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Deterring Democracy Paperback – Apr 1 1992


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: FSG Adult; Reissue edition (April 1 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374523495
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374523497
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 15 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 558 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #93,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mattowarrior on Feb. 12 2003
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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By Stalingrad on 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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