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The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many

Chomsky, Noam
Publisher:  Odonian Press/The Real Story Series, Berkeley CA 94707, USA
Year Published:  1993  
Pages:  96pp   Price:  $6.95   ISBN:  1-878825-03-8
Library of Congress Number:  D860.C46 1993   Dewey:  330.9/048 20
Resource Type:  Book

Abstract:  This book is a collection of short commentaries by Noam Chomsky on global issues, drawn from interviews in the early 1990s. Topics include global economics, racism, NAFTA, and hot topics of the day (American intervention in Somalia, for example).

Throughout the interviews, Chomsky presents a variety of opinions on the state of the world. The rich and wealthy, both in the US and abroad, are the beneficiaries of the internationalization of economics, he says. This is reflected in the trade agreements of NAFTA and the GATT, of which the general public knows little. The exportation of fundamentalist free trade policy continues to have deleterious effects on the Third World. American military policies, too, are structured out of self-interest, even when humanitarian aims are cited, such as in Somalia. Chomsky attacks the US-Israel relationship and discusses the tactic of divide-and-conquer, used in India by the British, and still used today. He claims that the most important unit of analysis in American society is class; that humans are neither purely competitive nor co-operative by nature, but circumstances shape our responses; and that religious fundamentalism is on the rise in the US. Despite all this, Chomsky believes that the "restless many" have the power to make changes in the world.

Chomsky answers questions in an informal, fluid style. Each topic is independent of other topics, allowing for selective reading. Despite the historically particular nature of some questions, the topics and Chomsky's insights remain relevant and interesting in today's world.

[Abstract by Tara McElroy]