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Occupy the Courts: A Conversation with Lawrence Lessig and Chris Hedges

NationofChange / Video Interview
Published: Thursday 26 January 2012
A Conversation with Lawrence Lessig and Chris Hedges at Occupy the Courts

On January 20th, occupiers across the country rallied together in protest against the insidious influence of the corporations over the judiciary. Shortly before the rally in Foley Square, New York CIty, Lawrence Lessig and Chris Hedges met in front of Occupy TVNY's cameras to discuss their vision of change. Lawrence Lessig: “I have enormous respect for what you’ve done, but don’t stop with this symbol of corporations are not a person. Don’t stop until you have restored this democracy to a democracy that the classical republicans could respect.” Chris Hedges: “In every single avenue we have to fight back, however corrupt the courts are, and certainly on the streets. You’re an inspiration to me, you’re an inspiration to countless Americans, and I think ultimately because the truth is on our side.”



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Unfortunately I was not able

Unfortunately I was not able to see the entire interview but pretty much got the sense of what it was about. I very much agree with Chris Hedges' assessment that we are living in "an inverted form of totalitarianism." In other words we are indeed facing a kind of totalitarian never seen before.

This new and "interesting" form of totalitarianism has in fact marginalized the majority of Americans and created a kind of new celebraty culture that only reinforces all the worst impulses that human beings seem to be capable of.

We live with the constant adulation of the warrior as the highest ideal that anyone or any civilization can aspire to when in fact it is the lowest form of primitive barbarism that only epitomizes what America has actually become, i.e. an increasingly barbarous and idolotrous nation hellbent on total world domination at any and all costs to itself or humanity.

America today has become an idolotrous nation that worships only one thing and that one thing is the power principle. Most people do not really understand what idolotry is really all about and it indeed took me some time to get my mind completely around this concept and what it really means.

The same kind of religious fundamentalism that we hear so much about in the Arab/Islamic world and that conveniently provides the causus belli, i.e. justification for wars of aggression overseas has its own counterpart here at home with "Christian" fundamentalist and "Christian" Zionist who revel in a kind of death cult and look forward to the end of this world, whatever that means!

For my part I see such unhealthy religious obsessions as the mere unconscious reflection of a reality that these folks can't seem to get their conscious minds around and that is the fact that the global system of capitalism is now breaking down and is in an acute state of crisis.

Rule of the banks, for the banks, and by the banks and brokerage and investment houses is becoming more obvious all the time.

The bond rating agencies of S&P, Fitch, etc. now set global economic policy and dictate to all the nation of the world except for the few outside the orbit of Western imperialism what they must do in order to maintain the AAA+ rating and therefor have access to the capital markets.

What this means in practice is that workers all over the world are being driven into an increasingly desperate and deplorable state where they no longer have the strength to fight back against the predations of international finance capital.

That, of course, is exactly what international finance capital wants, i.e. a totally defenseless and docile international labour commodity that can be bought and sold on the international market like any other commodity.

However, owing to the unreconcilable contradictions inherent within the capitalist system itself wars of increasing barbarity are the norm and owing to the highly advanced new technologies that have been developed in the service of this primitive barbarism humanity can now see that such a course needs to be altered if humanity is to survive.

That realization brings into the struggle on the side of the working class some of the most advanced thinkers of the ruling class who can in fact serve as the vital spark for determining the future course of struggle against international finance capital and the idolotrous worship of money and "success."

We still have a very long way to go as workers, students, and intellectuals looking to bring coherence to a global revolution now in process.

We have, however, turned an important corner through the use of new liberating technologies that bring together people from all over the world to create a new conscious awareness of the goal and purpose of our common struggle.

Charles, I wish I had your

Charles, I wish I had your optimism. Those in the world who have the money and power have no interest or inclination to change the system much. They cannot seem to see that they are bringing a sad end to all of us. The se level will rise on private islands too. And you cannot keep your private jet in the sky indefinitely.

Chris Hedges in his

Chris Hedges in his inimitable style has summed things up in just these few words...

"......we've undergone a corporate coup de'tat in slow motion and it's over. We lost. They won."

There was a revolution taking place in this nation right under our noses and no one even bothered to get up off the couch to stop it. (Yes, that includes me. Save your breath). I remember well what I was taught in school about what it meant to live in a democracy and what I see taking place every day, what I live through everyday, bears no resemblance. I thought that when I marched to stop the Viet Nam war, that I had perhaps had some small effect. I never believed that what WE were doing in challenging the wisdom of the government, in refusing induction, in marching through the streets of, in my case San Francisco and San Jose, was anything like creating a revolutionary change in the US. Some thought that, but I never saw any evidence that that was true. I had some remaining faith that the machinery of democracy, as we understood our high school civics version of it, was still intact and functioning. I took heart that when Nixon resigned, I had no reason to question my own conventions on that. I even felt that Reagan was too weak to drag this nation into the conservative utopia, or plutocracy as I like to call it. By the time it became clear that this revolution would not only be televised, it would be covered by a fawning corporate owned media to whom truth was simply an obstacle to be negotiated in getting a cock and bull story out and make bank in the process. The corporate owned justices on the Supreme court simply put the cherry on top with Citizens United.

I'll vote, and I will most likely vote for Obama because the alternatives are so much worse and I harbor one small sliver of hope that he might have one more nomination to make to the Supreme court and there might then be a chance to gain one small toehold for democracies prospects. That's really the only reason. I will also continue to support and march with #Occupy Oakland. I will continue to be a pain in the ass for all those around me who are sick and tuned out to the whole process, (though I probably won't be brow beating them as much). I will continue to write things like this. But increasingly, I wonder what country I live in now. I wonder what country the next generation will live in and I wonder how long it will take before the inevitable collapse of this "capitalist" system. The brightest point of light for me is #OWS.

Appreciate your comment

Appreciate your comment except for the Obama part. That makes you a disgusting person if you support a lying War Criminal, ripping out the constitution piece by piece. Vote Paul or a 3rd party candidate like Hedges. Or don't vote at all.

Voting for "lesser of 2 evils" is still evil-Different rhetoric-Same actions. The main characters' intentions are the same; their owners the same. Vote for someone with integrity and not addicted to wealth, power, or legacy. Vote for someone not bought and paid for. You don't have to agree with them on everything because they will follow the law of land, the constitution.

You aren't going to get change by voting for the same criminals.

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