Who Owns The Earth? — Noam Chomsky

Guest Column

Noam Chomsky

Who Owns The Earth?


Introduced by Paul Craig Roberts

In my latest book, The Failure Of Laissez Faire Capitalism And Economic Dissolution of The West: Towards A New Economics For A Full World (Clarity Press, 2013), I emphasize that nature’s capital, not man-made capital, is the limiting factor for life on earth. I learned from ecological economist Herman Daly and others who were able to escape dogma and to think independently that the measure used by economists to measure economic success–the growth of GDP–does not include the most important costs.

What this means is that economics as presently understood is defective and is leading humanity to its destruction.

Noam Chomsky has a brilliant mind and the courage to use it. As a critic of Israel’s inhumane policies toward the Palestinians, Chomsky has been branded by the Israel Lobby as an anti-semite and a “self-hating Jew.” See for example: http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/articles/Is%20Noam%20Chomsky%20an%20Anti.htm There is an entire industry that demonizes Chomsky. See, for example, http://chomskywatch.blogspot.com and http://www.masada2000.org/selfhate2.html

Jews who make constructive criticisms of Israeli policies in attempts to protect Israel from the follies and mendacity of its government are branded “self-hating Jews.” Gentiles who provide constructive criticisms are branded “anti-semites” and “holocaust deniers,” even though they have never denounced Jews or denied the holocaust. The Israel Lobby has worked overtime to establish that any criticism of Israeli government policy reeks of total evil and is an indication that the writer intends a new holocaust. Absurd denunciations by the Israel Lobby of Israel’s critics have deprived “anti-semite” of its traditional meaning and given it a new meaning–possessor of a moral conscience.

Chomsky, a MIT professor who is the father of modern linguistics, has a moral conscience, and he turned his astute mind to the horrors of our time. Now that Chomsky is 85 years old, I am unsure what we will do without him.

No human can take on every issue. Chomsky is often criticized for not exceeding the labors of Heracles and taking on 9/11. But as I have learned in life, one person can only do so much. Chomsky has done a lot for truth, and a lot is a lot. The people who condemn Chomsky should first try to measure themselves by him. Few, if any, will measure up.

In his commencement address at the American University of Beirut on June 14, 2013, Chomsky makes the point that our planet is our common possession. It does not belong to Monsanto, or to the military/security complex, or to Wall Street, or to the oil, mining, and timber industries. It belongs to life. If we don’t defend it, short-term profit greed will destroy it. Unbridled capitalism means the destruction of the Earth.

The amount of profits that can be made depends on how much of the cost can be imposed on nature. Therefore, in the world economy where unchecked greed operates, humans with their short-term thinking impose huge costs on nature in order to provide profits for executive bonuses, shareholders, and Wall Street.

Chomsky’s statement is true that “the Earth now desperately needs defense from impending environmental catastrophe.”

The question is: are there sufficient rational and literate persons to save Earth? And if such astute people do exist, do they have the power to save Earth from capitalist greed and Washington’s desire for hegemony?

The question humanity faces is: In the race to destroy the earth, will Washington’s drive for world hegemony result in World War III before capitalist greed pollutes the planet to death?

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