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Reply to Michael David Morrissey

By       Message Paul Craig Roberts       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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From youtube.com/watch?v=exrZoRkiqcQ: Paul Craig Roberts
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Michael David Morrissey has an interesting "Open Letter" to Noam Chomsky and me today in OpEd News.

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.
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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 about.
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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.
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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 liberties.
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 false.
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 extremists."
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 importance.

 

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Dr. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan Administration. He was associate editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He is a contributing editor to Gerald Celente's Trends Journal. He has had numerous university appointments. His books, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is available (more...)
 

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