Read Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy by Noam Chomsky Online


"It's hard to imagine any American reading this book and not seeing his country in a new, and deeply troubling, light."--The New York Times Book Review The United States has repeatedly asserted its right to intervene militarily against "failed states" around the globe. In this much-anticipated follow-up to his international bestseller Hegemony or Survival, Noam Chomsky"It's hard to imagine any American reading this book and not seeing his country in a new, and deeply troubling, light."--The New York Times Book ReviewThe United States has repeatedly asserted its right to intervene militarily against "failed states" around the globe. In this much-anticipated follow-up to his international bestseller Hegemony or Survival, Noam Chomsky turns the tables, showing how the United States itself shares features with other failed states--suffering from a severe "democratic deficit," eschewing domestic and international law, and adopting policies that increasingly endanger its own citizens and the world. Exploring the latest developments in U.S. foreign and domestic policy, Chomsky reveals Washington's plans to further militarize the planet, greatly increasing the risks of nuclear war. He also assesses the dangerous consequences of the occupation of Iraq; documents Washington's self-exemption from international norms, including the Geneva conventions and the Kyoto Protocol; and examines how the U.S. electoral system is designed to eliminate genuine political alternatives, impeding any meaningful democracy. Forceful, lucid, and meticulously documented, Failed States offers a comprehensive analysis of a global superpower that has long claimed the right to reshape other nations while its own democratic institutions are in severe crisis. Systematically dismantling the United States' pretense of being the world's arbiter of democracy, Failed States is Chomsky's most focused--and urgent--critique to date. ...

Title : Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy
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ISBN : 9780805082845
Format Type : Audio Book
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy Reviews

  • Trevor
    2018-10-08 20:12

    Reading Chomsky always disturbs me. I’m left feeling washed out and despondent. He presents the problems of the world so vividly that it is impossible not to be confronted by the enormity of the issues that confront us. He re-values and re-evaluates received wisdom, the sorts of views we get from watching news programs or reading current affairs articles, to such an extent that one is left wondering if everything we are ever told is basically just another lie. Because that is it – one comes away from reading a book by Chomsky knowing that one has been lied to – and feeling furious at those who have done the lying.How much easier the world must have seemed when the evil empire was the Soviet Union and that was where Orwell’s vision of 1984 was being played out. Now, we are all Winston Smiths – though some of us haven’t worked out just how many lies we have been told, are being told, need to be told.This might make reading Chomsky sound like reading a book by the ultimate conspiracy theorist. No, the most frightening thing about Chomsky is that he does not require there to be a conspiracy – the system maintains itself, the system is self-correcting.This is even a more shocking book than Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine. Why? It is hard to say. Perhaps it is because I came away from reading Chomsky feeling that there is little or no hope for the world. Chomsky has hope, it is just this is based on people doing what is right – and I’ve seen too little evidence that people will, when confronted with an alternative, chose right. Want proof? Count the SUVs in your street. I’m thinking of having stickers made up that read, “I’m an Environmental Terrorist and I Vote” to put on the windscreens of these hideous monstrosities.Take Chomsky’s view of the possibility of there being a nuclear war. Since the end of the Cold War one would be excused for thinking that this would seem like an incredibly unlikely outcome – that it would seem to have been an eventuality that we have somehow managed to avoid. But, as Chomsky makes plain, we are at greater risk now than ever before – partly because we think we are under no threat at all. Nuclear disarmament – that’s so 1980s. The sub-title of this book is The abuse of power and the assault on democracy. The main thesis is that the United States fits the criteria generally presented as a failed state, however, when the US does its stuff, both at home and abroad – this dysfunctional society stuff Bush seems to have become a specialist in – it is ignored, or in fact, not even noticed, on the basis that as the world’s only super-power, as the world’s centre of power, the US can simply write its own rules to suit. Sometimes I meet up with a group of guys I used to work with and have a curry for lunch and we talk furiously about the state of the world. At these times I quickly learn the gaps I have in my knowledge of recent events. I take an interest in politics, but it is as if the world is set up to confuse and misinform. At one of the more recent lunches we were discussing Kosovo and how the NATO intervention had to happen to protect the region from ethnic cleansing and genocide. Here, at least, one of my friends argued, is a case of pure beneficence on the part of the US acting as it ought to act elsewhere. Furthermore, it was an act that was unlikely to present the US with any ‘benefit’ in and of itself. There is no oil in Kosovo and therefore any aid the US presented was obviously done purely for altruistic motives.Chapter Three of this bookIllegal but Legitimate puts paid to this argument, unfortunately. The fact that there was no ethnic cleansing prior to the NATO bombing, that the NATO bombing was clearly designed to incite precisely this response, that much of what is said about this war is written backwards – as if the convenient excuse for the bombing was manifest in what actually happened, rather than completely contradicted by events – all of this is explained in gut wrenching detail.The most shocking facts in the book, however, are about the assault on democracy that occurs in the US itself. During the last presidential election in the US Kerry made sure that his policy to expand health insurance wouldn’t result in a new government program as there was ‘clearly no support for such an idea’. However, surveys conducted prior to the election point out that two-thirds of the electorate not only would favour extended health insurance – they actually thought it was already a right of all Americans. Whence this disjunct between what the public believe are the key issues (and there are pages and pages of similar statistics) and what their politicians feel even able to discuss? Chomsky’s answer is that corporatism is perverting the course of democracy away from what the people want and towards what provides corporations with more power, more money and more control.If Chomsky proves one thing, I think it is that Orwell was too optimistic in 1984. In that book Orwell assumed that people would seek the truth, eventually they would react to the totalitarian tactics of those seeking to rule over them and rebel. How naïve! Now we don’t even care that we are being lied to. Our governments can take us to war in search of ‘WMD’ and if they don’t find any they don’t even bother seeking to build their own ‘Iraqi’ weapons site – they just say, “Bugger, oh well, Saddam was a bad man anyway and once he even threatened to kill my daddy.” And people accept it. At least in Orwell’s 1984 those who rule find it necessary to lie – we are so contemptible this is no longer felt to be necessary by our masters in the worst of cases.Ironically, even here Chomsky proves that most Americans actually believe in the rule of law – even support the United Nations role in International Relations. Yet another example of the undemocratic disjunct between the US government and the will of the US people.Democracy is a gift from our forefathers; it is too precious to give away without a fight. If you are not sure what it is that we are going to lose then this is a good book to read. It really is time to become angry, there is too much at stake otherwise.Many people I know make the smug statement that – as everyone knows – Americans just don’t get irony. Chomsky proves that this isn’t the case. His book has moments of blinding irony. But the point is that idiots don’t get irony – but that is because they have been trained by our media, by our culture, not to think. Whether they are in the US or Australia or Britain – too many people are expected to disinherit themselves from the democratic process. We must resist this – despite the fact elections today are often anything but ‘democratic’ – we must do what we can to focus the minds of those being elected onto the issues that directly impact on the majority of the citizens of our countries.

  • Buck
    2018-09-30 19:38

    There’s a line in Victor Serge’s Memoirs of a Revolutionary that comes back to me whenever I get trapped in a conversation with a political nutbar. Writing about some Soviet apparatchik that he’d butted heads with, Serge says, “I followed his argument with the blank uneasiness which one might feel in the presence of a logical lunatic.”Noam Chomsky fills me with blank uneasiness. Now, the man’s no lunatic—let’s get that straight. He’s a gifted scientist and, in some ways, an admirable citizen. But his worldview is so simple-minded, so rigidly consistent, that it becomes, by its very excess of logic, insane. At some point in the last decade, Chomsky ossified into the Jimmy Buffet of the far left: a productive yet predictable figure, still packing them in without ever bothering to change his set list. The numbing array of facts and figures, the quotes from obscure journals and technical literature, the scathing denunciations of American perfidy: such is Chomsky’s endless Margaritaville. But as Buffet could tell you, sameness is soothing. Sameness sells.Before I try to explain why Chomsky is such a dangerous simpleton (ideologically-speaking) let me admit that I didn’t dislike Failed States as much as I expected. No matter what your political orientation is, if you don’t learn something from Chomsky, you’re just not paying attention. Published in the middle of the Bush II years, Failed States is a depressing catalogue of cabalistic plots, legal end-runs and foreign-policy debacles. Even with all my defences up, this book nearly sent me into an atavistic fit of anti-American paranoia (for which, as a Canadian, I’m genetically predisposed anyway).Luckily for my sluggish liberal conscience, though, I see no reason to take Chomsky seriously. The guy is just massively dishonest—not on the factual level (where he’s merely sneaky) but on the rhetorical level. Take the premise of Failed States. Chomsky’s mendacious little conceit here is that the United States exhibits many of the characteristics of a failed state. That’s right: America is the new Somalia. I doubt even Chomsky believes this nonsense, but he presents it with a straight face (as he does everything else: humour is not his strong point, unless you enjoy crude sarcasm.) He comes up with his own flagrantly self-serving definition of a failed state but somehow overlooks the most salient feature: i.e. a failed state is one that has simply ceased to function. His diagnosis is just an infantile bit of magical thinking: it’s a failed state because I say it is. But that’s nothing. Let’s look at a more glaring piece of chicanery. Like any good lefty, Chomsky is dismissive of the Bush administration’s claim that Saddam Hussein was stockpiling WMDs. Fair enough. No WMDs. That’s a truism by now. But then, in an astonishing admission, Chomsky tells us that “this is not quite accurate. There were stores of equipment for developing WMDs in Iraq after the invasion: those produced in the 1980s, thanks to aid provided by the United States and Britain, among others.”Wait. What? You’re saying Colin Powell was right all along? Is that what you’re saying, Noam? Was that cheesy PowerPoint presentation at the UN legit, then? Well, yes, he sort of is saying that, but as usual he has a forensic rabbit up his sleeve. See, it turns out that Iraq’s WMD facilities were systematically looted following the invasion: Most of the looting was from production sites for solid- and liquid-propellant missiles, where about 85% of the equipment had been removed, along with biotoxins and other materials usable for chemical and biological weapons, and high-precision equipment capable of making parts for nuclear and chemical weapons and missiles. A Jordanian journalist was informed by officials in charge of the Jordanian-Iraqi border after US and UK forces took over that radioactive materials were detected in one of every eight trucks crossing into Jordan, destination unknown.Nice work, Noam! What a scoop! Biotoxins, chemical weapons, nuclear missiles! Freaking truckloads of radioactive material! Call Rumsfeld. Tell him all is forgiven. He can have his old office back, as soon as Gates clears his shit out.Okay, my irony is getting almost as heavy as Chomsky’s. But you saw what he did there, right? First he tells us there were no WMDs. Then, without stopping to notice the contradiction, he informs us that the whole place was lousy with the things. But conveniently for his argument, the US is still guilty, since they provided the weapons, or the “aid” to buy them, back in the 80s—and doubly guilty because they failed to secure all this military surplus after the invasion.So, as always with Chomsky, the US can’t win for losing. You have to ask yourself: does he even care what the truth is? Does it matter to him whether or not Hussein possessed WMDs? Or that nuclear-grade materials might have fallen into the hands of some really nasty characters? No. He couldn’t care less. He’s just clutching blindly at the nearest polemical blunt instrument: a crowbar here, a two-by-four there--anything’ll do, as long as he can use it to bludgeon the imperialists and their lackeys in the media. The sad thing is that a lot of people—people who no doubt pride themselves on their critical-thinking skills—take this guy very seriously indeed. Strangely, it never occurs to them to apply the same scepticism to his work that they would to the equally dubious pronouncements of Rush Limbaugh or whomever. Read him, by all means; learn from him. But for God’s sake, be sure to check under the hood, kick the tires and give the old CD changer a spin. Even the smartest and most intellectually honest pundits are bound to be wrong around, oh, 70% of the time. Chomsky is plenty smart but, as far as I can see, intellectual honesty is not among his virtues.

  • Tariq Alferis
    2018-09-23 21:37

    .نعوم تشومسكي ، أستاذ النقد السياسي والتحليل السياسة الخارجية الأمريكية، في كتاب الدولة الفاشلة يستمر تشومسكي في الحديث عن الهيمنة أو البقاء، قوة أمريكا الإمبريالية، في نشر السلام والديمقراطية بطريقة ساخرة، أطروحته هنا عن الولايات المتحدة بصفة عامة، ويتحدث في بعض الفصول عن معايير "الدول الفاشلة"، يحدد تشومسكي الدول الفاشلة أولئك الذين لايستطيعون أو لايرغبون في حماية مواطنيها من العنف ويعتبرون أنفسهم فوق القانون، كتاب مُهم لكي تفهم "إذاكُنت تفهم" أن أمريكا لن تنشر الديمقراطية في بلدك، ولن تقوم بحمايتك، ولن تهتم بحقوق الإنسان..الجحيم هي أمريكا.الكتاب نقطة انطلاق في التفكير لبعض الأفكار المثيرة، والصادمة..

  • kenneth
    2018-10-15 19:21

    Noam Chomsky is one of the greatest scientists and men of letters in the world today; however his virulent critique of U.S. foreign and domestic policy ensure that his work is derided and undermined by the corporate media. Failed States is an engaging, relatively simple (for Chomsky), and lucid account of how the American government is acting as a negative force in the world today. Chomsky gives insight into how the government manipulates facts and polls to create public opinion. In America, the government essentially tells you what to think. The book focuses primarily on the George W. Bush administration and the war in Iraq, but Chomsky also delves into other broader topics, such as the failure of neoliberalism and the manner in which the United States has used its power and prestige within the United Nations as a bully pulpit. Other important points are Reagan's intervention in Nicaragua and America's subsequent sabotage of Central America as a whole. The U.S. consistently uses coercion to depose democratically elected Socialist governments despite the fact that we claim to bring democracy to areas of the world which lack it. And how the U.S. backed the coup of President Aristide, the popular leader of Haiti. However, Chomsky gives us hope for the world. Cuba and Venezuela still stand opposed to the American government's manner of doing things. Although this book was published several years ago, and the world is changing. But things seem to be getting worse. Our current president openly admits to spying on us and on foreign countries (in many cases our supposed allies) and does not seem to understand why there is widespread public disapproval on this matter. Wow..

  • Tariq Mahmood
    2018-09-25 17:28

    When history is crafted in the service of power, evidence and rationality are irrelevant.Hazrat Chomsky is very popular with Pakistani literati and for good reason, as he presents the other aspects of the momentous world events which together makes the story somewhat complete.Consider the very obvious and rational argument, the top nation of the world, número uno country of the world, the mighty USA, misbehaving, openly flaunting, imperiously rejecting all international laws it expects rogue and terrorist nations of the world to follow. Trouble is, USA and its foreign policies are the main reason why countries like North Korea and Iran are in their current state, as every country in the world will consciously or subconsciously follow the leader, copying its every move and behaviours. Unfortunately for the world, USA will not change, why should it? Why change a strategy which has got it at the top slot. All the world has to do now is wait for an able contender for the throne. In the meantime writers like Chomsky will have a field day arguing to their lefty brothers. The book makes compelling reading though. Check for yourself.....'International court jurisdiction has proven inappropriate for the United States.' Condoleeza Rice 2005.International law and court judgments are fine, but only when they come out the right way. Anything else is inappropriate for the United States.Why are the US nuclear facilities not open to IAEA like Iraq and Iran?The US has the right to attack any country that it thinks could attack it first.The logic of the annexation of Texas was essentially attributed to Saddam Hussain when he conquered Kuwait.A large majority of US public believe that the US should accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the World Court, sign the Kyoto protocols, allow the United Nations to take the lead in international crises, and rely on diplomatic and economic measures more than military ones in the 'war on terror'. ( A large scale survey conducted in the US by independent bodies).

  • Mosharaf Hossain
    2018-09-28 19:28

    যুক্তরাষ্ট্র তার জন্মের পর থেকেই দুনিয়ার চিপাচাপার "ব্যর্থ রাষ্ট্র" গুলোতে বোম মেরে তাদের সোজা ও সভ্য করার "মহান" দায়িত্ব পালন করে আসছে।বুদ্ধিবৃত্তিক চর্চার অন্যতম প্রধান ব্যক্তিত্ব নোয়াম চমস্কি তাঁর "ফেইল্ড স্টেটস" এ টেবিলটা উল্টাদিকে ঘুরিয়ে স্বয়ং যুক্তরাষ্ট্রকেই দাঁড় করিয়েছেন বিচারের কাঠ গড়ায়। তিনি দেখিয়েছেন কীভাবে দেশটি স্বয়ং নিজদেশে গণতন্ত্রকে বন্দী করছে দিনদিন, কীভাবে অনিরাপদ করে তুলছে নিজদেশের নাগরিকদের। চমস্কি বলেন, "যে দেশটি পাশ্চাত্য সভ্যতার উৎকৃষ্ট উপাদান, যেমন বিজ্ঞান, দর্শন, চিত্রশিল্প, সাহিত্যে পরিপূর্ণ হিসেবে অহংকারে পরিণত মডেল হিসেবে খ্যাতি অর্জন করেছিল, সেখানে আজ বর্বরতা ক্রমাগত দ্রুত বিস্তার লাভ করেছে এবং তার শেকড়ে গভীর অনুপ্রবেশ ঘটিয়ে চলছে।"২০০৬ সালে প্রকাশিত বইটির সিংগভাগ অংশ জুড়েই ছিল ইরাক আগ্রাসনের নানা সমালোচনা। বিস্তারিত বর্ণনা আছে কীভাবে পশ্চিমাজোট বৃদ্ধা আঙ্গুল দেখিয়েছিল যুদ্ধের যাবতীয় সব নিয়মকানুনকে। বুশ প্রশাসনের তৎকালীন বক্তব্য ছিল এমন, " আমেরিকা যখন যে দেশ আক্রমন করাকে সঠিক বলে বিবেচনা করে, তখন সে দেশ আক্রমন করার অধিকার রাখে।" চমস্কি বলেন, " বাস্তবতা হল যুক্তরাষ্ট্র সাধারণভাবে আন্তর্জাতিক আইন বা বিধিবিধানের অধিনস্ত নয়"। "স্বাধীন জাতীয়তাবোধ" কে তিনি চিহ্নিত করেন যুক্তরাষ্ট্রের চিরশত্রু হিসেবে। তিনি মনে করেন, যুক্তরাষ্ট্র যখনি দেখে এই স্বাধীন জাতীয়তাবোধ যখন ছোঁয়াচে রোগের মত অন্য জায়গায় ছড়ানোর শুরু করে, তখনি সে কুপথ বেছে নিয়ে। গনতান্ত্রিক সরকারকে উৎখাতে শুরু করে নানা কুটছাল। উদাহন চিলিতে ১৯৭৩ সালের ৯/১১। তাছাড়া যুক্তরাষ্ট্র মূলত শত্রু মিত্র নির্ধারণ করে রাষ্ট্রের আদর্শের উপর ভিত্তি করে, রাষ্ট্রের কর্মকাণ্ডকে ভিত্তি করে নয়। যারফলে অনেক রাষ্ট্রে গুরতর অপরাধ করেও যুক্তরাষ্ট্রের বন্ধু, অনেকে কোন দোষ না করেও শত্রু বনে যায়। যার সাম্প্রতিক উদাহর হচ্ছে সাদ্দাম হোসেন। সাদ্দাম হোসেনের বিচার যখন শুরু হয় তখন ১৯৮২ সালের তার অপরাধ ধরে এগুনো হয়। অথচ সেই সময় প্রেসিডেন্ট রিগ্যান উক্ত কর্মকান্ডের জন্য নির্দোষ প্রমানিত হওয়ায় ইরাককে অব্যহতি দেয়। চমস্কি বলেন, "যদি আমরা বিশ্বকে উপলব্ধি করতে চাই, তবে এটি খুবই গুরুত্বপূর্ণ বলে বিবেচিত হবে যে, আমরা সাম্প্রতিক অতীতকে যেন কোনভাবেই বিস্মৃতির অতল গর্ভে হারিয়ে যেতে না দিই।" চমস্কি সাধারণ আমেরিকানদের মনোভাব নিয়ে কথা কথা বলতে গিয়ে বারবার উল্লেখ করেছেন তাদের গণতান্ত্রিক মনোভাবের কথা। তিনি বলেন, সাধারণ আমেরিকানদের বড় অংশই চায় তাদের সরকারের উচিৎ বৈশ্বিক সব আইন কানুন মেনে চলা। প্রথম অধ্যায়ের তাঁর আলোচনা থেকে স্পষ্ট ইঙ্গিত পাওয়া যাচ্ছিল দশ বছর পরের বিশ্ব রাজনীতির। চিন হয়ে উঠছে একক অর্থনীতিক শক্তি, রাশিয়া আবার ফিরে আসবে বিশ্বরাজনীতিতে, ইরান সহ আরো অনেক দেশ তাদের পারমানমিক অস্ত্র বানানোর চেষ্টা করবে, ইসরাইলের নানা কর্মকান্ডের সমালোচনা করে বলেন, এই দেশটি আরো বেশি উগ্র হবে। সুতরাং, পুরো দুনিয়াতে একক কোন নেতৃত্ব থাকবে না। ঠিক ১১ বছর পর এসে, আমরা কী দেখতে পাচ্ছি?পর্যাপ্ত দালিলীক প্রমান সহ চমস্কির অসাধারণ একটা বই। যা পাঠককে একটু হলেও বিশ্বকে অন্যভাবে দেখতে সাহায্য করবে। বইটি যা বলবে তা হয়ত আপনি জানেন, ইরাক যুদ্ধ, ফিলিস্তিনে ইসরাইলি আগ্রাসন, ভিয়েতনাম যুদ্ধ, ইন্দোনেশিয়া, কিউবা, নিকারাগুয়া; কিন্তু তবুও বইটি পড়া জরুরী। টেবিলের অন্য সাইড থেকে গল্পটা অনুভব করার জন্য। বইটি বাঙলা অনুবাদ করেছেন ডঃ আবদুর রশীদ ও মেহেরুন নেসা নামক দুজন শিক্ষক। উনারা ক্ল্যাশ অব সিভিলাইজেশন বইটারও অনুবাদ করেছেন। এবং যথারীথি এই অনুবাদ পইড়া আমার মাথা ভন ভন করা শুরু করছে। অসাধারণ দুর্গন্ধময় অনুবাদ।

  • Marwa Atia
    2018-09-26 17:31

    يتحدث الكاتب عن السياسة الأمريكية في كيفية استخدام وسائل الاعلام من أجل خدمة مصالحه السياسية و خداع الجمهور واستغلاله دون أن يلحظ الجمهور أنه قد تم استغلاله بالفعل .عن المفاهيم المتعارف عليها و كيف يتم تغليفها و تبطينها لكي تظهر على أنها صحيحة و صادقة و ما هي في الحقيقة الا "كاذبة و خادمة الحكومة " .عن القطيع "الجماهير" الذي يتم سوقها من خلال استغلال تعاطف هذه الجماهير لكي تقبل ما تريد الحكومة القيام به . تناول الكتاب عدة مواضيع :1- الانجازات الهائلة للبروباجندا : مفاهيم الديمقراطية .2- ديمقراطية المشاهد من خلال تصنيع الاجماع و توظيف الثورات الشعبية .3- العلاقات العامة و الاموال الضخمة التي تنفق سنويا لصناعة العلاقات العامة .4- إدارة الرأي العام : من خلال تلقين الجماهير الأفكار التي تؤثر في وجهتهم السياسية .5- ثقافة الانشقاق : ظهرت الجماعات التي ترفض السياسة الأمريكية و أصبح لها تأثير ملحوظ .6- استعراض الأعداء : أعداء الحكومة هم أعداء الجماهير "هم أعداء الجميع " ، سيهتم الجميع بالقضاء على الأعداء ونسيان القضايا الأهم التي على الحكومة أن تحلها للمواطن الأمريكي.7- انتقاء التصور : حيث أنه و من خلال وسائل الاعلام يتم التركيز على جانب ترغبه الحكومة و ترغب في تغطيته و اغفال جانب .8- حرب الخليج : الحرب على صدام حسين لانه كما كان يروّج الاعلام الامريكي الوحش الذي سيغزو العالم ، و كان هذا السبب مجرد كذبة و ذريعة للتمكن من الوصول الى أهدافها الحقيقية .ثم يتحدث أخيراً عن الصحفي القادم من المريخ و كيف يتم تطبيعه .

  • Donovan
    2018-10-01 22:18

    One of the many dozens of books professor Chomsky has produced over several decades, in this book - as always - he points out how hypocritical the behavior of the US government is. It says one thing while doing another, 'democracy promotion' for example. While allegedly trying to install a democracy in Iraq, democracy is desperately needed at home. Chomsky makes this hypocrisy seem so obvious that it would be almost comical if it weren't so tragic.Unfortunately Chomsky does seem to repeat himself. The fact that the US is the only country that has ever been condemned by the World Court is something that the professor has said many times. This is ofcourse important, but this and similar facts have been iterated by him many times which to me feels a little like filler material for the book. On the other hand, he hands over plenty of interesting facts and opinions that I had not heard of before reading this book. On the whole a very interesting read, recommended for anyone even remotely interested in international politics. Be warned though: as with most, if not all of Chomsky's books, this is not exactly considered light reading by most people.

  • Ewan
    2018-09-25 20:22

    Such an intense book. Masses of evidence condensed down into as close to the truth as we're ever going to get - and it's a depressing truth. I found the whole book stimulating to read, but it was the 6th chapter, "Democracy Promotion at Home" (which strayed from the main focus of the book - American foreign policy), that I found most interesting. In it, Chomsky basically predicts the current financial meltdown in the US and the reasons for it. He then leads on from this into the healthcare debate which at the time over 70% of Americans were desperate for, but now, ironically hangs in the balance due to the lack of public finances caused directly by the aforementioned meltdown! All of this to the backdrop of a continuously limited 'democracy' in America being hijacked and misdirected by big business and the media. Amazing, if depressing, foresight. Is this the ultimate end for Democracy in Capitalists states, where truth and public knowledge is lost to profits? Even with Obama now trying to write the wrongs of the Bush era, I think it's too late for America to save itself FROM itself. There are just too many fatally deep issues that need dealing with in the country and abroad now. I can't currently foresee anything but the fall of America and the rise of China as the next world super-power.

  • Bou
    2018-10-01 14:21

    Noam Chomsky makes a powerful statement why the United States - as a self proclaimed symbol of democracy in the world - does not abide by its own self proclaimed ideals. In fact, far from being a safeguard for freedom and security, the United states is more busy with securing its own economic and geopolitical interests.As the most powerful state in the world, the USA is claiming the right to have its own influence and say on its actions, even where it is in conflict with for example the Geneva Convention, which holds a different definition for torture, which the USA is ignoring in Guantanamo Bay. The USA is following its own rules when it comes to punishing enemies, which was evident during the invasion in Afghanistan or the false pretences it used for the invasion in Iraq.In fact, instead of the self proclaimed desire to spread democratism, what is really laying behind the American intentions is its economic interests and will to block democratic intentions of countries like Syria and Palestine. The invasion in Iraq was a so-called intention to establish democracy in Iraq, where it only worsened living conditions for Iraqis overall.All in all, the author does not spare the United States and its policies, but in my eyes does leave out some important thins to consider. Yes, perhaps the invasion in Iraq was done under false pretences and legally, the US had no base to invade Afghanistan, but remember these actions were done after 9/11, where the US was attacked by Osama Bin Laden. Yes, you can argue that North-Korea is driven to its nuclear programme by the aggressive intention of the US, but it leaves out one important thing: sometimes these rogue nations will setup their nuclear programmes even without these external factors because, some people are just evil on their own. It is therefore easy to complain about the policies of the USA in dealing with these nations, but from a realpolitik perspective sometimes this just needs to be done. Not because you have a moral obligation, but just because you're the only country who can do it.

  • David Sarkies
    2018-10-14 22:23

    Twisting the idea of the failed state22 July 2011 I have read a few books by Noam Chomsky, and despite him being a very accessible writer, and a profound intellectual, his books tend to all be on the same theme and seem to cover the same ground. In a way, I like to get an idea of Chomsky's views on recent events, and while his later books may give some insight, unfortunately you tend to have to go over a lot of old ground to get to the new ideas. Further, his take on the new events tend to simply support the same arguments that he has been writing about since the days of Vietnam. However it is interesting that after Vietnam, and during the eighties and ninties, Chomsky was not very prominent. It was only after September 11, and George Bush's assault on democracy, that Chomsky suddenly became popular again. The difficult thing with Chomsky is that while his books are quite accessible (that is easy to read), his positions on various subjects are not something that can be explained in a soundbite. For example, an ad that says 'Coke Adds Life' immediately brings a flood of images to the persons mind, while the statement 'the Bible is history's most genocidal text' will automatically force believers in the Bible onto the defensive, and the statement itself requires a lot of background explanation. This is Chomksy's problem: he is fighting against a global media conglomerate that is fulling people's minds with propaganda and forcing out all opposing views. This book opens with a chapter on the nuclear arms race and his concerns. While not admitted, satellites containing nuclear weapons orbit the earth, and as he suggests one accidental slip of a finger can bring armageddon crashing down upon us. While this is not the crux of the book, it is an opening that will make us sit up and listen. Nobody wins in a nuclear war, and while the fear of nuclear annihilation that dominated the eighties are behind us (and I remember fearing a nuclear holocaust as a child), it is still something that sits uncomfortably at the back of our mind. In this book Chomsky's thesis is that despite the US travelling around the world pointing out all the failed states, it is the US that is the one major failed state. I disagree with Chomsky on this matter. I do not believe that the US is a failed state any more than pre-invasion Iraq, or North Korea, are failed states. While they may not have been pleasant places to live, and the government incredibly corrupt, it is still a functioning government. The only true failed state would be Somalia, where there isn't a functioning government, and at this time of this writing, you could also add Ivory Coast, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, and the Congo, just to name a few places where the government has pretty much lost control of most of the country and have descended into civil war (and it could be argued that the Congo has never had a functioning government). While I would always recommend a Chomsky book, unfortunately he does end up going over old ground, and ends up becoming quite repetitive.

  • Amari
    2018-10-16 15:23

    The first part: simply a random string of inflammatory, sarcastic statements. Not particularly well-crafted. However, it grew on me. Extremely informative, and compelling, even if (especially since?) it nags the thoughtful reader to check many things in other sources. A mind-boggling compendium of information, obnoxiously slanted. Part of me thinks that it's overdone if it causes me (of all people) to wonder if Chomsky is off his rocker with regard to more than a few things. In other words, that he is trying too hard and exaggerating. It makes me consider the other hand. However, maybe he wants me to do that. He has clearly convinced himself to the point that he would welcome the readership's so-called fact-checking. How closely are democracy and capitalism intertwined? Is there a viable alternative to democracy that citizens would prefer? Of course, the assumption is that if these questions had any place in US leaders' minds, they would find out rather than imposing. We all know that it's about hegemony, which is what makes this book often tiresome. However, it's certainly led me to investigate and think a great deal. I am grateful for that.

  • blakeR
    2018-10-08 15:15

    Though dry, this is a good and fairly updated overview of most of Chomsky's political positions. He continues to be vital, which is my favorite word for him. I would recommend starting with his interviews or conversations, however, as they're more accessible and engaging. The most accessible and comprehensive intro to Chomsky, out of the four books I've read, is the very lives-up-to-its-name Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky.What was most valuable about this book is that it gives Chomsky's thoughts on current events up through 2006. He has predictable positions on 9/11 and U.S. involvement in the Middle-East, and this book isn't as jaw-dropping as other books of his I've read because I was politically conscious during all of the events described and had already arrived at many of these conclusions.The biggest takeaway, unique to this particular book, is the idea that we in the U.S. are no longer actually living in a democracy. Chomsky comparing public opinion polls to actual policy decisions was truly chilling. And really there's no other conclusion to reach: when a nation's government make policy decisions that directly controvert the will of the (in many times vast) majority of its citizens, that is no longer a democracy. It doesn't matter how they do it, whether through media propaganda/manipulation, constitutional circumvention, or just plain brute force (as in totalitarian regimes) -- it's the same practical effect and it's indisputable. I'm talking about things as basic as universal health care, social security, education, and military spending. As far as I'm concerned it makes Bernie Sanders even more of a hero.One of the more interesting parts for me personally was reading Chomsky's thoughts on the retroactive alteration of justifications for the Iraq War. He noted things (usually much more eloquently and precisely) that I had also noticed around the same time. After one specific Bush speech in mid-2007 I even wrote the following in a journal:It started with the Bush speech that was on CNN over the bar. He was talking about the links between Al Qaeda and Iraq. He tries to use facts to persuade U.S. citizens about why we need to stay in Iraq, and why those who advocate withdrawal are fools and/or cowards. It makes me vacillate between anger and nausea. First, he’s focusing solely on this supposed ‘link’ between Al Qaeda and Iraq, and ignoring all of the thousands of other problems in Iraq. He accuses the Democrats of denying these links, as if that is anywhere near their main criticism of Bush’s war effort. Politically speaking, he’s re-framing the argument simply so he can claim that Democrats are wrong about something. And at the same time he completely neglects to mention that Al Qaeda didn’t even exist in Iraq until our war there. He’s trying to link the war against terror directly with the war in Iraq. This, talking about terror and Iraq together right now, is an obvious attempt to conflate the present situation with the situation prior to the war. He’s trying to confuse the public by saying that the enemies in Iraq now are the same enemies that made the attack on 9-11. And they actually are, which is why this speech is brilliant. It’s true, but it’s completely irrelevant, and it will be confused for the entire crux of the problem.Basically, Bush right now is correct. The terrorists in Iraq right now are part of the same group that perpetrated 9-11. But what does that have to do with the reason we went there originally? Absolutely nothing, because they weren’t there when we went into Iraq! Al Qaeda wasn’t in Iraq until we got there. Bush’s people – the ones responsible for this speech – know very well that right now they’re going to persuade many stupid people that the entire reason for invading Iraq was to fight the current terrorist threat.No one even thinks about why we went in originally. The truth is that they told us that we had to invade Iraq for three reasons. One of those was their links with bin Laden – which were always left sort of vague and nebulous, and which were later proven nonexistent. They presented it very much like this speech right now, with a lot of vague logic and declarations of ‘fact’ that could easily be misunderstood or misapplied by the majority of the ignorant audience. The second reason was that they knew there were weapons – which we of course never uncovered. And the third reason was that Saddam was a bad man, a fact that only really bothered us after 9-11.The level of propaganda is simply incredible! They are fully returning to their previous position that we had to invade Iraq to fight terrorism, a position which was soundly refuted a few years ago. But on top of that, they are dishonestly and deliberately trying to confuse the effect of our invasion – an effect for which we are directly responsible – with the reason for initiating it in the first place. Can no one else see this?In other words, not only do they return to old trusty Reason #1 (Iraq = Terrorism = 9-11 evildoers), but they are now saying that the results of our invasion – the fact that Al Qaeda can now be found in Iraq, when they couldn’t before we started this war – they’re saying that this is the reason we went there to begin with. The media's reaction to the speech starts, and it's even more incredible. The Heritage Foundation spokesman actually just admitted what I’ve been saying, that we caused this increase of terrorism in Iraq, the increase that Bush used as our reason for staying in Iraq. Then he tried to excuse it by saying, ‘It would have occurred wherever we were fighting’! “And if we weren’t fighting anywhere?” is the logical follow-up to his sad excuse. And all of the newscasters are confused about the purpose and timing of the speech. Now I’m not the most highly-paid political consultant around, but it’s fairly obvious that Bush is trying to re-frame the entire war effort in terms of terror, and not in terms of Iraqi stability. He didn’t even mention ‘stability.' Even when he talked about ‘complete victory’ he didn’t say what that would look like. This speech marks a decisive moment in the conflict in which we are very clearly and concretely lowering our expectations for success. It’s also a response to recent critics: we can’t pull out while there’s such terrorism to fight! So now we’ve arrived at the completely absurd situation in which we are staying in Iraq to fight the terrorism that we created by immorally going to Iraq in the first place. Who ever said that Orwell and Heller were fiction writers? Unbelievable.Of course the most disturbing part is the incredible amount of cynicism that the Republicans are displaying, by deliberately trying to confuse their ignorant public. They accuse liberals of being ‘elitist’ when we mention this, that the public is largely ignorant of the sophisticated political techniques in Washington. But the reality is that the Republicans agree completely with the liberals on the situation. They know their constituents are poor ignorant bastards, they're just too shrewd to say it. And then they go one worse than the liberals by consciously exploiting that ignorance for their political gain. Incredible. And it works -- that’s the worst part.Not Bad Reviews@blakerosser1

  • Wardah Beg
    2018-10-08 22:35

    Mind... Blown.I know it's all about everything we already know, the political truisms like America's efforts to maintain hegemony in the world rather than promoting democracy at home and abroad; that the Iraq war, and all the other 'wars on terror' have led to more terrorists taking over the stage than resulting in a crackdown of terrorist organisations once and for ever; that America's governmental decisions and foreign policies do not represent the majority opinion of it's people. Nevertheless, this a bam in the face of America, in the false democracy-promises, and in the actions of the states that claim and strive to apparently be the role models for the rest of the world (again, America). Booya! Noam Chomsky is a hero. He is straightforward, dauntless and very, very wise. It drips from every sentence of the book. By now, I have no idea what more should I tell you, it covers so many things from the Iraq War to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Vietnam War, Indonesian Wars (the political details of them, not historical); but I can tell you it is an important read.It is not dry like most of the diplomacy books, and has so much more to offer than it claims to. I'll go fangirl about Noam Chomsky now.Bye.

  • Eric Gulliver
    2018-10-21 19:32

    If there were any one thing that Noam Chomsky should be revered for, it would have to be his indelible use of evidence. In his latest authored work entitled Failed States, Chomsky meticulously sifts through use of the rhetoric of principles and compares to its actual practice, presenting a chilling exposition of, “The (American) Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy.”1 Throughout the book, Chomsky focuses his attention on the deterioration of domestic democracy in the United States and elaborates on which principles and more specifically, what actions are contributing to such corrosion. Moreover, not only does Chomsky accurately provide citations and evidence for his arguments, he points to further notions that the current “Assault on Democracy,” is the continuation of a process that has been cemented in principles and institutionalized in practice throughout history. In a remarkably concise yet convicting piece, Chomsky presents a valid case for why the current direction of the United States (at home and abroad) is leading toward the definition of a “Failed State”, and more importantly, presents a reasonably optimistic faith in the public and possible change that may be in the making. Firstly, Chomsky begins Failed States with the chapter titled “Stark, dreadful and inescapable,” in reference to a 1955 appeal from Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein to the world to either renounce war or risk nuclear annihilation.2 Not long into the chapter, Chomsky goes onto state his primary objective in the book, to argue that the United States (or the Elitist/Ruling interests) do not adhere to the most elementary moral truism: The current incumbents do not apply to themselves the same standards they demand of others.3 Throughout the chapter (as the chapter are divided up by subsections) Chomsky’s primary contention is that the US’ current (as well as past) actions towards Nuclear Proliferation and Terrorism are not achieving their objectives of reducing the spread of WMD or terrorism, but are adversely encouraging and accelerating the spread of them. Relying on examples from Reagan’s SDI initiative, the denying of expert opinion regarding terrorism, and the further disregard of International bodies (a reoccurring theme), which the current administration has endorsed, Chomsky begins frighteningly with the prospects of the two most powerful forces on earth. The second section of the book entitled “Outlaw States,” speaks for itself in a reference to Chomsky’s reoccurring title of rogue or outlaw qualities of a state. This austere chapter poses the hypothesis that through veto power, re-writing of law and total rejection, the US in its actions and/or justifications at home and abroad are becoming characteristic of an outlaw state. Chomsky gives due regard for International bodies such as the UN, World Court, and Human Rights Organizations, while giving evidence for how the US acts in either total rejection or defiance of such bodies. With sections devoted to the rescinding of Geneva Conventions by torture tactics, the “ignorance” of corruption scandals, and the Self-Exclusion from persecution techniques, the chapter scornfully addresses the US as ignoring International Law and Cooperation and furthermore, ignoring basic natural and/or human rights blatantly.

  • Anshu Raj Singh
    2018-10-06 16:32

    Propaganda is to democracywhat violence is to autocracy.Failed States starts with an extraordinary appeal issued to the people of the world, by Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein in July,1955. According to them the choice facing the world is "stark and dreadful and inescapable: shall we put an end to the human race; or shall mankind renounce war".Chomsky says that the world has not only not renounced war, but the world's hegemonic power accords itself the right to wage war at will, under a doctrine of "anticipatory self-defence" with unstated bounds. He gives the characteristics of a "Failed State" : inability to protect its citizens from violence, tendency to regard itself as beyond the reach of domestic or international law and suffering from a serious "democratic deficit". And then, he goes on to prove that United States of America has many of these characteristics and, thus, is one of the biggest threat to the survival of human race. Evidence presented by him is impeccable and his assertion is proved beyond reasonable doubt.For a novice like me, who believes what comes out in newspapers and magzines, it is eyeopening and almost unbelievable. I always considered USA to be an ideal country, a country whic is trying to promote democratic values worldover. But after reading this book I was forced to reanalyse the situation and change my mind.

  • Fiachna
    2018-10-02 16:13

    Noam Chomsky, reviled by the red-neck right is certainly a breath of fresh air to the political debate. Though to be honest, he's hardly fresh, having been around for so long.He research's methodically and puts forth such a cohesive and logical debate that only the most narrow minded and rabid of patriots could fail to be swayed by his arguments.He does what a true "Patriot" should do and examines the practices of those in power rather than blindly following and accepting unquestioningly.He points out the discrepancies between what the political leaders in the USA are saying and what they are actually doing and he shows with one example after another the devastation that successive US administrations have caused to other countries. Its plain to see that he feels the USA has been Hijacked not by foreign terrorists but by sucessive governments.Read him if you don't mind looking at the dirty political laundry of previous USA governments...

  • Carmen Lamm
    2018-10-19 15:13

    Chomsky boggles my mind. I love him and hate him for making my brain ache, but it's like a good workout afterwards, and the adrenaline starts to run throughout your brain connecting neurons. This book in particular really points out without reasonable doubt, how and why the US is a failed state. This book helps you understand the intricate steps that the US takes to really fuck things over for ourselves and other countries. Chomsky uncovers the deception and unravels the steps in which the US takes to cover up or just completely reject what this nation is supposedly built on, and how "democracy" is almost a figment within the political spectrum. I believe that trudging through this book can and will help people see clearly the direction our country is headed, and the steps that it is taking to get there. If anything it will set a fire under your ass letting you totally understand the injustice that the system commits towards democracy.

  • Chris Brimmer
    2018-10-11 22:37

    Diatribe by a pompus windbag in love with his own intellect. Condesending to the reader, Chomsky wants you to know that he is wiser and smarter than you are and in an annoying suck tooth way is usually right. His points always seem overblown, hyper-stated and always imply evil intent of those he accuses breathlessly. Yet the most maddening thing about this book is that its right all the way down the line, proving once again that just because you're an asshole doesn't mean you're wrong.

  • illias
    2018-10-11 14:19

    New life goal unlocked: Read Everything professor Chomsky has written

  • Jessica Heyer
    2018-09-28 19:17

    The author of Failed States, Noam Chomsky, is a well-known author of political books and has been known to make controversial points backed with a slew of facts. This is also the case in Failed States, where he makes the argument that the U.S. has been making undemocratic, borderline treasonous actions in the name of national security. His timeline of these events ranges from the Cold War to modern day electronic spying, and the book is filled with references to events and people. Much of his argument has to do with the intelligence community (eg. CIA and NSA), but his mention of military actions and secret operations provides the reader with a full story of every type of government action that would be illegal for anyone but the government to do. Chomsky's main argument concerns the principal of universality, which basically insists that each country is subject to the same laws and regulations as all of the others. He argues that America does not follow this principal and that the U.S. is outside the ring of blame and punishment, turning America into an elite and possibly dangerous country. This applies to the spying on allied countries as well as spying on American people. The strongest example he gives of this is how supposedly, the government has planned to attack its own country in order to justify attacking other countries, essentially framing other nations. While everyone knows that the government "does secret things" in general, Chomsky's uses specific events to introduce even more information than many citizens could otherwise have imagined. By using this information, Chomsky emphasizes the increasing double standard in American policy in terms of spying, terrorism, and military intervention. This double standard, according to Chomsky, means that while America enforces international law in other countries, even closest allies, no one will raise a hand when the U.S. does the same thing, like harboring terrorists or attacking countries. This is because U.S. policy has become so important that it practically rules the world. Chomsky also notes that if a country decided not to listen to American policy, the U.S. would likely have no problem attacking the country because of a very convenient threat, initiating sanctions that would cripple the country's economy, or refusing to help if a serious threat was actually posed. Because few nations could remain successful if any of these occurred, they listen to the American government's will. Perhaps the most important thing to note about Chomsky's book is his continual use of the phrase "American government." He makes a point to explain that the American people are as much in the dark about the government's actions as other countries, and that the government is the threat, not the entire nation. The call to action comes throughout the entire book, where he asserts the moral incorrectness of the U.S. government and makes its actions sound so heinous that the American people, or other countries, must intervene and stop the government from causing more harm than the extensive amount that it has supposedly caused already. One of Chomsky's most compelling discussions of the American government's hypocrisy and danger is on the subject of Orlando Bosch, an international terrorist. Even though Bosch was a significant national security threat and the Justice Department highly suggested that he be deported, the government kept him in the U.S. This goes directly against the Bush Doctrine, stating that "those who harbor terrorists are as guilty as the terrorists themselves." This reflects the idea that America can never be wrong and is always exempt from international law, a trend spoken of often in class. We have had discussions about Guantanamo Bay and how it is legal to keep terrorists there because it is technically on Cuban soil, but there is constant discussion about the technicalities of U.S. involvement in terrorism. Another one of the book's issues is with Operation Northwoods, the plan to attack American cities in order to justify going to war with Cuba. This is personally the most outrageous concept that I read in the book, although it was rejected by Kennedy, and aligns with our discussions about government putting citizens at harm. We spoke more of spying on American citizens, not attacking cities, but the theme of forcing citizens to be collateral damage in exchange for "national security" is a very serious threat that we have spoken about in class. We also have had debates about nuclear arms around the world and in the U.S., like when we saw the map of number of nuclear tests by each country since the arms race began (of course, the U.S. had the most). Chomsky examines the double standard that the U.S. absolutely loathes when a country has nuclear weapons, like Iran, for example, when the U.S. is the only country who has ever even used an atomic bomb. This suggests that perhaps America is the foremost country who should not be allowed to have nuclear weapons, when in reality, we have the most. While in the beginning of the book, Chomsky's arguments sounded more like conspiracy theories, his continual use of facts made his point of view much more understandable. His bias, of course, lays in the fact that he writes these types of books for money and needs material, even if what he says is a stretch of the actual situation, but it is clear that he is very passionate about challenging the government. Especially when talking about the double standard of U.S. versus other countries' laws, Chomsky becomes almost sassy and very grand in pointing out the ridiculousness of the situation. This happens when he writes about harboring terrorists, when Chomsky says, "No one would be so vulgar as to suggest that the United States should be subject to [the same laws as everyone else]." He also has a hint of this bias when the book discusses a worldwide poll asking what countries are looked on most favorably and which are seen as a dangerous country. The U.S. and Russia were the two top countries considered having a negative influence on the world. Chomsky's reply to this, mocking the point of view of the government, is that "there is a simply explanation...the polls just show that the world is wrong." This is meant to make the reader realize the ludicrous attitude that the government has. Chomsky argues that there is no way that everyone in the world is wrong in thinking that the U.S. government is harmful. The last instance of this bias is in discussing Chinese militarism, sparked by American goals of turning space into an optimal location for mass weapons. Chomsky argues that it is only natural for the Chinese to want to increase their military capacity in response to what could be considered U.S. aggression, but that the Americans must realize that the "paranoid and devious Chinese may be quietly treading the path of evil." His tone in this quote exemplifies the double standard. U.S. militarization of space is considered a defense measure, but as soon as the Chinese try to follow suit, they are deemed evil. All in all, Chomsky does a fantastic job of making the reader think about the American double standard and the government.

  • Diz
    2018-10-21 21:24

    The basic premise of this book is that the United States should hold itself to the same standard that it asks other countries to uphold. Chomsky uses this book to point out how the it is failing to live up to those standards. I'm of the opinion that it's healthy to criticize the actions of government since it often leads to improvements. While Chomsky makes a lot of good points, he doesn't provide any concrete advice on how the United States can be put back on track. In fact, this a book that is devoid of hope. As such, it's a depressing book to read. Perhaps it has even lead some people into cynicism. Don't worry. I still have hope.

  • J.M. Hushour
    2018-10-12 15:40

    As usual, spot-on and illuminating, especially the bits on the 2004 election and the media's blathering, sycophantic crotch-fawning over their political and corporate masters.With an often wry sense of humor and irony which you might miss if you're not careful, Chomsky carefully dissects the notion of a 'failed state' and then spends a few hundred pages showing why he thinks we live in one.Even if you disagree with him, it's a place to start since unlike your Facebook arguments with people you don't know or your turbid crotch-beercan mewling at the television, he does reference the shit out of things and welcomes others to do the same in return.

  • Josh Thies
    2018-10-11 15:30


  • Ahmad Hossam
    2018-10-10 16:11

    لا تحلموا بعالم سعيدفخلف كل قيصر يموتقيصر جديدذلك الشعور الطاغي بالإحباط والقهر الذي ينتابك بعد الفراغ من أحد كتب تشومسكي، المعرفة التي كشفت لك عن وجه العالم القبيح، والشعور باللاجدوى، لاجدوى الثورات ولاجدوى الكفاح لأجل الكرامة الإنسانية في وجود دولة مثل الولايات المتحدة. إنها الدولة الأكثر شرًا وطغيانًا في تاريخ البشرية بلا أي استثناء (ولو كان هتلر!)، يكفيك معرفة أن غوبلز قد اقتبس نظام دعايته الجبار من الإعلانات الأمريكية، وأن هتلر لم يفعل شيئًا سوى تطوير آليات الإبادة والتعقيم التي سبق أن استعملتها الولايات المتحدة مع السكان الأصليين.الدول الفاشلة، هي تلك الدول التي لا تأبه بآليات الديمقراطية ولا تحترم القانون الدولي والمواثيق الدولية، يعلن تشومسكي أن هذا التعريف ينطبق على الولايات المتحدة تمام الانطباق، ويسوق الأمثلة بالعشرات عبر ثلاثة أطر فكرية هي: المبدأ الخسيس، وخيط الاتصال المتين، وأزمة الديمقراطية:أولا: المبدأ الخسيس يعني أن المبادئ الأخلاقية تصبح بلا معنى ولا فائدة في حضور القوة، الأعراف والمواثيق الدولية لا تعنينا في شئ ولا تلزمنا بأدنى احترام لحقوق اللابشر (الآخرين أو الغوييم إذا تبنينا مصطلحات الصهيونية). يصرح هذا المبدأ بأن الأخلاق هي حيلة الضعفاء وأنها لا تفيد إلا في الابتزاز السياسي للنظم المعارضة. فالتشنيع على الأمم بأنها مؤيدة وداعمة للإرهاب يصدر أكثر ما يصدر من الدولة الوحيدة التي صدر ضدها قرار من محكمة العدل الدولية بممارسة الإرهاب، وعدم احترام العهود الدولية تصيح به الدولة التي ترفض الالتزام بميثاق حقوق الإنسان، بل وتسن القوانين لتشرعن انتهاكها له. قتل المدنيين العزل، الإبادة الجماعية، التجويع ،التجريف الممنهج لدعائم الديمقراطية ،انتهاك سيادة الأمم ... مجرد ممارسات اعتيادية في ظل هذا المارد الجبار.ثانيًا: خيط الاتصال المتينعلى مدار السنين التي انقضت منذ انتهاء الحرب العالمية الثانية لم يحدث قط أن التزمت الولايات المتحدة بأي مبدأ في سياستها الخارجية سوى التزامها بعدم الثبات على مبدأ! الديمقراطية محببة ومرغوبة فقط في حالة إتيانها بالنظم التابعة، أما غير ذلك فتقمع بالحديد والنار إما بتمويل الميليشيات المسلحة أو بالتدخل العسكري السافر؛ الانتخابات الفلسطينية تعطل لأنها ستاتي بعرفات وتمنحه شرعية دولية، انتخابات العراق مشكوك فيها لأن المرشح العميل لنا لن يفوز، نيكاراغوا، فنزويلا، هاييتي، سم أي دولة شئت، النظم الخانعة هي التي تحظى بمباركتنا ولو قتلت مئات الآلاف، والنظم المستقلة هي الداء العضال الذي يجب اجتثاثه ولو أتى على أكتاف الشعب. ترى الولايات المتحدة أن العدالة الاجتماعية "جرثومة" معدية يجب التخلص منها لئلا يقتدي بها أولئك الأغرار الذين يحسبون أن فعلة كهذه ستمضي دون عقاب رادع، تسقط الأنظمة ويقصف الأبرياء الذي جسروا على الحلم بعيش حياة كريمة ... انتهجت الدول المتقدمة سبلا لإحراز ما وصلت إليه، مثل الاقتصاد الذي توجهه الدولة وفرض القيود على الواردات وما إلى ذلك. واليوم تتوعد بالويل والثبور وعظائم الأمور من تسول له نفسه أن يحتذي حذوها. يبشرون بديانة النيو ليبرالية التي ثبت أنها لم تثر سوى ال1% المتربعين على قمة الهرم، أما الفقر فقد استفحل ومعدلات الدخل ظلت ثابتة أو عادت إلى مستوياتها في الستينيات. لا تسعى اللنيوليبرالية إلى تقليص قوة الدولة وفق المعتقد الشائع، بل تسعى لشحذ مخالبها ومنع الشعب من التأثير على السياسة الاقتصادية والاجتماعية، لهذا فهي بالتعريف لا تزدهر إلا في ظل النظم غير الديمقرطية، وهو ما ينقلنا للمبدأ الثالث.ثالثا: أزمة الديمقراطيةليس المقصود هنا هو تقلص تأثير الديمقراطية لا سمح الله، الأزمة في ازدياد وعي الشباب بأهميتها وولوجهم الساحة السياسية. الديمقراطية وفق تعريف السلطة الامريكية ليس حكم الشعب، بل حكم الثروة، لهذا تمثل الديمقراطية خطرًا على الشركات عابرة القارات التي تستولي على مقدرات الشعوب دون وجه حق، فما إن يزداد الوعي قليلا حتى تعلو هتافات العدالة الاجتماعية وغيرها من المبادئ الهدامة. ما الحل إذن؟ بالطبع لا يكمن في توزيع عادل للثروة، بل سحق هذه النداءات وتضليل البسطاء بالدعاية. الأزمة الحقيقية هي أن الديمقراطية حتى على الأرض الأمريكية نفسها قد صارت عبثية جوفاء، تتخذ الإجراءات لصالح تحالف رجال الأعمال ولو تعارضت على طول الخط مع رأي الشعب الذي يفضل عدم التوسع العسكري وتقليل النفقات العسكرية لصالح الإنفاق الاجتماعي وزيادة الدعم الطبي.يذكر تشومسكي في خاتمته أنه قد بدأت عجلة التغيير في الدوران بالفعل، وأن التكتلات الدولية من شأنها أن تحجم تأثير الولايات المتحدة، وكذلك سيؤدي التفاوت الطبقي فيها إلى اضطرابات اجتماعية تفتح نافذة الأمل للأجيال القادمة كي تتخلص من ربقة الهيمنة الامريكية، لا أدري ... لعله مصيب.على الهامش:* التفكير الدوغمائي وحده من ينمط عدوه، كم يجدر بنا الإشادة بالصحفيين الإسرائيليين الذين ينددون بعرقلة محادثات السلام ويكشفون عن انتهاكات جيش الاحتلال. من السهل أن ترى عدوك مطلق الشر، ولكن أن تشيد بالحق ولو صدر من بين صفوفه ... هو التحدي الحقيقي.**إلى أي مدى يمكننا أن نعزو الإرهاب الأصولي إلى الدين ما دام مقترنا بالقمع الاجتماعي؟ اشتد التطرف في العراق وأفغانستان كما في فييتنام ونيكاراغوا وفنزويلا والهند باختلاف الأديان ولكن الثابت هو التدخل العسكري والقمع، أليس من الأصح أن ننسب الظاهرة إلى العامل الثابت (مع عدم تجاهل المتغيرات)؟

  • miaaa
    2018-09-23 19:12

    for once Graeme got a right book for me heheand Lams is right, reading this book might make me depressed because as Chomsky stated in the Afterword, '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." In addition to the proposals that should be familiar about dealing with the crises that reach to the level of survival, a few simple suggestions for the United States have already mentioned: (1) accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court and the World Court; ==> (bagiku kok terdengar mustahil, selama Mahkamah Dunia tidak mau nurut maunya mereka.)(2) sign and carry forward the Kyoto protocols; ==> (terakhir mereka malah nuntut apa gitu harus dilakukan pihak China terlebih dahulu *makin stress aku*)(3) let the UN take the lead in international crises; ==> (kenapa terdengar sangat tidak mungkin yah?!)(4) rely on diplomatic and economic measures than military ones in confronting terors; ==> (lalu bisnis senjata pihak swastanya ntar gulung tikar dunk lalu gak bisa pake alasan 'war against teror' lagi)(5) keep to the traditional interpretation of the UN Charter; == (*mendadak amnesia* Piagam yg mana yah?)(6) give up the Security Council veto dan have "a decent respect for the opinion of mankind," as the Declaration of Independence advises, even if power centers disagree; ==> (wahahahaha *cuma bisa ketawa guling-guling*)(7) cut back sharply on military spending and sharply increase social spending; ==> (*makin stress karena jelas ini semakin mustahil akan terjadi*)For people who believe in democracy, these are very conservative suggestions: they appear to be the opinions of the majority of the US population, in most cases the overwhelming majority. They are radical opposition to public policy. To be sure, we cannot be very confident about the state of public opinion on such matters because of another feature of the democratic deficit: the topics scarcely enter into public discussion and the basic facts are little known. In a highly atomized society, the public is therefore largely deprived of opportunity to form opinions.'Catatan: Chomsky juga melihat kebangkitan Asia di buku ini, terutama semakin meningkatnya kekhawatiran AS terhadap China. Belum lagi prospek Eropa dan Asia bergerak menuju independensi dari campur tangan AS. Mau tau Indonesia di mana? Gak di mana-mana, masih sibuk dengan kasus Century hehe

  • Owen
    2018-10-22 19:13

    Scholarly but readable work which will keep you on your toes as the author (or should I say the inimitable Chomsky) expects the reader to follow closely and pay attention, a reasonable expectation given the amount of work he has put in. Essentially, it is an examination of why the United States of America qualifies as a failed state, and the lengthy argument, well supported by notes and an index, may perhaps best be summarized by referring to Chomsky's own summary in the Afterword:«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.” In addition to the proposals that should be familiar about dealing with the crises that reach to the level of survival, a few simple suggestions for the United States have already been mentioned: (1) accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court and the World Court; (2) sign and carry forward the Kyoto protocols; (3) let the UN take the lead in international crises; (4) rely on diplomatic and economic measures rather than military ones in confronting terror; (5) keep to the traditional interpretation of the UN charter; (6) give up the Security Council veto and have “a decent respect for the opinion of mankind”; as the Declaration of Independence advises, even if the power centers disagree; (7) cut back sharply on military spending and sharply increase social spending. For people who believe in democracy, these are very conservative suggestions: they appear to be the opinions of the majority of the US population, in most cases the overwhelming majority. They are in radical opposition to public policy. To be sure, we cannot be very confident about the state of public opinion on such matters because of another feature of the democratic deficit: the topics scarcely enter into public discussion and the basic facts are little known. In a highly atomized society, the public is therefore largely deprived of the opportunity to form considered opinions.»It is a fact that unless one is predisposed to investigating this sort of information, one can very easily overlook it entirely. At the present time, in July 2013, this would still seem to be the case for the vast majority of the American population, which is wandering along in a never-never land of wishful hopes and patent fantasy.

  • Daniel
    2018-10-16 18:15

    It's noam chomsky bitch. get ready for hundreds of pages of articles being reviewed and countless journals being cited. Examines rhetoric versus policy and truisms as always. A lot of time spent on the Balkin wars which is nice since they are usually called the good humanitarian wars by statists dove interventionists. A lot of good memos reviewed, my personal favorite being the Blair files. Nicaragua, Israel/Palestine, and Iraq are probably the most discussed. The simulation scenarios of states actually acting in sovereignty and the blocs they would create was pretty unique. Spends most of the first half of the book establishing NPT and climate change international norms/policies as the most urgent of the moment. The best deconstructing came from the rhetoric of anti terrorism and the actual chosen policies that just amp it up, of course cited by approximately 72 studies. Finally after annihilating the intentions and results of their real decisions and translating the rhetoric into logical english, chomsky compares that to countless opinion polls and human development studies to compare and contrast. The afterword delves into possibilities moving forward, targeted policies, and cultural suggestions.

  • Manuel
    2018-10-16 22:15

    Comeza o libro cun leve pingalleo de feitos constatados que disturban ó lector, uns por coñecidos, outros por vagamente referenciados. Chomsky continúa aquí enfiando feitos ata desatar unha tormenta perfecta sobre a idea concebida, fabricada mediáticamente, do que en occidente entendemos por democracia e que enarbola un país que o autor fai constar a todas luces como pouco democrático, caótico e cunha población de costas ó seus gobernantes.É realmente fascinante comprobar como Chomsky documenta e fía exhaustivamente (ata a saciedade) calquera feito ata chegar ó punto de ser tan só un cronista fiel ós feitos que nos presenta pero coa intención de facernos ver a evolución das democracias occidentais cara unha visión netamente económica e consumista do mundo, sen ter conta algunha das sociedades aniquiladas no camiño para conseguir o beneficio dos grupos de poder que iniciaron o proceso. Sempre de maneira calculada e moi friamente, sen entrar en ningún tipo de visión partidaria máis alá do seu antiamericanismo, Chomsky fía unha verdadeira peza de investigación que conforma un retrato socio-económico da política internacional dos nosos días, algo moi complexo de atopar no mainstream.

  • Frank
    2018-09-30 15:11

    In Failed States, Chomsky examines the notion of failed or rogue states and argues convincingly that the U.S. fits the definition of such a state.Defining such states as those "that regard themselves as beyond the reach of domestic or international law, and that suffer from a 'democratic deficit', having democratic forms but with limited substance", Chomsky provides significant evidence in support of his argument, including the U.S.'s lawless military aggression, self-exemption from international law, propping up of anti-democratic dictators, and indifference to the opinions and wishes of the majority of its population.If the text and Chomsky fall short in any area, it's mostly that the author is all argument and evidence, and he provides few practical ideas for moving forward and affecting change from within the power-based systems he critiques. Still, given what most Americans regularly digest as news, this should be required reading for every citizen.