By Richard Edward Noble
I’ve read several books by Professor Chomsky. This is the best Chomsky book I’ve read so far.
Chomsky is always wordy and has a tendency to wander but this book has a theme that he follows fairly consistently.
The title of the book is “Deterring Democracy” and it is the Professor’s goal to show just how the “American, corporate government” has done just that all around the world.
It is the author’s contention that the U.S. is not and has never been in the business of helping foreign countries to establish democracy in their land. He is of the opinion that the U.S. is much more interested
in establishing Capitalism and rule by the wealthy than establishing any kind of democracy.
In a way the book reminds me of another book that impressed me, “One World Ready or Not” by William Greider.
In Greider’s book we take a trip with labor and working folks around the world. We see how poorly they live and are treated and exploited by their employers … who are agents or clients of international corporations.
In this book we take a similar trip championing the peasant and working class – the “non-people,” as Chomsky calls them.
Some say that Mr. Chomsky is a misanthrope. This is not true. He is the exact opposite. All his books are written in defense of the poor and unorganized and on behalf of the people. Mr. Chomsky is concerned about what the powerful people are doing to the not so powerful.
Mr. Chomsky is a corporate government hater. He is against the monopolization of the world by big business and imperialist governments. Actually he is against all and any government.
Consequently, he comes to the world with a much different perspective. Like Howard Zinn who shocked the world with his “A People’s History of America” Chomsky is equally shocking.
He puts his unusual magnifying glass and his endless information and details of U.S. foreign policy, contemporary and historical, on the various third world countries of the world and turns our conventional understanding of things upside down.
We go all over South America, Asia, Central America, the Caribbean, Japan, China, Africa and elsewhere. He gives special and detailed attention to Nicaragua and El Salvador. But he also covers Chile, Brazil, Columbia and most other South American nations.
He outlines for the reader a bloody and murderous path pursued all over the world by the U.S. in the name of freedom and democracy but really on behalf of big, corporate enterprises. General Smedley Butler told a similar but not so gruesome story in his book “War is a Racket.”
What is really shocking is the callous disregard of human life on the part of the U.S., reported by the author. Thousands and thousands of people murdered and slaughtered because of America’s financial support to groups like the Contras in Nicaragua.
But it isn’t just Nicaragua. This murderous intrigue supported financially and clandestinely by the CIA, NSA, and other American counterinsurgency groups was and is common policy of the U.S. all over the world.
We even have a training center for torture and barbaric tactics in Florida, “the School of the Americas.”
At this school, says the author, America trains counterinsurgency, murder, torture, assassination and methods of infiltrating and overthrowing any government in South America that exhibits liberal tendencies – like land redistribution, income equality, medical care for the poor, free education and the like.
This book is eye opening and thought provoking along with being a horror story. It shows the war that has been conducted by the U.S. on behalf of the control of the wealthy and the super wealthy over the peasant and the working class – a war and a pattern of behavior and elitist attitudes that goes back to the colonial period.
He is not favorable to Reagan and the Bush twins or any Republican but he does little cheering for any of the Democrats either. He hits Clinton, Carter and Truman also. He is not happy with American government and our half-assed democracy either. He points out how democracy is deterred here at home too. He is unrelenting.
He is a tough read but very difficult to challenge.
This book is over 450 pages and he has 100 more books of similar length behind it.
There is just no end to this guy.
Many Americans wonder why so many of the countries and people of South and Central America are so anti-American. Well, this book gives a pretty darn good answer.