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Julian Casablancas Interviews Noam Chomsky on Latest ‘S.O.S. — Earth Is a Mess’

Linguist and philosopher discusses the constraints of U.S. democracy, the tension between words and ideas, the climate crisis, and more

Julian Casablancas has released a new interview with famed philosopher, linguist, and social critic Noam Chomsky on the latest episode of his Rolling Stone interview series, S.O.S. — Earth Is a Mess.

The interview finds the 92-year-old Chomsky chatting virtually with the Strokes and the Voidz frontman, appearing in the form of a giant Wizard of Oz-style head that fits the show’s sci-fi aesthetic. The interview finds Chomsky specifically touching on the ways democracy has changed and been constrained in the United States over time, and how representative the U.S. government actually is of the people compared to corporate interests.

Casablancas also asks Chomsky about his work in linguistics, and whether he believes words are important or secondary to ideas. “That depends whether you see yourself as a propagandist who wants to control people or as somebody who wants to induce people to think for themselves and solve their own problems,” Chomsky replies. “That’s a decision.”

The interview ends with Casablancas asking Chomsky what he would do with a magic wand, to which he replies, “If I had a magic wand, I would get people to understand… let’s take the environment, which is the most crucial issue we face. You can’t overestimate, we have maybe a decade or two, that’s it, in which we can decide to get the heating of the environment under control. If we don’t do it, we’re finished. It’s not that everybody’s going to die the next year, but we’ll be on a course that is irreversible.”

Past episodes of S.O.S. — Earth Is a Mess have found Casablancas in conversation with journalist and professor Chris Hedges, Andrew Yang, and Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman.

From Rolling Stone US