There’s a story – possibly apocryphal – that in the 1980s Polish dissidents assumed there were two guys called Noam Chomsky – one a linguist and the other a political activist. Why did they assume this? Because no single human being could possibly be that productive/thorough in two different fields.
Well, thirty years later, he is STILL the sharpest guy in the room/city/country/planet, imho. His book of essay “Making the Future” is a Must Read.
And this interview, published on Alternet is also brilliant.
Is it possible that we might see a revival of the global justice movement of the 1980s to launch large-scale movements against these practices and policies?
There is a global justice movement, and it does important work. But it doesn’t conform to the prevailing doctrinal system of the powerful, so it doesn’t make it into the public view. There was an interesting report published recently by the Open Society Institute, “Globalizing Torture.” There were some very interesting aspects to that. It wasn’t commented on much, but Latin American analyst Greg Grandin at New York University wrote a comment on it that was very important. He said that if you look at the map of countries that participated in the US torture practices – which remember, is a violation of Magna Carta – most of the world participated. Most of Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. But there was one striking omission: Latin America. There wasn’t a single Latin American country that participated. Which is striking because Latin America used to be under the thumb of the United States. They did what we wanted or else we would overthrow their governments. Furthermore, during that whole period, Latin America was one of the world centers of torture. But now they’ve liberated themselves enough, so they’re the one area of the world that didn’t participate. That helps explain the passionate hatred of Chavez and Morales and others who have taken Latin America out of the US’s reach. Those are very important changes. It shows that things can be done.