Paul Craig Roberts
(image by YouTube)
I appreciate Morrissey's
intention, and I thank him for the confidence he has in me. My reply is presented here because it has a higher word count than the
comment section will accept.
I have no issues with Noam Chomsky, who is a leading dissident
and moral voice of our time. However, No person, no matter how conscientious and well
informed, can know about and take on every issue. Chomsky knows much that I
don't know, and perhaps I know a few things that he doesn't know. These are not differences of
opinion; they are differences of what
we know and are comfortable writing
Just as Chomsky and I, individually or combined,
cannot know everything, we cannot do everything. Public intellectuals are
intellectual activists. Their time and energy is spent in attempts to equip people to see through the
propaganda of our time and escape from The Matrix. We are not political activists and do
not have surplus time and energy with which to organize movements.
To organize a movement requires a different type of
person. Perhaps we could do it, but we could not
simultaneously continue with the work that has earned us your confidence. Moreover, movements can
take a long time to form. Their leadership requires younger persons who will be
around to see them through.
Perhaps I am wrong, but my understanding is that
movements form when people realize that they are being deceived and exploited by
the bosses. Perhaps the way to think of public intellectuals is to see them as people who
try to help others become aware of the deceit and exploitation. If they succeed
in their efforts, a movement might arise.
David's appeal seems to assume that a collection of
dissident voices organized in some way would be stronger than the individual
voices. I do not know if this is the case. It is possible that compromises necessary to hold together
a collection of individuals as one strong voice could narrow the range of
dissent. It is also unclear that organized groups of intellectuals have more
impact on power.
The Union of Concerned Scientists has, for example, long
warned of the danger of nuclear war, but the US government recently changed its
war doctrine and elevated nuclear weapons from a retaliatory role to pre-emptive
nuclear attack. The ACLU has long fought for civil liberties, but in the 21st
century the US government has used the "war on terror" to destroy civil
Single-issue economic interests seem to be the
strongest organized force.
Some single-issue cause-related groups have also
been effective; for example, gay rights and abortion rights. The 2,000
high-rise architects and structural engineers who have challenged the
government's account of the destruction of the WTC towers and Building 7 have
also been effective in spreading public awareness and in forcing the government
to acknowledge that the official account of the collapse of Building 7 is
These experts, who know far more about buildings and how they come down
than the 9/11 Commission, the White House, and the presstitute media, have been
in a long uphill struggle. Despite their expertise, they are labeled "conspiracy
theorists." In my opinion, environmentalists, civil libertarians, and war
protesters are no more or less controversial than 9/11 dissenters. Indeed,
Homeland Security has defined all dissenters as "domestic
If I understand David's appeal, he would like to see
a council of dissidents or wise men create a movement behind all or many of the
critical issues that are denied by the ruling Matrix. I don't know how this
could be done. Moreover, it would create a convenient target for the ruling
establishment and its presstitute media who would lampoon the organization as a
collection of know-it-alls, of people opposed to economic growth and national
security, conspiracy theorists, etc.
That said, I stand ready to cooperate with Chomsky
on anything from which good might come. But I think that Chomsky's response to
David would be pretty much the same as mine. Our role is to call things as we
see them and hope that spreading awareness eventually brings change before
tyranny suppresses dissent or economic collapse terminates American
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