Program #CHON217. Recorded in Amherst, MA on September 27, 2012.
Adam Smith is routinely trotted out by pundits to justify the current economic system. Yet the Smith that is represented bares little resemblance to reality. If he were around today he probably would be appalled at the way his name and ideas are being bandied about. All that stuff about the free market and entrepreneurial spirit are slogans to prevent people from understanding how the economy really works. Actual capitalism relies on significant government intervention and taxpayer subsidies. Who after all bailed out Wall Street banks and financial institutions? In sector after sector it is public money that paves the way for private profit. Take computers and the Internet. Where did they come from? Bill Gates working in a garage in Palo Alto? Hardly. They were products of the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Noam Chomsky, legendary MIT professor, has been a leading voice for peace and social justice for more than 40 years. Edward Said called him, “one of the most significant challengers of unjust power and delusions; he goes against every assumption about American altruism and humanitarianism.” He is the author of scores of books, including “Hopes & Prospects” and “How The World Works.”