Deciphering Foreign Policy
Program #CHON011. Recorded in Burlington, VT on May 02, 1985.
Bernie Sanders, then Mayor of Burlington, opened up City Hall for Chomsky to decipher some of the standard tropes surrounding the selling of U.S. foreign policy to the American public and the world. Sanders called Chomsky “an important voice in the wilderness of intellectual life in America.” Chomsky, in the lecture section, comments “a striking fact of the U.S. is the high degree of class consciousness on part of the privileged classes, business, professionals and elite intellectuals and correspondingly there is an unusually low degree of class consciousness on the part of working people.” He examines the roots of this phenomenon. During the Q&A he addresses the important topic “Why do people vote against their own interests?” About history, Chomsky says it “isn’t physics.” In physics if you lie “you’ll be caught very quickly. History isn’t like that. You can lie for a long time.” On Israel-Palestine (remember he is speaking in 1985): “The U.S. won’t tolerate a political settlement. Period. And because we play a decisive role” there will be no just outcome. This brilliant talk stands the test of time and demonstrates the old saying, "the more things change..."
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