Power Systems Do Not Give Gifts
Chomsky discusses early formative experiences and his attraction to anarchism and Rudolf Rocker. He talks about a range of issues from his first act of rebellion to Super Bowl ads to Israel. And as always deconstructing propaganda such as when he says, “Reform is like most political terms: you have to distinguish between its dictionary meaning and its meaning in political circles, where it usually means a change those in power approve of. Changes they don’t approve of are not called reforms. In another example, he comments, “The word jobs is a euphemism for an obscene seven-letter word politicians and corporations won’t pronounce. They can’t say profits, so they tell us it’s because they care so much about working people that we have to keep using fossil fuels at a rate that endangers humanity’s future.”
Interview by David Barsamian.
Recorded at MIT.
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.