Requiem for the American Dream (book)

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Requiem for the American Dream
Requiem for the American Dream (book).jpg
AuthorNoam Chomsky
PublisherSeven Stories Press
Publication date
April, 2017
Media typepaperback

Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power is a book by political activist and linguist Noam Chomsky. It was created and edited by Peter Hutchinson, Kelly Nyks, and Jared P. Scott. It lays out Chomsky's analysis of neoliberalism. It focuses on the concentration of wealth and power in United States over the past forty years, analyzing the phenomenon known as income inequality.[1] The book was published by Seven Stories Press in 2017.


The book charts Chomsky's analysis of the concentration of wealth from the 1970s to now. Chomsky analyzes the way in which power relations shifted from the late 1940s to today, in the name of "plutocratic interests".[2] This shift in power relations ends up being an assault "on lower- and middle-class people, which has escalated in recent decades during the ascendancy of what is known as 'neoliberalism' – with fiscal austerity for the poor and tax cuts and other subsidies for the wealthy minority."[3] Chomsky is most interested in how the rise of financialization, which "is a process whereby financial markets, financial institutions, and financial elites gain greater influence over economic policy and economic outcomes,"[4] and how it affects and shapes public life in America, leading to a concentration of wealth and power to elite persons and institutions. This has been shown to lead to phenomena like the richest people in the world having as much wealth as the bottom half of the world.[5]

The Ten Principles[edit]

The book is organized around what Chomsky argues are the 10 principles which lead to the concentration of wealth and power:

  1. Reduce Democracy
  2. Shape Ideology
  3. Redesign the Economy
  4. Shift the Burden
  5. Attack Solidarity
  6. Run the Regulators
  7. Engineer Elections
  8. Keep the Rabble in Line
  9. Manufacture Consent
  10. Marginalize the Population


Reception to the book has been generally positive, with Publisher's Weekly saying "Chomsky and his collaborators have created a perceptive and revelatory examination of the forces driving America inequality."[6]


A documentary film of the same name, Requiem for the American Dream,[7] featuring Noam Chomsky and directed by Peter D. Hutchison, Kelly Nyks, and Jared P. Scott was released in 2015.[8]