Chomsky's Statism: An Anarchism for the Next Millennium?

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Joined: 17-05-04
Jun 24 2004 15:05
Chomsky's Statism: An Anarchism for the Next Millennium?

A short essay by Joe Peacott, a member of the Boston Anarchist Drinking Brigade, which in my opinion puts Chomsky where he belongs.


Chomsky's Statism: An Anarchism for the Next Millennium?

Noam Chomsky is seen by many as one of the more prominent anarchists in the united states. But, many times in the last several years he has come out publicly in favor of strengthening the federal government. Moreover, he argues that there is no contradiction between this stance and his advocacy of a stateless future. Such a position is in direct conflict with the traditional anarchist insight that means inevitably influence (and frequently corrupt or totally derail) intended ends, and deserves examination and rebuttal.

Full Essay:'s%20statism

cantdocartwheels's picture
Joined: 15-03-04
Jun 24 2004 17:29

i don't really like chomsky very much, but just because he lends his support to welfare state initiatives doesn't mean he's not an anarchist.

I mean as a social anarchist the point is that aswell as advocating a logical political goal we also care about the condition of the proletariat.

The fact is privatisation kills more people than a welfare state usually, especially in the context of the US. Also in the US demanding a welfare state is tantamount to an impossible demand, because i don't think the current ideology of the american ruling class and the general economy/class structure are constructed to handle one.

Certainly the way he goes about it seems flawed, because he doesn't make enough effort to show it as part of the wider class struggle, doesn't point out the dangers of neo-imperialist reform well enough and in many of his books uses a form of international relations style history (which is the reason i dislike him) and also i don't think an anarchist shouldn't be starting struggles for a welfare state, they should be supporting them if that is the popular movement.

Plus not all facets of supporting federal govt are flawed, for example, supporting the TUC march for pensions, is to a certain degree support for the state over private corpporations, yet i don't think anyone here would say they didn't support that, because it would be tactically pointless not to support it, plus it has specific socialist overtones.