Catalogue


Power systems : conversations on global democratic uprisings and the new challenges to U.S. empire /
Noam Chomsky ; interviews with David Barsamian.
edition
1st edition
imprint
New York : Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company, 2013.
description
211 p. ; 21 cm
ISBN
0805096159 (pbk.), 9780805096156 (pbk.)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company, 2013.
isbn
0805096159 (pbk.)
9780805096156 (pbk.)
abstract
"In this new collection of conversations, conducted from 2010 to 2012, Noam Chomsky explores the most immediate and urgent concerns: the future of democracy in the Arab world, the implications of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the European financial crisis, the breakdown of American mainstream political institutions, and the rise of the Occupy movement. As always, Chomsky presents his ideas vividly and accessibly, with uncompromising principle and clarifying insight. The latest volume from a long-established, trusted partnership, this collection shows once again that no interlocutor engages with Chomsky more effectively than David Barsamian. These interviews will inspire a new generation of readers, as well as longtime Chomsky fans eager for his latest thinking on the many crises we now confront, both at home and abroad. They confirm that Chomsky is an unparalleled resource for anyone seeking to understand our world today"--
catalogue key
8830006
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 179-197) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
David Barsamian, the director of the award-winning and widely syndicated Alternative Radio (www.alternativeradio.org), is the winner of the Lannan Foundation's Cultural Freedom Fellowship and the ACLU's Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism. Barsamian lives in Boulder, Colorado.
First Chapter

1
The New American
Imperialism

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS (APRIL 2, 2010)

One of the themes that Howard Zinn tried to address during his long career was the lack of historical memory. The facts of history are scrupulously ignored and/or distorted. I was wondering if you could comment on imperialism then and now, interventions then and now. Specifically about Saigon in 1963 and 1964 and Kabul today?

What happened in Vietnam in the early 1960s is gone from history. It was barely discussed at the time, and it’s essentially disappeared. In 1954, there was a peace settlement between the United States and Vietnam. The United States regarded it as a disaster, refused to permit it to go forward, and established a client state in the South, which was a typical client state, carrying out torture, brutality, murders. By about 1960, the South Vietnamese government had probably killed seventy or eighty thousand people.1 The repression was so harsh that it stimulated an internal rebellion, which was not what the North Vietnamese wanted. They wanted some time to develop their own society. But they were sort of coerced by the southern resistance into at least giving it verbal support.

By the time John F. Kennedy became involved in 1961, the situation was out of control. So Kennedy simply invaded the country. In 1962, he sent the U.S. Air Force to start bombing South Vietnam, using planes with South Vietnamese markings. Kennedy authorized the use of napalm, chemical warfare, to destroy the ground cover and crops. He started the process of driving the rural population into what were called “strategic hamlets,” essentially concentration camps, where people were surrounded by barbed wire, supposedly to protect them from the guerillas who the U.S. government knew perfectly well they supported. This “pacification” ultimately drove millions of people out of the countryside while destroying large parts of it. Kennedy also began operations against North Vietnam on a small scale. That was 1962.

In 1963, the Kennedy administration got wind of the fact that the government of Ngo Dinh Diem it had installed in South Vietnam was trying to arrange negotiations with the North. Diem and his brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu, were trying to negotiate a peace settlement. So the Kennedy liberals determined that they had to be thrown out. The Kennedy administration organized a coup in which the two brothers were killed and they put in their own guy, meanwhile escalating the war. Then came the assassination of President Kennedy. Contrary to a lot of mythology, Kennedy was one of the hawks in the administration to the very last minute. He did agree to proposals for withdrawal from Vietnam, because he knew the war was very unpopular here, but always with the condition of withdrawal after victory. Once we get victory, we can withdraw and let the client regime go.

Actually, imperialism is an interesting term. The United States was founded as an empire. George Washington wrote in 1783 that “the gradual extension of our settlements will as certainly cause the savage, as the wolf, to retire; both being beasts of prey, tho’ they differ in shape.” Thomas Jefferson predicted that the “backward” tribes at the borders “will relapse into barbarism and misery, lose numbers by war and want, and we shall be obliged to drive them, with the beasts of the forests into the Stony mountains.”2 Once we don’t need slavery anymore, we’ll send the slaves back to Africa. And get rid of the Latins because they are an inferior race. We’re the superior race of Anglo-Saxons. It’s only to the benefit of everyone if we people the entire hemisphere.


Copyright © 2012 by Noam Chomsky and David Barsamian

Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2012-11-05:
For decades, famed MIT linguist and political critic Chomsky has provided a sober perspective on U.S. policy. In this set of interviews (from 2010 to 2012) with journalist Barsamian (director of Alternative Radio), Chomsky (Hegemony or Survival) cuts through bipartisan centrism while exploring such urgent concerns as the power shift from sovereign nations to multinational corporate entities, "from the global workforce to the owners of the world: transnational capital, global financial institutions." Analyzing America's strategic interests in Afghanistan, he points to the long-planned Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline, intended to carry natural gas to India, as well as historical precedents like the 1915 invasion of Haiti. Elsewhere, he addresses both changes in Western activism and the West's "eroding" system of Middle Eastern dictatorships. The abuses of power discussed can be painful to absorb, yet for those who believe that in the discovery of truth lies hope, Chomsky proves an excellent guide. The penultimate interview, a rare intersection of Chomsky's linguistic and political work, ties the proliferation of national dogmas to our inborn ability to learn language. If every literate person in the U.S. and Europe were to pick up Chomsky's latest, it's not outlandish to imagine a tidal shift in modern conceptions of global power and freedom. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Reviews
Review Quotes
Chomsky is a global phenomenon_ perhaps the most widely read voice on foreign policy on the planet.-Samantha Power, The New York Times Book Review "Sitting down and talking to Noam Chomsky about current affairs has to be one of the most illuminating experiences going. But what if you can't always think of the best questions? Not to worry: David Barsamian's interviews with Chomsky consistently ask penetrating and provocative questions. If you're familiar with Chomsky, he will still manage to surprise you."- Political Affairs
"Chomsky is a global phenomenon... perhaps the most widely read voice on foreign policy on the planet."Samantha Power, The New York Times Book Review "Sitting down and talking to Noam Chomsky about current affairs has to be one of the most illuminating experiences going. But what if you can't always think of the best questions? Not to worry: David Barsamian's interviews with Chomsky consistently ask penetrating and provocative questions. If you're familiar with Chomsky, he will still manage to surprise you." Political Affairs
"Chomsky is a global phenomenon... perhaps the most widely read voice on foreign policy on the planet."-Samantha Power, The New York Times Book Review "Sitting down and talking to Noam Chomsky about current affairs has to be one of the most illuminating experiences going. But what if you can't always think of the best questions? Not to worry: David Barsamian's interviews with Chomsky consistently ask penetrating and provocative questions. If you're familiar with Chomsky, he will still manage to surprise you."- Political Affairs
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews, November 2012
Publishers Weekly, November 2012
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
A compelling new set of interviews on our changing and turbulent times with Noam Chomsky, one of the world's foremost thinkers In this new collection of conversations, conducted from 2010 to 2012, Noam Chomsky explores the most immediate and urgent concerns: the future of democracy in the Arab world, the implications of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the European financial crisis, the breakdown of American mainstream political institutions, and the rise of the Occupy movement. As always, Chomsky presents his ideas vividly and accessibly, with uncompromising principle and clarifying insight.The latest volume from a long-established, trusted partnership, this collection shows once again that no interlocutor engages with Chomsky more effectively than David Barsamian. These interviews will inspire a new generation of readers, as well as longtime Chomsky fans eager for his latest thinking on the many crises we now confront, both at home and abroad. They confirm that Chomsky is an unparalleled resource for anyone seeking to understand our world today.
Main Description
A compelling new set of interviews on changing and turbulent times with Chomsky, one of the world's foremost thinkers. As always, Chomsky presents his ideas vividly and accessibly, with uncompromising principle and clarifying insight.
Main Description
A compelling new set of interviews on our changing and turbulent times with Noam Chomsky, one of the world's foremost thinkersA compelling new set of interviews on our changing and turbulent times with Noam Chomsky, one of the world's foremost thinkers In this new collection of conversations, conducted from 2010 to 2012, Noam Chomsky explores the most immediate and urgent concerns: the future of democracy in the Arab world, the implications of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the European financial crisis, the breakdown of American mainstream political institutions, and the rise of the Occupy movement. As always, Chomsky presents his ideas vividly and accessibly, with uncompromising principle and clarifying insight.The latest volume from a long-established, trusted partnership, this collection shows once again that no interlocutor engages with Chomsky more effectively than David Barsamian. These interviews will inspire a new generation of readers, as well as longtime Chomsky fans eager for his latest thinking on the many crises we now confront, both at home and abroad. They confirm that Chomsky is an unparalleled resource for anyone seeking to understand our world today.
Main Description
In this new collection of conversations, conducted from 2010 to 2012, Noam Chomsky explores the most immediate and urgent concerns: the future of democracy in the Arab world, the implications of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the European financial crisis, the breakdown of American mainstream political institutions, and the rise of the Occupy movement. As always, Chomsky presents his ideas vividly and accessibly, with uncompromising principle and clarifying insight.The latest volume from a long-established, trusted partnership, this collection shows once again that no interlocutor engages with Chomsky more effectively than David Barsamian. These interviews will inspire a new generation of readers, as well as longtime Chomsky fans eager for his latest thinking on the many crises we now confront, both at home and abroad. They confirm that Chomsky is an unparalleled resource for anyone seeking to understand our world today.
Main Description
A compelling new set of interviews on our changing and turbulent times with Noam Chomsky, one of the world's foremost thinkers In this new collection of conversations, conducted from 2010 to 2012, Noam Chomsky explores the most immediate and urgent concerns: the future of democracy in the Arab world, the implications of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the European financial crisis, the breakdown of American mainstream political institutions, and the rise of the Occupy movement. As always, Chomsky presents his ideas vividly and accessibly, with uncompromising principle and clarifying insight. The latest volume from a long-established, trusted partnership, this collection shows once again that no interlocutor engages with Chomsky more effectively than David Barsamian. These interviews will inspire a new generation of readers, as well as longtime Chomsky fans eager for his latest thinking on the many crises we now confront, both at home and abroad. They confirm that Chomsky is an unparalleled resource for anyone seeking to understand our world today.
Main Description
In this now collection of conversations, Noam Chomsky explores our most immediate and urgent concerns: the future of democracy in the Arab world, the European financial crisis, the breakdown of American mainstream political institutions, and the growing threats to the environment and peace. As always, Chomsky presents his ideas vividly and accessibly, with uncompromising principle and clarifying insight.
Table of Contents
The New American Imperialismp. 1
Chains of Submission and Subserviencep. 34
Uprisingsp. 44
Domestic Disturbancesp. 65
Unconventional Wisdomp. 86
Mental Slaveryp. 101
Learning How to Discoverp. 126
Aristocrats and Democratsp. 160
Notesp. 179
Acknowledgmentsp. 199
Indexp. 201
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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