I wanted to love this.
I wanted to float on a small cloud and feel blessed by it.
It's super-super introductory anarchist stuff, which is what I wanted (since I'm new to anarchism) but I guessed since it's Chomsky, even the most introductory stuff would be complex* discussions on power, governments etc, but the content felt like it stopped halfway for me.
For the past few months, my political beliefs have been shaping into/shaped by a socialist/anti-capitalist/anti-wealth mix and (specifically) learning about the roles states/governments play in reproducing and expanding violence fuelled by capitalism, white supremacy etc. So, I hoped the book would connect those dots for me (in detail).
(*After reading the book, I realized how ironic it was to think that since he purposefully makes his writing accessible - the last chapter is on language and how complicated words/language are used as exclusionary tools, and also to obfuscate otherwise simple things/truths).
The book is a collection of writings and interviews without a clear (or linear) narrative ... and there's a sort of mini chapter on anarchism in the Spanish revolution (which was the hardest bit for me since I don't know anything about the Spanish revolution) (It's on my to-do list).
As much as I didn't necessarily enjoy the book, it gave me a solid foundation for thinking about anarchism as a valuable, analytical and potential building tool for a free and egalitarian world.
Some fire quotes:
The idea that people could be free is extremely frightening to anybody with power.
Every aspect of culture implicitly involves an expression of what a "proper" life and "proper" set of values are, and that's all indoctrination.
Skepticism is in order when we hear that "human nature", "the demands of efficiency" or "the complexity of modern life" requires this or that form of oppression or autocratic rule.
Every form of authority and domination and hierarchy, every authoritarian structure has to prove that it's justified - it has no prior justification. And when you look, most of the time, these authority structures have no justification: they have no moral justification, they have no justification in the interests of the person lower in the hierarchy, or in the interests of other people, or the environment, or the future, or the society, or anything else - they're just there in order to preserve certain structures of power and domination, and the people at the top.
Wage slavery is a fundamental attack on human rights.