Tag Archives: Noam Chomsky

Jean Bricmont

The importance of thought control of the general population suggests precisely that the role of the critical intellectual is crucial for any movement aiming at liberating social change. [T]he writings of Noam Chomsky offer an outstanding example of what a critical intellectual can do. Political activities of (leftist) intellectuals often oscillate between two extremes: either they absorb themselves entirely into militant work (usually when they are young) and do not really use their specific abilities as intellectuals; or they retreat from that kind of involvement, but then limit themselves to expressing moral indignation disconnected from genuine political analysis.

Jean Bricmont, ‘The Responsibility of the Intellectual’, in James McGilvray (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Chomsky, Cambridge, 2005, pp. 280-281

Fred Branfman

When you visited me in Laos in 1970, I was at a real low point, anguished by the bombing and feeling almost totally isolated. Your passion, commitment and shared pain about the need to stop the bombing, and warm, personal support and caring, meant more to me than you will ever know. It also meant alot to me for reasons I can’t quite explain that of the dozens and dozens of people I took out to the camps to interview the refugees from the bombing you were the only one, besides myself, to cry. Your subsequent article for the New York Review of Books and all the other writing and speaking you did on Laos, was also the only body of work that got it absolutely right. It has given me a little more faith in the species ever since to know that it has produced a Being of so much integrity, passion and intellect. I feel a lot of love for you on your birthday—and shake my head in amazement knowing that you’ll never stop.

Fred Branfman, ‘Message for Noam Chomsky on his 70th birthday’