“The protests that erupted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the late 1960s were an important part of the wider student unrest that shook the US in this period. Noam Chomsky has often talked sympathetically about these protests, which focused on MIT’s development of both nuclear weapons and weapons used in the Vietnam war. However, Chomsky also has a strong loyalty to MIT – at one point describing the university as ‘the freest and the most honest and has the best relations between faculty and students than any other … [with] a good record on civil liberties’ – and it seems this loyalty has prevented him from giving a full account of these events. The following links show the remarkable story of what happened when students at the centre of the US’s university-based war research program decided to rebel. …
- Noam Chomsky: ‘The responsibilities of intellectuals’, New York Review of Books, February 1967.
- Letter in New York Review of Books, March 1967 – where Chomsky said MIT’s ‘involvement in the war effort is tragic and indefensible.’
- Letter in New York Review of Books, April 1967 – where Chomsky said ‘MIT as an institution has no involvement in the war effort.’
- TV debate with Michel Foucault, 1971 – where Chomsky said MIT ‘embodies very important libertarian values’ but that he hoped his presence there helped ‘to increase student activism against a lot of things that MIT as an institution does.’
- ‘MIT review panel on special laboratories final report’, October 1969 – includes contributions by Noam Chomsky and Jon Kabat (now known as Jon Kabat-Zinn). ….”