Shuck and Jive

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Best Definition of Hope I Have Ever Heard

This is an incredible speech by Chris Hedges on Hope at the Veterans for Peace Civil Disobedience Action on December 16th. His speech is mixed with clips of veterans speaking out against Empire's wars.

He is right on.

"Hope never makes sense. Hope is weak, unorganized, and absurd. Hope, which is always non-violent, exposes in its powerlessness the lies, fraud, and coercion employed by the state. Hope knows that an injustice visited upon our neighbor is an unjustice visited on all of us." -- Chris Hedges
Here is the transcript of his speech.


  1. Great stuff. Back in the mid-80s, when the Reagan Miracle was fully engaged in supporting terrorist in Central America, there was an act of CD in Minneapolis in which, among others, an 83-year-old woman was arrested. A number of us went to the arraignment hearings for those arrested. When she was brought before the judge, he asked he what she thought she was doing getting arrested for something like this at her age. I can't recall her exact words, but she was delightful. She did say that she was standing up to power the only way and old woman could, and that the judge should be ashamed at himself for supporting a system that did what we were doing in CA. She was a hoot, and instilled hope in many in that room.

  2. Chris Hedges is my hero. I saw him speak in Berkeley a few weeks ago, and I was impressed with just about everything he had to say.

    The idea of hope is interesting. I am a fan of Camus, and so is he, and the thing about Camus was that he emphasized finding hope in the midst of despair by doing what you think is right, even if you don't see or even expect any immediate results. You do the right thing because it is right, not because of the outcome you hope to accomplish. (Think of the people valiantly fighting against disease in Camus's novel "The Plague").

    Hedges is no fan of electoral politics as our salvation, and I agree with him. Hedges talks about the death of liberalism, how Obama has continued the same sorts of pro-corporate, pro-imperialist, and anti-civil liberties policies that his predecessor carried out. Electoral politics have given us just more of the same--meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Hedges believes that the people, at the grass roots level, are the hope for change. At the talk he gave in Berkeley, he asked the question--who was the most powerful person in the US in 1968?

    The answer, of course, was not Lyndon Johnson, but rather Martin Luther King. Real change comes outside the halls of institutionalized, corrupt power, and instead is found in the people organized to effect change.

    I could go on, but you get my point. :)

  3. Thanks Snad and Seeker,

    The more I hear Hedges, the more I like him. Just watched the video, End of America based on the book by Naomi Wolf. All along the same lines...