Elections & Voting
What’s your favorite flavor? Trump? Hillary? Maybe Jill Stein or Gary Johnson? Or maybe you were one of the 13 million Bernie Sanders voters? A lot of people invest heavily in emotional terms in elections. Hopes are raised to the skies, then there are disappointing defeats or if your candidate wins and assumes office disillusionment sets in. And you say, Oh, man, how could I have been so wrong? Know the feeling? Maybe that emotional investment is misplaced. Often real change comes not from elected officials but from activists and movements that pressure elected officials. Some of the great social and political advancements have come far removed from the ballot box. Think of Mahatma Gandhi. Think of the suffrage movement and the handful of women who began it in Seneca Falls, NY or Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr.
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.