August 2, 2010

Chris Hedges

is a Pullitzer-winning journalist who resigned from The NYT when he was told he could not keep his job there while publicly opposing the Iraq war (more at Wikipedia).

The video below is long but well worth the time. Don't stop watching after Hedges stops speaking the first time; I found the other speakers worthwhile, plus Hedges delivers additional brilliant stuff during subsequent Q&A.

A couple of Hedges' many insights:

[W]e forgot that the question is NOT, how do we get good people into power. The question is, how do we limit the damage the powerful can do to us?

Most people attracted to power are at best mediocre, and . . . often [are] venal. The true correctives of American democracy never achieved formal political power [e.g., those who fought slavery, the suffragettes, the labor movement, the civil rights movement -- none of these ever attained formal political power]. By 1968 Martin Luther King was the most important President this country [n]ever had . . . .

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