The Phoniness of Hope

I’m generally not big on watching videos online. I’m more of a reader. But this Laura Flanders interview of Chris Hedges is an exception. Hedges is as powerful with the spoken word as he is with the written word, and this video is quite powerful.

Hedges and Flanders pack a lot into 20 minutes, all worth viewing. Towards the end, Flanders asks Hedges about hope and Hedges explains how he doesn’t share America’s mania for hope.

And he refers to something I’ve noticed in what I read that I’ve come to find annoying: At the end of any book that drills deeply into a serious problem in America, there is the obligatory chapter about a hopeful future. “No matter how bad it is,” Hedges notes, “it has to end with uplift.” Hedges won’t buy into this obsession, and his explanation why is well worth seeing. It starts at the 17 minute mark.

3 responses to “The Phoniness of Hope

  1. Arizona Eagletarian

    Somebody has to tell it straight. And nobody does it better than Chris Hedges.

    I like to be hopeful, but maybe that American obsession is tied in with the psychology of denial. And the way so many people are coping with their denial is apathy and therefore they don’t show up to vote.

  2. captain*arizona

    Not everyone is angry old white liberal without hope. Ask the dreamers if they have hope. It is what america is all about. It is what america has always been about. And hopefully what it will always be about. With some direct action thrown in for good measure! How many of you hopeless were out at the demonstration last night in down town phoenix?

    • Captain, I think if you read a decent sampling of Chris Hedges’ writing, you’d find that he’s pretty much on the same page as you, and that you entirely missed the point with your comment. It’s not that Hedges is without hope, it’s that he won’t engage in the obsession of creating some hopeful ending every time he writes critically about life in America. If he were truly without hope, he wouldn’t be writing at all.

      So, where does he find hope? The same place you do. In the power of the masses to rise up and cast aside the plutocrats and corporatists who are running both major political parties and making life hell for the rest of us.