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Occupy [Kindle Edition]

Noam Chomsky
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Book Description

'Occupy is the first major public response to thirty years of class war.'

Since its appearance in Zuccotti Park, New York, in September 2011, the Occupy movement has spread to hundreds of towns and cities across the world. No longer occupying small tent camps, the movement now occupies the global conscience as its messages spread from street protests to op-ed pages to the highest seats of power. From the movement's onset, Noam Chomsky has supported its critique of corporate corruption and encouraged its efforts to increase civic participation, economic equality, democracy and freedom.

Through talks and conversations with movement supporters, Occupy presents Chomsky's latest thinking on the central issues, questions and demands that are driving ordinary people to protest. How did we get to this point? How are the wealthiest 1% influencing the lives of the other 99%? How can we separate money from politics? What would a genuinely democratic election look like? How can we redefine basic concepts like 'growth' to increase equality and quality of life for all?

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About the Author

Noam Chomsky is the author of numerous bestselling and influential political books, including Hegemony or Survival, Failed States, Interventions, Hopes and Prospects, Gaza in Crisis, Making the Future and Occupy.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
By S Wood
"Occupy" is a selection of speeches (as well as one interview) made by veteran radical Noam Chomsky at Occupy events in the U.S. late last year.

The speeches are a mixture of Chomsky putting events into context, an extremely brief history of the Neoliberal era (the "Thirty Years of Class War" referred to in the title of this review), a eulogy for the late Howard Zinn (of A People's History of the United States fame) and some reluctant but sensible advice on avoiding common pitfalls and difficulties while organising and carrying forward the Occupy movement. A guide on what to do if your arrested at an occupy event in the U.S. (compiled by the National Lawyers Guild) has been helpfully included, and makes interesting reading even for those to whom it is not directly relevant.

This is a fine short (probably not much more than 10,000 words in total) collection, though readers may wish to skip it for (or subsequently move on to) some of his more recent and substantial works such as Hopes and Prospects, or return to his earlier classics such as Deterring Democracy, Year 501: The Conquest Continues or Manufacturing Consent. An interesting book for readers wishing to learn more about Occupy as well as the protests across Europe and the uprisings in the Arab World (which Chomsky touches upon) could do far worse than reading Paul Masons Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Occupy changes perspectives 12 Nov. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I saw this book in Waterstones in Truro and sat down to read through. One hour later I had finished the book and ordered it for my kindle to re-read in greater depth. Norm Chomsky has one of those rare talents of grabbing your attention. His use of the English language and how he writes to express his thoughts, explaining and making clear our current times is both enlightening and revealing. The Occupy movement is one from our contemporary times and I am sure, in the dead of night, Alan Moore is enjoying the appropriation of the Guy Fawkes masks from his V for Vendetta story. A refreshing perspective on our austerity age and a wake up call to us all - no longer do we need to acquiesce to those who think of us as the silent majority, the great unwashed or even as plebs. This book is a must read as an unofficial sequel to Naomi Klein's 'The Shock Doctrine', acting as a new mediation between those who ran the factories and how 'we the people' begin to take back our power and responsibility, following in the footsteps of other countries, as revealed by Naomi, wishing and fulfilling emancipation from bureaucrats and shareholders, whose only goal is the worship their god 'profit'.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a look 24 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent short collection of speeches / interviews. However due to the nature of it. It does repeat itself a little.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Inequality Movement 26 Mar. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A small collection of speeches and interviews with the activist Noam Chomsky about the movement Occupy Wall Street.

The criticism more or less looks like the one presented by Anthony Giddens, Zygmunt Bauman and Slavoj Zizek but Chomsky is obviously more a part of the counter reaction, the 99 % – Occupy Wall Street. The movement sees it as its goal to attract the attention to the inequality, to reduce the political influence of companies, to provide a more fair division of the resources and to create more and better jobs.

During more interviews Chomsky describes the political issues of the movement as well as the political landscape of neoliberalism.

The last part of the book contains legal advice for those members of the movement that might get caught by the police.

The book is providing the reader with relevant information about the inequality that apparently has emerged from insufficiencies in our democracies. However, there is no clue about how to proceed after fighting. Will Occupy Wall Street be able to influence future legislation?
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good as far as it went. 3 Jun. 2014
This is a collection of question and answer sessions given at various campuses in the US between 2010 and 2012. There is quite a bit of repartition and it is not very deep and deals exclusively with the American Occupy movement. It is always good to read transcripts of Chomsky, as we will not have him for much longer I fear. There is a section devoted to the memory of Howard Zinn who like Chomsky was a heavy weight intellectual and activist of his time, who can fill their shoes?

I am surprised at Chomsky’s very optimistic view of the Occupy movement as it seems to have melted away. Government agencies are much better at infiltrating and co-opting mass movements domestically and using them as a front for regime change such as in Venezuela and Ukraine. This coupled with the confusion felt by most people as to the response to various crises that we face on top of the uncertainties of our everyday lives make me wonder how we ever can bring about positive change.

Chomsky reiterates the simple old school approach of social organisation, collecting up all the little actions by ordinary people in their activism of everyday life as being the only way to bring about meaningful change. I like his example of how to treat politicians; not as people to listen to and vote for but rather to demand them to listen to us and do what we bid.
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