A fundamental goal of U.S. policy towards Latin America (and elsewhere), long-standing and well-documented, is to take control of the police and military so as to assure that the population will not act upon unacceptable ideas.
More quotes by Noam Chomsky
How people themselves perceive what they are doing is not a question that interests me. I mean, there are very few people who are going to look into the mirror and say, That person I see is a savage monster’; instead, they make up some construction that justifies what they do. 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. But then you take a look at what the corporation does, the effect of its legal structure, the vast inequalities in pay and conditions, and you see the reality is something far different.
As state capitalism developed into the modern era, economic, political and ideological systems have increasingly been taken over by vast institutions of private tyranny that are about as close to the totalitarian ideal as any that humans have so far constructed.
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.
…I try to keep in mind the principle that one should not try to persuade; rather, to lay out the territory as best one can so that others can use their own intellectual powers to determine for themselves what they think is taking place and what is right or wrong.
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.
More quotes about Politics
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.
Responsibility I believe accrues through privilege. People like you and me have an unbelievable amount of privilege and therefore we have a huge amount of responsibility. We live in free societies where we are not afraid of the police; we have extraordinary wealth available to us by global standards. If you have those things, then you have the kind of responsibility that a person does not have if he or she is slaving seventy hours a week to put food on the table; a responsibility at the very least to inform yourself about power. Beyond that, it is a question of whether you believe in moral certainties or not.
I can’t tell you if the use of force in Iraq today will last five days, five weeks or five months, but it won’t last any longer than that.
Firstly, the use of our armed forces in the battlefield is a unique experience, a unique tool by which to improve our armed forces. No amount of military exercise could compare with the use of force in combat conditions.
I refer to calls for humanitarian intervention in the affairs of another state – a new idea, this – even when they are made under the pretext of defending human rights and freedoms.
Demographics aren’t destiny. Our culture isn’t the work of one race or religion. To suggest otherwise is to contradict our ideals and to doubt their power.
I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And do you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me.
A truly independent press rejects the role of subordination to power and authority. It casts the orthodoxy to the winds, questions what “right-thinking people will accept without question,” tears aside the veil of tacit censorship…
When I was in high school I asked myself at one point: Why do I care if my high school’s team wins the football game? I don’t know anybody on the team, they have nothing to do with me… why am I here and applaud? It does not make any sense. But the point is, it does make sense: It’s a way of building up irrational attitudes of submission to authority and group cohesion behind leadership elements. In fact it’s training in irrational jingoism. That’s also a feature of competitive sports.
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!
Capitalism is a system in which the central institutions of society are in principle under autocratic control. Thus, a corporation or an industry is, if we were to think of it in political terms, fascist; that is, it has tight control at the top and strict obedience has to be established at every level – there’s a little bargaining, a little give and take, but the line of authority is perfectly straightforward. Just as I’m opposed to political fascism, I’m opposed to economic fascism. I think that until major institutions of society are under the popular control of participants and communities, it’s pointless to talk about democracy.
I think we need more young people; we need to elect young people to government. We need to give them a chance, in the media, in politics, in democracy.
A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.