La transcripcin de la siguiente entrevista a Noam Chomsky se public el pasado viernes 31 de marzo en Democracy Now!. El profesor Chomsky respondi interrogantes sobre su nuevo libro Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy Estados Fracasados: El Abuso de Poder y la Agresin a la Democracia , en el cual expone, entre otros elementos, el derrotero que debe tomar inmediatamente Estados Unidos para no transformarse de un Estado Villano en un Estado Fracasado, una agenda que tendra que incluir la firma de los protocolos de Kyoto; permitir que la ONU desempee su papel en la arena internacional; aceptar la jurisdiccin de un Tribunal Criminal Internacional y un Tribunal Mundial; combatir el terrorismo mediante soluciones de corte diplomtico y econmico en lugar del uso de la guerra; y disminuir los gastos militares para reorientar esos fondos hacia la esfera social. Te damos la bienvenida a Democracy Now! Estados Fracasados, qu quiere Ud. Decir con esto?

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Im left feeling washed out and despondent. He presents the problems of the world so vividly that it is impossible not to be confronted by the enormity of the issues that confront us. He re-values and re-evaluates received wisdom, the sorts of views we get from watching news programs or reading current affairs articles, to such an extent that one is left wondering if everything we are ever told is basically just another lie.

Because that is it one comes away Reading Chomsky always disturbs me. Because that is it — one comes away from reading a book by Chomsky knowing that one has been lied to — and feeling furious at those who have done the lying.

This might make reading Chomsky sound like reading a book by the ultimate conspiracy theorist. No, the most frightening thing about Chomsky is that he does not require there to be a conspiracy — the system maintains itself, the system is self-correcting. It is hard to say. Perhaps it is because I came away from reading Chomsky feeling that there is little or no hope for the world.

Want proof? Count the SUVs in your street. Since the end of the Cold War one would be excused for thinking that this would seem like an incredibly unlikely outcome — that it would seem to have been an eventuality that we have somehow managed to avoid. But, as Chomsky makes plain, we are at greater risk now than ever before — partly because we think we are under no threat at all. The sub-title of this book is The abuse of power and the assault on democracy.

Sometimes I meet up with a group of guys I used to work with and have a curry for lunch and we talk furiously about the state of the world. At these times I quickly learn the gaps I have in my knowledge of recent events. I take an interest in politics, but it is as if the world is set up to confuse and misinform.

At one of the more recent lunches we were discussing Kosovo and how the NATO intervention had to happen to protect the region from ethnic cleansing and genocide. Here, at least, one of my friends argued, is a case of pure beneficence on the part of the US acting as it ought to act elsewhere.

There is no oil in Kosovo and therefore any aid the US presented was obviously done purely for altruistic motives. Chapter Three of this book Illegal but Legitimate puts paid to this argument, unfortunately. The fact that there was no ethnic cleansing prior to the NATO bombing, that the NATO bombing was clearly designed to incite precisely this response, that much of what is said about this war is written backwards — as if the convenient excuse for the bombing was manifest in what actually happened, rather than completely contradicted by events — all of this is explained in gut wrenching detail.

The most shocking facts in the book, however, are about the assault on democracy that occurs in the US itself. However, surveys conducted prior to the election point out that two-thirds of the electorate not only would favour extended health insurance — they actually thought it was already a right of all Americans. Whence this disjunct between what the public believe are the key issues and there are pages and pages of similar statistics and what their politicians feel even able to discuss?

If Chomsky proves one thing, I think it is that Orwell was too optimistic in In that book Orwell assumed that people would seek the truth, eventually they would react to the totalitarian tactics of those seeking to rule over them and rebel.

Ironically, even here Chomsky proves that most Americans actually believe in the rule of law — even support the United Nations role in International Relations. Yet another example of the undemocratic disjunct between the US government and the will of the US people. Democracy is a gift from our forefathers; it is too precious to give away without a fight. If you are not sure what it is that we are going to lose then this is a good book to read.

It really is time to become angry, there is too much at stake otherwise. His book has moments of blinding irony. Whether they are in the US or Australia or Britain — too many people are expected to disinherit themselves from the democratic process.











Estados Fallidos: El Abuso de Poder y el Ataque a la Democracia


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