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« Ruminations - 3oct13 (updated 6oct13) | Main | National Dumbth Confirmed »

06 October 2013


Russ Steele

I once had a dog named Hoover who refused to recognize any situation that he did not think he could handle. If it was too big, in Hoover's mind, it did not exist. He was never troubled by problems he could not solve. It could be that Norm Chomsky is "Hoovering" No longer interested in addressing a complex problem, sticking with the small stuff he understands and acknowledges is limited, untroubled, in his mind, by an unsolvable problem.

George Rebane

Dear Reader, I draw your kind attention to the 6oct13 update of the recent 'National Ignorance' piece.

Ryan Mount

This is going to take an extra heavy-duty steak knife to cut through. I need to review both this post and the video before can address both.

However, I do have some brief comments regarding Noam Chomsky

1) I am a tremendous fan of his observations regarding generative grammars. His Syntactic Structures is a masterpiece of Structuralist Linguistic theory that is one of the few to survive the intellectual chaos of the 60s, 70s and even to this day of post-modernism/post-structuralism.

He's "debates" with Michel Foucault, which cover a variety of topics, are a great introduction to this tension.

2) Then there's the political Chomsky that people know the best. The Anarcho-Libertarian. He is often mis characterized as a Left Winger, but up until recently(more on that in a moment), he shared very little with more common American Left-wing Liberal Progressivism. His criticisms on Foreign policy and more notably the media are typical topics of discussion.

3) Then there's what I call the post-John Kerry Noam Chomsky when he somewhat reluctantly supported the Presidential run of him in 2004. I think this marks his decline (some say post 9/11 is when this started) his decline as a spokesmen for the Left/Libertarian causes. He's getting old.

I think we have more of #3 in the video attached in the post. But I need to study what he's saying in more detail.


As a chemistry professor of mine liked to say, "One clean experiment is worth a thousand dirty equations". The "singularity" either is possible, or it isn't. Expect heated debates until that time, or until a quorum of believers no longer seeks it.

No Ryan, Chomsky isn't libertarian and never has been. His particular brand of a libertarian socialism, in short, remains socialist but instead of national thugs driving a state socialism, we'd have a plethora of anarcho-syndicalist thugs (think "community organizer") with much smaller domains but the same disdain for individual liberty.

Ryan Mount

I'm assuming you haven't seen this:

Anyhow there is a broad spectrum of Libertarianism, as I'm sure you know. All of them have one thing in common: A dislike of central control. But more specifically to illustrate this, we have Anarcho-Capitalists who form the Right wing of Libertarians, and Anarchy-Syndalysts who are ostensibly stateless communists.

I suppose your objection to their inclusion has to do with their VOLUNTARY participation in a group. And not the Melvillian isolatode version that Americans seem to prefer with their Right-ish Libertarianism. I suppose calling them "thugs" is the academic and rational way to keep this discussion going?

> much smaller domains but the same disdain for individual liberty.

That is a tremendous assumption and a rather sharp misunderstanding of the values of the Left Libertarians.


You assume wrong, Ryan.

"That is a tremendous assumption and a rather sharp misunderstanding of the values of the Left Libertarians"

No, it's substantially based on being around a number of labor union executives in my youth, and reading the likes of Chomsky as an adult. Not to mention my own leanings as a left libertarian.

Look, I understand folks tending towards totalitarianism wanting to soften the labels of their own side with libertarian, but "libertarian socialist" as a label should probably be ridiculed the way "military intelligence" was by left-liberals a few short decades ago.

Bill Tozer

I was one of those who thought Norm had lost his friggin mind. But, I was wrong. They found it.

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