Noam Chomsky and Michel Foucault Debate on ‘Human Nature and the Ideal Society’ (with English subtitles)

This debate is required viewing for anyone who appreciates the work of either of these two great minds.  It takes place in 1971 as the war in Vietnam rages on.  They discuss their respective specialties, human nature, the direction of society, society’s institutions, class warfare, capitalism, Marxism, anarcho-syndicalism, and much more.

This article from Roar Magazine (which claims a share of the credit for translation) about the debate adds some interesting background information and contains a full transcript of the discussion.

There is also another complete version that doesn’t appear to omit anything except the additional commentary; though most would probably benefit from the clarifications of the commentator included in the first video.

US Isn’t Going to Sign the UN Arms Trade Treaty and I Can’t Imagine Why

Selling Tanks!  Photo credit:  Ben Job/REUTERS

Selling Tanks! Photo credit: Ben Job/REUTERS

The U.S. will join the likes of North Korea, Iran, and Syria by not ratifying the new arms trade treaty passed at the UN General Assembly.  President Obama committed to signing it, but it is an empty promise because the US Senate will not ratify it and he knows it. The Republicans won’t allow it.  That makes it safe for him to say the opposite of what he knows ‘we need to allow’ and keep his base happy (go team Repulicrat/Demican).  You know the military-industrial complex would be not be happy if America actually stopped being the world’s largest arms supplier.  That said, does anyone actually think less arms are going to be traded after this treaty?  Who will regulate the arms trade?  Oh that’s right, nobody – the UN has no enforcement ability.

An interesting side-note: China has now replaced Britain as the world’s 5th largest arms supplier.

The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom?

Video

This is a broad reaching 3 part BBC documentary about inequality, class, privilege, game theory, human nature, freedom, democracy, authoritarianism, and terrorism, in Britain and the United States.  The documentary examines economic theories, the psychiatric community, the financial industry, the revolution of statistical analysis as a means of increasing efficiency, and even capitalism itself.  I can’t tell you how much this documentary made me think.  No matter which lens you look through our world at, you’ll have a greater understanding of our societies after watching this.  It’s well worth the time.

NSFW (a few f words)