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The Politics of Delusion

America's two-party system is totally scripted.

The rich are getting richer and corporations have more control over the fate of the planet than ever before in human history. Read Chris Hedges’ powerful new Truthdig column on the fate of our planet and the necessity for a new political and economic imagination throughout the world:

I retreat in the summer to the mountains and coasts of Maine and New Hampshire to sever myself from the intrusion of the industrial world. It is in the woods and along the rugged Atlantic coastline, the surf thundering into the jagged rocks, that I am reminded of our insignificance before the universe and the brevity of human life. The stars, thousands visible in the night canopy above me, mock human pretensions of grandeur. They whisper the biblical reminder that we are dust and to dust we shall return. Love now, they tell us urgently, protect what is sacred, while there is still time. But now I go there also to mourn. I mourn for our future, for the fading majesty of the natural world, for the folly of the human species. The planet is dying. And we will die with it.

The giddy, money-drenched, choreographed carnival in Tampa and the one coming up in Charlotte divert us from the real world—the one steadily collapsing around us. The glitz and propaganda, the ridiculous obsessions imparted by our electronic hallucinations, and the spectacles that pass for political participation mask the deadly ecological assault by the corporate state. The worse it gets, the more we retreat into self-delusion. We convince ourselves that global warming does not exist. Or we concede that it exists but insist that we can adapt. Both responses satisfy our mania for eternal optimism and our reckless pursuit of personal comfort. In America, when reality is distasteful we ignore it. But reality will soon descend like the Furies to shatter our complacency and finally our lives. We, as a species, may be doomed. And this is a bitter, bitter fact for a father to digest.

My family and I hike along the desolate coastline of an island in Maine that is accessible only by boat. We stop in the afternoons on remote inlets and look out across the Atlantic Ocean or toward the shoreline and the faint outline of the Camden hills. My youngest son throws pebbles into the surf. My daughter toddles over the rounded beach stones holding her mother’s hand. The gray and white seagulls chatter loudly overhead. The scent of salt is carried by the wind. Life, the life of my family, the life around me, is exposed at once as fragile and sacred. And it is worth fighting to save.

Read the rest of Chris Hedges’ column on Truthdig.

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Comments on the article “The Politics of Delusion”

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Anonymous

thanks for the optimism. At least obama is tryin. Its tough to stick your neck out. We need more though. A ban on plastic bags and bottles, huge renewable infrastructure projects, a moratorium on industrial fishing and an end to the deforestation of remaining virgin forests!

winston

God that is depressing. The honest truth is we can blame corporations and the government but the real people we should blame is ourselves. We did it to ourselves. Humanity is just a screwed species circling the drain.

Ed in Chicago

I think George Carlin was correct when he stated, "Mother Nature is just fine. She can take care of herself. Who knows, maybe the planet needed plastic but could not produce it. Mother Nature allowed mankind to come along and create the plastic for her. Now that she has it, she will make our species extinct and continue on without us..."

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