Noam Chomsky Quotes

"The task for a modern industrial society is to achieve what is now technically realizable, namely, a society which is really based on free voluntary participation of people who produce and create, live their lives freely within institutions they control, and with limited hierarchical structures, possibly none at all."

"Democracy requires dissolution of private power. As long as there is private control over the economic system, talk about democracy is a joke. You can't even talk about democracy until you have democratic control of industry, commerce, banking, everything..."

"If the left is understood to include 'Bolshevism,' then I would flatly dissociate myself from the left. Lenin was one of the greatest enemies of socialism, in my opinion, for reasons I've discussed."

The 'conservatives' who are calling for an end to school lunches for hungry children are also demanding an increase in the budget for the Pentagon, which was established in the late 1940s in its current form because - as the business press was kind enough to tell us - high tech industry cannot survive in a "pure, competitive, unsubsidized, 'free enterprise' economy," and the government must be its "saviour."

"Wealth and power tend to accrue to those who are ruthless, cunning, avaricious, self-seeking, lacking in sympathy and compassion, subservient to authority and willing to abandon principle for material gain, and so on."

"People who believe in a better way of life know that the way we live now is criminal. Denial of freedoms, death by starvation and exploitation, denigration of people's capabilities everywhere. If you see that these outcomes are socially produced, then you understand that every person who dies as a result was effectively murdered. Once you accept the possibility of attaining a humanist alternative, you have to be a terrible hypocrite, coward or cynic to live passively with the contrast between what is and what could be."

"If I were to run for president, the first thing I would do is tell people not to vote for me."

"If you go to one demonstration and then go home, that's something, but the people in power can live with that. What they can't live with is sustained pressure that keeps building, organizations that keep doing things, people that keep learning lessons from the last time and doing it better the next time."

"There are no magic answers, no miraculous methods to overcome the problems we face, just the familiar ones: honest search for understanding, education, organization, action that raises the cost of state violence for its perpetrators or that lays the basis for institutional change -- and the kind of commitment that will persist despite the temptations of disillusionment, despite many failures and only limited successes, inspired by the hope of a brighter future."

"If the Nuremberg laws were applied today, then every Post-War American president would have to be hanged."

"For those who stubbornly seek freedom, there can be no more urgent task than to come to understand the mechanisms and practices of indoctrination. These are easy to perceive in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the system of 'brainwashing under freedom' to which we are subjected and which all too often we serve as willing or unwitting instruments."

"There is no reason to accept the doctrines crafted to sustain power and privilege, or to believe that we are constrained by mysterious and unknown social laws. These are simply decisions made within institutions that are subject to human will and that must face the test of legitimacy. And if they do not meet the test, they can be replaced by other institutions that are more free and more just, as has happened often in the past."

"The 'corporatization of America' during the past century [has been] an attack on democracy."

"The most effective way to restrict democracy is to transfer decision-making from the public arena to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern corporations."

" Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the [U.S.] media."

" The U.S. will not permit constructive programs in its own domains, so it must ensure that they are destroyed elsewhere to terminate " the threat of a good example".

" The more you can increase fear of drugs and crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all the people. "