Sunday, March 1, 2009

[Rest of planet applauds]

Chomsky: Humanity's survival 'by no means a sure thing'
Raw Story (with video): Speaking from his office at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, author, scholar and philosopher Noam Chomsky offers a glimpse at what the greatest threats to human survival are today, in the context of his 2003 book, Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance.

'The survival of the human species is by no means an obvious thing. There are very severe threats to survival. We learn about them all the time. The threat of environmental destruction is much too real to put to the side. The threat of weapons of mass destruction -- that has come very close many times... So, survival of the species is by no means a sure thing. Decent survival.

'Well, what's hegemony? Hegemony has to do with the domination of the international system by small sectors of power. At the moment there happens to be one superpower. It does not dominate the rest of the world in all dimensions, but overwhelmingly dominates it in one dimension. Namely, the military dimension.

'Unfortunately, if you look at the factors that surround hegemony, the short term goals to maximize profit, to increase control of the world and so on, and ask how those goals will play out, turns out they do threaten survival.

'And it's a deep problem because the decisions are not irrational within the framework of the institutions in which they're taken, but they may be utterly irrational as compared to the likelihood that my grandchildren will have a world to live in.'
Image source here.