Quotes by Noam Chomsky

quotes by Noam Chomsky

Best 1420 Quotes by Noam Chomsky

theres a war crimes quote by noam chomsky

There's a War Crimes Act in the United States passed by a Republican Congress in 1996, which says that grave breaches of the Geneva Convention are subject to the death penalty. And that doesn't mean the soldier that committed them - that means the commanders.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)
for 500 years since quote by noam chomsky

For 500 years, since European explorers came, Latin American countries had been separated from one another. They had very limited relations. Integration is a prerequisite for independence.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)
as international sup quote by noam chomsky

As international support for Obama's decision to attack Syria has collapsed, along with the credibility of government claims, the administration has fallen back on a standard pretext for war crimes when all else fails: the credibility of the threats of the self-designated policeman of the world.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)
in 1993 israel and  quote by noam chomsky

In 1993, Israel and North Korea were moving towards an agreement in which North Korea would stop sending any missiles or military technology to the Middle East and Israel would recognize that country. President Clinton intervened and blocked it.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)
reparations   not ju quote by noam chomsky

Reparations - not just aid - should be provided by those responsible for devastating Iraqi civilian society by cruel sanctions and military actions, and - together with other criminal states - for supporting Saddam Hussein through his worst atrocities and beyond. That is the minimum that honesty requires.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The murder of Lumumba, in which the U.S. was involved, in the Congo destroyed Africa's major hope for development. Congo is now total horror story, for years.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The Washington leadership has put aside non-proliferation programmes and devoted its energies and resources to driving the country to war by extraordinary deceit, then trying to manage the catastrophe it created in Iraq.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The major advances in speed of communication and ability to interact took place more than a century ago. The shift from sailing ships to telegraph was far more radical than that from telephone to email!

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Up until the First World War, when people turned anti-German, Germany had been described by American political scientists as the model of democracy.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Dr. Karel Culik is an outstanding applied mathematician, a specialist in algebra, logic, computer sciences and mathematical linguistics. In 1965, he visited the linguistics research program at MIT, and we have worked together on several projects since.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In the early 1940s, as a young teenager, I was utterly appalled by the racist and jingoist hysteria of the anti-Japanese propaganda. The Germans were evil, but treated with some respect: They were, after all, blond Aryan types, just like our imaginary self-image. Japanese were mere vermin, to be crushed like ants.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Popular struggles to bring about a freer and more just society have been resisted by violence and repression, and massive efforts to control opinion and attitudes. Over time, however, they have met with considerable success, even though there is a long way to go, and there is often regression.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

If you look back at the history of the twentieth century, Germany alone had practically destroyed Russia several times.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Britain kept its position as the dominant world power well into the 20th century despite steady decline. By the end of World War II, dominance had shifted decisively into the hands of the upstart across the sea, the United States, by far the most powerful and wealthy society in world history.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

A very large majority of the U.S. population is in favor of establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba and has been for a long time with some fluctuations. And even part of the business world is in favor of it, too. But the government won't allow it.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Radical Islamist extremists surely hope that an attack on Iraq will kill many people and destroy much of the country, providing recruits for terrorist actions.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

There's very little dislike of Americans in the world, shown by repeated polls, and the dissatisfaction - that is, the hatred and the anger - they come from acceptance of American values, not a rejection of them, and recognition that they're rejected by the U.S. government and by U.S. elites, which does lead to hatred and anger.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Greece has been, in many ways, a partially dysfunctional society. For example, the wealthy barely pay taxes... to an extent, that's true elsewhere, including the United States, but it's been pretty extreme in Greece.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

What happened in the missile crisis in October 1962 has been prettified to make it look as if acts of courage and thoughtfulness abounded. The truth is that the whole episode was almost insane.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

I remember at the age of five travelling on a trolley car with my mother past a group of women on a picket line at a textile plant, seeing them being viciously beaten by security people. So that kind of thing stayed with me.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The close Turkish-Israeli relations go back to the late 1950s - military intelligence, commercial, more recently, tourism and cultural relations.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Well before September 11, it was understood that with modern technology, the rich and powerful will lose their near monopoly of the means of violence and can expect to suffer atrocities on home soil.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

For a privileged minority, Western democracy provides the leisure, the facilities, and the training to seek the truth lying hidden behind the veil of distortion and misrepresentation, ideology and class interest, through which the events of current history are presented to us.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

I hope that a move toward clemency with Judge Afiuni would be a step towards the importance of maintaining a properly functioning justice system.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

U.S. Government propaganda tries to give the impression that aerial bombardment achieves near-surgical accuracy, so that military targets can be destroyed with minimal effect on civilians. Technical documents give a different picture.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The Bible is one of the most genocidal books in history.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The very design of neoliberal principles is a direct attack on democracy.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The prescription for endless war poses a far greater danger to Americans than perceived enemies do, for reasons the terrorist organisations understand very well.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

If you ask the CEO of some major corporation what he does, he will say, in all honesty, that he is slaving 20 hours a day to provide his customers with the best goods or services he can and creating the best possible working conditions for his employees.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

You could imagine a language exactly like English except it doesn't have connectives like 'and' that allow you to make longer expressions. An infant learning truncated English would have no idea about this: They would just pick it up as they would standard English.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

When Rumsfeld gets up on television and says we have definitive intelligence that al Qaeda is working with Iraq, how is an ordinary citizen supposed to react? They won't tell you the evidence, and when anyone asks, they say, 'Well, you know: It's secret.'

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

It is pretty ironic that the so-called 'least advanced' people are the ones taking the lead in trying to protect all of us, while the richest and most powerful among us are the ones who are trying to drive the society to destruction.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Immediately after 11 September, the U.S. closed down the Somali charitable network Al-Barakaat on grounds that it was financing terror. This achievement was hailed one of the great successes of the 'war on terror.' In contrast, Washington's withdrawal of its charges as without merit a year later aroused little notice.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In Latin America, specialists and polling organisations have, for some time, observed that the extension of formal democracy was accompanied by an increasing disillusionment about democracy and a lack of faith in democratic institutions.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In November 2004, U.S. occupation forces launched their second major attack on the city of Falluja. The press reported major war crimes instantly, with approval.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Why should Iran have a deterrent strategy? Well, it's surrounded by hostile enemies. Both of its borders have been under occupation by a hostile superpower, the United States, which is constantly violating the U.N. charter by leaving open what they call the saying, 'all options are open' - meaning the threat of war.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In the United States, one of the main topics of academic political science is the study of attitudes and policy and their correlation. The study of attitudes is reasonably easy in the United States: heavily-polled society, pretty serious and accurate polls, and policy you can see, and you can compare them.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The crimes against Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and elsewhere, particularly Lebanon, are so shocking that the only emotionally valid reaction is rage and a call for extreme actions. But that does not help the victims. And, in fact, it's likely to harm them.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The greatest progress is in the sciences that study the simplest systems. So take, say, physics - greatest progress there. But one of the reasons is that the physicists have an advantage that no other branch of sciences has. If something gets too complicated, they hand it to someone else.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Today, we have private airline companies, but if you take a look at a Boeing plane next time you travel, you'll see that you are basically taking a ride on a modified bomber.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The people who were honored in the Bible were the false prophets. It was the ones we call the prophets who were jailed and driven into the desert.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Wanton killing of innocent civilians is terrorism, not a war against terrorism.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

To say that the United States has pursued diplomacy with North Korea is a little bit misleading. It did under the Clinton administration, though neither side completely lived up to their obligations. Clinton didn't do what was promised, nor did North Korea, but they were making progress.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

September 11 shocked many Americans into an awareness that they had better pay much closer attention to what the U.S. government does in the world and how it is perceived. Many issues have been opened for discussion that were not on the agenda before. That's all to the good.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The Occupy movement did create spontaneously communities that taught people something: you can be in a supportive community of mutual aid and cooperation and develop your own health system and library and have open space for democratic discussion and participation. Communities like that are really important.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The list of U.S. vetoes at the Security Council to protect Israeli aggression and occupation is huge.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it's from Neptune.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Intellectuals are in a position to expose the lies of governments, to analyze actions according to their causes and motives and often hidden intentions.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

When General Allenby conquered Jerusalem during World War I, he was hailed in the American press as Richard the Lion-Hearted, who had at last won the Crusades and driven the pagans out of the Holy Land.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Debt is a trap, especially student debt, which is enormous, far larger than credit card debt. It's a trap for the rest of your life because the laws are designed so that you can't get out of it. If a business, say, gets in too much debt, it can declare bankruptcy, but individuals can almost never be relieved of student debt through bankruptcy.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

I don't join the New Atheists. So, for example, I wouldn't have the arrogance to lecture some mother who hopes to see her dying child in Heaven - that's none of my business, ultimately. I won't lecture her on the philosophy of science.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Before the 1970s, banks were banks. They did what banks were supposed to do in a state capitalist economy: they took unused funds from your bank account, for example, and transferred them to some potentially useful purpose like helping a family buy a home or send a kid to college.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Concentration of executive power, unless it's very temporary and for specific circumstances, let's say fighting world war two, it's an assault on democracy.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

When you look at a corporation, just like when you look at a slave owner, you want to distinguish between the institution and the individual. So slavery, for example, or other forms of tyranny, are inherently monstrous. The individuals participating in them may be the nicest guys you can imagine.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Social Security is based on a principle. It's based on the principle that you care about other people. You care whether the widow across town, a disabled widow, is going to be able to have food to eat.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The former colonies, in Latin America in particular, have a better chance than ever before to overcome centuries of subjugation, violence and foreign intervention, which they have so far survived as dependencies with islands of luxury in a sea of misery.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Free speech has been used by the Supreme Court to give immense power to the wealthiest members of our society.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The old-fashioned idea is that responsibility falls upon those who borrow and lend. Money was not borrowed by campesinos, assembly plant workers, or slum-dwellers. The mass of the population gained little from borrowing, indeed often suffered grievously from its effects.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Humans have certain properties and characteristics which are intrinsic to them, just as every other organism does. That's human nature.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Human language appears to be a unique phenomenon, without significant analogue in the animal world.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

It's perfectly obvious that there is some genetic factor that distinguishes humans from other animals and that it is language-specific. The theory of that genetic component, whatever it turns out to be, is what is called universal grammar.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Significant anniversaries are solemnly commemorated - Japan's attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, for example.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Latin America has much richer resources. You'd expect it to be far more advanced than East Asia, but it had the disadvantage of being under imperialist wings.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Some of the most moving experiences I've had are just in black churches in the South, during the Civil Rights Movement, where people were getting beaten, killed, really struggling for the most elementary rights.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

After my first year of college, each course I took in every field was so boring that I didn't even go to the classes.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

From the late 1940s, into and through the '50s, there developed a complex interaction between federal government, state and local government, real-estate interests, commercial interests and court decisions, which had the effect of undermining the mass transit system across the country.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Nineteen sixty-eight was one exciting moment in a much larger movement. It spawned a whole range of movements. There wouldn't have been an international global solidarity movement, for instance, without the events of 1968. It was enormous, in terms of human rights, ethnic rights, a concern for the environment, too.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The social and physical construction of suburban America really was quite complex. It was a very elaborate system, and clearly a massive social engineering project that has changed U.S. society enormously.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The more you can increase fear of drugs and crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all the people.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In September 1993, President Clinton presided over a handshake between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn - the climax of a 'day of awe,' as the press described it.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

It is true that classical libertarian thought is opposed to state intervention in social life, as a consequence of deeper assumptions about the human need for liberty, diversity, and free association.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

By very conservative estimates, Turkish repression of Kurds in the 1990s falls in the category of Kosovo. It peaked in the early 1990s; one index is the flight of more than a million Kurds from the countryside to the unofficial Kurdish capital, Diyarbakir, from 1990 to 1994, as the Turkish army was devastating the countryside.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The Great Seal was an early proclamation of 'humanitarian intervention,' to use the currently fashionable phrase.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Education must provide the opportunities for self-fulfillment; it can at best provide a rich and challenging environment for the individual to explore, in his own way.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Nicaragua dealt with the problem of terrorism in exactly the right way. It followed international law and treaty obligations. It collected evidence, brought the evidence to the highest existing tribunal, the International Court of Justice, and received a verdict - which, of course, the U.S. dismissed with contempt.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Markets are lethal, if only because of ignoring externalities, the impacts of their transactions on the environment.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The Federal Reserve has an official commitment to two different policies. One is to prevent inflation from getting too high. The second is to maintain high employment... the European Central Bank has only the first. It has no commitment to keep employment up.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Egypt is the second-largest recipient over a long period of U.S. military and economic aid. Israel is first.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Israel is following policies which maximise its security threats... policies which choose expansion over security... policies which lead to their moral degradation, their isolation, their delegitimation, as they call it now, and very likely ultimate destruction. That's not impossible.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Qatar-based 'Al-Jazeera,' the most important news channel in the Arab world, was harshly criticized by high U.S. officials for having 'emphasized civilian casualties' during the destruction of Falluja. The problem of independent media was later resolved when the channel was kicked out of Iraq in preparation for free elections.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

When I was a college student and I got interested in linguistics the concern among students was, this is a lot of fun, but after we have done a structural analysis of every language in the world what's left? It was assumed there were basically no puzzles.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

I would feel no hesitation in saying that it is the responsibility of a decent human being to give assistance to a child who is being attacked by a rabid dog, but I would not intend this to imply that in all imaginable circumstances one must, necessarily, act in accordance with this general responsibility.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Perhaps the most striking assault on the foundations of traditional liberties is a little-known case brought to the Supreme Court by the Obama administration, Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

There's a lot of fuss on the Left about election irregularities, like, you know, the voting machines were tampered with, they didn't count the votes right, and so on. That's all accurate and of some importance, but of far more importance is the fact that elections just don't take place, not in any meaningful sense of the term 'election.'

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

With the development of industrial capitalism, a new and unanticipated system of injustice, it is libertarian socialism that has preserved and extended the radical humanist message of the Enlightenment and the classical liberal ideals that were perverted into an ideology to sustain the emerging social order.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The whole infrastructure of air travel was, and is, part of government policy. It is not a natural development of a free economic system - at least not in the way that is claimed. The same is true of the roads, of course.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The internet could be a very positive step towards education, organisation and participation in a meaningful society.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

As a research tool, the internet is invaluable.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

As a Zionist youth leader in the 1940s, I was among those who called for a binational state in Mandatory Palestine. When a Jewish state was declared, I felt that it should have the rights of other states - no more, no less.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Language is a weapon of politicians, but language is a weapon in much of human affairs.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

As Bromberger observed, rules are understood to be elements of the computational systems that determine the sound and meaning of the infinite array of expressions of a language; the information so derived is accessed by other systems in language use.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Language is one component of the human cognitive capacity which happens to be fairly amenable to enquiry. So we know a good deal about that.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

I'm about as monolingual as you come, but nevertheless, I have a variety of different languages at my command, different styles, different ways of talking, which do involve different parameter settings.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

If a child from an Amazonian hunter-gatherer tribe comes to Boston, is raised in Boston, that child will be indistinguishable in language capacities from my children growing up here, and vice versa.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Language is a process of free creation; its laws and principles are fixed, but the manner in which the principles of generation are used is free and infinitely varied. Even the interpretation and use of words involves a process of free creation.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

As soon as questions of will or decision or reason or choice of action arise, human science is at a loss.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

To summarize, draft resistance can make use of the inegalitarian nature of American society as a technique for increasing the cost of American aggression, and it threatens values that are important to those in a decision-making position.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

If you have to control people, you have to have an administrative force that does it. So in U.S. industry, even more than elsewhere, there's layer after layer of management - a kind of economic waste, but useful for control and domination. And the same is true in universities.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

No matter what engineering field you're in, you learn the same basic science and mathematics. And then maybe you learn a little bit about how to apply it.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In the early days of the military Arpanet, my daughter was studying in Nicaragua. Because the U.S. was essentially at war with them, contact was difficult. I managed to use MIT's Arpanet connection, and she found one, so we could communicate thanks to the Pentagon!

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

My speculation is that the U.S. does not want to establish the principle that it has to defer to some higher authority before carrying out the use of violence.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The process of shaping opinion, attitudes, and perceptions was termed the 'engineering of consent' by one of the founders of the modern public relations industry, Edward Bernays.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In general, I think, U.S. policies remain constant, going back to the Second World War. But the capacity to implement them is declining.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

You cannot control your own population by force, but it can be distracted by consumption.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Even in the 1950s, President Eisenhower was concerned about what he called a campaign of hatred of the U.S. in the Arab world, because of the perception on the Arab street that it supported harsh and oppressive regimes to take their oil.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In every country except - industrial country except the United States, the government uses its massive purchasing power to negotiate drug prices. That's one of the reasons prices are so much higher in the United States than in other countries.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The 14th Amendment was recognized right away to be problematic. The concept of person was both too narrow and too broad, and the courts went to work to overcome both of those flaws.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

I have often thought that if a rational Fascist dictatorship were to exist, then it would choose the American system.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

A financial institution has the task of taking risks, and if it's a well run institution - say, Goldman Sachs - it tries to cover the potential losses to itself, but only to itself.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

There are major efforts being made to dismantle Social Security, the public schools, the post office - anything that benefits the population has to be dismantled. Efforts against the U.S. Postal Service are particularly surreal.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

WikiLeaks is a service to the population. Assange should get an award for - presidential medal of honor.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Control is the source of strategic power.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

International affairs is very much run like the mafia. The godfather does not accept disobedience, even from a small storekeeper who doesn't pay his protection money. You have to have obedience; otherwise, the idea can spread that you don't have to listen to the orders, and it can spread to important places.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

When secular figures are turned into divinities, they way they are in Peian Yang or Stanford University - that I don't like.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Undoubtedly, the U.S. harbors leading international terrorists, people described by the F.B.I. and the Justice Department as leading terrorists, like Orlando Bosch, now Posada Carriles, not to speak of those who actually implement state terrorism.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In Kosovo, the U.S. has chosen a course of action that escalates atrocities and violence. It is also a course of action that strikes a blow against the regime of international order, but which offers the weak at least some protection from predatory states.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Historical grammar is a study of how, say, modern English developed from Middle English, and how that developed from Early and Old English, and how that developed from Germanic, and that developed from what's called Proto-Indo-European, a source system that nobody speaks, so you have to try to reconstruct it.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Spaniards were condemned for appeasing terrorism by voting for withdrawing troops from Iraq in the absence of U.N. authorization - that is, for taking a stand rather like that of 70 percent of Americans, who called for the U.N. to take the leading role in Iraq.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

My own feeling is that one should refuse to participate in any activity that implements American aggression - thus tax refusal, draft refusal, avoidance of work that can be used by the agencies of militarism and repression, all seem to me essential.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

As for my own views, they've of course evolved over the years. This conception of 'renouncing beliefs' is very odd, as if we're in some kind of religious cult. I 'renounce beliefs' practically every time I think about the topics or find out what someone else is thinking.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

If the United States loses the economic weapons of control, it is very much weakened.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

There happen to be a lot of people around who spent an hour on the Internet and think they know a lot of physics, but it doesn't work like that... There's a reason there are graduate schools in these departments.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

If workers are more insecure, that's very 'healthy' for the society, because if workers are insecure, they won't ask for wages, they won't go on strike, they won't call for benefits; they'll serve the masters gladly and passively. And that's optimal for corporations' economic health.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Unlike Europe, China can't be intimidated. Europe backs down if the United States looks at it the wrong way. But China, they've been there for 3,000 years and are paying no attention to the barbarians and don't see any need to.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

American imperialism is often traced to the takeover of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii in 1898.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Some may remember, if you have good memories, that there used to be a concept in Anglo-American law called a presumption of innocence, innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Now that's so deep in history that there's no point even bringing it up, but it did once exist.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Anti-Americanism is a pure totalitarian concept. The very notion is idiotic.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

It is easy to dismiss the world as 'irrelevant,' or consumed by 'paranoid anti-Americanism,' but perhaps not wise.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In the 1960s, there was a point, 1968, '69, when there was a very strong antiwar movement against the war in Vietnam. But it's worth remembering that the war in Vietnam started - an outright war started in 1962.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

When Reagan left office, he was the most unpopular living president, apart from Nixon, even below Carter. If you look at his years in office, he was not particularly popular. He was more or less average. He severely harmed the American economy.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In the universities, cheap, vulnerable labor means adjuncts and graduate students.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Over the years, there have been a series of concepts developed to justify the use of force in international affairs for a long period. It was possible to justify it on the pretext, which usually turned out to have very little substance, that the U.S. was defending itself against the communist menace. By the 1980s, that was wearing pretty thin.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

I have trouble reading modern Hebrew. In the 1950s, I could read anything. I don't know how much experience you've had with contemporary Hebrew. It's quite difficult.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Two days after the Boston marathon bombings, there was a drone strike in Yemen attacking a peaceful village, which killed a target who could very easily have been apprehended. But, of course, it is just easier to terrorise people. The drones are a terrorist weapon; they not only kill targets but also terrorise other people.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The U.S. has the most dysfunctional healthcare system in the industrial world, has about twice the per capita costs, and some of the worst outcomes. It's also the only privatized system.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Libertarian socialism is properly to be regarded as the inheritor of the liberal ideals of the Enlightenment.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Human nature is not totally fixed, but on any realistic scale, evolutionary processes are much too slow to affect it.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In 1979, Iranians carried out an illegitimate act: They overthrew a tyrant that the United States had imposed and supported, and moved on an independent path, not following U.S. orders.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The probability of apocalypse soon cannot be realistically estimated, but it is surely too high for any sane person to contemplate with equanimity.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

I stated that Hiroshima and Nagasaki are 'among the most unspeakable crimes in history.' I took no position on just where they stand on the scale of horrors relative to Auschwitz, the bombing of Chungking, Lidice, and so on.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Concentration of wealth yields concentration of political power. And concentration of political power gives rise to legislation that increases and accelerates the cycle.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

China is a great manufacturing center, but it's actually mostly an assembly plant. So it assembles parts and components, high technology that comes from the surrounding industrial - more advanced industrial centers - Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, the United States, Europe - and it basically assembles them.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

I don't think a Jewish or Christian or Islamic state is a proper concept. I would object to the United States as a Christian state.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Real popular culture is folk art - coalminers' songs and so forth.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The public is not to see where power lies, how it shapes policy, and for what ends. Rather, people are to hate and fear one another.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Even the most cynical can hardly be surprised by the antics of Nixon and his accomplices as they are gradually revealed. It matters little, at this point, where the exact truth lies in the maze of perjury, evasion, and of contempt for the normal - hardly inspiring - standards of political conduct.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

If you care about other people, you might try to organize to undermine power and authority. That's not going to happen if you care only about yourself.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In societies that profess some respect for law, suspects are apprehended and brought to fair trial. I stress 'suspects.'

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Haitian rice farmers are quite efficient, but they can't compete with U.S. agribusiness that relies on a huge government subsidy, thanks to Ronald Reagan's free market enthusiasms.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The money in politics is a cash cow for the media.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The deceit and distortion surrounding the American invasion of Vietnam is by now so familiar that it has lost its power to shock.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Congressional Republicans are dismantling the limited environmental protections initiated by Richard Nixon, who would be something of a dangerous radical in today's political scene.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Changes and progress very rarely are gifts from above. They come out of struggles from below.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The only justification for repressive institutions is material and cultural deficit. But such institutions, at certain stages of history, perpetuate and produce such a deficit, and even threaten human survival.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The 1950s and 1960s had been a period of enormous growth, the highest in American history, maybe in economic history.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In many respects, the United States is a great country. Freedom of speech is protected more than in any other country. It is also a very free society.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

After the ignominious collapse of the Copenhagen global climate change summit in 2009, Bolivia organised a People's Summit with 35,000 participants from 140 countries - not just representatives of governments, but also civil society and activists.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Science, as everyone knows, is responsible, moderate, unsentimental, and otherwise good.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Governments are supposed to lie to their citizens.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Governments regard their own citizens as their main enemy, and they have to be - protect themselves. That's why you have state secret laws. Citizens are not supposed to know what their government is doing to them.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The Republican Party has become overwhelmingly so extreme that it's hardly a traditional political party anymore.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The respected intellectuals are those who conform and serve power interests.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Governments are not representative. They have their own power, serving segments of the population that are dominant and rich.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The Iraq War was the first conflict in western history in which an imperialist war was massively protested against before it had even been launched.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The government of Israel doesn't like the kinds of things I say, which puts them into the same category as every other government in the world.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

A war with Pakistan would be an utter disaster.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

There is still much debate about whether torture has been effective in eliciting information - the assumption being, apparently, that if it is effective, then it may be justified.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Governments don't control people like they used to.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than just ideals to be valued - they may be essential to survival.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In Egypt, on the eve of Tahrir Square, there was a major poll which found that overwhelmingly - 80-90%, numbers like that - Egyptians regarded the main threats they face as the U.S. and Israel. They don't like Iran - Arabs generally don't like Iran - but they didn't consider it a threat.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

I didn't pay my taxes for years.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The United States is a violent military state. It's been involved in military action all over the place.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

NATO's essentially run by the United States.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The West Bank is essentially imprisoned.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

From the U.S. point of view, negotiations are, in effect, a way for Israel to continue its policies of systematically taking over whatever it wants in the West Bank, maintaining the brutal siege on Gaza, separating Gaza from the West Bank and, of course, occupying the Syrian Golan heights, all with full U.S. support.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

From the 1970s, there has been a significant change in the U.S. economy, as planners, private and state, shifted it toward financialization and the offshoring of production, driven in part by the declining rate of profit in domestic manufacturing.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Washington still refuses to provide evidence to support the claims in 1990 that a huge Iraqi military build-up on the Saudi border justified war.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The good news from the U.S. military survey of focus groups is that Iraqis do accept the Nuremberg principles. They understand that sectarian violence and the other postwar horrors are contained within the supreme international crime committed by the invaders.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Those who had demanded no more than an end to the bombing of North Vietnam and a commitment to negotiations saw their demands being realized, and lapsed into silence.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Judge Afiuni has suffered enough. She has been subject to acts of violence and humiliations to undermine her human dignity. I am convinced that she must be set free.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Civil disobedience's main goal typically is to try to arouse and inspire others to join and do something. Well, sometimes that is a good tactic, sometimes not.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In the late 1990s, some of the worst terrorist atrocities in the world were what the Turkish government itself called state terror, namely massive atrocities, 80 percent of the arms coming from the United States, millions of refugees, tens of thousands of people killed, hideous repression, that's international terror, and we can go on and on.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Rendition is just sending people abroad to be tortured.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Resistance is feasible even for those who are not heroes by nature, and it is an obligation, I believe, for those who fear the consequences and detest the reality of the attempt to impose American hegemony.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The United States was seriously defeated in Iraq by Iraqi nationalism - mostly by nonviolent resistance. The United States could kill the insurgents, but they couldn't deal with half a million people demonstrating in the streets.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

If you're in favour of any policy - reform, revolution, stability, regression, whatever - if you're at least minimally moral, it's because you think it's somehow good for people. And good for people means conforming to their fundamental nature.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

You never need an argument against the use of violence, you need an argument for it.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

I like Gramsci. He's an important person.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Growing up in the place I did I never was aware of any other option but to question everything.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Every time there has been an effort by the Haitian people to overcome the misery and poverty that comes from 200 years of bitter attacks, really bitter, the U.S. steps in and blocks it.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

It's a good idea to revitalize community colleges, to cut back, to modify the student loan program so it doesn't go through banks.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

People who criticize power in the Jewish community are regarded the way Ahab treated Elijah: You're a traitor.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Free institutions certainly exist, but a tradition of passivity and conformism restricts their use - a cynic might say that this is why they continue to exist.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Pakistan is not a unified country.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The Latin American debt that reached crisis levels from 1982 would have been sharply reduced by return of flight capital - in some cases, overcome, though all figures are dubious for these secret and often illegal operations.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The Democrats have pretty much given up on the white working class. That would require a commitment to economic issues, and that's not their concern.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The effort to try to present the Social Security program as if it's a major problem, that's just a hidden way of trying to undermine and destroy it.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

There are massive efforts on the part of the internet's corporate owners to try to direct it to become a technique of marginalisation and control.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Our only real hope for democracy is that we get the money out of politics entirely and establish a system of publicly funded elections.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

One of the most interesting reactions to come out of 1968 was in the first publication of the Trilateral Commission, which believed there was a 'crisis of democracy' from too much participation of the masses.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

It is easier to go to the Internet than to go to the library, undoubtedly. But the shift from no libraries to the existence of libraries was a much greater shift than what we've seen with the Internet's development.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

If you are giving a graduate course you don't try to impress the students with oratory, you try to challenge them, get them to question you.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The 'free-floating intellectual' may occupy himself with problems because of their inherent interest and importance, perhaps to little effect.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

A large majority of Americans believe that the U.N., not the U.S., should take the lead in working with Iraqis to transfer authentic sovereignty as well as in economic reconstruction and maintaining civic order.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Civil disobedience is - it's no fun.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

If you get to a point where the existing institutions will not bend to the popular will, you have to eliminate the institutions.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Obama, of course, outspent McCain.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In the case of the environment, there's no one to bail it out.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

I don't pay a lot of attention to polls.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Occupying armies have responsibilities, not rights. Their primary responsibility is to withdraw as quickly and expeditiously as possible, in a manner determined by the occupied population.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

There's plenty to criticize about the mass media, but they are the source of regular information about a wide range of topics. You can't duplicate that on blogs.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The elections are run by the same industries that sell toothpaste on television.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Somebody will be able to overcome any encryption technique you use!

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The threat and use of violence is stimulating nuclear proliferation along with jihadi terrorism.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

I like the cold weather. It means you get work done.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In the 1930s, unemployed working people could anticipate that their jobs would come back.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

On October 15, 1965, an estimated 70,000 people took part in large-scale anti-war demonstrations.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In much of the world, there is a sense of an ultra-powerful CIA manipulating everything that happens, such as running the Arab Spring, running the Pakistani Taliban, etc. That is just nonsense.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

I know some really outstanding Turkish journalists, and have been pleased and honored to be able to join with them a few times in their courageous protests against state terror and repression.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Sooner or later, jihadist-style terror and WMD are going to come together and the consequences could be horrendous.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In the case of Yugoslavia v. NATO, one of the charges was genocide. The U.S. appealed to the court, saying that, by law, the United States is immune to the charge of genocide, self-immunized, and the court accepted that, so the case proceeded against the other NATO powers, but not against the United States.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

It's dangerous when people are willing to give up their privacy.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The events of October 1962 are widely hailed as Kennedy's finest hour.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In the late 19th century there was a major union organization, Knights of Labor, and also a radical populist movement based on farmers. It's hard to believe, but it was based in Texas, and it was quite radical. They wanted their own banks, their own cooperatives, their own control over sales and commerce.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

No honest journalist should be willing to describe himself or herseif as 'embedded.' To say, 'I'm an embedded journalist' is to say, 'I'm a government Propagandist.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The number of people killed by the sanctions in Iraq is greater than the total number of people killed by all weapons of mass destruction in all of history.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

That is what I have always understood to be the essence of anarchism: the conviction that the burden of proof has to be placed on authority, and that it should be dismantled if that burden cannot be met.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Of course all such conclusions about appropriate actions against the rich and powerful are based on a fundamental flaw: This is us, and that is them. This crucial principle, deeply embedded in Western culture, suffices to undermine even the most precise analogy and the most impeccable reasoning."

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

My own concern is primarily the terror and violence carried out by my own state... It is very easy to denounce the atrocities of someone else. That has about as much ethical value as denouncing atrocities that took place in the 18th century.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Thomas Jefferson, the leading Enlightenment figure in the United States, along with Benjamin Franklin, who took exactly the same view, argued that dependence will lead to "subservience and venality", and will "suffocate[s] the germs of virtue". And remember, by dependence he meant wage labor, which was considered an abomination under classical liberal principles.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

We do not for example say that the person has a perfect knowledge of some language L similar to English but still different from it. What we say is that the child or foreigner has a 'partial knowledge of English' or is 'on his or her way' towards acquiring knowledge of English, and if they reach this goal, they will then know English.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

. . . among all grammars meeting this condition (of adequacy), we select the simplest.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Predatory capitalism created a complex industrial system and an advanced technology; it permitted a considerable extension of democratic practice and fostered certain liberal values, but within limits that are now being pressed and must be overcome. It is not a fit system for the mid-twentieth century.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

States are not moral agents, people are, and can impose moral standards on powerful institutions.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

U.S. analysts estimate that Russian military expenditures have tripled during the Bush-Putin years, in large measure a predicted reaction to the Bush administration's militancy and aggressiveness.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Israel uses sophisticated attack jets and naval vessels to bomb densely-crowded refugee camps, schools, apartment blocks, mosques, and slums to attack a population that has no air force, no air defense, no navy, no heavy weapons, no artillery units, no mechanized armor, no command in control, no army and calls it a war.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The U.S. - the idea that the U.S. has introduced and imposed principles of international law, that's hardly even a joke. The United States has even gone so far as to veto Security Council resolutions calling on all states to observe international law. That was in the 1980s under Reagan.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

It is not that I am not a fan of American exceptionalism. That is like saying I am not a fan of the moon being made out of green cheese-it does not exist. Powerful states have quite typically considered themselves to be exceptionally magnificent, and the United States is no exception to that. The basis for it is not very substantial to put it politely.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Workers and their families may starve to death in the New World Order of economic rationality, but diamond necklaces are cheaper in elegant New York shops, thanks to the miracle of the market.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

I think it's just been a core part of the Cuban revolution to have a very high level of internationalism. I mean, these cases you've mentioned are cases in point, but the most extreme case was the liberation of Africa. Take the case of Angola for example, and there are real connections between Cuba and Angola-much of the Cuban population comes from Angola.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Cuba forces in Angola gave a real shot in the arm to the liberation movements, and it also was a lesson to the white South Africans that the end is coming. They can't just hope to subdue the continent on racist grounds.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The US is off the spectrum in religious commitment. It's been increasing since 1980 but it's a major part of the voting base of the Republican Party so that means committing to anti-abortion positions, opposing women's rights.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

As long as the general population is passive, apathetic, diverted to consumerism or hatred of the vulnerable, then the powerful can do as they please, and those who survive will be left to contemplate the outcome.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

During the 1960s, large groups of people who are normally passive and apathetic began to try to enter the political arena to press their demands.? The naive might call that democracy, but that's because they don't understand. The sophisticated understand that that's the crisis of democracy.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

If you are working 50 hours a week in a factory, you don't have time to read 10 newspapers a day and go back to declassified government archives. But such people may have far-reaching insights into the way the world works.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The principle that human nature, in its psychological aspects, is nothing more than a product of history and given social relations removes all barriers to coercion and manipulation by the powerful.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In Europe there's an dangerous growth of ultra xenophobia which is pretty threatening to any one who remembers the history of Europe... and an attack on the remnants of the welfare state. It's hard to interpret the austerity-in-the-midst-of-recession policy as anything other than attack on the social contract.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The US and Europe are committing suicide in different ways. In Europe it's austerity in the midst of recession and that's guaranteed to be a disaster. There's some resistance to that now. In the US, it's essentially off-shoring production and financialization and getting rid of superfluous population through incarceration.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

We can, for example, be fairly confident that either there will be a world without war or there won't be a world - at least, a world inhabited by creatures other than bacteria and beetles, with some scattering of others.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Why should workers agree to be slaves in a basically authoritarian structure? They should have control over it themselves. Why shouldn't communities have a dominant voice in running the institutions that affect their lives?

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The intellectual tradition is one of servility to power, and if I didn't betray it I'd be ashamed of myself.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Our ignorance can be divided into problems and mysteries. When we face a problem, we may not know its solution, but we have insight, increasing knowledge, and an inkling of what we are looking for. When we face a mystery, however, we can only stare in wonder and bewilderment, not knowing what an explanation would even look like.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

We still name our military helicopter gunships after victims of genocide. Nobody bats an eyelash about that: Blackhawk. Apache. And Comanche. If the Luftwaffe named its military helicopters Jew and Gypsy, I suppose people would notice.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Corporations are totalitarian institutions. Board of directors at the top of managers give orders, everyone follows orders..... At the very bottom of command, if you are lucky you can rent yourself to it and get a job , and if you are sufficiently propagandized you may even buy some of the junk they produce and so on...

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Bolivia is a striking example. The mostly white, Europeanized elite, which is a minority, happens to be sitting on most of the hydrocarbon reserves. For the first time Bolivia is becoming democratic. So it's therefore bitterly hated by the West, which despises democracy, because it's much too dangerous.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The drug problem is in the United States, not in Mexico. It's a demand problem and that is to be dealt with here, and it is not being dealt with. It's been shown over and over that prevention and treatment are far more cost effective than police action, out-of-country action, border control, and so on.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

It is a privilege to join the campaign to support Bradley Manning for his courage and integrity in serving his country by helping make the government accountable to its citizens, and to inform the world of what its people should know.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

For those who stubbornly seek freedom, there can be no more urgent task than to come to understand the mechanisms and practices of indoctrination. These are easy to perceive in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the system of 'brainwashing under freedom' to which we are subjected and which all too often we serve as willing or unwitting instruments.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The evangelicals. . . . If all they want is gold Cadillacs and sex and so on, no big problem.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Where are the drug cartels getting their weapons? They are being provided by the United States. Cut off that flow of arms.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

I was told by journalists who can't publish it that there are in Mexico, close to the U.S. border, big areas that used to be devoted to agriculture that are now devoted to poppies. They say you can't get in there because they're guarded, first by the cartels, but also by the army, which goes hand in hand with the cartels.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The most effective way to restrict democracy is to transfer decision-making from the public arena to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern corporations.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

You keep plugging away--that's the way social change takes place. That's the way every social change in history has taken place: by a lot of people, who nobody ever heard of, doing work.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

UG [universal grammar] may be regarded as a characterization of the genetically determined language faculty. One may think of thisfaculty as a 'language acquisition device,' an innate component of the human mind that yields a particular language through interaction with present experience, a device that converts experience into a system of knowledge attained: knowledge of one or another language.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Suppose that, say, China established military bases in Colombia to carry out chemical warfare in Kentucky and North Carolina to destroy this lethal crop [tobacco] that is killing huge numbers of Chinese.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In 1961, the United States began chemical warfare in Vietnam, South Vietnam, chemical warfare to destroy crops and livestock. That went on for seven years. The level of poison - they used the most extreme carcinogen known: dioxin. And this went on for years.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The childcare tax credit makes some sense.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In a really business-run society like the United States, the business elites are deeply committed to class struggle and are engaged in it all the time. They're instinctive Marxists.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Colombia has been the leading western recipient of U.S. arms and training as violence has grown through the '90s.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

If we choose, we can live in a world of comforting illusion.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush's compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

United States has comparative advantage in military force. It tends to react to anything at first with military force, that's what it's good at. And I think they overdid it. There was more military force than was necessary.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

If you sell me a car, we have perhaps made a good bargain for ourselves. But there are effects of this transaction on others, which we do not take into account. There is more pollution, the price of gas goes up, there is more congestion.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Reagan was extreme. Beginning of his administration, one of the first things was to call in scabs - hadn't been done for a long time, and it's illegal in most countries - in the air controller strike.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

I try to encourage people to think for themselves, to question standard assumptions... Don't take assumptions for granted. Begin by taking a skeptical attitude toward anything that is conventional wisdom. Make it justify itself. It usually can't. Be willing to ask questions about what is taken for granted. Try to think things through for yourself.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

A fundamental element of human nature is the need for creative work, for creative inquiry, for free creation without the arbitrary limiting effects of coercive institutions. A decent society should maximize the possibilities for this fundamental human characteristic to be realized.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The most interesting - in fact, inspiring - people I met there [Porto Alegre] are those who remain nameless: representatives of the international campesino movement, the East Timorese delegation,... - the usual heroes, who disappear, unknown, apart from the consequences of their work.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The real world of American society is one which it is very misleading to call simply a democracy. Of course, it is in a sense a democracy, but it is one in which there are enormous inequities in the distribution of power and force. For example, the entire commercial and industrial system is in principle excluded from the democratic process, including everything that goes on within it

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Neoliberal democracy. Instead of citizens, it produces consumers. Instead of communities, it produces shopping malls. The net result is an atomized society of disengaged individuals who feel demoralized and socially powerless. In sum, neoliberalism is the immediate and foremost enemy of genuine participatory democracy, not just in the United States but across the planet, and will be for the foreseeable future.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

With government deregulation and the triumph of financial liberalization, the dangers of systemic risks, the possibility of a financial tsunami, sharply increased.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

French intellectual life has, in my opinion, been turned into something cheap and meretricious by the 'star' system. It is like Hollywood. Thus we go from one absurdity to another - Stalinism, existentialism. Lacan, Derrida - some of them obscene ( Stalinism), some simply infantile and ridiculous ( Lacan, Derrida). What is striking, however, is the pomposity and self-importance, at each stage.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The United States in many ways resembles a Third World country - far more elevated, but it has many of those structural characteristics: the extreme inequality of wealth, the deterioration of infrastructure because it only serves poor people, predatory operations, huge corruption, and so on.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

State propaganda, when supported by the educated classes and when no deviation is permitted from it, can have a big effect. It was a lesson learned by Hitler and many others, and it has been pursued to this day.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The threat of China is not military. The threat of China is they can't be intimidated. Europe you can intimidate. When the US tries to get people to stop investing in Iran, European companies pull out, China disregards it. You look at history and understand why - they've been around for 4,000 years, they have contempt for the barbarians, they just don't give a damn.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The police can go to downtown Harlem and pick up a kid with a joint in the streets. But they can't go into the elegant apartments and get a stockbroker who's sniffing cocaine.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In fact, it's doing it all over the world. Obama, first of all, is running the biggest terrorist operation that exists, maybe in history. The drone assassination campaigns, which are just part of it. All of these operations, they are terror operations.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Nothing in these abstract economic models actually works in the real world. It doesn't matter how many footnotes they put in, or how many ways they tinker around the edges. The whole enterprise is totally rotten at the core: it has no relation to reality.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Unlimited economic growth has the marvelous quality of stilling discontent while maintaining privilege, a fact that has not gone unnoticed among liberal economists.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The whole educational and professional training system is a very elaborate filter, which just weeds out people who are too independent, and who think for themselves, and who don't know how to be submissive, and so on -- because they're dysfunctional to the institutions.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In the US, first of all, the electoral system has been almost totally shredded. For a long time it's been pretty much run by private concentrated spending but now it's over the top. Elections increasingly over the years have been [public relations] extravaganzas.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Regulate the banks, get money out of elections; raise the minimum wage, environmental issues. They're all very important and the Occupy movement made a difference. It shifted not only the discourse but to some extent, action on these issues.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The American escalation of the war in Laos provoked a response by the Communist forces, which now control more of Laos than ever before.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The escalation to attack undefended civilian targets is just a classic illustration of terrorism.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

I am opposed to the accumulation of executive power anywhere.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

One of the best predictors of policy around is Thomas Ferguson's investment theory of politics, as he calls it - very outstanding political economist - which essentially - I mean, to say it in a sentence, he describes elections as occasions in which groups of investors coalesce and invest to control the state.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

It is only in folk tales, children's stories, and the journals of intellectual opinion that power is used wisely and well to destroy evil. The real world teaches very different lessons, and it takes willful and dedicated ignorance to fail to perceive them.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

... the media serve the interests of state and corporate power, which are closely interlinked, framing their reporting and analysis in a manner supportive of established privilege and limiting debate and discussion accordingly.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Freedom without opportunity is a devil's gift, and the refusal to provide such opportunities is criminal

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The term 'globalisation' is conventionally used to refer to the specific form of investor-rights integration designed by wealth and power, for their own interests.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The 'anti-globalisation movement' is the most significant proponent of globalisation - but in the interests of people, not concentrations of state-private power.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Expressing criticism of society is not being a grouch.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Naming our murder weapons after victims of our crimes: Apache, Tomahawk... It's as if the Luftwaffe were to call its fighter planes 'Jew' and 'Gypsy.'

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The lessons are, unfortunately, that a small weak country that is facing an extremely hostile and very violent superpower will not make much progress unless there's a strong solidarity movement within the superpower that will restrain its actions. With more support within the United States, I think the Haitian efforts could have succeeded.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Don't be obsessed with tactics but with purpose. Tactics have a half life.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Ontological questions are generally beside the point, hardly more than a form of harassment.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

I don't think that experience is a very useful or convincing attribute for a sensible foreign policy. Henry Kissinger had a lot of experience.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The anniversary of Hiroshima, should be a day of somber reflection, not only on the terrible events of that day in 1945, but also on what they revealed: that humans, in their dedicated quest to extend their capacities for destruction, had finally found a way to approach the ultimate limit.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The IMF economists were doubtless shaken by the extreme failures of their prescriptions over many years, and by the collapse of the intellectual edifice of economic theory on which they were relying.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The criminalization of Black life was something specific to the United States in the post-Reconstruction period and there's something like it happening today with mass incarceration, directed largely against black males.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

We recriminalized black life. Incarceration rates since the 1908s have gone through the roof, overwhelmingly black males, women and Hispanics to some extent. Essentially re-doing what happened under Reconstruction. That's the history of African Americans - so how can any one say there's no problem. Sure, racism is serious, but it's worse than that.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

So, at one extreme you have indigenous, tribal societies trying to stem the race to disaster. At the other extreme, the richest, most powerful societies in world history, like the United States and Canada, are racing full-speed ahead to destroy the environment as quickly as possible.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Even in a largely depoliticized society such as the United States, with no political parties or opposition press beyond the narrow spectrum of the business-dominated consensus, it is possible for populate action to have a significant impact on policy, though indirectly. That was an important lesson for the Indochina Wars.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

It's a class war, and a war on young people too... that's why tuition is rising so rapidly. There's no real economic reason for that. It's a technique of control and indoctrination. And this is really the first organized, significant reaction to it, which is important.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Worker ownership within a state capitalist, semi-market system is better than private ownership but it has inherent problems. Markets have well-known inherent inefficiencies. They're very destructive.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Public opinion can be influential, the media can be influential.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Nothing can justify crimes such as those of September 11, but we can think of the United States as an innocent victim only if we adopt the convenient path of ignoring the record of its actions and those of its allies, which are, after all, hardly a secret.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

One of the problems of organizing in the North, in the rich countries, is that people tend to think - even the activists - that instant gratification is required. You constantly hear: 'Look I went to a demonstration, and we didn't stop the war so what's the use of doing it again?'

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Under capitalism, we can't have democracy by definition. Capitalism is a system in which the central institutions of society are in principle under autocratic control.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

I do think that Magna Carta and international law are worth paying some attention to.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Some international law specialists compare the invasion of Iraq to the 'crimes against the peace' for which Nazi leaders were indicted at Nuremberg.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

It was during the Reagan years that defiance of international law and the U.N. Charter became entirely open.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Armed attack has a definition in international law. It means sudden, overwhelming, instantaneous ongoing attack.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Small changes can magnifiy. The possibility of interpersonal communication has increased substantially with contemporary technology. But as compared with the major changes, which were long ago, these are not huge.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The Iranian government is undoubtedly a severe danger to its own population, but not beyond that.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The search for truth is a cooperative, unending endeavor. We can, and should, engage in it to the extent we can and encourage others to do so as well, seeking to free ourselves from constraints imposed by coercive institutions, dogma, irrationality, excessive conformity and lack of initiative and imagination, and numerous other obstacles.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The one state/two state debate is irrelevant as Israel and the US consolidate Greater Israel.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

ISIS is a monstrosity. It didn't come from nowhere. It's one of the results of the U.S. hitting a very vulnerable society - Iraq - with a sledgehammer.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Remember, the U.S. is a powerful state, it's not like Libya. If Libya wants to carry out terrorist acts, they hire Carlos the Jackal or something. The United States hires terrorist states.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The September 11 attacks were major atrocities. . . . This was a horrendous crime . . . The primary victims . . . were working people: janitors, secretaries, firemen, etc. It is likely to prove to be a crushing blow to Palestinians . . . It is also likely to lead to harsh security controls, with many possible ramifications for undermining civil liberties and internal freedom.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In the American Jewish community, there is little willingness to face the fact that the Palestinian Arabs have suffered a monstrous historical injustice . . . Until this is recognized, discussion of the Middle East crisis cannot even begin.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

...jingoism, racism, fear, religious fundamentalism: these are the ways of appealing to people if you're trying to organize a mass base of support for policies that are really intended to crush them.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

If you go to one demonstration and then go home, that's something, but the people in power can live with that. What they can't live with is sustained pressure that keeps building, organisations that keep doing things, people that keep learning lessons from the last time and doing it better the next time.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Nixon at one point informs Kissinger . . . that he wanted bombing of Cambodia. And Kissinger loyally transmits the order to the Pentagon to carry out a massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves . . . genocide.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

When I arrived in Laos and found young Americans living there, out of free choice, I was surprised. After only a week, I began to have a sense of the appeal of the country and its people - along with despair about its future.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Since the civil war in Laos was resumed in earnest in 1963, American participation has been veiled in secrecy.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Latin America, for the first time in 500 years, is moving towards a degree of independence.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Legalizing marijuana would make a lot of sense, I don't think there's a single case of marijuana overdose on record and tens of millions of users. It's much less dangerous than alcohol, for example.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

It's as if we're higher apes who had a language faculty inserted.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Extensive violations of human rights (torture, forced reduction of living standards for much of the population, police-sponsored death squads, destruction of representative institutions or of independent unions, etc.) are directly correlated with US government support. The linkage is not accidental; rather it is systematic. The reason is obvious enough. Client fascism often improves the business climate for American corporations, quite generally the guiding factor in foreign policy.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

If anybody thinks they should listen to me because I'm a professor at MIT, that's nonsense. You should decide whether something makes sense by its content, not by the letters after the name of the person who says it.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum....

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In fact, some leaders come right out and say it. Mario Draghi the president of the European Central Bank had an interview with the Wall St Journal in which he said the social contract's dead; we finally got rid of it.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

If there was an observer on Mars, they would probably be amazed that we have survived this long.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

In the early 50s in the US, there was what was called McCarthyism and the only reason it succeeded was that there was no resistance to it. When they tried the same thing in the 60s it instantly collapsed because people simply laughed at it so they couldn't do it. Even a dictatorship can't do everything it wants. It's got to have some degree of popular support.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

If by 'intellectual' you mean people who are a special class who are in the business of imposing thoughts and forming ideas for people in power, and telling people what they should believe...they're really more a kind of secular priesthood, whose task it is to uphold the doctrinal truths of the society. And the population SHOULD be anti-intellectual in that repect.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The basic idea which runs right through modern history and modern liberalism is that the public has got to be marginalized. The general public are viewed as no more than ignorant and meddlesome outsiders, a bewildered herd.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

The corporations plainly want academic scholarship to create a web of mystification that will avoid any public awareness of the way in which power actually functions in the society, and the faculty has caught the message and they do it magnificently.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Three quarters of the American population literally believe in religious miracles. The numbers who believe in the devil, in resurrection, in God doing this and that - it's astonishing. These numbers aren't duplicated anywhere else in the industrial world. You'd have to maybe go to mosques in Iran or do a poll among old ladies in Sicily to get numbers like this. Yet this is the American population.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

Public opinion in Egypt is very antagonistic to the way the dictatorship, Mubarak dictatorship, interpreted relations with Israel. Very antagonistic.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)

My grandchildren are on social media all the time, and they think they have friends. But it's not what I would've called a friend, ever.

Noam Chomsky (Source: SoberSides.com)