Author: Chris Hedges

Mr. Fish / Truthdig

The Mafia State

Systems of governance that are seized by a tiny cabal become mafia states. The early years—Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton in the United States—are marked by promises that the pillage will benefit everyone. The later years—George W. Bush and Barack Obama—are marked by declarations that things are getting better even though they are getting worse. The final years—Donald Trump—see the lunatic trolls, hedge fund parasites, con artists, conspiracy theorists and criminals drop all pretense and carry out an orgy of looting and corruption.

We Are All Deplorables

We Are All Deplorables

Our enemy is not the white working poor any more than it is African-Americans, undocumented workers, Muslims, Latinos or members of the GBLT community. The oligarchs and corporations, many of them proponents of political correctness, are our enemy.

New York City police officers guard Trump Tower, President-elect Donald Trump’s Manhattan home. (Richard Drew / AP)

It’s Worse Than You Think

Widespread social unrest will ignite when Donald Trump’s base realizes it has been betrayed. I do not know when this will happen. But that it will happen is certain. Investments in the stocks of the war industry, internal security and the prison-industrial complex have skyrocketed since Trump won the presidency. There is a lot of money to be made from a militarized police state.

A protester yells at police in front of the Baton Rouge Police Department headquarters after police arrived in riot gear to clear protesters from the street in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, July 9, 2016. Several protesters were arrested. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)

Legalized Murder and the Politics of Terror

Police officers carry out random acts of legalized murder against poor people of color not because they are racist, although they may be, or even because they are rogue cops, but because impoverished urban communities have evolved into miniature police states. Police can stop citizens at will, question and arrest them without probable cause, kick down doors in the middle […]

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is seen on a television monitor addressing her supporters, as reporters file their stories after a June 7 news conference by presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. (Mary Altaffer / AP)

We Must Understand Corporate Power to Fight It

We have little time left. Climate change, even if we halt all carbon emissions today, will still bring rising temperatures, havoc, instability and systems collapse to much of the planet.

Let us hope we never have to make the stark choice, as most of the ghetto fighters did, about how we will die. If we fail to act, however, this choice will one day define our future, as it defined theirs.

Revolution Is in the Air

Revolution Is in the Air

WASHINGTON, D.C—The sustained, daily civil disobedience at the Capitol by demonstrators denouncing the capture of our political system by corporate money is part of one of the largest and most important movements for social justice since the Occupy uprising. Join it. Six hundred of the protesters have been arrested, and I was among 100 arrested Friday. The protesters, organized by […]

The Graveyard of the Elites

The Graveyard of the Elites

Power elites, blinded by hubris, intoxicated by absolute power, unable to set limits on their exploitation of the underclass, propelled to expand empire beyond its capacity to sustain itself, addicted to hedonism, spectacle and wealth, surrounded by half-witted courtiers—Alan Greenspan, Thomas Friedman, David Brooks and others—who tell them what they want to hear, and enveloped by a false sense of […]

The Mirage of Justice

The Mirage of Justice

The reality is that almost no one who is imprisoned in America has gotten a trial. There is rarely an impartial investigation. A staggering 97 percent of all federal cases and 95 percent of all state felony cases are resolved through plea bargaining. Of the 2.2 million people we have incarcerated at the moment—25 percent of the world’s prison population—2 million never had a trial. And significant percentages of them are innocent.

Hillary Clinton during a rally recently in Sioux City, Iowa. (Jae C. Hong / AP)

The Great Forgetting

America’s refusal to fund and sustain its intellectual and cultural heritage means it has lost touch with its past, obliterated its understanding of the present, crushed its capacity to transform itself through self-reflection and self-criticism, and descended into a deadening provincialism. Ignorance and illiteracy come with a cost. The obsequious worship of technology, hedonism and power comes with a cost. The primacy of emotion and spectacle over wisdom and rational thought comes with a cost. And we are paying the bill.

The American Empire: Murder Inc.

The American Empire: Murder Inc.

Terror, intimidation and violence are the glue that holds empire together. Aerial bombardment, drone and missile attacks, artillery and mortar strikes, targeted assassinations, massacres, the detention of tens of thousands, death squad killings, torture, wholesale surveillance, extraordinary renditions, curfews, propaganda, a loss of civil liberties and pliant political puppets are the grist of our wars and proxy wars. Countries we […]

States of Terror

States of Terror

It is nearly certain that we will endure, sooner rather than later, another catastrophic terrorist attack on American soil. The blundering of our military into the Middle East; the failed states that have risen out of the mismanagement and chaos of Iraq and Afghanistan; the millions of innocents we have driven from their homes, terrorized or slaughtered; the bankrupt puppet […]

A 2014 protest in Tokyo against the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. (Shizuo Kambayashi / AP)

The Most Brazen Corporate Power Grab in American History

These three agreements solidify the creeping corporate coup d’état along with the final evisceration of national sovereignty. Citizens will be forced to give up control of their destiny and will be stripped of the ability to protect themselves from corporate predators, safeguard the ecosystem and find redress and justice in our now anemic and often dysfunctional democratic institutions.