May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Observations—Noam Chomsky’s Perspective (from Democracy Now!)

I am not patriotic. I do not say the Pledge of Allegiance because my allegiance is not to a flag or a nation, but to human beings in general.

I believe we should honor the warriors, however, even while we hate the war. I believe, as many are starting to realize, that out government has long ago ceased to be “by the people and for the people.” I believe that  all of our most recent wars have not been based on higher ideals but, rather, politics and greed.

To his modern worshippers, [Adam] Smith’s truisms are ridiculed as, quote, “elaborate theories of how world history was being manipulated by shadowy corporatist/imperialist networks.” I’m quoting New York Times thinker David Brooks. It’s one of the many illustrations of the intellectual and moral decline of what’s called “conservatism” from the understanding of its heroes. ~ Chomsky

I believe that we have sent thousands of our young people to die for corporate greed. I mourn their deaths, their injuries, and the suffering of their families. I believe that if we want to do something on this Memorial Day, we should make a donation to The Wounded Warrior Project.

To many Americans, I am a dissident at best, treasonous at worst. Some would have me shot, others might suggest, “America: Love it or leave it.” I would respond that I am rooted in this land, the land of my ancestors for nearly 200 years. I love these people who share this land, even those who would wish me dead or silenced.

“A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will lose both, and deserve neither.” – Thomas Jefferson.

Perhaps our most well-known dissident is Noam Chomsky.  So for this Memorial Day, I would like to offer up a recent lecture by Chomsky on the current state of affairs in American and Global politics – until we understand the mechanisms at work, we will never be able to stop meaningless wars, corporate control of our government – and the deaths of our children or the world’s children.

Noam Chomsky: “The Center Cannot Hold: Rekindling the Radical Imagination”

On this Memorial Day special, we spend the hour with the world-renowned political dissident and linguist Noam Chomsky, professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, author of over a hundred books. He spoke recently here in New York addressing more than a thousand people at the Left Forum. He began by discussing the case of Joseph Andrew Stack who crashed his small plane into an office building in Austin, Texas, hittingan IRS office, committing suicide. [includes rush transcript]

Go listen to or read Chomsky’s lecture.

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