A very, in a sense, terrifying aspect of our society, and other societies, is the equanimity and the detachment with which sane, reasonable, sensible people can observe [war]. I think that’s more terrifying than the occasional Hitler or LeMay or other that crops up. These people would not be able to operate were it not for this apathy and equanimity…and therefore I think that it’s, in some sense, the sane and reasonable and tolerant people who share a very serious burden of guilt that they very easily throw on the shoulders of others who seem more extreme and violent.
More quotes by Noam Chomsky
Within the reigning social order, the general public must remain an object of manipulation, not a participant in thought, debate, and decision.
Edward Bernays’ first great achievement, that sort of made a star out of him, was a public relations campaign trying to get women to smoke. So he had models walking down Fifth Avenue smoking cigarettes and showing how it makes you beautiful and slim.
..people would like to think there’s somebody up there who knows what he’s doing. Since we don’t participate, we don’t control and we don’t even think about the questions of crucial importance, we hope somebody is paying attention who has some competence. Let’s hope the ship has a captain, in other words, since we’re not taking in deciding what’s going on. I think that’s a factor. But also, it is an important feature of the ideological system to impose on people the feeling that they are incompetent to deal with these complex and important issues; they’d better leave it to the captain. One device is to develop a star system, an array of figures who are often media creations or creations of the academic propaganda establishment, whose deep insights we are supposed to admire and to whom we must happily and confidently assign the right to control our lives and control international affairs.
The key element of social control is the strategy of distraction that is to divert public attention from important issues and changes decided by political and economic elites, through the technique of flood or flooding continuous distractions and insignificant information.
I mean, the Pentagon is in no sense a defense department. It has never defended the United States from anyone. It has only served to conduct aggression. And I think that the American people would be much better off without a Pentagon.
More quotes about Politics
When I’ve talked about the idea of being President, I’m not saying I have any political views, I don’t have views on politics, I just have a view on humanity. On people. On the truth.
What we call intellectuals, they didn’t used to call them that, it’s a modern term. Historically, what you find is overwhelmingly this group is supportive of power. There’s usually a fringe of dissidents who are treated pretty badly.
Since Jimmy Carter, religious fundamentalists play a major role in elections. He was the first president who made a point of exhibiting himself as a born again Christian. That sparked a little light in the minds of political campaign managers: Pretend to be a religious fanatic and you can pick up a third of the vote right away. Nobody asked whether Lyndon Johnson went to church every day. Bill Clinton is probably about as religious as I am, meaning zero, but his managers made a point of making sure that every Sunday morning he was in the Baptist church singing hymns.
I always touch people, because I know that there’s a level of anxiety, people are teary or they’re nervous, and I just try to physically hold them and bring them down and say: We’re here. I’m just Michelle.’
The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more.
It is not an arrogant government that chooses priorities, it’s an irresponsible government that fails to choose.
If one looks at the map of the world, it’s difficult to find Iraq, and one would think it rather easy to subdue such a small country.
No honest journalist should be willing to describe himself or herself as ’embedded.’ To say, ‘I’m an embedded journalist’ is to say, ‘I’m a government Propagandist.
Revolution can never be forecast; it cannot be foretold; it comes of itself. Revolution is brewing and is bound to flare up.
The struggle against poverty in the world and the challenge of cutting wealthy country emissions, all has a single, very simple solution. … Here it is: Put a price on carbon.