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(en) Ireland, WSM - Workers Solidarity #90 - Always question authority

Date Thu, 02 Feb 2006 13:25:20 +0200


These words come from an interview with leading American dissident Noam
Chomsky for the WSM's magazine back in 1995. They are just as relevant today.
"I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of
authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to
challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are
illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom.
That includes political power, ownership and management, relations
among men and women, parents and children, our control over the
fate of future generations (the basic moral imperative behind the
environmental movement, in my view), and much else.

Naturally this means a challenge to the huge institutions of coercion
and control: the state, the unaccountable private tyrannies that
control most of the domestic and international economy, and so on.
But not only these. That is what I have always understood to be the
essence of anarchism: the conviction that the burden of proof has to
be placed on authority, and that it should be dismantled if that
burden cannot be met."

The mainstream media, owned by multi-millionaires like Tony
O'Reilly and Rupert Murdoch, and does not ask hard questions. The
self-serving propaganda of the ruling class is presented as fact. We
are not supposed to make a habit of questioning those in charge.

Michael McDowell has used allegations of IRA connections against
journalist Frank Connolly in order to wreck the investigative Centre
for Public Inquiry. The allegations, made under 'privilege' in the Dail
so that he can't be questioned or sued, have never been backed up
with any evidence.

Instead McDowell has turned the supposed basis of law on its head,
by demanding that Connolly prove his innocence. We don't know
whether there is any truth to the claims, and neither does anyone
else, as the Justice Minister won't present any evidence at all.

What we do know is that some politicians didn't like the idea of
well-funded people investigating rumours of corruption, especially
with a general election due next year. Why did McDowell pay
massively over the market price for the new prison site in north
Dublin? What is the relationship between Shell Oil and the
government? Why have they been given such generous tax
concessions?

We need to question what our rulers and their mouthpieces say.
Their politicians, their economic experts and their editors want to
maintain a system which has been very good to them. While most of
us gain somewhat when there is more wealth around, the proportion
of that wealth going to the already rich increases all the time.

We should not accept unquestioningly their propaganda that they
know what's best for the rest of us, that there must always be
bosses, that eliminating poverty is impossible, that some are
naturally suited to giving orders and others to just obeying, that
working people are not capable of making important decisions, that
we must leave the running of the country to a small wealthy
minority.

From Workers Solidarity 90 Jan/Feb 2006

This was the front cover story from WS90 - Chomsky was speaking
in Dublin including at a meeting organised by the WSM
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