Noam Chomsky: Sydney Peace Prize 2011

Noam Chomsky is the recipient of this year’s Sydney Peace Prize.
He delivered the City of Sydney Peace Prize Lecture in the Sydney Town Hall on 2 November.
I noted in the transcript of his speech that Professor Chomsky exhorted us “never forget that our wealth derives in no small measure from the tragedy of others”.
By good fortune I was able to listen to Noam Chomsky’s conversation with Phillip Adams on Radio National’s Late Night Live program. With a couple of prompts from Phillip, Noam Chomsky provided a fascinating account of a personal learning journey that moved from the 1930s to the present day.
I enjoyed his discussion of inquiry and the impetus to learn more about the world … particularly when a challenge is made to ‘normal’ science.
I liked johnh’s comment on the Late Night Live page:

Chomsky always surfaces a smile of recognition from deep within my subconscious. His gravelly considered delivery articulates insightful critique of the greedy and powerful, and soothes this troubled soul. He’s someone who understands the hypocrisy and dangers of the dominant culture, clearly outlining key issues otherwise shrouded by their complexity. I know he doesn’t like it, but his values and opinions are leadership incarnate, perhaps precisely because he discourages ‘followers’. He can’t avoid setting us all a fine example by his conduct. He respects history and thinks clearly.

Photo Credit
Noam Chomsky (Sydney Peace Prize website accessed 4 November 2011)


  1. Chomsky (and Pilger) played such a large part in my thinking for many years. I find now that most Australians do not know who either are and are poorer for it. This includes teachers.

    • Dear Darcy
      Thanks for finding this post. I wrote it partly for the reason you identify … cultural forgetting. In the interview with Phillip Adams, Noam Chomsky talks about Dewey informed education and how he flourished because he attended a Dewey school. I know that your practice follows theses principles and it is why your pupils flourish.
      I have been fortunate to teach a unit at the University of Canberra this semester and have enjoyed exploring personal learning enriched by Dewey et al.
      Best wishes


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