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Image by Andrew Rusk, via Wikimedia Commons. Whether those policies come from nominally liberal or conservative administrations, Chomsky asserts time and again that they ultimately serve the needs of elites at the expense of masses of people at home and abroad who pay the very dear cost of perpetual wars over resources and markets. In his book On Anarchism , Chomsky leaves little room for equivocation in his assessment of the role elites play in maintaining a state apparatus that suppresses popular movements:.
If it is plausible that ideology will in general serve as a mask for self-interest, then it is a natural presumption that intellectuals, in interpreting history or formulating policy, will tend to adopt an elitist position, condemning popular movements and mass participation in decision making, and emphasizing rather the necessity for supervision by those who possess the knowledge and understanding that is required so they claim to manage society and control social change. This excerpt is but one minute example of Chomsky's fiercely independent stance against abuse of power in all its forms and his tireless advocacy for popular social movements.
Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies : Based on the Massey Lectures, delivered in Canada in November , Necessary Illusions argues that, far from performing a watchdog role, the "free press" serves the needs of those in power. Deterring Democracy : Chomsky details the major shift in global politics that has left the United States unchallenged as the preeminent military power even as its economic might has declined drastically in the face of competition from Germany and Japan.
Deterring Democracy points to the potentially catastrophic consequences of this new imbalance, and reveals a world in which the United States exploits its advantage ruthlessly to enforce its national interests -- from Nicaragua to the Philippines, Panama to the Middle East.
Year The Conquest Continues : Analyzing Haiti, Latin America, Cuba, Indonesia, and even pockets of the Third World developing in the United States, Noam Chomsky draws parallels between the genocide of colonial times and the murder and exploitation associated with modern-day imperialism.
Political Culture The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many : A fascinating state-of-the-world report from the man the New York Times called "arguably the most important intellectual alive. Excerpts from Powers and Prospects: Reflections on Human Nature and the Social Order : A scathing critique of orthodox views and government policy. See full text in pdf form here.
And for exponentially more Chomsky, see Chomsky. We're hoping to rely on our loyal readers rather than erratic ads. To support Open Culture's continued operation, please consider making a donation. We thank you! Disappointed to see Zizek name lower the quality of this post.
No march for a thinker like Chomsky, insulting even to mention together with such a amateur pseudo philosopher. In the U. As to that question, I think the economic data show fairly conclusively that the answer is no. As for Chomsky, it is very nice to drone on about scenarios of class warfare and oppression — be they real or more likely imagined — but if he has a concrete proposal for a better political or economic system than exists in the U.
In the US, lowering the minimum income for applying estate tax and raising the highest applicable break would be just one example. Raising the minimum wage would be another. Most of his writing address imperialism note the books listed above , which of course results in inequality and actual warfare. For many reasons, I do not support wealth redistribution policies. As for the rest of us who are content, we can wish our fellows who have more well, and busy ourselves with more important things.
Chomsky is a great man , for his just stands to support who have been oppressed and suffered injustice is really and highly appreciated , I am a staunch reader and follower of Chomsky approach.
Chomsky is a brave and intelligent man. His ideas of justice are crystal-clear and honest in his written work. I wish the United States gave birth to more valuable men and women like him. Most Americans would indeed be better off in most any other economy even though relative per capita income is very high here. We ranked 10th in but first among major economies. I know right; most people dont even know his groundbreaking work on Syntatic theory and X-Bar theory.
Actually, Chomsky has proposed plenty of better economic and political systems. He has proposed versions of anarchism, and is very convincing in his assertion of them. Not everyone was born into the same advantages. It can be almost impossible to pull oneself out of the ghetto or poor white neighbourhoods or even formerly prosperous cities where industry has moved on.
Especially since The current super wealthy did not get there by hard work but by manipulating the systems because they could. Even Warren Buffet admits that they have had windfall profits since and before the bailout. Chomsky is not proposing equal outcome, he is proposing equal opportunity. The mondragon corporation is one example. Democracy does not exist in any true form if you have concentrated power. Whether that power is in the hands of a few families oligarch one family monarchy or corporations plutocracy the results have been historically poor for those in the working class.
Presumably, despite these inequalities, you believe the bottom half is better off. That is not so clear. Wages have been stagnate for a number of years, a once bustling heartland is now a wasteland, and the U. Name required. Email required. Click here to cancel reply. Get the best cultural and educational resources on the web curated for you in a daily email. We never spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Open Culture scours the web for the best educational media.
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The Essential Chomsky brings together selections from his most important writings since from his ground-breaking critique of B.
Skinner to his bestselling works Hegemony or Survival and Failed States-concerning subjects ranging from critiques of corporate media and U.
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