The Moral Imperative of Revolt

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Chris Hedges returned to the JP Forum last night and a huge crowd gathered to hear him speak in the Sanctuary of First Church JP.   With great anticipation, we all listened to his compelling argument about the moral imperatives of revolt.  “What happens next, is up to us,” he concluded.

photoAfter briefing the audience on the history of revolutions, from Russia & Germany to Egypt and Iran, Hedges reminded us all “We are at a point in history where we must stand up for all of the oppressed or none of them.  There is no picking and choosing and the oppressed need not to be patient any longer.”

His analysis of corporate power and militarism corrupting our society was once again right on point–he acknowledged how the current US government is built on fear that continues to paralyze its citizens and suggested that the capacity to live in truth and not in fear is what will unleash the revolution.

Hedges encouraged us that the only way to see clearly is to be stripped of our privilege.  We must maintain real relationships with the oppressed because they are the only ones who can truly see clearly.  Hedges does this by teaching in the NY prison system. He was quick to say that he has never had more powerful or relevant conversations about political theory than he does with his current students who are in prison.  Their courage and heroism, against all odds, continually inspire him to show up day after day to speak truth to power.

Charles Eisenstein, who spoke at the JP Forum last year writes, “When any of us meets someone who rejects dominant norms and values, we feel a little less crazy for doing the same. Any act of rebellion or non-participation, even on a very small scale, is therefore a political act.” Coming together as neighbors and friends in a common struggle is a political act that we at the Jamaica Plain Forum are committed to.  We continue to fight the isolation that capitalism promotes by hosting our neighborhood for these pararmount conversations.

Chris challenged and inspired us toward revolt, in the very best and hardest since of that word.

As he writes in his most recent book, “These moments (of revolution) engender not simply new ideas but new feelings about established power and human possibilities.” 

To listen to the entire lecture, click here.

His recent book is available at Papercuts JP at 5 Green Street. “Don’t buy my book on Amazon. Support your local bookstore. It is a cultural treasure.”- Hedges