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Noam Chomsky on Government Reform

Political Activist


People who serve power are later considered false prophets

BROWN: You describe how throughout history honor has been given to those who speak on behalf of the powerful.

CHOMSKY: Take the Bible, for example--and we'll find that those who have served power have always been rewarded with respectability. The prophets of the Bible came in 2 types. The people who served power, were the ones who were later considered false prophets. There were the people, however, who, in their own time, were respected, honored and protected. There was another group of people who exposed the corruptions of power. They're the ones who were reviled, imprisoned, driven into the desert, and so on. It was only much later that they were recognized as the true prophets.

That pattern just perpetuates through history, and for perfectly good reasons. If you serve power, authority and privilege, you'll end up, by & large, with respectability. And if you undermine them, whether it's by political analysis, moral critique, or anything else, they're not going to applaud you for it.

Source: Dialogues, by Gov. Jerry Brown, p.212-3 , Feb 12, 1996

Dissent publicly against investors ruling government

Itís not a secret where power lies in the US. It lies in the hands of people who determine investment decisions. They want a passive population. So one of the things that you can do to make life uncomfortable for them is not be passive.

If you go to one demonstration, and then go home, the people in power can live with that. What they canít live with is sustained pressure that keeps building, people that keep learning lessons from last time and doing it better the next time.

Source: What Uncle Sam Really Wants, by Noam Chomsky, p. 98 , Jan 13, 1991

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Page last updated: Jan 11, 2015