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"Chomsky is a global phenomenon . . . perhaps the most widely read voice on foreign policy on the planet."—New York Times Book Review "Unwavering political contrarian Noam Chomsky smart-bombs the US military's global Interventions. Shock and awe!"—Vanity Fair Because We Say So presents more than thirty concise, forceful commentaries on US politics and global power. "Chomsky is a global phenomenon . . . perhaps the most widely read voice on foreign policy on the planet."—New York Times Book Review "Unwavering political contrarian Noam Chomsky smart-bombs the US military's global Interventions. Shock and awe!"—Vanity Fair Because We Say So presents more than thirty concise, forceful commentaries on US politics and global power. Written between 2011 and 2015, Noam Chomsky's arguments forge a persuasive counter-narrative to official accounts of US politics and policies during global crisis. Find here classic Chomsky on the increasing urgency of climate change, the ongoing impact of Edward Snowden's whistleblowing, nuclear politics, cyberwar, terrorism, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, and the Middle East, security and state power, as well as deeper reflections on the Obama doctrine, political philosophy, the Magna Carta, and the importance of a commons to democracy. Because We Say So is the third in a series of books by Chomsky published by City Lights Publishers that includes Making the Future (2012) and Interventions (2007), a book banned by US military censors. Taken together, the three books present a complete collection of the articles Chomsky writes regularly for the New York Times Syndicate, and are largely ignored by newspapers in the United States. Because We Say So offers fierce, accessible, timely, gloves-off political writing by America's foremost public intellectual and political dissident. Noam Chomsky is one of the world's most well-known critics of US policy. He has published numerous groundbreaking and best-selling books on global politics, history, and linguistics.


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"Chomsky is a global phenomenon . . . perhaps the most widely read voice on foreign policy on the planet."—New York Times Book Review "Unwavering political contrarian Noam Chomsky smart-bombs the US military's global Interventions. Shock and awe!"—Vanity Fair Because We Say So presents more than thirty concise, forceful commentaries on US politics and global power. "Chomsky is a global phenomenon . . . perhaps the most widely read voice on foreign policy on the planet."—New York Times Book Review "Unwavering political contrarian Noam Chomsky smart-bombs the US military's global Interventions. Shock and awe!"—Vanity Fair Because We Say So presents more than thirty concise, forceful commentaries on US politics and global power. Written between 2011 and 2015, Noam Chomsky's arguments forge a persuasive counter-narrative to official accounts of US politics and policies during global crisis. Find here classic Chomsky on the increasing urgency of climate change, the ongoing impact of Edward Snowden's whistleblowing, nuclear politics, cyberwar, terrorism, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, and the Middle East, security and state power, as well as deeper reflections on the Obama doctrine, political philosophy, the Magna Carta, and the importance of a commons to democracy. Because We Say So is the third in a series of books by Chomsky published by City Lights Publishers that includes Making the Future (2012) and Interventions (2007), a book banned by US military censors. Taken together, the three books present a complete collection of the articles Chomsky writes regularly for the New York Times Syndicate, and are largely ignored by newspapers in the United States. Because We Say So offers fierce, accessible, timely, gloves-off political writing by America's foremost public intellectual and political dissident. Noam Chomsky is one of the world's most well-known critics of US policy. He has published numerous groundbreaking and best-selling books on global politics, history, and linguistics.

30 review for Because We Say So (City Lights Open Media)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Larry Bassett

    Noam Chomsky is a brilliant thinker and has quite a following internationally. But in the US it is difficult to find his copious writing in our daily press. This book includes essays that were published in 2013 and 2014. They remind us how much the news has changed just in the short time since Mr. Trump has been elected. The issues of just a few years ago seem to pale by comparison in to the potential for chaos that we seem to face today. As you read some of the early essays that are included yo Noam Chomsky is a brilliant thinker and has quite a following internationally. But in the US it is difficult to find his copious writing in our daily press. This book includes essays that were published in 2013 and 2014. They remind us how much the news has changed just in the short time since Mr. Trump has been elected. The issues of just a few years ago seem to pale by comparison in to the potential for chaos that we seem to face today. As you read some of the early essays that are included you will see evidence of the Trump politics lurking not so far in the background. Chomsky seems to have foreseen the drama and politics of the past year. Why do I give this book only three stars? Even though it was published in 2015 it has been forcibly outdated by the rise of Trump. And since you won't find Chomsky in any of the local or national press you have to find links on Twitter to locate his outpouring of current words and analysis. I listened to this book on audible and was not impressed by the reader. While Chomsky raises alarm after alarm about what is happening in the world, the reader is way too calm and sedate. I want to hear some reflection of the terrifying things that are going on in the world. Regrettably I think Chomsky himself mimics that calm and self-assured style. Chomsky talks about near cataclysmic incidents with our nuclear arsenal's almost accidentally being unleashed. He talks about the most feared countries in the Middle East being Israel and the US. Iran is portrayed by the US so negatively and yet in the Middle East it is the US not Iran that is feared. Chomsky ends the book talking about climate change. And here comes the end of the world again. And you know I almost always agree with Chomsky. He speaks for the Palestinians. He criticized Obama. Why don't more people listen to Chomsky? https://politics1660.wordpress.com/20...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Maxine

    Whatever the world may think, U.S. actions are legitimate because we say so. The principle was enunciated by the eminent statesman Dean Acheson in 1962, when he instructed the American Society of International Law that no legal issue arises when the United States responds to a challenge to its “power, position, and prestige”. Because We Say So contains thirty short articles by Noam Chomsky written between 2011 and 2014. Chomsky is a world-renowned academician who is often considered ‘the father o Whatever the world may think, U.S. actions are legitimate because we say so. The principle was enunciated by the eminent statesman Dean Acheson in 1962, when he instructed the American Society of International Law that no legal issue arises when the United States responds to a challenge to its “power, position, and prestige”. Because We Say So contains thirty short articles by Noam Chomsky written between 2011 and 2014. Chomsky is a world-renowned academician who is often considered ‘the father of linguistics’ and is Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he has taught since 1955. But he is probably best known for his political activism and radical commentary – as Henry A. Giroux points out in the Foreword, something of an American tradition but which have made him ‘appear to be an exile in his own country by virtue of his constant dissent, the shock of his acts of translation, and his displays of fierce courage’. So much so, in fact, that Interventions, a collection of his commentaries released in 2007 was banned for distribution in Guantanamo Bay by the U.S. military. Yet, despite the fact that he gets little notice by the mainstream media in the US and is frequently shunned by both conservatives and liberals, he is probably the most well-known and respected American intellectual throughout most of the rest of the world. Given that he is an outspoken critic of America’s role in the world and its refusal to sign accords concerning such issues as poverty, making the Middle East a WMD-free zone, and climate change all of which he discusses in these essays, it is perhaps not surprising. But, unlike too many intellectuals and academicians, Chomsky never uses ‘university-speak’ and he never talks down to his audience – he speaks from his knowledge and his intellect, yes, but he also and always speaks from his heart. And these short essays go a long way in explaining why he holds such a place of renown throughout most of the world. His commentaries always provide a well-informed, well-thought-out and principled counterpoint to the messages offered by the mainstream media whether it is the accepted justification for drone strikes, giving aboriginal or ‘unpeople’ a voice, the falsehoods of accepted history, the urgency of climate change, or what constitutes the Common Good. Whether you agree or disagree with his arguments, they are always well-researched, well thought out, cogent, on point, and timely and they give you a perspective you will never get in those mainstream news outlets including the so-called liberal ones.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Conor Ahern

    One of the more muted tragedies following this past week's election is that I am finding fiction to be more and more of a decadent pastime. It's not that one cannot learn amazing things from fiction--on the contrary--but the type of knowledge that a lawyer should have in Trump's America takes an entirely different cast. There is so much that I feel strongly whose underpinnings are far flimsier than I am comfortable with; it's not that I doubt the conclusions of my scruples, it's just that I want One of the more muted tragedies following this past week's election is that I am finding fiction to be more and more of a decadent pastime. It's not that one cannot learn amazing things from fiction--on the contrary--but the type of knowledge that a lawyer should have in Trump's America takes an entirely different cast. There is so much that I feel strongly whose underpinnings are far flimsier than I am comfortable with; it's not that I doubt the conclusions of my scruples, it's just that I want to be more conversant and fleshed-out when representing them. And, invariably, these expeditions into truth-finding turn up all sorts of other unanticipated curios that make for profitable future investigation. Anyway, as indictments of America go, it doesn't get much more blistering than Chomsky. But this was mostly a recapitulation of a lot of his other thoughts--our deviance from the Magna Carta, Israel's perpetuation of apartheid, American environmental recklessness, etc. He had fewer outrageous comparisons than in the last work of his that I read (though the comparison of Putin's invasion of the Crimea with the United States' occupation of Guantanamo Bay left me gobsmacked), and it was all well argued, just nothing particularly new or noteworthy. For my money, Who Rules the World? is a better bet.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    I wish I'd come across Chomsky earlier, though he is relatively censored in the USA. He speaks the truth clearly and without bombast. His work has probably changed my political views more than anything I've read as an adult. This is a collection of essays/talks, all in short form. I'm looking forward to reading some of his longer books. (The intro to this book was garbage. Skip it.) I wish I'd come across Chomsky earlier, though he is relatively censored in the USA. He speaks the truth clearly and without bombast. His work has probably changed my political views more than anything I've read as an adult. This is a collection of essays/talks, all in short form. I'm looking forward to reading some of his longer books. (The intro to this book was garbage. Skip it.)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sofia

    Marching Off the Cliff - 5th Dec 2011 "To gain perspective on what's happening in the world, it's sometimes useful to adopt the stance of intelligent extraterrestrial observers viewing the strange doings on Earth. They would be watching in wonder as the richest and most powerful country in world history now leads the lemmings cheerfully off the cliff." Couldn't help thinking of the Dodos in Ice Age when I read this. Recognizing the "Unpeople" - 5 Jan 2015 the inconvenient people who fall through th Marching Off the Cliff - 5th Dec 2011 "To gain perspective on what's happening in the world, it's sometimes useful to adopt the stance of intelligent extraterrestrial observers viewing the strange doings on Earth. They would be watching in wonder as the richest and most powerful country in world history now leads the lemmings cheerfully off the cliff." Couldn't help thinking of the Dodos in Ice Age when I read this. Recognizing the "Unpeople" - 5 Jan 2015 the inconvenient people who fall through the cracks. Anniversaries from "Unhistory" - 4 Feb 2012 "The core of history is what happened. The core of unhistory is to "disappear" what happened. GAZA, THE WORLD’S LARGEST OPEN-AIR PRISON November 7, 2012 - Sowing the seed we will reap in the future and then we will say in astonishment "Oh look what has grown." Recently, after several years of effort, the Israeli human rights organization Gisha succeeded in obtaining a court order for the government to release its records detailing plans for the “diet.” Jonathan Cook, a journalist based in Israel, summarizes them: “Health officials provided calculations of the minimum number of calories needed by Gaza’s 1.5 million inhabitants to avoid malnutrition. Those figures were then translated into truckloads of food Israel was supposed to allow in each day . . . an average of only 67 trucks—much less than half of the minimum requirement—entered Gaza daily. This compared to more than 400 trucks before the blockade began.”

  6. 4 out of 5

    Niklas Pivic

    Many of my favourite books cover many areas, especially where non-fiction is concerned. I wish this collection of essays and articles, all written by Noam Chomsky (except for the one where David Barsamian interviews Chomsky), were -fiction, but it's not. This collection covers many areas, ranging from a short description of anarchy to Obama's drone-wielding terrorist campaign, over climate change, into the more-than-apartheid campaign of Israel against Palestine. It's a lot, but it's so well writ Many of my favourite books cover many areas, especially where non-fiction is concerned. I wish this collection of essays and articles, all written by Noam Chomsky (except for the one where David Barsamian interviews Chomsky), were -fiction, but it's not. This collection covers many areas, ranging from a short description of anarchy to Obama's drone-wielding terrorist campaign, over climate change, into the more-than-apartheid campaign of Israel against Palestine. It's a lot, but it's so well written, and so thoroughly researched, that it's impossible to withstand, even if one tried to. From the introduction: The commentaries presented in this book are a collection of columns penned between 2011 and 2014, distributed to the international press by the New York Times Syndicate, and widely published in newspapers abroad. Few, if any, are published on the op-ed pages of American papers, and U.S. military censors even banned distribution of an earlier collection of his commentaries, INTERVENTIONS. That's right. That book wasn't allowed into the reading list at Guantánamo Bay. Chomsky's writing is, as always, simple and plain, even providing insight that extraterrestrials would find easy to get (not that we're hard to crack as a species, despite our wont to deplete ourselves): To gain perspective on what’s happening in the world, it’s sometimes useful to adopt the stance of intelligent extraterrestrial observers viewing the strange doings on Earth. They would be watching in wonder as the richest and most powerful country in world history now leads the lemmings cheerfully off the cliff. Last month, the International Energy Agency (IEA), which was formed on the initiative of U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1974, issued its latest report on rapidly increasing carbon emissions from fossil fuel use. The IEA estimated that if the world continues on its present course, the “carbon budget” will be exhausted by 2017. The budget is the quantity of emissions that can keep global warming at the 2 degrees Celsius level considered the limit of safety. IEA chief economist Fatih Birol said, “The door is closing . . . if we don’t change direction now on how we use energy, we will end up beyond what scientists tell us is the minimum (for safety). The door will be closed forever.” Also last month, the U.S. Department of Energy reported the emissions figures for 2010. Emissions “jumped by the biggest amount on record,” the Associated Press reported, meaning that “levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst-case scenario” anticipated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007. John Reilly, co-director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) program on climate change, told the Associated Press that scientists have generally found the IPCC predictions to be too conservative—unlike the fringe of denialists who gain public attention. Reilly reported that the IPCC’s worst-case scenario was about in the middle of the MIT scientists’ estimates of likely outcomes. [...] The hypothetical extraterrestrial observers can be pardoned if they conclude that we seem to be infected by some kind of lethal insanity. Chomsky's "Anniversaries from 'Unhistory'" is great, so much that it deserves a chapter of its own in this review. Instead, I will link to some highlights of mine, from that chapter: https://www.highly.co/hl/55ffa39b6c69... Naturally, Chomsky delves into the concept of terrorism, what it actually means, not only the word, but how terrorism is defined by the UN, and how the USA continually deceive its population and the rest of the world on that note: In three years we may—or may not—commemorate another event of great contemporary relevance: the 900th anniversary of the Magna Carta. This document is the foundation for what historian Margaret E. McGuiness, referring to the Nuremberg Trials, hailed as a “particularly American brand of legalism: punishment only for those who could be proved to be guilty through a fair trial with a panoply of procedural protections.” The Great Charter declares that “no free man” shall be deprived of rights “except by the lawful judgment of his peers and by the law of the land.” The principles were later broadened to apply to men generally. They crossed the Atlantic and entered into the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, which declared that no “person” can be deprived of rights without due process and a speedy trial. The founders of course did not intend the term “person” to actually apply to all persons. Native Americans were not persons. Neither were those who were enslaved. Women were scarcely persons. However, let us keep to the core notion of presumption of innocence, which has been cast into the oblivion of unhistory. A further step in undermining the principles of the Magna Carta was taken when President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act, which codifies Bush-Obama practice of indefinite detention without trial under military custody. Such treatment is now mandatory in the case of those accused of aiding enemy forces during the “war on terror,” or optional if those accused are American citizens. [...] Many other examples illuminate the concept of “terrorist.” One is Nelson Mandela, only removed from the terrorist list in 2008. Another was Saddam Hussein. In 1982 Iraq was removed from the list of terrorist-supporting states so that the Reagan administration could provide Hussein with aid after he invaded Iran. Accusation is capricious, without review or recourse, and commonly reflecting policy goals—in Mandela’s case, to justify President Reagan’s support for the apartheid state’s crimes in defending itself against one of the world’s “more notorious terrorist groups”: Mandela’s African National Congress. All better consigned to unhistory. Chomsky's tips are always interesting: In his penetrating study IDEAL ILLUSIONS: HOW THE U.S. GOVERNMENT CO-OPTED HUMAN RIGHTS, international affairs scholar James Peck observes, “In the history of human rights, the worst atrocities are always committed by somebody else, never us”—whoever “us” is. Also, his views on companies and corporations that go hand-in-hand with government seldom disappoint to shock: Joining the Vietnamese appeal against Dow are the government of India, the Indian Olympic Association, and the survivors of the horrendous 1984 Bhopal gas leak, one of history’s worst industrial disasters, which killed thousands and injured more than half a million. Union Carbide, the corporation responsible for the disaster, was taken over by Dow, for whom the matter is of no slight concern. In February, Wikileaks revealed that Dow hired the U.S. private investigative agency Stratfor to monitor activists seeking compensation for the victims and prosecution of those responsible. His words on Israel, on the perennial US support for Israel, are always clarifying: The possibility that Iran might develop nuclear weapons arises in the electoral campaign. (The fact that Israel already has them does not.) Two positions are counterposed: Should the U.S. declare that it will attack if Iran reaches the capability to develop nuclear weapons, which dozens of countries enjoy? Or should Washington keep the “red line” more indefinite? The latter position is that of the White House; the former is demanded by Israeli hawks—and accepted by the U.S. Congress. The Senate just voted 90–1 to support the Israeli position. His words on how the USA perceive Iran as "a major threat", or, indeed, "the biggest threat", are also crystal clear: As numerous polls have shown, although citizens of Arab countries generally dislike Iran, they do not regard it as a very serious threat. Rather, they perceive the threat to be Israel and the United States; and many, sometimes considerable majorities, regard Iranian nuclear weapons as a counter to these threats. [...] PREROGATIVES OF POWER February 4, 2014 As the year 2013 drew to an end, the BBC reported on the results of the WIN/Gallup International poll on the question: “Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?” The United States was the champion by a substantial margin, winning three times the votes of second-place Pakistan. By contrast, the debate in American scholarly and media circles is about whether Iran can be contained, and whether the huge NSA surveillance system is needed to protect U.S. security. In view of the poll, it would seem that there are more pertinent questions: Can the United States be contained and other nations secured in the face of the U.S. threat? And, on capitalism: CAN CIVILIZATION SURVIVE CAPITALISM? March 4, 2013 There is “capitalism” and then there is “really existing capitalism.” The term “capitalism” is commonly used to refer to the U.S. economic system, with substantial state intervention ranging from subsidies for creative innovation to the “too-big-to-fail” government insurance policy for banks. The system is highly monopolized, further limiting reliance on the market, and increasingly so: In the past 20 years the share of profits of the 200 largest enterprises has risen sharply, reports scholar Robert W. McChesney in his new book, DIGITAL DISCONNECT. His human insights and retellings of stories from Gaza are very touching: While a showcase for the human capacity for violence, Gaza is also an inspiring exemplar of the demand for dignity. Ghada Ageel, a young woman who escaped from Gaza to Canada, writes about her 87-year-old refugee grandmother, still trapped in the Gaza prison. Before her grandmother’s expulsion from a now-destroyed village, “she owned a house, farms and land and she enjoyed honor, dignity and hope.” Amazingly, like Palestinians generally, the elderly woman hasn’t given up hope. “When I saw my grandmother in November 2012 she was unusually happy,” Ageel writes. “Surprised by her high spirits, I asked for an explanation. She looked me in the eye and, to my surprise, said that she was no longer worried about” her native village and the life of dignity that she has lost, for her irrevocably. The village, her grandmother told Ageel, “is in your heart, and I also know that you are not alone in your journey. Don’t be discouraged. We are getting there.” A few words on Edward Snowden and people like Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning: Washington has made clear that any country that refuses to extradite Snowden will face harsh punishment. The United States will “chase him to the ends of the earth,” Senator Lindsey Graham warned. [...] U.S. government spokespersons assured the world that Snowden will be granted the full protection of American law—referring to those same laws that have kept U.S. Army soldier Bradley Manning (who released a vast archive of U.S. military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks) in prison for three years, much of it in solitary confinement under humiliating conditions. Long gone is the archaic notion of a speedy trial before a jury of peers. On July 30 a military judge found Manning guilty of charges that could lead to a maximum sentence of 136 years. Like Snowden, Manning committed the crime of revealing to Americans—and others—what their government is doing. That is a severe breach of “security” in the operative meaning of the term, familiar to anyone who has pored over declassified documents. Typically “security” means security of government officials from the prying eyes of the public to whom they are answerable—in theory. [...] In an interview on German TV, Edward J. Snowden said that his “breaking point” was “seeing Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, directly lie under oath to Congress” by denying the existence of a domestic spying program conducted by the National Security Agency. Snowden elaborated that “the public had a right to know about these programs. The public had a right to know that which the government is doing in its name, and that which the government is doing against the public.” The same could be justly said by Daniel Ellsberg, Chelsea Manning and other courageous figures who acted on the same democratic principle. The government stance is quite different: The public doesn’t have the right to know because security thus is undermined—severely so, as officials assert. There are several good reasons to be skeptical about such a response. The first is that it’s almost completely predictable: When a government’s act is exposed, the government reflexively pleads security. The predictable response therefore carries little information. A second reason for skepticism is the nature of the evidence presented. International relations scholar John Mearsheimer writes, “The Obama administration, not surprisingly, initially claimed that the NSA’s spying played a key role in thwarting 54 terrorist plots against the United States, implying it violated the Fourth Amendment for good reason. “This was a lie, however. General Keith Alexander, the NSA director, eventually admitted to Congress that he could claim only one success, and that involved catching a Somali immigrant and three cohorts living in San Diego who had sent $8,500 to a terrorist group in Somalia.” His words on anarchy: Anarchism is, famously, opposed to the state, while advocating “planned administration of things in the interest of the community,” in Rocker’s words; and beyond that, wide-ranging federations of self-governing communities and workplaces. [...] This broad tendency in human development seeks to identify structures of hierarchy, authority and domination that constrain human development, and then subject them to a very reasonable challenge: Justify yourself. If these structures can’t meet that challenge, they should be dismantled—and, anarchists believe, “refashioned from below,” as commentator Nathan Schneider observes. On the current drone campaign: For example, President Obama’s drone-driven global assassination program, by far the world’s greatest terrorist campaign, is also a terror-generating campaign. General Stanley A. McChrystal, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan until he was relieved of duty, spoke of “insurgent math”: For every innocent person you kill, you create 10 new enemies. This concept of “innocent person” tells us how far we’ve progressed in the last 800 years, since the Magna Carta, which established the principle of presumption of innocence that was once thought to be the foundation of Anglo-American law. I love how Chomsky displays the thoughts of major publications and how they follow the lead of their government: Recently the NEW YORK TIMES reported the “anguish” of a federal judge who had to decide whether to allow the force-feeding of a Syrian prisoner who is on a hunger strike to protest his imprisonment. No “anguish” was expressed over the fact that he has been held without trial for 12 years in Guantánamo Bay military prison, one of many victims of the leader of the Free World who claims the right to hold prisoners without charges and to subject them to torture. A bit more on companies/corporations vs the environment: It is unfair to omit exercises of “soft power” and the role of the private sector. A good example is Chevron’s decision to abandon its widely touted renewable energy programs, because fossil fuels are far more profitable. Exxon Mobil in turn announced “that its laserlike focus on fossil fuels is a sound strategy, regardless of climate change,” BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK reports, “because the world needs vastly more energy and the likelihood of significant carbon reductions is ‘highly unlikely.’” It is therefore a mistake to remind readers daily of the Nuremberg judgment. Aggression is no longer the “supreme international crime.” It cannot compare with destruction of the lives of future generations to ensure bigger bonuses tomorrow. Brilliant. Simple. Plain. Insightful. A must-read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mat

    Nice recap of the past three years' politics (2011-14) as told through Noam Chomsky's bite-sized monthly columns. Here are some quotes that jumped out at me: +++ It’s unnecessary to dwell on the extreme dangers posed by one central element of the destruction of the commons: the reliance on fossil fuels, which courts global disaster. Details may be debated, but there is little serious doubt that the problems are all too real and that the longer we delay in addressing them, the more awful will be the Nice recap of the past three years' politics (2011-14) as told through Noam Chomsky's bite-sized monthly columns. Here are some quotes that jumped out at me: +++ It’s unnecessary to dwell on the extreme dangers posed by one central element of the destruction of the commons: the reliance on fossil fuels, which courts global disaster. Details may be debated, but there is little serious doubt that the problems are all too real and that the longer we delay in addressing them, the more awful will be the legacy left to generations to come. The recent Rio+20 Conference is the latest effort. Its aspirations were meager, its outcome derisory. In the lead in confronting the crisis, throughout the world, are indigenous communities. The strongest stand has been taken by the one country they govern, Bolivia, the poorest country in South America and for centuries a victim of Western destruction of its rich resources. After the ignominious collapse of the Copenhagen global climate change summit in 2009, Bolivia organized a People’s Summit with 35,000 participants from 140 countries. The summit called for very sharp reduction in emissions, and a Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth. That is a key demand of indigenous communities all over the world. The demand is ridiculed by sophisticated Westerners, but unless we can acquire some of the sensibility of the indigenous communities, they are likely to have the last laugh—a laugh of grim despair. +++ Omitted from the contrived debate is a much larger group of skeptics: highly regarded climate scientists who see the IPCC’s regular reports as much too conservative. And these scientists have repeatedly been proven correct, unfortunately. The propaganda campaign has apparently had some effect on U.S. public opinion, which is more skeptical than the global norm. But the effect is not significant enough to satisfy the masters. That is presumably why sectors of the corporate world are launching their attack on the educational system, in an effort to counter the public’s dangerous tendency to pay attention to the conclusions of scientific research. +++ In the future, historians (if there are any) will look back on this curious spectacle taking shape in the early 21st century. For the first time in human history, humans are facing the significant prospect of severe calamity as a result of their actions—actions that are battering our prospects of decent survival. Those historians will observe that the richest and most powerful country in history, which enjoys incomparable advantages, is leading the effort to intensify the likely disaster. Leading the effort to preserve conditions in which our immediate descendants might have a decent life are the so-called “primitive” societies: First Nations, tribal, indigenous, aboriginal. The countries with large and influential indigenous populations are well in the lead in seeking to preserve the planet. The countries that have driven indigenous populations to extinction or extreme marginalization are racing toward destruction. Thus Ecuador, with its large indigenous population, is seeking aid from the rich countries to allow it to keep its substantial oil reserves underground, where they should be. Meanwhile the U.S. and Canada are seeking to burn fossil fuels, including the extremely dangerous Canadian tar sands, and to do so as quickly and fully as possible, while they hail the wonders of a century of (largely meaningless) energy independence without a side glance at what the world might look like after this extravagant commitment to self-destruction. This observation generalizes: Throughout the world, indigenous societies are struggling to protect what they sometimes call “the rights of nature,” while the civilized and sophisticated scoff at this silliness. This is all exactly the opposite of what rationality would predict—unless it is the skewed form of reason that passes through the filter of really existing capitalist democracy. +++ The blurring of borders and these challenges to the legitimacy of states bring to the fore serious questions about who owns the Earth. Who owns the global atmosphere being polluted by the heat-trapping gases that have just passed an especially perilous threshold, as we learned in May? Or, to adopt the phrase used by indigenous people throughout much of the world, Who will defend the Earth? Who will uphold the rights of nature? Who will adopt the role of steward of the commons, our collective possession? That the Earth now desperately needs defense from impending environmental catastrophe is surely obvious to any rational and literate person. The different reactions to the crisis are a most remarkable feature of current history. At the forefront of the defense of nature are those often called “primitive”: members of indigenous and tribal groups, like the First Nations in Canada or the Aborigines in Australia—the remnants of peoples who have survived the imperial onslaught. At the forefront of the assault on nature are those who call themselves the most advanced and civilized: the richest and most powerful nations. +++ In the Brazilian rural workers movement, they speak of “widening the floors of the cage”—the cage of existing coercive institutions that can be widened by popular struggle—as has happened effectively over many years. We can extend the image to think of the cage of state institutions as a protection from the savage beasts roaming outside: the predatory, state-supported capitalist institutions dedicated in principle to private gain, power and domination, with community and people’s interest at most a footnote, revered in rhetoric but dismissed in practice as a matter of principle and even law. Much of the most respected work in academic political science compares public attitudes and government policy. In AFFLUENCE AND INFLUENCE: ECONOMIC INEQUALITY AND POLITICAL POWER IN AMERICA, the Princeton scholar Martin Gilens reveals that the majority of the U.S. population is effectively disenfranchised. About 70 percent of the population, at the lower end of the wealth/income scale, has no influence on policy, Gilens concludes. Moving up the scale, influence slowly increases. At the very top are those who pretty much determine policy, by means that aren’t obscure. The resulting system is not democracy but plutocracy. +++ No one took the American philosopher John Dewey to be an anarchist. But consider his ideas. He recognized that “power today resides in control of the means of production, exchange, publicity, transportation and communication. Whoever owns them rules the life of the country,” even if democratic forms remain. Until those institutions are in the hands of the public, politics will remain “the shadow cast on society by big business,” much as is seen today. These ideas lead very naturally to a vision of society based on workers’ control of productive institutions, as envisioned by 19th-century thinkers, notably Karl Marx but also—less familiar—John Stuart Mill. Mill wrote, “The form of association, however, which if mankind continue to improve, must be expected to predominate, is . . . the association of the labourers themselves on terms of equality, collectively owning the capital with which they carry on their operations, and working under managers electable and removable by themselves.” +++ Sometimes the reasons for the world’s concerns are obliquely recognized in the United States, as when former CIA director Michael Hayden, discussing Obama’s drone murder campaign, conceded that “right now, there isn’t a government on the planet that agrees with our legal rationale for these operations, except for Afghanistan and maybe Israel.” +++ Often the attempt to maintain secrecy is motivated by the need to guarantee the security of powerful domestic sectors. One persistent example is the mislabeled “free trade agreements”—mislabeled because they radically violate free trade principles and are substantially not about trade at all, but rather about investor rights. These instruments are regularly negotiated in secret, like the current Trans-Pacific Partnership—not entirely in secret, of course. They aren’t secret from the hundreds of corporate lobbyists and lawyers who are writing the detailed provisions, with an impact revealed by the few parts that have reached the public through WikiLeaks. As the economist Joseph E. Stiglitz reasonably concludes, with the U.S. Trade Representative’s office “representing corporate interests,” not those of the public, “The likelihood that what emerges from the coming talks will serve ordinary Americans’ interests is low; the outlook for ordinary citizens in other countries is even bleaker.” Corporate-sector security is a regular concern of government policies—which is hardly surprising, given their role in formulating the policies in the first place. In contrast, there is substantial evidence that the security of the domestic population—”national security” as the term is supposed to be understood—is not a high priority for state policy. For example, President Obama’s drone-driven global assassination program, by far the world’s greatest terrorist campaign, is also a terror-generating campaign. General Stanley A. McChrystal, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan until he was relieved of duty, spoke of “insurgent math”: For every innocent person you kill, you create 10 new enemies. +++ Tribal cultures, Ahmed points out, are based on honor and revenge: “Every act of violence in these tribal societies provokes a counterattack: the harder the attacks on the tribesmen, the more vicious and bloody the counterattacks.” The terror targeting may hit home. In the British journal INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, David Hastings Dunn outlines how increasingly sophisticated drones are a perfect weapon for terrorist groups. Drones are cheap, easily acquired and “possess many qualities which, when combined, make them potentially the ideal means for terrorist attack in the 21st century,” Dunn explains. +++ A central conclusion is that the United States must maintain the right of a nuclear first strike, even against non-nuclear states. Furthermore, nuclear weapons must always be available, because they “cast a shadow over any crisis or conflict.” Thus nuclear weapons are always used, just as you use a gun if you aim it but don’t fire when robbing a store—a point that Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, has repeatedly stressed. Stratcom goes on to advise that “planners should not be too rational about determining . . . what an adversary values,” all of which must be targeted. “[I]t hurts to portray ourselves as too fully rational and cool-headed. . . . That the U.S. may become irrational and vindictive if its vital interests are attacked should be a part of the national persona we project to all adversaries.” It is “beneficial [for our strategic posture] that some elements may appear to be potentially ‘out of control’”—and thus posing a constant threat of nuclear attack. +++ Today the United States is crowing about “100 years of energy independence” as the country becomes “the Saudi Arabia of the next century”—very likely the final century of human civilization if current policies persist. One might even take a speech of President Obama’s two years ago in the oil town of Cushing, Oklahoma, to be an eloquent death-knell for the species. He proclaimed with pride, to ample applause, “Now, under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. That’s important to know. Over the last three years, I’ve directed my administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states. We’re opening up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources offshore. We’ve quadrupled the number of operating rigs to a record high. We’ve added enough new oil and gas pipeline to encircle the Earth and then some.” The applause also reveals something about government commitment to security. Industry profits are sure to be secured as “producing more oil and gas here at home” will continue to be “a critical part” of energy strategy, as the president promised. The corporate sector is carrying out major propaganda campaigns to convince the public that climate change, if happening at all, does not result from human activity. These efforts are aimed at overcoming the excessive rationality of the public, which continues to be concerned about the threats that scientists overwhelmingly regard as near-certain and ominous. To put it bluntly, in the moral calculus of today’s capitalism, a bigger bonus tomorrow outweighs the fate of one’s grandchildren. +++ The front page of the NEW YORK TIMES on June 26 featured a photo of women mourning a murdered Iraqi. He is one of the innumerable victims of the ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) campaign in which the Iraqi army, armed and trained by the U.S. for many years, quickly melted away, abandoning much of Iraq to a few thousand militants, hardly a new experience in imperial history. Right above the picture is the newspaper’s famous motto: “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” There is a crucial omission. The front page should display the words of the Nuremberg judgment of prominent Nazis—words that must be repeated until they penetrate general consciousness: Aggression is “the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” And alongside these words there should be the admonition of the chief prosecutor for the United States, Robert Jackson: “The record on which we judge these defendants is the record on which history will judge us tomorrow. To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well.” The U.S.-U.K. invasion of Iraq was a textbook example of aggression. Apologists invoke noble intentions, which would be irrelevant even if the pleas were sustainable. For the World War II tribunals, it mattered not a jot that Japanese imperialists were intent on bringing an “earthly paradise” to the Chinese they were slaughtering, or that Hitler sent troops into Poland in 1939 in self-defense against the “wild terror” of the Poles. The same holds when we sip from the poisoned chalice. +++ Exxon Mobil... announced “that its laserlike focus on fossil fuels is a sound strategy, regardless of climate change,” BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK reports, “because the world needs vastly more energy and the likelihood of significant carbon reductions is ‘highly unlikely.’” It is therefore a mistake to remind readers daily of the Nuremberg judgment. Aggression is no longer the “supreme international crime.” It cannot compare with destruction of the lives of future generations to ensure bigger bonuses tomorrow. +++ Forty years ago Israel made the fateful decision to choose expansion over security, rejecting a full peace treaty offered by Egypt in return for evacuation from the occupied Egyptian Sinai, where Israel was initiating extensive settlement and development projects. Israel has adhered to that policy ever since.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Randall Wallace

    It’s amusing to note which countries are happiest with Israel’s long-term mistreatment of the Palestinians. Because Israel’s top pals (US, Britain and Australia) historically are all the famed indigenous killers – “settler-colonial societies based on the extermination or expulsion of indigenous populations in favor of a higher race, and where such behavior is considered natural and praiseworthy.” Forty years ago note that Israel chose expansion over security. “Palestinians are barred entry to al It’s amusing to note which countries are happiest with Israel’s long-term mistreatment of the Palestinians. Because Israel’s top pals (US, Britain and Australia) historically are all the famed indigenous killers – “settler-colonial societies based on the extermination or expulsion of indigenous populations in favor of a higher race, and where such behavior is considered natural and praiseworthy.” Forty years ago note that Israel chose expansion over security. “Palestinians are barred entry to almost half of Gaza’s limited arable land.” Creating a nuclear weapons free zone in the mid east should be the top US policy goal but not possible with the US in bed with Israel protecting her hidden stash. The importance of student debt is that it subordinates the students to power. The goal of education is to “limit their perspectives and understanding, discourage free and independent thought, and train them for obedience.” As to climate change, in a rare case of bipartisanship, “both parties demand that we make the problem worse.” ☺ Noam explains the downside of how we got Bin Laden. He explains how the media frame Snowden and Chelsea Manning as breaching security yet the definition of security here is the security of public officials not to be seen by the people to which they are answerable. Ah America, for seven decades we have led the world in “aggression and subversion, overthrowing electing governments and installing dictatorship.” Jesus, Gandhi and Martin Luther King would be so proud. We have a one party state – the Business Party. “Principles are valid only if they are universal” – in other words, we must everywhere attack hypocrisy. We are the only country in the world violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the UN Charter because of our outlandish present threat of force against Iran. Top scholar Gordon S. Wood wrote, “the Constitution was intrinsically an aristocratic document designed to check the democratic tendencies of the period.” Noam says our Drone program “by far the world’s greatest terrorist campaign, is also a terror generating campaign.” As General Stanley Chrystal said, “For every innocent person you kill, you create ten enemies.” Read inside the amazing story of Stanislav Petrov, who saved the entire planet in 1983. The US Strategic Command wrote in a study, ” It hurts to portray ourselves as too fully rational and cool-headed… That the U.S. may become irrational and vindictive…” Ah, the Kissinger/Nixon Madman theory at work based on contempt for those with whom you are negotiating. The saddest line in the book, was that while aggression has been up until now the world’s greatest crime, now it’s become today’s elite criminally and totally believing Noam’s Capitalism Credo: “A bigger bonus tomorrow outweighs the fate of one’s children.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Desere

    For years I have been fascinated with the United States of America. It's their pure and very addictive drive to succeed that has inspired me for as long as I can remember. The United States have been a force to reckon with from a very early time, they are always there, always ready to fight for justice, no matter if the justice is their own or another country's they are there , on the front-lines beating the heck out of all evil, and why , well it's exactly as this book's title says " Because w For years I have been fascinated with the United States of America. It's their pure and very addictive drive to succeed that has inspired me for as long as I can remember. The United States have been a force to reckon with from a very early time, they are always there, always ready to fight for justice, no matter if the justice is their own or another country's they are there , on the front-lines beating the heck out of all evil, and why , well it's exactly as this book's title says " Because we say so!" Because the United States of America always does what is right, they are born leaders and love them or hate them, the fact remains they are a power that will never go away. But of course not everything is always fair in love and war. This read starts off in Durban, South African and then goes on to take the reader on a wold-wide tour of just how the force known as the USA takes over, destroys, saves and manipulates leaders and people of our world. In most instances the USA 's actions are of course valid, I mean none of us if we could intervene, would stand by and watch an innocent 5 year old get killed by ruthless insurgents. But then there are those actions that can be seen as crimes of war, senseless, degrading and not the image any country wants to portray. As stated you either love the Americans or you hate them, you can hate them all you want but at the end of the day show me the country that has had to go to war and did it all perfectly? There are none, every general or leader heck every soldier has done something that they think was right at the time but afterwards could see the light shine down onto their downright despicable actions. Because I feel that it's vital for all readers to take a look at this book, I am going to stop right here and only add that this author has a unique voice, he sees the action , entrances the reader to the point where you might as well me the leader having to sit there and listen to the actions being justified or your image shattered, and the most important , this author makes you think and I mean deep long and stretched out thoughts. And at the end of the day my dear reading friends , you too will come to the conclusion that the world is a far worst place then you might think, every country wants to be the ultimate one, but just because we say so doesn't make it right, or does it? We either go to war and walk away as the winner or the loser but what about all the in - between- tidbits that most simply try to hide? 5/5 star review " Riveting, front row seat war action at it's best ! "

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dhaval

    This is a book which deserves a sixth star. What can I say? Noam Chomsky is undoubtedly the greatest intellectual and human alive, and this book makes him even more accessible for this new generation as it provides nuggets of his wisdom in a short format. From climate change to persecution in Gaza & of Edward Snowden, Chomsky takes apart the US's elitist plutocracy in each of his essays. This book can be your easy entry-point into the world of Geo-politics and current state of the world and why This is a book which deserves a sixth star. What can I say? Noam Chomsky is undoubtedly the greatest intellectual and human alive, and this book makes him even more accessible for this new generation as it provides nuggets of his wisdom in a short format. From climate change to persecution in Gaza & of Edward Snowden, Chomsky takes apart the US's elitist plutocracy in each of his essays. This book can be your easy entry-point into the world of Geo-politics and current state of the world and why USA is centre of most of these problems.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ariel Bourque

    THIS book is a necessary news source for current times.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dominic Carrillo

    Everything you have come to expect from Chomsky: an informed, bold criticism of US foreign policy as an imperialist global power whose hubris and aggression looms as the largest threat out there.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    I don't get why people like it so much. I mean, he's clearly smart and he might even be right, but if you just stack statement after purported statement on top of each other without evidence of any kind, it's only rhetoric and it doesn't work for me. Cite some things, address some counterpoints, then I might be more convinced. "Because we say so" indeed! Perhaps there is a different Chomsky I should pick up. I don't get why people like it so much. I mean, he's clearly smart and he might even be right, but if you just stack statement after purported statement on top of each other without evidence of any kind, it's only rhetoric and it doesn't work for me. Cite some things, address some counterpoints, then I might be more convinced. "Because we say so" indeed! Perhaps there is a different Chomsky I should pick up.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Derya

    I wept from the injustice.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Keen

    4.5 Stars! “An old man in Gaza held a placard that read: You take my water, burn my olive trees, destroy my house, take my job, steal my land, imprison my father, kill my mother, bombard my country, starve us all, humiliate us all, but I am to blame: I shot a rocket back.” One of the things I love about Chomsky is the way he so eloquently ridicules a series of US presidents in such a dry and devastating way, exposing the tired old rhetoric, the lies, hypocrisy and slaughter. He is excellent on Ame 4.5 Stars! “An old man in Gaza held a placard that read: You take my water, burn my olive trees, destroy my house, take my job, steal my land, imprison my father, kill my mother, bombard my country, starve us all, humiliate us all, but I am to blame: I shot a rocket back.” One of the things I love about Chomsky is the way he so eloquently ridicules a series of US presidents in such a dry and devastating way, exposing the tired old rhetoric, the lies, hypocrisy and slaughter. He is excellent on American exceptionalism and the bizarre and delusional propaganda that comes along with all of that. The fact of the matter is that the US government has granted itself total immunity from any scrutiny in perpetuity and the rest of the world just has to put up with it or risk being punished. Now I’ve read a fair bit on American policy and its devastating effects on many corners of the planet, but Chomsky still manages to shock and inform me of even more horror and bullying. His erudite approach works a treat throughout and there were so many memorable quotes in here, the one describing America as “a one party state: the business party, with two factions called Democrats and Republicans," had me laughing away. “The United States can be held to lead the international community only if that community is defined as the United States and whoever happens to go along with it, often through intimidation.” Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton, Bush and baby Bush, all get found out, but Chomsky saves a particular scrutiny and suspicion for Mr Obama, who was in charge during the period these writings were first published. “I’ve directed my administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states. We’re opening up more than 75% of our potential oil resources offshore. We’ve quadrupled the number of operating rigs to a record high. We’ve added enough new oil and gas pipeline to encircle the Earth and then some.” So Obama boasts to a sycophantic crowd, seemingly oblivious to the idea of global warming. Chomsky describes his drone-driven global assassination program as “the world’s greatest terrorist campaign.” Which is really hard to disagree with. Obama is also called out on signing the NDAA which legalises the indefinite detention without trial of suspects. Elsewhere he covers aspects of Fallujah and Iraq, Gaza and Israel, the Vietnam War and many other elements of American foreign policy that shock and horrify in equal measure. Overall this collection sees Chomsky at the top of his game, and this is also a good starting point for anyone interested in his work. It is incredible to think that he is 91 years old. “‘For nearly seven decades’ the United States has led the world in aggression and subversion-overthrowing elected governments and imposing vicious dictatorships, supporting horrendous crimes, undermining international agreements and leaving trails of blood, destruction and misery.”

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Noam Chomsky is a very prolific when it comes to his ideas. Personally I feel like they should be discussed by a wider audience. This takes an effort. Most Americans don't read enough. That makes it up to us (the people who do read) to bring these ideas into any community level conversation. Chomsky "has strongly argued that educators, artists, journalists and other intellectuals have a responsibility to provide students and the wider public the knowledge and skills they need to be able to learn Noam Chomsky is a very prolific when it comes to his ideas. Personally I feel like they should be discussed by a wider audience. This takes an effort. Most Americans don't read enough. That makes it up to us (the people who do read) to bring these ideas into any community level conversation. Chomsky "has strongly argued that educators, artists, journalists and other intellectuals have a responsibility to provide students and the wider public the knowledge and skills they need to be able to learn how to think rigorously, to be self-reflective and to develop the capacity to govern rather than be governed." The only way we can do this is to make participating in the democracy part of our government as if it was a religion. Because it should be.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kristaps

    Having read Chomsky only partially - some article here and there, this was the first book (or rather collection in this case) of his thoughts on current affairs. In general I think that this collection can give you some insight in his main arguments and issues he feels most noteworthy, however in all this felt rather fragmented and many of the thoughts were not driven to hard-hitting conclusions or calls to action (because the works were collected from those previously written elsewhere). Being Having read Chomsky only partially - some article here and there, this was the first book (or rather collection in this case) of his thoughts on current affairs. In general I think that this collection can give you some insight in his main arguments and issues he feels most noteworthy, however in all this felt rather fragmented and many of the thoughts were not driven to hard-hitting conclusions or calls to action (because the works were collected from those previously written elsewhere). Being such a short book this might be a decent start to read some of his ideas, however I'm not sure if this is the best one and there might be better works of Chomsky.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shira

    From changing our Cuba policy to be in alignment with both our neighbors and with Europe, who are not embargoing or punishing Cuba for exercising their right to be human beings , to adopting a Humane drug policy by treating drug addiction as a health care issue, which it clearly is, Chomsky again points out all of the United States policy that desperately needs changing.

  19. 4 out of 5

    King Leonidas I

    Essential reading that exposes the myth of international accountability for hegemonic powers and clears up the details of issues, such as the Israel/Palestine conflict, that seem muddy in the media but turn out to be straight-forward when you remove the media obfuscation.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chad Gagnon

    I don’t agree with all of Chomsky’s stances, but I do appreciate his thoroughness of research, his unrelenting commitment to foreign policy, and how thought provoking his literature is.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Angelin

    Fairly easy to read, the book presents short essays and speech adaptations by Chomsky. It makes concepts, theories, worldviews and history into digestible bits that the layman can understand without compromising the quality of the content and context. "Because We Say So" uses case studies—both recent and long past—to talk about the United States as a rogue superpower. Chomsky was able to clearly illustrate the arrogance of the U.S in its foreign policy and decision-making process, resulting in th Fairly easy to read, the book presents short essays and speech adaptations by Chomsky. It makes concepts, theories, worldviews and history into digestible bits that the layman can understand without compromising the quality of the content and context. "Because We Say So" uses case studies—both recent and long past—to talk about the United States as a rogue superpower. Chomsky was able to clearly illustrate the arrogance of the U.S in its foreign policy and decision-making process, resulting in the chaos and disastrous aftermath we see in some states like Gaza, among many others. It definitely presented a new view, of the U.S not just as a superpower, but as a rogue state which practices exceptionalism.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tariq Mahmood

    Book is composed of short snappy chapters challenging the current political narrative and destroying it completley. It is left to the reader to make his own informed judgments, which is not an easy task with the abundance of popular propoganda cheaply availible. If it is the job of the aristocrates to explain stark choice to the general population, and if the aristocracy is dependent on the people/institutions in power then the general voter is going to find it very difficult to understand the i Book is composed of short snappy chapters challenging the current political narrative and destroying it completley. It is left to the reader to make his own informed judgments, which is not an easy task with the abundance of popular propoganda cheaply availible. If it is the job of the aristocrates to explain stark choice to the general population, and if the aristocracy is dependent on the people/institutions in power then the general voter is going to find it very difficult to understand the issues that matter. Hopefully this book will help a few stranglers at least.......

  23. 5 out of 5

    Zöe Yu

    Gave four stars to this book due to minor repetitions in some articles regarding Israel and Palestinian issue. Reading the first Chomsky book was a pleasant journey. He has a very clear standing point in Israel and Palestinian conflict, as in global warming, climate change etc. It requires one to think about plenty of current issues in the world.

  24. 5 out of 5

    John Hatley

    This little collection of Noam Chomsky's writing is so typically Chomsky that it is brilliant for that reason alone. If only more people - particularly in American government - read more his work, and then lived by it, the world would definitely be a better place to live in for all of us. This little collection of Noam Chomsky's writing is so typically Chomsky that it is brilliant for that reason alone. If only more people - particularly in American government - read more his work, and then lived by it, the world would definitely be a better place to live in for all of us.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stephie

    Chomsky shows his brilliance with this collection of essays and articles. He is very critical of America and its international doings. I think voices like Chomsky's are so important, even more so in light of Trump's election. Chomsky shows his brilliance with this collection of essays and articles. He is very critical of America and its international doings. I think voices like Chomsky's are so important, even more so in light of Trump's election.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rhys

    Essays by Noam. Kind of like going to a chiropractor to get realigned (in a good way).

  27. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Kelly

    The always powerful Noam Chomsky. I always say that I need to read more from him. His is brilliant and his ideas strike to the core of many of my beliefs about government, imperialism, capitalism, and the United States. The Rage Against The Machine in me. This is a book of his articles and speech from 2013-2016. He talks about Israel and Palestine, which is always fascinating, his honesty and revelations regarding the horrors that take place there are eye opening. Israel is a terribly repressive The always powerful Noam Chomsky. I always say that I need to read more from him. His is brilliant and his ideas strike to the core of many of my beliefs about government, imperialism, capitalism, and the United States. The Rage Against The Machine in me. This is a book of his articles and speech from 2013-2016. He talks about Israel and Palestine, which is always fascinating, his honesty and revelations regarding the horrors that take place there are eye opening. Israel is a terribly repressive regime. He speaks a lot about the idea of a nuclear free zone in the Middle East, that Iran is not liked but not seen as the threat that the US and Israel are, and Iran has a legitimate case for nuclear weapons as a counter to Israel. A fascinating point he mentions is how the phrase 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' was changed from 'property'. That property is meant to counter the poor and disenfranchised. Although the phrase was changed, the writers of the constitution were afraid of those not in power, they wanted to protect the powerful land owners. So often I idealize our founders and the constitution, then find how flawed and devious they were. Chomsky reminds me of that. He mentions the crux of the problem, democracy is the worst form of government, except for all of the others. He does point out how disenfranchised most of America is. How little power people have and how most of the power and wealth is concentrated in the wealthy and powerful. That fucks our society but is how it was built. He starts, speaks to it through out, and ends with the massive importance of climate change. That climate change is the issue that we must address and that humanity only has a limited time to change. Amazing coming from a man that speaks so much about American imperialism, corruption, power, propaganda, etc. He believes that climate change is the issue to address. Chomsky is brilliant and I need to read more from him.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Adrian

    An interesting collection of essays and articles, though somewhat lacking in the status of a coherent whole. The underlying theme is US Imperialism, and Chomsky provides an interesting critique, although it does frequently (if not always) assume the very worst of intentions. One does get the feeling that Chomsky believes the US can simply do no right. However, the areas on which he is frequently critical, such as policy to Middle East, Latin America, or the previous destruction of Vietnam, Laos a An interesting collection of essays and articles, though somewhat lacking in the status of a coherent whole. The underlying theme is US Imperialism, and Chomsky provides an interesting critique, although it does frequently (if not always) assume the very worst of intentions. One does get the feeling that Chomsky believes the US can simply do no right. However, the areas on which he is frequently critical, such as policy to Middle East, Latin America, or the previous destruction of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, are in many ways the darkest periods of US hegemony, and therefore should be remembered and critically examined. Chomsky writes well, and provides some decent examples, however, he rarely raises a critical voice of anyone other than America, perhaps only briefly describing Russia's war in Ukraine as wrong. A decent read, and perhaps a good way to refresh oneself on current events, or take a look at current events through a different lens.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alex Rauket

    Chomsky’s “Because we Say So” is a collection of short articles presenting Chomsky’s well-known anti-conformist view of the world situation over the previous 10 years.   The ideas are concisely presented, however, for those unfamiliar with the background of the events in question, or even the broader context, some of the arguments posed might be confusing to follow. Also, Chomsky can, at times, tread close to ranting, sometimes sounding like a fringe radical; there are often sweeping statements wi Chomsky’s “Because we Say So” is a collection of short articles presenting Chomsky’s well-known anti-conformist view of the world situation over the previous 10 years.   The ideas are concisely presented, however, for those unfamiliar with the background of the events in question, or even the broader context, some of the arguments posed might be confusing to follow. Also, Chomsky can, at times, tread close to ranting, sometimes sounding like a fringe radical; there are often sweeping statements with little context or reference. I feel as though the short medium might be a disadvantage for these topics, if one wants to communicate the ideas dispassionately and with the weight of facts involved.   In the end, the essays are easy to read and provide a shallow pool in which to dips one’s toe, even if the subject is uncomfortable. The water is not always warm.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Roger B

    some good columns from 2012-2014. interesting to see what ages well and what doesn't. for the latter, it would have to be a note on conduct that was meant to provides a better example of how a nation state should deal with violent uprising - unfortunately, china's handling of the uighur situation in xinjiang back then seems now (with the benefit of hindsight) an opening gambit to a much longer term and more predatory plan. another difficult look back was the state of south america which seemed t some good columns from 2012-2014. interesting to see what ages well and what doesn't. for the latter, it would have to be a note on conduct that was meant to provides a better example of how a nation state should deal with violent uprising - unfortunately, china's handling of the uighur situation in xinjiang back then seems now (with the benefit of hindsight) an opening gambit to a much longer term and more predatory plan. another difficult look back was the state of south america which seemed to be integrating around a left-leaning policy. now this looks to have completely reversed in a short period of time (e.g. bolivia, brazil). very likely not the end of things. good read nonetheless.

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