Noam Chomsky: Democracy Is a Threat to Any Power System

To mark The Nation’s 150th anniversary, John Nichols was joined in conversation by the eminent radical intellectual Noam Chomsky at the Tucson Festival of Books in Arizona on March 15. Discussing issues ranging from media accountability and voter participation, to money in politics and income inequality, Chomsky offered insight into the greatest challenges of our time.

“The race towards disaster is being carried out with almost euphoric intensity,” said Chomsky. Chomsky maintains that meaningful change requires a democratic awakening. “Democracy is a threat to any power system,” he said.
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  • BIBLO BAGGINS

    Democracy was first established using Draconian Law in Greece 500BC. If you believe it is a threat to any power system, your are mistaken and ill informed.

  • c4p0ne

    Heartwarming short story about Noam's experience in Sweden @ around 11:45. Fantastic.

  • Denny Hanley

    Skip to 3:50
    As usual Noam is a genius. This is my second viewing of this one. You can't listen enough when Noam talks.

  • David Tokio

    Brilliant interview !! and im only 30 minutes in so far..

  • Vladimir Tepes

    "The Jewish doctrine of Marxism rejects the aristocratic principle of Nature and replaces the eternal privilege of power and strength by the mass of numbers and their dead weight."–Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

  • dyn01234567

    When he says the rulers incur the debt so why should the people pay: Could you not argue that the people elected the rulers, so through them they did incur the debt?
    I'm not saying I agree with this argument necessarily, but I wonder what he (or anyone) might think of that argument.

  • Glenn McEnroe

    Noam I think it is time for you to move to Venezuela. If you want to know the truth about climate change look for videos by Freeman Dyson, Noam you didn't do anything wrong in not getting involved in "global warming"

  • Jean Falco

    This guy is a mountain of knowledge and we are lucky to have him as a source to become educated!

  • Arturs Lusis

    In Latvia, just recently they've managed to successfuly demolish the state health care system, that is, basically people can't receive quility medical care from state medical institutions due to overexceeded quotas, depleted hospital and GP budgets, people not being able to pay for services leaving them in dept tothe hospitals, and hospitals being in dept to various service providers. The state of social welfare is laughable – the system is exploited by those who needn't any state social support, those that need it are questioned for their needing it and denied support, all due to corruption on all levels of the service. The latest turn of events is that people who seek personally financed medical care, won't be able to receive "state funded" medical assistance, and I put state funded in quotation marks to emphasise that the system though described as such doesn't function as a state funded system since, in my opinion, if whether people can receive state medical care is decided by their capacity to wait in months-worth of queues and meeting co-payments, then the system is too deeply flawed to be called state funded. People literally die in queue for diagnostic tests, vital procedures and operations. Prices of medicines are consistantly increased year after year, the percentage of state subsidy for various medicines is manipulated in ways so that the private consumer should cover most of the costs (there are exceptions, of course, such as epilepsy, cancer, medicine for pregnancy related issues, etc.), and all changes apply without prior notice. So, prices increase, susidies – decrease. When it comes to diagnostic tests and further state medical care – this year they divised this new model, or a payment strategy, so that people wouldn't abuse GP practises, at least that's the way the government posed it. If there's is need to have some diagnostics test then the patients should go to the GP, get a referal to a specialist in the field relevant to tests in question, and only then they would be able to get the test in the first place, that is, the GP decides what needs to be done without testing – how can that work? And if they get their diagnostic tests, e.g. blood sample analysis, etc., covering the costs themselves, further on all medical services should be covered by the patient, meaning, they couldn't go to their GP with the relevant matter. And this is the tip of the iceberg, a small patch of undying weeds at the front of a field with no end. Extremely low minimal salaries, expansive, watered-down higher education which is inavitably required everywhere by employers, without any reasonable motivation, most often with hardly any relevancy to the occupation (bachelor's or master's degrees for selling souvenirs, or shoes, but not for working in the government and related offices?). Most retired people are compelled to counting dimes and living below the subsistence level, in alarmingly many cases, even below the existential minimum, only to pay their bills, if so lucky. The assignment of goods and prosperity seems to depend alot on luck these days in Latvia, or a hairy hand, as they say. Further on, salaries of governmental and parliamentary officials wouldn't seem that unjust if the rest of the country earned a decent amount more, yet they somehow won't find a way how to deliver new policies, such as higher taxes for the wealthy, lower for the less earning majority of the nation, i.e. the progressive tax; nor they intend on increasing the nontaxable gross income. And it is most outrageous how much the board members of partially government owned companies are paid – sometimes hundreds of times more than an avarge citizen earns in a year. Anywho, vented a little bit, hoping this might seem and interesting insight into how things are in one of the "economical recovery success stories after the global financial crisis" (they even did a book about it, in English and all that). 🙂 I appologize if this is a bit too long.

  • Michael Froelich

    Democracy is giving us Donald Trump so what does he have to say about democracy now LOL ?

  • Trish Thompson

    Independent minds get marginalized. That's how they remain in power.

  • PoliticallyCorrect111

    Public debate: Chomsky v. Zizek. Go.

  • marte thompson

    we are so unused to common sense…

  • Indio Side

    That is why Trump is taking a battle axe to Democracy.

  • the Truth about teaching English in China

    great!

  • LuckyLucy

    Barack and Hillary had Saul allinsky as a communist mentor and advisor when they were in law school at Harvard and Yale. That explains a lot.