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Manufacturing Consent 30 Years On - A Thread for Chomsky
« on: January 28, 2019, 12:52:57 PM »
Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent revisited | The Listening Post

I was surprised to see this. What's Al Jazeera doing digging into Noam Chomsky classic work?

Then I realized it was the 30th Anniversary of the publication of his ground breaking work in 1988
"Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media"

Al Jazeera English Published on 22 Dec 2018

There is an exquisite and oft-quoted moment in an interview between BBC journalist Andrew Marr and Noam Chomsky in which Marr asks: "How can you know that I'm self-censoring?".

"I'm not saying you're self censoring. I'm sure you believe everything you're saying. But what I'm saying is that if you believed something different, you wouldn't be sitting where you're sitting."

Wry as ever, Chomsky exposed the slightly delusional pretensions of the journalistic establishment - and not far behind, the complicities of the media industry with political power.

Harsh? Perhaps. True? All too often.

For many of us who work at The Listening Post, Chomsky's ideas on the media in Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media have provided us with a guide, full of cautionary tales and ideas that are still controversial to this day.

The book was published in 1988 - a year before the end of the Cold War when it was announced that western liberal democracy had triumphed, heralding the end of ideology, authoritarianism, and propaganda.

In the past 30 years, we have seen the mass communications industry multiply, providing an illusion of choice, echoing the rhetorics of freedom - of press, of expression - but not necessarily yielding the pluralism liberal democracies had promised.

In that way, the book continues to resonate.

But like all revered texts, Manufacturing Consent also calls upon us as active readers, journalists, citizens to interrogate its premises. Does the book's denunciatory tone risk overstate the power of the media establishment? Does it underestimate the critical faculties of the public? Is the media so homogenous an entity that power can be wielded top-down? Where are the lapses, the blind spots? Where do journalists find pockets of power that serve to disrupt?

We spoke to three journalists who have their careers being disruptive and asked them about the ideas that had influenced them in Chomsky and Herman's book: Matt Taibbi, whose reporting for Rolling Stone has provided one of the most critical accounts of US political history in recent years; Indian editor-in-chief Aman Sethi who questions the premises of Chomsky's book and Amira Hass, the Haaretz correspondent for the Occupied Territories.

The first thing we asked Hass was what she thought about Chomsky's statement: "the general population doesn't know what's happening, and it doesn't even know that it doesn't know".

"This is a very humanist and optimistic statement," she responded. "The belief that when people are informed they may act, things may change. In Hebrew, the words knowledge and awareness are all made of the same root. Yedda and Mudaoot. And so awareness is connected to Mudaoot in Hebrew. And this is how I started working in Gaza, aware that the Israeli public knows nothing about the occupation and what it means. But the people do not pick up this information. They have access to it but they choose not to access it."

Hass has been covering Palestine for the best part of 30 years - in that time, sources of information have multiplied, but public outrage?

"Today we have so much access to information in other ways that we are on a collision with the fact that people are not interested in what does not serve immediately their interest," she said, with resignation, "and this is a very sad realisation."

Aman Sethi put it like this:

"It's easy to say that people believe what they believe because their consent has been manufactured. But what if people know exactly what's going on and still believe what they believe, right? Then that's terrifying."


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Re: Manufacturing Consent 30 Years On - A Thread for Chomsky
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2019, 12:55:12 PM »
(Still) Manufacturing Consent

An interview with Matt Taibbi

Matt Taibbi on Noam Chomsky's classic book Manufacturing Consent and how commercial imperatives still squelch an adversarial press.

When it came out in 1988, Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman’s Manufacturing Consent rattled the accepted view in post-Vietnam, post-Watergate America that journalists’ relationship to power was essentially adversarial. Instead, they argued, the institutional structure of American media — its dependence on corporate advertising and sources in the upper ranks of government and business — created a role for the press as creators of propaganda. Without any direct press censorship, with full freedom of speech, the media narrowed the political debate to exclude anything that offended the interests of the market or the state.

Thirty years after the publication of Manufacturing Consent, the journalist Matt Taibbi has made it his mission to provide an update of Chomsky and Herman’s critique for the twenty-first century. A columnist for Rolling Stone who has written at length about the 2008 financial crisis and Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, Taibbi’s new book, The Fairway, is appearing in serial form on the newsletter site Substack.


Why do we need to revisit Manufacturing Consent in 2018?

My point is that it’s not the same critique today. There’s a lot that’s been unexplored that a lot of the people in the business haven’t thought about.

What Chomsky and Herman were talking about thirty years ago was the use of commercial media to organize the whole population behind the foreign policy objectives of the United States.

What’s going on right now is far more sophisticated, far more intrusive, far more implicated in the daily life of every person. The media has become significantly more commercialized since then, and has developed the technique of targeting information to specific demographics, constantly feeding people content an algorithm has determined they will agree with.

The result of that is we’re selling a lot of intramural conflict, the idea that some other group you don’t like is up to no good. In other words, other Americans suck.

People are really addicted to that kind of conflict, and that’s had a really nefarious effect not just on politics, but on reporting techniques. We’ve gravitated towards a reporting that reinforces the worldview of our audiences.

That’s not political journalism — that’s commercial journalism. And the algorithms of Google and Facebook make it an addictive form of information as well. A lot of reporters simply aren’t aware that this is what they’re creating.


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Re: Manufacturing Consent 30 Years On - A Thread for Chomsky
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2019, 07:08:02 AM »
Chris Hedges digs into "The Lobby" doco that's been buried from view. I think it fits thread best though it may fit in "Empire - America and the future" because I cannot see this lasting forever once some serious "systemic changes" start coming through globally once people say enough is enough - no more! Really interesting intro that cover the situation that Qatar has found itself in and why the doco was pulled and why many other things went down at the same time.

Max Blumenthal @ 10:59
 "I mean what we're looking at in this
film and what it reveals is a foreign
government running a malign campaign
against American citizens who are
particularly progressive in order to
prevent them from carrying out legal
political activities in the United

« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 10:21:24 AM by Lurk »


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Re: Manufacturing Consent 30 Years On - A Thread for Chomsky
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2019, 09:23:20 AM »
Testing Theories of American Politics:Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens
Martin  Gilens and Benjamin  I.  Page 2014

A permanent link to supplementary materials provided bythe authors precedes the References section.

Martin Gilens is Professor of Politics at Princeton University ( His research examines representation, public opinion, and mass media, especially in relation to inequality and public policy.

Professor Gilens is the author of Affluence & Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America (2012, Princeton UniversityPress).

Benjamin I. Page is Gordon S. Fulcher Professor of Decision Making at Northwestern University ( His research interests include public opinion, policy making, the mass media, and U.S. foreign policy. He is currently engaged in a large collaborative project to study Economically Successful Americans and the Common Good.

For helpful comments the authors are indebted to Larry Bartels and Jeff Isaac, to the anonymous reviewers from Perspectives on Politics, and to seminar participants at Harvard University and the University of Rochester.

Each of four theoretical traditions in the study of American politics—which can be characterized as theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic-Elite Domination, and two types of interest-group pluralism, Majoritarian Pluralism and Biased Pluralism—offers different predictions about which sets of actors have how much influence over public policy: average citizens; economic elites; and organized interest groups, mass-based or business-oriented.

A great deal of empirical research speaks to the policy influence of one or another set of actors, but until recently it has not been possible to test these contrasting theoretical predictions against each other within a single statistical model. We report on an effort to do so, using a unique data set that includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues.

Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism.

Who governs? Who really rules? To what extent is the broad body of U.S. citizens sovereign, semi-sovereign, or largely powerless? These questions have animated much important work in the study of American politics. While this body of research is rich and variegated, it can loosely be divided into four families of theories: Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic-Elite Domination, and two types of interest-group pluralism—Majoritarian Pluralism, in which the interests of all citizens are more or less equally represented, and Biased Pluralism, in which corporations, business associations, and professional groups predominate.

Each of these perspectives makes different predictions about the independent influence upon U.S. policy making of four sets of actors: the Average Citizen or “median voter,” Economic Elites, and Mass-based or Business-oriented Interest Groups or industries.

Each of these theoretical traditions has given rise to a large body of literature. Each is supported by a great deal of empirical evidence—some of it quantitative, some historical, some observational—concerning the importance of various sets of actors (or, all too often,a single set of actors) in U.S. policy making.

This literature has made important contributions to our understanding of how American politics works and has helped illuminate how democratic or undemocratic (in various senses) our policy making process actually is. Until very recently, however, it has been impossible to test the differing predictions of these theories against each other within a single statistical model that permits one to analyze the independent effects of each set of actors upon policy outcomes.

Here—in a tentative and preliminary way—we offer such a test, bringing a unique dataset to bear on the problem.

Without understanding the above dynamics and more, people in general and within Politics itself do not have a clue how to go about driving the changes needed in the USA in particular but also elsewhere before even tackling AGW/CC Policy proscriptions. They are instead nobbled, permanently stuck in the starting gates going no where fast.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2019, 09:34:05 AM by Lurk »


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Re: Manufacturing Consent 30 Years On - A Thread for Chomsky
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2019, 02:21:10 AM »
Testing Theories of American Politics:Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens
Martin  Gilens and Benjamin  I.  Page 2014

Each of these theoretical traditions has given rise to a large body of literature. Each is supported by a great deal of empirical evidence—some of it quantitative, some historical, some observational—concerning the importance of various sets of actors (or, all too often,a single set of actors) in U.S. policy making.

This literature has made important contributions to our understanding of how American politics works and has helped illuminate how democratic or undemocratic (in various senses) our policy making process actually is. Until very recently, however, it has been impossible to test the differing predictions of these theories against each other within a single statistical model that permits one to analyze the independent effects of each set of actors upon policy outcomes.

Here—in a tentative and preliminary way—we offer such a test, bringing a unique dataset to bear on the problem.

Foreign Agents Manufacturing Consent in 2019

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (also known as BDS) is a global campaign promoting various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets what the campaign describes as Israel's "obligations under international law", defined as withdrawal from the occupied territories, removal of the separation barrier in the West Bank, full equality for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, and "respecting, protecting, and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties". The campaign is organized and coordinated by the Palestinian BDS National Committee.,_Divestment_and_Sanctions

US Senate advances controversial anti-BDS legislation
Most Democrats join Republicans in favour of taking up bill that includes measure taking aim at boycotts of Israel. 29 Jan 2019

Sign the Petition to Keep Jerusalem United!
I declare that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish People and support all efforts to maintain and strengthen Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel.

Anti-Palestinian Legislation - The Right to Boycott
The campaign to censor the movement for Palestinian rights in the U.S. includes both anti-boycott laws and legislative efforts to brand criticism of Israel as antisemitism. Click here for more information on anti-boycott laws: 10 things to know about anti-BDS legislation

Ten things to know about anti-boycott legislation
This post was drafted in 2016; last updated 2/20/2019.

1.  26 states have already enacted legislation that targets boycotts for Palestinian rights.

Anti-boycott laws have been enacted in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky* Louisiana*, Maryland*, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York*, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin*.

*The governors of Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, New York and Wisconsin signed anti-boycott executive orders.

Visit for an overview of anti-boycott legislation.

WaPo - Doesn't mean they are Constitutional or Just

The controversy over laws punishing Israel boycotts, explained
A bill encouraging a crackdown on the BDS movement just failed in the Senate.
By Zack Beauchamp Jan 9, 2019

S 1, the very first bill the new US Senate considered in 2019, had nothing to do with ending the partial shutdown and reopening the government. It was instead a grab bag of different proposals related to the Middle East, and a controversial one at that. Most of the debate centered on Title 4 of the bill, a provision that would give states a legal blessing to punish companies that choose not to do business with Israel or Israeli-owned enterprises, a key demand of the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Twenty-six states have adopted laws that punish companies that choose to boycott Israel. Defenders of the law see them as necessary to protect an ally from hostile activists, while critics argue that the laws are unconstitutional infringements on free speech. So far, the only two federal courts to consider such bills have sided with the critics; Title 4 is designed to provide more legal cover for state BDS laws in future hearings.

Historically, pro-Israel bills have sailed through the Senate (and the House). But this time, there was a twist: The bill, written by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), lost a vote on the Senate floor on Tuesday night. Forty-three Democrats banded together to filibuster it, enough to block the bill from moving forward for the time being.

Jewish Virtual Library - Anti-Semitism: State Anti-BDS Legislation

To date, 27 states have adopted laws that are designed to discourage boycotts against Israel. Separately, the U.S. Congress is considering anti-boycott legislation as well in reaction to the BDS movement. The Senate passed S.1 which contains anti-boycott provisions on January 28, 2019, by a vote of 74-19.

2015 - The Tennessee General Assembly formally condemned the BDS movement in a 123-1 vote with the passing of SJR-170, becoming the first state in the country to do so. Although the legislation does not order Tennessee public institutions to divest from entities involved in the BDS movement, it refers to BDS as, “one of the main vehicles for spreading anti-Semitism and advocating the elimination of the Jewish state.” The legislation also stated that BDS is, “deeply damaging to the causes of peace, justice, equality, democracy and human rights for all the peoples in the Middle East.”

© 1998 - 2019 American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise

Ilhan Abdullahi Omar, Ro Khanna, Bernie Sanders and many many many others appear to be correct about the Foreign interference in the Laws being enacted in the United States of America.

Not to mention the military support and denials over the human rights abuses and outright Murders of the Saudi Dictatorship, the Regime Change Syrian Civil War PsyOps backed by ISIS/Al Queda and Gulf States and Israel, the encircling of Iran, the extreme sanctions and Oil Embargo with USA the only nation abandoning the JPOC agreement.

Adelson set to give over $100 million to Israel-supporting Trump
In meeting last week, Jewish casino magnate reportedly promised unprecedented contribution as GOP front-runner stressed commitment to Jewish state
By TOI staff, JTA and AP   14 May 2016

Now Biggest Donor in all of US Politics, Sheldon Adelson Brings an Israel First Agenda to Washington
Adelson’s massive expenditures in federal elections this cycle are being made because he believes that Republican control of the House and the Senate is vital to maintaining right-wing and pro-Zionist policies and his influence in Washington and at the White House.
September 28th, 2018


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Re: Manufacturing Consent 30 Years On - A Thread for Chomsky
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2019, 04:11:43 AM »
You'd think in a saner world the individual American States and the US Congress could find more pressing urgent issues to address in their own country than the political/religious shenanigans going in another. But no that is not the case?

The abrogation of free speech, making it illegal for individuals/companies in the USA to act according to their own free will, conscience and morals, all over a storm in a tea cup - the "psychological needs and intemperate demands" of a section of Israelis and some extremists in the Jewish Diaspora? 

Why pander to the pathological narcissism of a very minor section of humanity who are so often incapable of hearing legitimate criticisms from any quarter about their long term aberrant behaviour or any criticism for that matter, which is what narcissists by default always overreact to and resist with their whole being?

Did BDS bring down the Government of Suddam Hussien? Nope. How about Gaddafi's regime in Libya, did global sanctions against him for decades cause him to step aside? Nope. How about a decade plus of sanctions and BDS against Russian and Putin? Has he left the scene recently? Nope. And BDS with very punitive sanctions on Iran since 1979 ... has the Revolution been toppled yet by Bolton and the Neocons and Israel/Saudi M.E. Mafia yet? Nope.

Or the #1 classic example - Cuba - 60+ years isolated by the draconian sanctions and embargoes by the USA and their lapdogs - nope the very same Government is still there and operational since the Revolution when the US criminal Mafia and the US Corporate Mafia were kicked out of the country forever.

So what are they all so afraid of here? Their own paranoia that other people disagree with their haughty opinions of the need for BDS against the Government of Israel and Israeli Companies? The definition of insanity some say is repeating the same thing over and over and over again and yet expecting a totally different result. Maybe there is more to the story than actually meets the eye, hey?

And yet still now we turn our attention to Venezuela - the Troika of Tyranny as Bolton puts it - the same script is being played out yet again. As dumb as dirt and twice as stupid surely. 

Despite all this the Israeli Government and it's nefarious supporters from all walks of life are successfully getting the Laws changed in the United States of America to their personal advantage to allay their special version of Cognitive Dissonance, their irrationality and quite distorted religious obsessions, to extend their own version of the Dunning Kruger Effect in State Houses and the US Congress over The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (also known as BDS).

Oh please - let it go already! Read the damned research!!! :)

Sanctions on South Africa: What Did They Do?
Philip I. Levy
(chances are he is also of Jewish extraction - and yet)
Vol. 89, No. 2, Papers and Proceedings of the One Hundred Eleventh Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association (May, 1999), pp. 415-420
"Careful studies of sanctions have cast doubt on their effectiveness."
Philip I. Levy Yale University February 1999
This paper considers the economic sanctions that were applied in the mid-1980s to pressure the South African government to end apartheid.  It asks what role those sanctions played in the eventual demise of the apartheid regime and concludes that the role was probably very small. 

An alternative explanation for the regime change is offered: the communist bloc combined to bring about the change.  If one is to argue for the efficacy of sanctions, two key obstacles are their limited economic impact and the substantial lag between the imposition of sanctions and the political change. 

Since sanctions preceded the change of government, it is impossible to rule them out as a determinant. 

[ iow a Non-Sequitur - it does not necessarily follow as per Ipso Facto logical fallacies suggest ]

However,their principal effect was probably psychological.  The implication is that the South African case should not serve as the lone major instance of effective sanctions.

No kidding? Who knew? Published in 1999 no less - in the middle of the Iraqi Sanctions. :)

Here's another example of the consensus academic views

Research summary PNR42+ Economic Sanctions against South Africa and the Importance of Switzerland Ch. Hefti, E. Staehelin-Witt

extract section - Costs of trade sanctions (Divestment etc)

The  costs  of  trade  sanctions  were  greater  than  those  of  financial  sanctions.  The  various  trade  sanctions triggered a range of high costs. The oil embargo represented the most painful measure for South Africa, even if there were significant loopholes. The oil embargo raised the price of pe-troleum  and  thus  impacted  the  total  population.  The  large  trading  partners’  import  sanctions  proved  less  costly.    Either  South  Africa  was  able  to  gain  other  countries  as  new  or  additional  customers  (steel  and  coal)  or  production  could  be  adapted  (gold  bars  instead  of  Kruger  Rands).  Various  other  exceptions  existed  (or  were  introduced  later),  which  reduced  the  impact  of  sanc-tions. The cost of import sanctions especially affected the black population in the form of unem-ployment.

The cost of trade sanctions against South Africa overall were estimated by one study at an annual 1.3% of GNP. Along with the cost of financial sanctions, the cost of economic sanctions against South Africa is estimated  to  have  approximated  1.5%  of  GNPThose  affected  were  largely  unqualified  blacks. Even after 1990 the unemployment rate among whites remained insignificant

A power shift occurred at the outset of 1989 owing to the heart attack of President P.W. Botha.  It forced him to give up chairmanship of the National Party. Chosen as his successor was the former education minister, F.W. de Klerk.  One year after entering office, de Klerk delivered a speech Schweizerischer Nationalfonds  |  5 on  2  February  1990  clearly  recognizing  the  need  for  rapid  and  far-reaching  policy  reforms  and  introducing the political changeover.

Did  the  economic  sanctions  directed  against  South  Africa  influence  political  opinion  among  the  white  population  to  the  point  that  the  political  transformation  was  possible or accelerated deci-sively. Well-known economists assume that this was not the case. 

“Even in the absence of sanctions, apartheid ultimately would have collapsed due to the econom-ic  stresses  of  a  hugely  inefficient  system.    Although  sanctions  may  have  speeded  this  process,  they were not the driving force behind it. ... The fall of apartheid was not engineered by foreigners, nor was it primarily precipitated by foreign sanctions (Lowenberg and Kaempfer, 1998, 9).

Economic  sanctions  can  be  credited  with,  at  best,  a  modest  contribution”  (Hufbauer  et  al.,  2001b).

Economic sanctions did not trigger the political transformation. The costs brought about by the sanctions were too meagre for that.  Yet the question remains open whether stiffer sanctions with higher costs would have had the desired impact.  In any case, de Klerk was not under pressure from the white population to give in to the sanctioning countries’ demands.

One finding resulted from a survey on the impact of economic sanctions directed against South Africa (i.e., besides the economic  sanctions  the  debt  crisis  leading  to  the  credit  freeze  of  1985,  the  disinvestment  campaign,  as  well  as  the  foreign  boycott  of  South  African  products  –  especially  farm  products)  that  the population still refused to scuttle Apartheid in 1989 despite these measures.  Nor did a majority want to bow to stronger economic sanctions.  The  reduction  in  economic  growth  triggered  by  sanctions  was  less  essential  for  the  political  transformation than the fact that the country’s economic development made the original ideology of Apartheid impossible.

Apartheid’s ideology foresaw a geographically separated development of various population groups (the so-called “homelands” policy). Already in 1950 the so-called Tomlinson  Commission  found  that  a  middle-of-the-road  option  was  impossible,  and  the  country  would  have  to  choose  between  complete  segregation  and  integration.  Yet  the  high  economic  growth of the 1960s and 1970s created high demand for workers that could only be satisfied by the influx of black employees to the big cities.

The government faced the problem of how to cope with this urbanization.  Unrest and strikes were a visible sign that separation of the population would lead to ever greater difficulties. The unrest and strikes resulted in high spending on security, reduced investor confidence,  and  triggered  the  1985  debt  crisis  among  other  things.  The  rapidly  growing  population  strata  would  have  exacerbated  the  problem  further.   

Finally  the  Eastern  Bloc’s  communist  regime  collapsed  in  1989.  Thus  the  danger  of  a  communist  power  takeover  in  South  Africa  was  reduced for both the West and South Africa itself. Particularly these developments ultimately triggered the political transformation.

The Israelis have their noses out of joint over BDS Movement. So what? Who cares and why should you care?

The US States and Congress passing laws to command companies to not apply BDS against Israel or related companies/entities  is equivalent to passing a law that says the National Guard can break into your home and drag your sorry ass out of bed and force you to work at the Ford factory - you have no human right to withdraw your labour - iow.

Sad;ly US Politicians are quite dumb and so easily manipulated to Voting according to the neds of other nations and not their own. It's the Tail Wagging the Dog using bullshit fallacious arguments and hi-brow fictional sophistry and direct threats of campaign finance next time round the block.

What Democracy? What Freedom for the people to decide for themselves individually and collectively in their own interests and according to their own free will?

Social Media refs discuss these ideas barriers more deeply The Age of Surveillance Capitalism,2273.msg191193.html#msg191193


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Re: Manufacturing Consent 30 Years On - A Thread for Chomsky
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2019, 04:37:20 AM »
On Israel-Palestine and BDS
Those dedicated to the Palestinian cause should think carefully about the tactics they choose.
By Noam Chomsky
July 2, 2014

Failed initiatives harm the victims doubly—by shifting attention from their plight to irrelevant issues (anti-Semitism at Harvard, academic freedom, etc.), and by wasting current opportunities to do something meaningful. [...]

The road ahead leads not to South Africa, but rather to an increase in the proportion of Jews in the Greater Israel that is being constructed. This is the realistic alternative to a two-state settlement. There is no reason to expect Israel to accept a Palestinian population it does not want.

John Kerry was bitterly condemned when he repeated the lament—common inside Israel—that unless the Israelis accept some kind of two-state solution, their country will become an apartheid state, ruling over a territory with an oppressed Palestinian majority and facing the dreaded “demographic problem”: too many non-Jews in a Jewish state. The proper criticism is that this common belief is a mirage. As long as the United States supports Israel’s expansionist policies, there is no reason to expect them to cease. Tactics have to be designed accordingly.

However, there is one comparison to South Africa that is realistic—and significant. In 1958, South Africa’s foreign minister informed the US ambassador that it didn’t much matter if South Africa became a pariah state. The UN may harshly condemn South Africa, he said, but, as the ambassador put it, “what mattered perhaps more than all other votes put together was that of [the] U.S. in view of its predominant position of leadership in [the] Western world.” For forty years, ever since it chose expansion over security, Israel has made essentially the same judgment.

and again

Opinion Israel’s Crusade Against BDS Comes at the Cost of Its Own Democracy

The boycott movement hasn’t managed to hurt Israel from the outside: the country's never been stronger economically, diplomatically and militarily. But it's beginning to hurt Israel from the inside
Anders Persson Dec 20, 2018

    Noam Chomsky: Israeli Support Eroding in America
August 18, 2018

The American linguist, historian and thinker Noam Chomsky says that the administration of US President Donald Trump, despite all its talk about the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ , has no solution to offer that could lead to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. The Trump administration, he said, is only thinking of striking Iran.

Israel will not be able to rely forever on American support,” Chomsky said in an interview with the Shahid Center and the “” blog, adding, “The actions of Israel in recent years have alienated public opinion among the most liberal sectors and the youth, including the American Jews.

He said that the “support for Israel is increasingly based on evangelical churches and the predominantly nationalist and racist (anti-Muslim) party, where major institutions, especially the Presbyterian Church, have adopted boycott and divestment programs, with a focus also on American companies involved in the occupation.”

Chomsky also referred to Israel’s growing realization of its strategic leanings: “A few years ago, Israeli strategic analysts realized that Israel can no longer rely on the support it receives from countries where there is some interest in human rights and [that] it must come closer to more reactionary and authoritarian sectors, a major change that has not taken years.”

Calling the situation in the United States “flexible”, Chomsky said, according to the PNN, that “there can be positive changes in the future.” ... interview Q&A follows

Which is why they are now pushing for new anti-BDS State Based Laws and Federal Laws to try and keep the mythology alive. If you cannot convince them with reason, pass a new law to enforce your demands - in another country!!! 

Chomsky clarifies position on the cultural boycott of Israel
October 12, 2017
Prof. Noam Chomsky makes the essential point: the presence of international artists in Israel is used by the government to cover up its occupation and human rights abuses.

Artists for Palestine UK contacted Professor Chomsky to ask him to clarify his position.

He has given us this statement:

    ‘I am opposed to any appearance in Israel that is used for nationalistic or other propaganda purposes to cover up its occupation and denial of Palestinian human rights. I’ve been involved in activities to hold Israel accountable for its international law violations since before the BDS movement took shape. While I have some tactical differences with the BDS movement, I strongly support the actions and continue to participate in them.’

Asked about arguments that invoke Israel’s purported democracy, he said:

    ‘The oft repeated idea that Israel is a “vibrant democracy” is an absurd one. Unless the qualification is purely symbolic, there can be no “democratic Jewish (Christian, Muslim, white) state”. In the case of Israel, the “Jewishness” is very far from symbolic. There is no need to repeat here what I’ve written in the past, documenting extensively Israel’s discriminatory practices.’ 

What would Ghandi do?

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Re: Manufacturing Consent 30 Years On - A Thread for Chomsky
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2019, 04:45:24 AM »
A similar lamentable tale in Canada, here Prime Minister Trudeau managed to trumpet its anti-BDS policies at an event where he apologized  for Canada turning back a ship of Jewish refugees to Germany and certain death. The conflation of anti-Semitism with criticism of Israel's extreme right wing government persists across most of the political spectrum.


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Re: Manufacturing Consent 30 Years On - A Thread for Chomsky
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2019, 05:24:45 AM »
Ralph Nader Radio Hour
Published on 2 Mar 2019

At a very large work end of year Xmas party (a well known US Multinational Corp) at a city hotel ballroom with hundreds, I and several other "senior managers" put on black face and costumes for a Michael Jackson Look-a-Like dance competition.

I rocked it! I won! They loved me! :) 

Where's the problem?


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Re: Manufacturing Consent 30 Years On - A Thread for Chomsky
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2019, 08:57:54 AM »
Touching back on the above about BDS against the South African Apartheid System - here's a little something from the ancient archives. It includes talk back calls form the audience on TV

Christopher Hitchens on Nelson Mandela and South Africa (1985)

Christopher at one point makes the following observations as to why South Africa mattered so much to so many people even if the Conservatives in the USA didn't see much ado about anything.

27:45 [in answer to a question]
Okay this is part of the answer to the question of the earlier caller as well. I don't believe the story about the moderates in the Botha National Party Government. I just don't know who they are. They've never successfully been identified and certainly there's no action by which we could recognize them as moderate.

As I say the Ideology of the National Party, the ruling party, is not just a racial one. It's a Fascist one. It's one that grew out of admiration for the Third Reich and the losing side in the last war and that's an important point I think to bear in mind.

If they were ever going to be moderate, they've had ample chances to prove it. I mean even at the time of the Sharpeville Massacre in 1961 when there was such an outcry, around the time the
ANC was banned. The government was saying aah but you wait there's a reform program on the way. You know, what is all this international outcry about, we're changing for the better.

Quite to the contrary it changed for the worse and continued to do so. I think that down the road and here's part of the answer to the South African Army question I was asked earlier. There's the
real chance for military Coup in the country certainly. At the moment the Army under general Magnus Milan effectively has a great share of state power and for instance by the use of it keeps Namibia, a Southwest African independent country, under complete occupation and subjection.

I also think and it's a terrible prospect but I think a real one and one that hasn't yet been written about there's a serious problem of Death Squads in South Africa. A large number of people opponents black and white of the Regime have been disappearing or being mysteriously murdered. I think there's almost no doubt as to who's behind it and very little doubt that it will increase. I even wonder if the allegedly anti-white bomb in Durban yesterday was planted by anyone who's really opposed to the regime.

I'm afraid that the Ideology and the entrenched Racism of the National Party is likely only to get worse as it approaches it's death agony.

The fourth question is one on the atrocities in the rest of Africa. Yeah well yes I mean I often, I mean I'll give people the benefit of the doubt on that, I mean just to say well, the rest of Africa it's all black - as if you know they all look alike to you! Which is the unconscious assumption of a lot of these questions I find objectionable but let's admit that whatever the problem in the Congo is for example or Uganda it isn't White Minority Rule.

What I think is distinctive about South Africa and this is very well put it by Joseph Reillyfelt in the New York Times in his really excellent book on the subject, it's called Move Your Shadow, it's published by New York Times books I really recommend it, it's the best anatomy of the topic that I've yet read is this:-

If you are poor in South Africa which is a very rich country it is because you're black. It is a matter of state policy. If your maltreated and if you're exploited and if you're told where you can and can't live and if you're told that you can't vote, and all the rest of it, it's deliberate. It's a Systematic Policy - you're intended to be like that.

Now that isn't true in the same way of an unfortunate in the middle of the Congo. You had a civil war for example, but it isn't such a deliberate infliction on him even if his condition as it would be in some cases is a worse one objectively (than some blacks in South Africa). 

I hope I hope that point has come across. I think it's one that explains what some people always want to ask which is why does one go on about South Africa so much. That is why.

I think that is telling. It's another example of the great help that History can be to enlighten people and encourage the privileged and yet ignorant of this world to see more clearly.


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Re: Manufacturing Consent 30 Years On - A Thread for Chomsky
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2019, 09:07:44 AM »
Manufacturing Consent con't

So let's do a few comparisons using Chris' text above as starter.  Knowing what came post-1985 when he did that interview and Q&A about Nelson Mandela, the ANC, the National Party Government, Sanctions and BDS at the time, and the South African Apartheid System. 

Compare what was happening politically, economically, militarily, socially and in the Police actions in South Africa from the 1950s and 1960s to 1989 to what has been happening in Israel/Palestine since the 1960s

Compare the Botha National Party Government to the Netanyahu Likud / Kadima / Labour Government of Israel today.

Where are the moderates in the Likud Party?

Compare the driving Ideology of the National Party, the ruling party, with those of Israeli Governments over decades to today.

Compare the banning of the ANC with the 1960s banning of the PLO - another resistance movement.

Compare the ANC and other popular anti-Apartheid groups eg Buthelezi's the Zulu Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in South Africa, with the PLO, Fatah, Hamas, and Hezbollah.

Compare Namibia with Lebanon - who occupied Lebanon for years and years?

Compare the Cuban intervention in Angola against South African and US forces with what has happened in Lebanon, Palestine and in Syria and Iraq and the role played by Iran against Israeli "military aggression and occupation". 

Compare the serious problem of Death Squads in South Africa with the Settler Vigilantes and the serious problem of Israeli Death Squads roaming the Middle East and the rest of the world.

Compare the Sharpeville Massacre in 1961 with literally dozens of similar atrocities by Israel's forces over decades, from Lebanon to the Intifada - most recent UN report being on Gaza killings and sniper shootings of innocent protesters and journalists.

Compare the Townships with Gaza. State sanctioned murder is still murder. War crimes are still war crimes even if the Judges at the ICJ don't get to make a ruling.

Have we all so easily forgotten the Truth and Reconciliation Commission? Why did they keep resisting all those long decades in South Africa? Why would you imagine or believe the Israelis are treating the Palestinians any better than the white South African forces openly admitted they had done for decades!!!

Why would the Palestinians for 4 generations continue to resist and revolt, sacrifice their lives at the border fence between Gaza and Israel - because they are run of the mill Anti-Semites who believe Jews own all the banks and rule the world? Get real. 

At least in East Berlin those who climbed over walls and dug tunnels underneath them had somewhere safe to go to. Palestinians do not.

And compare how the Ideology and the entrenched Racism of the National Party, Apartheid Regime only got worse as it approached it's death agony..... compare that with the even more extremist Ideology and entrenched Racism of repeated Israeli Governments (irrespective who was in power) from 1985 to today.

And the illegal taking over of the lands in the west bank using their extremist religious dogma to plant West Bank Settlements on Palestinian Homeland.

And lastly compare what Chris said about the lot of the blacks and coloured in South Africa in 1985, why people like him and most sane people in the world said it mattered, and see if you can apply the following to the Palestinians today as well:

If you are poor in Israel/Palestine which is a very rich country it is because you're Palestinian, Brown and Arab. It is a matter of state policy. If your maltreated and if you're exploited and if you're told where you can and can't live and if you're told that you can't vote, and all the rest of it, it's deliberate. It's a Systematic Policy - you're intended to be like that.

imho only the pathologically privileged cannot see the truth of this. 

And if you believe this has nothing to do with global inaction over the climate crisis and looming catastrophes you are seriously misguided. It does. The tail wagging the dog sucks all the oxygen out of the room 24/7/365.


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Re: Manufacturing Consent 30 Years On - A Thread for Chomsky
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2019, 09:33:09 AM »
 Israel continues to pound Hamas targets in retaliation for cross-border attacks from Gaza, as the IDF carries out a “very vigorous response” against the militants, ordered by the Prime Minister as he gears up for his re-election.

IDF fighter jets and other aircraft struck several Hamas targets, including a military compound in the north of the strip and two naval vessels belonging to the group, the army said in a statement. There were no immediate reports of Palestinian casualties from the strikes which occurred at around 1:30am local time on Sunday.

The military said the raids, carried out for a third night in a row, was launched in response to mortar shell attack in southern Israel on Saturday night, as well as “continuing terror activities from the Strip, including balloon explosives” in the last several days.

Reiterating that Hamas bears responsibility for everything that goes on inside the Gaza Strip, the IDF vowed to act “vigorously” against any attacks or provocation, a day after thousands of Palestinians marked the 50th week of the Great Return March protests.


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Re: Manufacturing Consent 30 Years On - A Thread for Chomsky
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2019, 02:28:12 AM »
Ralph Nader Radio Hour
Published on 2 Mar 2019

Ralph talks to Professor Chomsky about - among other things - current affairs, the Media, the Green New Deal, Nuclear war (abandoning treaties), Gaza, and Venezuela, including how often the US Govt breaks it's own Laws and Constitution and these matters are repeatedly ignored by all in the Beltway.


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Re: Manufacturing Consent 30 Years On - A Thread for Chomsky
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2019, 06:23:24 AM »
This is an excellent read that's worth a lot. 

NYT’s Exposé on the Lies About Burning Aid Trucks in Venezuela Shows How U.S. Government and Media Spread Pro-War Propaganda
Glenn Greenwald
March 11 2019,

What we have here is classic Fake News – spread on Twitter, by U.S. officials and U.S. media stars – with the clear and malicious intent to start a war. But no western proponents of social media censorship will call for their accounts to be cancelled nor call for their posts to be deleted.

That’s because “Fake News” and the war against it is strictly a means of combating propaganda by U.S. adversaries; the U.S. and its allies maintain extensive programs to spread Fake News online and none of those anti-Fake News crusaders call for those to be shut down.

And the next time claims are made about Venezuela designed to fuel regime change and wars, the independent journalists and analysts who were absolutely right in this instance – who recognized and documented the lies of the U.S. Government weeks before the New York Times did – will again be ignored or, at best, mocked.

Meanwhile, those in the media and Foreign Policy Community who uncritically amplified and spread this dangerous lie will be treated as the Serious People whose pronouncements are the only ones worth hearing. With rare exception, dissent on Venezuela will continue to be barred.

That’s because the U.S. media, by design, does not permit dissent on U.S. foreign policy, particularly when it comes to false claims about U.S. adversaries.

That’s why skeptics of U.S. regime change in Venezuela, or dissenters on the prevailing orthodoxies about Russia, have largely been disappeared from mainstream media outlets, just as they were in 2002 and 2003.

That’s not because U.S. media stars are ordered to do this. They don’t need to be ordered. They know propaganda is their job. More to the point, they are über-patriotic jingoists who revere U.S. officials and thus do not possess a single cell of critical thinking in their brain.

That’s why they have TV programs in the first place. If they weren’t this way, they wouldn’t be on TV, as Noam Chomsky put it to the BBC’s Andrew Marr so perfectly in this short clip from many years ago (the whole three-minute context, well worth watching, is here). This tells the whole story of this sordid affair in Venezuela:


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Re: Manufacturing Consent 30 Years On - A Thread for Chomsky
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2019, 01:39:18 AM »
Chomsky speech in Boston on nukes, AGW, erosion of democracy:


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Re: Manufacturing Consent 30 Years On - A Thread for Chomsky
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2019, 08:51:58 AM »
An afterwit of history, in the country that produces brilliant people like Noam Chomsky a retarded reality show host is elected president.

We are all caught in the wrong timeline. This is bizarro Earth.