Truth To Power: The Influence of Bertrand Russell on Noam Chomsky’s Activism



Bertrand Russell, Noam Chomsky, activism, anarcho-syndicalism, optimism


There are different ways of approaching contemporary governments. One approach is nihilism, which results from suffering and pain caused by political violence and injustice. The other approach is optimism, which suggests seizing available opportunities and affirming the process despite its shortcomings, rather than giving up and waiting for the worst-case scenario to happen. This perspective assumes that despite political disasters, there are ways to improve life. The pursuit of a better life can be achieved through orthodox or oppositional and radical means. This article examines the contemporary philosopher Noam Chomsky, who identifies as an optimist while maintaining a radical and oppositional stance against the violence of power. It also delves into the activism of Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) and his influence on Chomsky.


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How to Cite

KILINÇ, Y. (2023). Truth To Power: The Influence of Bertrand Russell on Noam Chomsky’s Activism. POLITIKOS: Journal of Social and Political Philosophy , 2(1), 71–83. Retrieved from