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On Language, Democracy, and Social Justice

Noam Chomsky’s Critical Intervention- Foreword by Peter McLaren- Afterword by Pepi Leistyna


Pierre W. Orelus and Noam Chomsky

Every century has witnessed the birth of a few world-transcending intellectuals as well as talented emerging scholars. Noam Chomsky and Pierre W. Orelus are no exception. Using dialogues exchanged over the course of nine years, combined with heartfelt critical essays, Chomsky and Orelus analytically examine social justice issues, such as unbalanced relationships between dominant and subjugated languages, democratic schooling, neoliberalism, colonization, and the harmful effect of Western globalization on developing countries, particularly on the poor living in those countries. On Language, Democracy, and Social Justice offers a unique perspective on these issues. Educators and scholar-activists interested in challenging the long-standing status quo to inspire transformative social, educational, and political change must read this book.
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3 Democracy, Schooling, and U.S. Foreign Policy


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Democracy, Schooling, and U.S. Foreign Policy

Noam Chomsky and Pierre Orelus in Dialogue

Context of Dialogue

This dialogue between Noam Chomsky and Pierre Orelus revolves around schooling, democracy, and U.S. foreign policy. Professor Chomsky critically analyzes the notion of democracy, arguing that it only works for the rich and big corporations and that people, especially ordinary people, are only given the illusion that they are living in a democratic society. He goes on to denounce the hypocrisy of the United States in imposing its form of democracy on other countries, when in fact there is no participatory democracy here. Professor Chomsky refers to countries such as Bolivia that have organized democratic elections and suggests that the United States should learn from that country instead of trying to export a prefabricated form of democracy to other countries. Chomsky also talks about the language issue, pointing out how it plays a role in the unequal power relations between those who speak languages historically constructed as dominant languages and those who speak the so-called subjugated languages. After critically analyzing the way that many forms of oppression manifest themselves, Chomsky contends that people need to organize so they can challenge those in power and fight for their human rights. Likewise, Chomsky encourages concerned citizens to use their agency to counter the corporatization of schools.

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