All posts tagged: noam chomsky

Chomsky’s Unearned Prestige

Eric Zuesse A large part of Noam Chomsky’s public image as an intellectual is derived not from his role in the field of linguistics, but instead from his having co-authored with Edward Herman Manufacturing Consent. The first matter to be discussed here will therefore be Chomsky’s contribution to that work; and, more broadly, that work’s contribution to human understanding — the actual significance of the book. Chomsky’s contribution to that 1988 book was to describe the selling of specifically the wars in Vietnam and in adjoining Indochinese nations, according to that book’s main author, Herman’s, theory. That theory was called the “Propaganda model of communication”. It’s the book’s theory, or “model,” of manufacturing consent for wars. According to their book, the practitioners of this model are the public relations or PR profession that sell, to the domestic American public, invasions and military occupations of foreign lands. This is a specialized field of PR. Herman’s theory (or “model”) of political PR (commonly called “propaganda”) for the invasion and control of foreign countries, had, itself, actually already …

Mass Psychosis and The Church of Humanitarian Interventionism

David Penner for The Saker Blog, January 3, 2019 Ask any American liberal aged sixty-five and older what they think about Franco, Mussolini, or Hitler and they will vehemently denounce these men as tyrants, murderers, and despots. Ask them what they think about the Vietnam War and they will say it was a tragedy, not only for the Vietnamese, but for the poor American soldiers who were drafted and used as cannon fodder. Liberals also once defended the civil rights movement and the New Deal while vigorously opposing McCarthyism. That these same people would go on to support de-unionization, re-segregation, and Russophobia while enthusiastically backing barbarous wars and interventions in Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and Ukraine constitutes not only a betrayal of leftist principles, but is indicative of a rejection of reason and the reality-based world. Like the proverbial general always fighting the last war, liberals remain trapped in the past, unable to adapt to rapidly unfolding kinetic developments. The problem is that not only is this general fighting the last war, this is a general …

Book Review: Propaganda Blitz – How Corporate Media Distort Reality

We’ve heard a good deal of late about Western democracy, and I for one don’t knock it. I think it an excellent idea, but wouldn’t it require an informed electorate? And wouldn’t that require a media untainted by power and unfettered by any ties other than to truth? Truth in the sense of accuracy and immunity from entrenched interest; truth in the sense of facts and interpretations offered with neither fear nor favour on matters vital to the common good – like climate change, waging war, and levels of inequality both morally indefensible and socially dysfunctional?

Matthew d’Ancona and his fake news

Philip Roddis from Steel City Scribblings Matthew d’Ancona, in yesterday’s Guardian, is concerned about the threat to democracy from fake news. He wants to see ‘social media giants’ … …legally redefined in a new, third category that radically enhances their accountability for the content they host, without imperilling free political discourse. Striking the right balance in this jurisprudential task will not be easy. But who expected it to be? He also wants… …a new system of “credible annotation of standards, so that people can see, at a glance, the level of verification of a site” – essentially, kitemarking of the sort that is standard in almost every other sector of consumption. I am less sure that the government should “initiate a working group of experts” to oversee this process. If there is one thing worse than what the committee describes as the “wild west” of today’s digital prairies, it is anything that even resembles a Ministry of Truth, or an Oftruth regulator. Better that independent charitable bodies perform this grading task – gaining the public’s …

“Colombia is safe for business, but not for people”: interview with Daniel Kovalik

Murders of trade unionists and social leaders, paramilitary activity, coca production…If we only paid attention to the mainstream media we would not get the idea that these problems are actually growing in Colombia, one year after the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC came into place. To get a better picture and understand how all these elements connect to US policy and corporate interests, we interviewed Daniel Kovalik, a lawyer and human rights activist who has long been involved in the struggle for peace and justice in Colombia.

JFK at 100: The War on Our Heroes Part 2

In the first half of this article, published on JFK’s centenary, I discussed the general degradation of the intellectual and moral character of figurehead politicians, the concomitant societal decay, and whether or not this is a deliberate policy or a by-product of promoting sociopaths above their ability to function.

In this half we will re-examine the death of JFK, not just as a simple assassination, but as an act of psychic-warfare on the general populace, and explore the long-lasting effect on the American psyche.

A Brief History of Mass Theft

by Darren Allen Our institutionalised brand of democracy goes by the name of capitalism. In such a system the word democracy, as Noam Chomsky points out actually means, run by the business classes. If it’s not run by business, it simply doesn’t count as democratic. Capitalist democracy is one in which all capital is privately, albeit indirectly, owned by a tiny club of psychologically stunted monsters. It is a democracy that asks us to vote, every four or five years, for people who have almost zero influence over the totalitarian corporate structures that actually run the planet and in which we spend most of our actual lives; a democracy that can only survive by making its members as stupid, anxious, greedy and hateful as possible so that they continue to vote for the owners and managers who sit at the bottom of the democratic money-funnel with their golden buckets, laughing like this: It’s worth asking, I think, how we could get to such a state. Ask yourself this; what do these six things have in …

The establishment needs to make up its mind: do “false flags” happen, or not?

Just hours after the alleged terrorist attack on a St Petersburg metro station, a BBC news reporter stated (see the video above): Well, there have been demonstrations – political demonstrations – against corruption, and against President Putin and his system…perhaps this is some kind of attempt to distract from the calls for a corruption investigation, and the calls for President Putin himself to step down.” The BBC never uttered a single word about the possible political motives behind any other terrorist attack. Not for decades. Lockerbie, Nice, 7/7, Berlin, the Bataclan, Orlando, 9/11, JFK and the 2001 Anthrax Attacks. Every single attack or assassination has a “possible false flag” theory behind it. Some are extremely likely, others less so. The BBC has given the same exact level of coverage to all of them: zero. There are even proven cases of Governments planning and/or conducting such attacks: Operation Northwoods, The Gulf of Tonkin Incident, the USS Liberty and Operation Gladio. These are all uncontested historical facts. The BBC has given the same exact level of coverage …

The American left and the reality of 911: Beyond their wildest dreams

On November 23, 1963, the day after John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Fidel Castro gave a talk on Cuban radio and television.[1] He pulled together, as well as he could in the amount of time available to him, the evidence he had gathered from news media and other sources, and he reflected on this evidence.

Crumbling Monolith Resents an Angry Public

Nick Cohen’s latest column is headlined: Farage meets Assange in a shameless illiberal alliance, but might more properly be entitled “Why I drink more than I used to, and how it’s all your fault.”

Analysis of the sophistry of Noam Chomsky on 9/11

By Petra Liverani Gatekeeping is the term used to describe the process of deciding which information will go forward and which will not. It is to be expected that the mass media/corporate/government triumvirate are strict and vigilant gatekeepers but what is puzzling, to me at least, is that certain progressive intellectuals, who are generally very critical of that triumvirate and who are regarded as important voices in keeping its members to account, also practise gatekeeping but only on a few, though vitally important, issues. A case in point is the truth about 9/11. The crimes of 9/11 involved a massive conspiracy, planned many years in advance, which have had severe and worsening repercussions; many of us despair and feel quite helpless about what can be done about the spreading of war and terror throughout the globe. However, there is one relatively straightforward action that can be taken, if only the gatekeepers will allow it: “When the big lie regarding the 9/11 attacks is exposed and understood, the legitimacy of America’s military agenda falls like a …

Noam Chomsky on 9/11

There happen to be a lot of people around who spend an hour on the internet and think they know a lot physics, but it doesn’t work like that. There’s a reason there are graduate schools in these departments. Chomsky tells a willing audience the thermite paper by Harrit et al is worthless, and there’s “overwhelming” evidence Bush did not know about the attacks in advance. This is a similar position to that taken up by another respected critic, who regularly “speaks truth to power”, Robert Parry. Many find this approach persuasive and reality-based. Other find it cowardly or disturbing in its uncritical echoing of mainstream views.

Life in a Modern-day Debt Colony: The Truth about Greece

by Michael Nevradakis, via 99GetSmart In May, likely for the first time in the post-war history of the Western world, a national parliament willingly ceded what remained of its country’s sovereignty, essentially voting itself obsolete.  This development, however, did not make headlines in the global news cycle and was also ignored by most of the purportedly “leftist” media. The country in question is Greece, where a 7,500-page omnibus bill was just passed, without any parliamentary debate, transferring control over all of the country’s public assets to a fund controlled by the European Stability Mechanism, for the next 99 years.  This includes all public infrastructure, harbors, airports, public beaches, and natural resources, all passed to the control of the ESM, a non-democratic, supranational body which answers to no parliamentary or elected body.  Within this same bill, the “Greek” parliament also rendered itself voteless: the legislation annuls the role of the parliament to create a national budget or to pass tax legislation.  These decisions will now be made automatically, at the behest of the European Union: if …

Servile Academia vs Revolutionary Philosophy

by Andre Vltchek, Counterpunch Philosophers have been muzzled by the Western global regime; most of great modern philosophy concealed from the masses. What has been left of it, allowed to float on the surface is toothless, irrelevant and incomprehensible: a foolish outdated theoretical field for those few remaining intellectual snobs. Philosophy used to be the most precious crown jewel of human intellectual achievement. It stood at the vanguard of almost all fights for a better world. Gramsci was a philosopher, and so were Lenin, Mao Tse-tung, Ho-Chi-Minh, Guevara, Castro, Frantz Fanon, Senghors, Cabral, Nyerere and Lumumba, to name just a few. To be a thinker, a philosopher, in ancient China, Japan or even in some parts of the West, was the most respected human ‘occupation’. In all ‘normally’ developing societies, knowledge has been valued much higher than material possessions or naked power. In ancient Greece and China, people were able to understand the majority of their philosophers. There was nothing “exclusive” in the desire to know and interpret the world. Philosophers spoke to the people, …

VIDEO: Chomsky on electing the president of an empire

At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., Abby Martin interviews world-renowned philosopher and linguist Professor Noam Chomsky Prof. Chomsky comments on the presidential primary “extravaganza,” the movement for Bernie Sanders, the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal, the bombing of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, modern-day libertarianism and the reality of “democracy” under capitalism.

Noam Chomsky: “What exactly is the threat of Iran?”

The renowned US Foreign Policy critic says there was no need for a deal with Iran. He discusses this with Antonio Mora.

Noam Chomsky Reads the New York Times — Explains Why ‘Paper of Record’ Is Pure Propaganda

From Laos to the Middle East, a roundup of Times stories that piqued the interest of the esteemed scholar