Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Noam Chomsky: On Power And Ideology

Even Chomsky has bad hair days.
The role of concentrated power in shaping the ideological framework that dominates perception, interpretation, discussion, choice of action, all of that is too familiar to require much comment. Tonight I’d like to discuss a critically important example, but first a couple of words on one of the most perceptive analysts of this process, George Orwell. 

Orwell is famous for his searching and sardonic critique of the way thought is controlled by force under totalitarian dystopia. But much less known is his discussion of how similar outcomes are achieved in free societies. He’s speaking, of course, of England. And he wrote that although the country is quite free, nevertheless unpopular ideas can be suppressed without the use of force. Gave a couple of examples, provided a few words of explanation, which were to the point. 

One particularly pertinent comment was his observation on a quality education in the best schools, where it is instilled into you that there are certain things that it simply wouldn’t do to say - or, we may add, even to think...

Lecture given to the New School, New York, Saturday. Via Democracy Now!

And here's a Jacobin interview on Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders, Syriza and the prospects for radical change.

PS Now seems a good time to revisit Fagburn and Uncle Noam on US/Cuba.

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