Chomsky and the machine for producing candidates

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Noam Chomsky has given me this interview about V-Day and on the reactions of the parties and the media.

Chomsky says: “the political activity of the parties now is to produce candidates using mechanisms that are controlled by concentrations of economic power that marginalize the population.”. You are only an elector “who has the right to vote and who passes your life delegating and receiving commands but you have found your new liberty “ as in Giorgio Gaber’s song.
Chomsky expresses a strong concern for the liberty of information and for the future of the Internet.
The next V-Day will be about information. The date will be revealed in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!
"V-Day Clean Parliament . Nothing in the press. It's extremely impressive that it could be done and it must reflects the substantial if not overwhelming feeling on the part of the population that something dramatic has to be done about this persistent problem of Italian politics. It illustrates that he really hit a nerve– it reflects a guilt and fear – that what he is doing is really threatening to power. We can dismiss the charge of terrorism. That's just hysteria. But the charge of populism is an interesting one. What's populism? Populism means appealing to the population and that is a serious charge from the point of view of elite opinion that believes that the population should be removed from public affairs. They should be spectators not participants. From that point of view it's a threat to try to engage the population in public affairs. One of the leading, maybe the leading public intellectual of the twentieth century in the United States, Walter Lippmann, his view was that the general population are what he called ignorant and meddlesome outsiders and the responsible men who are supposed to run the country have to be protected from them – as he put it – from their rage and trampling That was not an unusual position. That's the normal position of liberal intellectual democratic thought and on the one hand moving across the spectrum to Leninist vanguard party ideology on the other. And it's understandable on the part of privileged elites – they do not want the population to bother them. Now that's why they are consistently opposed to functioning democracy. I think that functioning democracy would be much more effective and significant without what we call political parties which basically function as candidate producing machines. Their only participation is to show up every once in a while and choose between individuals and programmes put to them. They play no role in formulating the positions and choosing the candidates. Be concrete are figures who are able to gain sufficient financial support They are basically figures created by and supported by the business world They appear in towns and they say "vote for me – because here's what I'm going to do" and then people decide whether to vote for them. Well in a democratic society it would work quite differently. What would happen - in a functioning democracy - What would happen is that in the towns or regions, people would get together publicly in public places – and with other forms of interaction and they would determine what policies they prefer. The candidate would then show up and they would tell him "Here's the policies that we prefer. If you are willing to represent these policies we may vote for you, if not go home." That would be a functioning democracy or they would just choose their own candidates and we are very far from that The way political parties function as candidate-producing machines basically organised by concentrations of private power where the capital comes from are modes of marginalising the population. The leading American philosophy of the twentieth century John Dewey, pointed out correctly that He said that politics is the shadow cast by big business over society Now – That's the way it works. That's not functioning democracy. There is a battle going on as to whether the Internet will remain free and open as it was when it was in the State sector or whether it will be controlled. Now controlling the internet is not simple but there are ways of doing it. There are only a few modes of access into the Internet and in private hands they would like to control it and that is a major political battle in the United States right now. "

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:29 PM in | Comments (3)
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First I would like to address the top comment made by Carolyn Barnett. She said "In addition, Chomsky is a MOST discredited individual because of his anti-Semitic views and cavorting with the enemies of freedom.
I suggest, you find others to interview." By "whom" is Chomsky so discredited? That sounds more like a personal opinion rather than a substantiated comment. And once someone has an "anti-Semetic" idea or opinion are we supposed to discredit ALL of that person's views? Non one is perfect, not even the Jews.
My second comment is about the second comment by Giacomo Chiametti. Your statement about Italy in general is understandable but, it can apply to many countries nowadays. For example you say "What is wrong with Italians, more abuse they get more they jump on the bait?
Parties have pre-packaged this W, supported by big businesses banks and newspapers and 3.5 million believers flocked to it." I think the same is happening to the US and this effect is now becoming a global phenomenom. Unfortunately, Globalization really means "banks & businesses rule the globe."

Posted by: Vincent Lagana | October 23, 2007 06:05 PM

I was just made aware of your blog through Gates of Vienna.I am greatly saddened by what you have posted for many, many reasons.I love Italy and have worked there in the past and have friends living there.Of course, Italian politics is as messy as ever since the war's end, but the people cannot and mustn't give up- not now.
You are doing a noble service, so do not give up.
Italy is one of the great repositories of our Western Civilization, and by the way, ALL libraries, museums, the Vatican, the archives of all of the towns and the cities, ALL institutions entrusted with our great artistic and scientific
works,including the Universities' and Colleges'
holdings must have 24 hour protection.If that means forming groups to monitor each in every area,do it.If the Islamofascists get control, or actively try to gain control,they will be targets.
In addition, Chomsky is a MOST discredited individual because of his anti-Semitic views and cavorting with the enemies of freedom.
I suggest, you find others to interview.

Posted by: Carolyn Barnett | October 20, 2007 12:15 AM

Hello everyone,
I have to hand it to the CAST, they are working their butt off and achieving their goals.
What I do not understand is Italians, these Incompetent Politicians are taxing you to death, Banks are thriving, Italy is at the bottom of each and every ranking possible and imaginable, and while the promised cost reduction and tax relieve are going nowhere Italians are cheering and paying a Euro to the latest kids around the block.
What is wrong with Italians, more abuse they get more they jump on the bait?
Parties have pre-packaged this W, supported by big businesses banks and newspapers and 3.5 million believers flocked to it.
Just like the say goes, “You build it and they will come”.
Each and every National and International Organization is stating that Italian Politicians are sinking the Country and this is what Italians do?
At the AAA meeting the first step of any recovery goes:
“First accept you have a problem than figure out how to fix it!”
Wishing well, while waiting for step one to sink in a little deeper!

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | October 17, 2007 04:42 PM

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