Noam Chomsky on Karl Marx

Noam Chomsky on Karl Marx

David Anderson

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68 thoughts on “Noam Chomsky on Karl Marx

  1. Elephant Warrior says:

    Marx's later works were an attempt to make the study of society more scientific. He tried to understand capitalism and predict it's natural course (revolutionary overthrow, and the creation of socialism) rather than make subjective moral attacks against it.

  2. Crouchy232323 says:

    Is it just a coincidence that someone called Marx wrote about Marxism? What a strange world.

  3. Blake Janes says:

    The reason why the people have to learn more about basics, "political spectrum" and "economic scale". See it vertically not only one dimensionally. Many anarho-capitalists are what they are, only because of lack of knowledge. Taught to dislike Socialism, Marxism, etc. Not having on mind vertical "scale" and fact that "leftist ideology" is not equal to "socialist ideology". Missing the basics!

    Had to edit so ancap below can google it easier

  4. Kevin Gunn Gunn says:

    Capitalism reverse Communism


    Marx explains how capitalisme works, how money works, how profit works etc. ….he is not some kind of a philosophical goofball with "ideas" about "society"

  6. Gordon O'Gairbhith says:

    This is truly the type of intellectual one should to aspire to be.

  7. Chris Faraday says:

    Wow!! Bite sized Chomsky vids, what a gift!!

  8. Andrew Olson says:

    Marxism is proven to not work.

  9. 37Dionysos says:

    "…to break the chain and cull the living flower." Still a pretty good idea.

  10. Randle McMurphy says:

    So let me get this straight.. Marx & Engels wrote about the environmental catastrophe in the 19th century- which Chomsky thinks is unbelievable & so important, & Chomsky thinks Marx's analysis of economic & social systems are extremely important & revealing. And then Chomsky criticizes:
    But Marx didn't say human nature is just a historical product. That's a very simple minded way of reading. & Marx didn't say people are just 'malleable'? as Chomsky asserts. Chomsky is making no sense here- or deliberately misinterpreting Marx's work. I'm starting to learn that Anarchists have a history of generally fucking movements up. Look up Bakunin.

  11. Daniel Guzman says:


    Democratic socialism means: worker-owned enterprises plus a welfare State – both run democratically.

    “I would like to know what will happen if that group of workers produce more profits than another group workers because they had worked harder and had better products than their counterparts?”

    This problem you are purporting is a problem Rosa Luxemburg predicted about hundred years ago. The main idea is that, if you replace all capitalist enterprises, you will still have worker owned (socialist/worker co-ops) enterprises competing with one another. This is true; however, this system is still more desirable than having a despot controlling everything, production and distribution of profits. So even if it is not perfect, it is still a superior system than a private dictatorship (a.k.a. capitalist enterprise).

    “Would their profits be forced to be distributed to that other group of workers to make up the deficits?”

    The members of the society will decide this democratically. They will elect officials to do this if it is a representative democracy or they will vote on ballots if it is a direct democracy or a combination of both (like in Switzerland). I support a welfare State (similar to the Scandinavian Model) because it doesn’t allow the members of its society to hit rock bottom. I would include Universal Basic Income (they are doing this in Utrecht, Netherlands, right now), a public childcare system, and other things that society may deem beneficial.

    “If so who decides to distribute this surplus of wealth and how?”

    If it is a small worker co-op, then a direct democracy will do. If it is a huge worker co-op with thousands of workers, then they will elect officials (similar to the government – there have to be time limits, division of power, and ways to removed them in case of wrong doing). We are already doing all of this, but only at the State level. We need to do this at the workplace.

    “And what about innovation and intellectual property is that to be distributed equally as well?”

    A suggestion I have heard on this issue is paying a lump sum amount similar to the Nobel price to the inventor. What you don’t want is someone abusing intellectual property. You have to think about the entire society. As long as the investor gets his/her just compensation, then we are cool. After, for the production of that innovation, you need workers, and the workers ought to be paid justly for the surplus value they produced with their labor, and this can only be achieved if they make decisions democratically.

    “Is there any room for personal growth or individual wealth or do we all just work for the sole purpose to support the masses whether or not they work or contribute?”

    You can work for yourself, but a system of taxation will be in place in order to support people who are disabled, the elderly, the sick, pregnant, and more. Supporting the “lazy” is a myth. Experiment after experiment proves that if you give help to the poor, they will get an education, become entrepreneurs, and get out of poverty. This proves that most people don’t want to be lazy, they want to succeed; so if you give them the opportunity, they will take it.

    “What kind of a society do you think that would produce?
    Not a fair or equal one I would predict.”

    This would not produce a completely fair and equal society, but a MORE fair and equal one. What would you rather have, democracy or totalitarianism? If you think that democracy is better than totalitarianism at the State level, why not at the workplace? What we have right now is a system in which the have-nots have to lend themselves for slave wages. The difference between this and slavery, is that you can “freely” chose your slave master. This is a grotesque system. I think we will evolve out of it eventually with more social awareness, and in the future, just like no one is defending slavery anymore, no one will defend capitalism. No reasonable person can defend private dictators like Trump and the Koch brothers.

  12. anythgofnthg says:

    Does anybody have the link to the full interview w/ Chomsky in front of the chalkboard?

  13. Osama Jawad says:

    (Too many ideas, but the problem there is no change!!)…Karl Marx

  14. Aquila Rossa says:

    I like Chomsky, but he is not describing Marx fairly when he says Marx believed people are only molded by their environment. With Marx, it is not simply a matter of idealism versus materialism, nature versus nurture, i.e., whether ideas shape us, or our material circumstances do. Marx said it is a synthesis of both rather than one or the other. It is called Dialectical Materialism.

    With the further theory of Historical Materialism he proposed that material and economic circumstances drive history, but by no means are the only factors. Necessity is the Mother of Invention. Our needs are a driver of our ideas and this has had a large bearing upon history.

    Modes Of Production in relation to Historical Materialism is another aspect of human actively where he draws from examples in history. Slavery, Feudalism, and Capitalism. We progressed from one to the next.

    When a Mode of Production and the social system that accompanies it no longer suits the conditions of the civilization, people were forced to develop new systems. It is not Historical Determinism to suggest that this may happen to Capitalism too, especially considering it blunders from crisis to crisis, can be so destructive and does not meet the needs of so many people.

    So what comes after capitalism? Is it 'the end of history'? They proposed Communism as not only a way to address the inequalities of wealth under capitalism, but also to end the concentration of wealth and power that is typical and practically inherent to Capitalism. If productive enterprise is owned collectively by a society, then the wealth and power that if affords is wielded by society, rather than being monopolized by private individuals who can then use that wealth and power to shape society in their own often narrow interests.

  15. KnowingWhatThe ButtonDoes says:

    The opening pages of The Communist Manifesto predict globalisation (albeit quixotically). Chomsky touches on this here, yet I've never seen him really articulate it overtly.
    Does he disregard the point, or have I missed it completely?

  16. Vasiliki Chaintini says:

    Τ ότι το βίντεο έχει ελληνικούς υπότιτλους όμως!

  17. Austin Green says:

    i think its interesting how he associates Marx's early ideas with his place in history then in the next sentence criticizes him for thinking that people are products of their place in history

  18. Very Liberal/Progressive Atheist says:

    Marx is right about Capitalism, the middle class will inevitably fade

  19. j walkin says:

    Marxism = Capitalism
    The masses ARE the products of their nation and the history of their nation.
    But only an INDIVIDUAL, an independent individual, the one who has no nation or group, can mold himself into whatever he wants.
    Carl Marx = a brainwashing system to brainwash the masses and line them up in order to get the maximum CAPITALISTIC profit
    There is nothing about Carl Marx that was "communistic" or "socialistic"; he was all and only CAPITALISTIC . Carl Marx helped Capitalism to win over its adversaries.
    Marxism = Capitalism
    Marxism is the enemy of INDIVIDUALISM.

  20. j walkin says:

    What is "Americanism"?

  21. 381MEDALLION says:

    Does senator Bernie Sanders believe in the philosophy of Marxism? Not that it really matters, Capitalism is the underlying foundation of American industry.They are not going to gamble on socialism

  22. myroseaccount says:

    I am sure that my IQ has been increased by exposure to Chomsky's arguments over the years.

  23. Robert Galletta says:

    there's the life you learn with and the life you live with after that.

  24. pooyah k says:

    Wtf is he talking about? He obviously acknowledges that humans have physiology, but not that physiology provides the kinetics of social change because there is absolutely no evidence that it does.

  25. El Matadores says:

    Don’t listen to Jordan Peterson.
    He’s a fucking crank

  26. MaoTseFunkadelic says:

    Love Chomsky, but his characterization of Marx's approach to agency is poor. Here is Marx summing up concisely at the opening of the 18th Brumaire. As one quickly sees, it is a far cry from 'human nature is just a historical product'

    Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living. And just as they seem to be occupied with revolutionizing themselves and things, creating something that did not exist before, precisely in such epochs of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service, borrowing from them names, battle slogans, and costumes in order to present this new scene in world history in time-honored disguise and borrowed language. Thus Luther put on the mask of the Apostle Paul, the Revolution of 1789-1814 draped itself alternately in the guise of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, and the Revolution of 1848 knew nothing better to do than to parody, now 1789, now the revolutionary tradition of 1793-95. In like manner, the beginner who has learned a new language always translates it back into his mother tongue, but he assimilates the spirit of the new language and expresses himself freely in it only when he moves in it without recalling the old and when he forgets his native tongue.

  27. mitkotoshkov says:

    Please make the sound louder, so it is better heard (also figuratively speaking) 😉

  28. Veritas Est Lux says:

    I'm not an aficionado of Marx or Engels. But, Marx did make a big impact worldwide; much bigger than the impact Chomsky will ever make.

  29. willbe back says:

    do you know what destroys middle class? Financial burden for trying to carry parasites, not the disparity amongst classes most of the monopolies such as happened with Boeing are State sponsored, why am I forced to pay for people who choose not to work? or people who choose non profitable careers? The destructive work of Marx was to weaponize people against each others, by selling the lie named oppression which is the flag used by those who want to replace the ones in power with themselves

  30. ross g manley888 says:

    “Some call it Marxism – I call it Judaism.”
    Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, in the American Bulletin of May 15, 1935
    “The revolution in Russia is a Jewish revolution”
    The Maccabean (New York), Nov. 1905, p, 250
    “Jewry is the mother of Marxism.”
    Le Droit de Vivre, May 12, 1936
    “Judaism is Marxism, communism”
    Harry Waton, A Program for the Jews and an Answer to All Anti-Semites (New York: Committee for the Preservation of the Jews, 1939), p. 64
    “The communist soul is the soul of Judaism.”
    Harry Waton, A Program for the Jews and an Answer to All Anti-Semites (New York: Committee for the Preservation of the Jews, 1939), p. 143
    “We Jews cannot be called upon to denounce Communism.”
    The American Hebrew (New York), February 3, 1939, p. 11
    “The picture which the Soviet Union presents today is one that should bring rejoicing to world Jewry.”
    The Youngstown Jewish Times, Sept. 18, 1936, page 51
    “It would be absurd to deny the intensity of the Jewish participation in the Russian revolutionary movement.”
    Leon Dennen, in The Menorah Journal (New York) July-September 1932, p. 106
    “That achievement – the Russian-Jewish revolution – destined to figure in history as the overshadowing result of World War, was largely the outcome of Jewish thinking, of Jewish discontent, of Jewish effort to reconstruct.”
    The American Hebrew, September 10, 1920

  31. Robert Cathcart says:

    LOL, Chomsky the Jew pied piper, fails to mention what Marx really was — the son of a Rabbi who created a revolutionary manuscript designed to appeal to desperate dimwits with the intention of giving political and economic control to the Jews. In a nutshell, Marx was a Jew con artist.

  32. justgivemethetruth says:

    I like Chomsky, and he has had access to much more education and information than Marx, but Marx is far greater than Chomsky will ever be. That is the real truth. All Chomsky has put out are these little books, documentaries or videos or scientific theories on language that are soon going to be completely obsolete because of all the new science done in neurology/neuroscience. Chomsky also fails as an activist, because he has nothing to believe in, no agenda, no Chomskyism … he is just a marvelously intelligent teacher and talker, which is fine, but the world so needed him to be more than that.

  33. Steven Lee says:

    Marxism introduced humanism into historical and economic processes. The Marxist scientific revolution in sociopolitical and economic thought was precisely the refutation of the power-based and fantasies of capitalist and democratic organization of society and economy. This is why Marxism will always remain a threat to the anti-humanism of Capitalism and its ideologues.

  34. Keranu says:

    God damn Chomsky's got some spunk in this clip.

  35. 'Eternal Optimism... says:

    (Economic Revolution)
    Surplus w/o GDP Sales increase:
    We use the selfless circle shape/structure in Love within our business structure model.
    The result/effect of our Public Charity IP structure is an offset for an Empowerment of Surplus to the Residential tax budget that benefits in a non-discriminatory manner to all. This business structure operates in a circle that spirals upward as an offset in surplus from micro to macro, but returns exponentially to any individual contributor.
    We divide the tax budget twofold as Educational and Residential because approximately 50% of every town's tax budget pays its Public Education expense. 
    Ps. The surplus offset will spiral upwards to Middle School, High School, and then Community College when applicable. If there is no Community College, it will go to the town's Public Library or follow the restrictive guideline. 
    (Global IP Gift)

  36. Sahil Jam says:

    Marx = Cancer

  37. yoe91 says:

    I want to see what Chomsky pissed off looks like.

  38. oil9vinergar says:

    glad we killed Hitler and with the help of Stalin an out of the closet Marxist because Hitler was a closet Marxist and it's good to kill Marxists of all kinds……. lacking elbow grease, Marx and Engels are the original social parasites: tuneyadstvo …… Lenin = grave digger of Russia… No wonder Lenin chose uncle Joe, our gallant ally, his successor, and just in time too…… Great Terror jives with the commie doctrine of the "new man." what better way than killing off the "old men" and replacing them with "new" ones…

  39. Shankar Vk says:

    Marxs analysis of India was completely wrong. But many of his followers still practise his ideology

  40. Charles C. McDonald says:

    Mikhail Bakunin’s critiques of Karl Marx are almost all proven true by time, and Lenin proved Bakunin was right about his critiques of Marxism by squashing Ukraine. I’ll just leave this comment here for you good people. #AnarchoSocialism

  41. Lenin Lives says:

    The genius Karl Mark was the greatest economist of all time!

  42. John Minshull says:

    For a time, Marx was financially dependant on Engels, whose Dad was a Northern Mill owner.

  43. Smizoke Mizark says:

    i liked his critiques of capitalism but not his solutions

  44. Matthew Cioffi says:

    Is this guy supposed to be a socialist, a capitalist, or an anarchist? I have never heard someone be so vague in my entire life.

  45. Matthew Cioffi says:

    Marxism did MORE harm to workers than capitalism ever did. Is this guy defending it?

  46. DJ Tan says:

    "…penetrating ANAlyst…" indeed

  47. Tom Sullivan says:

    Aaah Chomsky is a bit of a Marxman

  48. Roland Deschain says:

    This video proves the less you know about Marx the more intelligent you are.

  49. John Smith says:

    Marxists intend to be the molders huh? Does Chomsky even know that AnComs, Marxist Anarchists, exist? What a self important blowhard.

  50. Platypus Paws says:

    In the end part about molding, he seems to describe power hungry SJW Academics, & their desire to shut down viewpoint diversity, to a tee.
    See Heterodox Academy for more information, and others (just ask me, for anyone reading this).

  51. ATH Hero says:

    Greek language subtitles? How comes?

  52. Ken X says:

    Marks and libertarian in the same sentence 🤦‍♂️ wtf are you taking about man.

  53. Ponte Vedra says:

    Gracias con todo corazon Noam Chomsky!! merci, ana maria

  54. Mariguana says:

    I love Noam Chomskey but that nigga need to speak up!

  55. Sugar Shane says:

    Let me help all you tankies here. Fuck Marx. Bakunin, Kropotkin and Emma Goldman are the better theorists when it comes to communism.

  56. Big Boy says:

    Marx was a arrogant leach, he lived of ever body around him, borrowed money against his mother death and never repaid his debt's, he never visited a factory or accepted any input from the workers, he was a violent person who used intimidation against anybody who questioned his ideas, A dirty person with bad personnel hygiene who bathed once a year, covered in boils, he is no hero only a person who inspired the deaths of 66 million people.

  57. Evo Immorales says:

    Now Chomsky is correct re the 1844 manuscripts in that Marx holds to Human Species Being (HSB – the basis of human equality) as the fundamental nature of man – and so Marx bases the communist manifesto upon it.  When Marx got older he began to realize that HSB simply did not work; Engels saw this too especially as Engels saw that necessity and chance are equally fundamental – such that there is no inner HSB to bring all automatically to socialism.  This is why Chomsky praises the early Marx and disparages the later Marx – because in later life Marx – & Engels especially – came to abandon the position of the Communist Manifesto, and the Chomskyite belief in libertarian socialism.  Pity Marx & Engels didn't admit that the socialist goal of the management of things rather than the management of people was an unattainable fantasy.  Luckily however we have Nietzsche & Sorel to show where things went wrong.

  58. nommie namie says:

    perspective of lawful after installed intrests that perhaps can unify through leadership and the advent unforsook within common work place. The idea is still willing unalienable to the flourishment, sometimes unsuppressed ecomic speak.

  59. poor boy says:

    Chomsky honestly doesn't know what he's talking about

  60. Greg Ciach says:

    There must be a reason why every practical implementation of Marxist
    utopias inevitably leads to murdering millions of people. The existing
    empirical evidence proves that this ideology is even more dangerous than
    Nazism. Shame on those who still promote it.

  61. la cha says:

    Volume is too low to hear well.

  62. mopthermopther says:

    Vote for Bernie Sanders 2020
    If he is elected, each American will receive a free copy of…

  63. Elie The Prof says:

    Chomsky for president 2020

  64. TheCommono says:

  65. A E. says:

    Young Noam was a bit Ant-Marx; as he goes older and wiser, he began accepting hus works–as we can understand from his speech.

  66. Jenny Hirschowitz says:

    Get to the bloody point that Marx made….. human labour in the input viz the jar on the shelf of your local rubbish sellers.

  67. Dilfredo Ruiz says:

    La hipocresía de Chomsky es la prueba más reveladora de hasta qué punto está hundido el activismo político izquierdista por el que tanto ha luchado.

  68. JRGJRG says:

    Liberal gatekeeper that along with friends Amy Goodman and Howard Zinn give respectable cover to the right by appearing to give intellectual voice to liberal views, without questioning preposterous official conspiracy theories like 911 False Flag Hoax or the JFK assassination, dismissing them incredulously as "unimportant." Stubbornly refuses to consider the evidence.
    At the same time, he eschews narrowing the limits of debate, but he does it himself. It's a modified limited hangout. We think he's giving us the whole truth – far from it. He has a little wider Overton window than most, but not much. Very disappointing. This completely undermines his credibility in my view. It is sophisticated bullshit.
    I agree with him on the looming danger of nuclear war and climate change. Better than nothing I suppose.

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