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Noam Chomsky’s political philosophies are centered in the idea that corporations, and the government, as infiltrated by corporate interest, commit cold and brutal acts of economic imperialism that lead to genocide, death, and the exploitation of the oppressed. Capitalism is the ideology behind many of the offensive actions to which Chomsky points in his writing. Chomsky, a libertarian socialist, believes that a bottom-up rule will lead to an improved condition for humanity—a condition that stresses the freedom of the individual and the participation of the masses in the decision making process—that is now mostly kept from public consideration by the highly privatized, and often unaccountable, methods in the corporate world. Chomsky asserts that the media serves, as a tool for the in-power economic establishment, to manipulate the minds of the masses into apathy, concerning issues at home and abroad. He points to the growing prison population in the United States as evidence that the poor and undesirable sections of society are held at bay while an increasingly non-humanitarian social framework is implemented through government policy. Chomsky gives many examples of brutal economic manipulation of governments whose resources we seek to exploit along with the human impact these dollar-minded strategies have. While government policy is required for the implementation of the type of society Chomsky advocates, his idea of society holds accountable the monetary infrastructure, which currently runs through the world, wild and free, at the cost of
is central to Chomsky’s view of how the “rabble are kept in line. reductionist model of the world. including the federal government. the American public is often fed trivial and pointless information. big business. Finally. 2000).” 2 . which results in unified political ideology. such as the features of Bill Clinton’s penis or O. as manipulator of ideas and socialization. Instead. 1995.” What seems obvious to Chomsky may be hard to grasp for the so-called brainwashed American who thinks that the press is free and that our society is free. according to Chomsky.J.22). a Propaganda Model and avoids being part of the debate. The following pages consider some of Chomsky’s essential ideological framework and look at those who dispute or ignore what ideas his message brings into focus. To a large extent what we view in our various forms of media. in order to protect the powerful from interference by the lower orders (Rai.everything but the prioritized objective of continued economic prosperity for the wealthy few. unless you understand it (Chomsky. p. p. trade unions and the military (Rai. is. Chomsky’s Ideological Framework “The purpose of the media is to cultivate public stupidity and conformity. 1995.23). I will analyze Chomsky’s major thoughts surveyed during this study.” This theme of media. A 1986 New York Times Gallop poll found that 53 per cent of respondents considered the press to be too often ‘influenced by powerful people and organizations’. thereby propagating a simplistic. “You can’t oppose the specific form of globalization that’s taking place. Simpson’s tabloid style murder trial coverage. It is curious how the press tends to focus on only a few things at a time.
as 3 .” Chomsky enjoys mocking the pretence of benevolence and profundity. something any American economist will tell you is perfectly healthy for our economy and the society that functions within the parameters of this model. is the grass-roots organization of the masses to bring alternative forms of media to the public. benign bloodbaths ignored and nefarious bloodbaths passionately condemned (Rai. is the dissemination of facts that contradict the Propaganda Model on which the American public is fed. but instead encourages his audience to think for themselves.27). but of market forces in a highly unequal society (Rai. say.33). Chomsky says that the absence of certain information and the overemphasis of other kinds of ideas comprise a propaganda model that is then used as a method of maintaining the consent of the public. Central to his strategy. while not providing enough solution-oriented thought. Even within the realms of community radio and public access television. thereby allowing a certain irony to develop. the establishment takes measures to restrain the availability of such forums. Thinking for one’s self is central to the requisite skills needed to overcome the various forms of propaganda brought to the public by media. Chomsky therefore seeks not sell people his own form of propaganda.“The first-order predictions of the Propaganda Model are that constructive blood baths will be welcomed in the media. It can be said that one of the obvious solutions that he makes available. 1995. Kuwait or Kosovo. 1995 p. which gives the reader the opportunity to form their own opinions.” Propaganda itself is determined by the demands of the market. Chomsky is often criticized for bringing too much emphasis to the many criticisms he makes available. p. “The Propaganda Model is a ‘guided-freemarket’ model in which thought control is the product not of violence and terror. which is often the kind of propaganda used to justify an invasion of.
be faced with the struggle between the organized social force of freedom seekers and the dominating oppression force our economic framework advocates. whereas previous distribution had covered the entire valley. however in the end the mysterious committee that initiated the change was able to implement its desired policy. Cox restricted the distribution range of public access television shows to towns within the Phoenix metropolitan area. This change for the worse was fought by the various members of the public access user community. Chomsky makes the case that our prison population is the highest in the world and that to keep people in jail is a way to keep undesirables from bothering the process of wealth production. but also the oppressed in general. One could easily suspect that as society began to effectively organize against the forces of propaganda a line would be formed. Cox Communications stipulated that television shows that had previously networked between the various studios and their respective regions shall be limited to work only within the studio indigenous to their licensed region. sooner or later.evidenced by the examples of the restricted low power radio station licenses and the limitation Cox communications has made on public access television via the influence of political action committees (Byrd. more stringent measures will undoubtedly become apparent in the form of social conflict between the masses and the quickly proliferating police/riot control force. Our society will once again. Social awareness is kept in an inept state while the forces of capitalism proliferate at the expense of not only the working class. In addition. 1994). which would be the focus of conflict. This action if effect limited the viewing audience to 1/8 of its previous distribution. When passive control of the mind ceases to be an effective tool. One such line that is becoming increasingly more defined is that between 4 .
” Chomsky refers to these individuals in positions of ideological authority.S. The secular priesthood backs the mainstream academic establishment and awards those who mimicry their ideological framework and seek to shape those who fall outside of it. The new Interior Secretary is using the idea of required fire prevention as a catalyst to implement this change (The Olympia. who knock down non-traditional ideology that may manifest in the original thinking mind.U. the radical environmentalists are making headlines by proceeding with inhibitory measures such as tree spiking. When this subject matter was discussed on an essay exam.15). The student then lost all interest in the political program at A. Thus. Feb. often influence the realm of academia. to some extent. This then represents one example of a student trying to assert ideas that are not generally accepted by mainstream academia and suffering as a result. as the “secular priesthood. whose ability to mold the thought of the human mind serves as a tool for the powerful elite. 1999. such as in political science (McGilvray. Their authority remains undisputed as they portray themselves as experts in behavior. including the academic establishment in the social sciences. Already. “Chomsky’s political works and speeches are typically not welcomed by those in positions of authority and power (‘managers’). 2001). (For example. members of this secular priesthood. an Arizona State University professor Keating taught a 300 level American Government course that briefly examined the role of secret society in politics. and never again took the optional essay exam so as to maintain an 5 . Professor Keating slammed the topic and severely reduced the test score the student received.radical environmentalist and the now active push by Bush’s administration to harvest more trees from the Northwest region.” Often these individuals use their authority to control the minds of others. p.
or driving a taxi cab (Rai.) “A talented young journalist or a student aiming for a scholarly career can choose to play the game by the rules. “As the physicists are busy engineering the world’s annihilation. In a non- 6 .” It is little wonder that Chomsky’s work is well received by his intended audience of the workers. The student argues unrelentingly with the instructor about the nuances of the war and thus ultimately fails the class for refusing to regurgitate the ideas of the instructor. or to choose an independent path. This phenomenon is characterized by a secular faith or an unreasoning allegiance to one’s indigenous people or nation’s characteristic of tribal society. p. the social scientists can be entrusted with the smaller mission of engineering the world’s consent (Modgil.240). with the likelihood of a minor post as a police reporter or in a community college.” This statement is derived from Orwell’s fascination with totalitarian systems’ ability to instill beliefs that are firmly held in place. unionists. It is unfortunate that members of the secular priesthood can continue to stifle the minds of students who have a genuine interest in the realm of the social sciences. in spite of obvious facts that are plainly at variance with the world around us. even though the evidence available to us is so rich (McGilvray.272). p. 1999.P. This professor’s brother was Charles Keating. military involvement. p.S. with the prospect of advancement to a position of prestige and sometimes even a degree of power. 1995).” “Orwell’s problem is to explain why we know and understand so little. vilification and abuse. Example #2 The author takes an entry-level political science class during the time of the Gulf War.42. 1987.A.adequate G. The instructor talks about the press correlated ideals of the war every day of the semester and never deviates from the position of support for U. and students. exclusion from major journals.
you have the whole Iran-Contra affair. Newspeak is propagandized ideas that slant a story to advocate national interests so as to appear aesthetically acceptable. For example. What is required of the freedom seeker is a means of “intellectual self defense” that will allow the mind a mechanism to translate the misinformation and propaganda into a plausible story that makes sense. which is very effective. is a good example of a puppet dictator. Most individuals do not bother to question the information that is disseminated through the various forms of media and therefore fall into the hypnotic trance of preexisting assumptions that determine social ideology. in fact sold weapons to Iraq and had “positive” relations with Iraq that centered on building up Iraq’s military. who was then leading the country of Nicaragua. and was thus removed from his post via U.S. Bush and the families constituents. Enter into the picture the story of Iraq-gate. Noriega. when in fact our interest in the region centered on an economic concern related to the oil reserves at stake and how this could adversely effect business relations tied to George W. To complicate matters more. George Bush in fact said that the U.S.totalitarian democracy the masses are coerced into a passive allowance of non-violent thought control.S. who let power go to his head. which shows via documents stored at the National Security Archive. interests were at stake. military intervention. as is evidenced by how few choose to act in disobedience. military industrial complex then profits from the sale of arms 7 . your not paying attention. during the Persian Gulf War conflict we portrayed our interest in the region as one of benevolence to the people of Kuwait. If you’re not angry. which shows that we also sold weapons to Iran to fund the Contra “freedom fighters.S. It would appear that the U.” which was another covert operation in Nicaragua. that the U. says the bumper sticker on the car of the left wing radical.
coercion and authority over society. the defense of individual liberty from centralized power. “For Chomsky. communist.152. military involvement in the gulf war.S.S.183. “Libertarian socialists want a transformation of society from below. 1996). 1999). p.” 8 . and fascist alike. In fact. many of the above governmental procedures were illegal. when the majority of pawns in your society are wearing “support our troops” stickers. and to limit our social and moral choices is to violate our nature. The public is highly disengaged from the processes that shape U.to all parties involved in the above-mentioned scenarios. economic interests. solidarity with those suffering from oppression (Wilkin. The propaganda that our opposition to Sadam’s aggression is the reason for the gulf war does little to convey a complete understanding of the many factors that led to U. An innate moral organ is incompatible with a philosophy which licenses social control. however the politicians who make these decisions are seldom held accountable for their behavior. a movement towards self-management in the economy.S. Chomsky suggests that a reorganization of the decision making process from the bottom up will be key to implementing a more democratic process for U. opposition to all forms of centralized power and illegitimate authority. a federated social and political system organized around a system of councils. war games and the political and economic institutions that centralize power. capitalist. The possibility of malleability of the kind beloved of politicians. could be taken to “eliminate the moral barriers to coercions…. (Smith p. humans need to be free to develop in whatever way maximizes the potential of that innate endowment. Thinking for one’s self requires the objectivity to interpret nationalistic propaganda as such.
” I’m not sure what is wrong with being too smart and elegant with how once presents argumentative ideas.” Chomsky is published worldwide via the Internet and other forms of media. but evidently Coker finds it objectionable. If the Library Journal denounces the writing of Chomsky. The Political Thought of Noam Chomsky. 1987.277). 1987.Dissent against Chomsky “Chomsky argues that American schools discourage independent thinking and are more interested in controlling students and catering to the wishes of those who have wealth and power.” This statement precedes the suggestion that libraries. 2000. But even here. even of an academic nature. In the 1980’s a book of essays was compiled that addressed many of the ideas that Chomsky has made available for public consideration. Chomsky on Miseducation. too restrictive and in its use of such concepts as the ‘CIA-Pentagon Gulag’ and ‘atrocity management’ simply too chic (Modgil. “Chomsky may have no prescriptive advice to offer. p. Coker strives to make the comparison that the mandarin is still preferable to the commissar. however time has shown Coker’s pretence to be 9 . p. Chomsky quickly goes off the mark and steers the discussion to American foreign policy (Christner.83). in a time when some cold war propaganda still filtered into the minds of the meek. p.277). Chomsky is attacked from a right wing perspective. but the fact that he is published in the United States and still maintains a following is important in itself (Modgil. In the essay. by Christopher Coker. should avoid purchasing the recent Chomsky publication. it would seem to substantiate his claims about the suppression of non-conventional ideas than refute them. most likely because it attacks some of his personal views. “Chomsky’s approach is too polemical.
Coker points to this in his essay with the statement: “Like Kurt Vonnegut in Slaughterhouse Five he is strongly of the opinion that the strategic bombing of Germany by the democracies was an even greater crime than the Holocaust. Chomsky makes many statements concerning the importance of grass-roots media activism via radio. Further. it would seem that this fascist attempt at suppression borders on the exact ideology that assisted in the sweeping of undesirables into concentration camps. It is true that many complain of Chomsky’s lack of advice as to how one may remedy the problems he presents. 2000). Perhaps Coker doesn’t like thinking for himself.” Recently a New York-based Jewish newspaper questioned whether Chomsky’s views ought to be expressed in public at a democracy conference at Windsor.mostly irrelevant. One of the errors on which Chomsky’s critics like to focus attention is his defense of the French Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson’s right to speak. small publications and public access television. However. both 10 . The Irony seems to be that Chomsky himself has always been an avid member of the Jewish community. Further. “The Anti-Defamation League has monitored his talks and maintained a large file on Chomsky that they have provided to his critics.” More recently Chomsky has been attacked by passionate supporters of Israel for his statements concerning the polices of Israel towards Palestine. and “Americans for a Safe Israel” and other extremist groups have organized protests at his appearances (Herman. Clearly the bottom up organizing force only needs to be further mobilized in order to spread the message of dissent and awakening. it is one of Chomsky’s contentions that the use compiled facts to show irony is a tool he uses to allow the audience to draw their own conclusions.
while we continue to demonize Sadam as a Hitler figure. relations were mutually beneficial. as the various scenarios are far too complex and lacking in information to analyze with definitive certainty.with European Jews.S.S. military intervention elsewhere. ignores. An increase in centralization of power seems to be where global politics are going and only point further to what Hitler called a new world order. My original conclusion: The world we live in today is the product of thousands of years of patriarchal domination and suppression of the masses. With all this and more being said. It was ultimately agreed that there are plenty of atrocities going on in the world. mentally inept and Japanese Americans during World War 2.S. Conclusion It is obvious that the arguments found against Chomsky were much weaker than the extensive information that supports and analyzes his ideas in a positive light. We must raise public awareness to the blind alley we have been led down and seek to correct this flawed 11 . Long and ugly emails between myself and a very logical Chomsky hater in Boston have forced constructive analysis of information relating to Chomsky’s arguments. which the U. however my opponent ultimately felt that this only argued for increased U. Iran was once considered our arch enemy during the late 70’s when the hostage crisis was being drug out. however our relations with Iran have improved as we continue to conduct oil related business. the war in the Persian Gulf and the events leading up to it were extensively researched in order to substantiate the claim that the U. dissention minded. For instance. ultimately it came down to what one chooses to believe. Gypsies.S. did not act in benevolence and contradicted previous claims that Iraq and U.
pollution and decimation. 12 . population reduction. The outcome of continued domination and suppression of freedom will inevitably lead to our destruction and therefore must be averted in the very near future or else we face extinction of the human species.modality of pathological existence. or just plain continuation of mass destruction.
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