Author Chris Hedges will deliver “Empire of Illusion,” a lecture on post-Cold War conflicts, Friday, April 9, 10-11 a.m., at New York University’s Silver Center for Arts and Science, Somerville Theater, Room 703 (100 Washington Square East). Enter at 32 Waverly Place or 31 Washington Place (wheelchair accessible). Subways: 6 (Astor Place); R, W (8th Street); A, B, C, D, E, F, V (West 4th Street).
The lecture is part of NYU’s Liberal Studies Program’s 2010 Student-Faculty Colloquium. NYU ID required for entry. For more information, call 212.998.7225. Reporters interested in attending must RSVP to James Devitt, NYU’s Office of Public Affairs, at 212.998.6808 or email@example.com.
Hedges, former Middle East bureau chief for the New York Times, is a senior fellow at the Nation Institute. He is the author, with Laila Al-Arian, of Collateral Damage , as well as American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America and War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.
When the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989, the world seemed on the brink of a long period of prosperity and peace under the leadership of the United States, the only superpower left, and its ideological and economic model, capitalism. President George Herbert Walker Bush and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher promised a peace dividend, and philosophers celebrated the end of history and the end of armed conflict. Twenty years later, such predictions have not panned out.
“The institution of war, understood as regulated, codified conflict, has crumbled,” says Martin Reichert, a master teacher in NYU’s Liberal Studies Program and organizer of the event. “Foreign policy and international legal standards, such as the Geneva Convention, have lost their meaning. Domestically, democratic principles and processes have been eroded by a policy of fear and by massive corporate interests, largely unopposed by public opinion and by the media. To some, the Cold War appears in retrospect as a period of stability and relative harmony. Today’s conflicts have reached new levels of violence, unpredictable, ubiquitous, and of a potentially staggering scale.”
The Liberal Studies Program is a two-year foundation program for students who will complete their education in one of the university’s other undergraduate schools. It features an interdisciplinary core curriculum that fulfills the liberal arts requirements for bachelor’s degrees inNYU’s other schools.