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Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order

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4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,409 Ratings  ·  128 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
Jan 19, 2010 Trevor rated it really liked it
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
Nov 15, 2014 Joseph rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 01, 2014 Adam Ross rated it really liked it
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
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
Feb 02, 2013 A rated it it was ok
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
Eric
Mar 13, 2008 Eric rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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.
Yaser Maadat
Oct 21, 2015 Yaser Maadat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
يعرض نعوم تشومسكي في هذا "المرجع الهام" تصوره عن النيوليبرالية و دورها الحاسم في تشكيل هوية النظام العالم الجديد بعد افول الليبرالية الكلاسيكية،يتحدث تشومسكي عن ماهية هذه النيوليبرالية في اطار ارتباطاتها المتشعبة بعالم البيزنس و اللوبيّات الاقتصادية و السلطة السياسية الموظفة لدى هذه النيوليبرالية.
يصنف تشومسكي النيوليبرالية صراحة في تصنيف فاشستي دكتاتوري مهيمن على الاقتصاد و السياسة في العالم عبر العديد من المنظمات الاقتصادية و التجارية و السياسية في العالم و التي تتحكم فيها عدد محدود من الشركات
...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
sidana
Jan 04, 2015 sidana rated it really liked it
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
Paul
Apr 09, 2016 Paul rated it liked it
Big multinationals are taking over the world. There! You've read the book!

And that boat sailed some time ago. Chomsky fleshed out my statement above into a short book using nothing much more than big words and borrowed quotations.

To be fair, the book was written back in 1998 and I am speaking as an outsider to the US, but I still feel he missed the mark. Some of the borrowed phrases are just a bit humorous too: "The easiness with which the many are governed by the few, the implicit submission
...more
Nathan Black
Mar 11, 2014 Nathan Black rated it liked it
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
Feb 14, 2013 Igor Alexeev rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 08, 2009 Joseph rated it did not like it
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
Oct 22, 2007 Mike rated it really liked it
Shelves: globalization
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
Colin Cox
Mar 20, 2016 Colin Cox rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Profit Over People is a series of essays that contextualize corporate power's gradual, but successful, attempts to circumvent democratic ideals (both domestic and abroad) for the purposes of wealth, accumulation, and political influence. Chomsky's argument is easy enough to understand: "The most effective way to restrict democracy is to transfer decision-making from the public arena to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern ...more
Mat
Apr 18, 2014 Mat rated it really liked it
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
Abeer  Abunadi
عندما اقرأ مثل هذه النوعية من الكتب أكون مدركة تماما حجم الخلل الذي نعانيه في وقتنا الحاضر في كل جانب من جوانب الحياة، أنا اقرأه فقط للتأكد من أن صحة نظرياتنا لا صلة لها بالواقع بتاتا. بالإضافة إلى إدراك كمية البؤس الذي نعيشه والمؤثر جداً في حياة كل شخص منا وعلى مدار أجيال، وكم كان بإمكاننا جعله أفضل حال للجميع.
هو أيضا لإدراك أن ثمة مشكلة (والمشاكل كثيرة ومنوعة) وهي تعتبر في نظري مشكلة جزئية لأن المشكلة الجذرية هي التي تحل كل المشاكل الجزئية والتي لن يتطرق في حلها أحد تطبيقيا (وليس نظرياً) إن ل
...more
Eugene Kernes
Jun 18, 2016 Eugene Kernes rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics
Chomsky is right to make the claim that when the doctrine of 'free trade' is verbalized in the United states, that it is because it is in the U.S.'s interest, while when free trade helps other nations the U.S. has protectionist policies. The problem under discussion appears to be corporations that control government which make decisions that do not support the people it is meant to represent. Underlying the whole argument is that the government says yes to the corporations when it has the right ...more
John Tipper
Feb 23, 2016 John Tipper rated it it was amazing
Chomsky writes well about how large public relations and marketing firms create a misinformed or uninformed public. He uses facts, figures and quotes to support his views. The PR companies or corporate departments often work to hide actions of mega-corporations and sometimes the government. He criticizes Reaganeconomics and the Reagan Administration's foreign policy, especially as it related to Latin America. He describes the covert funding of the Contras in the war against the Sandinistas, who ...more
Zulu Adams
Oct 30, 2014 Zulu Adams rated it liked it
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
Alaa Bit Hashim
Jan 26, 2016 Alaa Bit Hashim rated it liked it
The book, which is really a collection of essays can be a good introduction to neoliberalism as an economic paradigm and the damages of neo-liberalism (public abdicating power to corporations), not just to underdeveloped nations and their peoples, but to the American people themselves.
This book is a careful and thought provoking examination of the ultimate goals of the world of private business from profit to power, and the maintance of the status quo and the class system. Reading this book by i
...more
Vik
Jan 10, 2016 Vik rated it liked it
The book is a vociferous critique of “laissez -faire” mode of economics from Adam Smith / Milton Friedman which has ensured the virtual expulsion of the average American ( or working class citizens of any country) from government fiscal policies now dictated by global conglomerates and implemented by “free trade deals” like NAFTA , TPP which as resulted in the collapse of working and labor classes .

Systematic de-regulation of govt sectors and protective measures thru trade agreements for corpora
...more
Jeff
Feb 22, 2014 Jeff rated it really liked it
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
Feb 18, 2015 Tom rated it it was ok
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
Jason Gibbons
May 26, 2016 Jason Gibbons rated it it was amazing
A really fascinating perspective from an intelligent and well researched thinker with a radical name. Noam Chomsky. I will undoubtedly seek out more of Noam's work in the future.
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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
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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.” 10 likes
“Globalization is the result of powerful governments, especially that of the United States, pushing trade deals and other accords down the throats of the world’s people to make it easier for corporations and the wealthy to dominate the economies of nations around the world without having obligations to the peoples of those nations.” 4 likes
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