Noam Chomsky – Foundations of World Order: the UN, World Bank, IMF & Decl. Human Rights 1999

[MUSIC PLAYING] JANE GOULD: You patient souls who’ve been here for a long time holding your seats, welcome I’m Jane Gould, the coordinator of the Technology and Culture Forum And I’d like to welcome you to tonight’s program, “Noam Chomsky on the Foundations of World Order– 50 Years of the UN, the World Bank, the IMF, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” Before we turn to tonight’s program, I call your attention to the Technology and Culture Forum’s next program, “Reinventing Universities for the 21st Century.” There is a sign with all the information above my head And do come Wednesday, March 3, at 5:30 PM in 6120 The Technology and Culture Forum will be hosting four more programs this spring If you’d like to be on our mailing list, you can either sign on one of the sheets of paper on the table in the hall as you leave, or go to our website and just put yourself onto the list Now to tonight’s program We’re all here because we want to hear Noam Chomsky Chomsky is honored by MIT as an institute professor His doctoral thesis on transformational analysis began his radical transformation of the field of linguistics Honorary degrees, learned in professional societies, significant awards– his list is luminous Few have escaped his notice And yet, as a public intellectual, Professor Chomsky has always taken seriously his responsibility to stimulate and lead public debate In addition to speaking and writing on linguistics and philosophy, he’s taken on intellectual history, contemporary issues, international affairs, US foreign policy, to name a few of his key topics Late this last year, I received an email encouraging me to participate in a 70th birthday card for Noam Chomsky Online, global– hundreds, thousands– the list went on, and people couldn’t resist saying how they’d been challenged and inspired by Chomsky Tonight, he’s here to look at the last 50 years, what we created, what we have, and where we are to go Noam Chomsky [APPLAUSE] NOAM CHOMSKY: I just realized while listening to Jane announce the title that it’s also just about 50 years since I walked into this building for the first time But I won’t talk about that We’ve just passed the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights That was a few weeks ago The Human Rights Regime, which was encoded in that declaration, is one of the pillars of the system of world order that was constructed on the wreckage of World War II There were two other major foundation stones One was the International Political Order, which is articulated in the United Nations Charter And the third is the International Economic System, sometimes called the Bretton Woods System, designed primarily by the United States and Britain right at the end of the war These three systems were closely integrated, conceptually and in fact The thinking behind them illustrates that, as does their interactions over the years And to a degree, that’s quite unusual in world affairs The three foundations reflected public attitudes and concerns over quite a wide range For that very reason, the principles that were articulated and, to some extent, instituted–

those principles were quite distasteful to elite elements, namely those who were actually in a position to construct and shape and guide the actual world order And they very quickly took steps to dismantle, or at least attenuate, the lofty principles The conflicts over these matters constitute a large part of modern history– post Cold War history That’s not the usual framework of analysis for discussing it But in my opinion, it ought to be Well, large issues There’s a lot in print There’s many treatises yet to be written even to be researched I don’t think the topics have been addressed with anything like enough seriousness But I’ll try to give some indication of why I think that’s an appropriate and instructive way to view the contemporary world system It’s our origins at the time of the Second World War And maybe it’s likely future So the main question that I want to get to is, what has been the fate of the three basic and integrated pillars of world order that were established half a century ago? And specifically, what has been the role of the United States, which has been the primary actor on the world scene throughout– remains so– and the one that’s most important for us, for obvious reasons, independently of the significance and scale of its contributions, which are usually quite great for equally obvious reasons Well, that’s the main question that I want to get to But I’d like to approach it by a detour just to make life more complicated And the detour has two tracks that I’d like to explore a little bit, and then, from them, get back to the questions The first track is simply to remind everyone of what you already know We have to bear in mind that the questions are not abstract and they’re not about some distant planet So it’s not like an academic topic for an academic seminar We’re dealing with questions of life and death, of suffering and pain and despair The voices that are heard– not that one [LAUGHTER] The voices that are heard [LAUGHS] are those of the rich and the powerful, naturally There are also those who have sought to be a voice for the voiceless Their fate hasn’t been too happy Some were simply assassinated by our hands, or those working for us– a chapter of modern history the one doesn’t read about too much In fact, they were assassinated And there’s quite a number of them, doubly in that they were first killed and then silenced So you can do a check and see how many of your friends can tell you the names of Eastern European dissidents and murdered There are murdered counterparts in Central America And how many books you’ve read by one and by the other and so on It’s an instructive lesson But the voices that we hear, the ones that remain, are typically the powerful And that’s important because that’s not the only voice That’s the voice of a small minority here and a tiny minority worldwide Well, let me illustrate from right now There are major stories in the press these last few days on the G7 meetings– the meetings of the seven richest industrial countries– and on the interchanges between their leaders So for example, president Chirac’s, of France, his interchanges with Robert Rubin, who I guess might be called co-president of the United States [SOFT LAUGHTER] We have to give Alan Greenspan at least half the presidency [LAUGHTER] So that’s been all over the front pages And those discussions are interesting and tell you a lot if you look at them closely– even not so closely The outcome of these discussions– G7 and the other interchanges– reveal the power

of the United States in a rather dramatic form, and also its extreme isolation, even among the richest countries And if you look a little more closely, and you’ll learn a lot about the true nature of the actually functioning international economic system, of the difference between the doctrines that apply to the rich and the powerful by their insistence, and the opposite doctrines, which are imposed on everyone else That comes out with great starkness in the articles discussing these issues I’ll come back to that in connection with the third pillar of world order, the International Economic System Well, there are no stories– and I mean none– on the G15 meetings, which have taken place at same time in Jamaica in the last couple of weeks In the national press, it’s literally zero I rely on a database search done by a friend who has access to that monster The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal have no word on them There is no shortage of information The Associated Press had stories, except they weren’t run And the BBC World Services had extensive coverage And if you look around the peripheral press, particularly in Florida, there was coverage– Florida, I presume, because of the Latin American connection But the national press blanked it out Now, these aren’t minor countries These are major These are not what are dismissed as “basket cases” like sub-Saharan Africa This is Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, India, Indonesia, and Nigeria– quite substantial countries in which people expect to make a lot of money if they can 17 of them, even though it’s called G15– a good part of the world And they do have something to say, believe it or not And you can even read it For example, you read it on the front page if you happen to subscribe to the leading journal in Egypt [LAUGHTER] –The Al-Ahram, which has an English edition so you can read it in English What they say at the G15 meeting is that the United States and Britain– this is mostly quotes– are unwilling to enter into a dialogue with the South “The South” is what is euphemistically called the developing world Which direction they’re developing, you can argue about The US and Britain are unwilling to enter into a dialogue with the South, which is always forced to make concessions in the World Trade Organization to the benefit of the rich The true story of globalization, they continue, is that the North– that’s G7– has to make maximum benefits, and the South is only entitled to a limited margin of development And if this margin is crossed, the Western speculators are there to take you down as quickly as they can That’s not false But it’s a considerable understatement than the writers surely know it US power and violence has also been there to take you down as quickly as it can if countries tried to pursue the path of dependent development, what’s called in US planning circles “radical nationalism” or “economic nationalism” or sometimes even “excessive development.” That’s not to be permitted in the current period of globalization, for reasons I’ll get back to You don’t have to send the Marines that often The speculators can do the job The G15 meeting goes on to issue a plea to Western investors It says, we don’t want to stifle you, but we want to know who you are And we want you to come and go in an orderly fashion That’s precisely what the North will not accept The demand that not be accepted is a core part of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment, which has been deflected thanks to activist pressure, which succeeded in escaping media controls, but deflected– not stopped– coming back in other ways And the point is to prevent the G15 plea from being realized This, then, is accompanied by grim accounts

of the effects of the specific form of globalization that’s been instituted in the past 25 years It has two major aspects that are relevant here One is that it’s been an economic failure, from the point of view of statistics at least– not from the point of view of rich people So economic growth has slowed over most of the world And as a fraction of gross domestic product, as a fraction of economic product, the proportion that goes to working people has declined So working people are getting a declining part of a slowing economy That’s essentially the story The long-term tendency of this is a form of globalization It’s kind of a globalization of the structural model of the third world And that’s a very clear structural model You find it just about anywhere, which is a relic of European– and I include here, US– imperialism So you find societies with a very small sector of extremely, extremely wealthy people, usually linked to the foreign masters, and a large number of people who are somewhere between survival and suffering, and a category of superfluous people In our dependencies, they’re often called the “disposable people,” as in Colombia, where you dispose of them– send out the death squads or the paramilitaries We’re a more civilized society We throw them in jail instead on various fraudulent crime words But that model is spreading It takes a different form in a rich country, like the United States, than a poor country like, say, Haiti But the structure is quite similar And the United States and Britain, it’s pretty, very explicit And the rest, in the other rich countries, it’s partially true And it’s devastatingly true in most of the world, including now Eastern Europe, now that the end of the Cold War has led to it’s more or less predictable outcome And the countries of Eastern Europe are returning to what they were before that attempt at independent nationalism So the ones that were deep, third-world poverty like Russia are returning to that status The ones that were part of the West, like the Czech Republic, are returning to that status, about as one should have expected In my opinion, that’s pretty much what the Cold War was about But so that model is a familiar one And it’s now being kind of globalized That’s the globalization process Well, that’s the G15 view of it You get a much more pained and anguished view when you get to the poorer countries Those are the richer countries outside the really rich world Well, so they are silenced I’ll take a second example A year ago, the World Trade Organization celebrated the 50th anniversary of the global trading system It was originally GATT, now the World Trade Organization And that one got plenty of media coverage There was lots of coverage of the inspired rhetoric by Bill Clinton and world leaders, talked about the marvels that had been achieved through global trade and so on There was also a spokesperson for the United Nations there It was the Secretary General of UNCTAD, the UN Conference on Trade and Development– the main United Nations economic research and analysis organization, which is, according to its charter, committed to an international trading system that promotes economic and social development And he gave a talk too, representing the rest of the world, the United Nations, as an economist And he closed his speech by saying, “No one should be fooled by the festive atmosphere of these celebrations Outside there is anguish and fear, insecurity about jobs, and a life of quiet desperation.” Well, there was ample media coverage, as I said But it much preferred– in fact, kept to– the festive atmosphere within Although, again, you can read this if you happen to subscribe to a very good Third World journal that’s published in Penang, Malaysia There’s a name for that

It’s called free press, I think [LAUGHTER] The Secretary General of UNCTAD presented the same message– the same message, pretty much– at the recent G15 meeting a couple days ago He predicted a bleak future for the vast majority of the people of the South, although a small sector is and will continue to be quite wealthy Well, the story that he describes is also similar here, including the part about insecurity And that’s not exactly a secret So Alan Greenspan, when he was testifying before the Congress Senate Banking Committee, taking pride in the fairy tale economy, as it’s known, over which he presided, attributed it in large measure to what he called greater worker insecurity, meaning workers are just intimidated And they’re frightened they’re not going to have a job tomorrow And they’re afraid ask for a raise or for benefits and so on And that contributes substantially to what’s called the health of the economy It’s a concept that’s uncorrelated with the health of the people in the economy, but it’s a concept It’s good It keeps inflation down, keeps profits up– all sorts of good things And it’s real If you look at polls taken, say, by Business Week, you find that like around 90% of working people are insecure about their job– some very insecure About 70% are afraid that if they tried to get involved in union organizing, they’ll be fired The reasons for this intimidation are several, some of them pretty straightforward Some of it is just straight corporate crime, which is very easy when it’s backed by a criminal state The Reagan administration made it clear and open to the business world that it was simply not going to enforce the laws As a result, the firing of union organizers went way up– approximately tripled And other measures could be used to ensure that workers would stay intimidated That continues under the Clinton administration Another measure of intimidation is what are mislabeled “free trade agreements.” They’re not about free trade And they’re surely not agreements– at least, if the population matters The fact that they’re called “agreements” is interesting, because it’s recognized that, at least in any country that’s democratic enough to take polls like Canada and the United States, that the population is against them But they’re agreements, nevertheless, which tells you something about the conception of democracy If they were about free trade, say, cutting back tariffs, NAFTA could have taken 2 pages It’s 2,200 pages because it’s not about free trade But what are called “free trade agreements” have the property that they are a way of threatening workers So there are even some studies on it, one by a very good labor historian at Cornell, Kate Bronfenbrenner, showing that in about half of organizing efforts since NAFTA, there’s been an effort to disrupt by threat of transfer And it’s not an unreal threat Where organizing has nevertheless succeeded, the number of transfers has tripled And if you look where it’s tripled, it’s in the mobile industries, like not construction, but manufacturing So it’s a real threat, and it helps intimidate people And it contributes to the health of the economy And of course, in a poorer country, it’s a much greater threat So that’s part of the fairy tale economy, which is, indeed, a fairy tale economy for some people, including people in the sector that most of us come from– me, in particular For that sector of the population, it’s a fairy tale When you look at the reports of the fairy tale economy, you find two things mentioned– return on capital and the stock market And for those who have stock, say the rapid asset inflation of the past years has made them very rich What it means for the economy is debated But it certainly made them very rich So it’s a fairy tale for the 1% of the economy who own about half the stock– similar figures for other assets And for the 10% who own most of the rest, about 85% of the benefits have gone to about 10% of the population If you go to the next 10%, the second decile, they’ve actually lost net worth during the Clinton recovery You go down further, it looks uglier over the past years In fact, this recovery is unusual and, I think, unprecedented First of all, it’s quite slow, even

by the standards of the postwar period, certainly– not very different from the sluggish recoveries of the ’70s and ’80s– much below the earlier ones But it’s also unusual in that most of the population has been left out Just now, after the peak of the business cycle, it was 1989– so it’s almost 10 years– just now, the median is getting back to where it was in 1989 There’s never been such a slow recovery for the majority– it’s probably 70%, 80% of the population Never been anything like that before Wages– or, about real wages– are about 15% below what they were in 1973 In fact, they’re back at the level of around 1964 or so Depends a little how you measure Incomes, to the extent that they stay up, are staying up because people are just working a lot more So the typical American family is putting in about 15 weeks a year more of work than it did 20 years ago to try to keep it at a stagnating or a declining level If you’re interested in data about this, the best general database about this kind of stuff– also written quite clearly– comes out every two years It’s called The State of Working America The Economic Policy Institute just came out with their 1998, ’99 edition just a couple of weeks ago, which can fill you in on details up to the current evidence Well, let me put off for a moment how this return relates to the fate of the three pillars But the point that I’m trying to stress is that all of this stuff has to do with real human beings and their fate It’s not a pleasant story And when we bring in the fate of future generations who don’t have a vote, as it’s called in the market, in the very restricted market systems that exist– if we bring them in, then the story is even uglier Well, that’s the first detour The second one– and I will get back to the topic– has to do with the norms and the conventions for discussing all of this, for discussing world order And there are some norms and conventions And if you depart from them, you’re kind of not part of the discussion The norms and the conventions are that the goals, the intentions, the purposes, as they’re sometimes called, of the United States and its leaders are high-minded, sincere, or benign– other good things And that, crucially, is true independently a fact And it is understood to be true independently of fact So for example, the very same books and scholarly articles and so on that pronounce that as a truth often also are dedicated to showing that it’s refuted by the facts And that’s called an irony or a departure of some exogenous factor or something or other That’s pretty standard So indeed, the thesis is refuted overwhelmingly by the internal documentary record– the doc record of planning– and even more dramatically by the historical record of practice But it doesn’t matter The principle remains true And it provides the framework of discussion And one part of a good education is to understand that– to get that internalized enough so you can then take part in the debate, which proceeds in this fashion It’s reminiscent of medieval and early modern theological dogma And interestingly, it’s sometimes even presented in those terms, especially in what’s called realist international theory However, although the comparison comes to mind, I think it’s unfair It’s kind of an insult to me to medieval theology [LAUGHTER] I mean that quite seriously And I’ll explain why if you’re interested But let me put it aside Anyway, it has something of the flavor of a theological principle Notice that these principles don’t apply to anyone else So for example, nobody pays any attention to the high-minded rhetoric of Stalin’s constitution or the exalted rhetoric that accompanies what those who carry it out call humanitarian interventions, of which the most obvious case is in this century, I suppose– at least if you judge by the rhetoric– are Mussolini’s invasion of Ethiopia, the Japanese invasion of Manchuria and North China, and Hitler’s invasion of Czechoslovakia The rhetoric was very impressive and full of humanitarian ideals and noble purposes and so on And like most propaganda, it wasn’t totally false Like you’ll find fragments of truth in it

So for example, Hitler was invited in by the president of Slovakia And the Japanese actually had one of the leading Chinese nationalists as a puppet and so on But we don’t pay any attention to that stuff We don’t regard that as evidence of benign intentions in those and other cases The principles hold only at home, not anywhere else And here they hold, irrespective of the facts, and often in the very same documents, say, scholarly articles, which present the facts to refute them That’s kind of misleading to give examples because that would understate the uniformity and the extremism And it would be misleading, quote, “the press.” So I won’t because that’s too easy Let me just give one example which happens to be the last one that I looked at last night in a current Journal of International Affairs And it’s kind of an interesting case and a very good scholar Highly critical of US government policies, which makes it more interesting– this article, too It’s worth examining, not only because it illustrates the conventions, but because of what we discover when we look a little more closely– not only about contemporary history but also about ourselves– what we do, how we deal with it The record is particularly instructive in this case, because the Cold War is almost totally irrelevant This goes back a long way and never has been any Cold War relevant And it’s been recognized The institutions of power and decision making remain unchanged From that we conclude, if we were rational, that it’s likely to be a pretty good predictor of where things are going to go, at least if we allow them to go that way The article is by a well-known Middle East scholar He’s also a leading policy analyst at the Council on Foreign Relations and elsewhere He’s been highly critical of US policy toward the Middle East, which is his specialty The article is, too And he gives a recommendation, which in fact is highlighted by the journal So it’s like the most important part of the recommendation It says, “The United States should more energetically promote central US foreign policy themes, especially freedom, democracy, and human rights.” Notice these are central US foreign policy themes No argument or evidence is presented to establish that fact because none is needed That is a theological dogma It’s like “God is great” or something [LAUGHTER] You don’t have to present evidence for that It’s just a truth Then the article proceeds, after having established the truth And it goes on– and this is quite typical– to describe how the United States has consistently acted contrary to its central foreign policy themes in the Middle East The author then goes on to say, I’m quoting now, “There is no doubt.” Not only is this true, but, “There is no doubt that American foreign policy does adopt a separate standard for the Middle East when it comes to such values as democracy and human rights.” Well, to show that there’s a double standard, you do need evidence So he presents some evidence The evidence is that, as he shows, the United States does not uphold such values in the Middle East, which is the area of his expertise and attention But it does uphold them elsewhere, strikingly, he points out, for major Muslim states if they’re not in the Middle East So that makes the point very clear And the most important case, of course, as he notes, is Indonesia, the largest Muslim state, which he cites, to establish the certainty of the judgment that the United States has a separate standard for the Middle East Well, breaking with the convention, let’s look at the dogma keeping to the single and most important example cited, namely, Indonesia, where the United States upholds its values of democracy and human rights Well, very much like Hitler, Mussolini, and Japan, this doctrine isn’t totally false So on May 20, 1998, so that’s last May, the United States did make its first statement in favor of democracy in Indonesia Secretary of State Albright on last May 20, called upon President Suharto to resign and provide for a democratic transition A few hours later, he resigned– maybe coincidence, maybe it tells you something about power relations [LAUGHTER] You can figure that out for yourself

So last May, we called for democracy From the time that Suharto took power in October, 1965, until May, 1998, this gentleman was “our kind of guy,” as the Clinton administration called him, while he was massacring and torturing and robbing in a quite impressive fashion– kind of one of the world records of the modern period The Clinton administration even went so far as to suspend its congressionally-mandated review of Indonesia’s appalling labor practices, while at the same time praising Indonesia for bringing them into closer conformity with international standards And the Clinton administration also avoided congressional restrictions on military support for “our kind of guy”– found various ways to pay for it out of other pockets and that sort of thing But it is true that last May, the United States underwent a religious conversion, and for the first time called for a democracy in Indonesia The force of the comparison with the Middle East, however, is somewhat weakened by the fact that the same conversion occurred there at pretty much the same time In December, 1998, Secretary of State Albright announced, I’m quoting, “We have come to the determination that the Iraqi people would benefit if they had a government that really represented them.” So in both the Middle East and Indonesia, contrary to the thesis, the United States underwent a religious conversion in favor of the central themes of its foreign policy– at least on paper, you can evaluate the accuracy– about at the same time last year In the case of Iraq, before that, the US policy was to support what was called an iron fist The iron fist was Saddam Hussein For a long time, he was “our kind of guy,” right through his most murderous crimes and most monstrous crimes After he committed his first true offense, the thesis shifted We still wanted an iron fist But it had to be a clone, someone who would rule with an iron fist just as Saddam Hussein had done during the period when he was “our kind of guy.” That was pretty much official policy But on paper, at least, it’s now changed Because as of last December, we discovered that they would benefit from a government that represented them So in 1998 then, the United States did announce support for democracy, but both in the Middle East and Indonesia Well, what does this tell us about the central themes of US foreign policy? Answer– it tells us nothing whatsoever, because these are doctrinal truths And therefore, facts are simply irrelevant– like, you know, God is great and merciful You don’t look at factual truths In fact, if you look more– well, put it aside [LAUGHTER] I don’t want to take too many detours [CHUCKLES] Let’s look a little more closely at Indonesia, where there is no doubt that these themes of democracy and human rights were put into practice There’s a lot of concern right now about the possibility that Indonesia may break up into either a federation or maybe separate territories And that prospect is very much deplored However, the objection to it, wherever it may be, is certainly not an objection of principle And we can find that out quite easily if we bother to look at the irrelevant facts So in 1958, that happened to be official US policy– secret, but we now know it was official US policy to break up Indonesia And the United States, in fact, carried out a major counterinsurgency– well, insurgency operation– subversive operation– probably the major one of the post Second World War period to try to break up Indonesia It supported a rebellion in the outer islands Those are the islands where the oil is and where most US investments were And that was the goal, to separate them off And the reason was that the national government was neutralist and independent and, in fact, was far too democratic, which was extremely worrisome to Washington The government was– I’m not suggesting it was a model democracy, but it was allowing parties of the poor to function There was a major party which represented poor peasants And it was allowed to function And it was doing better and better in each election And that was appalling news in Washington If we look at the internal record–

most of which has been suppressed, incidentally But bits and pieces have leaked And there’s some good scholarly studies of it– one, in fact, by the leading founder of US/Southeast Asian studies, George Kahin at Cornell But there’s also some documents that have come out in the official channels The fear was that the government was, let’s say, far too democratic And it would be impossible, as they put it, to suppress the parties of the Left by ordinary democratic means And therefore, they would have to be– the word is “eliminated.” That’s the joint chiefs Meanwhile, the outer islands would be separated off So inside, what’s left– bad guys have to be eliminated The outer islands will be separated, and the US will take them over Well, the rebellion failed But not before destroying whatever fabric of a parliamentary democracy existed in Indonesia And now, after four years, we’re calling for it to be restored After the failure of the rebellion, the United States turned to what is standard operating procedure when you want to overthrow a civilian government– try to undermine the civilian government, but support the military Because they’re the ones who are going to overthrow the government for you That’s absolutely standard, case after case Pinochet is one example The real story about what lies behind Iran-Contra is the same And we know it had nothing to do with hostages because it was started when there were no hostages And it’s just standard operating procedure In Indonesia, it worked The US tried to undermine the civilian government It supported the military It worked By 1965, there was, indeed, a military coup Suharto took over An army-inspired massacre then took place The CIA described it as one of the worst massacres of the 20th century, comparable to Hitler, Stalin, and Mao It was fairly actively reported in the United States It was a staggering bloodbath The New York Times called it a “staggering mass slaughter.” That was the Times’ phrase Time Magazine devoted a whole section too, to what they called the “boiling blood bath,” in which hundreds of thousands of people were massacred, mostly poor peasants And the leadership of the poor peasant party was, indeed, eliminated It was reported accurately and with complete euphoria There was such joy over it, that it couldn’t even be suppressed It’s kind had been written out of history But to go back and read the journals of the time, the euphoria is total, across the intellectual spectrum Freedom House was applauding and so on The US government applauded Secretary of Defense McNamara testified before Congress that the military aid that we’d given to the Indonesian military had paid dividends In a private letter to President Johnson, he was particularly proud of the training that Indonesian military officers received at American universities, where they had gotten the right ideas about how to carry out a mass slaughter comparable to Hitler, Stalin, and Mao The country became a paradise for investors Suharto became the darling of the United States– “our kind of guy.” Remained so when he invaded East Timor, wiped out maybe a third or a quarter of the population And that continues right into 1997 Then something went wrong He apparently committed a crime What crime is it? Well, in fact, the crime, if you look closely, which led to the religious conversion in favor of a democratic transition here– there were actually two crimes, two standard ones One crime is, he start dragging his feet about IMF orders The IMF rules were imposing extremely serious hardships on the people of Indonesia And Suharto was kind of slow about following orders Crime number one The second crime is he just lost control There was a democratic uprising And the army wasn’t backing him anymore And at that point, he’s useless So therefore, he got the advice to permit a democratic transition, in which he handed power over to his handpicked vice president Well, that’s the moment at which the United States, after 40 years, began, at least on paper,

to implement its central theme of its policy in the area where there is no doubt that it has always implemented it, remember, as distinct from the Middle East By committing those two crimes, Suharto followed a very classic path Another recent example is Mobutu, Saddam Hussein, Duvalier, Marcos, Somoza, Trujillo It’s kind of a long list The same two crimes are the ones that matter You stop following orders, you lose control– you’re out, and we’re in favor of a democratic transition This happens routinely, regularly But it doesn’t teach you anything You don’t learn anything about policy from that, because the nature of policy is a theological dogma And therefore, no evidence tells you anything Well, look a little more closely at 1958 I still promise to get back to the theme, if you’re willing to hold out [LAUGHTER] It’s very revealing In 1958, the National Security Council remained planning– the body had then secret meetings, now publicized, in which John Foster Dulles, secretary of state, described the crises on the world scene He said there’s three major crises in the world scene in 1958 One was Indonesia The second was Algeria The third was the Middle East Notice that they’re all Muslim countries, but there was no clash of civilizations at that point Those of you who are respectable intellectuals will know that now we have to soberly debate the clash of civilizations because the Cold War pretext for intervention has collapsed And we need what’s called a new paradigm But then, we still have that pretext So we didn’t need a new paradigm So the three major crises were Indonesia, Algeria, and the Middle East The fact that they were Muslims is irrelevant But something isn’t irrelevant– namely, they all had oil In fact, they were all oil centers And in fact, the effort to cut off the outer islands was related to US concerns over Middle East oil There were some concerns that it was getting out of control and they needed some temporary supplements– temporary, because Indonesia is nowhere near the scale of the Middle East, but significant Well, you look back at what happened– and bear in mind that the United States is a global power So its policies are usually carried out consistently in many different places And a lot of other things were happening in 1958 The subversion in Indonesia, the rebellion in Indonesia, was the largest of the clandestine operations– maybe the largest ever But there were others In Burma, the United States was moving to overthrow the regime supporting a Chinese nationalist army that had partially taken refuge there, and that the United States was supporting there I won’t go into the details, but that led Burma– at that time, had an elected government– that led to a military coup, the installation of the current military regime in Burma– one of the most brutal in the world It also was instrumental in making Burma the leading heroin producer in the world, a position it now holds– and a real horror story The state of Massachusetts now has a kind of boycott We can trace that right back to 1958– right parallel to when we were carrying out the central themes of our foreign policy in Indonesia Another case right next door was Cambodia Also had a neutralist government, which the United States didn’t like The US was supporting an attack on it That attack didn’t work in 1958 But it did work in 1970– the same forces overthrowing Prince Sihanouk’s government That led to the huge US bombing, the Khmer Rouge, everything that followed– need not talk about that A third place where something was going on in 1958 was, again, right nearby in Laos Laos had its first and last free election in 1958, came out the wrong way, party to the Left won The US wouldn’t accept that Military coup took place The US installed what was called a “pro-Western neutralist.” And he wasn’t good enough So an ultra-Right general was put in That led to a total disaster It sort of paved the way and actually came pretty close to a world war It ended up with the US carrying out the heaviest bombing in history against a defenseless peasant society in northern Laos And the effects of that are still with us But you wouldn’t read it You can’t even read it in the US newspaper That’s a very good article on it in The Wall Street Journal by their veteran Asia correspondent about a year

and a half ago Unfortunately, it’s the Asian edition of The Wall Street Journal They didn’t have it in the US edition [SOFT LAUGHTER] But it’s quite a good article He gives an estimate of– there’s unknown numbers of unexploded bomblets just littering the Plain of Jars Hundreds of millions of them were dropped They are much worse than landmines These are not aimed at property They do nothing against a truck They’re aimed to kill people They’re murder weapons They’re little, colorful things that a kid can pick up or a farmer can hit or something They had a failure-to-explode rate of about 20% to 30%, according to their manufacturer, Honeywell And crummy as technology may be, it’s hard to believe that that wasn’t built in But maybe The technologists among you can assess that likelihood Anyway, they’re supposed to have a 20% to 30% failure to explode rate, which means they’re around all the time as anti-personnel weapons And they’re still there– huge numbers of them According The Wall Street Journal report, the casualties may range up to 20,000 a year, of which more than half are deaths Other numbers are less But since nobody is counting, nobody really knows But numbers of that kind are considered not unreasonable by The Wall Street Journal in its Asia edition There is a mine-clearing group– British-based mine advisory group– civilian– but based, ultimately, in the British army And other countries have come in As the British press reports, the United States is conspicuous by its absence in the mine-clearing operation And furthermore, the right-wing British press is bitterly complaining over the fact that the United States, the Pentagon, refuses to provide what are called render-harmless procedures– procedures that would defuse the mines so they wouldn’t kill the people who are trying to clear them That’s a military secret And in fact, the whole thing is a secret in the United States You have to work pretty hard to find out anything about it That’s a fact So that’s Laos Another case, in 1958 was Vietnam I won’t even talk about that In each case, including all of these, including Indonesia, the US interventions, which were significant, led to hideous atrocities and, in fact, destroyed the basis of democracy and, in fact, were, to a large extent, driven by that purpose, as in several of the cases I’ve mentioned However, that doesn’t influence the dogma It’s still correct There is still no doubt that, in the Middle East only, the United States doesn’t live up to its high ideals, but does in these places Well, if you take a little more closer look at 1958, I won’t go into this– bring it up later if you like– but the other major case was, in fact, Iraq Iraq had a nationalist revolution, and it was pulling out of the US Anglo-American [? condominium ?] over oil That was going on right in 1958, and it was a major phenomenon If you look at the documentary record then, you get a pretty good explanation of everything that’s going out until today OK, let me drop that One of the things that’s going on today, which is quite striking and leads me to the topic, finally, is a kind of a minor aspect of the bombing last December– the US-UK bombing One interesting aspect of it was that it is in blatant and flat violation of the UN Charter and international law International law– that’s one of the three pillars of world order The basic principle of the UN Charter is that the threat or use of force in international affairs is banned, except under highly restricted circumstances, which don’t apply, or if specifically authorized by the Security Council Otherwise, banned– threat or use of force There is no serious doubt that the US and UK just flatly ignored that They didn’t try to get UN Security Council authorization for the simple reason they knew they’d never get it So therefore, they just bombed Now in the United States, there is essentially no discussion of this I’ve done a fairly extensive review And where it’s discussed, as it occasionally is, it’s considered a kind of a technicality, the reason being, if a reason is ever given, that we cannot allow others to veto our policy decisions, as required by the UN charter and international law Others must stand by that, but we can’t That is unchallenged, as far as I can discover Interesting exercise– try to find some challenge to that doctrine

I haven’t found it There is some in England And there’s a lot elsewhere So for example, in India, the Association of Jurists has a case before the world court condemning the US and Britain for war crimes You won’t read about that either But here it’s not discussed, because it’s taken for granted that that’s correct We cannot submit ourselves to international law or the UN Charter because we are a violent, lawless, criminal, rogue state, and that is right and just That’s what it means And there is near universal endorsement of that principle, among educated sectors at least, which should be taken as a warning by the world, and indeed is taken as a warning by the world, which doesn’t like it, but can’t do much about it We’re the ones who can do something about it And at least, judging articulate sectors, educated sectors support it So they’re not going to do anything about it The official stand during the bombing in December was, quoted, “that we prefer to act through our allies, but will resort to force alone if we have to.” Notice that we don’t even “prefer” to act through the United Nations, as required by international law in the Charter We join our allies if they’re willing to, but UN is out In fact, the timing of the bombing was presumably intended as a slap in the face to the Security Council The bombing was timed just as the Security Council was being called to an emergency session to deal with the question of Iraq And it hadn’t been notified And if that didn’t make headlines here, people understood it elsewhere Things like that don’t happen by accident And they were understood Well, that’s accepted across the spectrum And it’s accepted in other cases, too So take a look at the Rambouillet meetings in Kosovo There was a debate there about just what to do The debate was between the United States and its allies and the NATO powers Nobody else was around And the debate was over the wording– should the wording of the NATO decision to bomb be stated as being “authorized” by the United Nations or only being “endorsed” by the United Nations? The US insisted on “endorse.” As The New York Times put it, it wanted to avoid the neuralgic word “authorized,” which would entail that international law has some significance And the US won’t accept that, even at the rhetorical level And as usual, the US won So the most they get to do is “endorse,” not “authorize,” let alone “order,” which is what the law requires And it’s not just in this case It’s in every case So take, say, the bombing in the Sudan last August I mean, it’s now conceded Very few even try to deny that the US just bombed a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan and destroyed half of Sudan’s pharmaceutical industry Well, you know, sometimes things go wrong There’s no talk about war crimes, no talk about reparations, not even any talk about an apology I mean, why should we apologize if we destroy half of the pharmaceuticals in a poor East African country? Let’s be serious Furthermore, that’s accepted across the spectrum OK There’s a further history for this 10 years ago, the United States took the same stand, explicitly, with regard to the world court dared to follow a case against the United States and, indeed, to condemn the United States for the unlawful use of force in its war against Nicaragua The United States’ position was clear and explicit The State Department, Legal Department said that we cannot accept world court jurisdiction They explained why The reason is that other states do not agree with us They do not accept our policies [LAUGHTER] And they said we must, therefore, “reserve to ourselves the right to decide when court rulings apply And we must reject court rulings,” I’m quoting now, “for any dispute involving matters essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of the United States, as determined by the United States.” [LAUGHTER] The example in question was the US war against Nicaragua And the United States determined that that was within its domestic jurisdiction So the world court could get lost And that was done with virtually 100% support of educated intellectuals, including leading advocates of world order who write articles and law journals and so on and so forth The New York Times dismissed the court as a hostile forum And so it went

The court judgment was never even reported And it was radically violated OK, that’s the world court This goes back much further Back in 1962, Dean Acheson, a highly respected statesman, senior advisor to the Kennedy administration, informed the American Society for International Law that a situation in which our country’s power position and prestige are involved cannot be treated as a legal issue OK He was referring to the US embargo against Cuba, which, of course, he recognized was illegal But nothing in which our power position and prestige are involved can be treated as a legal issue And accordingly, at that time, you heard Adlai Stevenson at the United Nations defending the US attack against South Vietnam as defense against internal aggression The South Vietnamese were carrying out internal aggression in South Vietnam, and we were defending South Vietnam against them We were defending South Vietnam against what John F. Kennedy called the “assault from within.” That was when he launched the assault from without [LAUGHTER] This goes way back In earlier years, it had been in secret So in earlier years, the flat rejection of the Charter is explicit– very explicit– but in secret It goes back to 1947– first memorandum of the National Security Council, in which it called for national mobilization and the United States’ support for military action, paramilitary action, other such things in Italy, if the communists took power by legal means in an election In other words, if a democratic election came out the wrong way, we would use force to overthrow it That’s 1947, NSC 1 The story goes on from there The innovation in the Reagan years was that the contempt for international law became completely overt It wasn’t even secret anymore Under Clinton, it’s lost any pretense So the conclusion is– the only reasonable conclusion is that the first pillar of world order, the international political order, has totally disappeared It’s available as a weapon against enemies, but nothing else remains, except the theological dogma that we uphold world order and international law That remains, independently of the facts So nothing else remains Well, let’s proceed Let’s turn to the Universal Declaration, second pillar of world order This is a tightly integrated document It has conventionally divided in three parts– civil and political rights, socioeconomic rights, and what are called “solidarity rights.” The integration of all of those was stressed from the beginning You look at the background, that’s clear Repeatedly been stressed since Time’s short, so I won’t run through the history The major Law Review article that just appeared on the 50th anniversary by Harvard Law Professor Mary Ann Glendon stresses that the Universal Declaration elevates social, economic, and cultural rights to fundamental rights status and that that is a crucial part of the universalization of rights carried out in the Universal Declaration In short, there is no place for any sort of relativist demand that certain rights must be relegated to secondary status, in accord with, say, Asian values or some other pretext Glendon also points out, quite accurately, that the support for that was very broad-based at the time You have to remember the time This is right at the end of the Second World War There were values of that kind– the kind expressed in the UD were deeply entrenched in the anti-fascist, popular forces in Europe And in the colonial world and even in the United States, that was deeply disturbing to US elites who intended to create a very different kind of world order and, indeed, were quite explicit about it But the dogma remains And it proclaims a more self-congratulatory version Well, there were some who did dismiss the Universal Declaration as meaningless So there’s an often quoted phrase of Andrey Vyshinsky’s, the Russian delegate whose record doesn’t have to detain us He dismissed the Universal Declaration as a “collection of pious phrases.” And it was dismissed as, I’m quoting, “a letter to Santa Claus” by Jeane Kirkpatrick, Reagan’s UN ambassador, who was deriding the socioeconomic provisions of the Universal Declaration Moving on a couple of years, it is an “empty vessel,” a “dangerous incitement,” “preposterous.”

That’s Morris Abram, UN ambassador to the UN Commission on Human Rights He’s explaining Washington’s rejection of what was called the right to development, which if you look at it, is a very close paraphrase of the socioeconomic provisions of the Universal Declaration That was vetoed by the United States, alone, essentially vetoing the socioeconomic provisions of the UD The US also radically violates the civil and political provisions I won’t go through the details, but quite clear and not surprising One of the latest major Amnesty International reports is about this In brief, two pillars of world order have been effectively demolished except as ideological weapons That doesn’t mean that the people of the world shouldn’t defend them They do remain ideals that people should try to defend, they should fight for, and that they should also transcend, because they’re not the end of the road by any means But to take that stand in the United States, you have to first carry out an act of intellectual liberation You have to free yourselves from the doctrines of the faith You don’t do that, you can’t even enter into the fray First have to free yourselves from the doctrines of the faith and at least be willing to subject them to empirical verification If they’re not even subject to empirical verification, there’s no point discussing these matters, clearly If they are, you can ask whether this analysis is correct or some different analysis is correct Well, just the willingness to subject them to examination, the doctrines, that’s a radical departure from prevailing norms, including everything in the educational system and academic scholarship and the media and everywhere else So it’s not small Well, couple of words about the third pillar, the Bretton Woods System, which, again, was totally tightly integrated with the others And that’s worth understanding A central component of the Bretton Woods System was regulation of finance And there were several reasons for this One reason was that it was understood that deregulation of finance would harm the global economy There are good reasons for that And they’ve been illustrated in recent years The trouble is that financial markets, as was understood, are quite volatile and unpredictable To quote a couple of MIT economists, specialists on this, “Financial markets are governed by panics, manias, and crashes They swing far above and below any kind of sensible, fundamental values, creating bubbles that will burst.” Paul Samuelson, who says the evidence for that is overwhelming And this was understood back in the ’40s So you deregulate financial markets, you’re going to have a disaster And it’ll harm the general economy That was one reason A second reason was closely related to world order and human rights One reason for both capital controls and keeping currencies within a narrow band was that it was understood that deregulation of capital is a tremendous weapon against democracy and socioeconomic rights If we’re mentioning that, let me just say that the current debate between the United States and its G7 partners is over keeping currencies within a narrow band If you read the articles on this, you’ll notice that the G7 position– Germany, Japan, France, and so on– maybe not Britain, but the other G7 countries– is that the major currencies should be kept sort of closely interconnected, [? not ?] too volatile And that was rejected as crazy by US Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin, because if we were to agree to that, it would mean that some other authority might determine that we’re not allowed to lower interest rates to stimulate the economy if we want to So if the economy’s sinking into recession, we won’t be able to allow interest rates because that’ll affect currency values And we’d be crazy to allow any other country, any international organization to prevent us from carrying out those fiscal policies– exactly the fiscal policies that we force on every other country, as the very same articles point out, without any sense of contradiction Take a look, and think about it Why is deregulation of finance a weapon against democracy and human rights? Well, very obviously, and it was understood The reason is that if capital flow is unregulated,

it will quickly create what some internationalist economists call a virtual senate– a senate consisting of concentrated international financial capital, which will simply impose decisions on governments by the threat of capital flight So if some government pursues irrational policies, so policies that are aimed at helping the population, let’s say, instead of raising profits for investors and are therefore irrational– like education or health or environmental policies or whatever it may be– you can force them to stop, simply by pulling all the capital out of the country, which forces interest rates up, sends the country to a depression, and all the usual consequences So therefore, unless capital is controlled, you’ve very sharply restricted a democracy and human rights Well, that was understood then, and it is understood now The Bretton Woods System, with financial regulation, persisted through roughly 1970 That’s a period that’s commonly called the Golden Age of Post-War Capitalism, a period of high growth, high growth of productivity, expansion of the social contract, and the so-called welfare state, which turned the Universal Declaration into something a little more than a “letter to Santa Claus.” From the early 1970s, that system was dismantled– first at the initiative of the United States, Britain came along, later, others– and other major economies, not until the ’80s And the results wouldn’t have surprised the founders of the Bretton Woods System The results have transferred– well, some economists call it a transfer from a golden age to a leaden age In the period since, there has been a slowdown of the economy, globally And the social contract has been dissolved dramatically in the US and Britain, to some extent elsewhere Inequality has gone way up The consequences, I have already described briefly One region of the world temporarily escaped from this That’s East Asia, which is quite different from Southeast Asia There, there was– I’ll quote the chief economist of the World Bank, there was “an unprecedented economic miracle,” which was based on the fact that they disregarded “the religion,” as he calls it– “the religion that markets know best.” And they disregarded the prescriptions of the international financial institutions, the so-called Washington Consensus And they carried out an unprecedented economic miracle In the early 1990s, South Korea liberalized capital flow under very heavy US pressure, I should say– one of several factors That’s a large factor in the subsequent collapse That’s generally agreed Up till 1997 or 1998, the global economic system was considered really great It was, in fact, what’s called an economic miracle, fairy tale, very much the way Mexico was an economic miracle during the period when the number of billionaires was rising about as fast as the poverty level There was no crisis until 1997, ’98 All there was anguish and fear, insecurity about jobs, and a life of quiet desperation, to quote the head of UNCTAD But that’s not a crisis That’s a miracle Because that was only outside the doors, remember Inside, the festive atmosphere was exuberant So but by 1998, the festive atmosphere inside was becoming a little disturbed The interests of rich people were being affected So we moved from economic miracle to crisis Those are technical terms Again, it doesn’t have much to do with what’s happening of the people It has to do a lot with what’s happening to rich people– rich, powerful people And their interests were starting to be disturbed So all of a sudden, we had a crisis And that’s distinct from anguish and fear and so on Well, that crisis is now all over the front pages So I won’t waste any time on it, though it’s interesting One side effect of the crisis is that all of the certainties have dissolved So the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, which is the most conservative and respectable institution that exists It’s called the “central bank of central bankers.” On their latest report last summer, they said nobody had a clue as to what’s going on And they urged that we have humility Instead of issuing confident pronouncements, let’s at least have enough humility to admit that we haven’t got a clue as to what is happening

or what to do about it Leading economists from around here, Cambridge, have been recently publishing articles in which they say that the international economy is dimly understood, that we may be heading into a third-world-style, ’30s-style depression and we don’t know what to do about it Actually, the real crisis is much more fundamental And I’ll finish by just giving two quotes that I think capture it rather well, both recent One is from an event that was organized by Jesse Jackson over Martin Luther King weekend in January This was an event in Manhattan to support Bill Clinton in the moment of his terrible trials There were lots of celebrities who came and sort of admired one another and so on [LAUGHTER] Among them was the president of the New York Stock Exchange I’m quoting from the press now New York Times, “He told Mr. Clinton that Dr. King is surely smiling down on the gathering, recognizing how Clinton had benefited my little corner of southern Manhattan,” which is quite accurate Other little corners of southern Manhattan fared rather differently, but the stock exchange, on that, Mr. Clinton doubtless showered many benefits So no doubt, Martin Luther King is smiling down on him [LAUGHTER] That’s an appropriate comment reflecting the realities of a political system in which, in the last election, November, 1998– data have just come in recently– 95% percent of winning candidates outspent their opponents, meaning you could predict up to 95% accuracy who’s going to win just looking at how much money they had So it’s not like Russia, where you could predict 100% that it was going to be the Communist Party [LAUGHTER] It’s only 95% Furthermore, if you look at the contributions– same data– business contributions outspent labor contributions by about 12 to 1, which is highly misleading, remember, because labor represents way more people And individual contributions, though they’re not measured, undoubtedly are skewed at least as much So what that translates into, to put it into English, is that a little corner of southern Manhattan and a couple of other little corners like it, essentially purchased candidates and put them in office and then set conditions that they’re going to have to meet or else And also set the general framework for policy, just by virtue of their power– becoming the virtual senate, as I mentioned, once these instruments are in their hands Of course, they also require a powerful state They’re very insistent on that There has to be a powerful state, which will socialize risks and costs and we’ll make sure that there’s no unpleasant noises in servants’ quarters So that’s still got to be there, but not with its old functions Second quote, last one, is from David Rockefeller, reflecting on the current scene Recall that David Rockefeller is at the liberal end of the spectrum He’s part of the “Establishment Left,” it’s called– without irony, I should say He’s commenting on the reduction of the role of government in public affairs, something that business has always favored, he says Side comment– the role of government means the role of the population, right? Of all institutions that are around, with all its flaws, whatever they may be, government is the only one in which, at least in principle, there’s some possibility of participation– often in practice, too In the operations of General Electric, there are no possibilities in principle So government is the one institution of the general institutional framework in which people may have a role, sometimes do And that role is declining Business is happy about that But he says, “While that reduction of democratic participation is, of course, welcome, there is another side to that coin Somebody has to take government’s place And business seems to be the logical entity to do it.” OK, that’s Rockefeller He goes on to say it’s the responsibility of business to fill this gap made by the disappearance of democratic government It’s certainly not the role of the public That’s for sure That’s the Establishment Left When you move over to the Right, the message gets a lot harsher

Well, that’s a pretty fair picture of the current drift of policy It’s true, you know corporations gained the right of persons through judicial activism early in this century They’re not ordinary persons, like you and me They are immortal persons They have extraordinary power, unlike flesh and blood persons They also demand the rights of states, and they get them Under NAFTA, they’ve partially gained them Under the MAI, they’d gain them still more fully In fact, they would gain additional rights, which are described as if they’re innocuous But they surely aren’t if you think about them Under MAI, these “persons”– fictitious, legal persons– are demanding what they call national treatment That’s a right that no flesh and blood person can claim So under national treatment, General Electric can function freely in Mexico But suppose that some flesh and blood Mexican tries to get national treatment in New York No, that’s not going to work So this is only for fictitious, collectivist, legal entities Those kind of persons get the rights of states, the rights of national treatment And furthermore, they have a right and a responsibility to take over the functions of government Now, they must do that That would, therefore, reduce democratic form still further Internally, they’re basically tyrannies I mean, I don’t think that’s in question And they try to run the global society, including the sort of minimal market system, in an integrated fashion They do rely on the powerful states to make sure that they can get what they want They also demand and, in large part, gain the right to shape opinions and attitudes and beliefs That’s the role of the corporate media– and in fact, the educational system to a large extent– that is, if the right to define what a human being is, what constitutes a human life, and do so Well, quite apart from the continuing assault against the proclaimed values of democracy and human rights and freedom and all good things, these tendencies, if they are tolerated, could lead to quite serious and possibly even terminal catastrophes That’s only a speculation, of course Your speculations are as good as anybody’s What is not a speculation is that the tendencies don’t have to be tolerated That’s a choice You can make it and not make it It’s not a necessity The ability to make that choice is roughly measured by your share in privilege The more access to privilege you have, the more of a choice you can make It’s also measured by the freedom of the society That means that for people like us, the options are wide open And one thing we can be reasonably confident of, I think, is that neither conscience nor history is going to look favorably upon an unwillingness to face those decisions with care and dedication Thanks [APPLAUSE] Are there any mics? Are there any mics? JANE GOULD: Probably not in the house NOAM CHOMSKY: Not in the house OK, if people want to say something, maybe stand up so as to maximize the chance somebody will hear you Go ahead AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, OK AUDIENCE: Sorry NOAM CHOMSKY: You guys fight Good AUDIENCE: Some of us– part of the educational system as you’ve described, not so much in detail, right here in Massachusetts, John Silber, someone with whom I believe you may have crossed swords, is leading the war against public education And he and his colleagues are using a variety of tactics There is a [? laying ?] bill before the Massachusetts Congress, which will take away collective bargaining rights for teachers– in effect, completely gut the unions The point is that some of us in the teachers unions are going to confront Silber And it occurred to me that, if I’m not mistaken, he was sending a Kissinger commission that purported to investigate American policy in Latin

America NOAM CHOMSKY: Could be I don’t remember AUDIENCE: Oh, OK Let me put it another way, then It was my recollection that [? were ?] [? at ?] [? crossed ?] swords with him at one time or another NOAM CHOMSKY: Oh, yeah AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] NOAM CHOMSKY: I’m not one of his favorite characters AUDIENCE: [? Quite. ?] And of course, Professor Zinn I know some of the history between them NOAM CHOMSKY: Yeah AUDIENCE: I was wondering if you had anything to say about a person who would– NOAM CHOMSKY: About him, you make your own decisions I don’t– excuse me AUDIENCE: All right NOAM CHOMSKY: Should I repeat– yeah Let me repeat the question I mean, the core of the question– the comment, really– is that John Silber, who’s– what is he? Chancellor of something or the state system or something– is leading a campaign now to try to undermine the Teachers Union, which is part of a general attack on the public education system Is that right? Then come some questions about our personal relations, which– put to the side, because this is a general There’s I think a serious issue– very serious One of the areas of government, meaning public participation that still exists is the schools And at the left end of the spectrum, people like David Rockefeller would very much like to get rid of this government intervention in the economy, or as I’m told that the latest edition of Paul Samuelson’s Economics changes the phrase to government “interference” in the economy Tell me me if I’m right That would then introduce an important doctrinal assumption into the description So we want to get rid of government interference in the economy like public schools, which have all sorts of bad features– like they cultivate a sense of solidarity or of care for other people Like if there’s a public school system, that’s an expression of the fact that you care whether the kid down the street gets an education And that’s a very bad thing because you’re supposed to be– you get this message from infancy on through the television set and everything else that the only value of a human life is to maximize what the advertising industry calls “invented wants.” So they’re supposed to invent wants for you And you’re supposed to maximize them And that’s the only thing you’re supposed to care about– not care about anybody else, not care about control your life and work That’s out of the door But maximize your own fabricated wants And the existence of the public school system is inconsistent with that, because it’s an expression of solidarity and care for others and compassion and all sorts of ideals that are not supposed to exist in the system that is being created– the ideological system it’s being created It’s not only John Silber There’s a major assault across the boards on public schools I got an inkling of this a couple of years ago when [? Alain ?] [? Renard, ?] who some of you know, sent me an investment brochure from Lehman Brothers, which was being sent out to their prime investors or people who put a lot of money in and so on And it was about new investment opportunities And this one was about what they called EMOs I’ll give you a second to figure out what that means But the point is, the prison system’s being privatized The health system, such as there was, is being given to insurance companies with HMOs There is still this residue– the educational system So the next target is going to be EMOs– educational management organizations– which will be privately run– publicly funded, of course All this stuff gets publicly funded in one way or another But the profits are privatized And that will achieve great gains, for example, by hiring teachers who are non-union, staff that’s non-union, doesn’t have to be paid decent wages, doesn’t require any security, temps, and so on and so forth So it’s very efficient by some measure And also, it’ll be a way of breaking down this lingering sense of solidarity and mutual support that the public school system provides, just by its very existence So I think you can expect a lot of such attacks– not just on that, but on every other residue of human life that reflects any value other than individual maximization of invented wants Anything beyond that is fundamentally unacceptable AUDIENCE: Just for your information, this talk has apparently filled three overflow rooms So congratulations [LAUGHTER] NOAM CHOMSKY: It’s a reflection of the fact

that a lot of people are worried about these issues and have a right to be AUDIENCE: Exactly I think so NOAM CHOMSKY: The only thing to do is to go beyond being worried about them to doing something about them Because it doesn’t have to happen AUDIENCE: Very good [APPLAUSE] And that’s part of what I’d like to ask about NOAM CHOMSKY: Yeah AUDIENCE: I’d like to ask you to turn your attention, in the light of your comments tonight, to Latin America, and specifically to the country of Colombia and what’s going on there and the purported rationale for the ratcheting up of US military support– the purported rationale being the supposed war against drugs– and a neighboring country to Colombia, which is the nation of Peru And I have a particular reason for wanting to ask you about Peru, which is that there is an American woman who was a student here at MIT whose name is Lori Berenson, who’s been in prison in Peru for over three years now without a trial And perhaps in your comments about Colombia and Peru, you might also have something to say about her situation NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, there’s really two questions One is about Lori Berenson, who was a student here a couple of years ago and is now in a prison in Peru without trial And that’s something we really could do something about I mean, pressure by the US government– meaning pressure from the population on the US government on Peru– would deal with that case No question about that So that’s a simple choice You can do things about it or not The choice is open The more general question about the whole Andean region– Colombia, Peru, Bolivia– has to do with several things Colombia, which the point is that the US is now increasing its military aid to Colombia Actually, Colombia has been one of the leading recipients of US military aid, right through the ’90s, going up under Clinton It’s also the most violent country in the hemisphere There are State Department reports that would suggest that about 10 people a day are victims of political violence, has well over a million internal refugees Most of the violence is attributed to paramilitaries, including by the State Department Paramilitaries are essentially a front for the military and the landowners Other atrocities of the military directly There are also guerrilla atrocities But the large majority are government and paramilitary They’re all connected in complicated and not so complicated ways to land ownership, resource control, now, in the last years, narco trafficking and so on And the US is fighting what it calls a “drug war,” including, incidentally, biological warfare So new fungicides are being introduced Nobody knows what effect they’ll have They’re supposed to kill coca But if something else happens, not our business Crop spraying, just government and paramilitary violence Everyone knows that the paramilitaries and the military are tied up with the drug traffic Just a couple of months ago, a Colombian Air Force plane was picked up, one of the Air Force commanders full of drugs This is happening all through the region, incidentally The presidential jet of the president of Nicaragua was recently the subject of a major scandal in Nicaragua, kept out of the press here because he’s our boy And it was found that the jet was being used for drug transport from Miami to wherever, going through Nicaragua, which has become a major drug transit area ever since the US took it over in 1990 But Colombia is a much bigger one The whole drug war– you can’t really talk about the tactics, in my opinion, because the whole thing is conceived in a way which– it has a kind of irrationality from the point of view of those who are executing the war But it has no rationality from a human point of view So from a human point of view, the drug problem is in the United States In fact, the US is maybe the major producer or one of the major producers of the drug– the substances, it’s called– that’s most rapidly increasing, namely synthetics They’re made right here Even the drugs that are produced in the Andes are produced with US chemicals The money mostly goes through US banks The “drug problem,” as it’s called, is largely a manufactured problem And so if you want to figure out what it’s like,

take, say, marijuana There has never been any medical evidence presented that– it’s probably not good for you, just like meat isn’t good for you or coffee or something [LAUGHTER] I’m sure it’s not good for you But the evidence about it is extremely slim Certainly no medical evidence was presented to justify its being criminalized And in fact, the American Medical Association never favored it The criminalization was a different thing It has an interesting history Forgetting the criminalization, the peak use of marijuana, as I’m remembering figures– so they may not be exactly right, but something like this– was around 1980 And the criminalization level was very low The reason was quite straightforward It was people like you, you know And they don’t get sent to jail, or their parents make a fuss and do things about it and so on So those guys don’t go to jail Through the 1980s, two things were happening Use of substances over a very broad range was declining among educated people And that’s very broad– marijuana, hard drugs, coffee, tobacco, red meat, big spectrum of stuff [LAUGHTER] It was declining I mean, all sorts of changes in lifestyle But it was remaining steady or maybe even increasing among poor people The United States is almost alone in the industrial world in that, though it has statistics on everything, it does not have statistics on class That’s an ideological decision So you can’t get figures on a class out of the Census Bureau You have to reconstruct them in some fashion, unlike other countries But there is a close class/race correlation And among the poor and hence, heavily among minorities, there was an either steady or increasing use of the substances Well, you take a look at the trend lines and ask yourself when the drug war was called And it was approximately when they crossed So you could predict victory in the drug war among educated people because the trend lines were already going down So they’ll continue going down And you could also predict what was pointed out by Senator Moynihan– not my favorite character, but he does happen to be one of the few senators who paid attention to social statistics and a social scientist And he pointed out that we are determining to declare a rise in crime or something like that among minorities We’re determining to declare a crime wave among minorities That’s exactly what we’re doing by declaring the drug war And it was done And I think it was done for reasons of social policy This is a superfluous population They are the counterpart of the Colombian disposable people And you want to crime war among them for two reasons For one thing, because you get rid of them– toss them into jail And for another thing, because you can frighten everybody else, and that’s important Crime in general, in the United States, it’s kind of a political construct Crime in the United States is not very different from other industrial countries, with the single exception of killings with guns, which is a special thing about the gun laws and the gun culture But apart from that, it’s kind of at the high end of other industrial societies Fear of crime, on the other hand, is way beyond other societies And it’s manufactured It’s manufactured by politicians It’s one of the very few countries in which politicians stand up and debate about who’s going to be tougher on crime Elsewhere, crime is considered a problem It’s like cancer or something You try to deal with it But you don’t decide who’s going to be tougher on it In the United States, you argue about who’s going to be tougher on it Back around 1980, the United States was pretty much like other industrial societies, again, sort of at high end in incarceration rates Since then, it’s gone way up By the end of the Reagan years, it was like 5 to 10 times as high, still going up, mostly a reflection of the war on drugs, of mostly victimless crimes– possession of some sort or another– which is given extraordinary sentences That’s one of the human rights violations for which the United States is regularly condemned by the human rights organizations– the outrageous sentencing for victimless crimes, which is just targeting poor and the disposable people, and frightening the rest So, instrument of social control You go over to the Andes, the places where coke is being produced– well, there you find another story So Colombia, for example, was once a wheat exporter Now, why isn’t it a wheat exporter anymore? Well, the US flooded it with subsidized US agro exports

It was called Food for Peace back in the ’50s And it undermined the Colombian wheat industry They’re not exporting anymore Same thing happened elsewhere Colombia is a coffee exporter But coffee is not very good for small peasants, for a very simple reason The US refused to permit arrangements among the producers to keep prices stable Now if prices fluctuate all over the place, it doesn’t hurt agribusiness I mean, they own enough other things and so on, so they can make out if coffee prices go down If you’re a small peasant, you can’t do that You’ve got to feed your kids tomorrow Price goes down too low, you’re dead So that drove people out of coffee production, out of wheat production, out of other production Well, where’d they go? Well, you know, they were being taught a lesson It’s called structural adjustment All throughout neoliberalism, all throughout this region, the lesson is, stop producing things for local consumption, like, say, food We can do that cheaper with subsidized agro-business You be a rational peasant Produce for agro export And produce what’s going to make the most money in agro export That’s a rational peasant that’s following the rules Well, they did You’re a rational peasant You produce coca Grows well, makes a ton of money, and so on So one part of US policy is trying to drive the population towards producing drugs And the other part of US policy is to murder them if they do it That’s the support for the military and the counterinsurgency and so on And those two policies are going on side by side And they don’t have anything to do with drugs in the United States I mean, do that stuff as much as you want, the drug price remains stable, the quantity of drugs remains stable, and so on This is an internal US problem having to do with serious social problems inside US society And furthermore, it is well-known and agreed by criminologists and other specialists across the board that the best way to deal with serious drug problems is education But you don’t spend money on that, because that has no use for social control or for eliminating disposable people So I don’t think talking about the tactics of the drug war makes a lot of sense The whole thing is constructed in a way which is totally insane, except for rich people, like New York banks, where most of the money flows through Incidentally, what’s happening to the money? It’s an interesting question Of course, it’s illegal So nobody tracks it Actually, you could track it, especially with computers and so on The Federal Reserve System, which is well-regulated, requires notification of large deposits Last time I looked, it was over $10,000 So if a lot of money is suddenly coming in, they could tell right away And in fact, there was an effort by federal prosecutors back in the early ’80s to carry out some entrapment exercise against banks in southern Florida, which were suddenly piling up a huge amount of money for reasons that nobody doubted It was called off, however It was called Operation Greenback It was called off by the Reagan administration’s drug czar, George Bush [LAUGHTER] That was called off So the money’s supposed to come into US banks Where does it go? Well, take a look sometime– this is a guess Nobody’s ever studied it But the US Department of Commerce does publish regularly– I think quarterly– tons of details about everything you can imagine And one of them is foreign direct investment– FDI Take a look at the record I haven’t done this for a year or two, but I was doing it for a couple of years in mid ’90s You take a look at the FDI for Latin America, for the hemisphere Canada’s a separate category It’s like Europe But take the rest of the hemisphere minus Canada, look at foreign direct investment It turns out that regularly, about 25% of it was going to Bermuda About 15% was going to the British Islands About 10% to Panama So that’s roughly 50% of what’s called foreign direct investment And this is the period of the emerging markets Everybody’s excited about the emerging markets So about half of it was going to these places Well, what was it for? Certainly, it wasn’t building steel mills and automobile plants There aren’t many of them in Bermuda There is a kind of benign interpretation It’s just a way of ripping off the public by evading taxes So that just harms poor people There’s a less benign interpretation, which is possible and might be discovered if anybody bothered to look at it But I haven’t been able find one technical paper

in the whole literature that even looks at the topic Some of you may know, if there are some economists in the audience But I can’t find one And no friends can find one And it’s not a minor phenomenon It’s 50% of US FDI and the big emerging markets– big numbers Well, make your own guesses Anyhow, the whole system is so corrupt and rotten from the bottom, that to talk about tactical changes is just beside the point The current policies, exactly as you say, are to increase the military and biological warfare component of these policies abroad and to continue the criminalization of the disposable people it home Those are the current policies Lori Berenson is a very unfortunate victim of this I should say, the violence in Colombia– you want to take a look at it– it goes back very deep It goes back to a socioeconomic system in which a tiny sector of the population has most of the wealth in a pretty wealthy country, and has extraordinarily high poverty rates, starvation, and so on That’s where the violence is coming from Yeah AUDIENCE: Professor, you’ve taken us back to Indonesia’s history I find that very interesting Issues in Indonesia [? are ?] [? the ?] general [? election, ?] the future of East Timor and the disintegration, as you mentioned earlier Can you elaborate on that, sir? And also, a couple of weeks ago, the IMF apologized to Indonesia [? on ?] [? their ?] [? mistakes ?] [? and ?] [? the ?] approach of getting Indonesia of the current crisis Can you also comment [? on that? ?] NOAM CHOMSKY: I think it was the World Bank AUDIENCE: The World Bank, yeah NOAM CHOMSKY: Yeah The World Bank published a report saying they had made all sorts of mistakes They were overenthusiastic in their commitment to all these wonderful things that were happening in Indonesia And being a little overenthusiastic, they kind of played down the corruption and so on And that’s not quite the story, but yeah, kind of interesting The fact is that the World Bank and the IMF were praising Indonesia to the skies, along with Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, for their solid economic fundamentals and the way they’d been following all the rules and all the magnificent things they’ve been doing And to their dismay, the major publications appeared exactly as the whole system was crashing It’s not the first time that’s happened, incidentally But it was a pretty dramatic case So they’ve been kind of running backwards ever since And yes, they did say they’ve made a lot of mistakes That’s mild They knew what was going on and decided they liked it Because rich people in Indonesia were profiting and rich people abroad were profiting So what’s the fuss? No crisis Now there’s a crisis So they’re, yeah, looking back, and so on And they want to sort of reconstruct the situation And they don’t know how, because it may be that Indonesia will simply come apart There’s two issues that you raised One is the possible disintegration of Indonesia The other is the specific case of East Timor The East Timor case is difficult to figure out I mean, Indonesia– let’s take that one Indonesia has agreed to grant what they call “autonomy” within the Indonesian federation or something Beyond that, there’s a policy split, which may reflect two different tracks of Indonesian policy, or it may be two sides of the same cynical policy Nobody knows In fact, I suspect the people making the policy probably don’t know They’re waiting to see how things turn out One policy track would lead towards independence The other policy track leads towards increasing violence So while Indonesia is talking about, OK, you guys can be independent if you want, it’s also at the same time organizing paramilitaries, arming them They’re carrying out violence In fact, they’re killing people, driving people out by the thousands And the place is exploding The same– going back to the question– is happening in Colombia It’s not an unusual pattern– a move towards peace negotiations and at the same time unleashing the paramilitaries with the military right in the background to tear the place apart If there’s going to be negotiations of some kind, you want to make sure that your thugs have it under control Those two paths quite commonly go side by side You find it elsewhere, too In this case, I think it’s hard to say I mean, it could be two sides of the same policy

It could be conflicting policies It could be just uncertainty that they don’t know what’s going to happen I don’t think there’s much point speculating about this, frankly As I said, I doubt that the Indonesian generals know They’re waiting to see what happens What is significant here, as always, is that what we do about it can make a difference– a big difference So one of the factors and undoubtedly a major, if not decisive, factor will be how the United States responds to all of this And that’s the one factor we can do something about So there’s no point speculating about the others We should ask, what we do about these? As for Indonesia breaking up, it could happen There’s a strong independence movement in Aceh The, what they call Irian Jaya, West Papua, was given to Indonesia over the objections of its population That has an independence movement There’s an independence movement in the Malaccas It could go all sorts of ways Don’t forget, that whole thing, like most of the world, that was just patched together by European imperialism They put it the other for their reasons, not for the reasons of the countries So if you sort of randomly broke up the United States and put them under different flags and so on and so forth, yeah, you’d have plenty of violence after a while Because these breakdowns don’t have anything to do with what’s happening on the ground Like for the Middle East, probably the only semi-rational structure that’s been around in the last couple of thousand years was the Ottoman Empire, which allowed local autonomy, to a large extent, within a rather loose and corrupt imperial framework OK People were freer under the Ottoman Empire than they’ve been since They could go from one place to another, for example But they had national treatment, like General Electric wants And that’s probably right for most of the world Actually, it’s probably right for Europe, too I mean, the borders in Europe are simply the result of hundreds of years of mutual massacre and the most violent and barbaric corner of the world, which is exactly what Europe was For hundreds of years, the highest goal of Europeans was to slaughter one another And the only reason that came to an end in 1945 is because they all understood that they had reached a level of violence such that the next time they tried, that’s the end for everybody That’s why you have political scientists writing books on how there aren’t wars among democratic societies and so on Yeah, they’re smart enough to know that they try once more what they’ve been doing for the last 500 years, and everybody’s dead So right now they’re not fighting wars But the borders that are left from these wars are pretty irrational And in fact, along with European unification, you’re also finding devolution, so pressures towards regional autonomy, which probably makes a lot of sense because the borders didn’t make any sense And see, it’s different in the United States I mean, here it was easy You just wipe out the indigenous population and then settle it with a fairly homogeneous population OK, don’t have big problems But Europe didn’t develop that way, and nor did the rest of the world It was all imposed on them by competing imperialisms The Dutch East Indies are what the Dutch were able to hold onto And what form it takes, I don’t think anybody can [? prescribe. ?] That’s for them to work out somehow, and not easy AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] free trade has widened the gap between North and South? NOAM CHOMSKY: I haven’t said that I don’t think there is much free trade In fact, a standard figure among international economists is that maybe 15% of world trade could be called “free” in some sense AUDIENCE: But net gains from free trade are being appropriated by– NOAM CHOMSKY: Trade, not free trade AUDIENCE: Yeah From trade are being appropriated by the North [? Do you ?] [? think that ?] could be counterbalanced by [? freer ?] movement of labor? NOAM CHOMSKY: Oh, yeah In fact, if anybody believed– I mean everybody is supposed to admire Adam Smith But you’re not supposed to read him That’s very crucial [LAUGHTER] If you read Adam Smith, one bad thing that you discover is that his argument for the market was based on the assumption that under conditions of liberty a market will lead to equality, which is obviously a desideratum So therefore, he argued, markets are good If it doesn’t lead to equality, out You’ll also found out he was against division of labor and all sorts of other things you’re not supposed to know But one thing you’re not supposed to know is that free trade is based on what he called “free circulation of labor.” OK Well, he wasn’t thinking so much about crossing borders

in those days, because nobody was even thinking of capital crossing border much in those days But the principle is there So surely you don’t have anything like free trade unless you have free circulation of labor around the world Otherwise, you just don’t have labor markets I mean, we’re not supposed to think about that, along with a lot of other things But yeah, that’s true Should you have free circulation of labor? Well, that raises all kind of questions– questions about how people want to preserve their own communities, let’s say But then of course, those very same questions show up with movement of capital It’s just that you’re not allowed to raise them in the case of movement of capital OK So they’re hard questions I don’t think they have trivial answers But you can’t seriously talk about free trade, unless you have free movement of people That’s one of the many reasons why the talk about free trade is mostly a fraud It’s an ideological weapon It’s not a descriptive fact And there are many reasons, not just that one Yeah AUDIENCE: Yeah, I just wondered what’s, in your view, the reason for the West and US involvement in Kosovo? NOAM CHOMSKY: Kosovo is what’s called a “crisis,” unlike, say, Angola [LAUGHTER] And it’s bad It’s not a joke Like, there have been a lot of atrocities in Kosovo Current estimates are that about 2,000 people were killed It’s about a one night bombing by Jonas Savimbi The reason Kosovo’s a crisis and Angola, which is way worse, is not a crisis, is because Kosovo threatens the interests of rich and powerful people I mean, Europe is disturbed by conflicts that are essentially within it And they don’t want them to spread For one thing, there would be a big flow refugees And for another, if that whole region starts to fall apart, you could end up with wars between Greece and Turkey and maybe a world war Russia might get involved So it matters In Angola, it’s just a lot of those guys killing each other Who cares Besides, it’s not a nice one to talk about, since the main killer happens to be the person who was highly praised and lauded as a great freedom fighter in the United States back in the days of what was called “constructive engagement,” which was a nice name for supporting South African marauders who were tearing the place to shreds and killing over a million people Well, one part of it was our freedom fighter in Angola who is now still tearing the place apart, not that the opposition is so great, either That’s another story Anyhow, it’s a huge massacre that doesn’t harm Europeans, at least as long as the resources flow out And they are flowing out So then these forces, UNITA, is being supported by mostly diamond flow, which is monopolized by a couple of companies And they can trace– technically, there’s an embargo against diamonds from Angola And all the specialists in the field say that it’s not hard to identify the diamonds that come from there But what’s the name of that company? [SNAPS] AUDIENCE: De Beers NOAM CHOMSKY: De Beers, yeah [LAUGHTER] The De Beers company claims they can’t do it Only all the other experts can, but they can’t So there’s a free flow of diamonds out of there and all sorts of– Belgium, Israel, places like that And that’s supporting one side And the other side, they’ve got oil, which is going right to Western companies So who cares? And meanwhile, they’re killing each other or starving or whatever But not bothering rich people So it’s not a crisis AUDIENCE: I just had a [? quick– ?] we’ve talked about a lot of things here And a question was, how do you go about keeping track of these things and learning these things when you acknowledge that a lot of them aren’t in the press and definitely aren’t in our education? How would you suggest [? that us, ?] [? as ?] [? students– ?] NOAM CHOMSKY: Look, I mean, you can read the journals from Penang and Cairo the same way I do I mean, it takes a lot of work But it can be done And in fact, nowadays, for those of you who do use the internet– I don’t– it’s a lot easier But the real answer is nobody can do it alone unless they’re crazy [LAUGHTER] Because you have to be a fanatic On the other hand, if people do it in common, it’s not that hard I mean, you travel through Midwest churches in the 1980s– I mean, I’ve done it And you come to a church in Lawrence, Kansas, or someplace, they knew more about Central America than the CIA did Way more Because there was a lot of people, and they cared about it And there were people who went up and back,

and they circulated information, and they were in contact with others, and so on That way, you can find out about things And in fact, sometimes remarkably well I mentioned the Multilateral Agreement on Investments a few times If you don’t know that story, you ought to, because it’s an amazing story about how activist groups around the world, without any access to the press– because the press was keeping a lid on it for years– how much can an individual scientist do? Like, suppose you’re alone in Tahiti, and you decide to work on quantum physics How much are you going to achieve? If you are in a lab at MIT, where everybody else is interested too, and you can talk to each other and you interchange– and somebody read something, and somebody else comes in and gives a paper, and so on and so forth– yeah, you find out all of a sudden it’s magnified quite a lot It’s not different in this case That’s part of the reason for the enormous efforts that are made to separate people from one another I mean, that’s why there’s a barrage literally from infancy to separate people from one another And it’s conscious– quite self-conscious You read the literature of the public relations industry They explain it And it, in fact, goes way back If people get together, they’re dangerous You keep them isolated from one another, there isn’t a lot they can do Oh, you can be angry about things And that’s really the answer JANE GOULD: Clearly our turnout tonight suggests that these are issues of huge importance to this community, that your voice, Noam Chomsky, is one we want and need to hear We could go with questions forever But we mustn’t Thank you, Noam Thank you, audience [APPLAUSE]