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The Falling of the American Empire

 Ralph spends the whole hour with Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author, Chris Hedges, discussing his book “America: The Farewell Tour.”

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, who spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has written eleven books, including War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning,” which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. Mr. Hedges was part of a New York Times team of reporters awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for coverage of global terrorism. He also received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism in 2002. He writes a weekly column for the website Truthdig. And his latest book – coming out on August 21st  – is entitled, “America: the Farewell Tour.”

“I don’t think the collapse of empire is necessarily a negative. At this point, empire has become a deeply destructive force not only for our own country but globally.  We see with endless warfare – seventeen years of warfare now in he Middle East – the inability of the corporate state to deal in a rational way with climate change or restrict or control the financial institutions that have become completely predatory and have already reconfigured the United States into an oligarchy, where it becomes impossible to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs or Citibank or Raytheon or any of these other large corporations.” Chris Hedges, author of “America: The Farewell Tour”


  1. Afdal says:

    In addition to caucus violations and targeted voter suppression of Sanders primary voters, the absolute biggest reason I will never waste my time campaigning for Sanders again was his cowardice at challenging clear exit polling evidence for election fraud. Millions of Sanders supports who devoted huge amounts of their time and energy to be disenfranchised by criminal election fraud only to have their champion do nothing about it. People who refuse to challenge election fraud shouldn’t even make any pretenses at caring for a functioning democracy, they are not democrats. Why in the world would anyone support someone who would do that to them again?

  2. I think this is one of the most important discussions on the state of the world I have heard. In particular I relate to point about the crucial role of “work” and ‘community” At the base of human dignity is the sense of purpose and ability to at a minimum take care of yourself and your loved ones. There is a growing view that we are coming to a time of ‘end of work” That Artificial intelligence will replace ‘work’ and people will just live to have hobbies. I think the point here is that this is a fantasy “Work” is not a Chris says about making “money” Rather it is bout finding purpose in the world and a place for creation. Ralph asks the right questions And the prescription at the end for a better future is the return to localism and “all resistance is local” No easy solutions this should be heard and read by everyone.

  3. Marc says:

    I’m a big fan of Hedges to be sure but I’ve always been highly hesitant of jumping in and establishing connections with the so-called ‘deplorables’. While I get there are those who voted for Trump solely to throw a wrench into the machine (I completely understand), the other fact is he also ran a highly racist campaign and thereby attracted another set of voters. Those who basically are blinded by their hatred of people of color, women and the LGBTQ community, and they revel in their hatred and ignorance. I grew up in the south, and I have had family members my entire life who were thoroughly racist. While some just made racist jokes or whatnot, I had others who went a step further to the point where I believed that, given a chance to get away with it, they would lynch blacks (or Latinos, Native Americans, immigrants, etc). One only needs one racist in their extended family to be carcinogenic and I have had no less than 2 at any given time. I even once had a skinhead-wannabe put a 357 at my forehead. They’re disgusting, pig-ignorant, reprobate people and making their lives easier won’t cure them of their repulsive, retrograde set of values. Hillary Clinton is detestable, I could go on and on railing her, but she’s right when she called the racist and ignorant right ‘deplorable’. Because they are, I’ve seen them up close and personal my entire life.

    Giving them economic security won’t magically make them not racist. I reject that. Because there was a time in this country when white people had a sound economic foundation (the 1950-60s, a period neither blacks, Native Americans nor Latinos enjoyed), and they were still racist to the core. If they weren’t, we wouldn’t have needed the civil rights marches of that period. So this idea that the deplorables’ racism is merely an expression of their economic pain and suffering is simply false. America has historically been deeply racist, through its ‘good’ times and bad, and there is no cure for it. It’s baked into our culture, impossible to extract.

    When Steve said that when the American empire collapses, that it might not go quietly, coupling that with the fact we’re a nuclear power, I too have often thought about that. America would rather destroy the world several times over rather than give up control. We’re a pathological group of spoiled murderers and there’s no fixing us.

  4. Duncan MacIntosh says:

    Fabulous podcast!

    Chris and Ralph are amazing.

    • robert dresdner says:

      Hedges says you have to have been in the war zones and oppressed Empire countries like Gaza to fully appreciate how evil Empire and its butlers are like Drone Killer Obama, but surely he would agree that its very easy to to see the same evil operating in America for over a century now where we have desperately poor indian reservations like the western Sioux reservations, or the disgracefully neglected ghettos in inner cities, or the recent mexican border crimes against refugees by ICE and DHS. One would have to be blind not to see the deliberate, predatory ruling class policy at work all over America, in these obviously oppressed places, and also in the more subtle repression of working within the corporations, in the refusal to provide decent public education, low cost college, medicare for all, the refusal to regulate drug companies, etc. Many people are numb to these facts and so many media and congressional and senate leaders are working to keep them that way..

  5. james m. baggett says:


  6. Paul Bazo says:

    So , I’m wondering, given that you have an internet connection, why we have to listen to Ralph and Chris over the phone? It sounds horrible. Why can’t you connect over something like skype or some other meeting app where the sound would be better than AM radio quality? It makes no sense. Do you do it on purpose? Give our ears a break.

    Great interview, of course.