EMPIRE OF ILLUSION-Chris Hedges_on Economic Collapse Teachin

This show was broadcast September 19, 2009.
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Don’t Miss our Saturday – Economic Collapse Truth Teach-in Marathon
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Coming up Saturday –
ONE KEY ECONOMIC COLLAPSE TRUTH Revelation

Key information for the uninitiated and the initiated alike.

“EMPIRE OF ILLUSION:
THE END OF LITERACY AND THE TRIUMPH OF SPECTACLE”

CHRIS HEDGES AT REVOLUTION BOOKS.
PREPARED SPEECH & BOOK SIGNING
This book is available in the No Lies Radio Webstore
If you’re looking for one of those treacly Oprah books—The Secret, and its variants—avoid this one. Those books nourish like potato chips and leave most people more confused, more desperate, more thirsty for fantasies than before. No amount of wishing, earnest yearning, visualizing and New Age mysticism is going to get us out of the morass we’re in. In Empire of Illusion, Chris Hedges takes a sober look down our hall of distorting mirrors. The son of a minister, with a degree in theology from Harvard, a columnist for Truthdigger.com, Hedges has worked as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. His books include War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning and American Fascists. He was part of the New York Times team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for the paper’s coverage of global terrorism. Here are some of the pertinent facts he contemplates:

* The top 1% of Americans now control more wealth than the bottom 90% combined.
* World-wide porn revenues, including in-room movies at hotels, sex clubs, and the Internet, topped $97 billion in 2006—more than that of Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!, Apple, Netflixs, and EarthLink combined.
* The football coach is the University of California-Berkeley’s highest paid “employee”; he makes about $3 million a year. Nationwide, full-time faculty positions have been disappearing, replaced by adjunct positions, with itinerant instructors barely making living wages.
* Collapsing and overwhelmed sewage systems release more than 40,000 discharges of raw sewage into our drinking water, streams and homes each year.
* One-third of our schools are in such a severe state of disrepair that it interferes with the delivery of instruction.
* We spend $8.9 billion on ICBM missile defense systems that would be useless in stopping a shipping container concealing a dirty bomb.
* A family of 4 now pays about $12,000 a year in premiums for healthcare—up about 90 percent from 2000 to 2006. About 50 million Americans are uninsured; another 25 million are “under-insured.”
* We have 2.3 million of our citizens behind bars. With less than 5% of the world’s popultion, we have 25% of the world’s prisoners (1/2 for non-violent drug crimes).

Any wonder there’s been a flight to fantasy? But, more profoundly, what’s the connection between fantasy and our decaying culture? How did we get here? Digging beneath the statistics, we find an increasing number of warm-blooded humans suffering like they never have before: lost in a world of promises broken; the American Dream of endless consumption and fulfillment–nightmarishly evinced.

“A culture that cannot distinguish between reality and illusion dies,” Hedges writes. “And we are dying now. … Those who cling to fantasy in times of despair and turmoil inevitably turn to demagogues and charlatans to entertain and reassure them. …” As bad as things are now—the disconnectedness, fragmentation, loneliness, im- and a-morality–we can extrapolate, interpret the trend lines, read history, and find worse to come. Hedges dissects “our cultural embrace of illusion and the celebrity culture that has risen up around it” in five comprehensive chapters:

The Illusion of Literacy
The Illusion of Love
The Illusion of Wisdom
The Illusion of Happiness
The Illusion of America
Excerpts from book review by Gary Corseri / August 26th, 2009 / dissidentvoice.org
READ ENTIRE BOOK REVIEW HERE
A revolution books / fansmiles production


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