September 11 shocked many Americans into an awareness that they had better pay much closer attention to what the US government does in the world and how it is perceived. Many issues have been opened for discussion that were not on the agenda before. That's all to the good.
Jingoism, racism, fear, religious fundamentalism: these are the ways of appealing to people if you're trying to organize a mass base of support for policies that are really intended to crush them.
I had two spinster aunts who were seamstresses, and of course unemployed in the 1930s, but the union gave them a life. They had a couple of weeks in the country for a union installation and they had educational programs and all sorts of things. There was a life, you know, a real community.
There's plenty of challenging, gratifying, interesting, productive workaround for people to do, and there are plenty of people who want to do it―they simply aren't being allowed that opportunity under the current economic system.
You go into a hospital now, it's dangerous. We can get diseases that can't be dealt with, that are moving around the hospital. A lot of that traces back to industrial meat production. These are really serious threats, all over the place.
The people I find most impressive are generally unknown at the time of their actions and forgotten in history.
The responsibility of the writer as a moral agent is to try to bring the truth about matters of human significance to an audience that can do something about them.
There's a strange myth of Anglo-Saxonism. When the University of Virginia was founded by Thomas Jefferson, for example, its law school offered the study of Anglo-Saxon Law. And that myth of Anglo-Saxonism carries right over into the early twentieth century.
Nixon at one point informs Kissinger ... that he wanted bombing of Cambodia. And Kissinger loyally transmits the order to the Pentagon to carry out a massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves ... genocide.
China has been there for 3,000 years, has contempt for the barbarians, is overcoming a century of domination, and simply moves on its own. It does not get intimidated when Uncle Sam shakes his fist. That's scary.
During the 1990's, Colombia was the leading recipient of US military aid and training in the hemisphere. Approximately half of all US aid in the hemisphere went to Colombia. Colombia was also far and away the leading human rights violator in the hemisphere.
Today, aid to Colombia is given under the pretext of a drug war. That's pretty hard to take seriously. Ten years ago, Amnesty International flatly called it a myth.
There was a hemispheric conference in Colombia. It couldn't reach a consensus, so there was no declaration that came out, but on the crucial issues, Canada and the US were totally isolated. The rest of the hemisphere voted one way, and the US and Canada rejected it. So there couldn't be a consensus.
Colombia is potentially a very wealthy country. It has tremendous resources, but its wealth is highly concentrated. Most of the population lives in misery, which has led to violent confrontation throughout the century.
Colombia has been the leading western recipient of U.S. arms and training as violence has grown through the '90s.
Take Cuba. A very large majority of the U.S. population is in favor of establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba and has been for a long time with some fluctuations. And even part of the business world is in favor of it too. But the government won't allow it.
Haiti, which has been the main target of US intervention throughout the 20th century, is the poorest. And Guatemala, which is maybe the third major target of US intervention, probably ranks third poorest.
It turned out that Bill Clinton had authorized Texaco to illegally ship oil to the military junta in Haiti during a time when we were supposedly opposing the military junta and supporting democracy instead.
Iceland is capitalist social democratic, rather like the Nordic countries generally. The capital had a mayor who is an anarchist, but the city has been nothing like that. In fact a few years ago it was super-neoliberal, which led to the crash.
People don't talk to each other. You're alone with your television set or internet. But you can't have a functioning democracy without what sociologists call secondary organizations, places where people can get together, plan, talk and develop ideas. You don't do it alone.
For us, we are all very different, our languages are very different, and our societies are very different. But if we could extract ourselves from our point of view and sort of look down at human life the way a biologist looks at other organisms, I think we could see it a different way.
The missile defense component is a minor feature that nobody takes very seriously. Nobody really believes that the US is trying to protect itself from North Korea. That's not serious. But the militarization of space is quite serious.
I don't think that the United States cares. They just assume that North Korea will soon have nuclear weapons.
In any case, it is better to have some deal than no deal, but it's interesting that Obama picked the day of implementing of Iran deal to impose new sanctions on North Korea.
If the US were to attack North Korea, they'd certainly destroy North Korea, but South Korea would be pretty well wiped out too.
While the state can coerce, with some exceptions (like North Korea) it seems to me misleading to think of it as capable of enslavement.
Of course all such conclusions about appropriate actions against the rich and powerful are based on a fundamental flaw: This is us, and that is them. This crucial principle, deeply embedded in Western culture, suffices to undermine even the most precise analogy and the most impeccable reasoning.
What the polls don't tell you is, though other polls do, is that if you do a study of CEOs, top executives in corporations, they're liberal.
Mexico is a pretty poor country, but they are maintaining a free, high quality public education system, not for everyone of course but pretty substantial.
Travel from what is called Pakistan to Afghanistan has been made increasingly difficult and people are often labelled terrorists, even those who might be just visiting families.
The US intervened in the Philippines to uplift and christianize the backward people, killing a couple of hundred thousand of them and destroying the place. The same thing happened in Haiti, the same thing happened with other countries.
It's a lesser-known story, but the Japanese government (after the Russian-Nazi pact, which split Poland) did allow Polish Jews to come to Japan, with the expectation that they would then be sent to the United States. But they weren't accepted, so they stayed in Japan.
America has always been the richest and most secure, and sometimes the most dangerous country in the world. In the early years, the danger was to everybody near us, slaves, Native Americans, Mexicans. It finally expanded in 1898 to the Caribbean, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the Philippines.
The government of Rwanda, which is a US client, is intervening massively, and Uganda to an extent. It's almost an international war in Africa. Well, how many people know about this?
Around 2008 and again in 2013 NATO officially offered the Ukraine the opportunity to join NATO. That's something no Russian government is ever going to accept. It's right at the geopolitical heartland of Russia.
The new crimes that the US and Israel were committing in Gaza as 2009 opened do not fit easily into any standard category--except for the category of familiarity.
This Sarah Palin phenomenon is very curious. I think somebody watching us from Mars--they would think the country has gone insane.
Latin America is all moving to the left, from Venezuela to Argentina with rare exceptions, but there's a good left and a bad left.
Actually, my first article, it wasn't about the anarchists; it was about the fall of Barcelona and the spread of fascism over Europe, which was frightening. But a couple of years later I became interested in the anarchist movement.
Quite generally, international affairs have more than a slight resemblance to the Mafia. The Godfather does not take it lightly when he is crossed, even by a small storekeeper.
In the US, there is basically one party -- the business party. It has two factions, called Democrats and Republicans, which are somewhat different but carry out variations on the same policies. By and large, I am opposed to those policies. As is most of the population.
It is quite possible -- overwhelmingly probable, one might guess -- that we will always learn more about human life and personality from novels than from scientific psychology.
Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you're really in favor of free speech, then you're in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you're not in favor of free speech.
We still name our military helicopter gunships after victims of genocide. Nobody bats an eyelash about that: Blackhawk. Apache. And Comanche. If the Luftwaffe named its military helicopters Jew and Gypsy, I suppose people would notice.
Governments will use whatever technology is available to combat their primary enemy -- their own population.
Citizens of the democratic societies should undertake a course of intellectual self defense to protect themselves from manipulation and control, and to lay the basis for meaningful democracy.
It is important to bear in mind that political campaigns are designed by the same people who sell toothpaste and cars.
The more privilege you have, the more opportunity you have. The more opportunity you have, the more responsibility you have.
As long as the general population is passive, apathetic, diverted to consumerism or hatred of the vulnerable, then the powerful can do as they please, and those who survive will be left to contemplate the outcome.
If you assume that there is no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, that there are opportunities to change things, then there is a possibility that you can contribute to making a better world.
I think half the population supports this ban on these dangerous immigrants who are going to come in and do something, who knows what. And meanwhile the countries that really have been involved in terrorism, they're out. It's kind of like I think it was Oklahoma banning Sharia law.
What right does the US have to do anything in Colombia? Does Colombia have the right to bomb North Carolina? There are more Colombians dying from tobacco than Americans dying from heroin.
About half the population thinks that every person in Congress, including their own representative, should be thrown out. That's the center not holding.
The most effective way to restrict democracy is to transfer decision-making from the public arena to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern corporations.
Peace is preferable to war. But it's not an absolute value, and so we always ask, What kind of peace?
I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom.
The first scholarly edition of Magna Carta was published by the eminent jurist William Blackstone. It was not an easy task. There was no good text available.
In general, I think, U.S. policies remain constant, going back to the Second World War. But the capacity to implement them is declining.
It makes sense for Japan to pursue a more independent role in the world, following Latin America and others in freeing itself from U.S. domination.
Armed attack has a definition in international law. It means sudden, overwhelming, instantaneous ongoing attack.
The U.S. is just in a class by itself in military expenses. It basically matches the rest of the world, and it's far more advanced.
In the United States, we can do almost anything we want. It's not like Egypt, where you're going to get murdered by the security forces.
The government of Israel doesn't like the kinds of things I say, which puts them into the same category as every other government in the world.
Sooner or later, jihadist-style terror and WMD are going to come together and the consequences could be horrendous.
An individual's refusal to carry out the criminal acts of his government sets the stage, in the most effective way possible, for the attempt to demonstrate the criminal nature of these acts.
The U.S. has strategic and economic interests in Southeast Asia that must be secured. Holding Indochina is essential to securing these interests. Therefore, we must hold Indochina.
U.S. analysts estimate that Russian military expenditures have tripled during the Bush-Putin years, in large measure a predicted reaction to the Bush administration's militancy and aggressiveness.
Violence can succeed, as Americans know well from the conquest of the national territory. But at terrible cost. It can also provoke violence in response, and often does.
The neo-cons constitute a radical reactionary fringe of the planning spectrum, but the spectrum is narrow.
There was unprecedented elite condemnation of the plans to invade Iraq. Sensible analysts were able to perceive that the enterprise carried significant risks for U.S. interests, however conceived.
The American claim that the bombing of North Vietnam was directed against military targets does not withstand direct investigation.
Washington still refuses to provide evidence to support the claims in 1990 that a huge Iraqi military build-up on the Saudi border justified war.
In the late 1960s, the masses were supposed to be passive, not entering into the public arena and having their voices heard.
The prescription for endless war poses a far greater danger to Americans than perceived enemies do, for reasons the terrorist organisations understand very well.
If you get to a point where the existing institutions will not bend to the popular will, you have to eliminate the institutions.
Right after the assassination of Osama bin Laden, amid all the cheers and applause, there were a few critical comments questioning the legality of the act.
In some respects, South African apartheid was more vicious than Israeli practices, and in some respects the opposite is true.
My speculation is that the U.S. does not want to establish the principle that it has to defer to some higher authority before carrying out the use of violence.
Right after 9-11, as far as I know, one newspaper in the United States had the integrity to investigate opinion in the Muslim world: the 'Wall Street Journal.'
In the 1960s, there was a point, 1968, '69, when there was a very strong antiwar movement against the war in Vietnam. But it's worth remembering that the war in Vietnam started -- an outright war started in 1962.
Egypt is the second-largest recipient over a long period of U.S. military and economic aid. Israel is first.
When Reagan left office, he was the most unpopular living president, apart from Nixon, even below Carter. If you look at his years in office, he was not particularly popular. He was more or less average. He severely harmed the American economy.
There has been a huge attack against private sector unions. Actually, that's been going on since the Second World War.
What's important in Libya is, first of all, it has a good deal of oil. A lot of the country is unexplored; there may be a lot more. And it's very high-quality oil, so very valuable.
In 1961, the United States began chemical warfare in Vietnam, South Vietnam, chemical warfare to destroy crops and livestock. That went on for seven years. The level of poison -- they used the most extreme carcinogen known: dioxin. And this went on for years.
If you care about other people, you might try to organize to undermine power and authority. That's not going to happen if you care only about yourself.
As you deal with more and more complex systems, it becomes harder and harder to find deep and interesting properties.
Whatever the reasons may be, I was very much affected by events of the 1930s -- the Spanish Civil War, for example, though I was barely literate.
Suppose I criticise Iran. What impact does that have? The only impact it has is in fortifying those who want to carry out policies I don't agree with, like bombing.
Responsibility, I believe, accrues through privilege.
Responsibility I believe accrues through privilege. People like you and me have an unbelievable amount of privilege and therefore we have a huge amount of responsibility. We live in free societies where we are not afraid of the police; we have extraordinary wealth available to us by global standards. If you have those things, then you have the kind of responsibility that a person does not have if he or she is slaving seventy hours a week to put food on the table; a responsibility at the very least to inform yourself about power. Beyond that, it is a question of whether you believe in moral certainties or not.
I know some really outstanding Turkish journalists, and have been pleased and honored to be able to join with them a few times in their courageous protests against state terror and repression.
As for my own views, they've of course evolved over the years. This conception of 'renouncing beliefs' is very odd, as if we're in some kind of religious cult. I 'renounce beliefs' practically every time I think about the topics or find out what someone else is thinking.
Greece has been, in many ways, a partially dysfunctional society. For example, the wealthy barely pay taxes... to an extent, that's true elsewhere, including the United States, but it's been pretty extreme in Greece.
I once did a three-hour interview with Radio Oxford only to be told the microphone hadn't picked me up.
To some degree it matters who's in office, but it matters more how much pressure they're under from the public.
The only justification for repressive institutions is material and cultural deficit. But such institutions, at certain stages of history, perpetuate and produce such a deficit, and even threaten human survival.
A consistent anarchist must oppose private ownership of the means of production, and the wage-slavery which is a component of this system, as incompatible with the principle that labor must be freely undertaken and under the control of the producer.
Free institutions certainly exist, but a tradition of passivity and conformism restricts their use -- a cynic might say that this is why they continue to exist.
Those who had demanded no more than an end to the bombing of North Vietnam and a commitment to negotiations saw their demands being realized, and lapsed into silence.
The whole infrastructure of air travel was, and is, part of government policy. It is not a natural development of a free economic system -- at least not in the way that is claimed. The same is true of the roads, of course.
Since the civil war in Laos was resumed in earnest in 1963, American participation has been veiled in secrecy.
U.S. Government propaganda tries to give the impression that aerial bombardment achieves near-surgical accuracy, so that military targets can be destroyed with minimal effect on civilians. Technical documents give a different picture.
Radical Islamist extremists surely hope that an attack on Iraq will kill many people and destroy much of the country, providing recruits for terrorist actions.
Occupying armies have responsibilities, not rights. Their primary responsibility is to withdraw as quickly and expeditiously as possible, in a manner determined by the occupied population.
In November 2007, the White House issued a Declaration of Principles demanding that U.S. forces must remain indefinitely in Iraq and committing Iraq to privilege American investors.
In 1949, China declared independence -- an event known in Western discourse as 'the loss of China' in the U.S. -- with bitter recriminations and conflict over who was responsible for that loss.
The western mantra is that Israel seeks negotiations without preconditions, while the Palestinians refuse. The opposite is more accurate.
John Lewis Gaddis is not only the favorite historian of the Reagan administration, but he's regarded as the dean of Cold War scholarship, the leading figure in the American Cold War scholarship, a professor at Yale.
When Rumsfeld gets up on television and says we have definitive intelligence that al Qaeda is working with Iraq, how is an ordinary citizen supposed to react? They won't tell you the evidence, and when anyone asks, they say, 'Well, you know: It's secret.'
Cuba has become a symbol of courageous resistance to attack. Since 1959, Cuba has been under attack from the hemispheric superpower.
One of the problems of organizing in the North, in the rich countries, is that people tend to think -- even the activists -- that instant gratification is required. You constantly hear: 'Look I went to a demonstration, and we didn't stop the war so what's the use of doing it again?'
After my first year of college, each course I took in every field was so boring that I didn't even go to the classes.
In 1963, the U.N. Security Council declared a voluntary arms embargo on South Africa. That was extended to a mandatory embargo in 1977. And that was followed by economic sanctions and other measures -- sometimes officials, countries, cities, towns -- some organized by popular movements.
The crimes against Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and elsewhere, particularly Lebanon, are so shocking that the only emotionally valid reaction is rage and a call for extreme actions. But that does not help the victims. And, in fact, it's likely to harm them.
If you look back at the history of the twentieth century, Germany alone had practically destroyed Russia several times.
Haitian rice farmers are quite efficient, but they can't compete with U.S. agribusiness that relies on a huge government subsidy, thanks to Ronald Reagan's free market enthusiasms.
There are major efforts being made to dismantle Social Security, the public schools, the post office -- anything that benefits the population has to be dismantled. Efforts against the U.S. Postal Service are particularly surreal.
In much of the world, there is a sense of an ultra-powerful CIA manipulating everything that happens, such as running the Arab Spring, running the Pakistani Taliban, etc. That is just nonsense.
When secular figures are turned into divinities, they way they are in Peian Yang or Stanford University -- that I don't like.
If you ask the CEO of some major corporation what he does, he will say, in all honesty, that he is slaving 20 hours a day to provide his customers with the best goods or services he can and creating the best possible working conditions for his employees.
If you're working 50 hours a week to try to maintain family income, and your children have the kinds of aspirations that come from being flooded with television from age one, and associations have declined, people end up hopeless, even though they have every option.
When I look at public opinion, I'm not far out of the mainstream. I'm in it, in many respects. In some respects, public opinion goes beyond anything I've ever said.
How people themselves perceive what they are doing is not a question that interests me.
How people themselves perceive what they are doing is not a question that interests me. I mean, there are very few people who are going to look into the mirror and say, 'That person I see is a savage monster'; instead, they make up some construction that justifies what they do. If you ask the CEO of some major corporation what he does he will say, in all honesty, that he is slaving 20 hours a day to provide his customers with the best goods or services he can and creating the best possible working conditions for his employees. But then you take a look at what the corporation does, the effect of its legal structure, the vast inequalities in pay and conditions, and you see the reality is something far different.
As soon as questions of will or decision or reason or choice of action arise, human science is at a loss.
I don't usually admire Sarah Palin, but when she was making fun of this 'hopey changey stuff,' she was right: there was nothing there.
In Latin America, specialists and polling organisations have, for some time, observed that the extension of formal democracy was accompanied by an increasing disillusionment about democracy and a lack of faith in democratic institutions.
The country that consistently ranks among the highest in educational achievement is Finland. A rich country, but education is free. Germany, education is free. France, education is free.
There are nuclear-weapons-free zones in several parts of the world already, except that they're not implemented fully, because the U.S. won't allow it.
Public opinion in Egypt is very antagonistic to the way the dictatorship, Mubarak dictatorship, interpreted relations with Israel. Very antagonistic.
The 14th Amendment was recognized right away to be problematic. The concept of person was both too narrow and too broad, and the courts went to work to overcome both of those flaws.
I don't think a Jewish or Christian or Islamic state is a proper concept. I would object to the United States as a Christian state.
Language is one component of the human cognitive capacity which happens to be fairly amenable to enquiry. So we know a good deal about that.
You could imagine a language exactly like English except it doesn't have connectives like 'and' that allow you to make longer expressions. An infant learning truncated English would have no idea about this: They would just pick it up as they would standard English.
Guantanamo is still open, but it's unlikely that serious torture is going on at Guantanamo. There is just too much inspection.
If humans were totally unstructured creatures, they would be... a tool which can properly be shaped by outside forces.
Israel is following policies which maximise its security threats... policies which choose expansion over security... policies which lead to their moral degradation, their isolation, their delegitimation, as they call it now, and very likely ultimate destruction. That's not impossible.
It is true that classical libertarian thought is opposed to state intervention in social life, as a consequence of deeper assumptions about the human need for liberty, diversity, and free association.
Even the most cynical can hardly be surprised by the antics of Nixon and his accomplices as they are gradually revealed. It matters little, at this point, where the exact truth lies in the maze of perjury, evasion, and of contempt for the normal -- hardly inspiring -- standards of political conduct.
As Bromberger observed, rules are understood to be elements of the computational systems that determine the sound and meaning of the infinite array of expressions of a language; the information so derived is accessed by other systems in language use.
The Great Seal was an early proclamation of 'humanitarian intervention,' to use the currently fashionable phrase.
The Iraq War was the first conflict in western history in which an imperialist war was massively protested against before it had even been launched.
If a child from an Amazonian hunter-gatherer tribe comes to Boston, is raised in Boston, that child will be indistinguishable in language capacities from my children growing up here, and vice versa.
The United States is afraid of China; it is not a military threat to anyone and is the least aggressive of all the major military powers.
Unlike Europe, China can't be intimidated. Europe backs down if the United States looks at it the wrong way. But China, they've been there for 3,000 years and are paying no attention to the barbarians and don't see any need to.
I don't think that experience is a very useful or convincing attribute for a sensible foreign policy. Henry Kissinger had a lot of experience.
The polls show that concern over inequality among the general public rose pretty sharply after the Occupy movement started, very probably as a consequence. And there are other policy issues that came to the fore, which are significant.
The good news from the U.S. military survey of focus groups is that Iraqis do accept the Nuremberg principles. They understand that sectarian violence and the other postwar horrors are contained within the supreme international crime committed by the invaders.
Latin America has much richer resources. You'd expect it to be far more advanced than East Asia, but it had the disadvantage of being under imperialist wings.
I do not think psychoanalysis has a scientific basis. If we can't explain why a cockroach decides to turn left, how can we explain why a human being decides to do something?