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How the World Works PDF

400 Pages·2012·2.31 MB·English
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Table of Contents Title Page ABOUT THE AUTHOR EDITOR’S NOTE WHAT UNCLE SAM REALLY WANTS THE MAIN GOALS OF US FOREIGN POLICY Protecting our turf The liberal extreme The “Grand Area” Restoring the traditional order Our commitment to democracy The threat of a good example The three-sided world EVASTATION ABROAD Our Good Neighbor policy The crucifixion of El Salvador Teaching Nicaragua a lesson Making Guatemala a killing field The invasion of Panama Inoculating Southeast Asia The Gulf War The Iran/Contra cover-up The prospects for Eastern Europe The world’s rent-a-thug BAINWASHING AT HOME How the Cold War worked The war on (certain) drugs War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. Socialism, real and fake The media THE FUTURE Things have changed What you can do The struggle continues THE PROSPEROUS FEW AND THE RESTLESS MANY The new global economy NAFTA and GATT—who benefits? Food and Third World “economic miracles” Photo ops in Somalia Slav vs. Slav The chosen country Gandhi, nonviolence and India Divide and conquer The roots of racism The unmentionable five-letter word Human nature and self-image It can’t happen here...can it? Hume’s paradox “Outside the pale of intellectual responsibility” SECRETS, LIES AND DEMOCRACY THE US Defective democracy Keeping the rich on welfare Healthcare Crime and punishment Gun control Becoming a Third World country Labor The CIA The media Sports Religious fundamentalism Don’t tread on me THE WORLD Toward greater inequality “Free trade” Mexico (and South Central LA) Haiti Nicaragua China Russia Dead children and debt service HISTORICAL BACKGROUND How the Nazis won the war Chile Cambodia World War II POWs MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS Consumption vs. well-being Cooperative enterprises The coming eco-catastrophe Nuclear power The family What you can do THE COMMON GOOD THE COMMON GOOD That dangerous radical Aristotle Equality Libraries Freedom ON THE HOME FRONT The myth of hard times Corporate welfare Crime: in the suites vs. in the streets The media More money, fewer voters Is corporate power invincible? AROUND THE WORLD Is globalization inevitable? The myth of Third World debt Mexico, Cuba and Guatemala Brazil, Argentina and Chile The Mideast East Timor India International organizations THE US LEFT (AND IMITATIONS THEREOF) Are left and right meaningful terms? The narcissism of small differences Postmodernism Excommunicated by the illuminati WHAT YOU CAN DO Signs of progress (and not) Resistance The magic answer Manufacturing dissent INDEX OTHER REAL STORY BOOKS Copyright Page Interview questions and recordings: David Barsamian Transcripts: David Barsamian, Sandy Adler Compilation, reorganization, editing, copy-editing, inside design and layout, section heads, subheads, cover layout and copy: Arthur Naiman Inital editing: Sandy Niemann Copy-editing and proofreading: Julie Pinkerton, Susan McCallister, Suzanna Garland, Karen Bodding, Caitlin Far, John Kadyk, Sandy Niemann, Kimberly Ehart, Christine Carswell, Derek Stordahl Index: Ty Koontz Cover photo: Duncan Rawlinson Book titles: Noam Chomsky, Charlie Winton, Susan McCallister, Arthur Naiman Logistical support: Susan McCallister, Karen Bodding Production coordinators: Julie Pinkerton, Caitlin Far Moral support and emotional triage: Linda Spangler Series editor: Arthur Naiman Fonts: Bookman—main text, subheads Optima—questions and misc. notes (like this one) LIBERTY—headers, section heads, tables of contents LITHOS BLACK—cover, title pages, etc. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Noam Chomsky has long been the most cited living author; on the all-time list, he’s eighth (after Marx, Lenin, Shakespeare, Aristotle, the Bible, Plato and Freud). Lionized abroad, he’s by far the most important social critic in the world, but his political ideas are marginalized here in the United States. The modern-day equivalent of an Old Testament prophet, he’s truly a prophet without honor in his own land. The New York Times may grudgingly admit that he’s “arguably the most important intellectual alive,” but they do it in the context of deploring his politics. He’s a media star in other countries and attracts standing-room-only audiences wherever he speaks here, but his appearances on American television are few and far between. The acceptable range of opinion stops long before it gets to him. Yet the accuracy of his insights and his analyses is uncanny. In one of the classic books collected here, originally published in 1994, he warned: “In 1970, about 90% of international capital was used for trade and long-term investment—more or less productive things— and 10% for speculation. By 1990, those figures had reversed.” We know where things went from there; it probably got to 99.9% speculation before it all came crashing down. We’re paying now for not heeding him then (not that you and I had much control over it). Here’s what he said back in the 1990s about money lent to Third World goons, long before Western nations and international lenders like the World Bank and the IMF [the International Monetary Fund] began forgiving such loans: “As happened almost everywhere in the Third World, Brazil’s generals, their cronies and the super-rich borrowed huge amounts of money and sent much of it abroad. The need to pay off that debt is a stranglehold that prevents Brazil from doing anything to solve its problems; it’s what limits social spending and equitable, sustainable development. “But if I borrow money and send it to a Swiss bank, and then can’t pay my creditors, is that your problem or mine? The people in the slums didn’t borrow the money, nor did the landless workers. “In my view, it’s no more the debt of 90% of the people of Brazil than it is the man in the moon’s. Let the people who borrowed the money pay it back.” Fortunately, Brazil has advanced quite a bit from the sorry state it was in back then—thanks in no small part to Chomsky’s efforts on its behalf. Avram Noam Chomsky was born December 7, 1928 in Philadelphia. His father William was a famous Hebrew scholar and Noam spent time on a kibbutz in his early twenties. The father of three children, he lost his wife Carol in 2008, after almost sixty years of marriage. Since 1955 he’s taught philosophy and linguistics—a field his theories have revolutionized—at MIT, where he became a full professor at the age of 32. In addition to his paradigm-shifting linguistic theories, he’s written many books on political issues and has received countless honors and awards (including 37 honorary degrees). A nonstop activist with a relentless lecture schedule, he does more than any three normal people, but feels he’s never doing enough, Chomsky is an electrifying speaker, and that’s due solely to what he says, not to the unpretentious, straightforward way in which he says it (he consciously avoids rhetorical flourishes). Sharp as a razor in debate but warm and amiable in conversation, he’s both the most moral and the most knowledgable person I’ve ever met. I hope he lives to be 100. You should too. The world will be an emptier, lonelier and less just place without him. Arthur Naiman

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