At West Point
A rare opportunity to hear Chomsky talking to the cadets at West Point on “just war theory.” Chomsky takes down Michael Walzer who proclaims that Afghanistan and Serbia are examples of the “triumph of just war theory.” Also coming under critical scrutiny is Jean Bethke Elshtain, author of Just War Against Terror. Chomsky reviews the UN Charter, international law and treaties, noting the selective use of just war theory and the sheer vagueness of its advocates. Chomsky says, “There’s a big gap between assertion and argument, between surmise and evidence. So if you can tell me where just war theory entails that we ought to intervene, we can consider the question.”
Features a lively Q&A.
Recorded at the United States Military Academy.
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.