Americans more sceptical than ever?

Noam Chomsky, within the text of an extraordinary discussion (in an interview with a Croatian journalist) of the events since September 11 and of broader topics, joins other progressive commentators in arguing that Americans really are not asleep! So, we can't even believe the media when it reports our attitude toward its attitude?

More surprising, to me at least, was that the Sept. 11 atrocities had the opposite effect among the US population. Very quickly, it was clear that there is far more openness to critical and dissident analysis, and there has been a remarkable upsurge of concern, often activism, about issues that were pretty much off the agenda before - including, among others, the US role in the Middle East. Naturally the media and journals of opinion claim the opposite, hoping to still independent thought and impose obedience. But people who have any contact with the general population know better. Demands for talks have spiralled competely out of control, and the scale and engagement of audiences is without precedent apart from the peak moments of the anti-war movement in the late 1960s. The same is evident in sale of books, and in fact by every other relevant measure. Even the media have been to some extent effected, and though still highly restricted, are more open than they have ever been in my experience over 40 years of intensive activism.

The entire interview is fairly long, but long on fairness, and accuracy, and well worth a read.

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Published on May 10, 2002 12:29 PM.

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