“From my personal experience there are two countries in which my political writings can basically not appear. One is the U.S. within the mainstream with very rare exceptions. The other is the USSR..I think what we ought to do is to try to understand the truth about the world. And the truth about the world is usually quite unpleasant. My own concern is primarily the terror and violence carried out by my own state, for two reasons. For one thing, because it happens to be the larger component of international violence. But also for a much more important reason than that; namely, I can do something about it. So even if the U.S. was responsible for 2 percent of the violence in the world instead of the majority of it, it would be that 2 percent I would be primarily responsible for. And that is a simple ethical judgment. That is, the ethical value of one’s actions depends on their anticipated and predictable consequences. It is very easy to denounce the atrocities of someone else. That has about as much ethical value as denouncing atrocities that took place in the 18th century.
The point is that the useful and significant political actions are those that have consequences for human beings. And those are overwhelmingly the actions which you have some way of influencing and controlling, which mean for me, American actions. But I am also involved in protesting Soviet imperialism, and also explaining its roots in Soviet society. And I think that anyone in the Third World would be making a grave error if they succumbed to illusions about these matters.“