June 06, 2006

Noam Chomsky Takes Questions at the UN Monday

The status of the Democratic Republic of Congo was raised to Noam Chomsky on Monday, when he took questions from the UN Correspondents' Association. Inner City Press noted that neither Congo or DRC is in the index of the professor's new book, "Failed States." Mr. Chomsky acknowledged that the DRC is "perhaps the worst ongoing atrocity in the world" and that it is not mentioned in his book -- because, he said, "I can't think of any sensible way to do anything about it." He mentioned strengthening the "weak" UN force, and stopping other countries' interventions. Afterwards, one of Prof. Chomsky's more combative interlocutors opined that if the U.S. is not the major negative actor, a situation is not of much interest to the professor. In his answer, Chomsky put it differently, saying "we should focus on our own responsibilities" and on "our own society." The UN Correspondents' Association, however, includes journalists from all over the world. A philosophy that as one of its seven main points urges that the UN be lead-actor on world crises should have something to say about wars like the Congo's. And the West is not without responsibility: DRC resource extractors include U.S.-based Phelps Dodge Mining Corporation, Adastra Mineral f/k/a American Mineral Fields, Ivanhoe Nickel & Platinum and Canada's Kinross Gold Corporation, among others.

To Inner City Press' other question, on the regulation of corporation, Prof. Chomsky replied that corporations are "private tyrannies" that have come to dominate most stakes. "It is not a law of nature," he said, "that corporation must serve only their shareholders... What about stakeholders?"

There was much back-and-forth about the Middle East, and a prediction by Chomsky that China is ascendant, and that India will have to choose. (.wmv file being processed; available.) Asked at the end about the Uighurs in western China, Prof. Chomsky said it could be followed up by email. We'll see.


Blogger Candy Minx said...

ooh thats very heavy and I am surprised it was an issue not dealt with in his book huh? This is a terribly sad momet when he hasn't championed tis, it may haunt his work...?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006  

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