When Elites Fail
Chomsky gives the keynote at the Econvergence conference. “What to do when elites fail? There is a simple answer. Get rid of them. It’s going to be a long struggle. But the first question to ask is do they really fail?” Adam Smith pointed out, The principal architects of policy in England make sure their own interests are very well served no matter how grievous the effect on others. The outlines from Smith’s time to today are fairly consistent. The powerful protect their interests. Chomsky talks about the democratic deficit: the gap between public opinion and policy. Interesting discussion on democracy juxtaposing Aristotle and Madison. Lecture is followed by Q&A.
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.” 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 93, he is still active; writing and giving interviews to the media 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. His latest books are Climate Crisis and the Global Green New Deal, Consequences of Capitalism: Manufacturing Discontent and Resistance, and Chronicles of Dissent: Collected Interviews with David Barsamian, 1984-1996.