Noam Chomsky: reading guide

Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky is such a prolific writer that it is hard to know where to start when reading his writings. What’s more, useful criticisms of these writings can be difficult to find among all the largely useless right-wing comments on the internet. So here is a list of Chomsky’s major - largely political - writings followed by a list of the more useful critiques of his thought. Please suggest any others that we've missed.

Goldsmith, Marie: her life and thought

Marie Goldsmith

Article about Marie Goldsmith/Isidine/Korn that teases out her influence on Peter Kropotkin's ideas, as well as looking at her scientific career and her anarchism.

Ethnology, historical materialism and the dialectical method – Paul Kirchhoff

The world-renowned ethnologist—and former member of the KAPD—explains the basic principles of ethnology, i.e., “the study of classless primitive society”, in this series of lectures delivered at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 1938-1939.

Race, education, intelligence: a teacher's guide to the issues

race and iq

A late 1970s pamphlet from the National Union of Teachers on the bankruptcy of IQ studies and the biologizing of 'race'.

Contemporary agriculture: climate, capital, and cyborg ecology

Picnic in the food forest by Molly Danielsson (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Climate change will put pressure on world food production. We must disentangle the potential benefits of agricultural science and technology from agribusiness' centralised control of the food chain.

Elisée Reclus and the city without limits – José Ardillo

A 2014 critical review of two essays on Elisée Reclus published in 2013, focusing on his somewhat ambivalent views on the city (e.g., he thought that the vast stockyards and slaughterhouse complexes of the Chicago meat industry of 1900 comprised a “model for the mechanization of meat production that should be extended to other cities and countries”), the problematic of how these views fit into his overall theoretical perspective (he was a world-famous libertarian geographer), and the extent to which they are still relevant for our time.

A radical critique of science: writing the next chapter

Science for the People

A meeting in London this week looked back at radical science activism of the 1970s-80s and considered what needs to be done today

Unconscious objectivity - aspects of a critique of the mathematical natural sciences (excerpts) - Claus Peter Ortlieb

A mathematician takes a sceptical look at the mathematical basis of modern natural science both from an immanent perspective—with regard to its epistemological contradictions (e.g., the divergence of the experimental method from the requirements of a strict empiricism)—as well as from a historical perspective that situates its rise and development in the context of the emergence of capitalist society in Western Europe, and proposes that it, too, like Ptolemaic astronomy, is a transient phenomenon that might be succeeded by another “Copernican revolution in thought”, one in accordance with a different kind of socio-economic system.

Science and Dogma: The Marxist Perspective

An introduction to the Marxian approach to science and ideology.