Chomsky 87th Birthday Interview
The latest in the historic series of Chomsky-Barsamian interviews.
Alexander Cockburn used to quip that the two greatest disasters to befall the United States in the 20th century both happened to be on December 7th: the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and Noam Chomsky’s birth in Philadelphia. In this exclusive birthday interview, Chomsky reveals his views on the responsibility of intellectuals, the root causes of jihadi terror, France’s role in Africa, a possible solution in Syria, the current state of U.S. imperialism, China’s strengths and weaknesses and evolving U.S. military strategy toward the Asian giant, the real story behind the Paris Climate Summit, and notable biographical details from his childhood.
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.