In this episode of Talk to Al Jazeera, Noam Chomsky sits down with Rosiland Jordan to talk about the two main tracks of his life: research and political activism. Chomsky emphasizes "The more privilege you have, the more opportunity you have. The more opportunity you have, the more responsibility you have."
Discussing US politics, he attributes the growing popularity of the Tea Party movement, and the fanatical opposition to President Barack Obama in some quarters, to what he calls the country's "pathological paranoia".
"It’s something that exists in the country. It’s a very frightened country, always has been," he says.
At the same time, Chomsky sees Obama himself as a man without a "moral centre".
"If you look at his policies I think that’s what they reveal. I mean there’s some nice rhetoric here and there but when you look at the actual policies … the drone assassination campaign is a perfectly good example, I mean it’s just a global assassination campaign."
On Israel's continued expansion of settlements in the West Bank, Chomsky says "there was no effort" by Obama to even try and curb it.
"[Obama's] telling Netanyahu and the other Israeli leaders: I’ll tap you on the wrist but go ahead and do what you like .... So in fact, Obama is actually the first president who hasn’t really imposed restrictions on Israel."
Chomsky is also critical of "neoliberal programmes" that he blames for the global financial crisis:
"The New Deal regulations were in place and there were no financial crisis, none .... Starting in the 1970s it changed pretty radically. There were decisions made - not laws of nature - to reconstruct the economy."
And decades later, these decisions have resulted in a situation which "really is a catastrophe," he says.
Chomsky believes that "Nothing’s ever gone too far. Anything can be reversed; these are human decisions.The more privilege you have, the more opportunity you have. The more opportunity you have, the more responsibility you have."