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Noam Chomsky: Citizen Dissident

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MadArchitect

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Re: Noam Chomsky: Citizen Dissident

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jjacobs43: In my opinion, if a paper is truly doing it's job, it's going be labeled as "liberal" and that's that. The purpose of a free press is to keep the government in check and in order to sucessfully do this, it's going to aggravate conservatives."Purpose" suggests a little too much. It's one function of a free press to serve as a check on other institutions, government among them, but to say that this is the purpose of free press implies that such is its sole function. If that were the case, periodicals would be acting outside their purpose by reporting on, say, sports, or by reporting anything that served to support the government even if that report happened to be objective and true. The purpose of the free press is to provide information to the interested parties; it just so happens that one of the major interests of most parties in the modern world is that of making sure their government doesn't act against them.
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Re: Pedagogy of the Oppressed

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MA: It does not seem to me that the choice is between giving consent and withholding it, but rather the choice of to whom consent is given.Consent can be given as a result of open, critical dialogue and public exchange of ideas: citizens engage each other as equals in search of the truth of the matter, seeking good reasons, sound judgement, enlightened imagination and honest communication. At which point, (rarely achieved) I would argue that consent is legitimate.Consent can be given as a result of hidden agendas shrouded behind blustery threats, distracting imagery, highly potent emotional catchphrases and mantras: competitors vying for domination and exclusion of parties to be duped, tricked, seduced, hoodwinked and, in some cases, slandered, ridiculed, silenced, beaten, disappeared and murdered. At which point, (often achieved) I argue that consent is illegitimate.Thus, I agree that consent is a constant, inescapable negotiation: how it is attained is the issue.MA: If we weren't giving our consent to this set of powers that be, there would be others.True, and there are many ways to approach consent that reflects legitimate democratic respect for civil and human rights; and there are many examples of the opposite. I think the challenge is to envision different "sets of powers" and new structures of governance that actually reflect our values- instead of merely reproduce the models of domination and manufactured, illegitimate consent.
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Noam Chomsky delivers Amnesty Lecture on Terror

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Noam Chomsky gave the 2006 Amnesty Lecture, hosted by Trinity College Dublin, on January 18th. The theme of the lecture was 'The War on Terror'. Below are the opening remarks to his speechQuote:War on Terror
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Re: Pedagogy of the Oppressed

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Here's an answer that Noam Chomsky offered in an interview with The Irish Times, titled The Long View.The question was, "If you look at America and around the world, what would be the most hopeful signs that you see?"Quote:The populations. Take, say, the United States. One of the most hopeful signs in the United States - I think very hopeful - is that there is an enormous gap between public policy and public attitudes. In fact the gap is so strong that the press literally does not report the studies of public attitudes, literally. I'll give you an example. The federal budget comes out around February every year for the next year. After the last federal budget last February, one of the major polling institutions in the world, the Program on International Policy Attitudes based in the University of Maryland, which does in - depth studies, did a study of people's attitudes to wards the budget. They were the reverse of the budget. Where the budget was going up, the population wanted it to go down. Where it was going down, they wanted it to go up. The public was strongly opposed to increased military spending, supplementals for Iraq and Afghanistan. It was very strongly in favour of increases in social spending, health, education, renewable energy, support for United Nations peacekeeping operations... across the board. And it was almost the inverse of the budget.Well I had a friend do a database search on that. Not a single newspaper in the country reported it. In a democratic society people should know what others believe. And it [the suppression of polls] is quite common. Right before the November 2004 elections, the same people, the Program on International Policy Attitudes in Maryland and the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, which does the main monitoring of attitudes on international affairs, published a couple of big joint studies. They came out right before the election. They were barely mentioned in the press but they were very striking. Again they showed that both main political parties are far to the right of the population on a whole range of important issues, ranging from the Kyoto protocol to the "right of intervention", which the public opposes. It [the government] takes a pretty conservative view of the UN Charter. Yet support for the United Nations was very strong. In fact, to my amazement, a small majority of the population thinks the US ought to give up the veto and follow general world opinion even if it doesn't like it.[Public opinion] Strongly supports more social spending. Take, say, health care. It's the leading domestic issue in the United States, by far. People are really worried about it and it's a huge fiscal crisis when you have to deal with the most inefficient system in the industrialised world. A strong, large majority of the population wants some kind of national health care. Neither political party will touch it. In fact, when the press ever mentions it, it's called "politically impossible" or "lacking political support" or something. It tells you something about their attitude to democracy. But this gulf has implications. It means if the democratic deficit can be overcome, if the public can somehow, if public attitudes have some influence on public policy a lot of things could change. That's very hopeful. The general population is a lot more civilised than it was back in the 1960s or 1950s.Chomsky is hardly a pessimist or cynic: his greatest hope is with the general population and the democratic wisdom that seems to be in perennial struggle with elite forces of greed, control and domination.
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Hegemony or Survival

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Noam Chomsky's Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance has leaped to #4 in Amazon.com's sales rank, due to an appeal by Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez while adrressing the UN Genreal Assembly. Chavez held up a copy of Chomsky's book while speaking to the assembly saying, Quote:Madam President, Excellencies, Heads of State, Heads of government and other government's representatives, good morning. First, and with all respect, I highly recommend this book by Noam Chomsky, one of the most prestigious intellectuals in America and the world, Chomsky. One of his most recent works: Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance (The American Empire Project) . It's an excellent work to understand what's happened in the world in the 20th Century, what's currently happening, and the greatest threat on this planet; the hegemonic pretension of the North American imperialism endangers the human race's survival. We continue warning about this danger and calling on the very same U.S. people and the world to stop this threat, which resembles the Sword of Damocles over our heads. I had considered reading from this book, but for the sake of time, I shall just leave it as a recommendation. It reads easily. It's a very good book. I'm sure, Madam, you are familiar with it. (APPLAUSE) The book is in English, in Russian, in Arabic, in German. I think that the first people who should read this book are our brothers and sisters in the United States, because their threat is in their own house. The devil is right at home. The devil -- the devil, himself, is right in the house.
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Re: Hegemony or Survival

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I tried to read this book, but I disagreed with Mr. Chomsky quite severly on one of his points. I felt that he had not looked at both sides of the issue having only seen the particular struggle from the "freedom fighters" point of view. After that I had to put it down because I couldn't feel confident in his ability to treat any subject without bias.And no, I won't say which issue as I just don't want to get into it. funda "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, prehaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." -Henry David Thoreau
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Insulting Turkishness

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4 Turks tried for 'insulting Turkishness' by publishing Chomsky book appear in court The Associated PressPublished: October 17, 2006 ISTANBUL, Turkey The trial of a publisher, translator and two editors charged with crimes for producing a Turkish version of Noam Chomsky's book, "Manufacturing Consent," was adjourned to a later date on Tuesday to give the defense more time to prepare. The four men face up to six years in jail for "insulting Turkishness" and "inciting the people to hatred and enmity" by publishing the American leftist writer's book. A prosecutor's indictment said the book contained passages that insulted Turkey, the state and the Turkish parliament
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A Cacophony of Fundamentalism

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A Cacophony of FundamentalismNoam Chomsky & Gilbert Achcar interviewed by Stephen ShalomMail & Guardian Online, November 3, 2006 Gilbert Achcar: When Arab nationalism, Nasserism and similar trends began to crumble in the 1970s, most governments used Islamic fundamentalism as a tool to counter remnants of the left or of secular nationalism.A striking illustration of the phenomenon is Egyptian president Anwar al-Sadat. He fostered Islamic fundamentalism to counter remnants of Nasserism after he took over in 1970 and ended up being assassinated by Islamic fundamentalists in 1981.Today in the Middle East the same genie is out of the bottle and out of control. The repression of progressive or secular ideologies, aggravated by the collapse of the Soviet Union, has left the ground open to the only ideo- logical channel available for anti-Western protest -- Islamic fundamentalism.Noam Chomsky: Without drawing the analogy too closely, I think there is something similar in the US fundamentalist situation.It should be added, however, that the dynamic may be universal. [Whether] Christian or Jewish or Islamic or Hindu, the fundamentalist religious impulse can be turned to serve political agendas.In the United States, what we call fundamentalism has very deep roots, from the early colonists. There's always been an extreme, ultra
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