After decades of being virtually ignored by the mainstream, Noam Chomsky is getting his due—sort of. According to a May 17 Fox News op-ed, the prolific author and lifelong activist is largely to blame when leftist protests turn violent.
In an op-ed titled “Liberals (and the media) are finally getting the violence they wanted,” Dan Gainor, a vice-president of the politically conservative Media Research Center, references Chomsky’s Understanding Power (2002) in the first line of his assertion.
“Liberal commentator Noam Chomsky once wrote, ‘people with power understand exactly one thing: violence,'” Gainor writes. “His alt-left supporters must have been paying attention.”
“As a result,” explains Gainor, “the liberal cold war against the right has escalated from demonization to intimidation, harassment and violence, with Trump administration officials and members of Congress as prime targets.”
However, Chomsky was referring to a possibility of the U.S. reassessing its policies toward Israeli-occupied territories, “just as you can see the Israeli leadership reassessing them—because violence isn’t working anymore,” Chomsky continued in the book.
With regards to resistance, Chomsky has repeatedly condemned violent protests of any kind.
“The argument that resistance to the war should remain strictly nonviolent seems to me overwhelming,” Chomsky stated at the height of the Vietnam War.
“As a tactic, violence is absurd,” Chomsky added. “No one can compete with the government in violence, and the resort to violence, which will surely fail, will simply frighten and alienate some who can be reached, and will further encourage the ideologists and administrators of forceful repression.”