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35 Inspirational Noam Chomsky Quotes

Wealthy Gorilla Staff



35 Inspirational Noam Chomsky Quotes

Noam Chomsky is a famous political activist, linguist, and social critic. He is also known for his eloquence which is manifested in many of his literary works.

He has inspired millions of people with his philosophical quotes, and we thought some of them deserve a mention.

This is a collection of the best Noam Chomsky quotes:


35 Noam Chomsky Quotes

1. “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

2. “There’s plenty to criticize about the mass media, but they are the source of regular information about a wide range of topics. You can’t duplicate that on blogs.” – Noam Chomsky

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

4. “Language is a process of free creation; its laws and principles are fixed, but the manner in which the principles of generation are used is free and infinitely varied. Even the interpretation and use of words involves a process of free creation.” – Noam Chomsky

5. “I did used to have nightmares about the idea that when I die, there is a spark of consciousness which basically creates the world. ‘Is the world going to disappear if this spark of consciousness disappears? And how do I know it won’t? How do I know there’s anything there except what I’m conscious of?” – Noam Chomsky

6. “As a Zionist youth leader in the 1940’s, I was among those who called for a binational state in Mandatory Palestine. When a Jewish state was declared, I felt that it should have the rights of other states – no more, no less.” – Noam Chomsky

7. “Everybody’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s a really easy way: stop participating in it.” – Noam Chomsky

8. “There are very few people who are going to look into the mirror and say, ‘That person I see is a savage monster;’ instead, they make up some construction that justifies what they do.” – Noam Chomsky


9th of 35 Noam Chomsky Quotes

9. “The intellectual tradition is one of servility to power, and if I didn’t betray it I’d be ashamed of myself.”


10. “Nationalism has a way of oppressing others.” – Noam Chomsky

11. “The United States is unusual among the industrial democracies in the rigidity of the system of ideological control – ‘indoctrination’, we might say – exercised through the mass media.” – Noam Chomsky

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

13. “It’s perfectly obvious that there is some genetic factor that distinguishes humans from other animals and that it is language-specific. The theory of that genetic component, whatever it turns out to be, is what is called universal grammar.” – Noam Chomsky

14. “The United States was seriously defeated in Iraq by Iraqi nationalism – mostly by nonviolent resistance. The United States could kill the insurgents, but they couldn’t deal with half a million people demonstrating in the streets.” – Noam Chomsky

15. “Some of the most moving experiences I’ve had are just in black churches in the South, during the Civil Rights Movement, where people were getting beaten, killed, really struggling for the most elementary rights.” – Noam Chomsky

16. “The process of shaping opinion, attitudes, and perceptions was termed the ‘engineering of consent’ by one of the founders of the modern public relations industry, Edward Bernays.” – Noam Chomsky

17. “Our only real hope for democracy is that we get the money out of politics entirely and establish a system of publicly funded elections.” – Noam Chomsky


18th of 35 Noam Chomsky Quotes

18. “The probability of apocalypse soon cannot be realistically estimated, but it is surely too high for any sane person to contemplate with equanimity.” – Noam Chomsky


19. “Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media.” – Noam Chomsky

20. “Reparations – not just aid – should be provided by those responsible for devastating Iraqi civilian society by cruel sanctions and military actions, and – together with other criminal states – for supporting Saddam Hussein through his worst atrocities and beyond. That is the minimum that honesty requires.” – Noam Chomsky

21. “The major advances in speed of communication and ability to interact took place more than a century ago. The shift from sailing ships to telegraph was far more radical than that from telephone to email!” – Noam Chomsky

22. “If there was an observer on Mars, they would probably be amazed that we have survived this long.” – Noam Chomsky

23. “Everyone who is critical of Israeli policy is deluged by crazed messages intended to flood their email system or, more insidiously, passwords are accessed and messages sent out under their name! I’m sure it’s illegal. It’s also an effort to undermine free speech.” – Noam Chomsky

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

25. “Rational discussion is useful only when there is a significant base of shared assumptions.” – Noam Chomsky

26. “Changes and progress very rarely are gifts from above. They come out of struggles from below.” – Noam Chomsky


27th of 35 Noam Chomsky Quotes

27. “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


28. “Growing up in the place I did I never was aware of any other option but to question everything.” – Noam Chomsky

29. “When you look at a corporation, just like when you look at a slave owner, you want to distinguish between the institution and the individual. So slavery, for example, or other forms of tyranny, are inherently monstrous. The individuals participating in them may be the nicest guys you can imagine.” – Noam Chomsky

30. “Under the worst conditions, horrendous conditions, people still, you know, fight for their rights and don’t just succumb.” – Noam Chomsky

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

32. “If you don’t like what someone has to say, argue with them.” – Noam Chomsky

33. “You can live within the institutions and work hard to change them.” – Noam Chomsky

34. “Education must provide the opportunities for self-fulfillment; it can at best provide a rich and challenging environment for the individual to explore, in his own way.” – Noam Chomsky

35. “Anyone can be a moral individual, concerned with human rights and problems; but only a college professor, a trained expert, can solve technical problems by ‘sophisticated’ methods. Ergo, it is only problems of the latter sort that are important or real.” – Noam Chomsky



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