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Anti-Tyranny Quotations for These Times

  • Historical Quotations of Wisdom
  • “It’s frightful that people who are so ignorant have so much influence.” -- George Orwell – 1940

Compiled by Gary G. Kohls, MD, Duty to Warn

Joe Heller

I recently came upon a quote from Henry David Thoreau, who many regard as the father of nonviolent civil disobedience. Thoreau’s writings on the subject of active, nonviolent resistance to authority inspired Leo Tolstoy, Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King and innumerable other proponents of non-violent resistance to tyranny, including today’s Occupy Wall Street movement. If Thoreau had been writing and living his truth 2000 years earlier, he would probably have been in league with Jesus of Nazareth, who also qualifies as a major advocate and model for living an ethical, fearless life of civil disobedience to the greedy and violent powers-that-be.

In a time (the middle of the 19th century) when the US military was committing another criminal act (one that, a century later, would meet the definition of an international war crime and crime against the peace) Thoreau objected to the armed invasion, illegal occupation and bald-faced theft of that part of Mexico north of the Rio Grande River, and he responded by speaking out against it.

And, not surprisingly, in a country that has a long habit of silencing, persecuting and imprisoning its most altruistic and peace-loving citizens, he wound up in jail for his resistance. Noting that the Mexican War represented another act of homicidal violence by America’s military he wrote, “Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.”

Of course, Thoreau was living in another, perhaps more innocent time. He was commenting in an era long before there was any inkling of a German Luftwaffe, a British Royal Air Force, a United States Air Force, the American development, testing and deployment of nuclear weapons, guided missile technology, the perpetual war predictions of the Cheney/Bush/Rumsfeld/Rice/Rove administration, the criminal drone wars of Bush and Obama and the Pentagon’s stated aim of “full-spectrum” global domination of sea, land and space.

Thoreau lived in a time before there were so many warmongering militarists [and their obedient and often misled warrior class], so many ChickenHawk politicians [and their dumbed-down pseudo-patriotic voter-supporters], so many war-profiteering corporations and so many billionaire financiers [and their blindered, amoral investor class wanna-bees that had hopes of becoming one of them]. Thoreau’s America in the 1840s “only” ruled over the earth and the sea - and not the air.

I have collected a number of wise sayings from a number of other historical figures that were fulfilling their duties to warn about tyrants and tyranny. I call the list below “Anti-tyranny Quotes for These Times.” Let the reader apply these lessons from history to effectively resist the tyranny and the tyrants who are surrounding us now and threatening the planet and its creatures, whether the tyranny is coming from corporations, the billionaires, the banksters, Wall Street, the ruling elite, the secret services, the military, the police, religious leaders or local thugs. As Jesus said, “he who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

“As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air – however slight – lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.” -- Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

"The things that will destroy us are: politics without principle; pleasure without conscience; wealth without work; knowledge without character; business without morality; science without humanity; and worship without sacrifice." -- Mohandas Gandhi

"You assist an evil system most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. An evil system never deserves such allegiance. Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil. A good person will resist an evil system with his or her whole soul." -- Gandhi

"Cowardice asks the question - is it safe? Expediency asks the question - is it politic? Vanity asks the question - is it popular? But conscience asks the question - is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.   

“If you see injustice and say nothing, you have taken the side of the oppressor." -- Desmund Tutu,.South African Anglican Archbishop

“When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses … the (actual) truth will seem utterly preposterous and the speaker (of the actual truth), a raving lunatic." -- Dresden James

“Those who take oaths to politically powerful secret societies cannot be depended on for loyalty to a democratic republic.” -- President John Quincy Adams

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."
-- Voltaire

“Anyone who has proclaimed violence his method inexorably must choose lying as his principle.” -- Mikhail Gorbachev

“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.  Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other...  No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare." -- James Madison, Chief Architect of the Constitution 

"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." -- Thomas Jefferson, September 23, 1800, as inscribed on the Jefferson Memorial
"The greatest tyrannies are always perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes." 
-- Thomas Paine

“Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst.” -- Tom Paine

“Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.” -- Frederick Douglass

"Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle! Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong that will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." -- Frederick Douglas

“He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.” -- Tom Paine

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing"
-- Edmund Burke (British Statesman and Philosopher, 1729-1797)

”A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”
-- Edward Abbey (1927-1989)

“The most important topic on earth: peace. What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children — not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women — not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.”
-- US President John F. Kennedy, speaking at the American University commencement address, June 1963. (Five months later Kennedy was assassinated by assassins other than the patsie Lee Harvey Oswald.)

"Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder and it is the working class who fights all the battles, the working class who makes the supreme sacrifices, the working class who freely sheds their blood and furnishes their corpses, and it is they who have never yet had a voice - in either declaring war or making peace. It is the ruling class that invariably does both. They alone declare war and they alone make peace. They are continually talking about their patriotic duty. It is not their duty but your patriotic duty that they are concerned about. There is a decided difference. Their patriotic duty never takes them to the firing line or chucks them into the trenches." -- Eugene V. Debs

“War is the terrorism of the rich. Terrorism is the war of the poor!” -- Peter Ustinov

"When you let people do whatever they want, you get Woodstock. When you let governments do whatever they want, you get Auschwitz." -- Doug Newman 
[From The Fountain of Truth:]

"There is no scientific evidence . . . " is supposed to mean, "They have looked for it and it has not been found," instead of, "They have not looked for it and, therefore, it has not been found." -- Dr. Hans Moolenburgh from: “Fluoride: The Freedom Fight” (pp. 157)

“A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side.” -- Aristotle

"Military power is as corrupting to the man who possesses it as it is pitiless to its victims. Violence is just as devastating to the soul of the perpetrator as it is to the body and souls of those who are victims of it." -- American Friends (Quakers) Service Committee

Following are some anti-tyranny quotes from antifascist author George Orwell (1903 – 1950). Orwell is most famous for Animal Farm (1945) and Nineteen Eighty Four (1949), in which he is warning his readers about Fascism.

Ed. Note: It is worth mentioning that Orwell “put his money where his mouth was”. He risked his life going to Spain in 1936 to fight with America’s Lincoln Brigade against the fascist, anti-democracy general Francisco Franco and his army in the Spanish Civil War.

”In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.“ -- George Orwell

“When the white man turns tyrant, it is his own freedom that he destroys. “ -- George Orwell - 1936

We are living in a world in which nobody is free, in which hardly anybody is secure, in which it is almost impossible to be honest and to remain alive.” -- George Orwell – 1937

“It is not possible for any thinking person to live in such a society as our own without wanting to change it.” -- George Orwell – 1938

“It’s frightful that people who are so ignorant have so much influence.” -- George Orwell – 1940

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” -- George Orwell – 1945 (in one of Orwell’s introductions to Animal Farm that was not published until 1970, 20 years after his death)

“A society becomes totalitarian when its structure becomes flagrantly artificial: that is, when its ruling class has lost its function but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud.” -- George Orwell – 1946

Power-worship blurs political judgment because it leads almost unavoidably, to the belief that present trends will continue. Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem invincible.” -- George Orwell – 1946

Below are Seven Quotations from Nineteen Eighty-Four, which is about a conscienceless state/corporate tyranny (whose laws are ruthlessly enforced by obedient police/military goon squads).

“War Is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance Is Strength. (the Party's slogans inscribed on the Ministry of Truth building).”

“Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”

“War hysteria increases in intensity as one rises in the social scale. Those whose attitude toward the war is most nearly rational are the subject peoples of the disputed territories. To these people the war is simply a continuous calamity which sweeps to and fro over their bodies like a tidal wave.”

“Will you understand, Winston, that no one whom we bring to this place ever leaves our hands uncured? We are not interested in those stupid crimes that you have committed. The Party is not interested in the overt act: the thought is all we care about. We do not merely destroy our enemies; we change them.”

“We shall crush you down to the point from which there is no coming back. Things will happen to you from which you could not recover if you lived a thousand years. Never again will you be capable of ordinary human feeling. Everything will be dead inside you. Never again will you be capable of love, or friendship, or joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity. You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty, and then we shall fill you with ourselves.”

“There will be no loyalty, except loyalty toward the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy.... Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.”


Privatize the Empire

  • We already privatized our elections and Congress. Why not the Empire?
  • US-Iran confrontation enters dangerous new stage
  • Americans Love a Good Killer

J. Michael Orange, Evergreene Digest

RJ Matson

With the patriotic Fourth of July and Memorial Day commemorations of our wars now behind us, it is also a time to ponder the terrible costs of war. As an ex-Marine who served in Vietnam, I know of them first hand. I offer a solution that will halt injuries to our troops and please conservatives: Privatize the Empire.

Conservatives argue that the private sector is inherently more efficient than the public sector. Since the Reagan Administration, they have stepped up efforts to privatize aspects of the traditional “commons”—schools, airports, police and fire services, parks, the postal service, health care, public works projects, prisons, etc. War is no exception. Private contractors and mercenaries have consistently outnumbered US troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. I say outsource them all so our troops can come home to defend this country.

Obviously, the government sector is inefficient at waging war. Our war on Iraq resulted in a devastated corrupted country, hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths, millions of refugees, trillions of wasted dollars, and death and trauma to our own troops. One in five Iraqi children dies due to disease, malnutrition, and unsafe water.

A private sector cost-benefit analysis would have dismissed these wars against our enemy—al-Qaida (a private sector entity) as folly from the start. The vast majority of al-Qaida leaders have been “fired” not by the gross hammer of our military (which creates enemies faster than they can kill them) but by the surgical precision of our intelligence services. Years ago, Mafia kingpins dominated the FBI’s Most Wanted list, but we never invaded Sicily under the slogan of “We're fighting them there, so we don't have to fight them here.”

We spend more on the military than all other countries combined. If the Pentagon scaled back to what it needs for actual defense, imagine the savings! It could sell the 737 bases we maintain in foreign countries and have a fire sale worth trillions in surplus planes, ships, tanks, and explosives—everything the oil industry, for example, would need to take over the job of securing their private supply lines. Why waste time on diplomacy when the industry can afford to buy whatever political influence it needs—just as it does here. I’m sure the countries that have “our oil under their sand” would prefer to deal with CEOs directly and avoid the risk of regime change by a fickle public sector middleman like a US President.

Conservatives say they hate public subsidies because they create an uneven playing field. The oil industry is the richest in history yet the most subsidized. Why not eliminate their dependency on the public dole and unleash their gung ho competitive spirit in their own defense.

Conservative journalist, Eric Margolis, writes of bin Laden, al-Qaida’s CEO, “He repeatedly asserted that the only way to drive the U.S. from the Muslim world and defeat its satraps was by drawing Americans into a series of small but expensive wars that would ultimately bankrupt them. [We] ... rushed right into bin Laden’s trap.” So let’s get out! Privatize before they further radicalize.  

The hundreds of thousands of troops eligible for benefits already overwhelm our VA hospitals. The Army Times reported that, on average, 31 veterans a day try to kill themselves and 18 of them succeed. Over the past few years, more troops have died by their own hands than on our two main battlefields. Let’s privatize before more troops are traumatized.

We already privatized our elections and Congress. Why not the Empire?


As a Marine in Vietnam, Michael Orange experienced combat in numerous search-and-destroy missions and patrols during his tour of duty (1969-70). In 2001, he published a memoir of his experiences, Fire in the Hole: A Mortarman in Vietnam. He teaches a class on the history of the Vietnam War at venues including the University of Minnesota's Compleat Scholar Program.


US-Iran confrontation enters dangerous new stage, Peter Symonds,  World Socialist Website

  • These menacing moves against Iran, even as the US and its allies threaten military intervention against Iran’s ally, the Syrian regime of President Bashir al-Assad, have transformed the Middle East into a dangerous powder keg.
  • Global Opinion of Obama Slips

Americans Love a Good Killer, John Grant, In The Mindfield

  • The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic and a killer. --D.H. Lawrence
  • The realist in murder writes of a world in which gangsters can rule nations … where a judge with a cellar full of bootleg liquor can send a man to jail for having a pint in his pocket … where no man can walk down a dark street in safety because law and order are things we talk about but refrain from practicing. --Raymond Chandler

The Painful Price of Numbness

  • The drug war is fueled by many things, and maybe the worst drug of all is money, to which so many are so addicted that they can never get enough. It’s a drug for which they will kill, destroying communities and ecologies, even societies, whether for the sake of making drones, Wall Street profits, or massive heroin sales. Then there are the actual drugs, to which so many others turn for numbness.
  • Decriminalization of Drug Possession Doesn't Increase Drug Use, New Report Finds
  • The ‘Busy’ Trap

Rebecca Solnit, TomDispatch

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ssoosay (CC BY 2.0)

Dear Mexico,

I apologize. There are so many things I could apologize for, from the way the U.S. biotech corporation Monsanto has contaminated your corn to the way Arizona and Alabama are persecuting your citizens, but right now I’d like to apologize for the drug war, the 10,000 waking nightmares that make the news and the rest that don’t.

You’ve heard the stories about the five severed heads rolled onto the floor of a Michoacan nightclub in 2006, the 300 bodies dissolved in acid by a servant of one drug lord, the 49 mutilated bodies found in plastic bags by the side of the road in Monterrey in May, the nine bodies found hanging from an overpass in Nuevo Laredo just last month, the Zeta Cartel’s videotaped beheadings just two weeks ago, the carnage that has taken tens of thousands of Mexican lives in the last decade and has terrorized a whole nation.   I’ve read them and so many more.  I am sorry 50,000 times over.

Full story...


Decriminalization of Drug Possession Doesn't Increase Drug Use, New Report Finds, Ernest Drucker, Huffington Post

  • Just like ending alcohol prohibition, making the current crop of drugs legal simply means changing the laws. But changing the laws has been turned into a bloody legal and political battle that is about everything except drugs.
  • The Power and the Beauty of Portuguese Drug Policy
  • The Ugly Truth of Mandatory Drug Sentencing

The ‘Busy’ Trap, Tim Kreider, New York (NY) Times
Our frantic days are really just a hedge against emptiness.


Who Exactly is Mitt Romney Lying to?

  • Mitt Romney has either been lying to the public about his role at Bain Capital or filing false documents with the SEC.
  • It’s Time for Mitt Romney to Come Clean
  • Mitt’s real insult to the NAACP

Progress Report, ThinkProgress

Nine SEC filings submitted by four different business entities after February… (David L. Ryan/Globe Staff…)

An explosive report in today’s (July 12) Boston Globe has raised even more questions about Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital and what he’s hiding in his tax returns.

Here’s the rundown.

What Mitt Roney says: He says left Bain Capital in February 1999 to go run the Olympics and had nothing to do with the company after that and is therefore not responsible for the factories it closed, workers it laid off, and jobs it shipped overseas.

What official government documents say:

Full story...


Mitt’s real insult to the NAACP, Joan Walsh, Salon

  • Deriding "Obamacare" was bad, but Romney's support for voter suppression laws disrespects the group's entire legacy
  • Alabama Pastors Conference Is Open To All White Christians

The Myth of American Exceptionalism

  • “The position of the Americans is therefore quite exceptional, and it may be believed that no democratic people will ever be placed in a similar one” -- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (1835)
  • “America is indeed exceptional on many levels. We remain a country envied around the globe for our ability to create, think, and believe we can be a better place for all people. Maybe we only now are beginning to see that war, nationalism, wealth, and power are not the tools to make this happen.” – Jim Turpin, “The Myth of American Exceptionalism,” The Rag Blog, July 6, 2012
  • Buying What’s Left of Democracy

Jim Turpin, Rag Radio

Peace activist and writer Jim Turpin is a native Austinite with a Bachelor of Science in Speech Communications from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a member of Code Pink/Austin and an associate member of Veterans for Peace. He also volunteers at Under the Hood Café & Outreach Center, the GI coffeehouse at Ft. Hood, Texas, and is a contributor to The Rag Blog.
In his Rag Blog article on "American Exceptionalism," Turpin points out that the United States is number one in the world in military spending with troop presence in over 150 countries; has record levels of hunger, poverty and unemployment; has seen the rise of an Orwellian national security state; and has experienced "obscene accumulation of wealth by a corporate plutocracy" -- with record corporate profits while middle-class American families have "lost a staggering 39% of their net worth."

Full story...

  • Broadcast live from 2-3PM CDT every Friday afternoon on KOOP 91.7 in Austin, TX,  and streamed to the world.
  • Rag Radio is rebroadcast every Sunday at 10 a.m. (EDT) on WFTE, 90.3-FM in Mt. Cobb, PA, and 105.7-FM in Scranton, PA.


Buying What’s Left of Democracy, Bill Moyers and Michael Winship,

Under the cloak of “free speech,” rich Americans — especially on the Right — are buying what’s left of U.S. “democracy” and doing much of it in secret, insisting their sponsorship of TV attack ads be hidden. Some of their handmaidens even boast about their impending victories, note Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.


Live Coverage: Occupy Worldwide, July 15

  • The seed planted on September 17th in New York City has grown into a national and international movement. Occupy Wall Street has branched out with hundreds of groups organizing Occupy protests in their own communities. Reader Supported News highlights some of the more significant actions from around the country here. Share this page with your friends and associates and check back often for the latest developments.
  • 6 new items including:
    • City Of Oakland Taps Occupy Wall Street To Take On Goldman Sachs
    • Southern W.Va.: Announcing Late-July Mountain Mobilization to #StopMTR
    • Activists Crash Romney's Koch-Sponsored Hamptons Fundraiser
    • American Autumn: an Occudoc
    • Support Activists Facing Trial for Free Franklin Occupation!
    • Our Bodies, Their Politics

Reader Supported News

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

Highlights Week of July 15

City Of Oakland Taps Occupy Wall Street To Take On Goldman Sachs, Halah Touryalai, Forbes
As the world’s most powerful investment bank Goldman Sachs is no stranger to fighting all sorts of battles, but the city of Oakland, Cailf. is challenging the firm like no one ever has before.

Southern W.Va.: Announcing Late-July Mountain Mobilization to #StopMTR,
Last week (June 24-30), Mountain Justice and RAMPS stopped nine coal trucks and a coal barge after the Mountain Justice Summer Action Camp. These actions showed once again that people are willing to put their bodies on the line to stop the plunder of Appalachia and raised the spirits of West Virginians fighting to save their home, but Larry Gibson reminded us our work is not done."Everything has to get bigger from here," Larry said. "We need to put our backs up against the wall and not back down. The 99% means nothing if we don’t all support each other. No matter what our positions are we must come together."

Activists Crash Romney's Koch-Sponsored Hamptons Fundraiser, Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, AlterNet
Protesters marched down the beach in New York's Hamptons to demonstrate against the power of deep-pocketed donors over the political process. (photo: Garrett Haake/NBC)

Last month (June), President Obama raised a comparatively paltry $71 million campaign dollars to Romney's Goliath $106 million, and the reason is clear: the Republican candidate is backed by a coalition of Wall Street-humping super-PACs and shady figures like the Koch brothers who want to leverage their dough to take away the rights of average American people.

Full story...

American Autumn: an Occudoc,
Shot on the front lines and meeting spaces of the Occupy movement in NYC, Boston, and Washington, DC from the earliest days through the end of January 2012, American Autumn: an Occudoc is an inside looking out view of the occupy movement. With interviews and insight from key organizers, thinkers and activists including Medea Benjamin, David Degraw, Dr. Margaret Flowers, Lee Camp, Naomi Klein, Nathan Schneider, Ashley Sanders, Vlad Teichberg, Sgt. Shamar Thomas, Dr. Cornel West, Kevin Zeese and many more, writer/ director Dennis Trainor Jr weaves commentary and a fearless style that often puts the viewer right between police and protesters.

Support Activists Facing Trial for Free Franklin Occupation!,
On November 19, 2011, a group of DC community members going by the name "Free Franklin" entered and occupied the former Franklin Shelter building at 13th and K St NW. Protesting the lack of homeless shelters in DC and the city government's ongoing attempts to dispose of publicly owned property, the occupation was intended to put public resources to use to meet community needs.

Full story...


Our Bodies, Their Politics, Marilyn Katz, In These Times

  • The last few months have made abundantly clear what women must do: Rid America’s capitols of misogynists.
  • It’s time to say on the Web, in the streets, and of most importance and effect, in the ballot box: We’re not going back.
  • Mitt Romney's Plan to Woo Female Voters: Pretend Women Are Very Stupid

The ‘Busy’ Trap

Our frantic days are really just a hedge against emptiness.

Tim Kreider, New York (NY) Times

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

If you live in America in the 21st century you’ve probably had to listen to a lot of people tell you how busy they are. It’s become the default response when you ask anyone how they’re doing: “Busy!” “So busy.” “Crazy busy.” It is, pretty obviously, a boast disguised as a complaint. And the stock response is a kind of congratulation: “That’s a good problem to have,” or “Better than the opposite.”

It’s not as if any of us wants to live like this; it’s something we collectively force one another to do.

Notice it isn’t generally people pulling back-to-back shifts in the I.C.U. or commuting by bus to three minimum-wage jobs  who tell you how busy they are; what those people are is not busy but tired. Exhausted. Dead on their feet. It’s almost always people whose lamented busyness is purely self-imposed: work and obligations they’ve taken on voluntarily, classes and activities they’ve “encouraged” their kids to participate in. They’re busy because of their own ambition or drive or anxiety, because they’re addicted to busyness and dread what they might have to face in its absence.

Full story...

How to Think

  • If universities think a Milton Friedman or a Friedrich Hayek is more important than a Virginia Woolf or an Anton Chekhov, then we become barbarians.
  • Chris Hedges on The Alyona Show
  • Special Report | The Dumbing Down of American Politics: Week of July 1
  • George Lakoff | How Right-Wingers Scam People Into Buying Their Toxic Philosophy

Chris Hedges, Truthdig

At a time when corporations are buying up elections – not to mention the 24-hour-news cycle – help ensure that a source for truly independent journalism lives on. Support Evergreene Digest today by using the donation button in the above right-hand corner.

AP/Michael Probst

Cultures that endure carve out a protected space for those who question and challenge national myths. Artists, writers, poets, activists, journalists, philosophers, dancers, musicians, actors, directors and renegades must be tolerated if a culture is to be pulled back from disaster. Members of this intellectual and artistic class, who are usually not welcome in the stultifying halls of academia where mediocrity is triumphant, serve as prophets. They are dismissed, or labeled by the power elites as subversive, because they do not embrace collective self-worship. They force us to confront unexamined assumptions, ones that, if not challenged, lead to destruction. They expose the ruling elites as hollow and corrupt. They articulate the senselessness of a system built on the ideology of endless growth, ceaseless exploitation and constant expansion. They warn us about the poison of careerism and the futility of the search for happiness in the accumulation of wealth. They make us face ourselves, from the bitter reality of slavery and Jim Crow to the genocidal slaughter of Native Americans to the repression of working-class movements to the atrocities carried out in imperial wars to the assault on the ecosystem. They make us unsure of our virtue. They challenge the easy clichés we use to describe the nation—the land of the free, the greatest country on earth, the beacon of liberty—to expose our darkness, crimes and ignorance. They offer the possibility of a life of meaning and the capacity for transformation.

Full story...


Chris Hedges on The Alyona Show, Chris Hedges, The Aloyna Show
Alyona discusses his new book “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” with Chris Hedges Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and Senior Fellow at the Nation Institute.

Special Report | The Dumbing Down of American Politics: Week of July 1, David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • Tea Baggers, Fundamentalists, Bigots, and Other American Dumbasses of the New Millennium
  • 9 New Items including:
    • Dark Ages Redux: American Politics and the End of the Enlightenment
    • George Monbiot | Right's Stupidity Spreads, Enabled by Too-Polite Left
    • The Sources of American Political Dysfunction
    • Conservatism Thrives on Low Intelligence and Poor Information
    • These Low Information Voters Will Be Our Undoing
    • How these gibbering numbskulls came to dominate Washington
    • Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes
    • Sorry, Bigots: You're Dumb
    • Tea Baggers, Fundamentalists, and Other American Dumbasses of the New Millennium

George Lakoff | How Right-Wingers Scam People Into Buying Their Toxic Philosophy, Joshua Holland, AlterNet

  • Here is what progressives can learn from right-wing messaging.
  • Special Report | The Dumbing Down of American Politics: Week of July 1


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