Noam Chomsky Quotes On Love, Hope, Politics, Media, Democracy

The full name of Noam Chomsky is Avram Noam Chomsky. He is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and political activist. Here we have shared Noam Chomsky quotes on love, hope, politics, media, freedom of speech, democracy, election, language, education, capitalism, inspirational, and motivational.

Noam Chomsky was born on December 7, 1928, in East Oak Lane, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. His spouse’s name Carol Doris Schatz ​​(m. 1949; died 2008)​ Valeria Wasserman ​(m. 2014).

Noam Chomsky quotes

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

If you’re teaching today what you were teaching five years ago, either the field is dead or you are. – Noam Chomsky

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

The Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor led to many very good things. If you follow the trail, it led to kicking Europeans out of Asia – that saved tens of millions of lives in India alone. – Noam Chomsky

If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all. – Noam Chomsky

noam chomsky quotes
My proposal happens to be very mainstream. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

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

The 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

I would appear on Fox News more easily than I would NPR. – Noam Chomsky

The major advances in the speed of communication and the 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

Nationalism has a way of oppressing others. – Noam Chomsky

noam chomsky quotes
You never need an argument against the use of violence, you need an argument for it. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

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

Rational discussion is useful only when there is a significant base of shared assumptions. – Noam Chomsky

Human language appears to be a unique phenomenon, without significant analog in the animal world. – Noam Chomsky

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

Everybody’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s a really easy way: stop participating in it. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

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noam chomsky quotes
On the Internet, you think everything is going to be public. – Noam Chomsky

The Internet has compromised the quality of debate. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 involve a process of free creation. – Noam Chomsky

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

I like cold weather. It means you get work done. – Noam Chomsky

noam chomsky quotes
Governments don’t control people like they used to. – Noam Chomsky

The internet could be a very positive step towards education, organization, and participation in a meaningful society. – Noam Chomsky

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

There are two problems for our species’ survival – nuclear war and environmental catastrophe – and we’re hurtling towards them. Knowingly. – Noam Chomsky

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

When a politician uses the word ‘folks,’ we should brace ourselves for the deceit, or worse, that is coming. – Noam Chomsky

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

Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state. – Noam Chomsky

Remember, weapons of mass destruction don’t mean missiles. – Noam Chomsky

In the US, there is basically one party – the business party. It has two factions, called Democrats and Republicans, which are somewhat different but carry out variations on the same policies. By and large, I am opposed to those policies. As is most of the population. – Noam Chomsky

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

Colorless green ideas sleep furiously. – Noam Chomsky

International affairs are 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

noam chomsky quotes
States are not moral agents. – Noam Chomsky

Debt is a social and ideological construct, not a simple economic fact. – Noam Chomsky

It’s dangerous when people are willing to give up their privacy. – Noam Chomsky

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. – Noam Chomsky

If you want to achieve something, you build the basis for it. – Noam Chomsky

Public opinion can be influential, the media can be influential. – Noam Chomsky

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

Language is a weapon of politicians, but the language is a weapon in much of human affairs. – Noam Chomsky

In the case of the environment, there’s no one to bail it out. – Noam Chomsky

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

The concentration of wealth yields a concentration of political power. And the concentration of political power gives rise to legislation that increases and accelerates the cycle. – Noam Chomsky

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

Death and genitals are things that frighten people, and when people are frightened, they develop means of concealment and aggression. It is common sense. – Noam Chomsky

As a research tool, the internet is invaluable. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

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

Immediately after 11 September, the U.S. closed down the Somali charitable network Al-Barakat on grounds that it was financing terror. This achievement was hailed as 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

An individual’s refusal to carry out the criminal acts of his government sets the stage, in the most effective way possible, for the attempt to demonstrate the criminal nature of these acts. – Noam Chomsky

I do not think psychoanalysis has a scientific basis. If we can’t explain why a cockroach decides to turn left, how can we explain why a human being decides to do something? – Noam Chomsky

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

It’s a near miracle that nuclear war has so far been avoided. – Noam Chomsky

After the first International Days of Protest in October 1965, Senator Mansfield criticized the ‘sense of utter irresponsibility’ shown by the demonstrators. – Noam Chomsky

Pre-emptive war might fall within the framework of international law. – Noam Chomsky

In some respects, South African apartheid was more vicious than Israeli practices, and in some respects the opposite is true. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

Terrorists regard themselves as a vanguard. They’re trying to mobilize others to their cause. I mean, every specialist on terrorism knows that. – Noam Chomsky

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

The country that consistently ranks among the highest in educational achievement in Finland. A rich country, but education is free. In Germany, education is free. France, education is free. – Noam Chomsky

If you could take a subway from the suburbs in Boston, where I live, to downtown in 10 minutes, that improves your life over sitting in a traffic jam. People should see that. – Noam Chomsky

Responsibility, I believe, accrues through privilege. – Noam Chomsky

Civil disobedience is – it’s no fun. – Noam Chomsky

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

In universities, cheap, vulnerable labor means adjuncts and graduate students. – Noam Chomsky

I’ve been interested in Japan since the 1930s when I read about Japan’s vicious crimes in Manchuria and China. – Noam Chomsky

To some degree, it matters who’s in office, but it matters more how much pressure they’re under from the public. – Noam Chomsky

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

Withdrawal of American troops must be a unilateral act, as the invasion of Vietnam by the American government was a unilateral act in the first place. – Noam Chomsky

In the late 1960s, the masses were supposed to be passive, not entering into the public arena and having their voices heard. – Noam Chomsky

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

A tremendous amount of the entrepreneurial initiative, if you want to call it that, comes from the dynamic state sector on which most of the economy relies to socialize costs and risks and privatize eventual profit. And that’s achieved by if you like, advertising. – Noam Chomsky

NATO’s essentially run by the United States. – Noam Chomsky

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

A number of analysts have observed that although bin Laden was finally killed, he won some major successes in his war against the U.S. – 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

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

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

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

Thanh Hoa itself is a rich agricultural province. Rice fields, a pattern of many shades of green, stretch far into the distance along the road, which also winds through foothills and the fringes of the heavy jungle where tigers are said to roam. The vegetation, wild or cultivated, is lush. – Noam Chomsky

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

Karl Marx was in favor of socialist and communist-socialist revolutions, but he had a pretty nuanced view about it. – Noam Chomsky

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

I admire Ralph Nader and Denis Kucinich very much, and insofar as they bring up issues and carry out an educational and organizational function – that’s important and fine, and I support it. – Noam Chomsky

Control is the source of strategic power. – Noam Chomsky

Cuba has become a symbol of courageous resistance to attack. Since 1959, Cuba has been under attack from the hemispheric superpower. – Noam Chomsky

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

The Oslo Accords in 1993 determined that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank are a single territorial entity that cannot be divided. Immediately, the United States and Israel set about separating the two and making sure that they would not be united. – Noam Chomsky

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

Significant anniversaries are solemnly commemorated – Japan’s attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, for example. – Noam Chomsky

In the academic world, most of the work that is done is clerical. A lot of the work done by professors is routine. – Noam Chomsky

By curious accident of history and geography, the world’s major energy resources are located pretty much in Shiite regions. They’re a minority in the Middle East, but they happen to be where the oil is, right around the northern part of the Gulf. – Noam Chomsky

If you’re worried about the deficit, pay attention to the fact that it’s almost all attributable to military spending and the totally dysfunctional health program. – Noam Chomsky

By 1960, the South Africans knew that they were becoming a pariah state. – Noam Chomsky

The argument that resistance to the war should remain strictly nonviolent seems to be overwhelming. – Noam Chomsky

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

The public is strongly in favor of the Kyoto Protocols, so strongly in favor that a majority of Bush voters thought that he was in favor of it. They are simply unaware. – Noam Chomsky

Obama’s primary constituency was financial institutions. They were the core of the funding for his campaign. They expect to be paid back. And they were. They were paid back by coming out richer and more powerful than they were before the crisis that they created. – Noam Chomsky

The threat and use of violence are stimulating nuclear proliferation along with jihadi terrorism. – Noam Chomsky

An ideal form of social control is an atomized collection of individuals focused on their own narrow concern, lacking the kinds of organizations in which they can gain information, develop and articulate their thoughts, and act constructively to achieve common ends. – Noam Chomsky

There is no plausible theory under which the record of the Pentagon Papers can be interpreted as relating to the national defense. – Noam Chomsky

The first scholarly edition of the Magna Carta was published by the eminent jurist William Blackstone. It was not an easy task. There was no good text available. – Noam Chomsky

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

I have known people who are working-class or craftsmen, who happen to be more intellectual than professors. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

Fidel Castro, whatever people may think of him, is a hero in Latin America, primarily because he stood up to the United States. – Noam Chomsky

The U.S. is off the spectrum in religious commitment. – Noam Chomsky

In societies that profess some respect for the law, suspects are apprehended and brought to a fair trial. I stress ‘suspects.’ – Noam Chomsky

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

The American claim that the bombing of North Vietnam was directed against military targets does not withstand direct investigation. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

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

People who criticize power in the Jewish community are regarded as the way Ahab treated Elijah: You’re a traitor. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

The armed attack has a definition in international law. It means sudden, overwhelming, instantaneous ongoing attack. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

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

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

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

In November 2007, the White House issued a Declaration of Principles demanding that U.S. forces must remain indefinitely in Iraq and committing Iraq to privilege American investors. – Noam Chomsky

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

History shows that, more often than not, loss of sovereignty leads to liberalization imposed in the interests of the powerful. – Noam Chomsky

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 the economic reconstruction and maintaining civic order. – Noam Chomsky

All through Latin America, there’s a sharp condemnation of the criminal atrocities of Sept. 11. But it’s qualified by the observation that although these are horrible atrocities, they are not unfamiliar. – Noam Chomsky

The ‘peace movement’ exists only in the fantasies of the paranoid. – Noam Chomsky

Everyone knows that when you look at a television ad, you do not expect to get information. You expect to see delusion and imagery. – Noam Chomsky

Dissident intellectuals aren’t all beautiful. – Noam Chomsky

Bradley Manning has been imprisoned without charge, under torture, which is what solitary confinement is. – Noam Chomsky

The first democratic revolution was in England in the 1640s. – Noam Chomsky

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

There’s a tremendous gap between public opinion and public policy. – Noam Chomsky

The United States is afraid of China; it is not a military threat to anyone and is the least aggressive of all the major military powers. – Noam Chomsky

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

The polls show that concern over inequality among the general public rose pretty sharply after the Occupy movement started, very probably as a consequence. And there are other policy issues that came to the fore, which are significant. – Noam Chomsky

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

There were plenty of other hominids, but they disappeared, probably because humans exterminated them, but nobody knows for sure. – Noam Chomsky

How people themselves perceive what they are doing is not a question that interests me. – Noam Chomsky

Anyone can be a moral individual, concerned with human rights and problems; but only a college professor, a trained expert, can solve technical problems by ‘sophisticated’ methods. Ergo, it is only problems of the latter sort that are important or real. – Noam Chomsky

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

One of the problems of organizing in the North, in 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

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

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

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

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

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

Pakistan is not a unified country. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

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

The ‘anti-globalization movement’ is the most significant proponent of globalization – but in the interests of people, not concentrations of state-private power. – Noam Chomsky

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

The invasion of Iraq, particularly, gave a big shot in the arm to the jihadi extremists. – Noam Chomsky

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

The call for debt cancellation is welcome, but debt does not just go away. – Noam Chomsky

John Lewis Gaddis is not only the favorite historian of the Reagan administration, but he’s regarded as the dean of Cold War scholarship, the leading figure in the American Cold War scholarship, a professor at Yale. – Noam Chomsky

In 1962, the war was avoided by Khrushchev’s willingness to accept Kennedy’s hegemonic demands. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

Clinton himself acted in ways that increased the threat of terror. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

If you destroyed half the pharmaceutical production in the United States, we’d think it’s a pretty serious problem. In fact, we’d probably go to war. – Noam Chomsky

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

The rise of capitalist practice and morality brought with it a radical revision of how the commons are treated, and also of how they are conceived. – Noam Chomsky

Romania, which had the worst dictator in Eastern Europe, Ceausescu, was a darling of the West. The United States and Britain loved him. He was supported until the last minute. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

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

The United States is unusual among the industrial democracies in the rigidity of the system of ideological control – ‘indoctrination’, we might say – exercised through the mass media. – Noam Chomsky

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

Is the Iranian record of intervention and terror worse than that of the U.S.? – Noam Chomsky

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

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 terrorize people. The drones are a terrorist weapon; they not only kill targets but also terrorize other people. – Noam Chomsky

In the literal sense, there has been no relevant evolution since the trek from Africa. But there has been substantial progress towards higher standards of rights, justice, and freedom – along with all too many illustrations of how remote is the goal of a decent society. – Noam Chomsky

The ‘free-floating intellectual’ may occupy himself with problems because of their inherent interest and importance, perhaps to little effect. – Noam Chomsky

I don’t have any oratory skills. But I would not use them if I had. – Noam Chomsky

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

It is a virtual reflex for governments to plead security concerns when they undertake any controversial action, often as a pretext for something else. – Noam Chomsky

If you ask the CEO of some major corporation what he does, he will say, in all honesty, that he is saving 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

When Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982, the U.N. vetoed several resolutions right away, calling for an end to the fighting and so on, and that was a hideous invasion. – Noam Chomsky

Debt is a trap, especially a 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

Anarchism means all sorts of things to different people, but the traditional anarchists’ movements assumed that there’d be a highly organized society, just one organized from below with direct participation and so on. – Noam Chomsky

I don’t see any possibility of Britain and the U.S. allowing a sovereign independent Iraq; that’s almost inconceivable. – Noam Chomsky

The term ‘globalization’ is conventionally used to refer to the specific form of investor-rights integration designed by wealth and power, for their own interests. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

I am opposed to the accumulation of executive power anywhere. – Noam Chomsky

Pakistan will never be able to match Indian militarily, and the effort to do so is taking an immense toll on society. – Noam Chomsky

It makes sense for Japan to pursue a more independent role in the world, following Latin America and others in freeing itself from U.S. domination. – Noam Chomsky

I didn’t pay my taxes for years. – Noam Chomsky

Right after 9-11, as far as I know, one newspaper in the United States had the integrity to investigate opinion in the Muslim world: the ‘Wall Street Journal.’ – Noam Chomsky

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

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

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

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

Britain kept its position as the dominant world power well into the 20th century despite the 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

Social Security is based on 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

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 society to destruction. – Noam Chomsky

Israel is following policies that maximize its security threats… policies that 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

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

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

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

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

Real popular culture is folk art – coalminers’ songs and so forth. – Noam Chomsky

The western mantra is that Israel seeks negotiations without preconditions, while the Palestinians refuse. The opposite is more accurate. – Noam Chomsky

Unlike Iran, Israel refuses to allow inspections at all, refuses to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty, has hundreds of nuclear weapons, has advanced delivery systems. – Noam Chomsky

Markets have built-in inefficiencies, serious inefficiencies which are well known. – Noam Chomsky

It is easy to dismiss the world as ‘irrelevant,’ or consumed by ‘paranoid anti-Americanism,’ but perhaps not wise. – Noam Chomsky

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

I personally never expected anything of Obama and wrote about it before the 2008 primaries. I thought it was smoke and mirrors. – Noam Chomsky

France had a policy, initiated by General de Gaulle, of trying to turn Europe into what was then called a ‘third force,’ independent of the two superpowers, so Europe should pursue an independent course. – Noam Chomsky

The poorest country in South America, Bolivia, had been devastated by neoliberal economic policies. – Noam Chomsky

In 1949, China declared independence – an event known in Western discourse as ‘the loss of China’ in the U.S. – with bitter recriminations and conflict over who was responsible for that loss. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

A consistent anarchist must oppose private ownership of the means of production, and the wage-slavery which is a component of this system, as incompatible with the principle that labor must be freely undertaken and under the control of the producer. – Noam Chomsky

It doesn’t take long to become aware of the presence of the CIA in Laos. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

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

A war with Pakistan would be an utter disaster. – Noam Chomsky

Under Clinton, the defiance of world order has become so extreme as to be of concern even to hawkish policy analysts. – Noam Chomsky

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

I like Gramsci. He’s an important person. – Noam Chomsky

There’s a 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 the 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

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

I haven’t read Horowitz. I didn’t use to read him when he was a Stalinist, and I don’t read him today. – Noam Chomsky

In Latin America, specialists and polling organizations 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

There is no body of theory or a significant body of relevant information, beyond the comprehension of the layman, which makes policy immune from criticism. – Noam Chomsky

The neo-cons constitute a radical reactionary fringe of the planning spectrum, but the spectrum is narrow. – Noam Chomsky

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

If you don’t like what someone has to say, argue with them. – Noam Chomsky

The truth is, I have absolutely no professional credentials – literally, which is why I’m teaching at MIT. – Noam Chomsky

Sometimes I lose my temper. – Noam Chomsky

In America, the professor talks to the mechanic. They are in the same category. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

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

In November 2008, the day of the presidential election, Israeli military forces invaded Gaza and killed half a dozen Hamas militants. Well, that was followed by a missile exchange for a couple of weeks in both directions. – Noam Chomsky

Suppose I criticize Iran. What impact does that have? The only impact it has is in fortifying those who want to carry out policies I don’t agree with, like bombing. – Noam Chomsky

As a tactic, violence is absurd. No one can compete with the Government in violence, and the resort to violence, which will surely fail, will simply frighten and alienate some who can be reached, and will further encourage the ideologists and administrators of forceful repression. – Noam Chomsky

Governments are supposed to lie to their citizens. – Noam Chomsky

Occasionally the conflict between ‘what we stand for’ and ‘what we do’ has been forthrightly addressed. – Noam Chomsky

For many of the world’s conflicts, it is difficult even to conjure up a feasible settlement. – Noam Chomsky

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. v

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

The Republican Party has become overwhelmingly so extreme that it’s hardly a traditional political party anymore. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

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. – Noam Chomsky

In the late Fifties and early Sixties, opposition to state terror and aggression and torture and so on was zero. That was a horrible time: the massive Kennedy terror operation against Cuba, the first attacks on Vietnam in 1962, the imposition of national security states in South America. – Noam Chomsky

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 be essential. – Noam Chomsky

If you’re in favor 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

The Great Seal was an early proclamation of ‘humanitarian intervention,’ to use the currently fashionable phrase. – Noam Chomsky

From the late 1940s, into and through the ’50s, there developed a complex interaction between the 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

I don’t pay a lot of attention to polls. – Noam Chomsky

My father was a great sympathizer of Ahad Ha’am. Every Friday night we would read Hebrew together, and often the reading was Ahad Ha’am’s essays. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

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

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

The many questions about the bombing of Yugoslavia by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation – meaning primarily the United States – comes down to two fundamental issues: ‘What are the accepted and applicable ‘rules of world order,’ and how do these apply in the case of Kosovo?’ – Noam Chomsky

There are massive efforts on the part of the internet’s corporate owners to try to direct it to become a technique of marginalization and control. – Noam Chomsky

Now financial liberalization is just a catastrophe waiting to happen, and there are very well understood reasons for that. – Noam Chomsky

The government argues that First Amendment rights are outweighed by the need to prosecute those who transmit classified information and documents. – Noam Chomsky

The U.S. has strategic and economic interests in Southeast Asia that must be secured. Holding Indochina is essential to securing these interests. Therefore, we must hold Indochina. – Noam Chomsky

Turkey must find its place if, of course, it can heal its internal sores, and none is more malignant than the perennial Kurdish issue. – Noam Chomsky

Right after the assassination of Osama bin Laden, amid all the cheers and applause, there were a few critical comments questioning the legality of the act. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

I remember at the age of five traveling 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

The U.S. increasingly has taken on the characteristics of what we describe as ‘failed states.’ – Noam Chomsky

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

Israelis would mostly breathe a sigh of relief if Palestinians were to disappear. – Noam Chomsky

I don’t know if I officially proofread my father’s book, but I read it. I did get some conception of grammar in general from that. – Noam Chomsky

American decline is real, though the apocalyptic vision reflects the familiar ruling class perception that anything short of total control amounts to total disaster. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

In the United States, we can do almost anything we want. It’s not like Egypt, where you’re going to get murdered by the security forces. – Noam Chomsky

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

I don’t want followers. – Noam Chomsky

Meteorologists are pretty-faced reading scripts telling you whether it’s going to rain tomorrow. – Noam Chomsky

Chinese military spending is carefully monitored by the United States. – Noam Chomsky

Everyone who is critical of Israeli policy is deluged by crazed messages intended to flood their email system or, more insidiously, passwords are accessed and messages sent out under their name! I’m sure it’s illegal. It’s also an effort to undermine free speech. – Noam Chomsky

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

The Vietnamese see their history as an unending series of struggles of resistance to aggression, by the Chinese, the Mongols, the Japanese, the French, and now the Americans. – Noam Chomsky

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

The only justification for repressive institutions is a 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

There is every likelihood that the Jihadi movement, much of it highly critical of bin Laden, could have been split and undermined after 9/11. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

There was an unprecedented elite condemnation of the plans to invade Iraq. Sensible analysts were able to perceive that the enterprise carried significant risks for U.S. interests, however, conceived. – Noam Chomsky

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

My family was mostly unemployed working class. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

The target of preventive war must have several characteristics. It must be virtually defenseless; it must be important enough to be worth the trouble; it must be possible to portray it as the ultimate evil and an imminent threat to our survival. – Noam Chomsky

Under the worst conditions, horrendous conditions, people still, you know, fight for their rights and don’t just succumb. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

State formation has been a brutal project, with many hideous consequences. But the results exist, and their pernicious aspects should be overcome. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

I don’t usually admire Sarah Palin, but when she was making fun of this ‘hopey change stuff,’ she was right: there was nothing there. – Noam Chomsky

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

Obama’s policies have been approximately the same as Bush’s, though there have been some slight differences, that’s not a great surprise. The Democrats supported Bush’s policies. – Noam Chomsky

The Tea Party movement itself is maybe 15, 20 percent of the electorate. It’s relatively affluent, white, nativist. You know, it has rather traditional nativist streaks to it. But what is much more important, I think, is the – is its outrage. – Noam Chomsky

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

A siege is an act of war. – Noam Chomsky

Obama did organize a great large number of people and many enthusiastic people, what’s called in the press ‘Obama’s Army.’ But the army is supposed to take instructions, not to implement, to introduce, develop programs and call on its own candidate to implement them. That’s critical. – Noam Chomsky

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

I don’t like the intellectual label. – Noam Chomsky

Iran has little capacity to deploy force. Its strategic doctrines are defensive, designed to deter invasion long enough for diplomacy to set it. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

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

It cannot be too often stressed that Israel had no credible pretext for its 2008-9 attack on Gaza, with full U.S. support and illegally using U.S. weapons. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

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

People seem to know about May Day everywhere except where it began, here in the United States of America. That’s because those in power have done everything they can to erase its real meaning. – Noam Chomsky

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

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 was not on the agenda before. That’s all to the good. – Noam Chomsky

If you’re working 50 hours a week to try to maintain family income, and your children have the kinds of aspirations that come from being flooded with television from age one, and associations have declined, people end up hopeless, even though they have every option. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

Whatever the reasons maybe, I was very much affected by events of the 1930s – the Spanish Civil War, for example, though I was barely literate. – Noam Chomsky

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

The U.S. is not constructing a palatial embassy, by far the largest in the world and virtually a separate city within Baghdad, and pouring money into military bases, with the intention of leaving Iraq to Iraqis. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

There are still thousands of people dying every year in Laos, mostly children and farmers, from unexploded anti-personnel ordnance that the U.S. simply saturated much of the land with, especially in the Plain of Jars. There actually is a British engineering team trying to remove some of these things, which are much worse than land mines. – Noam Chomsky

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

The Occupy movement is – it was a big surprise. – Noam Chomsky

Guantanamo is still open, but it’s unlikely that serious torture is going on at Guantanamo. There is just too much inspection. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

Mr. Mijanovi and those associated with him are the hope and the conscience of the Yugoslav revolution. – Noam Chomsky

The level of destruction and terror and violence carried out by the powerful states far exceeds anything that can imaginably be done by groups that are called terrorists and subnational groups. – Noam Chomsky

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

The government actually grew during the Reagan years. – Noam Chomsky

There has been a huge attack against private-sector unions. Actually, that’s been going on since the Second World War. – Noam Chomsky

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

There’s never been anything like the so-called Vietnam Syndrome: it’s mostly a fabrication. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

The events of October 1962 are widely hailed as Kennedy’s finest hour. – Noam Chomsky

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

When Britain and the U.S. invaded Iraq, it was with the reasonable expectation that it was going to increase the threat of terror, as it has. – Noam Chomsky

Reviewing the record of American intervention in Indochina in the Pentagon Papers, one cannot fail to be struck by the continuity of basic assumptions from one administration to the next. Never has there been the slightest deviation from the principle that a noncommunist regime must be imposed and defended, regardless of popular sentiment. – Noam Chomsky

The U.N. charter bars the threat of force. – Noam Chomsky

What’s important in Libya is, first of all, it has a good deal of oil. A lot of the country is unexplored; there may be a lot more. And it’s very high-quality oil, so very valuable. – Noam Chomsky

The appropriate response to terrorist crimes is police work, which has been successful worldwide. – Noam Chomsky

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

When George W. Bush came into office, North Korea had maybe one nuclear weapon and verifiably wasn’t producing anymore. – Noam Chomsky

Violence can succeed, as Americans know well from the conquest of the national territory. But at a terrible cost. It can also provoke violence in response, and often does. – Noam Chomsky

In 1963, the U.N. Security Council declared a voluntary arms embargo on South Africa. That was extended to a mandatory embargo in 1977. And that was followed by economic sanctions and other measures – sometimes officials, countries, cities, towns – some organized by popular movements. – Noam Chomsky

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

The U.S. and its allies will do anything they can to prevent authentic democracy in the Arab world. – Noam Chomsky

Presented with the claims of nineteenth-century racist anthropology, a rational person will ask two sorts of questions: ‘What is the scientific status of the claims?’ ‘What social or ideological needs do they serve?’ – Noam Chomsky

Israel is a pretty crazy state. – Noam Chomsky

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

There is massive propaganda for everyone to consume. Consumption is good for profits and consumption is good for the political establishment. – Noam Chomsky

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

I have never really thought that the Left was much in ‘array’ as far as political purposes were concerned. – Noam Chomsky

Obama has succeeded in descending even below George W. Bush in approval in the Arab world. It’s minuscule, a few percent. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

Rendition is just sending people abroad to be tortured. – Noam Chomsky

The childcare tax credit makes some sense. – 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

I did use to have nightmares about the idea that when I die, there is a spark of consciousness which basically creates the world. ‘Is the world going to disappear if this spark of consciousness disappears? And how do I know it won’t? How do I know there’s anything there except what I’m conscious of?’ – Noam Chomsky

You go back to the 17th century, the commercial and industrial centers of the world were China and India. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

I have been – I have spoken in Bir Zeit a number of times. – Noam Chomsky

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

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. v

Stability is when the U.K. and the U.S. invade a country and impose the regime of their choice. – Noam Chomsky

Anywhere in Latin America, there is a potential threat of the pathology of caudillismo and it has to be guarded against. – Noam Chomsky

As far as U.S. intelligence knows, Iran is developing nuclear capacities, but they don’t know if they are trying to develop nuclear weapons or not. Chances are they’re developing what’s called ‘nuclear capability,’ which many states have. That is the ability to have nuclear weapons if they decide to do it. That’s not a crime. – Noam Chomsky

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

Obama, of course, outspent McCain. – Noam Chomsky

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

You can live within the institutions and work hard to change them. – Noam Chomsky

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

The United States is a violent military state. It’s been involved in military action all over the place. – Noam Chomsky

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

As you deal with more and more complex systems, it becomes harder and harder to find deep and interesting properties. – Noam Chomsky

Chemistry, until my childhood, not that long ago, was regarded as a calculating device. Because you couldn’t reduce to physics. So it’s just some way of calculating the result of experiments. The Bohr atom was treated that way. – Noam Chomsky

Part of the population of Laos lives in urban centers, Vientiane being the largest. – Noam Chomsky

There are nuclear-weapons-free zones in several parts of the world already, except that they’re not implemented fully, because the U.S. won’t allow it. – 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

When secular figures are turned into divinities, the way they are in Pecan Yang or Stanford University – that I don’t like. – Noam Chomsky

In a democracy, in a functioning democracy, what would be happening is that popular organizations, unions, political groupings, others would be developing their programs, putting them forth, insisting that their representatives implement those programs. – Noam Chomsky

I don’t see anything that’s come out on WikiLeaks that was a legitimate secret. – Noam Chomsky

Language is one component of the human cognitive capacity that happens to be fairly amenable to the inquiry. So we know a good deal about that. – Noam Chomsky

By most accounts, Aristide is the most popular figure in Haiti. – Noam Chomsky

It could be – and it has been argued, in my view rather plausibly, though neuroscientists don’t like it – that neuroscience for the last couple hundred years has been on the wrong track. – Noam Chomsky

I once did a three-hour interview with Radio Oxford only to be told the microphone hadn’t picked me up. – Noam Chomsky

The U.S. is just in a class by itself in military expenses. It basically matches the rest of the world, and it’s far more advanced. – Noam Chomsky

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

When I look at public opinion, I’m not far out of the mainstream. I’m in it, in many respects. In some respects, public opinion goes beyond anything I’ve ever said. – Noam Chomsky

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

The doctrine that everything is fine as long as the population is quiet applies in the Middle East, applies in Central America, it applies in the United States. – Noam Chomsky

In February 2004, the two traditional torturers of Haiti – France and the United States – combined to back a military coup and send President Aristide off to Africa. The U.S. denies him permission to return to the entire region. – Noam Chomsky

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. v

The West Bank is essentially imprisoned. – Noam Chomsky

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

Obama himself has been highly supportive of Mubarak. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

If you do a Google search, you will probably read a lot of stuff about how I am someone who wants to kill all the Jews and hates the United States. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

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

If humans were totally unstructured creatures, they would be… a tool which can properly be shaped by outside forces. – Noam Chomsky

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

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

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

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

NATO was constructed on the – with the reason, whether one believes it or not, that it was going to defend Western Europe from Russian assault. Once the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union was beginning to collapse, that reason was gone. So, first question: why does NATO exist? – Noam Chomsky

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

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