Book Review : Secrets, Lies and Democracy by Noam Chomsky

Democracy is indeed the most camouflaged idea to have ever been invented – profound in theory and modifiable in practice. While almost everyone supports the theory as everyone should, it is really the apparent “democratic” authority that decides for whom democracy formula will work, and for whom it will not. And of course, we are not supposed to know that unless brave hearts like Noam Chomsky is born once in a while.

Given the “democratic” media and access to information, it does take some digging to find out the right books and data in order to learn about the underlying facts beneath a morally strong good looking theory. Chomsky in his book “Secret, Lies and Democracy” covers global topics, sharply revealing – what is said but not meant, and what is meant but not said.

“A society can have the formal trappings of democracy and not be democratic at all.”

Although democracy means that the people in a society are supposed to have “meaningful opportunities” – the system can also be arranged in an undemocratic way. Take for example, a society where the authority expose it’s  people to media in a way so that it affects their behavior to increase consumption so that it brings more advantage to only a privileged predetermined group of the society.

‘…political scientist Thomas Ferguson calls “the investment theory of politics.” He believes that the state is controlled by coalitions of investors who join together around some common interest. To participate in the political arena, you must have enough resources and private power to become part of such a coalition.’

And what if that privileged group of people are the authority who decides who will be stand in power in democratic elections ?

“A lot of what’s done by corporations will happen to have, by accident, beneficial effects for the population. The same is true of the government or anything else. But what are they trying to achieve? Not a better life for workers and the firms in which they work, but profits and market share.”

Development is on the rise in developing countries, only because a certain group of people are getting better and better at it, at playing the democracy rule, and also that the development is bringing advantage to only a certain group of these people; the rich getting richer method. The public benefits from it, of course, to a certain extent, but that does not happen because it is meant to benefit them but that, let’s simply say – if the owner is happy, the workers may enjoy some extra bonus that year.

Noam Chomsky, who is known worldwide as the Socrates of this century is seldom quoted by media and is not always in focus. New York Times called him to be “arguably” the most important public thinker alive. Not every journalist has been able to survive fighting for truth. Chomsky has, so far, and it is crucial that we read him to at least know what we are living in.

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