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GOVERNMENT IN THE FUTURE : An Open Media Pamphlet Paperback – 1 Apr 2005

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 73 pages
  • Publisher: SEVEN STORIES PRESS (1 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583226850
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583226858
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 0.5 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 339,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Born in Philadelphia in 1928, NOAM CHOMSKY is known throughout the world for his political writings, activism, and for for his groundbreaking work in linguistics. A professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1955, Chomsky gained recognition in academic circles for his theory of transformational grammar, which drew attention to the syntactic universality of all human languages. But it is as a critic of unending war, corporate control and neoliberalism that Chomsky has become one of the country s most well known public intellectuals. The 1969 publication of "American Power and the New Mandarins" marked the beginning of Chomsky s rigorous public criticism of American hegemony and its lieges. Since then, with his tireless scholarship and an unflagging sense of moral responsibility, he has become one of the most influential writers in the world. Chomsky is the author of "Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media" (with Edward S. Herman), "Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order," and over one hundred other books. To this day Noam Chomsky remains an active and uncompromising voice of dissent."

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Format: Paperback
Chomsky starts his book with a good overview of state involved vs. not involved economic systems around capitalism and socialism. I think his criticism of state capitalist system is very valid. His examples are very old because this book is written from a speech of his given around 1970's.

One thing about Chomsky is that you always would like to hear his suggested solution about a working and fair economic model but he does not provide it. I agree with his thinking though. Instead of providing a ready made model, he puts the principles in place and suggests that the new model can only be found by experimentation and more involvement of people in small governments and companies. He says current model excludes the involvement of people and I agree with it (If asked, how many Americans would have agreed to send the boys to Iraq for the so-called liberation of Iraqis?).

I suggest this book if you are one of those people who do not get offended to hear a different system other than current capitalist one. Chomsky is an odd personality and he provides a totally different way of looking at the world.
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Format: Paperback
How unfortunate that, busy with business as usual, we don't devote more time to discusssing with those around us how our economic and political life could be. Perhaps it is too enjoyable to sit back and watch "American Idol".

Chomsky at his most provocative:

* Can we make modern society democratic?
* Can the U.S. population join in the push for change along with people in the rest of the world? Is it willing to take a chance to disturb the status quo? Can it seem the point of that, even with the inevitable errors along the way? Or have we been lullued into sheepish acceptance of authority and the way things are?
* Has hyping the need for the war machine indeed become the way to win our tax dollars and support for aggression? Does the war machine require the kind of efficent, centralized managment that corporate executives and lawyers best provide? Does the focus on war damage our cultural and moral life? Do the corporate executives bring with them a mindset that is profoundly anti-democratic, anti-libertarian, anti-worker?

This book may be short on pages but it's long on issues you can think over and discuss with others. The libertarian socialist position Chomsky favors may not work but responding to its challenges may lull you out of sleep. Our capitalist ways seem horribly incapable of addressing the crises of sustainability that have begun. Now is the time to turn off "American Idol" each week and instead read this book and talk with others each week about it. No one person can change the tide: not until each of us is an "American Helper" is their hope for our country or the world in the crises ahead.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8bf231ec) out of 5 stars 15 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c3af8ac) out of 5 stars Didactic but convincing 8 Jun. 2005
By Pieter H. Wessels - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is actually from a speech he gave in 1970 but in written form. Basically Chomsky provides a framework consisting of four "idealized [ideological] positions" concerning governance which he compares and contrasts. The four are classical liberal, libertarian socialism, state socialism(Bolshevism) and state capitalism. He defends the libertarian socialist position and argues that it is the proper and appropriate form of governance because he sees it as the natural extension of classical liberal ideas, with its conception of human nature: that a fundamental element of our nature is the need for creative work and inquiry. He argues that in order for this conception of human nature to be realized, a high degree of freedom is required so that people can animate, explore and test their inborne creative faculties. This translates to the necessary dismantling of the state and economic system which should be supplanted with systems that maximize and strengthen this "idealized position".

He makes a very good argument as to why we should do away with our current systems, but what the reader must always keep in mind is the perspective from which he analyzes and judges the world. Whether you agree with him or not ultimately depends on your own conception of humanity.

All in all, I highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in political philosophy or just politics in general.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c3afaf8) out of 5 stars Only By Revolution - From Prior Oppression 7 Dec. 2005
By R. Schwartz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A small book of only 67 pages from a talk given in 1970 and yet valuable, relevant, undated information.

In this book Chomsky goes into four main avenues of government This is not a perfect interpretation.

1. Classic Liberalism - a tamed down version of the dog eat dog, Laissez-Faire economics, which is small government or non-government intervention in a capitalist society, but here minus the rugged individualism and wage slave labor. So it's sort of a combination of the Laissez faire liberty with the civil libertarian of individual social freedoms which are, not obstructed by entrepreneurial capitalist greed of free market fundamentalism.

2. Libertarian Socialism - anarchism, council communism - here the working class becomes the government, but not a dictatorship of the proletariat, but rather a democracy of the proletariat, councils and committees vote on issues, not elected representatives who act as the decision makers. There is no state ownership and authoritarian domination but self governing through democratic means. Some anarchism wants to do away with the political organization of the state, where as here the commune exists All of this is experimental and is believed to be achieved only by revolution and only when the conditions are ripe.Only by active participation of the masses in self-government and social reconstruction could bring about what Rosa Luxemburg described as the complete spiritual transformation in the masses degraded by centuries of bourgeois class rule, just as only their creative experience and spontaneous action could solve the myriad problems created in libertarian socialist society. Here there would be no vanguard party here but equalitarian participation through technology and education.

3. State Socialism And 4. State Capitalism

It is here the range of decisions that are in principle subject to public democratic control are quite narrow, from the political decision makers and central institutions as well as the centers of private power which exert an inordinately heavy influence through media, thought control of political organizations by biased concentrations of private power and autocratic institutions. Democracy is limited mainly to elections which subsequently can by pass public opinion in decision making and use means of control or propaganda to influence public policy. Centralization of power becomes dominant over democratic decision making., from the top down as opposed to the bottom up.

"American society is indeed open and liberal values are preserved. However, as poor people and black people and other ethic minorities know very well, the liberal veneer is pretty thin.. . . . Roughly speaking, I think it's accurate to say that a corporate elite of managers and owners governs the economy and the political systems as well - at least in a very large measure. p. 64 It is here that the deciding of issues by the electorate is secondary to the election of the men who are to do the deciding. where the political parties act in concert in competitive struggle for power. If that weren't so, it would be impossible for different parties to adopt exactly or almost exactly the same program.(Joseph Schumperer).
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c3afabc) out of 5 stars "Eternal vigilence is the price of liberty" 28 May 2006
By calmly - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How unfortunate that, busy with business as usual, we don't devote more time to discusssing with those around us how our economic and political life could be. Perhaps it is too enjoyable to sit back and watch "American Idol".

Chomsky at his most provocative:

* Can we make modern society democratic?
* Can the U.S. population join in the push for change along with people in the rest of the world? Is it willing to take a chance to disturb the status quo? Can it seem the point of that, even with the inevitable errors along the way? Or have we been lullued into sheepish acceptance of authority and the way things are?
* Has hyping the need for the war machine indeed become the way to win our tax dollars and support for aggression? Does the war machine require the kind of efficent, centralized managment that corporate executives and lawyers best provide? Does the focus on war damage our cultural and moral life? Do the corporate executives bring with them a mindset that is profoundly anti-democratic, anti-libertarian, anti-worker?

This book may be short on pages but it's long on issues you can think over and discuss with others. The libertarian socialist position Chomsky favors may not work but responding to its challenges may lull you out of sleep. Our capitalist ways seem horribly incapable of addressing the crises of sustainability that have begun. Now is the time to turn off "American Idol" each week and instead read this book and talk with others each week about it. No one person can change the tide: not until each of us is an "American Helper" is their hope for our country or the world in the crises ahead.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c3afdb0) out of 5 stars Chomsky being Chomsky- Brilliant 6 April 2006
By Figs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Great speech. Hear the audio version at zmag.org (click on "audio")
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d18a1d4) out of 5 stars Simple, easy, great read 15 Aug. 2005
By RyeWhiskey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As a new reader to Chomsky, I had previously read "9/11", and found it to be rather repetitive and confused. Yet "Government in the future" was the exact opposite, a simple, powerful read. In this small, short, book, Chomsky provides his very educated opinion on four different ways of thought. And he shares his personal opinion on how the government should be run, so that the people have the power. A very powerful read. Highly recommened as a first Chomsky read.
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