The Thought Police Are Coming — Desultory Heroics

By Chris Hedges Source: TruthDig Chris Hedges gave this talk Tuesday, June 11, at an event held in London in support of Julian Assange. Ask the Iraqi parents of Sabiha Hamed Salih, aged 15, and Ashwaq Hamed Salih, aged 16, who were killed by shrapnel in Baghdad on July 31, 2004, what they think of […]

via The Thought Police Are Coming — Desultory Heroics


8 thoughts on “The Thought Police Are Coming — Desultory Heroics

    • Hi Jason,

      Zamyatin wrote of ‘the barely audible susurration of the listening membranes under the streets.’
      ‘Our gods are here, below, in our midst: in the Bureaus, in the kitchen, in the workshop, in the lavatory – the gods have become even as we; ergo, we have become even as the gods. And we shall come to you, my unknown planetary readers – we shall come to you to make your life even as divinely rational and regular as ours.’

      The Soviet Union disappeared – comparatively overnight…

      Plotinus and those who followed him – including Marx – understood the meaning and significance of ‘the tremendous power of the negative’ – not only before which nothing stands, but which is the very driver of existence.

      It is existence.

      Poles dripping with cameras like Christmas lights, all the tricks of digital spying and control etc., no matter how effective and warranting concern, are marks of human consciousness and willing – just as the Thousand Year Reich was.

      But as Marx showed, consciousness is ultimately secondary to matter (objective reality).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Jason,
        I use ‘matter’ as another term for objective reality. Objective reality doesn’t require us or our consciousness – we and our consciousness (a function of matter/objective reality), over billions of years, are its product.

        As you know, for the great majority of time the earth has existed, there was no life on it and for an even greater period of time, no consciousness.

        Every aspect of what and who we are developed in our relationship with the world, in our struggle to survive.

        This is what I mean by ‘consciousness is secondary’.

        The sun will one day destroy all life on earth and possibly the planet itself – objective reality will continue in whatever forms, eternally changing.

        There is nothing ‘nihilistic’ (the much loved subject of bourgeois academe) about these words – quite the opposite. That product of nature, my brain, enables me to be open to the wonder of it all.

        To me, that consciousness is secondary to and derivative of objective reality is an utterly obvious fact. I think that the reason the ‘debate’ continues regarding the precedence of the one over the other is simple – proponents of ideology (systems of belief delimited by [dominant] interests) have historically required that consciousness be held to be primary – Marx noted this in relation to the response by the bourgeoisie to the core of Hegel’s (Plotinus’) revolutionary philosophy.

        But in the beginning (and ever since) was not the Word, but the world.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It seems good and natural to be open to the wonder of it all. But I still think in order for the world to be considered an objective reality, there has to be some kind of sentience to impose such a judgement. Now mind you, your description appears correct, and most liberal minded people in this day and age would probably assent to it, as do I, in a way, but I am still very much in the dark about such matters, mainly because there is so much in life that I don’t really know or understand. Perhaps what you refer to as an objective reality is only one version of many random universes. Not sure how we could verify, or prove false, the possibility of their being an infinite number of universes. Whether various worlds are coming into being independent of each other, or if our cosmos is the only one to have come into existence through the big bang, it’s all still very much of a mystery to me. Nevertheless you are aware that the way our brains have evolved determines how we perceive reality. We see things in a very restricted sense and our experience of time & space is warped. Nothing really is as it appears to be. You could gaze upon a star during the evening while smoking your tobacco pipe and be filled with all the rhymes of the muse, but in actuality that particular star may no longer exist. In truth we may no longer exist, but some part of our psyche could be grasping after an illusion of sorts in hopes of objectifying or making something objectively real; a fixation or conscious impulse or reactive mode of reliving the same thing over and over like a bad case of OCD. So the stories we tell ourselves might bring about some temporary solace, but whatever that gratification might be, it too may only be wood for the fire of passion that keeps us blissfully ignorant that we are but participating in a bloodbath paradise.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Jason,

        One of the great powers of our brains is their capacity to not only theorise, but more broadly, to imagine.

        Years ago I knew a person (deeply Catholic) who thought that the universe is a jewel in a ring on God’s hand (I don’t think he is the only person to think that).

        I once attempted to read a book of proofs for God’s existence but had to give it up, not because it was so abstract, but because it was so abstracted, so distant – from reality.

        My reaction to that book is one of the reasons I think so highly of Lenin’s Materialism and Empirio-criticism – because that book is anchored in reality.

        One can theorise any number of universes, for example, but that is not science – science is verifiable. Central to verification is an appreciation of causality and our role in that – Engels wrote excellently on this.

        Best regards

        Liked by 1 person

      • You made some really good points. Keeping our research within the parameters of modern science sounds pragmatic. Whether there is a god or not, multiple universes or not, none of these metaphysical considerations excuse us from taking responsibility for ourselves and from trying to get along with others. Participating in a common reality brings forth shared perspective, advantages not possible for one cut off and living in their own imagination. Thank you for the reminder to keep it real. Lots of love, JY

        Liked by 1 person

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