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Showing 1-10 of 119 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 162 reviews
on August 30, 2015
If you read this book, you’ll find yourself double-checking the dates at the end of each section: 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998. But the book reads like it’s all about today, 2015 – secret trade deals, fast track, the veil of secrecy, the corruption of democracy to the point of near extinction, privatization, austerity measures forced upon the poor and middle class, mass surveillance and collection of personal information, an ever-widening wealth-gap between the 99% and the top 1%, accumulation of wealth by dispossession, union busting, public socialized risk and costs in totally unbalanced ratio to private profit margins and corporate economic control, low and lowering wages, unemployment, out-sourcing manufacturing jobs, rolling back environmental protections and human rights progress, trade union suppression, personhood for corporations (15years before Citizens United), behind-closed-doors trade treaties agreed upon by powerful international trading cartels and corporations but never ratified by the US Congress in violation of the Constitution. And there’s more!

From cover-to-cover, the book is an expose of the secret government that controls the world – this is not some imaginary paranoid conspiracy theory from the John Birch Society or the Tea Party, but it’s an invisible government with no accountability to public democratic institutions, no elected officials except those elected board members selected by private stockholders, bankers and international finance lobbyists having no allegiance to nation-states, loyal only to the principles representing international business, profit, wealth and power. Sound familiar?

There is no “good news” in this book. But Chomsky attempts to end his book of gloom on a slightly up-beat tone by observing that the public, in fact, WAS able to delay, or at least postpone, an important Clinton-driven trade deal during his administration called the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI). Chomsky points to this “victory” and ends his book with this timely warning dated August 1998: “One should attend carefully to the fear and desperation of the powerful. They understand well the potential reach of public action.” The powerful invisible government (in the US, a “virtual Senate”) is determined to prevent the public from seeking a more free and just world by gaining understanding how the system is rigged, and putting that intelligence to work effectively against rich and powerful globalized special interests. They will do everything within their power to prevent that from happening. That’s an understatement!
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on July 18, 2017
Another great book by Chomsky. I discovered his work late in life(almost 60 years old). Pretty sobering to learn things that I and probably others are oblivious too. Not an alarmist or conspiracy theorist but it is what it is. Being a lifelong history buff, I can now look at certain events and people in a different light and a lot of things make sense even if I don't agree with it. Definitely a good read, do not read if you do not have an open mind or like to question things.
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on March 16, 2016
The book heightens knowledge and awareness of power structures and power decision-making in society that otherwise remain hidden. It reveals the double-speak in modern discourse about such concepts as free markets, free trade, and democracy - concepts that are used by governments, corporations, and media to pull the wool over the eyes of the people and to promote the privilege, subsidies, and nation-like powers of wealthy businesses. Although radical and conspiratorial in some ways, the argumentation explains well how the modern world ended up in its current state of low economic growth, lack of job security, stagnation of wages, and loss of power for the regular worker.
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on April 25, 2013
This series of articles and lectures is a worthwhile read even as it gets along in years. It's remarkable to compare the aims of the mid-90's corporate elite he describes (low growth, low wages) to our conditions today (low growth, low wages).

I'm posting this review mostly to warn that the Kindle version is another poor, unedited conversion, with a lot of bad typos and misplaced words. Publishers ought to be embarassed to put out such flawed editions. If you're interested in reading this I'd look for a library copy.
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on January 28, 2017
As always, Mr. Chomsky shows us how the corporate elite molds our way of thinking, with profit as their bottom line. This book is one of those that cannot be reading a single sitting, but rather taken in over time, and then re-read to allow the full meaning to take hold. Some things need time to sink in without casing us to be overwhelmed by the truth, which can be painful at times.
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on February 16, 2016
Noam Chomsky is brilliant. However this book mostly repeats a lot of his other work and lectures. To me the book fails to address, clarify or identify potential solutions to the issues raised in the title to the work.
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on August 12, 2012
I had to take several extended breaks reading this, because I became so agitated. Not that that's a bad thing sometimes.

I'm sure if your views on this Nation are of the right wing variety, or you really believe, at face value, what the political parties and the propaganda machine that are the media, tell you...you will be flat outraged.
But outrage is good. Makes you question "authority". That's a birthright - more like a duty - of any truly "free" citizen.

Maybe you will dismiss it as socialist propaganda and continue with the blinders firmly in place. Your choice.

I don't buy into every thing Chomsky concludes, but he's on the mark 95 percent of the time, at least I believe so. We have been lead to believe many untruths about Capitalism and the free market, and how integral it is to a "free" democracy. It's not.

It's a tough read. Not because it's not engrossing. But you don't want to see these things. It's uncomfortable. You believe in The Hollywood version of the USA. It's ingrained.

After this, I will go and lose myself in some smutty novels for awhile. So I can sleep at night.

But, yes, I recommend this. If more Americans took the time to read, let alone read subject matter such as this, we would be a stronger nation for it.
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on October 12, 2016
From the very first page to the last... very hard to put down. It may be that I am attracted very strongly to such a stream of critical information, or it may be that Chomsky has so much knowledge that I wish I had a long time ago so as to be able to SEE what is so hard to see and learn from the establishment or the system.
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on October 26, 2016
Typical Noam. Straight forward, brutally logical, right on and never fails to hit the neoliberal and super capitalist on their pinhead.
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on June 14, 2009
"Profit Over People" is very sobering work by McChesney and Chomsky about a topic that exists in virtually all aspects of our lives. However, it's rarely defined nor even mentioned in the American mainstream media. There are reasons for this. A lack of interest for details by the public and a mainstream media that doesn't cover the topic. In addition, the US was founded by and for the elitist oligarch minority that still runs the USA today. One powerful - yet peaceful - buffer to maintain power today, is by controlling of the mainstream media.

In the beginning stages of the United States as a nation-state, Madison wrote and voiced concerns over the masses participating in decision-making. He feared for interests of the small minority of aristocratic land-owners and wealth holders. This belief system and governmental structure continues to dominate, and is still reinforced by the mainstream media 235+ years later. The message is the same, but the medium of dissemination is different.

During the height of the Cold War, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles commented that the US is "hopelessly far far behind the Soviet Union in developing controls of the minds and emotions of unsophisticated peoples" (page 48). There are those who study media and propaganda who disagree with this statement. The US propaganda during the Cold War was very effective and comprehensive. But Foster's statement reveals how propaganda and manipulating "belief" is so important to the maintenance, growth, and utter survival of a nation-state. Especially if it's ideologically competing with a rival or enemy.

Today, Neo-Liberalism is a concept and contemporary policy composed of left, right, and center. Implicitly and explicitly influenced and controlled by, and motivated to focus on, benefiting the wealthy industries of less than 1,000 corporations. Ironically, as powerful a force as Neo-Liberalism is, this term is rarely if ever used in the the United States in the mainstream media.

One of the major points of Neo-Liberalism is the advocacy of free markets and "entrepreneurial drive" which ostensibly opposes bureaucracy and governmental interference, but in reality often does not. It depends to which interests are being catered to. Because of the massive financial backing, organization, and PR campaigns, few people in the United States question the motivations, the negative, the benefits, and results of Neo-Liberal policies. These policies have permeated into almost every level of political, economic, and cultural realms of US society. Again, Neo-Liberalism is not only an economic system but a cultural and political system as well.

All 3 are Intertwined. Enmeshed.

All of these 3 reinforce and support one another, and the economic, cultural, and political systems, are constantly reinforced by the mainstream media. One example among many, is the "NY Times" being consistently cited throughout this book, as being in support of Neo-Liberal policies and philosophies.

Question: who owns the top 5 media conglomerates in the USA?

Chomsky notes what more and more (but not enough) of the US public is starting to realize and believe according to polls, as of 2009: that politically, both political parties engage in trivial debates over minor, cosmetic issues. The 2 parties have the same interests, and the same supporters. It's only the packaging that's different.

Neo-Liberalism functions best when there are elections. The public is deluded into thinking they actually have a voice, and are actually participating in the falsehood of a "democratic" process that doesn't really exist.

Today in the year 2008 and beyond, these 1,000 organizations that run the US are more powerful, organized, and aggressive than ever. They are the masters.

This is where "democracies" inevitably lead, historically.

Apply "Profit Over People" to recent U.S. history and the last election cycle. The exclusive 2 parties: more similar that different. New faces, with basically the same policies and agenda. Both political parties lead the masses into the same direction, peppering us with the illusion of the two parties having differences with cosmetic and trivial sound-bytes.

As a distraction to occupy our myopic selves we have shopping malls, Costco, delicious foods, car payments, mortgages sports, Internet, and TV, to keep our minds occupied while the Neo-Liberal agenda progresses, solidifies, and expands worldwide.

"Profit Over People" is both informative and reader-friendly. Here is a historical quote about the phenomenon called "Bread and Circuses." It dates back to Roman times but is just as applicable today.


"The Latin "panem et circenses" (literally "bread and circuses") is a derogatory phrase which can describe either government policies to pacify the citizenry, or the shallow, decadent desires of that same citizenry. In both cases, it refers to low-cost, low-quality, high-availability food and entertainment." --Unknown
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