10 Noam Chomsky Quotes That Reach Across the Political Aisle

Intellectual Takeout | December 7, 2015 | 4,648

10 Noam Chomsky Quotes That Reach Across the Political Aisle

1. “If we don't believe in free expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all.”

 

2. “Mass education was designed to turn independent farmers into docile, passive tools of production. That was its primary purpose. And don't think people didn't know it. They knew it and they fought against it. There was a lot of resistance to mass education for exactly that reason.”

 

3. “Everybody is for peace. The question is: ‘What kind of peace?’”

 

4. “There can be no more urgent task than to come to understand the mechanisms and practices of indoctrination. These are easy to perceive in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the propaganda system to which we are subjected and in which all too often we serve as unwilling or unwitting instruments.”

 

5. “I think about ninety percent of the problem in teaching, or maybe ninety-eight percent, is just to help the students get interested… Typically they come in interested, and the process of education is a way of driving that defect out of their minds.”

 

6. “The most effective way to restrict democracy is to transfer decision-making from the public arena to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern corporations.”

 

7. “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.”

 

8. “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.”

 

9. “Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.”

 

10. “It is not that I am not a fan of American exceptionalism. That is like saying I am not a fan of the moon being made out of green cheese—it does not exist. Powerful states have quite typically considered themselves to be exceptionally magnificent, and the United States is no exception to that.”