Noam Chomsky & the WSM discuss politics over breakfast

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  • user warning: Table './external/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: UPDATE cache_views_data SET data = 'a:3:{s:6:\"result\";a:6:{i:0;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8695\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:59:\"The housing crisis in Ireland - 8 points on the big picture\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:745:\"<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"/sites/default/files/HousingMarch.jpg\" style=\"width: 400px; height: 320px; margin: 3px; float: right;\" />The WSM has been having a &#39;big picture&#39; discussion around the housing crisis from which the following points emerged. We are publishing them ahead of the December 1st demonstration in Dublon (14.00 Parnell square).</p>\r\n<p>1. We built our cities and the houses of our cities. They are ours, not to slave in, but to master and to own*.</p>\r\n<p>2. The contemporary crisis of capitalism has made markedly visible the relationship between finance capital and property speculation, between the concentrated money-power of bankers and speculators and the shaping of the built environment in our towns and cities.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1543494053\";}i:1;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8679\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:25:\"DABF Safer spaces policy \";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:593:\"<div>\r\n This policy applies to the bookfair, the fundraising afterparty, the meeting spaces and online spaces. This policy is made in order to create an environment to foster free discussion and sharing of ideas, those engaging in abusive or oppressive behaviour will be asked to leave the space. We encourage all attendees to be aware of this policy, and to report to book-fair volunteers if they observe people engaging in abusive or oppressive behaviour.</div>\r\n<div>\r\n &nbsp;</div>\r\n<div>\r\n We define the following as abusive behaviours which are not tolerated in this space;</div>\r\n<div>\r\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1536841535\";}i:2;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8675\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:47:\"Get your Dublin Anarchist Bookfair 2018 T-shirt\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:310:\"<p><strong>Get your Dublin Anarchist Bookfair t-shirt! [ONLINE SALES ARE NOW CLOSED]</strong><br />\r\n <img alt=\"\" src=\"/sites/default/files/Womens%20tee.jpg\" style=\"width: 300px; height: 300px;\" />&nbsp;&nbsp;<img alt=\"\" src=\"/sites/default/files/Mens%20tee_0.jpg\" style=\"width: 300px; height: 300px;\" /></p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1536010979\";}i:3;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"6387\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:97:\"12th Dublin Anarchist Bookfair - 14th & 15th September 2018 - Teachers Club 35 Parnell sq & Wynns\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:745:\"<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"/sites/default/files/DABF_FB_Event.png\" style=\"width: 350px; height: 195px; margin: 3px; float: right;\" />The 12th Dublin Anarchist Bookfair took place on the 15th September 2018 at the Teachers Club 35 Parnell square and on the evening of the 14th at Wynns hotel. &nbsp;Every year hundreds of people attend the Dublin Anarchist Bookfair for a day of inspiring discussions and the opportunity of meeting lots of other radicals, browsing books and meeting campaigns.</p>\r\n<p>We will be uploading about a dozen audio and video recordings of the panels at the bookfair, follow us on Twitter or Facebook to get notification of new uploads or check&nbsp;<a href=\"https://www.wsm.ie/anarchist-bookfair\">Anarchist bookfair</a></p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1528363710\";}i:4;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8642\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:51:\"8 reasons we are voting Yes to Repeal the hated 8th\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:375:\"<p class=\"rtecenter\"><img alt=\"\" src=\"/sites/default/files/Repeal8thWSMbannerthin.jpg\" style=\"width: 650px; height: 307px; margin: 3px;\" /></p>\r\n<p>On May 25th we finally get to vote to Repeal the hated 8th amendment. &nbsp;Here we present the 8 reasons we are voting Yes to Repeal along with many of the articles we have published on the issue in recent months. &nbsp;</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1527172249\";}i:5;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8639\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:52:\"What Happened When Portugal Decriminalised Abortion?\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:970:\"<p dir=\"ltr\"><strong>With the referendum to repeal the 8th <strong><img alt=\"\" src=\"/sites/default/files/portugal%20abortion%20pic.png\" style=\"height: 341px; width: 400px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 3px; float: right;\" /></strong>amendment on May 25th drawing nearer, it&rsquo;s with great interest that we look at the experience of other countries which have struggled against an abortion ban like ours, to learn from the lessons of the campaign, and to &lsquo;look into the future&rsquo;, as it were, and see the result of decriminalising abortion. As such, here are some brief notes on Portugal.</strong></p>\r\n<p dir=\"ltr\">On 11th February 2007, in a national referendum, the Portuguese voted in favor of the decriminalization of the &quot;voluntary interruption of the pregnancy&quot; (VGI). It was the end of more than 30 years of struggles, advances and retreats, with many public debates dividing several quarters of Portuguese society.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1525798800\";}}s:10:\"total_rows\";i:1579;s:5:\"pager\";a:5:{s:9:\"use_pager\";s:1:\"0\";s:14:\"items_per_page\";i:6;s:7:\"element\";i:0;s:6:\"offset\";i:0;s:12:\"current_page\";i:0;}}', created = 1566512498, expire = 1566512798, headers = '', serialized = 1 WHERE cid = 'wsm_only:block_1:results:692e0a14e0b7ab966d18830fa49232e2' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './external/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: UPDATE cache_views_data SET data = 'a:3:{s:6:\"result\";a:6:{i:0;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8692\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:57:\"No LNG terminal on the Shannon - Climate Change & Methane\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:786:\"<p>We interviewed William Hederman, an environmental researcher living in County Clare, about the planned Liquefied Natural Gas terminal on the Shannon. Construction of it will mean Ireland will fail to meet its Climate Change commitments and will instead be tied into pumping out additional Greenhouse Gases for decades. As the LNG will come from the US it will includes fracked gas, a process banned in Ireland that releases three times as much of the very powerful Climate Change gas methane as conventional gas. [<a href=\"https://youtu.be/iO960KeoaHE\">video</a>]</p>\r\n<p><iframe allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture\" allowfullscreen=\"\" frameborder=\"0\" height=\"315\" src=\"https://www.youtube.com/embed/iO960KeoaHE\" width=\"560\"></iframe></p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1542897581\";}i:1;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8687\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:30:\"Moral philosophy and abortion \";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:1167:\"<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"/sites/default/files/Philosophers.jpg\" style=\"width: 400px; height: 309px; margin: 3px; float: right;\" />The debate around abortion is sometimes characterised as an opposition between the morals of the church and personal morals. But is this an accurate description? Moral philosophy can broadly be defined as the branch of philosophy that contemplates what is right and wrong. It explores the nature of morality and examines how people should live their lives in relation to others. But a closer look at what characterises moral philosophy leads to the conclusion that while the expression &ldquo;relying on personal morals&rdquo; may come across as a useful shortcut to describe what the pro-choice stance is about, it is also a misuse of moral terminology which has the effect of casting a positive light on moral philosophy, rather than helping us come to terms with the deeply problematic nature of this field. As I hope to make clear, arguments in favour of abortion rights are rooted in anti-authoritarianism whereas moral philosophy can only exist as a rhetorical tool of authoritarianism (even when it is used with good intentions).</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1538146665\";}i:2;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8686\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:88:\"Let Them Drown: Climate Change is War - and Wall Street is Winning audio from #DABF 2018\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:587:\"<p>This audio is an independently organised panel from the 2018 Dublin Anarchist Bookfair on the bleak reality of climate change and its intersections with financial capitalism, state politics and migration. [<a href=\"https://www.mixcloud.com/workerssolidarity/climate-change-is-war-and-wall-street-is-winning-audio-from-dabf-2018/\">audio</a>]</p>\r\n<p><iframe frameborder=\"0\" height=\"120\" src=\"https://www.mixcloud.com/widget/iframe/?hide_cover=1&amp;light=1&amp;feed=%2Fworkerssolidarity%2Fclimate-change-is-war-and-wall-street-is-winning-audio-from-dabf-2018%2F\" width=\"100%\"></iframe>\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1538128457\";}i:3;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8685\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:99:\"Ending Direct Provision: Migrant Voices speak out about the Asylum process in Ireland at #DABF 2018\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:765:\"<p>People currently in Direct Provision talk about the dehumanising conditions and the large profits being made out of their suffering by the companies that own the direct provision centres. People don&rsquo;t understand why we ended up in Direct Provision, we hope to bring our stories out of the shadows of Irish society. [<a href=\"https://www.mixcloud.com/workerssolidarity/ending-direct-provision-migrant-voices-speak-out-about-the-asylum-process-in-ireland-at-dabf-2018/\">audio</a>]</p>\r\n<p><iframe frameborder=\"0\" height=\"120\" src=\"https://www.mixcloud.com/widget/iframe/?hide_cover=1&amp;light=1&amp;feed=%2Fworkerssolidarity%2Fending-direct-provision-migrant-voices-speak-out-about-the-asylum-process-in-ireland-at-dabf-2018%2F\" width=\"100%\"></iframe></p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1537883979\";}i:4;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8684\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:66:\"How my politics is intersectional - audio from panel at 2018 #DABF\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:634:\"<p>Panel from the 2018 Dublin Anarchist bookfair on the intersection between race politics, class and gender in Ireland with a particular focus on the current housing struggles and the Together for Yes referendum campaign / Repeal movement. [<a href=\"https://www.mixcloud.com/workerssolidarity/how-my-politics-is-intersectional-panel-at-2018-dublin-anarchist-bookfair/\">audio</a>]</p>\r\n<p><iframe frameborder=\"0\" height=\"120\" src=\"https://www.mixcloud.com/widget/iframe/?hide_cover=1&amp;light=1&amp;feed=%2Fworkerssolidarity%2Fhow-my-politics-is-intersectional-panel-at-2018-dublin-anarchist-bookfair%2F\" width=\"100%\"></iframe></p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1537536634\";}i:5;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8683\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:91:\"Rojava: Eyewitness to a women\'s revolution - report back from a May 2018 trip at #DABF 2018\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:597:\"<p>The 12th Dublin anarchist bookfair heard this account from Wendy, a Human Rights &amp; immigration lawyer who visited Rojava in May 2018 as part of a fact finding delegation. 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Date:

During Noam Chomsky's recent visit to Ireland five members of the Workers Solidarity Movement met him over breakfast to talk over a range of issues from Palestine to the capitalist crisis to social partnership to Iran to Obama and the US Labour Movement. Notes on the discussion are below followed by the audio recording itself.

The conversation is about 52 minutes long and as its recorded over breakfast there is a fair bit of cutlery noise included. The notes below are a very rough outline to the conversation noted down as I edited the audio file, it is not a transcript but a summary and there are substantial gaps in it as the conversation goes back and forth.

Note the acronym BDS is used a couple of times in the conversation, this stands for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)

Farah - Voices in the Wilderness, going to Iraq and Lebanon, what the Israelis did to Lebanon in 2006, problems getting the facts to the American people
Chomsky - you can't non violently shoot down fighter jets
Etain - Gaza protests in Ireland
Ger - Palestinian solidarity groups in Ireland, the Goldstone report and Israeli war crimes
Chomsky - the flaws of the Goldstone report, lies in the NY Times, unprovoked aggression is a war crime, problems with the tactics of the Palestinian solidarity movement, have to change US policy, the successful South African example
Ger - Irish activists should target our government, suspend EuroMed agreement, Irish government position is just rhetoric
Chomsky - Europe voted with US to block an International Atomic Energy Commission demand that Israel open its reactors for inspection, did Ireland vote for this.
Farah - the difficult of pro Palestinian activism in the US
Chomsky - experience of protests against him speaking on the issue at US colleges and using that to build events
Julian - how is the financial crisis being reported to the working class in the mainstream media
Chomsky - somewhat accurate but it doesn't explain why the crisis is happening and so the Murdoch right press and lunatics are providing cry answers. The Liberal Democrats can't give the right answers so they are stuck with Rush Limbugh and Sarah Palin.
Etain - what should the anarchist response be
Chomsky - explain how the policies of the last 30 years enrich rich people, these are policies of Carter, Clinton and Obama. Obama's financial advisors should be in jail.
Etain - Irish media trying to divide public and private sector workers, unions only strong in public sector, what can we do
Chomsky - build the labour movement, there has been a major campaign since WWII to undermine unions, its part of the reason the US has no health care, UAW in the US only fought for its own workers, in Canada the unions fought for everyone.
Johnny - how can anarchists and Irish workers counter anti-union
Chomsky - education, organization and tactics that are at the level of people's understanding, union bureaucracy is usually the enemy but the workforce may trust them so you can't simply say they are the enemy.
Gerry - we need to go back to Larkin
Chomsky - the working class is in trouble if it accepts the one big family line. There was some rational to partnership in giving a broader range of the workforce the benefits of the Celtic Tiger.
Etain - the fear of a return to emigration and unemployment is real
Julian - heads of ICTU put pension levy on the table, 120k workers wanted a general strike but the strike never happened, was very demoralizing
Chomsky - the degeneration of workers solidarity has been pretty remarkable, Obama spoke at a Caterpillar factory but there were no protests from the Labor Movement, it was the first factory in generations back in the 80's to call in scabs, strikers did not get community support because of collapse of working class culture, that's where Obama goes to give his solidarity speech
Ger - how does that compare with workers struggles in Argentina in 2001
Chomsky - that crisis really destroyed the economy, there have been little revolts in the US like the Republic Windows and Doors sit in in Chicago, lot of the workers got their jobs back, auto plants are being shut down but high speed rail could be build in those plants
Ger - Waterford crystal & Visteon occupations in Ireland
Chomsky - I followed that. In the New Deal as soon as workers started sitting in that is when legislation was passed. In Argentina it happened after everything collapsed, you don't want to wait till that. Youngstown, Ohio saw an attempt to have a legal take over of the plants by the workers rather than a closure, that is where anarchists should be pushing to take the next step. From giving talks in working class areas people think its kinda reasonable, that is labor history, someone has got to light that spark.
Etain - importance of education, how do you deal with apart and people not getting terms like anarchist
Chomsky - subtract the terms, they scare people, just talk about taking over the plant
Etain - what is the best way to communicate that
Chomsky - house to house organizing, neighborhood meetings, remember antiwar and civil rights movement started with small meetings of 4 people
Johnny - what is the medias role in driving a wedge between workers
Ger - media furore about the release of last two (provo) IRA prisoners but no reporting of military refueling at Shannon
Chomsky - they are doing their job, they are part of the state corporate system, praise them for occasionally breaking out. Journalists believe in what they are doing just like soviet party hacks. They can criticize someone else's crimes but not those of their own state.
Julian - media crusade against Shell to Sea campaign
Chomsky - media critique is a good thing to do but you can't act if your surprised. Purpose of critique is not to change media but to get people to understand the filters
Etain - should grassroots groups be advocating strikes or a building social centers
Chomsky - does the population understand what tomorrows (ICTU) demonstration is about? Impressions of the audience at the Pat Kenny discussion about the demonstration, they seemed very split about it. This can be harmful, happened to the anti-war protests in the 60's with split to maoist cults and weathermen which turned into a gift for Nixon. People can understand taking over a factory. It's pretty straightforward. All tactics need to be adopted to the circumstance
Etain - why are so few women involved in politics
Chomsky -are you sure its true, there are plenty of women now and in the past e.g. Women's Strike for Peace. The anarchist tradition has plenty, participation is better now then before due to feminist movement, there are less barriers. Back in the Spanish Civil War the women anarchist leaders were supporting sexist practise that wouldn't happen now.
Farah - some of biggest social justice movement in Middle East are women's movements, even on agenda of Iranian election
Chomsky - a bit on Iranian election, feminist movement in Afghanistan preceded that in the US.
Farah - perception that women don't have rights in a lot of Islamic countries, going to a protest after that about execution of scholars, do you have thoughts on Iran
Chomsky - will there be a demonstration in Iran outside the US embassy tomorrow as they have banned all demonstrations. It's a very touchy situation, its unclear how we can best help, a strong stand against the government is good from one point of view but it helps the government paint the demonstrations as a western plot. You don't want protest to take a form that can be exploited by the ruling clerics. On Afghanistan we can make sure their voices are heard.
Farah - Code Pink recently came out against a timetable for US withdrawal after visiting Afghanistan, it was very disappointing
Chomsky - who did they talk to, Afghan women are caught between awful forces, where do you find a way out that doesn't leave one of these forces in power.
Farah - EU ambassadors saying they don't want to tell Afghan government how to treat their women as its culturally insensitive
Chomsky - best period for women in Kabul was probably during the Russian occupation, big problem was with US backed Islamic radicals, wasn't possible to get stuff published that said this.
Ger - can I ask for your opinions on Free Gaza and Viva Palestina movement
Chomsky - really inspiring development, something totally new in the history of imperialism, if Israel rams the boats its an organizing technique, if they get through its great, people have been beaten and kidnapped by Israeli forces, one thing that can turn US government policy and that's the real target. One goal is to help the Palestinians directly which is fine but also tactics that can shift US policy is critically significant. Europe can take an independent stand and Ireland could help this happen

Listen to the audio on indymedia.ie, 24mb, 52 minutes

---
When Chomsky was in Dublin in 2006 he did a private questions and answers session for the WSM and guests at the Teachers Club. You can view the video recording of this at our youtube channel at
That presentation if more focused on a discussion of anarchism and anarchist history

Noam Chomsky on Anarchism, Marxism & Hope for the Future
Interview between Noam Chomsky and Kevin Doyle of the WSM from 1995

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