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Noam Chomsky on 1968 - It was the beginning of it all
newstatesmen.com ^ | May 10th, 2008 | Noam Chomsky

Posted on 05/10/2008 11:51:37 AM PDT by The_Republican

Nineteen sixty-eight was one exciting moment in a much larger movement. It spawned a whole range of movements. There wouldn't have been an international global solidarity movement, for instance, without the events of 1968. It was enormous, in terms of human rights, ethnic rights, a concern for the environment, too.

The Pentagon Papers (the 7,000-page, top-secret US government report into the Vietnam War) are proof of this: right after the Tet Offensive, the business world turned against the war, because they thought it was too costly, even though there were proposals within the government - and we know this now - to send in more American troops. Then LBJ announced he wouldn't be sending any more troops to Vietnam.

The Pentagon Papers tell us that, because of the fear of growing unrest in the cities, the government had to end the war - it wasn't sure that it was going to have enough troops to send to Vietnam and enough troops on the domestic front to quell the riots.

One of the most interesting reactions to come out of 1968 was in the first publication of the Trilateral Commission, which believed there was a "crisis of democracy" from too much participation of the masses. In the late 1960s, the masses were supposed to be passive, not entering into the public arena and having their voices heard. When they did, it was called an "excess of democracy" and people feared it put too much pressure on the system. The only group that never expressed its opinions too much was the corporate group, because that was the group whose involvement in politics was acceptable.

The commission called for more moderation in democracy and a return to passivity. It said the "institutions of indoctrination" - schools, churches - were not doing their job, and these had to be harsher.

The more reactionary standard was much harsher in its reaction to the events of 1968, in that it tried to repress democracy, which has succeeded to an extent - but not really, because these social and activist movements have now grown. For example, it was unimaginable in 1968 that there would be an international Solidarity group in 1980.

But democracy is even stronger now than it was in 1968. You have to remember that, during Vietnam, there was no opposition at the beginning of the war. It did develop, but only six years after John F Kennedy attacked South Vietnam and troop casualties were mounting. However, with the Iraq War, opposition was there from the very beginning, before an attack was even initiated. 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.

There are other differences, too. In 1968, it was way out in the margins of society to even discuss the possibility of withdrawal from Vietnam. Now, every presidential candidate mentions withdrawal from Iraq as a real policy choice.

There is also far greater opposition to oppression now than there was before. For example, the US used routinely to support or initiate military coups in Latin America. But the last time the US supported a military coup was in 2002 in Venezuela, and even then they had to back off very quickly because there was public opposition. They just can't do the kinds of things they used to.

So, I think the impact of 1968 was long-lasting and, overall, positive.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 1968; 60s; chomsky; communism

1 posted on 05/10/2008 11:51:38 AM PDT by The_Republican
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To: The_Republican

Remember, Obama will accept his party’s nomination on August 28, exactly 40 years after the night of “the whole world is watching.” The score that night, Chicago Cops 165, Hippies 0.


2 posted on 05/10/2008 11:55:12 AM PDT by BlueStateBlues (Blue State for business, Red State at heart..)
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To: The_Republican
Nineteen sixty-eight was one exciting moment in a much larger movement. It spawned a whole range of movements.

1968. The dawnig of the Age of Ex-Lax.

3 posted on 05/10/2008 11:57:26 AM PDT by uglybiker (I do not suffer from mental illness. I quite enjoy it, actually.)
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To: The_Republican

Sure, pick any year. Pick 1968. But, history began way before then.


4 posted on 05/10/2008 12:00:14 PM PDT by RightWhale (It's still unclear what impact global warming will have on vertical wind shear)
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To: The_Republican

Re-Create ‘68!

Thank you, Commander Limbaugh, for your valiant and successful execution of Operation Chaos!


5 posted on 05/10/2008 12:01:19 PM PDT by 2harddrive (...House a TOTAL Loss.....)
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To: The_Republican
The left's fascination with 1968 is becoming increasingly tiresome.

Hey Chomsky!!! No-one cares about 1968 anymore (at least no-one off-campus). In case you are still to stoned to notice, 40 years have slipped by.

The left is stuck in the past, and like when their worn-out copy of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida got stuck back then, they were either too lazy, too stoned, or too preoccupied with disrupting society to get off of their asses and move the needle to a new track. All that LSD has affected their ability to mark the passage of time.

Chomsky was marginal in '68, and is irrelevant now.

6 posted on 05/10/2008 12:09:43 PM PDT by conservativeharleyguy (Democrats: Over 60 Million Fooled Daily!)
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To: The_Republican

Amazing that this man sees the very thing that will destroy democracy as it’s savior.


7 posted on 05/10/2008 12:13:53 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PetroniusMaximus

Riots in the street and terrorist bombings = democracy.


8 posted on 05/10/2008 12:20:27 PM PDT by Sherman Logan (Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. - A. Lincoln)
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To: uglybiker
1968. The dawning of the Age of Ex-Lax.

LOL! Great line!

9 posted on 05/10/2008 12:31:20 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (De-Globalize yourself !)
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To: The_Republican
"Reactionaries" feared too much participation of the masses

The masses? You mean the street and campus radicals and a number of draft opponents? Those who honored "their version of democracy" so long as it scotched true democracy?

With JFK/LBJ liberal shills using the "Fairness Doctrine" as a weapon against those of us (collectively known as the silent majority -- better, the silenced majority) who were aghast at the wall-to-wall MSM admiration of the "brightest generation ever" it's mind-boggling that some university employee would say [reactionaries] tried to repress democracy.

10 posted on 05/10/2008 12:32:54 PM PDT by WilliamofCarmichael (If modern America's Man on Horseback is out there, Get on the damn horse already!)
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To: The_Republican
There wouldn't have been an international global solidarity movement, for instance, without the events of 1968.

Telling that the world famous genius linguist would plop down such a pregnant and central phrase right at the beginning of his piece and then never define it.

11 posted on 05/10/2008 12:35:11 PM PDT by rogue yam
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To: The_Republican
Chomsky was the child of Russian Jews, grew up during the depression, entered academia and never left. Like many academics, he lives in a world of theory, and never considers the actual possibilities of the ramifications of his theories.

He has a small academic Greek chorus, and appeals to other intellectuals who produce nothing.

The most interesting thing about Chomsky is that he detests a country which took in his family during the Russian persecution, and lives because the military he loathes keeps the Islamists from killing him.

12 posted on 05/10/2008 12:38:26 PM PDT by Richard Kimball (We're all criminals. They just haven't figured out what some of us have done yet.)
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To: Sherman Logan
"Riots in the street and terrorist bombings = democracy."

Who said anything about democracy? It's the end of the Republic that has always been the goal and it only took 40 yrs. to accomplish their ends.

13 posted on 05/10/2008 12:40:29 PM PDT by penowa
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To: rogue yam
There wouldn't have been an international global solidarity movement, for instance, without the events of 1968. Chomsky isn't as smart as he thinks he is.

It boggles the mind how anybody could believe in such tripe and still be proud of their life's work.

14 posted on 05/10/2008 12:42:55 PM PDT by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance on Parade)
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To: rogue yam
There wouldn't have been an international global solidarity movement, for instance, without the events of 1968.

That's pretty easy to interpret, he's talking about the Third Way, One World Government, World Socialism. Chomsky is talking about everything that Barack Obama stands for.

15 posted on 05/10/2008 12:45:36 PM PDT by Eva (CHANGE- the post modern euphemism for Marxist revolution.)
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To: The_Republican
The 60s radicals and the mainstream liberals were the guardians of democracy? Oh, yeah?

"The Good Guys, the Bad Guys and the First Amendment," liberal former CBS News president Fred Friendly documented how the Democratic Party organized campaigns in the 1960s to harass conservative radio personalities with the Fairness Doctrine.

16 posted on 05/10/2008 12:51:17 PM PDT by WilliamofCarmichael (If modern America's Man on Horseback is out there, Get on the damn horse already!)
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To: conservativeharleyguy
"The left is stuck in the past, and like when their worn-out copy of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida got stuck back then, they were either too lazy, too stoned, or too preoccupied with disrupting society to get off of their asses and move the needle to a new track. All that LSD has affected their ability to mark the passage of time."

The left most certainly is "stuck in the past", but that's the modus operandi.

For all the call for "change" .. Change is exactly what the socialists don't want.

The 'reminiscing' for 1968 is a reminder how 'effective' it was for the advancement of the socialist cause, the destruction of individual liberty and freedom.

The socialists don't want change ... they want this piece of real estate ... The United States of America .. and all she can do as a partner to the north. (Canada) and south (Mexico).

Consider the global power of (this is a guess) 25% of the land and peoples of the planet ... united and moving in unison.

The 'election' of either Marxist this November would be the beginning ... the real beginning of a global government, religion and monetary system.

The Euro just never caught on ... but is in place to facilitate the unification of a monetary structure.

Please don't flame me, Catholics ... I'm not bashing you ... but surely you see the global implication of the Pope and his desire to 'unify' all religions/peoples under ONE system.

And by the report cited here ... the 'institutions' .... school and church .... have been solicited to increase and advance the global mind set/world view.

All things considered ... THIS is the year that will be.

17 posted on 05/10/2008 12:52:05 PM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true.)
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To: Eva
That's pretty easy to interpret, he's talking about the Third Way, One World Government, World Socialism. Chomsky is talking about everything that Barack Obama stands for.

Well, sure, Chomsky is talking about the movement to bring about socialistic world government. My point is that after all these years he still gets away with calling for this without doing so explicitly. And yes, I believe that Bubbles Hussein Ohmygod is a socialistic one-worlder as well.

18 posted on 05/10/2008 12:52:51 PM PDT by rogue yam
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To: The_Republican

Yeah thanks there Norm for ruining my childhood. I was 7 years old in May of ‘68. You and your Ilk made it ok for our fathers to walk out on their families and made our teen years even more confusing than they needed to be.


19 posted on 05/10/2008 12:53:55 PM PDT by chris_bdba
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To: The_Republican

In honor of 1968 we should strand all liberals on the moon.


20 posted on 05/10/2008 12:57:30 PM PDT by HectorOne
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To: The_Republican
"Nineteen sixty-eight was one exciting moment in a much larger movement. It spawned a whole range of movements. There wouldn't have been an international global solidarity movement, for instance, without the events of 1968."

Chomsky's an idiot and a liar. Poland in the 1980's would have had Solidarity against the CCCP whether kids rioted in Chicago or not back in 1968.

21 posted on 05/10/2008 12:57:47 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: The_Republican
"The Pentagon Papers (the 7,000-page, top-secret US government report into the Vietnam War) are proof of this: right after the Tet Offensive, the business world turned against the war..."

Chomsky's an idiot and a liar. The Pentagon Papers are not proof that the business world turned against the war.

22 posted on 05/10/2008 12:59:08 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: The_Republican
"But democracy is even stronger now than it was in 1968. You have to remember that, during Vietnam, there was no opposition at the beginning of the war. It did develop, but only six years after John F Kennedy attacked South Vietnam..."

Chomsky's an idiot and a liar.

23 posted on 05/10/2008 1:04:31 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: The_Republican
"with the Iraq War, opposition was there from the very beginning, before an attack was even initiated. 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."

Chomsky's an idiot and a liar:


24 posted on 05/10/2008 1:16:49 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: The_Republican
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.

Well, the protests, which I don't think were very massive, didn't succeed in changing anyone's mind.

I think Noam will be disappointed when he sees McCain do well running on a campaign of victory in Iraq versus the Chomsky-Democrat approach.

25 posted on 05/10/2008 1:33:35 PM PDT by Jack Wilson
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To: Southack
Chomsky's an idiot and a liar:

Its called multi-tasking.

Regarding Lindberg, if I remember my history correctly, after Pearl Harbor Lindberg wanted to join the military but Roosevelt said no. Were there ANY anti-war protests after 12-7-41?

26 posted on 05/10/2008 1:41:07 PM PDT by HerrBlucher (Asked on his deathbed why he was reading the bible, WC Fields replied "I'm looking for loopholes.")
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To: The_Republican

“Reactionary” - he mis-spelled righteous indignation.

The average “voter” doesn’t fathom the depths of hatred that radical leftists have for America, and make no mistake, by definition Americans. If they did, they would never vote for them under any circumstances. Perhaps some have some inkling, but prefer to upset the existing order as a sort of entertainment.

One doubts the 60s generation of “peace love and dope” and “never trust anyone over 30” and “kill the pigs” and etc etc, ad infinitum ad nauseam will appreciate any new revolutions and the like. Their retirement is gonna be quite a bit different than they had envisioned. Woopsie!


27 posted on 05/10/2008 3:40:49 PM PDT by Freedom4US
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To: The_Republican
THE Dr. Strangelove DVD tells everyone the exact time in the 60’s that the commies started to poison the minds of U.S. citizens. The movie it’self is not the issue for the commies but the N.Y. Times is mentioned in the extra material about the movie and actors. The dialog was about a movie critic calling the movie the worst unwatchable piece of celluloid ever made. I can't remember what details they were talking. However, the dialog continued to explain that the same critic reverses’ his critical disdain 6mos. later to praise the movie as a brilliant piece. If you watch the movie critically, you will see that all the military people are portrayed as incompetent children, who will kill everyone in the world for there own gain. The critic obviously at first saw a completely absurd story line but was forced to rewrite his view. At about the same time there was a string of movies about military incompetence. Off the top of my head two were, The Bedford Incident and Failsafe.
28 posted on 05/10/2008 4:35:20 PM PDT by machenation ("it can't happen here" Frank Zappa)
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To: chris_bdba

Yeah thanks there Norm for ruining my childood. I was 7 years old in May of “68. You and your ILK made it ok for our fathers to walk out on their familes and made our teen years even more confusing than they needed to be.

Wow, is this ever a keeper!

” The phrase “do your own thing as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone”, did not disappear after the sixties. Instead it took up residence and prospered in the “new culture”.

And the harm and misery it caused-——cannot be measured!”

(James Christopher Hall)


29 posted on 05/10/2008 5:45:46 PM PDT by Grateful One
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To: Southack

There wouldn’t have been the movement in Poland without the Pope’s visit in 1979. Chomsky would prefer the masses were inspired by a Gramsci-esque atheist instead, so he lives in his dream world.


30 posted on 02/13/2009 2:38:35 PM PST by Quackattack
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