Containing the Crisis at Home and Abroad
The outline of the global economy is dramatically emerging. Capital is more fluid and unregulated than in any time in history. The so-called economic recovery is the most uneven since the end of WWII. Growth rates are moderate, while most new jobs are low-paying and temporary. According to Fortune magazine, the disparity between corporate profits and wages is at a record high. Take, for example, Whirlpool, makers of washers and dryers. It just announced it will be closing two plants and cutting its work force by 8%. It’s not that Whirlpool is losing money. It earned a quarter of a billion dollars in the first nine months of 1994 alone. Wall Street enthusiastically responded to the moves by driving up the value of Whirlpool’s stock. These economic trends are creating enormous pressures on working people at home and abroad.
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. The legendary MIT professor is a major contributor to 21st century linguistics. 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.” He is Institute 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 90, he still gives lectures all over the world. He is the author of scores of books, including Propaganda & the Public Mind, How the World Works, Power Systems and Global Discontents with David Barsamian.