In this classic talk delivered at the Poetry Center, New York, on February 16, 1970, Noam Chomsky articulates a clear, uncompromising vision of social change. Chomsky contrasts the classical liberal, libertarian socialist, state socialist, and state capitalist world views and then defends a libertarian socialist vision as "the proper and natural extension . . . of classical liberalism into the era of advanced industrial society." In his stirring conclusion Chomsky argues, "We have today the technical and material resources to meet man’s animal needs.We have not developed the cultural and moral resources or the democratic forms of social organization that make possible the humane and rational use of our material wealth and power. Conceivably, the classical liberal ideals as expressed and developed in their libertarian socialist form are achievable. But if so, only by a popular revolutionary movement, rooted in wide strata of the population and committed to the elimination of repressive and authoritarian institutions, state and private. To create such a movement is a challenge we face and must meet if there is to be an escape from contemporary barbarism."
NOAM CHOMSKY is known throughout the world for his political and philosophical writings, as well as for his groundbreaking work in linguistics. A professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1955, Chomsky first gained recognition for his theory of generative grammar, which drew attention to the syntactic universality of all human languages. But it is as a critic of unending war, corporate control and neoliberalism that Chomsky has become one of the country’s most well known public intellectuals. He is the author of Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order, 9-11: Was There an Alternative?, and over forty other books. To this day Chomsky remains an active and uncompromising voice of dissent.