The Motley Fool Discussion Boards

Previous Page

Politics & Current Events / Chomsky Chat


Subject:  Re: The Hypocrisy of Noam Chomsky Date:  5/25/2003  7:17 PM
Author:  warizill Number:  11 of 17

Chomsky has declared himself a libertarian and anarchist but has defended some of the most authoritarian and murderous regimes in human history. His political philosophy is purportedly based on empowering the oppressed and toiling masses but he has contempt for ordinary people who he regards as ignorant dupes of the privileged and the powerful. He has defined the responsibility of the intellectual as the pursuit of truth and the exposure of lies, but has supported the regimes he admires by suppressing the truth and perpetrating falsehoods.

This is such a simple misreading of everything left of American politics that one can only wonder what the author hopes to achieve by writing it. It's one thing to criticize Chomsky from an informed, anarchist saavy point of view, quite another to criticize him from the bleacher beside Rush Limbaugh's hot dog cart.

Chomsky has always been aware of the problems and inherent contradictions of enacting an anarchist system of government. In fact, the very history of socialism and anarchism (to the extent that there is a history of the latter) is riddled with this dilemma:

I do not pretend to know the answers to this question. But it seems clear that unless there is, in some form, a positive answer, the chances for a truly democratic revolution that will achieve the humanistic ideals of the left are not great. Martin Buber put the problem succinctly when he wrote: "One cannot in the nature of things expect a little tree that has been turned into a club to put forth leaves."[8] The question of conquest or destruction of state power is what Bakunin regarded as the primary issue dividing him from Marx.[9] In one form or another, the problem has arisen repeatedly in the century since, dividing "libertarian" from "authoritarian" socialists.

Copyright 1996-2020 trademark and the "Fool" logo is a trademark of The Motley Fool, Inc. Contact Us