The worst global terrorism campaign under way right now is Obama’s global assassination campaign. The drone campaign. Notice that there’s a debate in the United States when he decides to murder Americans like al-Awlaki; is that legitimate or not?
What about the other people? The people that are being murdered are suspects.
Go back 800 years again to Magna Carta. We’re going to commemorate its 800th anniversary next year, probably morn its disappearance. The core concept developed in Magna Carta was what we call presumption of innocence. And what it stated is that a free man cannot be subjected to state punishment without due process, without trial by a jury of peers. Now, free man was a very limited concept in the 13th century. Of course it excluded women, it excluded people who weren’t free, and so on. It gradually expanded over the centuries. So it’s embedded in the constitution, also with limits, the 14th Amendment, other limits. But now it’s being contracted. The drone campaign eliminates presumption of innocence.
The way it works is, Obama and his advisers get together Tuesday morning and decide who they are going to kill that day. The concept ‘guilty’ means Obama decided to murder you. That’s a regression that goes back 800 years. That’s pretty serious.
And what’s more serious is it’s not discussed. The only thing that’s discussed is the killing of Americans. Are Americans a difference species? Who says you can kill other suspects? There is some talk about collateral damage; what about the people who are just standing around and get killed Well yeah, that’s bad, but what about the people you’re aiming at? They are suspects.
You haven’t shown proof of anything about them. Just somebody the government wants to kill.
@3 months ago with 160 notes
#noam chomsky #barack obama #drones #war #politics
"… the interest of the general population is to preserve human life; the interest of corporations is to make profits - those are fundamentally different interests…"
@1 year ago with 349 notes
#noam chomsky #economics #capitalism
Can Civilization Survive Capitalism? | Noam Chomsky
@1 year ago with 28 notes
#noam chomsky #capitalism #economics
The official doctrines suffer from a number of familiar “market inefficiencies,” among them the failure to take into account the effects on others in market transactions. The consequences of these “externalities” can be substantial. The current financial crisis is an illustration. It is partly traceable to the major banks and investment firms’ ignoring “systemic risk” – the possibility that the whole system would collapse – when they undertook risky transactions.
Environmental catastrophe is far more serious: The externality that is being ignored is the fate of the species. And there is nowhere to run, cap in hand, for a bailout.
In future, historians (if there are any) will look back on this curious spectacle taking shape in the early 21st century. For the first time in human history, humans are facing the significant prospect of severe calamity as a result of their actions – actions that are battering our prospects of decent survival.
Those historians will observe that the richest and most powerful country in history, which enjoys incomparable advantages, is leading the effort to intensify the likely disaster. Leading the effort to preserve conditions in which our immediate descendants might have a decent life are the so-called “primitive” societies: First Nations, tribal, indigenous, aboriginal.
The countries with large and influential indigenous populations are well in the lead in seeking to preserve the planet. The countries that have driven indigenous populations to extinction or extreme marginalization are racing toward destruction.
Thus Ecuador, with its large indigenous population, is seeking aid from the rich countries to allow it to keep its substantial oil reserves underground, where they should be.
Meanwhile the U.S. and Canada are seeking to burn fossil fuels, including the extremely dangerous Canadian tar sands, and to do so as quickly and fully as possible, while they hail the wonders of a century of (largely meaningless) energy independence without a side glance at what the world might look like after this extravagant commitment to self-destruction.
This observation generalizes: Throughout the world, indigenous societies are struggling to protect what they sometimes call “the rights of nature,” while the civilized and sophisticated scoff at this silliness.
This is all exactly the opposite of what rationality would predict. [++]
"Those of you who have been through college know that the educational system is very highly geared to rewarding conformity and obedience; if you don’t do that, you are a troublemaker. So, it is kind of a filtering device which ends up with people who really honestly (they aren’t lying) internalize the framework of belief and attitudes of the surrounding power system in the society. The elite institutions like, say, Harvard and Princeton and the small upscale colleges, for example, are very much geared to socialization. If you go through a place like Harvard, most of what goes on there is teaching manners; how to behave like a member of the upper classes, how to think the right thoughts, and so on."
@1 year ago with 1163 notes
#noam chomsky #education
"It’s a very well established fact of economic history that if you eliminate a country’s economic sovereignty you will, very likely, cut back development and you will surely reduce political life to a kind a shadow. That’s what happens if economic sovereignty is removed. It’s now kind of formalised in the Uruguay Round of the WorldTrade Organisation which eliminates the options that were used, and are still being used, by the rich countries to get where they are and which now prevents other countries from doing it."
@1 year ago with 76 notes
#noam chomsky #economics