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Noam Chomsky

Find the best quotes, maxims and aphorisms of: Noam Chomsky

Biography : American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, political activist and social critic.
Born: 1928
Period:
21st century
20th century
Place of birth: United States
United States
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Noam Chomsky - Quotes





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Citizens of the democratic societies should undertake a course of intellectual self defense to protect themselves from manipulation and control.
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If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all.
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As soon as questions of will or decision or reason or choice of action arise, human science is at a loss.
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The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.
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Real education is about getting people involved in thinking for themselves.
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Propaganda is to democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.
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The only justification for repressive institutions is material and cultural deficit. But such institutions, at certain stages of history, perpetuate and produce such a deficit, and even threaten human survival.
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If there was an observer on Mars, they would probably be amazed that we have survived this long.
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If you are working 50 hours a week in a factory, you don't have time to read 10 newspapers a day and go back to declassified government archives. But such people may have far-reaching insights into the way the world works.
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The principle that human nature, in its psychological aspects, is nothing more than a product of history and given social relations removes all barriers to coercion and manipulation by the powerful.
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The public is not to see where power lies, how it shapes policy, and for what ends. Rather, people are to hate and fear one another.
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The major advances in speed of communication and ability to interact took place more than a century ago. The shift from sailing ships to telegraph was far more radical than that from telephone to email!
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I remember at the age of five travelling on a trolley car with my mother past a group of women on a picket line at a textile plant, seeing them being viciously beaten by security people. So that kind of thing stayed with me.
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In many respects, the United States is a great country. Freedom of speech is protected more than in any other country. It is also a very free society.
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I am opposed to the accumulation of executive power anywhere.
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The government of Israel doesn't like the kinds of things I say, which puts them into the same category as every other government in the world.
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Resistance is feasible even for those who are not heroes by nature, and it is an obligation, I believe, for those who fear the consequences and detest the reality of the attempt to impose American hegemony.
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The Bible is one of the most genocidal books in history.
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In the late 1990s, some of the worst terrorist atrocities in the world were what the Turkish government itself called state terror, namely massive atrocities, 80 percent of the arms coming from the United States, millions of refugees, tens of thousands of people killed, hideous repression, that's international terror, and we can go on and on.
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We can, for example, be fairly confident that either there will be a world without war or there won't be a world - at least, a world inhabited by creatures other than bacteria and beetles, with some scattering of others.
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Wanton killing of innocent civilians is terrorism, not a war against terrorism.
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Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever.
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Concentration of executive power, unless it's very temporary and for specific circumstances, let's say fighting world war two, it's an assault on democracy.
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Education must provide the opportunities for self-fulfillment it can at best provide a rich and challenging environment for the individual to explore, in his own way.
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In the US, there is basically one party - the business party. It has two factions, called Democrats and Republicans, which are somewhat different but carry out variations on the same policies. By and large, I am opposed to those policies. As is most of the population.
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The internet could be a very positive step towards education, organisation and participation in a meaningful society.
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In the literal sense, there has been no relevant evolution since the trek from Africa. But there has been substantial progress towards higher standards of rights, justice and freedom - along with all too many illustrations of how remote is the goal of a decent society.
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The 'anti-globalisation movement' is the most significant proponent of globalisation - but in the interests of people, not concentrations of state-private power.
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In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than just ideals to be valued - they may be essential to survival.
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Real popular culture is folk art - coalminers' songs and so forth.
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