Book Review of Profit Over People by Noam Chomsky

Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order

“As Chomsky Points out, markets are almost never competitive. Most of the economy is dominated by  massive corporations with tremendous control over their markets and that therefore face precious little competition of sort described in economic textbooks and politicians’ speeches. Moreover, corporations themselves are effectively totalitarian organizations, operating along nondemocratic lines. That our economy is centered around such institutions severely comprises our ability to have a democratic society.”

Why I Picked This Book?

Noam Chomsky gives a new insight and understanding of how government, corporations, media houses and democracies work in actual as opposed what we believe or made to believe how it works. This book talks about the global economy and tells the hidden truth about neoliberalism, the control of big corporations over economic policies and democracies across the world. Always a treat to read Noam Chomsky.

The Book

Profit Over People tries to bust the myths around neoliberalism, the myths that has been propagated by large corporations through media, education and general public discourse.

Neoliberalism – by definition is policies of economic growth, globalization, free trade and reduction is government spending in order to increase the role of private sector in economy and society.  The book argues that it is far from what it is projected to be, on the contrary – “It refers to the policies and processes whereby a relative handful of private interests are permitted to control as much s possible of social life in order to maximize their personal profit.”

He clears the myth around many subjects and global policies by providing fact based arguments. Be it about how the global order is controlled by a powerful few in the name of globalization, free market, economic growth- where the truth is everything is controlled and most of the times we don’t even know it.  In  one of the chapter “Consent Without Consent”  he tells us,  a decent democratic society should be based on the principle of ‘consent of the governed’ but it is hardly so. He further elucidates how consent is manufactured with PR and media and general people are made to believe that they have a choice. It also throws light on how international organisation like UN and WTO toe the line of powerful. How big think tanks helps in creating a narrative and policies to keep the general population obedient and subdued.

The Tri-lateral Commission, founded by David Rockefeller in 1973, devoted the first major study to the “crisis of democracy” through-out the industrial world as large sectors of population sought to enter public arena. The naive might think of that as a step toward democracy, but the Commission understood that it was “excessive democracy”.

Of particular concern to the commission were the failures of what it called the institutions responsible ” for the indoctrination of the young” : the schools, universities and churches. The commission proposed means to restore discipline, and return the general public to passivity and obedience, overcoming the crisis of democracy.

Noam Chomsky not only bridges the gap between what we are told about the world and the politics and what it actually is. It is always eye opening to read Chomsky an this book is no exception. The reader will surely come out as more informed after reading this book.

About the Author

Born in Philadelphia in 1928, NOAM CHOMSKY is known throughout the world for his political writings, activism, and for for his groundbreaking work in linguistics. A professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1955, Chomsky gained recognition in academic circles for his theory of transformational grammar, which drew attention to the syntactic universality of all human languages. But it is as a critic of unending war, corporate control and neoliberalism that Chomsky has become one of the country’s most well known public intellectuals. The 1969 publication of American Power and the New Mandarins marked the beginning of Chomsky’s rigorous public criticism of American hegemony and its lieges. Since then, with his tireless scholarship and an unflagging sense of moral responsibility, he has become one of the most influential writers in the world. Chomsky is the author of Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (with Edward S. Herman), Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order, and over one hundred other books. To this day Noam Chomsky remains an active and uncompromising voice of dissent.

Our Verdict

A must read for everyone who wants to understand the world the world better. Like most of his books this book is also a portal between what we think of the world we live in (or made to think) and what it actually is. An insightful read.


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