Linguist quotes

#28777 Noah Webster

There iz no alternativ. Every possible reezon that could ever be offered for altering the spelling of wurds, stil exists in full force; and if a gradual reform should not be made in our language, it wil proov that we are less under the influence of reezon than our ancestors. .

Noah Webster Quotes about language
#28778 Noah Webster

Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive. .

Noah Webster Quotes about people
#32489 Noam Chomsky

I would feel no hesitation in saying that it is the responsibility of a decent human being to give assistance to a child who is being attacked by a rabid dog, but I would not intend this to imply that in all imaginable circumstances one must, necessarily, act in accordance with this general responsibility. One can easily concoct imaginary situations in which it would be inadvisable, even immoral to do so [...] [I will not defend] the assumption that it is reprehensible for a powerful nation to invade a weak and tiny neighbor in order to impose on it an "acceptable" government [...] just as I would not take the trouble to justify my belief that one should assist a child being attacked by a rabid dog. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about power
#32490 Noam Chomsky

...I don't feel that they deserve a blanket condemnation at all. There are many things to object to in any society. But take China, modern China; one also finds many things that are really quite admirable. [...] There are even better examples than China. But I do think that China is an important example of a new society in which very interesting positive things happened at the local level, in which a good deal of the collectivization and communization was really based on mass participation and took place after a level of understanding had been reached in the peasantry that led to this next step. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about art
#32491 Noam Chomsky

"A Review of B. F. Skinner's Verbal Behavior" in Language, 35, No. 1 (1959), 26-58. Summation by Noam Chomsky: Rereading this review after eight years, I find little of substance that I would change if I were to write it today. I am not aware of any theoretical or experimental work that challenges its conclusions; nor, so far as I know, has there been any attempt to meet the criticisms that are raised in the review or to show that they are erroneous or ill-founded. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about war
#32492 Noam Chomsky

I'm of course opposed to terror, any rational person is, but I think that if we're serious about the question of terror and serious about the question of violence we have to recognize that it is a tactical and hence moral matter. Incidentally, tactical issues are basically moral issues. They have to do with human consequences. And if we're interested in, let's say, diminishing the amount of violence in the world, it's at least arguable and sometimes true that a terroristic act does diminish the amount of violence in the world. Hence a person who is opposed to violence will not be opposed to that terroristic act. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about time
#32494 Noam Chomsky

The war is simply an obscenity, a depraved act by weak and miserable men, including all of us who have allowed it to go on and on with endless fury and destruction - all of us who would have remained silent had stability and order been secured. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about war
#32495 Noam Chomsky

What can one say about a country where a museum of science in a great city can feature an exhibit in which people fire machine guns from a helicopter at Vietnamese huts, with a light flashing when a hit is scored? What can one say about a country where such an idea can even be considered? You have to weep for this country. [...] To me it seems that what is needed is a kind of denazification. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about science
#32497 Noam Chomsky

The consistent anarchist, then, should be a socialist, but a socialist of a particular sort. He will not only oppose alienated and specialized labor and look forward to the appropriation of capital by the whole body of workers, but he will also insist that this appropriation be direct, not exercised by some elite force acting in the name of the proletariat. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about war
#32498 Noam Chomsky

Theideology and the international communist conspiracy function in an important way as essentially a propaganda device to mobilize support at a particular historical moment for this long-time imperial enterprise. In fact, I believe that this is probably the main function of the Cold War: it serves as a useful device for theof American society and their counterparts in theto control their own populations and their own respective imperial systems. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about time
#32499 Noam Chomsky

It is the fundamental duty of the citizen to resist and to restrain the violence of the state. Those who choose to disregard this responsibility can justly be accused of complicity in war crimes, which is itself designated as ‘a crime under international law’ in the principles of the . .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about war
#32500 Noam Chomsky

If we try to keep a sense of balance, the exposures of the past several months are analogous to the discovery that the directors ofwere also cheating on their income tax. Reprehensible, to be sure, but hardly the main point. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about past
#32501 Noam Chomsky

Personally I'm in favor of democracy, which means that the central institutions in the society have to be under popular control. Now, under capitalism we can't have democracy by definition. Capitalism is a system in which the central institutions of society are in principle under autocratic control. Thus, a corporation or an industry is, if we were to think of it in political terms, fascist; that is, it has tight control at the top and strict obedience has to be established at every level -- there's a little bargaining, a little give and take, but the line of authority is perfectly straightforward. Just as I'm opposed to political fascism, I'm opposed to economic fascism. I think that until major institutions of society are under the popular control of participants and communities, it's pointless to talk about democracy. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about war
#32503 Noam Chomsky

In the American Jewish community, there is little willingness to face the fact that the Palestinian Arabs have suffered a monstrous historical injustice, whatever one may think of the competing claims. Until this is recognized, discussion of the Middle East crisis cannot even begin. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about hate
#32504 Noam Chomsky

Talk titled "Government in the Future" at the Poetry Center of the New York , February 16, 1970 .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about men
#32505 Noam Chomsky

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

Noam Chomsky Quotes about you
#32506 Noam Chomsky

Roughly speaking, I think it's accurate to say that a corporate elite ofand owners governs the economy and the political system as well, at least in very large measure. The people, so-called, do exercise an occasional choice among those who Marx once called "the rival factions and adventurers of the ruling class." .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about people
#32507 Noam Chomsky

There are significant strategic interests [in ], and there's a lot of stuff going on that's important. Not just the United States. For example, France is doing some really vicious things there, in fact they're just wiping out islands because they want them for nuclear tests. And when the socialist government in France is asked, "Why to do this?", they say, "Well look, we have to have nuclear tests." Well, if you have to have nuclear tests, why not have them in southern France? [audience laughter] Why have them in some island in the Pacific? Well, the answer to that is clear, after all they're just a bunch of little brown people or something. But you can't say that exactly, especially if you're a socialist, so something else is said. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about people
#32508 Noam Chomsky

In certain intellectual circles in France, the very basis for discussion -- a minimal respect for facts and logic -- has been virtually abandoned. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about respect
#32509 Noam Chomsky

...roughly speaking, states are violent to the extent that they have the power to act in the interests of those with domestic power... .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about power
#32510 Noam Chomsky

Cuba has probably been the target of more international terrorism than the rest of the world combined and, therefore, in the American ideological system it is regarded as the source of international terrorism, exactly as Orwell would have predicted. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about world
#32511 Noam Chomsky

It goes back to the days when we were defending ourselves against the internal aggression of the Native American population, who we incidentally wiped out in the process. In the post World War II period, we've frequently had to carry out defense against internal aggression, that is against Salvadorans in El Salvador, Greeks in Greece, against Filipinos in the Philippines, against South Vietnamese in South Vietnam, and many other places. And the concept of internal aggression has been repeatedly invoked in this connection, and quite appropriately. It's an interesting concept, it's one thatwould certainly have admired, and it's elaborated in many ways in the internal documentary record. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about men
#32512 Noam Chomsky

The uniformity and obedience of the media, which any dictator would admire, [...] .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about media
#32513 Noam Chomsky

Pointing to the massive amounts of propaganda spewed by government and institutions around the world, observers have called our era the age of Orwell. But the fact is that Orwell was a latecomer on the scene. As early as World War I, American historians offered themselves to President Woodrow Wilson to carry out a task they called "historical engineering," by which they meant designing the facts of history so that they would serve state policy. In this instance, the U.S. government wanted to silence opposition to the war. This represents a version of Orwell's 1984, even before Orwell was writing. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about writing
#32514 Noam Chomsky

For those who stubbornly seekaround the world, there can be no more urgent task than to come to understand the mechanisms and practices of . These are easy to perceive in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the propaganda system to which we are subjected and in which all too often we serve as unwilling or unwitting instruments. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about men
#32515 Noam Chomsky

Israel is an embattled country. They rely very heavily on U.S. support. So they have developed a very sophisticated system of propaganda. They don't call it propaganda. They call it . It is the only country I know of in the world that refers to propaganda as explanation. The Ministry of Propaganda is the Ministry of Explanation. The idea being that our position on everything is so obviously correct that if we only explain it to people, they will see that it is right. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about people
#32516 Noam Chomsky

If any of you have ever looked at your FBI file, you discover that intelligence agencies in general are extremely incompetent. That's one of the reasons why there are so many intelligence failures. They just never get anything straight, for all kinds of reasons. Part of it is because of the information they get. The information they get comes from ideological fanatics, typically, who always misunderstand things in their own crazy way. If you look at an FBI file, say, about yourself, where you know what the facts are, you'll see that the information has some kind of relation to the facts, you can figure out what they're talking about, but by the time it works its way through the ideological fanaticism of the intelligence agencies, there's always weird distortion. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about intelligence
#32517 Noam Chomsky

During the 1960s, large groups of people who are normally passive and apathetic began to try to enter the political arena to press their demands.… The naive might call that democracy, but that's because they don't understand.understand that that's the crisis of democracy. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about people
#32518 Noam Chomsky

Non-violent resistance activities cannot succeed against an enemy that is able freely to use violence. That's pretty obvious. You can't have non-violent resistance against the Nazis in a concentration camp, to take an extreme case... .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about violence
#32519 Noam Chomsky

Chomsky (1980), "Rules And Representations," The Behavorial and Brain Sciences, 3:1-15 .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about present
#32520 Noam Chomsky

We take for granted that the organism does not learn to grow arms or to reach puberty... When we turn to the mind and its products, the situation is not qualitatively different from what we find in the case of the body. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about mind
#32521 Noam Chomsky

Intrinsic (psychological) structure is rich . . . and diverse. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about logic
#32522 Noam Chomsky

[This view is contrasted with all forms of , by which it is] assumed that development is uniform across (cognitive) domains, and that the intrinsic properties of the initial state (of the mind) are homogeneous and undifferentiated - an assumption found across a spectrum reaching fromto(who differ on much else). .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about mind
#32523 Noam Chomsky

We may usefully think of the language faculty, the number faculty, and others as 'mental organs,' analogous to the heart or the visual system or the system of motor coordination and planning. There appears to be no clear demarcation line between physical organs, perceptual and motor systems and cognitive faculties in the respects in question. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about art
#32524 Noam Chomsky

Talk aton U.S. foreign policy in Central America, May 14, 1984 .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about america
#32528 Noam Chomsky

When the state says, "Whip up hysteria against the ," everybody starts yelling, jumping up and down, and screaming about the evil empire… See, if it happened in, say, Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union, we know how they pulled it off. Namely, an order came from the , and everybody had to obey it. Now that didn't happen here. Here it happened in the way American propaganda always works: by servility and cowardice and class interest. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about war
#32531 Noam Chomsky

There's nothing nice that you can say about any of [the Arab countries]. Syria, for example, is one of the most violent terrorist regimes in the world. But it doesn't happen to be aggressive. Maybe it would like to be, but it isn't. For objective reasons. There's virtually no correlation between the internal nature of some country and its commitment to external violence. And I think if you look back over history you'll never find a correlation, back to the Greeks. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about history
#32532 Noam Chomsky

A lot of the people who call themselvesI would regard as proto-fascists. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about people
#32533 Noam Chomsky

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

Noam Chomsky Quotes about peace
#102696 Noam Chomsky

The internet could be a very positive step towards education, organisation and participation in a meaningful society. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about education
#102697 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 Quotes about freedom
#102698 Noam Chomsky

There are very few people who are going to look into the mirror and say, 'That person I see is a savage monster;' instead, they make up some construction that justifies what they do. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about people
#102699 Noam Chomsky

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 Quotes about words
#102700 Noam Chomsky

Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about democracy
#102701 Noam Chomsky

Debt is a trap, especially student debt, which is enormous, far larger than credit card debt. It's a trap for the rest of your life because the laws are designed so that you can't get out of it. If a business, say, gets in too much debt, it can declare bankruptcy, but individuals can almost never be relieved of student debt through bankruptcy. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about life
#102702 Noam Chomsky

The principle that human nature, in its psychological aspects, is nothing more than a product of history and given social relations removes all barriers to coercion and manipulation by the powerful. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about history
#102703 Noam Chomsky

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

Noam Chomsky Quotes about world
#102704 Noam Chomsky

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

Noam Chomsky Quotes about fear
#102705 Noam Chomsky

Changes and progress very rarely are gifts from above. They come out of struggles from below. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about progress
#102706 Noam Chomsky

Resistance is feasible even for those who are not heroes by nature, and it is an obligation, I believe, for those who fear the consequences and detest the reality of the attempt to impose American hegemony. .

Noam Chomsky Quotes about fear

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