Language of Politics - Noam Chomsky

Language of Politics – Noam Chomsky



virtually every term of political discourse has two meanings one is its literal meaning and the second which is often quite different is its usage in political discourse or political warfare so for example take communism it has a literal meaning literal meaning is a core principle is workers control over production a community control over decision-making and so on that's the literal meaning the way it's used is for a system is almost radically the opposite absolutist control from the top virtually no participation and so on or say take democracy democracy is supposed to be a system of government of by and for of the people that's what we hail we look at the actual meaning say us which is a pillar of democracy we find that about 70 percent of the population the lower 70 percent on the income scale have no influence whatsoever on politics on political decisions so no attention is paid to them tension increases slightly as you move up when you get to the very top if people get what they want because they essentially make make policy or take free trade agreements like right now the United States and Pacific countries are negotiating a trans-pacific partnership its hailed as a wonderful free trade agreement it's being done in secret there's a reason for that not total secret it's not secret from the hundreds of corporate lobbyists and lawyers who are writing it they know all about little bits and pieces have leaked out thanks to WikiLeaks and they reveal what any rational person would expect when corporate lobbyists and lawyers are writing an agreement very much like NAFTA north american free trade agreement and others it's not a free trade agreement in the phrase north american free trade agreement the only accurate words are north american that's not free it has very heavy protectionist elements designed to maximize profits for pharmaceutical corporations and other affect oligopoly is supported by the state onerous patent regulations which ensure the drug prices will cost way more than they ought to for drug company profits a lot of it isn't about trade at all it's about investor rights even the part that is about trade is trade in a very strange sense so nafta for example is supposed to deal with trade between the United States and Mexico take a look at the trade between the United States and Mexico there's much excitement about how much it's increased corporations are secret organizations we don't have details of what they do but the general estimates are that roughly forty to 50 percent of the cross-border transactions are internal to a command economy so for example if General Motors that makes parts in Indiana ascends them to northern Mexico McCulloch Dora to be assembled by cheap labor and then the resulting automobile was sold in Los Angeles that's called trade in both directions it's about as much trade as in the old Soviet Union if parts were made in the Leningrad and sent the worse offer assembly and sold in Moscow we wouldn't have called that trade it's internal to a command economy happens to cross borders but and that's a large part of so-called trade much of the content of these agreements are things like for example the laws granting corporations the right to sue governments on the grounds that their future profits might be harmed say by making a national park somewhere and then this is adjudicated by a corporate run group of decision makers all totally out of the public view so it's not free trade it's not trade it's certainly not an agreement at least if people are part of their countries first of all they barely know about it after the extent they know about it they mostly oppose it but these are and that same with the trans-pacific partnership the European US trade agreement these are and then it goes on term after term pick your choice almost it takes a security governments a primary principle of international relations theory is that governments act to protect their security security for whom security for the population no they act in many ways to harm the population easy to show that their own populations as well security for the state itself yeah they want that's the reason for the secrecy a lot of the secrecy is to protect state authority from scrutiny by their own public security for concentrations of domestic power like say the corporate sector definitely that's what the trans-pacific partnership is about so yes security in a certain sense and not security in the sense that we're supposed to believe it and as I say you can run through term after term and you find pretty much the same thing so has this process increased through the 20th century yes quite definitely and for good reasons over the years popular struggle has won many victories the franchise's increased people have greater freedom states have less power to coerce their populations violently I mean it's not a straight line but in general that's the tendency and as it becomes harder to control people by force it becomes necessary to control them in other ways and they believe by propaganda by deceit by manipulation and this is quite conscious if you look go back about a century in the freest countries in the world England in the United States it was recognized openly that the problems of controlling the population are increasing and therefore new mechanisms must be developed in fact new industries devoted to controlling the public mind to controlling attitudes and beliefs that's the origin of the huge public relations industry which is a massive industry hundreds of billions of dollars a year devoted to what we used to call propaganda controlling attitudes and beliefs and if our striking to see the way it works so for example we're supposed to believe in markets everybody supposed to heal all markets turn on the television set and take a look at the advertisements the advertisements are designed to undermine markets markets are based take an economics course markets are based on informed consumers making rational choices take a look at the ad for an automobile or toothpaste or whatever is it trying to create a an informed consumer making a rational choice no it's a huge effort tremendous waste for the economy but enormous expenditures to create uninformed consumers who will make irrational choices because it's critically necessary to undermine a literal market behavior that's a kind of a consequence of the growth of oligopoly a very strong tendency of the economy towards oligopoly few major corporations controlling a market they don't want to have price wars they want basically fixed prices so they have to turn to some sort of product differentiation that is basically meaningless and that requires massive delusion so-called add what's called advertising delusion of the public to try to get them to pick this identical product rather than that identical product that's Alma point by point almost and this it grows as freedom groups the more freedom is one the greater the effort to control attitudes and beliefs by mechanisms of this kind that's why you have the huge growth of these industries of propaganda precisely in the free societies other countries tried to imitate them Soviet Union Lenin Lenin's Russia tried to imitate it but it was so clumsy that the nobody believed the word they were seeing on the other hand the Nazis tried to imitate it and they did very well unfortunately that gurbles was very struck by American commercial advertising and the techniques it was using and adapted them to with a good German efficiency and regrettably that work quite well but that's what's that's exactly what you'd expect as more freedom and opportunity as one and that's what we discover are there ways to overcome this problem well one way is to dismantle the course of institutions that are at the core of the system if you have very high concentration of power at the top they're going to be true obviously working on ways to and sustain and enhance their power and the best Ellucian is to devolve power down to people to move towards authentic democracy but short of that people have to develop if the long the institutions remain the course of institutions that people have to develop mechanisms of self-defense it's very difficult to do on your own that you can but it's not it gets easier when people are organized and interact and have associations and whatever they may be in which they can discuss things with each other and develop their ideas and so on that's of course one of the reasons why power systems are so eager to undermine and destroy what are called secondary associations groupings of popular organizations of people who interact with one another the ideal from the point of view of a coercive institution at the Dalit Aryan state or corporation is to have people atomized each person alone the you and your television set or that's it you shouldn't have any more structure than that but by overcoming those constraints it's possible to defend oneself and of course these institutions are not a graven and stoned are not god-given they can be dissolved you

17 thoughts on “Language of Politics – Noam Chomsky

  1. this is the most boring video I have ever watched. I tried to pay attention but his tone was not helping.

  2. American style democracy and system of government that Americans want to push down the throat of the rest of the world, if necessary by force, broke down a long time ago. When Donald Trump was elected, an old flame who is American sent me an e-mail saying she was in tears and wants to leave America for good! I asked her to list 10 countries she would consider for settlement. This was her list:

    Australia
    Canada
    New Zealand
    Sweden
    Denmark
    Finland
    Norway
    Holland
    Monaco
    Japan

    What I find most amusing is that these countries are all constitutional Monarchies and have kings and queens! 🙂

    Maybe America needs to rewrite its constitution.

  3. That's a good point. The terms of politics are 11111112232334555551111 sniff sniff 1122323 employ sniff leaks 1122 svetlana @ballerina09_lovecats

  4. Here's a translation of Holiday titles.
    happy massacre of workers day!
    Labor day: to celebrate the massacre of workers.
    Halloween: to celebrate marking of the harvest season as scary stuff.
    Thanksgiving: to celebrate National Land Theft and American Genocide.
    Christmas: to celebrate Christianity stealing holiday and made it it's birthday.
    Martin Luther King Day: to celebrate the continuation of blacks been killed after memorial day.
    Valentines day: to celebrate the murder of Valentines.
    Easter: to celebrate Zombie.
    Mother’s Day: to celebrate merchants capitalized a promotion for reconciliation.
    Father's day: to celebrate a complement to mother's day.
    Memorial Day: to celebrate the war for slavery.
    independents day: to celebrate the death of many tribal nations.

  5. I'm afraid DIRECT ACTION is the only way forward that can bring meaningful change rapidly enough to witness in our children's lifetimes (not even before we ourselves die). I think most people feel it simply isn't worth "squandering" their lives fighting for change, since it's the only life they get. So they instead attempt to enjoy their lives "safely & comfortably" to the furthest extent possible under the current deluge of psychological warfare furnished by private tyrannies on a 24/hours cycle. Unfortunately, the ruling class have known this for centuries, dare I say millennia, and have been actively leveraging this knowledge to successfully maintain the current diabolical status quo for nearly as long.

    People would rather live in their tiny, well-furnished cells than step out and risk making their lives even worse at the hands of wealthy & powerful psychopaths who possess the means and know-how to VILIFY and CRUSH even the largest movements. Truly a sad state of affairs in the 21st century.

  6. Such a great video! This is exactly what coercive institutions don't want the people to know. Language is often times a divisive tool and we must learn to see what the reality behind it is.

  7. Ordinary words start out as common property, which can be freely defined, used, related, and compared. When the words become politically sensitive, their meanings are privatized, so that they can only be manipulated according to a pre-chosen system of rules.

    Common words already have an relation which controls how they relate. By creating a fresh word and designating its meaning, they control the way it relates.

  8. even the free market model is flawed with all the assumptions that go along with its premise, the worst being that the market must always expand and that utility (consumer happiness) can be bought at any cost that is possible. as mentioned in the video, though, one of those assumptions is that individuals are rational with indisputably rational choices, which obviously is actively being bent beyond all bounds by corporate entities. yet the model is often used by the very corporations that corrupt it as a kind of protective shield, for they know people would much rather say "i am an able-bodied, able-minded, God-willed (or free-willed) human being who is the master of my own choices" rather than "look, i've been a fool and i've been tricked". a part of this is plain and simple ignorance, but some of it is decisive denial.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *