Chris Hedges, author, "Unspeakable," "Empire of Illusion," "The World As It Is"

Air Dates: April 28-30, 2018

This week's guest on REPORT FROM SANTA FE is Chris Hedges, Pulitzer-prize-winning journalist, New York Times bestselling author, activist, former professor at Princeton University, and ordained Presbyterian minister. This week’s discussion focuses on the pattern of decline in all civilizations, with worrisome looks at signposts in our own.

“If you read the writings of anthropologists, there are studies about how civilizations break down; and we are certainly following that pattern. Unfortunately, there’s nothing within human nature to argue that we won’t go down the ways other civilizations have gone down. The difference is now, of course, that when we go down, the whole planet is going to go with us.” -- Chris Hedges

When asked what an ordinary person can do, Hedges replied, “You can’t take on every issue. You have to pick an issue whether it is child health. Whether it is the downwind victims from the atomic bomb who are still suffering radiation poisoning. Whether it is fighting the fracking industry...You have to look around your community and see and all you have to do is open your door and turn off your television set. What are the gross injustices around you? Homelessness? Elderly people who are living on fixed incomes...eating dog food? It is there. The injustice is there. And it is empowering to stand with the oppressed, although when you truly stand with the oppressed, you are going to get treated like the oppressed.”

Chris Hedges is the author of 11 books include the New York Times best-seller “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” (2012), which he co-authored with the cartoonist Joe Sacco. His other books include "Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt," (2015) “Death of the Liberal Class” (2010), “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle” (2009), “I Don’t Believe in Atheists” (2008) and the best-selling “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America” (2008).

His book “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” (2003) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction and has sold over 400,000 copies. He writes a weekly column for the website Truthdig in Los Angeles, run by Robert Scheer, and hosts a show, On Contact, on RT America.

Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries during his work for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.

Hedges was part of a New York Times team of reporters awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for coverage of global terrorism. He also received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism in 2002.

Additional Chris Hedges Quotes

“...Facts are interchangeable with opinion. It doesn’t matter what is true, true is whatever you feel, whatever your opinion is, whatever and we have a whole network called FOX News which is dedicated completely to that. But I think all of the networks now they fall into kind of lowest common denominator, in an attempt to attract as many viewers with the most salacious gossip and trivia that they can get. But the expense of that, of course, is anti-knowledge, anti-journalism, masquerading as journalism.” -- Chris Hedges, regarding journalism today

“Democracy, in this late stage of capitalism, has been replaced with a system of legalized bribery. All branches of government, including the courts, along with the systems of entertainment and news, are wholly owned subsidiaries of the corporate state. Electoral politics are elaborate puppet shows.”