Archive for Saturday, November 13, 1993

S NOT SHY WITH OPINIONS

November 13, 1993

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A man pegged by Newsweek as one of the few geniuses of our time doesn't mince words when it comes to politics, media, power or 1,001 other subjects.

There appears to be no topic beyond the reach of provocateur Noam Chomsky.

What's one of American's most undemocratic institutions?

"A corporation is a totalitarian unit," Chomsky said during a news conference Friday at Kansas University. He was on campus to deliver two lectures.

Why has debate about U.S. health care reform flourished?

"It (health care) has become a burden on business."

What's the media like in modern America?

That's easy, Chomsky said: "We're the only major society with a tyrannically run media."

Why?

"There are tremendous pressures for conformity to power."

Do elections have much meaning in this country?

"A lot of people go to the polls every few years and then go home," Chomsky said, while corporate big wheels actually pull the levers in government.

Some people hope political activism in the 1990s could make the radical 1960s look like the wimpy 1950s. What do you think?

There is more activism today than 25 years ago, Chomsky said. Most Americans are waiting for a charismatic leader to take them to the promised land.

"We know where that leads," he said. "In my opinion that's one reason for the enormous power of religious fundamentalists. It's kind of reminiscent of Hitler in the '30s."

What's your spin on the structure of education?

It's based on thought control, he said, adding: "You just get socialized. You learn there are things that aren't right to say."

What do politicians mean when they talk about "peace process?"

"Whatever the U.S. is doing -- usually blocking peace. The United States has been blocking peace in the Middle East for 20 years."

What do the terms liberal and conservative mean?

"Most terms have lost their meaning," he said. "Liberal? I don't even know what it means anymore."

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