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Q: What moves a citizen from being a passive onlooker, a spectator, to becoming engaged? Chomsky: Tak…

Q: What moves a citizen from being a passive onlooker, a spectator, to becoming engaged? Chomsky: Take something recent in our history, the women’s movement. If you had asked my grandmother if she was oppressed, she wouldn’t have understood what you were talking about. If you had asked my mother, she knew she was oppressed and she was resentful, but couldn’t openly question it. She wouldn’t allow my father and me to go into the kitchen because that wasn’t our job; we were supposed to be doing important things like studying, while she did all the work. Now ask my daughters if they’re oppressed; there’s no discussion. They’ll just kick you out of the house. That’s a significant change that’s taken place recently, a dramatic change in consciousness and in social practice. Walk down the halls of MIT today. Forty years ago you would have seen only well-dressed white males who were respectful to their elders, and so on. You walk down the halls today, half the people you see are women, a third are minorities, people are casually dressed. Those are not insignificant changes. And they have occurred throughout the society.

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