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Chomsky delivers lecture


Noam Chomsky, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor considered the father of modern linguistics, spoke March 4 in the Osterhout Concert Theater.
Noam Chomsky, one of the world’s most famous intellectuals, delivered a wide ranging lecture titled “Imminent Crises: Paths Toward Solutions” on Saturday night at the Anderson Center. Chomsky discussed topics ranging from nuclear proliferation to democracy in Bolivia.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor, considered the father of modern linguistics, is a prolific author. Chomsky, a 76 year old Philadelphia native, holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.

He said the country faces a number of crises that demand our attention, including the threat of nuclear war and the possibility of environmental disaster.

Chomsky takes a fairly negative view of U.S. foreign policy going back several decades. He believes America has made poor decisions on issues ranging from the Kyoto environmental treaty to treatment of countries such as Iran and Cuba.

Toward the end of his lecture, Chomsky laid out several steps he feels the United States must take to avert disaster. He said the country should:
•Accept the Kyoto accord.
•Allow the United Nations to take the lead in responding to world issues.
•Give up its veto in the U.N. Security Council.
•Cut military spending while increasing social spending. After his talk, Chomsky took questions from the crowd for more than an hour. The audience was a mix of students and older residents from Greater Binghamton and throughout upstate New York. Questions touched on democracy, student activism, Iran, the war in Iraq and other issues.

Chomsky emphasized that constant engagement is the key to meaningful democracy.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08