Quotable: Noam Chomsky on anti-government propaganda

“Encouraging anti-tax sentiment has long been a staple of business propaganda. People must be indoctrinated to hate and fear the government, for good reasons: Of the existing power systems, the government is the one that in principle, and sometimes in fact, answers to the public and can constrain the depredations of private power.

“However, anti-government propaganda must be nuanced. Business of course favors a powerful state that works for multinationals and financial institutions–and even bails them out when they destroy the economy.

“But in a brilliant exercise in doublethink, people are led to hate and fear the deficit. That way, business’s cohorts in Washington may agree to cut benefits and entitlements like Social Security (but not bailouts).

“At the same time, people should not oppose what is largely creating the deficit–the growing military budget and the hopelessly inefficient privatized healthcare system.

“It is easy to ridicule how Joe Stack and others like him articulate their concerns, but it’s far more appropriate to understand what lies behind their perceptions and actions at a time when people with real grievances are being mobilized in ways that pose no slight danger to themselves and to others.”

–Noam Chomsky, “Rustbelt Rage”

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6 Responses to Quotable: Noam Chomsky on anti-government propaganda

  1. chris says:

    During the last election I listened to a harperdrone go on about lowering Canada’s corporate taxes so that we can compete internationally. Wrong, I know, but they’ll never admit that.
    Wonder what they’ll make of this?

  2. That brand of competition is what’s otherwise known as “a race to the bottom”. Mexico has a major murder zone right in the same location as all those tax-haven factories. A malign coincidence, I’m sure.

  3. Slave Revolt says:

    Chomsky nails it.
    It works like a charm.

  4. kevin says:

    Noam Chomsky isn’t an economist. He’s a pseudo-intellectual who passes for an intellectual to other pseudo-intellects who won’t bother to critically evaluate his ridiculous proof-by-assertion statements and nauseatingly vague all-you-can-eat word salad.

  5. And you have that on WHAT authority, exactly? Come on, “kevin”-with-a-small-k, you smarmy little hillbilly from Atlanta, let’s hear YOUR claim to eminence. I can hardly wait!
    BTW, nobody SAID Chomsky was an economist; he’s a linguist. But he knows bullshit when he hears it, and can decipher it better than you, obviously. Which is why he’s a world-recognized authority in that field, and still teaching at MIT. If you had any reading comprehension, you could have seen that he was talking about propaganda, not economics. But thanks, “kevin”, you are so going on my wank-list this week.

  6. kb says:

    Comments to Kevin:
    “Noam Chomsky isn’t an economist.”
    So? What does this have to do with him knowing about the economy? My friend who is an economist says that most everything Chomsky says regarding the economy is correct, and is surprised at his level of knowledge about the economy, regardless of the fact that he’s not an economist.
    “He’s a pseudo-intellectual”
    This statement pretty much disqualifies anything further you may have to offer. But if you can demonstrate that he is this, by all means, have go at it. Never been done before, as I have been researching this very thing for 20 years, but you might surprise me. Evidence?
    “who passes for an intellectual to other pseudo-intellects who won’t bother to critically evaluate his ridiculous proof-by-assertion statements and nauseatingly vague all-you-can-eat word salad.”
    Now THIS is exactly the sort of statement which would come from someone who knows nothing about Chomsky, but, in a display of his own pseudo-intellectual weakness, tries to sound like he knows what he’s talking about. Let me ask you a single question. Have you read ONE Chomsky book? And I don’t believe in psychics, so please don’t tell me that don’t need to because you already know what he’s all about. This will give me an unfair advantage of demonstrating just how much you don’t. I mean, it’s for your benefit, Kevin.

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