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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind blowing...but not in a nice way, 1 April 2010
This review is from: Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and the Global Order (Paperback)
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.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 31 May 2010 15:24:52 BDT
In an ideal world we would all be happy, healthy, wealthy and wise, and before I even begin this comment; I wish to make clear that I would dearly love to live in that ideal world; which I assume would have to be fed/fuelled by some sort of 'transmutation of the elements' IE:- turning rock into food/energy etc....

In reality however, the first problem is that we humans live in exactly the same world as do insects, plants, animals and fish; a finite world in which all the resources needed to sustain life:- food, water, fuel, raw materials etc.... are in limited supply. The second problem is that all living creatures multiply; and in reproducing themselves, inevitably outgrow the carrying capacity of the region in which they dwell.

As Charles Darwin clearly explained in his 'theory of evolution'; this potentially limitless natural increase of all species within a naturally limited world has been, and still is, the driving force behind evolution. Inevitably this never-ending struggle for survival has far more losers than winners, more than 94% of all species known to human biologists having failed to survive until the modern day. Darwin called this process of competition/conflict 'Natural Selection'; explaining that the losers are overwhelmingly weaker, slower, less intelligent etc.... than the victors in some way; and the removal of these losers from life's gene pool benefits their species equally as much as do the reproductive efforts of the victors.

From Mother Nature's point of view, human societies are no different to wolf packs, ant nests or pine forests; she has given all living things the opportunity to take what we need, and use it to reproduce our kind. If we fail, our kind will steadily dwindle in numbers/importance until swept from this earthly arena by more vigorous and determined breeds. From this natural point of view the fact that 20% of humanity has 80% of the wealth is the inevitable result of the success previously enjoyed by that 20%. Similarly, the competition/conflict for strategic resources such as oil between human societies is identical to the savage combats between animals over control of hunting grounds, and with identical results; the victors eat, drink and prosper, whilst the losers go hungry/starve.

Although the more idealistic amongst us may yearn for a 'better' way, Mother Nature's eternal fight for life has created the world around us in all it's savage beauty; and only when humanity is freed from the confines of this small planet will her iron grip be broken. That being said, I find all this talk about 'political morality' somewhat similar to those famous medieval debates over how many angels can dance on a pin-head. An example follows to illustrate what I mean:-

In order to encourage an 'aggressive spirit' in the Red Army during the dark days of World War Two, Stalin ordered that NKVD detachments be deployed behind the assault troops, with orders to shoot any Soviet soldiers who went to ground or failed to advance rapidly enough. Is this type of behaviour an example of 'political immorality'? Possibly, but it consigned Nazism to the history books as we all know, because given no choice; the Soviet armies fought like the proverbial 'angry bear' the Russians used as their totem.

In concluding this comment, I would suggest that Mr Chomsky enjoy a month or two living alone amidst the rugged beauty of the Canadian wilderness. Having experienced what it's like to disturb a rattlesnake, be chased up a tree by a hungry bear, or hunted by a pack of wolves; he will have a far clearer understanding of Mother Nature's 'morality'; and also what real 'power' is actually about. It's summed up quite well in the few words that follow:-

I never knew a wild thing
that felt self-pity.
A bird will fall
frozen from a bough.
Never having known
what self pity means!

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Oct 2013 17:05:34 GMT
Jm Leven says:
@bradbury - you should try reading Noam Chomsky, mate. He talks about all this stuff.
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