The Next American Civil War

Chris Hedges on the American divide and how violent language inevitably leads to violence

A foreboding story:

“I watched Yugoslavia divide until you had these completely polarized, antagonistic camps that were speaking to each other in the language of violence. And I know from covering war that it becomes a very short step. Once you begin to speak in the language of violence to actually carrying out violence and that's what's happening.”

This is what Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges sees in America today. He also warns that, in every conflict he witnessed first hand, nobody believed the violence would start until blood was already shed.

Take a look at America.

There’s a visceral hatred rising between Americans. A nationalist, conspiracy-theorizing right against a “morally bankrupt liberal class that doesn’t stand for anything anymore.”

Journalism has collapsed. There’s no longer a goal to win back audience trust. “Their motive is to cater to a demographic and make money.” Journalism has become a tool to widen the divide.

And a huge population of Americans are already armed. But none of us can imagine violence actually breaking out. That idealism could end soon.

Chris laughs and quotes Joseph Roth: “You think you’re going to survive?”


–Hedges on vaccine mandates: “How inconsistent and incoherent it is to have mandates and at the same time not enabling people in other countries to get them with the patents and no generics. How you can possibly pretend that your priority is saving lives?”

–Chris’s new book Our Class: Trauma and Transformation in an American Prison

–And the most important story of the week: Nicki Minaj v. Joy-Ann Reid

It’s all this, and more, on this week’s subscriber-only episode of Useful Idiots. Watch it here.