Notes on Resistance
Resistance. How does one move from a position of dissent to resistance, direct action? As a political tactic resistance requires careful thought and must be freely undertaken. Practitioners include most famously Gandhi and Dr. King. It can come with a price. Both Gandhi and King were assassinated. Dolores Huerta, a major organizer and leader of farmworkers was arrested more than 20 times. John Lewis, the civil rights icon was severely beaten. What forms should resistance take? There is no one size fits all answer. Take Thoreau. He was opposed to the U.S. war on Mexico. He refused to pay taxes and went to jail. During the Vietnam War resistance took the form of men refusing to fight. Today young people in Extinction Rebellion and the Sunrise Movement, engage in resistance defending our planet against destructive corporations and the states that enable them.
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 93, he is still active; writing and giving interviews to the media 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.