Noam Chomsky Quotes

Unfortunately, you can't vote the rascals out, because you never voted them in, in the first place.

Noam Chomsky (Government in the Future, 1970)

The more you can increase fear of drugs and crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all the people.

Noam Chomsky

I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom.

Noam Chomsky (Language and Politics, 2004)

There's a good reason why nobody studies history. It just teaches you too much.

Noam Chomsky

You never need an argument against the use of violence, you need an argument for it.

Noam Chomsky

Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.

Noam Chomsky (Quoted in Wired Magazine)

The intellectual tradition is one of servility to power, and if I didn't betray it I'd be ashamed of myself.

Noam Chomsky

The Bible is probably the most genocidal book in the literary canon.
Variant: The Bible is one of the most genocidal books in history.

Noam Chomsky (Interview by Wallace Shawn, 2004)

The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum - even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.

Noam Chomsky (The Common Good, 1998)

We shouldn't be looking for heroes, we should be looking for good ideas.

Noam Chomsky

If we choose, we can live in a world of comforting illusion.

Noam Chomsky (Nine-Eleven, 2001)

Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media.

Noam Chomsky (Turning the Tide, 1985)

Of course, everybody says they're for peace. Hitler was for peace. Everybody is for peace. The question is: "What kind of peace?"

Noam Chomsky

If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all.

Noam Chomsky (Quoted in Freedom of Speech: Words are not deeds, 1994)

How it is we have so much information, but knows so little?

Noam Chomsky (Chomsky on Democracy & Education, 2003)

As soon as questions of will or decision or reason or choice of action arise, human science is at a loss.

Noam Chomsky

In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than just ideals to be valued - they may be essential to survival.

Noam Chomsky (Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media, 1992)

The fact that all normal children acquire essentially comparable grammars of great complexity with remarkable rapidity suggests that human beings are somehow specially designed to do this, with data-handling or 'hypothesis-formulating' ability of unknown character and complexity.

Noam Chomsky (Review in Language: Journal of the Linguistic Society of America, 1959)

Language is a process of free creation; its laws and principles are fixed, but the manner in which the principles of generation are used is free and infinitely varied. Even the interpretation and use of words involves a process of free creation.

Noam Chomsky (For Reasons of State, 1973)

The people who were honored in the Bible were the false prophets. It was the ones we call the prophets who were jailed and driven into the desert.

Noam Chomsky

I was never aware of any other option but to question everything.

Noam Chomsky

Our ignorance can be divided into problems and mysteries. When we face a problem, we may not know its solution, but we have insight, increasing knowledge, and an inkling of what we are looking for. When we face a mystery, however, we can only stare in wonder and bewilderment, not knowing what an explanation would even look like.

Noam Chomsky

Human language appears to be a unique phenomenon, without significant analogue in the animal world. 

Noam Chomsky (Language and Mind, 2006)

It is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the truth and expose lies.

Noam Chomsky (Quoted in The Essential Chomsky, 2008)

Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it's from Neptune.

Noam Chomsky (Quoted in Propaganda and the public mind: conversations with Noam Chomsky, 2001)

Noam Chomsky Biography

Born: December 7, 1928

Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, activist and philosopher. He has had an big influence on various fields such as analytic philosophy, mathematics, psychology. He is often described as the "father of modern lingustics"


Notable Works

Syntactic Structures (1957)
Aspects of the Theory of Syntax (1965)
Cartesian Linguistics (1965)
The Resonsibility of Intellectuals (1967)
Lectures on Government and Binding (1981)