The Threat of Democracy
The U.S. is the self-proclaimed global champion of democracy. But the term is used selectively. Take Hillary Clinton who was widely praised as an outstanding Secretary of State. At the height of the Tahrir Square uprising in Egypt protesting Mubarak’s 30-year dictatorship, she said, No country has done more for democracy in Egypt than the U.S. Mubarak for years was praised as an “ally,” a “partner” and a “moderate” and his regime was a force for “stability.” Washington backed him to the hilt to the tune of billions of dollars of taxpayer money, much like the Shah, Marcos, Suharto, Ben Ali, et al, until they too were overthrown. The media rarely report on these issues. And politicians and a mostly obedient intellectual class provide the necessary illusions to lull people to sleep. What many rulers fear is real democracy.
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 MIT professor’s 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 92, 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.