Noam Chomsky On How The U.S. Breeds Inequality At Home And Instability Abroad
Researchers find in their polls that the attitudes of the poorest 70 percent of Americans have essentially no effect on policy. Those people are disenfranchised. It doesn’t matter what they think. Political leaders just don’t pay any attention to them. As you move up the income scale, you see a little more influence. By the time you get to the top, attitudes and public policy are very similar, because the few at the top are the ones who design the policy. They essentially get what they want. You can’t call that democracy. It’s some kind of plutocracy.
Whereas other memoirists seem to have unlimited drilling rights in the rich territory of childhood, I am largely reduced to mining the immediate past — Memoirs of the Month, as it were. My childhood is a metal milk crate, a parquet floor, a lighted button in an elevator. If only I could recall something I haven’t already remembered, one brand-new memory never before fondled, unraveled, torn, and patched.
We typed slowly and carefully: RussianBride.com. UkranianDelight.com. YourRussianLove.com. And, just like that, there we were — or, at least, versions of ourselves: women of eighteen, twenty-two, thirty-one who looked like us and wanted what we wanted. We sat before this machine — one part oracle, one part mirror — enchanted by the possibilities and all wishing the exact same wish.
Born in Germany in 1921, Clemens Kalischer arrived in the United States at the age of twenty-one, a Jewish immigrant who’d narrowly survived the Holocaust. He had no money and spoke no English. One of his few possessions was a book of photographs by Hungarian Jewish photographer André Kertész. Titled Paris Vu Par, it was filled with iconic images of the city.