171 "Noam Chomsky" Quotes And Sayings

Noam Chomsky is a world-renowned linguistics professor, author, and activist. Chomsky's work focuses on the relationship between power, language, and thought. Chomsky is also known to be an outspoken critic of U.S foreign policy. He has long been one of the most prominent opponents of the Iraq War.

Do you train for passing tests or do you train for creative inquiry? Noam Chomsky
I was never aware of any other option but to...
I was never aware of any other option but to question everything. Noam Chomsky
The only debatable issue, it seems to me, is whether it is more ridiculous to turn to experts in social theory for general well-confirmed propositions, or to the specialists in the great religions and philosophical systems for insights into fundamental human values. Noam Chomsky
Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying,...
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
Religion is based on the idea that God is an...
Religion is based on the idea that God is an imbecile. Noam Chomsky
Destroying hope is a critically important project. And when it is achieved, formal democracy is allowed–even preferred, if only for public relation purposes. In more honest circles, much of this is conceded. Of course, it is understood much more profoundly by beasts in men's shapes who endure the consequences of challenging the imperatives of stability and order. Noam Chomsky
Since Jimmy Carter, religious fundamentalists play a major role in elections. He was the first president who made a point of exhibiting himself as a born again Christian. That sparked a little light in the minds of political campaign managers: Pretend to be a religious fanatic and you can pick up a third of the vote right away. Nobody asked whether Lyndon Johnson went to church every day. Bill Clinton is probably about as religious as I am, meaning zero, but his managers made a point of making sure that every Sunday morning he was in the Baptist church singing hymns. Noam Chomsky
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
Education is a system of imposed ignorance.
Education is a system of imposed ignorance. Noam Chomsky
Most problems of teaching are not problems of growth but helping cultivate growth. As far as I know, and this is only from personal experience in teaching, I think about ninety percent of the problem in teaching, or maybe ninety-eight percent, is just to help the students get interested. Or what it usually amounts to is to not prevent them from being interested. Typically they come in interested, and the process of education is a way of driving that defect out of their minds. But if children['s]. . normal interest is maintained or even aroused, they can do all kinds of things in ways we don't understand. Noam Chomsky
The other day I happened to be reading a careful, interesting account of the state of British higher education. The government is a kind of market-oriented government and they came out with an official paper, a ‘White Paper’ saying that it is not the responsibility of the state to support any institution that can’t survive in the market. So, if Oxford is teaching philosophy, the arts, Greek history, medieval history, and so on, and they can’t sell it on the market, why should they be supported? Because life consists only of what you can sell in the market and get back, nothing else. That is a real pathology. . Noam Chomsky
Most schooling is training for stupidity and conformity, and that's institutional, but occasionally you get a spark, somebody'll challenge your mind, make you think and so on, and that has a tremendous effect you just reach all sorts of people. Of course if you do it you may very have problems, you have to tread the narrow line. There are plenty of people who don't want students to think, they're afraid of the crisis of democracy. If people start thinking you get all these problems that I quoted before. They won't have enough humility to submit to a civil rule or they'll start trying to press their demands in the political arena and have ideas of their own, instead of beleiving what they're told. And privelage and power typically doesn't want that and so they react and the high school teacher that tries to get students to think may find oppression, firing and so on. Noam Chomsky
If you're teaching, say, physics, there's no point in persuading...
If you're teaching, say, physics, there's no point in persuading a student that you're right. You want to encourage them to find out what the truth is, which is probably that you're wrong. Noam Chomsky
If you're independent-minded in school, you're probably going to get...
If you're independent-minded in school, you're probably going to get in trouble very early on. That's not the trait that's being preferred or cultivated. Noam Chomsky
Science is a bit like the joke about the drunk...
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
In mathematics, in physics, people are concerned with what you say, not with your certification. But in order to speak about social reality, you must have the proper credentials, particularly if you depart from the accepted framework of thinking. Generally speaking, it seems fair to say that the richer the intellectual substance of a field, the less there is a concern for credentials, and the greater is concern for content. Noam Chomsky
One of the difficulties in raising public concern over the very severe threats of global warming is that 40 percent of the US population does not see why it is a problem, since Christ is returning in a few decades. About the same percentage believe that the world was created a few thousand years ago. If science conflicts with the Bible, so much the worse for science. It would be hard to find an analogue in other societies. . Noam Chomsky
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
Respectable opinion would never consider an assessment of the Reagan Doctrine or earlier exercises in terms of their actual human costs, and could not comprehend that such an assessment–which would yield a monstrous toll if accurately conducted on a global scale–might perhaps be a proper task in the United States. At the same level of integrity, disciplined Soviet intellectuals are horrified over real or alleged American crimes, but perceive their own only as benevolent intent gone awry, or errors of an earlier day, now overcome; the comparison is inexact and unfair, since Soviet intellectuals can plead fear as an excuse for their services to state violence. Noam Chomsky
If you give up every time you don't achieve the...
If you give up every time you don't achieve the immediate gain you want, you're just guaranteeing that the worst is going to happen... You can't expect an easy victory after one protest march. Noam Chomsky