...The liberal class clung desperately during the long nightmare of this political campaign to one or two issues, such as protecting a woman’s right to choose and gender equality, to justify its complicity in a monstrous evil. This moral fragmentation—using an isolated act of justice to define one’s self while ignoring the vast corporate assault on the nation and the ecosystem along with the pre-emptive violence of the imperial state—is moral and political capitulation. It fails to confront the evil we have become.I deliberately pull out and highlight the more incendiary assertion from Hedges' essay in the continuing - albeit suicidal, maybe - indictment against the American Mind in recent posts.
“People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction,” [James] Baldwin wrote, “and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster.”
- Chris Hedges, Death of the Liberal Class
Of the two phrases that I emphasized ("evil we have become" & "turns himself into a monster") - who could possibly identify as the subject of these indictments? Well, no one, actually - even a certified monster of the Nuremburg variety would shrink from such self-honesty, let alone your average American denizen of middle-class entitlement. An empty and pointless polemic to hurl into the ether, in terms of rhetorical efficacy, but at the same time it needs to be said. Perhaps it is a caution to those who are yet to be lured to the "dark side," though I suspect that any of us who are yet capable of holding on to any shred of truth in these times is pretty goddamned well-steeled against any sort of seduction at this point.
FWIW - one more from Ian, something for the faithful to hold on to (my emphasis, again):
… To be an influential should be to be an intellectual, and to be an intellectual is to be able to stand outside ones own society, to see it through the dual eyes of an outsider and a member, then report the truth of what one sees.Not so provocative, but nonetheless true.
One must be, then, more than product of one’s circumstances, more than a function of one’s personal interests.
-Ian Welsh, Some Personal Thoughts