People love to hate cranky old uncle Chomsky, and it’s no surprise really, with the stuff he goes around saying in these dissent-discouraging times. This recent CBC interview with him shows him in fine form, talking about the same things he usually does, jumping up and down on the head of the interviewer, uttering the word ‘No’ more times that I’ve ever seen anyone say it before in a single conversation. For what it’s worth, though, I agree with many of the things he has to say about governments, and about the press. I’m aware that’s an unpopular thing to say, and that many consider him a loon.
Something like this, though, doesn’t seem to me to be the words of a lunatic. On the contrary, it seems quite lucid indeed :
The immediate problem is to free ourselves from the shackles imposed, very consciously, by the kind of people you’re talking about. Who don’t want the facts to be known. And for very good reasons. Because if people know the facts they aren’t going to tolerate them. So therefore you have to prevent them from knowing. You have to indoctrinate them, you have to tell them stories about how we’re really good guys, and if we use violence, it must be for the general good because we represent the course of history.”
Are we in the weblogging community shouldering the burden of that responsibility to preserve the right of people to know the facts, as traditional media increasing fails in its role as watchdog?
I cetainly don’t know. But that should be clear, sporting as I do a tagline like the truth can blow me.
Edit : An interesting exchange between the Chomster and Christopher Hitchens.