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Noam Chomsky

These seem like big troubled times and Noam Chomsky joins us to give us his take on everything from the Occupy Movement to the Arab Spring.

Academic and polemicist Noam Chomsky. (AP)

Academic and polemicist Noam Chomsky. (AP)

Noam Chomsky has been calling for decades for a kind of revolution. For Americans and everybody else around the world to wake up to how power is used and abused, and how people need to take it back. It was a lonely road he often walked in this country when times were good and the Cold War was won and bubbles were big.

Today, a lot of bubbles have burst. And the rebel Noam Chomsky has people listening who might never have paused to think. It’s a deep, fierce critique he offers, of American capitalism today, of American foreign policy and more.

This hour, On Point: the rebel, Noam Chomsky.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Noam Chomsky, intellectual, social critic, and professor emeritus of linguistics at MIT.

From Tom’s Reading List

Chomsky writing in Tom Dispatch “Significant anniversaries are solemnly commemorated — Japan’s attack  on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, for example.  Others are  ignored, and we can often learn valuable lessons from them about what is  likely to lie ahead.  Right now, in fact.”

Chomsky writing in Al-Akhbar “In the 2011 summer issue of the journal of the American Academy of Political Science, we read that it is “a common theme” that the United States, which “only a few years ago was hailed to stride the world as a colossus with unparalleled power and unmatched appeal – is in decline, ominously facing the prospect of its final decay.” It is indeed a common theme, widely believed, and with some reason.”

Chomsky writing in Salon “The Occupy movement has been an extremely exciting development. Unprecedented, in fact. There’s never been anything like it that I can think of.  If the bonds and associations it has established can be sustained through a long, dark period ahead — because victory won’t come quickly — it could prove a significant moment in American history.”

Dissent “During their surge to prominence last fall, the Occupiers seemed to render that question moot. They set up camp in scores of cities and thrust the problem of economic inequality onto front pages, home pages, and into the center of political debate. It was as if, in a startling rewrite of Beckett’s great play, Vladimir and Estragon had not been waiting in vain: Godot decided to show up after all. Alas, by late winter (as I write) few of the occupations still exist, the non-left media have mostly lost interest, and activists appear divided and dispirited about what should come next.”

Video: Chomsky on Education

Noam Chomsky discusses the purpose of education and the impact of technology.

 

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  • Dr. Nancy Williams

    If you were given the opportunity to make a new contextual platform for public education, what would it be?  From what I could find, the current context is extremely shallow, providing no impressive aim, something to do with having all US students be familiar with the importance of being literate and numerate, something we’ve already acheived. 

    • Don_B1

       I agree that many people can read and calculate, but many still do not know how to determine what is important beyond some immediate goal of, say, buying the best cell phone. As examples:

      1)  Can they read a mortgage document to determine its traps? I heard someone on NPR saying that he had someone tell him that they were getting a “free ride” to a college education when the $20,000 in student “aid” was a set of LOANs.

      2)  Can they tell the difference between a household budget and the U.S. economy as it impacts government spending? In the latter, in an economy, your spending is my income and vice-versa, so that if we both cut our spending our income also drops and the ability to save or reduce debt evaporates. As Irving Fisher said in the 1930s, “in
      times like this, when everyone tries to pay down debt at the same time,
      what happens is, the more people try to save, the more they owe.” Thus when individuals and businesses rightly decide they cannot increase spending, because of job loss or threat of job loss for individuals and lack of demand for the business’s goods or services, the ONLY source that is able to increase spending to escape a depression is the government (the collective of all individuals and businesses), particularly when interest rates are at near zero (the liquidity trap).

      Some of the latest research in brain research has to do with the differences between conservatives and liberals. While there are obvious simplifications in this “summary,” the gist is that when presented with a threatening situation like the current economic crisis, people first adopt the conservative (fight or flight?) approach of what they have done before in their own lives instead of taking a more thoughtful (liberal?) approach of looking to see what is really happening, not just what someone else is telling them is happening based on that person’s desire to use the target’s response to the fear-monger’s benefit.

      Educators are continually talking about teaching “critical thinking” skills. Maybe that has improved but there clearly was a long period in American schooling in which that was horribly unsuccessful.

      • Gregg

        Who would sign a mortgage without reading it? That’s stupid.

        • Don_B1

          Many people, particularly those with limited language skills did try to read them but, unfortunately for them, accepted the lies of the brokers who were glibly convincing in telling them what the highly technical, legalese words meant.

          Except that you would know that there were “trick questions” and would spend the hours necessary to find them, a “sample” mortgage could be placed before you that you could “read” but not understand. After all, when given a short discussion of a subject in macroeconomics by Paul Krugman you come away totally misunderstanding it.

          • Gregg

            I don’t deny there are cheats in the world but it’s not good business. Just about all agreements have a line that says something like, “I have read and understand the above” or some such. Just don’t lie about that answer of face the consequences if you do.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            The MANY CEOs, that bankrupt the companies they were ‘hired’ to lead into profitability, that got ‘performance BONE-USes’, for the decisions that bankrupt the company?

          • TFRX

            “Cheating is not good business”

            Har dee har.

            Try “If a corporation ain’t cheatin, it ain’t tryin”.

        • jimino

          Have you ever sat in or been involved in a residential house closing?  Scores of pages of fine print documents are signed in just a few minutes.  To answer your question directly: “almost everyone who signs one”.  So there must be a lot of stupid people.

          Its what often happens when people are involved in a legally complex matter (e.g., credit card application) with some entity they believe is trustworthy.  You actually believe a significant number of people with credit cards know the details of their agreement with the e card provider?

          • Gregg

            Signing a mortgage or getting a credit card without reading the fine print is stupid. That’s my opinion. If you can’t read, get a lawyer. But most people can. Credit card agreements are not hard to understand it just takes a little effort. A mortgage can be a 25 or 30 year commitment. Most of the time, it’s a family’s biggest investment of their lives. It’s also the most important. Take it home and read the damn thing. 

          • JGC

            When my folks bought their house in Pennsylvania in the early 60′s, they got a 25-year mortgage at a straight-up 5% interest. The only fee on top of that was $25 to register the title.  

            Mortgages are so complicated now, and it is intended to be so.  So many ways for middle managers to take another slice. Points. Floating rates. Closed end, open end. Inspections: house, water, radon. Insurance. Insurance on the insurance. Thousands and thousands of dollars paid out; paid before you even set your foot over the threshold of “your” new home. 

            Here is something I have been wondering:  That title insurance we all are supposed to purchase,  supposedly guaranteeing there was a thorough search done on a property and there are no outstanding liens. With the MERS debacle, where mortgages were sliced and diced and tranched into oblivion to make bond packages for investors, how can any title company truly research and know the provenance of a title?  Is that another shoe waiting to be dropped in the next decade?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            BET ON IT!

      • Drew (GA)

        Perhaps this is an oversimplification but I have come to think of extreme conservatives as nothing more than Bullies. Their actions and words have demonstrated nothing that would contradict this comparison.

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy: that is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Working-class people, that have taken a few hours off work, to ‘close’ on their mortgage, are delayed, fast-talked, and subjected to other diversions from the actual meaning and wording of the mortgage or credit application, until there is NOT time to read and understand the contract? 
            Deliberately?  
            How often are contracts allowed out of the office, for considered study?   A Legal and Contract Dictionary available? 
            How many contracts contain words that sound familiar, but are different words, with much more significant consequences?
           How many people know the number, and identity of the ‘affiliates’, ‘associates’, or other vague reference to hidden members of a contract?

  • Robert Dente

    How can anyone stop the juggernaut of corporate media that has usurped their once independent news divisions to promote entertaining news-as-a-food-fight/horse-race to increase viewership and product consumption—instead of informing the public, as it once did? 

    • http://twitter.com/aloysiusokon Aloysius Okon

      I don’t know, but maybe it has the same answer as “How do you make reporting the NEWS profitable again?”

      • Don_B1

         When the news did attempt to act as a public educator, certainly imperfectly, it was because it was NOT a profit center of the networks (just three at the time) and most people watched them because there were not some 500 (?) other channels providing race to the bottom “entertainment.”

        • http://twitter.com/aloysiusokon Aloysius Okon

          and therein lies the problem. Hard news is expensive, and is generally the first thing to go when a company’s faced with a hundred competitors. Its easier for a newspaper or TV network to talk about the “public interest” when readership ISN’T falling, revenue ISN’T collapsing, and insolvency ISN’T looming.  

          As for public educator role, that relies on a trust in the media that just isn’t as high as it was in the middle of the last century. So another big question might be: how does the national media regain the public trust?

  • Tom Pilla

    The “treatments” for the global debt crisis all seem to consist of forgiving debt, issuing more debt, or a combination of the two, but those measures appear only to function as buyers of time until a “real” solution presents itself.  Is there a way to stabilize this system of debt-tied money creation and debt-forgiveness without restructuring the entire public-private banking system?  And do you think something along the lines of of banks, sovereign nations, or other institutions injecting debt-free currency into the economy through direct measures would help the problem, political roadblocks aside?  Thank you, Tom and Professor Chomsky.

    • Wm. James from Missouri

      Mr. Tom Pilla,

      I picked up on your phrase, “debt free currency” and wanted to interject that we already have debt free currency; it is called “ “income produced by and on equity” ! I have long felt ( as both citizen and investor ) that Corporations above a certain size (threshold ) , should be forced to pay dividends under an amendment to the US Constitution ! In other words, any corporation that has net earned income above an amount greater than 1 penny, per outstanding share, ( the float ) should be required to pay a CASH dividend to shareholders. With any fractional amount held over into the next quarter(s). This dividend should also be taxed at the same rate as ordinary income, to the investor receiving the dividend. This would encourage Americans to participate in ownership and bring balance ( eventually) to our asymmetric income distribution problems. It would help to curtail all the corporate “funny money” that seems to be in use today. ( This constant push for “retained earnings” just puts ever increasing amounts of money power in the hands of fewer and fewer people. ( Thereby allowing them to make bigger and bigger mistakes ! ) This rule would also force corporations to compete for your investment dollars, in a way that they do not have to at this time. Eventually, this “little guy” war on corporations and visa versa would end, as all parties would now have a vested interest in each other.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        What world do you live in? Half of Americans struggle with paying the bills and keeping food on the table and you expect them to join the investing class?

        There is no “little guy” war on corporations. There is a corporate war on the people.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      “Is there a way to stabilize this system of debt-tied money creation and debt-forgiveness without restructuring the entire public-private banking system?”

      NO.  

  • Hidan

    Great Job On-point, I understand Noam Chomsky is Banned from NPR glad you and your staff have the courage to Host him. 

    One few truth tellers in the age of spin.

    • http://twitter.com/aloysiusokon Aloysius Okon

      Where did you hear that Chomsky was banned?

      • Hidan

         Robert Si

        “…in fact on paper, since we’re on NPR, the co-host of All Things
        Considered Robert Siegel wrote that I’m the one person they’ll never
        allow on their prime-time program.”

        the Duke Chronicle, 1994:

            I was surprised to hear National Public Radio’s Robert Siegel, on his own, volunteer that independent thinkers like Noam Chomsky are not welcome on NPR’s news and discussion programs.

            It was the last day of a book tour for the co-host of “All Things Considered,” and he was signing copies of “The NPR Interviews,” which he edited, at Durham’s Regulator book store. He was accompanied by WUNC General Manager Bill Davis.

            After the first wave of books had been signed, I approached Siegel and expressed concern over the lack of range in political commentary on NPR. I explained that I felt that the public interest was not very fully explored, and that an “inside the beltway” mentality and bias prevails. Siegel made a token statement of agreement, saying that it would be worthwhile to find more voices, but quickly limited it by saying, “However, we wouldn’t be interested in airing the views of such media and political critics as Noam Chomsky.”‘

        http://www.dukechronicle.com/article/why-doesnt-npr-consider-all-things

        http://mondoweiss.net/2010/06/anc-is-png-on-nprs-atc.html

        “we wouldn’t be interested in airing the views of such media and political critics as Noam Chomsky.”

        • Hidan

           Robert Siegel

    • William

      Is this the famous Liberal that admired Pol Pot?

      • nj_v2

        The trolls are out early today.

        • William

          Liberal denial.

          • jefe68

            The Pol Pot issue is not how you have presented it. He is not an admire of Pol Pot. He did write some essays that I find troublesome but if you read them, and I mean read them, you do not come away with the insight at all. Maybe if you don’t like Noam Chomsky you should just not tune into the show.
              

          • William

            Don’t try to defend this guy on the mass murder in Cambodia. Why do Liberals live in denial about people like this? It is the same about Communism, Socialism, Stalin, Lenin, Trotsky, and the rest of the mass murders on the left. You gloss over their lies, murders, etc….how an anyone give this guy a second of air time after what he said about Pol Pot? Oh, it’s academic freedom right? Just so it’s academic freedom that speaks from the left.

          • jefe68

            So it’s all fine and dandy for you, (who is admitting to being a representative of the right) to be critical but the same criteria does not stand for people on the left.

            I was not defending Noam Chomsky, far from it. I was however pointing out that your comment was wrong and that it was made only for one reason alone. To demonize the man. 

            You then go on to make some extremely outrageous claims about liberals in context to the worst despots in history.
            You accuse me of by way of association of supporting or liking the likes of Trotsky and Stalin. How convenient and simplistic. By the way Mr. Chomsky, if you new anything about him, dislikes Trotsky as well as Stalin. Are you aware of that?

            I’m not into Noam Chomsky, I think he’s to much of an ideologue, but you only want to forward your right wing blow hard agenda.

            Here’s a thought, if it’s OK to ban Mr. Chomsky than I say it should also be fine to ban you.

          • Gregg

            Who said anything about banning Chomsky?

          • jefe68

            That’s what William seems to want, to not let Chomsky have any air time.

          • Gregg

            “seems to want”?

          • William

            There is nothing wrong about it. He was one of the people on the left that said the Commies were a fun loving group that would take over without any problems. Well…that did not happen did it? Does this guy ever say he was wrong? Aplogize? Or has he ever spent any time or written a book being critial of the Communists?

          • Don_B1

            Can you provide a link to where Chomsky endorsed or advocated for mass murder in Cambodia?

            I do not follow his work but know enough about it to believe he was probably pointing out the the U.S. incursion into Cambodia was what destabilized it and led to the government takeover by Pol Pot.

          • William

            Is your internet not working?

          • Don_B1

            I wanted to know YOUR source.

          • nj_v2

            At which point WeeWillie disappears.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Why do ‘conservatives’ live in denial of the well-reported crimes of Catholic clergy?
               Are YOU one of them?  I have read several diversions from you, but NO statement of your stand on priest pedophiles?

          • William

            You seem to have a passion for gay priests. 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Proof of my question?
              Diversion?

          • nj_v2

            And there’s Wee Willie projecting his bigotry, conflating homosexuality with pedophelia.

            You’re a piece of work, Willie.

          • Hidan

             As Chomsky is prevented from presenting his views, and refuses on principle to sue for defamation, it is easy to fabricate horrible charges against him, which have lingered for decades, despite easy refutation. As long ago as 1985, Christopher Hitchens went through the dull task of exposing the tedious and scurrilous lies that one finds circulating about Chomsky. The favourites of Chomsky’s critics – who rarely show any sign of having read any of Chomsky’s work – are that he ignored, downplayed or celebrated the atrocities of Pol Pot. The other is that he supported Robert Faurisson’s Holocaust denial (the truth is simply that he supported the freedom of speech of a Holocaust denier).

            The basic facts of the Cambodia issue are these: In June 1977, Chomsky and Edward Herman published a study in the Nation, in which they reviewed how scholarship and the mainstream media treated different reports of atrocities in Cambodia. One of the books they reviewed was in French, by Francois Ponchaud. They wrote that his “book is serious and worth reading, as distinct from much of the commentary it has elicited. He gives a grisly account of what refugees have reported to him about the barbarity of their treatment at the hands of the Khmer Rouge”. However, they did find it was flawed in many ways. They go on to critique a review of this book by Jean Lacouture, which Lacouture agreed was full of errors. Lacouture response in the New York Review of Books included considerable praise of Chomsky:

      • Hidan

         The boring truth about Chomsky: he does not support Pol Pot

        http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2779086.html

      • Hidan

        The Chorus and Cassandra

        Christopher Hitchenshttp://www.chomsky.info/onchomsky/1985—-.htm<strongIt seems that Chomsky is impaled on some kind of inquisitorial fork here. He is accused of leaning on Shawcross, who in turn accuses him of culpable complacency, if not outright intellectual complicity. 

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Not the ‘conservatives’, that admire and assist criminal priests?

  • Hidan

    Also if anyone wants to listen too

    WikiLeaks, Obama’s Targeted Assassinations and Latin America’s Break From US

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cn5y659VI7Q

    Noam Chomsky “Corporate Attack on Education”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AU9lw_dFkY

    Noam Chomsky on the Responsibility of Intellectuals: Redux

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK9W5DE7ZtQ

    Noam Chomsky: Human Rights in the 21st Century 2

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfTRKj5qepk
     

  • Zero

    Thank You OnPoint. 

    • nj_v2

      Ditto!

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Noam,

    forgive folksy the farm analogy but I think the economics of a farm are not that different from human economics… how far do you think we are from a tipping point as the Point Zero One Percent continue to push to cutting rations for us milk cows; at some point the herd will either collapse or stampede? And, why don’t “they” get it? – Mark

    • http://twitter.com/rewtoetzi Reiner Wilhelms

      I think the problem is with the analogy: Replace milk cows by apes. If you starve apes they will form gangs that fight each other and rip some of the weakest apart to have food. So if they want strong “survivor apes” they starve them just enough and may even let some apes raise to their circles. (Next replace apes by humans, and there is at least a possibility or hope that they just form one gang to get out of misery, but that’s a different story).

  • Gregg

    “I don’t usually admire Sarah Palin,” Chomsky said, “but when she was
    making fun of this ‘hopey changey stuff,’ she was right, there was
    nothing there.”

    He was right about that.

    • Hidan

       Remember

      “The right-wing blogospere is having a field day
      with Chomsky saying, “I don’t usually admire Sarah Palin, but when she
      was making fun of this ‘hopey-changey’ stuff, she was—she was right.
      There was nothing there.” However, he follows that statement with, “And
      it was understood by the people who run the political system. So it’s
      no great secret that the U.S. electoral system is mainly public
      relations extravaganzas….” which, one assumes, would apply to Sarah
      Palin as well.”

      Gregg is dishonest as always

      • Hidan
      • jefe68

        I think it’s going to be one of those situations where you have these right wing ideologues making the most outrageous comments to discredit Noam Chomsky. If you did the same to them, or say Gregg’ favorite right wing mouth pieces, say Rush Limbaugh or that great intellect Ann Coulter he would be whining to know end.You see it’s a one way street here with the right.It’s a pattern, they make the most outrageous statement they can. When confronted with it they change the subject or whine about how unfair the left is. It’s really quite amazing.  

        • Hidan

          “Sound bite” republicans always do so.

          • Gregg

            “Hope and Change” was a meaningless sound byte, that was Chomsky’s point.

          • Hidan

            His point also was to have sarah Palin in the spotlight aliens would think the U.S. has gone insane and the  U.S. electoral system is mainly publicrelations extravaganzas(hench Sarah Palin’s rise)

          • Gregg

            In 2008, he’s singing a different tune now.

        • Gregg

          I made no outrageous comment, I directly quoted Chomsky, take it up with him.

          If you have a Rush or Coulter quote, fine, I’ll honestly look at it but until then you are just fantasizing about what I think. Please don’t tell me what I think.

          • jefe68

            Well I beg to differ. You do and have and will twist language to meet your political agenda. You just did it with the quote you posted. you don’t’ even know you’re doing it. Which is ironic giving that Noam Chomsky is the guest.

            You have made enough statements about both Rush and Coulter for me to from an idea of where you stand on these two. As to telling you what you think, that’s the kind of comment one expects from a 14 year old arguing with their parents.

          • Gregg

            You’re grasping at straws with zero specifics. You’ve got nothing.

          • jefe68

            In context to what?
            That you have posted comments about Rush and Coulter and seem to admire them. You post a lot comments based on their ideas.

            Now you come back with the attack that I have nothing. Nothing about what? You have what I consider an extreme right wing view point and out look. What you have is some nerve, you think your clever, but alas you are not.

          • TFRX

            I don’t see how  Gregg can admire a harmless lovable fuzzball.

            Maybe it’s something about his crack-whore mother* and his prostitute* wife.

            *Harmless lovable fuzzball words–no need to object or flag.

          • Gregg

            Flagging is not my thing.  It’s better to let your hate speak for itself as usual.

          • TFRX

            Hate? That projection is so cute!

            Your harmless quotes of his lovable words.

            Your head is so far up the right’s propagandahole that you can’t imagine their shitestorms being turned on you.

          • Gregg

            Focus Jefe. I quoted Chomsky and you implied I made an outrageous comment to discredit him. But it was a direct quote. At the same time you counter with what you think I would think. 

            When you have to resort to beginning your rebuttal with the word “if” and then project imaginary reactions to imaginary comments in an imaginary scenario that ignores the reality of the fact that I did not discredit Chomsky (I give him great credit), you’ve got nothing.

          • jefe68

            Speaking of focus maybe you should go back and read my original comment which was more general than specific.

            I was not commenting on your direct quotation of Noam Chomsky, but how you used it to foster your own ideology.

            The entire quote is telling in that it is critical of both Sarah Palin and President Obama.

            Anyone who knows Noam Chomsky would already be on the ball as to his dislike of President Obama.

            He was critical of him before he won the primary.

               

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            No more “outrageous” than Andrew Breitbart’s out of context abuse of Shirley Sherrod’s address to the NAACP, which resulted in her forced resignation from the USDA. 

          • Gregg

            Huh?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            THAT was a travesty!

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Limbaugh PROVES himself a LIAR in his own book!  Read it?

      • Gregg

        I quoted Chomsky directly. He was right. The extra sentence doesn’t change squat. I am as honest as the day is long… jerk.

        • Hidan

          maybe if your talking about ” fairbanks alaska”As well your clearly not honest cause you omitted the following comment about Sarah Palin.

        • Don_B1

           More ad hominem? You really are losing your “cool.”

          • Gregg

            I understand people disagree with me in this liberal bastion, fine. I understand passionate and heated debate, cool. Anyone who calls me dishonest is a jerk.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Anyone who calls you dishonest is being astute and truthful.

            That being outed jerks your chain is your problem.

          • Gregg

            Alrighty then.

          • Gregg

            For some reason when I replied below I saw only your first sentence. Regarding the rest of it, I am not saying anything about the totality of Obama’s campaign  nor am I saying anything about Romney. I just quoted Chomsky, that’s all.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Out of context quotes are the tools of the disreputable and dishonest.

          • Gregg

            Please, is Chomsky satisfied with Obama’s substance or not? At least Jefe and Hidan offered something (that Chomsky insulted Palin too) even though it did not speak to the point about Obama. You couldn’t even do that much.

    • Hidan

       http://onpoint.wbur.org/2012/05/16/jay-cost

      Gregg Collapse

       “I don’t usually admire Sarah Palin,” Chomsky said, “but when she was
      making fun of this ‘hopey changey stuff,’ she was right, there was
      nothing there.”

          Like
          Reply

          05/16/2012 07:41 AM
          in reply to Victor Vito

      “This Sarah Palin phenomenon is very curious. I think somebody watching
      us from Mars—they would think the country has gone insane.”

      • Gregg

        What on earth are you babbling about? Is your point that what Chomsky said in Oct. 2008 during the height of “hopey-changy” trumps what he said after 3 1/2 years of reflection? Obama’s a fraud, everybody knows it.

        • Hidan

           No,

          The point is that

          “This Sarah Palin phenomenon is very curious. I think somebody watching
          us from Mars—they would think the country has gone insane.”

          And you left out his comment

          it was understood by the people who run the political system. So it’s
          no great secret that the U.S. electoral system is mainly public
          relations extravaganzas….” which, one assumes, would apply to Sarah
          Palin as well.”

          • Gregg

            You’re looking silly now Hidan.

          • Hidan

            Silly? is what you did. You attempted to selectively quote Chomsky to attack Obama and make Palin look good. All I did was Google your quote and found that he not only attacked Obama but “Palin” as well. Magically you left that part out (Hench the dishonestly)

            Silly is relying on right-wing websites like the daily caller or firedog or TWS and believe Ann Coulter or Rush tells the truth. (sure I missed some more hack sites).

            Now that’s silly. Spin as much as you like but your still going to fail. But at least your now hiding your links so one has to actually click on it to see it’s coming from a rightwing hack site.

          • TFRX

            Looks like someone here knows how to O’Keefe a path away from reality. (And it ain’t you, Hidan.)

          • Gregg

            How do you escape the reality of what Chomsky said about Obama? You can’t.

          • William

            I wonder what this guy thinks about Nancy Pelosi and her classic statement “We have to pass the bill to find out what is in the bill.”

          • Don_B1

            Anyone willing to look at the context of her comment will find that she was saying that small changes in the bill were being made right up to the vote to get enough members of the House to vote for its passage. So some of the details of the bill were changing as she spoke and she could not guarantee any specific detail was in the bill at that moment.

            It certainly was an unfortunate wording, but there was NOTHING nefarious about it.

          • Gregg

            So, she and everyone else who voted read it?

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            That’s what they have staff for.

          • Gregg

            Lame.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

      • Gregg

        Did you just call Chomsky a “broken clock”? Or was it me for being right about Chomsky being right? Smarty pants.

        • Gregg

          Well?

  • wauch

    Zionism, patriotism, and capitalism combining to create angrier and more selfish nation than ever before! Speak the truth regarding these 3 Professor Chomsky!

  • no name

    come on!!!  government radio routinely presents a range of view points from slightly right of  center to  very right wing while claiming to present a wide range of opinion.  It consistently presents  neo-liberals as if they are progressive.   Then once every two years or so it presents someone such as chomsky  (or dean baker) and acts as if that proves that it  provides a “fair and balanced” rangee of opinion.  It is no different than Fox news and its  periodic presentation of phoney liberal view points.
     
    The real deal would be if they ever presented a left point of view in counterpoint to its constant use of opinion panels that range from neo-liberal to extreme right wing

    • Greyman

      Clarification, per favore: Katrina vanden Heuvel is: a) slightly right of center, or b) only infrequently makes media appearances? or c) she and her Nation confreres are only neo-liberals (and non-progressive neo-liberals at that)? I’m sure your straightforward response to this query would qualify as “newsworthy”, so here’s your chance! (I’m sure our good professor will suggest to us just how much politics and perception go together, in which case the sufficiently widespread view that America’s Left is a long drooping branch that doesn’t bear much weight, or much fruit, is both explicable and palatable to the bulk of the American electorate.)

      • no name

        Dude!!!  First, I said “routinely” not exclusively.  Second, vanden Heuvel is on very, very infrequently.  She is a part of the clinton, pelosi wing of the democrat party, hardly a real left wing progressive and going more to the right every day.  And when compared to the heritage foundation, hoover institute dudes that are constantly on government radio she is very close to the center. 

    • Paolo

       NO NAME should have a name because you are RIGHT ON !!!!!

      PBS and NPR play the progressive facade, but they are the fronting for the biggest capitalists.  

      They know they’ve taken too much from the people and   now they use gatekeepers like Chomsky to let off some steam.   Chomsky is a steam valve release on a boiler ready to pop.  He glosses over the real causes.

      And then watch PBS lately,  multi-millionaires like Templeton are running pro-globalism documentaries with Hernando DeSoto and Milton Freidman trying to extol the virtues of imperialism and capitalism.  

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      NPR is hardly government radio, since almost all of its funding comes from private donations. The responsibility, then, for the range of programming falls on our shoulders.

      Let’s just be thankful for the occasional Chomsky.

      • no name

        Be “thankful” for less than table scrapes?  that sounds like what disadvantaged people are traditionally told when they demand economic justice.
        And, yes, it is government radio.  It is regulated by the government, the government appoints its board and managers, and has them fired when the government disagrees with its discesions AND it is dependant on government $$$ to survive.

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          Not surprising that you post under “no name” since nobody in their right mind would want to put their name to such misinformation.

          NPR is a membership corporation. Member stations are required to be non-commercial or
          non-commercial educational radio stations. Each member station receives one vote at the annual NPR board meetings – exercised by its designated Authorized Station Representative (“A-Rep”). To oversee the day-to-day operations and prepare its budget, members elect a Board of Directors. This board is composed of ten A-Reps, five members of the general public, and the chair of the NPR Foundation.

          In 2010, NPR revenues totaled $180 million, with the bulk of revenues coming from programming fees, grants from foundations or business entities, contributions and sponsorships.

          According to the 2009 financial statement, about 50% of NPR revenues come from the fees it charges member stations. In 2009, member stations derived 6% of their revenue from federal, state and local government funding. While NPR does not receive any direct federal funding, it does receive a small number of competitive grants from CPB and federal agencies like the Department of Education and the Department of Commerce. This funding amounts to approximately 2% of NPR’s overall revenues.

          • no name

            huh? are you seriously trying to claim that politicians and the government don’t control government broadcasting and don’t have virtuly a veto power over concerning the hiring of management and its editorial content? 
            for instance when agovernment TV program attempted to present a segment about a Vermont family farm shose owners happened to be gay? 

  • Yar

    Anyone listening to the world economic and social strife would say there is something fundamentally wrong.  It seems like we are close to some kind of tipping point. Do we hold on or radically change what we are currently doing?  What changes are necessary to prevent revolution in the US or another world war?  I read about a police officer in Cambodia who went from living comfortably in an apartment until Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge came through and three days later he was hiding with his family in the forest eating bark off of trees to stay alive.  My question: is how to prevent this type of sudden collapse, and/or to prepare my local community to survive it if one happens.  I am not willing to pretend one side or the other has the answers or that everything will naturally work itself out.  I think we must raise awareness of the probability that things will get pretty rough.  The cities may become too violent to survive.  If that happens then the countryside will be overrun with hungry people that don’t have useful skills.  One thing about my stock, (cows) is that I can harvest them and share with my neighbors to stay alive.  Try doing that with a stock certificate.

    • Chris

      You are falling into the fantasy of surviving because you live in the country should a collapse occur.

      Know this: Men will travel to the ends of the earth for survival. No matter how far you are in the country, you are but a few days from the hordes at your door.

      With 310 million people in this country the only chance of survival is to bring everyone along together.

      • Yar

        I agree, but do I have to feed all 310 million, or just enough to keep the hordes from swarming my crops? I live in a county that produces enough food to feed its current population. Building community creates the possibility of surviving collapse.

        • Chris

          I agree that building community is good.

          But we need to keep our society civilized for survival.

          Unless you think you will be one of the lucky few that can survive the return of barbarism.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Be careful with your terms. “Barbarians” lived sustainably for millions of years, while “civilization” has nearly destroyed the planet in just a few thousand.

          • Chris

            Oil is the reason we have nearly destroyed the planet. Everything stems from the misuse of that energy slave.

            You can be civilized and sustainable. They are not mutually exclusive just as barbarism and sustainably are not synonymous

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            The exploitation of oil only accelerated the environmental and social destruction that had been going on for hundreds of years through coal and, before that, for thousands of years through extractive agriculture.

            Civilization is a way of life based on cities, division of labor, social and political hierarchies, and exploitation of nature and each other.

            Nothing in the civilization paradigm is even remotely sustainable.

            Prior to civilization, the genus homo lived sustainably for 2.4 million years.

      • Don_B1

        Note that Yar’s thought experiment is relevant to what will happen with climate change as droughts interweave with huge flash floods and the resulting crop decline to produce famine and make large regions of the world uninhabitable (e.g., the Dust Bowl out-migration of the 1930s) at least at current population levels.

        • Chris

          Agriculture for the past 10,000 has been successful because man could pretty much depend on a stable climate.

          Climate change could bring the end of domestic crops as a food source due to weather extremes. 

          So back to hunting and gathering. Just not with 7 billion people.

          Add to the mix the near fishing out of the world’s oceans and the population is going to be reduced significantly.

          • Don_B1

            Thank you. I, like many (most) forget the oceans too often. But the oceans have more to fear than just the overfishing due to the dependence of 1 billion people (now) on it for all their protein.

            The increased atmospheric CO2 is causing more CO2 to be absorbed by the oceans, increasing their acidity. This increased acidity inhibits the ability of corals and shellfish to form their shells. The destruction of coral reefs from this has already begun and the loss of those reefs where so much of the other fish spawn could easily turn the oceans to near lifelessness, as happened some 250 million years ago.

            See:

            http://www.skepticalscience.com

            and search for ocean acidification.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      We may all be eating bark soon if we don’t take the initiative to begin changing our cultural paradigm.

      Yes, we are at a global tipping point. See the articles published in this month’s issue of Nature: Evidence of Impending Tipping
      Point for Earth

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120606132308.htm

      Economy and ecology are intimately related. In his prescient 1980 book, Entropy, Jeremy Rifkin (who is now consultant to the EU on the “third industrial revolution”), explained how society becomes extremely top heavy at a tipping point to the next energy environment. We are at the end of the fossil fuel economy and about to return to a solar economy, based on far less energy throughput, and far more frugal use of material resources.

      There are millions of people – inspired by Bill McKibben, James Howard Kunstler, David Holmgren and Bill Mollison (permaculture) and  Rob Hopkins (Transition Towns) – who are already working to co-create the next cultural paradigm based on a local, decentralized, green and egalitarian economy.

      With such efforts, we won’t have to eat bark, but will be able to make our own root beer.

      • Gregg

        Bark is good. I remember laboring in a cabbage field in appalachia when I was sick. It was a bad case of the runs but the farmer was not sympathetic. He cut some bark from a beech tree and scraped off the milky film between the bark and wood. It tasted like wintergreen and fixed me right up. We hoed 10 acres that day.

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          One of the very few things you’ve ever said that I will agree with.

          Aspirin (and many other medicines) comes from tree bark, as did many so-called “tonics” such as birch beer. 

          But I doubt you’d survive long on a bark-only diet.

          • Gregg

            Not on bark only but I’ll be okay. I can turn a cheese cracker into a fish dinner. 

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            But you can’t turn a Nascar cracker into a human being.

          • Gregg

            Are you speaking honestly or being nasty? Can you turn a cheese cracker into a fish dinner?

      • Yar

        This is exactly the discussion I think we need. We know we are on the wrong track, yet take no actions to change. Is it possible to change our paradigm? It takes more than a one hour discussion. On Point is great for introducing and highlighting the situation but it doesn’t provide any answers.

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          Actually, millions of people all over the planet are working to change the paradigm, from the African and Central American seed savers to the Transition Town and Occupy movements, the coop/credit union movement, the worker ownership movement, the alternative currency movement, the natural building movement…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1381325294 Valera Bochkarev

    Dr. Chomsky,
    Are you optimistic about the future of our, and your, children in this country, given the seeming slide backwards in civil discourse, the state of labor unions, the general disconnect between the “job creators” and the workers who are pushed to produce more and more with less benefits and dignity and much less ability to speak up to the management, while being distracted to the point of complete ignorance of current events and trends by the massive onslaught of mindless “info-tainment” ? I, for one , find it harder and harder to keep an optimistic outlook about the future, even when facing my kids…

  • Chris

    The elites are tightening the noose on the people: drones over the U.S., indefinite detention, thought crime now gets you arrested, no civil rights no less labor laws.

    How to be safe from them? 

    Gouge out the desire for freedom from your heart. Work, consume, work, consume…

    Doesn’t stop the desire? 

    Turn your back on their system.

  • Drew (GA)

    I have read all of Mr. Chomsky’s work and am a long time admirer. When I began trying to combat the results of Criminal Identity Theft several years ago I reached out in every direction I could. Of the ACLU, Social Security Administration, Consumer Protection Agency, numerous “news” agencies, multiple “celebrity” personalities, and several governmental representatives, Noam Chomsky was the only response I received that demonstrated actual concern. There wasn’t anything he could really do but the fact that he PERSONALLY responded meant more to me than I can express. I deeply respect his insights and intellect and cannot wait for the show. Thank you so much On Point for having Mr. Chomsky on.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    I have a question regarding the rise of American ignorance. I don’t want to appear mean spirited but we are looking like ignoramuses around the world. Sarah Palin is a great example. No one would let her operate on their brain because she is clearly not a competent brain surgeon. So why would anyone entrust the leadership of our country or the fate of our our soldiers to such a lame brain? It is as though party has become more important than facts.

    • William

      Who is leaking state secrets for political gain right now? Gov. Palin or Obama?

      • TFRX

        First, your media consumption is really for crap. Your placid politeness is not a cover for your complete robotic repetition of shite-filled talking points.

        And second, I’d ask you, Did you care about Shrub jerking the color-coded terrorism alert scale around whenever his approval ratings were going south?

        But we already know how much to believe your answer.

        • William

          One again, you run off the liberal rails.

        • Gregg

          False fantasy premise. Lame.

      • jimino

        One would have to be utterly clueless to be unaware of US drone attacks in foreign countries and cyber warfare targeting computers.  These are not secret activities to anyone with even a fleeting knowledge of what is happening in the world.  They are and have been in daily news reports for years. So what state secrets are you talking about?

        • William

          The state secrets that Senator Finestein and Senator McCain have complained the Obama administration is leaking. Maybe the two special investigators recently appointed will get to the bottom of it.

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

        Leaks? What leaks? Listen to the interview with the reporter reporting the “leaked” information…
        Contrast that with Jack Novak outing Valerie Plame, an active CIA undercover operative.

      • Don_B1

         To say you are comparing apples and oranges does great disservice to the term for false comparisons.

        At this moment only Mr. Sanger and the fact checkers at The New York Times know who first let out the details of inner White House discussions.

        But the first “leak” was that of the Stuxnet worm from an Iranian engineer’s computer because of a programming error (a lack of thorough system engineering in not foreseeing the worm’s need to recognize environments beyond the closed world of the uranium enrichment site).

        But it would seem likely that some Bush administration members have also made contributions to the published story.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        No administration has been more secretive or as severe in retaliation for real whistle blowers than this one.

    • Gregg

      “So why would anyone entrust the leadership of our country or the fate of our our soldiers to such a lame brain?”

      Good question, but we did.

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

        Gregg, you’re capable of non-lame comments. Face it Palin is an idiot and McCain was not worried about her becoming commander in chief. A very, very bad decision by someone whom I once respected.

        • Gregg

          MMTCW, context is everything. Assuming your characterization of Palin is correct (of course I disagree), we still have a President who IMHO is someone who should not have been entrusted with the job. Newt summed it up nicely on Olberman’s show:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjGhy8LVwAo

          I guess my point is, if Palin is an idiot then that makes Obama something worse (biting my tongue).

          • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

            Per Bill Maher… Dude, you’re liv’n a bubble.

            After so many demonstrations like this:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS4C7bvHv2w

            when will you question your right wing leadership?

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            That’s true only if you believe that intelligence is “worse” than idiocy.

            Given your evident lack of the former, it’s not surprising that you would prefer the latter.

          • Gregg

            Can you answer Newt’s question?

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Newt isn’t participating in this discussion. I was responding to you.

          • Gregg

            Palin is  more qualified than Obama. Newt’s rational was unassailable. And your response didn’t add squat.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Palin registers a tad above Quail for qualifications.

            Newt’s rational (sic) is always asinine.

            That you would consider them any more important than a wart on a hog, demonstrates your IQ.

            Palin’s predecessor as Alaska governor, Tony Knowles, said, “There has been no vice president that is less prepared in modern history.”

          • Gregg

            …asheignores Obama’spatheyic resume.

      • Don_B1

         I would not quite characterize George W. Bush as a lamebrain, but he did let himself be led down the rabbit hole by Richard B. Cheney and the other neocons he let be picked by Cheney for his administration.

        And he did say, in the discussion leading to his second round of tax breaks in 2003, “… didn’t we give enough of a break to the rich in the first round?” [paraphrase], but he went ahead with another round which did next to nothing for the 99% in wage growth.

        • Gregg

          The tax cuts in 2003 were not a new round, they merely accelerated (to great advantage) the ones from 2001. He is no longer President.

    • Drew (GA)

      The same reason Cain or Perry ever received consideration as candidates. People want to think that people like themselves run the world. It’s a sad commentary on the mental state of a large portion of our population.

      • TFRX

        Perry received consideration because of the incredible political skill, grit and pluck he overcame as a passably attractive, married w/kids white male Republican who managed to get elected to statewide office in Texas.

        Oh, wait…

        • Drew (GA)

          lol

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      With a long history of intellectuals putting themselves above the hoi polloi, it’s no wonder that the common folk don’t trust that version of elite and prefer someone with a more common touch.

      If we didn’t start our lives in public schools that “tracked” youth into “those who will succeed” and “those who will be wage slaves”, we would have a less divided nation.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

    And they have.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      EVIL has kept most of us very busy with many distractions, like making a living?

    • Don_B1

       And as Noam Chomsky said, the election of Romney will take the country to a real dark future, so let us all hope that the good people of this country put their minds to the issues and do the digging to realize Romney is not in their corner and reelect Obama.

  • Rex

    I know that Noam is old, but can he please speak five words without stopping to say “uh?”

    • Don_B1

      I know it is distracting, but less so than the “you know” and other “pause while brain catches up with mouth” terms. I remember a high school history teacher who dit to such an extent we used to count them.

      I used to be really annoyed until I caught myself using them a few times; it took a long effort to at least reduce them. If you don’t do it also, I congratulate you.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      He’s being thoughtful and careful with his words. If you’re distracted by the interjections, then you’re missing the message.

      Nit-picking is for nit-wits.

  • Drew (GA)

    The same reason Cain or Perry ever received consideration as candidates. People want to think that people like themselves run the world. It’s a sad commentary on the mental state of a large portion of our population.

    Should have been a reply to MadMark, thanks Disquss

  • Charles A. Bowsher

    I’m not so sure that it is by design, I think they are just so selfish that they took no thought of others and the effect their policies would have on them.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      TOO much of it lines up, to be an UN-planned consequence!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.castronovo Jim Castronovo

    Americans work more than comparable societies such as Japan… Can you please return to that point???

    I thought the Japanese were famous for dedicating way-many more hours to work than Americans…

    • Drew (GA)

      Many Americans are working 2-3 part time minimum wage jobs at the same time as that is all they can get. 70 plus hours a week with no benefits and little time for silly things such as eating and sleep in between shifts. I don’t think this is a particularly common occurrence in Japan.

    • Chris

      The Japanese have a system where the underlings wait until their supervisors and bosses leave the office. That doesn’t mean they are working. Plus, there is much evening drinking involved. Not too productive.

    • Wm. James from Missouri

      I average close to 55 hours per week. ( Sometimes 70). I do not get paid overtime at a rate of 1.5 per hour ( straight time ) . I know I am doing my share. My everything hurts :)

      • TFRX

        And somewhere is a 25-hour part-timer who doesn’t get benefits, but who doesn’t have the time to get a second nearly-real job.

        The result: Two workers, 80 hours. Our mythical 40-hour workweek, ladies and gentlemen!

        (Caveat: Nothing personal about you. Just pointing out how our media loves talking about economics in terms of averages, which is almost meaningless at this point.)

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      We tend to work in proportion to the amount of “stuff” we think we need. In America, even the poor have TVs, computers, game consoles, smart phones, cars, and many other “conveniences” that much of the world’s people have never even seen.

  • Charles A. Bowsher

    In terms that might make it easier to
    understand what this means for the future, imagine a poker game where
    you are using 100 chips and a double deck of cards, but you throw
    away four twos from one of the decks. So now you have 100 chips and
    100 cards to deal out. There are 100 players in the “imaginary”
    poker game. Each player is dealt the number of chips and cards that
    correspond to their share of our countries wealth. The wealthiest
    player in the game is dealt 37 chips and 37 cards. That’s right, one
    person in the game (the “one percent” you hear so much about) is
    dealt 37 chips and 37 cards. It is “fair” since the wealthiest
    1% of our population own 37% of our countries wealth. So there
    he/she is with their 37 chips and 37 cards. The next player gets a
    corresponding number of cards based on their wealth. The result is
    that the first 20 players are dealt out 88 chips and 88 cards amongst
    them of the total 100 cards. The remaining 80 players are now
    essentially having to share 12 chips and 12 individual cards amongst
    groups of them. By the time you get to the last card, we now have 20
    or more people having to share 1 chip and 1 card. Now answer another
    question. Do any of those (meaning us) 80 players even have a chance
    of winning this game? Not knowing any better, one might venture to
    say that the game is rigged. I certainly think it is. That is what
    I think Occupy wants us to come to grips with, and solve.

    That is why there is a white flag hanging on my front porch.  I suggest we all do the same.  Time to look at a time-based economy for our basic needs; food, shelter, health-care, and education.

     

    • BHA in Vermont

       Fun analogy :)

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Astute TOO!

    • Prairie_W

       Kudos to both Webb Nichols and Charles Bowsher for thoughtful comments! 

      (Not in the least wishing to diminish the value of the comments, I’d like to see more discussion of time-based economy.  As someone who’s a writer and artist, it makes me a little nervous…!  Also, could we reward work that avoids overuse of natural resources?)

    • Terry Tree Tree

      I refuse to surrender!   A green flag, for GO!  For Environmental Sensibility.  For Sustainable Living.  For a Positive Way of Life.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        We have a narrow idea of surrender, as meaning giving up. It also, and more fundamentally, means giving in – giving in to the laws of nature and the universe which include a gift (non-monetary) steady-state economy in which the goal is to contribute rather than accumulate.

  • Webb Nichols

    It is believed that there are a total of between 14-15 million people in the US out of work who are still looking  for work or have given up looking for work. 

    But let us suppose there are 12 million unemployed people (12,000,000) who want to work.

    And let us multiply that number by 2000 hours, the statistically accepted number of number of billable and payable hours per employee per year.

    And one sees the enormity of waste. 12 million unemployed people (12,000,000) x two thousand billable/payable hours (2,000) = 24,000,000,000 ( 24 billion hours).

    24 billion hours of potential productive work lost every year in the United States. What a waste! What a tragedy! No wonder the US is poised to sink into the abyss.

    A Billion lost here and a billion lost there and pretty soon nothing gets done. 

    • 4invention

      A six hour workday is the answer ! Think it through.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/OH7YTOPBQEQXO5PU2JSKS2R27Q Andy of the North

        Only if I can also have a 4 day weekend!!

    • Chris

      Unemployment works to the advantage of the elites.

      Lowers the wages. 

      They are going to keep going down as even Obama has stated that that the goal of his administration is to make the American workforce “competitive” globally.

      • Don_B1

         Global competitiveness can be achieved through greater productivity (the worker producing more in the same time) or through devaluation of the country’s currency with respect to the currencies of countries where the products/services are sold.

        For the last 20 to 30 years companies have demanded increased productivity without increasing the workers’ wages and Republicans rant against any dollar devaluation (which makes foreign goods/services more expensive in dollars). Thus American workers have not shared in the growing profits in the U.S. economy.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      There is no shortage of necessary work that needs to be done, merely a shortage of jobs (wage slave positions).

      FDR got us out of the Great Depression by putting people to work improving America’s infrastructure and even supporting poets and artists to improve America’s cultural infrastructure. 

      Where is that vision today?

    • Don_B1

       You are basically making Krugman’s case in his book, “End This Depression Now!” The U.S. economy is basically producing $1 trillion less each year than it is capable of. That is why the deficit will actually GROW with the current Republican policy of austerity, which further lowers the actual GDP from what it has unused labor and capital to produce.

  • Emjones

    Professor Chomsky,

    Bless you but it may be too late. See:

    http://www.periheliondesign.com/downloads/Wealth%20Distribution%202007%20update.pdf 

    This is old data. the NEW data is even worse. The 1% rich have actually trimmed back just a bit, but the poor have half what they do here. Yikes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001436729213 Wes Nickerson

    Noam Chomsky has endorsed Dr. Jill Stein for President, the leading Green Party candidate. On Point Radio should interview Dr. Stein. She is seriously challenging the two corporate parties and deserves a hearing by the people. Otherwise On Point is guilty of self-censorship and bias reporting. The Green Party is the party that corporate America, the 1%, does not want you to know about. Check out Dr. Jill Stein and the Green Party for yourself. Don’t let the 1% dictate to you how you have to vote.

    http://www.jillstein.org/

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001436729213 Wes Nickerson

      I highly recommend watching the video about Noam Chomsky called “Manufacturing Consent,” based upon his book by the same title, if you want to understand how the 1% controls the media. Here it is on YouTube.

      http://youtu.be/3AnB8MuQ6DU

  • Pancake Rankin

    Noam Chomsky: Congratulations on Judge Forrest’s decision to limit the application of NDAA as to US citizens. (Your successful Federal lawsuit with Chris Hedges and others.)

    Tom: Noam’s in Boston. Seems like he could pop in frequently like Jack Beatty. (Why don’t WE “… sit down at this table with you all that often?”) Maybe the answer is “concission.”
    (Concission is the ability to follow the corporate script.)

  • Chris

    With all due respect we know the history Mr. Chomsky.

    What we need are ideas how to get out of it.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Chomsky offers the critical analysis. He doesn’t pretend to be a savior, and anyone who looks to one person for “answers” is one who is unable or unwilling to seek them out among peers.

  • Markus

    Is there anything Professor Chomsky is saying that everyone doesn’t already know?

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Yes, precious few have Chomsky’s depth of critical analysis. Listen. You might actually learn something.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.castronovo Jim Castronovo

    Tom: Pretty soon you’re going to be interviewing environmentalist Bill McKibben who advocates for a no-growth economoy in order to introduce sustainability. From what Noam is saying it sounds as if the diminished US economy is carrying the wealthy but not the rest of us. If the economy becomes more sustainable are we going to see more class division?

    • BHA in Vermont

       Probably. The rich will always be able to buy whatever they want. If there is a shrinking supply of something, it is the poor, then the middle class, who will not be able to obtain it.  One product I can think of will be gasoline. When the oil starts to run out, it won’t be the rich that walk.

      • Drew (GA)

        Thank goodness you don’t have to worry about Gas Prices when you can’t afford a car. We’re so fortunate.

        • TFRX

          I predict the return of the sedan chair, as demonstrated in Terry Jones’ Jabberwocky.

          Except the ratio of laborers to riders will be much higher, as those 7-series BMWs weigh 2 1/2 tons.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        If you buy a new, or used vehicle, make sure it is Flex-Fuel!  When gas prices go high, you can use Methanol, or Ethanol, whicl will be cheaper-per-mile, at the time.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      In fact, a no-growth economy is unsustainable on a planet that has been as decimated as ours. What is required is a de-growth economy and a complete return to living within the earth’s daily solar energy budget (the only deficit that really matters).

      But a lower-energy, decentralized, more democratic economy based on real needs rather than manufactured greed will be far more egalitarian than any centralized system of wealth and power.

      We won’t get there overnight, but if we don’t aim there, we will fail as a species.

    • Don_B1

       Where do you get the idea that Bill McKibben advocates for a “no-growth” economy? He advocates for stopping the use of fossil fuels to generate energy, but he strongly advocates for replacing that ff energy with sustainable sources that wilkl provide even more jobs and grow the economy. It appears that you have fallen under the mind control of the fossil fuel charlatans who are promoting total untruths about the future need for fossil fuels.

  • Pancake Rankin

    Radio Chomsky broadcasts from New Zealand 24/7, and you can find it  on the web or Sangean internet radio. I keep Noam among my 5 favorites for listening. 

  • Don_B1

    Why wasn’t the title and maybe an excerpt of Dr. Chomsky’s book included in the introduction to today’s program?

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Because that would give the morons here even more reason to claim that he’s just peddling his wares.

  • Pancake Rankin

    Congratulations Noam on your win on NDAA before Judge Katerine Forrest.

  • agar

    Chomsky on NPR, somebody get a stretcher for Modavations.

    • Drew (GA)

      SHHHH!!! Don’t mention He who should not be named!

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Warren?  er..  Moda?  Mr. Mercury Mad Hatter?  Lead-Head? 
           Which name should not be named?

  • Chris

    Vote 
    No Confidence in the Corrupt System

  • Still Here

    There is no lack of employee-owned businesses and no obstacle to creation of new ones so keeping dreaming lightweight.

    • jimino

       I appreciate you pointing out that the idea that businesses are not able to be started due to the regulation bogeyman is just another  right-wing shibboleth.

  • BHA in Vermont

    I’m with your guest. I fear the possibility of a Romney presidency.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      We’ll all be forced to put our dogs on the roof.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        And drive them through the car wash? 
           Glad I don’t have a dog!

  • Still Here

    More than half over and this guy hasn’t said anything of value.  This is a liberal intellectual?  Bawww!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/OH7YTOPBQEQXO5PU2JSKS2R27Q Andy of the North

      Dick Cheney?

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Yes, he uses his gifted mind for the good of all. 

      You have something of a mind, too, and you might try using it sometime.

  • Drew (GA)

    Right On Point Mr. Chomsky! A vote for Obama may be the lesser of the evils but I couldn’t agree more that a vote for Romney is dangerous to say the least. Unfortunately we (Americans) seem to have a penchant for voting against our own interests. Not watching television has helped me immensely, reading doesn’t hurt either.

    • Prairie_W

      Ah, Drew.  A fellow escapee (a full decade now) from the screen!  But it’s often awkward to be so out of sync with people who — even setting aside Fox — believe what they “see.”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    4 years ago we got “business as usual” – and this November we will get the same regardless of who is elected.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/OH7YTOPBQEQXO5PU2JSKS2R27Q Andy of the North

      I wish this wasn’t true, but it is.   I’m a registered Democrat, but really I try to be as independent as possible.  Washington is Washington, and the power lies with corporate money, no matter which party one is partial to.  The differences in who is elected pale and get pushed aside because the foundation of our national politics is the wants and desires of the uber-wealthy few.  We, the unwashed masses, have little actual power, given that we only have two nearly-identical parties to choose from, and the way that anyone outside of those accepted parties is usually immediately dismissed by the “liberal” media.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        Even Chomsky admits that this is largely true on the most important issues facing the nation. 

        But it is not merely a result of the corruption of politics by money – it is the inevitable increase in centralization and concentration of power, hierarchical stratification of wealth and influence, and cultural dysfunction and conflict which comes when a paradigm approaches collapse.

        That’s both the bad news and the good news. The strategic question is then whether to fight the system as it brings itself down of its own weight, or to focus on creating a new system to replace the old.

        Fighting a failing power structure inevitably brings retaliation, as the Occupy movement has discovered. Quietly and locally building up a new paradigm can be done without much resistance because, by its nature, it is distributed and small-scale – even more horizontally organized than Occupy encampments which are easy targets precisely because they are “captured” territory outside of people’s everyday turf.

    • sgmp3

      I hope you listened to what he said would happen if Republicans win.  

    • Don_B1

       I understand the disappointment, but read:

      http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/06/18/120618fa_fact_lizza?currentPage=all

      We did get two decent Supreme Court Justices, the free-fall of the U.S. economy was stopped by the ARRA and we would be in strong growth without Republican opposition to more stimulus, an imperfect healthcare law has passed that is the first step toward good care at reasonable cost that does not grow faster than the economy, torture of captured enemies has stopped, the Iraq war has ended and the Afghan war is on a path to an end. When you listen to McCain, these things would not have occurred.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Impressive Insight into the problems of the U.S., and the world!  The ‘unconsidered results’ of corporate and government decisions, ARE worth looking at!

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      The CIA had to invent a word for this: blowback. They meant it to refer to the inevitable responses to US overt and covert foreign policy, but the Law of Unintended Consequences applies equally to all narrowly-focused human endeavor.

      The Easter Islanders discovered this Law when they cut down all their trees to move their religious statues in an escalating competition among clans.

      The Roman Empire discovered this Law when they stretched themselves too thinly around the world in order to extend their power, but it instead dispersed their power so much that the center could no longer hold.

      Scientists and technologists are discovering this Law as they watch their “solutions” destroying the environment and rendering the planet uninhabitable.

      This law is based on an even more fundamental Law: the Second Law of Thermodynamics, or the Entropy Law, which states that all things in the universe move from order to disorder. A corollary to that Law is that any creation of local order, complexity or concentration and centralization creates an even greater amount of disorder in its environment.

      Only decentralized, low-complexity, low-energy, local, distributed and egalitarian systems are sustainable in our universe. This is one principle which even Chomsky doesn’t fully understand, as he regrettably promotes central, federal “solutions” for the centralized, global-scale problems that such concentration of power has created.

  • Jack Acme

    Is this the Noam Chomsky moment? We hope so, but there’s little evidence that critical thinking and analysis has suddenly become popular with the electorate. As Professor Chomsky pointed out at the start of the hour, the Obama campaign and victory of 2008 was a triumph of marketing. As we listen to the “man at the rally” interviews from Republican events we hear an echoing of slogans and talking points. Political discourse is reduced to sloganeering backed by magical thinking. The Democrats are little better.

    • Still Here

      This discussion is part of Chomsky’s marketing campaign for his book!

    • Still Here

      This discussion is part of Chomsky’s marketing campaign for his book!

      • Ray in VT

        Probably.  Just like David Frum when he was on a while back.

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          Jeezum Crow! You guys can’t even acknowledge one of the most consistent proponents of the public good, who has risked much to speak truth to power for more decades than some of us have been alive.

          Putting down someone like Chomsky in this way is a marketing ploy, not honest debate.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Easy, Robert.  Look at the post he was replying to , and content?

          • Ray in VT

            I wasn’t putting putting down Mr. Chomsky.  He’s got a book out recently, as is often the case with some of the well known guests, and that probably figured into the timing of his appearance.

          • Gregg

            Of course it did. I see nothing wrong with that at all. Mr. Riversong has stated he doesn’t believe in profiting from writings so I guess he is thinking Chomsky doesn’t either. But Chomsky is a millionaire who makes 12K a speech and sells soundbytes online. That’s also cool with me.

    • Don_B1

       But they ARE better, marginally maybe, and that difference counts. The fact that campaigns cost what they do is what drives members of both parties to seek money from the same (e.g., financial industry) sources and so they have to represent the same positions at least to some extent.

      Nothing so proves my point as the push-back from other Democrats to Obama’s campaign point that Romney’s experience at Bain prepares him for the decisions he will have to make as President where he has to balance the needs of ALL citizens, not just the 1%. Unless you believe that “trickle-down” is adequate for everyone.

  • miro

    Mondragon is the single most hopeful alternative economic model. Essentially all the tens of thousands of workers in the Mondragon network own their own enterprises and democratically decide what and how to produce goods and services. They have a diversified network of factories, banks, and schools and they operate in a market economy (Spain).
    It would be worth having a discussion of Mondragon some time.

    The problem with traditional unions is that there is an inherent conflict of interest between unions (labor) and company owners (capital, investors). Worker ownership and control of a company removes this conflict, so that everybody is rowing in the same direction.

    Gar Alperowitz has written about these kinds of enterprises in “America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming our Wealth, Liberty, and Democracy (2005, 2011).

    • Pancake Rankin

      Gar is at the University of Maryland. He’d make an excellent On Point guest.

    • Edith

       Interesting post about Mondragon.  I’ve looked that up.  They’re in Basque Country in the north of Spain, of course. http://www.mondragon-corporation.com/ENG.aspx?language=en-US

      I also agree with you about Gal Alperowitz.  Good book that one. 

  • Terry Tree Tree

    The LUST for power, is EVIL, and always destructive?

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      “Evil” is a term of Manichean manipulation. The real world is not painted in black and white, but in myriad shades of gray. 

      Lust of any kind, however, is self-destructive and destructive of others. If we re-discover our essential, biological appetites and seek to meet those in an egalitarian way, then we won’t need our addictions – whether to power, wealth, affluence, material things, professional success, or food, drugs, passive entertainment, computers and sex.

    • Don_B1

       Power for its own sake is evil but power is needed to accomplish good things; the trick is to know the difference and remain humble when in a position of power.

  • Chris

    Mr Chomsky. We are living in a police state now. Looking to the past will not help us as a way to a freer future.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      The police state also polices our minds and our concepts of American history. Unless we free our minds from that intellectual prison, there is no hope of a future.

  • kaltighanna

    I am not an American citizen and I no longer live in the USA. From the outside, it is absolutely striking how the “radical” left and the “radical” right use pretty much the same words, but if you really listen they mean completely different things. Fundamentally, if the citizens of a country cannot even agree on the meaning of the words in their language, it’ll be pretty hard to build consensus and take power back from the super wealthy. What’s the solution to that?

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Sitting down and talking together to realize that we have more in common than what divides us.

  • Pancake Rankin

    Greensboro (where the Klan got off after public murder):
    As to the Woolworth sit-in, Gregg might say “There’s no free lunch.” Today there’s no Woolworth’s, little public sphere to Occupy. Corporatism is fencing the commons and eating all the lunches we prepare. Austerity equals corporate  taxation of the populace.

  • Hillarion

    Are we headed toward a hunter-gatherer existence?

    Google on [quadrillion derivatives]

    Gaining wealth is sometimes (frequently?) addictive.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      We cannot return to the cave, but we must return to the paradigms of the neolithic and pre-industrial periods if we hope to survive.

      • Gregg

        It’s not going to happen, any other ideas?

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          Not going to happen? You already demonstrate a Neanderthal mentality. QED.

          • Gregg

            No, it’s not going to happen and you are not making a difference. Be as nasty as you want but the fact remains.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Speaking honestly is not being “nasty”.

            And your insistence that “it’s not going to happen” doesn’t make it a fact. In fact, it almost makes it a certainty.

          • Gregg

            Alrighty then.

      • jefe68

        Sounds like you want to live in a Flintstones cartoon.

        Given that the neolithic period was about 12,000 years ago and pre-industrial could be the early 18th century it does seem to me that you’re taking a wide berth here, absurd as well as quite funny. The irony that you are posting using a computer, and you’re online using a browser is quite, ironic… both of these technological entities use math in ways unheard of until the invention of the digit zero.
        Which was not a concept 12,000 years ago.
        On a side note the first instance of this concept was in Mesopotamia at around 700 BC. What we use now was invented by the Arabs around 500 AD.

        In 1750 you it would have taken days to get from Vermont to Boston to make the very same point in a public forum.

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          Bacteria invented the first global internet 3.5 billion years ago, with their ability to exchange coded information (DNA) almost instantaneously.

          The primary contribution of human civilization to the earth has been global pollution, top-soil erosion and salinization, loss of corals and rain forests, the great Pacific garbage patch, decimation of 90% of the ocean’s large fish, the sixth great extinction of species, and irreversible climate change.

          Some call that progress.

          • jefe68

            This is your answer?  Bacteria invented the first global internet 3.5 billion years ago…
            The problem is bacteria is not a conscious being in regards to coming up with ideas. Do they react to stimuli, yes. does this make them conscious beings on the same level as humans or Gazelles, no.

            The earth has been orbiting in our solar system for billions of years, I suspect it will still be doing so when we are gone. 

            You really are one hell of a sourpuss.
            You must be a real gas at parties.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Bacteria present far more evidence of consciousness than do you, who cannot seem to comprehend any idea outside of your narrow perceptual box.

            Bacteria can adapt almost instantaneously (in evolutionary terms) to paradigm shifts. You, on the other hand, merely resort to juvenile name calling and remain stuck in your little rut.

          • jefe68

            Name calling? Rut?
            Boy are you a real piece of work.

            I have to ask, what about all the posts in which you insult people, and it’s most of them by the way.  As evidence witness your response to me, what do you call this petulance?

            I’ve not read any good books written by bacteria lately nor have I seen a good painting made by one.

            You really are one nasty little man.
            You have some ego issues, that’s for sure.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            What speaks volumes about you is your cowardly anonymity, and your willingness to slander someone rather than respond honestly and maturely to the discussion at hand.

            Calling people down for the idiocy they post here is legitimate, but wanton libel is crossing the line.

            You have been reported to the moderator of this site. 

      • Pagassae

        Luddite.

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          To be called a Luddite is a great honor. The Luddites were skilled crafts people who opposed the mechanization of labor.

          If only we had listened to them.

          • jefe68

             What’s with the computer and internet connection then?

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            A true Luddite (capital L) doesn’t blindly oppose change, but opposes the degrading of human labor that is caused by the economic drive for ever cheaper and more “efficient” production.

            As one who was programming mainframe computers in 1968, I appreciate what such technologies can do, but equally understand how easily we become enslaved to them.

            The internet (like most technologies, originally created for military purposes), can facilitate communication and information transfer, but can also engulf us in disinformation, excess information and create the illusion of “virtual community”.

            The trick is not to mindlessly dismiss all innovation and technology, but to embrace it carefully and with full consciousness of its inherent dangers to both the human and the more-than-human world.

            The fact that this kind of discussion forum allows for both intelligent conversation and sheer and utter idiocy is a perfect example of the two sides of this digital “coin”.

      • http://twitter.com/aloysiusokon Aloysius Okon

        Like what?

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          Like living off the daily flow of solar energy and its derivatives rather than on the carbon that was stored to keep the atmosphere and temperature in balance, like not depleting local resources and considering the seventh generation in all decisions, like not soiling our own nest, like understanding that we are only a strand in the Web no more important than any other and that the purpose of life is to serve the greater good…

          • http://twitter.com/aloysiusokon Aloysius Okon

            I’m afraid you might be attributing values to the peoples of pre-industrial days that they didn’t possess.

            For example, folks in Prehistoric Medieval times weren’t interested in thinking seven generations ahead. They were more interested in daily survival. And environmentalism, as far as human history is concerned, is mostly a relatively recent phenomenon. 

            Besides, aren’t solar energy and wind energy technologies supposed to get us off carbon-based fuels? 

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            “Prehistoric Medieval times”???

            Historic time began 6,000 years ago. Medieval civilization was was in the last 20% of the historical era, but the people were much more connected to the earth which fed them and gave them wood to burn for heat and cooking. The earth was still considered the commons then.

            Of course “environmentalism” was possible only after Cartesian dualism removed us from the sentient, natural world. Prior to that, there was no disconnect between where we lived and the rest of the natural world.

            One can think of the “environment” (that which surrounds) only when one has conceptual removed oneself from the world of nature.

            As for solar a wind technologies, now and for a long while to come, they are manufactured and shipped by fossil fuel energy, and so the Energy Returned on Energy Invested (ERoEI) is far less than you might think.

            It takes about five years just to pay back the embodied fossil fuel energy in a PV panel.

  • Chris

    What a wasted hour.

    Next time Mr. Chomsky know that people are educated about the past.

    It’s time to talk about the present and the future.

    • Markus

      I guess he had a book to sell, but seemed to just mail this one in. Too bad.

    • TFRX

      He who controls the past controls the future.

      Or, let’s not let Public Radio take another pass on (say) Fox news’ version of history, about how Saint Ronnie never raised taxes, and how James O’Keefe found all those scandals in ACORN, PP and among Democratic-friendly voting precincts.

      • Chris

        I think the people listening today have a good grasp of what has been going on the past 30 years in this country orchestrated by the elites.

        We are desperate for ideas about how to break their power.

        Not endless discussions rehashing their rise to power.

        • TFRX

          But this represents a real incident of public radio breaking with its tendency to focus and navel-gaze on all things Beltway.

          It’s not just the folks like you and I listening today. It’s the way that public radio seems so very seldom to fight against the narratives provided it by the media’s taste-makers. Breaking their power means understanding how often that simply gets reinforced, like background noise, unnoticed.

          Every little bit helps. I’m still a bit amazed that we didn’t have someone on for “balance”.

          • rlitycheq

            Telling, is
            it not, that NPR now feels it can risk having on the show the old Chomsker no
            longer with his full powers on tap and the world as we know it collapsing
            around us in line with his observations.

             

            Nonetheless, is it just me or did Mr.
            Ashbrook, otherwise rarely if ever outclassed by his guests, sound uncharacteristically
            shrill with his sophomoric interruptions and ill concealed attempts to paint Mr,
            Chomsky into the iconoclast, fringe, loose cannon corner that all obedient
            mainstream media drones have been well trained to paint him?

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          As an activist for nearly half a century, I don’t believe even the most astute today have an adequate understanding of the full scope and depth of change in the last several decades.

          We cannot make strategy to move forward unless we fully understand how we got here and why. Not one in a million understands our history as well as Chomsky.

          If you think this show was a waste of time, then you have a very shallow commitment to change. No OnPoint show in the last year has been as valuable as this one.

          • Chris

            Don’t think so.

            You and I can study all of his writings and get what we heard today.

            If we could have a sit down with him about his ideas about moving forward that would be supremely valuable.

            That’s what didn’t happen on this show.

          • Greyman

            Welllll: Chomsky’s stated views about “moving forward” in today’s show were: a) status quo (though he supported Jill Stein’s candidacy for the Green Party nomination, he voiced reluctant and unenthusiastic willingness to vote for Obama in November as the lesser of two evils) and b) incrementalist (he practically disarmed the OWS caller from the Midwest by remarking blandly that “change takes time”, “keep fighting the good fight”, et cetera, without much elaboration). Based on past performance, Chomsky today seemed remarkably and uncharacteristically restrained, reserved, understated. Perhpas he matures.  

          • Chris

            Of course change will happen with generations.

            But can change happen in a generation?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Change HAS happened in a generation, SEVERAL times throughout history.  SOME of those changes were NOT violent?

          • Pagassae

            What arrogance…  You, and you alone, know more than everyone else??

            If you are so smart please tell us when you will be interviewed on this show, or CNN….I will be watching and laughing.

          • Gregg

            He considers himself a prophet.

          • Pagassae

            So does Warren Jeffs…and look where he is.  The world is full of nuts who think that they are the smartest people who ever walked the face of the Earth.  Hubris is all it is.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            You’ve got it backwards. The arrogance is on the part of those who claim they have nothing to learn from one of the most astute social critics in the world.

            You also can’t read or comprehend simple language. I was praising Chomsky, not myself.

          • Gregg

            “I am Robert Riversong, prophet, teacher, guide, midwife for a world struggling to be born. You are a spark of the universal flame. “

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            By “you”, I specifically meant everybody but you.

          • Gregg

            It’s not about me.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Quite right. You can’t be a “spark of the universal flame” as you are far too dull.

          • Pagassae

            Bow before the false prophet, R. Rivertune. Is that related to iTunes, Robert? lol

          • Pagassae

            Perhaps your writing skills need a bit of improvement. I am not the only one who saw your hubris….

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            It is your comprehension skills that need improvement. You cannot read hubris in text, unless you project your own into it.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

            you must having a ball with 5 likes on your comment but still doesn’t prove in the real world that you are that great.

        • jpenney@yahoo.com

          Stop wasting time Chris.  The answer is, “keep educating, keep fighting”.  The way to do it is to talk about the past.  Go educate someone.

    • Pagassae

      The historically ignorant American electorate needs to know about the past. That is one reason why the present is so screwed up.

      • Chris

        Depends on what you see as the role of such shows as On Point.

        A rare interview with Mr. Chomsky would be better spent on ideas then education imho.

        • Pagassae

          The “role” is to get people to become a bit better informed about the issues of the day. And in the process expand their minds a bit.

          With the right, that is not possible, since they already have their closed and bigoted minds already made up.

          What do you see as the role?

          • Chris

            Draggin along the teabaggers is wasted energy right now.

            We need ideas on how to move forward, not endless repetition of how we got here.

          • Pagassae

            That’s funny…I recall that he pointed out quite clearly his suggestions for the future. Perhaps you should have listened more closely. Or perhaps we heard different interviews? There are no easy, and quick, fixes…as he said.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

            NICE QUOTE

    • jimino

       What conceivable plan is there other than having more voters informed with the truth and voting accordingly?  And I think he adds to the “informed” criterion with his take on how we got to this point.

      Or do you have some other general proposal of how to affect the future in a democratic republic?

      • Chris

        The system is corrupt and broken.

        Voting “accordingly” gets us nothing.

        • Pagassae

          On that, we agree.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

          Yep that’s why I never voted.

      • jpenney@yahoo.com

        Chomsky gets this question at EVERY lecture.  I know, I was the dope who asked it at my first one.  The answer is always the same, and it is always right.  You keep educating, you keep discussing, you keep resisting.  The government, the elites, the wealthy will eventually get in line if there are enough educated people to fight them.  That is the ONLY plan there will ever be.  No quick fixes.  Keep fighting.

        • jefe68

          I’m not seeing any evidence of your list getting in line or even budging to get on board.

          As George Carlin is right, the owners of this country wont let it happen. If fighting gets your mojo going that’s good. I’m down with that on one level. But….

          The American Dream is just that, because you have to be asleep to believe it.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acLW1vFO-2Q

    • jpenney@yahoo.com

      You are not his audience.  You are a lost cause.  We’re not interested in what you think.  Sit back and let us fix this and get on the bandwagon when it comes by, like you’ve done with your conservative stupidity.

  • Bianca

    So exciting to hear this national treasure, a true voice of reason, Noam Chomsky, in a rare appearance NPR. Thank you, let’s hear from Chomsky more often on NPR! 

    • Heaviest Cat

      yes, if for no other reason than for NPR to live up to its mission statement to include ALL voices at the table.

      • jpenney@yahoo.com

        Ha.  I’d like to see that happen.  This is one show in how many years? This is a nanometer in the right direction but I don’t expect it to go much farther.  Depend not on NPR, if you understand Chomsky’s ideas you know they are part of the propaganda system by design.

  • Pagassae

    What a great show, Chomsky is (as always) on target. I am sure his comments will stir up all of the right wing nuts who post on this site.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I’ve been looking at the history of Formosa/Taiwan, which I had been taught was “the” bastion against mainland communism, and reading that “as usual” when a minority (in this case the Chiang Kai-Shek KMT) rules, there is of necessity oppression, and I believe it was called the White Terror, and was (and apparently still is) very bad for the environment.  Very bad.  But it is considered a case study for how a country can move, over decades, from government by the few (elites, dictators) to something more democratic.  

        So it was interesting to hear Chomsky talk about the true economic system being one where the workers own the means of production, and consider where this might actually be the case.
        The critique of Taiwan, as I recall, was that a nation without a popular mandate is weak, cannot marshal its population for a five-year plan, or a debt reduction plan, or for that matter, for a proper war.  
        This has me thinking what about an “improper” war?  Think Hitler.  Think the way even an oppressed population can start a kind of war frenzy if their national pride/fear is played upon.   People are not swarming their resources and energies and hopes around their opportunities, their options/choices, their self-determination (as a group, but also as individuals with well understood choices, consequences not “religious” but scientifically and statistically spelled out.  No.  People are pooling their resources like cornered animals, in a kind of suicidal last ditch effort; it looks like a dream of victory, but more, it is the nightmare of failure that looms.    We are Told that we are fighting for freedom and American values, and our daily lives can certainly feel more stressed out and misguided, in general, than leads to peaceful slumbers.  We are told, we have the rights to success and independent choices more than anywhere else.  To me, it seems immoral to propagate that message when “the cards are stacked” the way they are.  Exhibit number one, Citizens United.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

      I didn’t know there is proper in every War.

  • Still Here

    I’m not sure why NPR would ban this guy.  Maybe when he was younger he was something to fear, but he just seemed tired today.  In fact, I’m pretty sure he fell asleep around the 38th minute.  His leftwing fanboys seem all nostalgic but it’s not clear why.

    • Pagassae

      Thanks for proving my point (see below).  So predictable, and I knew it would’t take long for you to come out from under your rock.

      • Markus

        C’mon, you can agree with Chomsky and still think he’s lost a little off his fastball. Could be he’s just not a good interviewee – some very smart people are like that. And was there really anything new that you learned?

        • Pagassae

          At 83 perhaps he is slowing a bit…so what, I say and good for him. His ideas are sound and relevant. Must every interview be top notch for it to have merit for you?

          • Markus

            Fair point. And though I disagree with him on most things, his ideas are relevant and he does his homework. I didn’t hear anything new or insightful, but maybe he was targeting a broader audience. In any event, I shouldn’t be rude.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Thanks.  I had not read his books, but had read and heard his name often.  It was insightful, to listen to his over-view of conditions and possible solutions.

          • jpenney@yahoo.com

            You should start by reading “manufacturing consent” which he co-authored with Ed ? Herman – it’s sort of a broad overview of his theory of how media in the U.S. is employed to maintain the extreme lack of knowledge Americans have about our society and the world.  It’s a short read, and very instructive.  Here’s a popular web link to an excerpt:

            http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Herman%20/Manufac_Consent_Prop_Model.html 

          • Pagassae

            It is interesting to see how people look at things so differently. I agree with him on most things. Freedom of thought and speech is a great thing.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Sorry Markus, you missed Pagassae’s point, and did not refer to his earlier post, that explains that Still Here proved.

          • Pagassae

            You are correct, thanks.

    • Heaviest Cat

      nostalgic nothing , but relevant to today’s issues in light of all the vile crappings of the right and corproate propaganda

    • Greyman

      I don’t think NPR ever “banned” Chomsky. If you scroll down a few pages to comments posted before the show began rolling at 10 am ET, I think someone posted the correct version, which as I recall is simply that “All Things Considered” co-host Robert Siegal is not keen to interview Chomsky (whether he has sway to keep Chomsky off of ATC altogether, you’d have to investigate, or ask the producers of ATC, or Siegel himself, I’ve no idea what sparked Siegel’s decision).

    • jpenney@yahoo.com

      I don’t think Still Here is.
      “Fanboys” don’t think for themselves.  People who agree with Chomsky aren’t nostalgic – we’ve been saying exactly the same things for years, and Noam is one of the best at getting us heard.  His analysis is correct and can be verified.  But you’d have to read a book and understand logic in order to do that.

  • Hillarion

    Imho, a worthy book; it was popular enough to be out in paperback:

    _Idiot America_, by Charles P. Pierce.

  • Bruce

    Thanks, OnPoint, for bringing the critical analysis of one of our country’s most incisive and prolific intellectuals to the current political debate.

    I hope voters in the swing states were paying attention and understand that the GOP alternative this Nov. is simply unacceptable…and should be inconceivable to anyone with a grasp of our history over the past 30 years, which the guest carefully details.

    What the present incarnation of the GOP is offering is indeed a scary scenario:

    –more faith-based economics and States’ Rights obstructionism from the delusional Randian/Ryan laissez-faire, libertarian wing-nuts

    –more evolution and climate change denial as well as anti-gay and anti-choice erosion of equal rights from the flat earth, evangelical wing-nuts

    –more paranoid, anti-government conspiracy theory from the practitioners of religious orthodoxy, national chauvinism and phobic racism

    If we’re intellectually honest, as the guest demonstrates, there ARE some key distinctions to be made between the two major political parties/candidates.  Thanks, OnPoint, for bringing the expertise of the guest to bear on a few of these important differences and their implications for our nation moving forward. 

    • William

       Obama rejected cap and trade, gay marriage, attends church, illegal war against Libya, kept Gitmo up and upgraded it, killed US citizen without trial, authorized drones over USA, sold guns to drug dealers in Mexico, continued with wiretaps, …

      • Pagassae

        Republican lies.

        • jpenney@yahoo.com

          No, I’m not a Republican supporter at all, and you can verify all of these things from several sources.  Obama is an imperialist stooge just like all the rest.  However Romney, like Bush and like all the repub nutbags, is about 300% more likely to let the rich utterly destroy the economy.  The one hope I have with Obama is that we might be able to force him to not allow that.  But we’re going to have to organize and pressure him, he’s not going to do it on his own, but because he can’t without us pushing him.

  • miro

    Thanks so much for this segment. There are very few people who see the nature of power dynamics in the world as clearly as Chomsky does.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

      A person who is grammatically correct is very hard to contemplate.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    iOnePoint:

    I have often thought that if a rational Fascist dictatorship were to exist, then it would choose the American system.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

      Quote by Chomsky.

    • jpenney@yahoo.com

      He doesn’t say it, because he wants to let you come to your own realization of what he’s saying.  So I’ll say it, because I think it’s true.  There is a rational Fascist dictatorship, and it has chosen the American system.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    iOnePoint:

    Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it’s from Neptune.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

      Quote by Chomsky

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    Chomksy comment Regarding the death of Osama bin Laden, Chomsky stated: “We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic. Uncontroversially, his crimes vastly exceed bin Laden’s, and he is not a ‘suspect’ but uncontroversially the ‘decider’ who gave the orders to commit the ‘supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole’ (quoting the Nuremberg Tribunal) for which Nazi criminals were hanged: the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country, [and] the bitter sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region.

    • jefe68

      Except the US did not fly planes into another nations buildings. bin Laden was a terrorist who had plenty of history in this regard. Also the Iraq war was a response to perceived threats from Saddam Hussein, although fabricated and suspect in relation to terrorism and certainly WMD’s. 

      I have some problems with this in regards to how Noam Chomsky is selective in the regards to actions such as the killing of bin Laden. There is no doubt that he was a force of extremism and the world is a better place for it demise.

      That said, I’m not going to support imperialistic neo-conservative militarist engagements into selective sovereign nations.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

        There was a recording of Bin Laden that he did not admitted to the 9/11 attack. I saw the clip and he mentioned that whoever did the attacked at the WTC I salute him.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

          or probably he was just lying.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            With the power this event gave him, WHY would he deny it, if he was part of it?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

            Only Bin Laden can answer that not me.

      • jpenney@yahoo.com

        Except the US did not fly planes into another nations buildings.  (neither did Iraq)
        bin Laden was a terrorist who had plenty of history in this regard.  (and had nothing to do with Iraq)
        Also the Iraq war was a response to perceived threats from Saddam Hussein, although fabricated and suspect in relation to terrorism and certainly WMD’s.  (As you say, fabricated by the administration who started the war, and not just suspect in regard to WMD’s but patently false.)
        I have some problems with this in regards to how Noam Chomsky is selective in the regards to actions such as the killing of bin Laden. There is no doubt that he was a force of extremism and the world is a better place for it demise.  (And the U.S. Government is a force for extremism.  Apply your logic to the people in U.S. government responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent iraqi ciizens.  What would your conclusion be?  Who should their seals kill?)
        That said, I’m not going to support imperialistic neo-conservative militarist engagements into selective sovereign nations.  (I agree that you shouldn’t.  So we have common ground. I think your logic above is wrong, though it seems to come from a place of positive, protective and caring emotion.  Try applying it fairly and carefully to all of the situations equally.)

        • jefe68

          The problem here is I never said anything about Iraq crashing planes into anything.
          Did I ever say anything in support of the war in Iraq? No. My logic is that Noam Chomsky has a history of being selective in his critique of bad actors in the world.
          At the same time Saddam Hussein was a despot who carried out genocide on the Kurds and slaughtered countless tens of thousands of Iraq’s. When it comes to acts of war and atrocities all nations that participate in them are guilty.

          The successive US governments have a bad history in this regard, especially in South and Central America.

          This is why my friends who support President Obama get on my case, because I think is just as bad as GW Bush in regards to international dealings. Which one can read as drone attacks.

  • jefe68

    In 1962 William F. Buckley debated Noam Chomsky.
    It’s interesting viewing and still relevant 50 years latter.
    The Chomsky and Foucault debate is also something, but really gets into some esoteric territory.

    On further listening Mr. Buckley is pretty condescending and he does interrupt a lot. Still, they are not screaming at each other…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYlMEVTa-PI

    • Ray in VT

      Is that the one where Buckley threatened to punch him or something?

      • Gregg

        No, that was a debate with Gore Vidal. Vidal called him a Nazi (I think) and Buckley was having none of it.

        • Gregg

          He said: “Now listen, you queer, stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I’ll sock you in your goddamn face, and you’ll stay plastered.”

          Here it is:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYymnxoQnf8

          That was good TV!

          • Ray in VT

            Ah, I couldn’t quite recall.  Thanks, Gregg.  I had forgotten what prompted Buckley’s threat, but I recalled that it wasn’t unprovoked.  I also thought that Buckley called him a bundle of sticks.

          • Gregg

            No, he called him a “queer” (and later apologized for that part) not a “faggot”.

            Good one Ray! I had to think about it.

          • Ray in VT

            Growing up I only knew that as a word for gay men, so you can imagine my surprise when in college I read a translation of an ancient Chinese text describing how they shored up the dams with faggots.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            In Elementary School, we were told how the Romans used the example of breaking a single faggot, but that a bunch of them was impossible to break! 
              Near the same time, I was informed of the sexual meaning of the same term. 
               Being heterosexual, I was never sure how to interpret that.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            A faggot, whether of sticks or metal, is always a bundle, not a single unit.

            It used to be an English tradition to burn an ashen faggot for Christmas.

          • Pagassae

            It is nice to see that conservatives have not changed much in the past 50 years. Bigoted, nasty, loud,and WRONG. The world is better off without WFB, and as it would be if most “conservatives” departed the planet post haste.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

            Actually Gay word started at IBM executives during the 1960s. it was not a slur back then but now it’s just another for fags or the politically correct term for calling faggots - Gay.

          • Gregg

            A faggot is a bundle of sticks.

          • Ray in VT

             There’s also the usage of gay for happy.  I found an old kids book a few years ago called the U.S.A: a Gay Geography.  It had great illustrations, but I laughed whenever I read the title.

          • Greyman

            Ray: a trustworthy source I still consult is Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, which while first defining “faggot” as “a bundle of sticks” goes on to explain that at some uncertain time past “faggot” was “also applied to a hireling who took the place of another at the muster of a regiment”. “Fag”, the entry immediately previous, in the early 19th century and likely earlier, signified “a schoolboy drudge who performs menial tasks for his seniors in certain boarding schools”, a use illustrated in Thomas Hughes’ 1857 account Tom Brown’s Schooldays, ch. vii. The now-eclipsed use of “fag” as slang for “cigarette” apparently first arose in Devonshire as a term for “turf for burning”. I suppose the OED reports as much.

          • Ray in VT

            Hi Greyman,
            I’m not familiar with Brewer’s, but I have used the OED.  I hadn’t heard those other definitions of faggot, although I have heard the use of fag for a cigarette from TV and movies.  Are you familiar with the British use of the term fanny?  That’s another good one where Britain and the U.S. are divided by a common language.

          • jpenney@yahoo.com

            Name Calling – a standard go-to for bullies with no rational argument or brains to come up with one.

          • Gregg

            Yes, I agree. Chomsky should not have called Buckley a “crypto-Nazi” but he had no rational argument or brains to come up with one.

    • Gregg

      I agree. Thanks for posting, it’s been a while since I’ve watched this.

    • jpenney@yahoo.com

      Yeah, buckley’s a real blowhard in this.  Would have been a perfect FOX news “analyst”.

      • jefe68

        I disagree, he’s smarter than most of the pundits on Fox. He’s also not as rude or yelling like they do. The show is also long when compared to the 30 second time slots one gets now.

        I happen to like his rude exchanges and I like how Mr. Chomsky quietly takes him apart.
         

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    According Chomsky:

    Over the past generation, it has become increasingly clear to those on the left that the U.S. mass media, far from performing an autonomous and adversarial role in U.S. society, actively frame issues and promote news stories that serve the needs and concerns of the elite. Moreover, the importance of the leading corporate mass media in contemporary politics radically transcends the role of the mass media in earlier times. Hence, the Left has begun to pay considerable attention to how the media are structured and controlled and how they operate. Nevertheless, the ideology of the “free press” has proven to be a difficult adversary for left critics; as the media’s operations are central to the modern polity, their legitimacy is shielded by layers and layers of ideological obfuscation.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

      Probably that’s why he was falling asleep during the interview.

  • Heaviest Cat

    long, long overdue on “public” radio. and a breath of fresh air after the banal belchings of “freemarket” and proPentagon voices whuich have siezed the mike at NPR.

    • Bryan

      Couldn’t agree more.  Tom Ashbrook and the producers at OnPoint are to be heartily congratulated for being willing to invite Chomsky.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    “If Bush, the Bush administration, didn’t like somebody, they’d kidnap them and send them to torture chambers,” the renowned American scholar told Democracy Now on Monday. “If the Obama administration decides they don’t like somebody, they murder them, so you don’t have to have torture chambers all over,” he said. Chomsky also criticized Obama team for the extrajudicial murder of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born cleric, in Yemen in a drone strike. “He (Awlaki) was killed. The guy next to him was killed. Shortly after, his son was killed. Now, there was a little talk about the fact that he was an American citizen: you shouldn’t just murder American citizens.” Chomsky commented. “But, you know, the New York Times headline, for example, when he was killed, said something like ‘West celebrates death of radical cleric,” he continued.

    Chomsky on PressTV

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    Chomksy is a man who profoundly exhibit the taste of extra ordinary mussels. A chance to express neutrality between putting garlic or butter or both on the recipe.

  • Dtharaeparambil

    I have studied the trend of capitalists to move from the north to the south looking for betterment of their bottom line. Since globalization, the capitlists are moving into developing countries.The fact of the matter is, once these countries develop, the break they are getting now is not going to be there. But then capitlists have always been good at moving their  pocket full of cash to where ever they can to make a buck.Slaves, Opium, liquor or even drugs have always been their business. Thanks to intellectuals like Chomsky to remind us of what needs to be done to fight inequality.David Tharaeparambil,NY.

  • JoeMarfaTX

    Greed is human nature. That isn’t going to change. Chomsky tells us the effect of greed is the few dominating the rest of us. But what makes it possible for the rich to accomplish this?

    Technological Innovation = Monopolies of Power (and Absolute Power corrupts absolutely). Monopolies take advantage of new advancements in technology to press their will on the world.

    From the inventions of the wheel to the train to the car to the plane, we always think in terms of machines as the next new thing, computers and their software being the latest, right? We all say Wow! when we see the current new app.

    But what’s making it so cool is, as they used to say, “under the hood”.

    It’s the “chip”, the semiconductor, of course. It’s the incredible technological “genius” that’s creating ever faster speeds and capacity into our handhelds and phones and pads. But, that’s not new and what does it have to do with with the current state of the economic disaster on the Earth today?

    Well, we know the chip is getting faster, but what we don’t know, don’t think about is how fast is it getting faster. The chip driving our cell phones is more than all the computers they had to put a Man on the Moon in the 1960′s.

    A “chip” in 2011 (to do the same number of calculations, to think, if you will), is 1,500 times smaller than in 1963 and 5000 times smaller than in 1957. And smaller means faster and the pace of getting even smaller changes every year.

    It took 4 years, from 2005 to 2009, to make a chip half the size of 2005 and 3 years, from 2009 to 2011, to reduce it to nearly another sixty percent in 2011.

    And faster means? We don’t need as many people to do the same work. Thus China gets wealthier per person and we and Western Europe get smaller, a lot smaller. In fact, in 2010, China is the number 1 rank in terms of how much each person in its country can purchase (Personal Purchasing Power, PPP), with the US slipping to the number 2 rank. By 2017, the experts predict, China’s PPP will be double the US; 10,000 billion to our 5,000 billion.

    Our median income in the Western world is falling and will keep on falling because a handful of very smart rich people have a monopoly of who gets the newest chips.

    Who has the money has the say.

    It’s time for us to recognize this 21st Century Monopoly and do something about it while there’s still time.

    • jpenney@yahoo.com

      There’s a little more to it than you have the space to discuss here.  Your analysis is probably partially correct but also probably overly simplified, I know that it’s difficult to do justice to an entire theory in a few short paragraphs, maybe you could write a lengthier paper on it and publish it on the web?

      The one thing I want to point out to you is that although greed is human nature, so are the acts of caring for the sick, the weak and the needy.  So is the desire to hurt or kill.  We’ve built a society that has controls on the act of killing, though we haven’t controlled the “human nature” that still desires to do it.  We’ve also built a society that partially encourage the acts of caring for its sick, weak and needy members.  None of this is inevitable, it’s all decisions and consequences of institutions and laws.

      We can’t throw our hands up and give in to greed, we must and will control it and build a society that presents it as a human trait that we consider evil.  When we do that we can start having something closer to a just human society.

      I hope you write that paper.

  • LilyaLopekha

    Testing Chomsky by Lilya Lopekha:
    About a year ago, Chomsky was giving a speech at MIT.   He made comments about 9/11 and literally accepting the Official Story.
    After the speech, we showed him secret FBI papers about URBAN MOVING COMPANY.  The story was supposed to be secret till July 2030.  He asked for the papers, then we gave him the entire file (section 1-5).  He just cannot deny the fact that he does not know about URBAN MOVING COMPANY (the Demolition Team for three of the towers in NYC).
    http://www.HumanGenome.org/FBI
    He said: “It does not matter who did 9/11, they were going to attack Iraq anyway?”
    Excuse me Professor,  It really does not matter who did 9/11??????????????????????
    What kind of a statement is that?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      What I read that he was saying is that whether the Twin Towers were attacked or not, ‘W’ and cronies would have invaded Iraq, on some pretense?
         Since 14 of the ‘hijackers’ were from Saudi Arabia, attacking Iraq was the logical thing to ‘W’ and cronies?

      • Gregg

        Absolutely logical, yes.

    • jpenney@yahoo.com

      Yeah, I really like Chomsky’s analysis technique but it’s obvious he just does not want to get involved in the 9/11 discussion.  I think it would bog him down in his other work, and though it is extremely important to me that others work on 9/11 and find out the truth and educate people about it, I can see Noam’s point of view on this.

      9/11 research is unfortunately still being successfully sidelined and made to look (incorrectly) like “fringe science” by the mainstream press.  Facts just do not get discussed, and official stories have become the accepted standard.

      This fits closely with the Narrative of the invasion of Vietnam, the U.S. participation in terrorism against the global south and all of the other unspeakable truths the US media chooses to ignore.  

      I think if Chomsky did pitch in on the 9/11 debate, either side, he would become helplessly bogged down by it and be prevented from doing other work that is equally important.

      So I support his decision to not get involved and write off his comments as diplomatic answers to questions he just doesn’t prefer to discuss.

      I don’t believe he thinks it’s unimportant to the families of the people who were murdered, I think he’s just unwilling to divert his attention from other work in order to discuss an event that from a policy perspective he sees as minor.

      I think we should leave him alone on this issue.

  • marygrav

    Noam Chomsky is da man.  Now Tom needs to bring on Charles Reich; Michael Parenti; Faward Jarza; and Kevin Phillips.  I know I have mispelled names, but who I mean is whom I mean.

    P.W. Singer needs to come back on and talk about drones and how you can purchase them out of the box at any Middle East air show.

    Occupy needs to start registering voters like ACORN once did.

    Obama may be the Food Stamp President; but Romney will prove the Breadline President.

    • Pagassae

      A Romney victory will be a disaster of unequalled proportions for the average American.

      • Gregg

        Another four years of Obama will be the end of America as we knew it… which is cool with many.

        • Pagassae

          False, untrue and delusional. Romney is a fraud and transparent liar, and worst of all a FRONT MAN for the corporate coup d’etat which has taken over the government, and a proven vulture capitalist…how do you miss all of that?

          Another Republican amnesiac.

          • Gregg

            I disagree and will admit Romney was not my first choice, Newt was. However, the only alternative is Obama. If a can of dog food wins the Republican nomination, Alpo gets my vote.

          • Pagassae

            And people wonder why we are in such a state of decline….your posts say it all.  Newtie is the essence of corporate sleeze and influence peddling. You are going from the frying pan into the fire. Truly amazing line of thought and political reasoning on your part.

          • Gregg

            I love Newt!

          • JGC

            And so did his three wives! And look where that got them…Lordy, I shoulda known you were a Newtophile!

        • jefe68

          So Gregg, what’s the plan then?
          If Romney loses are you off to Argentina?

          • Zero

            I would like to see Gregg or any republican name one country that economically strong with good human rights that shares their political vision.

            I can name several, but I have yet to hear one from any republican ever. 

          • Gregg

            America before Jan. 2009.

          • Ray in VT

            Zero said economically strong, Gregg, and I don’t think that America in much of 2008 really qualifies.

          • Gregg

            It should have been a blip. Even so we were still in better shape than most of the world.

          • Cristobaldelicia

            Norway, Sweden are doing well.  And they are both well to the left

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t know why it should have been.  Most commentators that I have heard speak about the issue say that a financial crisis takes years to come back from, and given the issues that other nations have and are having, and the way in which the global economy functions, it should not be a surprise that the problems of other nations can and do harm us as well.

          • Zero

            To you the slow down after the Clinton economy was the worst recession in memory (but by most economic indicators there was never a recession).  GDP was contracting at 8% when Obama took over, but you give him zero latitude while the Bush presidency is written off due to an economic slow down after Clinton and that he was a war president.

            Where’s the consistency, Gregg?

            , Gregg?

          • Gregg

            I never ever said the Clinton recession was the worst in history. Pleas don’t tell me what I think.

          • Zero

            So the Bush economy, which was weaker than the Clinton economy and the Post-Depression era….

            By the way, middle income dropped $2,000 before the recession.

          • Zero

            Sorry, I meant to reply to Gregg.

          • Zero

             Read below.

          • JGC

            Canada, at this time.  Prime Minister Harper definitely shares the political vision of the U.S. Republican party.  Canada is still economically strong and with essentially sound human rights, but this was built on the shoulders of the Mulroney government (BFF with Ronald Reagan, remember?), and Jean Chrétien of the Liberal party, who both had the interests of the country in mind, rather than their parties. Mulroney brought in the GST, the national sales tax, and Chrétien brought in stringent budget cuts; both going against traditional party lines to affect a government that would address its severe budget deficiencies of the day.  And it worked.

          • Warren

            vous etes vraiment un sot.I send you Martin,then Harper and you prosper like never before.

          • JGC

            Oh, mon petit con,Warren…..Harper is maintaining prosperity, but the foundation was laid by his predecessors, Mulroney and Chrétien, with their one-two punch of higher taxes and less spending.  (And a well regulated banking system didn’t hurt either.) Things the U.S. should be doing to whittle down their deficit.

          • Zero

            I realize there are right wing leaders out there.  But economic conditions of Canada are to the left.  There is no prosperous country that is to the right of America.  If I lived in Canada, I would be much more moderate.  I would be considered right wing in some countries.  I would be a little to the right in Germany, for instance, because I think their welfare system could take some cuts and re-appropriate the funds to research.  Even right wing Germans think are safety-net is too far to the right.   

            Do you see my point?

            It’s about creating economic conditions that work.  And too far to either side doesn’t really work.
             

          • Zero

             Change “are” to  “our.”

          • JGC

            Agree.

          • Gregg

            Heck no, I’ve got 100 acres, a river full of fish, woods full of deer and 60 horses if things get tough. I have enough resources to take care of my family and neighborhood. I’m digging in.

          • jefe68

            Hope you have enough ammo…

        • Zero

          Yes, back to strong labor representation and regulations that sustained America before 1980 when republicans started to chip away at the middle class.

          I hope Obama has it in him.

          • Gregg

            You cannot possibly believe America does not have a “strong labor representation”. That’s nuts. And Obama has added regulations that cost businesses $46 billion /year.

            You can’t be serious, you just can’t.

          • Zero

            Gregg, the corporate profit to wage ratio is the same as right before the great depression.

            The ratio of CEO wages to average income earners is around 385:1.  In Japan, the ratio is 10:1.  Look at the numbers! If we had strong labor unions, we would have numbers like Japan (which would allow us to have the flat tax code we have today).

            Once again, Gregg, you need to gain a broader perspective, both historically and globally.

        • Still Here

          So true.

        • feettothefire

           Every time you use this “Obama will be the end of America as we knew it” bit of hyperbolic foolishness, your credibility takes another hit. The funny thing is, while you and I agree on very little politically, I know you’re no fool. I think you should revisit your civics lessons from high school. Obama is President, Not King. Not Emperor. We have three co-equal branches of government for a reason, to prevent either one from “destroying the country as we knew it.” I think they usually do a pretty good job of reigning in overly ambitious executive leaders of government. The Congress has certainly done a good job of frustrating Obama’s stated objectives on many fronts. Many believe that the Supreme court may undo his healthcare bill. These things do not bode well for a man whose objective is to destroy our way of life.                                                       In all of the twentieth century, only two presidents introduced changes that made fundamental differences in significant areas of our lives. FDR and Lyndon Johnson. However, they too suffered defeats in the political arena at the hands of opposition within government and in public sentiment. Johnson even declined to run for re-election. Some King.                           I simply can’t understand how you can believe that Barack Obama, above all other presidents this country has known, is the only one endowed with power awesome enough to override the will of congress, the Supreme Court, and the court of public opinion. Count the new grey hairs on his head. That’s usually a good indicator of the frustration a president is feeling.

          • Gregg

            I have respect for you views because you are consistent but believe me, I’m serious. My concern is absolutely real. I’d like nothing more than to be wrong.

  • nj_v2

    Look at little Greggy latching onto the single, somewhat tangential comment like a dog biting on a towel.

    I haven’t read the rest of the board yet, but if i were a betting person, i’d have good money on Greggg not addressing any of the core of Chomsky’s critique over concentration of power and wealth, disenfranchisement of the middle class, and the synchronicity of popular grassroots movements around the world.

    • Gregg

      It’s amazing how often I see my name evoked, often at the top of the page. Sometimes it’s due to the shrinking dialog box and sometimes it’s out of the blue, connected to nothing and nasty. Commenter “Pancake Rankin” did it  a little ways down too and I don’t recall ever having a dialog with him/her. I do think I’ve seen the name on some Charlotte area blogs, he sounds like one of them figgers. Grady Lee Howard lite.

      Anywho, I guess it’s somewhat gratifying to know I’m in so many heads… but it’s a little creepy.

      • nj_v2

        The post was supposed to have appeared under one of the string of your childish, foot-stomping comments about the Palin comment. Disqus weaved its magic again and apparently made it a top post.

        Leave it to smarmy weasel Greggg to do what he always does and evade the question, here by focusing on the position of the post and not the content. Then he gives invokes his, “Who, me?”  fake folkiness (“Anywho”), and then calls other people “creepy.”

        And, sure, enough, when i read through the totality of the comments, little Gregggy had nothing to say about the core points of what Chomsky had to say.

        • Gregg

          My very first comment quoted Chomsky meanwhile here are all of yours:

          It’s inevitable:Whenever some 
          haughty blowhardpicks onsomeones spelling, grammer, syntax,e tc., it turns out that theirstone tossingcomesfrom m a glass house.
          Pot meet kettle.

          You seem not to have listened to the programs you criticize. Amongst the cultural and arts programs,, Fresh Air regularly does shows that deal with political, environmental, and health topics. And it generally deals with political topics more incisively than other programs that specialize in politics.And humor isn’t “fluff.”Look at little Greggy latching onto the single, somewhat tangential comment like a dog biting on a towel.I haven’t read the rest of the board yet, but if i were a betting person, i’d have good money on Greggg not addressing any of the core of Chomsky’s critique over concentration of power and wealth, disenfranchisement of the middle class, and the synchronicity of popular grassroots movements around the world.Ditto!And there’s Wee Willie projecting his bigotry, conflating homosexuality with pedophelia.You’re a piece of work, Willie.At which point WeeWillie disappears.The trolls are out early today.I particularly like the one that says “Pot meet Kettle”… jerk.

  • Blakesrichards

    Isnt the “why” that Tom asked for the need for Wall Street and other investors to have year over year growth from companies that they/we invest in? That is where the problem starts? Never being satisfied througg sustained profit?

  • MWoon

    Noam Chomsky ought to be a true Libertarian.  I can tell he wants to be, he just doesn’t understand.

    He doesn’t understand what currency is or it’s role.  And he doesn’t understand how truly free markets work.

    Here’s an excellent example of his poor understanding:  “…[T]he whole so-called Libertarian ideology. It may sound nice on the surface but if you think it through, it’s just a call for corporate tyranny. It takes away any barrier to corporate tyranny.
    But, it’s all academic. The business world would never permit it to happen because it would destroy the economy. They can’t live without a powerful state, and they know it.”Apparently “they” can’t live without government, yet will rule as profit-wringing tyrants over the land?  Textbook “progressive” FDR re-education while growing a middle-class urban family.  The fundamental fallacy is that he fears the specter of a tyrant in the midst of US tyranny today.

    • Pagassae

      False analogy, incorrect assumptions.

    • Heaviest Cat

      CHomsky has it roight on teh mark and documnets it thoroughly in his books.

    • feettothefire

       This argument reminds me of  Alan Greenspan’s insistence that the “Rational” marketplace would always correct itself in order to prevent it’s own destruction at the hands of bad actors. He believed in this clap-trap for all of his professional life. Then the financial shenanigans of Wall Street caught up with us in 2008, the melt-down of our economy damn near ruined us, and the Fed chairman publicly admitted that he’d had no idea what he’d been talking about.

    • ET

      I don’t follow your
      argument: after the broad, but unsubstantiated, claims in the first two paragraphs, it’s hard for me to tell what you are trying to say.  But you bring up some important issues:
      .
      It’s clear, as Chomsky suggests, that corporations
      find the rhetoric of libertarianism compatible with their quest
      for unbridled power, and that much of the Republican efforts to
      influence public opinion (and “frame the debate”) are funded by those
      corporations.  In effect, corporations are co-opting the ideals of
      libertarianism
      and putting them in the service of maintaining and increasing
      corporate power at the
      expense of the freedom of individuals. 
      Also it’s clear that governmental power and corporate power
      act in concert, each aiding the other, and often to the
      detriment of the individual citizen. 

      Two aspects of the Libertarian movement make its rhetoric
      particularly useful in the service of corporate power:
      -  It puts little emphasis on responsibility for one’s
      actions.  It makes a great case for freedom, but it it takes
      insufficient account of the possibility that in the exercise of
      that freedom, one might either knowingly or unknowingly impinge
      on the freedom of others.  As we know, one’s actions inevitably
      others  – we exist in a field of relationships and connections,
      some of which we are aware of, some of which we are not.    
      -  It’s proponents exhibit a certain naivete about human nature
      – they seem to assume that people are basically good, and that
      if they are only left alone, they will strive for the good:  the
      good for themselves, and the good for others.  That would be
      great if it was true, but unfortunately, it isn’t always the
      case. 

      • ET

         oops, I meant “inevitably impinge on others”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1273328048 Tomasina Covell

    It’s amazing to see all the t’party libertarian truthers come out of the woodwork talk’n like they’re savoir of tuffluv when it’s clear they’re working to subvert our government, they need to be killed!

    • jefe68

      Tad extreme is it not. I should remind you that we still live in a Democracy. I don’t agree with them and I find a lot of the view points put forth by them to be woefully misinformed, tempered with hate and puerility.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        “Puerility” is the kind of word that an immature person uses to try to appear intelligent, since “childishness” would communicate the notion far more effectively.

        And the metaphor of “tempering” is misused, since it means to make less rigid or brittle.Finally, if you believe we live in a functional democracy, then you must still be suffering under the illusions of a recent formal education.

        Just how old are you?

        • jefe68

          I posted a response to you that was way more than you deserve. Who do you think you are? Where do you get off telling people what words they should use or not.

          Oh wait, you’re the f’n genus poet who thinks the sun shines out of his gluteus maximus.

          I’m curious, how is that you claim to live in a cabin with no electricity and yet you post here everyday?

          It’s really interesting to read your comments, they come across as self-righteous and self-congratulatory no matter what you post.

          I guess that comes with territory of being the poet laureate of Palookaville.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            You sure do a lot of sleight of hand editing to hide your kneejerk reactions.

            This post originally asked ” so you think people who have different points of view should be killed? Why does that not surprise me.”

            It doesn’t surprise you because you are willing to invent any position, even when demonstrably opposite to what a person espouses, in order to justify your idiocy.

            As a lifelong non-violent activist, I would hardly advocate that anyone be killed (though there are some who would do the world a favor by removing themselves from the gene pool).

            “how is that you claim to live in a cabin with no electricity and yet you post here everyday?”

            Because I never said any such thing. My cabin has always had electricity.

            That you have to not only create straw men, but upside down straw men, in order to justify your infantile arguments, is a very poor reflection on your integrity, logic or reasoning ability.

            So my question to you is: why do you insist on repeatedly putting your foot in your mouth and shooting yourself in the foot?

          • jefe68

            I edited my post because it needed to be toned down.
            Your not worth getting worked up about.

            If your a life long non-violent activist then how is it that you do not come out against comments that advocate killing?

            I’m not inventing anything, I’m responding to your belligerent BS.

            Infantile arguments, that’s rich and you talk of integrity?
            You are very full of yourself and it’s not worth the effort.

            As I stated: self-righteous and way to full of yourself.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            “Your (sic) not worth getting worked up about.”

            “If your (sic) a life long non-violent activist” 

            “As I stated: self-righteous and way to (sic) full of yourself.”

          • jefe68

            I miss-spelled you’re… and too… my apologies to the grammar police.

            You’re having fun.  At least I have a sense of humor, you sir seem a bit devoid of one.

            Alas, you’re so above me in intelligence that I feel my knees weakening at the thought of such a superior mind. Well, on second thought I’m laughing at the level of pretentiousness on exhibit here.

            As stated before, you must be a load of fun at a party.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Then you must prefer GW Bush to Obama because he’s a more fun kinda guy and that seems to be your only criteria for the value of a human being.

            [P.S. most people think I have a great sense of humor. But some things are just not laughing matters.]

          • nj_v2

            It’s inevitable:Whenever some 
            haughty blowhardpicks onsomeones spelling, grammer, syntax,e tc., it turns out that theirstone tossingcomesfrom m a glass house.
            Pot meet kettle.

          • Gregg

            I knew I should have thrown the flag the other day when you used “is” where “are” was the appropriate word but I hate grammar cops. Don’t make me look it up. Smarty pants.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Show the link.

          • Gregg

            Nah, it’s not worth looking through pages of your comments. I actually started to but I don’t even remember the board it’s on. I found some misspellings (rataliation, Kenyon) and an “a” where you meant “and”. Also an “is” instead of “us”. If I took the time I’d find more but until then you best look them up and edit them. If you find your is/are mistake fix that one too if you haven’t already which wouldn’t surprise me. I make plenty of mistakes as does everyone. Sometimes I even have trouble with “you” and “you’re” words. I’m happy to admit it so don’t bother critiquing me comments.

            The main thing is, I’ve made a fool of you enough lately as evidenced by you ignoring my damning comments. I really don’t think you meant to call Chomsky a stopped clock but you did. I also figure by now I’ve enlightened enough to know the difference between “inalienable” and “unalienable”. And the there’s your knowledge of music which is to say the least, lacking. You’re just as fallible as everyone else and the biggest fallacy is that you don’t think so. Have at it.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            “don’t bother critiquing me comments”

            I don’t need to. You make a perfect fool of yourself without any help.

          • Gregg

            That’s it? Really? Thank you so much!

  • jpenney@yahoo.com

    I don’t know how may people outside of chomsky-ite circles noticed (I’m a chomsky-ite) but if you compare everything that’s been on this program for the last 5 years against what Chomsky saying, every one of Tom’s guests (statistically) who discussed the economy had it COMPLETELY WRONG.  Noam does a deep analysis, has it right, has been right in every case, since he has been writing (again statistically) and yet the majority of guests on this show and most of the other political shows on NPR have been consistently wrong, inaccurate or just missing the point.

    Not to mention that most of the shows on WBUR are fluff (only a game, click and clack, etc.) and a complete waste of public radio space.

    Tom (and WBUR management) we need more programs like this if the country is going to be sustainable and survive.  Please have the guts to go against the corporate mooks who try to control you and produce more of this stuff and actually put it on the air instead of the useless programs that are on there now.

    We’re in a time of national crisis, and if so-called “public” radio doesn’t step up to the plate to help fix it I don’t see any point in supporting it.  I’d rather have Amy Goodman, FSRN, GNN and the like take over that air time than have to listen to Terry Gross do another feel good “human interest” story ever again.

    • jefe68

      Well the world needs a little fluff now and again.By the way Amy Goodman has a show, it’s called Democracy Now. Why not turn off Terry Gross if you don’t like it.

      I have to ask the same question I ask the right wingers, if you don’t like a show why do you listen?

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        No, the world doesn’t need any more fluff, since that’s mostly what our culture offers – lots of sugar with no substance.

        And your question sounds like the mindless right wing shout during the Vietnam era: “love it or leave it”.

        • jefe68

          Well there is a huge difference between complaining about a radio show and a war don’t you think. No, wait, you’re the genus poet who thinks the world is out to get him. You’re always right everyone else is wrong.

      • Heaviest Cat

        jefe ,it’s not a matter of personal taste.It’s amatter of nPR not living up to its name and claims of “independence”.

        • jefe68

          Where did you get the idea that NPR was independent? They depend on sponsors, a lot.  

    • Heaviest Cat

      Jpenney, unfrotunately ,this program is an anomlay on “public” radio which fr the last decade or so has sold out itsd priciples to a market oriented format that precieves its listeners mroe as passive consumers rather than citizens who must make informed decisions. that’s why hard hitting critical journalsism has been displaced by touch feely human interest stories and critical inquiry into US foreign policy has ben displaced by stories about “heroism ” and “sacrafice”.

    • http://twitter.com/aloysiusokon Aloysius Okon

       People tune into what they care about, and not all of it happens to be politics or economics. Sports, cars, and other “human interest” stories may not thrill you, but there is a large segment of the population who’re interested in that sort of stuff.

      And On Point isn’t the only program of its kind on NPR. Diane Rehm, Talk of the Nation, On the Media, and Science Friday aren’t mere “fluff”. 

    • nj_v2

      You seem not to have listened to the programs you criticize. Amongst the cultural and arts programs,, Fresh Air regularly does shows that deal with political, environmental, and health topics. And it generally deals with political topics more incisively than other programs that specialize in politics.

      And humor isn’t “fluff.”

  • Stickyanthers

    Chomsky is great.  But would love to see him put together the pieces and just say , “Shit’s about to hit the fan.”  

    Let your hair down a little.What is the result of over population?  Of population increasing exponentially while ecosystems collapse as we watch.Of all these people depending on oil.  Forget corruption and politics, these are hard limits that we are about to hit.  There are so many factors all about to collide at the same time.Beyond believing that the earth will go on without us, I don’t see a very bright future.  We are like ants fighting, oblivious to the tidal wave that’s coming.  My optimism is that the people that do survive on this planet will be living in harmony with the earth.  Because they will have to.  That is what sustainable means.

    • msctommass

      Stickyanthers, you make some excellent points including the comment about population increasing exponentially.

      Here is a link to a series of videos on youtube that talk about this very thing.  There are 8 ten minute videos total from a prof at University of Colorado.  Hope you find them enlightening.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-QA2rkpBSY&feature=channel 

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Chomsky is an excellent analyst and social critic, but not an ecologist or prophet of doom. 

      What’s interesting, however, is that more scientists are seeing the inevitability of the coming tsunami and addressing it.

      There were two reports in the latest journal Nature that address these issues head-on:

      Two new and grim environmental studies
      http://earthsky.org/earth/two-new-and-grim-environmental-studies

      Evidence of Impending Tipping Point for Earth
      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120606132308.htm

      • Stickyanthers

        I think we’ve past the tipping point.  I’m a farmer.  I feel it in my bones.  Time is literally speeding up.  There’s a tsunami coming.

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          I agree. We’re facing a perfect storm of multiple interconnected global crises on every level. 

          The caterpillar of civilization is dissolving. Whether a butterfly is born is an an open question, and partly up to our ability and willingness to make radical choices.

        • Gregg

          Relax.

    • Michele

       I think he basically said that the you know what is about to hit the fan.  We have choices as a human race to make.  We need to grow up!!

  • Tehseenjee

    Tom, are you, like, in sorta trouble now for inviting Chomsky over to On Point. Chomsky is one of those people who, due to the extensive amount they read and observe, develop levitation and start hovering over our troubles, can see everything on the ground and deliver simple truths which we ignored all along. Thank you for having him on NPR.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_67MZCOUXFSLOM257CRHBKW4AL4 wareinparis

    I stumbled upon this conversation yesterday and could not turn it off. Chomsky was so well reasoned and reasonable. Deep change does not come quickly or easily, but we must try.

  • Still Here

    The baseless idolatry is puzzling.  He had nothing to offer but unfounded liberal platitudes, and was not convincing in the least.  There’s no there there. Sure, the converted love him and don’t ask for much, or really anything.  Just say stuff and we’ll nod our heads knowingly.  

    • jefe68

      Funny, I find all your comments baseless idolatry.

    • Zero
    • Heaviest Cat

      Still here ,apparently you weren’t listening.

      • Brettearle

        Oh, he was listening….

        he just wasn’t listening.

    • Brettearle

      There’s TOO MUCH there, there…that’s why you’re carping….

    • Matthew

      Nothing Noam said is baseless. And no one he discussed was idolized. Your comment is puzzling to say the least.

    • nj_v2

      I just shake my read when i read the pablum you post.

    • Fake Account

      I will agree that his talks are highlights of a larger (imo thoroughly researched) foundation.  It takes a minimal level of intellectual rigor, which the US admittedly is lacking, to go through someone’s writings or book and check their sources, check their facts, check their logical construction.  What I noticed when I read Chomsky, was that he goes to great lengths to cite 1st person sources.  It is so elementary but nevertheless is quite rare in today’s intellectual landscape.

      So, I agree that it can appear his statements are unfounded, but then check out one of his books where the entire argument is laid out for you and the citations are given for literally everything he states.  And then at that point, try to offer a different conclusion other than the purile defamation (ad hominem of course) that you normally offer in your posts.

  • AnitaC1040

    Thank you for bringing Noam Chomsky on the show. He is always interesting.  I remember, years ago, going into Harvard Square to see Manufacturing Consent (the movie)and purchasing that book, I won’t tell you how long ago, but it seems like a lifetime ago.

  • Zero

    You know how in the academic world issues are settled, but are never settled in the public world…?   Then there are the academic debates that are on another plane than the tedious (usually) right wing rationales that have long been dismantled in academia.  Here’s a real debate.  Perhaps, our conservative friends will figure out that their rationales have already been considered and dismantled in a world that is much more empirical and rigorous than their neighborhood church.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kawGakdNoT0
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0SaqrxgJvw

    • Still Here

      By another plane, you must mean unsupported because this is complete and utter nonsense. 

      • Zero

        You should read Foucault.  He was a historian among other things.

      • Zero

        Okay, I’m going to try to help you.

        There is a major difference in politics that has little to do with left or right, conservative or liberal, republican or democrat.

        There are two politics: one works for power to be with the majority, and the other works for power to be in the thin minority of economic elites.  One lives with democracy and prosperity, while the other has inequality and poverty.

        All totalitarian societies have been anti-intellectual and tried to control cultural expression.  China, the USSR, the Nazis, and Feudal societies were all like this.  The try to regulate cultural and dumb it down so people don’t realize that the elite is sucking them dry, economically.  

        These are movements throughout history that are not attached to any one ideology.  Rather there is an ideology of power, and the people who follow it are a few rich guys and a herd of people who want to be serfs.

        Feudalism fell during a time of secularization and print cultures.  It was done when bartering power shifted for the elite to the majority.  Adam Smith knew this.  He knows that capitalism can’t work unless the majority has power.

        But, today, there is a political movement that is trying to suppress the vote, suppress cultural freedom, they are anti-intellectuals, work for money to be in politics, and not only do they believe that the economic elite control the economy, they deify the elite as “job creators” and capitulate to the desires of the elite regardless of history, data, or how ridiculously opulent they want their lifestyles to be.     

        Wake up!

        “There is no remedy but the love against the great superiorities of others.” –Goethe.

        • Brettearle

          Zero,

          You’re wasting your breath.

          They’re never going to listen to your obvious wisdom.

          If they did, then they’d be forced to face their own ignorace and their own guilt.

          The worse our country gets–vis a vis, the growing plutocracy–the more InDenial the Radical Right will become.

          Don’t bother pointing things out to them.   It’s a fool’s errand.  It’s hopeless (and I think you know it).

          If all of our banks failed, if unemployment was at 18%, and if 20% more houses came into foreclosure, the Radical Right would blame it on:

          Taxes on the wealthy
          Stimulous Packages
          Middle Class Apathy
          The Underclass Free-Loaders
          Dodd-Frank
          A lack of a belief in a Christian God

          and, last but not least, smoking marijuana……

          • Sillymongoose

            Not to mention birth control…

    • Warren

      I have never seen so many words used to say absolutely nothing.You’re way more lucid when you post at 1:00 sunday morning.In the words of Beck….”Soy un perdedor

  • Jcox713

    Is there a transcript available?  I’m interested in what Noam has to say but boy, I just can’t listen to this guy talk.

    • http://twitter.com/byefructose bye fructose

      NPR’s official website usually has transcripts go live a day after the show so I would look there.

  • Steve

    Please post a link to this program — and only this program.  I doi not need the other programs.  
    Thank you.

  • Mike

    I must say, Chomsky sounds more and more like a cold, ever-calculating, grumpy old man. Quite contrarian as well.

    • bretteearle

      Perhaps he’s too profound for you

    • Matthew

      Not at all. He is incredibly encouraging while being practical at the same time. What program were YOU listening to? The struggle is by definition – endless!

  • LilyaLopekha

    But, but, but, but, but…. what about Urban Moving Systems … what if they were the demolition crew that killed 2400 americans?
    What were they doing in the US?
    Why were they let go in Nov 2001?
    Why did we not investigate?
    Why are we protecting anything that is Israeli?
     

  • LilyaLopekha

    Testing Chomsky by Lilya Lopekha:
    About a year ago, Chomsky was giving a speech at MIT.   He made comments about 9/11 and literally accepting the Official Story.
    After the speech, we showed him secret FBI papers about URBAN MOVING COMPANY.  The story was supposed to be secret till July 2030.  He asked for the papers, then we gave him the entire file (section 1-5).  He just cannot deny the fact that he does not know about URBAN MOVING COMPANY (the Demolition Team for three of the towers in NYC).
    http://www.HumanGenome.org/FBI
    He said: “It does not matter who did 9/11, they were going to attack Iraq anyway?”
    Excuse me Professor,  It really does not matter who did 9/11??????????????????????
    What kind of a statement is that?

  • RobertLongView

    Thank you for the 
    Noam Chomsky broadcast.  A National treasure.  Thank you 
    Noam Chomsky.  

  • Ssteven Lee

    Who is the moron who keeps putting the camera in the master’s
    nose.

  • Warren

    Free Political speech is paramount in America,.Why would we restrict Chomsky.I love the guy.He shows us why Socialism Communism is so suspect.To Ray from Vt….Who said,”We are Socialists,we are enemies of today’s capitalistic system for the exploitation os the economically weak,with it’s unfair salieries…..
           Now go check the Dershowitz-Chomsky debates.
           It was said by you know who,in 1927

    • Bezer

      Hitler also said that he wouldn’t have any further territorial ambitions after he got the Sudetenland.  Do you believe that too?  I don’t know where you get some of your info, but you’re seriously cracked when it comes to the history and politics of the Nazi party if you’re saying that they were liberals.

       “The mentioning of ‘Socialist’ was only propaganda. It is part of a
      larger section by Toland treating that subject and the attempt by the
      Nazi to develop support while weakening the other parties. Except for
      the racial policy and expansion, Hitler, when the party was first
      building its support, would say anything, no matter how disingenuous,
      to try and be attractive to every segment of the political society”  from a site that gives a good summary of the context of the quote.

      Nazis were backed by many large industrial firms, and they supported the fascists in Spain against the leftists there.  One of their main early goals was to destroy the liberalism of the Weimar Republic and get the women back where they belonged “Kinder, Küche, Kirche”.  Very liberal.

  • Warren

    The Commencement speech was much better fare.Unfortuneatly every NEA,Afcsme(?),SEIU type in Boston will be after the guy.And Fahreed finally got it right ,at his Commencement.He said behold the splendor of Laissez Faire

  • byersbewhere

    I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of employee-owned corporations, but have forever been disillusioned by what I thought would be major obstacles or outright systemic shortcomings. 
    For example, during an economic down cycle, when a company is forced to cut back production, workers typically fight against layoffs at all costs. Employee-owned corps would be unable to take the necessary medicine (i.e., layoffs) in order to survive long term. The company ultimately becomes bloated and inefficient.However, Chomsky’s reference to Mondragon piqued my curiosity, so I looked into it. Seems they’ve been able to weather the downturns with a no-layoff policy. I found it very encouraging that a company of 80,000+ workers seems to have found its stride and is going strong. Most Google searches about Mondragon return glowing reviews of its employee-centric management. That part of it is great. But I couldn’t find much about the specific products they make – are they of decent quality? Are they priced competitively? Probably the answer is yes to both, but it was difficult to find out for sure. 

    However, when extrapolating the Mondragon model to a regional or even global economy, I see potential pitfall after pitfall. Most of these issues I’m sure would be solvable by a set of company by-laws or governmental regulations. Still, the sheer number of pitfalls is mind-boggling.

    For example, in many industries the art of innovation requires years of relentless dedication in pursuit of a dream, by a single individual or very small team. For example, my current employer was founded by two men who sacrificed much of their personal time over a period of 5 years, during which they toiled laboriously to make their vision become reality. I honestly think their vote in the company’s decision making process should weigh much more than, say, the kid in the back room loading product onto a tractor/trailer. This isn’t so much because the founders are better people; but rather that they understand the product’s capabilities and potentials well beyond the kid ever could dream about. I *want* the founders pulling the strings.

    Now of course this one specific example can probably be compensated for via appropriate policies (eg, maybe the founders do get more, but not all, say in the company strategic directions).  But my point goes far beyond this little example. There are myriad examples along these lines, and not enough space in this space to enumerate them.

    Does this mean I’m nay-saying the Mondragon model for a new economy? Not at all. But I do think if it is to succeed elsewhere, it really must start small, and grow organically, rather than being  a fork-lift imposition on a macroeconomic scale. In this manner, the issues can be worked out as they are encountered, rather than trying to solve the entire economic crisis in one giant swoop. Otherwise the problems will have time to fester until resolved, potentially delaying or derailing the revolution.

    I see already there are small scale moves in this direction right here in the U.S. I like that a lot, and hope these small experiments become the seeds for a new economy! 

    Thanks, Tom, for having Prof. Chomsky on the show.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/PMQUOOXW6FNR2VPZ5NQ6LYERDE Laughing

      I guess it would really depend on the founders and what they truly accomplished in ONLY five years!  That guy loading stuff may have had 40 years in real life positions and have more value to the entire company.  I think you hit the nail on the head about our ONLY saving grace: small.  Think SMALL.  Local. Maybe it’s time for SOME isolationist moves again. LONG looks at history show us that happens over time — we grow, we shrink.  Yet we still fit.  Layoffs versus lower paychecks?  I think we know the RIGHT answer, ethically speaking.

  • Gregg

    Scroll down NJ.

  • Bjmantis

    Why are you not letting us stream these programs any more? I can’t listen live, as I work during the broadcasts.

  • JGC

    Something about Chomsky brings out the inner-wacko in most folks…

    • Blabla

      you idiot.
       

      • Smceleste

        Stunning retort.  Do you have anything intellegent to say?

        • Fake Account

          That you mis-spelled intelligent…

  • nj_v2

    Just noticed this. Nice feature-ish piece on Mr Chomsky:

    http://www.salon.com/2012/06/17/when_chomsky_wept/singleton/

    When Chomsky wept
    I first met Noam Chomsky in Laos, where I showed him the devastating effects of U.S. air raids

    Forty-two years ago I had an unusual experience. I became friendly with a guy named Noam Chomsky. I came to know him as a human being before becoming fully aware of his fame and the impact of his work. I have often thought of this experience since — both because of the insights it gave me into him and, more important, the deep trouble in which our nation and world find themselves today. His foremost contribution for me has been his constant focus on how U.S. leaders treat so many of the world’s population as “unpeople,” either exploiting them economically or engaging in war-making, which has murdered, maimed or made homeless over 20 million people since the end of World War II (over 5 million in Iraq and 16 million in Indochina according to official U.S. government statistics).

    [clipped]

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/PMQUOOXW6FNR2VPZ5NQ6LYERDE Laughing

      If ONLY It were just our leaders.  It, however, is our people.  The US people are just the same as their leaders.  I think it is our avarice and hubris are at fault for our current situation.  We have not seen the forest for the trees.

  • Laura Haupt

    No esta en español? 

  • Chd24

    Apparently the hammer de Sade owns 44 Lakewood Drive, Rochester, NY 14616

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fabio-De-Oliveira-Ribeiro/100000415136357 Fabio De Oliveira Ribeiro

    Fighting tirelessly and always the State and economic abuses. This is the biggest lesson that Chomsky gave us.

  • MOLKA

    how luchy those teachers are !

  • http://twitter.com/thepiffler thepiffler

    I love this man who authored many of my Speech Pathology/Audiology text books in linguistics and language development.  This is a BRILLIANT

  • Fake Account

    You mean Vidal?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PMQUOOXW6FNR2VPZ5NQ6LYERDE Laughing

    I, too, was so disappointed in the Occupy movement. The local one was so … middle-class! They just wanted their 2 car garages back but with tax funded electric cars.  Not a single one would even go so far as to identify ANY local 1%er’s, about how they could improve local conditions even. They do exist though!  I believed, since most of the US IS rural, we start small and local!  Common sense, right?  HA.  Sigh. The bigger domestic picture isn’t ALL about economic injustice anyway, although poverty is at the base of much abuse. There is just something WRONG with the American way of thinking nowadays.  We DO act like spoiled rotten children. I see it.  I’m 55.  

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