View Full Version : NOAM CHOMSKY predicted what's happening now...

05-27-2003, 07:37 PM
I was reading an interview with Noam Chomsky, MIT professor, who had some really interesting points to make about the economy, jobs, our lives. It wouldn't be scary if it wasn't so true.
These things seem to be happening now:


NAFTA and GATT are quite similar. They both have highly protectionist elements. They're kind of a mixture of liberalization and protection designed to expand the power of transnational corporations. They're very basically investor's rights agreements. One crucial part in both is the "intellectual property right," which is a funny way of saying that corporations, like pharmaceutical companies, will have near-monopolistic rule over future technology. This now includes product as well as process rights.

These agreements increase corporate power, protecting huge, essentially totalitarian institutions from market discipline, and also from popular pressures and scrutiny. A network of semi-governmental institutions like the world trade organizations, the World Bank and so on, are taking over the process. There is a considerable polarization taking place here, increasing the gap between rich and poor. It's most dramatic in Third World countries, of course, but in the rich countries it's also very noticeable. Parts of the United States are taking on a Third World look. Enormous and growing parts of the population are basically superfluous for profit-making purposes. Along with this, the jail population is increasing very rapidly; it's the highest in the industrial world by far. New and onerous crime bills are being passed to deal with this superfluous population.

We're now in a situation in which Capital is highly mobile and Labour is basically immobile. The capacity to transfer production elsewhere is a weapon against the Western workers. Workers in different countries can easily be played off against each other.

That was on a national scale. Now the same thing is happening internationally, picking up on the early 19th Century but on a global scale, with pretty much the same ideology; people have no human rights, only the rights that they can gain on the labour market. Above all, wealth and power have to be protected.