Transcript: The Collapse of the American Empire? | Sep 12, 2018

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and checked blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "The collapse of the American Empire? @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says CHRIS HEDGES IS A
PULITZER PRIZE WINNING
JOURNALIST WHO OVER THE PAST
DECADE AND A HALF HAS MADE
HIS NAME AS A COLUMNIST,
ACTIVIST AND AUTHOR.
HE HAS BEEN A VOCIFEROUS CRITIC
OF AMERICAN PRESIDENTS ON BOTH
SIDES OF THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM
AND HIS LATEST BOOK, "AMERICA,
THE FAREWELL TOUR" IS NOTHING
SHORT OF A FULL THROATED
THROTTLING OF THE POLITICAL,
SOCIAL AND CULTURAL STATE OF HIS
COUNTRY W THAT WE WELCOME CHRIS
HEDGES BACK TO TVO.

Chris is in his fifties, clean-shaven and balding. He's wearing glasses, a gray suit and a blue shirt.
A picture of his book appears briefly on screen. The cover is white, with a picture of a balloon printed with the American flag on it, floating away.

Steve continues IT'S SO NICE TO SEE NEW THAT CHAIR.

Chris says THANK YOU.

Steve says YOU KNOW, I SORT OF
JOKINGLY SAID TO YOU IN THE
GREEN ROOM BEFORE WE STARTED,
HAVING READ YOUR BOOK I DON'T
KNOW WHETHER TO KILL MYSELF
TODAY OR WAIT TO TOMORROW.

Chris says RIGHT.
BUT I SAID YOU'RE CANADIAN.
IMAGINE BEING AN AMERICAN.

[LAUGHTER]

Steve says THIS IS THE MOST
DEPRESSING LOOK AT YOUR COUNTRY
I THINK I HAVE EVER READ.
AND IF I CAN JUST BE PERMITTED
SORT OF AN OBSERVATION ON THE
TOP AND YOU TELL ME IF I'M
TOTALLY OUT TO LUNCH HERE.
AFTER READING THIS, I THOUGHT
CHRIS HEDGES SEES THE SAME
PROBLEMS IN AMERICA THAT I HEARD
FROM DONALD TRUMP AT THE
REPUBLICAN CONVENTION WHERE HE
DESCRIBED WIDESPREAD CARNAGE AND
MASS UNEMPLOYMENT AND DRUG
PROBLEMS AND SO MANY THINGS BAD
WITH AMERICA.
YOUR PRESCRIPTIONS, OBVIOUSLY
FOR FIXING THAT ARE DIFFERENT.
BUT DO YOU TWO ESSENTIALLY SEE
THE COUNTRY THE SAME WAY IN THAT REGARD?

The caption changes to "Chris Hedges. Author, 'America, the farewell tour.'"
Then, it changes again to "So long, farewell."

Chris says NO.
BECAUSE IT'S IMPORTANT THAT
HE... WHILE HE WILL RUNDOWN SOME
OF THE PATHOLOGIES THAT HAVE
GRIPPED HUGE SECTIONS OF THE
COUNTRY, HE BLAMES THEM ON
UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS, ON
LIBERALS, ON MUSLIMS, ON
MEXICANS.
SO HE IS A CLASSIC CONARTIST OR
A DEMAGOGUE.
BUT YOU DO RAISE AN IMPORTANT
POINT: HE TAPPED INTO THE DEEP
DESPAIR AND RAGE THAT LARGE
SEGMENTS... IN PARTICULAR THE
WHITE WORKING CLASS... FEELS AT
HAVING BEEN BETRAYED BY BOTH OF
THE MAJOR PARTIES.

Steve says LET'S GET INTO IT,
THEN.
YOU CALLED THIS A FAIR WELL
TOUR.
A FAIR WELL TO WHAT?

Chris says TO THE AMERICAN
EMPIRE.
TO AMERICA AS WE KNOW IT.

Steve says IS THAT A GOOD THING?
I HAVE HEARD SOME PEOPLE SAY A
FAIR WELL TO AMERICAN EMPIRE
WOULD BE A GOOD THING FOR THIS
WORLD.

Chris says IT DEPENDS HOW THE
EMPIRE DISSOLVES. IT DEPENDS
ON WHAT OUR REACTION IS.
YEAH, I MEAN, EMPIRE WHEN IT
CONTRACTS... AND IT WILL
CONTRACT VERY QUICKLY ONCE THE
DOLLAR IS NO LONGER THE WORLD'S
RESERVE CURRENCY... CAN EXPRESS
ITSELF IN SOME VERY FRIGHTENING FORMS.
SO, FOR INSTANCE, THE BRITISH
EMPIRE IN ESSENCE WAS A SLOW
COLLAPSE FROM THE END OF WORLD
WAR I CULMINATING WITH THE SUEZ
CRISIS, THE ABORTIVE ATTEMPT
TO RETAKE THE SUEZ CANAL AFTER
IT WAS NATIONALIZED.
THEY HAD TO RETREAT IN
HUMILIATION LARGELY BECAUSE OF
EISENHOWER'S OPPOSITION.
SO THEY FELL INTO A PRETTY
SIGNIFICANT DEPRESSION.
BUT THEY HANDLED IT IN A
DIFFERENT WAY.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE UNITED
STATES, WE'RE NOT PREPARED AT
ALL.
OUR DEMOCRATIC, SOCIAL AND
CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS ARE DEEPLY
DECAYED.
WE'RE ALSO A VERY VIOLENT
SOCIETY IN A WAY, FOR INSTANCE,
THAT CANADA IS NOT.
OR IN A WAY THAT GREAT BRITAIN
IS NOT.
WE'RE AWASH IN WEAPONS BUT THESE
ARE IN ESSENCE THESE AK-14...
NOT AK... THE AR-14s THAT ARE
USED IN THESE MASS SHOOTINGS IN
SCHOOLS AND CONCERT VENUES AND
MALLS.
THEY'RE ASSAULT WEAPONS.
THEY'RE NOT FOR HUNTING.
AND THEY'RE EASILY ACCESSIBLE.
SO I WORRY THAT THE
DISINTEGRATION OF EMPIRE WILL
EXACERBATE THE KINDS OF DARK
PATHOLOGIES THAT I SPENT A LOT
OF TIME IN THE BOOK WRITING
ABOUT.

Steve says THE U.K. FAREWELL TOUR
IT IS A YOU'VE DESCRIBED IT TOOK
ABOUT 40 YEARS.
HOW LONG IS THE AMERICAN
FAREWELL TOUR BEEN GOING FOR?

Chris says WELL, THERE'S BEEN A
STEADY DECLINE I WOULD SAY SINCE
THE EARLY 70s WHEN WE SHIFTED
IN THE WORDS OF THE HARVARD
HISTORIAN CHARLES MAYER FROM AN
EMPIRE OF PRODUCTION TO AN
EMPIRE OF CONSUMPTION.
SO WE BEGAN TO BORROW TO
MAINTAIN BOTH AN EMPIRE AND A
LIFE STYLE WE COULD NO LONGER
AFFORD.
THOSE BEGAN THE DISTORTIONS
ACCELERATED UNDER REAGAN.
THE CANNIBALIZING... THAT'S WHEN
THE CANNIBALIZING OF THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT BEGAN ON BEHALF OF
CORPORATIONS AT THE EXPENSE OF
THE CITIZENRY.
YOU KNOW, THE FAMOUS PHRASE
"GOVERNMENT IS NOT THE SOLUTION,
GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM,"
WELL, THAT'S TRUE IF YOUR
GOLDMAN SACHS OR EXXON MOBIL.
BUT IT'S NOT TRUE IF YOU ARE A
SINGLE MOTHER TRYING TO RAISE
CHILDREN ON A SUBSTANDARD WAGE
OR NO WAGE.
SO ALL OF THE MECHANISMS BY
WHICH DEMOCRACY WAS SUPPORTED,
BY WHICH OPPORTUNITY WAS OFFERED
HAS BEEN SLOWLY ERASED.
AND, OF COURSE, WE'VE BEEN
DEINDUSTRIALIZED, AS HAS LARGE
PARTS OF CANADA, WITH ALL OF THE
ATTENDANT CONSEQUENCES THAT COME
FROM COLLAPSED COMMUNITIES, THE
LOSS OF GOOD-PAYING UNIONIZED JOBS.

Steve says LY PLAY DEVIL'S
ADVOCATE FOR A SECOND.
OF COURSE DONALD TRUMP WOULD SAY
THAT THE ECONOMIC GROWTH RATE
HASN'T BEEN THIS HIGH IN
DECADES, THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
HASN'T BEEN THIS LOW IN DECADES.
HE SEES OTHER SIGNS AFTER
COUNTRY THAT IS ECONOMICALLY
QUITE DYNAMIC RIGHT NOW.

The caption changes to "Chris Hedges, @ChrisLynnHedges."

Chris says IT'S ALL ABOUT
MEASUREMENT.
YES, IT'S TRUE, THE STOCK MARKET
IS ON A RUN.
BUT WHY?
WELL, LARGELY, FIRST OF ALL,
BECAUSE OF THE DONALD TRUMP'S
TAX CUTS WHICH WILL REMOVE AN
ESTIMATED 1.5 TRILLION dollars FROM THE
U.S. BUDGET OVER A 10-YEAR
PERIOD.
THAT MONEY HAS NOT BEEN USED TO
BOLSTER MANUFACTURING OR CREATE
JOBS.
IT'S EITHER BEEN ORDERED OR IT'S
BEEN USED TO BUY BACK STOCK AND
THAT HAS INFLATED THE STOCK
MARKET BECAUSE THE SENIOR
MANAGERS AND CEOS OF LARGE
CORPORATIONS, THEIR COMPENSATION
PACKAGES ARE TIED TO THE VALUE
OF STOCK.

Steve says PRESUMABLY SOME OF IT
HAS GONE TO CREATING NEW JOBS.

Chris says NOT MUCH.
BUT THE UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES ARE
COMPLETELY FIXED.
IF YOU LOOK AT HOW THEY MEASURE
UNEMPLOYMENT.
SO, FOR INSTANCE, IF YOU WORK
ONE HOUR A WEEK, YOU'RE COUNTED
AS EMPLOYED.
THE AVERAGE WORKER AT WALMART
WORKS 28 HOURS A WEEK.
WHICH PUTS THEM BELOW THE
POVERTY LINE.
THEY'RE COUNTED AS EMPLOYED.
IF YOU HAVE STOPPED LOOKING FOR
WORK AFTER FOUR WEEKS, YOU ARE
MAGICALLY ERASED FROM THE
UNEMPLOYMENT ROLLS.
AND IT DOESN'T COUNT... LARGE
SECTORS OF THE POPULATION,
STUDENTS, RETIRED PEOPLE WHO ARE
MANY OF WHOM ARE NOW RIDING
AROUND IN R.V. VANS DOING TEMP
WORK FOR AMAZON AT CHRISTMAS FOR
12 HOURS A DAY.
AND WAREHOUSES, PRISONERS, SO
REAL UNEMPLOYMENT... THE L.A.
TIME AS COUPLE OF YEARS AGO SAID
REAL UNEMPLOYMENT IS PUSHING
PROBABLY 17 percent.

Steve says 17!

Chris says IF WE REMOVED
PEOPLE... OR IF WE LOOK AT
PEOPLE WHO ARE CONSIDERED THE
WORKING POOR.
I.E., THOSE PEOPLE WHO HAVE JOBS
BUT ARE BELOW THE POVERTY LINE.
AS IN ESSENCE UNEMPLOYED OR
CERTAINLY NOT RECEIVING AN
INCOME THAT CAN SUSTAIN IN ANY
WAY A LIFE STYLE, YEAH.

Steve says I KNOW YOU'RE NOT A
MASSIVE FAN OF HEARTLESS
CAPITALISM AS I JUST READ IN 308
PAGES OF THE BOOK.
HOWEVER, PRIVATE COMPANIES
CREATE MOST OF THE JOBS THAT
MOST AMERICANS HAVE.
SO WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THAT?

Chris says I WOULD ARGUE THERE
ARE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CAPITALISM.
I GREW UP IN A FARM TOWN IN UP
STATE NEW YORK.
AND I SAW THE PENNY CAPITALISM
OF FARMERS.
FARMERS PRODUCED, BROUGHT THEIR
PRODUCE IN FOR SALE.
YOU HAD REGIONAL CAPITALISM.
SO A LOCAL FACTORY OPENER WHO
LIVED IN THE COMMUNITY, SAT ON
THE SCHOOL BOARD, PAID TAXES.
AND THEN YOU HAVE CORPORATE
CAPITALISM WHICH IS ANOTHER
ANIMAL ALL TOGETHER.
SO WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT PRODUCING
JOBS LET'S LOOK AT APPLE.
WHERE ARE THE MANUFACTURING JOBS
FOR APPLE.

Steve says OVERSEAS.

Chris says THEY'RE IN CHINA.

Steve says YEAH.

Chris says AND WHAT ARE THE
WORKING CONDITIONS FOR THE
PEOPLE WHO ARE SUBCONTRACTORS
WHO MAKE APPLE PRODUCTS.

Steve says NOT GREAT.

The caption changes to "Chris Hedges. Truthdig."

Chris says IT'S LIKE SAVE LABOUR.
HUGE SUICIDE RATES WHEN THEY
DON'T MAKE QUOTAS THEY'RE NOT PAID.
PEOPLE CLIMBING UP LIVING IN
THESE HORRIFIC DORMITORIES.
SO CORPORATE CAPITALISM IS AN
ENEMY OF PENNY AND REGIONAL
CAPITALISM.
AND IT IS GLOBAL.
IT IS SUPER NATIONAL.
IT HAS NO LOYALTY TO THE NATION
STATE.
AND IT IS CORPORATE CAPITALISM
THAT HAS DISTORTED AND KIND OF
HOLLOWED THE AMERICAN ECONOMY
OUT FROM THE INSIDE.

Steve says WHEN I READ YOUR BOOK,
I SEE AN AMERICA AT WAR WITH
ITSELF BETWEEN WHITE
SUPREMACISTS AND Neonazis I WHO
IS ARE TRYING TO MAKE THEIR
CLAIM FOR THE END OF THE WORLD.
I SEE YOU DESCRIBE WIDESPREAD
SEXUAL ABUSE IN A HARD-CORE PORN
INDUSTRY THAT IS COMPLETELY
FRIGHTENING.
OPIOID AND DRUG ABUSE AND HEROIN
ABUSE THAT IS OFF THE CHARTS.
ADDICTIVE GAMBLING RUN AMOK.
WIDESPREAD PASS YOU'VE DESCRIBED
ALREADY TONIGHT.
WIDESPREAD UNEMPLOYMENT, UNDER
EMPLOYMENT.
I UNDERSTAND YOU ARE TRYING TO
TELL A STORY HERE BUT IS THAT
TRULY GENUINELY REFLECTIVE OF
AMERICA TODAY?

Chris says YES.
AND I TRAVELLED ALL OVER THE
COUNTRY AS YOU KNOW FOR THIS AND
SPENT TWO YEARS.
SO I WAS IN ANDERSON, INDIANA,
WHERE ALL THE OLD GM PLANTS
WERE.
UTAH.
I WROTE MY GAMBLING CHAPTER OUT
OF THE TRUMP TAJ MAHAL BEFORE
TRUMP EVER ANNOUNCED HE WAS
RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT.
WHEN I WAS WRITING IT WAS IN
DEEP DECAY.
MOST OF THE ROOMS WERE MOTH
BALLS.
MICE.
THE MICE WERE FIGHTING ON THE
FLOOR, PEOPLE SHOOTING UP IN
THE ELEVATORS.
I THINK WHAT WAS SO DISTURBING
FOR ME WRITING THE BOOK WAS HOW
MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN AFFECTED.
ESPECIALLY IN THE OPIOID CRISIS.
I DON'T THINK THE NUMBERS BEGIN
TO REFLECT THE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE
WHO ARE ADDICTED TO POWERFUL
NARCOTICS, DEPRESSANTS.
AND I MEAN I LIST
STATISTICALLY... WE'RE TALKING
ABOUT BIG, BIG NUMBERS, BIG,
LARGE SECTORS OF THE AMERICAN
POPULOUS THAT IN ESSENCE HAS
FOUND WAYS TO CHECK OUT.
THE PROLIFERATION OF HATE
GROUPS.
IS... I USED FOR THE BOOK EMIL
DURKHEIM'S GREAT STUDY OF
SUICIDE WHERE HE WEPT BACK AND
TRIED TO LOOK, SOCIOLOGIST, AT
WHAT WERE THE FACTORS OR CAUSES
THAT LED PEOPLE TO KILL
THEMSELVES AND HE COINED THIS
PHRASE ATOMY.
AND I THINK THAT'S WHAT I AM
TRYING TO DO IS EXPLAIN THAT
ANOMY THAT HAS GRIPPED AT LEAST
HALF THE COUNTRY AND THE DARK
PROCESSES THAT ANOMY PRODUCES
AND IF WE DON'T LOCATE THAT
DISLOCATION AND DESPAIR, IF WE
DON'T REINTEGRATE THESE PEOPLE
ECONOMICALLY, POLITICALLY AND
SOCIALLY BACK INTO A SYSTEM THAT
NO LONGER RESPONDS IN ANY WAY TO
THEIR RIGHTS AND THEIR
GRIEVANCES, THEN THESE
PATHOLOGIES WILL ONLY GROW.
AND WE SPOKE EARLIER ABOUT THE
DECLINE OF AMERICAN EMPIRE.
AS THE PRESSURE BECOMES WORSE.
AS THE ECONOMIC SITUATION
DETERIORATES, IF THESE
CONDITIONS GO UNADDRESSED, THEN
THESE PATHOLOGIES WILL EXPLODE.
AND I COVERED THE WAR IN THE
FORMER EWING.
YUGOSLAVIA.
SO I KNOW WHAT DISINTEGRATING
SOCIETIES CAN LOOK LIKE.
I WATCHED AFTER THE ECONOMIC
COLLAPSE OF YUGOSLAVIA IN THE
1980s FROM A FAILED LIBERAL
ELITE THAT COULDN'T RESPOND, I
WATCHED THESE DISTORTIONS LIKE
RADOVAN AND MILOSEVIC BE VOMITED
OUT OF THE DECAY IN THE WAY THAT
TRUMP HAS BEEN VOMITED UP OUT
OF A VERY DISEASED COUNTRY.

Steve says THAT IS WHAT I WAS
GOING TO ASK YOU: HOW MUCH OF
WHAT YOU ARE DESCRIBING IS A
FEATURE OF THE PERSON WHO
HAPPENS TO SIT IN THE OVAL
OFFICE TODAY VERSUS ANYBODY ELSE
WHO WOULD SIT IN THAT CHAIR?

Chris says I THINK TRUMP IS THE
SYMPTOM NOT THE DISEASE.
HE IS A CON-ARTIST, A DEMAGOGUE.
AND HE WAS ASTUTE ENOUGH TO TAP
INTO THE ZEITGEIST... THE
TRAGEDY FOR ME... THERE WERE
INSURGENTS IN BOTH PARTIES.
THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY
ESTABLISHMENT WAS JUST MORE
ASTUTE IN BLOCKING THE
NOMINATION TO SANDERS.
AND I WOULD ARGUABLY THAT THEY
EFFECTIVELY BLOCKED IT.
THE REPUBLICAN PARTY
ESTABLISHMENT WAS NOT ABLE TO
BLOCK TRUMP.
AND IF SANDER HAS GOTTEN THE
NOMINATION I THINK HE WOULD HAVE
BEATEN TRUMP.

Steve says HOW WOULD AMERICA BE
DIFFERENT IF THAT HAD HAPPENED?

Chris says NOT TERRIBLY.
BECAUSE WITH A REPUBLICAN
CONTROLLED CONGRESS, IT WOULD
HAVE BEEN PARALYSIS.
BUT YOU WOULDN'T HAVE SANDERS
PUSHING FORTH THE KINDS OF
AGENDAS NOR MAKING THE KINDS OF
APPOINTMENTS TO THE EPA, TO
EDUCATION, SUPREME COURT THAT
TRUMP HAS MADE.
AND THAT FOR ME IS QUITE
FRIGHTENING.
AND I THINK WE HAVE TO PIN SOME
OF THE BLAME ON THE CLINTON CAMPAIGN.
WHEN YOU GO BACK AND READ THE
PODESTA E-MAILS THEY PUSHED
TRUMP AS A CANDIDATE BECAUSE
THEY THOUGHT HE WOULD BE THE
EASIEST CANDIDATE TO DEFEAT.
SO BOTH SANDERS AND TRUMP
RESPONDED IN... TO THE REALITY
OF THE GROTESQUE SOCIAL
INEQUALITY IN THE UNITED STATES
WHICH WAS GREATER THAN THE
GUILDED AGE. GREATER THAN IT
WAS A CENTURY AGO.
THE DIFFERENCE BEING THAT, OF
COURSE, TRUMP IS DISHONEST.
HE HAS ONLY FUELLED THE
PLUTOCRACY.

Steve says WELL, LET ME PICK UP
ON THAT BECAUSE YOU MENTIONED A
BUNCH OF IMPORTANT INSTITUTIONS
IN AMERICAN SOCIETY IN THE MIDST
OF THAT ANSWER AND I WANT TO
PULL A QUOTE FROM THE BOOK HERE
THAT DEALS WITH THAT. SHELDON IF
YOU WOULD BRING THIS GRAPHIC UP...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Rooted in reality." The quote reads "The most ominous danger we face comes from the marginalization and destruction of institutions, including the courts, academia, legislative bodies, cultural organizations and the press, that once ensured that civil discourse was rooted in reality and fact, helped us distinguish lies from truth and facilitated justice."
Quoted from Chris Hedges, "America, The Farewell Tour." 2018.

Steve says I SAW A POLL RECENTLY
AND I BET YOU SAW IT, TOO IN
WHICH REPUBLICANS WERE SURVEYED
AND 93 percent SAID IF DONALD TRUMP
says IT I BELIEVE IT.

Chris says YES.

Steve says I THINK THE SAME POLL
Chris says IF SOMEBODY IN MY FAMILY
Chris says IT ONLY 63 percent OF PEOPLE
BELIEVE IT THEY BELIEVE THE
PRESIDENT MORE THAN THEIR OWN
FAMILY.
80 percent OF REPUBLICANS THINK THAT'S
WHAT'S IN THE WALL STREET
JOURNAL DON'T BELIEVE THE WALL
STREET JOURNAL.
NOT EVEN THE WALL STREET
JOURNAL.
IN THAT AMERICA, WHAT HOPE DO
EMPIRICALLY PROVABLE FACTS HAVE?

The caption changes to "Truths and lies."

Chris says WELL, YOU PINPOINTED
SOMETHING THAT'S VERY OMINOUS.
WHEN NATIONAL AND POLITICAL
DISCOURSE IS NO LONGER ROOTED IN
VERIFIABLE FACT, THEN FACTS ARE
INTERCHANGEABLE WITH OPINIONS.
TRUTH IS WHATEVER YOU WANT IT TO
BE.
AND I WRITE IN THE BOOK ABOUT
THE NATURE OF THE PERMANENT LIE.
THAT ALL POLITICIANS LIE.
ALL GOVERNMENTS LIE, AS OTHERS
HAVE SAID.
BUT THEY LIE FOR EXPEDIENCY L SO, FOR INSTANCE, BILL CLINTON
ARGUES THAT BY PASSING NAFTA
THERE WILL BE MANY MORE AMERICAN
JOBS.
BILL CLINTON DOESN'T MAKE THAT
ARGUMENT ANY MORE BECAUSE IT'S
FALSE AND WHO KNOWS WHETHER HE
KNEW OR DIDN'T KNOW.
BUT IT'S FALSE.
WITH THE PERMANENT LIE, REALITY,
FACTS DON'T MATTER.
SO TRUMP WINS BY A LAND SLIDE.
TRUMP HAS THE LARGEST
INAUGURATION CROWD IN THE
HISTORY OF...

Steve says FIRST GUY TO WIN
WISCONSIN IN 50 YEARS.
NOT TRUE.

Chris says IT'S ENDLESS.
BUT IT DOESN'T MATTER.
AND THEN YOU HAVE MEDIA
PLATFORMS THAT, LIKE FOX NEWS.
THAT WILL PROPAGATOR DISSEMINATE
THESE LIES UNCRITICALLY.
AND THAT HAS CORRODED DISCOURSE
IN THE UNITED STATES.

Steve says TALK TO ME MORE ABOUT THAT.

Chris says THE INSTITUTIONS... IN
A FUCKING DEMOCRACY YOU HAVE
INSTITUTIONS AND YOU CITED THEM,
THE COURTS, ACADEMIA, THE PRESS.
THAT THEIR JOB IS TO MAKE SURE
THAT PEOPLE SPEAK ABOUT A
VERIFIABLE REALITY.
THOSE INSTITUTIONS HAVE BECOME
CORRUPTED, WEAKENED, DESTROYED.
OR REPLACED WITH SYSTEMS... FOX,
BREITBART, ALL OF THESE RIGHT
WING PROPAGANDA OUTLETS
MASQUERADING AS NEWS.
THE COURT SYSTEM HAS BEEN TAKEN
OVER AND IS NOW BEING FINISHED
OFF WITH APPOINTMENTS FROM THE
FEDERALIST SOCIETY WHICH IS
THIS IDEOLOGICAL RIGHT-WING.
IT CREATES A KIND OF
SCHIZOPHRENIA WHERE... YOU MAY
SEE REALITY IN FRONT OF YOU.
BUT REALITY IS DENIED BY THE
POWER ELITES AND BY THE
ORGANS... THE MEDIA PLATFORMS
THAT DISSEMINATE THE OPINIONS OF
THE POWER ELITES.
AND THAT REALLY BEGINS TO SOUND
LIKE DESCRIPTIONS OF
TOTALITARIANISM.
SOMETHING HANNA AARON WOULD
WRITE ABOUT.

Steve says I DON'T WANT THE CLOCK
TO GET TOO FAR AWAY FROM US
WITHOUT GIVING YOU AN
OPPORTUNITY TO THAT YOU CAN
ABOUT WHAT YOU SEE AS GETTING
AMERICA OUT OF THIS FAREWELL TOUR.
AND HERE ARE A FEW OF THE IDEAS
YOU ADVANCE IN THE BOOK: A 15 dollar
MINIMUM WAGE.
A BAN ON FOR-PROFIT HEALTH CARE,
A DISMANTLING OF NUCLEAR
WEAPONS, ENDING TRADE
AGREEMENTS.
GIVING CITIZENSHIP TO
UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IMPLEMENTING
THAT MENU OF POLICIES WOULD CHANGE?

The caption changes to "Fixing the foundations."

Chris says I THINK IT'S ABOUT
REINTEGRATION.
SO IT'S ABOUT TAKING THIS
DISPOSSESSED... HUGE
DISPOSSESSED SEGMENT OF THE
AMERICAN POPULATION AND
REINTEGRATING THEM INTO THE
COUNTRY.
ED AND, OF COURSE, THE OPPOSITE
IS HAPPENING THROUGH PROGRAMS OF
AUSTERITY, SLASHING WELFARE.
YOU KNOW, THE ORIGINAL WELFARE
PROGRAM WHICH WAS CUT BY
CLINTON, 70 percent OF THE RECIPIENTS
WERE CHILDREN.

Steve says IT'S CALLED AFDC.
THE C STANDING FOR CHILDREN.

Chris says AND THE CHILDREN WERE
SOLD OUT AND THERE'S BEEN NOW A
FURTHER SLASHING OF AVAILABILITY
OF FOOD STAMPS.
SO YOU'RE TAKING A POPULATION IN
DISTRESS AND YOU ARE
EXACERBATING THAT DISTRESS.
SO I WROTE A BOOK ABOUT THE
CHRISTIAN RIGHT CALLED AMERICAN
FASCISTS.
AND I CAME TO THE CONCLUSION
AFTER TWO YEARS OF WRITING THAT
BOOK THAT THE ONLY WAY TO BATTLE
THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT, WHICH I SEE
AS A KIND OF CHRISTIANIZED
FASCIST FORCE AND I SPEAK AS A
SEMINARY GRADUATE.

Steve says WE SHOULD POINT THAT OUT.
YOU ARE THE Dr. REVEREND.

Chris says THAT'S RIGHT.

Steve says CHRIS HEDGES.

Chris says SO THE IMPORTANCE I
BELIEVE TO COUNTERING THE
MAGICAL THINKING OF THE
CHRISTIAN RIGHT WAS ROOTED IN
THE ECONOMY, IN REINTEGRATING
THEM INTO THE ECONOMY, GIVING
THEM THE KINDS OF JOBS, THE
UNIONIZED JOBS THAT WERE ONCE
AVAILABLE WHERE YOU HAD JOB
SECURITY, JOB SAFETY, A PENSION
PLAN, MEDICAL BENEFITS. AND A
SALARY THAT COULD SUSTAIN A
FAMILY. THAT'S ALL GONE.
AND BY MAKING IT WORSE, WE ARE
PUSHING LARGER AND LARGER PARTS
OF THE POPULATION INTO THE
EMBRACE OF DEMAGOGUES, HATE
GROUPS OR SEEING THEM ENGAGE IN
BEHAVIOUR THAT IS ARE WILFULLY
SELF-DESTRUCTIVE.
I MEAN, SUICIDE, FOR INSTANCE,
THE HIGHEST RATE OF SUICIDE IN
THE UNITED STATES ARE MIDDLE
AGED WHITE MEN WHO REALIZE THAT
THERE'S NO PLACE FOR THEM
ANYMORE.
AND I QUOTE POPE JOHN PAUL IN
HIS ENCYCLICAL ON WORK.
WORK IS NOT JUST ABOUT THE
EXCHANGE OF LABOUR FOR WAGES.
IT IS ABOUT STATUS, DIGNITY,
SELF-RESPECT.
THE ABILITY TO FIND A MEANINGFUL
PLACE IN SOCIETY.
AND WE'RE NOT DOING IT.
AND THE LONGER WE DON'T DO IT,
THE WORSE IT'S GOING TO GET.

Steve says HERE'S ANOTHER QUOTE
FROM THE BOOK.

Another quote from Chris's book appears on screen, under the title "No good side." The quote reads "Politics is a game of fear. Those who do not have the ability to frighten power elites do not succeed. The platitudes about justice, equality, and democracy are just that. Only when ruling elites become worried about survival do they react. Appealing to the better nature of the powerful is useless. They don't have one."

Steve says I GUESS I NEED TO ASK
YOU WHETHER YOU ARE ACTUALLY
ADVOCATING THE VIOLENT OVERTHROW
OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.

Chris says NO, I'M STRONGLY
OPPOSED TO VIOLENCE.

Steve says LET'S TAKE THE
VIOLENCE OUT OF THAT SENTENCE.
ARE YOU ADVOCATING THE OVERTHROW
OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT?

Chris says I AM ADVOCATING THE
OVERTHROW OF A CORPORATE GOVERNMENT.
I'M ADVOCATING A REVERSAL OF THE
CORPORATE COUP D'ETAT.

Steve says HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN.

Chris says I COVERED THE
REVOLUTIONS IN EAST GERMANY,
CZECHOSLOVAKIA, ROMANIA.
IT HAPPENS WHEN PEOPLE HAVE ENOUGH.
AND...

Steve says HOW IS IT NOT... I
MEAN, IF THE GREAT RECESSION,
2008 TO WHENEVER, IF THAT DIDN'T
AND ALL OF THE CORPORATE
KLEPTOCRACY THAT WALL STREET GOT
AWAY WITH AND HOW MAIN STREET
HAD TO PAY FOR IT, IF THAT
DIDN'T PROPEL PEOPLE TO RISE UP,
WHAT WILL?

Chris says THE NEXT CRASH.
WE'RE GETTING ONE.
I DON'T KNOW WHEN.
BUT IT'S COMING.
AND THIS TIME AROUND THE ELITES
DON'T HAVE A PLAN "B."
THEY CAN'T LOWER INTEREST RATES
ANY MORE THAN THEY'VE ALREADY
LOWERED THEM.
WE'RE ALREADY AT VIRTUALLY ZERO.

Steve says WHAT DOES THAT LOOK
LIKE? THAT RISING UP THAT YOU
SEE COMING?

Chris says WELL, WE'VE SEEN
GLIMPSES OF IT: THE PODEMOS
MOVEMENT IN SPAIN WHERE THEY
SURROUNDED THE PARLIAMENT. I
MEAN, LARGE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE
TAKING TO THE STREETS,
OBSTRUCTING THE SYSTEM.
I SAW IT IN WENCESLAS SQUARE IN
PRAGUE. 500,000 CZECHS. I SAW
IT IN EAST GERMANY IN LEIPZIG.
THAT WAS THE MOST EFFICIENT
SECURITY AND SURVEILLANCE STATE
IN HUMAN HISTORY UNTIL OUR OWN.

Steve says I'M GOING TO TAKE A
QUOTE DIRECTLY FROM YOUR BOOK
WHICH IS NOW THAT WE'VE GOT ALL
THOSE COMMUNISTS OUT OF EASTERN
EUROPE WE CAN GO BACK TO THE
GOVERNMENT WE USED TO HAVE...
FASCISM.
IS THAT WHAT'S COMING?

Chris says AMERICA IS ALREADY A
FAILED DEMOCRACY.
AND TRUMP HAS NO IDEOLOGY.
IT'S AN IDEOLOGICAL VACUUM WHICH
IS VERY RAPIDLY BEING FILLED BY
THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT.
WE SAW IT.
HE JUST HAD HAD A BIG WHITE
HOUSE DINNER WITH EVANGELICALS.
81 percent AMONG EVANGELICALS.
THE... AND AS NOAM CHOMSKY SAYS YOU MAY WANT DONALD TRUMP OUT
BUT BELIEVE ME MIKE PENCE WOULD
BE WORSE.
THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT HAVE HUGE
AMOUNTS OF MONEY BEHIND THEM
INCLUDING THE MOST RETRO GRADE
CAPITALIST IN THE UNITED STATES.

Steve says IS THAT WHAT'S COMING
TO REPLACE WHATEVER THIS IS?

Chris says I AM A REPORTER AND I
LEARNED A LONG TIME AGO THAT TO
PREDICT THE FUTURE IS A
DANGEROUS THING.
BUT UNLESS THERE IS SUSTAINED
MASS CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE TO PUT
PRESSURE ON TWO POLITICAL
PARTIES AND A SYSTEM THAT IS
COMPLETELY CAPTURED BY CORPORATE
POURER, THEN WHAT'S COMING, I
CAN ASSURE YOU WILL NOT LOOK
NICE AND NOT BE GOOD.

Steve says YOU'VE CALLED THIS
"AMERICA, THE FAREWELL TOUR."
BUT I WONDER IF THIS IS
EXCLUSIVELY, IN YOUR VIEW, AN
AMERICAN STORY.

Chris says NO.
AND WE KNOW, FROM, YOU KNOW,
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN EUROPE,
BREXIT, HUNGARY, POLAND, WHICH
ARE QUASI-FASCIST STATES NOW.
CANADA IS NOT IMMUNE TO THIS.
YOU ALSO... NOT TO THE EXTENT
THAT WE HAVE, BUT YOU'VE HAD
YOUR EXPERIENCES WITH MASS
SHOOTINGS.

Steve says POPULIST POLITICS.

Chris says BUT IT'S FAR MORE VIRULENT AND
PRONOUNCED WITHIN THE UNITED STATES.
BECAUSE EMPIRES ARE ALWAYS
FRAGILE IN THIS SENSE THAT THEY
DEPEND ON THE CONTROL OF FOREIGN
LABOUR, FOREIGN RESOURCES.
WE HAVE 17 YEARS OF WARFARE NOW
IN THE MIDDLE EAST.
FEUDAL, ENDLESS.
MEANWHILE, OUR INFRASTRUCTURE IS
COLLAPSING, CRUMBLING.
PUBLIC LIBRARIES ARE CLOSING.
SCHOOLS ARE... TEACHERS HAVE TO
BUY BASIC SUPPLIES FOR STUDENTS.
AND, YOU KNOW, NOW WE HAVE THIS
INSANE IDEA THAT WE'RE GOING TO
TRAIN TEACHERS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
TO CARRY CONCEALED WEAPONS.
THESE ARE ALL EXAMPLES OF A
SOCIETY THAT IS COMPLETELY
UNMOORED.
SO IT IS NOT... HARDLY UNIQUE TO
THE UNITED STATES.
AND IT WILL HAVE A RIPPLE EFFECT
IN COUNTRIES LIKE CANADA.
BUT IT WILL NEVER REACH THE
EXTENT OF CHAOS AND POTENTIAL
VIOLENCE.
BUT NEVER FORGET THAT WITHIN
AMERICAN SOCIETY WE ARE A DEEPLY
VIOLENT CULTURE.
AWASH IN WEAPONS.
WE BELIEVE IN THE REGENERATION
THROUGH VIOLENCE.
THIS MYTH THAT VIOLENCE IS A
FORM OF PURIFICATION.
HAND THAT COMES OUT OF OUR LONG
HISTORY OF GENOCIDE AND SLAVERY.

Steve says YOU STARTED WITH A REVOLUTION.
WE DID NOT, YOU DID.

Chris says WE ALSO KILLED 90 percent OF
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES IN THE UNITED STATES.
AND ENSLAVED 4 MILLION AFRICANS.
AND WE'VE NEVER REALLY
CONFRONTED THAT DARK ASPECT IN
AMERICAN HISTORY.
WE CLING TO OUR NATIONAL MYTH.
AND SO THAT DOES MAKE US
DIFFERENT AND MORE DANGEROUS
THAN CANADA.

The caption changes to "Producer: Cara Stern, @carastern."

Steve says THIS IS, IF YOU DON'T
MIND MY SAYING A DEPRESSING
BOOK BUT IT IS WELL REPORTED AND
A VERY IMPORTANT READ.
"AMERICA, THE FAREWELL TOUR,"
CHRIS HEDGES, REALLY GOOD OF YOU
TO COME INTO TVO TONIGHT.
THANK YOU.

Chris says THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

Watch: The Collapse of the American Empire?