Books And Authors I’ve Read (1-59)

22. “Necessary Illusions” by Noam Chomsky (non fiction)

23. “Manufacturing Consent – The Political Economy Of The Mass Media” by Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman

A blurb from Pantheon: “In this pathbreaking work, now with a new introduction, Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky show that, contrary to the usual image of the news media as cantankerous, obstinate, and ubiquitous in their search for truth and defense of justice, in their actual practice they defend the economic, social, and political agendas of the privileged groups that dominate domestic society, the state, and the global order.”

And there’s the documentary (by Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonick) based on the book:

24. “The New Military Humanism – Lessons From Kosovo” by Noam Chomsky

nuggets: 1. Kurds in Turkey not allowed to use their language or give their children Kurdish names 2. no censure of Turkey by UN 3. Rendering harmless unnexploded ‘bombies’ in Laos and Cambodia require the assistance of the US which it won’t give. 4. Jimmy Carter: ‘We owe nothing to Vietnam’

The New Military Humanism

25. “Rogue States – The Rule Of Force In World Affairs” by Noam Chomsky

nuggets: 1. control of the internet (pg 122). 2. the ‘good faith’ principle (declarations of good intentions are to be accepted when matched by a record of good behavior) (pg 40) 3. Office Of Technology Assessment a useful agency (pg 99) 4. Iraqi democrats abandoned by West (pgs 28 & 29) 5. Human rights violations can be linked to polices of international financial institutions. (pg 130) 6. UN blocked by US from investigating atrocities committed by allies (pg 67) 7. The US rejects jurisdiction of international bodies generally (pg 83)

26. “Year 501 – The Conquest Continues” by Noam Chomsky (non fiction)

27. “Hegemony Or Survival – America’s Quest For Global Dominance” by Noam Chomsky (non fiction)

Noam Chomsky with Hugo Chavez

An excerpt from James Suggett’s article (at venezuelanalysis.com) titled “Noam Chomsky meets with Chavez In Venezuela” follows:

== =
U.S. author, dissident intellectual, and Professor of Linguistics at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology Noam Chomsky met for the first time with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Caracas and analyzed hemispheric politics during a nationally televised forum on Monday.

Chomsky is well known in Venezuela for his critiques of U.S. imperialism and support for the progressive political changes underway in Venezuela and other Latin American countries in recent years. President Chavez regularly references Chomsky in speeches and makes widely publicized recommendations of Chomsky’s 2003 book, Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance.

“Hegemony or survival; we opt for survival,” said Chavez in a press conference to welcome Chomsky. He compared Chomsky’s thesis to that of German socialist Rosa Luxemburg in the early 1900s, “Socialism or Barbarism,” and referred to Chomsky as “one of the greatest defenders of peace, one of the greatest pioneers of a better world.”

Through an interpreter, Chomsky responded, “I write about peace and criticize the barriers to peace; that’s easy. What’s harder is to create a better world… and what’s so exciting about at last visiting Venezuela is that I can see how a better world is being created.”
= ==

28. “Failed States – The Abuse Of Power And The Assault On Democracy” by Noam Chomsky (non fiction)

nuggets: 1. bin Laden’s words and deeds correlate closely 2. UN told by uncle Sam that it can be ‘relevant’ by supporting US imperialism or else it can be a useless debating society 3. “spikes of activity” that can be used to furnish a pretext for invasion the most important component of the Downing Street memo 4. chemical storehouses (not chemical weapons but of use to those who might want to make them) ignored by American military after invasion; oil facilities protected instead 5. The Kennedy’s were hardcore terrorists

29. “Hopes And Prospects” by Noam Chomsky (non fiction)

nugget: Chomsky recounts the dissolution of the useful (to the people) research arm of Congress known as the Office Of Technology Assessment. It did its job of showing American citizens what kind of bang for their tax dollars various government actions and programs brought and that was the problem.

30. “9-11 Was there an alternative?” by Noam Chomsky (non fiction)

A blurb about “Was there an alternative?” from the Seven Stories Press website follows:

“In 9-11, published in November 2001 and arguably the single most influential post-9/11 book, internationally renowned thinker Noam Chomsky bridged the information gap around the World Trade Center attacks, cutting through the tangle of political opportunism, expedient patriotism, and general conformity that choked off American discourse in the months immediately following. Chomsky placed the attacks in context, marshaling his deep and nuanced knowledge of American foreign policy to trace the history of American political aggression—in the Middle East and throughout Latin America as well as in Indonesia, in Afghanistan, in India and Pakistan—at the same time warning against America’s increasing reliance on military rhetoric and violence in its response to the attacks, and making the critical point that the mainstream media and public intellectuals were failing to make: any escalation of violence as a response to violence will inevitably lead to further, and bloodier, attacks on innocents in America and around the world.

“9-11: Was There an Alternative? includes the entire text of the original book, 9-11, together with a new essay by Chomsky, “Was There an Alternative?” This new edition, published on the tenth anniversary of the attacks, reminds us that today, just as much as ten years ago, information and clarity remain our most valuable resources in the struggle to prevent future violence against the innocent, both at home and abroad.”

nuggets: 1. The US is the leading terror state. As well, Terror is a weapon of the strong, not the weak (which isn’t to say that the weak, sometimes, won’t resort to terror.) 2. Bush 2 states that states that those who harbor terrorists are as guilty as those terrorists 3. the interesting phrase “investor-rights globalization” 4. Ronald Reagan responded to the UN’s denunciation of his terrorist activity in Nicaragua by increasing it 5. Reagan perversely names May 1 “Law Day” 6. “international community” in US propaganda means the US

31. “Gaza In Crisis – Reflections On Israel’s War Against The Palestinians” by Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappé (non fiction)

Ilan book Noam

A blurb about “Gaza In Crisis” from the Haymarket Books website follows:

“Israel’s Operation Cast Lead was described by a UN fact-finding mission (“the Goldstone report”) as “a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population.” The winter 2008–09 assault claimed the lives of 1,400 Palestinians and thrust the crisis in Gaza into the center of the debate about the Israel/Palestine conflict.

“The crippling siege continues to block access to construction materials desperately needed to rebuild in the wake of the Israeli attack and prevents people from leaving the Strip even for treatment of life-threatening illnesses. With the constant humiliation of living a life punctuated by regular military incursions and ubiquitous checkpoints, the people of Gaza live in an area that has come to be known as the world’s largest open-air prison.

“Following Israel’s naval attack on the Freedom Flotilla—a group of vessels carrying relief supplies and aiming to break the unbearable siege—international observers are increasingly questioning the logic of Israeli military aggression, and worldwide public support for Palestine is growing.

“In Gaza in Crisis, Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappé, two of the conflict’s most insightful critical commentators, survey the fallout from Israel’s conduct in Gaza and place it into the context of Israel’s long-standing occupation of Palestine.”

nuggets: 1. One Jew, Richard Falk, called the Israeli attack on Gaza in 2009 a holocaust. (But he gets Syria wrong.) 2. gas in the Palestinian coastal water may encourage the Palestinians powerful enemies to continue destroying the nation 3. Like Clinton in Haiti, Blair in Palestine is not a good thing. 4. Chomsky sees no possibility of a single state solution and he advocates for a binational solution. 5. Palestinian territory unjustly appropriately by UN for Zionist purposes 6. Israel’s desperate fear of diplomacy 7. Israeli military inflicted pain on civilians for political goals (which equals state terror) 8. “politicide” = the murder of a nation (by US/Israel)

32. “Chomsky On Anarchism” by Noam Chomsky. Entries were selected and edited by Barry Pateman. (non fiction)

nuggets: 1. “stability” 2. Orwellian logic of capitalist elites who view independent thinking and behavior as insurgencies vis a vis their own national governments 2. Jean-Jacques Rousseau understood how rules (law and order) were used by elites to dominate and control people (via strategically breaking them).

33. “When Corporations Rule The World” by David Korten (non fiction)

David Korten

David Korten

nuggets: 1. Korten – who, alarmingly, once advized USAID – swallows what I call the Lie, namely a. the (biological) evolution belief and b. the force belief (as in Star Wars). His mention of his spirituality, on page 10, excludes mention of a personal God, for example. Which is to say, He takes the view that humankind is God, even if he doesn’t explicitly say it. You can’t believe in the God of the Christian Bible ‘and’ biological evolution, which Korten (page 18) does. Korten calls himself a Christian. 2. pages 56 through 58 look at how corporations went from being subject to well designed charters to being free from their constraints, via the corrupting of governments. 3. Korten notes how the failure, or success (from the standpoint of some), of North Americans to label neoliberal capitalism has hindered discussion of it. 4. Corporatocracy is a monster that will devour those who worship it and those who refuse to worship it (pg 73). 5. productivity of Mexicans workers equal to that of their northern counterparts (pg 129). 6. “…successful corporations maintain more control over the economies defined by their product networks than the central planners in Moscow ever achieved over the Soviet economy.” (pg 221)

34. “The Fight Of My Life” by Maude Barlow (non fiction)

nuggets: 1. Just prior to Mulroney’s win, polls show a majority of Canadians not sold on the FTA, which didn’t prevent Mulroney from implementing it (pages 111, 156). 2. Western education systems not informing students about important matters (pg 95). 3. Canadian unemployment insurance, which American capitalists didn’t like, attacked soon as the ink was dry on the FTA, which enabled the attack (pg 115). 4. Ronald Reagan was more honest about the free trade deals corporatists wanted than Brian Mulroney (pgs 120, 121). 5. Former PM John Turner not impressed with the talk he caught, from CEOs, about using free trade rules to kill Canadian jobs so as to increase corporate profits (pgs 81, 82). 6. Maude visits Mexico pre-NAFTA and observes hell, which the rightwing organizations and compliant media back in Canada conspire to hide from the public (pages 123-130)

35. “The Unconscious Civilization” by John Ralston Saul (non fiction)

A blurb about Saul’s book from the publisher follows:

======–
Our society, John Ralston Saul argues in his 1995 CBC Massey Lectures, is only superficially based on the individual and democracy. Increasingly it is conformist and corporatist, a society in which legitimacy lies with specialist or interest groups and decisions are made through constant negotiations between these groups.

The paradox of our situation is that knowledge has not made us conscious. Instead, we have sought refuge in a world of illusion where language is cut off from reality. Reconnecting language to reality, clarifying what we mean by individualism and democracy, making these realities central to the citizen’s life, identifying ideologies in order to control them, these are among the first elements of equilibrium which Saul proposes in these lectures.
–======

It’s hard for me to reconcile the John Saul of “The Unconscious Civilization” and “Voltaire’s Bastards” with the John Saul of the awful “A Fair Country – Telling Truths About Canada,” but it is what it is.

cubicle hell

nuggets: 1. “The sign of a sick civilization is the growth of an obscure, closed language that seeks to prevent communication.” -JRS (pg 54) 2. “…the only true Marxists functioning today teach in the Chicago School of Economics and manage our large corporations.” -JRS (pg 119)

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