A Quick Reaction

By Noam Chomsky

Entry 14710

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(1928 - )

Popluar Modern American Anarchist Author, Linguist, Scientist, and Historian

: Though his stance on these issues is that of an admitted anarchist/libertarian, Noam Chomsky prefers to act as an analyst and critic of the state rather than a social theorist.... Chomsky continues to teach at MIT, where he holds an endowed chair in linguistics. (From: Anarchy Archives.)
• "Neoliberal doctrines, whatever one thinks of them, undermine education and health, increase inequality, and reduce labor's share of income; that much is not serously in doubt." (From: "Profit Over People," written by Noam Chomsky, pag....)
• "The enormous public relations industry, from its origins early in this century, has been dedicated to the 'control of the public mind,' as business leaders described the task. And they acted on their words, surely one of the central themes of modern history." (From: "Profit Over People," by Noam Chomsky, page 45, ch....)
• "Labor and environmental issues, which 'barely featured at the start,' are becoming harder to suppress. It is becoming more difficult to ignore the paranoids and flat-earthers who 'want high standards written in for how foreign investors treat workers and protect the environment,' and 'their fervent attacks, spread via a network of Internet web sites, have left negotiators unsure how to proceed.' One possibility would be to pay attention to what the public wants. But that option is not mentioned: it is excluded in principle, since it would undermine the whole point of the enterprise." (From: "Profit Over People", by Noam Chomsky, pages 151-1....)


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A Quick Reaction

The September 11 attacks were major atrocities. In terms of number of victims they do not reach the level of many others, for example, Clinton’s bombing of the Sudan with no credible pretext, destroying half its pharmaceutical supplies and probably killing tens of thousands of people (no one knows, because the US blocked an inquiry at the UN and no one cares to pursue it). Not to speak of much worse cases, which easily come to mind. But that this was a horrendous crime is not in doubt.

The primary victims, as usual, were working people: janitors, secretaries, firemen, etc. It is likely to prove to be a crushing blow to Palestinians and other poor and oppressed people. It is also likely to lead to harsh security controls, with many possible ramifications for undermining civil liberties and internal freedom.

The events reveal, dramatically, the foolishness of ideas about “missile defense.” As has been obvious all along, and pointed out repeatedly by strategic analysts, if anyone wants to cause immense damage in the US, including weapons of mass destruction, they are highly unlikely to launch a missile attack, thus guaranteeing their immediate destruction. There are innumerable easier ways that are basically unstoppable. But these events will, nonetheless, be used to increase the pressure to develop these systems and put them into place. “Defense” is a thin cover for plans for militarization of space, and with good PR, even the flimsiest arguments will carry some weight among a frightened public.

In short, the crime is a gift to the hard jingoist right, those who hope to use force to control their domains. That is even putting aside the likely US actions, and what they will trigger — possibly more attacks like this one, or worse. The prospects ahead are even more ominous than they appeared to be before the latest atrocities.

As to how to react, we have a choice. We can express justified horror; we can seek to understand what may have led to the crimes, which means making an effort to enter the minds of the likely perpetrators. If we choose the latter course, we can do no better, I think, than to listen to the words of Robert Fisk, whose direct knowledge and insight into affairs of the region is unmatched after many years of distinguished reporting. Describing “The wickedness and awesome cruelty of a crushed and humiliated people,” he writes that “this is not the war of democracy versus terror that the world will be asked to believe in the coming days. It is also about American missiles smashing into Palestinian homes and US helicopters firing missiles into a Lebanese ambulance in 1996 and American shells crashing into a village called Qana and about a Lebanese militia – paid and uniformed by America’s Israeli ally – hacking and raping and murdering their way through refugee camps.” And much more.

Again, we have a choice: we may try to understand, or refuse to do so, contributing to the likelihood that much worse lies ahead.

(Source: Retrieved on 23rd June 2021 from chomsky.info.)

From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org

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February 15, 2022; 6:41:57 AM (America/Los_Angeles)
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