19 Dec 2009
Noam Chomsky recently delivered the 5th annual Edward Said Lecture at Columbia University.
According to Chomsky, Said's greatest achievement as a literary critic was to put imperialism at the centre of western civilization. Said comprehensively uncovered and explored the different manifestations and impact of imperialism.
Chomsky's lecture highlights events that opened the way to the famous unipolar moment that led to unchallenged US global hegemony 20 years ago -- the fall of the Berlin Wall.
He weaves between historical events and the recent 20th anniversary celebrations of the fall of the wall, providing an illuminating account of how imperialism works.
Chomsky frames his lecture on the double tracks of policy and ideology, commenting on how these are used to perpetuate imperialism.
As always his exposé of the role of the intelligentsia and general analysis of the discourse is masterful.
Some of the imperialist projects he highlights in this hour long lecture include the extermination of native Americans; the annexation of Palestinian land by Israel; human rights violations in Latin America conducted by client states of America; the present-day coup in Honduras, the geopolitics of energy, and more.
Editor's Note: You may also be interested in watching Chomsky, speaking in Waterton, Massachusetts on 6 December 2009 where he delivered a lecture titled "Gaza: One Year Later."