The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy
Publication Date: April 4, 2006
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The United States has repeatedly asserted its right to intervene militarily against "failed states" around the globe. In this much-anticipated sequel to his international bestseller Hegemony or Survival, Noam Chomsky turns the tables, charging the United States with being a "failed state," and therefore a danger to its own people and the world.
"Failed states," Chomsky writes, are those "that do not protect their citizens from violence and perhaps even destruction, that regard themselves as beyond the reach of domestic or international law, and that suffer from a 'democratic deficit,' having democratic forms but with limited substance." Exploring recent U.S. foreign and domestic policies, Chomsky assesses Washington's escalation of nuclear risks; the dangerous consequences of the occupation of Iraq; and Americas's self-exemption from international law. He also examines an American electoral system that frustrates genuine political alternatives, thus impeding any meaningful democracy.
Forceful, lucid, and meticulously documented, Failed State: America offers a comprehensive analysis of a global superpower that has long claimed the right to reshape other nations while its own democratic institutions are in severe crisis, and its policies and practices recklessly place the world on the brink of nuclear and environmental disaster. Systematically dismantling America's pretense of being the world's arbiter of democracy, Failed State is Chomsky's most focused-- and urgent--critique to date.
Noam Chomsky is the author of numerous bestselling political works, from American Power and the New Mandarins in the 1960s to Hegemony or Survival in 2003. A professor of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT, he lives outside Boston, Massachusetts.