On this episode of the Eph & Jeff show, we listen to Chris Hedges, Pullitzer prize-winning journalist, author of many books and writer at TruthDig. Chris spoke twice in Missoula, Montana, and the recording featured here is from the question and answer session after his speech in a large setting, on February 3rd, 2014. We’ve made available his full speech as well: download his full speech here.
The issues that arise in this podcast revolve around the rise of corporations and their power, and how capitalism has gone too far – we are headed toward what Marx would have described as its natural demise – the over-consumption of resources and people for the sake of profit.
Chris Hedge’s book, Death of the Liberal Class, is mentioned. The book focuses on the idea that the class of people who are intellectual, educated, working-class folks is dying out, and with them the ability to bring about real change in a society through normal, political, peaceful means. What is needed now is an activist movement that stands up to injustices and for the poor.
We mention the film, The Corporation, and how it describes corporations as psychopaths, with no responsibility. For example, how the company which created the massive chemical spill in West Virginia went immediately bankrupt, and the individuals responsible will be completely freed from penalty of any sort, while the humans and animals who live in that area will suffer, and taxpayers (i.e. the rest of us) will pay for cleaning up the mess.
Water as a basic human right is an important issue which comes up in this episode. The book Blue Covenant, by Maude Barlow, describes the history and our current predicament with corporations buying up fresh water around the planet. This is a particularly interesting issue because the location of the lecture, Missoula, Montana, has been fighting to claim back water rights for years now, and recently gave the Carlyle Group, which owns the water, an offer for $50 million, and was refused.
The example of Bolivia is mentioned, where the people suffered so greatly when the water was sold to a private corporation that the people of the nation created a law that water is a basic human right and can’t be sold, and just with that one act, they reclaimed their water back.
We would like to give credit to the legendary Bob Marley for his words: “Get up, stand up! Stand up for your rights! Get up, stand up! Don’t give up the fight!”
And lastly, we refer to Matt Taibbi’s book, Griftopia, which describes how an elite group of people who live in “richtopia” are calling the shots right now, and the rest of us are bearing the brunt of their ruling.