World-renowned linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, essayist, and political activist Noam Chomsky returns to The Chris Hedges Report to continue their discussion on contemporary fascism, the war in Ukraine, and the tasks of the left in a time of ecological and political crisis. Noam Chomsky is the author of more than 150 books on topics that include linguistics, the press, the inner workings of empire, and the war industry. He is a Laureate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Arizona and an Institute Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His books include Hegemony or Survival, For Reasons of State, American Power and the New Mandarins, Understanding Power, The Chomsky-Foucault Debate: On Human Nature, On Language, Objectivity and Liberal Scholarship, The Fateful Triangle, and many others.
World-renowned linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, essayist, and political activist Noam Chomsky joins The Chris Hedges Report for the first of a two-part interview. Chomsky has been a vocal critic of the $47 billion dollars in military aid the US has sent to Ukraine—an amount that equals the total budget of the State Department and exceeds the paltry amounts the country has committed to the fight against climate change. In a wide-ranging discussion, Chomsky and Hedges discuss the current war, the rising tide of global fascism, the climate catastrophe, and the role left to public intellectuals in an increasingly restrictive and censored media environment. Noam Chomsky is the author of more than 150 books on topics that include linguistics, the press, the inner workings of empire, and the war industry.
In the history of post-World War Two US imperialism, there have been various cases of aggression against countries and regimes that many anti-imperialist, socialist leftists around the world have considered reactionary, or at least not worthy of their support. In some cases, there was a consensus that while the regime in question was not to be defended, the imperialist aggression against it was not intended to save people from its dictatorial predations, but rather to secure imperialist hegemony and economic profits that would continue to oppress people. Even in cases when anti-imperialists thought the targeted regime deserved defence, their efforts mostly focused on opposing intervention.
An open letter has slammed the Guardian for “wildly inaccurate coverage of Nicaragua.” It's the latest condemnation of a newspaper which positions itself as a champion of the left but is increasingly accused of attacking it. The letter, signed by some 28 activists, accused the paper of disproportionately reporting on the country’s embattled left-wing government, headed up by Daniel Ortega. The circulation of the Guardian, along with almost all British newspapers, has dramatically fallen in recent years. Critics suggest its reputation as a champion of the left has fallen with it.
American political decision makers, as well as Israeli political leaders, need to rethink their political, military, economic, and cultural policies in the region. The Middle East is in turmoil now, possibly again on the verge of a major war that could draw in the United States and Russia. President Donald Trump has pulled the United States out of the six-nation nuclear agreement with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA. Although a few of his advisers counseled against leaving the agreement, he has brought into his cabinet advisers who are known to be hawkish toward the Middle East and prefer regime change in that area to regime reform. The most notable of these advisers is John Bolton, appointed as director of the National Security Agency.
Anarchism "assumes that the burden of proof for anyone in a position of power and authority lies on them," explains Chomsky. The following is the adapted text of an interview that first appeared in Modern Success magazine. So many things have been written about, and discussed by, Professor Chomsky, it was a challenge to think of anything new to ask him: like the grandparent you can’t think of what to get for Christmas because they already have everything. So I chose to be a bit selfish and ask him what I’ve always wanted to ask him. As an out-spoken, actual, live-and-breathing anarchist, I wanted to know how he could align himself with such a controversial and marginal position. Michael S. Wilson: You are, among many other things, a self-described anarchist — an anarcho-syndicalist, specifically.
Coming together through activism is one way to imagine and experiment with creating a better future. The Occupy Wall Street Movement is one example we explore in the book. Chomsky begins by discussing aspects of mutual aid and solidarity he views as present within certain formations in Occupy. For instance, during the interview he specifically takes note of the organizing work done within The People’s Library, which was a part of the larger New York City occupation. With that discussion in mind, I went back and interviewed some of the librarians involved in Occupy. Here they offer important insights about what it means to practice mutual aid and solidarity and the necessity of a physical space for groups to come together to work against alienation.
Noam Chomsky is an expert on many matters -- linguistics, how our economy functions and propaganda, among others. One area where his wisdom especially shines through is in articulating the structure and functioning of the American empire. Chomsky has been speaking and publishing on the topic since the '60s. Below are seven powerful quotes on the evils, atrocities and ironies of the American empire taken from his personal site and from a fan-curated Web site dedicated to collecting Chomsky's observations. 1. [In early 2007] there was a new rash of articles and headlines on the front page about the "Chinese military build-up." The Pentagon claimed that China had increased its offensive military capacity -- with 400 missiles, which could be nuclear armed.
I don’t know if you know, but as late as 1966 in Boston we could barely have an anti-war action because it would be violently broken up with the support of the press and so on. By then, South Vietnam had been practically destroyed. The war had expanded to other areas of Indochina. The Reagan administration, at the very beginning, tried to duplicate what Kennedy had done in 1961 with regard to Central America. So they had a white paper more or less modeled on Kennedy’s white paper that said the Communists are taking over. It was the usual steps, the propaganda, but it collapsed quickly. In the case of the Kennedy white paper, it took years before it was exposed as mostly fraudulent, but the Wall Street Journal, of all places, exposed the Reagan white paper in six months.
The two greatest risks are climate change and nuclear war. There’s been nothing like this in history. It’s kind of an outrageous statement, but it happens to be true, that the Republican Party is the most dangerous organization in human history. Nobody, not even the Nazis, was dedicated to destroying the possibility of organized human life. It’s just missing from the media. In fact, if you read, say, the sensible business press, the Financial Times, Businessweek, any of them, when they talk about fossil fuel production, the articles are all just about the prospect for profit. Is the U.S. moving to number one and what are the gains? Not that it’s going to wipe out organized human life. Maybe that’s a footnote somewhere. It’s pretty astonishing.
By C.J. Polychroniou for Truthout - We live in an age of illegitimate neoliberal hegemony and soaring political uncertainty. The evidence is all around: citizen disillusionment over mainstream political parties and the traditional conservative-liberal divide, massive inequality, the rise of the "alt-right," and growing resistance to Trumpism and financial capitalism. Yes, the present age is full of contradictions of every type and variety, and this is something that makes the goals and aims of the left for the reordering of society along the lines of a true democratic polity and in accordance with the vision of a socialist reorganization of the economy more challenging than ever before. In this context, the interview below, with Noam Chomsky and Robert Pollin, which appeared originally in Truthout in three separate parts, seeks to provide theoretical and practical guidance to the most pressing social, economic and political issues facing the United States today. It is part of an effort to help the left reimagine an alternative but realistic social order in an age when the old order is dying but the new has yet to be born. Noam Chomsky is professor emeritus of linguistics at MIT and laureate professor in the department of linguistics at the University of Arizona. Robert Pollin is distinguished professor of economics and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
By Noam Chomsky and David Barsamian for Toward Freedom - At one level, Trump’s antics ensure that attention is focused on him, and it makes little difference how. Who even remembers the charge that millions of illegal immigrants voted for Clinton, depriving the pathetic little man of his Grand Victory? Or the accusation that Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower? The claims themselves don’t really matter. It’s enough that attention is diverted from what is happening in the background. There, out of the spotlight, the most savage fringe of the Republican Party is carefully advancing policies designed to enrich their true constituency: the Constituency of private power and wealth, “the masters of mankind,” to borrow Adam Smith’s phrase. These policies will harm the irrelevant general population and devastate future generations, but that’s of little concern to the Republicans. They’ve been trying to push through similarly destructive legislation for years. Paul Ryan, for example, has long been advertising his ideal of virtually eliminating the federal government, apart from service to the Constituency—though in the past he’s wrapped his proposals in spreadsheets so they would look wonkish to commentators. Now, while attention is focused on Trump’s latest mad doings, the Ryan gang and the executive branch are ramming through legislation and orders that undermine workers’ rights, cripple consumer protections, and severely harm rural communities.
By C.J. Polychroniou for Truthout - On November 8, 2016, Donald Trump managed to pull the biggest upset in US politics by tapping successfully into the anger of white voters and appealing to the lowest inclinations of people in a manner that would have probably impressed Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels himself. But what exactly does Trump's victory mean, and what can one expect from this megalomaniac when he takes over the reins of power on January 20, 2017? What is Trump's political ideology, if any, and is "Trumpism" a movement? Will US foreign policy be any different under a Trump administration?
By Noam Chomsky for E-International Relations - For better or worse, I’ve pretty much stayed the same throughout my life. When I was a child in elementary school I was writing articles for the school newspaper on the rise of fascism in Europe and the threats to the world as I saw them from a 10-year-old point of view, and on from there. By the time I was a young teenager, I was very involved in radical politics of all kinds; hanging around anarchist bookstores and offices. A lot concerned what was happening during the Second World War: the British attack on Greece and the atomic bomb I thought was shattering.