In this book Noam Chomsky offers an analysis of America's pursuit of total domination and the catastrophic consequences that follow. The United States is in the process of staking out not just the globe but the last unarmed spot in our neighborhood-the heavens-as a militarized sphere of influence. Our earth and its skies are, for the Bush administration, the final frontiers of imperial control. In Hegemony or survival, Noam Chomsky investigates how we came to this moment, what kind of peril we find ourselves in, and why our rulers are willing to jeopardize the future of our species. Chomsky dissects America's quest for global supremacy, tracking the U.S. government's aggressive pursuit of policies intended to achieve "full spectrum dominance" at any cost. He lays out how the various strands of policy-the militarization of space, the ballistic-missile defense program, unilateralism, the dismantling of international agreements, and the response to the Iraqi crisis-cohere in a drive for hegemony that ultimately threatens our survival. In our era, he argues, empire is a recipe for an earthly wasteland.
A few points to raise: Chomsky occasionally applies passing references to well established systems of thinking without quoting directly. For example, in discussing Clinton's unilateral bombing of the al-Shifa plant in Sudan in 1998, he refers to "the Hegelian doctrine that Africans are `mere things', whose lives have `no value.'" (pg. 207). No direct reference to Hegel is provided. Additionally Chomsky claims on page 100 that "the figure of $17 billion is the amount that Iraq has paid to people and companies [...]", without a citation. Chomsky also quotes Paul Wolfowitz to the fact that he was "praising the monstrous Suharto and supporting the brutal and corrupt Marcos" (pg. 114), without proper citation. One last scholarly issue, on page 233, Chomsky writes that "Washington had argued that `access to American bio-defense installations' might reveal military secrets" but he refers to the Judith Miller in the footnote (see #35 pg. 266), who later of course turned out to be a rubbish journalist.
Never the less, Chomsky's belief that the forces of U.S. power are a threat to the survival of the human race are legitimate and worth taking seriously. His knowledge of politics is undeniably intimidating, yet I disagree with his incessant employment of the term "truism" (see esp. chapter 8 `Terrorism and Justice, pgs. 187- 216), there are no "truisms" in human affairs. No matter how scrupulously one arranges facts, facts are all they remain, not "truisms." Even the most reputable journalists, scholars, and human rights organizations are incapable of reporting the facts truthfully and correctly.
Chomsky supports his arguments and delivers them in a concise way that puts into context so much of recent histories worst attrocities. I recomend this book highly for any one who is ready to see what has been well hidden by a very tight knit group of commercial interests and elitists who do not have the needs of humanity at heart.