Chris Hedges has written a new article on Chief Crazy Horse, titled “Time to Get Crazy.” This is an excerpt from the beginning of the article:
The ideologues of rapacious capitalism, like members of a primitive cult, chant the false mantra that natural resources and expansion are infinite. They dismiss calls for equitable distribution as unnecessary. They say that all will soon share in the “expanding” wealth, which in fact is swiftly diminishing. And as the whole demented project unravels, the elites flee like roaches to their sanctuaries. At the very end, it all will come down like a house of cards. Civilizations in the final stages of decay are dominated by elites out of touch with reality. Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth.
This sets the scene. What is the relevance of Chief Crazy Horse?
Native Americans’ resistance to the westward expansion of Europeans took two forms. One was violence. The other was accommodation. Neither worked. Their land was stolen, their communities were decimated, their women and children were gunned down and the environment was ravaged. There was no legal recourse. There was no justice.
We are now faced with a prospect of electing Mitt Romney, who has no credibility at all, or Barack Obama, whose campaign promises were largely a ruse to get elected:
How many more times do you want to be lied to by Barack Obama? What is this penchant for self-delusion that makes us unable to see that we are being sold into bondage? Why do we trust those who do not deserve our trust? Why are we repeatedly seduced? The promised closure of Guantanamo. The public option in health care. Reforming the Patriot Act. Environmental protection. Restoring habeas corpus. Regulating Wall Street. Ending the wars. Jobs. Defending labor rights. I could go on.
Hedges could have gone on. Obama has built up a Surveillance State that is surreal in scope. As part of that, he partnered with the telecoms, giving them free license to break the law as accomplices to the federal government. Net neutrality turned out not to be something worth fighting for, unlike the dozens of explicit promises he made in his campaign. Then we have Obama’s drone wars and aggressive prosecution of whistle-blowers. We have seen a willingness to prosecute Julian Assange, whose crime is to do what the New York Times investigative reporters do to win awards as journalists, except he helped bring about government transparency faster and in even greater quantity than any newspaper. And what about the war on fossil fuel Obama promised, to be coupled with millions of new jobs centered on sustainable energy?
What did Chief Crazy Horse do when neither accommodation nor resistance worked? According to Hedges, he stepped out of the system and fought, even when it appeared to be futile. Hedges is not advocating violence, but suggests that the Citizens are starting to see the system itself as illegitimate, which is a dangerous situation.