Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr
OccupyForum

Forum Post: serious issue?

Posted 2 years ago on Dec. 29, 2011, 11:57 a.m. EST by flip (5034)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Egypt Independent: What is your view on the unfolding of events regarding the military’s transitional period? And where do you think the US stands on this?

Noam Chomsky: From the outset, there has been every reason to expect that the US and the military, which are of course closely allied, would do what they can to limit functioning democracy.

Egypt Independent: For what particular reasons, in your opinion?

Chomsky: The military, for obvious reasons: they want to maintain the maximum of political control and protect their considerable economic interests. The US government, for a range of reasons: The narrowest is that they are well aware of Egyptian public opinion, as reported in polls run by the most prestigious US polling agencies, and the last thing they want is for those opinions to be reflected in policy, as would happen in a functioning democracy. The broader reason is that in general, democracy is considered a threat to power interests, at home as well. Abroad, it is well-established in mainstream scholarship that the US has supported democracy if and only if it conforms to strategic and economic interests, and there isn’t the slightest evidence that these understandable, if deplorable, commitments have changed.

Egypt Independent: Why the continued statements from Washington condemning military brutality and advocating the flourishing of democracy?

Chomsky: Of course there is a rhetorical commitment to democracy and all good things, but only the most naïve take such protestations seriously, on the part of any state. And practice, including very recent practice, fully accords with the traditional doctrines.

Egypt Independent: What do you mean by “traditional doctrines?”

Chomsky: When a favored dictator is endangered, as happens over and over, Washington follows a fairly straightforward procedure: Support him as long as possible. If it is no longer possible, for example, if the army turns against him, then issue ringing declarations about our yearning for democracy and then work hard to keep the former system of domination and control in place, as much as possible. Examples abound: Somoza, Marcos, Duvalier, Chun, Ceausescu, Mobutu, Suharto, and others. That the same procedure was followed in the case of Mubarak should surprise no one.

Egypt Independent: Do you sense that the US would be willing to compromise principles such as human rights in order to maintain interests such as Israel and the Camp David accords?

Chomsky: Principles such as “human rights” cannot really be compromised, because they are not seriously upheld in the first place — except, of course, with regard to enemies, or where major power interests are not at stake. The evidence on this is overwhelming, not just for the US of course, so much so that it is superfluous even to recall some of the numerous examples. US power centers, state and private, have longstanding strategic and economic concerns in the region, which they continue to regard as vital. Government policies reflect these concerns, as did those of Britain and France in their days in the sun (and still, even as minor powers). And the same is true of others.

Egypt Independent: With regards to the US, do you believe everyone is on the same page across the board? i.e: state department, congress, white house, defense etc.

Chomsky: Systems of power are not homogeneous, so there are some differences within the government and the business-based power centers that have an enormous role in setting domestic and foreign policy. But the spectrum is not very broad. There are of course those who depart from the consensus, those whom Kennedy-Johnson National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy called “wild men in the wings.” And there are forces outside, including public opinion when large segments of the public are organized and active. But within the operative spectrum, only restricted options are tolerated, as the record clearly reveals.

9 Comments

9 Comments


Read the Rules
[-] 0 points by ZenDog (20529) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

Chomsky: Systems of power are not homogeneous, so there are some differences within the government and the business-based power centers that have an enormous role in setting domestic and foreign policy. But the spectrum is not very broad. There are of course those who depart from the consensus, those whom Kennedy-Johnson National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy called “wild men in the wings.” And there are forces outside, including public opinion when large segments of the public are organized and active. But within the operative spectrum, only restricted options are tolerated, as the record clearly reveals.

Yeah-ya. That's what I have been saying. The political structure is not a single monolithic entity.

And

  • “wild men in the wings.”

When was this article dated? The entire fucking repelican party is nothing but “wild men in the wings.”

[-] 1 points by flip (5034) 2 years ago

obviously after the uprising in egypt - do you have a point other than your usual rant - he raises some serious points about power systems

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20529) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

Yes he does.

What he does not do is look at, in specific, is the system we have in terms of the individuals within it, and how they are exploited in an effort to maintain what he refers to as a "narrow spectrum of consensus".

Were he to do that, we would find ways in which we may exploit them.

My expectation is that such a careful analysis is not without some significant, personal risks.

[-] 1 points by flip (5034) 2 years ago

english please - i had a long day - did you make a comment on what he said because if you did i missed it - there are many things he did not comment on - so??? that was not the question - you guys all answer like politicians - non answers

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20529) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

Systems of power are not homogeneous, so there are some differences within the government and the business-based power centers

He doesn't cite those differences, nor identify ways these differences may be put to our own use.

Were he to do so, with precision, there would be two things to consider:

  1. it would demonstrate that the common refrain both parties are to blame is in large measure a myth propagated by right wing ideologues with the obvious benefit of instilling in the public a sense of powerlessness - or conditioned helplessness

  2. such an analysis cannot be undertaken without the assumption of some risk

[-] 1 points by flip (5034) 2 years ago

risk like - they are coming to take you away ha ha - you need sleep - if you are trying to say something you failed again but let's not continue - we know your only thought - go obama

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20529) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

I don't believe that they could simply take someone of Chomsky's status and lodge them in a mental institution.

There are any number of other alternatives.

[-] 1 points by flip (5034) 2 years ago

there are plenty to people writing and agitating for change - we are still a very free country from that point of view - hopefully your boy will help to keep it that way - he has not moved us in the right direction in that reagrd either

[Removed]