PEOPLE should embrace the sort of anarchism typified by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Noam Chomsky says.
The American commentator, philosopher and activist was being interviewed in front of a packed theatre at the Sydney Opera House today when he was asked his thoughts on Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s comments that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s motivations were “sort of anarchic”.
Professor Chomsky said if anarchy meant questioning authority and demanding the truth, then everyone should be anarchic.
“In that sense I think everyone should be an anarchist,” he said, in response to heavy applause from the audience.
Anarchism should not be viewed in a negative light, Prof Chomsky said.
“It’s not the conception of anarchism as people running wild and breaking windows.
“In our age we have to overcome the barriers introduced by the ranks of capitalism and corporate capitalism and I think there is some sense in that, at the core of the anarchist tradition … is to ask and raise questions about authority, hierarchy and domination.
“And if it cannot justify itself, then it should be dismantled. That’s the core principle of anarchism.”
His comments came after Britain’s High Court in London upheld a ruling that Assange should be sent to face questioning by Swedish authorities over claims of sexual assault against two women.
Prof Chomsky is to receive the 2012 Sydney Peace Prize at a ceremony later this evening.