Review of What Uncle Sam Really Wants (1992)


Noam Chomsky (writer).

Necessarily shallow and poorly sourced, given the length of the work and its nature as a mere interview transcript. This limiting format allows Chomsky to identify, for instance, Reinhold Niebuhr’s “paradox of grace” as a blanket excuse for the negative consequences of empire-building or any other action in the name of philanthropy:

The people who are in control, who are harming others—those people will construct justifications for themselves.

While that is correct in itself, Chomsky bills the exact same tendency as the root cause of racism, which is simplistic. This is a little ironic given how Chomsky has criticized commercial programming for excluding novel thoughts on the grounds of concision, with the argument that adequate supporting facts cannot be presented “between two commercials”. They are not presented here either.

text non-fiction