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The immensity of Chomsky’s mind is matched only by its dexterity.
Chomsky had no patience for the sharpening of knives from the Bush White House, and warned against any rush to war or enhancement of an already militaristic federal budget and foreign policy.
Reading Chomsky’s perspective made my head spin, and my heart quicken.
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It is a testament to Noam Chomsky’s brilliance and bravery that despite his soft spoken manner and quiet personality, he manages to inspire fiery passion in millions of activists around the world, curiosity and conviction from students on nearly every college campus, and hatred from angry nationalists wearing red, white, and blue blindfolds.
Like Confraternity of Christian Doctrine classes for Catholics, or a learner’s permit for driver’s education students, Chomsky’s ever expanding body of work is essential for any useful political education. I discovered Chomsky’s work as a high school student shortly after the horrific atrocity of September 11, 2001.
The clarity of his thought and prose not only appeals to anyone seeking to learn about the world, and America’s role in it, but reveals the pomposity and frivolity of many intellectuals who, intelligent or not, would rather obfuscate than illuminate. In the wake of that catastrophe, while politicians competed, American-Idol style, for most patriotic balladeer and journalists tossed away their pens and recorders in favor of megaphones and pom poms, Chomsky released a small book, 9-11.
The course examines media systems – including ownership, profit imperatives, state regulation and control – and the ideologies and government policies that sustain these arrangements.
It takes a historical and comparative approach, examining the emergence of new forms of mechanized mass media from the late-nineteenth century onwards – up to contemporary forms of digital and social media – and the different media systems and policy frameworks that develop across the globe in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
It is worth noting, however, that he was prophetic on several cultural and political developments.
Chomsky’s maxim to “never trust the state” preceded the growing libertarianism of the Republican Party—a group with which Chomsky would have no traffic given their support of corporate power and their refusal to accept controls on big business.