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.
More quotes by Noam Chomsky
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.
This Sarah Palin phenomenon is very curious. I think somebody watching us from Mars – they would think the country has gone insane.
One goal of a well-crafted propaganda system is to dull the mental faculties, reducing its targets to a level at which they will respond with appropriate enthusiasm to slogans carrying a patriotic message.
Since the white working class cannot be mobilized to support the class enemy on the basis of their actual programs, the ‘radical insurgency’ called ‘the Republican Party’ appeals to its constituency on what are called ‘social-cultural issues’: religion, fear, racism, nationalism.
About 70% of the public, the lowest 70% on the income scale, are pretty much disenfranchised. Their attitudes have no detectable influence on the policies of their own representatives. As you move up the scale you get a bit more influence. When you get to the top, policy is made.
More quotes about Politics
You can find things in the traditional religions which are very benign and decent and wonderful and so on, but I mean, the Bible is probably the most genocidal book in the literary canon. The God of the Bible – not only did He order His chosen people to carry out literal genocide – I mean, wipe out every Amalekite to the last man, woman, child, and, you know, donkey and so on, because hundreds of years ago they got in your way when you were trying to cross the desert – not only did He do things like that, but, after all, the God of the Bible was ready to destroy every living creature on earth because some humans irritated Him. That’s the story of Noah. I mean, that’s beyond genocide – you don’t know how to describe this creature. Somebody offended Him, and He was going to destroy every living being on earth? And then He was talked into allowing two of each species to stay alive – that’s supposed to be gentle and wonderful.
Descriptive grammar is an attempt to give an account of what the current system is for either a society or an individual, whatever you happen to be studying.
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.
I have always reacted negatively to those who with their snotty noses and erotic fantasies prowl into others’ lives.
I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.
Black lives must not matter until black people start respecting black lives and stop killing ourselves.
Diplomacy is a particularly unwelcome option, unless it’s pursued under the gun. The US has very little popular support for its goals in the Third World. This isn’t surprising, since it’s trying to impose structures of domination and exploitation.
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.
Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.
Africa shares with Asia a common background of colonialism, of exploitation, of discrimination, of oppression. At Bandung, African and Asian States dedicated themselves to the liberation of their two continents from foreign domination and affirmed the right of all nations to develop in their own way, free of any external interference.
There used to be the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. There used to be Soviet troops in the GDR. And we must honestly admit that they were occupation troops, which remained in Germany after WWII under the guise of allied troops. Now these occupation troops are gone, the Soviet Union has collapsed, and the Warsaw Pact is no more. There is no Soviet threat, but NATO and U.S. troops are still in Europe. What for?