Noam Chomsky : Popluar Modern American Anarchist Author, Linguist, Scientist, and Historian

Revolt Library >> People >> Chomsky, Noam

(1928 - )

Description

Though his stance on these issues is that of an admitted anarchist/libertarian, Noam Chomsky prefers to act as an analyst and critic of the state rather than a social theorist.... Chomsky continues to teach at MIT, where he holds an endowed chair in linguistics.

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From : Anarchy Archives

Quotes

"Neoliberal doctrines, whatever one thinks of them, undermine education and health, increase inequality, and reduce labor's share of income; that much is not serously in doubt."

From : "Profit Over People," written by Noam Chomsky, page 32, chapter 1

"The enormous public relations industry, from its origins early in this century, has been dedicated to the 'control of the public mind,' as business leaders described the task. And they acted on their words, surely one of the central themes of modern history."

From : "Profit Over People," by Noam Chomsky, page 45, chapter 2

"The importance of 'controlling the public mind' has been recognized with increasing clarity as popular struggles succeeded in extending the modalities of democracy, thus giving rise to what liberal elites call 'the crisis of democracy' as when normally passive and apathetic populations become organized and seek to enter the political arena to pursue their interests and demands, threatening stability and order. As Bernays explained the problem, with 'universal suffrage and universal schooling... at last even the bourgeoisie stood in fear of the common people. For the masses promised to become king.'"

From : "Profit Over People," by Noam Chomsky, pages 53-54, chapter 2

"...international solidarity can take new and more constructive forms as the great majority of the people of the world come to understand that their interests are pretty much the same and can be advanced by working together. There is no more reason now than there has ever been to believe that we are constrained by mysterious and unknown social laws, not simply decisions made within instutitions that are subject to human will -- human institutions, that have to face the test of legitimacy and, if they do not meet it, can be replaced by others that are more free and more just, as often in the past."

From : "Profit Over People", by Noam Chomsky, page 62, chapter 2

"There are many factors driving global society towards a low-wage, low-growth, high-profit future, with increasing polarization and social disintegration. Another consequence is the fading of meaningful democratic processes as decision making is vested in private institutions and the quasi-governmental structures that are coalescing around them, what the Financial Times calls a 'de facto world government' that operates in secret and without accountability."

From : "Profit Over People", by Noam Chomsky, page 127, chapter 5

"The decisions reached by the directors of GE affect the general society substiantially, but citizens play no role in them, as a matter of principle."

From : "Profit Over People", by Noam Chomsky, page 132, chapter 6

"Systems of unaccountable power do offer some choices to citizens. They can petition the king or the CEO, or join the ruling party. They can try to rent themselves to GE, or buy its products. They can struggle for rights within tyrannies, state and private, and in solidarity with others, can seek to limit or dismantle illegitimate power, pursuing traditional ideals, including those that animated the U.S. labor movement from its early origins: that those who work in the mills should own and run them."

From : "Profit Over People", by Noam Chomsky, page 132, chapter 6

"Labor and environmental issues, which 'barely featured at the start,' are becoming harder to suppress. It is becoming more difficult to ignore the paranoids and flat-earthers who 'want high standards written in for how foreign investors treat workers and protect the environment,' and 'their fervent attacks, spread via a network of Internet web sites, have left negotiators unsure how to proceed.' One possibility would be to pay attention to what the public wants. But that option is not mentioned: it is excluded in principle, since it would undermine the whole point of the enterprise."

From : "Profit Over People", by Noam Chomsky, pages 151-152, chapter 6

Biography


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About Noam Chomsky

 Noam Chomsky 1

Noam Chomsky 1

Noam Chomsky's parents, Dr. William (Zev) Chomsky and Elsie Simonofsky, were both Russian Jews and also teachers and linguists. His father was the author of a seminal book on the grammatic structure of Hebrew and the faculty president of Gratz College for eight years. Noam grew up in an intellectual atmosphere, and several members of the extended family had ties to labor or communist movements. He attended a progressive elementary school, where he wrote for the school newspaper. His first article was about the fall of Barcelona, during the Spanish Civil War. (Barsky, 9-17.)

He later attended Philadelphia's Central High School. He did not enjoy his experience with the public education system, but during this period he began to pay regular visits to relatives in New York City, especially an uncle whose newsstand served as a literary and political salon for members of the Jewish intellectual community. During this period he began reading anarchist literature and leftist journals. (Barsamian, 231, Barsky, 21-3.)

Chomsky attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he met and married Carol Doris Schatz in 1948. Finding his college experience similar to that of his high school, he considered dropping out, only to find the intellectual atmosphere he desired with linguistics chair Prof. Zelig Harris and his friends, who also shared an interest in politics. He recieved his B.A. in linguistics in 1949 and embarked on postgraduate work in the subject. Harris' work on linguistics was part of the inspiration for Chomsky's own, though Chomsky's would follow a radically different path. He recieved his Ph.D. in 1955 and joined the faculty of MIT the same year. In his doctoral thesis and his first publications, Chomsky began the creation of a body of work that would transform the study of linguistics. (Barsky, 47-53.)

At the time, linguistics was dominated by the Bloomfeldians, followers of Leonard Bloomfeld, a behaviorist who theorized that language was acquired through a process of conditioning and reinforcement. Critical of behaviorist theories and curious how children could formulate all the complex rules of language based on the limited amount of speech they heard, Chomsky decided that human language ability must have a genetic basis. As the basis of his theory, Chomsky developed the idea of a Universal Grammar, a set of principles that describe the formulation of all human languages. With a more or less instinctive knowledge of this Universal Grammar, an infant could construct the rules for a language using the random pieces it was exposed to. Other avenues of Chomsky's work led to the creation of an entirely new field of linguistic research known as transformational grammar. (Lyons, 29-30, 117-19.)

Around 1961, Noam Chomsky began to speak and write on political topics, finding an audience among the student-protest movement. In 1967, he joined the March on the Pentagon and wound up breifly sharing a jail cell with author Norman Mailer. Despite marginalization by the mainstream press, his books have gained considerable recognition and he has been recognized as one of the most outspoken critics of U.S. foriegn policy. In such works as For Reasons of State, (1973) Manufacturing Consent(1988), and Secrets, Lies and Democracy(1994), Chomsky addresses such subjects as American involvement in Latin America and Indochina, the Cold War, the media's manipulation of the public in respect to these and other issues, and the responsibility of intellectuals to address these problems. Though his stance on these issues is that of an admitted anarchist/libertarian, Noam Chomsky prefers to act as an analyst and critic of the state rather than a social theorist. Ultimately, the decision of how to make a better society lies with the individual. Chomsky continues to teach at MIT, where he holds an endowed chair in linguistics.

From : Anarchy Archives

Works

This person has authored 6 documents, with 32,299 words or 211,202 characters.

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1970 ~ (6,709 Words / 50,515 Characters)
"Notes on Anarchism" in For Reasons of State Noam Chomsky, 1970 Transcribed by rael@ll.mit.edu (Bill Lear) A French writer, sympathetic to anarchism, wrote in the 1890s that "anarchism has a broad back, like paper it endures anything"---including, he noted those whose acts are such that "a mortal enemy of anarchism could not have done better." There have been many styles of thought and action that have been referred to as "anarchist." It would be hopeless to try to encompass all of these conflicting tendencies in some general theory or ideology. And even if we proceed to extract from the history of libertarian thought a living, evolving tradition, as Daniel Gurin does in Anarchism, it remains difficult to formulate its doctrines as a specific and determinate theory of society and social change. The anarchist histo... (From : Spunk.org.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 2011 ~ (3,953 Words / 25,139 Characters)
What are U.S. motives in international relations most broadly? That is, what are the over arching motives and themes one can pretty much always find informing U.S. policy choices, no matter where in the world we are discussing? What are the somewhat more specific but still over arching motives and themes for U.S. policy in Middle East and the Arab world? Finally, what do you think are the more proximate aims of U.S. policy in the current situation in Libya? A useful way to approach the question is to ask what U.S. motives are NOT. There are some good ways to find out. One is to read the professional literature on international relations: quite commonly, its account of policy is what policy is not, an interesting topic that I wont pursue. Another method, quite relevant now, is to listen to political leaders and commentators. Suppose they say that the motive for a military action is humanitarian. In itself, that carries no information: vi... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1995 ~ (5,279 Words / 33,974 Characters)
Noam Chomsky on Anarchism, Marxism & Hope for the Future Noam Chomsky is widely known for his critique of U.S foreign policy, and for his work as a linguist. Less well known is his ongoing support for libertarian socialist objectives. In a special interview done for Red and Black Revolution, Chomsky gives his views on anarchism and marxism, and the prospects for socialism now. The interview was conducted in May 1995 by Kevin Doyle. RBR: First off, Noam, for quite a time now you've been an advocate for the anarchist idea. Many people are familiar with the introduction you wrote in 1970 to Daniel Guerin's Anarchism: From Theory to Practice, but more recently, for instance in the film Manufacturing Dissent, you took the opportunity to highlight again the potential of anarchism and the anarchist idea. What is it that attracts you to anarchism? CHOMSKY: I was attracted to... (From : Flag.Blackened.net.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1976 ~ (7,518 Words / 46,115 Characters)
QUESTION: Professor Chomsky, perhaps we should start by trying to define what is not meant by anarchism -- the word anarchy is derived, after all, from the Greek, literally meaning "no government." Now, presumably people who talk about anarchy or anarchism as a system of political philosophy don't just mean that, as it were, as of January 1st next year, government as we now understand it will suddenly cease; there would be no police, no rules of the road, no laws, no tax collectors, no post office, and so forth. Presumably, it means something more complicated than that. CHOMSKY: Well, yes to some of those questions, no to others. They may very well mean no policemen, but I don't think they would mean no rules of the road. In fact, I should say to begin with that the term anarchism is used to cover quite a range of political ideas, but I would prefer to think of it as the libertarian left, and from that point of view anarchism can be concei... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1997 ~ (4,704 Words / 27,103 Characters)
Part of the reason why I write about the media is because I am interested in the whole intellectual culture, and the part of it that is easiest to study is the media. It comes out every day. You can do a systematic investigation. You can compare yesterdays version to todays version. There is a lot of evidence about whats played up and what isnt and the way things are structured. My impression is the media arent very different from scholarship or from, say, journals of intellectual opinion there are some extra constraints but its not radically different. They interact, which is why people go up and back quite easily among them. You look at the media, or at any institution you want to understand. You ask questions about its internal institutional structure. You want to know something about their setting in the broader society. How do they relate to other systems of power and authority? If y... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 2002 ~ (4,136 Words / 28,356 Characters)
After the atrocities of September 11, the victim declared a war on terrorism, targeting not just the suspected perpetrators, but the country in which they were located, and others charged with terrorism worldwide. President Bush pledged to rid the world of evildoers and not let evil stand, echoing Ronald Reagans denunciation of the evil scourge of terrorism in 1985 specifically, state-supported international terrorism, which had been declared to be the core issue of US foreign policy as his administration came to office. The focal points of the first war on terror were the MIddle East and Central America, where Honduras was the major base for US operations. The military component of the re-declared war is led by Donald Rumsfeld, who served as Reagans special representative to the MIddle East; the diplomatic efforts at the UN by John Negroponte, Reagans Ambassador to Honduras. P... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

Chronology

December 07, 1928 :
Birth Day.

November 15, 2016 ; 4:51:12 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
Added to http://www.RevoltLib.com.

August 27, 2019 ; 6:37:14 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
Last Updated on http://www.RevoltLib.com.

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Total Comments : 1

Posted By : holdoffhunger

Original Post Date : January 19, 2017; 16:32:25

I was young and poor when I first discovered Chomsky. The material is perfect for helping the mind crash through walls that authoritarian society has placed its confidence in. Chomsky's words might not do much to illuminate what a brand new Anarchist world will look like, but they are enough to establish the fundamental requirement of abolishing modern, 21st nation-state imperialism.

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