photo of Noam ChomskyPhoto Credit: WikiMedia Commons

Quotes by Noam Chomsky

Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Noam Chomsky. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Noam Chomsky

Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and political activist. Sometimes called "the father of modern linguistics", Chomsky is also a major figure in analytic philosophy and one of the founders of the field of cognitive science. He is Laureate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Arizona and Institute Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and is the author of more than 150 books on topics such as linguistics, war, politics, and mass media. Ideologically, he aligns with anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian socialism.

Born to Jewish immigrants in Philadelphia, Chomsky developed an early interest in anarchism from alternative bookstores in New York City. He studied at the University of Pennsylvania. During his postgraduate work in the Harvard Society of Fellows, Chomsky developed the theory of transformational grammar for which he earned his doctorate in 1955. That year he began teaching at MIT, and in 1957 emerged as a significant figure in linguistics with his landmark work Syntactic Structures, which played a major role in remodeling the study of language. From 1958 to 1959 Chomsky was a National Science Foundation fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study. He created or co-created the universal grammar theory, the generative grammar theory, the Chomsky hierarchy, and the minimalist program. Chomsky also played a pivotal role in the decline of linguistic behaviorism, and was particularly critical of the work of B. F. Skinner.

An outspoken opponent of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, which he saw as an act of American imperialism, in 1967 Chomsky rose to national attention for his anti-war essay "The Responsibility of Intellectuals". Becoming associated with the New Left, he was arrested multiple times for his activism and placed on President Richard Nixon's Enemies List. While expanding his work in linguistics over subsequent decades, he also became involved in the linguistics wars. In collaboration with Edward S. Herman, Chomsky later articulated the propaganda model of media criticism in Manufacturing Consent and worked to expose the Indonesian occupation of East Timor. His defense of unconditional freedom of speech, including that of Holocaust denial, generated significant controversy in the Faurisson affair of the 1980s. Since retiring from active teaching at MIT, he has continued his vocal political activism, including opposing the 2003 invasion of Iraq and supporting the Occupy movement. Chomsky began teaching at the University of Arizona in 2017.

One of the most cited scholars alive, Chomsky has influenced a broad array of academic fields. He is widely recognized as having helped to spark the cognitive revolution in the human sciences, contributing to the development of a new cognitivistic framework for the study of language and the mind. In addition to his continued scholarship, he remains a leading critic of U.S. foreign policy, neoliberalism and contemporary state capitalism, the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, and mainstream news media. Chomsky and his ideas are highly influential in the anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist movements.

Quote: Discovery is the ability to be puzzled by simple things. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of green forest during daytime
Photo Credit: Rural Explorer

Discovery is the ability to be puzzled by simple things.


Quote: It is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the truth and expose lies. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of aerial photo of foggy mountains
Photo Credit: Samuel Ferrara

It is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the truth and expose lies.


Quote: The 'peace movement' exists only in the fantasies of the paranoid. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of person wearing gold and silver round analog watch
Photo Credit: Gilles De Muynck

The 'peace movement' exists only in the fantasies of the paranoid.


Quote: Rational discussion is useful only when there is a significant base of shared assumptions. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Rational discussion is useful only when there is a significant base of shared assumptions.


Quote: It's a near miracle that nuclear war has so far been avoided. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of black semi automatic pistol on gray surface
Photo Credit: Jacob Boavista

It's a near miracle that nuclear war has so far been avoided.


Quote: All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of backdrop
Photo Credit: Tina Dawson

All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.


Quote: The reason academic disputes are so vicious is that so little is at stake. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The reason academic disputes are so vicious is that so little is at stake.


Quote: There is a social responsibility to take care of vulnerable people. It seems that a sensible social responsibility is obligatory education, but also decent education, and that is not happening. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

There is a social responsibility to take care of vulnerable people. It seems that a sensible social responsibility is obligatory education, but also decent education, and that is not happening.


Quote: Organization and education, when they interact with each other, they strengthen each other, they are mutually supportive. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Organization and education, when they interact with each other, they strengthen each other, they are mutually supportive.


Quote: If something is repeated over and over as obvious, the chances are that it is obviously false. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

If something is repeated over and over as obvious, the chances are that it is obviously false.


Quote: The best defense against democracy is to distract people. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The best defense against democracy is to distract people.


Quote: The general population doesn't know what's happening, and it doesn't even know that it doesn't know. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The general population doesn't know what's happening, and it doesn't even know that it doesn't know.


Quote: I don't want followers. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

I don't want followers.


Quote: It doesn't take long to become aware of the presence of the CIA in Laos. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

It doesn't take long to become aware of the presence of the CIA in Laos.


Quote: The fact that all normal children acquire essentially comparable grammars of great complexity with remarkable rapidity suggests that human beings are somehow specially designed to do this, with data-handling or 'hypothesis-formulating' ability of unknown character and complexity. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of Noam Chomsky quote; white text on black background

The fact that all normal children acquire essentially comparable grammars of great complexity with remarkable rapidity suggests that human beings are somehow specially designed to do this, with data-handling or 'hypothesis-formulating' ability of unknown character and complexity.


Quote: If the rewiring of the brain that yielded recursive generation of hierarchically structured expressions took place in an individual, not a group (and there seems to be no coherent alternative), then interaction must have been a later phenomenon. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

If the rewiring of the brain that yielded recursive generation of hierarchically structured expressions took place in an individual, not a group (and there seems to be no coherent alternative), then interaction must have been a later phenomenon.


Quote: The UN to some extent diffuses U.S. power. Therefore it's less direct an agency of the United States than the U.S. Army is. But still, it can't escape the distribution of power in the world. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The UN to some extent diffuses U.S. power. Therefore it's less direct an agency of the United States than the U.S. Army is. But still, it can't escape the distribution of power in the world.


Quote: On abortion: We are talking about ambiguous issues of a complicated kind where you have to balance conflicting interests and concerns. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

On abortion: We are talking about ambiguous issues of a complicated kind where you have to balance conflicting interests and concerns.


Quote: Among all grammars meeting this condition (of adequacy), we select the simplest. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Among all grammars meeting this condition (of adequacy), we select the simplest.


Quote: I'm sorry to say it has some historical analogs. It's kind of reminiscent of what happened in Germany in the late Weimar years. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

I'm sorry to say it has some historical analogs. It's kind of reminiscent of what happened in Germany in the late Weimar years.


Quote: Anarchists try to identify power structures. They urge those exercising power to justify themselves. This justification does not succeed most of the time. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Anarchists try to identify power structures. They urge those exercising power to justify themselves. This justification does not succeed most of the time.


Quote: In fact, it's doing it all over the world. Obama, first of all, is running the biggest terrorist operation that exists, maybe in history. The drone assassination campaigns, which are just part of it. All of these operations, they are terror operations. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

In fact, it's doing it all over the world. Obama, first of all, is running the biggest terrorist operation that exists, maybe in history. The drone assassination campaigns, which are just part of it. All of these operations, they are terror operations.


Quote: Democracy was regarded as entering into a crisis in the 1960s. The crisis was that large segments of the population were becoming organized and active and trying to participate in the political arena. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Democracy was regarded as entering into a crisis in the 1960s. The crisis was that large segments of the population were becoming organized and active and trying to participate in the political arena.


Quote: It is only in folk tales, children's stories, and the journals of intellectual opinion that power is used wisely and well to destroy evil. The real world teaches very different lessons, and it takes willful and dedicated ignorance to fail to perceive them. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

It is only in folk tales, children's stories, and the journals of intellectual opinion that power is used wisely and well to destroy evil. The real world teaches very different lessons, and it takes willful and dedicated ignorance to fail to perceive them.


Quote: Isaiah Berlin's observation is accurate enough, and applies at home as well, and even more harshly for the reasons already mentioned: the apparatchiks and commissars could at least plead fear in extenuation. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Isaiah Berlin's observation is accurate enough, and applies at home as well, and even more harshly for the reasons already mentioned: the apparatchiks and commissars could at least plead fear in extenuation.


Quote: Moral cowardice and intellectual corruption are the natural concomitants of unchallenged privilege. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Moral cowardice and intellectual corruption are the natural concomitants of unchallenged privilege.


Quote: The United States is going to continue to punish Iran because of its defiance. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The United States is going to continue to punish Iran because of its defiance.


Quote: I'm no expert on pornography. The core element of it, I think, is degradation of women, whatever else goes on. I don't think it should be outlawed, but I'm not in favor of the degradation of anybody. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

I'm no expert on pornography. The core element of it, I think, is degradation of women, whatever else goes on. I don't think it should be outlawed, but I'm not in favor of the degradation of anybody.


Quote: Physics and those parts of other fields that grow out of physics -- chemistry, the structure of big molecules -- in those domains, there is a lot of progress. In many other domains, there is very little progress in developing real scientific understanding. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Physics and those parts of other fields that grow out of physics -- chemistry, the structure of big molecules -- in those domains, there is a lot of progress. In many other domains, there is very little progress in developing real scientific understanding.


Quote: It is, indeed, virtual dogma that the function of language is communication. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

It is, indeed, virtual dogma that the function of language is communication.


Quote: It's designed to carry forward the neoliberal project to maximize profit and domination, and to set the working people in the world in competition with one another so as to lower wages to increase insecurity. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

It's designed to carry forward the neoliberal project to maximize profit and domination, and to set the working people in the world in competition with one another so as to lower wages to increase insecurity.


Quote: If Palestinian Authority refuse to join the US-run negotiations, their basis for support would collapse. They survive on donations essentially. Israel has made sure that it's not a productive economy. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

If Palestinian Authority refuse to join the US-run negotiations, their basis for support would collapse. They survive on donations essentially. Israel has made sure that it's not a productive economy.


Quote: Now is not the time to look at the past. Lets look forward to the future.
Diplomats know very well that these are standard slogans for those who are engaged in serious crimes. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Now is not the time to look at the past. Lets look forward to the future.
Diplomats know very well that these are standard slogans for those who are engaged in serious crimes.


Quote: The human digestive and visual systems did clearly evolve over a very long period. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The human digestive and visual systems did clearly evolve over a very long period.


Quote: These are fashionable people who call themselves philosophers. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

These are fashionable people who call themselves philosophers.


Quote: The Republican and Democratic Parties are only factions of the Government Party. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The Republican and Democratic Parties are only factions of the Government Party.


Quote: It hardly takes more than a day in Gaza to begin to appreciate what it must be like to try to survive in the world's largest open-air prison. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

It hardly takes more than a day in Gaza to begin to appreciate what it must be like to try to survive in the world's largest open-air prison.


Quote: Every time a candidate came up from the base, that is with popular support, the Republican establishment went into high gear to destroy them with massive propaganda attack ads and so on. It was one after another, each one crazier than the last. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Every time a candidate came up from the base, that is with popular support, the Republican establishment went into high gear to destroy them with massive propaganda attack ads and so on. It was one after another, each one crazier than the last.


Quote: Genocide is an invidious word that officials apply readily to cases of victimization in enemy states, but rarely if ever to similar or worse cases of victimization by the United States itself or allied regimes. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Genocide is an invidious word that officials apply readily to cases of victimization in enemy states, but rarely if ever to similar or worse cases of victimization by the United States itself or allied regimes.


Quote: The ideal is to create a completely fragmented atomized society where everybody is totally alone, doing nothing but trying to pursue created wants, and the wants are created. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The ideal is to create a completely fragmented atomized society where everybody is totally alone, doing nothing but trying to pursue created wants, and the wants are created.


Quote: If you want to become a biologist, it doesn't help to go into the Harvard biology library and all the information is there for you. You have to know what to look for and the internet is the same, just magnified. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

If you want to become a biologist, it doesn't help to go into the Harvard biology library and all the information is there for you. You have to know what to look for and the internet is the same, just magnified.


Quote: Donald Trump guru Steve Bannon is worse, he's much scarier. He probably knows what he's doing. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Donald Trump guru Steve Bannon is worse, he's much scarier. He probably knows what he's doing.


Quote: Hamas is a political party and political parties don't recognize other countries. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Hamas is a political party and political parties don't recognize other countries.


Quote: What can realistically be done depends on the historical moment. The same is true with regard to the agents. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

What can realistically be done depends on the historical moment. The same is true with regard to the agents.


Quote: These are questions for action, not speculation, which is idle. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

These are questions for action, not speculation, which is idle.


Quote: I've occasionally been asked to talk on Israel-Palestine. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it elicits hysteria in the community. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

I've occasionally been asked to talk on Israel-Palestine. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it elicits hysteria in the community.


Quote: In fact, anyone who merits attention and who promotes any cause at all is doing so on the basis of a belief that it is somehow good for humans, because of their inherent nature. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

In fact, anyone who merits attention and who promotes any cause at all is doing so on the basis of a belief that it is somehow good for humans, because of their inherent nature.


Quote: Another recollection is that Paul Johnson mostly kept away from ideas and dedicated activism, and concentrated on sex lives and other gossip. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Another recollection is that Paul Johnson mostly kept away from ideas and dedicated activism, and concentrated on sex lives and other gossip.


Quote: Should a community... be free to enact legislation to say they don't want blacks? Now that's illegal. Fifty years ago it was legal. Is that progress or is that regress? by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Should a community... be free to enact legislation to say they don't want blacks? Now that's illegal. Fifty years ago it was legal. Is that progress or is that regress?


Quote: Latin America, for the first time in 500 years, is moving towards a degree of independence. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Latin America, for the first time in 500 years, is moving towards a degree of independence.


Quote: The point of advertising is to destroy markets. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The point of advertising is to destroy markets.


Quote: It's a mistake to suppose that capacities must evolve gradually. There are many known examples of sharp changes -- slight genetic modification that yields substantial phenotypic effects, and much else. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

It's a mistake to suppose that capacities must evolve gradually. There are many known examples of sharp changes -- slight genetic modification that yields substantial phenotypic effects, and much else.


Quote: The media are a corporate monopoly. They have the same point of view. The two parties are two factions of the business party. Most of the population doesn't even bother voting because it looks meaningless. They're marginalized and properly distracted. At least that's the goal. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of Noam Chomsky quote; white text on black background

The media are a corporate monopoly. They have the same point of view. The two parties are two factions of the business party. Most of the population doesn't even bother voting because it looks meaningless. They're marginalized and properly distracted. At least that's the goal.


Quote: We're now in a situation in which Capital is highly mobile and Labour is basically immobile. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

We're now in a situation in which Capital is highly mobile and Labour is basically immobile.


Quote: If scientists and scholars were to become collectively self-organised and consciously activist today, they would probably devote themselves to service to state and private power. Those who have different goals should (and do) become organized and activist. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

If scientists and scholars were to become collectively self-organised and consciously activist today, they would probably devote themselves to service to state and private power. Those who have different goals should (and do) become organized and activist.


Quote: It takes one minute to tell a lie, and an hour to refute it. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

It takes one minute to tell a lie, and an hour to refute it.




Quote: I think this country and the world would be far better off if the US is not an outlaw state. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

I think this country and the world would be far better off if the US is not an outlaw state.


Quote: Policy is largely set by economic elites and organized groups representing business interests with little concern for public attitudes or public safety, as long as the public remains passive and obedient. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Policy is largely set by economic elites and organized groups representing business interests with little concern for public attitudes or public safety, as long as the public remains passive and obedient.


Quote: There's an awful lot you can find in the press. If you do what you really ought to do, start by reading every article from the end, back to the front; most of the lies are up in the front. Turns out there's a lot of stuff back there. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

There's an awful lot you can find in the press. If you do what you really ought to do, start by reading every article from the end, back to the front; most of the lies are up in the front. Turns out there's a lot of stuff back there.


Quote: The developing world voice can be amplified enormously by support from the wealthy and the privileged, otherwise it's very likely to be marginalized. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The developing world voice can be amplified enormously by support from the wealthy and the privileged, otherwise it's very likely to be marginalized.


Quote: US wars are going to be against much weaker enemies. And they have to be won quickly and decisively before a popular reaction develops. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

US wars are going to be against much weaker enemies. And they have to be won quickly and decisively before a popular reaction develops.


Quote: After Vietnam the type of interventions that are carried out are designed so as not to elicit public reactions. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

After Vietnam the type of interventions that are carried out are designed so as not to elicit public reactions.


Quote: Arab public opinion does not regard Iran as a hostile entity. In fact it's so supportive of Iran that a majority would think the place would be better off if Iran had nuclear weapons. The main enemies are the United States and Isreal, in the 80, 90 percent range. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Arab public opinion does not regard Iran as a hostile entity. In fact it's so supportive of Iran that a majority would think the place would be better off if Iran had nuclear weapons. The main enemies are the United States and Isreal, in the 80, 90 percent range.


Quote: In fact, it's pretty dramatic when you get to 1975, very revealing, the Vietnam war ends. Everybody had to write something about the war, what it meant. You also had polls of public opinion, and they're dramatically different. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

In fact, it's pretty dramatic when you get to 1975, very revealing, the Vietnam war ends. Everybody had to write something about the war, what it meant. You also had polls of public opinion, and they're dramatically different.


Quote: Governments are not representative. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Governments are not representative.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

Governments are not representative. They have their own power, serving segments of the population that are dominant and rich.


Quote: Even Stalin proclaimed his love for democracy. We do not learn about the nature of systems of power by listening to their rhetoric. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Even Stalin proclaimed his love for democracy. We do not learn about the nature of systems of power by listening to their rhetoric.


Quote: Jean Kirkpatrick is the chief sadist-in-residence of the Reagan Administration. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Jean Kirkpatrick is the chief sadist-in-residence of the Reagan Administration.


Quote: One of the greatest dangers is secular religion -- state worship. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

One of the greatest dangers is secular religion -- state worship.


Quote: I do not feel that we should set up people as models; rather actions, thoughts, principles. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

I do not feel that we should set up people as models; rather actions, thoughts, principles.


Quote: The first commitment is raise your salary. One of the ways to raise your salary sometimes is to have short-term profits but there are many other ways. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The first commitment is raise your salary. One of the ways to raise your salary sometimes is to have short-term profits but there are many other ways.


Quote: It doesn't matter what we cover, it matters what you discover. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

It doesn't matter what we cover, it matters what you discover.


Quote: Andorrans deserve much better than the rule of superstitious hysterics and extreme authoritarians, who try to instill obedience to their Holy Texts and chosen Divinities -- and we should not fail to see that the terms are appropriate, if anything too kind. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Andorrans deserve much better than the rule of superstitious hysterics and extreme authoritarians, who try to instill obedience to their Holy Texts and chosen Divinities -- and we should not fail to see that the terms are appropriate, if anything too kind.


Quote: There are all the activist groups on every imaginable topic -- solidarity groups, environmental and feminist groups -- sectors of these movements do very valuable work. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

There are all the activist groups on every imaginable topic -- solidarity groups, environmental and feminist groups -- sectors of these movements do very valuable work.


Quote: The threat is that the public will know what the government is up to. Any system of power is going to want to keep free from public surveillance, that's natural. Its shouldn't be but, its very natural. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The threat is that the public will know what the government is up to. Any system of power is going to want to keep free from public surveillance, that's natural. Its shouldn't be but, its very natural.


Quote: We don't use the term 'working class' here because it's a taboo term. You're supposed to say 'middle class,' because it helps diminish the understanding that there's a class war going on. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

We don't use the term 'working class' here because it's a taboo term. You're supposed to say 'middle class,' because it helps diminish the understanding that there's a class war going on.


Quote: Yes, it's simple, really. If you're riding a bicycle and you don't want to fall off, you have to keep going -- fast. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Yes, it's simple, really. If you're riding a bicycle and you don't want to fall off, you have to keep going -- fast.


Quote: I think that we have basically nothing in the field of human behavior. Maybe that is just a condition of temporary ignorance. But it may be that we are simply not intellectually equipped to develop such a theory. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

I think that we have basically nothing in the field of human behavior. Maybe that is just a condition of temporary ignorance. But it may be that we are simply not intellectually equipped to develop such a theory.


Quote: In fact, most of what they're calling crime is a kid caught with a joint in his pocket. Why do people think of that as the problem? by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

In fact, most of what they're calling crime is a kid caught with a joint in his pocket. Why do people think of that as the problem?


Quote: States are violent institutions. The government of any country, including ours, represents some sort of domestic power structure, and it's usually violent. States are violent to the extent that they're powerful, that's roughly accurate. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

States are violent institutions. The government of any country, including ours, represents some sort of domestic power structure, and it's usually violent. States are violent to the extent that they're powerful, that's roughly accurate.


Quote: There are many concepts of spirituality, among them, various notions of divinity developed in the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic religions. Within these the concepts vary greatly. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

There are many concepts of spirituality, among them, various notions of divinity developed in the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic religions. Within these the concepts vary greatly.


Quote: If you owned everything and a tiny little piece gets out of control, then your world's gone. Like some unusual child who has a million toys and one of them is stolen, he's going to perish. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

If you owned everything and a tiny little piece gets out of control, then your world's gone. Like some unusual child who has a million toys and one of them is stolen, he's going to perish.


Quote: The first thing you ought to do is verify what I present. Just because I say it doesn't make it true. So check it out, see what looks correct, what looks wrong, look at other material which wasn't discussed, figure out what the truth really is. That's what you've got a brain for. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of Noam Chomsky quote; white text on black background

The first thing you ought to do is verify what I present. Just because I say it doesn't make it true. So check it out, see what looks correct, what looks wrong, look at other material which wasn't discussed, figure out what the truth really is. That's what you've got a brain for.




Quote: Education should not be a matter of pouring water into a vessel ... it should be conceived as laying out a string along which learners proceed in their own ways, exercising and improving their creative capacities and imaginations, and experiencing the joy of discovery. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of Noam Chomsky quote; white text on black background

Education should not be a matter of pouring water into a vessel ... it should be conceived as laying out a string along which learners proceed in their own ways, exercising and improving their creative capacities and imaginations, and experiencing the joy of discovery.


Quote: In the Occupied Territories, what Israel is doing is much worse than apartheid. The South African Nationalists needed the black population. That was their workforce. The Israeli relationship to the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories is totally different. They just don't want them. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of Noam Chomsky quote: In the Occupied Territories, what Israel is doing is much worse than apartheid. The South African Nationalists needed the black population. That was their workforce. The Israeli relationship to the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories is totally different. They just don't want them.- black text on quotes background

In the Occupied Territories, what Israel is doing is much worse than apartheid. The South African Nationalists needed the black population. That was their workforce. The Israeli relationship to the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories is totally different. They just don't want them.


Quote: There's a radical insurgency, which is a large part of the Republican base, which is willing to do anything, destroy the country, whatever, in order to get rid of this Affordable Care Act. That's the one thing that they're able to hang onto. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

There's a radical insurgency, which is a large part of the Republican base, which is willing to do anything, destroy the country, whatever, in order to get rid of this Affordable Care Act. That's the one thing that they're able to hang onto.


Quote: The uniformity and obedience of the media, which any dictator would admire. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The uniformity and obedience of the media, which any dictator would admire.


Quote: It is familiar to mainstream academic scholarship. One very prominent political scientist, in his standard text American Politics 20 years ago, observes that The architects of power in the United States must create a force that can be felt but not seen. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

It is familiar to mainstream academic scholarship. One very prominent political scientist, in his standard text American Politics 20 years ago, observes that The architects of power in the United States must create a force that can be felt but not seen.


Quote: We have to be a little cautious about not trying to kill a gnat with an atom bomb. The performances are so utterly absurd regarding the post-truth moment that the proper response might best be ridicule. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

We have to be a little cautious about not trying to kill a gnat with an atom bomb. The performances are so utterly absurd regarding the post-truth moment that the proper response might best be ridicule.


Quote: The idea that people should be allowed to decide something about their own fate is just anathema to European elites. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The idea that people should be allowed to decide something about their own fate is just anathema to European elites.


Quote: The public is easily amenable to lies: the more lies there are, the greater the support for war. For instance, when the public was told that Saddam Hussein would attack the U.S., this increased support for the war. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The public is easily amenable to lies: the more lies there are, the greater the support for war. For instance, when the public was told that Saddam Hussein would attack the U.S., this increased support for the war.


Quote: With government deregulation and the triumph of financial liberalization, the dangers of systemic risks, the possibility of a financial tsunami, sharply increased. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

With government deregulation and the triumph of financial liberalization, the dangers of systemic risks, the possibility of a financial tsunami, sharply increased.


Quote: I don't think all thinking is a kind of rational structure. But I don't think it is correct to identify the rational-nonrational dichotomy with the linguistic-nonlinguistic dichotomy. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

I don't think all thinking is a kind of rational structure. But I don't think it is correct to identify the rational-nonrational dichotomy with the linguistic-nonlinguistic dichotomy.


Quote: Workers in different countries can easily be played off against each other. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Workers in different countries can easily be played off against each other.


Quote: Radical activists can't ignore the fact that we live in this world, like it or not, and have to make difficult decisions about which paths are the best -- or sometimes, the least harmful. There are no abstract formulas. Have to think through each case on its own. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Radical activists can't ignore the fact that we live in this world, like it or not, and have to make difficult decisions about which paths are the best -- or sometimes, the least harmful. There are no abstract formulas. Have to think through each case on its own.


Quote: The two tendencies are antithetical in significant respects. These are distinctions that should be kept in mind, however one feels that the problems and dilemmas that constantly arise should be resolved. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The two tendencies are antithetical in significant respects. These are distinctions that should be kept in mind, however one feels that the problems and dilemmas that constantly arise should be resolved.


Quote: I had no expectations about Barack Obama and I'm not in the least disillusioned. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

I had no expectations about Barack Obama and I'm not in the least disillusioned.


Quote: There are many cases around the world in which the presence of UN peace-keeping forces has had a somewhat beneficial effect. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

There are many cases around the world in which the presence of UN peace-keeping forces has had a somewhat beneficial effect.


Quote: The general principle is that the victors don't look at themselves or concede anything. The defeated typically have to, except when it's beneficial to the powerful for them not to. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The general principle is that the victors don't look at themselves or concede anything. The defeated typically have to, except when it's beneficial to the powerful for them not to.


Quote: I think we can be reasonably confident that if the American population had the slightest idea of what is being done in their name, they would be utterly appalled. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

I think we can be reasonably confident that if the American population had the slightest idea of what is being done in their name, they would be utterly appalled.


Quote: The basic principle, rarely violated, is that what conflicts with the requirements of power and privilege does not exist. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The basic principle, rarely violated, is that what conflicts with the requirements of power and privilege does not exist.


Quote: A basic principle of modern state capitalism is that costs and risks are socialized to the extent possible, while profit is privatized. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

A basic principle of modern state capitalism is that costs and risks are socialized to the extent possible, while profit is privatized.


Quote: My intellectual achievement was retarded when I went to high school. I sort of sank into a black hole because I had to go to the high-achieving, academic public high school. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

My intellectual achievement was retarded when I went to high school. I sort of sank into a black hole because I had to go to the high-achieving, academic public high school.


Quote: We need not stride resolutely towards catastrophe, merely because those are the marching orders. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

We need not stride resolutely towards catastrophe, merely because those are the marching orders.


Quote: The labor movement had been pretty much killed in the 1920s, almost destroyed. It revived in the 1930s and made a huge difference. By the late 1930s the business world was already trying to find ways to beat it back. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The labor movement had been pretty much killed in the 1920s, almost destroyed. It revived in the 1930s and made a huge difference. By the late 1930s the business world was already trying to find ways to beat it back.


Quote: What's called liberal in the intelectual culture means highly conformist to power, but mildly critical. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

What's called liberal in the intelectual culture means highly conformist to power, but mildly critical.


Quote: Free markets are based on the free circulation of labor. If you don't have free circulation of labor, you don't have free markets. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Free markets are based on the free circulation of labor. If you don't have free circulation of labor, you don't have free markets.


Quote: How do I define God? I don't.... People who find such conceptions important for themselves have every right to frame them as they like. Personally, I don't. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

How do I define God? I don't.... People who find such conceptions important for themselves have every right to frame them as they like. Personally, I don't.


Quote: Those are possibilities for technology, which don't tend to be used, because of the way power is concentrated. There are all kinds of possibilities, including for coercion. In China, technology is used to control and coerce. Here too, to an extent, but not to that extent. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of Noam Chomsky quote; white text on black background

Those are possibilities for technology, which don't tend to be used, because of the way power is concentrated. There are all kinds of possibilities, including for coercion. In China, technology is used to control and coerce. Here too, to an extent, but not to that extent.


Quote: Technologies can be liberating, but it can also be a tool of coercion and control. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Technologies can be liberating, but it can also be a tool of coercion and control.


Quote: Should we even have the classification system? Why shouldn't these things be open? There are things you want to keep secret, like the characteristics of your latest fighter plane or something like that. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Should we even have the classification system? Why shouldn't these things be open? There are things you want to keep secret, like the characteristics of your latest fighter plane or something like that.


Quote: Women didn't have rights. Under British common law, women were property. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Women didn't have rights. Under British common law, women were property.


Quote: In fact, there is a very close correlation between human rights violations and US aid, particularly in Latin America. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

In fact, there is a very close correlation between human rights violations and US aid, particularly in Latin America.


Quote: I don't use the social media but I can see the effects in my own correspondence. I get a ton of correspondence. It used to be hard copy and now it's a very limited amount of actual letters people write. So it's mostly email. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

I don't use the social media but I can see the effects in my own correspondence. I get a ton of correspondence. It used to be hard copy and now it's a very limited amount of actual letters people write. So it's mostly email.


Quote: Barron and Paul...rely on 'specialists' at the State and Defense Departments...Elsewhere in the media, similiar figures are bandied about, with equal credibility. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Barron and Paul...rely on 'specialists' at the State and Defense Departments...Elsewhere in the media, similiar figures are bandied about, with equal credibility.


Quote: One might ask why tobacco is legal and marijuana not. A possible answer is suggested by the nature of the crop. Marijuana can be grown almost anywhere, with little difficulty. It might not be easily marketable by major corporations. Tobacco is quite another story. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

One might ask why tobacco is legal and marijuana not. A possible answer is suggested by the nature of the crop. Marijuana can be grown almost anywhere, with little difficulty. It might not be easily marketable by major corporations. Tobacco is quite another story.


Quote: I have not suggested that the emergence of language is instantaneous. Rather, that the rewiring of the brain enabling an infinite array of structured expressions was in effect instantaneous. I have never heard of an alternative to this suggestion. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

I have not suggested that the emergence of language is instantaneous. Rather, that the rewiring of the brain enabling an infinite array of structured expressions was in effect instantaneous. I have never heard of an alternative to this suggestion.


Quote: The escalation to attack undefended civilian targets is just a classic illustration of terrorism. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The escalation to attack undefended civilian targets is just a classic illustration of terrorism.


Quote: The intellectual is an individual with a specific public role in society that cannot be reduced simply to . . a faceless professional. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The intellectual is an individual with a specific public role in society that cannot be reduced simply to . . a faceless professional.


Quote: There was a really monstrous and almost literal genocide in the Mayan area, specifically under Ríos Montt. By now it has been recognized somewhat by Guatemalan society. In fact, Montt was under trial for some crimes. But the U.S. prohibits people from fleeing here. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of Noam Chomsky quote; white text on black background

There was a really monstrous and almost literal genocide in the Mayan area, specifically under Ríos Montt. By now it has been recognized somewhat by Guatemalan society. In fact, Montt was under trial for some crimes. But the U.S. prohibits people from fleeing here.


Quote: Sectors of power are not going to favor the flourishing of dissidence. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Sectors of power are not going to favor the flourishing of dissidence.


Quote: In my experience at least, the large public universities do not fall behind in fostering creativity and independence; often the contrary. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

In my experience at least, the large public universities do not fall behind in fostering creativity and independence; often the contrary.


Quote: In the sciences particularly the large public universities must and do take an active role in fostering creativity and independence; otherwise the fields will wither, and along with them even the aspirations of wealth and power. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

In the sciences particularly the large public universities must and do take an active role in fostering creativity and independence; otherwise the fields will wither, and along with them even the aspirations of wealth and power.


Quote: The media serve the interests of state and corporate power, which are closely interlinked, framing their reporting and analysis in a manner supportive of established privilege and limiting debate and discussion accordingly. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The media serve the interests of state and corporate power, which are closely interlinked, framing their reporting and analysis in a manner supportive of established privilege and limiting debate and discussion accordingly.


Quote: Those lucky enough to qualify as intellectuals have their own special responsibilities, deriving from their good fortune. Among these is the task that Edward Said describes, surely an important one. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Those lucky enough to qualify as intellectuals have their own special responsibilities, deriving from their good fortune. Among these is the task that Edward Said describes, surely an important one.


Quote: America is a very fundamentalist society. It's like Iran in the degree of fanatic religious commitment. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

America is a very fundamentalist society. It's like Iran in the degree of fanatic religious commitment.


Quote: It's hard to achieve that, especially in a free society, but it's been done, and that's the kind of thing that activists in the IWW have to work against, right on the shop floor. It's not so simple, but it's been done before. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

It's hard to achieve that, especially in a free society, but it's been done, and that's the kind of thing that activists in the IWW have to work against, right on the shop floor. It's not so simple, but it's been done before.


Quote: Those of us lucky enough to have a share of privilege in the more free societies should not be asking this question, but doing something to answer it. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Those of us lucky enough to have a share of privilege in the more free societies should not be asking this question, but doing something to answer it.


Quote: To object that the facts about human nature set limits on our ability to change the world and ourselves makes about as much sense as the lament that our lack of wings sets limits on our ability to 'fly' as far as eagles under our own power. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

To object that the facts about human nature set limits on our ability to change the world and ourselves makes about as much sense as the lament that our lack of wings sets limits on our ability to 'fly' as far as eagles under our own power.


Quote: Popular support for alternative energy has been very high for years. But it harms corporate profits. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Popular support for alternative energy has been very high for years. But it harms corporate profits.


Quote: Students who acquire large debts putting themselves through school are unlikely to think about changing society. When you trap people in a system of debt, they can't afford the time to think. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Students who acquire large debts putting themselves through school are unlikely to think about changing society. When you trap people in a system of debt, they can't afford the time to think.


Quote: A number of analysts have observed that although bin Laden was finally killed, he won some major successes in his war against the U.S. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

A number of analysts have observed that although bin Laden was finally killed, he won some major successes in his war against the U.S.


Quote: Every wave of immigrants who came to America were treated pretty badly, but when they all finally became integrated, all of us became Anglo-Saxons. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Every wave of immigrants who came to America were treated pretty badly, but when they all finally became integrated, all of us became Anglo-Saxons.


Quote: I see no anti-Semitic implications in denial of the existence of gas chambers, or even denial of the Holocaust. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

I see no anti-Semitic implications in denial of the existence of gas chambers, or even denial of the Holocaust.


Quote: Evaluating countries is senseless and I would never put things in those terms, but that some of America's advances, particularly in the area of free speech, that have been achieved by centuries of popular struggle, are to be admired. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Evaluating countries is senseless and I would never put things in those terms, but that some of America's advances, particularly in the area of free speech, that have been achieved by centuries of popular struggle, are to be admired.


Quote: It's as if we're higher apes who had a language faculty inserted. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

It's as if we're higher apes who had a language faculty inserted.


Quote: Julian Assange shouldn't be the subject of a grand jury hearing, he should be given a medal. He's contributing to democracy. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Julian Assange shouldn't be the subject of a grand jury hearing, he should be given a medal. He's contributing to democracy.


Quote: There is good reason to believe that we have already entered the Sixth Extinction, a period of destruction of species on a massive scale, comparable to the Fifth Extinction 65 million years ago, when three-quarters of the species on earth were destroyed, apparently by a huge asteroid. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of Noam Chomsky quote: There is good reason to believe that we have already entered the Sixth Extinction, a period of destruction of species on a massive scale, comparable to the Fifth Extinction 65 million years ago, when three-quarters of the species on earth were destroyed, apparently by a huge asteroid.- black text on quotes background

There is good reason to believe that we have already entered the Sixth Extinction, a period of destruction of species on a massive scale, comparable to the Fifth Extinction 65 million years ago, when three-quarters of the species on earth were destroyed, apparently by a huge asteroid.


Quote: Africa's a wreck and it's not because it was hit by an asteroid. It's a wreck largely because it was hit by Europe. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Africa's a wreck and it's not because it was hit by an asteroid. It's a wreck largely because it was hit by Europe.


Quote: Bradley Manning should be regarded as a hero. He is doing what an honest, decent citizen should be doing: letting your population know what the government, the people who rule you are doing. They want to keep it secret of course. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Bradley Manning should be regarded as a hero. He is doing what an honest, decent citizen should be doing: letting your population know what the government, the people who rule you are doing. They want to keep it secret of course.


Quote: The freer the society gets, the more dangerous the great beast becomes and the more you have to be careful to cage it somehow. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The freer the society gets, the more dangerous the great beast becomes and the more you have to be careful to cage it somehow.


Quote: The time to be political is not when you have parties and carnivals, it's kind of a show, the election. It affects something but not that much. And focusing all the attention on it is I think a mistake. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The time to be political is not when you have parties and carnivals, it's kind of a show, the election. It affects something but not that much. And focusing all the attention on it is I think a mistake.


Quote: I don't say you're self-censoring -- I'm sure you believe everything you're saying; but what I'm saying is, if you believed something different, you wouldn't be sitting where you're sitting. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

I don't say you're self-censoring -- I'm sure you believe everything you're saying; but what I'm saying is, if you believed something different, you wouldn't be sitting where you're sitting.


Quote: I think the Christian Coalition could be extremely dangerous. We should always be concerned when any group wants to impose their doctrinal concerns on all. To an extent that's what they are trying to do. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

I think the Christian Coalition could be extremely dangerous. We should always be concerned when any group wants to impose their doctrinal concerns on all. To an extent that's what they are trying to do.


Quote: You might recall, perhaps, that we were probably the only commentators to rely on the most knowledgeable source, State Department intelligence. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

You might recall, perhaps, that we were probably the only commentators to rely on the most knowledgeable source, State Department intelligence.


Quote: The powerful are self-immunized from even inquiry, let alone punishment for their crimes. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The powerful are self-immunized from even inquiry, let alone punishment for their crimes.


Quote: Corporations with their political allies are waging an unrelenting class war against working people. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Corporations with their political allies are waging an unrelenting class war against working people.


Quote: The US is the wrecking machine that is destroying everything. The world is hoping that China will somehow come to the rescue. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The US is the wrecking machine that is destroying everything. The world is hoping that China will somehow come to the rescue.


Quote: People are dangerous. If they're able to involve themselves in issues that matter, they may change the distribution of power, to the detriment of those who are rich and privileged. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

People are dangerous. If they're able to involve themselves in issues that matter, they may change the distribution of power, to the detriment of those who are rich and privileged.


Quote: Its true that contemporary technology permits decentralization, it also permits centralization. It depends on how you use the technology. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Its true that contemporary technology permits decentralization, it also permits centralization. It depends on how you use the technology.


Quote: Where are the drug cartels getting their weapons? They are being provided by the United States. Cut off that flow of arms. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Where are the drug cartels getting their weapons? They are being provided by the United States. Cut off that flow of arms.


Quote: Mikhail Gorbachev complained. He was told look, there's nothing on paper. People didn't actually say it but the implication was look, if you are dumb enough to take faith in a gentleman's agreement with us, that's your problem. NATO expanded to East Germany. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Mikhail Gorbachev complained. He was told look, there's nothing on paper. People didn't actually say it but the implication was look, if you are dumb enough to take faith in a gentleman's agreement with us, that's your problem. NATO expanded to East Germany.


Quote: Evolutionary theory has nothing to say, in general, as to whether cheating is more advantageous than cooperating. There are many circumstances in which the contrary would be true, and empirical evidence, though it exists, has little bearing on real situations. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Evolutionary theory has nothing to say, in general, as to whether cheating is more advantageous than cooperating. There are many circumstances in which the contrary would be true, and empirical evidence, though it exists, has little bearing on real situations.


Quote: There's a good reason why nobody studies history, it just teaches you too much. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

There's a good reason why nobody studies history, it just teaches you too much.


Quote: The focus on creativity and independence exists in pockets of resistance in the educational system, which, to thrive, should be integrated with the needs and concerns of the great majority of the population. One finds them everywhere. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The focus on creativity and independence exists in pockets of resistance in the educational system, which, to thrive, should be integrated with the needs and concerns of the great majority of the population. One finds them everywhere.


Quote: I don't really think there have been transitional periods to socialism. There have been efforts, but they have usually been destroyed by a combination of external force and internal corruption. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

I don't really think there have been transitional periods to socialism. There have been efforts, but they have usually been destroyed by a combination of external force and internal corruption.


Quote: One commonly hears that carping critics complain about what is wrong, but do not present solutions. There is an accurate translation for that charge: 'They present solutions, but I don't like them. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

One commonly hears that carping critics complain about what is wrong, but do not present solutions. There is an accurate translation for that charge: 'They present solutions, but I don't like them.


Quote: If you're in a system where you must make profit in order to survive. You are compelled to ignore negative externalities, effects on others. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

If you're in a system where you must make profit in order to survive. You are compelled to ignore negative externalities, effects on others.


Quote: So yes in theory there is a kind of a formal democracy and in many ways these were achievements and an improvement over the feudal system and more advanced than anything else in the world, but nothing that we ought to call democracy. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

So yes in theory there is a kind of a formal democracy and in many ways these were achievements and an improvement over the feudal system and more advanced than anything else in the world, but nothing that we ought to call democracy.


Quote: I have no Facebook page or Twitter -- I don't participate in it, and I don't like it particularly. I mean, it's a form of interaction, which strikes me as extremely superficial. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

I have no Facebook page or Twitter -- I don't participate in it, and I don't like it particularly. I mean, it's a form of interaction, which strikes me as extremely superficial.


Quote: It's roughly the case that if systems become too complex to study in sufficient depth, physics hands them over to chemistry, then to biology, then experimental psychology, and finally on to history. Roughly. These are tendencies, and they tend to distinguish roughly between hard and soft sciences. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of Noam Chomsky quote: It's roughly the case that if systems become too complex to study in sufficient depth, physics hands them over to chemistry, then to biology, then experimental psychology, and finally on to history. Roughly. These are tendencies, and they tend to distinguish roughly between hard and soft sciences.- black text on quotes background

It's roughly the case that if systems become too complex to study in sufficient depth, physics hands them over to chemistry, then to biology, then experimental psychology, and finally on to history. Roughly. These are tendencies, and they tend to distinguish roughly between hard and soft sciences.


Quote: Most of intellectuals are false prophets, flatterers of the court. The real prophets are the exception and treated badly. How badly they're treated depends on the society. Like in Eastern Europe, they were treated very badly. In Latin America, they were slaughtered. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of Noam Chomsky quote; white text on black background

Most of intellectuals are false prophets, flatterers of the court. The real prophets are the exception and treated badly. How badly they're treated depends on the society. Like in Eastern Europe, they were treated very badly. In Latin America, they were slaughtered.


Quote: Anyone in a position to overcome barriers to free thought and communication should do so. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Anyone in a position to overcome barriers to free thought and communication should do so.


Quote: Right to a speedy jury trial and so on and so forth. But what do they mean by 'person'? It certainly didn't mean individuals with flesh and blood like Native Americans who weren't persons, they don't have any rights. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Right to a speedy jury trial and so on and so forth. But what do they mean by 'person'? It certainly didn't mean individuals with flesh and blood like Native Americans who weren't persons, they don't have any rights.


Quote: If you ask me whether or not I'm an atheist, I wouldn't even answer. I would first want an explanation of what it is that I'm supposed not to believe in, and I've never seen an explanation. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

If you ask me whether or not I'm an atheist, I wouldn't even answer. I would first want an explanation of what it is that I'm supposed not to believe in, and I've never seen an explanation.


Quote: Historically, several policy domains, including that of foreign policy towards the US and India, budget allocations etc, have been controlled by the Pakistani military, and the civil-military divide can be said to be the most fundamental fracture in Pakistan's body politic. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of Noam Chomsky quote; white text on black background

Historically, several policy domains, including that of foreign policy towards the US and India, budget allocations etc, have been controlled by the Pakistani military, and the civil-military divide can be said to be the most fundamental fracture in Pakistan's body politic.


Quote: Wikileaks is a democratizing force. Its giving individuals access to decisions and thinking by their representatives and in a democracy that ought to be reflexive. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Wikileaks is a democratizing force. Its giving individuals access to decisions and thinking by their representatives and in a democracy that ought to be reflexive.


Quote: I think that has a lot of dangers, as does government surveillance, which is way too high. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

I think that has a lot of dangers, as does government surveillance, which is way too high.


Quote: Freedom without opportunity is a devil's gift. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Freedom without opportunity is a devil's gift.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

Freedom without opportunity is a devil's gift, and the refusal to provide such opportunities is criminal.


Quote: I just went along with political activists and interested in other intellectual interests which I pursued kind of at random. I never had a real college education. I got a degree, but it was just patching together courses here and there. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

I just went along with political activists and interested in other intellectual interests which I pursued kind of at random. I never had a real college education. I got a degree, but it was just patching together courses here and there.


Quote: George Washington hated the guerrillas. He wanted to imitate the British red coat armies, fighting as gentlemen are supposed to fight. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

George Washington hated the guerrillas. He wanted to imitate the British red coat armies, fighting as gentlemen are supposed to fight.


Quote: There are cases -- for example, the American Revolution. George Washington's army lost just about every battle with the British, who had a much better army. The war was basically won by guerrilla forces that managed to undermine the British occupation. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

There are cases -- for example, the American Revolution. George Washington's army lost just about every battle with the British, who had a much better army. The war was basically won by guerrilla forces that managed to undermine the British occupation.


Quote: I do not see how we can rationally oppose high speed rail because of the environmental and other costs without considering the social and human consequences of the radical elimination of transportation that this entails. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

I do not see how we can rationally oppose high speed rail because of the environmental and other costs without considering the social and human consequences of the radical elimination of transportation that this entails.


Quote: American society is now remarkably atomized. Political organizations have collapsed. In fact, it seems like even bowling leagues are collapsing. The left has a lot to answer for here. There's been a drift toward very fragmenting tendencies among left groups, toward this sort of identity politics. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of Noam Chomsky quote: American society is now remarkably atomized. Political organizations have collapsed. In fact, it seems like even bowling leagues are collapsing. The left has a lot to answer for here. There's been a drift toward very fragmenting tendencies among left groups, toward this sort of identity politics.- black text on quotes background

American society is now remarkably atomized. Political organizations have collapsed. In fact, it seems like even bowling leagues are collapsing. The left has a lot to answer for here. There's been a drift toward very fragmenting tendencies among left groups, toward this sort of identity politics.


Quote: Hume's paradox does hold: power is in the hands of the governed. If they refuse to accept it, you're in trouble, no matter how many guns you have. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Hume's paradox does hold: power is in the hands of the governed. If they refuse to accept it, you're in trouble, no matter how many guns you have.


Quote: As the capacity to coerce declines, it is natural to turn to control of opinion as the basis for authority and domination -- a fundamental principle of government already emphasized by David Hume. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

As the capacity to coerce declines, it is natural to turn to control of opinion as the basis for authority and domination -- a fundamental principle of government already emphasized by David Hume.


Quote: There are women (some men, too, but mostly women) who are going to the occupied Palestinian territories to stand with the victims of Israeli occupation. These are very courageous Israeli women and some British and American women. That's something quite new. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

There are women (some men, too, but mostly women) who are going to the occupied Palestinian territories to stand with the victims of Israeli occupation. These are very courageous Israeli women and some British and American women. That's something quite new.


Quote: There are very interesting books about these events, for instance one by a very well-known American historian named William R. Polk called Violent Politics. It's a record of what are basically guerrilla wars from the American Revolution right up through the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of Noam Chomsky quote: There are very interesting books about these events, for instance one by a very well-known American historian named William R. Polk called Violent Politics. It's a record of what are basically guerrilla wars from the American Revolution right up through the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.- black text on quotes background

There are very interesting books about these events, for instance one by a very well-known American historian named William R. Polk called Violent Politics. It's a record of what are basically guerrilla wars from the American Revolution right up through the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.


Quote: Most of what is done I think is to kept secret so the public won't know. The same is true of what Wikileaks exposed. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Most of what is done I think is to kept secret so the public won't know. The same is true of what Wikileaks exposed.


Quote: Internal security means something. It means war against your own population. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Internal security means something. It means war against your own population.


Quote: The rise of what's called Islamic fundamentalism is to a significant extent a result of the collapse of secular nationalist alternatives which were either discredited internally or destroyed, leaving few other options. Something like that may be true of American society. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of Noam Chomsky quote; white text on black background

The rise of what's called Islamic fundamentalism is to a significant extent a result of the collapse of secular nationalist alternatives which were either discredited internally or destroyed, leaving few other options. Something like that may be true of American society.


Quote: I happened to go to a school when I was a kid and that's all we did, pursue our own interests. It was kind of structured so you ended up knowing everything you were supposed to know, arithmetic, Latin, whatever it was. But almost always it was under your own initiative. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of Noam Chomsky quote; white text on black background

I happened to go to a school when I was a kid and that's all we did, pursue our own interests. It was kind of structured so you ended up knowing everything you were supposed to know, arithmetic, Latin, whatever it was. But almost always it was under your own initiative.


Quote: The change between horse and buggy to automobile is a big change and there hasn't been a major change since. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The change between horse and buggy to automobile is a big change and there hasn't been a major change since.


Quote: It's fine to criticize somebody else's crimes and misdeeds, but you don't talk about your own. The only exception is a country that is defeated. And even that is rather nuanced. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

It's fine to criticize somebody else's crimes and misdeeds, but you don't talk about your own. The only exception is a country that is defeated. And even that is rather nuanced.


Quote: Democracy, in any rational form, also imposes conditions on majority rule. That's what the Bill of Rights is about, for example. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Democracy, in any rational form, also imposes conditions on majority rule. That's what the Bill of Rights is about, for example.


Quote: There's a tremendous amount of language loss. Most of the attention is given to indigenous languages, which makes sense, but some of the most dramatic language loss is in Europe. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

There's a tremendous amount of language loss. Most of the attention is given to indigenous languages, which makes sense, but some of the most dramatic language loss is in Europe.


Quote: There's an interesting book called The Fugu Plan, written by Marvin Tokayer and Mary Swartz, which describes the circumstances when European Jews came to Japan, a semi-feudal society. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

There's an interesting book called The Fugu Plan, written by Marvin Tokayer and Mary Swartz, which describes the circumstances when European Jews came to Japan, a semi-feudal society.


Quote: The criminalization of Black life was something specific to the United States in the post-Reconstruction period and there's something like it happening today with mass incarceration, directed largely against black males. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The criminalization of Black life was something specific to the United States in the post-Reconstruction period and there's something like it happening today with mass incarceration, directed largely against black males.


Quote: Intellectuals of the categories happen to enjoy unusual privilege, unique in history, I suppose. It's easy enough to find ugly illustrations of repression, malice, dishonesty, marginalization and exclusion in the academic world. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Intellectuals of the categories happen to enjoy unusual privilege, unique in history, I suppose. It's easy enough to find ugly illustrations of repression, malice, dishonesty, marginalization and exclusion in the academic world.


Quote: Workers and their families may starve to death in the New World Order of economic rationality, but diamond necklaces are cheaper in elegant New York shops, thanks to the miracle of the market. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Workers and their families may starve to death in the New World Order of economic rationality, but diamond necklaces are cheaper in elegant New York shops, thanks to the miracle of the market.


Quote: For example, when my father was able to buy a secondhand car in the late 1930s, and he took us to the countryside for a weekend, if we looked for a motel to stay in we had to see if it said restricted on it. Restricted meant no Jews. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

For example, when my father was able to buy a secondhand car in the late 1930s, and he took us to the countryside for a weekend, if we looked for a motel to stay in we had to see if it said restricted on it. Restricted meant no Jews.


Quote: As any good teacher knows, the methods of instruction and the range of material covered are matters of small importance as compared with the success in arousing the natural curiosity of the students and stimulating their interest in exploring on their own. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

As any good teacher knows, the methods of instruction and the range of material covered are matters of small importance as compared with the success in arousing the natural curiosity of the students and stimulating their interest in exploring on their own.


Quote: Peter Kropotkin was surely on the left. He was one of the founders of what is now called 'sociobiology' or 'evolutionary psychology' with his book Mutual Aid, arguing that human nature had evolved in ways conducive to the communitarian anarchism that he espoused. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Peter Kropotkin was surely on the left. He was one of the founders of what is now called 'sociobiology' or 'evolutionary psychology' with his book Mutual Aid, arguing that human nature had evolved in ways conducive to the communitarian anarchism that he espoused.


Quote: The dangers of unexamined and unregulated monopoly power, particularly in the state executive, are hardly news. The right reaction is not passive acquiescence. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The dangers of unexamined and unregulated monopoly power, particularly in the state executive, are hardly news. The right reaction is not passive acquiescence.


Quote: Independence of mind, enthusiasm, dedication to the field, and willingness to challenge and question and to explore new direction. There are plenty of people like that, but schools tend to discourage those characteristics. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Independence of mind, enthusiasm, dedication to the field, and willingness to challenge and question and to explore new direction. There are plenty of people like that, but schools tend to discourage those characteristics.


Quote: One should attend carefully to the fear and desperation of the powerful. They understand very well the potential reach of the ultimate weapon, and only hope that those who seek a more free and just world will not gain the same understanding and put it effectively to use. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of Noam Chomsky quote; white text on black background

One should attend carefully to the fear and desperation of the powerful. They understand very well the potential reach of the ultimate weapon, and only hope that those who seek a more free and just world will not gain the same understanding and put it effectively to use.


Quote: Another problem with the official definitions of terror is that it follows from them that the US is a leading terrorist state. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Another problem with the official definitions of terror is that it follows from them that the US is a leading terrorist state.


Quote: There are plenty of things that are unknown, but are assumed reasonably to exist, even in the most basic sciences. Maybe 90 percent of the mass-energy in the universe is called dark, because nobody knows what it is. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

There are plenty of things that are unknown, but are assumed reasonably to exist, even in the most basic sciences. Maybe 90 percent of the mass-energy in the universe is called dark, because nobody knows what it is.


Quote: Regulate the banks, get money out of elections; raise the minimum wage, environmental issues. They're all very important and the Occupy movement made a difference. It shifted not only the discourse but to some extent, action on these issues. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Regulate the banks, get money out of elections; raise the minimum wage, environmental issues. They're all very important and the Occupy movement made a difference. It shifted not only the discourse but to some extent, action on these issues.


Quote: Legalizing marijuana would make a lot of sense, I don't think there's a single case of marijuana overdose on record and tens of millions of users. It's much less dangerous than alcohol, for example. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Legalizing marijuana would make a lot of sense, I don't think there's a single case of marijuana overdose on record and tens of millions of users. It's much less dangerous than alcohol, for example.


Quote: When I was growing up in the 1930s and '40s anti-Semitism was rampant. It wasn't like Nazi Germany but it was pretty serious -- it was part of life. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

When I was growing up in the 1930s and '40s anti-Semitism was rampant. It wasn't like Nazi Germany but it was pretty serious -- it was part of life.


Quote: The Pashtuns in particular are kind of trapped. They've never accepted the Durand Line nor has any Afghan government historically accepted it. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The Pashtuns in particular are kind of trapped. They've never accepted the Durand Line nor has any Afghan government historically accepted it.


Quote: Just war theory has been converted into a form of apologetics for whatever atrocities your favored state is carrying out. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

Just war theory has been converted into a form of apologetics for whatever atrocities your favored state is carrying out.


Quote: The intellectual world is deeply conformist... We talk a lot about the crimes of others. When it comes to our own crimes, we are nationalists in the Orwellian sense. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote

The intellectual world is deeply conformist... We talk a lot about the crimes of others. When it comes to our own crimes, we are nationalists in the Orwellian sense.


Quote: No sane human being devotes 100% of his or her life to political activism. by author Noam Chomsky overlaid on photo of photo of author Noam Chomsky with quote