Monday, November 7, 2011
Noam Chomsky Accepts Sydney Peace Award
Nonviolent Revolutionary Noam Chomsky is the 2011 recipient of the Sydney Peace Award. He accepted the award in Sydney, Australia on November 2nd where he also delivered the City Of Sydney Peace Prize Lecture.
In his lecture, Chomsky calls on the idea of 'revolutionary pacifism' espoused by Nonviolent Revolutionary A.J. Muste:
"Can we proceed to at least limit the scourge of war? One answer is given by absolute pacifists, including people I respect though I have never felt able to go beyond that. A somewhat more persuasive stand, I think, is that of the pacifist thinker and social activist A.J. Muste, one of the great figures of 20th century America, in my opinion: what he called “revolutionary pacifism.” Muste disdained the search for peace without justice. He urged that “one must be a revolutionary before one can be a pacifist” – by which he meant that we must cease to “acquiesce [so] easily in evil conditions,” and must deal “honestly and adequately with this ninety percent of our problem” – “the violence on which the present system is based, and all the evil – material and spiritual – this entails for the masses of men throughout the world.” Unless we do so, he argued, “there is something ludicrous, and perhaps hypocritical, about our concern over the ten per cent of the violence employed by the rebels against oppression” – no matter how hideous they may be. He was confronting the hardest problem of the day for a pacifist, the question whether to take part in the anti-fascist war."
Chomsky then goes on to detail many examples of how because of "the violence on which the present system is based" things didn't really work out so well for U.S. foreign policy (or it's many, many victims), instead making a much worse mess with continuing consequences.
Read full transcript of Chomsky's speech here.
Congratulations to Mr. Chomsky for this well deserved recognition! Thank you for having the courage to continually and relentlessly speak up!