Longtime public speaker on subjects of international relations, world history, political science and linguistics--particularly the specific use of language intended to achieve political ends, that is to say propaganda, Noam Chomsky is still as on point today as when he first took on power relations in the political realm in the early 1960s.
Among other news sources, Democracy Now captured Chomsky's public address in Cambridge, Mass. in mid-March.
"In a wide-ranging public conversation at the Harvard Memorial Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Chomsky talks about President Obama’s foreign and national security policies, the lessons of Vietnam, and his own activism. 'You just can’t become involved part-time in these things,' Chomsky says. 'It’s either serious and you’re seriously involved, or you go to a demonstration and go home and forget about it and go back to work, and nothing happens. Things only happen by really dedicated, diligent work.'"
This challenge comes across to each of us individually. For me this scrutiny cuts to the core of my view of the struggle. My largest grievance with the existing system is an old one--I am called upon to spend half of my waking hours working towards and commuting to and from a project the ultimate ends with which I disagree. Those ends include driving profit to the consolidation of wealth, enabling a way of life that is largely exclusive to myself and anyone else whose work contributes to it. Wealth issues the orders in this society, spreading under the rubric of globalization since the early 1970s. Those who labor are contributing to wealth inequality, sacrificing the quality of their own lives to that of the holders of great fortunes. These fortunes would not be possible, would not be able to exist without mass consent specifically from those who produce the goods, those who build the infrastructure, sail the ships and deliver the cargo, providing profit the spoils of which are redirected upward as reward to those making the decisions--democracy window dressing or not. Chomsky continues to keep this impetus for the shape of captialist economics and politics in accurate perspective.
What Chomsky tells us in his speech about Iran fits appropriately into a larger picture of a long evident desire of the world's wealthy for the United States to control the Middle East. He continues, answering questions from Amy Goodman to describe what he sees in the 1960s that has much more of a foothold in global policy today and comes not from the center of power but from below, from the citizenry.
This is classic Chomsky, on point as he has been stridently for half a century.
VIDEO: interview with Chomsky occurs in second half of the day's episode.