18 Pages

Book Review Symposium: Making the Future: Occupations, Interventions, Empire and Resistance, by Noam Chomsky

This chapter shows that there are different ways one can react to Noam Chomsky's book. It highlights and explains the conservative reaction – as exemplified by John Gray's review of Making the Future for the Guardian. The chapter proposes own reading of what makes Chomsky's book an extremely appealing piece: mainly that it deconstructs current caricatures of democracy and offers an implicit radical ethics of academic research. It points to some weaknesses in the structure of the book. Making the Future is a battlefield in which Chomsky puts on his public intellectual hat and carries out a mission of re-information by providing a colossal amount of the missing facts, numbers, quotes, and connections needed to understand the news and our world more effectively. Power is self-justificatory in the sense that whoever owns power also owns the power of justification. Powerful states and multinational corporations always have the best reasons, best lawyers, best arguments, best media coverage, etc.