Chris Hedges Print this item Our Mania for Hope Is a Curse

Our Mania for Hope Is a Curse

  Demonstrators protesting the influence of big corporations march on Wall Street amid heavy police presence in 2011. (AP / John Minchillo)

The naive belief that history is linear, that moral progress accompanies technical progress, is a form of collective self-delusion. It cripples our capacity for radical action and lulls us into a false sense of security. Those who cling to the myth of human progress, who believe that the world inevitably moves toward a higher material and moral state, are held captive by power. Only those who accept the very real possibility of dystopia, of the rise of a ruthless corporate totalitarianism, buttressed by the most terrifying security and surveillance apparatus in human history, are likely to carry out the self-sacrifice necessary for revolt.

The yearning for positivism that pervades our corporate culture ignores human nature and human history. But to challenge it, to state the obvious fact that things are getting worse, and may soon get much worse, is to be tossed out of the circle of magical thinking that defines American and much of Western culture. The left is as infected with this mania for hope as the right. It is a mania that obscures reality even as global capitalism disintegrates and the ecosystem unravels, potentially dooming us all.

The 19th century theorist Louis-Auguste Blanqui, unlike nearly all of his contemporaries, dismissed the belief, central to Karl Marx, that human history is a linear progression toward equality and greater morality. He warned that this absurd positivism is the lie perpetrated by oppressors: “All atrocities of the victor, the long series of his attacks are coldly transformed into constant, inevitable evolution, like that of nature. … But the sequence of human things is not inevitable like that of the universe. It can be changed at any moment.” He foresaw that scientific and technological advancement, rather than being a harbinger of progress, could be “a terrible weapon in the hands of Capital against Work and Thought.” And in a day when few others did so, he decried the despoiling of the natural world. “The axe fells, nobody replants. There is no concern for the future’s ill health.”

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It’s the Great British sell off: Osborne reveals plan to sell off more government assets than ever before in bid to raise more than £23BILLION this year

It’s the Great British sell off: Osborne reveals plan to sell off more government assets than ever before in bid to raise more than £23BILLION this year

Thursday 21st May 2015 at 09:23 By David Icke

‘George Osborne signalled the start of the biggest ever sell-off of public assets in a speech to the CBI business conference last night.

The Chancellor said the government would raise more than £23billion this year – a new record – by privatising stakes in Eurostar, Lloyds and the student loan book.

He also revealed that Government departments have already been ordered to start finding extra savings ahead of the emergency budget in July, as he bids to wipe out the government deficit within just two years.’

Read more: It’s the Great British sell off: Osborne reveals plan to sell off more government assets than ever before in bid to raise more than £23BILLION this year

Rainsbrook G4S youth prison slammed by Ofsted report as children suffer ‘racist’, ‘degrading’ abuse from guards high on drugs

Rainsbrook G4S youth prison slammed by Ofsted report as children suffer ‘racist’, ‘degrading’ abuse from guards high on drugs

Children held at a prison run by the outsourcing giant G4S were subjected to “degrading treatment” and “racist comments” at the hands of staff who were under the influence of illegal drugs, a damning report by the education watchdog has revealed.

Ofsted inspectors who visited Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre in Northamptonshire earlier this year said staff had behaved “extremely inappropriately” towards the young people in their care, causing them “distress and humiliation”.

Frances Crook, the chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, described the inspectors’ conclusions as “the worst report on a prison I have ever seen”. Six members of staff at the jail were sacked in the wake of the incidents.

Please see:

Royal British Legion Industries and G4S Are Both Connected to Israel. Does that make them complicit to mass genocide against Palestinians and have blood on their hands? by Debbie Simmons – Street Democracy

Disabled Man attacked by G4S Security at Newcastle Jobcentre by samedifference1

South African companies boycott G4S over links to Israeli prisons

G4S Guantanamo contract ‘breaches UK policy’

Atos and G4S pay no corporation tax

More G4S Killings! G4S Guards Charged With Manslaughter

Unscrupulous G4S – Don’t Give A Damn!

G4S Thugs – Soon To Be Our Private Police in the UK!

G4S guard fatally restrains 15 year old – gets promoted

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Street Democracy writes:

 

Dignity is not sacred with this sham of a private corporation.

 

A private security company hiring ‘aggressive attitudes’ is a corporation of unclean and violent wisdom and this is placed within our community of vulnerable people’s.

 

It isn’t just children filled with anguish, but the unemployed filled with humiliation at the hands of G4S staff.a817d-10325255_762251357148113_5318466948222745598_n

This story highlights the dreadful interval of fierce hosting we can expect from G4S with a seemingly fanatical commitment to continue its agenda of brute force administration upon those they’re responsible for.

 

Clearly the staff are not trained adequately or are trained to be ‘too institutionalised’ and expect children to follow suit. Children are free spirits, it’s why we love watching them play. It’s squashed out of them and some kids don’t like this and rebel.

 

A shattering life change as you grow up.7e06c-bpxbsdgiqaa4xfo

Children with added worries of life are troubled, the last ingredient is to be incarcerated with verbalised thugs, shunting uniform in your face, vaunting aloud their unjustly grievances and volleying ‘evil’ in print at them as a threat of punishment!

 

G4S is a corporation that cannot hide its morally depraved principles.

 

We’ve seen if before and we’ll see more foul ‘thug-ish’ expeditions from this private security firm.

 

By Debbie Simmons-Street Democracy62ec8-bmfjlrkciaahcuz

Tories could cut a fifth of staff at department that chases tax dodgers, union warns

Tories could cut a fifth of staff at department that chases tax dodgers, union warns

17:09, 18 May 2015
By Dan Bloom

The FDA union claims HMRC will lose up to 15,000 of its 64,000 staff – despite having to find an extra £5bn by cracking down on tax avoidance

Axe: HMRC could face huge job cuts – but George Osborne wants staff to tackle tax avoidance

Tory cuts could axe more than a fifth of staff at the department in charge of chasing tax dodgers, a union has warned.

It’s claimed HM Revenue and Customs will lose out as new waves of cuts spread across Whitehall, ditching up to 100,000 jobs.

That’s despite HMRC being in charge of a new tax avoidance crackdown that George Osborne claims will net Britain £5bn.

Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA civil service union, says HMRC will suffer because other departments like education, health and foreign aid are better-protected.

And it won’t be able to track down tax dodgers without investing in expensive experts, he warned.

He told Mirror Online: “Tax avoidance is just one part of HMRC but it’s a critical one.

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Street Democracy writes:

Our Tory ‘principles of the age’ are depraved, filled with unclean wisdom, a biased favouritism and a total cataclysm of our social and political democracy.

The lobbyist’s who paid millions into the Tory ‘general election’ piggy bank, want they’re financial payback.

Their reward is to be able to continue dodging tax payments by the millions and with less staff hounding their complicated private economic system, fraudulent tax dodging can commence unchallenged.

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Corporate wealth has replaced our voting system for money as these millionaires run our centralised power.

Favouring themselves, legalizing money trafficking and biased principles favouring corporatisation hierarchy enshrined into biased rich favouring law is now so obvious they may as well just admit it.

With a fanatical commitment, venal economic elite, with their banded powers of corporate principles have rigged Tory policies to favour themselves.get-attachment-405-587x402

Our government is enmeshed with a culture of privilege, power, wealth and entitlements and with blind obedience the Tory puppet MP’s are too willingly obliging.

It is so obvious.

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They’re not cutting staff surrounding the ‘Bedroom Tax’, to chase rent arrears from the poorest.

Another grotesque pantheon completely devoid of moral fibre corporate elites financial manoeuvres work our governmental system like a playing a fiddle.

Our democracy serves the corporate oligarchs.

Our democracy favours concentrated wealth and our system is most radically anti-democratic.

By Debbie Simmons-Street Democracy.

Social landlords expect cuts to trigger new wave of homelessness

Social landlords expect cuts to trigger new wave of homelessness 

Report based on survey of English housing associations and councils suggests government moves to restrict benefits will result in a surge in tenant evictions

An empty property
High numbers of evictions are leaving housing associations in some areas without tenants. Photograph: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Social landlords are expecting a surge in rent arrears, tenant evictions and homelessness as the government pushes ahead with more welfare cuts and changes, according to new research.

The continuing impact of the bedroom tax, together with moves to extend the benefit cap and impose further limits on housing benefit, will put further financial pressure on tenants, predicts a report by consultants Grant Thornton.

It concludes that the ability of councils and housing associations to mitigate growing arrears has been severely eroded, and increasing numbers are issuing possession orders to tenants who have fallen behind with the rent.

Grant Thornton’s survey of English housing associations and local authorities revealed that a majority had seen a rise in average rent arrears over the past two years, with over a fifth reporting a “sharp increase” in eviction notices being served.

Last week, official statistics showed that tenant evictions reached a six-year high in the first three months of 2015. Over the same period, social landlords made 27,000 possession claims – the first stage in the legal process leading to an eviction.

Councils are also feeling the strain of increased evictions in the private rented sector, with 59% reporting an increase in applications for social housing from tenants who had been ejected by private landlords.

The threat of further evictions will rise after a cut in the budget for discretionary housing payments (DHP) from £165m to £125m this year, the report says. DHP grants, which help tenants with rent shortfalls caused by welfare reform, were originally intended as a temporary measure to enable tenants to stay in their home while they got a job or arranged a move to a smaller property.

Social landlords expect cuts to trigger new wave of homelessness  

Street Democracy writes: 

‘We hold our doors so they attack in vain, 

but the dissposses can never reign, 

The Tories darkness to desolate our inner peace

Our societal tolerance of this must now cease!

Tory bullies set a furious expedition of fierce hosting with frowning scorn as they devise with fanatical commitment social housing benefit cuts that do not match the ‘real’ agenda of living.

Like a book of hideous horrors, ravenous eyes of blue will rip apart the welfare state budget and the knock on affect will be catastrophic, a real cataclysm of hardship and homelessness.

Feeling powerless is exalted to highest when you have no base, no home and are at the mercy of the state. 

Its cold, void of empathy. 

It’s frighteningly undignified and humilation upon the face of the mother who has no front door key, who holds her child without cover and stands in front of housing officers who follow the tail of the one in front.

An unwelcome forced intimacy of front line reception housing, is filled with love abandon policies, evil in print and administrators unwilling to disobey and put humanity first before unclean wisdom and policy.

You face a plethora of hostile dialogues of conditions and financial sanctions before you are shunted off to unsuitable temporary accommadation and for what.

How many empty properties are there, and how many unscrupulous rich landlords are there?

Always a corrupt capitalist society will put profit before people and this is no exception and it helps only the wealthy.

By Debbie Simmons-Street Democracy.

Lab tests: McDonald’s ‘Devastates’ Gut Health in 10 Days

Lab tests: McDonald’s ‘Devastates’ Gut Health in 10 Days

new Friday 15th May 2015 at 09:30 By David Icke

‘We all know food at McDonald’s is virtually unfit for human consumption, but disturbing new lab results have reportedly demonstrated the true extent of the damage you are doing to your body when you eat fast food. Specifically, we’re talking about the ‘devastation’ of your gut health — the attack on the most important part of your biological immune response.

In a report that really brings into focus just what’s going on when we throw a bunch of chemical additives together with some ‘meat-like substances,’ a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London used one unlucky college student (who also happened to be his son) to see what truly goes on in our stomachs when we chow down on some quarter pounders.

It goes way beyond just super sizing your pant size and clogging up your arteries.’

Read more: Lab tests: McDonald’s ‘Devastates’ Gut Health in 10 Days

McDonald’s apologises after customer told he wouldn’t be served because he looked ‘homeless’

new Friday 15th May 2015 at 09:31 By David Icke

‘McDonald’s bosses have apologised after staff told a customer he wouldn’t be served because he ‘looked homeless’.

Landscape gardener Daniel Jackson, 27, was wearing his outdoor work gear when he was told he initially denied service.

He claims the manager of the fast food outlet on Oxford Road in Manchester city centre told him the company had a ‘zero tolerance policy’ to serving homeless people – McDonald’s has denied such a policy exists.’

Read more: McDonald’s apologises after customer told he wouldn’t be served because he looked ‘homeless’

This pursuit of the hungry shows the monstrous side of modern Britain

This pursuit of the hungry shows the monstrous side of modern Britain

new Friday 15th May 2015 at 09:32 By David Icke

‘In the BBC’s recent Poldark drama, Jim Carter, an unemployed tin miner, is caught poaching the local gentry’s rabbit to feed his hungry family. Despite pleas for clemency Jim is made an example of by the judge, sentenced to two years, and subsequently dies in jail, paying the ultimate penalty for a minor food theft.

Perhaps someone at the Hetton Road Tesco Express in Sunderland felt a similar urge to make an example when, after spotting people on CCTV sifting through out-of-date groceries at the back of the store in January, they picked up the phone to the police. Or maybe they were simply following company protocol. Either way, the resulting court case has turned out to be a spectacular own goal for Tesco.’

Read more: This pursuit of the hungry shows the monstrous side of modern Britain

Street Democracy writes: This is a comment from the Guardian comments section:

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‘Prosecutor Lee Poppett said the couple had raised suspicion after being seen on a Sunderland City Council CCTV camera in the secure compound behind the store at midnight.
They were in the process of removing a pallet of food stuffs from the compound when they were intercepted by police.’
(Sunderland Echo…under the heading ‘Freegan’ wife sold neighbour’s vacuum to buy drugs – and has 28 previous convictions for 60 crimes’. )

She was also dealt with for two offences of theft/shoplifting sentence having been deferred earlier on the basis that she stay out of trouble, and she was also in breach of a suspended sentence for wounding two years earlier.

COME ON Graun…if the Sunderland Echo can report it accurately I’m sure you could give it a go. This is shockingly lazy journalism which does you no credit. Leaving aside that this was ‘a pallet of foodstuffs’ rather than a couple of out-of-date sandwiches, how else would you want the Criminal Justice System to deal with a woman with 28 previous convictions for 60 offences-including, for God’s sake, wounding?! Oh, and she nicked (intercepted) a new vacuum cleaner being delivered to her neighbour and sold it to pay for drugs…or rather that’s what she admitted to police rather than endure the shame of telling them she needed the money to buy food. The impression you gave me (and intended to give) when I read this article was that of a decent couple reduced to rummaging in bins, and of the ‘monstous’ bastards at Tesco (who should sue you given the prominence you’ve given to them in the photo) and the police grinding them into the ground. Was it the ‘whole truth’? I think not-but why do I have to go to the Sunderland Echo to get it? Yesterdays nonsense about the Prince of Wales’ letters was at least debatable. This is shoddy rubbish.

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Street Democracy writes:

The mind’s of how others choose to survive is of consequence of how society is governed.

We face a dreadful interval into our lives that can damage the human psyche for many, not all, some for some of the time, many all of the time.

To have no money is to have no power. Social exclusion is a heavy burden to carry when a crushing force of domination spears hatred at you from all angles.

Drug addiction, shoplifting, child neglect, debt and any other ill you can mention isn’t necessarily a reason of poverty, but blaming an individual for any of the above without full facts is again short-sighted.

We  have innately decent people place themselves in disastrous situations.

Do we condemn without ever knowing the full story?

Heavily based sorrow drives some to escapism at great cost to themselves. To try to live an existence away from victimhood within our communities.

Our society is a culture of divisions, and the blame of hate towards some who are victims of an aggressive political stance who go to great lengths to heal themselves, even if it is against the law, needs addressing.

By Debbie Simmons-Street Democracy

Protesters and police face off at Downing Street gates as hundreds rally against new Tory government

Protesters and police face off at Downing Street gates as hundreds rally against new Tory government

Sunday 10th May 2015 at 09:11 By David Icke

‘Hundreds of protesters took to the streets to express their anger about the new Tory government.

The anti-Conservative protesters, some holding placards reading “I pledge to resist” and “Stop the cuts”, took part in the rally organised just a day into the new Parlimament.

It is believed to have started outside Conservative headquarters, where just over 24 hours ago Mr Cameron gave a speech to party activists about their unexpected win.

Much of the protest was peaceful, with many attending calling for the introduction of proportional representation after the election results on Friday.’

Read more: Protesters and police face off at Downing Street gates as hundreds rally against new Tory government

Vladimir Putin signs historic $20bn oil deal with Iran to bypass Western sanctions

Vladimir Putin signs historic $20bn oil deal with Iran to bypass Western sanctions

‘Vladimir Putin has agreed a $20bn (£11.8bn) trade deal with Iran that will see Russia sidestep Western sanctions on its energy sector.

Under the terms of a five-year accord, Russia will help Iran organise oil sales as well as “cooperate in the oil-gas industry, construction of power plants, grids, supply of machinery, consumer goods and agriculture products”, according to a statement by the Energy Ministry in Moscow.

The Russian government issued a new statement on Wednesday after mysteriously withdrawing a similar release on Tuesday.’

Read more: Vladimir Putin signs historic $20bn oil deal with Iran to bypass Western sanctions

The Human Cost of the FIFA World Cup

The Human Cost of the FIFA World Cup

‘As the world watches the 2014 FIFA World Cup, people are protesting the cost and the human rights violations being committed by police and security forces to protect this corporate investment.

Working people in Brazil are understandably frustrated with the public cost of the World Cup, an estimated $14 billion. When compared to spending on social services, the cost of the World Cup is the equivalent of 61% of funding for education, or 30% of the funding for healthcare. Private companies, including those in the services and construction industries, will be the main beneficiaries of this public money. Adding to this cost is the forced evictions of the poor living in the favelas (slums) and the dispossession of indigenous people from their lands to build stadiums and parking lots. [1]

Over one million people in Brazil have protested the cost of the World Cup, the cutbacks and increased costs of social services, forced evictions, and other human rights violations.’

Read more: The Human Cost of the FIFA World Cup