Parson Chris Hedges lets loose once again in his weekly dirge, and yet never deigns to utter the n-word, the word that cannot be spoken of, the word that surpasseth all attempts to broach it: nihilism. No, not for Parson Hedges, the anti-atheist, the anti-hedonist, that n-word, but intone negatively he does:
This truth, emotionally difficult to accept, violates our conception of ourselves as a free, democratic people. It shatters our vision of ourselves as a nation embodying superior virtues and endowed with the responsibility to serve as a beacon of light to the world. It takes from us the “right” to impose our fictitious virtues on others by violence. It forces us into a new political radicalism. This truth reveals, incontrovertibly, that if real change is to be achieved, if our voices are to be heard, corporate systems of power have to be destroyed. This realization engenders an existential and political crisis. The inability to confront this crisis, to accept this truth, leaves us appealing to centers of power that will never respond and ensures we are crippled by self-delusion.
Thanks, o’ revered one! Is this not, at last, true nihilism? Has the owner of that brand been replaced by a fellow prison educator – Parson Hedges? Shall we stand corrected, move to shut down, because one of the anhedonic micro-left throws in the towel on matters great and small?
You can take your hands down – this quote is not social nihilism. This is late-in-the-game obviousness, from a deluded parson with bundles of hypocrisy and tone-deafness to match his religious fixations – but it’s good to see whiffs of the good n-stuff emanating from even its detractors.
— Good luck on that taking down of “corporate systems of power” line of gaseous lecternism – with what army? Based on what line of demarcation?
— And what’s with this “self-delusion” – referencing your own crisis of “faith,” Parson?
Humans beings can be crippled by diseases and physical disfigurements, but self-awareness and social awareness are not crippling. They are part of the bounty, if reached, of human life’s cognitive faculties. The comments section after Parson’s weekly exhortations to guilt-ridden folkish downcast self-abnegation contain faint races of social nihilism, but the louder voices at both truthoutdig and common -folk dreams are Sanders-heavy, with pro-religionists and acolytic benedictions mixed in below.
Beware of false notes when it comes to social nihilism. Jodi Dean, one of the gasbag lecternists who studded Occupado and could give the Rev. Parson a good run for the longest monologue in captivity award, is epigrammatically quoted in Inventing the Future on post-capitalist leftism, by Srnicek and Williams, in one of her rare moments of pithy coherence:
Goldman Sachs does not care about you raising chickens in your backyard.
Do you think Goldman-Sachs cares about Jodi Dean?
About her courses at Hobart? About Occupado? Who cares what Goldman-Sachs cares about? Raise your chickens if you like. Just don’t let them around the parsonage – the parson will be sitting them down and telling them how bad they should feel about themselves.