2016 Harvard Trade Union Program
The lead news stories are clear: there is working-class anger, anxiety and rage. Working people have been taking it on the chin for decades. Wages have been flat for years. The Bernie Sanders campaign has highlighted the scandalous levels of income and wealth inequality. Increasingly, more and more workers understand how rigged the system is against them. The economy and politics are tilted towards powerful corporations and mega donors who use their deep pockets to promote their interests. The sustained attack on unions has left many workers without representation. If you speak out you risk getting fired and replaced by a temp. Young people, saddled with debt, will not replicate the standard of living reached by their parents. These outcomes are the result of policies and policies can be changed.
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 legendary MIT professor is a major contributor to 21st century linguistics. 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 90, he still gives lectures 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.