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April 24, 2011

Noam Chomsky Essay Explains Most of the Last Seventy Years

Noam Chomsky is a philosopher and linguist (how can you be either without the other?) with some distinct political views, mostly focused on American foreign policy. His post, Is the World Too Big to Fail? The Contours of Global Order, is a compelling read (that attempts to explain most of the past seventy years).

A few key assertions by Chomsky:
  • identification of the "Grand Area" strategy of Western hegememony
  • The U.S. and Western allies will do whatever they can to prevent authentic Arab democracy
  • In the real world, elite dislike of democracy is the norm.
  • Adam Smith hoped that capitalists would be guided by a home bias, tolerating lower returns in their home nation than they would abroad, so that as if by an invisible hand England would be spared the ravages of economic rationality.
  • the Iranian threat is one of destablization of Western economic interests
  • Elections have become a charade, run by the public relations industry.
  • Real unemployment is at Depression levels for much of the population, while Goldman Sachs is richer than ever. Propaganda must seek to blame others, such as public sector workers, their fat salaries, exorbitant pensions, and so on: all fantasy, on the model of Reaganite imagery of black mothers being driven in their limousines to pick up welfare checks.
  • In the long run, ecology trumps economics.
  • Systemic risk in the financial system can be remedied by the taxpayer, but no one will come to the rescue if the environment is destroyed. Business leaders conduct propaganda campaigns to convince the population that anthropogenic global warming is a liberal hoax understand the threat, but they must maximize short-term profit and market share.

There is sufficient food for thought for an Easter Sunday in there.


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