Much research, including a widely quoted Rand Corporation study of 1994, has shown that prevention and treatment are considerably more cost-effective than the coercive [drug war] measures that receive the bulk of funding. Such nonpunitive measures are also of course far more humane.
More quotes by Noam Chomsky
Exaggerating slightly, in totalitarian countries the state decides the official line and everyone must then comply. Democratic societies operate differently. The line is never presented as such, merely implied. This involves brainwashing people who are still at liberty.
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.
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.
The political and social history of Western democracies records all sorts of efforts to ensure that the formal mechanisms are little more than wheels spinning idly. The goal is to eliminate public meddling in policy formation.
Case by case, we find that conformity is the easy way, and the path to privilege and prestige; dissidence carries personal costs that may be severe, even in a society that lacks such means of control as death squads, psychiatric prisons, or extermination camps.
More quotes about Politics
…if you ask me whether or not I’m an atheist, I wouldn’t even answer. I would first want an explanation of what it is that I’m supposed not to believe in, and I’ve never seen an explanation.
For example, a US corporation that has an outlet in Puerto Rico may decide to take its profits in Puerto Rico, because of tax rebates. It shifts its prices around, using what’s called “transfer pricing,” so it doesn’t seem to be making a profit here.
The agents of [government] regard the wealth of their master as inexhaustible; are careless at what price they buy at what price they sell.
America didn’t invent human rights. Those rights are common to all people: nations, cultures, and religions cannot choose to simply opt out of them.
To choose one’s victims, to prepare one’s plan minutely, to slake an implacable vengeance, and then to go to bed … There is nothing sweeter in the world.
It’s not that India was a peaceful place before — it wasn’t. Nor was the western hemisphere a pacifist utopia. But there’s no doubt that almost everywhere the Europeans went they raised the level of violence to a significant degree.
If you look at the American army’s counterinsurgency literature…it begins with an analysis of the German experience in Europe, written with the cooperation of Nazi officers…which techniques for controlling resistance worked, which ones didn’t.
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.
Make decisions about the President’s personal security. He can overrule you, but don’t ask him to be the one to counsel caution.