Talk:Noam Chomsky

Active discussions


FYI, I asked prof. Chomsky to take a brief look at this page (22:21, 25 May 2005 revision), and the full Hebrew translation of it that I prepared, and he replied approvingly (also replied approvingly about the wiki concept in general). BTW, he was also asked to look at the wikipedia article(s) some months ago, see w:Talk:Noam_Chomsky/Comments_from_Chomsky, the revision that he looked at was one of the less crazy ones, by comparative standards, I think... iddo999 01:09, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)


If anyone wishes to translate this page to other languages, like I did into Hebrew, it would be great... but it's a tedious task... a more modest option would be to translate a small part of it, and so maybe it would get others to join and translate the rest... iddo999 01:09, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

'any dictator..' quoteEdit

Anyone knows the source of this quote? "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the [U.S.] media."

Upon further investigation, it seems to be a fake, even though it's widespread on the internet, and not unlike other things he does say. Unless I find a source for it, it should either be removed, or put in a 'misquotations' section. If anyone knows anything about this quote, please post a comment here... thanks... iddo999 01:09, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Mystery solved, it seems. The full quote is: "The uniformity and obedience of the media, which any dictator would admire, thus succeeds in concealing what is plainly the real reason for the US attack, sometimes conceded openly by Administration spokesmen." (Turning the Tide postscript, Sec. 2.3). In theory it might be true that he said the rephrased quote too, e.g. in a talk he gave around the time when the book was published (1985), but anyway, this is pretty much the same quote. iddo999 08:12, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

wikiquote as a press sourceEdit

Some right-wing loony (who cannot read properly) has used quotes that I collected/transcribed for an op-ed titled "WWNCD? What Would Noam Chomsky Do?" - all quotes taken from this wikiquote article, but citing the individual sources for each, without mentioning wikiquote... Not sure what's the circulation of this w:Washington Examiner newspaper, but it seems pretty big. Perhaps when wikiquote grows further, we could have something similar to w:Wikipedia:Wikipedia as a press source. iddo999 6 July 2005 19:37 (UTC)


The way it's organized right now, the 'United States' subsection only contains quotations related to foreign policy, and the politics&economics sections contain quotations related to domestic issues, even if they're primarily/exclusively about the United States. It's probably a good idea to have the broad politics&economics section, so that it'd be easier for others to contribute quotes and put them there, but please don't add boring quotes... iddo999 12:51, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

problem with one of the external linksEdit

I think there's a problem with the link [[Latest ZNet forum replies by Chomsky]] in the external links section. I get the following error:

WebBoard Error: Invalid Board You must specify a valid board using the following syntax: For example: Note: Cooking may or may not be a valid board. It is used for the example only.

Cookies Turned Off?

You may have also received this page after attempting to log into WebBoard. If this is the case, be sure that your browser is set to accept cookies.

If you have any questions, please email the WebBoard Administrator.

Alex 14:18, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

Hmmm... Did you first follow the 'log in as a guest' link at the technical note on the top of the page, and then clicked on the guest button there? And after that, if you try the forum links they still go to an error page, you might need to press f5 or ctrl+f5 on the error page in order for it to refresh (but it's usually not needed with the default refresh settings of browsers, I think). It's true that some time ago the forum was down, but it's working fine now when I tried it... iddo999 14:42, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
I don't see any 'log in as a guest' link at the top of the page. I tried it on another computer and another browser and I have the same problem. It just shows me what I pasted above, with no links. Alex 14:47, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
At the top of the article's page, not this discussion page. I put it there in 'bold text', above the table of contents. iddo999 14:54, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
It's working now. Sorry, I didn't notice that on top of the article. Thanks. Alex 14:58, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
Note that there's also a "blog" at, which features excerpts from the forum replies. Too bad that they often remove the questions asked for these excerpts, which makes it seem loose... I remember that I read an interview with Chomsky where he was asked what he thinks about his blog, and he said that he doesn't know what a blog is... iddo999 15:33, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

source requestedEdit

Quoting article:

  • Regarding 9/11 conspiracy theories: "Even if it were true, which is extremely unlikely, who cares? It doesn't have any significance. It's a little bit like the huge energy that's put out on trying to figure out who killed John F. Kennedy. Who knows? And who cares? Plenty of people get killed all the time, why does it matter that one of them happened to be John F. Kennedy? If there was some reason to believe that there was a high level conspiracy, it might be interesting. But the evidence against that is just overwhelming. And after that, if it happened to be a jealous husband, or the mafia, or someone else, what difference does it make? It's just taking energy away from serious issues onto ones that don't matter. And I think the same is true here; it's my personal opinion."


1 bevezető 4:06 / 22 MB - magyar
2 Strength of movements 7:42 / 31 MB - English
3 Disorganisation 3:24 / 19 MB - English
4 Contradictions.avi 4:03 / 22 MB - English
5 New word order 17:26 / 98 MB - English
6 Undermining democracy 21:06 / 114 MB - English
7 Manipulating_media 12:36 / 72 MB - English
8 Postcapitalist vision 11:11 / 64 MB - English
9 Social change 3:56 / 22 MB - English
10 Consumerism and control 11:45 / 66 MB - English
11 Achieving change 2:56 / 15 MB - English
12 Tactics and consequences 5:52 / 31 MB - English
13 Sytems of control 2:03 / 10 MB - English
14 Personal motivation 4:56 / 27 MB - English

I would like to know the exact source for this quote, the ref'd page is a Hungarian page featuring 14 film fragments. Who can help? :Mick2 14:45, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

It's in part6, the biggest one, sorry:) But if I remember correctly, the rest of that part is also interesting, about who controls social movements in relation to the world social forum. There used to be a much smaller mp3 audio link with the whole thing, which would have been better as a source link, but it's not available anymore i think. iddo999 15:33, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
Another source is the following clips on YouTube (actual quote is contained in part two of the video): [1] (part one) [2] (part two). Sslop 22:35, 11 August 2006 (UTC)


Guys, no offense here, but the number of quotes here is far too much. Other far more significant figures and issues get a lot less coverage. Face it, whether you like Chomsky or not, he's, at most, a marginal figure in US and world politics.

  • Therefore,, you should add more quotes in the pages of the other far more significant figures. iddo999 16:57, 29 November 2005 (UTC), what does number of quotes per page have anything to do with significance of the person? Even if we had concrete definitions of "significant" and "marginal", it'd still be nonsense - it amounts to arbitrarily censoring unpopular views.

KAL 007 QuoteEdit

Someone needs to shorten this or split it up into quotes, its over a page long and hardly counts as a quote.

It's actually a quite heavily abridged excerpt from a speech, but I agree that calling it a quote would be a big stretch. IMHO a "quote" here should include everything that's relevant to make the point, for the benefit of the reader. In this case I tried to retain as little as possible by keeping (what seemed to me to be) the relevant parts, and trimming everything else with ellipses. You can listen to the recording and see that it's much longer with everything included. Also note that besides this one, there're several other long excerpts on this page. You can also search wikiquote for earlier discussions about length, here's one from 2005. I disagree with you that it should be shortened, unless you can point out to parts that aren't significant enough for making the point there. And I think that splitting it would be confusing for the reader in this case, because then you wouldn't be sure in what way some parts relate to others. Another possible option is to transfer it to wikisource (perhaps after adding what's missing in the ellipses), but that's not my preferred option. iddo999 11:09, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Negative QuotesEdit

Why are there so many negative quotes from other people about Chomsky? I've looked at other wikiquote pages, and in them I don't see pages of insults towards him. Should I be adding more insults on other wikiquote pages? 04:37, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

I've been collecting these negative quotes. The idea is that when you put all these clowns together, it makes them look even more insane than when reading their comments individually (in their cult forums, including forums such as NYTimes), because they contradict each other. Liberals are the most amusing I'd say, e.g. this contradiction: "For him, intentions do not seem to matter. Body count is all." versus "To focus on intentions is to prolong a futile clash of inflamed self-righteousness". Some of the right-wing comments (e.g. Steven Plaut) are actionable, but Chomsky doesn't care for libel lawsuits on libertarian principles. So you probably won't be able to find this level of negative comments about people who aren't libertarians in this sense, but anyway please don't add insults on other pages because of what you see on this page. iddo999 05:52, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

I have no idea what you are thinking, but inserting quotes from software designers and wikipedians into the negative quotes just clutters up the page. There is absolutely no need for all these negative quotes. Why don't you just make a separate page for it if you're just going to make this serve as a compendium for negative quotes from every source possible? -- 09:10, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Moving the entire 'about' section into a separate page might be a good option, though there are bigger wikiquote pages than this one. My preference is to leave it as it is, for now (but if the page gets bigger, I think that this option would be the first thing to consider). BTW in case I wasn't clear, positive (and neutral/indefinite) quotes are welcome too, of course. iddo999 04:58, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Christopher HitchensEdit

What is he doing in the 'right-wing' section? Fys. “Ta fys aym”. 18:31, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

He is a self-described neo-conservative, though InvisibleSun also added a quote in the left-wing section from the time he was a self-described socialist/Trotskyite. iddo999 07:12, 26 November 2006 (UTC)


He has refused to be called a neoconservative. He is an independent libertarian and a marxist, and he is a great admirer of Noam Chomsky.

Quotes about sectionEdit

Is there any reason this section, particularly toward the end (i.e. the non-politically-defined segment, although many of the individuals have publicly asserted political attachments), is so overwhelming negative? Surely it would be just as easy to craft it to be overwhelmingly positive, and thus a balanced (or near balanced) account should not be difficult to attain in this instance? 19:29, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

My mistake, just saw a relevant earlier response; I would suggest that, while I understand this wikipedian's intentions, it would be nice to include more neutral / positive quotes, as many I believe will take away an effect other than the one desired. 19:32, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

where is this quote in full length?Edit

google has a hit for the search

" Well yeah, there are other alternatives. For example, the alternatives that are favored by the overwhelming majority of the population of the United States" : :

"Noam Chomsky - Wikiquote- Well yeah, there are other alternatives. For example, the alternatives that are favored by the overwhelming majority of the population of the United States. ... - 362k - [in cache] - [similar sites]"

, but the "in cache"-version does not show the text, which can be seen under the search-hit. Maybe the cache-version is regarding an older version of this site (if yes, which one?), or the full quote is more in the end of the site, because it seems to me, as if the cache-version does not search/mark the whole site, as the colouring of words stops at one point, even if below are more words, which were included in the search-question.

I have looked up the normal version of this site, but as it is so long, maybe the quote is still actually on it and I only can't find it, but others might know where it is. - —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) March 25, 2008 at 21:21 (UTC)

It's there, to be found in the section United States in the quote which begins "I think the basic question you ask is a good one." (If your computer has a word search function, you can find this quote, as I did, by putting in a key word like "alternatives.") - InvisibleSun 21:33, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Oh, yes, I see - thank you!

Quote from Bin-LadenEdit

Does the Counterterrorism Blog qualify as a legitimate source?

I guess not:) Why don't you look for a better source that contains the full transcript? (iirc I originally saw it here). iddo999 18:04, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

10 April 2008 Iddo999 .. (expand1 -1)Edit

hi, Iddo999,
thanks for expanding the 'propaganda'-q.
It seems (iinm) that you also deleted the 'biggest terror'-quote, without explanation. Why? --Wda 17:19, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

It's quite boring as it is, because it doesn't have any context (iirc it might be possible to add a paragraph from The Political Economy of Human Rights book that contains this quote, and that would make more sense). Also, it's a pretty much a dupe of other quotes that are already on this page, e.g. "... led by the world champion". Also, you should place quotes in chronological order (1969 < 1992). Also, I think the 'United States' section would be better than the 'Wars' section for such a quote. iddo999 18:04, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Breaking out separate pagesEdit

The point of breaking out collections of quotes from specific works into separate pages is to avoid having a single huge page with a melange of everything. For example, look at William Shakespeare. We have a page on his miscellaneous quotes or quotes from minor works, and separate pages for each of his major plays. The quotes from the major plays are not duplicated on the main page. It should be the same for Understanding Power and The Chomsky Reader. By the way, is Understanding Power a book or a blog? Cheers! BD2412 T 05:38, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

It's a book containing a collection of various talks with extensive footnotes.
One problem with removing quotes is that the separate articles are divided by books, while this page is divided by topics. So if you're looking for a quote on a specific topic, how could you tell in which subpage to look? iddo999 05:58, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Well you could have a note in the topic saying "see also Understanding Power" (perhaps the pages on the individual books could use some section dividers, which would allow you to pipe the link directly to the relevant section). The same applies to selections which are included in Wikisource. BD2412 T 06:11, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
In the concrete case of Understanding Power, following your suggestion now (by adding a note in each of the relevant sections saying "see also ...") would look pretty terrible I'd say:( iddo999 06:26, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Aesthetics are entirely a matter of opinion, but I'm sure if you experiment with the possibilities you can achieve something satisfactory. It would not be an issue if the page were organized chronologically, or if the page were not so long as to be problematic for people with slow computers. BD2412 T 07:45, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

splitting the pages up and removing understanding power quotes from this page may have a nice cosmetic effect, but i wonder if it makes sense. i'm tired, so bear with me: understanding power isn't a "major play" or even a chomsky work, it's basically a giant quotes page unto itself. like, if shakespeare went around answering questions, we wouldn't split it into "shakespeare" and "stuff shakespeare Q&A sessions that happened to be overheard and transcribed into a book." it's a convenient excuse. the real "sources" for everythign in understanding power are a bunch of audio tapes we can't get.

also, chomsky tends to repeat himself, so if we want to remove the Understanding quotes from here, i bet half of the remainder can also be found in Understanding power (since it's also a collection of quotes). and then we'll have more on the understanding power page than here, which is contrary to the point of a quotes page.

fully in favor of shrinking and/or moving the about chomsky section. —This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .

Communism - BolshevismEdit

Michael Parenti's comment about what appearently has said about communism is simply false. Chomsky is always careful to refer to Soviet communism as BOLSHEVISM; unlike the media and pretty much all intellectual culture, he won't condemn the communist ideology because of the actions of a regime that merely claimed to adhere to communism. Now, I'm not suggesting that this quote should be removed, after all it is Parenti's mistake, I just wanted to maek you aware.—This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .

The source link goes to zmag forum where Chomsky responded to that, but the newer zmag website doesn't seem to allow free access to these older forum links. I can email the forum replies linked as sources to anyone who's interested. ~ iddo999 13:40, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Everything Andrew Sullivan said is a complete lie. He has no proof that Chomsky ever supported the Soviet Union, no proof that he ever supported a tyrannous regime, or has ever told deliberate lies consistently or that he is anti-american or that he makes millions of dollars fanning hatred of America. In fact that statement is contradictory. Let's say he makes millions fanning anti-americanism. Why is he fanning anti-americanism abroad? Why is he making millions doing so? That must mean that Chomsky's views on foreign policy are correct. Which in turn, means his criticisms are legitimate. That makes him a patriotic american trying to stop crimes of the US government and in turn, making Americans safer from terror.


I have restored cleanup tag to this article because the following issues need to be addressed:

  1. Format – In the "Quotes about" section, citations should be bulleted beneath the quotes, not inline.
  2. Structure – I agree with this assessment that the organization of subsections is inappropriate. Chronological order with grouping by works is becoming standard practice.
  3. Quotation length – More than two dozen of the "quotes" exceed the 250 word length of quotes limit.

Regarding items 2 and 3, it should be borne in mind that Wikiquote's purpose is not to analyze a body of work or to cover a thesis. ~ Ningauble 14:31, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

  1. I don't have a strong opinion regarding bulleted citations for the 'about' section. It's just that it'd make the page longer (in terms of the number of lines), so if someone who cares about this issue would go ahead and add the bulleted citations, I might go over the 'about' section and delete a few of the more boring quotes that I put there.
  2. There's a difference between standard practice and mandatory practice. Also, within each section the quotes are in chronological order (as you probably already noticed). I expressed my (positive) opinion regarding division to subjects here.
  3. This has been discussed several times, see e.g. this VP discussion (which also links to previous discussions).
  4. I moved the cleanup tag to the talk page. Hopefully that's ok with everyone? ~ iddo999 18:46, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Vote for deletion resultEdit

  This article was preserved after a vote for its deletion.
See its archived VfD entry for details.

Per the strong consensus of the community as expressed in the deletion discussion, lengthy quotes on this page need to be removed to Wikisource or broken into smaller quotes. BD2412 T 16:14, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Chronology workEdit

As the layout of this page has long been neglected, I will probably attempt to begin putting these quotes into standard chronological arrangements and sections sometime within the next week or so. I will label it with an {{inuse}} tag when I do begin, but once started it still might well take me at least a day or two before I finish. ~ Kalki (talk · contributions) 16:44, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

Hi Kalki, it took me about three hours (and another 1.5), but I guess this is not the real issue. That cleanup tag cannot last for ever. Something has to be done about it, and tonight I made a (new) start. I think a lot can be done to further improve this article, such as.
  1. Extracts of the (sub) Wikiquote articles about Chomsky's mayor publication can be add in the chronological structure...
  2. ... and also quotable text from other highly cited books/articles
  3. Theme's can be stipulated by adding wiki-links to words in the text
  4. The section about Chromsky should be cleaned up as well, but how?
  5. All 233 external links should be checked if they are still working.
  6. Most sources in the section about Chromsky are incomplete, and must be completed (because those external links eventually will become unstable).
If the proponents of the thematical structure want to keep it like it was, it seems like a good idea that they recreate the whole article in Wikibooks. Mdd (talk) 01:12, 11 March 2013 (UTC) / 02:46 / 10:25 / 12:24, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
I applaud any efforts at cleaning this up into more standard formatting, and had actually done extensive work on the page on and off for several days around the time of that note, but eventually abandoned the effort without ever having posted much, and I might look over my previous files and see if I can salvage any portions of them — but it might take me time to do that, as they were done on another computer than the one I am using here. ~ Kalki·· 07:29, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Kaki, I had already run into the cleanup tag on this article a couple of times, and your note here was a final motivation to get started. It seems there is still a lot to be done, see the listing in my above comment. -- Mdd (talk) 10:25, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Great work - looks very good. As to one of your above questions regarding the 'About' section, I would remove the subheadings and sort the quotes alphabetically by their author/speaker. ~ UDScott (talk) 13:35, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I now also rearranged the section with quotes about Chromsky, and updated the list. -- Mdd (talk) 12:24, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
Hi there. There is/was absolutely no reason to put this page in chronological order. Quotes divided by subject were much better. This new order makes it much more difficult to find what you are looking for. The dates actually don't make a difference, because Chomsky is so old, something quoted in 2005 could have been originally written in 1992, what difference does it make if he happens to repeat it again in 2005? And the quote itself could be about any time period.. I will change it back unless there is strong opposition. 23:59, 15 March 2013‎ (Talk)‎
  • Please don't change it back. Already in 2009 is explained that "the organization of subsections is inappropriate. Chronological order with grouping by works is becoming standard practice" (see #Cleanup). This chronological order is now introduced. -- Mdd (talk) 00:21, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Yes, please don't change it back. One reason we avoid subject headings is because it tends to introduce subjective opinions about the intent or significance of the author's words. ~ Ningauble (talk) 16:08, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
Fine, but now this page is disorganized & impossible to read, and for no benefit.

Incomplete source info - Cleanup tagEdit

After the article was rearranged a year ago, the cleanup tag wasn't removed, because almost all quotes have incomplete source info. The source info is based on a weblink, which could become unstable in a year or so. In Wikiquote each article needs weblink independent source info, so if the weblink goes death only the link can be removed and not the whole quote (because it has become unsourced).

In order to add the required source info, almost every source should be checked, and source info updated or rewritten. As example I just made a start, see here. -- Mdd (talk) 12:04, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

On second though I removed 2009 clean-up template. If I am not mistaken, most of 2009 issues have been solved. The only thing required is modification of (almost all) the source info, which doesn't really count as cleanup, but much appreciated modification. I do think, that source info based on dead-links can be classified as partly sourced/unsourced, and moved to the unsourced section on the talk page. -- Mdd (talk) 14:07, 23 May 2014 (UTC)


  • Education is a system of imposed ignorance.
    • Noam Chomsky Manufacturing Consent [3]
  • It just doesn't matter much what you think, what your subjective judgement is, about the possibilities of making progress. Whether you think they're great or whether you think they're dim, you can do the same thing, try. See how far you can go. Otherwise, you're saying okay I want the worst to happen.
    • Noam Chomsky - November 16th, 2012 - Message for activists and the future generations [4]
  • Social and political issues in general seem to me fairly simple; the effort to obfuscate them in esoteric and generally vacuous theory is one of the contributions of the intelligentsia to enhancing their own power and the power of those they serve.
    • Language and Politics, p. 345
  • "There are plenty of things that are unknown, but are assumed reasonably to exist, even in the most basic sciences. Maybe 90 percent of the mass-energy in the universe is called “dark,” because nobody knows what it is."
  • "I'm what's called here a "secular atheist," except that I can't even call myself an "atheist" because it is not at all clear what I'm being asked to deny.
  • On the ordinary problems of human life, science tells us very little, and scientists as people are surely no guide. In fact they are often the worst guide, because they often tend to focus, laser-like, on their professional interests and know very little about the world.
    • The Reality Club: Beyond Belief <ref></ref>

Quotes about Noam Chomsky requiring editorial workEdit

Quotations do not specify source outside of link

  • Reading Failed States, I had an epiphany: that by applying a Chomskian analysis to his own writing, you discover exactly the same subtle textual biases, evasions and elisions of meaning as used by those he calls 'the doctrinal managers' of the 'powerful elites'. The mighty Chomsky, the world's greatest public intellectual, is prone to playing fast and loose. It is important to recognise this fact because the Chomskian analysis has become the defining dissident voice of the blogosphere and a certain kind of far-left academia.
  • Reading Chomsky is like standing in a wind tunnel. With relentless logic, Chomsky bids us to listen closely to what our leaders tell us--and to discern what they are leaving out. The answers become clear enough, he says. The catch is they won't be the ones we want to hear. [...] Chomsky, as he often does, has a voice problem. He is shrill and sarcastic--chiefly because he's angry with what he sees as rampant American hypocrisy. [...] If there is anything new about our age, it is that the questions Chomsky raises will eventually have to be answered. Agree with him or not, we lose out by not listening.
  • Representatives of the governments of the world, good morning to all of you. First of all, I would like to invite you, very respectfully, to those who have not read this book, to read it. Noam Chomsky, one of the most prestigious American and world intellectuals, Noam Chomsky, and this is one of his most recent books, 'Hegemony or Survival: The Imperialist Strategy of the United States.' It's an excellent book to help us understand what has been happening in the world throughout the 20th century, and what's happening now, and the greatest threat looming over our planet.
  • If the Palestinians accept the solution that professor Chomsky finds unacceptable, will he use his enormous resources as the most influential intellectual in the world today to turn the Palestinians against this peace proposal, or will he lend his great prestige to urging the Palestinians, and his academic supporters all over the world, to accept a pragmatic compromise solution. Professor Chomsky, a lot turns on you. You're a very important and influential person, and therefore you'd understand your power, and use it in the interests of peace.
  • Chomsky's truly great contribution to the struggle for human freedom is that he has taken what we have been persuaded to believe is an insane idea, a product only of individual neurosis - the idea that society is not free and quite possibly not even sane - and shown it to be empirically, demonstrably true; he has provided the vital support for the individual to be able to declare him - and herself - sane against the insanity of society, despite a million voices declaring that it is the occasional doubter who is mad.
  • There's a humbling insight into the US pretension of occupying the moral high ground in Chomsky's work. Part of what he's saying is true. Objectively viewed, the United States isn't the victim but in many contexts, including its response to terrorism, the perpetrator. [But he's] so preoccupied with the evils of US imperialism that it completely occupies all the political and moral space, and therefore it's not possible for him to acknowledge that even without intending to do so, some US military interventions may actually have a beneficial effect.
  • Noam Chomsky, the Dr. No of the hate-America crowd, is accused (by his own fans, of all people) of playing a little too fast and a little too loose with the facts in his latest screed, "Failed States." Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor for the London Guardian, writes that he wants to agree with Dr. No but can't find many reasons to in this latest book.
  • Regarding his personal character traits the most outstanding is that he is absolutely faithful, which is something very few people possess... Professor Chomsky will never betray you, never, it is impossible.
  • Noam Chomsky, one of America's greatest philosophers and linguists...
  • ...the problem lies in Chomsky's description of Serb atrocities as "quite real" and "often ghastly". "Quite real ' is a cop-out for very real. Atrocities "sharply escalated" after Nato's bombardment, he says, but does not explain what these were: mass executions, rape, torture. The index refers to "atrocities" in Africa, Columbia, East Timor and Turkey without the appearance of "Serbia".
  • It's hard to imagine any American reading this book and not seeing his country in a new, and deeply troubling, light.
  • Sneering critics like Noam Chomsky, who condemn the executioners of thousands only in passing, would not hesitate to honour the vengeful feelings of Palestinians subjected to Israeli occupation. They have no standing.
  • [Noam Chomsky has] become the guru of the new anti-capitalist and Third World movements. They take his views very uncritically; it's part of the Seattle mood - whatever America does is wrong. He confronts orthodoxy but he's becoming a big simplifier. What he can't see is Third World and other regimes that are oppressive and not controlled by America.
  • For all the propaganda of al Jazeera, the wounded pride of the Arab Street, or the vitriol of the Western Left, years from now the truth will remain that our soldiers did not come to plunder or colonize, but were willing to die for others’ freedom when few others would. Neither Michael Moore nor Noam Chomsky can change that, because it is not opinion, but truth...
  • I tell you who opened up my eyes up a whole bunch, is a guy named Noam Chomsky...pours information into your head; it is interesting, fascinating and documented. He is the eighth most quoted man in history - we're talking Socrates, Shakespeare, and this guy packs a wallop.
  • The Americans' very conviction that their goals are good blinds them to the consequences of their acts. To focus on intentions is to prolong a futile clash of inflamed self-righteousness; to focus on behavior and results could get us somewhere. I detect in Professor Chomsky's approach, in his uncomplicated attribution of evil objectives to his foes, in his fondness for abstract principles, in his moral impatience, the mirror image of the very features that both he and I dislike in American foreign policy. To me sanity does not consist of replying to a crusade with an anti-crusade. As scholars and as citizens, we must require and provide discriminating and disciplined reasoning on behalf of our values.
  • [Bush Administration neoconservatives are] the ones who broke nearly every precedent of foreign policy in the post-Cold-War world. They're the ones who chose preventative war over international law. That's what I view as destructive, not Noam Chomsky pointing it out.
  • Chomsky's hatred of the United States is pathological -- stemming from some bilious problem with father figures that is too fetid to explore.
  • Noam Chomsky, who is an inexhaustible fount of anticommunist caricatures, offers this comment about Leninism: "Western and also Third World intellectuals were attracted to the Bolshevik counterrevolution because Leninism is, after all, a doctrine that says that the radical intelligentsia have a right to take state power and to run their countries by force, and that is an idea which is rather appealing to intellectuals." Here Chomsky fashions an image of power-hungry Leninists, villains seeking not the revolutionary means to fight injustice but power for power's sake. When it comes to Red-bashing, some of the best and brightest on the Left sound not much better than the worst on the Right. [...] According to Noam Chomsky, communism "was a monstrosity," and "the collapse of tyranny" in Eastern Europe and Russia is "an occasion for rejoicing for anyone who values freedom and human dignity." I treasure freedom and human dignity yet find no occasion for rejoicing. The postcommunist societies do not represent a net gain for such values. If anything, the breakup of the communist states has brought a colossal victory for global capitalism and imperialism, with its correlative increase in human misery, and a historic setback for revolutionary liberation struggles everywhere.
  • The most striking fact is how consistently people with anything at all to say about language feel the need to strike some attitude for or against Chomsky's ideas. It's a big problem.
  • He embraces no ideology, and supports no revolution. His critics charge he is wedded to a simplistic view of the world, based on imaginary conspiracies, and yet, as the essayist Brian Morton wrote recently, 'many Americans are no longer convinced that our Government has the right to destroy any country it wants to, and Chomsky deserves much of the credit.'
  • Chomsky revived ideas that really had been kind of dormant since the Enlightenment of what is a human like and how does that tie in to our political arrangements, and the way we conceptualize humans in the broadest sense.
  • I want Noam Chomsky to be taught at universities about as much as I want Hitler's writing or Stalin's writing. These are wild and extremist ideas that I believe have no place in a university.
  • Interestingly, not every person in the democratic West is overjoyed at seeing Syrian fascism at last challenged. Noam Chomsky, the MIT inventor of now-discredited theories of linguistics, is determined to defend and perpetuate Syrian colonization of Lebanon, no matter how many Lebanese lives it costs. His reason? He insists Syrian occupation of Lebanon is necessary as a way to prevent those evil Israelis from doing horrid deeds in Lebanon, like attempting to protect their citizens from terrorist attacks launched out of Lebanon.
  • ...the self-indulgent and auto-congratulatory Noam Chomsky, arguably one of the most virulent anti-Semitic Jews you can hope to encounter. His endless diatribes on what he wants you to believe to be the horrible treatment of the Palestinian people at the hands of the cold-hearted Israeli oppressors are unparalleled in literary hyperbole. Unfortunately, he doesn’t offer one shred of evidence to back this up. He invites you to join him, the consummate Jewish intellect, in collective snobbery by simply accepting (because you are so frightfully well-educated as he is) that what he says is so. I have yet to see one single person stand up and ask, “Dr. Chomsky, what is the evidence for this?” Should this take place, hopefully there will be a paramedic team standing by to resuscitate him.
  • Chomsky is an irresistible example of the quality problem that besets the market for academic public intellectuals.
  • For Chomsky, the world is divided into oppressor and oppressed. America, the prime oppressor, can do no right, while the sins of those categorized as oppressed receive scant mention. Because he deems American foreign policy inherently violent and expansionist, he is unconcerned with the motives behind particular policies, or the ethics of particular individuals in government. And since he considers the United States the leading terrorist state, little distinguishes American air strikes in Serbia undertaken at night with high-precision weaponry from World Trade Center attacks timed to maximize the number of office workers who have just sat down with their morning coffee.
  • Just imagine, he says, the policies that such an Iraq would be likely to pursue: "The Shiite population in the south, where most of Iraq's oil is, would have a predominant influence. They would prefer friendly relations with Shiite Iran." He wrote those words in January 2006. A year and a half later, the United States tolerates a sovereign, more or less democratic Iraq whose Shiite government is friendly toward Iran. If Bush is pursuing imperialism in Baghdad, it is of a very curious sort.
  • [Hegemony or Survival describes] a world in which, chronology be damned, 9/11 seems like an understandable response, if not justifiable one, to our attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • Even a quarter of the evidence he had compiled would have been enough to convince me. I used to wonder why he needed to do so much work. But now I understand that the magnitude and intensity of Chomsky's work is a barometer of the magnitude, scope, and relentlessness of the propaganda machine that he's up against. He's like the wood-borer who lives inside the third rack of my bookshelf. Day and night, I hear his jaws crunching through the wood, grinding it to a fine dust. It's as though he disagrees with the literature and wants to destroy the very structure on which it rests.
  • [Noam Chomsky] seems to feel licensed to forget or distort the truth whenever it suits his polemical convenience. He begins as a preacher to the world and ends as an intellectual crook.
  • Chomsky says America is a warring country seeking to build an empire, not a liberator trying to achieve peace, freedom, and democracy.
  • Chomsky pointed out after 9/11 that the US has also committed atrocities, some quite recently. His critics reply that this was in poor taste. Whether there is a grain (or a bushel) of truth in these criticisms, you’ll have to decide for yourself. I’m too much of a partisan to pronounce. But even if you decide to toss out 25 percent or 50 percent or 75 percent of Chomsky’s charges against American foreign policy, that still leaves quite a tidy pile of unnecessary suffering that the United States is responsible for. And it’s your country.
  • It is tempting to follow a policy of malign neglect toward Chomsky's latest screed. But ignoring the book may foster the false impression that Chomsky's revelations are somehow too explosive to be challenged in a major newspaper. A far wiser course is to point out the inconsistent arguments and shrill assertions that are Chomsky's contribution to the public debate. [...] It would be unfortunate if Chomsky's momentary popularity overshadows infinitely more reasoned critiques of Bush administration policies. There are serious questions that should be weighed as America girds for final war against Saddam Hussein and dispatches military advisers to nations like the Philippines. Chomsky and his camp followers do not have a monopoly on dissent. The best response to the frenzied e-mailed dispatches from this left-wing crank remains public disclosure and ridicule.
  • I think that I offended many people when I decimated the postures and the lies of Noam Chomsky in an article I wrote called "Poisoning the Well in Academe." That wasn't a conservative screed on my part. That was a liberal's devotion to the truth, and the exposure of a liar, a person who assaults the mind by putting in false evidence.
  • I'm not a pacifist. And I am not one of those people, like Noam Chomsky, with whom I have agreed on some points, I don't agree on this point, who believes that all uses of American imperial power are by definition wrong. I suppose in fact I might be called, in a certain stretch, a liberal imperialist. I believe there are times when great powers can intervene to prevent atrocities, and should.
  • One of our great voices for some time now for peace in the world is Noam Chomsky. I've never seen his name in the 'New York Times' in any context other than linguistics of which he's a professor at MIT.
  • When Noam Chomsky was merely the most original, arresting, and widely talked-about linguistic theorist in America, he was never referred to as a leading American intellectual. That came only after he expressed his outrage over American involvement in the war in Vietnam, about which he knew nothing, since he read The Nation instead of Parade. It was the outrage that gained him entry into that “charming aristocracy,” to borrow the words of Catulle Mendès. Or as Marshall McLuhan once put it, “Moral indignation is a standard strategy for endowing the idiot with dignity.”
  • He seems both wholly cynical about the purposes of those in power, and wholly unforgiving. Those who direct American policy - and, by implication, those who direct the policy of any state - are allowed no regrets, no morals, no feelings, and when they change their policies they appear to do so for entirely Machiavellian reasons. Chomsky has little interest in the question of 'good in bad' - of how there can be good behaviour in the context of bad policies - and seems to deny the complexity of human affairs...
  • His focus, almost exclusively, has been on U.S. foreign policy, a narrowness that would exert a conservative influence even for a radical thinker. If urging increased involvement in politics goes against the potentially subversive tide toward less and less involvement, Chomsky's emphasis on statecraft itself gravitates toward acceptance of states. And completely ignoring key areas (such as nature and women, to mention only two), makes him less relevant still.

Optimism QuoteEdit

I couldn't find the source of this quote:

"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.

If you assume there is no hope, you guarantee there will be no hope. If you assume there is an instinct for freedom, there are opportunities to change things, there's a chance you may contribute to making a better world.

The choice is yours."

I emailed him, and he said it "Sounds like me".

Not sure the best way to add it...

Hope, freedom and change quoteEdit

"If you assume that there is no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, that there are opportunities to change things, then there is a possibility that you can contribute to making a better world".

I was going to add this quote but I'm not sure of when Chomsky first said it or when it is first quoted to him.

On AZ Quotes it is attributed to Noam Chomsky, Heinz Dieterich (1999). “Latin America: from colonization to globalization”, Ocean Pr.

However, on the website (which is used on this page to quote other Chomsky quotes), in an interview with Fred Branfman, he says he saw the quote in the January 1997 issue of Wired, seen here . However, I cannot find any online evidence to verify this claim, nor am I sure if this is the first publication of this quote.

Can someone please add this quote and a citation with where the quote first originated please? Many thanks in advance, Helper201 (talk) 00:37, 14 April 2020 (UTC)

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