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Noam Chomsky Quotes

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Quotes by Noam Chomsky - unofficial (managed by his fans)

    "The large part of the media is diversion. Also, there is isolation.
    You wanna make sure everybody is alone. Each person is
    sitting alone in front of the tube. You don’t support one another. You don’t have any organizations where you can get together and try to work things out."
    Noam Chomsky


    — 2 months ago with 166 notes
    #media  #corporations  #noam chomsky 

    "Neo-Liberalism" Is neither "New" nor "Liberal"

    — 4 months ago with 35 notes
    #chomsky  #chomskyvideo  #neoliberalism  #capitalism  #economics  #corporations 
    "The greatest threat to democracy right now is the transfer of decision making into the hands of unaccountable private power."
    Naom Chomsky
    — 4 months ago with 123 notes
    #democracy  #corporations 
    "Corporatization can have considerable influence in other ways. Corporate managers have a duty. They have to focus on profit making and seeking to convert as much of life as possible into commodities. It’s not because they’re bad people; it’s their task. Under Anglo-American law, it’s their legal obligation as well. There’s a lot to say about this topic, but one element of it concerns the universities and much else. One particular consequence is the focus on what’s called efficiency. It’s an interesting concept. It’s not strictly an economic concept. It has crucial ideological dimensions. If a business reduces personnel, it might become more efficient by standard measures with lower costs. Typically, that shifts the burden to the public, a very familiar phenomenon we see all the time. Costs to the public are not counted, and they’re colossal. That’s a choice that’s not based on economic theory. That’s based on an ideological decision, which applies directly to the “business models,” as they’re called, of the universities. Increasing class-size or employing cheap temporary labor, say graduate students instead of full-time faculty, may look good on a university budget, but there are significant costs. They’re transferred and not measured. They’re transferred to students and to the society generally as the quality of education, the quality of instruction is lowered."
    Noam Chomsky (via sombrefan)
    — 6 months ago with 91 notes
    #corporate  #corporations  #ethics  #capitalism  #noam chomsky  #chomsky 
    "But we can - and should - certainly begin pointing out that corporations are fundamentally illegitimate, and that they don’t have to exist at all in their modern form. Just as other oppressive institutions - slavery, say, or royalty - have been changed or eliminated, so corporate power can be changed or eliminated. What are the limits? There aren’t any. Everything is ultimately under public control."
    How the World Works - Noam Chomsky
    — 1 year ago with 105 notes
    #chomsky  #noam chomsky  #corporations  #economics 

    First of all, we have to be careful in the use of terms. When someone says America is in for a long period of decline, we have to decide what we mean by “America.” If we mean the geographical area of the United States, I’m sure that’s right. The policies now being discussed will have only a cosmetic effect. There has been decline and there will be further decline. The country is acquiring many of the characteristics of a Third World society.

    But if we’re talking about US-based corporations, then it’s probably not right. In fact, the indications are to the contrary — their share in manufacturing production, for example, has been stable or is probably even increasing, while the share of the US itself has declined. That’s an automatic consequence of sending productive labor elsewhere.

    Noam Chomsky


    — 1 year ago with 30 notes
    #noam chomsky  #usa  #corporations 
    "Low wages do not appear to have been a major factor in late development, however attractive they may be to TNCs. “Neither Germany nor the United States industrialized by competing against Britain on the basis of low wages,” Amsden points out, and the same was true of Japan, which undercut British textiles in the 1920s by modern production facilities more than low wages. In Germany and other successful economies, labor conditions and benefits are high, by comparative standards."
    Noam Chomsky


    — 1 year ago with 22 notes
    #corporations  #trans national corporations  #noam chomsky 
    "By the way, I am not criticizing corporate executives individually. If one of them tried to use corporate fund to improve working conditions in Indonesia, he’d be out on his ear in three seconds. In fact, it would probably be illegal.
    A corporate executive’s responsibility is to his stockholders - to maximize profit, market share and power. If he can do that by paying starvation wages to women who’ll die in a couple of years because their working conditions are so horrible, he’s just doing his job. It’s the job that should be questioned."
    How the World Works - Noam Chomsky
    — 1 year ago with 72 notes
    #capitalism  #chomsky  #noam chomsky  #corporations 
    "The main way in which aid can “serve our interests” is as an indirect public subsidy for U.S.-based corporations, a fact well understood by business leaders. In the case of India, representatives of the Business Council for International Understanding—a properly Orwellian title—testified before Congress in February 1966 on their problems and achievements. India would “probably prefer to import technicians and know-how rather than foreign corporations,” they noted, but “Such is not possible; therefore India accepts foreign capital as a necessary evil.”"
    World Order - Old and New - Noam Chomsky
    — 1 year ago with 11 notes
    #noam chomsky  #chomsky  #capitalism  #imperialism  #corporations 
    "In U.S. electoral politics, for just one example, the richest one-quarter of one percent of Americans make 80 percent of all individual political contributions and corporations outspend labor by a margin of 10-1."
    Profit Over People 
    — 1 year ago with 39 notes
    #noam chomsky  #corporations 
    "Chomsky may also be the leading critic of the mythology of the natural “free” market, that cheery hymn that is pounded into our heads about how the economy is competitive, rational, efficient, and fair. As Chomsky points out, markets are almost never competitive. Most of the economy is dominated by massive corporations with tremendous control over their markets and that therefore face precious little competition of the sort described in economics textbooks and politicians’ speeches. Moreover, corporations themselves are effectively totalitarian organizations, operating along nondemocratic"
    Profit Over People - Noam Chomsky
    — 2 years ago with 18 notes
    #economics  #corporations  #chomsky  #noam chomsky  #capitalism 
    "The Enlightenment held that individuals should be free from the coercion of concentrated power. The kind of concentrated power they were thinking about was the church, the state, the feudal system, and so on. But in the subsequent period, a new form of power developed — namely, corporations — with highly-concentrated power over decision-making in economic life. We should not be forced simply to rent ourselves to the people who own the country and its institutions. Rather, we should play a role in determining what those institutions do. That’s democracy."
    Noam Chomsky


    — 2 years ago with 70 notes
    Noam Chomsky on intellectual property

    That’s a very interesting question. It has an interesting history. The World Trade Organization, the Uruguay round that set up the World Trade Organization imposed, it’s called a “free trade agreement”. It’s in fact a highly protectionist agreement. The US is strongly opposed to free trade, just as business leaders are, just as they’re opposed to a market economy. A crucial part of the Uruguay round, WTO, NAFTA, and the rest of them, is very strong (what are called) intellectual property rights. What it actually means is rights that guarantee monopoly pricing power to private tyrannies.

    So take, say, a drug corporation. Most of the serious research and development, the hard part of it, is funded by the public. In fact most of the economy comes out of public expenditures through the state system, which is the source of most innovation and development. I mean computers, the internet. Just go through the range, it’s all coming out of the state system primarily. There is research and development in the corporate system, some, but it’s mostly at the marketing end. And the same is true of drugs.

    Once the corporations gain the benefit of the public paying the costs and taking the risks, they want to monopolize the profit. And the intellectual property rights, they’re not for small inventors. In fact the people doing the work in the corporations, they don’t get anything out of it, like a dollar if they invent something. It’s the corporate tyrannies that are making the profits, and they want to guarantee them.

    The World Trade Organization proposed new, enhanced intellectual property rights, patent rights, which means monopoly pricing rights, far beyond anything that existed in the past. In fact they are not only designed to maximize monopoly pricing, and profit, but also to prevent development. That’s rather crucial. WTO rules introduced product patents. Used to be you could patent a process, but not the product. Which means if some smart guy could figure out a better way of doing it, he could do it. They want to block that. It’s important to block development and progress, in order to ensure monopoly rights. So they now have product patents.

    Well if you take a look at, say, US history. Suppose the colonies after independence had been forced to accept that regime. Do you know what we’d be doing now? Well first of all there’d be very few of us here. But those of us who would be here would be pursuing our comparative advantage and exporting fish and fur. That’s what economists tell you is right. Pursue your comparative advantage. That was our comparative advantage. We certainly wouldn’t have had a textile industry. British textiles were way cheaper and better. Actually British textiles were cheaper and better because Britain had crushed Irish and Indian superior textile manufacturers and stolen their techniques. So they were now the preeminent textile manufacturer, by force of course.

    The US would never have had a textile industry. It grew up around Massachusetts, but the only way it could develop was extremely high tariffs which protected unviable US industries. So the textile industry developed, and that has a spin off into other industries. And so it continues.

    The US would never have had a steel industry. Again same reason. British steel was way superior. One of the reasons is because they were stealing Indian techniques. British engineers were going to India to learn about steel-making well into the 19th century. Britain ran the country by force, so they could take what they knew. And they develop a steel industry. And the US imposed extremely high tariffs, also massive government involvement, through the military system as usual. And the US developed a steel industry. And so it continues. Right up to the present.

    Furthermore that’s true of every single developed society. That’s one of the best known truths of economic history. The only countries that developed are the ones that pursued these techniques. The ones that weren’t able… There were countries that were forced to adopt “free trade” and “liberalization”: the colonies, and they got destroyed. And the divide between the first and the third world is really since the 18th century. It wasn’t very much in the 18th century, and it’s very sharply along these lines.

    Well, that’s what the intellectual property rights are for. In fact there’s a name for it in economic history. Friedrich List, famous German political economist in the 19th century, who was actually borrowing from Andrew Hamilton, called it “kicking away the ladder”. First you use state power and violence to develop, then you kick away those procedures so that other people can’t do it.

    Intellectual property rights has very little to do with individual initiative. I mean, Einstein didn’t have any intellectual property rights on relativity theory. Science and innovation is carried out by people that are interested in it. That’s the way science works. There’s an effort in very recent years to commercialize it, like they commercialize everything else. So you don’t do it because it’s exciting and challenging, and you want to find out something new, and you want the world to benefit from it. You do it because maybe you can make some money out of it. I mean that’s a… you can make your own judgment about the moral value. I think it’s extremely cheapening, but, also destructive of initiative and development.

    And the profits don’t go back to individual inventors. It’s a very well studied topic. Take one that’s really well studied, MIT’s involved: computer controlled machine tools, a very fundamental component of the economy. Well, there’s a very good study of this by David Nobel, a leading political economist. What he pointed out and discovered is the techniques were invented by some small guy, you know working in his garage somewhere in, I think, Michigan. Actually when the MIT mechanical engineering department learned about it they picked them up and they developed them and extended them and so on. And then the corporations came in and picked them up from them, and finally it became a core part of US industry. Well, what happened to the guy who invented it? He’s still probably working in his garage in Michigan, or wherever it is. And that’s very typical.

    I just don’t think it has much to do with innovation or independence. It has to do with protecting major concentrations of power, which mostly got their power as a public gift, and making sure that they can maintain and expand their power. And these are highly protectionist devices and I don’t think… You really have to ram them down people’s throats. They don’t make any economic sense or any other sense.


    — 2 years ago with 55 notes
    #noam chomsky  #economics  #property  #capitalism  #corporations  #imperialism