Noam Chomsky is a linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and political activist from the United States.


Best Noam Chomsky Quotes

Nationalism has a way of oppressing others. ~ Noam Chomsky.

If you’re teaching today what you were teaching five years ago, either the field is dead or you are. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Everybody’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s a really easy way: stop participating in it. ~ Noam Chomsky.

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

You can’t have meaningful political democracy without functioning economic democracy. ~ Noam Chomsky.

The press is owned by wealthy men who only want certain things to reach the public. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Changes and progress very rarely are gifts from above. They come out of struggles from below. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Governments are supposed to lie to their citizens. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Concentration of executive power, unless it’s very temporary and for specific circumstances, let’s say fighting world war two, it’s an assault on democracy. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Top Noam Chomsky Quotes

If voting could actually change anything, it would be illegal. ~ Noam Chomsky.

There is massive propaganda for everyone to consume. Consumption is good for profits and consumption is good for the political establishment. ~ Noam Chomsky.

In the US, there is basically one party – the business party. It has two factions, called Democrats and Republicans, which are somewhat different but carry out variations on the same policies. By and large, I am opposed to those policies. As is most of the population. ~ Noam Chomsky.

China is a great manufacturing center, but it’s actually mostly an assembly plant. So it assembles parts and components, high technology that comes from the surrounding industrial – more advanced industrial centers – Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, the United States, Europe – and it basically assembles them. ~ Noam Chomsky.

The Federal Reserve has an official commitment to two different policies. One is to prevent inflation from getting too high. The second is to maintain high employment… the European Central Bank has only the first. It has no commitment to keep employment up. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Spaniards were condemned for appeasing terrorism by voting for withdrawing troops from Iraq in the absence of U.N. authorization – that is, for taking a stand rather like that of 70 percent of Americans, who called for the U.N. to take the leading role in Iraq. ~ Noam Chomsky.

In much of the world, there is a sense of an ultra-powerful CIA manipulating everything that happens, such as running the Arab Spring, running the Pakistani Taliban, etc. That is just nonsense. ~ Noam Chomsky.

One of the best predictors of policy around is Thomas Ferguson’s investment theory of politics, as he calls it – very outstanding political economist – which essentially – I mean, to say it in a sentence, he describes elections as occasions in which groups of investors coalesce and invest to control the state. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Education must provide the opportunities for self-fulfillment; it can at best provide a rich and challenging environment for the individual to explore, in his own way. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Famous Top Noam Chomsky Quotes

The more you can increase fear of drugs and crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all the people. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Concentration of wealth yields concentration of political power. And concentration of political power gives rise to legislation that increases and accelerates the cycle. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Like most technology, the internet has mixed effects. It’s a neutral instrument. ~ Noam Chomsky.

The general population doesn’t know what’s happening, and it doesn’t even know that it doesn’t know. ~ Noam Chomsky.

The Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor led to many very good things. If you follow the trail, it led to kicking Europeans out of Asia – that saved tens of millions of lives in India alone. ~ Noam Chomsky.

There are two problems for our species’ survival – nuclear war and environmental catastrophe – and we’re hurtling towards them. Knowingly. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Death and genitals are things that frighten people, and when people are frightened, they develop means of concealment and aggression. It is common sense. ~ Noam Chomsky.

I stated that Hiroshima and Nagasaki are ‘among the most unspeakable crimes in history.’ I took no position on just where they stand on the scale of horrors relative to Auschwitz, the bombing of Chungking, Lidice, and so on. ~ Noam Chomsky.

With the development of industrial capitalism, a new and unanticipated system of injustice, it is libertarian socialism that has preserved and extended the radical humanist message of the Enlightenment and the classical liberal ideals that were perverted into an ideology to sustain the emerging social order. ~ Noam Chomsky.

If workers are more insecure, that’s very ‘healthy’ for the society, because if workers are insecure, they won’t ask for wages, they won’t go on strike, they won’t call for benefits; they’ll serve the masters gladly and passively. And that’s optimal for corporations’ economic health. ~ Noam Chomsky.

I would appear on Fox News more easily than I would NPR. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Wise Noam Chomsky Quotes

Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it’s from Neptune. ~ Noam Chomsky.

I like the cold weather. It means you get work done. ~ Noam Chomsky.

If you want to achieve something, you build the basis for it. ~ Noam Chomsky.

You are responsible for the predictable consequences of your actions. ~ Noam Chomsky.

The internet could be a very positive step towards education, organisation and participation in a meaningful society. ~ Noam Chomsky.

If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all. ~ Noam Chomsky.

When you look at a corporation, just like when you look at a slave owner, you want to distinguish between the institution and the individual. So slavery, for example, or other forms of tyranny, are inherently monstrous. The individuals participating in them may be the nicest guys you can imagine. ~ Noam Chomsky.

That’s the whole point of good propaganda. You want to create a slogan that nobody’s going to be against, and everybody’s going to be for. Nobody knows what it means, because it doesn’t mean anything. ~ Noam Chomsky.

He who controls the media controls the minds of the public. ~ Noam Chomsky.

If we choose, we can live in a world of comforting illusion. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Profound Noam Chomsky Quotes

A war with Pakistan would be an utter disaster. ~ Noam Chomsky.

You cannot control your own population by force, but it can be distracted by consumption. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Human language appears to be a unique phenomenon, without significant analogue in the animal world. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Democratic societies can’t force people. Therefore they have to control what they think. ~ Noam Chomsky.

There’s a tremendous gap between public opinion and public policy. ~ Noam Chomsky.

The probability of apocalypse soon cannot be realistically estimated, but it is surely too high for any sane person to contemplate with equanimity. ~ Noam Chomsky.

International affairs is very much run like the mafia. The godfather does not accept disobedience, even from a small storekeeper who doesn’t pay his protection money. You have to have obedience; otherwise, the idea can spread that you don’t have to listen to the orders, and it can spread to important places. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Language is a weapon of politicians, but language is a weapon in much of human affairs. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Popular Noam Chomsky Quotes

As soon as questions of will or decision or reason or choice of action arise, human science is at a loss. ~ Noam Chomsky.

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

You never need an argument against the use of violence, you need an argument for it. ~ Noam Chomsky.

The United States is afraid of China; it is not a military threat to anyone and is the least aggressive of all the major military powers. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Cuba has become a symbol of courageous resistance to attack. Since 1959, Cuba has been under attack from the hemispheric superpower. ~ Noam Chomsky.

We shouldn’t be looking for heroes, we should be looking for good ideas. ~ Noam Chomsky.

The truth is, I have absolutely no professional credentials – literally, which is why I’m teaching at MIT. ~ Noam Chomsky.

The 1950s and 1960s had been a period of enormous growth, the highest in American history, maybe in economic history. ~ Noam Chomsky.

The indoctrination is so deep that educated people think they’re being objective. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Wanton killing of innocent civilians is terrorism, not a war against terrorism. ~ Noam Chomsky.

The government argues that First Amendment rights are outweighed by the need to prosecute those who transmit classified information and documents. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Interesting Noam Chomsky Quotes

Governments regard their own citizens as their main enemy, and they have to be – protect themselves. That’s why you have state secret laws. Citizens are not supposed to know what their government is doing to them. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Language is a process of free creation; its laws and principles are fixed, but the manner in which the principles of generation are used is free and infinitely varied. Even the interpretation and use of words involves a process of free creation. ~ Noam Chomsky.

The Bible is one of the most genocidal books in history. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Colorless green ideas sleep furiously. ~ Noam Chomsky.

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

If you are not offending people who ought to be offended, you’re doing something wrong. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Debt is a trap, especially student debt, which is enormous, far larger than credit card debt. It’s a trap for the rest of your life because the laws are designed so that you can’t get out of it. If a business, say, gets in too much debt, it can declare bankruptcy, but individuals can almost never be relieved of student debt through bankruptcy. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Powerful Noam Chomsky Quotes

If there was an observer on Mars, they would probably be amazed that we have survived this long. ~ Noam Chomsky.

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

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

NATO was constructed on the – with the reason, whether one believes it or not, that it was going to defend Western Europe from Russian assault. Once the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union was beginning to collapse, that reason was gone. So, first question: why does NATO exist? ~ Noam Chomsky.

Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever. ~ Noam Chomsky.

It is pretty ironic that the so-called ‘least advanced’ people are the ones taking the lead in trying to protect all of us, while the richest and most powerful among us are the ones who are trying to drive the society to destruction. ~ Noam Chomsky.

It’s dangerous when people are willing to give up their privacy. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Nobody is going to pour truth into your brain. It’s something you have to find out for yourself. ~ Noam Chomsky.

Up until the First World War, when people turned anti-German, Germany had been described by American political scientists as the model of democracy. ~ Noam Chomsky.

The Republican Party has become overwhelmingly so extreme that it’s hardly a traditional political party anymore. ~ Noam Chomsky.

In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than just ideals to be valued – they may be essential to survival. ~ Noam Chomsky.



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