In 1971, Noam Chomsky and Michel Focault got together for a high level intellectual debate. The debate was aired by Dutch tv, and over the years has been become a reference of the discussion of Justice over Power.
The debate gravitates upon those institutions that allow politics to control the classes that will eventually control and regulate society, and the subsequent injustice that springs from the fact that, even though everybody’s supposed to be born equal, with equivalent rights and so on and so forth, this isn’t necessarily true, for we’re all at birth predetermined to what path to follow in the way in which we’re indoctrinated, let it be through the media or the application of the guidelines set forth by the controlling institutions; let it be the state, economic, financial or political.
Chomsky then argues that in a society were access to technology is widespread, individuals, in the way in which they have the need to express their creativity, will embrace those tools provided by technology to effectively bypass the indoctrinating institutions, thus becoming freethinkers and setting the base for a social revolution.
On the other hand, Focault argues that Chomsky’s thesis is based on the acceptance of human nature as being repressed by our social interactions and the nature of the institutions, but, in the way in which human nature can’t be defined, then we risk provoking a terror movement springing from the free reign to be obtained or gained by the individual, thus disorganized civil disobedience…
It certainly is a debate worth watching!
Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, and activist. He is an Institute Professor and Professor (Emeritus) in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years. Chomsky has been described as the “father of modern linguistics” and a major figure of analytic philosophy. His work has influenced fields such as computer science, mathematics, and psychology.
Michel Foucault (15 October 1926 – 25 June 1984) was a French philosopher, social theorist and historian of ideas. He held a chair at the Collège de France with the title “History of Systems of Thought,” and lectured at the University at Buffalo and the University of California, Berkeley.
Foucault is best known for his critical studies of social institutions, most notably psychiatry, social anthropology of medicine, the human sciences and the prison system, as well as for his work on the history of human sexuality. His writings on power, knowledge, and discourse have been widely influential in academic circles.