some abstract principle or set of principles, but by the people over which it governs. They either consent to being governed (which is what gives the state its legitimacy) or they don't. Right now, the vast majority of Americans (probably well over 99%) consent to being so governed. The activist base of OWS probably does not amount to much more than 20K and most of them are either liberals or politically undeveloped individuals who would be happy with some rather modest reforms such as campaign finance reforms. The number of revolutionaries in OWS, the number of people in OWS who actually see the US state as illegitimate are a tiny minority of a tiny minority. (I would include myself among them, but I'm also a realist about our actual numbers and impact).

Our task is to win over the majority and presumably at some point along the way to win over those elements of the state that have a sanctioned monopoly on violence. This is a mere opinion, but I think that is unlikely to happen by employing violent tactics and especially pro-active violent tactics (as opposed to clear instances of self defense).

In terms of where I should be, I'm 68 years old. I've been active in radical social movements in the US for nearly 50 years and I've been active in OWS since September 17. I am perfectly cognizant of how municipal police forces typically treat protest movement as I have seen this on a regular basis for nearly 50 years. Only very occasionally have I seen actual federal forces involved in opposing protest movements, but I've seen that too. To brand the US as a "terrorist government" is to fail to appreciate the very real differences between a militarized and totalitarian police state and (for all its very great short comings) a bourgeois democracy. I no sense am I in any way supportive of the latter, but the freedom of action that we still enjoy here is still considerably greater than is the case in a genuine police state and if our struggle against THS state is to be successful it is imperative that we appreciate the difference.

[-] 1 points by Nicolas (258) from Québec, QC 6 years ago

Here is where I disagree. You say smashing windows is the first step in destroying the state. I don't think that destroying the state is, or should be, the goal of OWS, at the very least not it's first step. OWS is building a new society by concensus. I don't see its final victory as toppling the state, but as displacing it. It should resist repression, which there will be, while it's building itself up, but its concern is not to defeat opposed forces, it is to grow itslef.

The "raze everything and then build anew" approach does not seem to be the right one to me. Let's just straight away start building. It's better strategy too : it's easier to justify stopping people from destroying stuff than it is to prevent them making stuff.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 6 years ago

Excellent comment!

[-] 0 points by freewriterguy (882) 6 years ago

i envision a world where a man can cut down some trees and build a house to shelter his family and another man doesnt interfere but this isnt the world we live in. Instead that man has to slave away to purchase the land, and building permits from other men, or more likely those trees are claimed by the "government" on behalf of the people but are never shared with the people, and they charge the people 17 - 35 dollars a night just to camp on those public lands even.

I envision a world where if a man seeks land outside the city because the price is affordable, so that he can pursue his dream, he doesnt find a city ordinance saying if you want to live on it, you have to purchase a minimum of 140 acres of land at a price of 5k per acre which put the price of bare land at 700k which is what happened to me 2 hours sw of slc, utah.

I envision a world where a man may irrigate river water onto his land to grow food for his family without another man saying you need to pay me for the water. Or otherwise pay for water rights.

I envision a world where a man may own a horse for transportation, or a cow for milk or a chicken for eggs instead of having our food trucked in from 1500 miles away (God forbid there should be an oil shortage) but this isnt the world we live in, in fact, many people cant own a horse, or a cow or a chicken, its against other men's city ordinances.

I envision a world where if a man grows flowers in his yard to sell them to pay for his home during a time when so many have lost their jobs, he isnt thrown into jail by other men for breaking city ordinances of working from his home like what happened in my community last february 2011. After all, we all can afford to go into debt leasing a commercial building instead, and if we fail, we can have our home taken from us,( that should teach us not to try and succeed). Unfortunately this IS THE WORLD WE LIVE IN.

I envision a world where if a man has a child he doesnt go into debt to another man 5 thousand dollars in hospital bills, or when a man dies of old age his family doesnt go into debt 5 thousand dollars to bury him, when a good shovel is twenty dollars and the back yard is wide open. Instead we live in a world where if we bury our old people, the government will arrest us on suspicion of foul play.

Shame Shame Shame on these other men who have made it their business despite the scripture that says; "Be ye not busy bodies involved in other men's matters."


[-] 0 points by lithosere (65) 6 years ago

Any movement that directly challenges the authority of the state and economic system will run up against force. Do we meet that force with defiance, or trust that by allowing ourselves to be stepped on it will de-legitimate itself to the point of collapse? Whether or not it is the appropriate time to stand and say "we will not let you step on us" is a good question, but understand that someday playing the victim will be unable to get us any further. Black Bloc is not just a tactic for smashing shop windows. This has only happened a few times and the overwhelming majority of the windows were of the corporate offices of banks. People seem to think that dressing in black and advancing on police lines to try to enter an abandoned building and build a social center is the same thing as breaking a window. It is not.

I don't agree with the petty property destruction tactic because it is profoundly reactionary, but I am in solidarity with their outrage and in the face of the world today this "violence" is so petty it should not even be an issue. 200 species are wiped out of existence daily, and almost 3 billion people live on less than $2 a day. That is violence.

[-] 2 points by LetsGetReal (1420) from Grants, NM 6 years ago

this "violence" is so petty it should not even be an issue. 200 species are wiped out of existence daily, and almost 3 billion people live on less than $2 a day. That is violence.

You are absolutely right about that. There is no comparison. There is also no comparison between the excessive force of the police and the vandalism of a few protestors. Please understand that most of us objecting to black bloc tactics are fully aware of this. I don't think there is any question about that.

I want the real violence against the planet and against the people to be the message the public sees and not give the elites any rope to hang us with. I think we simply disagree about the tactics which are most likely to produce the change we need, in the least amount of time. Many of us are old enough to remember the anti-war movement and how much these kinds of actions hurt that movement and cost more lives. Non-violent civil disobedience is not 'playing the victim'. It requires incredible strength, emotional control, courage.

[-] 1 points by hamalmang (722) from Lebanon, PA 6 years ago

I don't think you are very familiar with Chris Hedges. I would believe Barack Obama is a muslim terrorist from Kenya before I believe Chris Hedges is a government agent bent on re-electing him.

[-] 1 points by LloydJHart (190) from Vineyard Haven, MA 6 years ago

I guess you don't understand rhetorical sarcasm when you read it. It was Chris Hedges accusing the Black Bloc of being government agents. I was simply pointing out how easy to accuse without knowing what your talking about. I know Chris Hedges much better than he knows worker militancy. Chris Hedges would have been physically thrown out of Union meetings in the 1930s.