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.” 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.