Category Archives: Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky – Manufacturing Consent

First of all, there is nothing wrong with corporations owning newspapers, television stations, etc. If you have met the needs of the free market enough times to turn into a corporation, then you have the right to buy whatever people will sell to you, and that includes newspapers, television stations, etc. Now, you have the free speech to say whatever you want, and this includes advertisements, political propaganda, etc. There should be nothing illegal about this, as this is the inevitable branch of several rules that a free society must have: one, the right to private property, which includes any newspapers, televisions stations, etc. that one buys and the reason for this is that is fundamental to human nature: there are people, and there are materials. These are the two creations that exist in the world. The only reason for the materials are for people to own them. Even if the material is an animal, you still own the animal: if someone steals it, you have the right to have it back. So you absolutely cannot violate private property rights because if you do, there is no point of any materials existing since they belong to nobody. One might say that the earth belongs to everybody. That is true. But if you have a piece of land for yourself, do you not have the right to do with it as you please, or do I have the right to do with your land what please? Obviously, private property rights are the only logical extension for the best relationship between materials and people. I have a right to keep my property because there is nothing else I can do with my property if I do not own it, you have the right to your own property, and I do not have a right to your property as you do not have a right to mine. The only way that I can obtain your property is if you give it to me. You may give it to me for free or I may offer something in exchange for it that you may accept or decline, but I do not have a right to your property until you say I do by giving it to me, in which case it is now my property, or I have the right to use your property in ways that you say while you still retain ownership of it. It does not make sense for every human being on earth to claim the property of what used to be my house because the house will inevitably be destroyed. All it takes is for one person to burn it down and the property is useless, and considering the wide variety of people in the world, it will inevitably be burnt down if owned by everyone. This is why it is important to establish private property: if you wish to burn down your own property, you may, but you have no right to burn down my property, nor anyone else’s, unless we have given you consent. Now, why does this matter so much? Never does this matter more than when one has obtained more property than his fellow man. It seems like most people would suggest that you lose the right to your property if you have what they perceive to be too much. But these same basic rules of property must abide. Why is that? One must trace the history back of how the property was obtained. If one inherits a lot of property from a deceased family member, the original owner of the property gave the right to the property to the family member. This is the exact same logic as was stated earlier which said that you do not have the right to someone else’s property unless they say you do. This means that whomever inherits the property is the rightful owner of it, even if it is a lot of property because that property does not belong to anyone else. The property can only be obtained in certain ways. If the original owner of the property stole it (which means it was literally owned by someone else) then that property did not belong to the owner. However, if there was a point in time where that owner did not own the property, but rather he performed services for others which gave him the funds to obtain that property, then because the funds were his, whatever he buys with the funds is his, including a lot of property. This means that no one else owns the property besides the one whom bought it. Not even the homeless own this property. The needy do NOT have a claim to someone else’s property. They may need the property, and it is nice for people to give things to the needy. But the property does not belong to the needy simply out of need. It belongs to whomever has the property. You have the right to kick a homeless person out of your house because the house is your house. You also have the right to allow him into your house if you wish, but you cannot be allowed to by force, because if you are, the property no longer becomes your own, and I have elaborated why this is so important earlier. This does not change because of the basis of “need” because that violates the right to your own property, and means that those that are the most needy own all of the property. This does sound good, that the needy own property, but just as you must trace back the history of how property was obtained, you also have to trace back the history of why NO property has been obtained. Certainly, if one was born into poverty, this is a travesty. But this does not mean that he has a right to the property of someone else. Certainly, it would be good for him to have property, but he does not own property, therefore he does not have the right to someone else’s property. If someone else gives him property, then he has a right to that property, but he does not have the right to property that was not voluntarily given to him. Now, if you wish to help out the needy, what can you do? You can only give them your property. You do not have the right to give the needy someone else’s property, nor does someone else have the right to give the needy your property, because the ownership of the property is null and void, and thus so is the purpose of property. So, in summation, you have a right to give your property to the needy. You do not have the right to use the property of someone else without their permission, and this does not change because you feel like they have “enough” property because you have not done what they have done to obtain the property. If the property that you feel is “more than enough” was obtained through a will, you have no right to any of that property unless the new property owner says so. If the property was bought, that means that the owner had to do the work to obtain the money to buy the property which you did not do, therefore you have no right to the property. The only way that you have a right to the amount of property that someone else has is if you have obtained it in the same way or it was given to you: this fundamental law cannot be violated because if you violate this law on the basis of need, you will create incentives for people to lie about their need and steal the property of other people so that it is always ok to steal other people’s property (because if it is ok for you to steal from someone that has more than you, it is ok for someone that has less than you to steal from you) so the entire property will continually be stolen and never be utilized, which defeats the purpose of property in the first place: to be used by the people that own it. This right to property extends if you own television stations, newspapers, etc. The amount of property owned does not matter, and it does not take away your right to own what you own.

However, this is where free speech comes into play. Because corporations have the right to own as many things as they can buy, if they are spewing war propaganda or political propaganda, if we disagree with it, we must voice our own message to as many people as possible. This is why free speech is so important. We can not violate the property rights of the corporations because then we set a stage for our own property rights to be violated. However, if we give the corporations the right to free speech, then we ourselves are also allowed free speech. You also have the right to listen to who you wish, and the consequences will be dictated by natural law.

In summation, you must understand how property is accumulated. If it is not stolen, which in a free market, exchanges does not mean theft, then the property that is accumulated is justly owned, and in order to obtain a lot of property, you must make a lot of exchanges to accumulate that property, and that is not unjust. The fact that people are poor does not mean that property rights can be violated. The fact that one has more than another does not mean that property rights can be violated. Everyone has the right to keep their own property. Property can be exchanged: in fact, exchanges are how wealth develops. An exchange only takes place when both parties feel they will be better off, i.e. wealthier. So when one is wealthy, he has made the exchanges that have made him better off. When he is not wealthy, then he has not. You absolutely cannot violate property rights. So the way to make people wealthy is to help them out with your own resources, not the resources of others. That is an envious cop-out. This property includes corporations that own most of the media stations. They are in their perfect right to own these stations and spew whatever message out that they want to. You cannot prevent any of these things by law, because you will have violated property rights and free speech. However, what you can do is associate and use your own free speech to push a different message. You are free to use your own property to project that message. But your property and wealth can only be obtained when obtained through exchanges with others that are mutually agreed upon. No other system can generate freedom, and systems that do not generate freedom generate genocide. No man is so moral as to not abuse the power that is given to him, so the more power that an individual has, the more destructive the outcomes will be. This is why individual property rights and free speech are absolutely paramount for a free society, or a society not run by bloodthirsty rulers.

Don’t pay attention to his views about capitalism. The only thing he says right are those parts about not relying on the mainstream media for information. I’m sure he’s a fine linguist, but I don’t think he knows much about economics. I do think he understands the political structure pretty well, but being a pure democracy and destroying capitalism is not the answer. 

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