In the short film by Amanda Zackem, Chris Hedges discusses the fragility of modern societies and how people tend to be emotionally incapable of understanding or confronting collapse, even when it’s staring them in the face. He draws on his experiences living in totalitarian societies like East Germany and Serbia to illustrate how these systems work and the dark emotions they evoke.
Chris Hedges argues that the illusion of hope and optimism, fueled by the cult of the self and the worship of power and money, has actually become a form of fantasy and is leading us towards disaster. Hedges contends that critical thinking and the study of the humanities are essential for teaching people to think critically and challenge assumptions, and that historical amnesia perpetuated by popular culture is another tool used by totalitarian systems to keep people in the dark about their problems.
Chris Hedges then discusses the dangers of unchecked capitalism and its impact on society. He argues that capitalism exploits everything, turning human beings, the natural world, and even the environment into commodities to be exploited until exhaustion. Hedges contends that the forces of capitalism, including corporate socialism, are responsible for the decay of states and the enslavement of vulnerable populations. He advocates for a greater emphasis on values that are rooted in community, empathy, and a sense of purpose, rather than consumerism and hedonism.
At the end, Chris Hedges discusses the importance of self-sacrifice and service in achieving a life of fulfillment. He argues that community is essential for personal growth and development, but it also comes with a sense of anxiety and responsibility. Hedges believes that consumer society magnifies this anxiety, pushing individuals into destructive behaviors.
He also talks about the dangers of totalitarianism and the corporate state’s total control over society. Hedges believes that popular culture has replaced real culture and that the corporate state seeks to eradicate the forces that remind us of our humanity. Hedges urges individuals to make a decision about whether they want a life that means something or continue to seek hedonistic pleasures.