Justice vs. Power - Noam Chomsky vs. Michel Foucault, Part 1/2

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Simon Oswitch
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In 1971, American linguist/social activist Noam Chomsky squared off against French philosopher Michel Foucault on Dutch television ... the debate offered sharp contrasts between a traditional view of 'human nature' and what would become a postmodernist perspective ... Chomsky, following an historical rationalist lineage, argues for a foundational 'nature' and that its positive aspects (love, creativity, recognizing/embracing justice) must be realized, while Foucault remains skeptical of any such notion... for him, the issue is not whether 'justice' or 'human nature' 'exists,' but how they function in a society ... in regard to justice, he says (not included): "... the idea of justice in itself is an idea which in effect has been invented and put to work in different types of societies as an instrument of a certain political and economic power or as a weapon against that power..." The point of a political struggle is to alter the 'power relations' in which we all find ourselves ...

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