Left me wanting. Quite short, and a couple of the essays were hard for me to follow. Still, I highlighted a lot. A sampling:

“at every stage of history our concern must be to dismantle those forms of authority and oppression that survive from an era when they might have been justified in terms of the need for security or survival or economic development, but that now contribute to—rather than alleviate—material and cultural deficit.”

“It would be hard to find a working model of an ideal. Yes, but in the eighteenth century it would have been hard to find a working model of a political democracy—that didn’t prove it couldn’t exist. By the nineteenth century, it did exist. Unless you think that human history is over, it’s not an argument to say “it’s not around.” You go back two hundred years, it was hard to imagine slavery being abolished.”

“it’s not a part of socialism to solve the human problems; socialism is an effort to get you to the point where you can face the human problems.”

“I have a rather conservative attitude towards social change: since we’re dealing with complex systems which nobody understands very much, the sensible move I think is to make changes and then see what happens—and if they work, make further changes. That’s true across the board, actually.”

“The core of the anarchist tradition, as I understand it, is that power is always illegitimate, unless it proves itself to be legitimate.”

Cover image for Chomsky On Anarchism