Saturday, 26 September 2015

Noam Chomsky - On being Libertarian - and his latest book - "Because We Say So."

The word Libertarian has a different connotation in America than it traditionally has over here. The word in its traditional sense refers to someone, or a group of someone's, who fall short of being an anarchist.  Noam Chomsky typifies the traditional Libertarian. He has the good sense to recognise that being an individual with all its inherent implications; of personal choice; of free will; of democracy, does not mean as an individual you don't belong to a broader spectrum, a wider group. In other words, he believes in the individual within the larger community. Like Facebook. He exists in his own sphere whilst being part of the mainframe. He is among those who differ from the modern understanding of the word by being a social Libertarian. He is on the left. They are right wing. They are not Fascist but that is no recommendation. Noam Chomsky is nothing like them.

He doesn't much like his own nation either. Or rather he dislikes the manner in which it currently holds sway, and has done these past seventy years, over the planet. He even goes so far as to suggest America is the biggest threat to world peace. Not Iran. Not Iraq. Not Korea. Not Russia but the good old US of A.

He fashions his argument with statistic after statistic. Piling fact on fact until a solid body of evidence is formed. I have to say his argument is hard, although not impossible, to disagree with. The United States does all too often, much like the British Empire of old of whom it has replaced, dictate, threaten, attack and manipulate for its own ends. He spares no one in his clinical analyses not even President Obama. I happen to like Obama but Chomsky strikes a blow against the man who he accuses of using drones to assassinate those who stand against the world's richest nation. He also maintains a dislike for the manner in which the UK, Europe, and the USA continue to peruse their neo-liberal policies.

"If you care about other people, that’s now a very dangerous idea. If you care about other people, you might try to organize to undermine power and authority. That’s not going to happen if you care only about yourself. Maybe you can become rich, but you don’t care whether other people’s kids can go to school, or can afford food to eat, or things like that. In the United States, that’s called “libertarian” for some wild reason. I mean, it’s actually highly authoritarian, but that doctrine is extremely important for power systems as a way of atomizing and undermining the public."

His criticism of America's foreign policy has always been scathing. So it remains here in these articles published for the first time in book form.
"Because We Say So," the title alone implying much, is an impassioned, well thought out and well-executed series of articles that offer little new but carry a weight of truth far beyond being singularly unpleasant to the nation it implicates. He, Chomsky, does not decry his country or countrymen but does point the finger of blame at those it elects into office and by default many of American electorate.

It also makes demands on the reader not to forever accuse those on the right of being Fascist. At best a derogatory tag used by those who do not understand the range of right-wing ideologies from neo-liberal to libertarian to fascist. It makes a point of saying to those who purport to be of the left that they should fist dig deep then deeper again before calling everyone they dislike fascist. To oppose the enemy one most first know the enemy.
Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.

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