Portrait of Noam Chomsky by Luca Del Baldo
Political comedian Matthew Filipowicz interviewed Noam Chomsky at his MIT office recently. Filipowicz writes:
We discussed many aspects of activism including how he felt activists and progressives should approach two party politics and specifically the 2012 election:
“I think they should spend five or ten minutes on it. Seeing if there’s a point in taking part in the carefully orchestrated electoral extravaganza. And my own judgment, for what it’s worth, is, yes, there’s a point to taking a part.”
Professor Chomsky said he will probably vote for Jill Stein for president in effort to push a genuine electoral alternative, but that if he lived in a swing state he would vote “against Romney-Ryan, which means voting for Obama.”
We also discussed the relationship between tactics and action. Speaking about Occupy Wall Street’s public encampments, Professor Chomsky, who supported OWS and authored a book on the subject, said such tactics have a half-life and that when one tactic stops working, activists have a responsibility to try something else.
Hear, hear. Just as there’s really no more Tea party, only an ignorant, nativist Fox News fan club that was left once the tide went back out, during the conservative movement’s brief heyday, they actually got several dozen members of Congress elected. Although a lot of that groundwork seems set to be undone in this election, where is the Occupy movement to fill in that vacuum? The answer is nowhere, of course, because the Occupy movement doesn’t exist anymore, either.
Yes, Occupy changed the conversation, I’d agree with that, but then what?
Then fuckin’ nothing. It didn’t even last for an entire year. It’s time for something new. Something more.