- Copertina rigida: 336 pagine
- Editore: Hamish Hamilton (27 maggio 2010)
- Collana: HH NFIC HB
- Lingua: Inglese
- ISBN-10: 0241144752
- ISBN-13: 978-0241144756
- Peso di spedizione: 581 g
Hopes and Prospects (Inglese) Copertina rigida – 27 mag 2010
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Noam Chomsky is the author of numerous bestselling political books, including Hegemony or Survival, Failed States, Interventions and What We Say Goes, all of which are published by Hamish Hamilton/Penguin. He is a professor in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT, and is widely credited with having revolutionized modern linguistics.
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PREFACE ..... VII
PART I: LATIN AMERICA
01. Year 514: Globalization for Whom? ..... 3
02. Latin America and US Foreign Policy ..... 39
03. Democracy and Development: Their Enemies, Their Hopes ..... 75
04. Latin America and Caribbean Unity ..... 103
PART II: NORTH AMERICA
05. "Good News," Iraq and Beyond ..... 121
06. Free Elections, Good News and Bad ..... 143
07. Century's Challenges ..... 165
08. Turning Point? ..... 177
09. Elections 2008: Hope Confronts the Real World ..... 207
10. Obama on Israel-Palestine ..... 251
11. The Torture Memos ..... 259
12. 1989 and Beyond ..... 269
Notes ..... 281
Index ..... 315
He writes, "A well-documented conclusion is that sovereignty, hence ability to control internal economic development and to enter international market systems on one's own terms, is a crucial prerequisite to economic development." 25 years of economic sovereignty, backed by exchange controls and managed currencies, did better than the succeeding 25 years of Thatcherism. Protectionism brings growth; imposed liberalisation harms growth.
In 1985 the World Bank said that in its standard `development' strategy, domestic consumption should be `markedly restrained', support for education `minimized' and `less emphasis should be placed on social objectives'.
The US National Intelligence Council's Global Trends 2015 (2000) said globalisation will lead to `a widening economic divide' and `deepening economic stagnation, political instability, and cultural alienation'. In law, predictable consequences are evidence of intent. Amnesty International's Secretary-General says that poverty is the worst of all the world's many human rights abuses.
In Latin America, Obama plays the usual US role. In June 2009, the largely US-controlled IMF at once gave a $150 million loan to the coup regime in Honduras. The IMF had earlier withdrawn loans from the elected government because it opposed that government's policies. In 2002, during the (failed) coup against Venezuela's elected government, the IMF had at once offered aid to the coup regime. France and the USA backed the 2004 coup in Haiti, which overthrew the elected government, causing 8,000 violent deaths in the next two years.
By contrast, Chomsky praises Cuba's `remarkable record of genuine internationalism over many years', especially its Operation Milagro, which has restored sight to more than a million people.
He denounces Israel's vicious and illegal siege of Gaza. Israel, with the USA, is destroying any viable Palestinian state. The USA and the EU voted against the International Atomic Energy Agency resolution calling on Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and to open its nuclear facilities to inspection.
In the recent US election, the best-funded candidate won 9 out of 10 contests, and Obama was the presidential candidate with most Wall Street funding. This January, the US Supreme Court voted to allow corporations to spend shareholder money directly in future elections.
Chomsky has a great deal to say in this book about Israel, Obama's continuation of Bush's policies toward its settlement building, extreme violations of the Geneva Conventions and the context of Israel's attack on Gaza in December 2008 and its economic strangulation of Gaza. Chomsky has always stressed that Israel's main goal is not security but stealing all the best land and resources from the territories. He quotes Moshe Dayan from the early days of the occupation as saying privately that Israel should make Palestinians live "like dogs" and invite them to leave the territories if they didn't like it. He also has a few words about the BDS. He suggests that the boycott movement against South Africa wasn't exactly the rousing success that some BDS advocates assume it was.
There are other subjects discussed in this book. Chomsky notes Obama's continuation of Bush style militarism and the terrible toll on civilians of Obama's drone strikes on Pakistan and air strikes in Afghanistan. He points out the important ways the Obama administration supported the coup in Honduras. He describes the horrendous toll of Haiti's January 2010 earthquake as rooted in the economic policies the US has forced on Haiti. He quotes a number of mainstream strategic analysts, including former weapons inspector David Kay and the neoconservative Reuel Marc Gerecht, that Iran has very rational reasons for building up its nuclear capacity as a deterrent. Chomsky explores the possibility for a peaceful settlement in Afghanistan. He quotes with admiration Malalai Joya, the feminist human rights activist now in hiding from the misogynist fundamentalist Northern Alliance warlord gangsters Rumsfeld re-installed in power. He quotes an observation made by the last British ambassador to the Soviet Union, that from the ambassador's conversations with pro-Western Afghans, these Afghans greatly prefer life under the Soviet backed regime, when women achieved significant gains and the country seemed to be modernizing.
. Chomsky writes that financial industry interests are clearly reflected in the policies of the Obama administration. He notes that the financial industry has taken up a disproportionate share of our economic life. Economic growth during the Bush years relied on an 8 trillion dollar housing bubble whose extreme danger Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke, and other official geniuses did not fathom. Meanwhile, American manufacturing capacity has declined significantly in recent decades. The real wages of most American workers have declined since the late 70's, except for a spike during the Clinton tech stock boom of the late 90's, Chomsky notes. One of the quotes Chomsky often uses in his works (as he does in this book) is taken from Alan Greenspan's senate testimony from 1997 about the stagnating wages and "greater worker insecurity" fueling American economic growth. Chomsky cites an interesting story from the Wall Street Journal relating to Obama's stimulus and the decline of American manufacturing. On the health care bill, the Obama administration made a deal with the pharmaceutical industry whereby the health care reform bill would contain no mandate for the government to negotiate drug prices downward or demand rebates. Chomsky cites a Business Week article of August 2009 which said the health care industry had "already won" the health care debate. Health care industry lobbyists worked intensively behind the scenes to make sure the bill didn't seriously threaten their interests. Chomsky quotes the chairman of the Business Roundtable as saying that the bill that came out of Max Baucus's committee was closely aligned to his group's own vision for a proper reform bill. The Business Week article predicted that the health care industry would come out of the reform process more profitable than ever.
Chomsky also discusses one of my favorite topics: how the most successful economies in the world, including the United States, have routinely violated free market principles in order to become successful. He points out that Chile's following of the principles of Milton Friedman under Pinochet led to complete disaster by 1982. Since then, he notes, Chile has achieved some economic success by placing controls on capital flow and relying on its copper export industry, the largest company in which is the government run CODELCO.
I do wish Chomsky would go into more depth on health care. In his works, he often likes to cite polls showing that a majority of Americans have views that are often significantly more left wing than the Democrats. In this book, for example, he cites polls on Obama's health care plan, including polling relating to the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts. These polls show that many Americans opposed to Obama-care base their opposition not on Republican style arguments but on the feeling that the legislation does not go far enough.
Chomsky is a nice relief from the insanity and imbecility of mainstream political discourse.