The Conquest Continues
The sun hasn't set on imperialism, according to famed linguist and radical thinker Chomsky (The Chomsky Reader, 1987, etc.) in this forceful analysis of global economics. Chomsky asserts that the post-WW II partition of Germany was beneficial to the West; that, according to World Bank figures, protectionism reduces national income in the Third World by about twice the amount provided by foreign aid; that Eastern Europe is going to return to a "Third World service role"; that state intervention and dirigisme have been necessary in every case of successful industrial development--the very "economic nationalism" that US policy explicitly opposes in the Third World. What it all adds up to, Chomsky contends, is calculated, antidemocratic, exploitative manipulation of world capital, resources, and markets--as well as seizing of the moral high ground--by industrialized nations, particularly the US. Chomsky's defense of political correctness ("There...are a great many people who oppose racist and sexist oppression...") is a bit glib, and his dominant thesis--that the world is rigged by the rich and powerful, nations as well as individuals--is one that he's argued before, but he has a knack for sharp comparisons (noting, for example, that "the logic of the annexation of Texas was essentially that attributed to Saddam Hussein by US propaganda after his conquest of Kuwait") and, at its best, what he offers is a compelling statement of a worldview usually found on bumper stickers. White-knuckle analysis by one who shares Orwell's "power of facing unpleasant facts."