Skip to comments.Noam Chomsky on 1968 - It was the beginning of it all
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.
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.
1968. The dawnig of the Age of Ex-Lax.
Sure, pick any year. Pick 1968. But, history began way before then.
Thank you, Commander Limbaugh, for your valiant and successful execution of Operation Chaos!
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.
Amazing that this man sees the very thing that will destroy democracy as it’s savior.
Riots in the street and terrorist bombings = democracy.
LOL! Great line!
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.
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.
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.
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.
It boggles the mind how anybody could believe in such tripe and still be proud of their life's work.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
In honor of 1968 we should strand all liberals on the moon.