Noam Chomsky Quotes


My intellectual achievement was retarded when I went to high school. I sort of sank into a black hole because I had to go to the high-achieving academic public high school.

Academics are mostly professionals involved in their work and other concerns of their own with no particular interest in the workings of the ideological system.

Academics are not necessarily nice people.

I wouldn't say that the efforts of academics to critique the media's messages are "half-hearted." As far as I am aware the efforts scarcely exist: very few even pay attention to the question.

Hypocrites are those who apply to others the standards that they refuse to accept for themselves.

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.

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

Starting with [Ronald] Regan it became quite open the attack on unions. It wasn't the Pinkertons anymore but it was just not applying the laws.

[Moral responsibilities] has nothing particular to do with academia except insofar as those within it tend to be unusually privileged in the respects just mentioned.

The reason academic disputes are so vicious is that so little is at stake.

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

In a democracy the day when you pay your taxes April 15 would be a day of celebration because you're getting together to provide resources for the programs you decided on.

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.

Obama has succeeded in descending even below George W. Bush in approval in the Arab world. It's minuscule few percent.

The appropriate response to terrorist crimes is police work which has been successful worldwide.

You can see it in the worship of [Ronald] Reagan which portrays him as somebody who saved us from government. Actually he was an apostle of big government.

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

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

Putting it in plain terms the general public must be reduced to its traditional apathy and obedience and driven from the arena of political debate and action if democracy is to survive.

It's as if we're higher apes who had a language faculty inserted.

The police can go to downtown Harlem and pick up a kid with a joint in the streets. But they can't go into the elegant apartments and get a stockbroker who's sniffing cocaine.

Naming our murder weapons after victims of our crimes: Apache Tomahawk... It's as if the Luftwaffe were to call its fighter planes 'Jew' and 'Gypsy.'

I think we can be reasonably confident that if the American population had the slightest idea of what is being done in their name they would be utterly appalled.

I would appear on Fox News more easily than I would NPR.

The main selling appeal of NAFTA to US corporations is that it gives them an advantage in the North American market over their European and Japanese competitors.

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.

...jingoism racism fear religious fundamentalism: these are the ways of appealing to people if you're trying to organize a mass base of support for policies that are really intended to crush them.

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.

People tend to rally around power.

Of course language arose in a Darwinian biological world because that's all there is but that world relates only superficially to the pop-biology that circulates informally.

Some kind of settlement in Kashmir is crucial for both countries [Pakistan and India]. It's also tearing India apart with horrible atrocities in the region which is controlled by Indian armed forces.

George Washington hated the guerrillas. He wanted to imitate the British red coat armies fighting as gentlemen are supposed to fight.

The communists were mainly responsible for the destruction of the Spanish anarchists. Not just in Catalonia - the communist armies mainly destroyed the collectives elsewhere.

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.

I have never really thought that the Left was much in 'array' as far as political purposes were concerned.

Real popular culture is folk art - coalminers' songs and so forth.

The whole basis for the US intervention in Colombia is outrageously racist and arrogant.

If you accept the institutional lunacy then the policies are rational.

Armed attack has a definition in international law. It means sudden overwhelming instantaneous ongoing attack.

Free markets are based on the free circulation of labor. If you don't have free circulation of labor you don't have free markets.

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

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

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

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.

If you don't like what someone has to say argue with them.

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.

Significant anniversaries are solemnly commemorated - Japan's attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor for example.

That's the standard technique of privatization: defund make sure things don't work people get angry you hand it over to private capital.

Human language is nothing like the signalling systems of other animals.

You win by struggle and that requires understanding and serious analysis of the options and the circumstances and then you can do a lot.

Human language appears to be a unique phenomenon without significant analogue in the animal world.

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

There was 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.

As far as Marx's analysis of capitalism there's a lot of very useful ideas in it but he's developing an abstract model of 19th century capitalism. It's abstract and it's changed.

Intellectuals are in a position to expose the lies of governments to analyze actions according to their causes and motives and often hidden intentions.

Workers and their families may starve to death in the New World Order of economic rationality but diamond necklaces are cheaper in elegant New York shops thanks to the miracle of the market.

See people with power understand exactly one thing: violence.

I like Gramsci. He's an important person.

In fact I was in a lab that was a hundred percent funded by the Pentagon and it was one of the centers of the organized antiwar resistance movement.

[Antonio] Gramsci's words and actions explain their assessment though I think we should refrain from using the term "model intellectual" for him or others.

It's true that many say that [they] object to the idea of "human nature " but it's not clear what that is supposed to mean. Are we different from ants?

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

I see no anti-Semitic implications in denial of the existence of gas chambers or even denial of the Holocaust.

It is now well-known that the Taliban's creation was facilitated by the CIA and the ISI as part of the 1980s anti-Soviet war.

When I was growing up in the 1930s and '40s anti-Semitism was rampant. It wasn't like Nazi Germany but it was pretty serious - it was part of life.

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

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

I'm into eating as little as possible... I never cook. Never use the stove or anything.

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

I have written occasionally on links between my scientific work and political thinking but not much because the links seem to me abstract and speculative.

They [the union] were members of the Communist Party - they didn't care one way or another about Russia they just cared about the United States.

Under capitalism we can't have democracy by definition. Capitalism is a system in which the central institutions of society are in principle under autocratic control.

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.

I don't pay a lot of attention to polls.

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.

We should not want to permit providers for example to have control over access.

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.

Technology can also be used so that private individuals will have access to the way centralized decisions are being made.

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.

Sports plays a societal role in engendering jingoist and chauvinist attitudes. They're designed to organize a community to be committed to their gladiators.

My feeling is that if any Republican was elected it would be almost a death knell for the species literally just because of their attitude on climate change.

Governments will use whatever technology is available to combat their primary enemy - their own population.

If the authors and custodians of history turn out to have an attractive image it is only reasonable to look beyond and ask whether the image they construct is accurate.

Roughly speaking I think it's accurate to say that a corporate elite of managers and owners governs the economy and the political system as well at least in very large measure.

Throughout history even the harshest and most shameful measures are regularly accompanied by professions of noble intent - and rhetoric about bestowing freedom and independence.

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

I am opposed to the accumulation of executive power anywhere.

By most accounts Aristide is the most popular figure in Haiti.

About specific social issues there is a great deal to say that departs very far from truism and is accordingly significant and controversial.

It's a near miracle that nuclear war has so far been avoided.

In 1962 war was avoided by Khrushchev's willingness to accept Kennedy's hegemonic demands.

Ever since I've had any political awareness I've felt either alone or part of a tiny minority.

The attack on unions has been far more extreme here [in U.S] and it has been much more successful.

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.

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.

The intellectual tradition is one of servility to power and if I didn't betray it I'd be ashamed of myself.

I like the cold weather. It means you get work done.

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

The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion but allow very lively debate within that spectrum....

Those of us lucky enough to have a share of privilege in the more free societies should not be asking this question but doing something to answer it.

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.

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

The escalation to attack undefended civilian targets is just a classic illustration of terrorism.

The 'corporatization of America' during the past century [has been] an attack on democracy.

Resource extraction impacts a global environment that is increasingly at severe risk.

The Pashtuns in particular are kind of trapped. They've never accepted the Durand Line nor has any Afghan government historically accepted it.

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.

Farming out atrocities to paramilitaries is standard operating procedure.

The atrocities in Cambodia are a direct and understandable response to the violence of the imperial system.

Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush's compound assassinated him and dumped his body in the Atlantic.

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.

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.

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

Julian Assange shouldn't be the subject of a grand jury hearing he should be given a medal. He's contributing to democracy.

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

If you assume there is no hope you guarantee there will be no hope.

I don't think that the United States cares. They just assume that North Korea will soon have nuclear weapons.

All forms of involuntary servitude are prohibited not only slavery but also conscription forced association and forced welfare distribution.

It [the internet] probably has the effect of weakening personal associations.

One of the real problems of society is that its far too atomized what sociologists call secondary associations.

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

As far as DSA is concerned I'm perfectly happy to be associated with it while disagreeing with a large part of the leadership.

You have to rely on yourself and your associates - gifts don't come from above; you're going to win them or you won't have them.

The dynamics of the Taliban now appear to be very different and complex in both Afghanistan and Pakistan as they attack governments and mainstream parties.

Travel from what is called Pakistan to Afghanistan has been made increasingly difficult and people are often labelled terrorists even those who might be just visiting families.

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

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.

Language is a weapon of politicians but language is a weapon in much of human affairs.

There's no more morality in world affairs fundamentally than there was at the time of Genghis Khan.

In the United States the political system is a very marginal affair. There are two parties so-called but they're really factions of the same party the Business Party.

Whatever the reasons may be I was very much affected by events of the 1930s - the Spanish Civil War for example though I was barely literate.

There is little doubt that a significant part of any serious solution will require advances of technology but that can only be part of the solution. Other major changes are necessary.

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.

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.

Advertising is tax deductible so we all pay for the privilege of being manipulated and controlled.

The point of advertising is to destroy markets.

It is important to bear in mind that political campaigns are designed by the same people who sell toothpaste and cars.

All media depend on advertisement to survive.

It's a shameful moment for U.S. media when it insists on being subservient to the grotesque propaganda agencies of a violent aggressive state.

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.

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.

Whoever sets the agenda controls the outcome of the debate

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.

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.

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

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

There is no western concern for issues of aggression atrocities human rights abuses and so on if there's a profit to be made from them

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.

The responsibility of the writer as a moral agent is to try to bring the truth about matters of human significance to an audience that can do something about them.

States are not moral agents.

States are not moral agents people are and can impose moral standards on powerful institutions.

What can realistically be done depends on the historical moment. The same is true with regard to the agents.

You never need an argument against the use of violence you need an argument for it.

Wanton killing of innocent civilians is terrorism not a war against terrorism.

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.

Blacks have no rights - in fact they were three - fifths human according to the constitution to give slave owners more voting rights. So that's African Americans.

The murder of Lumumba in which the U.S. was involved in the Congo destroyed Africa's major hope for development. Congo is now total horror story for years.

Africa's a wreck and it's not because it was hit by an asteroid. It's a wreck largely because it was hit by Europe.

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

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.'

For a while after the Second World War when there was strong support for labor this was done subtly.

In fact a rather striking aspect of business propaganda in the United States is the demonization of government starting after the Second World War.

On abortion: We are talking about ambiguous issues of a complicated kind where you have to balance conflicting interests and concerns.

A siege is an act of war.

Borders are semiporous. Capital flows more freely than people across them. on C Span.

There are all the activist groups on every imaginable topic - solidarity groups environmental and feminist groups - sectors of these movements do very valuable work.

Unless that happens unless you get you know kind of integration of activists' concerns and movements it will be each one will be 'preaching to the choir'.

No sane human being devotes 100% of his or her life to political activism.

Another recollection is that [ Paul Johnson] mostly kept away from ideas and dedicated activism and concentrated on sex lives and other gossip.

Students who acquire large debts putting themselves through school are unlikely to think about changing society. When you trap people in a system of debt they can't afford the time to think.

The dangers of unexamined and unregulated monopoly power particularly in the state executive are hardly news. The right reaction is not passive acquiescence.

Jean Kirkpatrick [is] the chief sadist-in-residence of the Reagan Administration

For the totalitarian mind adherence to state propaganda does not suffice: one must display proper enthusiasm while marching in the parade.

. . . among all grammars meeting this condition (of adequacy) we select the simplest.

As elite attitudes towards public education over time illustrate simple formulas are far from adequate. There are conflicting tendencies.

The [Ronald] Reagan administration told the business world that they were not going to enforce the labor laws.

The House of Representatives which was closer to the population had much less power. The executive was more or less an administrator not an emperor like today.

Modern China; one also finds many things that are really quite admirable.

Yes and Syrians. There is a horrible crisis there and the United States has admitted virtually none of the refugees.

The British had an even stronger [then America] business interest in Nazi Germany. And Benito Mussolini was greatly admired.

I know of people whose actions and words I admire and respect. Some are called "intellectuals " some are not.

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

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

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

If voting could actually change anything it would be illegal.

We're supposed to worship Adam Smith but you're not supposed to read him. That's too dangerous.

When I am at home I never watch TV but when I am abroad in a hotel I take a look at the BBC to find out what's going on.

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

Rendition is just sending people abroad to be tortured.

I've already supported Bernie Sanders in the primaries.

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

Peace is preferable to war. But it's not an absolute value and so we always ask "What kind of peace?

[...] in a predatory capitalist economy state intervention would be an absolute necessity to preserve human existence and to prevent the destruction of the physical environment [...].

What matters is what happens among the powerful.

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.

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

It is easy to dismiss the world as 'irrelevant ' or consumed by 'paranoid anti-Americanism ' but perhaps not wise.

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

Amusing and perfectly self-conscious charlatans.

The argument that resistance to the war should remain strictly nonviolent seems to me overwhelming.

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

Language is one component of the human cognitive capacity which happens to be fairly amenable to enquiry. So we know a good deal about that.

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

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.

For the last couple of hundred years there have been struggles about this. Even the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the constitution talk about personal rights.

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

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

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

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.

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

Up until the First World War when people turned anti-German Germany had been described by American political scientists as the model of democracy.

Legalizing marijuana would make a lot of sense I don't think there's a single case of marijuana overdose on record and tens of millions of users. It's much less dangerous than alcohol for example.

If you want to talk about distributing substances that are lethal . . . let's be serious. Tobacco is far ahead of anything else. Alcohol is second.

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

People who criticize power in the Jewish community are regarded the way Ahab treated Elijah: You're a traitor.

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.

It's not a free trade agreement. It has virtually nothing to do with free trade... It's a protectionist agreement; it's anti free-trade.

I don't entirely agree with the slogan "speaking truth to power.

I agree with Bill Clinton that US forces should not be sent to Haiti but not for his reasons.

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

In fact there is a very close correlation between human rights violations and US aid particularly in Latin America.

Today aid to Colombia is given under the pretext of a drug war. That's pretty hard to take seriously. Ten years ago Amnesty International flatly called it a myth.

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.

Education is really aimed at helping students get to the point where they can learn on their own. . .

One can neither agree nor disagree with a terminological proposal as long as it is clear that it is just that: terminological.

The United States is a violent military state. It's been involved in military action all over the place.

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

I think there are all kinds of intrusions into private rights that make use of contemporary technology.

My grandchildren are on social media all the time and they think they have friends. But it's not what I would've called a friend ever.

Should a community... be free to enact legislation to say they don't want blacks? Now that's illegal. Fifty years ago it was legal. Is that progress or is that regress?

Scientists generally not just evolutionary biologists don't take much for granted.

What right does the US have to do anything in Colombia? Does Colombia have the right to bomb North Carolina? There are more Colombians dying from tobacco than Americans dying from heroin.

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.

Suppose I criticise 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.

The poorest country in South America Bolivia had been devastated by neoliberal economic policies.

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.

Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.

Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.

California is maybe the richest place in the world. They're destroying the best public education system in the world.

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.

The Occupy movement is - it was a big surprise.

The evangelicals. . . . If all they want is gold Cadillacs and sex and so on no big problem.

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.

Democracy in any rational form also imposes conditions on majority rule. That's what the Bill of Rights is about for example.

Half the population hold that the government is run by a few big interests looking out for themselves as polls regularly show.

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

...the Bible is probably the most genocidal book in the literary canon.

I don't feel that I have anything to say beyond moral truisms.

In the case of the environment there's no one to bail it out.

There is a big difference between tweeting to your friend about something that is happening and having a real personal relationship with people.

A big producer can survive price fluctuations on the world market. A small farmer can't.

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.

Women didn't have rights. Under British common law women were property.

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.

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

Anyone in a position to overcome barriers to free thought and communication should do so.

We should therefore be opposed to institutional barriers to that freedom: Military dictatorships for example. Or states run by a Central Committee.

Surely few if any readers have come across the sentence they are now reading and someone who had by chance heard or seen it could not possibly remember such a fact.

When George W. Bush came into office North Korea had maybe one nuclear weapon and verifiably wasn't producing any more.

In the years of the Reagan-Bush administration alone about 1.5 million people were killed by South Africa just in the surrounding countries. Forget what was happening in South Africa and Namibia.

The fact of the matter is that the U.S. is run by an unusually class-conscious dedicated business class that has a very violent labor history much worse than in Europe.

The U.S. is to a very unusual extent a business-run society.

The US is a business-run huckster society and its primary value is deceit.

The US is to an unusual extent a business-run society where short-term concerns of profit and market share displace rational planning.

In a really business-run society like the United States the business elites are deeply committed to class struggle and are engaged in it all the time. They're instinctive Marxists.

Barron and Paul...rely on 'specialists' at the State and Defense Departments...Elsewhere in the media similiar figures are bandied about with equal credibility.

Democracy has both expanded and declined over the years.

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.

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.

If [Barack] Obama or the boss or the newspapers or anyone else tells you they're doing this that or the other thing dismiss it or assume the opposite is true which it often is.

If the mutation is partially transmitted to offspring they too would have the advantage. And over time it might have come to dominate a small breeding group.

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

The West Bank is essentially imprisoned.

No use in waiting we can all work hard to bring about changes.

Bradley Manning has been imprisoned without charge under torture which is what solitary confinement is.

A lot of countries break (or go against) the international law...

U.S. has no feudal background so institutions that remained in place in Europe did not remain in place here.

Passivity may be the easy course but it is hardly the honorable one.

Edward Said is a very honorable representative of the "intellectual" in the sense of the term that he defines.

This Sarah Palin phenomenon is very curious. I think somebody watching us from Mars"?they would think the country has gone insane.

International relations bears more than a slight resemblance to the mafia.

You are responsible for the predictable consequences of your actions.

Science as everyone knows is responsible moderate unsentimental and otherwise good.

Markets have built in inefficiencies serious inefficiencies which are well known.

Religion is based on the idea that God is an imbecile.

We're now in a situation in which Capital is highly mobile and Labour is basically immobile.

Do you train for passing tests or do you train for creative inquiry?

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.

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

Some international law specialists compare the invasion of Iraq to the 'crimes against the peace' for which Nazi leaders were indicted at Nuremberg.

Dissident intellectuals aren't all beautiful.

The freer the society gets the more dangerous the great beast becomes and the more you have to be careful to cage it somehow.

Where are the drug cartels getting their weapons? They are being provided by the United States. Cut off that flow of arms.

What's the point of being better than someone else?

Expressing criticism of society is not being a grouch.

A lot of the people involved in the media are very serious honest people and they will tell you and I think they are right that they are not being forced to write anything.

What is important to us is to reverse the shameful course being pursued by America. It won't be easy but it must and can be done.

Ontological questions are generally beside the point hardly more than a form of harassment.

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

If you get to a point where the existing institutions will not bend to the popular will you have to eliminate the institutions.

Isaiah Berlin described the intellectuals of [Mikhail] Bakunin's "Red bureaucracy" as a "secular priesthood.

Silicon Valley benefits as all of industry from highly protectionist policy - patent policies and things like that - which come out of the government.

One of the benefits of a properly functioning democracy is minority rights and majority rule.

There are many cases around the world in which the presence of UN peace-keeping forces has had a somewhat beneficial effect.

The general principle is that the victors don't look at themselves or concede anything. The defeated typically have to except when it's beneficial to the powerful for them not to.

I think there are real possibilities of reaching out to many of the Trump voters those who voted for Obama believing his rhetoric.

Individuals in a university - students faculty staff - can choose to become politically engaged and a free university should foster a climate in which those are natural choices.

The labor movement can be rebuilt as has happened before after sharp declines.

There is nothing more mysterious about the concept human nature than about the concept bee or chicken nature at least for those who regard humans as creatures in the biological world.

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.

The book [Manufacturing Consent] itself is then devoted to a series of case studies selected we hope [with Edward Herman] to offer a fair and in fact rather severe test of those conclusions.

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

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

There are two problems for our species' survival - nuclear war and environmental catastrophe - and we're hurtling towards them. Knowingly.

We need not stride resolutely towards catastrophe merely because those are the marching orders.

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

In America the professor talks to the mechanic. They are in the same category.

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.

The new crimes that the US and Israel were committing in Gaza as 2009 opened do not fit easily into any standard category"?except for the category of familiarity.

Part of the population of Laos lives in urban centers Vientiane being the largest.

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

Nicaragua was destabilizing Central America meaning moving in a direction the US didn't like. So Nicaragua was crushed.

Its true that contemporary technology permits decentralization it also permits centralization. It depends on how you use the technology.

What the polls don't tell you is though other polls do is that if you do a study of CEOs top executives in corporations they're liberal.

The press is owned by wealthy men who only want certain things to reach the public.

As long as nuclear weapons exist the chances of survival of the human species are quite slight

If something is repeated over and over as obvious the chances are that it is obviously false.

Humans may be destroying their chances for decent survival. It won't kill everybody but it would change the world dramatically.

If we move toward the weaponisation of space we can bid farewell to the planet. The chances of survival are very slight.

You keep plugging away--that's the way social change takes place. That's the way every social change in history has taken place: by a lot of people who nobody ever heard of doing work.

Humans have certain properties and characteristics which are intrinsic to them just as every other organism does. That's human nature.

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

The Irish sea is a chasm and it just depends who's been holding the whip for 800 years and who's been under it for 800 years.

In the universities cheap vulnerable labor means adjuncts and graduate students.

The childcare tax credit makes some sense.

If we choose we can live in a world of comforting illusion.

The worst terrorist crimes going on right now are the drone campaigns.

Citizenship means every four years you put a mark somewhere and you go home and let other guys run the world. It's a very destructive ideology.

Governments are supposed to lie to their citizens.

Civil disobedience is - it's no fun.

If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise we don't believe in it at all.

When I wrote about the Spanish Civil War many years later I used documents that I picked up when I was a child as a lot hadn't been published (a lot more resources are available now).

If you claim to have a theory that deduces unexpected consequences from nontrivial principles let's see it.

My family was mostly unemployed working class.

This is class war on an international scale and power is in the hands of those who control the international economic system.

We don't use the term 'working class' here because it's a taboo term. You're supposed to say 'middle class ' because it helps diminish the understanding that there's a class war going on.

The human digestive and visual systems did clearly evolve over a very long period.

I hope that a move toward clemency with Judge Afiuni would be a step towards the importance of maintaining a properly functioning justice system.

The two countries [Pakistan and India] have already come close to nuclear confrontation twice and this could get worse. So dealing with the relationship with India is extremely important.

But on the contrary Wikileaks is under heavy attack by the government and corporations are participating in that by closing down their websites.

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?

While the state can coerce with some exceptions (like North Korea) it seems to me misleading to think of it as capable of "enslavement.

As the capacity to coerce declines it is natural to turn to control of opinion as the basis for authority and domination - a fundamental principle of government already emphasized by David Hume.

The IMF economists were doubtless shaken by the extreme failures of their prescriptions over many years and by the collapse of the intellectual edifice of economic theory on which they were relying.

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

Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

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

The call for debt cancellation is welcome but debt does not just go away.

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

For the powerful crimes are those that others commit.

The U.S. is off the spectrum in religious commitment.

I choose to live in what I think is the greatest country in the world which is committing horrendous terrorist acts and should stop.

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.

It's very common for the victims to understand a system better than the people who are holding the stick.

I don't see much use in general slogans. Sometimes it is worth resisting evil with lesser evil very commonly in fact.

While language can surely be used for communication (as can much else) communication probably has no special role in its design or evolution.

The American escalation of the war in Laos provoked a response by the Communist forces which now control more of Laos than ever before.

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

If you're in a system where you must make profit in order to survive. You are compelled to ignore negative externalities effects on others.

The syntactic component of a grammar must specify for each sentence a deep structure that determines its semantic interpretationand a surface structure that determines its phonetic interpretation.

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

The internet could be a very positive step towards education organisation and participation in a meaningful society.

Concentration of wealth yields concentration of political power. And concentration of political power gives rise to legislation that increases and accelerates the cycle.

In a society that has very high concentration of capital in a narrow sector of the population that's going to influence everything in different ways.

A corporation is a state created institution state supported institution its concentration of private power there is no reason why it should have the rights of persons.

Growth is a funny sort of concept. For example our GNP increases every time we build a prison. Well okay it's growth in a sense...

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.

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

The United States happens to be the only state in the world that has been condemned by the World Court for international terrorism.

Under the worst conditions horrendous conditions people still you know fight for their rights and don't just succumb.

The term "intellectual" is used conventionally to refer to people who happen to have unusual opportunities in this regard and as always opportunity confers moral responsibility.

For many of the world's conflicts it is difficult even to conjure up a feasible settlement.

The basic principle rarely violated is that what conflicts with the requirements of power and privilege does not exist.

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

What's called "liberal" in the intelectual culture means highly conformist to power but mildly critical.

The intellectual world is deeply conformist... We talk a lot about the crimes of others. When it comes to our own crimes we are nationalists in the Orwellian sense.

There is kind of a fundamental conformity which is a virtual requirement to enter into the media.

Another problem is the confrontation with India. Pakistan just cannot survive if it continues to do so (continue this confrontation).

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.

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

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

People are capable of seeing the deceit they're ensnared in. They just have to make the effort.

Anti-union propaganda has been considerably more successful here [ in the U.S.] than in Europe even among working people who would benefit [from] unions.

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

The capacity to transfer production elsewhere is a weapon against the Western workers.

The one state/two state debate is irrelevant as Israel and the US consolidate Greater Israel.

Universities are less constrained by authority and rigid doctrine in the United States than in most other societies to my knowledge.

There is no reason to accept the doctrines crafted to sustain power and privilege or to believe that we are constrained by mysterious and unknown social laws.

Technology provides means for expression and interchange and so on so yes it should be free and open but there are a lot of constraints on how its used.

Debt is a social and ideological construct not a simple economic fact.

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.

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

You cannot control your own population by force but it can be distracted by consumption.

We're human beings; we're not robots. And face-to-face contact is something totally different than typing a text message and then forgetting about it.

[Internet] is kind of like a hammer. The technology itself doesn't determine how its used. It depends on the social cultural and economic context in which the technology is made available.

Capitalism denies the right to live. You have only the right to remain on the labour market.

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.

In my experience at least the large public universities do not fall behind in fostering creativity and independence; often the contrary.

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.

In fact the capitalist class in the '50s was sort of part of a social contract. It was part of the tenor of the times.

Industrial production of meat makes a huge contribution to global warming.

If there are lessons to be drawn from the sciences then that should be the concern of everyone including scientists to the extent that they can make a contribution.

Control is the source of strategic power.

Governments don't control people like they used to.

If you want to control a population... give them a God to worship

Citizens of the democratic societies should undertake a course of intellectual self defense to protect themselves from manipulation and control and to lay the basis for meaningful democracy.

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.

[Ronald] Reagan bitterly hated unions and wanted them destroyed. This began with the air controllers' strike and went on from there.

The internet since it is publicly created ought to be publicly controlled.

The social system is taking on a form in which finding out what you want to do is less and less of an option because your life is too structured organised controlled and disciplined.

He who controls the media controls the minds of the public.

In the major state capitalists economies Europe and the US it's low growth and stagnation and a very sharp income differentiation a shift - a striking shift - from production to financialization.

It also seems beyond controversy that moral responsibilities are greater to the extent that people "have the resources the training the facilities and opportunities to speak and act effectively.

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.

There's a very committed effort to convert the US into something resembling a Third World society where a few people have enormous wealth and a lot of others have no security.

There are massive efforts on the part of the internet's corporate owners to try to direct it to become a technique of marginalisation and control.

My own feeling is that a corporation has no right to have a political or social influence.

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies.

NAFTA was much more popular among US corporations than GATT because NAFTA is highly protectionist in ways that GATT is not.

Moral cowardice and intellectual corruption are the natural concomitants of unchallenged privilege.

A basic principle of modern state capitalism is that costs and risks are socialized to the extent possible while profit is privatized.

A basic principal of modern state capitalism is that costs and risks are socialized to the extent possible while profit is privatized.

As in the past the costs and risks of the coming phases of the industrial economy were to be socialized with eventual profits privatized ...

The U.S. is different from Europe and other industrial countries.

Workers in different countries can easily be played off against each other.

Pakistan is not a unified country.

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.

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.

Pakistan is not a unified country. In large parts of the country the state is regarded as a Punjabi state not their (the people's) state.

Obama of course outspent McCain.

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

It doesn't matter what we cover it matters what you discover.

I have known people who are working class or craftsmen who happen to be more intellectual than professors.

The internet is something created largely by public funding.

After all the internet originated around 1960 and wasn't privatized until 1995. That's thirty five years in the public domain during the hard creative development period.

The truth is I have absolutely no professional credentials - literally which is why I'm teaching at MIT.

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.

The invasion of Iraq was simply a war crime. Straight-out war crime.

It's fine to criticize somebody else's crimes and misdeeds but you don't talk about your own. The only exception is a country that is defeated. And even that is rather nuanced.

Freedom without opportunity is a devil's gift and the refusal to provide such opportunities is criminal

I get terrific health care.

Our health care is rationed by wealth.

After the first International Days of Protest in October 1965 Senator Mansfield criticized the 'sense of utter irresponsibility' shown by the demonstrators.

Education is not for profit. If you're not in education for profit it's not going to be a fair critique for education.

One might ask why tobacco is legal and marijuana not. A possible answer is suggested by the nature of the crop.

Quite generally international affairs have more than a slight resemblance to the Mafia. The Godfather does not take it lightly when he is crossed even by a small storekeeper.

Technology is basically neutral. It's kind of like a hammer. The hammer doesn't care whether you use it to build a house or whether a torturer uses it to crush somebody's skull.

Our whole educational and cultural system is not designed to provide those intellectual tools so people are often lost and the internet often becomes kind of a cult generator.

The Great Seal was an early proclamation of 'humanitarian intervention ' to use the currently fashionable phrase.

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.

If it's wrong when they do it it's wrong when we do it.

Concision is a technique of propaganda. It ensures you cannot do anything except repeat clichés the standard doctrine or sound like a lunatic.

People who don't accept that doctrinal system they may try to survive in the media but they are unlikely to.

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.

In general I don't think the image of the state as a divinity is very helpful.

If you are not offending people who ought to be offended you're doing something wrong.

I don't want followers.

We don't live in tyrannies you know the king doesn't decide what's legitimate and there's much more freedom than there was in the past.

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

States are violent to the extent that they have the power to act in the interests of those with domestic power

The ideal is to create a completely fragmented atomized society where everybody is totally alone doing nothing but trying to pursue created wants and the wants are created.

Anyone who studies declassified documents soon becomes aware that government secrecy is largely an effort to protect policy makers from scrutiny by citizens not to protect the country from enemies.

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

Discovery is the ability to be puzzled by simple things. Noam Chomsky

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

I doubt that national languages will disappear. In fact to some extent they're becoming more diverse like in Europe.

A war with Pakistan would be an utter disaster.

Unlimited economic growth has the marvelous quality of stilling discontent while maintaining privilege a fact that has not gone unnoticed among liberal economists.

You also have to get beyond that to dismantle the system of production for profit rather than production for use. That means dismantling at least large parts of market systems.

To use the terms that are reserved for official enemies it is the commissars and apparatchiks not the dissidents who are respected and privileged within their own societies.

It's not in doubt that tobacco is far more lethal than hard drugs.

The worst drug of all by far is tobacco; the death toll from tobacco is just overwhelming.

The drones are a terrorist weapon they not only kill targets but also terrorise other people.

Since James Madison day (and long before) there have been constant struggles over "democratic governance".

I don't like the intellectual label.

The desire for hope and change is easily understandable. In many ways it's even more dramatic in Europe.

The European reaction to Obama is a European delusion.

Labor #"? Unions are the leading force for #"? democratization and #"? progress .

The more there is a need to talk about the ideals of democracy the less democratic the system usually is.

The Republican and Democratic Parties are only factions of the Government Party.

Democratic societies can't force people. Therefore they have to control what they think.

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.

The answer to subversion of democracy is more democracy more freedom more justice.

They students have a degree of freedom that nobody else has.

People who call themselves supporters of Israel are actually supporters of its moral degeneration and ultimate destruction.

Democracy is always harmful to elite interests. Almost by definition.

Latin America for the first time in 500 years is moving towards a degree of independence.

Democracy is a danger to any powerful group.

It is reported that about 30% of the world's population is unemployed. That's worse than the Great Depression but it's now an international phenomenon.

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.