Noam Chomsky answers the question you've always wanted to ask: 'Have you ever been wrong?'
Author and social philosopher Noam Chomsky (Screen capture)

In an interview with Conor Gearty, the director of the Institute of Public Affairs at the London School of Economics, Noam Chomsky answered the one question that anyone who's read him wants answered.


"I want to ask you," Gearty said, "and you don't have to answer -- Fifth Amendment -- but do you think you've ever been wrong?"

Before he could reply, the audience laughed nervously, but Gearty insisted "it's not a coy question, though."

"Sure," Chomsky responded, "take the worst crime of the post-war era -- the United States' attack on Indo-China. A really horrendous crime, it destroyed three countries, and they may never recover. Millions of people killed, mass devastation, chemical warfare, destroyed crops -- every atrocity you can think of."

"The time to have become opposed to that was 1950," he continued. "I didn't. I didn't do anything in the 1950s. It was pretty clear what was going on. It wasn't until the 1960s, when [President John F.] Kennedy sharply escalated the war, that I started trying to talk a little bit about it -- but not enough."

"And that was a bad mistake," Chomsky concluded, "but there are have been plenty of others," although he declined to elaborate what exactly they were.

Watch the full video below via YouTube.