2020 Chomsky Interviews 3-pack
The ruling class, and there is such a thing, assiduously attends to its needs. That is to say, to maintain and expand its power and wealth. How does it do that? By manipulation, propaganda and political influence. It deploys divide-and-rule tactics to not only distract most people but goads them to turn on one another. The idea is to get people to look down and not up at those who are in control. So your class enemy is not gazillionaires such as Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg but it’s the poor guy down the street, out of work, who is behind in his rent, and his family doesn’t have enough food to eat. The boot is on his neck. How to get it off? Organize and resist. Interview by David Barsamian.
We are in “unchartered territory,” as the media incessantly remind us. We are on the eve of an election amidst a pandemic. The president has declared in advance that the election is a “hoax,” it is “rigged.” He would not even commit to saying he would honor the outcome. “We’ll see what happens,” he says. He knew early on how deadly the coronavirus was, telling Bob Woodward it’s a “killer“ and a “plague.” And yet in public continued with happy talk: “It’ll just go away…It’s fading…And we have it totally under control.” In addition to a colossal Covid-19 failure, he has whipped some of his supporters into a frenzy. Vigilante groups, men with guns, threaten to kidnap governors. Things are not just getting “curiouser and curiouser” as Alice would say but more and more dangerous. Interview by David Barsamian.
It should be abundantly clear that part of the president’s m.o., almost an article of faith, is to never accept responsibility when things go wrong. It’s always someone else’s fault: Pelosi, the media, the WHO, Obama, China, or immigrants. And if you criticize the leader expect retaliation. Just ask Rick Bright, a top government scientist who was removed from his job he says because he opposed the president’s touting of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, as a coronavirus treatment. He has filed a whistleblower complaint. The president has called him “a disgruntled employee.” These are Rick Bright’s words of warning, "Our window of opportunity is closing. If we fail to develop a nationally coordinated response, based in science, I fear the pandemic will get far worse and be prolonged, causing unprecedented illness and fatalities. Without clear planning 2020 will be the darkest winter in modern history." Interview by David Barsamian.
Noam Chomsky, by any measure, has led a most extraordinary life. In one index he is ranked as the eighth most cited person in history, right up there with Aristotle, Shakespeare, Marx, Plato and Freud. His contributions to modern linguistics are legendary. In addition to his pioneering work in that field, he has been a leading voice for peace and social justice for many decades. Chris Hedges says he is “America’s greatest intellectual” who “makes the powerful, as well as their liberal apologists, deeply uncomfortable.” The New Statesman calls him “the conscience of the American people.” He is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT and Laureate Professor of Linguistics and Haury Chair in the Program in Environment and Social Justice at the University of Arizona. At 95, he continues to inform and inspire people all over the world. He is the author of scores of books, his latest are Consequences of Capitalism, Chronicles of Dissent and Notes on Resistance.