Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Simple Man...

Noam Chomsky, a man who loves a big wooly sweater, has been publically pointing out the failings of our so-called democracy for decades. He gets labeled as an intellectual, a genius, a socialist (all true) and sure enough that scares most people away from his activism, which is a shame. Then there's this: "I'm a boring speaker and I like it that way," he says, "people are interested in the issues not the personality." I'm not sure which people he's talking about, but hey, who am I to judge what the head of the linguistics department at MIT says?

My understanding of Chomsky's key political gripe is that US democracy has been thuggishly morphed into a global dictatorship with some highly dubious foreign policy. How does this happen? The Bush administration rewards countries who "do their job," (i.e. they shut up and do what we tell them to do) and punishes countries who defy us in any way. In this manner, the US shows absolutely zero respect for the fundamentals of democracy - allowing the will of a nation's people to decide its policy and progress in the world. Think of that: Smaller governments feel obligated to play nice with the US before they can listen to the will of their own people. This may improve economic flow in the short run, but it's horrible for the health of the political planet, and an insult to the notion of democracy. Want more? Read his book - it may not top Oprah's book club, but Hugo Chavez sure seems to like it.

Suppose I can't post this post without posting this cringe-inducing encounter.


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