September 20, 2002

Chomsky on Loss of Civil Liberties

Always so clear in his analyses of the way things are, Chomsky almost sounds a note of hopefulness in an Interview with Noam Chomsky by Dimitriadis Epaminondas at And hopefulness is not something you hear a lot of from Chomsky.

When Chomsky sounds a note of hope, you know it is based on a hard cold look at the facts and the processes that are at work.

Here's what he says in answer to the question "How far do you belive will the US sacrifice its basic civil liberties for a greater sense of security?"

It is doubtful that the current attack on civil liberties has much to do with security. In general, one can expect the state to use any pretext to extend its power and to impose obedience on the population; rights are won, not granted, and power will seek any opportunity to reduce them. The current incumbents in Washington are at an extreme of reactionary jingoism and contempt for democracy. The question we should ask, I think, is how far citizens will allow them to pursue their agendas. So far, they have been careful to target vulnerable populations, like immigrants, though the laws they have passed have much broader implications. My feeling is that popular commitment to the rights that have been won in hard struggle is too deep to allow the attack to proceed very far. -- Noam Chomsky July 3, 2002 Interviewed by Dimitriadis Epaminondas

The Bush administration, the representatives of the hardest core corporate ruling class, has been putting intense pressure on the population since it took over in December 2000. They are now amping up their war plans, their thirst for blood has has only been whetted by their exploits in Afghanistan. They are moving forward with their plans to attack Iraq -- plans that have been in place, in writing, since before the coup in December 2000.

So far most Americans have been able to proceed with their lives as though nothing had changed, even though the administration has told them the nation is at war. But as the administration moves inexorably forward with its war agenda, people will have to make more and more sacrifices. As the oligarchy increases its need for manpower to fight wars, it may try to institute a draft. Gradually more and more people will be affected directly by the war agenda. Eventually it will hit its limit and the people will resist. That moment could be approaching.

-- By David Cogswell

Back to Home Page