Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire [NOOK Book]

Overview


A compelling new set of interviews on our changing and turbulent times with Noam Chomsky, one of the world's foremost thinkers

In this new collection of conversations, conducted from 2010 to 2012, Noam Chomsky explores the most immediate and urgent concerns: the future of democracy in the Arab world, the implications of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the European financial crisis, the breakdown of American mainstream political institutions, and the rise of the Occupy movement....

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Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire

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Overview


A compelling new set of interviews on our changing and turbulent times with Noam Chomsky, one of the world's foremost thinkers

In this new collection of conversations, conducted from 2010 to 2012, Noam Chomsky explores the most immediate and urgent concerns: the future of democracy in the Arab world, the implications of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the European financial crisis, the breakdown of American mainstream political institutions, and the rise of the Occupy movement. As always, Chomsky presents his ideas vividly and accessibly, with uncompromising principle and clarifying insight.

The latest volume from a long-established, trusted partnership, this collection shows once again that no interlocutor engages with Chomsky more effectively than David Barsamian. These interviews will inspire a new generation of readers, as well as longtime Chomsky fans eager for his latest thinking on the many crises we now confront, both at home and abroad. They confirm that Chomsky is an unparalleled resource for anyone seeking to understand our world today.


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
For decades, famed MIT linguist and political critic Chomsky has provided a sober perspective on U.S. policy. In this set of interviews (from 2010 to 2012) with journalist Barsamian (director of Alternative Radio), Chomsky (Hegemony or Survival) cuts through bipartisan centrism while exploring such urgent concerns as the power shift from sovereign nations to multinational corporate entities, "from the global workforce to the owners of the world: transnational capital, global financial institutions." Analyzing America's strategic interests in Afghanistan, he points to the long-planned Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline, intended to carry natural gas to India, as well as historical precedents like the 1915 invasion of Haiti. Elsewhere, he addresses both changes in Western activism and the West's "eroding" system of Middle Eastern dictatorships. The abuses of power discussed can be painful to absorb, yet for those who believe that in the discovery of truth lies hope, Chomsky proves an excellent guide. The penultimate interview, a rare intersection of Chomsky's linguistic and political work, ties the proliferation of national dogmas to our inborn ability to learn language. If every literate person in the U.S. and Europe were to pick up Chomsky's latest, it's not outlandish to imagine a tidal shift in modern conceptions of global power and freedom. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
"Chomsky is a global phenomenon... perhaps the most widely read voice on foreign policy on the planet."—Samantha Power, The New York Times Book Review

"Sitting down and talking to Noam Chomsky about current affairs has to be one of the most illuminating experiences going. But what if you can’t always think of the best questions? Not to worry: David Barsamian’s interviews with Chomsky consistently ask penetrating and provocative questions. If you’re familiar with Chomsky, he will still manage to surprise you."—Political Affairs

Kirkus Reviews
These conversations with the longtime MIT linguist and "wild-eyed radical" offer lively insights on war, inequality and dissent. Editor Barsamian (Alternate Radio) has collaborated with Chomsky (Making the Future, 2011, etc.) on two previous books; this question-and-answer book provides a useful entree into the formidable academic's nonconformist, iconoclastic mindset. There is no introduction, just a vigorous discussion: What has happened to America's historical memory since the Vietnam War? Chomsky frequently laments our "historical amnesia," reminding us in several places that this is the anniversary of President Kennedy's little-discussed bombing campaign of South Vietnam in 1962. Chomsky casts a jaundiced eye over America's military involvements in Iraq and Afghanistan, decries everywhere the squeeze on human rights, and otherwise asserts that "power systems" such as government and financial and marketing institutions are jealous of power, keeping people feeling helpless by splintering society. Chomsky fervently derides the gulf of inequality these power systems continue to cultivate; they often create a "class war." In brief chapters, the author flits in and out of these themes, examining, among other topics, the practical steps the Occupy movements have taken to engage the country in questions of inequality; the right-wing "propaganda" against responsible environmental efforts; and the social and political doctrines we often take for granted, such as the benign nature of American democracy. Moreover, Chomsky worries that new media might encourage the trend toward "atomization" and away from the thoughtful reflection and reading he is so famous for. He also gives an update on his research in language acquisition. Another terrific give-and-take that will appeal especially to younger seekers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805096163
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/8/2013
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 196,335
  • File size: 203 KB

Meet the Author


Noam Chomsky is the author of numerous bestselling political works, including Hegemony or Survival and Failed States. A professor of linguistics and philosophy at MIT, he is widely credited with having revolutionized modern linguistics. He lives outside Boston, Massachusetts.

David Barsamian, director of the award-winning and widely syndicated Alternative Radio, is the winner of the Lannan Foundation's 2006 Cultural Freedom Fellowship and the ACLU’s Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism. Barsamian lives in Boulder, Colorado.

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Read an Excerpt

1

The New American

Imperialism

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS (APRIL 2, 2010)

One of the themes that Howard Zinn tried to address during his long career was the lack of historical memory. The facts of history are scrupulously ignored and/or distorted. I was wondering if you could comment on imperialism then and now, interventions then and now. Specifically about Saigon in 1963 and 1964 and Kabul today?

What happened in Vietnam in the early 1960s is gone from history. It was barely discussed at the time, and it’s essentially disappeared. In 1954, there was a peace settlement between the United States and Vietnam. The United States regarded it as a disaster, refused to permit it to go forward, and established a client state in the South, which was a typical client state, carrying out torture, brutality, murders. By about 1960, the South Vietnamese government had probably killed seventy or eighty thousand people.1 The repression was so harsh that it stimulated an internal rebellion, which was not what the North Vietnamese wanted. They wanted some time to develop their own society. But they were sort of coerced by the southern resistance into at least giving it verbal support.

By the time John F. Kennedy became involved in 1961, the situation was out of control. So Kennedy simply invaded the country. In 1962, he sent the U.S. Air Force to start bombing South Vietnam, using planes with South Vietnamese markings. Kennedy authorized the use of napalm, chemical warfare, to destroy the ground cover and crops. He started the process of driving the rural population into what were called “strategic hamlets,” essentially concentration camps, where people were surrounded by barbed wire, supposedly to protect them from the guerillas who the U.S. government knew perfectly well they supported. This “pacification” ultimately drove millions of people out of the countryside while destroying large parts of it. Kennedy also began operations against North Vietnam on a small scale. That was 1962.

In 1963, the Kennedy administration got wind of the fact that the government of Ngo Dinh Diem it had installed in South Vietnam was trying to arrange negotiations with the North. Diem and his brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu, were trying to negotiate a peace settlement. So the Kennedy liberals determined that they had to be thrown out. The Kennedy administration organized a coup in which the two brothers were killed and they put in their own guy, meanwhile escalating the war. Then came the assassination of President Kennedy. Contrary to a lot of mythology, Kennedy was one of the hawks in the administration to the very last minute. He did agree to proposals for withdrawal from Vietnam, because he knew the war was very unpopular here, but always with the condition of withdrawal after victory. Once we get victory, we can withdraw and let the client regime go.

Actually, imperialism is an interesting term. The United States was founded as an empire. George Washington wrote in 1783 that “the gradual extension of our settlements will as certainly cause the savage, as the wolf, to retire; both being beasts of prey, tho’ they differ in shape.” Thomas Jefferson predicted that the “backward” tribes at the borders “will relapse into barbarism and misery, lose numbers by war and want, and we shall be obliged to drive them, with the beasts of the forests into the Stony mountains.”2 Once we don’t need slavery anymore, we’ll send the slaves back to Africa. And get rid of the Latins because they are an inferior race. We’re the superior race of Anglo-Saxons. It’s only to the benefit of everyone if we people the entire hemisphere.

Copyright © 2012 by Noam Chomsky and David Barsamian

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Table of Contents

1 The New American Imperialism 1

2 Chains of Submission and Subservience 34

3 Uprisings 44

4 Domestic Disturbances 65

5 Unconventional Wisdom 86

6 Mental Slavery 101

7 Learning How to Discover 126

8 Aristocrats and Democrats 160

Notes 179

Acknowledgments 199

Index 201

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2014

    Striking

    Yes but been busy bramble. Hang out here awhile. We are moving soon anyway (gtg)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2014

    Bloodywake

    Ok

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2013

    Excellent read as always. Chomsky has a direct focus. Every page

    Excellent read as always. Chomsky has a direct focus. Every page has great info. Disregard any negative review containing aims to undermine the truth

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    To striking

    Tonite around 10:00 eastern go to BC camp. Foxs needs to talk with u ASAP.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Hawkmoon

    You're welcome, Striking. Anyway I could be of any more assistance to The Elite??

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2014

    Bramblefang

    Anyone remember me? Ivy? Striking?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Tigerstrike to darkness

    Is your name striking? I dont think so. SHUT! UP! IDIOT!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2014

    Misery

    No. Dx l'm Dissy's babeh.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Darkness

    Yo, newb. Go to hell. I'm in charge here.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2014

    Sweetscar

    She padded in

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2014

    Pokemaster

    Hello people whats up (screw everybody that hates pokemon, jus' sayin')

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2014

    I Tigershadow

    On at 1:43 AM eastern time zone and wrote the first chapter of a fanfiction ten minutes ago.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2014

    Goku

    *yawns* yes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2014

    Jay

    She dipped her head ((why the fu<_>ck are we talking about Pokemon? This clan is more messed up than Bloodclan. And thats saying a lot...

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2014

    Bloodfur

    *pads in and pads out to bootcamp*

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2014

    Dew

    *paced and watched*

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Silver

    May I train as an Elite?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2014

    Procyon

    Ok! Pads there

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2013

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