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Kontext Interview


War in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Collapse of the Climate Talks: Where is the Change Obama Promised?

 

David Goessmann: Welcome to “Kontext.”

 

Fabian Scheidler: Today we are broadcasting from the University of Mainz (Germany) and are very pleased to welcome Noam Chomsky as our guest.

 

David Goessmann: Noam Chomsky has been awarded the Erich-Fromm-Prize for his political engagement in Stuttgart (Germany). Chomsky is one of the most prestigious linguists and political authors worldwide and has written more than a hundred books in which he first and foremost criticizes U.S foreign policy.

 

Fabian Scheidler: Mr. Chomsky, we welcome you to Kontext-TV. It’s great to have you with us.

 

Noam Chomsky: Thank you.

 

Fabian Scheidler: President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 – while at the same time escalating the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Some days after his Nobel Prize speech in Stockholm he went to Copenhagen and had nothing to offer to the climate talks as a reduction of four per cent of greenhouse gas emissions until 2020while scientists say 40 percent are needed. Many analysts say that this was the collapse of the climate talks. There were many hopes before Obama was elected, when he was elected. Hopes for change. Where is this „change“ that was promised. And why is he falling short of the expectations?

 

Noam Chomsky: It’s not a comment about him. It’s a comment about the expectations. The expectations were based on nothing. I’m one of the few people who isn’t disillusioned because I had no expectations. I wrote about his record and prospects before the campaign, just looking at his website. And it was pretty clear that he’s going to be a normal centrist Democrat roughly Clinton-style. He never pretended to be anything else. I mean there was rhetoric about hope and change. But it was like a blank slate. You can write on it whatever you wanted. And he is kind of personable. People were desperate for some hope so they grabbed onto it. But there was no basis for any expectations.

 

I mean as you may know he won an award, the award from the advertising industry for the best marketing campaign of 2008. He beat out Apple Computer. And they knew what they were doing. It was a very successful marketing campaign. But like most marketing campaigns you don’t take it seriously. If you look at the actual substance there was never any reason for expectations. And what’s happened is I think pretty much in line with what could have been anticipated both in domestic and international affairs.

 

 

USA and Israel are Threatening Iran, Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zones in Africa and the Middle East Neglected by U.S. and Europe

 

David Goessmann: The Bush administration, the Obama administration and European countries have pressured Iran for some time and call for furthers sanctions due to Irans uranium enrichment program. They consider Iran as a major threat to stability. On the other hand India, Pakistan and Israel are not pressured although they already possess nuclear weapons and haven’t signed the Non Proliferation Treaty like Iran did. Could you comment on the foreign policy strategy of the United States and Europe concerning Iran?

 

Noam Chomsky: Iran is a threat because it doesn’t follow orders. As a military threat it’s almost non existent. Unlike the countries you mentioned – Israel, India, and Pakistan – Iran has not been engaged in any aggression for a couple of hundred years. Actually the only aggressive act that Iran has undertaken was in the 1970ies under the Shah with the backing of the United States when they took over two Arab islands.

 

Nobody wants Iran to have nuclear weapons or for that matter anybody. And it’s a rotten regime undoubtedly. But not by the standards of the countries that the U.S. supports. So by the standards of Saudi Arabia or Egypt you can hardly criticize Iran’s human rights record. It’s not doing what Israel is doing. Israel for example with U.S. support has invaded Lebanon five times in the last thirty years without any credible pretext. Iran hasn’t done anything like that.

 

They are a threat because they could be a deterrent. I mean they are an independent country, big country, rich country. If they follow an independent path it barrows what’s called stability, term you used. But stability has a technical meaning in international affairs. It means obedience to orders. In fact that usage is so extreme that the editor of “Foreign Affairs”, a major liberal intellectual political analyst actual said at one point that the United States had to destabilize Chile under Allende in order to maintain “stability”. And it wasn’t a contradiction. You had to overthrow the Allende regime, that’s destabilizing, in order to maintain “stability”, that means to follow U.S. orders. And it’s the same in the Gulf region. Iran doesn’t follow orders. So it’s threatening stability.

 

It’s interesting that the U.S. and Europe – you mentioned correctly, they are the ones who are calling for sanctions, worrying about the dangers and so on – they sometimes call themselves the international community or the world. But that’s a very odd definition of the world. I mean most of the world is the non-aligned countries, most of the countries, most of the population. And they vigorously and strenuously support Iran’s right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes. Repeatedly they said so but they are not part of the world. The American population up to a couple of years ago also strongly supported that right but they are also not part of the world either. The world is the people who follow Washington’s orders. That’s the way the term is used.

 

The United States and Israel are seriously threatening Iran. Iran is under serious threats. That’s no justification for the regime. As I said it’s a rotten regime but that’s independent. First of all two countries on Iran’s borders are occupied by the United States. That’s a pretty serious threat. Right now Israel has hundreds of nuclear weapons and delivery systems. In fact the delivery systems the most extreme ones were provided by Germany. Germany provided nuclear submarines to Israel which are basically undetectable and they are nuclear weapons capable, can carry missiles with nuclear weapons and Israel is in fact deploying them in the Gulf. Together with the Egyptian dictatorship they were able to go through the Suez canal and the U.S. of course supports that. And that’s a serious threat to Iran.

 

I don’t know if that gets reported in Germany but just a few weeks ago the United States, the Navy announced that they are building up their nuclear weapons base on Diego Garcia. Diego Garcia is an island in the Indian ocean that’s actually part of Africa. But the U.S. and Great Britain insist that it’s not part of Africa because Africa has a Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone. And the U.S. and Britain want to keep this island as a nuclear weapons base. And it’s used as one of the main bases for bombing in the Middle East and Central Asia. So it’s regularly used.

 

Just a couple of weeks ago the U.S. announced that it’s sending first of all submarine tender that’s to take care of nuclear submarines. Nuclear submarines means that they also been capable of carrying nuclear weapons to Diego Garcia. And just a couple of days ago they announced that the Obama administration is dispatching what is called “bunker busters”, huge bombs, the biggest bombs in the arsenal, thirteen ton bombs that can supposedly penetrated thousand of feet reinforced concrete. They are only for use against Iran. And it’s a severe threat, right now, but it doesn’t get reported in the United States. But it’s all public information. These are pretty severe threats.

 

In fact the one leading Israeli historian Martin Levi van Creveld, he is quite conservative, published an article right after the invasion of Iraq. He said, after this invasion if Iran isn’t developing nuclear weapons they are crazy. How else do you deterrent a U.S. invasion? As a member of the axis of evil, the U.S. invaded Iraq not North Korea. They have a deterrent. Anybody can see that. The chances of – again, nobody wants Iran to have nuclear weapons – but the chances of they actually using them if they had any are minuscule. You can read that from U.S. intelligence analysts. I mean if they even so much as armed a missile the country would probably be vaporised. And however awful the ruling clerics may be they haven’t shown any suicidal impulse. They don’t want to commit suicide and have the whole country destroyed including the treasures of Persian culture in Tehran, Isfahan, which would be the immediate effect of them doing anything. So U.S. intelligence specialists estimate the threat of Iran doing anything with weapons maybe one percent. To small to talk about it.

 

But Europe doesn’t like it and United States doesn’t like it because it might deter their actions. Germany is as I say directly participating in severe threats against Iran. Well, for us the West says: “We are perfect. Everything we do is fine.” But for the potential victims that’s not the way it looks.

 

Incidentally a couple of days after Obama got the Nobel Prize the Pentagon announced that they accelerating the development of these massive ordnance penetrators, the bunker busters. The program began with Bush but it kind of languished. As soon as Obama came in he accelerated the program. The development of it is just a threat against Iran. And right after the Nobel Prize they announced that it’s not going to be deployed I think three years in advance of what was expected. Now they are sending them to Diego Garcia from which the population was brutally expelled by the British. The U.S. wanted a naval base. You know, these things are happening.

 

The use of Diego Garcia also undermines the Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone. I mean if you are serious about reducing the threat of nuclear weapons then one of the main thing policy priorities ought to be is to set up Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zones. Well, there is one in Africa. But the U.S. is blocking it because they want to keep nuclear weapons on Diego Garcia. There is a South-Pacific Zone but the U.S. is blocking it. First the French blocked it because they wanted to carry out nuclear tests. But then they finished their tests. So that’s over. Now the U.S. is blocking it because it wants the Pacific islands to house nuclear submarines and nuclear weapons. So that’s out.

 

Actually the most important of them all isn’t discussed. I don’t know if it’s discussed here. That’s a Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone in the Middle East. If you pressed for that that would mitigate perhaps end whatever threat there may be of Iranian nuclear weapons and Israeli nuclear weapons which are a serious threat and also U.S. forces deployed there. It would mean that they couldn’t have nuclear weapons. Well, that would be pretty significant.

 

And though it’s rarely discussed the U.S. and Britain are deeply committed to that. They wouldn’t say but they are. The reason is very straight forward. When the U.S. and Britain invaded Iraq they tried to construct some legal pretext. And the pretext that they used was a Security Council Resolution 687 in 1991 that called on Iraq to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction. And the U.S. and Britain said: Well they hadn’t done it. Turned out to be false. But they said they hadn’t done it so we have a right to invade. Well, you take a look at the resolution somehow, take a look at article 14. It commits the signers to move to establish a Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone in the Middle East. So U.S. and Britain above all others are committed to this. And the American population overwhelmingly is in favor of it. Iran is in favor of it but we don’t know. But if there were just moves towards that it could significantly release the tensions. But the goal is not to release the tensions. The goal is to threaten a disobedient regime.

 

And Iran is not the only case. Let’s take Cuba. Why does the U.S. keep maintaining extensive economic warfare against Cuba? Well, we know the answer. It’s in the declassified record which has been released. You go back to the Kennedy years. They charged Cuba with what they call “successful defiance” of U.S. policies going back to the Monroe doctrine. No Russians, just not following orders. The American population for ever since polls were taken for three decades is strongly in favor of ending the embargo. The world is overwhelmingly in favor. You take a look at the votes at the U.N., the U.S., Israel and some Pacific islands object. But you have to punish Cuba. It’s not a threat to anyone. But you have to punish them for successful defiance. And that makes sense.

 

It’s one of the few principles of international affairs that really works, is what you might call the mafia doctrine. The godfather does not tolerate disobedience. It’s too dangerous. I mean if some small storekeeper somewhere doesn’t pay his protection money, maybe you don’t want the money but if he can get away with it somebody else would try. And pretty soon the system of domination and control will erode. So you have to punish them. Not just take the money but go in send your goons to beat him to a pulp. That’s the mafia doctrine. That’s one of the major principles of world affairs.

 

I mean if you look through the history of the Cold War the regular invasions and interventions were mostly on this basis including Vietnam, incidentally the big ones, Guatemala, Iran, others. In the case of Iran for example overthrowing the parliamentary regime 1953 and installing the Shah. You just take a look at the public commentary at the time. Say the New York Times. The New York Times editors were very much in favor of this. They said, this will be an object lesson to other countries that go bestir with fanatic nationalism and try to take control over their own resources. No, you can’t tolerate that. So okay, we overthrow a government and impose a tyrant. And we are not supposed to care about that. That’s kind of ancient history. Iranians care. And so it continues. This is case after case. This is one of the major operative principles of world affairs.

 

 

USA – China: Powershift toward Transnationals and Banks

 

Fabian Scheidler: In military terms, the US are still the only superpower and can act as you have described. But economically there was a major break-down in 2008 and they had to spend trillions to bail-out Wall Street and even without money from China …

 

Noam Chomsky: Well, people talk about money from China. But actually most of U.S. debt is held by Japan which illustrates that it’s not much of a weapon. Japan happens to hold much of the debt but they can’t do anything about it. And China can’t do much either. There is a lot of talk about the trade deficit with China. And it’s true, it’s big. On the other hand the German current account surplus is much greater than China’s, not in actual numbers but per capita. It’s far higher. Other countries talk about it. But it’s not a headline issue.

 

Furthermore the trade deficit with China is substantial but what’s less discussed is that the trade deficit with Japan, Taiwan and other surrounding countries has declined very sharply. And the reason is the way the regional production system is taking place. China is basically an assembly plant. The surrounding countries which are technologically much more advanced provide parts and components and high tech and so on and China uses cheap labor and land to assemble them and send them out to the United States mostly. In fact the U.S. producers do the same thing. They send parts and components to China, it gets assembled there and sell it back here. So yes, there is a trade deficit with China and a declining trade deficit with the others because they are pouring in the parts and components to China. In fact the U.S. is too. It’s by now part of a global system of production.

 

There is a lot of talk about a shift in power in the world. So will China replace the United States. That’s mostly ideological extremism. I mean, states are not the actors in world affairs. To some extend they are but not completely. The actors in world affairs are the people who run the states. Adam Smith pointed that out. It’s not a radical insight. And if you look at the people who own the world and set the policy, well there is a global shift in power then away from the global workforce. So the global workforce is getting a declining percentage of capital. And in China it’s extreme. It’s one of the worst cases. And there are interactions among the transnationals and financial institutions and states to the extend that they basically serve them. And that’s a real global shift in power. But not the one that’s in the headlines. You can read about it in the business press. Like you read the Financial Times. They describe it that way. But it’s not the scare stories.

 

 

Growing Independence of Latin American States, U.S. Re-Militarizes

 

Fabian Scheidler: And the increasing let’s say independence of some countries of Latin America from the U.S.. Is that a power shift in your view?

 

Noam Chomsky: That is very important. In the last roughly ten years Latin America for the first time since the European conquests has begun to move toward some kind of independence. They are moving towards integration what they had never done before. The countries were always dependent on European or more recently U.S. power. And they are also moving toward a kind of internal integration.

 

I mean the curse of Latin America, a rich area, it should be much better off than East Asia, but it’s been plagued by a social structure in which a tiny sector of wealth which is mostly Europeanized or European actually – so I mean like Germans in Haiti where the richest family happens to be German – but there is a Europeanized mostly white elite which controls, dominates the resources. And it’s just a sea of misery. And the wealthy take no responsibility for the countries.

 

Well, that’s beginning to be overcome, that kind of internal integration. And the U.S. didn’t like it. I mean, the U.S. has been kicked out of its military bases in Latin America. But it’s re-militarizing under Obama, too. Bush and now Obama established new military bases in Colombia which is the one country that’s still under U.S. domination. It’s very likely that the coup in Honduras where Obama broke from Latin America and even from Europe in supporting elections under the military coup – probably part of the background there is that the U.S. does have a major military base there, Palmerola Air Base, it has access to it, it’s not a U.S. base – and that was the base, primary base that was used for attacking Nicaragua. It’s not a small thing. And in fact Obama just got two new naval bases in Panama. They reactivated the Forth Fleet. There is a fleet that covers Latin American and Caribbean borders. It was dismantled 1950 because what’s the point. It was part of the Second World War. It was re-instituted in 2008. It’s now being developed. One of the bases in Colombia – you take a look at the Air Force budget which came out – they expecting it to be a base for surveillance of practically the whole hemisphere. And they are hoping that it can link up with a global surveillance system.

 

The U.S. now is far off the rest of the world. It’s spending more than the rest of the world combined on the military. But it’s also far more advanced, technologically more advanced and it has a global system of military control. It has maybe 800 military bases. And has a global surveillance system which is used for military purposes. And if you look at the plans that are being developed – they are pretty frightening. There are plans for space based weapons, for tying in offensive weapon systems to surveillance systems that are very precise. They can tell you if somebody is walking across the street in Turkey or something. And also the development of the drones that are being developed permit remote warfare with no soldiers, targeted assassinations and so on. But the new generations of drones that are in the planing and are public are planing to use nanotechnology to develop miniaturized drones which will be able to penetrate your living room and go after a particular person that is visiting. That kind of thing. All that’s being planed. It’s sort of kept secret in a sense just because the media won’t report it but it’s all public information. Latin America is quite significant in that respect.

 

Latin America got maybe the best example of democracy in the world, in Bolivia, where you have the poorest country in South America. The indigenous majority who were the most repressed people in the hemisphere they entered the political arena. They elected somebody of their own ranks. He is following policies that come from the public not the other way around. And the election was just a day in an ongoing struggle over serious issues, really serious issues: resource control, problems of justice and so on. That’s democracy. I don’t know any Western country that compares with Bolivia in democracy. And the U.S. doesn’t like it of course. So there is a secessionist movement from the old traditional Europeanized elite. Of course the U.S. is backing it. But interestingly the South American countries are backing Bolivia. They had a meeting which was so important that it wasn’t even reported in the United States. But there was violence, couple of peasants were killed in the area of traditional elite control. There was a meeting of what’s called UNASUR, it’s a newly formed Union of South American nations, and they strongly supported the Morales government and condemned the violence of the secessionist group. And Morales pointed out in response that this is the first time in hundreds of years that South America is acting without the control of the Western powers, usually the United States. That’s important. And the U.S. didn’t like it. That’s why the military programs are under way.

 

 

NATO Expansion in Violation of Pledges, Europe and Germany Should Advocate for Peaceful Solutions

 

David Goessmann: What role could a European Union and Germany play in international relations. Germany and the European Union are often considered more moderate when it comes to foreign affairs. What is your assessment when it comes to the role of the European Union and Germany?

 

Noam Chomsky: There is kind of like a tacit assumption in the way you put it which ought to be questioned. And that is if Europe plays a bigger role it has to be a more aggressive role. There is another way of looking at it. Europe can play a bigger role moving toward international peace. Let’s take Iran. Europe could play a more forceful role in blocking the threat of war with the three non-signers of the Non Proliferation Treaty India, Pakistan and Israel. They all got their nuclear weapons systems with U.S. support. Okay, one role Europe could play is pressing for them to sign the Non Proliferation Treaty, for moving toward a Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone.

 

Again it probably never got reported here. But last October when there was all the fuss about Iran not living up to its obligations the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) passed a resolution calling on Israel to join the Non Proliferation Treaty and open up its weapon systems to international supervision. Europe opposed it. Europe tried to block it. The U.S. of course tried to block it. It was passed anyway over the European objection. And of course Obama instantly informed Israel that it didn’t have to pay any attention to it. Same thing pretty much happened with India. There was a Security Council Resolution last I think September calling on all countries to sign the Non Proliferation Treaty and so on and so forth. The United States, Obama immediately informed India that it didn’t apply to them. Well, Europe could play a role in these things taking an independent stance towards trying to reduce the threat of a war of nuclear weapons and so on.

 

It’s quite interesting what’s happened to Europe. Let’s go back to the Cold War, say the Fall of the Berlin Wall, basically the end of the Cold War. If anybody believed the propaganda of the preceding fifty years they would have expected NATO to disband. I mean NATO was presented as a force to defend Europe from the “Russian Hordes”. Okay, no more “Russian Hordes”. So fine, let’s disband NATO. Exactly the opposite happened. NATO expanded in violations of pledges to Gorbatchov. The U.S. is quite careful never to put the pledges in writing. But Gorbatchov was naïve enough to believe what was told him by president Bush, by James Baker, by Helmut Kohl and others. They told him very clearly and explicitly that NATO is not going to expand one inch to the East. It’s not going to expand to East Germany, led alone to anywhere else. So it’s not in writing so they claim: “We never said it.” It was very clear and explicit. Gorbatchov was naïve. He thinks that if a statesman says something he means it. So, not smart. But immediately NATO the U.S. started to expand NATO to the East. Now it expanded much beyond. In fact the current mission of NATO explicitly is to control the global energy system, to control pipelines and sea-lanes that are involved in energy systems. That’s the role of NATO. In fact NATO has just become a U.S. run intervention force for the world. Europe does not have to accept this. In fact if you actually look back at the origins of NATO: Part of the reasons, substantial part of the reason was that Europe was not following an independent path. Maybe a Gaullist path of a Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals without the United States or even Willy Brandt’s “Ostpolitik” which the U.S. didn’t like because it’s moving toward a kind of European independence. I mean a big threat to the United States from right up the Second World War is that Europe might become independent. Europe is a force on a par with the United States. I mean it had to reconstruct from the war. But once it was reconstructed, it’s a bigger economy, more educated population, much better welfare status and so on. I mean, it could be an independent force. And NATO is in part designed to, by now almost completely designed to block that. One way in which Germany could play a bigger role in world affairs is to say: “Okay, we’re not going to be part of a U.S. run military intervention force.” That’s playing a role in world affairs, too.

 

I mean it’s commonly said that, Europe is criticized in the U.S. because it’s not violent enough. It’s not like the United States. Too peace loving. That is not a criticism. Especially if you look at the history of Europe. For centuries Europe was the most savage place in the world. Europe’s favorite activity was slaughtering each other. In the Thirty Years War maybe a third of the population in Germany was wiped out. That’s how Europe conquered the world, developed a culture of savagery so extreme that when Europe confronted the rest of the world nobody ever saw a war like that before. And so it conquered the world. It was a horrible place.

 

At 1945 it changed. Not ’cause the genes changed. Europeans finally got it in their heads that the next time they play their favorite game of slaughtering each other that will wipe out everything. Because the level of destruction had reached the point where you can’t play that game anymore. So yes, Europe became peaceful. If you look at the political science literature there’s long discussion about democracy makes you peaceful. I don’t think democracy had much to do with it. What made Europe peaceful is the understanding that you can’t do this anymore ’cause it’s just suicide. So yeah, Europe became peaceful and it could be a force that’s moving towards peace. As in every example that I mentioned, Europe could be moving toward pressuring for a Middle East Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone. It could be supporting the African Union effort, the Southern Pacific effort. There are plenty of things it could be doing which are active in world affairs but not aggressive in fact peaceful.

 

 

About Howard Zinn and the Importance of an "Adversarial Culture"

 

David Goessmann: Your friend, dissident and activist Howard Zinn who recently died wrote in his famous book “A People’s History of the United States”: “Yes, we have in this country, dominated by corporate wealth and military power and two antiquated political parties, what a fearful conservative characterized as a ‘permanent adversarial culture’ challenging the present, demanding a new future.” I guess not a lot of people here in Europe but probably also in the U.S. know much about this “permanent adversarial culture”, this world of dissidents and activists. How would you describe the importance of progressive social and political movements in the States especially today?

 

Noam Chomsky: I mean it’s very important. Take the Iraq war and compare it with the Vietnam war. In the Vietnam war for the first several years there were no constraints. There was no adversarial culture. I mean, I started giving talks about the Vietnam war in 1963. You talked to four people on a church or in somebody’s living room or something like that. In October 1965, it was pretty late in the war, there were a couple of hundred thousand American troops. South Vietnam was practically destroyed by then. We tried to have our first public meeting against the war in Boston. Boston is a liberal city. So an outdoor meeting on the Boston common. It’s the traditional place for … that’s Hyde Park, traditional place for public meetings. I was supposed to be a speaker. It was broken up by force by students in fact. The liberal Boston Globe denounced the demonstrators. The only reason we weren’t killed was ’cause there were a couple of hundred police around.

 

That was October 1965, three years after the war had started. By then there were the beginnings of the protests after many years. And the U.S. practically destroyed Vietnam. If you read the main military historians and Vietnam specialists, Bernard Fall was the most respected of them. He doubted by 1967, he doubted that Vietnam will survive under the assault of the greatest military machine ever unleashed against a country of this size. Well, finally there was enough protests, so that they could curtail what they were doing.

 

Take Iraq. It’s the first time that there’s been massive protest before the war was launched. And it certainly limited the war. They couldn’t do what the could do in Vietnam. There was no saturation bombing by B 52s. There are plenty of crimes. Pretty much destroyed the country, like the Mongol invasions. But it could have been a lot worse. And it wasn’t because there were some constraints. The same is true elsewhere. A lot of constraints against aggression and violence. Well, it’s because of an adversarial culture. And the same is true on other things.

 

I mean, the same in Europe. Europe has by comparative standards pretty decent welfare systems. That wasn’t given by some gift from above. It was given because there was an adversarial culture. There were popular movements that were strong enough so that they could demand it. So that is what an adversarial culture is.

 

Incidentally Howard Zinn who was an old friend incidentally, what he’s said in that statement is considered very radical and extreme. You read it in “Der Spiegel” or something. They tell you that he is an extremist maniac of some sort. He is practically quoting Adam Smith. I mean literally. Adam Smith as I mentioned this pointed out in “Wealth of Nations” that in England — he was concerned with powers in the hands of the merchants and manufacturers. They were the economic power in the day. And they made sure that their own interests are carefully insured no matter how grievous the effect on the public and however hideous it is for everybody else. He condemned what he called the “savage injustice” of the Europeans referring mainly to England in India. He is an old fashioned conservative. He had a moral conscious. And he was rational. He could see how policy was made. Now his position would be considered kind of extremist. That’s an indication of the decline of Western culture in the last couple of hundred years. Somebody who is regarded as a hero but never read just warshipped could see things that were very transparent, really truisms. But the counterpart to him today say Howard Zinn would be denounced here as anti-American, radical, extremist and so on. But that tells you something about Western culture. Adam Smith’s observation is correct. That’s pretty much how world affairs work. And an adversarial culture can combat it. And has over history. That’s how progress is made.

 

David Goeßmann: Thanks a lot for the interview, Mr. Chomsky.

 

Fabian Scheidler: Yeah, thanks a lot Noam Chomsky for being with us.

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