The Grand Area
A classic Chomsky for your “must have” list.
“It is transparent,” Chomsky says, “in any society the main foreign policy directions flow or are heavily influenced by the distribution of power in the domestic society. It doesn’t mean the U.S. is worse than any country in the world. It means the U.S. is like every other country in past and present history.” Washington likes to say its policies are motivated by Wilsonian ideals such as peace, self-determination and human rights. Chomsky says, “U.S. post-war policy was to create a world system that would be open to economic penetration and political control.” This is Washington’s Grand Area strategy. Occasionally we make mistakes as John King Fairbank an establishment scholar put it because of an ‘excess of righteousness and disinterested benevolence.’ Chomsky says, “That’s the standard view and we can safely dismiss it and return to reality.” (audience laughter)
Recorded at Rutgers University.
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.