Noam Chomsky Quotes

Education is a system of imposed ignorance.

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

States are not moral agents, people are, and can impose moral standards on powerful institutions.

Noam Chomsky

Personally, I'm in favor of democracy, which means that the central institutions of society have to be under popular control. Now, under capitalism, we can't have democracy by definition. Capitalism is a system in which the central institutions of society are in principle under autocratic control. Thus, a corporation or an industry is, if we were to think of it in political terms, fascist; that is, it has tight control at the top and strict obedience has to be establishedat every level--there's little bargaining, a little give and take,but the line of authority is perfectly straightforward. Just as I'm opposed to political fascism, I'm opposed to economic fascism. I think that until the major institutions of society are under the popular control of participants and communities, it's pointless to talk about democracy.

Noam Chomsky

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

Noam Chomsky

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

NOAM CHOMSKY

I have often thought that if a rational Fascist dictatorship were to exist, then it would choose the American system.

Noam Chomsky

Hence, a generative grammar must be a system of rules that can iterate to generate an indefinitely large number of structures. This system of rules can be analyzed into the three major components of a generative grammar: the syntactic, phonological, and semantic components.

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

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

The number of people killed by the sanctions in Iraq is greater than the total number of people killed by all weapons of mass destruction in all of history.

Noam Chomsky

If we do not believe in freedom of speech for those we despise we do not believe in it at all.

Noam Chomsky

The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.

Noam Chomsky

The syntactic component of a grammar must specify, for each sentence, a deep structure that determines its semantic interpretation and a surface structure that determines its phonetic interpretation.

Noam Chomsky

We thus make a fundamental distinction between the competence (the speaker-hearer's knowledge of his language) and performance (the actual use of language in concrete situations).

Noam Chomsky

If we don't believe in free expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all.

Noam Chomsky
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