Saturday, 30 March 2013

Noam Chomsky: Power Systems

Private power doesn’t like public education, for many reasons. One is the principle on which it’s based, which is threatening to power. Public education is based on a principle of solidarity. So, for example, I had my children fifty years ago. Nevertheless, I feel and I’m supposed to feel that I should pay taxes so that the kids across the street can go to school. That’s counter to the doctrine that you should just look after yourself and let everyone else fall by the wayside, a basic principle of business rule. Public education is a threat to that belief system because it builds up a sense of solidarity, community, mutual support.
The same is true of Social Security. That’s one of the reasons that there is such a passionate attempt to destroy Social Security, even though there are no economic reasons to do so, none of any significance at least. But public education and Social Security are residues of a dangerous conception that we’re all in this together and we have to work together to create a better life and a better future. If you’re trying to maximize profit or maximize consumption, then working together is the wrong idea. It has to be beaten out of people’s heads.
Solidarity makes it hard to control people and prevents them from being passive objects of private power. So you have a propaganda system that overcomes any deviations from the principle of subjugation to power systems.

This book is in your actual shops now!
David Barsamian's tenth collection of interviews with Uncle Noam.
They're the best introduction to Chomsky, and therefore to understanding how propaganda, power and hegemony work, and how and why the world is fucked.
Several excerpts from these and his other books are available online here.

PS Video of Noam Chomsky being interviewed about propaganda at the British Library last week. 

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