Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Noam Chomsky : US Ads Hurt US Democracy

The State University of New York at Binghamton hosted noted linguist and political thinker Noam Chomsky, who believes that Latin American nations like Bolivia are becoming more democratic than the United States.
Chomsky ... spoke about the recent presidential elections in Bolivia, in which Evo Morales, who firmly supports the increase of coca production, was democratically elected. “There’s no reason why the United States cannot be as democratic as the poorest country in South America,” Chomsky said.
So why are things the way they are?
He ... described the role of advertising in turning the American voter into an “irrational consumer making uninformed choices.” “Candidates are treated as commodities,“ he said. “They are packaged and marketed like toothpaste.”
And we buy them. One more thought, especially for IN THE DARK readers who are also students.
During the question and answer section, Chomsky was asked what undergraduate students could do to make a difference in society. In response, Chomsky again cited the Bolivian elections. “The Bolivian peasants don’t ask, ‘What can I do?’ They go ahead and do it.”

2 comments:

Lisa Angelo said...

I went to see Noam Chomsky speak at Harvard University last year, where he talked about the importance of involving yourself in local government and community.

The kicker was that as I boarded the MBTA Red Line back home, who steps on and sits down next to me but Noam! All alone, riding public transportation. We ended up having a nice conversation about why the subway does not extend into the suburbs, and how that relates to local government.

That guy knows his you-know-what.

Dr. Fallon said...

Thanks, Lisa.

Yeah, he is the real deal, which is to say just a regular guy who cares about democracy (his view of the highest form of democracy, though, is anarchic syndicalism) and does not speak for the money or to see himself on TV (which he rarely is).

--PKF