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Noam Chomsky Has ‘Never Seen Anything Like This’

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Posted on Apr 19, 2010
AP / Hussein Malla

By Chris Hedges

Noam Chomsky is America’s greatest intellectual. His massive body of work, which includes nearly 100 books, has for decades deflated and exposed the lies of the power elite and the myths they perpetrate. Chomsky has done this despite being blacklisted by the commercial media, turned into a pariah by the academy and, by his own admission, being a pedantic and at times slightly boring speaker. He combines moral autonomy with rigorous scholarship, a remarkable grasp of detail and a searing intellect. He curtly dismisses our two-party system as a mirage orchestrated by the corporate state, excoriates the liberal intelligentsia for being fops and courtiers and describes the drivel of the commercial media as a form of “brainwashing.” And as our nation’s most prescient critic of unregulated capitalism, globalization and the poison of empire, he enters his 81st year warning us that we have little time left to save our anemic democracy.

“It is very similar to late Weimar Germany,” Chomsky told me when I called him at his office in Cambridge, Mass. “The parallels are striking. There was also tremendous disillusionment with the parliamentary system. The most striking fact about Weimar was not that the Nazis managed to destroy the Social Democrats and the Communists but that the traditional parties, the Conservative and Liberal parties, were hated and disappeared. It left a vacuum which the Nazis very cleverly and intelligently managed to take over.”

“The United States is extremely lucky that no honest, charismatic figure has arisen,” Chomsky went on. “Every charismatic figure is such an obvious crook that he destroys himself, like McCarthy or Nixon or the evangelist preachers. If somebody comes along who is charismatic and honest this country is in real trouble because of the frustration, disillusionment, the justified anger and the absence of any coherent response. What are people supposed to think if someone says ‘I have got an answer, we have an enemy’? There it was the Jews. Here it will be the illegal immigrants and the blacks. We will be told that white males are a persecuted minority. We will be told we have to defend ourselves and the honor of the nation. Military force will be exalted. People will be beaten up. This could become an overwhelming force. And if it happens it will be more dangerous than Germany. The United States is the world power. Germany was powerful but had more powerful antagonists. I don’t think all this is very far away. If the polls are accurate it is not the Republicans but the right-wing Republicans, the crazed Republicans, who will sweep the next election.”

“I have never seen anything like this in my lifetime,” Chomsky added. “I am old enough to remember the 1930s. My whole family was unemployed. There were far more desperate conditions than today. But it was hopeful. People had hope. The CIO was organizing. No one wants to say it anymore but the Communist Party was the spearhead for labor and civil rights organizing. Even things like giving my unemployed seamstress aunt a week in the country. It was a life. There is nothing like that now. The mood of the country is frightening. The level of anger, frustration and hatred of institutions is not organized in a constructive way. It is going off into self-destructive fantasies.”

“I listen to talk radio,” Chomsky said. “I don’t want to hear Rush Limbaugh. I want to hear the people calling in. They are like [suicide pilot] Joe Stack. What is happening to me? I have done all the right things. I am a God-fearing Christian. I work hard for my family. I have a gun. I believe in the values of the country and my life is collapsing.”

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Chomsky has, more than any other American intellectual, charted the downward spiral of the American political and economic system, in works such as “On Power and Ideology: The Managua Lectures,” “Rethinking Camelot: JFK, the Vietnam War, and US Political Culture,” “A New Generation Draws the Line: Kosovo, East Timor and the Standards of the West,” “Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky,” “Manufacturing Consent” and “Letters From Lexington: Reflections on Propaganda.” He reminds us that genuine intellectual inquiry is always subversive. It challenges cultural and political assumptions. It critiques structures. It is relentlessly self-critical. It implodes the self-indulgent myths and stereotypes we use to elevate ourselves and ignore our complicity in acts of violence and oppression. And it makes the powerful, as well as their liberal apologists, deeply uncomfortable.

Chomsky reserves his fiercest venom for the liberal elite in the press, the universities and the political system who serve as a smoke screen for the cruelty of unchecked capitalism and imperial war. He exposes their moral and intellectual posturing as a fraud. And this is why Chomsky is hated, and perhaps feared, more among liberal elites than among the right wing he also excoriates. When Christopher Hitchens decided to become a windup doll for the Bush administration after the attacks of 9/11, one of the first things he did was write a vicious article attacking Chomsky. Hitchens, unlike most of those he served, knew which intellectual in America mattered. [Editor’s note: To see some of the articles in the 2001 exchanges between Hitchens and Chomsky, click here, here, here and here.]

“I don’t bother writing about Fox News,” Chomsky said. “It is too easy. What I talk about are the liberal intellectuals, the ones who portray themselves and perceive themselves as challenging power, as courageous, as standing up for truth and justice. They are basically the guardians of the faith. They set the limits. They tell us how far we can go. They say, ‘Look how courageous I am.’ But do not go one millimeter beyond that. At least for the educated sectors, they are the most dangerous in supporting power.”


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Tennessee-Socialist's avatar

By Tennessee-Socialist, April 21, 2010 at 9:21 am Link to this comment

Ofersince: I am not centrist at all. I am in favor of 100% socialism in the USA.  I wish that the USA had a United Socialist Front as an electoral option for 2012, as an objective to change the US government from a capitalist-government to a workers-government (A dictatorship of the proletariat), or at least as a Welfare State-Capitalist system on transition toward a Workers-Government, like it is happening in Venezuela.

I love socialism, not centrism.  Centrism is capitalism with a human face.  What workers need is nationalization of large corporations under workers-ownership.  And centrism won’t give that to americans.

I am for full socialism right here, right now.


.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, April 21, 2010 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

Let’s see how this works, sort of like everything else; if anyone agrees with me, they are revered and promoted as the worlds greatest show on earth.  If they disagree with me they are to be disparaged with proverbs which must intentionally not make any sense!

This same kind of mental masturbation and self induced fear was all the rage when I was growing up, but then it was fear of Elvis or the Beatles by those older and much more seasoned ones predicting the demise of everything good and reminiscent of times past. Interesting the USA has more seasoning going on now than any other generation in history, maybe it is just part of the fear of aging? 

Not sure but one only need look at Congress, the sea of tired old clones seems rampart, at least the ones calling the shots. What is the average age of people in Congress? What of ageless Sublime ambulatory Court? Even the age of cronies in the White House and of course the ex government employees known as Lobbyist’s? 

As usual I set my comments in sand, and pronounce them as absolutisms, and of course probably wrong!

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, April 21, 2010 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

Pilate washed his hands and the truth was crucified. Why should anyone care about truth? Because devotion to the truth is the essence of integrity. Without it there is nothing but corruption. Without it we shall be destroyed as a people, as a country and as a species.

Report this

By omop, April 21, 2010 at 9:01 am Link to this comment

She, asked THE UKTIMATE QUESTION.

Truth?  What is truth?  Pilate asked that question and you see where that
got him.  Why should anyone care about truth?

“Now we know the truth. The financial meltdown wasn’t a mistake – it was a
con,” by Will Hutton, The Observer (U.K.), April 18, 2010
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/apr/18/goldman-sachs-regulators-
civil-charges

  One or two victims….Client #9 E. Spitzer; snitching out Bernie Madoff and those
who made out like bandits; John Alfred Paulson….Fabrice Tourre…..almost forgot
Goldman Sachs et amis.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, April 21, 2010 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

@Anarsissy

At least I’m trying to do something. My effort is to forge 9/11 truth into a weapon against the war machine. I think we might be making progress. What are you doing, other than sitting around pissing yourself?

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, April 21, 2010 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

Hey, Shenonymous,

I’m totally with you on Chomsky. He is right in the mainstream with all the other liberal intellectuals.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, April 21, 2010 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

@Crow

Yeah, really - “America’s greatest intellectual” - I don’t think so. I have corresponded with Chomsky at length and my judgment is that he is too dogmatic and self-important to be considered a really great intellectual. He’s dead wrong on the Kennedy assassination and 9/11.

Report this

By balkas, April 21, 2010 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

I second wicher’s conclusion. It seems to me [from what i have red thus far]that ?all known ‘dissenters’ do what the persian proverb says: they plow and plow and never sow.

And thus are accurate only. But one needs to be accurate and adequate. In other words, they say ad infinitum what they are against but never what they are for.
Nor do they offer causation; they only proffer sensation!
And omit to say that we have been living in lawlesness for millennia.

Even gilad aztmon, who criticies very existence of state of israel, may be mad at ‘jews’ because he may have been injured by them.
But admits to struggling against his own ‘jewishness’ [cultishnes!?].

Chomsky had always been, as far as i cld ascertain, accurate. At one point of time he was even adequate by stating a well known unwritten law that what had be taken by war can be retaken only by war. tnx

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thecrow's avatar

By thecrow, April 21, 2010 at 8:38 am Link to this comment

“I mean, I don’t know who assassinated him and I don’t care, but what difference does it make? It’s not an issue of any general public interest. And there’s a huge amount of energy and effort going into that. If somebody could show there was some general significance to the assassination, that it changed policy, or that there was some high-level involvement or whatever, then it would be an important historical event.”

- “America’s Greatest Intellectual” on JFK, 1993

http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2008/11/17/head-sh0t/

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thecrow's avatar

By thecrow, April 21, 2010 at 8:32 am Link to this comment

“What I talk about are the liberal intellectuals, the ones who portray themselves and perceive themselves as challenging power, as courageous, as standing up for truth and justice. They are basically the guardians of the faith. They set the limits. They tell us how far we can go. They say, ‘Look how courageous I am.’ But do not go one millimeter beyond that. At least for the educated sectors, they are the most dangerous in supporting power.”

So it would seem, Professor.

http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2009/04/11/the-rest-is-silence/

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, April 21, 2010 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

Everyone can bet I have never read Chomsky, unless he had slipped in an occasional article in Playboy,.... only because I subscribed to Playboy for many years but only for the articles.

What is this! .... reverse name ....droppings? 

Guess, if one has never read Chomsky they have never lived or should never contuse living? Sounds like another version of the goat headers manual adnausea, written by the man himself?  How about this, only special people read Chomsky, otherwise they are a fascist….... sound familiar!

OzarkMichael, for shame, not sure what you are saying, someone has called you a fascist or is it you want to be called a fascist?  People have called me many things, some of my favorites which I enjoy connecting; Zionist Nazi fascist with Jack boots on! Now I had not been called them all at one time mind you, but I enjoy putting them together for impressing the girls, though it has not worked yet!

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, April 21, 2010 at 7:58 am Link to this comment

9/11?  It seems to me it would be as big a waste of time for Chomsky as it obviously has been for you.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, April 21, 2010 at 7:33 am Link to this comment

“What I talk about are the liberal intellectuals, the ones who portray themselves and perceive themselves as challenging power, as courageous, as standing up for truth and justice. They are basically the guardians of the faith. They set the limits. They tell us how far we can go. They say, ‘Look how courageous I am.’ But do not go one millimeter beyond that. At least for the educated sectors, they are the most dangerous in supporting power”

————————————————————————-
I’m sorry, Noam, but you are one of those very left-wing intellectuals you criticize. You will not open your eyes for one second to look at the overwhelming evidence that the World Trade Center was blown up by high explosives, and that 9/11 was engineered by the Bush administration, even though an honest investigation into 9/11 would be the revolution that you and I have been working for since the sixties. It’s too bad that we have to work with other progressives less dogmatic and close-minded than you.

Tony Wicher
Ontario, CA
Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth
ae911truth.org

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 21, 2010 at 7:17 am Link to this comment

Truth?  What is truth?  Pilate asked that question and you see where that
got him.  Why should anyone care about truth? 

The mass media is overrated.  Like who on Truthdig watches or reads the
mass media anyway? 

Things have certainly changed at least for Chomsky from twenty or thirty
years ago.

Report this

By omop, April 21, 2010 at 7:05 am Link to this comment

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is
violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

  So spaketh Ayn Rand?

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, April 21, 2010 at 7:03 am Link to this comment

I haven’t tuned into the almighty mass media in some time, but the last time I looked, Chomsky seemed to be their one pet leftist (sort of on the famed One Negro Principle).  I don’t recall any others from ‘80s and ‘90s; way back when, William Buckley used to have Michael Harrington in occasionally, and once he interviewed Norman Thomas!  But for a twenty or thirty-year period there, until I dropped off, Chomsky was the go-to man for such native leftism as was allowed to appear.  And they didn’t go very often; I think I saw him a total of four times over the decades.

I don’t suppose it matters much any more.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 21, 2010 at 7:03 am Link to this comment

Misinformation? - why ofersince72, would you elaborate or are your
gurgles just pointless slurs?  And which books of Chomsky have you
read?  I bet you haven’t read any.  And you can’t cite any fact you claim
Chomsky gives.  So you are the same blowhard you’ve been since you first
joined TD.

Report this

By ofersince72, April 21, 2010 at 6:43 am Link to this comment

No telling what lobbyist group is paying her for
  her babbles of misinformation.

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By ofersince72, April 21, 2010 at 6:37 am Link to this comment

I bet she hasn’t read one of those books.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 21, 2010 at 6:13 am Link to this comment

Would you please cite the facts he has been reporting, ofersince72.
Uh…just for the record.  The appearance of facts are not facts.  There is
a distinction in case you didn’t know it.  He has been kept at bay
mainly because mainstream is sound bites and Chomsky wants to take
his time.  But he has not been as discriminated against as much as is
thought.  There are at least 22 articles in the NYTimes.  If you look up
articles on Chomsky in the LA TImes you can find five pages of article
titles!  Three pages of article titles in the Chicago Tribune, even two
pages worth of article titles in the Dallas Morning News! Yikes, even
Dallas! and etc., etc., etc.  And he gets plenty of coverage on public
media.  Once his 9/11 book appeared on the best seller list he was all
over the place.  He gets on Charlie Rose shows, Democracy Now, He is
as busy as he can be in world coverage, and even a film has been
made about him “Manufacturing Consent.” Let’s see, a bio on his about
his simply writing a forward to a book, “Our Media, Not Theirs” goes
like this…after several paragraphs about his birth, his academic
credentials, his honorary degrees (quite a list) this is his public face:

“Chomsky has written and lectured widely on linguistics, philosophy,
intellectual history, contemporary issues, international affairs and U.S.
foreign policy. His works include: Aspects of the Theory of Syntax;
Cartesian Linguistics; Sound Pattern of English (with Morris Halle);
Language and Mind; American Power and the New Mandarins; At War
with Asia; For Reasons of State; Peace in the Middle East?; Reflections
on Language; The Political Economy of Human Rights, Vol. I and II (with
E.S. Herman); Rules and Representations; Lectures on Government and
Binding; Towards a New Cold War; Radical Priorities; Fateful Triangle;
Knowledge of Language; Turning the Tide; Pirates and Emperors; On
Power and Ideology; Language and Problems of Knowledge; The Culture
of Terrorism; Manufacturing Consent (with E.S. Herman); Necessary
Illusions; Deterring Democracy; Year 501; Rethinking Camelot: JFK, the
Vietnam War and US Political Culture; Letters from Lexington; World
Orders, Old and New; The Minimalist Program; Powers and Prospects;
The Common Good; Profit Over People; The New Military Humanism;
New Horizons in the Study of Language and Mind; Rogue States; and A
New Generation Draws the Line.”

So the whining about his public coverage is a red herring.

That’s it for Chomsky, time for coffee.  Youse guys can go ahead and
keep hugging.

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, April 21, 2010 at 5:49 am Link to this comment

TS said it and ITW thought this worth repeating:

because if there is a rise nazism, fascism and tea baggers

Tea Party… Fascists… Nazis…

One of these things is not like the others.

You could know better and you should know better.

Only Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, and Chomsky lovers would be ignorant enough to lump them all together. The MSM is picking up on this narrative so congrats on this ‘victory’, Truthdiggers.

The slurs and name calling have gone on for so long that I almost feel as if i must be compromising principles or doing something wrong when you dont call me a ‘fascist’. I am not the only one who feels this way.

Unfortunately the word ‘fascist’ may soon have no meaning at all for most people since it is being used so inappropriately.

Another truth buried… here at Truthdig.

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By ofersince72, April 21, 2010 at 5:44 am Link to this comment

The cultish following of anyone is silly.

  He has been kept out of mainstream because of his
dissent views and his factual reporting.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 21, 2010 at 5:31 am Link to this comment

“But what’s going to become of the public once their attention ceases
to be consumed with trivia, pop culture and realty TV? ”
  The thing
is, their attention will never cease.  What is there to make that happen? 
People want things.  It is human nature.  It is arguable that it is not the
finer side of human nature but it is then up to those who do not think
so to convince the people they are wrong.  It cannot happen with
diatribe.  They have to be convinced not bludgeoned.

Chomsky commented on Weimar Oct. 14, 2009, see
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MHEuudJ-
o0&feature=player_embedded
New is relative.  It might not be an old saw for him, but he is definitely
making a point of it now.  We have to ask why now?  He’s been
criticizing the United States for decades.  It has become fashionable to
make the comparison?  Ah yes.

There are more than myself who would argue he does resort to
hyperbole in his analyses, either spoken or written.  One needs only to
read half of his 44 op-ed essays from Sept. 2002 through March 2007. 
Fiercely critical of US foreign and domestic policy his “challenges to
power,” of politics is not short on highly charged accusations.  Not that
his accusations are not true, I’ve no way to check them out.  I am
speaking only to this most famous linguist in the world’s language. 
Another example was Chomsky’s debate with Desrhowitz, the
unabashed Zionist where Chomsky quoted Moshe Dayan most
incorrectly omitting important statements Dayan made, see Bernstein at
http://volokh.com/posts/1207367339.shtml
Now don’t get it wrong, I am not saying Chomsky is wrong. I am not a
fan of Dershowitz.  I am saying that everything he says is not
holyscript.  And that one should be careful when groveling at another’s
feet.

An entire symposium was conducted about Chomsky by Frontpage
Magazine in February 2005.  Now criticize that magazine if you want,
anybody, but reputable minds were represented.  John Summers, who
authored “30 Books, Not One Review: Chomsky and Academic History,”
who went looking for why Chomsky was “shunned” by the journalistic
media and many academic circles gave a telling assessment, “Given
that the journals regularly review nonhistorians as well as public
intellectuals, and given their willingness to entertain Marxists, I grew
curious as to the explanation for the shunning. I think the answer has
something to do with Chomsky’s interpretation of responsibility, which
is hostile to institutional power for its own sake. But I am not so sure
about my answer, and I’m happy to take up that problem at greater
length. The main point in the essay is straightforward. If intellectual
freedom in the academy is to mean something more than the formal
absence of restraint, then it ought to engage thinkers of Chomsky’s
influence, at least in a minimal way. I try to add that, if you like, forget
the argument from principle and look at it on consequentialist grounds.
Self-segregation is bad for everyone.”

It also appears that those who are inspired by Chomsky worship never
find fault in anything he says.  That smacks of deification and when
that happens there is trouble brewing.  Manichaean impulses works in
the most unsuspecting places, and it does for those who criticize
Chomsky, they are relegated to hell by his apostles.  While he is
marginalized by many in the academic world, it is not completely true. 
In 2003 he was awarded the honorary L.H.D. degree from Central
Connecticut State University.  Also other such degrees have been
awarded him from such academic institutions as Loyal University of
Chicago, Swarthmore, University of Massachusetts, University of
Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, Amherst, University of Maine, and
of course Harvard, and others.  It is enjoyable for his followers to say
he is not recognized by the academic world in order to give him that
heroic aspect. It is somewhat disingenuous.

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By ofersince72, April 21, 2010 at 4:12 am Link to this comment

We are agreed for once,
Tennessee’s posts are a lot more rational lately

What is my pipedream ITW ? To see the rule of law again?

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By Shingo, April 21, 2010 at 4:00 am Link to this comment

The comparison to Weirmar is not new, but is it new for Chomsky.  Love him or hate him, he’s not one prone to hyperbole.

It hard to read the mood of the genegral public, but the economy is not improving for middle America and with unemployment rising, poverty will take hold.  The American public has been anaesthetized for a long time because they haven’t been denied their creature comforts.  They were given access to chep credit and inticed to live beyond their means.  The destruction fo their society, economy and social system went largely unnoticed so long as they were able to catch the game on their plasma TV’s.

But what’s going to become of the public once their attention ceases to be consumed with trivia, pop culure and realty TV?  I think Chosky might be onto something.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 21, 2010 at 3:58 am Link to this comment

Tennessee-Socialist, April 21 at 2:34 am #

Since there is not an organized big socialist party in USA the US voters might vote for Republicans in 2012, but the americans cannot be so dumb to vote for Republic-rats in 2012, because if there is a rise nazism, fascism and tea baggers we will forced to vote for Obama again as a necessary evil to block the threat of a nuclear destruction by The Republican Party
************************************************

This may be T-S’s most sensible post ever.  It’s reflective of the fine old saying:

“When you are up to your ass in alligators, it’s hard to remember that the original objective was to drain the swamp.”

T-S understands we are up to our asses in alligators but pipe-dreamers like Ofersince72 still insist we must drain the swamp.  And he wants to do it bucket by bucket…

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By Morpheus, April 21, 2010 at 3:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Join the Revolutions - Talk is cheap

Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( http://revolution2.osixs.org )

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By jerry gates, April 21, 2010 at 3:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I like Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky. Both are
lucid, cordial writers with a truth telling penchant
that glorifies their work as insightful, meaningful
and prescient, which is refreshing.

  What is being said here is really pretty simple
and the point is a linear thought that is made easily
enough if we look at the facts of the American
political/social systems and the news media that
supports it….

  The “Mercans” are taught what to think by a
deceptive media, some rather foolish television and
the radio jocks like Howard Stern, sewing immorality
as the accepted US way of life, Limbaugh selling
myopic conservatism with half a brain in storage and
the likes of others who sell depravity in business as
the free market way of life that others hate us for.
With this din of flagrant exceptionalness ringing
incessantly in American ears, we are asked to choose
between black and white when it is every shade of
grey that we should be examining with a discerning
eye towards what is truth and what is bullshit.

  Eventually the mass media dumbs the whole of US
discourse down to talking points that hide the
reality of a nation going down the tubes of stupidity
by it’s inability to discern truth from fiction,
having been fed crap, the Americans are coughing up
bile laden shit, who is suprised? Not Hedges of
Chomsky.

  You reap what you sew and if sewing horshit to
voters is the American way of life, we are doomed to
be led by the nose by Mitt Romney a zionist shit head
to the slaughters of fascist arrogance and elitest
drivil in high places.

  How about an infusion of wisdom to clear the foul
airs of drama queen politics here and now and say,
for the record, that Chomsky is right, Ugly is coming
to the Mercans and they seem ill equipped to polish
this stinking turd and make it shine as they once
thought it did. Truth is stranger than fiction, Yes?

  This gets a lot uglier, unfortunatly before we
see beauty overcome the beast, so hold on to your
hats folks, you aint seen nuthin yet.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 21, 2010 at 3:41 am Link to this comment

Does Chomsky really want to be embraced by the commercial media
and embraced by the power elite? Hedges describes Chomsky as being
pedantic and boring.  Being pedantic and boring is not such a sin, not
really immoral or that wicked, is it?  I don’t know how good a Jew
Chomsky is, but he is Jewish and possibly a believer, he won’t go to
hell for being boring or pedantic, will he?  I mean, for being “slightly
boring?” 

What moral autonomy is Hedges describing Chomsky has?  It is an
oxymoron to say anyone has moral autonomy since to be autonomous
means self-determined, free, self-ruled and moral can only be moral
within a social milieu.

And since Chomsky has said “we have little time left to save our anemic
democracy,” what timeframe is it?  A day, a week, a month, a year, a
decade?  It is quite rhetorically ambiguous, isn’t it?  Or is it just a figure
of speech?  And that we ought not to really worry about the time
factor? 

Isn’t it such a tired simile being made between the Weimar Republic
and what Chomsky is suggesting is happening to the United States? 
Some tired old minds just love reminiscing over and over the same
worn out analogies.  I mean we have been hearing this for almost a
century!  Odd isn’t it, the United States is still here.  It has not flatlined
yet.  Nor will it.  For just as there are signs of national decay there are
just as many signs of renaissance.

This is such an old argument Chomsky is giving us.  Chomsky’s tale
has been told time and again, for how long now?  How old is he?  81? 
Telling it maybe 60 or more years?  The spiraling down he describes is
really like a spring, and just as easily spirals up as the people’s political
will goes down and up and down and up and that is the way it is.  What
exactly has Chomsky’s intellectualism (and I agree he is of that species)
done for America?  He has certainly fed the uninspired minds that
populate this forum.

His reminiscences are what is boring.  If you don’t like Rush Limbaugh,
and I definitely don’t like Rush Limbaugh, then call in and tell him,
flood his phone lines for a month with complaints and soon the bastard
won’t be on the air any more.  Make a campaign of it. 

It is so funny…Commune115 said, “I hope he [Chomsky] stays with us a
little longer to help explain the truth…” and I wonder just what he/she
meant by the word “little?”  Does he/she expect Chomsky to croak
today, tomorrow, next week?  Why didn’t he/she say, I hope Chomsky
stays with us a long time?  Maybe Commune115 has only little hopes in
which case, would be quite negligible. 

Mr. Hedges message is repetitive so much that it has become din in the
ears as much as Chomsky’s.  Let’s say, as Commune115 expects, that
Chomsky dies today, who is there that will take his place as a voice for
those communists?  Take a look at the Communist Party in America. 
Bernie Sanders maybe the only voice who has any clout, ever, and he is
old too.  It is valiant of those of the Marxist persuasion to want to
increase their numbers but the death knell is ringing because everyone
else wants to be a capitalist.  Your arguments are not convincing.  Even
with unemployment, if you asked each and every one of those
unemployed which they would rather have, communism or capitalism,
they would all say they want their iPods.

Why don’t all of you who huddle around Dr. Chomsky, metaphorically
speaking because you only huddle on blogsites, actually huddle with
him?  Go out there and march together, physically.  Let the world know
how you feel!  Stop sitting in your comfy chairs and mouthing off with
your mind farts.  Do something instead of pretending you are
scratching each other’s asses.  You do know, don’t you, that your
thoughts and words here on Truthdig are just electronic vapors?  Get
your bats out, I’m ready.

Leefeller, once again the clarity of your thought is stellar.  Most
appreciative of your perspectives.

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By Dr. Know, April 21, 2010 at 3:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The only thing more discouraging than the truths Chomsky always does such a
wonderful job of laying down is this comment section.

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By thebeerdoctor, April 21, 2010 at 2:46 am Link to this comment

@ leefeller
I am sorry to report that, most likely, there will be no COLA in 2011 either, according to President Obama’s bean counters. The fluctuations in the price of oil is just a ruse to demand more sacrifice from the American people to pay for speculation folly in the commodities market. Claiming there will be deflation is also used, but of course down sizing the amount portion to keep the price of something the same, although you are paying the same for less, is also a handy tool to convince the gullible that everything costs less.

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By ofersince72, April 20, 2010 at 11:29 pm Link to this comment

Tennessee,

You describe the scam well,  put fear into the voters
in order to keep them voting in the center, it is
working well.

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By UnitedGulagOfAmerica, April 20, 2010 at 11:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

While I respect Noam Chomsky, and don’t doubt his knowledge on the subject of authoritarian
regimes, I completely disagree to his allusions, or believe that he is approaching this in an unbiased
manner.

The major difference between opposition toward the current and previous regimes and that of
Weimar Germany, is beyond purely a hatred for Government in general. The opposition toward the
two parties lies in their close resentment to the fascist way of governing (sans the dictatorship, so
far) that is already the norm.

The other major difference is that there seems to be a consensus of what the solutions are, rather
than a hope for a strongman character to provide the solutions for them. The solutions tend to be a
criticism for overreaching state power, and abuses of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. How might
a would-be Nazi Party seek to mirror the abuses of other Statist dictatorships of the past with a
population who is demanding Constitutionality?

I do not see any such riots against immigrants or black people in our future. There is very little
racism amongst those disillusioned with the current usurpers of American Constitutional
jurisprudence in both parties. What Noam Chomsky is not taking into consideration is that there
was already a cultural propensity for racism against Jews prior to the rise of the Nazis, as well as a
European trust of authority, which is not found in American culture at large, especially in the often
mistaken groups that he is no doubt alluding to (the Tea Parties). While the media machine paints a
picture of racist angry white people angry at a black president the reality is far removed from that
in every way. There simply is no racial basis for it at all. In short, the left are the only ones talking
about race, while everyone else is simply discussing politics.

My major problem with Noam, though I admire him greatly, is that he tends to filter his vast
knowledge through a typical 20th century liberal mindset, without as much an understanding of
economics or classical liberalism, in that capitalism has not been our system of economics for
nearly a century, and modern liberalism does not reflect the classical liberalism which sought to
limit government power and size in favor of free enterprise, civil liberties and equality. We are
currently under a corporate state, which is correct, but to claim that it is capitalist is not true. It is
fascist, not capitalist. Just like communism is the authoritarian extreme alter-ego to socialism,
fascism is so to capitalism. They share rhetorical sensibilities on the surface alone, but one is the
predatory antithesis of the other.

I much more agree with the criticisms against these two corrupt parties, which more closely
resemble the statist ‘control freak’ nature of the Nazi regime than the positions of those Noam is
accusing of fascism (the Tea Parties). What also does not make sense, is Noam Chomsky’s
apologetic sentiment to communism, which was every bit as horrific as the Third Reich, and
responsible for millions more innocent deaths than even Hitler had accomplished.

My big question to Noam Chomsky on this subject would be: If opposition to statist
authoritarianism is to be the parallel he draws, how might a Nazi style regime come about? Would
Hitler have been able to have committed the acts his regime did had they respected the German
Constitution, oppoest authoritarian strong-man leaders, and reduced the size of the State?

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By Tennessee-Socialist, April 20, 2010 at 10:34 pm Link to this comment

Since there is not an organized big socialist party in USA the US voters might vote for Republicans in 2012, but the americans cannot be so dumb to vote for Republic-rats in 2012, because if there is a rise nazism, fascism and tea baggers we will forced to vote for Obama again as a necessary evil to block the threat of a nuclear destruction by The Republican Party

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By Jeff Blankfort, April 20, 2010 at 10:32 pm Link to this comment

I am sorry to rain on this parade for Noam Chomsky but a close examination of his shielding the pro-Israel lobby from any responsibility for US policy on the Israel-Palestine conflict, his opposition to the use of the term, “apartheid,” to describe the situation in the West Bank, his opposition to the BDS movement as called for by Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, his opposition to a single state, and, lastly, to the Palestinian “right of return” should raise some serious questions about his commitment to justice in that struggle.

For more details and the documentary evidence to back up that statement, please check out:
http://www.leftcurve.org/LC29WebPages/Chomsky.html

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By ofersince72, April 20, 2010 at 9:40 pm Link to this comment

“one must voice opposition and carry on”

assuming you mean the voice is the vote
many voice, then vote for the samosamo

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By elisalouisa, April 20, 2010 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment

Words indeed fail me ITW for this indeed is a rare moment, thanks.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 20, 2010 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment

EL:
Never thought I’d say this: BRAVO!

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By elisalouisa, April 20, 2010 at 7:40 pm Link to this comment

Nemesis:There is a difference between “peaceful"and “nonviolent.” Movements or protests may start nonviolently and when a protester is hit by the law or for whatever reason, the situation escalates into something more physical. To me Gandhi was the epitome of nonviolence. Your views may differ, I do not intend
to challenge you on that view or any other.My comment “that land was a desert before such and such took over” included
our own country also. “Native Americans did not utilize the land.” Same with Mexico. ITW and I have had our disagreements however, beneath all that tough talk there is a concern for humanity within ITW that I find reassuring. It keep hope alive. As for blacks in America or the situation in South Africa, I cannot speak for others. However, my consciousness and that of others as to the suffering that has been endured by people of color has been raised. I do agree with you that Power doesn’t care a squat about as you put it, “your” peace. Of course not, war is for the high and mighty and it indeed doesn’t care how many lives it has to destroy or for that matter how many lives it ruins to achieve their goals. You think you are telling me something new? The power elite do have power now, real power. So? One must continue to voice opposition and carry on. You don’t take the odds of winning into consideration when you really believe in something.  I firmly believe that one day the world will be a more equitable place to live in.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 20, 2010 at 7:10 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller, April 20 at 10:13 pm #

nemesis2010 the shit hole comment was a bit over the top, damn this may be the only times I have ever agreed with elisalouisa on anything, even if on only one point.

The idea of causes becoming a shit holes does seem to streach liberties with Hoffers premise.
*********************************************

Yup, I’m with EL and LF on this, too.

**********************************************
Since it is most unlikely I will ever have the opportunity to visit South Africa like ITW, I will have to take ITW’s word that South Africa is not a Shit hole, of course I do not know what kind of house keeper ITW is either.
************************************************

Not a very good one. That’s why I have to pay someone to do it for me!

So….24% unemployment makes a nation a “shithole”.  But I guess 20% unemployment does NOT make a nation a “shithole”.  So, in South Africa, where it’s 24%, it’s a shithole.  But in the United States, where the TRUE unemployment figure is around 20%, we are NOT living in a shithole.

Or are we, Nemo?

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By nemesis2010, April 20, 2010 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment

@ leefeller:

I´m speaking of their economy and political situation. Not the people nor the beauty of the geography. I’m used to dealing with conservatives. I thought, and was told, that liberals were more intelleigent and better educated.

I’ll have to rethink this over a whiskey. smile

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By nemesis2010, April 20, 2010 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment

Speaking of numb nuts…

@ ITW:

” South Africa’s unemployment rate increased by 0.9% to 24.9% in the third quarter of 2009, compared to 23.6% in the second quarter, according to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) on Thursday.”

http://www.southafrica.info/business/
economy/development/unemployment-301009.htm

All this great economic news during a construction boom for the World Cup; what happens after that?

Tell us ITW, to whom does South Africa belong? Does it belong to the blacks or the Afrikaners or both? Oh, and please explain your position whatever it might be. I’m sure we’re all biting our nails to hear your opinion on this. I know that I am! smile

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By omygodnotagain, April 20, 2010 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

Its amazing that an article about an 81 year old linguist with an intellectual cult following can create such a varied and interesting series of remarks.

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By nemesis2010, April 20, 2010 at 6:46 pm Link to this comment

@ elisalouisa:

Whoa lady! Try washing down a couple of Midol with whiskey or tequila to ease the pain a bit before going off a tirade!

Would you please show me a single statement—made by me—that even alludes to any of those vile things you are trying to tag me with. You’re as bad as ITW; who by the way will know that your statement about ”that land was a desert before such and such took over” is one of the ridiculous claims made to justify the dispossessing of millions from their homeland in order to establish the rogue state of Israel. I feel sorry for you now because ITW will probably label you a bigot, a racist, and all sorts of ugly adjectives unless you can prove that you believe all Jews and Israel are as pure as the driven snow. I’d pray for you, but I fear the FSM too much to bother it. I might get struck with a deadly stream of tomato sauce.

I personally know South Africans. I have worked with South Africans many times in my life. I happen to really like South Africans, especially the demonized Afrikaners. South Africa was a 1st world economy in the 1960s and early 1970s. The noted heart transplant pioneer—Christiaan Barnard—was South African. Today, South Africa is a squalor; as are most of the African continent nations. Most of it has to do with colonial rule and European creation of non-historical nation states. And then there’s the Catholic Church’s influence; that alone will keep a people and nation in the Dark Ages of ignorance for millennia.

But in all honesty, a lot of their problems also have to do with the people themselves. South Africa’s president—only a year or so ago—believed that showering cured AIDS. Their economy is crap. The only reason there is any employment at the present is due to the World Cup being played there this year; when that finishes its back to reality. Would you like to know what real employment opportunities for women there are—right now, as I type—in S.A.? Just do a search on how many millions of condoms S.A. needs for the World Cup games and you’ll have a good idea. Speaking the truth about a situation doesn’t mean that one condones Apartheid or all the other crap you spewed and sticking your head in the sand won’t resolve a damn thing.

I don’t ridicule those that admire Gandhi, Mandela, and King. But don’t come here and try to blow smoke up my butt about their movements being peaceful. They were anything but peaceful. Do you think you might like living in India’s caste system as a woman, my dear? You and I both know that after one of two beatings for not having a bigger dowry you’d haul your arse out of there as soon as the opportunity availed itself. What part of Gandhi being jailed, beaten and murdered do you not get? How about the violence in all those shanty towns in South Africa? How many years in prison and beatings did Mandela get? What about the economic violence and laws restricting liberties on white Afrikaners today? Power, doesn’t care a squat about your “peace.” Power wants and Power gets; and it doesn’t care how many lives it has to destroy to do it.

All Gandhi and Mandela accomplished for their people was a change in the skin color of their oppressors! Oh, I don’t know if you are aware of this but King; he was murdered also! I know that for a fact because I was in Memphis the day he was murdered. I was also in L.A. when Bobby was murdered. I know what you’re thinking but no, I didn’t kill them.

Tell me; are American blacks content with their post-King America? Can you provide us with stats about the education and economic lives of blacks pre and post King era?  How about a few stats on white middle and lower class Americans pre and post Ronald Reagan? (<-the father, the Son Dubya, and the unholy ghost Cheney; a real ménage a trois!) 

Peaceful my arse!

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By nemesis2010, April 20, 2010 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment

@ Gerard:

Simply admit that I was right because your moral dictionary doesn’t count as a dictionary, thus, you stretched the definition a bit to fit your criteria.

No, you didn’t strike a nerve. Even if you had I was on my 6th finger of Scotch so it would have been painless. I’m almost 66 and I’ve lived and seen too much to let youthful aspirations upset me. Especially since I desire much of what it is that you desire. The difference is that I have—IMO—a much better grasp of reality and I don’t think our species is that great.

I’m going to intentionally pass over most of what you responded in order to hone in on what I believe are crucial areas of concern and to better explore possibilities and hear differing points of view. I hope that you won’t feel offended by this but 4,000 characters…

The majority of this nation’s citizens—me included—were against the senseless invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan yet all the “peaceful” protesting accomplished absolutely nothing in preventing it and all that the peaceful protesting since those two invasions and occupations has accomplished was to get elected a do-nothing, business as usual democrat majority as opposed to a do-nothing, business as usual republican majority. If this is what peaceful revolution accomplishes what the hell good is it? By the way, I recommend the 3rd chapter in Sirota’s “The Uprising” if you’re wondering why the majority can’t accomplish much.

So that said… you should keep in mind that that 5% that you have to worry about is awesome in the power it retains.

Moving on…

This ain’t gonna get ‘er done Gerard:

” As to the “dismal science”—anything less dismal would be better than what we have, but the profit motive and exploitation of resources, and pollution etc. would have to be leashed somehow.”

You’re kidding right? This is your plan? You’re all prepared to overthrow the existing system but haven’t a real clue as to what you’re going to replace it with? What are you going to do when people are starving because of your failure to have a viable plan to get the economy going as soon as you come into power? They’re going to tar and feather you right before they hang your sorry behind Gerard. You need to go back to the drawing board.

If you’re liberal or liberal leaning (leftist?) you are probably somewhat of a Keynesian, right? If so, you’ve an even darker cloud before you because, despite what all the conservatives think, the economic system now utilized by AmeriCorp is Keynesian. I prefer to use terminology that gets the conservatives’ drawers all knotted up –it’s a socialist economic system! And the GOP loves it! Republican, conservative, neo-conservative, and all the other right wing politicians worship at the altar of Keynesian economics and wouldn’t have it any other way –their bases be damned! (A slightly off topic tidbit for you; not all conservatives are stupid but most stupid people are conservatives. You’ll need to know that as a potential revolutionary leader.)

If this is all that you have Gerard I recommend that you take a course in Revolutionary Leadership at your local community college before attempting to be the next Che Guevara.

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By elisalouisa, April 20, 2010 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller:damn this may be the only times I have ever agreed with elisalouisa on
anything, even if on only one point.

Wonders never cease. Makes life interesting.

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By Leefeller, April 20, 2010 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

nemesis2010 the shit hole comment was a bit over the top, damn this may be the only times I have ever agreed with elisalouisa on anything, even if on only one point.

The idea of causes becoming a shit holes does seem to streach liberties with Hoffers premise.

Since it is most unlikely I will ever have the opportunity to visit South Africa like ITW, I will have to take ITW’s word that South Africa is not a Shit hole, of course I do not know what kind of house keeper ITW is either.

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By jonathonk99, April 20, 2010 at 5:34 pm Link to this comment

Ok, let me get this straight.  So Chomsky (bless his heart) seems to think that
the United States Government is going to round up hispanics and blacks and
send them off to Guantanamo or something?  Let me just say FAR OUT MAN! 
Talk about Conspiracy Theory 101!

Oh yeah dude, I’m gonna stop buying plastic and get a bike.  That will change
the world!  Far out man!  Meanwhile, China is building a coal plant per week,
and Obama just ended the ban off-shore oil drilling.

Celebrity!?! Oh yeah, and Chomsky’s You Tube videos have about 5,000 hits on
average.  Take a look for yourself.  He can’t compete with the ebonics
speaking, fast rapping parrot with three-million hits!  Now that’s some real
bling!  Chomsky can’t bling like, celebrity or not.  We’re living in an anti-
intellectual society and it’s cool to be in denial.

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By jonathonk99, April 20, 2010 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment

Let’s get honest here.  Getting a bicycle ain’t enough.  Ten people on bicycles is
not enough either.  China is building nuclear power plants every week, and
Obama just ended the ban on off-shore oil drilling.  How can ten bicycles
compete with that?  While the conservatives still want to believe that global
warming is a myth. 

Luckily I don’t have a television.  Meanwhile, I turn on YouTube and all I see is
something like America’s funniest home videos.  People will not find the truth
unless they seek i, but most people don’t care.  Most people are too concerned
with making ends meet and the lives of their families, but are so blind they
don’t see the correlation between that and the war, or that and the
environment. 

The air waves are jammed folks.  If you’re not awake enough you’ll miss it, and
most people are ‘missing it’.  Check out Chomsky’s videos on You Tube.  It’s a
travesty that most only have a couple thousand views when he is perhaps the
most important opinions on the planet.  Meanwhile, the rapping parrot has just
stolen the internet record of three-million views.  All you can do is say what the
fuck?

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By Dave Thomas, April 20, 2010 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment

I’d like to personally thank Mr. David Welch for printing that fact that there are 1,2000 architects who are 9-11 truthers. I bet they sit around watching Oliver Stone’s “JFK” thinking everything in the film is true. Proves architects are no more immune to a suspension of rational thought than high school students.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 20, 2010 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment

South Africa is anything BUT a “shithole”.  I was there in December for the first time and it was beautiful and marvelous and the people, no matter WHAT the color were warm and friendly.  They WANT Americans to come and see how it REALLY is, not how a some numb-nut here imagines it to be!

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By Tennessee-Socialist, April 20, 2010 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

bogi666: i am not an Einstein on psychology, however i think that the cause of why most in USA are so anti-social, so unfriendly and so narcissists (Self-absorved) is low self esteem.  I read in a book by F. Nietzsche that apathy and anti-people behavior is caused by self-hatred.  Another thing is that i would like to point out to you is that people have a very wrong knowledge about who were their founding fathers.  I have just learned the ugly painful truth that Jefferson and Washington ordered the genocide of American Native Indians, and that the USA was founded as a fascist-empire in 1776, and not as as a Republican Beacon of Liberty and freedom like people think.

Here is a little bit of America’s dark beginnings:

http://www.brianwillson.com/martin-luther-king-jr-assassinated-42-yrs-ago-apr-4-1968-601-pm-ct

US ORIGINS In Genocide/Extermination.  Starting in 1600s:

The British arrived in Jamestown, VA in 1607. A policy of intentional extermination of the native population began almost immediately. “Hundreds of Indians were killed in skirmish after skirmish. Other hundreds were killed in successful plots of mass poisoning. They were hunted down by dogs, ‘blood-Hounds to draw after them, and Mastives to seize them.’ Their canoes and fishing weirs were smashed, their villages and agricultural fields burned to the ground. Indian peace offers were accepted by the English only until their prisoners were returned; then, having lulled the natives into false security, the colonists returned to the attack. It was the colonists’ expressed desire that the Indians be exterminated, rooted ‘out from being longer a people upon the face of the Earth.’ In a single raid the settlers destroyed corn sufficient to feed four thousand people for a year. Starvation and the massacre of non-combatants was becoming the preferred British approach to dealing with the natives.” [Stannard, D. E. (1992). “American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World.” NY: Oxford University Press, p. 106].

Long before Thomas Jefferson’s desire to “exterminate” the Indians,  and George Washington had said that Indians were “wolves and beasts” who deserved nothing from the whites but total ruin, the MASSACHUSETTS BAY COLONY in 1630 made it illegal to “shoot off a gun in any unnecessary occasion, or at any game EXCEPT an Indian or a wolf.” [Stannard, D. E. (1992). “American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World.” NY: Oxford University Press, pp. 240-41].

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By Night-Gaunt, April 20, 2010 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

Aquifer the question of rationality goes to from which point the rational of cognitive operation starts and stops. There are plenty of people who are very smart (by any measurement) and still believe that a deity(ies) exist and that certain knowns, & unknowns are the handiwork of such a being(s) are the reason for existence and its perpetuation. So then we have a problem there for those who won’t accept those who see it another way. [I don’t mean just the Atheist and Religionist but between differing believers as well.]

Such can also relate to the views of history. Is Dr. Chomsky correct in his analysis? Is he bringing out the bloody skeletons long hidden and recently so to muck up the rosy and shining promotions we have been officially given? Or is he somehow a linguistic Svengali or semantic terrorist twisting what has happened to support a subversive agenda? Yes he is subversive but only to those who propagate lies & those who believe it. I only consider Dr. Chomsky like the court jester of old, only he could say the truth except in this case Chomsky is 86ed out of most of the corporate press whereas the jester was allowed to live without punishment in front of the king i.e. PTB.

He is only a leader in ferreting out of forgotten and buried closets what really happened. The dirt not mentioned by the kept corporate press and all their scions.

The man himself is unassuming and not a self promoter, he is modest and is anything but charismatic. That is good for any way else would detract from the importance of his information. I am one of those who reads his books even to those ancient days of the 1970’s because they are still important. To know the present one must study the past and to have a better future one must know what is going on now and fix it before it fixes us into more of the same.

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By one of the wolves, April 20, 2010 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

You want a solution? WE are the solution. We have to come up with what to do. Don’t leave it to the young folks. We all have a part to play. Resist, do not participate in the corporate, suburban lifestyle. Don’t buy crap, chemicals, pesticide or plastic. Get a bicycle.

Think of what you can do to reduce corporate power.

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By gerard, April 20, 2010 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment

Tennessee_Socialist:  Yeah, and Abraham Lincoln was just a rail-splitter born in a log cabin in central Illinois.  And nobody would ever have heard of him if he hadn’t been a celebrity figure.

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By Tennessee-Socialist, April 20, 2010 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

Hey guys i don’t wanna put Chomsky down. I even have a book written by him called “Hegemony or Survival.”  However how do you expplain Noam Chomskys statement that Lenin and Trotsky were right-winger capitalists? WTF is Noam Chomsky smoking in this video when he said that Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky one of the strongest anti-oligarchy leaders of the history of this world, and one of the most leftists of this world when he said that they were not in favor of the poors but in favor of the rich-capitalists when he labeled them as “right wingers”

Take a look at the video when Chomsky said that Lenin and Trotsky were capitalists:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=yQsceZ9skQI

I think that Noam Chomsky is not accurate, he is just a celebrity like Oprah Winfrey or Ann Coulter and because USA is a celebrity oriented society, he has more moral authority than any non-celebrity thinker like you people here or me

.

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By elisalouisa, April 20, 2010 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

nemesis 2010:“South Africa is a shithole; it went from a first world nation to one of the worst third world nations in existence. Gandhi’s India isn’t much better. Those are perfect examples of what can happen when revolution takes place.”
How many times have I heard this from those who wish to justify what has taken place. Another one: That land was a desert before such and such took over. So that’s how it is. Plundering, murdering and genocide is fine as long as the conquerers are able to make better use of the land or have better government. There is no standard of living so great that people will readily accept second class citizenship. It is better to have a small broken down house and have inefficient government than live in bondage in a palace with heavy government control.  There is no deluded reality about Gandhi unless it is you who are deluded as to who he really was or what he stood for. You can ridicule posters who seek nonviolence and a financial system that is more equitable. Your henchmen who go around busting heads open with glee are not my ideal. Your world is not one I wish to live in nemesis2010. I am far removed from the henchmen you wish to condone and purposefully so. You may say I do not live in reality but who is to say what reality is? My life is real to me and that is what counts. Meanwhile there are those who stand for Peace and Justice on the sidelines not giving up, that is also reality.

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By gerard, April 20, 2010 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

Nemesis2010:  I struck a nerve, apparently.  So you’re asking me to write a book here. For starters:
  1. We agree thatIt’s young people that will have to do it. As to “identifying the enemy” , it is us.
If young people are convinced by “end times” scenarios, they will be too afraid or too self-decieved to do anything.  I am hoping this can be avoided, even though “end time” scenarios are so popular.
  2. In view of all the “surveillance” and repressive machinery in the hands of power structures that already feel threatened even before one shot has been fired, I hold up nonviolence as a tactic more likely to avoid repressive persecution—though not guaranteed to do so. At best, millions involved at various levels of action might succeed (admittedly a wild hope beyond present indications).
  3.  The desire to get rid of wars is quite wide-spread among what can loosely be called “ordinary people.”  I have not been to Africa though I have talked with people who know something of the struggles there. My bias comes more from experience in Japan, post-war. In addition, there is the fact that war technologies have rather “out-distanced” themselves, and even some military people begin to see the “end of the line,” so to speak.
  4.“Retributive action is what the enemy deserves.”
These are “famous last words” in my moral dictionary.Judging who deserves what for what reason is the very edge of the human slippery slope.  “Let him who is without sin, etc.”
  5. Since about 95% of the world’s people are exploited one way or another, and the exploited are, as you say, against war ... well, “the entire world” is not so grand an overstatement after all. It’s the 5% we have to worry about, and even some of them might, in a pinch ...
  6. As to the “dismal science”—anything less dismal would be better than what we have, but the profit motive and exploitation of resources, and pollution etc. would have to be leashed somehow.
  7.Hopefully, revolution as such may not even be necessary, if actions based on issues are taken in the full light of day, so to speak, and in non-threatening, persistent, intelligent, moral ways—a big order I grant you, but nothing less will suffice in my opinion.
  Bear with me, Nemesis, I may not even live to see the day, but as King said, “I have been to the mountaintop ...” though not in religious terms.

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By Leefeller, April 20, 2010 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment

Henchmen an endearing term for the Tea Party crowd, paid for by special interests, one need only jump over to the the Koch family article on TD. Steering the pot seems so easy if one is inclined and of course has the money.

Hoffer couldn’t have stated it better himself, thank you, nemesis2010.  The goals of fanatics never end up quite as they imagined, always one of those darn opportunist’s in the way.

Real great insight and articulation on “The True Believer” concept of causes and fanatics who blindly pursue them.  Time to bring Hoffer’s book out of moth balls for a review. Never really thought of the person’s mentioned as fanatics though, the shoe fits and the results even more so.

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By nemesis2010, April 20, 2010 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

@ Gerard:

I think that you’ve stretched the definition of nemesis a bit, didn’t you Gerard? I don’t see anything in my dictionaries that says ” the inability to do better.” Retributive action is what the enemy deserves. You’ve also assumed that any forethought was exercised in choosing that name. Actually I was watching “Snatch” when registering and it just happened to be the scene where the bad guy—the really bad guy—was explaining nemesis to the goof-ball black wannabe bad guys. But let’s move on.

There’s at least one commenter here that looks to you as a possible leader and a source of activist ideas. So first I’d recommend that you—as a potential or actual leader—stop reading into what one says and start reading what is actually said. I have to disagree with your evaluation of my comments. I think it downright stupid, perhaps even criminal, to not consider the cost of an action before attempting it; especially if that action can cost others—your faithful followers—dearly. I’m not just speaking of the possibility of being killed during aggressive actions by the State but also the possibility of one being incarcerated,  forgotten by one’s allies, and left to rot for many years.

What is it with TD commentators and their deluded reality about Gandhi, Mandela, and King? What drugs are you people taking? All of those so-called “non-violent” movements were anything but. It’s a lie! Power doesn’t even have to get its hands dirty in ridding the earth of your shadow; that’s the reason for the existence of the henchmen class.

Do you personally know any South Africans? Have you ever been to South Africa or any part of Africa for that matter? South Africa is a shiitehole; it went from a first world nation to one of the worse third world nations in existence. Gandhi’s India isn’t much better. Those are perfect examples of what can happen when revolution takes place. Not all revolutions turn out to be what the true believers desired. Power doesn’t give a good goddamn about you or your families’ lives.

I specifically stated that it would have to be the young that would have to effect the change so I cannot understand your comment that ” even young people will not be able to swim across that menacing divide between today and tomorrow…”

One of the first things you want to accomplish when fighting an enemy is to destroy his ability to communicate. So you Paul Reveres better have something better in mind than the Internet and your cell phones operating at all your Starbuck strongholds.

Our being wired for survival does not mean that we are wired for survival in such a way that we’ll not tolerate some of the most heinous conditions in order to survive.

Your statement ”the entire world is sick of war and exploitation” demonstrates another of your delusions. If the entire world is sick of war and exploitation how do you explain that Power has no problem filling the ranks of all the henchmen classes who go around busting your heads open with glee? “The entire world” is quite a stretch Gerard. Everybody was at my party last night except, of course, all of those who weren’t. The exploited are sick of war and exploitation Gerard; not the exploiters and their henchmen.

So tell me Gerard; what are the top three goals that the Gerard Movement hopes to accomplish in AmeriCorp and how exactly do you plan to accomplish those goals through non-violence? What economic theory do Gerardians believe in and hope to implement in the new America?

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By amunaor, April 20, 2010 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

((Aquifer, April 20 at 3:22 pm

For those discussing religion ....

…the dichotomy between “science” and “magic”; besides the obvious
observation that both require strict adherence to ritual, both were born out of
a desire to understand and manipulate the world….))
***

I disagree…both were not born out of a desire to manipulate the world. Such notions arose as result of those shallow minds; the huffers and puffers, chasing after gold.

Witness Scientism’s violent aftermath in its discovery of the atom; via brute force, Science seeks to dislodge the secrets of Mother Nature, which are then converted into tools for subjugation; whereas Magik observes those forces; seeking alignment of self – a product of natures force - with same; at the same time strives to maintain a balance within the central pillar; found resting precariously between the two opposing pillars.

Ritual is required only to still and silence the ego; anchor and throne to the senses; without this, it is too noisy to hear or see; hence the cliché: Learn to be still.

One cannot walk through these doors with ulterior motives; the self aggrandizement of a tainted heart, without expecting anything less than having the psyche self destruct; the bloody pages of history are littered with numerous examples of what has remained in the wake of such tortured souls.

Yes, Material Scientism has become just as dogmatic a religion as any other; all anomalies that threaten, or challenge their thrones, are quickly swept under the rug by the dogma police. Obfuscation and secrecy are a necessity for extending longevity to the illusion; maya.

The forces in the Universe are neither good nor evil, but misappropriated into the hands of those who perceive those forces as weapons of power, then do they manifest as evil.

Not unlike the wind or gentle breeze; as furrows in the sand, we too leave good or bad impressions; once we sleep with the worms; are released from the abyss, like the rain, rising from the sea.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By Peter, April 20, 2010 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chomsky, the establishment shill, doing a camouflaged attack on the Tea Party movement and someone like Ron Paul.

The “Old” Right is back and its going to fix this whole mess, get used to it intellectualoids…the left will be thrown to the dustbin of History just like the neocons (its no surprise the neocons came from the Chomsky-camp, liars and totalitarians).

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By Donna Fritz, April 20, 2010 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment

We’re allowing the internet to suck out and waste all of our power. This is a great place to exchange ideas and organize, but no real change will ever come from sitting at our computers in our underwear sipping coffee.

As Chris Hedges said at the Union Theological Seminary in NYC last week:

I think that the failure on the part of progressives and liberals is that we’ve forgot that the question is not ‘How do we get good people into power?’ That’s the wrong question as Karl Popper pointed out. The question is ‘How do we limit the damage the powerful can do to us?’

Most people attracted to power are at best mediocre, and like George Bush often venal. The true correctives of American democracy never achieved formal political power - the Liberty Party that fought slavery, the suffragists who fought for women’s rights, the labor movement, the civil rights movement. By 1968, Martin Luther King was the most important president this country ever had because when he said he was going to Selma, 50,000 people went with him.

It is not our role to take power. It is our role to make the powerful frightened of us. And that’s what we’ve forgotten. Give up that dream. I lived in France for a while, and I can tell you that if French university authorities announced that college would cost $50,000 a year, the French student body would shut the country down. That’s the kind of power that we have to reclaim – power that is centered around moral issues that we will not compromise on. Franklin Delano Roosevelt who passed the New Deal, people forget, was a moderating force within the American political system. Eugene Debs, socialists, pulled a million votes; independent press, powerful labor movement – these were the forces that gave us and saved us from slipping into a state of fascism in the 1930s.

VIDEO at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUKn19Sg0vo

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By gerard, April 20, 2010 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

Postscript:  Went back and reviewed my copy of “Wired for War” by P.W.Sincer of Brookings Institute, consulting for Pentagon, CIA, Congress etc.. (It would seem from such credentials that his viewpoint might be slightly slanted?) Anyway—after reviewing all the scary robotic weapons, robot-soldiers etc. on the drawingboard funded by our indiscrimiate government, he contends in the end (albeit feebly, as I too make a point for Gandhi, King etc.) “Humans have long been distinguished from other animals by or ability to create ... we have fashioned awe-inspring ways to express ourselves and our love for one another.  And now we are creating something exciting and new, a technology that might just transform humans’ role in their world, perhaps even create a new species.”
  Then, since there is nothing ameliorative in full view, he concludes with a plea for the need to discuss creative concerns to “move beyond the conflicts that have shaped human history from the start.”
  Like not fighting more wars, not building more UAVs, not polluting, not stealing resources, not thinking “enemy” and “kill” and “Armageddon.”

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By Doug Wilson, April 20, 2010 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“mcthorogood”, he does cite a lot of events that
brought about changes. In fact I think he has them
all memorized. But he doesn’t say, “Come on lets go
do this”. I agree with DeGraw’s idea. Have been
saying the same thing for years. Stop funding the
insanity.

Read some crazy stuff in comments here. But that’s
the way it goes with we humans. Thoughts and ideas
spanning the whole spectrum.

I also don’t know how “far away” we are from madness
turning to armed uprising, or a response to an angry
populace turning into a police state. No way to be
sure.

I was glad he pointed out the part about the danger
of a charismatic leader. This is the format
Democratically Oriented Nation States have taken up
as a control mechanism. Create, or allow, a crisis to
appear and then offer a solution, which is really a
solution for furthering the State.

If a solution is to be had I think it will have to be
built around concepts like “Individual and
independent”.

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By Jack, April 20, 2010 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

““The United States is extremely lucky that no honest, charismatic figure has arisen,” Chomsky went on. “Every charismatic figure is such an obvious crook that he destroys himself, like McCarthy or Nixon or the evangelist preachers.”

How can someone be honest and a crook at the same time? Chomsky is either a jackass or someone playing tricks. Crook is someone who says “Who cares?” when questioned about 911 and the JFK murder.

BTW…McCarthy was right, Venona and KGB documents clearly reveal this.

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By balkas, April 20, 2010 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment

RenZo,
One cannot be an anti-semite; even if ‘jews’ wld indeed be semitic- one can only be against what ‘jews’ do or don’t do.

One cannot be an anti-ethnic when pointing out facts or positing conclusions ab ‘jewish’ behavior because ‘jews’ are a multi-ethnicity; thus, the word ‘jew’ stands for person’s connection to the hebraic science or to people who accepted this cult over a millennium ago.

To me, any human who deems self a ‘jew’ is a cultist as much as a koresh’s cultist.

Mind u, i did’nt understand ur response. U were overly general. 
As for ur “affectations of limited language skills”, “being sardonic”, “countervalent words”
i have taken as an insult; ie., u’r getting personal.

If u keep up this hatred-anger, i won’t care. U do not even know the basic fact that antisemism was invented by ‘jews’ as there is no such thing as antisemitism but there is an outcry against ‘jewish’ crimes. Looks to me, u’r ‘jewish’ or a dem or repub.

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By No-one, April 20, 2010 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

More than ever we must be careful, get more people in our lives to wonder, encourage them to document.
What is the meaning of our lives?

The “system” distorts our perceptions and what we need is in us, deeply.
We must tear down all the behavioral structure imposed by ideology, by the authorities and the infrastructure of power. However we must “mentally”

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By Leefeller, April 20, 2010 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

Beerdoctor,

Nice perspective, learned a few things, though I prefer not to watch TV my choice and because my wife will not let me have the remote. 

All this time I thought Social Security did not get a cost of living raise because of the rising costs of flags made in China, needed to cover all those coffins from the wars,..... never thought of the high cost of the bale out!

Well next year the war will be over and everything will be hunky and dory so Social Security should get a double cost of living raise?

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By gerard, April 20, 2010 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment

Nemesis2010: Your pen name tells us a lot.  Retribution, punishment, inability to do better. You have every right to that moniker, but it has about as much vision and validity in predicting as the Book of Revelations which it resembles in perspective.
  People have a way of screwing up by screwing each other—throughout history.  But the fact that we have a history to refer to also tells us that people have been able to fix their screw-ups time and again.Maybe not entirely, but at least enough to manage to stay alive as a species. 
  Someone recently said (I forget who) that other people seem to know what to do whereas Americans are filled with fear and doubt.  Amy Goodman yesterday showed what has been going on in Bolivia as one example of people creating change. 
  Your statement about violence—“you first have to identify the enemy and understand that there is absolutely no way you’re going to effect the type of change people in America want without a lot of violence and bloodshed. ..  Have you read “Wired for War”? Have you a clue what you’re up against?”—is testimony to your belief that even young people will not be able to swim across that menacing divide between today and tomorrow—that mental structure created by media alone that might as well be called “Dire Straights.”
  I have read “Wired for War” and it is a scarey part of the current picture.  But humans are wired for survival, and we have more ways now to communicate and come together than ever in history.
  I believe, and hope, and predict (for what it’s worth) that people will come together by the millions, not in violence, but in new ways of inter-communication and organization that mirror a new synchrony of peaceful justice. The entire world is sick of war and exploitation. Part of the reason the change is slow in coming is that people are looking for ways to avoid a repetition of past holocausts.
Gandhi, King and Mandela had the right ideas.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, April 20, 2010 at 12:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Unless there are two Noam Chomskys Hedges has done some creative editing of his remarks.  A few weeks ago in a talk broadcast by democracynow, Chomsky said that the US was not a democracy and was never intended to be.  Rather it is an oligarchy with most of the power in the hands of business interests.  He has said this many times in many different places.  So how could he say that we are losing our democracy as Hedges put it?

When Glenn Beck says Hitler is coming we take him for a fool; but when Chris Hedges says it…. oh, what a guy.  He tells it like it is.

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By thebeerdoctor, April 20, 2010 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

Louis Proyect’s wordpress link on this subject is for myself, one of the more thoughtful commentaries on this subject. In fact the Weimar Germany comment is not new. Gore Vidal said this country had the smell of the Weimar Republic, back in the last century.
I also believe that Mr. Hedges watches too much television. Discovering the inanities of a ruthlessly brutal enterprise, which commercial television is most of the time, is a ridiculous waste of time. So what if American Idol,The Biggest Loser, Dancing With The Stars, etc., are empty calorie brain burners, you can still choose to not watch them. The same can be said of Chris Hedges being appalled by pornography: do yourself a favor pal and stop leering at it.
The Fascism is going to get you mantra has become very tired, because that has already been accomplished. The late Norman Mailer pointed this out from observing those skyscrapers in Manhattan, which reduce the individual to a state of insignificance, while reinforcing the ultimate power of the Corporate state.
Perhaps it surprised some that Mailer had very little good to say about the World Trade Towers after they were knocked down, because he knew what they stood for while standing. Yet television created a new mythology that the World Trade Center Towers were the ultimate symbol of American freedom. An entire cottage industry of memorial trinkets to the ground zero holy site emerged.
Louis Proyect’s comments remind me that for the first time, since the program began, under President Obama and the democrats, there is not a cost of living adjustment to Social Security. Using the price of oil as an excuse, they deny money that is sorely needed, while giving away trillions of dollars to Wall Street and the military.
As Fela Kuti aptly put it: “I must look and laugh.”

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By D.R. Zing, April 20, 2010 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

We tend to think short-term. If something is not accomplished in ten years, twenty yeard, our lifetime, we believe have failed. Our cause has failed. 

The facts are we are up against a huge nuclear arsenal, a massive military, an economy based on superstitious beliefs of past centuries, and a global media that does indeed brain wash the general public.  It is not likely to change short of collapse, particularly since we are systematically destroying the ecosystem.

But turtles have been around for a couple hundred million years. With a little luck, human beings will survive the next thousand years and the civilizations that develop may very well study Chomsky with care.

Chomsky’s writings are seeds for the future.

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By Mike Boda, April 20, 2010 at 11:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Noam Chomsky has “never seen anything like” US politicians campaigning on a racial-populist platform?

Sometimes, it’s even a dedicated political party like the Know-nothings, but the Tea Party rallies, are not some “movement,” they are just an extended campaign season.

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By Aquifer, April 20, 2010 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

For those discussing religion ....

Being an acolyte of Joseph Campbell’s approach, I might suggest that we view
it through the lens of archetypes which, I think, are as old as the human race,
perhaps older, and are ingrained in our DNA, such that they, like
rationalizations (for those of you who saw The Big Chill) can be argued to be
more important than sex. Those who think they are operating without some
personal necessary illusion they need just to get out of bed in the morning, I
think are kidding themselves. The only truly rational individual response to the
state of the world in toto is to physically remove oneself from it. If one has
decided not to take that step, the next task is to construct or adopt some sort
of reason to keep going, i.e. to get out of bed, or, for those who physically
cannot, at least to engage in the world. Assuming that, however anemic this
activity may be considered, those posting, ipso facto, have at least decided to
engage, then the real question is, which archetypes are functioning and how
are they fleshed out in various ideologies, belief systems.

This may seem too airy-fairy, but failure to engage the concept that we as a
species began as pre rational creatures and, ALL of us, by virtue of our DNA,
function at that level in much of our everyday lives will lead to all sorts of false
dichotomies. For example, Campbell’s description of Judaism, Christianity (pre
or post Reformation) and Islam as Levantine religions explains a lot, and
though the devil is always in the details, makes the details a bit less important
in the great scheme of things.

Likewise the dichotomy between “science” and “magic”; besides the obvious
observation that both require strict adherence to ritual, both were born out of
a desire to understand and manipulate the world. I leave it to others to decide
whether our world is better off because science has proven so much better at
manipulation. But even here that may be an illusion - it truly is not nice to fool
Mother Nature, and, as Campbell may have put it, the Goddess is returning and
boy is She pissed.

We ignore the fundamental physical facts of our biology and the systems that
evolved in response to it, at our peril. We have assumed for so long that we, in
this country, had put the individual need to struggle for basic survival
essentially behind us, that we really have forgotten that all this discussion,
essentially about how many angels fit on the head of a pin, is only possible for
those who have enough to eat, and clothes to wear, and health to enjoy. For
those who don’t, all the trappings of the vaunted Western Civilization
inaugurated by the Renaissance, Enlightenment, etc. mount to no more than a
hill of beans, nor should they.

Perhaps what is happening now is that for the first time in a long time, folks in
this country are rediscovering this fact, and, not having realized that their
reason for getting out of bed was indeed a constructed, though necessary,
illusion, are in a state of panic; their illusion is disintegrating, as all illusions
must, and they are angry. New illusions, perforce, must be adopted, for human,
as opposed to strictly “rational”, life forms to continue.

Belief in science (and let’s be honest, science is a belief system as well) will not
be enough, you can’t eat equations and even though we use “knowledge” to
assist in providing food, clothing, healthcare - the basis of our actual lives is
embedded in that very pre rational strata we denigrate at our peril.

If we refuse to engage, to go back to basics, to question our beliefs, whatever
they are, to accept the legitimacy, nay the primacy, of the pre rational and
consider that the only truly effective response to the horror of a strictly “rational”
world just might be, not more “rationality”, but something even older ..... ,
then we are, to use a phrase, inelegant though it may be, quite apropos,
in deep shit.

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By RenZo, April 20, 2010 at 10:55 am Link to this comment

Balkas Bozh
One might want to be careful in expressing controversial ideas with limited language skills, or even the affectation of limited language skills, so that one’s sardonic, countervalent words are not mistaken for true anti semitism. Regardless of one’s religious prejudices which are of course, as you (I think) were saying, self-reinforcing, slippery, clipped words confusing race, ethnicity and religion might be taken for deliberate racial hatred. And I know a man of your religious persuasion (75xy) would not feel that way.

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By nemesis2010, April 20, 2010 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

I can’t believe some of the comments here. Many of you are looking for an 81 year-old man to lead you? Are you nuts? Chomsky is one of the best—if not the best—at what he does; seeing through the smoke screens and the bullshat and pointing out the hypocrisy and the hypocrites. That doesn’t mean that he would be equal to the task of leading, what in essence will be, a revolution or that he’d be—or is—a qualified tactician. Chomsky is good at what Chomsky does and at 81 I doubt that he’ll be doing it very much longer before his atoms begin to disperse out into the universe to mingle with those of Zinn and Carlin.

It’s you young people that will have to do it. But you first have to identify the enemy and understand that there is absolutely no way you’re going to effect the type of change people in America want without a lot of violence and bloodshed. Are you prepared to die for this cause of yours? Are you prepared to risk the lives of family and friends? You’re not going to kumbaya those fukkers out! It jus ain’t gonna hapin!

Tell me guys; what’s your plan to replace the economic system? I hope that all of you Paul Reveres understand that AmeriCorp—albeit the hype—is not about free-markets and open competition. So what’s your plan to replace the military industrial complex system which is AmeriCorp’s economic system? Have you read “Wired for War”? Have you a clue what you’re up against?

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By RenZo, April 20, 2010 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

@@ mcthorogood

I don’t look to Hedges or Chomsky for celebrity like starring role in new political party. There is already Nader who has preached the essentially same message for what twenty years?
I look to gerard and some others here for ideas about organizing. The most cogent and direct advice I have seen is here on this subject blog, and says if you want to organize do it yourself - get a sign and stand on the corner, you will meet people.

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By Leefeller, April 20, 2010 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

Blackspeare, is that a picture of Crusader Rabbet?

I used to look forward to watching Crusader Rabbet on TV when growing up. His programs were always way to short and never made sense even to me as a little kid, though I enjoyed the animation.

In a way Crusader Rabbet could have been a teaching tool of disappointment, just like Politics.

If it isn’t a picture of Crusader Rabbet, please excuse my indulgence!

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By balkas, April 20, 2010 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

Choosing a science out of many, appears a hazarduos task.
I use the word science as i wld use the word knowledge.

Yes, folks, religions can be deemed sciences. So, science 1 [that of hebrews] is not science 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and so on, of christians, catholics, muslims, baptists, vooddoo craft, space travel, lab workers, physicians.

And science or knowledge can and shld be evaluated for validity. No science shld be excluded from study.
Thus, no longer can anyone assert that the religious knowledge is gopd’s business and thus ouside of laic ideating ab them.

After all, all priests do is to idiate; thus one cannot dichotomize thinking into thinking an not thinking.

How can, then, any science be valid if it bans thinking? Or allows stoning, burning people at stake, opting for wars, approbating [in effect] poverty, etc.

And knowledge 1, 2, 3, x comes to u whether u like or know it.
So don’t let it in; choose ur own. For me, i have chosen god 7yx and religion-science 7yx.

Oh, my god 7yx! If palin wld read this, she’d want me dead; since her knowledge ooxx is the only valid knowledge.
On the other hand my wife’s knowledge ooo1% tells her that not all jews are bad even tho i never ever said that all jews are bad- only ab 99.99%. I include chomsky, et al! All he’s doing is controling the damage.  tnx

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By K M Venugopalan, April 20, 2010 at 9:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As far as the ominous prospects of return of fascism is concerned, things look more or less similar in each of the opposite sides of the globe.
But for these few persons like Chomsky, (Late) Howard Zinn and many others with their sharp wits and direct memories spanning over several decades speaking out so daringly, folks in the world would have been much more lacking in tremendous measures of good sense and reason.
We shall forget about his silence on like what would be his propositions for a change for better..Let it be best decided by all who have the real stakes.

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By Aquifer, April 20, 2010 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

Dayahka,

I’m not so sure .... Charisma is often in the eye of the beholder. I remember being
downright chilled reading some of the “ecstatic encomiums” lavished on Obama in
‘08. He has proven not to be the Messiah some had hoped for, but the mood in
the populace indicated, to me at least, that they are ready for one. And that mood
has not diminished; if anything, it seems to me, it has strengthened. The Left,
failing to deliver an acceptable candidate, the Right will take a crack at it.

We may well be left holding the (empty) bag if we are not prepared for it. The
climate is changing in more ways than one.

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By Leefeller, April 20, 2010 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

Being alone in ones madness is for most people not a preference, it seems better to have a support group, like the Tea Baggers, or dittio heads any simplistic reason to group together in similar beliefs, the stupidity seems less so in numbers.

“I wouldn’t say that Chomsky is boring because he talks about things no one is interested in, but because the things he says are things everyone who is interested in the subject already knows.” from Anarcisse. 

I find the same from Hedges articles,  sort of preaching what is already known to me, almost common sense,  maybe the difference is both Chomsky and Hedges always seem to be preaching to the choir and I seen to find myself in the choir?

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By Blackspeare, April 20, 2010 at 9:11 am Link to this comment

Chomsky is correct that the USA is changing and becoming more polarized, which eventually will lead to a substantial change in politic.  However, the USA is still a few decades away from that time of upheaval because things just aren’t bad enough yet for significant numbers of people——it takes time.

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By Joe Steel, April 20, 2010 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

Druthers, April 20 at 12:06 pm #

“...a population that no longer has a sense of community .

Truth is considered virtuel, relative, inciting a return to magical thought for those who can no longer understand the complications of science, a domain reserved more and more for specialists

I’ve always just dismissed them as misfits, malcontents and miscreants but I suppose I have to acknowledge ignorance as a big part of the conservative movement, too.

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By Aquifer, April 20, 2010 at 8:53 am Link to this comment

Just read doublestandards/glass houses post about comparing US to India

For a very good take on that, for those who haven’t read Arundhati Roy’s book,
“Field Notes On Democracy: Listening To Grasshoppers”, I heartily recommend it,
and all her other books for that matter. Though she hasn’t been around as long, I
would suggest, at the risk of derision, that she is the distaff equivalent of
Chomsky, and an activist to boot.

Now my interest is piqued, I shall have to pick up a copy of “True Believer”.....

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By mcthorogood, April 20, 2010 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

I read each of Chris Hedges articles with anticipation that he might stand up and offer a solution.  After each article, I go away with one or more philosophical insights, but without any plan for action.  The same could be said about Noam Chomsky.

To read a call for action, see David Degraw’s article, Is It Time for Law Abiding American Citizens to Stop Paying Their Taxes and Start a New Government?

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By lynn Bradbury, April 20, 2010 at 8:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

i have to admit, even as an erstwhile ardent fan of chomsky, that i’m sorely
distressed at his lack of courage in dealing honestly with 911. isn’t his retirement
check secure by now? even if not, what about the many thousands of other active
professionals who have put their careers on the line by attesting to the many
anomalies (to put it kindly) in the official 911 story? he disappoints me!!!!!!

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By Druthers, April 20, 2010 at 8:06 am Link to this comment

I think we have never seen anything like this because of the advances in technology that allow these right-wing financed groups the means to spread their venom via the radio and TV that they own or control by their advertising.  They have professional manipulators who have at their disposal all the means of testing and spreading any propaganda that can return them to power.  The constant repetion combined with grotesque figures like Beck and Limbaugh, that Kazan prefigured in the film “A Face In the Crowd” with Andy Griffith draw in a population that no longer has a sense of community .
Truth is considered virtuel, relative, inciting a return to magical thought for those who can no longer understand the complications of science, a domain reserved more and more for specialists.
Life itself is considered a game to be won rather than an experience to be shared.
I think there is an inner sense of poverty, of emptiness that is turning into blind rage and never in human history have things changed with such speed.

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By david welch, April 20, 2010 at 8:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Noam is referred to as the greatest American intellectual…......ok. fine

How do you explain his acceptance of the government’s
9/11 conspiracy theory?  The one that has boys with boxcutters collapsing 3 skyscrapers with 2 jets.
Now at architects and engineers for 9/11 truth there are almost 1200 licensed architects demanding a new investigation.  i guess, according to the writer of this article, Noam is smarter than the architects.

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By omygodnotagain, April 20, 2010 at 8:01 am Link to this comment

@Renzo
I appreciate your post but disagree on a number of points, first priests in the Eastern, Russian Nestorian, Catholic, Armenian etc were considered as Christ’s intermediate here on earth, it derived from the role of his followers who formed communities (as in Paul/Peter/James letters to Romans, Corinthians etc). Also the Catholic Church did do a lot for peasants. If you pick up the “Wealth and Poverty of Nations”, by Harvard Emeritius Professor of History David Landes, you will in the Chapter on the Middle Ages called “The Age of Invention”, find out that by the year 1000 slavery was effectively abolished in Western Europe by the monastery system of leasing lands to peasants, that the Church formed Universities and allowed free speech protected from rulers by the Pope, that they created Hospitals, as in the Hospitaller the Knights of Malta, that by introducing the clock from China they allowed peasants to better organize their workdays. That they introduced the Water Wheel (again from China) that led to greater grain production and a population boom, that the Gratian Decretum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gratian_(jurist)) used to create Canon Law were also the bases of Civil Laws. And of course the greatest invention of all time the Printing Press was created in the late Middle Ages. Their contributions can be summed up as in 500 AD Western Europe was overrun by Barbarian tribes creating havoc, by 1500 Magellan had sailed around the world, and Columbus had found America, the Portugese had taken control of the East Indies from the Arabs because they built better ships, and the Moors had been chased out of Spain, and Michaelangelo and the Florentine Artsists were about to give the world its most beautiful art. In other words they had taken the West from Chaos to the Renaissance and Age of Exploration.
I do think that Capitalism does thrive on the myth of Individualism, an individual alone is powerless, which is why they fight Unions or any other organized group.  America’s Achilles Heel is is its Radical Individualism, that breaks down even families, and the money boys love it.

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By Rost, April 20, 2010 at 7:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To the best of my judgment Noam Chomsky is the greatest intellectual alive. Still he is human and he has his own imperfections of judgment. So had Newton, Darwin, Marx, Einstein, ...
Many people that criticize him in this blog in my opinion just have an ego problem. They just envy his intelligence and may be even his courage.
Chomsky is a kind of ” consciousness of the nation,” American Leo Tolstoy or Sakarov ( H-bomb creator and major dissident in USSR) . Russian empire and monarchy survived after Tolstoy’s death 7 years. Sakarov died a year or two before USSR collapsed. How long American empire would survive after Chomsky I don’t know. It is very likely there will be no revolution here. Most people in US are too anemic for the revolution of any kind, as long as they have a job. US is just slowly turning into the secondary power, as British empire did. May be it is not so bad from the global prospective. It is a problem of the most of the bloggers that they are well to much politicized and too angry . The ideas in education ( including physical and emotional development), trends in science and technology ( like space exploration) family life, pitiful demography of intelligent people that may culminate in the peril of “Idiocracy,” are unfortunately out of the discussion. But those matter even more than war in Afganistan or Iraq.
They may be less emotionally triggering but make a diffirence .

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By Inherit The Wind, April 20, 2010 at 7:52 am Link to this comment

Joe Steel, April 20 at 8:55 am #

Chomsky mentions the ‘30s when organized labor and the Communists were active.  Where are they now?  This seems a tremendous opportunity for the Communist Party.  Discontent is palpable and it can be laid at the feet of the capitalist dominated “American way.”
*************************************************

Maybe it’s because most Americans and Europeans have seen Communism fail, after its history of totalitarianism and internal genocide.  So they’d rather take their chances on a corrupt capitalist system that might fail than with a KNOWN failure.

Maybe “the people” are more aware of reality than you are.

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By Anarcissie, April 20, 2010 at 7:49 am Link to this comment

ITW—I guess I would say that if Verfremdungseffekt is relevant, it’s something like this:  Chomsky’s fan base for the most part goes to his lectures or reads his writing mainly to hear what they already know and confirm what they already believe, just as a bunch of true-believing Baptists go to hear their favorite preacher condemn sin and predict the Second Coming in the old, familiar terms.  Given the passive state of the Left these days, what they need instead of the old familiar old familiar is a kick in the butt—a moment when the show forces them to step out of their trance and realize that what they are looking at is, in fact, a show, one that demands that they do something about the world they are temporarily escaping from.

I wouldn’t say that Chomsky is boring because he talks about things no one is interested in, but because the things he says are things everyone who is interested in the subject already knows.  But a lot of people like that.  He himself has said that he is not a political analyst or theorist, but just an ordinary citizen stating plain facts and common sense.  It’s up to someone else to provide the theory and the action.  That is the part I’m interested in, and Dr. C. does not provide us with much of either.

As to his mention of Weimar (and mine) there are indeed some similarities between Wiemar and the present U.S., but there are a lot of important differences.  We are right to pay attention to the similarities because we (the Americans) are not all that different from the Germans of 1930, but we must also recognize the differences if we’re not going to go off into futile hysteria Hedges-style.

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By Dave Thomas, April 20, 2010 at 7:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chomsky is a lamb in a world of wolves. His ideals are timeless because they are useless at anytime in the real world.

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By dihey, April 20, 2010 at 6:41 am Link to this comment

Regrettably Mr. Chomsky is significantly off on the fundamental causes for the Nazi success in 1933. For openers, the Weimar Republic was undermined if not betrayed from day one by the Social Democratic chancellor Ebert in cahoots with high officers of the republic’s armed forces. For another, the “Novemberverbrecher”, read socialists and communists, propaganda slogan of Hitler gave many Germans a reason of why the country lost WW1. For a third, the Nazi’s SA troops either terrorized to silence or impressed with “keeping order” many Germans. It is little known that Hitler might have been replaced as leader of the party or the party might have been split into a northern and southern wing if the very popular leader of the northern wing (mainly Berlin) had not quit politics and left the country.
Sure, the cowardice of the conservative parties added to the demise but these parties were more afraid of the communists than of the Nazi’s. After all, Von Papen, one of the leading politicians entered into the first Hitler cabinet. Only a few years later he broke with Hitler in his famous Marburg speech.
I for one see only very few if any similarities between the Weimar Republic and our country. I think that there were greater potential dangers during the Johnson and Nixon administrations.

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By Frumstress, April 20, 2010 at 6:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Not really a cavil: Finkelstein asks “Can you even read any longer what Chomsky wrote on Vietnam and Central America?” Hedges inadvertently answers when he says “Perhaps even more than his scholarship, his example of intellectual and moral independence sustains all who defy the cant of the crowd to speak the truth.” That example is no less useful when encountered in old analyses of events past. You can see the mind at work just as well, and the character of the man. It’s not the contemporaneity of his subject that slays Chomsky’s first-time listeners. It’s the whole guy.

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By omop, April 20, 2010 at 6:14 am Link to this comment

Does one see what his/her eyes detect or what she/him want to see?

Lets see: Close to 30 Million Americans un-employed.

          The Wall Street Mafia has been quite busy “screwing” one and all.

          Billion dollar bonuses…..750 billion stimuli…...Madoff’s billions.

          Thousands if not millions of Americans have lost their homes.

          Beginning with the GWB administration following Israel’s plan for
          the US to invade Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Iran to keep Israel safe
          the costs involved [not counting the dead and crippled] estimated
          at 680 million A DAY.

          A Senate and Congress that is mainly subservient to special interests.

          The punch and judy shows of the two party system.

          And the comic book mentality of what constitutes a democratic
          society.

          [Not to mention the socalled illegal immigration issue]
 
          AND MR. SENSITIVE KNOW IT ALL NOAM CHUMSKY BECOMES
          AN AUGUST FIGURE WHO IS SHOCKED INTO STATING HE HAS
          NEVER….. SEEN….. ANYTHING LIKE THIS BEFORE?

          What did he or anyone else for that matter expect to see in
          America given its past/present policies/actions.

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By mindful, April 20, 2010 at 4:56 am Link to this comment

I feel he is correct. The two party system only serves the CEOS and the wealthy. These people back blow with you hate the wealthy, it is class warfare.

And because of the strengh of the CEOS vs the average, the little guy sees no solution. He actually kicks the hardest at those who know his plight and would do in the reign of the feudal rich.

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