Monday, April 18, 2011

It's Good News Week Again!: Speech by Chris Hedges, Quoting Dostoevsky

[Edited, 4/19/11 & 11/29/11]
In This Issue:

- Throw Out the Money Changers

: By Chris Hedges

- Dostoevsky Quotes I've collected


Throw Out the Money Changers

By Chris Hedges

This Hedges video was received from Infomation Clearinghouse

These are remarks Chris Hedges made in Union Square in New York City last Friday during a protest outside a branch office of the Bank of America.

Posted April 18, 2011

April 18, 2011 "Truthdig"---
. . . .
The two most destructive forces of human nature—greed and envy—drive the financiers, the bankers, the corporate mandarins and the leaders of our two major political parties, all of whom profit from this system. They place themselves at the center of creation. They disdain or ignore the cries of those below them. They take from us our rights, our dignity and thwart our capacity for resistance. They seek to make us prisoners in our own land. They view human beings and the natural world as mere commodities to exploit until exhaustion or collapse. Human suffering, wars, climate change, poverty, it is all the price of business. Nothing is sacred. The Lord of Profit is the Lord of Death.

The pharisees of high finance who can see us this morning from their cubicles and corner officers mock virtue. Life for them is solely about self-gain. The suffering of the poor is not their concern. The 6 million families thrown out of their homes are not their concern. The tens of millions of pensioners whose retirement savings were wiped out because of the fraud and dishonesty of Wall Street are not their concern. The failure to halt carbon emissions is not their concern. Justice is not their concern. Truth is not their concern. A hungry child is not their concern.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky in “Crime and Punishment” understood the radical evil behind the human yearning not to be ordinary but to be extraordinary, the desire that allows men and women to serve systems of self-glorification and naked greed.
. . . .
The priests in these corporate temples, in the name of profit, kill with even more ruthlessness, finesse and cunning than Raskolnikov. Corporations let 50,000 people die last year because they could not pay them for proper medical care. They have killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis, Palestinians and Pakistanis, and gleefully watched as the stock price of weapons contractors quadrupled. They have turned cancer into an epidemic in the coal fields of West Virginia where families breathe polluted air, drink poisoned water and watch the Appalachian Mountains blasted into a desolate wasteland while coal companies can make billions. And after looting the U.S. treasury these corporations demand, in the name of austerity, that we abolish food programs for children, heating assistance and medical care for our elderly, and good public education. They demand that we tolerate a permanent underclass that will leave one in six workers without jobs, that condemns tens of millions of Americans to poverty and tosses our mentally ill onto heating grates. Those without power, those whom these corporations deem to be ordinary, are cast aside like human refuse. It is what the god of the market demands.
. . . .
The bankers and hedge fund managers, the corporate and governmental elites, are the modern version of the misguided Israelites who prostrated themselves before the golden calf. The sparkle of wealth glitters before them, spurring them faster and faster on the treadmill towards destruction. And they seek to make us worship at their altar. As long as greed inspires us, greed keeps us complicit and silent. But once we defy the religion of unfettered capitalism, once we demand that a society serve the needs of citizens and the ecosystem that sustains life, rather than the needs of the marketplace, once we learn to speak with a new humility and live with a new simplicity, once we love our neighbor as ourself, we break our chains and make hope visible.

See "Truthdig" for entire article.

Chris Hedges, whose column is published Mondays on , spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.

Copyright © 2011 Truthdig, L.L.C.

Dostoevsky Quotes:

"In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet and say to us, Make us your slaves, but feed us."

--Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Grand Inquisitor, from The Brothers Karamazov (1879–1880)

"Didst thou forget that man prefers peace, and even death, to freedom of choice in the knowledge of good and evil?...We teach them that it's not the free judgment of their hearts, but mystery which they must follow blindly, even against their conscience.... In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet [and] become obedient...We shall tell them that we are Thy servants and rule them in Thy name.... we shall be forced to lie.... We shall tell them that every sin will be expiated if it is done with our permission."
--Dostoevsky in The Grand Inquisitor

Many will come whining at our feet and say "You were right; you alone possess His mystery;  save us from ourselves!"   We will teach them not to be proud; to be as children; and to think that childlike happiness is the sweetest of all.  They will submit to us gladly and cheerfully.  Peacefully they will die, and will find nothing beyond the grave; but we shall keep that secret and for their happiness allure them with the reward of heaven and eternity.

Dostoevsky--The Grand Inquisitor

"Why, of course. Every one thinks of himself, and he lives most gaily who knows best how to deceive himself. Ha-ha! But why are you so keen about virtue? Have mercy on me, my good friend. I am a sinful man. Ha-ha-ha!"


"Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men [& women, of course!--Chris] must, I think, have great sadness on earth, ..."

The Copyright Censors blocked the video below, so here is a second choice:

Bob Dylan A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall Live at Town Hall 1963 (14/25)


Bob Dylan - A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall

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