9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 1999
Chomsky's political leanings have always been libertarian socialist. This work on economics contains his usual crisp clear language in exposing the failure of our current economic paradigm to live up to the first principles of economics; providing the greatest good for all people. Two of his bogey men are prominent here. The media's ability to portray an illusionary sense of well being & security and the ability of organized capital to inculcate meaningless economic axioms through psuedo intellectuals, such as 'employment depends on the short-run on aggregate demand within the business cycle and in the long run on the level of the NAIRU.', as gospel truth. This serves to obfuscate and eliminate popular debate on a pernicious economic agenda (globalism) which has produced deteriorating social conditions in the first world and devastation in the second and third worlds.. to the benefit of an ever diminishing minority, mainly those associated with speculative activities. This is one of several books that have come out recently showing that the current economic system is counter productive to greatest good. It is, in fact, a system entering a profound crisis as it's intentions and deceptions become increasingly apparent. It will, however, be those people who have been made dependent on this weak fabric of lies, now being torn asunder by global financial realities, who will suffer most. As in most Chomsky works this book is clearer in it's ability to characterise the villain that it's ability to define a solution. Any attempt to show that the Global Emporer has no clothes, though, is to be admired.
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 7 April 1999
A very provocative and mind stimulating work. At a time when this so-called "information age" of Corporate America is changing most of us to be desensitized, and the very gadgets that technology has made possible like the internate and cellular phone that is making human interaction obsolete, such books are a must read and long over-due for those of us who are concerned about the humanitarian aspect of this profit-oriented society.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 15 July 1999
This isn't the type of reporting you want to hear, but it is the type of reporting you must hear if you believe in the democratic ideals this country was founded upon. Some might find something wrong with whistleblowing, but if you don't and you're not afraid to confront some disturbing truths, then grab this book and read it and think about how you can change this world. There must be something seriously disturbing in Chomsky's writing to the right wing to provoke such truth twisting and distortion in order to attempt to discredit Chomsky. If you want to know what they're afraid of, read this book (or any of Dr. Chomsky's other books, for that matter!)
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 1 April 2010
Where to you start... After reading 3 of Chomsky's previous books this one hammered home the reality and how it affects every single on of us. This is a thoroughly riveting read but the main feeling was one of foreboding as the book explains the lengths and depths that governments will go to to please their corporate paymasters, it also shows how far along the line we are, is there a way back?
It shows the unfetted greed and chilling disregard for human life at the expense of profits that major corporations have for the average human being. Chomsky suggests that this is a school of thought that is employed to open new markets and shows how ruthless the instigators are. What it gave me was a deep sense of despair at how much our government lies to us on a range of things. Not just the little things but how world economics are played out.As much as you or I would love to live in a country that helps out its citizens with healthcare, decent living standards, proper jobs and a good social network this just does not reap enough profits for the global organisations that rule our governments and they will do anything to stop us getting what we want.
Global organisations need new markets to feed the profit machine and at the expense of lives in various countries that is their only objective, It references the coup in Chile, then the immediate sale of state industries to foreign investors ensuring price hikes and more misery to the population. See also the acts of deception by Thatcher using the Falklands to do the same thing, The Iraq war and any other major. Also think of the current recession and how the election is being fought out by who can cut the most from public spending when in fact what should be happening is that big business should be taxed more...it was their fault!
This read is surely a must to cut through the spin and squabbling of every day politics and gets to the point as do most of Chomsky's books. A great follow up read and one in greater detail is Naomi Kline's Shock Doctrine. This goes into even greater detail and throws up great comparisons and unfortunately is even more shocking.
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 3 July 1999
Of the nearly dozen books by Noam Chomsky I have read, Profit compelling book to date. It clearly and convincingly destroys most neoliberal arguments with historical and current examples and citations. Chomsky's well developed arguments also plainly point out the absurd hypocrisy of neoliberal and "new" right ideologies that grip much of the English speaking world.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 13 January 1999
a bit disapointed in this book, although not at chomsky, it seems most views are a collection from zmag essays or thoughts in older books,
experienced chomsky fans might want to pass this
but anyone new to chomsky this is a must buy
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 30 July 2005
This book reads as a collection of articles, but is none the worse for that. If you want a good short overview of economics and power from a 'real world' point of view rather than dry theory, this is for you.
Incidentally, it is interesting to note the way Chomsky's work is criticised. Critics of Chomsky tend to be extremely vague (eg labelling his work as niave or simplistic) without giving specific examples or references. Chomsky, by contrast, documents and references his work with a thoroughness comparable to no other author I have read.
As for the hilarious charge of 'conspiracy theory', this tells us a great deal about the critic. Chomsky repeatedly shows in book after book why none of his analysis has anything to do with conspiracy, 'old boys networks' or anything of the kind. In fact, he often goes out of his way to rubbish conspiracies precisely because they detract from the real issues (see his book on Kennedy 'Rethinking Camelot').
Chomsky analyses how powerful institutions work and perpetuate themselves. He cuts through the rubbish, spin and propaganda, and gives the reader powerful, evidence based tools for understanding the world.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 15 February 2006
having read some of the reviews of chomsky,s work,i am amazed at the lack of understanding of some people.having studied economics,politics&history i have no problem understanding chomsky.
let me enlighten some of reviewers:-
1)countries are run by powerful elites(usually the wealthy)
2)powerful interests do not have to get together to control a country,they ensure in a democracy,that the people we elect,they pay for do what they want
3)if you believe that at election time you sticking an x next to your prefered canditate is going to having any meaning,you are going to be very disappointed.
4)i come from a country that is controlled by 14 land owning families,they are also in government,controlling all key sectors of the economy,even though my country is democracy,the people are still desperatly poor.regardless who we vote for,we see no benefits coming our way
5)unless you are prepared to believe that you are far from a free thinking individual,and are a product of your society,with pre-conceived half baked idea's from an early age,how can you possibly think outside of your own fish bowl
6)chomsky allows you to think outside the fish bowl,gives you a different perspective,be gratefull you might learn something usefull.
7)some american reviewers get very upset if any one is critical of the capitilist system,this i think goes to americans being brain washed from an early age, in to believing that capitilism has no weakness.Europeans long realised it's downside,as a result they created an extensive welfare system.
8)chomsky does not say get rid of capitilism.he says realise it's limits and make it work better for everyone not just the fortunate few.
9)let me qoute 2 of the greatest economists of the 20th centuary both americans:-
milton friedman who believes that we should work for the money or jhon kenneth galbraith who believes that money should be made to work for us.you choose, i have already made my choice
10)having read all the major works of all the so called greats of the world of history,economics&politics i can say chomsky is the best of the best
11)picking a few sentances from his works here and there,to justify your dislike for him is not proper and just,chomsky's works must be read in full to gain a clear understanding of what he's trying to say
12)i constantly come across people who profess to have read chomsky,but quite evidently failed to understand him
13)why is he so hated by the american media,for god's he's your countries leading intellectual,and he was voted the most influential intellectual in the world last year.
14)if chomsky was European he would have far more respect,because Europeans have always been more sceptical than our american counterparts,remember we did invent the modern capitlist system as practised by the americans
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 March 2011
An inspiring read and a good look into what is wrong in the world order. Even though it is written in 1999, it still fits modern society, nothing has really changed (at least not for the better).
Chomsky clearly states with a few, but thorough examples what he thinks is wrong with neo-liberalism, and elthough the big overview is missing, the depth of the examples gives a better picture than in many other writings of criticism against neo-liberalism.
I appreciate Chomsky's writing style where he works quotes from the media into his own sentences and the general focus on how the media has handled what the US has been doing from 1960s to the time of writing is very good. I often feel that the responsability of the media can be missing when reading this kind of litterature, but with Chomsky having research the media - and especially the press - it is not missing in this piece.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 July 2014
Economics - the great con trick of the 20th and 21st century! Chomsky brings his usual scathing criticism to all the degraded and positively harmful economic policies that have shaped our world today. What a misnomer "Neoliberalism" is! There is nothing liberal about it at all! Many of us are so fed up with the so-called "elite" treating the ordinary people like cattle. But, hey, look where we are today! The rich get richer and the gap between them and the ordinary working people just gets wider. Who will fill Chomsky's shoes when he is gone? There are not enough critics of his weight around in the world.