This book explores the theoretical framework that enables Chomsky to be consistently radical in his analysis of contemporary political affairs. It argues that, far from being a "conspiracy theorist", Chomsky's approach is embedded within a systematic philosophical understanding of human nature, combined with critical perspectives on the state, nationalism and the media. When compared to Marxist, liberal and cultural relativist thought, Chomsky's libertarian socialist thought provides coherent grounds for a militant optimism. The Social and Political Thought of Noam Chomsky questions Chomsky's claim not to have a theory about the relationship between human beings and their society other than that which can be "written on the back of a postage stamp". Edgley compares Chomsky's vision of the good society with liberal and communitarian perspectives, and establishes that it is grounded in a hopeful belief about human nature. She argues that sympathy with this vision of the good society is essential for understanding the nature of Chomsky's critique of state capitalism, its inherent nationalism and the media.
The author concludes that Chomsky's analysis is coherent and systematic when one acknowledges that he is not just a critic but a theorist. One of few serious academic studies of Chomsky's political writing, this volume addresses many key issues in political theory through an engagement with Chomsky's ideas. Subjects covered include equality and freedom, politics and the media, nationalism and state capitalism. The Social and Political Thought of Noam Chomsky is an essential resource for scholars of social and political thought.