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Deterring Democracy [Paperback]

Noam Chomsky
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 6 1992
From World War II until the 1980s, the United States reigned supreme as both the economic and the military leader of the world. The major shifts in global politics that came about with the dismantling of the Eastern bloc have left the United States unchallenged as the preeminent military power, but American economic might has declined drastically in the face of competition, first from Germany and Japan ad more recently from newly prosperous countries elsewhere. In Deterring Democracy, the impassioned dissident intellectual Noam Chomsky points to the potentially catastrophic consequences of this new imbalance. Chomsky reveals a world in which the United States exploits its advantage ruthlessly to enforce its national interests--and in the process destroys weaker nations. The new world order (in which the New World give the orders) has arrived.

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From Publishers Weekly

Chomsky regards the "new world order" proclaimed by Bush as a sham. What this phrase means, argues the noted MIT scholar, is that the U.S. will persist in its role as global enforcer of its own foreign policies. This meticulously researched, disturbing report offers a revelatory portrait of the U.S. empire in the 1980s and '90s, an ugly side of America largely kept hidden from the public by a complacent media. Chomsky criticizes the cynical U.S. invasion of Panama that ousted Bush's and Reagan's former friend and client, General Manuel Noriega, noting also that Washington supplied military assistance to Iraq before Saddam Hussein shifted status overnight from "favored friend to new Hitler." In the Philippines, Africa and South America, Chomsky finds the same story: U.S. meddling to "defend our interests" brings increased poverty and political repression.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This collection of essays emphasizes the destructive impact of American foreign policy in Central America. Supporting chapters interpret the origins of American global intervention, the creation of domestic consensus, and the effects of the "war on drugs." Much effort is devoted to exposing the "framework of illusion" that obscures the real objectives of violent repression in the Third World, "punishing the underclass" at home and protecting the conditions for "business rule" generally. Some readers will find Chomsky's style exaggerated and tendentious. Few scholars believe a 1952 Soviet proposal for a neutral unified Germany were remotely as straightforward as Chomsky assumes. Nevertheless, the author's sheer intellectual power and his command of sources amounts to a troubling indictment of Washington's official lies and sanctioned brutality, a situation unchallenged by the mainstream press. Recommended for academic and larger public libraries.
- Zachary T. Irwin, Pennsylvania State Univ.-Erie
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
THE great event of the current era is commonly taken to be the end of the Cold War, and the great question before us therefore is: What comes next? Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Before reading this book, (or any Chomsky for that matter), I would say I was a typical democrat who thought stuff like "Clinton's not perfect, but any republican is a lot worse" and similar opinions. But after reading this book, my somewhat sheltered opinion gave way to a massive distrust of anyone in power. I would say this is a good start for anyone starting to get into the dissident viewpoint, it is relatively easy reading, besides some rambling in parts. Some more reactionary types may attack, but they fail to show an alternative cause for many of the alleged things the US did highlighted in the book. Chomsky starts out by dissecting the causes of the cold war. He repeatedly denounces Leninism, so any hard headed conservative cannot reliably use red baiting against the man. In fact, he actually succeedes in debunking the lefist myth of Lenin's innocence in the authoritarian and despotic strains of Soviet Communism without succumbing to propaganda.
Overall, the book shows the many despotic regimes and human rights abuses that the U.S establishment is calpable in creating, supporting, or maintaining. Chomsky goes on to make the point that much of the cold war was an ideological construct to have U.S citizens and the establishment to support vested interests, namely the "military industrial complex". What sounds like a conspiracy theory to some, becomes very convincing in Chomsky's hands. He doesn't just focus on one cause, and sticks to the point throughout the book. The point becomes very convincing if one considers: 1. why did the US support despotic regimes besides their intentions of fighting one form of despotism, namely communism.
2. What did America's elite interest (corporations) have to gain from exploiting these countries and supporting these regimes?
3. If the U.
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Format:Hardcover
All Chomsky's political books have one aim: To show to the world, and to American's in particular, that America's foreign policy is imperial in design. This book is his best. Chapter by chapter he shows how the Cold War was essentially the creation of the USA to cloak its own global ambitions: - to become the first truly world power. He shows how "communist" revolutions were usually nationalist in flavour, including Cuba and Vietnam; how America wants unlimited access to cheap primary markets in the Third World; how America's victims are usually left-leaning politicians, civil-right activists, trade unionists, and peasants, -in other words, people who might harm US investments; and how America prefers democracy - except where democracy may threaten American business interest. When American business interests are threatened by democracy, socialists are pushed out of office and replaced with right-of-centre coalitions, coupled with CIA covert operations to undermine popular organisations such as trade unions.
Noam Chomsky says this: "Democratic forms can be tolerated, even admired, if only for propaganda purposes. But this stance can be adopted only when the distribution of effective power ensures that meaningful participation of the 'popular classes' has been barred. When they organise and threaten the control of the political system by the business-land-owning elite and the military, strong measures must by taken, with tactical variations depending on the ranking of the target population on the scale of importance. At the lowest level, in the Third World, virtually no holds are barred."
This book is uncompromising and Chomsky is relentless in his argument and presentation of facts. Once you get to the end, you will be find it difficult to refute what Chomsky says.
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1.0 out of 5 stars No scholarship here Nov. 13 2002
Format:Paperback
To fully grasp Chomsky's points, and to be able to defend oneself, one must be broadly acquainted with 20th century history, as he surveys Indochina, Africa, Latin America, Central America, and the Caribbean as playgrounds and laboratories for American politics. The book is brimming with interesting insights, and also with unique and sometimes stunning examples of American hypocrisy, ambivalence, and exploitation.
Among his valued insights: American foreign policy considerations are perhaps too foreign; Soviet "interventionism" is the result of a problem in Moscow. But our intervention in, say, Honduras, is the result of a problem in Honduras. Chomsky rightly believes that we rarely take time to turn the microscope upon ourselves. "The basic problems" with our world system, he laments, "are institutional, and will not fade away." Insights of this quality have over time given his work a general scholarly overtone.
The plethora of quotations peppering his paragraphs demonstrates a unique and broad scholarship. It is through his quotations, however, that fissures in his work begin to appear, and any reader is well-advised to spend some time chasing them. Not only are his quotations at times so extensive that they are distracting (a "smoke screen" effect). His references are so frequently set up like targets on a shooting range that one wonders if in fact Chomsky could really dislike so many people. Many quotes are clearly selected solely in pursuit of persuasion to his preconceptions of the evil in American foreign policy, and not an honest elucidation or analysis of his argument. And even when his documentation and footnotes are pursued, they are often inappropriate to a work of such weighty import. Check them for yourself - that's how he resembles the Wizard of Oz in my view.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars All you need to...
Remember about Ronald Reagan is in this book.
Published on June 8 2004 by Mattowarrior
4.0 out of 5 stars A very one sided but interesting read
I mentioned the book as interesting because it deviates from the mainstream media's reports. It claims to reveal the 'real democracy' and it does do that to a large extent. Read more
Published on March 9 2004 by V. Balasubrahmanyam
1.0 out of 5 stars Amateurish
If you need to fix your car, do you call a plumber?
I admire Noam Chomsky for his research in linguistics that well-deservedly won him the nobel prize. Read more
Published on Aug. 16 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars This book woke me up.
Call him a conspiracy theorist, total nut, or genius, Noam Chomsky is one of the most respected intellectuals in America. Read more
Published on Jan. 22 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars An informative read
This book offers an illuminating alternative to reliance upon the mass media for the facts underlying US international relations in the 80s-early 90s. Read more
Published on Nov. 4 2001 by Brian E Bragg
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Chomsky's best
Like a lot of people, I came across this particular work of Chomsky's before any of the rest, perhaps because it was the first in a long time that was brought out by a major... Read more
Published on Sept. 29 2001 by "lexo-2"
3.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Effort!
Noam Chomsky's Deterring Democracy is a political Rorschach test. What you see inside depends entirely upon your political leanings. Read more
Published on Sept. 25 2001 by Rolf Dobelli
4.0 out of 5 stars No Title
In a better world Chomsky's political analysis would be superfluous: facts about US aggression, subversion, terrorism, support for tyranny, profiteering and deception would - along... Read more
Published on Feb. 13 2001 by Saul Minaee
5.0 out of 5 stars The meaning of democracy
Chomsky argues that, contrary to some critics who charge the American elite with hypocrisy for their use of the rhetoric of democracy, the Establishment is perfectly consistent. Read more
Published on Dec 27 2000 by razetheladder
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and thought provoking analysis
I picked up this book because I was quite ashamed at the American political scene at home and quite mystified with its actions abroad. Read more
Published on Nov. 15 2000 by Noah Linden
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