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Seth Messenger : Noam Chomsky's quotes

Noam Chomsky said :

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Noam Chomsky
(Quotes)
#40923
« If freedom of expression is limited to ideas that are right for us, it is not freedom of expression. »
Noam Chomsky


#40924
« I try to encourage people to think independently, to challenge commonly accepted ideas. Do not take your presumptions for acquired facts. Start by taking a critical stance towards any "politically correct" idea. Force her to justify herself. Most of the time, she can't do it. Be prepared to ask questions about anything that is taken for granted. Try to think for yourself. There is a lot of information in circulation. You have to learn to judge, evaluate and compare things. You'll have to trust some things, otherwise you couldn't survive. But when it comes to important things, don't trust. As soon as you read something anonymous, beware. »
Noam Chomsky


#40925
« If we had a real education system, we would be doing intellectual self-defense courses. »
Noam Chomsky


#40926
« Every government needs to frighten its people and one way to do that is to wrap its operation in a s mystery. This is the traditional way of covering and protecting power: it is made mysterious and secret, above the ordinary person. Why else would people accept it? »
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: Volume 1)


#40927
« Among those who have learned something from the eighteenth century . . . it goes without even thinking about discussing it, that the defence of the right to free expression is not limited to the ideas that one approves of, and that it is precisely in the case of ideas that we find most shocking that this right must be most vigorously defended. Supporting the right to express ideas that are generally accepted is obviously pretty much meaningless. »
Noam Chomsky


#40928
« If you don't believe in freedom of expression for people you despise, you don't believe it at all. »
Noam Chomsky


#40929
« "It was perfectly understood, long before George Orwell, that memory had to be suppressed. And not only the memory, but also the awareness of what is happening before our eyes, because if the population understands what we are doing on their behalf, it is likely that they will not allow it." »
Noam Chomsky (The Doctrine of Good Intentions)


#40930
« Intellectuals have a problem: they have to justify their existence. But there is little about the world that is understood. Most of the things that are understood, apart from perhaps certain areas of physics, can be expressed with very simple words and very short sentences. But if you do that, you don't become famous.... people don't revere your writings. This is a challenge for intellectuals. It will be a matter of taking what is rather simple and making it look very complicated and very deep. Intellectuals interact like this. They talk to each other, and the rest of the world is supposed to admire them, treat them with respect, etc. But translate what they say into plain language, and you will often find either nothing at all, or truisms, or absurdities. »
Noam Chomsky


#40931
« We believe that, among other functions, these media engage in propaganda that serves the interests of the powerful firms that control them by funding them and whose representatives are well placed to guide information. Such an intervention is generally quite subtle: it involves the s e l e c tion of a whole well-thinking staff and the internalization, among journalists and editors, of certain definitions of what should be printed as a priority, in accordance with the political line of the institution. »
Noam Chomsky (The fabric of public opinion. The economic policy of the American media)


#40932
« To be somewhat civilized, we would have to say: -We have committed heinous crimes and we have taken advantage of them. Much of France's wealth comes from the crimes it committed against Haiti and the United States has also become richer. So we're going to pay reparations to the Haitian people. - We will then see the beginnings of civilization »
Noam Chomsky (The Doctrine of Good Intentions)


#40933
« Education is not about filling a container but rather about accompanying the hatching of a plant (in other words, preparing the ground where creativity will flourish). »
Noam Chomsky (For a humanist education)


#40934
« The king is naked but he does not like to be told. »
Noam Chomsky


#40935
« True education is about pushing people to think for themselves. »
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: Volume 1)


#40936
« "In totalitarian countries, the state decides the line to follow and then everyone has to comply. Democratic societies operate differently. The line is never stated as such, it is implied. We're sort of brainwashing. And even the passionate debates in the mainstream media are within the framework of the implied parameters agreed, which hold on the edge of many contrary points of view. The system of control of democratic societies is very effective; it instills the guideline as the air we breathe. We do not notice, and we sometimes imagine that we are in the presence of a particularly vigorous debate. Basically, it is infinitely more efficient than totalitarian systems. » »
Noam Chomsky


#40937
« "If we were able to take care of the baby boomers when they were children, why can't we do it when they are over sixty years old? The difficulty is no greater. This problem has gone up from scratch. It's just a matter of financial priorities." »
Noam Chomsky (The Doctrine of Good Intentions)


#40938
« In France, if you are part of the intellectual elite and you cough, we publish an article on the front page of Le Monde. This is one of the reasons why French intellectual culture is so burlesque: it's like »
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: Volume 1)


#40939
« Huarte then distinguishes three degrees of intelligence. The lowest of these is "docile intelligence," satisfying the maxim he mistakenly attributes to Aristotle, according to which there is nothing in the mind that is simply transmitted to him by the senses. The next degree, normal human intelligence, goes far beyond empirical limitation: it can "generate itself, by its own power, the principles upon which knowledge is based." [...] Thus normal human intelligence is able to acquire knowledge on its own, perhaps using the data of the senses, but continuing to build a cognitive system through concepts and principles developed on independent bases; and it is capable of generating new thoughts and finding new and appropriate ways to express them, in ways that completely transcend all training and experience. Huarte postulates a third type of intelligence, "by which some, without art or study, say subtle and surprising, yet true, things that were never seen or heard or written, or even thoughts." This refers to true creativity, the exercise of creative imagination in ways that go beyond normal intelligence and which, he believes, can involve a "mix of madness". »
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought)


#40940
« The policy is designed to increase insecurity... If workers are kept insecure, they will be under control. They will not require a proper salary or the correct working conditions, nor will they require the possibility of freely associating - that is, to unionize. If we can keep the workers insecure, they will not demand too much. They'll just be delighted - it doesn't matter if they have a rotten fille... it will be considered a healthy economy. »
Noam Chomsky (Requiem for the American Dream)


#40941
« "We must destroy trade unions, we must destroy the interactions between people, we must atomize them, so that they no longer care about each other. That's what's really behind the assault on pension funds." »
Noam Chomsky (The Doctrine of Good Intentions)


#40942
« In recent years, corporations have been granted rights that far exceed those of individuals. According to World Trade Organization rules, corporations can demand the so-called right to "national treatment." This means that General Motors, if operating in Mexico, can apply to be treated as a Mexican firm. [...] A Mexican cannot land in New York, ask for national treatment and be fine; companies do. »
Noam Chomsky (On the control of our lives)


#40943
« Using the emotional is a classic technique for short-circuiting rational analysis, and thus the critical sense of individuals. In addition, the use of the emotional register opens the door to the unconscious to implant ideas, desires, fears, impulses or behaviors... »
Noam Chomsky


#40944
« Before advertising took the predominant place known to it, production costs had to be covered by the selling price. As advertising grew, the newspapers that attracted it were quickly able to offer sales rates well below the actual costs. Titles that were not favoured by advertisers were at a serious disadvantage: they were among the most expensive, their sales were collapsing, their cash flow preventing them from facing the investments that would have supported sales - presentation, attractive format, distribution, etc. A media system dominated by advertising naturally tends to eliminate or marginalize bodies financed by their sales alone. By doing so, free trade offers anything but a neutral system in which s e l e c tion is based on final demand. It is the preferences of advertisers that determine the prosperity, or even the very survival of a media. »
Noam Chomsky (Making consent: Media propaganda in democracy)


#40945
« It will not have escaped anyone that the democratic postulate affirms that the media are independent, determined to discover the truth and to make it known; and not that they spend most of their time giving the image of a world such as the powerful want us to represent ourselves, that they are in a position to impose the fabric of discourse, to decide what the good people have the right to see, hear or think, and to "manage" opinion with propaganda campaigns. »
Noam Chomsky (Making consent: Media propaganda in democracy)


#40946
« One of the things [the power holders] want is a passive, quiet population. Therefore, one of the things you can do to make their existence uncomfortable is to be neither passive nor quiet. There are lots of ways to do it. Even simply asking questions can have a significant effect. Protests, written letters and votes can all be helpful; it depends on the situation. But there is one point of paramount importance: sustained and organized action is needed. If you participate in an event and then go home, that is something; but the people in power can handle it very well. What they can't stand is the organizations that continue their actions, the people who are always learning from the last time and who are working to do better next time. No system of power, even if it is a fascist dictatorship, is indifferent to public dissent. »
Noam Chomsky (The underside of Uncle Sam's politics)


#40947
« Honesty forces us to admit that we are now just as far as Descartes was three centuries ago to understand what allows a man to speak in an innovative way, free from stimulus control, as well as adequate and consistent. This is a serious problem that the psychologist and biologist must finally address, and the existence of which cannot be denied by invoking "habit," "conditioning" or "natural s e l e c tion". »
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought)


#40948
« Given the power structure in the society in which schools operate, their institutional role is primarily to train people in obedience and conformism, and to make them manipulable and indoctrinated. (...) And this process starts in kindergarten. »
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: Volume 1)


#40949
« The neo-liberal system therefore has an important and necessary by-product: depoliticized citizens, marked by apathy and cynicism. »
Noam Chomsky (Profit before man)


#40950
« Talking about world affairs is a commonplace thing. You have to work a little, read a little, think - nothing very deep. The idea that this requires special qualifications is just another scam. »
Noam Chomsky


#40951
« By economic miracle, we mean an integrated set of beautiful macroeconomic statistics, large profits for foreign investors and luxury living for local elites; with, in small print, an increase in misery for the majority of the population. »
Noam Chomsky (In the year 501, the conquest continues)


#40952
« A striking example (there is no shortage of them) can be found in the international economic order - I mean so-called trade agreements. The public, as the polls make very clear, is strongly opposed, on the whole, to the course of things, but this opposition fails to translate into fact. Elections offer no way out because decision-making centres - the minority of the wealthy - come together to establish a particular form of socio-economic order. This prevents the problem from finding its expression. The things that are being discussed only affect voters from afar: issues of people or reforms that they know will not be implemented. That is what we are discussing, not what people are interested in. »
Noam Chomsky (On the control of our lives)


#40953
« What remains of democracy must now be seen as the right to choose between goods. Business leaders have long stressed the need to impose on the general public a "philosophy of futility" and a "life without objective" in order to "focus on superficial things, and in particular on what is fashionable". Overwhelmed from an early age by such propaganda, people might be able to accept a submissive and meaningless existence, and forget the ridiculous idea of taking charge of their own affairs. »
Noam Chomsky (Profit before man)


#40954
« One could suggest that much of the learning theories were constructed from artifacts, analyzing an "antinatturel" mode of learning under experimental conditions built to remain outside the body's inherent abilities; no doubt, they allow us to obtain elegant curves of learning, but they tell us very little about the organisms studied. Page 193 »
Noam Chomsky (Reflections on language)


#40955
« Morals are at the end of the gun - and we have the guns. »
Noam Chomsky (In the year 501, the conquest continues)


#40956
« The public is not sovereign in the media. Owners and managers looking for advertising decide the offer on which the public's choice will have to take place. People generally only read and look at what is directly accessible and is intensively promoted. Surveys regularly indicate that the public, although they listen to and watch what is being offered to them, would like more news, documentaries and different information, less sex and violence, and some other kind of entertainment. It seems unlikely that it would be really indifferent to citizens as to why their incomes are stagnating or even declining, while they are working harder and harder; why the medical care they have access to is as expensive as it is poor or neglect what can be perpetrated on their behalf all over the world. If they are so unaware of such topics, the propaganda model explains why: those who exercise sovereignty over the media have decided not to address such issues. »
Noam Chomsky (Making consent: Media propaganda in democracy)


#40957
« The phenomena that grammar deals with are at some level explained by the rules of grammar itself and by the interaction of these rules. At a higher level, these same phenomena are explained by the principles that determine the choice of grammar on the basis of the limited and incomplete experience available to the person who acquired knowledge of the language and who built this particular grammar. The principles that determine the form of grammar and choose an appropriate grammar on the basis of certain facts constitute a subject that could, according to traditional usage, be called "universal grammar". The study of universal grammar thus understood is a study of the nature of human intellectual abilities. »
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought)


#40958
« In many respects, of course, American society is open and liberal values are honoured. However, as the poor, blacks and members of other ethnic minorities know only too well, the liberal veneer is very thin. As Mark Twain wrote, "It is through God's goodness that our country has three infinitely precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience and prudence of not practicing either." Those who lack this caution may well pay the price. »
Noam Chomsky (What role for the state?)


#40959
« --Propaganda is to democracies what violence is to dictatorships. --If you don't believe in freedom of expression for people you despise, you don't believe in it at all. -- Indoctrination is by no means incompatible with democracy, it is the essence of it. -- In a well-oiled society, you don't say what you know, you say what's useful to power. »
Noam Chomsky (11/9: Autopsy of terrorism)


#40960
« Goodman correctly points out at one point that although "I have no other explanation for some remarkable facts. . . . this alone does not require me to accept any theory offered, for the theory may be worse than its absence. The inability to explain a fact does not condemn me to accept an inherently repugnant and incomprehensible theory. »
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought)


#40961
« The purpose of philosophical grammar was clearly to develop a psychological theory and not a textual interpretation technique. The theory claims that the underlying deep structure, with its abstract organization of linguistic forms, is "present in mind" when the signal, with its superficial structure, is emitted or perceived by human organs. [...] There must be, represented in the mind, a fixed system of generative principles that characterize and associate deep and superficial structures - in other words a grammar that is used in a certain way when statements are produced or interpreted. [...] The problem of determining the character of such grammars and the principles that govern them is characteristic of science. »
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought)


#40962
« "The more privileges you have, the more responsible you are." »
Noam Chomsky (The Doctrine of Good Intentions)


#40963
« the ability to reason is very rare, only a small number of people possess it... referring to a statement by Reinhold Niebuhr »
Noam Chomsky (Propaganda, media and democracy)


#40964
« Finished state grammar is the simplest type of grammar that, with a finished device, can generate an infinite number of sentences. P27 »
Noam Chomsky (Syntactic structures)


#40965
« Academics develop subtle and complex reasonings, certainly of ridiculous infantilism but coated in enough dark docte, low notes and references to supposedly profound thinkers to allow to build a framework that, in a strange universe, has a certain plausibility. »
Noam Chomsky (The Doctrine of Good Intentions)


#40966
« These are the same idiotic communists, the Stalinist fools who were in power until recently who now supervise the banks. »
Noam Chomsky (We anarchism)


#40967
« The United States is the only country to have been convicted of international terrorism by the International Court of Justice and the only ones to have rejected a Security Council resolution that called on states to comply with international laws. »
Noam Chomsky (11/9: Autopsy of terrorism)


#40968
« One characteristic of the terms of political discourse is that they are generally two-way. One is the meaning found in the dictionary, and the other is a meaning whose function is to serve power - that is the doctrinal sense. »
Noam Chomsky (The underside of Uncle Sam's politics)


#40969
« No matter what you read, the important thing is how you read. »
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: Volume 1)


#40970
« The most egregious biases in the processing of information are the result of the s e l e c tion of a staff who think what to think, who have internalized a common sense of the profession and have adapted to the constraints of owners, organizations, the market and political power. Censorship here is mainly the self-censorship of presenters and journalists subjected to their sources and the organisational constraints of the media, and also of their higher colleagues in the hierarchy, s e l e c ted to impose constraints." »
Noam Chomsky (Making consent: Media propaganda in democracy)


#40971
« Intellectuals, let us not forget, have well integrated the idea that things must look complicated. If not, what are they for? »
Noam Chomsky (The Doctrine of Good Intentions)


#40972
« I prefer the modification of Pascal's bet to which our discussion refers: if we give up hope, and resign ourselves to passivity, we ensure that, certainly, the worst will happen; if we keep hope and work hard to make its promises come true, the situation can improve. »
Noam Chomsky (Reason against power: Pascal's bet)


#40973
« A fundamental intellectual and moral principle is that the powerful make the law. It is an essential rule of the world order, as well as in the Mafia. Any resemblance is not coincidental. »
Noam Chomsky (Dominate the world or save the planet? : America in search of global hegemony)


#40974
« No one possesses the word "Anarchism", it is used by a wide spectrum of currents of thought and different actions, varying widely. There are many self-proclaimed anarchists who argue, often with great passion, that their path is the only way and that others do not deserve the term (and perhaps are "thieves", in one way or another. A look at contemporary anarchist writings, especially in the West and in and in intellectual circles (they may not like this term), will quickly show that a large part of these consists in a denunciation of others as in Marxist-Leninist sectarian writings. The proportion of such a material in relation to constructive work is very depressing. Personally, I have no confidence in my own views on the "right way" and I am not impressed by the confident statements of others, even those of good friends. I think we understand too little to be able to say a lot of things with confidence. We can try to formulate our long-term visions, our goals, our ideals; and on the other hand, we can (and should) start working for results of human significance. But the chasm between the two is often considerable, and I rarely see how it is possible to build a bridge there if not at a very vague and general level. These qualities that are mine (perhaps defects, perhaps not) will appear in this brief answer to the question asked: -- "What are the intellectual roots of anarchist thought, what movements have developed and animated it throughout history?" »
Noam Chomsky (We anarchism)


#40975
« My own estimate of the situation is that the real problem of tomorrow will be to discover a hypothesis about the innate structure that is rich enough, and not to find a hypothesis simple and elementary enough to be "plausible". »
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought)


#40976
« According to this traditional conception, the mind produces a system of proposals expressing the meaning of a sentence when the sentence is made in the form of a physical signal, the system and the signal being connected by certain formal operations that we can call, according to current terminology, grammatical transformations. To continue with the terminology, we can thus distinguish the surface structure (surface structure) of the sentence, organization in categories and syntags that is directly associated with the physical signal, from the underlying deep structure (deep structure), also organization of categories and syntags, but of a more abstract character. »
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought)


#40977
« You only have to turn on your TV to know that hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent trying to create uninformed consumers who will make irrational choices: that's what advertising is all about. »
Noam Chomsky (Requiem for the American Dream)


#40978
« -- Noam, you say that Donald Trump's rise stems in part from the collapse of American society. Can you clarify your thoughts? -- Policies that have been in place for the business community for about 35 years have had devastating consequences for the majority of the population. among these, economic stagnation, the decline in living standards and the explosion of social inequalities were the harshest. This dynamic has created a climate of insecurity; many people feel isolated and powerless in the face of forces they cannot understand or influence. This collapse is not due to economic laws, but to political choices, a kind of class war declared by the rich and powerful against the working and the poor. This is what characterizes the neoliberal era, not only in the United States, but also in Europe and elsewhere. »
Noam Chomsky (Optimism against despair)


#40979
« The USSR subsidized its European satellites to such an extent that they eventually became richer than their tutelary power. Historically, the Soviet bloc represents the only case of an empire whose metropolis was poorer than its colonies. »
Noam Chomsky (The Terrorist West)


#40980
« Real research is always a collective activity... »
Noam Chomsky (The underside of Uncle Sam's politics)


#40981
« Thus, in the aftermath of the Second World War, George Kennan - one of the most influential plannifiers, considered a great humanist - assigned his "function" to every region of the world. Africa's function would be "exploited" by Europe so that it could rebuild itself; the United States, on the other hand, had little interest in it. A year earlier, a high-level study had argued that "cooperation in the development of cheap food resources and raw materials in North Africa could contribute to the unity of Europe and provide an economic basis for its recovery" - an interesting definition of what "cooperation" is. There is no evidence in the archives that it has been suggested that Africa could "exploit" the West to "recover" from the improvement in global affairs" it had undergone in previous centuries. »
Noam Chomsky (Profit before man)


#40982
« [...] the United States was far behind the Soviets in terms of gaining control of the minds and emotions of unsophisticated peoples. Dulles and Eisenhower expressed their concern about the Communists' ability to "take control of mass movements", a capacity "that we do not know how to imitate". "The poor are the ones they attract, and they have always wanted to plunder the rich." In other words, it was difficult for us to persuade people to accept our doctrine that it is the rich who must plunder the poor. »
Noam Chomsky (Profit before man)


#40983
« "Propaganda is to democracies what violence is to dictatorships. Noam Chomsky »
Noam Chomsky


#40984
« Liberation cannot be granted by foreigners, even if that is what they want: "It is the people themselves who must fight for their values and make them triumph. They can only flourish and bloom if they have been planted by the people in their own soil and watered with their own blood and tears." Such ideas have a rich past in the West, but have been drowned in imperial greed and arrogance. »
Noam Chomsky (Near futures)


#40985
« The "dominant thesis" emanates from the rich and powerful, who, after promoting the liberalisation of the economy for others (and sometimes also for themselves), have acquired a dominant position and have prepared to face competition under conditions identical to all, that is to say in a context that is clearly favourable to them. Some economic historians compare this conduct to that of someone "who, having reached the top of the building, kicks the ladder back to prevent others from joining him", and then declares smugly: "Let's play fair, on equal terms." »
Noam Chomsky (Near futures)


#40986
« In August 2006, the world's leading medical journal, The Lancet, published a study of human rights violations in Haiti between the February 2004 and December 2005 coup. It shows that about 8,000 people were murdered during this period, and that sexual assaults were commonplace, especially on children: data show that 35,000 women and girls were raped in the Port-au-Prince area alone. These atrocities were mainly the work of criminals, the national police and UN peacekeepers. »
Noam Chomsky (Near futures)


#40987
« Take the meaning of the word democracy. If we stick to the common sense of the word, a society is democratic to the extent that the people who make it up can participate in a concrete way in the management of their affairs. But the doctrinal meaning of democracy is different- it refers to a system in which decisions are made by certain sectors of the business community and by the elites associated with them. The people are only a "spectator of action" and not a "participant," as prominent democracy theorists (in this case, Walter Lippmann) have explained. Citizens have the right to ratify decisions made by their elites and to lend their support to one or the other of their members, but not the right to deal with these issues, such as the development of public policy policies, which are in no way their responsibility. »
Noam Chomsky (The underside of Uncle Sam's politics)


#40988
« "There is enormous pressure to turn people into pathological monsters who are only interested in themselves, who have absolutely no relationship with each other, and that, therefore, one can govern and control very easily. This is what is behind the social security offensive." »
Noam Chomsky (The Doctrine of Good Intentions)


#40989
« The term "anarchism" is used to refer to a wide variety of political ideas; I will rather lean for the interpretation of the libertarian left and, from this point of view, anarchism can be considered a kind of voluntary socialism, ie libertarian socialism or anarcho-unionism or anarcho-communism, in line with, say Bakounine, Kropotkin and others. They had in mind a highly organized society but built on organic units, organic communities, which generally correspond to the workplace and the neighbourhood. From these two basic units, there would be through federal agreements, a form of highly integrated social organization that could exist at the national or even international level. Decisions could be made on a very large scale but by delegates who would still be part of the organic community from which they come, to which they return and in which, in fact, they live. »
Noam Chomsky (Hope for the future. talks on anarchism and socialism)


#40990
« In the case of the Central American elections, the U.S. government provided both the facts and the instruments appropriate to their "correct" analysis - the mainstream media merely relaying information and ensuring that the government line was not seriously challenged. With the attack on Pope John Paul II in May 1981 in Rome, and the accusations involving the Bulgarians and the KGB, in a conspiracy, it was the mass media that lit the fuse and played the main role in the maintenance of this burning from start to finish. The general scheme offers similarities: a frame of reference is installed around the attack that gives it the useful interpretation desired by the dominant "elite" of the time. The campaign put in place is re-listening to the public with usable propaganda that ignores other alternatives: sources suggesting other approaches to the subject are excluded from the mainstream media. Some facts are s e l e c ted and incorporated into the framework while others, which could affect the validity of the whole, are discarded. (...) What makes the "Bulgarian line" so typical as an illustration of the workings of the propaganda model is that there is nothing credible in this case which, from the beginning (i.e. long before the Rome trial) looks like a farce - taken seriously by the media until the end. »
Noam Chomsky (The fabric of public opinion. The economic policy of the American media)


#40991
« Some of the most abominable atrocities have been committed in recent years in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Three to five million people are believed to have lost their lives there. Who should be pointed at? Militias. But behind the militias are multinationals and governments. »
Noam Chomsky (The Terrorist West)


#40992
« Luck is even more opposed to the just theory of each language that can appear in the head of a four-year-old. And Peirce continues: "Man has a natural inclination to imagine correct theories of all species. . . . If man was not endowed with a mind adapted to his needs, he would never have been able to acquire any knowledge. At our case, it seems that knowledge of a language - a grammar - can only be acquired by a "pre-endowed" body with a severe restriction on the form of grammar. »
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought)


#40993
« The common properties of human and animal languages are to be "intentional," "syntactic" and "enunciative." Language is intentional because "there is almost always a definite intention in human discourse to pass something to someone else, to change their conduct, thoughts or general attitude to a situation." Human language is "syntactic" because every speech is an act of speech with an internal organization, structure and coherence. It is "enunciative" because it transmits information. [...] All this may be true but establishes very little, since when we place ourselves at the level of abstraction where human language and animal communication meet, almost all other behaviors can also be found there. Consider walking: walking is clearly intentional behaviour, in the most general sense of "intentional." The march is also "syntactic" in the sense defined above, as Karl Lashley actually pointed out a long time ago, in his important discussion of the serial order in behavior [...]. In addition, it can most certainly provide information, I can for example signal my interest in reaching a certain point by the speed at which I walk. [...] Moreover, it is wrong to think that the use of human language is characterized by the willingness or the act of providing information. Human language can be used to inform or deceive, to clarify one's own thoughts, to prove one's skill or simply to play. »
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought)


#40994
« "Intellectuals have a problem: they have to justify their existence. Noam Chomsky »
Noam Chomsky


#40995
« "To be somewhat civilized, we would have to say: -We have committed heinous crimes and we have taken advantage of them. Much of France's wealth comes from the crimes it committed against Haiti and the United States has also become richer. So we're going to pay reparations to the Haitian people. -Then we will see the beginnings of civilization." »
Noam Chomsky (The Doctrine of Good Intentions)


#40996
« It is much more difficult to detect the presence of a system or a "propaganda model" in the case of private media, in the absence of "official" censorship, and this is even more so when the media, which actively compete, attack or periodically denounce the misdeeds or abuses of the government and the capital world, by positioning themselves aggressively as defenders of freedom of expression or by making themselves the spokespersons. What is far from obvious (and little discussed in the media) is the "limited" nature of such criticisms, as well as the glaring inequality that governs access to resources; this has an impact on access to private media systems as much as on their behaviour and performance. »
Noam Chomsky (The fabric of public opinion. The economic policy of the American media)


#40997
« The victors do not investigate their own crimes, so little is known about them, a principle that suffers few exceptions: the human toll of the American wars in Indochina, for example, is not known to several million. »
Noam Chomsky (Dominate the world or save the planet? : America in search of global hegemony)


#40998
« Chomsky keeps warning us that humanity has reached the most perilous stage in its history. Deep inequalities and immense poverty, climate change and the ongoing risk of nuclear war have, for the first time, made the complete self-destruction of humanity a very real possibility. If we want to avoid the fall, we need to identify the problems we face today and find a solution to them. (Lux, Introduction, p.8) »
Noam Chomsky (Struggle or fall!)


#40999
« In Europe, the decline of democracy is just as alarming (as in the United States) decision-making on many crucial issues now rests with the bureaucrats in Brussels and the financial bodies they largely tend to represent. In July 2005, their contempt for democracy was manifested in the violent reaction to the mere idea that the Greek people could decide on the future fate of society, ruined by the brutal austerity policies of the troika (European Commission, European Central Bank and IMF) the latter, in particular its political branch, its economists having been critical of destructive policies. These austerity policies had been imposed with the stated objective of reducing Greece's debt. In fact, they had the effect of digging it in relation to GDP while the Greek social fabric was reduced to shreds, and the country served as an alibi to bail out the French and German banks that granted subprime loans. »
Noam Chomsky (Who leads the world?)


#41000
« Before advertising took the predominant place known to it, production costs had to be covered by the selling price. As advertising grew, the newspapers that attracted it were quickly able to offer sales rates well below the actual costs. Titles that were not favoured by advertisers were at a serious disadvantage: they were among the most expensive, their sales were collapsing, their cash flow preventing them from facing the investments that would have supported sales - presentation, attractive format, distribution, etc. A media system dominated by advertising naturally tends to eliminate or marginalize bodies financed by their sales alone. By doing so, free trade offers anything but a neutral system in which s e l e c tion is based on final demand. It is the preferences of advertisers that determine the prosperity, or even the very survival of a media. »
Noam Chomsky (Making consent: Media propaganda in democracy)


#41001
« If we want to turn people into consumers who are disappointed so that they do not interfere with work when we reorganize the world, we must harass them from an early age. »
Noam Chomsky (The Doctrine of Good Intentions)


#41002
« As we have shown throughout this book, our media do not function in the manner of the propaganda system of totalitarian states. On the contrary, it allows - in fact, they encourage - fiery polemics, criticism and dissent, provided that they remain confined in faith in the system of beliefs and principles that structures any consensus of the elites: a system powerful enough that one can be imbued with it without really realizing it. »
Noam Chomsky (Making consent: Media propaganda in democracy)


#41003
« Like democracy and human rights, the economic theories advocated by leaders are instruments of power for others to allow themselves to be robbed and exploited more effectively. »
Noam Chomsky (In the year 501, the conquest continues)


#41004
« How do you fight an idea if you can't even talk about it? »
Noam Chomsky


#41005
« Since the end of the Second World War, Western colonialism and neocolonialism have killed 50 to 55 million people. »
Noam Chomsky (The Terrorist West)


#41006
« For Aristotle, democracy must necessarily be participatory (even if it excludes women and slaves in particular) and aim for the common good. To function, it must ensure that all citizens enjoy relative equality, average but "sufficient" wealth and sustainable access to property. In other words, Aristotle considers that a regime cannot be seriously described as democratic if the inequalities between rich and poor are too great. for him, true democracy corresponds to what would be described today as a welfare state, but in a radical form that goes far beyond anything we could envisage in the 20th century. The idea that great fortunes and democracy could not coexist would make its way to the Enlightenment and classical liberalism, especially among figures such as Alexis de Tocqueville, Adam Smith and Thomas Jefferson, who more or less assumed the implications. /.../ James Madison (fourth president of the United States from 1809 to 1817), far from being stupid, was aware of the problem, but, unlike Aristotle, he was working to limit democracy. In his view, the main objective of a government was to "protect the minority of the possessed from the majority." /.../ Madison therefore devised a system to prevent democracy from functioning, where power would be held by "a team of the most competent men", those to whom "the wealth of the nation" belonged. Over the years, other citizens would be relegated to the margins or divided in various ways: redistricting of electoral districts, obstacles to trade union struggles and labour cooperation, exploitation of inter-ethnic conflicts, etc. /.../ It is highly unlikely that what is now considered the "inevitable consequences of the market" can be tolerated in a truly democratic society. »
Noam Chomsky (The common good)


#41007
« The child cannot know at birth which language he will learn, but he must know that his grammar must be of a predetermined form that excludes many imaginable languages. Having s e l e c ted an acceptable hypothesis, he may use the inductive evidence for corrective action, confirming or disproving his choice. Once the hypothesis is sufficiently confirmed, the child knows the language defined by this hypothesis; his knowledge therefore extends much further than his experience and actually leads him to characterize some of the experience data as incomplete and deviant. »
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought)


#41008
« [...] The empirical problem we face today is that no one has been able to imagine an initial hypothesis rich enough to account for the child's acquisition of the grammar that we are apparently led to attribute to him when we try to explain his ability to use the language in a normal way. The idea of a common origin does nothing to explain how possible it is. In short, language is "reinvented" every time it is learned, and the empirical problem facing learning theory is how this invention took place. »
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought)


#41009
« The most egregious biases in the processing of information are the result of the s e l e c tion of a staff who think what to think, who have internalized a common sense of the profession and have adapted to the constraints of owners, organizations, the market and political power. Censorship here is mainly the self-censorship of presenters and journalists subjected to their sources and the organisational constraints of the media, and also of their higher colleagues in the hierarchy, s e l e c ted to impose constraints. »
Noam Chomsky (Reason and freedom. On human nature, education and the role of intellectuals)


#41010
« Any attack on intellectual freedom and the notion of objective truth threatens all sectors of thought in the long term. »
Noam Chomsky (Reason and freedom. On human nature, education and the role of intellectuals)


#41011
« There is also a natural but unfortunate tendency to "extrapolate" from the finger of knowledge reached by careful experimental work and rigorous treatment of facts, to conclusions of much broader meaning and of great social importance. This is a serious problem. Experts have a duty to clearly mark the current limitations of their knowledge and the results they have achieved so far, and a rigorous analysis of these limitations will demonstrate, I believe, that in almost all areas of the social and behavioural sciences, the current results would not support such an "extrapolation". »
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought)


#41012
« Representative democracy, as it exists in the United States or Great Britain, would be criticized by an anarchist from the school I have just mentioned, for two specific reasons. Firstly because the state has a monopoly on a power that is centralized there, secondly, and critically, because representative democracy is limited to the political sphere and does not intervene in any meaningful way in the economic field. The anarchists of this lineage have always believed that democratic control of productive activity is at the very heart of all human liberation or, in the same vein, of any valid democratic practice. That is to say that as long as individuals are forced to rent themselves in the market to those who want to use them, as long as their role in production is reduced to that of anacillary tools, striking elements of coercion and oppression remain, making democracy a limited notion, even meaningless. »
Noam Chomsky (Hope for the future. talks on anarchism and socialism)


#41013
« In the 20th century, the public relations industry produced an abundant literature that provides a very rich and informative set of recommendations on how to instill the "new spirit of the time", creating artificial needs or (I quote) "regulating public opinion as an army inrégiment its soldiers", by eliciting a "philosophy of futility" and inanity of existence. , or by focusing human attention on "the more superficial things that make up the bulk of fashionable consumption" (Edward Bernays). If this succeeds, then people will accept the meaningless and enslaved existences that are their lot, and they will forget this subversive idea: to take control of one's own life. »
Noam Chomsky (On the control of our lives)


#41014
« The intellectual level of the currently dominant discourse deserves nothing but contempt, and its moral dress is perfectly grotesque. However, efforts must be made to make a judgment on the reactionary projects that underlie this discourse. That is what we have to do today with the ends and the means in mind. One can, as in the past, choose to be a Democrat in the sense that Jefferson intended, or to behave like an aristocrat. »
Noam Chomsky (Intellectual responsibilities)


#41015
« According to Port-Royal's theory, the superficial structure corresponds only to the sound - the bodily aspect of language; but when the signal is emitted, with its superficial structure, a corresponding mental analysis intervenes, in what we might call the deep structure, a deep structure directly connected not to the sound but to the sense. »
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought)


#41016
« I have addressed here only some of the major challenges facing humanity. If it fails to tackle it responsibly, it may well confirm the hypothesis, put forward by Ernst Mayr, a great figure in modern biology, that the appearance of a higher intelligence is an evolutionary error whose duration will have been very short. »
Noam Chomsky (Near futures)


#41017
« One of the things [the power holders] want is a passive, quiet population. Therefore, one of the things you can do to make their existence uncomfortable is to be neither passive nor quiet. There are lots of ways to do it. Even simply asking questions can have a significant effect. Protests, written letters and votes can all be helpful; it depends on the situation. But there is one point of paramount importance: sustained and organized action is needed. If you participate in an event and then go home, that is something; but the people in power can handle it very well. What they can't stand is the organizations that continue their actions, the people who are always learning from the last time and who are working to do better next time. No system of power, even if it is a fascist dictatorship, is indifferent to public dissent. »
Noam Chomsky (The underside of Uncle Sam's politics)


#41018
« "In fact, all political leaders in the United States should now face the death penalty for these actions, under U.S. law." »
Noam Chomsky (The Doctrine of Good Intentions)


#41019
« For advertisers what matters today (as in the 19th century) is first of all the purchasing power of viewers readers, not their number. »
Noam Chomsky (The fabric of public opinion. The economic policy of the American media)


#41020
« It is only in the frills of hollow discourse (or in some very marginal circles) that capitalism is considered a viable system. »
Noam Chomsky (In the year 501, the conquest continues)


#41021
« "Concentration of wealth means concentration of political power. This, in turn, leads to the promotement of measures that only reinforce this trend" »
Noam Chomsky (Occupy)


#41022
« Currently, in the United States, the irresponsible ideology of short-term profit is booming. The American employers have shown admirable frankness in publicly announcing that they are organizing gigantic propaganda campaigns to convince the public to ignore the current destruction of the environment, which is becoming quite difficult, even for the most blind. And as the polls show, these campaigns have had a real impact on public opinion. »
Noam Chomsky (On nuclear war and disasters...)


#41023
« I imagine that any serious environmentalist would agree that saving whales does not get to the bottom of the problem, and that occupying oil rigs is at best a tactic to draw attention to deeper causes [...] In addition to being the ones who (as usual) suffer the most, the poor are also often at the origin of actions that address the true roots of the problem. Thus, at the People's Summit in Bolivia, a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth was drafted, where indigenous peoples from around the world unite against the quest for predatory and self-destructive profits led by the rich. »
Noam Chomsky (On nuclear war and disasters...)


#41024
« Although rarely mentioned, the preparations carried out during the Second World War were very instructive: between 1939 and 1945, during summit meetings, the Roosevelt administration more or less organized the post-war years. The leaders knew that the United States would emerge from the conflict in a position of strength, if not triumphant. . . . These meetings served to explicitly establish certain fundamentals that were later implemented, such as the idea of "Grand Domain". In this territory that the United States was called upon to lead, no manifestation of sovereignty was to interfere with American projects - it is said openly, almost in these terms. »
Noam Chomsky (On nuclear war and disasters...)


#41025
« It is postulated . . . that a grammar consists of a syntactic component that specifies an infinite set of associated deep and superficial structures and expresses the transformational relationship between these associated elements, a phonological component that gives a phonetic representation to the superficial structure and a semantic component that gives a semantic interpretation to the deep structure. »
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought)


#41026
« To refer to a process described as "analogy" is simply to give a name to what remains a mystery. »
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought)


#41027
« [...] If a sane human being observes the world, I don't think he can not find material for action. page 160 »
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: Volume 2)


#41028
« Whitehead once described the mentality of modern science as follows: it was forged in "the union of a passionate interest in detailed facts and an equal attachment to abstract generalization." Modern linguistics can be crudely described as passionately interested in detailed facts and philosophical grammar as also attached to abstract generalization. It seems to me that the time has come to unite these two major currents and develop a synthesis drawn from their respective achievements. »
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought)


#41029
« If we look at what is happening in the world broadly enough, I think we could describe the situation as follows: the more capacity a state has to use violence, the greater its contempt for sovereignty - of others, it is understood. The United States is - by far - the most likely to use violence, and that is probably why enthusiasm is reaching its climax here. »
Noam Chomsky (Dominate the world or save the planet? : America in search of global hegemony)


#41030
« "We must recognize that by convention (it must be insisted: by convention only) the use or threat of the use of force by the great powers are usually described as coercive diplomacy and not as a form of terrorism." While they involve, in general, "the threat and often the use of violence for purposes that should be described as terrorists if they were not great powers that use exactly the same tactics" in accordance with the literal meaning of the words. In circumstances (unimaginable, let's face it) where Western culture would be willing to adopt this literal definition, the war on terror would then take a totally different form, and would take place in detailed diagrams in a literature that is not part of the respectable works. »
Noam Chomsky (11/9: Autopsy of terrorism)


#41031
« In a global economy designed to meet the interests and needs of large multinational corporations and international finance, as well as the sectors that serve them, most of the human species becomes superfluous. All these people will be sidelined if the institutional structures of power and privilege continue to function without being questioned or controlled by the popular masses. »
Noam Chomsky (The underside of Uncle Sam's politics)


#41032
« Martin Buber, it seems to me, summed up the problem well: "You can't, the nature of things being what it is, expect a small tree that has been turned into a club to produce leaves." »
Noam Chomsky (What role for the state?)


#41033
« Advertising has greatly promoted media concentration, even among competitors hungry for the same commercial budgets: for a newspaper or television station, an additional market share and an advertising advantage can increase revenue, commercial aggressiveness and variety of programs to the point that their rivals do not recover: this explains the death of many newspapers and magazines. Since the introduction of advertising, popular left-wing newspapers have been disadvantaged by the means of their readers. As one publicist said in 1856, "their readers are not buyers; you might as well throw your money out the window!" »
Noam Chomsky (The fabric of public opinion. The economic policy of the American media)


#41034
« If a former (American) drone operator, after killing people in Yemen or Afghanistan, becomes a whistleblower, his political commitment will be praised and he will be considered a victim of the system. If a former Al Qaeda bomber did the same thing, we wouldn't do that honor to him. Why is this so? (Lux, p.59) »
Noam Chomsky (Struggle or fall!)


#41035
« How does systematic media propaganda guarantee the dominance of the vast institutions of private tyranny of transnational high finance that govern the process of "globalization"? Constructed hierarchically, gradually escaping democratic control, these institutions were born according to Chomsky from the same soil as fascism or Bolshevism, these other contemporary manifestations of totalitarianism. The globalization of the economy marks a particular historical phase of their development aimed at increasing their power and maximizing their profits, and for the most part it bears no resemblance to what we are assured it means. Free trade, to a substantial extent, is neither free nor trade-related. the market of neo-liberalism has almost nothing to do with what classical liberalism called the market and is in fact a way for the public to subsidize private tyrannies: only the poor, workers are subject to market discipline while the state participates in the dismantling of Keynesian-inspired gains made after the Second World War. From this perspective of health, education and social protection are achievements to be dismantled and privatized to increase the profits of private tyrannies. The media propaganda is there to zombify the populations so that they consent "freely" to their own killing. »
Noam Chomsky (Making consent: Media propaganda in democracy)


#41036
« The main American concern was not Indochina but the "domino theory", that is, the demonstrative effect of independent initiatives, which could spread as a "rot" to Thailand - and perhaps even to Japan, which would be drawn into a "New Order" excluding the United States. They dismissed the threat by "demonstrating that a "war of liberation" can be costly, dangerous and doomed to fail," as General Maxwell Taylor, an adviser to President Kennedy, said in 1966. »
Noam Chomsky (The fabric of public opinion. The economic policy of the American media)


#41037
« The most important thing, I think, was certainly the dismantling of the Bretton Woods system by the United States, England, and others in the early 1970s. This system was designed by the United States and England in the 1940s. At that time social assistance programmes and radical democratic measures enjoyed overwhelming popular support. It was partly for these reasons that the Bretton Woods system of the mid-1940s regulated exchange rates and allowed for the control of cash flows. The idea was to put an end to ruinous and harmful speculation and to limit capital flight. The reasons were well understood and clearly articulated - the free flow of capital establishes what is sometimes called a "virtual parliament" of global capital, which has veto power over government policies that it deems irrational. These include labour law, education or health programmes, or efforts to stimulate the economy; in fact, anything that is likely to help people, not to profit (and therefore irrational in the technical sense). »
Noam Chomsky (On the control of our lives)


#41038
« There is a overriding principle. This principle is that the powerful and the privileged must be able to do what they want (in the name, of course, of noble goals). Its corollary is that people's sovereignty and democratic rights must disappear... (page 48) »
Noam Chomsky (On the control of our lives)


#41039
« Markets do not provide the population with "what they want" but rather "what they want in the context of what pays the most for producers or which most favours their political interests". »
Noam Chomsky (Propaganda, media and democracy)


#41040
« It is the responsibility of intellectuals to tell the truth and reveal lies. »
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: Volume 1)


#41041
« Intellectuals, let us not forget, have well integrated the idea that things must look complicated. If not, what are they for? »
Noam Chomsky (The Doctrine of Good Intentions)


#41042
« When the United States invades and occupies the countries bordering Iran, it is called "stabilizing"; but when it is Iran that tries to extend its influence over its border countries, it "destabilizes" the region. It's the most common formula. In other words, it means that the world belongs to the United States. And when you don't follow their orders, the owner becomes aggressive. »
Noam Chomsky (On nuclear war and disasters...)


#41043
« Creating fear and hatred is, of course, a classic method of controlling populations, whether black, Jewish, homosexual, welfare champion or otherwise demonized. »
Noam Chomsky (Intellectual responsibilities)


#41044
« There are no rules that "shorten" sentences, rather there are operations that form superficial structures from the underlying deep structures [...]. To show that grammatical transformations are "the simplest", it must therefore be demonstrated that the "optima" evaluation system should have ingested a chain of symbols and determine its surface surface, its underlying deep structure and the sequence of transformational operations that connect them. »
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought)


#41045
« Thus Wilhelm von Humboldt . . . strongly maintained that we would find, underpinning all human language, a universal system that simply expresses the unique intellectual attributes of man. For this reason, it was possible to defend the rationalist idea that language is not really learned - certainly not taught - but rather develops "from within" in an essentially predetermined way, when the appropriate environmental conditions are met. You can't really teach a first language, he argued, but you can only "provide the thread in which it will develop of your own free will" through processes closer to maturation than to learning. »
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought)


#41046
« It is not without reason that Proudhon saw in a socialism without freedom the worst form of slavery. The desire for social justice can only develop adequately and effectively when it arises from and is based on freedom and responsibility. »
Noam Chomsky (Reason and freedom. On human nature, education and the role of intellectuals)


#41047
« The greatest shortcoming of the classical philosophy of the mind, rationalist or empiricist, seems to me to be its undisputed assumption that the properties and content of the mind are accessible to introspection. It is surprising how rarely this assumption has been disputed, with regard to the organization and function of intellectual faculties, even with the Freudian revolution. »
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought)


#41048
« By the way, one of the great advantages of being a respectable intellectual is that you never need to put forward any evidence of what you say. »
Noam Chomsky (The Doctrine of Good Intentions)


#41049
« A more technical way to measure the scale of globalization is to observe the convergence towards a global market, with unique prices and wages. Clearly, it did not happen. »
Noam Chomsky (Profit before man)


#41050
« He wrote Bakunin in 1870: "Take the most radical of the revolutionaries and place him on the throne of all Russias or give him dictatorial powers... and before the end of the year he will be worse than the Tsar himself." »
Noam Chomsky (What role for the state?)


#41051
« The capitalist model of the exploitation of humans and resources must be the subject of general criticism, because it is this model that risks dealing the coup de grace to our species. »
Noam Chomsky (Struggle or fall!)


#41052
« As we have shown throughout this book, our media do not function in the manner of the propaganda system of totalitarian states. On the contrary, it allows - in fact, they encourage - fiery polemics, criticism and dissent, provided that they remain confined in faith in the system of beliefs and principles that structures any consensus of the elites: a system powerful enough that one can be imbued with it without really realizing it. »
Noam Chomsky (Making consent: Media propaganda in democracy)


#41053
« I have no doubt that intellectuals influence a lot of people, but it is for better or for worse. »
Noam Chomsky (Struggle or fall!)


#41054
« For ideas relating to human affairs to contribute to beneficial, necessary and urgent changes, they must be truly rooted in the current situation in order to enable us to make concrete recommendations - and to be practical in that direction. I'm sure there's no shortage of such ideas. »
Noam Chomsky (Struggle or fall!)


#41055
« When they finally accepted, in 1973, a peace treaty virtually identical to the Vietnamese consensus of 1964 that they destroyed by violence, the FLN was demolished in the South and there is almost nothing left of Indochina except North Vietnam, which can then dominate the entire region - as long had been predicted by the "behind-the-scenes enraged". The media's responsibility for these tragic events is enormous: their coverage of the Gulf of Tonkin incident and the blank cheque given by Congress to the war effort is a shining example. »
Noam Chomsky (The fabric of public opinion. The economic policy of the American media)


#41056
« The United States attacked South Vietnam in 1962 and extended its aggression to all of Indochina in 1965 with lasting deadly effects. Any media coverage that does not recognize these basic facts is merely propaganda seeking to excuse a terrorist attack. »
Noam Chomsky (The fabric of public opinion. The economic policy of the American media)


#41057
« Again, frankness was in order: we must infuse people with a "philosophy of futility" and ensure that they are interested exclusively in "the superficial things of life, the fashion effects of consumerism". They must seek to satisfy so-called "imaginary needs." We create these needs and then get them to focus on them. That's what they're sure to do, they won't bother us anymore. »
Noam Chomsky


#41058
« Any service we want to privatize, we will try first to untank it so that people will exclaim: we want to get rid of it! It's not working! So, for starters, you put the dog in it. Then you get popular support to cede it to the private sector. That is why public education is very under-subsidized. Teachers don't get paid enough. The resources are bad. »
Noam Chomsky


#41059
« There is a policy formulated in the name of the well-understood interests of American domestic power, the links between the state and the business world. This policy is followed very consistently. The United States has nothing to do with the law, morality, or well-being of men. They care about maximizing certain interests. »
Noam Chomsky


#41060
« People oppose the sharp attack on democratic rights, freedom of choice, they oppose everything being subject to categorical interests, to maximum benefit and to the domination of a very small milieu over the entire population. »
Noam Chomsky (Propaganda: Interviews with David Barsamian)


#41061
« The rich are demanding competition, but what they want is a monopoly. It's blackmail. »
Noam Chomsky (In the year 501, the conquest continues)


#41062
« When there are structures of authority, domination and hierarchy - someone gives orders and someone receives them - they are not self-legitimate. They have to justify themselves. The burden of proof rests with them. If you look closely, you usually see that they cannot be justified. And if they cannot, we should be dismantling them - trying to expand the realm of freedom and justice by dismantling this form of illegitimate authority. »
Noam Chomsky (Requiem for the American Dream)


#41063
« Russell the "humanist conception" that considers the child in the way the gardener sees a young tree, as a being endowed with a clean nature, who can fully develop if given the earth, air and light he needs. »
Noam Chomsky (For a humanist education)


#41064
« These sectors of the doctrinal system serve to distract the masses of proletarians and to consolidate basic social values: passivity, submission to authority, the sacrosanct virtue of greed and personal gain, lack of interest in others, fear of real or imagined enemies, etc. The goal is to keep the baffled herd in a state of rout. It is not helpful for them to worry about what is happening in the world. In fact, it is absolutely not desirable - if they see too much of reality, they may start wanting to change it. »
Noam Chomsky


#41065
« Excerpts from the foreword: Chomsky's voice brings a rare glimmer of hope and optimism, in this dark era marked by unprecedented economic inequalities, the rise of authoritarianism and social Darwinism, as well as by a left that has turned its back on class struggle........... For Chomsky, however, despair is not an option. Despite the impasse in which today's world seems cornered, it should be known that resistance to oppression and exploitation has never been in vain, even in times even darker than ours. Moreover, the "counter-revolution" that Trump is inflicting on the United States has already awakened a plethora of social movements determined to stand up to this would-be autocrat. in the most powerful country on the planet, the resistance seems destined for a brighter future than in many other parts of the industrialized world. C.J. POLYCHRONIOU , March 2017 . »
Noam Chomsky (Optimism against despair)


#41066
« In any country, there is always a group of people who hold real power. It is basically in the hands of the people who guide investment decisions. One of the things they want is a passive, quiet population. Therefore, one of the things you can do to make their existence uncomfortable is to be neither passive nor quiet. »
Noam Chomsky (The underside of Uncle Sam's politics)


#41067
« Currently, the study of language and other higher human faculties proceeds largely as chemistry has done; it seeks to "establish a rich body of doctrine" for possible unification, but without any clear idea of how it might take place. »
Noam Chomsky (On nature and language)


#41068
« If freedom of expression is limited to ideas that are right for us, it is not freedom of expression »
Noam Chomsky


#41069
« Intense commercial pressure has turned television news into "a pile of futility, rubbish and rubbish." Dorothy Rabinowitz »
Noam Chomsky (Propaganda, media and democracy)


#41070
« In reality, the primary purpose of entertainment media is to "give advertisers what they want" rather than "the public". »
Noam Chomsky (Propaganda, media and democracy)


#41071
« The Nakba took place at the location of Israel today, not in the West Bank or gaza Strip »
Noam Chomsky (Palestine)


#41072
« The media, in unison and in accordance with the priorities of the elites, ensured that the American intervention could not be placed in its real context, systematically removing everything that reflected extreme violence and American aggression and giving Sandinistas the worst possible image. »
Noam Chomsky (Making consent: Media propaganda in democracy)


#41073
« In Bolivia but also around the world, indigenous communities (whether they are called "First Nations", "aborigine" or "tribal" communities) have always known that, in order to hope for decent survival, we must learn to organize our societies and our lives so that the protection of "communities" - the goods that are common to all of us - becomes a major priority again. , as was often the case in traditional societies. »
Noam Chomsky (On nuclear war and disasters...)


#41074
« In a way, China is regaining its position as a leading world power. It has long been the world's leading power before what the Chinese call the "century of humiliation"." Today, they are returning to the role they have traditionally played for nearly three thousand years: to be the centre of the world and to drive out the barbarians. "We're going to regain our power and the United States won't be able to do anything about it," they say. »
Noam Chomsky (On nuclear war and disasters...)


#41075
« In the case of Agent Orange [used during the Vietnam conflict], the U.S. government claimed to be unaware that it contained dioxin, one of the most well-known deadly carcinogens. Wilcox demonstrates that the companies that supplied the state knowingly chose not to remove the lethal components for economic reasons. It is hard to believe that Washington did not know; it is more likely to be what has sometimes been referred to as "intentional ignorance." »
Noam Chomsky (On nuclear war and disasters...)


#41076
« In other words, we can ask the following question: what initial structure must possess the mind in order to be able to construct such a grammar from the data of the senses? »
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought)


#41077
« One of the main elements of anarchism is what has been called libertarian socialism. Rather, I would prefer Rudolf Brocker's idea that the main tendencies of anarchism should be drawn from the best of the Enlightenment and classical liberal thought. I will go even further by adding that in fact, as I have tried to demonstrate, they are paradoxically opposed with Marxist-Leninist practice and doctrine, with libertarian doctrines in vogue in the United States and the United Kingdom in particular, and with other contemporary ideologies, which in my view are a plea for some form of illegitimate authority. »
Noam Chomsky (Reason and freedom. On human nature, education and the role of intellectuals)


#41078
« In fact there was a major scientific revolution in the 17th century, and there have since been a lot of growths from it, (...). But that's all. Nothing has ever happened in the social sciences that looks, even from afar, like a scientific revolution »
Noam Chomsky (Reason and freedom. On human nature, education and the role of intellectuals)


#41079
« By these essential characteristics and its mode of use, language is the fundamental criterion that determines whether another organism is a being endowed with a human spirit and the human ability to think freely, to express oneself and to possess this human desire par excellence: to free oneself from the external constraints imposed by a repressive authority. »
Noam Chomsky (Reason and freedom. On human nature, education and the role of intellectuals)


#41080
« The trick is not to stay isolated. If one is isolated, like Winston Smith in 1984, then sooner or later one let go, as he does in the end. In a nutshell, this is what Orwell's novel said. In fact, the whole history of control over the people boils down to this: isolating people from each other, because if you can keep them isolated long enough, you can make them believe anything. But when people come together, then a lot of things become possible. (pages 33-34) »
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: Volume 2)


#41081
« In conclusion, I believe that there have been two truly productive research traditions that are undoubtedly of interest to those who are now involved in the study of language. The first is the tradition of philosophical grammar that flourishes from the 17th century to Romanticism, the second is the tradition that I called "structuralist", which can be misleading, which dominated the research of the century, at least until the early 1950s. »
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought)


#41082
« Descartes also came to the conclusion from the beginning of his research that the study of the mind confronts us with a problem of quality of complexity and not only of degree of complexity. He thought he had shown that understanding and will, the two fundamental properties of the human spirit, involve abilities and include principles that even the most complex automatons cannot achieve. »
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought)


#41083
« In these conferences, I would like to draw attention to the question: what can be the contribution of language study to our understanding of human nature? [...] At a time that was less self-aware and less compartmentalized than ours, gifted scholars and amateurs, with a wide variety of intellectual interests, points of view and backgrounds, took as a subject of study and speculation the question of whether language reflects human mental processes or whether it forms the course and character of thought. »
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought)


#41084
« what will have marked the conscience of the world is the image of an Israel covered in blood, ready to commit war crimes at every moment and not to submit to any moral constraint. This will have serious consequences for our future, for our place in the world, for our hope for peace and our serenity. Finally, this war is also a crime against ourselves, a crime against the State of Israel »
Noam Chomsky (Palestine)


#41085
« p 114: with institutional structures and an unchanged distribution of powers, how can we expect a radical change in policy - to see to any change if not for some tactical adjustments? »
Noam Chomsky (War as A foreign policy of the United States)


#41086
« The point of public relations slogans like "Support our troops" is that they don't mean anything... That's the whole point of good propaganda. You want to create a slogan that nobody's going to be against, and everyone's going to be for. Nobody knows what it means, because it doesn't mean anything. Its crucial value is that it entertains your attention from a question that does mean something: Do you support our policy? That's the one you're not allowed to talk about. »
Noam Chomsky (Media Control)


#41087
« When George W. Bush asked , "Why do they hate us?" his misunderstanding was probably sincere. His answer, "They hate our freedom," was probably the result of what he was taught at school. Diplomatic archives and historical data, as well as specialized publications, offer more convincing answers. More than 50 years before Bush asked this nagging question, President Dwight D. Eisenhower had expressed concern about the "campaign of hatred against us" in the Arab world, which was "not from governments, but from the people." The National Security Council had set out the reasons: "The majority of Arabs consider that the United States does not want the goals of Arab nationalism to be realized. According to them, Washington seeks to protect its oil interests in the Middle East by promoting the status quo and opposing any political or economic progress." Moreover, the Council acknowledged that this perception was correct: "In the region, our economic and cultural interests have led us to draw closer to elements of the Arab world whose primary interest is to maintain good relations with the West and to maintain the status quo in their countries", thus hindering democracy and development. »
Noam Chomsky (Near futures)


#41088
« True research is always a collective activity, and its results can play an important role in transforming consciousness, increasing insight and understanding, and paving the way for constructive action. »
Noam Chomsky (The underside of Uncle Sam's politics)


#41089
« Terrorism is the exercise of violence against civilian populations, whether perpetrated by a well-organized band of Muslim extremists or by the most powerful state in the world. »
Noam Chomsky (Power and terror, interviews after 9/11)


#41090
« The public is not sovereign in the media. Owners and managers looking for advertising decide the offer on which the public's choice will have to take place. People generally only read and look at what is directly accessible and is intensively promoted. Surveys regularly indicate that the public, although they listen to and watch what is being offered to them, would like more news, documentaries and different information, less sex and violence, and some other kind of entertainment. It seems unlikely that it would be really indifferent to citizens as to why their incomes are stagnating or even declining, while they are working harder and harder; why the medical care they have access to is as expensive as it is poor or neglect what can be perpetrated on their behalf all over the world. If they are so unaware of such topics, the propaganda model explains why: those who exercise sovereignty over the media have decided not to address such issues. »
Noam Chomsky (Making consent: Media propaganda in democracy)


#41091
« We are already in the phase of the sixth mass extinction. This means that we human beings are on the verge of destroying living species on a scale as vast as the extinction of species, sixty-five million years ago - the date of the fifth mass extinction, when a gigantic meteorite struck the planet, thus ending the reign of dinosaurs. Today, the predictions for humanity and this planet are very pessimistic. Serious action is needed to remedy this situation. »
Noam Chomsky (Struggle or fall!)


#41092
« The idea of a lack of an alternative to the status quo is more incongruous than ever at a time like ours, when extraordinary technologies exist to improve the human condition. It is true that the way to create a reliable, free and human post-capitalist order is still unclear, and that this very notion has something utopian. But with every historical progress, from the abolition of slavery to decolonization, the idea that it was "impossible" had to be overcome, since it had never been done before. And, as Chomsky points out, it is to organized political activism that we owe the democratic rights and freedoms we enjoy today - universal suffrage, civil rights, women's rights, trade unions... Even if a post-capitalist society still seems unattainable, we know that political activity can make the world in which we live more humane. By gradually getting closer to this goal, perhaps we will once again be able to think about building a political economy based on cooperation, equality, autonomy and individual freedom. »
Noam Chomsky (Propaganda, media and democracy)


#41093
« I think that, at least in technologically advanced Western societies, we can avoid the thankless, unnecessary and, in a certain margin, share this privilege with the population, the centralized autocratic control of economic institutions - I mean private capitalism as well as state totalitarianism or the various mixed forms of state capitalism that exist here or there - has become a destructive vestige of history. All these vestiges must be eliminated in favour of direct participation in the form of workers' councils or other free associations that individuals themselves constitute in the context of their social existence and productive work. A federated system, decentralized of free associations, incorporating economic and social institutions, would constitute what I call anarcho-unionism, it seems to me that it is an appropriate form of social organization for an advanced technological society, in which human beings are not transformed into instruments, into cogs of the mechanism. No social necessity requires that human beings be treated as links in the production chain, we must overcome this by a society of freedom and free association, or the creative impulse inherent in human nature can be fully realized in the way it decides. [Noam Chomsky] »
Noam Chomsky (On Human Nature: Understanding Interlude Power)


#41094
« Television presents events as a sanctimonious play, a dramatic dilemma between the good, represented by the American offensive of 1966, and the evil personified by Hanoi. »
Noam Chomsky (The fabric of public opinion. The economic policy of the American media)


#41095
« What remains of democracy must now be seen as the right to choose between goods. Business leaders have long stressed the need to impose on the general public a "philosophy of futility" and a "life without objective" in order to "focus on superficial things, and in particular on what is fashionable". Overwhelmed from an early age by such propaganda, people might be able to accept a submissive and meaningless existence, and forget the ridiculous idea of taking charge of their own affairs. »
Noam Chomsky (Profit before man)


#41096
« It is no exaggeration to say that the attempt to take control of our own lives is an essential feature of the history of the world, which has experienced a crescendo in recent centuries, marked by dramatic changes in both human relations and in the world order. (page 7) »
Noam Chomsky (On the control of our lives)


#41097
« Democracy is a system in which people are spectators, not actors. At regular intervals, they have the right to put a ballot in the ballot box, to choose someone in the class of chiefs to lead them. Then they are supposed to go home and go about their business, consume, watch TV, cook, but above all do not disturb. »
Noam Chomsky (Two hours of lucidity: Interviews with Denis Robert and Weronika Zarachowicz)


#41098
« The fate of the most vulnerable underlines the distance that separates us from what might be called "civilization." »
Noam Chomsky (Profit before man)


#41099
« Reformation is one of those words that should put the chip in your ear. The changes are called "reforms" if the powerful support them. Thus, Pol Pot has changed many things in Cambodia, but we are not talking about "reforms". The word belongs to Orwell's list. We use it for the changes we are supposed to support. The so-called "educational reforms" should be evaluated pending what is considered good in the field of education, but just because we use the term "reforms" does not necessarily mean that these changes will be positive. Much of it is destructive. »
Noam Chomsky


#41100
« As Biko said, the fantastic success of the oppressors has been to instill their arguments in such a way that they constitute the point of view from which one looks at the world. This is sometimes done very consciously, as in the communications industry. Other times, it's a kind of routine, the way we live. »
Noam Chomsky


#41101
« It is a great goal, perfectly aware, of industries interested in the definition of thoughts and attitudes. Their concern, their commitment, and they admit it, is to keep people isolated, atomized as you say. There is a good reason for that. As long as people are alone, they are not able to understand much. If they are together, they begin to exchange opinions, to question themselves and to learn. »
Noam Chomsky (Propaganda: Interviews with David Barsamian)


#41102
« The anarchist ideal, in any form, has always tended, by definition, towards a dismantling of state power. I share this ideal. Yet it often comes into direct conflict with my immediate goals, which are to defend, or even strengthen certain aspects of the authority of the state..... Today, within the framework of our societies, I believe that the strategy of sincere anarchists must be to defend certain institutions of the state against the onslaught they suffer, while trying to force them to open up to a wider and more effective popular participation. This approach is not undermined from the inside by an apparent contradiction between strategy and ideal; It naturally proceeds from a practical prioritization of ideals and an equally practical evaluation of the means of action. »
Noam Chomsky (We anarchism)


#41103
« "In times of recession, we need growth, not austerity" »
Noam Chomsky (Occupy)


#41104
« "America stands where it has always done - against aggression, against those who want to use force to replace the supremacy of law." These are the words of President Bush, the invader of Panama and the only head of state to have been convicted by the International Court of Justice for "illegal use of force". »
Noam Chomsky


#41105
« What do you do when you fall prey to a virus? First, you destroy it, then you vaccinate its potential victims, so that the disease cannot spread. That's basically the American strategy in the third world. If possible, it is advisable to entrust the destruction of this virus to the local military. If they don't, you have to do it by bringing your own strength. It's extremely expensive and it's inelegant, but sometimes you have to deal with it. Vietnam was one of those places where we had to deal with it. »
Noam Chomsky


#41106
« This is entirely predictable, as an endless series of studies shows. A brutal tyrant crosses the line between the admirable friend and the "bandit" or the "scum" when he commits the crime of independence. A common mistake is not just robbing the poor - which is fine - but starting to take care of the affairs of the privileged: it always ends up eliciting hostility from business people. »
Noam Chomsky


#41107
« Brazil is an instructive case. It has so many natural resources that it should be one of the richest countries on the planet, and it also enjoys significant industrial development. But thanks in large part to the coup d'état of 1964 and the much-praised "economic miracle" that followed (to say nothing of torture, assassinations and other means of "population control"), the current situation of many Brazilians is probably on an equal footing with ethiopia - and is much more serious, for example, than in Eastern Europe. »
Noam Chomsky


#41108
« Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines that everyone says, or you tell the truth. »
Noam Chomsky


#41109
« The best journalists are generally very aware of the factors that shape the media product, and they seek to take advantage of the openings that arise. As a result, much can be learned through a critical and skeptical reading of what the media produces. »
Noam Chomsky (The underside of Uncle Sam's politics)


#41110
« This formulation may have occasionally led to the idea that there was some asymmetry in grammatical theory, in the sense that grammar would take the speaker's point of view rather than that of the listener; that it would focus on the process of producing statements rather than the reverse process of analyzing and reconstructing the structure of the statements given. P54 »
Noam Chomsky (Syntactic structures)


#41111
« The goal [...]: to lead the stupid masses to a world that their inability to understand prevents them from conceiving. [...] according to this theory [of Lippman], only a small elite ... can understand what the common good is and know what is important to the community, since these notions "completely escape public opinion". »
Noam Chomsky (Propaganda, media and democracy)


#41112
« The most damning accusation to the news media is that the more information a person consumes in the commercial media, the less able he or she is to understand public or political affairs. »
Noam Chomsky (Propaganda, media and democracy)


#41113
« Not so long ago, the book industry played an important role in stimulating culture and public debate. Now, it has swapped much of this function for the development of the ideas and interests of its owners. »
Noam Chomsky (Propaganda, media and democracy)


#41114
« For guatemala's elections, the media strictly stead ran to US officials, official observers, leading candidates and generals on sources. The spokesmen of the insurgents - what would have been called "the main opposition force" in Nicaragua - and those of small parties, popular organizations, churches, human rights organizations and other ordinary citizens were totally ignored by the media. »
Noam Chomsky (Making consent: Media propaganda in democracy)


#41115
« the past, where we would focus our attention on Zionism as a historical phenomenon, the present, where we would question in particular the relevance of applying the model of apartheid to Israel and the effectiveness of the BDS campaign as an important strategy of solidarity with the Palestinian people, and the future, where we would balance the two-state solution with that of a state »
Noam Chomsky (Palestine)


#41116
« It is useful not to forget: wherever we turn, there is rarely a shortage of noble ideals to accompany the use of force. »
Noam Chomsky (Dominate the world or save the planet? : America in search of global hegemony)


#41117
« Without self-thinking, skepticism could be reduced to a one-sided posture of refusal. It may be fair not to accept the dominant position, but this refusal can only have value if it is based on reasoned, reasoned analysis, and accompanied by sensible alternatives. »
Noam Chomsky (On nuclear war and disasters...)


#41118
« China has gradually taken the lead in high-tech photovoltaics and now dominates the international market. The U.S. lags behind in intellectual innovation is such that after a visit to the site Steven Chu, U.S. Secretary of Energy, described Suntech's site as a state-of-the-art automated plant, where the world's best-performing photovoltaic cells are manufactured. »
Noam Chomsky (On nuclear war and disasters...)


#41119
« To hear the most eloquent supporters of neo-liberalism, one would think that they are doing enormous services to the poor, and to everyone, when they apply their policies in favour of a privileged minority »
Noam Chomsky (Profit before man)


#41120
« It is those who actually work who must determine working conditions and schedules as well as the distribution of production. Industry captains must be s e l e c ted. And chosen to serve, not to order. It is for the well-being of all that the work of all must be determined. That is democracy. »
Noam Chomsky (Intellectual responsibilities)


#41121
« "Those who work in factories should be the owners," the workers said, without any intellectual needing to blow it to them. »
Noam Chomsky (Intellectual responsibilities)


#41122
« Black men are considered a criminal population, concludes criminologist William Chambliss, based on numerous studies, including direct observation by students and faculty as part of a joint project with the D.C. police. But that's not entirely accurate: criminals are supposed to have constitutional rights; however, as this study and many others show, this is not the case for the communities concerned, which are treated as a population under military occupation. »
Noam Chomsky (Intellectual responsibilities)


#41123
« The term "national defence" is a bad joke that should border on ridicule among people who still have a little respect for themselves. The United States does not face any threat but spends a lot on "defence" (as much as the rest of the world). Military spending, however, is no joke. Apart from ensuring a particular form of "stability" in managing our country's "permanent interests," the Pentagon is useful in providing for Gingrich and his wealthy voters, so that they can continue to fulminate against the welfare state, which pours public funds into their pockets. »
Noam Chomsky (Intellectual responsibilities)


#41124
« The American-led struggle for justice is marred by injustices such as slavery and the exploitation of African Americans, as well as the near-destruction of Aboriginal Indian civilizations. »
Noam Chomsky (Intellectual responsibilities)


#41125
« Classes are not just a way of differentiating relationships to ownership, with some owning the capital and others having only their work force. In fact, between capital and work are what I call coordinators; people to whom their position in the economic system confers a relative monopoly on information and some control over their own economic role as well as, in many cases, that of others. »
Noam Chomsky (Intellectual responsibilities)


#41126
« By continuing the kind of research that now seems feasible and drawing attention to some of the problems that are now available to the study, we will be able to decipher in detail the elaborate and abstract assessments that partly determine the nature of perceived things and the character of acquired knowledge -those specific ways of interpreting the phenomena that are , to a large extent, beyond the reach of our consciousness and control and which may belong only to man. »
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought)


#41127
« The real awareness comes from experience and confrontation with the world. You don't realize first and then act, you become aware by acting. page 151 »
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: Volume 2)


#41128
« Simply incorporating the idea that certain things are not good to say or think is an important part of education. And if you don't learn that, you'll usually be sidelined from institutions at some point. (page 17) »
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: Volume 2)


#41129
« A major problem is that the surface structure itself generally gives very little indication of the meaning of the sentence. For example, there are many ambiguous sentences in a way that the superficial structure does not indicate. Consider the sentence 4:4 - I disapprove of John's drinking. This sentence may refer either to the fact that John drinks in the moment or to his character. Ambiguity is resolved in different ways in sentences 5 and 6:5- I disapprove of John's drinking the beer. 6- I disapprove of John's excessive drinking. It is clear that grammatical processes are implicit. »
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought)


#41130
« There is still the argument of Louis Racine, son of the playwright, struck by the idea that this: "If the beasts had a soul and were capable of feelings, would they remain insensitive to the affront and injustice that Descartes made to them? Wouldn't they rather be angry at the leader and the sect that demeaned them in this way? It should be added, I suppose, that Louis Racine was regarded by his contemporaries as living proof that a brilliant father cannot have a brilliant son. »
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought)


#41131
« "If you don't believe in freedom of expression for people you despise, you don't believe in it at all. Noam Chomsky »
Noam Chomsky


#41132
« Democracy was regarded as entering into a crisis in the 1960s. The crisis was that large segments of the population were becoming organized and active and trying to participate in the political arena. »
Noam Chomsky (Media Control)


#41133
« In my opinion, it is the lack of depth and superficiality, not speed, that affect the perception of the present. (page 163) »
Noam Chomsky (Two hours of lucidity: Interviews with Denis Robert and Weronika Zarachowicz)


#41134
« Any form of authority, any form of hierarchy, must be questioned and must prove its merits. There is no self-justification that holds. (page 135) »
Noam Chomsky (Two hours of lucidity: Interviews with Denis Robert and Weronika Zarachowicz)


#41135
« We need to direct people to superficial things in life, such as consumption. We need to create artificial walls, lock people up and isolate them from each other. (page 24) »
Noam Chomsky (Two hours of lucidity: Interviews with Denis Robert and Weronika Zarachowicz)


#41136
« The more free a society is, the more fear and propaganda it resorts to. (126) »
Noam Chomsky (Two hours of lucidity: Interviews with Denis Robert and Weronika Zarachowicz)


#41137
« Globalization is not a natural phenomenon, it is a political phenomenon designed to achieve specific objectives. (page 109) »
Noam Chomsky (Two hours of lucidity: Interviews with Denis Robert and Weronika Zarachowicz)


#41138
« As Milton Friedman, the famous neoliberal guru, explains in his book Capitalism and Freedom, making a profit is the essence of democracy, any government that pursues a policy contrary to the interests of the market is therefore undemocratic, even if it enjoys broad popular support. It is therefore better to confine it to the tasks of protecting private property and executing contracts, while limiting political debate to minor problems, with the real issues - production and distribution of wealth, social organisation - having to be determined by market forces. »
Noam Chomsky (Propaganda, media and democracy)


#41139
« Foucault regarded scientific knowledge at a given time as a grid of social and intellectual conditions, as a system whose rules allow the creation of new knowledge. In his opinion, as I understand it, human knowledge is transformed by virtue of social conditions and struggles, with one grid replacing the other, thus bringing new possibilities to science. He is, I believe, skeptical of the possibility or legitimacy of an attempt to situate any important origin of human knowledge and knowledge within the human mind, conceived in an a-historical way. »
Noam Chomsky (Language, language, politics: Dialogues with Mitsou Ronat)


#41140
« I think that scientific creation depends on two facts. On the one hand, an intrinsic property of the mind, and on the other a set of social and intellectual conditions. For me, it is not a question of choosing. To understand a scientific discovery, one must understand the interaction of these two factors. But personally, I'm more interested in the former, while he [Michel Foucault] focuses on the latter. It is, I told you, the limitations of the human spirit that allow the acquisition of knowledge as well as the enormous wealth of scientific knowledge of any kind. »
Noam Chomsky (Language, language, politics: Dialogues with Mitsou Ronat)


#41141
« The "accelerated pacification campaign" that follows the Tet offensive is an operation of mass killings that demolishes the FLN and its peasant base. It kills tens of thousands and ruins what is left of the country. The southern part of North Vietnam is reduced to a lunar landscape; Laos is subject to one of the heaviest bombings in history that destroys a rural society that has nothing to do (as Washington acknowledges) with the war in South Vietnam. The United States also bombarded Cambodia with invading and destroying much of it, rallying the peasants to the cause of the Khmer Rouge, who were still a marginal force. »
Noam Chomsky (The fabric of public opinion. The economic policy of the American media)


#41142
« The delayed attention paid to the My Lai massacre is part of a subtle form of concealment of atrocities. (...) Arbitrarily exceptional in order to divert attention from other possible investigations, its dramatization has even served to demonstrate that America has a conscience in the face of the enemy's provocations. »
Noam Chomsky (The fabric of public opinion. The economic policy of the American media)


#41143
« But the United States has not achieved its ultimate goal. They did not turn Vietnam into a imitation Philippines, i.e. a colony. The war is therefore considered a failure. But they still achieved their main goals. Jimmy Carter, in what should be considered one of the most incredible comments of any head of state anywhere, said at a press conference that we have no debt to Vietnam because "the destruction has been mutual". »
Noam Chomsky (Propaganda: Interviews with David Barsamian)


#41144
« This theory, attributed to Nixon, is that we cannot convince people, and we are powerful. It is therefore fruitful to adopt the mask of a violent, vindictive, irrational and hysterical nation. We must use our nuclear weapons arsenal for this purpose. (...) This could be part of the explanation for the bombing of Sudan and Afghanistan or Iraq, so as to most brazenly insult the United Nations. Let them know that we are uncontrollable and vindictive: they better be careful. »
Noam Chomsky


#41145
« I misjudged, they saw right. But as far as I know, it was basically like playing a coin toss. »
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: Volume 1)


#41146
« I first wrote to Noam Chomsky around 1980. To my surprise, he replied. We did our first interview four years later. We have made dozens of them since then, which have linked them to a whole series of books, as well as to radio shows. The collections of conversations have sold by hundreds of thousands, all the more remarkable because they have not enjoyed any media launch or journalistic review, even on the left. »
Noam Chomsky (Propaganda: Interviews with David Barsamian)


#41147
« By the 1930s, faith in the viability of capitalism had all but disappeared, as developed countries were moving towards some form of integrated economic system in the state. »
Noam Chomsky (In the year 501, the conquest continues)


#41148
« None of the capitalist states accepts the principle of the free movement of labour, a prerequisite for free market theory. »
Noam Chomsky (In the year 501, the conquest continues)


#41149
« "Educating citizens is not just dictating what they should think: it is getting them to do their own learning" »
Noam Chomsky (Occupy)


#41150
« citizens are against the deficit: for them, the real problem is unemployment" »
Noam Chomsky (Occupy)


#41151
« Humboldt, however, remains Cartesian in that he sees language, above all, as a means of thinking and expressing himself, much more than as a functional system of communication close to that of the animal. »
Noam Chomsky (Cartesian linguistics - The formal nature of language)


#41152
« It is important to bear in mind that the fact that the presentation presented here is very fragmentary, and therefore in some ways misleading. »
Noam Chomsky (Cartesian linguistics - The formal nature of language)


#41153
« For many years, the work of the United Nations has been hampered by the great powers, and first of all by the United States - but not by the Soviet Union or by the Third World. Since 1970, the United States has vetoed a much larger number of Security Council resolutions than any other country (Britain comes in second, France is third, far behind, and the Soviet Union fourth). »
Noam Chomsky


#41154
« The Vietnam War stemmed from the need to secure this supporting role. The Vietnamese nationalists refused to comply, so they had to be crushed. The threat was not that they would conquer another country, but that they could be a dangerous example of national independence that could inspire other nations in the region. »
Noam Chomsky (The underside of Uncle Sam's politics)


#41155
« "The only purpose of the film is to sell, sell, again and again" Forbes »
Noam Chomsky (Propaganda, media and democracy)


#41156
« "A communications industry leader has written a manual called PROPAGANDA, which describes the manufacture of consent as the very essence of democracy. He explains that those in power must use propaganda to ensure the subordination of the population to their interests. This principle dates back to James Madison: the U.S. Constitution was formulated as part of the Madison Principle, which states that "the essential responsibility of government is to protect rich minorities from the majority." " Noam Chomsky »
Noam Chomsky (A completely surreal world)


#41157
« "A communications industry leader has written a manual called PROPAGANDA, which describes the manufacture of consent as the very essence of democracy. He explains that those in power must use propaganda to ensure the subordination of the population to their interests. This principle dates back to James Madison: the U.S. Constitution was formulated as part of the Madison Principle, which states that "the essential responsibility of government is to protect rich minorities from the majority." " Noam Chomsky »
Noam Chomsky (A completely surreal world)


#41158
« In this world where the end justifies the means, we are served the perennial refrain that "everyone must tighten their belts". In reality, the country is sinking under the flow of capital, "profits are exploding" and, according to Business Week, transported with happiness, "they pour into the coffers of the Americas company. »
Noam Chomsky (Intellectual responsibilities)


#41159
« Brilliant disciples are not enough to make the wrong students forget; those who remain glued to the slow lane. »
Noam Chomsky (Intellectual responsibilities)


#41160
« In our country, the preferred method is to lock up the superfluous populations in urban ghettos that increasingly resemble concentration camps. Or, if that fails, in prisons that are the counterpart, in rich societies, of the death squads that we train and support on our own soil. »
Noam Chomsky (Intellectual responsibilities)


#41161
« In general, the world is driven towards a third world model, comprising sectors of great wealth, a large mass of misery and a vast population of useless people, deprived of all rights because it contributes in no way to the creation of wealth, the only recognized human value. This surplus population must be kept in the dark but also controlled. »
Noam Chomsky (Intellectual responsibilities)


#41162
« Star Wars was sold to the public as an instrument of "defence" and to the business community as a public subsidy for high technology. »
Noam Chomsky (Intellectual responsibilities)


#41163
« The "big beast" - as Alexander Hamilton called public opinion - must be "domesticated" or "caged" if the government is to protect "the immutable interests of the country." »
Noam Chomsky (Intellectual responsibilities)


#41164
« "They appeal to the poor, and they have always wanted to plunder the rich." It is indeed difficult for us to "call directly to the masses" on the basis of the principle that the rich must plunder the poor — a public relations problem that remains unresolved. »
Noam Chomsky (Intellectual responsibilities)


#41165
« Recognition of the right to self-determination is a pretty "Wilsonian idealism" and, in the eyes of some more practical thinkers, is considered a moral vice that endangers the "national interest". In this context, Southeast Asia is becoming of paramount importance. »
Noam Chomsky (Intellectual responsibilities)


#41166
« The "good" public is one that a better understanding of situations must be pushed to act effectively, in order to alleviate suffering and despair. We have come back to our obvious beginnings, although there are still some disagreements in this area, including between people who usually find themselves on the fundamental problems. »
Noam Chomsky (Intellectual responsibilities)


#41167
« Do not repeat tirelessly truths now known to all, but rather question what makes the difference between mere awareness and active activism, and what makes it possible to pass from one to the other. »
Noam Chomsky (Intellectual responsibilities)


#41168
« Intellectuals who care about the social cannot simply describe the horrible reality. This insistence on the horrors of the system and the crimes of power can only feed the cynicism or fatalism of the environment. As a social group, as a whole, intellectuals must now move from the description of what is wrong - why and how it does not work - to a reflection on the "society in which we would like to live" and on how to achieve it. »
Noam Chomsky (Intellectual responsibilities)


#41169
« "You lose, you lose, you lose, and then one day you win." Failure is an obligatory step in the process that leads to real changes in institutions. »
Noam Chomsky (Intellectual responsibilities)


#41170
« [...] the most totalitarian institution in human history - or almost - is probably a multinational: it is an institution run by a central power in which the scheme of authority follows a rigorous order from the top down. Control is in the hands of owners and investors; If you are inside the organization, you receive orders from the higher level and have them followed to the lower level; if you are outside, there is only a weak popular control which, in fact, erodes very quickly. page 160 »
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: Volume 2)


#41171
« One of the components of the technique of confiscating the power of the population is to ensure that real change fades from history and is never recognized for what it is. It is therefore necessary to distort the history and give the impression that it was the Great Men who did everything. This is partly how people are convinced that they can't do anything, that they are powerless and that they just have to wait for a Great Man to come and do everything for them. page 154 »
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: Volume 2)


#41172
« In what sense has socialism failed? It is true that the Soviet Union and its satellite countries in Eastern Europe were called "socialists", but they were also called "democratic". Were they socialists? We can discuss what socialism is, but some conceptions are essential, like workers' control over production, the abolition of wage-earning, things like that. Have these concepts been applied in these countries? Not even in thoughts. Again, in the pre-Bolshevik period of the Russian Revolution, there were some socialist initiatives, but they were wiped out after the Bolsheviks took power in just a few months. In fact, democratic changes in Russia were crushed as quickly as the socialist transformations. The seizure of Bolshevik power was a coup d'etat. And that was understood as such at the time. Thus, for the mainstream in the Marxist movement, Lenin's seizure of power was considered counter-revolutionary; for the independent left and people like Bertrand Russel, there was no doubt about it; for the libertarian left, this was immediately a truism. But this truism has been removed from people's heads over the years, in a prolonged attempt to discredit the very idea of socialism by associating it with Soviet totalitarianism [...] This triumph of propaganda has shown great value to Western elites because being able to say "this is socialism, look where it leads" has greatly facilitated the blocking of real changes in our social system. (page 78-79) »
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: Volume 2)


#41173
« You see, one of the great illusions of the Americans - one of the pillars of the whole indoctrination system - is to believe that power is government. Government is not power, it is a segment of power. True power lies in the hands of those who own society; state leaders are usually only servants. (page 27) »
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: Volume 2)


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