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Noam Chomsky Quotes

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Noam Chomsky Quote: “If you assume that there is no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, that there are opportunities to change things, then there is a possibility that you can contribute to making a better world.”

If you assume that there is no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, that there are opportunities to change things, then there is a possibility that you can contribute to making a better world.

— Noam Chomsky



Noam Chomsky Quote: “Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.”

Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “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.”

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: “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald

Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

— F. Scott Fitzgerald


Noam Chomsky Quote: “The general population doesn’t know what’s happening, and it doesn’t even know that it doesn’t know.”

The general population doesn’t know what’s happening, and it doesn’t even know that it doesn’t know.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “You are responsible for the predictable consequences of your actions.”

You are responsible for the predictable consequences of your actions.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “Education is a system of imposed ignorance.”

Education is a system of imposed ignorance.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “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.”

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


Noam Chomsky Quote: “It is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the truth and expose lies.”

It is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the truth and expose lies.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “We shouldn’t be looking for heroes, we should be looking for good ideas.”

We shouldn’t be looking for heroes, we should be looking for good ideas.

— Noam Chomsky



Noam Chomsky Quote: “The more you can increase fear of drugs, crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all of the people.”

The more you can increase fear of drugs, crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all of the people.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “If you assume there is no hope, you guarantee there will be no hope.”

If you assume there is no hope, you guarantee there will be no hope.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “If we choose, we can live in a world of comforting illusion.”

If we choose, we can live in a world of comforting illusion.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “We don’t use the term ‘working class’ here because it’s a taboo term. You’re supposed to say ‘middle class,’ because it helps diminish the understanding that there’s a class war going on.”

We don’t use the term ‘working class’ here because it’s a taboo term. You’re supposed to say ‘middle class,’ because it helps diminish the understanding that there’s a class war going on.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “How it is we have so much information, but know so little?”

How it is we have so much information, but know so little?

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “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.”

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


Noam Chomsky Quote: “Language etches the grooves through which your thoughts must flow.”

Language etches the grooves through which your thoughts must flow.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “If you’re teaching today what you were teaching five years ago, either the field is dead or you are.”

If you’re teaching today what you were teaching five years ago, either the field is dead or you are.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “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.”

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


Noam Chomsky Quote: “Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.”

Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.

— Noam Chomsky



Noam Chomsky Quote: “For the powerful, crimes are those that others commit.”

For the powerful, crimes are those that others commit.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “He who controls the media controls the minds of the public.”

He who controls the media controls the minds of the public.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”

If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “The more privilege you have, the more opportunity you have. The more opportunity you have, the more responsibility you have.”

The more privilege you have, the more opportunity you have. The more opportunity you have, the more responsibility you have.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “The only way we can put a permanent end to terrorism is to stop participating in it.”

The only way we can put a permanent end to terrorism is to stop participating in it.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “Nobody is going to pour truth into your brain. It’s something you have to find out for yourself.”

Nobody is going to pour truth into your brain. It’s something you have to find out for yourself.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “The structure of language determines not only thought, but reality itself.”

The structure of language determines not only thought, but reality itself.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “It is important to bear in mind that political campaigns are designed by the same people who sell toothpaste and cars.”

It is important to bear in mind that political campaigns are designed by the same people who sell toothpaste and cars.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “Citizens of the democratic societies should undertake a course of intellectual self defense to protect themselves from manipulation and control, and to lay the basis for meaningful democracy.”

Citizens of the democratic societies should undertake a course of intellectual self defense to protect themselves from manipulation and control, and to lay the basis for meaningful democracy.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “See, people with power understand exactly one thing: violence.”

See, people with power understand exactly one thing: violence.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “Governments will use whatever technology is available to combat their primary enemy – their own population.”

Governments will use whatever technology is available to combat their primary enemy – their own population.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “Wanton killing of innocent civilians is terrorism, not a war against terrorism.”

Wanton killing of innocent civilians is terrorism, not a war against terrorism.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “We still name our military helicopter gunships after victims of genocide. Nobody bats an eyelash about that: Blackhawk. Apache. And Comanche. If the Luftwaffe named its military helicopters Jew and Gypsy, I suppose people would notice.”

We still name our military helicopter gunships after victims of genocide. Nobody bats an eyelash about that: Blackhawk. Apache. And Comanche. If the Luftwaffe named its military helicopters Jew and Gypsy, I suppose people would notice.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “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.”

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


Noam Chomsky Quote: “Democracy is always harmful to elite interests. Almost by definition.”

Democracy is always harmful to elite interests. Almost by definition.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.”

All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “That is what I have always understood to be the essence of anarchism: the conviction that the burden of proof has to be placed on authority, and that it should be dismantled if that burden cannot be met.”

That is what I have always understood to be the essence of anarchism: the conviction that the burden of proof has to be placed on authority, and that it should be dismantled if that burden cannot be met.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “A basic principal of modern state capitalism is that costs and risks are socialized to the extent possible, while profit is privatized.”

A basic principal of modern state capitalism is that costs and risks are socialized to the extent possible, while profit is privatized.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “That’s the standard technique of privatization: defund, make sure things don’t work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital.”

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


Noam Chomsky Quote: “It is quite possible – overwhelmingly probable, one might guess – that we will always learn more about human life and personality from novels than from scientific psychology.”

It is quite possible – overwhelmingly probable, one might guess – that we will always learn more about human life and personality from novels than from scientific psychology.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom.”

I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “It doesn’t matter what we cover, it matters what you discover.”

It doesn’t matter what we cover, it matters what you discover.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “The indoctrination is so deep that educated people think they’re being objective.”

The indoctrination is so deep that educated people think they’re being objective.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “International relations bears more than a slight resemblance to the mafia.”

International relations bears more than a slight resemblance to the mafia.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “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.”

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


Noam Chomsky Quote: “Under capitalism, we can’t have democracy by definition. Capitalism is a system in which the central institutions of society are in principle under autocratic control.”

Under capitalism, we can’t have democracy by definition. Capitalism is a system in which the central institutions of society are in principle under autocratic control.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “Science is a bit like the joke about the drunk who is looking under a lamppost for a key that he has lost on the other side of the street, because that’s where the light is. It has no other choice.”

Science is a bit like the joke about the drunk who is looking under a lamppost for a key that he has lost on the other side of the street, because that’s where the light is. It has no other choice.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “Religion is based on the idea that God is an imbecile.”

Religion is based on the idea that God is an imbecile.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “That’s the whole point of good propaganda. You want to create a slogan that nobody’s going to be against, and everybody’s going to be for. Nobody knows what it means, because it doesn’t mean anything.”

That’s the whole point of good propaganda. You want to create a slogan that nobody’s going to be against, and everybody’s going to be for. Nobody knows what it means, because it doesn’t mean anything.

— Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky Quote: “It’s not radical Islam that worries the US – it’s independence.”

It’s not radical Islam that worries the US – it’s independence.

— Noam Chomsky

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