Everything Was a Problem and We Did Not Understand a Thing

Why can everyone learn Portuguese? Are some aspects of our nature unknowable? Can you imagine Richard Nixon as a radical? Is Twitter a trivializer? New Scientist takes a whistle-stop tour of our modern intellectual landscape in the company of Noam Chomsky. Graham Lawton Let’s start with the idea that everyone connects you with from the … Continue reading

Was There an Alternative?

Osama bin Laden may be dead, but his American legacy lives on fiercely in Washington policy when it comes to surveillance, secrecy, war, and the national security state (as well as economic meltdown at home). By Noam Chomsky By arrangement with TomDispatch.Com. We are approaching the 10th anniversary of the horrendous atrocities of September 11, … Continue reading

The Responsibility of Intellectuals

Using Privilege to Challenge the State Noam Chomsky A San Francisco mural depicting Archbishop Óscar Romero / Photograph: Franco Folini Since we often cannot see what is happening before our eyes, it is perhaps not too surprising that what is at a slight distance removed is utterly invisible. We have just witnessed an instructive example: … Continue reading

Chomsky Half Full

Joel Whitney interviews Noam Chomsky November 2009 Noam Chomsky discusses his forthcoming book, the hypocrisy of neoliberalism, where he feels hopeful about democracy despite U.S. terrorism, and his friendship—okay, passing acquaintance—with Hugo Chavez and other “pink tide” presidents. If Noam Chomsky’s critics have a common refrain, it is pointing to his habit of being far … Continue reading

Hitchens Distorts Noam Chomsky

May 11, 2011 George Scialabba on how “panting polemicist” Christopher Hitchens’s remarks against Noam Chomsky are evidence of a widespread and troubling failure among intellectuals. By George Scialabba After 9/11, Noam Chomsky wrote that, from a historical point of view, what was new about the murder of 3000 civilians was that it was carried out … Continue reading

My Reaction to Osama bin Laden’s Death

May 6, 2011 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. By Noam Chomsky It’s increasingly clear that the operation was a planned assassination, multiply violating elementary norms of international law. There appears to have been … Continue reading

The Contours of Global Order

Is the World Too Big to Fail? By Noam Chomsky The democracy uprising in the Arab world has been a spectacular display of courage, dedication, and commitment by popular forces—coinciding, fortuitously, with a remarkable uprising of tens of thousands in support of working people and democracy in Madison, Wisconsin, and other U.S. cities. If the … Continue reading

Breaking the Israel-Palestine Deadlock

By Noam Chomsky  While intensively engaged in illegal settlement expansion, the government of Israel is also seeking to deal with two problems: a global campaign of what it perceives as “delegitimation” – that is, objections to its crimes and withdrawal of participation in them – and a parallel campaign of legitimation of Palestine. The “delegitimation,” … Continue reading

The Charade of Israeli-Palestinian Talks

By Noam Chomsky Washington’s pathetic capitulation to Israel while pleading for a meaningless three-month freeze on settlement expansion—excluding Arab East Jerusalem—should go down as one of the most humiliating moments in U.S. diplomatic history. In September the last settlement freeze ended, leading the Palestinians to cease direct talks with Israel. Now the Obama administration, desperate … Continue reading

U.S. Savage Imperialism, Part 2

By Noam Chomsky  It’s pretty common now for supporters of the Palestinians and Palestinian leaders themselves to say, "Well, we have to abandon hope in the two-state solution." As one of the Palestinian leaders said, "We should give Israel the key and let them take over the entire West Bank. It will be one state, … Continue reading

WikiLeaks, the Economy, US Midterm Elections, Climate Change, Haiti, and More…

World-renowned political dissident and linguist Noam Chomsky talks about the release of more than 250,000 secret U.S. State Department cables by WikiLeaks. In 1971, Chomsky helped government whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg release the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret internal U.S. account of the Vietnam War. Commenting on the revelations that several Arab leaders are urging the United … Continue reading

Few American friends for Wikileaks

Academic Noam Chomsky and activist John Perry Barlow are among the few public supporters of Julian Assange in the USA. By Simon Leo Brown  The debate in Australia over Wikileaks has largely been in support of Julian Assange, with an open letter to the Prime Minister in his support signed by dozens of high profile … Continue reading

U.S. Savage Imperialism

The U.S. Empire, the Mideast, and the world, part I By Noam Chomsky  It’s tempting to go back to the beginning. The beginning goes pretty far back, but it is useful to think about some aspects of American history that bear directly on current U.S. policy in the Middle East. The U.S. is a pretty … Continue reading

Q&A: Noam Chomsky

The world’s most important leftist intellectual talks about his Zionist childhood and his time with Hezbollah David Samuels Noam Chomsky in Stuttgart, Germany, earlier this year. CREDIT: Sascha Schuermann/AFP/Getty Images It seems safe to say that no living intellectual has enraged more people with more predictable regularity than Noam Chomsky. A biting and voluble critic … Continue reading

Security and Control I

By Noam Chomsky  Noam Chomsky’s ZSpace Page  A Pentagon study released on August 13 expressed government concerns that China is expanding its military forces in ways that “could deny the ability of American warships to operate in international waters off the coast,” Thom Shanker reports in the New York Times.  Off the coast of China, … Continue reading

Security and Control I

By Noam Chomsky  A Pentagon study released on August 13 expressed government concerns that China is expanding its military forces in ways that “could deny the ability of American warships to operate in international waters off the coast,” Thom Shanker reports in the New York Times.  Off the coast of China, that is; it has … Continue reading

Year 501: World Orders Old & New

By Noam Chomsky. SINCE ITS LIBERATION from Spanish rule, Latin America has faced many problems. One of the most grave was foreseen by the Liberator, Simon Bolivar, in 1822: “There is at the head of this great continent a very powerful country, very rich, very warlike, and capable of anything.” Citing this comment, Latin America … Continue reading

The Real Threat Aboard the Freedom Flotilla

Israel’s violent attack on the Freedom Flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza shocked the world. By Noam Chomsky. Source: ITT Friday, June 11, 2010 Hijacking boats in international waters and killing passengers is, of course, a serious crime. But the crime is nothing new. For decades, Israel has been hijacking boats between Cyprus and Lebanon … Continue reading

Government Involvement with Science And Art

An interview with Noam Chomsky. By Noam Chomsky and Ollie Mikse. As a graduate student at Penn State, I had made it almost a requirement to read at least three or four Noam Chomsky books a year. If you read enough Chomsky, you start wondering, "What is his outlook on my line of work?" Over … Continue reading

Why WikiLeaks Won’t Stop the War

By Noam Chomsky Source: The New York Times Syndicate The War Logs—a six-year archive of classified military documents about the war in Afghanistan, released on the Internet by the organization WikiLeaks—documents a grim struggle becoming grimmer, from the U.S. perspective. And for the Afghans, a mounting horror. The War Logs, however valuable, may contribute to … Continue reading

Immigration Mythology

Aviva Chomsky: Immigration Mythology: The Rules Apply to Everyone By Aviva Chomsky. The following is an excerpt from “They Take Our Jobs!”: and 20 Other Myths about Immigration by Aviva Chomsky. The book was called “An indispensible guide to the current debate on immigration” by the late Howard Zinn. Myth 7: THE RULES APPLY TO … Continue reading

The Responsibility of Intellectuals

by Noam Chomsky. With respect to the responsibility of intellectuals, there are still other, equally disturbing questions. Intellectuals are in a position to expose the lies of governments, to analyze actions according to their causes and motives and often hidden intentions. In the Western world, at least, they have the power that comes from political … Continue reading

Exclusive IOA Interview with Noam Chomsky: Israel’s War against Palestine – Now What?

Technorati Tags: Noam Chomsky interviewed by the IOA – 26 July 2010. The past few years have proven to be particularly awful for the Palestinian people. The suffocating Israeli siege of Gaza, despite some slight loosening, continues to this day, with Egypt’s active support and Washington’s tacit approval; Israel’s 2008-2009 attack on Gaza, was the … Continue reading

The Iranian Threat

By Noam Chomsky. The dire threat of Iran is widely recognized to be the most serious foreign policy crisis facing the Obama administration. Congress has just strengthened the sanctions against Iran, with even more severe penalties against foreign companies. The Obama administration has been rapidly expanding its offensive capacity in the African island of Diego … Continue reading

Language lessons: You are what you speak

By Christine Kenneally. LANGUAGES are wonderfully idiosyncratic. English puts its subject before its verb. Finnish has lots of cases. Mandarin is highly tonal. Yet despite these differences, one of the most influential ideas in the study of language is that of universal grammar. Put forward by Noam Chomsky in the 1960s, it is widely interpreted … Continue reading

What Makes Mainstream Media Mainstream

What Makes Mainstream Media Mainstream Noam Chomsky Z Magazine, October, 1997 Part of the reason why I write about the media is because I am interested in the whole intellectual culture, and the part of it that is easiest to study is the media. It comes out every day. You can do a systematic investigation. … Continue reading

Noam Chomsky on Obama’s Foreign Policy

Noam Chomsky on Obama’s Foreign Policy, His Own History of Activism, and the Importance of Speaking Out We spend the hour with world-renowned linguist and dissident, Noam Chomsky. In a wide-ranging public conversation at the Harvard Memorial Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Chomsky talks about President Obama’s foreign and national security policies, the lessons of Vietnam, … Continue reading