Pedagogy of the Oppressed, a discussion with Chomsky

Pedagogy of the Oppressed: Noam Chomsky, Howard Gardner, and Bruno della Chiesa (Askwith Forum – Harvard Graduate School of Education).

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Noam Chomsky & Tariq Ali on the Julian Assange Show

Not a particularly enlightening conversation, but interesting nevertheless for the people involved. Syria, with over 10,000 people dead, does not feature at all in this conversation supposedly about activism in the Middle East. But it’s RT, so I suppose that’s to be expected.

A surprise Arab drive for freedom, the West’s structural crisis and new hope coming from Latin America. That’s the modern world in the eyes of Noam Chomsky and Tariq Ali, two prominent thinkers and this week’s guests on Julian Assange’s show on RT.

‘Revolutionary Pacifism’: Noam Chomsky’s 2011 Sydney Peace Prize Address

Noam Chomsky riffs off A. J. Muste’s concept of ‘revolutionary pacifism’ to deliver the 2011 Sydney Peace Prize Lecture at Sydney Town Hall on Wednesday 2nd November. The transcript follows the audio.

Revolutionary Pacifism: Choices and Prospects

As we all know, the United Nations was founded “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.” The words can only elicit deep regret when we consider how we have acted to fulfill that aspiration, though there have been a few significant successes, notably in Europe.

For centuries, Europe had been the most violent place on earth, with murderous and destructive internal conflicts and the forging of a culture of war that enabled Europe to conquer most of the world, shocking the victims, who were hardly pacifists, but were “appalled by the all-destructive fury of European warfare,” in the words of British military historian Geoffrey Parker. And enabled Europe to impose on its conquests what Adam Smith called “the savage injustice of the Europeans,” England in the lead, as he did not fail to emphasize. The global conquest took a particularly horrifying form in what is sometimes called “the Anglosphere,” England and its offshoots, settler-colonial societies in which the indigenous societies were devastated and their people dispersed or exterminated. But since 1945 Europe has become internally the most peaceful and in many ways most humane region of the earth – which is the source of some its current travail, an important topic that I will have to put aside.

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United States: John Pilger film and visit banned

In early June, ZCommunications received the following open letter from independent filmmaker and journalist John Pilger to Noam Chomsky and the general public. Pilger was to speak on 15 June at the Lannan Foundation in Santa Fe. See Patrick Lannan’s subsequent explanation for the cancellation here.

* * *

Dear Noam…

I am writing to you and a number of other friends mostly in the US to alert you to the extraordinary banning of my film on war and media, ‘The War You Don’t See’, and the abrupt cancellation of a major event at the Lannan Foundation in Santa Fe in which David Barsamian and I were to discuss free speech, US foreign policy and censorship in the media.

Lannan invited me and David over a year ago and welcomed my proposal that they also host the US premiere of ‘The War You Don’t See’, in which US and British broadcasters describe the often hidden part played by the media in the promotion of war, in Iraq and Afghanistan. The film has been widely acclaimed in the UK and Australia; the trailer and reviews are on my website

The banning and cancellation, which have shocked David and me, are on the personal orders of Patrick Lannan, whose wealth funds the Lannan Foundation as a liberal centre of discussion of politics and the arts. Some of you will have been there and will know the Lannan Foundation as a valuable supporter of liberal causes. Indeed, I was invited in 2002 to present a Lannan award to the broadcaster Amy Goodman.

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Chomsky on Empire and Ideology

Hostility and Hospitality in Contemporary World Politics

This is Chomsky at his best, highlighting the exceptionalism that characterizes US political discourse, and the ideological memes that have accompanied US imperialism with few modulations over the years. The follow-up speaker Stephen Pfohl is also very good. (thanks Doug)

The Torture Memos

guantanmoNoam Chomsky examines the recently released torture memos and puts them in a historical context.

“Bush, of course, went beyond his predecessors in authorizing prima facie violations of international law, and several of his extremist innovations were struck down by the Courts. While Obama, like Bush, eloquently affirms our unwavering commitment to international law, he seems intent on substantially reinstating the extremist Bush measures.”

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Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies

Necessary Illusions is a Noam Chomsky Massey Lecture from 1988, the same year as his groundbreaking text Manufacturing Consent was first published.

The lecture examines “the ways in which thought and understanding are shaped in the interest of domestic privilege” and a year later was developed into a book of the same name.

For more on this topic I’d recommend the two texts already mentioned along with with Chomsky’s Media Control and, for a UK perspective, A Century of Spin by David Miller and William Dinan.
necessary illusions

Necessary Illusions (53:58): MP3

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