Inspiring Noam Chomsky Quotes On Language, Hope, Love

Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, cognitive scientist, philosopher, historian, social critic, and political commentator. Sometimes called “the father of modern linguistics”, Chomsky is also a major figure in analytic philosophy and one of the founders of the field of cognitive science. This Noam Chomsky quotes will motivate you.

Best Noam Chomsky Quotes

  1. Students who acquire large debts putting themselves through school are unlikely to think about changing society. When you trap people in a system of debt, they can’t afford the time to think. ~ Noam Chomsky
  2. Tough love is just the right phrase: love for the rich and privileged, tough for everyone else. ~ Noam Chomsky, Noam Chomsky quotes on love
  3. The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum – even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate. ~ Noam Chomsky
  4. The general population doesn’t know what’s happening, and it doesn’t even know that it doesn’t know. ~ Noam Chomsky

  5. As long as the general population is passive, apathetic, diverted to consumerism or hatred of the vulnerable, then the powerful can do as they please, and those who survive will be left to contemplate the outcome. ~ Noam Chomsky
  6. Nobody is going to pour truth into your brain. It’s something you have to find out for yourself. ~ Noam Chomsky
  7. The ideal is to create a completely fragmented atomized society where everybody is totally alone, doing nothing but trying to pursue created wants, and the wants are created. ~ Noam Chomsky
  8. Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, it’s unlikely you will step up and take responsibility for making it so. If you assume that there’s no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, there are opportunities to change things, there’s a chance you may contribute to making a better world. The choice is yours. ~ Noam Chomsky, Noam Chomsky quotes on hope
  9. That’s the standard technique of privatization: defund, make sure things don’t work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital. ~ Noam Chomsky
  10. The world is a very puzzling place. If you’re not willing to be puzzled, you just become a replica of someone else’s mind. ~ Noam Chomsky
  11. He who controls the media controls the minds of the public. ~ Noam Chomsky

  12. It’s ridiculous to talk about freedom in a society dominated by huge corporations. What kind of freedom is there inside a corporation? They’re totalitarian institutions – you take orders from above and maybe give them to people below you. There’s about as much freedom as under Stalinism. ~ Noam Chomsky
  13. The media want to maintain their intimate relation to state power. They want to get leaks, they want to get invited to the press conferences. They want to rub shoulders with the Secretary of State, all that kind of business. To do that, you’ve got to play the game, and playing the game means telling their lies, serving as their disinformation apparatus. ~ Noam Chomsky
  14. Jingoism, racism, fear, religious fundamentalism: these are the ways of appealing to people if you’re trying to organize a mass base of support for policies that are really intended to crush them. ~ Noam Chomsky
  15. We shouldn’t be looking for heroes, we should be looking for good ideas. ~ Noam Chomsky

  16. The best defense against democracy is to distract people. ~ Noam Chomsky
  17. The whole educational and professional training system is a very elaborate filter, which just weeds out people who are too independent, and who think for themselves, and who don’t know how to be submissive, and so on — because they’re dysfunctional to the institutions. ~ Noam Chomsky
  18. The indoctrination is so deep that educated people think they’re being objective. ~ Noam Chomsky
  19. It is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the truth and expose lies. ~ Noam Chomsky
  20. A captured pirate was brought before Alexander the Great. “How dare you molest the sea?” asked Alexander. “How dare you molest the whole world?” the pirate replied, and continued: “Because I do it with a little ship only, I am called a thief; you, doing it with a great navy, are called an emperor. ~ Noam Chomsky
  21. It doesn’t matter how much you learn in school; it’s whether you learn how to go on and do things by yourself. And that can be done at any level. ~ Noam Chomsky
  22. Democratic societies can’t force people. Therefore they have to control what they think. ~ Noam Chomsky

  23. Far from creating independent thinkers, schools have always, throughout history, played an institutional role in a system of control and coercion. And once you are well educated you have already been socialized in ways that support the power structure, which, in turn, rewards you immensely. ~ Noam Chomsky
  24. The point of public relations slogans like “Support Our Troops” is that they don’t mean anything … that’s the whole point of good propaganda. You want to create a slogan that nobody is going to be against and I suppose everybody will be for, because nobody knows what it means, because it doesn’t mean anything. But its crucial value is that it diverts your attention from a question that does mean something, do you support our policy? And that’s the one you’re not allowed to talk about. ~ Noam Chomsky
  25. Education is a system of imposed ignorance. ~ Noam Chomsky
  26. How it is we have so much information, but know so little? ~ Noam Chomsky

  27. Neoliberal democracy. Instead of citizens, it produces consumers. Instead of communities, it produces shopping malls. The net result is an atomized society of disengaged individuals who feel demoralized and socially powerless. In sum, neoliberalism is the immediate and foremost enemy of genuine participatory democracy, not just in the United States but across the planet, and will be for the foreseeable future. ~ Noam Chomsky
  28. When I was in high school I asked myself at one point: “Why do I care if my high school’s team wins the football game? I don’t know anybody on the team, they have nothing to do with me… why am I here and applaud? It does not make any sense.” But the point is, it does make sense: It’s a way of building up irrational attitudes of submission to authority and group cohesion behind leadership elements. In fact, it’s training in irrational jingoism. That’s also a feature of competitive sports. ~ Noam Chomsky
  29. Do you train for passing tests or do you train for creative inquiry? ~ Noam Chomsky

  30. The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum. ~ Noam Chomsky Quotes
  31. You are responsible for the predictable consequences of your actions. ~ Noam Chomsky
  32. If you go to one demonstration and then go home, that’s something, but the people in power can live with that. What they can’t live with is sustained pressure that keeps building, organizations that keep doing things, people that keep learning lessons from the last time, and doing it better the next time. ~ Noam Chomsky
  33. A basic principle of modern state capitalism is that costs and risks are socialized to the extent possible, while profit is privatized. ~ Noam Chomsky
  34. I try to encourage people to think for themselves, to question standard assumptions… Don’t take assumptions for granted. Begin by taking a skeptical attitude toward anything that is conventional wisdom. Make it justify itself. It usually can’t. Be willing to ask questions about what is taken for granted. Try to think things through for yourself. ~ Noam Chomsky
  35. The goal is to keep the bewildered herd bewildered. It’s unnecessary for them to trouble themselves with what’s happening in the world. In fact, it’s undesirable – if they see too much of reality they may set themselves to change it. ~ Noam Chomsky
  36. For the powerful, crimes are those that others commit. ~ Noam Chomsky

  37. If anybody thinks they should listen to me because I’m a professor at MIT, that’s nonsense. You should decide whether something makes sense by its content, not by the letters after the name of the person who says it.
    Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech. ~ Noam Chomsky
  38. In the US, there is basically one party – the business party. It has two factions, called Democrats and Republicans, which are somewhat different but carry out variations on the same policies. By and large, I am opposed to those policies. As is most of the population. ~ Noam Chomsky
  39. A language is not just words. It’s a culture, a tradition, a unification of a community, a whole history that creates what a community is. It’s all embodied in a language. ~ Noam Chomsky, Noam Chomsky quotes on language
  40. All public resources go to the rich. The poor, if they can survive in the labor market, fine. Otherwise, they die. That’s economics in a nutshell. ~ Noam Chomsky
  41. If you want to control a population… give them a God to worship. ~ Noam Chomsky

  42. If you want to make changes in the world, you’re going to have to be there day after day doing the boring, straightforward work of getting a couple of people interested and building a slightly bigger organization and carrying out the next move and suffering frustration and finally getting somewhere. That’s how the world changes. ~ Noam Chomsky
  43. If something is repeated over and over as obvious, the chances are that it is obviously false. ~ Noam Chomsky
  44. Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it’s from Neptune. ~ Noam Chomsky
  45. It takes one minute to tell a lie, and an hour to refute it. ~ Noam Chomsky
  46. The police can go to downtown Harlem and pick up a kid with a joint in the streets. But they can’t go into the elegant apartments and get a stockbroker who’s sniffing cocaine. ~ Noam Chomsky

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