Noam Chomsky & The Scottish Vote

scotland2Today is the Scottish vote — exciting history! Yet this issue will really tell us nothing more about the nation-state than so much more in our news.

At the bottom of this post is a great interview with Noam Chomsky where he uses the Scottish vote issue to discuss several of the deep, complex political phenomena feeding this vote.  Chomsky puts today’s event in perspective to the rest of the world, as is his specialty.  He is brilliant.

Noam Chomsky (wiki) has taught me much through the years. I haven’t always agreed with him, but then that means nothing. His last line from the interview was one of my favorite.  He made it after many, far-from-subtle attempts by his clearly leftist interviewer to get him to give a aphoristic nugget of socialist wisdom.

“there are no illuminating single phrases that capture the complexity of human life”

Oh I loved that. And among his many anarchist insights he also discusses:

  • the tension between regionalism & centralization
  • the inherited disaster of imperialist borders
  • how Capitalism would be an improvement over what we have today, but still inferior

Pic source:


Filed under Political Philosophy

4 responses to “Noam Chomsky & The Scottish Vote

  1. Totally agree with that quote, and it’s the thing that infuriates people who feel that he should be ‘more on their side.’ He gets flak from left and right in the United States, which I think means he must be doing something right. The intellectual honesty of the anarchist is paramount in this, and his most admirable quality I think.

    Being 15 and reading Chomsky’s ‘Understanding Power’ was a watershed (Manufacturing Consent is also thought provoking and still very much relevant). I’ve since diverged from some of his thinking because I think it is unnecessarily dismissive at times of the human decision makers in his modeling of governments (I think he has the tendency to overstate that it all boils down to economic interest and everything else is basically window dressing).

    His shutting down of political hecklers across the spectrum is good entertainment to watch on you-tube too. Having a genuinely fact-based worldview (or at least attempting to) is also I think something that makes studying him worthwhile.

  2. @ gatzandupost,
    I very much agree but could not have begun to have put it half as well as you have. Thanx so much for your contribution!

  3. Thanks for this link. I will watch Chomsky’s video. I was in Boston a year and a half ago and wanted to go see him (I was giving a talk in his building). But did’t find him.

  4. We’re glad that Scotland didn’t vote for separation. Question: will the concept of a country remain the same in the future or will it, little by little, be substituted by other entities such as corporations?

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