A Good Education
This is Chomsky at his relaxed best. It’s almost like having him in your living room as he holds a seminar with trade unionists covering a range of topics. He offers a trenchant critique of “Saint” Alan Greenspan and neo-liberal economic policies. “There is a huge gap between public policy and public opinion,” Chomsky says and that’s where “a good education” comes in. ” If you’re well educated you can live with contradictions.” It’s a situation evoking Orwell. He also talks about two movies from the 1950s: On the Waterfront and Salt of the Earth. How the former was celebrated and the latter ignored for ideological reasons. On the environment, he says, “Disaster is coming and we may be hitting a tipping point soon.”
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 practically invented modern 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.