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Class War: The Attack On Working People (Spoken Word) Live

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Editorial Reviews

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In perhaps the most potent of his speeches released on CD (this one recorded in 1995 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology), linguist and political critic Noam Chomsky frankly addresses the evident--but largely undiscussed--lines of class in American society, comparing, for example, American labor laws and practices with those of its global comrades. "The government," Chomsky says, quoting John Dewey, his favorite Democratic philosopher, "is the shadow cast by business over society." He bemoans corporate propaganda, the crushing of unions, and the "created wants" that have left us "a devastated peasant society.... People are scared, angry, and hostile." Pretty tough stuff, but Chomsky does offer one ray of hope: "If you want to change something, change the substance, not the shadow." --Michael Ruby
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 10, 1998)
  • Original Release Date: November 10, 1998
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Epitaph / Ada
  • ASIN: B00000DFW0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #368,218 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Chomsky also shows the hypocrisy and cruelty behind Conservative "liberal-bashing." The section of the book where he describes the true nature of Republican "privatization" is gripping. He describes how "privatization" will essentially hand over more political power to large corporations, who have no regard for our health or well-being. That portion alone makes the book worth the money. This book is good for thawing out Conservatives, and an engaging introduction for those uninterested in politics. As always, Chomsky shows the human face of politics with more honesty and compassion than perhaps any 20th Century American.
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By A Customer on July 30, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Noam is easily THE most intelligent and well-spoken man on the left in this country. As a proud socialist I spent the entire time this cd was in my player riveted. Noam breaks down the steady anihilation of unions by government and business in this country, in a speech that has the passion of Jello Biafra and the fact content of Howard Zinn.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Using the premise "Government is the shadow cast by business on society" (a quotation from John Dewey), Chomsky describes how the corporate class operates almost invisibly behind the veneer of government to instantiate the political and economic conditions that bring it untold prosperity at mounting personal and social costs to the American public. As always, Chomsky backs his claims with abundant evidence, often citing publications that cater directly to the corporate class (e.g. Business Week).

We learn how since the 1970s wages have decreased in real terms even as worker productivity, overtime, and corporate profits have increased significantly. Chomsky then shows how the increasing exploitation of the American workers parallels the decline in union membership and the failure of the USA government to enforce its own laws against employers firing workers that try to organize employees into unions.

Chomsky is best when he shows relationships between his subject matter and other phenomena that seem unrelated. For example, Chomsky traces the "angry American" phenomenon to the felt, but not consciously understood, decline in his standard of living. Instead, the angry American is encouraged to direct his anger at a whole host of illusory devils (e.g. immigration policy) that are not the real source of his grievance. The real source is corporate power manipulating the economic policies of the United States to benefit itself at the cost of the American worker.

Chomsky also shows how the "anti-politics" animus in the USA is an attempt to direct worker frustration at the shadow (government) and not at the source of the shadow (corporate power).
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Format: Audio CD
This is a very good lecture by Mr. Chomsky but he has done better on the same subject. If you are to buy only one of these lectures check out "Free Market Fantasies: Capitalism in the Real World" by Chomsky. It is clearer and more eye opening than this.
This is a very good lecture and delivers nice points but "Free Market Fantasies: Capitalism in the Real World" brings up more issues and realities that the average Joe never gets through the media.
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Format: Audio CD
Noam Chomsky is one of those oddities among the very priveleged and educated who actually attempts to address real people. Many times he covers topics in which he speaks for people who can't speak, either because they are powerless or dead.The most constant complaint i hear about him is that he treats people like automotons or he never blames the apathy of people alongside the agression of corporations. But, as he points out,individually you are an atom.The solution: Organize.Admittedly, you probably shouldn't put this cd on while you're dancing, and it may seem a little dated, since he devotes time to the Oklamhoma City Bombing, but it's only to point out the unhealthy results of denying people some meaningful and constructive part in their society and it's decision making. I feel that he could have a genuine effect and maybe even be a prime candidate for assassination if he could get away from the periphery, but, alas, i've yet to see any reviews in mainstream publications.At this point i supspect people in power regard chomsky as a nuisance, at best.Hopefully, more people will start to listen to a man who has no trouble formulating thoughts for himself, or even better they'll start to think for themselves.
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Format: Audio CD
This lecture was recorded in 1995, so here and there are some dated comments; but this CD still contains many invaluable insights. He exposes the massive deception of so-called "free markets" and reveals how much of the U.S. economy works through massive public subsidy in reseach and development (computers, electronics, aeronautics, etc.). Much of the basic research for all sorts of future products comes from our publicly funded universities, then industries get nurtured though tax credits and government purchases, and much else. So, when the captains of industry lecture us about the wealth they allegedly created, we need to remember our investment and the investment of our parents and grandparents that actually created the wealth. Bill Gates' father, Bill Sr., wrote an honest book about this reality in Wealth and Our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes.

Chomsky also makes important points about the way elite "perception managers" are waging a info war to sow confusion and pacify people who may otherwise be resisting various injustices of corporate globalization. He notes that in the 1950s the U.S. had a thriving labor press that reached millions of people, but it was destroyed by media consolidation and the dominance of concentrated wealth to provide news and views The Political Economy of Media: Enduring Issues, Emerging Dilemmas.
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