By Noam Chomsky, written following his trip to the Gaza Strip on October 25-30, 2012.
(Ashraf Amra / APA Images)
Posted Wednesday, February 13, 2008
A Personal Message From Noam Chomsky
February 13, 2008
We live in an era of media concentration, vast efforts on many fronts (political, economic, military, ideological) to insulate state and private power from critical discussion or even popular awareness, and to reduce citizens to isolated atomized creatures restricted to satisfying personal 'created wants.' This massive and coordinated campaign has been partially successful, but only in a limited way.
The range and scope and dedication of popular activism has also increased, all over the world, reaching a level of international solidarity and mutual support that has never been seen before. The basic conflicts are very old, but they have taken quite dramatic and significant new forms, and the stakes are far higher than ever before. It is, regrettably, no exaggeration to say that the survival of the species is at risk -- and many others with it. We all know why.
The popular movements are the hope for a decent future. They of course have to have access to information and modes of interaction. In addition to alternative print and video, to a very large extent they have relied on the internet, which allows people to escape from the constraints of the doctrinal systems, to explore and investigate and discuss crucial issues with one another, to plan and organize.
Z Magazine and ZNet have played a crucial role in serving all of these functions. I see that every day. I travel and speak constantly, in the U.S. and abroad, and spend many hours a day just responding to inquiries and comments. I constantly discover that the people and organizations I come in contact with are relying very substantially on Z projects for information, discussion, and opportunities for interaction and organizing, to an extent that is quite remarkable.
Z is also an invaluable resource for me personally, in all of these respects, and also in my case for providing a forum for intense and very constructive discussion, the only one I regularly participate in. And for posting articles, interviews, commentaries, etc., of mine. I know that many others have very much the same experience.
It is of inestimable importance, in my judgment, that Z and ZNet, now composing the new ZCom with their various other projects such as their growing video efforts and incomparable summer school, arguably the most exciting and instructive I have ever encountered.
Again, I do not think it is possible to exaggerate the stakes. I hope that all of us who are committed to resisting and reversing the powerful currents of reaction and oppression and violence, and showing that another world is indeed possible, will contribute as best we can to ensure that the remarkable achievements of Z and ZNet will be carried forward.
Interview: Chomsky on the Rise of the South
Chomsky on the Rise of the South. With Michael Shank. January 23, 2008.
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