The times in which we live are complex; and, it is NOT EASY to understand (even) the Basics. For this reason – those who have studied our situation long and intensively (and who do their best to speak the truth) are of particular value to us.
I regard Noam Chomsky and Chris Hedges to be such people.
[I recently came across some (short) recordings of these two … and it’s THESE that I’m hoping you will take the time to watch/listen to –
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkcDT4l7e4o (Noam Chomsky – “Future of Capitalism”) [This is actually not a video; it’s a sound recording.]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1JF94vovww (“Urban Poverty in America Made Me Question Everything” – Chris Hedges on Reality Asserts Itself) ]
Most of us have been busy with other matters (our career, our family, surviving / just making ends meet) … or whatever).
So I am particularly grateful for people like Chomsky and Hedges; and I think I should say some things – as to WHY I trust them –
Chomsky’s film, “Manufacturing Consent” came out in 1992. (Certainly it is worth watching. ANYTHING with Chomsky in it is worth seeing.)
In the spring of 1989 I happened to attend a conference (in Nanaimo, British Columbia) at which Chomsky was the keynote speaker (and I also attended small-group sessions which he led). I recall him saying – that he and his wife gave up on ‘entertaining’ … many years ago. There just was no room. He subscribed, he said, “to everything”. And their house was awash in magazines and other publications.
[from Wikipedia] :
Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, and social critic. Sometimes described as “the father of modern linguistics”, Chomsky is also a major figure in analytic philosophy and one of the founders of the field of cognitive science. He holds a joint appointment as Institute Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and laureate professor at the University of Arizona, and is the author of over 100 books on topics such as linguistics, war, politics, and mass media. Ideologically, he aligns with anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian socialism.
Chomsky vocally opposed U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, believing the war to be an act of American imperialism. In 1967, Chomsky attracted widespread public attention for his anti-war essay entitled “The Responsibility of Intellectuals“. Associated with the New Left, he was arrested multiple times for his activism and was placed on Nixon’s “Enemies List”. While expanding his work in linguistics over subsequent decades, he also became involved in the Linguistics Wars. In collaboration with Edward S. Herman, Chomsky later co-wrote an analysis, which articulated the propaganda model of media criticism, and worked to expose the Indonesian occupation of East Timor. Additionally, his defense of freedom of speech—including free speech for Holocaust deniers—generated significant controversy in the Faurisson affair of the early 1980s. Following his retirement from active teaching, Chomsky has continued his vocal political activism by opposing the War on Terror and supporting the Occupy Movement.
One of the most cited scholars in history, Chomsky has influenced a broad array of academic fields. He is widely recognized as a paradigm shifter who helped spark a major revolution in the human sciences, contributing to the development of a new cognitivistic framework for the study of language and the mind. In addition to his continued scholarly research, he remains a leading critic of U.S. foreign policy, neoliberalism and contemporary state capitalism, the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, and mainstream news media. His ideas have proved highly significant within the anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist movements. Some of his critics have accused him of anti-Americanism.
I also heard him say once (I think he had been asked whether he had any regrets) … that, when he was in grade school, there occurred an incident where one of his classmates (a boy who was fat) was being bullied … and he did nothing to defend him.
THIS, in my opinion, is indicative of a healthy emotionality … of a Good Heart. Chomsky is not merely a scholar. His HUMANITY is intact. (to a RARE degree, I think.)
You might want to have a look (on Wikipedia) at the list of Chomsky’s output – his publications. It’s astonishing.
I’ve been aware of Chris Hedges for only about 10 years, maybe less. But I still have a very high regard for his thoughts. I feel he is courageous, intelligent, dedicated, and authentic.
[from Wikipedia] :
Christopher Lynn Hedges (born September 18, 1956) is an American journalist, Presbyterian minister, and visiting Princeton University lecturer. His books include War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2002), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction; Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009); Death of the Liberal Class (2010); Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (2012), written with cartoonist Joe Sacco, which was a The New York Times best-seller; Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt (2015); and his most recent America: The Farewell Tour (2018).
Hedges is a columnist for the progressive news and commentary website Truthdig. He is also a host for the television program On Contact on RT. Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, West Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Balkans. He has reported from more than fifty countries, and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, NPR, Dallas Morning News, and The New York Times, where he was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years (1990–2005).
In 2001, Hedges contributed to The New York Times staff entry that received the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for the paper’s coverage of global terrorism. He also received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism in 2002. He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, the University of Toronto and Princeton University, where he is a visiting lecturer in African American studies.
Hedges has taught college credit courses for several years in New Jersey prisons. He teaches a course through Princeton University in which the class is composed of half prisoners and half Princeton undergraduates. He has described himself as a socialist and more specifically as a Christian anarchist, identifying with Catholic activist Dorothy Day in particular.
As far as I can tell, both Chomsky and Hedges have lived their lives … NOT for personal gain, not for money, or power, or personal aggrandizement. They have striven consistently – to make the world a better place.
- Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992)
- Last Party 2000 (2001)
- Power and Terror: Noam Chomsky in Our Times (2002)