This collection covers ground familiar to regular readers of Chomsky: the role of intellectuals in defending the status quo; the history and role of propaganda in the enlightened Western Democracies; the manufacturing of “consent”; the existential dangers of Real Existing Capitalism.
The 1996 essay “Consent Without Consent” was the most interesting of the lot, for me, because it was a reminder of just how far Bill Clinton and the New Democrats had already steered the Democratic Party away from anything resembling a party of the people. Already by then the Democratic Party, and Clinton in particular, understood that a party platform should be treated only as a public relations tool, and not as something that should have any influence on actual policy. This, of course, has been the practice of both major parties ever since, with the result that on most substantive issues there is very little difference between the two parties, aside from rhetoric and tactics. The financial elite must be served, and both parties understand that and act accordingly.