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


Predatory capitalism created a complex industrial system and an advanced technology; it permitted a considerable extension of democratic practice and fostered certain liberal values, but within limits that are now being pressed and must be overcome. It is not a fit system for the mid-twentieth century.

NOAM CHOMSKY, Language and Freedom

That is what I have always understood to be the essence of anarchism: the conviction that the burden of proof has to be placed on authority, and that it should be dismantled if that burden cannot be met.

NOAM CHOMSKY, Language and Politics

The main purpose of advertising is to undermine markets. If you go to graduate school and you take a course in economics, you learn that markets are systems in which informed consumers make rational choices. That's what's so wonderful about it. But that's the last thing that the state corporate system wants. It is spending huge sums to prevent that.

NOAM CHOMSKY, speech, Jan. 26, 2005

I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom.

NOAM CHOMSKY, Language and Politics

The war is simply an obscenity, a depraved act by weak and miserable men, including all of us who have allowed it to go on and on with endless fury and destruction -- all of us who would have remained silent had stability and order been secured. It is not pleasant to say such words, but candor permits no less.

NOAM CHOMSKY, introduction, American Power and the New Mandarins

Today, the Republican Party has drifted off the rails. It's become what the respected conservative political analysts Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein call 'a radical insurgency' that has pretty much abandoned parliamentary politics.

NOAM CHOMSKY, "Chomsky: Republican candidates represent serious danger to human survival", The Dawn, February 3, 2016

You know, we have little bits of understanding, glimpses, a little bit of light here and there, but there's a tremendous amount of darkness, which is a challenge. I think life would be pretty boring if we understood everything. It's better if we don't understand anything ... and know that we don't, that's the important part.

NOAM CHOMSKY, interview in Cardiff, Wales, UK, March 11, 2011

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

NOAM CHOMSKY, Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda

Responsibility I believe accrues through privilege. People like you and me have an unbelievable amount of privilege and therefore we have a huge amount of responsibility. We live in free societies where we are not afraid of the police; we have extraordinary wealth available to us by global standards. If you have those things, then you have the kind of responsibility that a person does not have if he or she is slaving seventy hours a week to put food on the table; a responsibility at the very least to inform yourself about power.

NOAM CHOMSKY, interview, The Observer, 2003

There will be dire consequences to a GOP victory. What they are saying is, let's destroy the world. Is that worth voting against? Yeah.

NOAM CHOMSKY, "Paul Krugman and Noam Chomsky Agree: Republicans Are A Serious Threat To Humanity", Politics USA, February 2, 2016

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.

NOAM CHOMSKY, attributed, Emotional Intelligence: Managing Emotions to Win in Life

For the powerful, crimes are those that others commit.

NOAM CHOMSKY, Imperial Ambitions

No honest journalist should be willing to describe himself or herself as 'embedded.' To say, 'I'm an embedded journalist' is to say, 'I'm a government Propagandist.'

NOAM CHOMSKY, Imperial Ambitions: Conversations on the Post-9/11 World

State propaganda, when supported by the educated classes and when no deviation is permitted from it, can have a big effect. It was a lesson learned by Hitler and many others, and it has been pursued to this day.

NOAM CHOMSKY, Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda

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--even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.

NOAM CHOMSKY, The Common Good

The debt is being cynically exploited by the far right, with collusion of the Democrat establishment, to undermine what remains of social programs, public education, unions, and, in general, remaining barriers to corporate tyranny.


Education is a system of imposed ignorance.

NOAM CHOMSKY, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media

The media want to maintain their intimate relation to state power. They want to get leaks, they want to get invited to the press conferences. They want to rub shoulders with the Secretary of State, all that kind of business. To do that, you've got to play the game, and playing the game means telling their lies, serving as their disinformation apparatus.

NOAM CHOMSKY, Chronicles of Dissent: Propaganda in the U.S. vs. the U.S.S.R.

[In] Democratic societies ... the state can't control behavior by force. It can to some extent, but it's much more limited in its capacity to control by force. Therefore, it has to control what you think.... One of the ways you control what people think is by creating the illusion that there's a debate going on, but making sure that that debate stays within very narrow margins. Namely, you have to make sure that both sides in the debate accept certain assumptions, and those assumptions turn out to be the propaganda system. As long as everyone accepts the propaganda system, then you can have a debate.

NOAM CHOMSKY, Chronicles of Dissent: Propaganda in the U.S. vs. the U.S.S.R.

There's one white powder which is by far the most lethal known. It's called sugar. If you look at the history of imperialism, a lot of it has to do with that.

NOAM CHOMSKY, lecture at the University of Houston, October 18, 2002

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.

NOAM CHOMSKY, "Peace netter", The Guardian, October 16, 2002

The internet could be a very positive step towards education, organisation and participation in a meaningful society. But if you look at the latest figures for internet use, things such as pornography and e-shopping overwhelm everything else.

NOAM CHOMSKY, "Peace netter", The Guardian, October 16, 2002

Labor Unions are the leading force for democratization and progress.

NOAM CHOMSKY, attributed, 1001 Ideas That Changed the Way We Think


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