Law & Politics

Chomsky’s take on the challenges of our time

In Noam Chomsky’s new hard-hitting book, his position is always clear, incisive and challenging. 

Illegitimate Authority: Facing the Challenges of Our Time, co-authored with C. J. Polychroniou, covers the governance of the United States and its foreign policy, the war in Ukraine, and the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. There are also brief comments about other matters, such as the current political situation in Egypt. 

Chomsky’s account of American politics goes right back to the beginning. John Jay, the first justice of the Supreme Court, declared that those who own the country should govern it. According to Chomsky, they have, and they do.

America, he argues, is a plutocracy. There is only one party in America, he contends, and that is the business party.  This party has two factions – the Republican Party, which is run for the ultra-rich in finance and the leadership of large corporations, and the Democratic Party, which is run for the benefit of affluent professionals.

Properly speaking, he maintains, the Republican Party is no longer a party, even apart from Trump. It is "a radical insurgency, ideologically extreme, scornful of facts and compromises and dismissive of its political opposition." Its aim is to prevent the Democratic Party from governing.

The latter no longer represents the working class, believes Chomsky. Although President Biden did what he could to lift its  economic fortunes, in this he was largely thwarted by the Senate under the leadership ...

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