Here’s the question Ken Loach wanted to ask Noam Chomsky who wished to thank you all and send his apologies for not being able to connect properly, due to technical issues, and meet you!👇
Loach: I would have quoted Trotsky to Professor Chomsky: “The great question of our time is the historical crisis of the leadership of the proletariat”, my question is how do we assert that leadership? Because if we have leadership, we can change the world. If we don’t have principles and socialist leadership, we will be destroyed. It’s as simple as that. We need leadership based on these principles to harness this force we have. We are very strong but without leadership we are nothing, and that’s what we need.
Chomsky: Dear Ken, very sorry to have missed you today. Was really looking forward to it. On the issue you raise, I quite agree that we need leadership and principles. But — the inevitable “but.” I don’t think they can be dissociated from the constant struggle to bring about a better world. One of the comments of my old friend Howard Zinn always resonates:
“What matters is the countless small deeds of unknown people, who lay the basis for the significant events that enter history.” Martin Luther King was a great figure, but I think he’d have agreed that he was riding on a wave created by SNCC workers risking their lives trying to encourage black farmers to dare to vote. The great popular uprisings and creative activism of the revolutionary year 1917 provided the groundwork for Trotsky’s rise to a leadership role. Seems to me that’s what we can hope to participate in, sometimes stimulate. Leaders will emerge. Principles will be developed and discovered — like the Soviets and workers councils in ‘17. Reaction to this might be like when I met Pham Van Dong in a visit to Hanoi at the height of the bombing. He had on his desk a French translation of my book American Power and the New Mandarins. I asked him what he thought about it. He shrugged, and said, “trop anarchiste”.