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Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order

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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  2,880 ratings  ·  105 reviews
In "Profit Over People," Noam Chomsky takes on neoliberalism: the pro-corporate system of economic and political policies presently waging a form of class war worldwide. By examining the contradictions between the democratic and market principles proclaimed by those in power and those actually practiced, Chomsky critiques the tyranny of the few that restricts the public ar ...more
Paperback, 175 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Seven Stories Press (first published July 1st 1998)
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Trevor
This book didn’t quite do what I was hoping it would do. I was hoping for a more or less comprehensive left wing critique of neoliberal economic theory. What I got was a critique of the effects of neoliberal economic theory. Those are two quite different things. Let me explain. Neoliberalism (and I have to say that I find it remarkably amusing that my spell checker does not recognise the term – what would Chomsky have to say about that little factoid?) holds that anything that hinders the free o ...more
Joseph
Profit over people has been a rallying cry for some time now. Chomsky put this book out in 1998 and it has been revised in 2011. I remember Reagan's deregulation and saving American industry (usually with protectionism). I was in graduate school in the late 90s and remember the push for globalization. The irony there too is I was attended a very liberal university and the international relations program was big on globalization. Globalization was seen as open and free trade with each nation prod ...more
Carmen
Reading Chomsky is informative, eye opening, and disturbing. Few writers challenge what you think you know better than he. And yet despite the insights, the analysis, the disturbing revelations that are really a matter of public record and knowledge, what comes through is his optimism and belief in the power of collective groups to work to the benefit of all. Noam Chomsky is brilliant, insightful, a first class mind, destined to be studied for generations, but he is also first and foremost a goo ...more
مـــــــروة
كعادة تشوميسكي يقوم بشدك لمناطق ما كانت لتجذب اهتمامك لو أن أحداً غيره أثارها أمامك

الإتفاقية متعددة الأطراف الخاصة بالاستثمار
Multilateral Agreement on Investment

هل سمعت بها من قبل؟ لم أكن قد سمعت بها قبل قراءة هذا الكتاب وحتى وإن كنت قد فعلت، لم أكن لأفهم كواليسها ودلالاتها

الإتفاقية متعددة الأطراف الخاصة بالاستثمار، هي إحدى الإتفاقيات التي تصب في مصلحة كبرى الشركات العالمية، ضُرِب على المفاوضات الخاصة بها غطاء من السرية وذلك لأن الساسة والإعلاميون يعرفون جيداً أن الجمهور (الشعوب) لن يغتبط بالإت
...more
Adam Ross
Chomsky makes some good points, but in his central thesis he misunderstands the free market. The argument of this book is that the rhetoric of capitalism and Milton Friedman's neo-liberalism have been used by the uber-mega corporations to keep themselves in power. This is certainly true of the Rush Limbaugh/Sean Hanity neo-conservative movement. I have personally heard Limbaugh shill for the mega corporations on his show, and this constitutes a misunderstanding of the free market and how huge co ...more
Maanasa Kona
I am almost embarrassed to say that this was my first introduction to the concept of neoliberalism, and how it is distinct from classical liberalism. Classical liberalism focuses on protecting the rights of the individual from government interference, whereas neoliberalism focuses on promoting economic prosperity by giving businesses freedom from regulation in the ultimate hope (in theory, at least) of the trickle down. Noam Chomsky does little to attack neoliberalism as an economic theory in th ...more
A
I got 50% through this book before deciding that going through the rest would kind of be a waste of time. I just wasn't getting anything out of this book, and thought it was kind of junky. I'll give it two stars because maybe the second half is really great, and I do think there is value in keeping us aware of bad policy and hypocrisy in our history/present.

Chomsky seems to follow a format in each piece (it's not really a book, but a collection of shorter essays and pieces):

(1) make a caricatur
...more
Spicy T AKA Mr. Tea
This anthology of lectures and articles regarding the "Washington Consensus" and what's called global "free trade" was a quick and to the point kind of book. Chomsky gives a detailed history of the global trade bodies like the WTO, IMF/WB, the MAI, the Trilateral Commission, and trade agreements like NAFTA. In his classic way, Chomsky critiques these institutions and points out the extremely harmful effects for humans and the earth as well as pointing out the hypocrisy they call democracy. Choms ...more
Eric
Chomsky has a gift for picking apart convincingly the arguments that others use to support the Global status quo. In this book he discusses how "free trade" really isn't free and how US and Western European policies have helped keep the undeveloped world poor. Not for the faint of heart or anyone who voted for Bush.
sidana
Chomsky kısa ama geniş bir yelpazeden ABD ve İngiltere'nin ekonomik stratejik çıkarları için dünyada estirdikleri terörü neoliberalizm ile tanımlamış. Özgürlük, Demokrasi, Barış...vs'nin aslında ABD ve İngiltere'nin kendi ekonomik çıkar politikaları için kullandıkları boş safsatalardan öteye geçmeyen kavramlar. Chomsky, ayrıca kitapta İngiltere'nin Hindistan'ı ve ABD'ninde Latin ülkelerini, Brezilya,Arjantin,Kamboçya,Meksika..vs, nasıl sömürdüklerini özetleyerek anlatmış.Marshall planından tutun ...more
Nathan Black
It was okay. Can't say I'm crazy about Chomsky. I like his ideas and principals, but mostly I feel like I'm being yammered at by an old, loquacious professor.
The edition I read had quite a few typos too. It was slightly distracting and I got over it but reading typos just makes me feel like I overpaid. I remember eight, but there were more than that.
I do enjoy his non-partisan take on events and issues. He doesn't lean democratic or republican which is good because he gives a strong, object
...more
Igor Alexeev
Noam Chomsky, 84, is doubtless one of the leading American thinkers in the field of political economy. “Profit over people” is a short, but insightful collection of essays, written during the last decade of the 20th century. The book offers a brilliant selection of historic examples. Every single statement is supported with powerful evidence. For example, in the chapter “Neoliberalism and the Global Order” he writes:
“The "principal architects" of the neoliberal "Washington consensus" are the mas
...more
Joseph
I was disappointed by this book by Chomsky. The introduction written by McChesney is not consistent with the entire rest of the book. McChesney goes off on classical liberal doctrine. Then Chomsky goes off on business-government collusion, but he can't seem to decide what he is against, and he ends up pointing fingers at everyone.

I also don't like paying money for a book only to find out it is simply a collection of articles that the author decided to compile and then use his name to make extry
...more
Mike
This is a pretty good read from Chomsky on globalization. He makes a distinction between free market ideology (which is what we push on developing countries) and what he calls really existing free market doctrine, which is free markets for you and subsidies and protectionism for me. It fits in with his entire approach of exposing the US contempt for the policies that it pushes on the rest of the world. It's a collection of previous magazine articles, but he did expand them a little, so it's wort ...more
Mat
This book is a little dated now. But what it says about activists derailing a "fast-tracked" secret trade deal is particularly relevant to the problems the US is facing today in trying to "fast-track" a similar deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. '[What happened to the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) is] worth considering carefully as a lesson in what can be achieved by the “ultimate weapon” of popular organizing and activism, even under highly inauspicious circumstances... The Toron ...more
Phillip
I terms of the contents, analysis, and argument Chomsky advances in this book, I give it an unquestioned five stars. The only real critique I have of this book is that many of the articles don't have proper scholarly citations, which makes it hard as a researcher to follow up many of Chomsky's source or the numerous sources he quotes--generally with a vague reference to something like 'the leading business press.' Being able to trace down these sources and quotations would be tremendously useful ...more
Zulu Adams
It makes for pretty miserable reading until the final chapter where Chomsky actually gives some examples that might offer hope rather than completely depress the reader.

On the whole though, it's all pretty grim with the author citing case after case of government hypocrisy and showing how there is an overarching enforcement of protectionism and mercantilism instead of genuine free trade. He quite rightly uses Adam Smith to show how distant much of today's economic implementations are from actua
...more
Jeff
I'm giving this book 4 stars simply because the subject matter is just that important. The book, a collection of essays written in the '90's, is full of facts but therein lies the issue. One can be so overwhelmed in the onslaught that you might just begin to tune out. That would be a tragedy; however, in light of what the neo-liberal order is perpetrating on all of us. I once read someone who suggested reading Chomsky by imagining that he is actually front and center speaking to you. I think tha ...more
Rob Danielson
Reading because it seems to be an academic outlook of the philosophy behind our current form of government and how capitalism and democracy are two different animals that cannot exist in the same space. Enlightening given our current goings-on with the election campaigns.
Chris
Jul 17, 2014 Chris added it
Chomsky's polemic largely mirrors what Robert Reich has been saying for three decades: corporatism is detrimental to democracy. Neoliberalism, with its claim that complete freedom of the market guarantees personal freedom, has become globally pervasive and the guiding principle in politics, economics and culture, encouraging individualism, private property rights and a strong sense of personal responsibility. It is principles such as these, though, which creates multi-national corporations ("too ...more
Tom
Giving a rating on a book that discusses political and economic systems is tough. Reading this book, as I expected, I generally agreed with the points made by Chomsky. As I have aged, I have become more and more opposed to these neoliberal trade policies that prioritize corporate management and shareholders over citizens and workers. Back when it happened, I did not understand the reasoning for the WTO protests in Seattle and G7 Summits in Genoa, but as history has played out, one can really see ...more
Andrew Lee
Noam Chomsky enlightens the people about the concentration of power by the upper class using modern capitalism, an extreme form of liberalism, and under the guise of democracy to fool the population.

As a reader entering on this topic with little prior knowledge, the content was really great, but I was a little uncomfortable with Chomsky's narrative. His sentence structure is fairly complicated and, to add to the occasional confusion, he uses a lot of sarcasm which is not perfectly obvious at tim
...more
Raul
I have no issues with Chomsky's worldview or thoughts about power, media and democracy. If I've been driven to his books it has been because I enjoy seeing his interviews and film appearances, as he come across as a lucid, deep thinker about our crazy times. But, while there are some brilliant nuggets of thought buried in this slim volume, I simply find his writing style to be a slog to get through.

For one, so much of his writing is bogged down with an overabundant use of quotation marks. At ti
...more
Satyaki Mitra
This book is not really a book in the strictest sense of the term, because it is basically a compilation of relevant lectures delivered by the author at different places, however the thought flow is well maintained and Chomsky's leftist view is quite prevalent throughout the course of all his lectures. Nonetheless the lectures do offfer certain meaningful insights, that are usually ignored by maintream political analysts and commentators. Topics like the NAFTA(North American Free Trade Agreement ...more
Colin Dwyer
Tough read... not much exposition. Because this book is almost 20 years old, there's a lot of contextual information there that doesn't make as much sense in juxtaposition to current affairs. There are also a disappointingly high number of grammatical and spelling errors, surprising for such an esteemed linguist. I suppose the editors are to blame.

In brief, there's one central point: that the United States government protects the interests of powerful and wealthy corporations over the people, a
...more
Dr. A
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Read this and reviews of other classics in Western Philosophy on the History page of www.BestPhilosophyBooks.org (a thinkPhilosophy Production).
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Noam Chomsky is arguably the most important, most radical thinker living today, and has been named as the most dangerous man to the political status quo. He is also exceedingly prolific, so choosing a single representative work is very difficult.

Profit Over People: Neoliberalism & Global Order is at least a great place to begin. In it, Choms
...more
Sara
Jun 08, 2014 Sara rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: empire
The corporation fallacy

[Through my ratings, reviews and edits I'm providing intellectual property and labor to Amazon.com Inc., listed on Nasdaq, which fully owns Goodreads.com and in 2013 posted revenues for $74 billion and $274 million profits. Intellectual property and labor require compensation. Amazon.com Inc. is also requested to provide assurance that its employees and contractors' work conditions meet the highest health and safety standards at all the company's sites.]

The book is a c
...more
Greg Easley
Chomsky is my hero!!!
bartosz_witkowski
Noam Chomsky's Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order is a collection of articles and essays on the topics of neoliberalism and American policy.

The author defines neoliberalism as "capitalism without the gloves off" - corporatism, control of the media, globalization and forcing policies of less developed countries to ones that benefit the more developed ones (Washington Consensus).

The book goes on to say how democracy itself is being corroded by the influence of corporations - either
...more
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2476
Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, political activist, author, and lecturer. He is an Institute Professor and professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Chomsky is credited with the creation of the theory of generative grammar, considered to be one of the most significant contributions to the field of linguistics made in the 20th century. H
...more
More about Noam Chomsky...
Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda

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“In the United States […] the two main business-dominated parties, with the support of the corporate community, have refused to reform laws that make it virtually impossible to create new political parties (that might appeal to non-business interests) and let them be effective. Although there is marked and frequently observed dissatisfaction with the Republicans and Democrats, electoral politics is one area where notions of competitions and free choice have little meaning. In some respects the caliber of debate and choice in neoliberal elections tends to be closer to that of the one-party communist state than that of a genuine democracy.” 5 likes
“One should attend carefully to the fear and desperation of the powerful. They understand very well the potential reach of the "ultimate weapon," and only hope that those who seek a more free and just world will not gain the same understanding and put it effectively to use.” 3 likes
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