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What's wrong with Chomsky?

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Steven.
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Nov 14 2009 14:11
D wrote:
I think if you jst read his Foreign Policy stuff it is easy to come to the conclusion that he is a liberal which could be critism itself but I think its just his way of trying to expose how politics is a load of shit (not focusing on crimes of official enemies etc) I also think he tries to appeal to a wide audience and maybe feels clearly identifying himself as a libetarian communist all the tme would put some off?

I think the important thing here is his critique of the media. So rather than putting off the general public, it would put off publishers. So even if he did say that all the time, it wouldn't get widely published, so you wouldn't know anyway.

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Nov 14 2009 14:15
Steven. wrote:
D wrote:
I think if you jst read his Foreign Policy stuff it is easy to come to the conclusion that he is a liberal which could be critism itself but I think its just his way of trying to expose how politics is a load of shit (not focusing on crimes of official enemies etc) I also think he tries to appeal to a wide audience and maybe feels clearly identifying himself as a libetarian communist all the tme would put some off?

I think the important thing here is his critique of the media. So rather than putting off the general public, it would put off publishers. So even if he did say that all the time, it wouldn't get widely published, so you wouldn't know anyway.

yh maybe but I do think Chomsky's ability to sell is such he could get things with explicit class focus published anyway, publishers after all care about their bottomline

I mean he brought out "class warfare"

It would be a good question to ask him tbh

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Nov 14 2009 14:18

1 thing Im sure many on here would probably be critical of is his stance on Palestine/Israel

He is definetly in favour of a Palestinian state, although he does also say that this would realistically just create a palestinian bourgeosios and a site of cheap labour for Israel capital to use so its not like he sees it as some kind of ideal situation. I think he just sees it as a slight improvement

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Nov 14 2009 14:32

You're right, I think it would be interesting to ask him some of this stuff directly.

In terms of him supporting voting for Kerry or Obama, can anyone provide links to that? I remember people at the time saying that he supported voting for Kerry, but actually those claims didn't stand up.

The people criticising him here are being very vague in terms of providing any actual sort of evidence for what they're saying...

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Nov 14 2009 14:37
Steven. wrote:
You're right, I think it would be interesting to ask him some of this stuff directly.

In terms of him supporting voting for Kerry or Obama, can anyone provide links to that? I remember people at the time saying that he supported voting for Kerry, but actually those claims didn't stand up.

The people criticising him here are being very vague in terms of providing any actual sort of evidence for what they're saying...

I know he has said at various times that he voted for democratic candidates as a lesser of two evils idea, which I personally don't have a problem with

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Nov 14 2009 16:28
Chomsky, Understanding Power, p.222 wrote:
But the point is, for classical liberals in the eighteenth century, there was a certain conception of what human beings are like—namely, that what kind of creatures they are depends on the kind of work they do, and the kind of control they have over it, and their ability to act creatively and according to their own decisions and choices. And there was in fact a lot of very insightful comment about this at the time.

So for example, one of the founders of classical liberalism, Wilhelm von Humboldt (who incidentally is very admired by so-called “conservatives’ today, because they don’t read him), pointed out that if a worker produces a beautiful object on command, you may “admire what the worker does, but you will despise what he is”—because that’s not really behaving like a human being, it’s just behaving like a machine. And that conception runs right through classical liberalism. In act, even half a century later, Alexis de Tocqueville pointed out that you can have systems in which “the art advances and the artisan recedes,” but that’s inhuman—because what you’re really interested in is the artisan, you’re interested in people, and for people to have the opportunity to live full and rewarding lives they have to be in control of what they do, even if that happens to be economically less efficient.

Well, okay—obviously there’s just been a dramatic change in intellectual and cultural attitudes over the past couple centuries. But I think those classical liberal conceptions now have to be recovered, and the ideas at the heart of them should take root on a mass scale.

Now, the sources of power and authority that people could see in front of their eyes in the eighteenth century were quite different from the ones that we have today—back then it was the feudal system, and the Church, and the absolutist state that they were focused on; they couldn’t see the industrial corporation, because it didn’t exist yet. But if you take the basic classical liberal principles and apply them to the modern period, I think you actually come pretty close to the principles that animated revolutionary Barcelona in the late 1930s—to what’s called “anarcho-syndicalism”. I think that’s about as high a level as humans have yet achieved in trying to realize these libertarian principles, which in my view are the right ones. I mean, I’m not saying that everything that was done in the revolution was right, but in its general spirit and character, in the idea of developing the kind of society that Orwell saw and described in I think his greatest work, Homage to Catalonia—with popular control over all the institutions of society—okay, that’s the right direction in which to move, I think.

Does this help settle the issue around Chomsky being a liberal, an anarcho-syndicalist, having a class analysis?

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Nov 14 2009 16:08
D wrote:
I think abortion is less likely to be baned with Obama than Mcaine and that is worth voting for

This is a fundamentally flawed and incorrect analysis, and I have to say it is flat out shocking to read on a Libertarian Communist forum. Surely you understand the concept of a wedge issue. Both groups of U.S. politicians in the abortion debate are perfectly content for the issue to remain as is. It is carted out every four years (or sometimes in off-year congressional elections when necessary) to whip up the base. Republicans scare their base into believing abortions will be available at convenience stores for $1.99 a pop while Democrats stir up fear that Roe v. Wade will be overturned in the middle of a Republican inauguration address.

Meanwhile, in the real world, nothing fundamental changes. Yes there are battles to be fought around the perimeter of the issue, but most of the time these fights are done on state by state basis and have fuck all to do with national politics. We fight those battles through education, solidarity, and direct action; not by supporting this politician over that one because he or she has a higher rating from Planned Parenthood.

And none of this takes into account the most successful attacks on choice comes from the ranks of Democrats.

but, but, but, but . . .

There are no buts.

The Republican party held absolute power in the United States from 2002-2006 (that is they controlled the Presidency, House of Representatives, the Senate, and a majority on the Supreme Court), and for all practical purposes, given the Democrats' cowardice and unwillingness to put up a fight for fear of being labeled 'obstructionist' or 'un-american,' nearly all of the Bush years. Nothing fundamental changed in these years concerning a woman's right to choose.

Again of course there are access issues and there are important fights to be had around the margins, but these are primarily local issues. Republicans know if they did what the extreme Christian right wanted and outlawed abortion outright they would never again win a national election.

A vast majority of Americans, when pushed into a corner on the issue, do not want abortion to be illegal. Even most 'pro-life' extremists don't believe a woman should be imprisoned for having an abortion. Politically, abortion isn't a real issue in the US. It is a fabricated electoral device designed to divide the working class and make us feel--on both sides of the issue--we have a common interest with the ruling class.

Sorry for derailing, but this kind of logic for supporting bourgeois politicians has to be answered strongly as it is, obviously, a very commonplace position for leftists in the US.

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Nov 14 2009 16:11
D wrote:
You haven't read that much of Chomsky of you think he isn't an anti - capitalist and is equivalent to Ralph Nader, he explicity identifies himself as an anarchosyndacalist plenty of times

As did Ken Livingstone.

Devrim

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Nov 14 2009 16:15
jesuithitsquad wrote:
D wrote:
I think abortion is less likely to be baned with Obama than Mcaine and that is worth voting for

This is a fundamentally flawed and incorrect analysis, and I have to say it is flat out shocking to read on a Libertarian Communist forum. Surely you understand the concept of a wedge issue. Both groups of U.S. politicians in the abortion debate are perfectly content for the issue to remain as is. It is carted out every four years (or sometimes in off-year congressional elections when necessary) to whip up the base. Republicans scare their base into believing abortions will be available at convenience stores for $1.99 a pop while Democrats stir up fear that Roe v. Wade will be overturned in the middle of a Republican inauguration address.

Meanwhile, in the real world, nothing fundamental changes. Yes there are battles to be fought around the perimeter of the issue, but most of the time these fights are done on state by state basis and have fuck all to do with national politics. We fight those battles through education, solidarity, and direct action; not by supporting this politician over that one because he or she has a higher rating from Planned Parenthood.

And none of this takes into account the most successful attacks on choice comes from the ranks of Democrats.

but, but, but, but . . .

There are no buts.

The Republican party held absolute power in the United States from 2002-2006 (that is they controlled the Presidency, House of Representatives, the Senate, and a majority on the Supreme Court), and for all practical purposes, given the Democrats' cowardice and unwillingness to put up a fight for fear of being labeled 'obstructionist' or 'un-american,' nearly all of the Bush years. Nothing fundamental changed in these years concerning a woman's right to choose.

Again of course there are access issues and there are important fights to be had around the margins, but these are primarily local issues. Republicans know if they did what the extreme Christian right wanted and outlawed abortion outright they would never again win a national election.

A vast majority of Americans, when pushed into a corner on the issue, do not want abortion to be illegal. Even most 'pro-life' extremists don't believe a woman should be imprisoned for having an abortion. Politically, abortion isn't a real issue in the US. It is a fabricated electoral device designed to divide the working class and make us feel--on both sides of the issue--we have a common interest with the ruling class.

Sorry for derailing, but this kind of logic for supporting bourgeois politicians has to be answered strongly as it is, obviously, a very commonplace position for leftists in the US.

Its not "supporting" bourgeois politicians thats utter nonsense. I also think its was a good thing the Nazis lost ww2 does that mean I support British Capitalism/imperialism?

Fact is if you mobilise a lot of your suppost around being anti choice which the republicans have done it is more likely that u will have to do something to satisfy or appease these elements of ur support. As far as I know the supreme court currently only needs 1 more anti choice person to overturn Roe vs Wade. I never said if the republicans won it woulkd have been banned just that it increases the probablity

Next ur genna tell me if the BNP got in in the UK nothing would change, different wings of capital do have different opinions on some isssues and these effect peoples lives

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Nov 14 2009 16:18
stephen. wrote:
In terms of him supporting voting for Kerry or Obama, can anyone provide links to that? I remember people at the time saying that he supported voting for Kerry, but actually those claims didn't stand up.

I don't think it's on-line but I remember him saying this in an interview in Anarcho Syndicalist Review, about 1999, along the lines of "Widening the floor of the cage".

He does consistently advocate voting for the lesser evil in elections, but he does also defend this, so it's not like it's a one off.

Regards,

Martin

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Nov 14 2009 16:17
Devrim wrote:
D wrote:
You haven't read that much of Chomsky of you think he isn't an anti - capitalist and is equivalent to Ralph Nader, he explicity identifies himself as an anarchosyndacalist plenty of times

As did Ken Livingstone.

Devrim

so?

Chomsky isn't a politician. I fail to see how that has any relevance to anything

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Nov 14 2009 16:21
D wrote:
Its not "supporting" bourgeois politicians thats utter nonsense. I also think its was a good thing the Nazis lost ww2 does that mean I support British Capitalism/imperialism?

Fact is if you mobilise a lot of your suppost around being anti choice which the republicans have done it is more likely that u will have to do something to satisfy or appease these elements of ur support. As far as I know the supreme court currently only needs 1 more anti choice person to overturn Roe vs Wade. I never said if the republicans won it woulkd have been banned just that it increases the probablity

Next ur genna tell me if the BNP got in in the UK nothing would change, different wings of capital do have different opinions on some isssues and these effect peoples lives

It's "critical support" then? Holding your assertion to be true, why on a national scope, did nothing on the abortion issue change in the Bush years?

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Nov 14 2009 16:26
jesuithitsquad wrote:
D wrote:
Its not "supporting" bourgeois politicians thats utter nonsense. I also think its was a good thing the Nazis lost ww2 does that mean I support British Capitalism/imperialism?

Fact is if you mobilise a lot of your suppost around being anti choice which the republicans have done it is more likely that u will have to do something to satisfy or appease these elements of ur support. As far as I know the supreme court currently only needs 1 more anti choice person to overturn Roe vs Wade. I never said if the republicans won it woulkd have been banned just that it increases the probablity

Next ur genna tell me if the BNP got in in the UK nothing would change, different wings of capital do have different opinions on some isssues and these effect peoples lives

It's "critical support" then? Holding your assertion to be true, why on a national scope, did nothing on the abortion issue change in the Bush years?

You're suggesting that I made out a repubican election would lead to abortion being banned which I never suggested. The reasons I would give for it not changing are basically the same as the ones youve said, all I would add is that mass support for a party for an issue can lead to it being addrssed even if its on a smaller scale like limiting access to 'late' abortions

Do you think it was a good thin the Nazis lost WW2?

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Nov 14 2009 16:26
D wrote:
As did Ken Livingstone.

so?

Chomsky isn't a politician. I fail to see how that has any relevance to anything

People can claim to be anarcho-syndicalists without actually being one. I tend to agree with others here and think that he is a liberal.

Devrim

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Nov 14 2009 16:28
Devrim wrote:
D wrote:
As did Ken Livingstone.

so?

Chomsky isn't a politician. I fail to see how that has any relevance to anything

People can claim to be anarcho-syndicalists without actually being one. I tend to agree with others here and think that he is a liberal.

Devrim

based on what?

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Nov 14 2009 16:39

Based on the few books of his I have read, and that in them he comes across like a typical US liberal with very little class analysis, who gives support to various statist solutions. When added to his electorialism, and his talk of the US being '"the greatest country in the world" that is enough for me.

Devrim

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Nov 14 2009 16:39
no1 wrote:
Does this help settle the issue around Chomsky being a liberal, an anarcho-syndicalist, having a class analysis?

not really. the problem in Spain was precisely that things went no further than "popular control over all the institutions of society" - so you had CNT-FAI ministers rather than smashing the state. he does seem to have a very liberal view of revolution ('popular control' rather than a fundamental reorganisation of society).

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Nov 14 2009 16:44
Devrim wrote:
Based on the few books of his I have read, and that in them he comes across like a typical US liberal with very little class analysis, who gives support to various statist solutions. When added to his electorialism, and his talk of the US being '"the greatest country in the world" that is enough for me.

Devrim

supporting reform doesn't make him not an anarchist though, even if one concludes his support for these things is misplaced, and his electorialism is hardly a pro liberal democracy viewpoint he constantly says that no real meaningful election goes on with US elections

his class analysis can be found just its not clear in many of his books

I agree that his statement on the US being the greatest country in the world is shit

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Nov 14 2009 16:47
Joseph Kay wrote:
no1 wrote:
Does this help settle the issue around Chomsky being a liberal, an anarcho-syndicalist, having a class analysis?

not really. the problem in Spain was precisely that things went no further than "popular control over all the institutions of society" - so you had CNT-FAI ministers rather than smashing the state. he does seem to have a very liberal view of revolution ('popular control' rather than a fundamental reorganisation of society).

surely thats kind of just an issue with words, I mean popular control can be read to mean reorganisation of society

we should ask him to do an interview here

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Nov 14 2009 16:54
Steven. wrote:
You're right, I think it would be interesting to ask him some of this stuff directly.

In terms of him supporting voting for Kerry or Obama, can anyone provide links to that? I remember people at the time saying that he supported voting for Kerry, but actually those claims didn't stand up.

The people criticising him here are being very vague in terms of providing any actual sort of evidence for what they're saying...

Steven, I gave a link to an interview where he talks about "voting for Obama without illusions" in swing states on the first page (post number three).

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Nov 14 2009 17:03
D wrote:
surely thats kind of just an issue with words, I mean popular control can be read to mean reorganisation of society

maybe, maybe not. he's usually pretty erudite and clear, but not on this. i don't know. but a lot of wadical liberals have the view that revolution = more democracy, Orwells descriptions of Barcelona to which he alludes are all about how the bourgeoisie have disappeared and the workers managing society, and we fucked up in 'Strategy & Struggle'' by quoting a Rudolph Rocker quote sourced from Chomsky which made out Rocker was only interested in 'self-management' rather than the transformation of social relations. i don't know, it would be interesting to ask him.

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Nov 14 2009 17:19
Joseph Kay wrote:
no1 wrote:
Does this help settle the issue around Chomsky being a liberal, an anarcho-syndicalist, having a class analysis?

not really. the problem in Spain was precisely that things went no further than "popular control over all the institutions of society" - so you had CNT-FAI ministers rather than smashing the state. he does seem to have a very liberal view of revolution ('popular control' rather than a fundamental reorganisation of society).

No, by 'popular control' he doesn't mean CNT-FAI ministers, I think he means reorganisation of society. I think he's just careful not to draw up some blueprint for revolutionary change, and instead describes a methodology for revolutionary change. On p.223 in Understanding Power he goes on to describe how the Spanish Revolution came out of "maybe fifty years of organising and experimentation [...] when the revolutionary moment came and the existing system sort of collapsed, people had in their heads a picture of what to do, and had even tried it, and they then tried to implement it on a mass scale. And it was implemented in many different ways - there wasn't any single pattern that was followed, the various collectives were experimenting on their own under different conditions , and finding out for themselves what worked. And that's a good example of how I think constructive change has to happen."

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Nov 14 2009 17:19
no1 wrote:
No, by 'popular control' he doesn't mean CNT-FAI ministers, I think he means reorganisation of society. I think he's just careful not to draw up some blueprint for revolutionary change. On p.223 in Understanding Power he goes on to describe how the Spanish Revolution came out of "maybe fifty years of organising and experimentation [...] when the revolutionary moment came and the existing system sort of collapsed, people had in their heads a picture of what to do, and had even tried it, and they then tried to implement it on a mass scale. And it was implemented in many different ways - there wasn't any single pattern that was followed, the various collectives were experimenting on their own under different conditions , and finding out for themselves what worked. And that's a good example of how I think constructive change has to happen."

fair enough. still could be interpreted in a libertarian communist way (transform society to 'from each according to ability, to each according to needs') or a social democratic/liberal Zmag style way (for 'self-managed enterprises' where the problem with capitalism is that's it's undemocratic rather than the lack of democracy being a symptom of alienated social relations). like i say i don't know, but compared to his usual lucidity i'm at a loss what Chomsky thinks on this (having read a fair bit, including 'Understanding Power'), and don't want to slip into judging him by the company he keeps (Michael Albert etc).

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Nov 14 2009 17:27

You claimed:

Quote:
I think abortion is less likely to be baned with Obama than Mcaine and that is worth voting for

The counterfactual to this is abortion is more likely to be banned under McCain than Obama.

Quote:
You're suggesting that I made out a repubican election would lead to abortion being banned which I never suggested.

so yes, basically you did say this. your statement has at its core an understanding that an abortion ban would, at the very least, be on the table--an assertion that is not even in the same neighborhood as reality as, to my knowledge, no major presidential politician has ever even suggested this as a possibility.

Quote:
Fact is if you mobilise a lot of your suppost around being anti choice which the republicans have done it is more likely that u will have to do something to satisfy or appease these elements of ur support.

And yet again, on a national level, they haven't done anything. They continue to go to the same well each time and it still hasn't dried up for them so there's no reason to expect politicians to act any differently than they have.

Quote:
As far as I know the supreme court currently only needs 1 more anti choice person to overturn Roe vs Wade.

Again, this buys into fear mongering as the ‘deciding vote justice’ nominee would never even get out of confirmation hearings on the judicial committee, let alone the entire Senate, were he or she specifically anti-abortion rights. (Remember all the talk a few years back about the so-called nuclear option—filibustering over confirmation?) Even so really, it depends on the nature of the case. There are many specific anti-abortion measures, ones that could find a willing majority on the court as it is currently constituted, but yet again, here we are with nothing changed. Beyond that, there are many detours around Roe v. Wade such as a constitutional amendment that are never mentioned in serious conversation. Why is that? If the Republicans are so hell bent on destroying abortion rights in the country, why wouldn't they propose a constitutional amendment?

Quote:
The reasons I would give for it not changing are basically the same as the ones youve said, all I would add is that mass support for a party for an issue can lead to it being addrssed even if its on a smaller scale like limiting access to 'late' abortions

So if you agree with my reasons as to why things haven't changed, why in the hell would you advocate for voting for a Democrat over a Republican? Limiting access to 'late' abortions is as much a calling card of Democrats as it is Republicans.

I’m not going to address the WW2/Nazi comments as this has been derailed far enough already. Plus if petey were here, at this point he’d call Godwin’s Law or whatever.

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Nov 14 2009 17:40
jesuithitsquad wrote:
You claimed:
Quote:
I think abortion is less likely to be baned with Obama than Mcaine and that is worth voting for

The counterfactual to this is abortion is more likely to be banned under McCain than Obama.

Quote:
You're suggesting that I made out a repubican election would lead to abortion being banned which I never suggested.

so yes, basically you did say this. your statement has at its core an understanding that an abortion ban would, at the very least, be on the table--an assertion that is not even in the same neighborhood as reality as, to my knowledge, no major presidential politician has ever even suggested this as a possibility.

Quote:
Fact is if you mobilise a lot of your suppost around being anti choice which the republicans have done it is more likely that u will have to do something to satisfy or appease these elements of ur support.

And yet again, on a national level, they haven't done anything. They continue to go to the same well each time and it still hasn't dried up for them so there's no reason to expect politicians to act any differently than they have.

Quote:
As far as I know the supreme court currently only needs 1 more anti choice person to overturn Roe vs Wade.

Again, this buys into fear mongering as the ‘deciding vote justice’ nominee would never even get out of confirmation hearings on the judicial committee, let alone the entire Senate, were he or she specifically anti-abortion rights. (Remember all the talk a few years back about the so-called nuclear option—filibustering over confirmation?) Even so really, it depends on the nature of the case. There are many specific anti-abortion measures, ones that could find a willing majority on the court as it is currently constituted, but yet again, here we are with nothing changed. Beyond that, there are many detours around Roe v. Wade such as a constitutional amendment that are never mentioned in serious conversation. Why is that? If the Republicans are so hell bent on destroying abortion rights in the country, why wouldn't they propose a constitutional amendment?

Quote:
The reasons I would give for it not changing are basically the same as the ones youve said, all I would add is that mass support for a party for an issue can lead to it being addrssed even if its on a smaller scale like limiting access to 'late' abortions

So if you agree with my reasons as to why things haven't changed, why in the hell would you advocate for voting for a Democrat over a Republican? Limiting access to 'late' abortions is as much a calling card of Democrats as it is Republicans.

I’m not going to address the WW2/Nazi comments as this has been derailed far enough already. Plus if petey were here, at this point he’d call Godwin’s Law or whatever.

saying its more likelt isn't the same to saying it will happen. The fact they haven't done anything on a national level is cos currently there isn't enough support for it to go through

with regards to the supreme court correct if im wrong but dont they have the right overturn Roe vs Wade? Wouldn't that be possible if they got another anti choice member?

the nazi question is just to show that thinking one piece of shit stinks slightly less than the other doesn't equate to supporting it

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Nov 14 2009 17:51

It looks here like Chomsky is getting a very easy ride from some of the same people who quickly condemn other self-proclaimed 'anarchists' for having similar positions - eg, giving varying levels of support to bourgeois governments and other liberal positions on how states (or states-in-waiting) should relate to each other.

Those who think themselves 'anarchists' but who support Chavezism and other statisms should be criticised - but equally so should Chomsky. It looks here like just because he's anarchism's best-selling celebrity poster boy he's - wrongly - being given the benefit of the doubt that is denied - rightly - to others. But his celebrity status - based on his appeal to liberals - is due to his liberal/leftist positions, not his (often absent) anarchism. He seems more like a 'philosophical' anarchist while his 'realpolitic' is generally liberal. Which is not to deny that there is some useful stuff in his writings.

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Nov 14 2009 18:25

Okay this is supposed to be about Chomsky, but I will make one last stab at this.

Quote:
saying its more likelt isn't the same to saying it will happen. The fact they haven't done anything on a national level is cos currently there isn't enough support for it to go through

But it's not even on the table. Nobody serious about getting elected President of the United States would ever suggest abortion be banned.

Quote:
with regards to the supreme court correct if im wrong but dont they have the right overturn Roe vs Wade? Wouldn't that be possible if they got another anti choice member?

Yes they do, but like I mentioned above, a Supreme Court justice is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Nobody who is explicitly anti-choice would ever get confirmed by the Senate. They wouldn't even make it out of the Judicial Committee hearings. EDIT: Actually, they wouldn't even be nominated as it is a major embarrassment for a president's nominee to be rejected.

Quote:
the nazi question is just to show that thinking one piece of shit stinks slightly less than the other doesn't equate to supporting it

But you're not just thinking something; you've advocated action and there is a major difference.

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Nov 14 2009 18:28

jesuithitsquad and D, sorry if you want to have a discussion about this could you please start a new thread.

Ret Marut, that's probably a fair enough statement to be honest. I see people have posted some links and quotes, so yes there is stuff to disagree with him. I will write to him and see if he's interested in doing an interview, I think it would be interesting to challenge him on some of that stuff.

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Nov 15 2009 05:46
Steven. wrote:
waslax wrote:
His critique of American and western imperialism is great, and meticulously documented. And his critique of the media is very good also. But his "positive" views are hardly anarchist or communist. Besides supporting ("critically" or otherwise) Chavez or the Sandinistas in the '80s, he generally supports a statist, essentially social democratic ("classic", not "neo" or contemporary), orientation. This is one reason (among many) why he often gets labeled as a "liberal" by American anarchists and communists.

any links to him supporting the Sandinistas?

I don't have a link to it as I don't know if it's online, but, as I recall, and it's over 20 years ago now, it was in his book Turning the Tide: U.S. Intervention in Central America and the Struggle for Peace (Boston: South End Press, 1985). I don't have that book anymore, so I can't give a page reference at the moment either.

I looked on Wikipedia, but couldn't find anything about the Sandinistas, but did find at <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_Noam_Chomsky#Opposition _to_the_Vietnam_War> [link function not working, sorry] this on Vietnam, which is pretty similar I recall to what he was saying about Nicaragua circa 1985:

Chomsky was also impressed with socialism as practiced in Vietnam. In a speech given in Hanoi on April 13, 1970, and broadcast by Radio Hanoi the next day, Chomsky spoke of his "admiration for the people of Vietnam who have been able to defend themselves against the ferocious attack, and at the same time take great strides forward toward the socialist society." Chomsky praised the North Vietnamese for their efforts in building material prosperity, social justice, and cultural progress.

I would regard this as support for the Viet Cong or Vietnamese NLF regime of that time.

I agree with Ret Marut and Jack that we should be able to acknowledge, praise and use what is valuable in his work -- which I did in the quote at the start of this post -- and reject and critique what is wrong, whether we judge it to be not anarchist or communist or otherwise. To do otherwise, and more than one person on this thread has appeared to hold him up as unassailable, is to blunt one's critical arsenal, unless of course one thinks Chomsky's right about absolutely everything he's ever expressed an opinion on.

petey
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Joined: 13-10-05
Nov 15 2009 08:43
jesuithitsquad wrote:
Nobody serious about getting elected President of the United States would ever suggest abortion be banned.

we'll see about that next time.

i haven't read much of chomsky's stuff, but his concerns are leftist/statist concerns. if i had to label him i'd say he's a left-liberal.

Quote:
Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn have stated many times that they favor ousting Bush this election, even if John Kerry is “Bush-lite.” And that stand has been repeatedly used by progressives opposed to Ralph Nader’s campaign.

However, Chomsky and Zinn, both residents of John Kerry’s home state of Massachusetts, say they plan to vote for Ralph Nader.
...
But in response to an email query from this reporter, Chomsky wrote,
“Voting for Nader in a safe state is fine. That's what I'll do. I don't see how anyone could read what I wrote and think otherwise, just from the elementary logic of it. Voting for Nader in a safe state is not a vote for Bush. The point I made had to do with (effectively) voting for Bush.”

Chomsky also made clear how he views the election in the context of other efforts for change: "Activist movements, if at all serious, pay virtually no attention to which faction of the business party is in office, but continue with their daily work, from which elections are a diversion -- which we cannot ignore, any more than we can ignore the sun rising; they exist."

http://www.counterpunch.org/bates06252004.html

but his media work is good, and it's important this be kept in public discussion, to whatever degree. others have mentioned taking what is useful and leaving the rest.