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Chomsky on Anarchism [Paperback]

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Item description for Chomsky on Anarchism by Noam Chomsky & Barry Pateman...

We all know what Noam Chomsky is against. His scathing analysis of everything that’s wrong with our society reaches more and more people every day. His brilliant critiques of—among other things—capitalism, imperialism, domestic repression and government propaganda have become mini-publishing industries unto themselves. But, in this flood of publishing and republishing, very little ever gets said about what exactly Chomsky stands for, his own personal politics, his vision of the future.

Not, that is, until Chomsky on Anarchism, a groundbreaking new book that shows a different side of this best-selling author: the anarchist principles that have guided him since he was a teenager. This collection of Chomsky’s essays and inter-views includes numerous pieces that have never been published before, as well as rare material that first saw the light of day in hard-to-find pamphlets and anarchist periodicals. Taken together, they paint a fresh picture of Chomsky, showing his lifelong involvement with the anarchist community, his constant commitment to nonhierarchical models of political organization and his hopes for a future world without rulers.

For anyone who’s been touched by Chomsky’s trenchant analysis of our current situation, as well as anyone looking for an intelligent and coherent discussion of anarchism itself, look no further than Chomsky on Anarchism.

Noam Chomsky is one of the world’s leading intellectuals, the father of modern linguistics, an outspoken media and foreign policy critic and tireless activist. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   241
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   0.85 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2005
Publisher   AK Press
ISBN  1904859208  
ISBN13  9781904859208  

Availability  0 units.

More About Noam Chomsky & Barry Pateman

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor (Emeritus) in the M.I.T. Department of Linguistics and Philosophy. His work is widely credited with having revolutionized the field of modern linguistics. Chomsky is the author of numerous best-selling political works, including the New York Times bestseller Hegemony or Survival, Failed States, Imperial Ambitions, What We Say Goes, and Hopes and Prospects.

Noam Chomsky currently resides in Lexington, in the state of Massachusetts. Noam Chomsky was born in 1928 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Massachusetts Institute of Technology Massachusetts Institute of Techn.

Noam Chomsky has published or released items in the following series...
  1. American Empire Project
  2. City Lights Open Media
  3. Columbia Themes in Philosophy

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > Ideologies > Radical Thought

Reviews - What do customers think about Chomsky on Anarchism?

Leaves you wanting more...  May 24, 2007
This book is a great introduction to both Noam Chomsky and anarchism, both in terms of its readability and its broad scope. Here one gets a taste of both anarchist theory and practice(alas, though, only a taste), as well as an examination of the celebrated peak of anarchism's influence on world history during the Spanish Civil War. This book is best in the hands of two types of readers: 1)the person already familiar with Chomsky who is interested in knowing what Chomsky stands for, and what has influenced his thinking; 2) the curious person who wants a lucid, brief introduction to the ideas of anarchism and not an esoteric, theoretical analysis.

I will say this though, for the person with a large apetite this book will not satiate it. Most of the book is transcripts of lectures or interviews Noam Chomsky has had over the years, and for me these for the most part left me disappointed with their lack of content, and rigor. However, the two major esays which are included "Objectivity and Liberal Scholarship" and "Containing the Threat of Democracy" are absolute gems, and in my view justify the purchase of this book alone. In conclusion I'll just say to not expect this book to suffice as your sole resource, neither for anarchism nor for Noam Chomsky.
Anarchy of Words  May 12, 2007
Very hard to read. The author does not communicate well on the written page. He could have pared this down and streamlined it so that it would be easier to read and understand his meaning. A good editor could chop off a good part and reword the rest to present the subject in an interesting and memorable way. Much too wordy. The plethora of unnecessary words and inefficient use of the written language obscures his meaning.

Reviving American Politics. (I am actually 21)  Dec 8, 2006
Post-9/11 politics has thus far been an arena dominated by fear, hatred, and finger-pointing. Whether from liberal or conservative viewpoints, social analysts are quick to place blame, but never offer solutions. The social climate, created by the corporate media through newspapers, books, magazines, and television, has created a culture of fear, political apathy, and hopelessness, while the alternative view offered by opposing intellectuals has offered nothing but scathing analysis that would give just cause for even the proudest patriot to hang his head and wait solemnly for Armageddon. Although Noam Chomsky, probably the world's leading radical intellectual, has been prone himself to give out some much needed American wake-up calls of scolding analysis in his nearly 40 years of political writing, in Chomsky on Anarchism he offers something else: Hope: A reason for Americans to come out from underneath the covers and face their problems. In Chomsky on Anarchism, Chomsky chooses to step aside from the herd of negative media and instead of pointing fingers, places the power of American politics back into the hands of American citizens.
Chomsky on Anarchism is composed of 11 essays, book prefaces, and transcribed interviews from the last 40 or so years that share what Chomsky is truly about; A passion for true democracy. Now it would be pertinent, seeing as some Americans would like to believe that the United States is a democracy and the title of the book includes the word "anarchism," which most Americans would probably disassociate with democracy, to examine what exactly Chomsky believes constitutes a democracy. In an interview entitled The Relevance of Anarcho-syndicalism, Chomsky gets right to it: democracy starts from the ground up. This ideal which Chomsky believes an anarchist society is founded upon is in sharp contrast with our political system, where Chomsky finds the problem that the opposite is true, as all power resides in the top of a social structure with the federal government. Chomsky, citing New England's working class in the late 1800's, clearly defines his vision of democracy with the classic labor press quote, "They who work in the mills ought to own them."
Chomsky uses a variety of historical examples to shed light on the experiences of anarchism, providing alternative thought to the dilemmas of today's capitalist-driven America. Chomsky cites Bakunin, Rudolph Rocker, Daniel Guerin, and a variety of others in his attempt to distinguish what anarchism is and what is has done. Most notably in Notes on Anarchism, he refers to smaller communal living that prospered during the Spanish Revolution, the Israeli Kibbutzim and the Worker's Movement in Paris in 1871. Chomsky paraphrases Pellotier in defining the struggle of anarcho-syndicalists that, "Anarcho-syndicalists sought, even under capitalism, to create "free associations of free producers" that would engage in militant struggle to prepare to take over the organization of production on a democratic basis." Thus, Chomsky, citing examples throughout history, attempts to explode the deepest American belief that there is an alternative to free-market corporate capitalism; A democratic system in which the workers may rule themselves.
Chomsky, never short of social insight, discusses in Goals and Visions a realistic way to achieve democracy in our big-business dominated government. Chomsky shares that, although he has a vision of an anarchist society, the first step, strengthening the state, would be contradictory to his vision, but a necessary woe. Chomsky explains that when private industries hold power, we as citizens are unable to make decisions, whereas the State can actually be used as a democratic vehicle to make the choices we desire.
Chomsky states, in an interview entitled Anarchism, Marxism and Hope for the Future, what is probably the most worthwhile and fundamental belief to anarchism and the most powerful weapon for the restless masses, that "the burden of proof has to be placed on authority, and that it should be dismantled if that burden cannot be met." Many Americans feel helpless and believe that our government is meant to be in power and it is unchallengeable and untouchable, and that citizens need to accept things the way they are, but as Chomsky attests in Language and Freedom, governments are not a natural creation and do not need exist. Furthermore governments are not above citizens' control or disposal. This theory alone, because of its universal point, may be why few, if any, mainstream media outlets chose to review this book; they can't prove their own necessity for being besides their own commercial wallets.
Chomsky on Anarchism gives newfound power and hope to restless Americans who feel they have no choice but to adhere to the current political situation. Chomsky proves, through a rigorous intellectual workout of theory and anarchist history, that there are alternatives to corporate government and Americans have the ability to strive for them. Noam Chomsky proves his worth as a social analyst, rising above his peers and the corporate media to offer solutions and provide hopeful alternatives rather than selling fear and complacency. Chomsky on Anarchism is the resuscitator thrust for American politics that revives the masses, returning political power back to those who should rightfully have it: American citizens.

A nice introduction to anarchism  Aug 17, 2006
For those who think anarchism is about chaos and bomb-throwing, this series of essays and interviews by the noted professor from MIT will serve as an excellent introduction into an idea whose time must come again, if man and the planet are both to survive.
My favorite Noam Chomsky title of all times!!!  Mar 24, 2006
"Chomsky on Anarchism" is a wonderful introduction to Chomsky's anarchist ideals. Like all of Chomsky's writings, this collection of interviews and essays is insightful and deep, a clear anaylsis of the real, underlying problems in our world today, like US imperialism, corporate globalization, domestic repression and state propaganda. I especialy enjoyed his interview with Barry Pateman, associate editor of UC Berkeley's Emma Goldman Papers. Knowledge is power. So, put down The New York Times and delve into the prolific writings of the most important punk rocker around, Noam Chomsky!

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