Requiem for the American dream : the 10 principles of concentration of wealth & power

by Noam Chomsky

Paper Book, 2017


In his first major book on the subject of income inequality, Noam Chomsky skewers the fundamental tenets of neoliberalism and casts an eye on the economic facts of life. What are the ten principles of concentration of wealth and power at work in America today? They're simple enough: reduce democracy, shape ideology, redesign the economy, shift the burden onto the poor and middle classes, attack the solidarity of the people, let special interests run the regulators, engineer election results, use fear and the power of the state to keep the rabble in line, manufacture consent, marginalize the population. In Requiem for the American Dream, Chomsky devotes a chapter to each of these ten principles, and adds readings from some of the core texts that have influenced his thinking to bolster his argument. Chomsky and his editors, the filmmakers Peter Hutchison, Kelly Nyks, and Jared P. Scott, spent countless hours together over the course of five years, from 2011 to 2016. After the release of the film version, Chomsky and the editors returned to the many hours of tape and transcript and created a document that included three times as much text as was used in the film.… (more)



Call number



New York : Seven Stories Press, [2017]

User reviews

LibraryThing member plappen
The "American Dream" is a central pillar of life in the United States. Work hard, and you can be rich and happy. This book gives a very different view.

Over the past several decades, tax policy has been designed to benefit those at the top of the income triangle. Maybe a few percent of the benefit
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of a tax cut will actually reach those at the middle-income level, but the vast majority of the benefit will go to the top One-Tenth of One Percent. The public reason for tax cuts is that they supposedly increase investment and create jobs. A much better way to do that is to allocate that money to working-class people, who will use that money on clothes and groceries, not on a second (or third) home.

Social Security is based on the principle of solidarity, which means caring for others. That automatically makes it a bad thing (in the eyes of the super-rich). A way to destroy it is to de-fund it. The system won't work, so people will get angry, and demand something else.

For those who want a third party in America, voting for it every four years is not enough. You must be constantly be working at the local level, developing the system that goes from the city council to Congress. That is how the Tea Party got started.

This is an excellent and eye-opening book. Based on a movie of the same name, this gives a very easy to understand look at how America Really Works. Whether you see the movie, or read this book, this is very highly recommended.
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LibraryThing member Sheila1957
Very timely. Very interesting. It's the companion book to the documentary by the same name. I liked that he went back 50 years to put what is happening today in our government and society in prospective and giving us the history of what has led up to today. He gives examples as well as excerpts of
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his source materials. This is written so it can be understood by everyone. I learned a lot. There is a lot to think about in these pages.
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LibraryThing member fpagan
Linguist Chomsky, very much wearing his libertarian-socialist political hat, gives a simple account of the development and nature of economic inequality in the US. "I think the future looks pretty grim. ... [T]he Republican Party ... has become the most dangerous organization in world history." (p
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143) At least some of the writing was done before the catastrophe of Donald Trump being granted the presidency. Included are many short excerpts from source materials.
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LibraryThing member SarahEBear
41/2 stars. A though provoking and somewhat disturbing look at the state of modern society in the USA, the roles of democracy and the financial system. Many of the ten principles apply to all western societies. The book offers a simple (you may find yourself wanting more discussion on the topics)
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overview of the 10 principles covered in a film of the same name. The book leaves you feeling a little powerless in the face of corporate greed. Poses many questions on the "where to now?" and "what can i do?" side of the equation.
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LibraryThing member Paul_S
You've been saying "organise" for decades and this hasn't worked for literally half a century. Maybe it's time to reevaluate strategies?
LibraryThing member Kavinay
You know when you used to read Chomsky a few decades ago as a political and economic prophylactic against the powers that be? This book is what you get after the world becomes a place where not enough people paid people like Chomsky enough attention.

It's not getting any better folks. The least you
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can do is come to grips with the bleak status quo that Chomsky provides the tools to reveal.
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