Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Failed States by Noam Chomsky

In Failed States, Chomsky examines the notion of failed or rogue states and argues convincingly that the U.S. fits the definition of such a state.

Defining such states as those "that regard themselves as beyond the reach of domestic or international law, and that suffer from a 'democratic deficit', having democratic forms but with limited substance", Chomsky provides significant evidence in support of his argument, including the U.S.'s lawless military aggression, self-exemption from international law, propping up of anti-democratic dictators, and indifference to the opinions and wishes of the majority of its population.

If the text and Chomsky fall short in any area, it's mostly that the author is all argument and evidence, and he provides few practical ideas for moving forward and affecting change from within the power-based systems he critiques. Still, given what most Americans regularly digest as news, this should be required reading for every citizen.

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