Noam Chomsky on Ron Paul

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Chomsky at the World Social Forum (Porto Alegr...

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AnarchismToday.org (no longer available)
Posted by personman
Sun Dec 02, 2007 06:21:21

Update: I E-mailed Prof. Chomsky for confirmation. Z magazine is an official source, but some Ron Paul supporters are calling the forum comments a hoax or a fake. View Prof. Chomsky’s response here. (no longer available)

From the znet sustainers forum:

Questioner: Hello Mr. Chomsky. I’m assuming you know who Ron Paul is. And I’m also assuming you have a general idea about his positions. Here [is] my summary of Mr. Paul’s positions:
– He values property rights, and contracts between people (defended by law enforcement and courts).

Noam Chomsky: Under all circumstances? Suppose someone facing starvation accepts a contract with General Electric that requires him to work 12 hours a day locked into a factory with no health-safety regulations, no security, no benefits, etc. And the person accepts it because the alternative is that his children will starve. Fortunately, that form of savagery was overcome by democratic politics long ago. Should all of those victories for poor and working people be dismantled, as we enter into a period of private tyranny (with contracts defended by law enforcement)? Not my cup of tea.

– He wants to take away the unfair advantage corporations have (via the dismantling of big government)

Noam Chomsky: “Dismantling of big government” sounds like a nice phrase. What does it mean? Does it mean that corporations go out of existence, because there will no longer be any guarantee of limited liability? Does it mean that all health, safety, workers rights, etc., go out the window because they were instituted by public pressures implemented through government, the only component of the governing system that is at least to some extent accountable to the public (corporations are unaccountable, apart from generally weak regulatory apparatus)? Does it mean that the economy should collapse, because basic R&D is typically publicly funded — like what we’re now using, computers and the internet? Should we eliminate roads, schools, public transportation, environmental regulation,….? Does it mean that we should be ruled by private tyrannies with no accountability to the general public, while all democratic forms are tossed out the window? Quite a few questions arise.

– He defends workers right to organize (so long as owners have the right to argue against it).

Noam Chomsky: Rights that are enforced by state police power, as you’ve already mentioned.

There are huge differences between workers and owners. Owners can fire and intimidate workers, not conversely. Just for starters. Putting them on a par is effectively supporting the rule of owners over workers, with the support of state power — itself largely under owner control, given concentration of resources.

– He proposes staying out of the foreign affairs of other nations (unless his home is directly attacked, and must respond to defend it).

Noam Chomsky: He is proposing a form of ultra-nationalism, in which we are concerned solely with our preserving our own wealth and extraordinary advantages, getting out of the UN, rejecting any international prosecution of US criminals (for aggressive war, for example), etc. Apart from being next to meaningless, the idea is morally unacceptable, in my view.

I really can’t find differences between your positions and his.

Noam Chomsky: There’s a lot more. Take Social Security. If he means what he says literally, then widows, orphans, the disabled who didn’t themselves pay into Social Security should not benefit (or of course those awful illegal aliens). His claims about SS being “broken” are just false. He also wants to dismantle it, by undermining the social bonds on which it is based — the real meaning of offering younger workers other options, instead of having them pay for those who are retired, on the basis of a communal decision based on the principle that we should have concern for others in need. He wants people to be able to run around freely with assault rifles, on the basis of a distorted reading of the Second Amendment (and while we’re at it, why not abolish the whole raft of constitutional provisions and amendments, since they were all enacted in ways he opposes?).

So I have these questions:

1) Can you please tell me the differences between your schools of “Libertarianism”?

Noam Chomsky: There are a few similarities here and there, but his form of libertarianism would be a nightmare, in my opinion — on the dubious assumption that it could even survive for more than a brief period without imploding.

2) Can you please tell me what role “private property” and “ownership” have in your school of “Libertarianism”?

Noam Chomsky: That would have to be worked out by free communities, and of course it is impossible to respond to what I would prefer in abstraction from circumstances, which make a great deal of difference, obviously.

3) Would you support Ron Paul, if he was the Republican presidential candidate…and Hilary Clinton was his Democratic opponent?

Noam Chomsky: No.

Edit: It’s interesting to note that his position pretty much mirrors my own thoughts from my blog posting, “The Ron Paul-blem.” – personman

see

Ron Paul Moves To Repeal Indefinite Detention Of American Citizens Without Trial!

Ralph Nader: Ron Paul and I agree on ending the empire

The Lion and the Ox: The Winter of Our Discontent By Gary Steven Corseri

Ron Paul and the Killing Machine By Mike Whitney + Ron Paul: Save Social Security by Cutting Spending

Ron Paul: Propagandist or Prophet? by Jeremy R. Hammond

Why Progressives Should Support Ron Paul + With 13,111 New Peace Voters, Ron Paul Can Win the Iowa Caucus by Robert Naiman

How You Can STOP Republican Militarism: Vote for Ron Paul

95 thoughts on “Noam Chomsky on Ron Paul

  1. I would also like to point out that though I cannot necessarily agree with everything Chomsky says, he is completely right that without state coercion/intervention we would not have the free Internet as we know it and we would not be enjoying this conversation right now.

    For evidence please see the brilliant writings of Lawrence Lessig.

    If a strictly libertarian society would not have birthed the Internet that I love, then I am forced to question the validity of a strictly libertarian society.

  2. I have respect for Chomsky and Ron Paul, and I want to try and identify what I think is the heart of the disagreement.

    Presumably, Chomsky, Ron Paul, and most people here would accept the following premise:

    We want a free society that maximizes the creative freedom of individuals.

    Many forces infringe upon our freedom to do what we want. I’ll list three of them:

    (1) STATES can use the threat of punishment to tell us what to do. (Don’t jaywalk or you’ll be fined.)

    (2) ECONOMICS can drastically limit our choices. (I’m really hungry but I can’t afford to buy food.)

    (3) NATURE can also drastically limit our choices. (I wish I could go out tonight, but I’m too sick.)

    All three of these forces can exercise great control over individuals.

    A Ron Paul libertarian is only preoccupied with (1) as the ultimate evil that must be stopped at all costs. This is understandable since (1) can be particularly sinister. However by focusing exclusively on (1) you run the risk of people suffering from (2) and (3). Also you can never be totally rid of (1) since (1) is required to enforce property rights.

    Someone like Chomsky seems more concerned with the interplay of (1), (2), and (3) together. My understanding is that Chomsky is against all power centers that might limit the individual’s freedom, including (1) (2) and (3).

    Now let’s look at their first disagreement on property rights.

    Chomsky here is supporting the worker’s right to be free from (2) and (3). Why can’t the worker provide food for his children? The reason is not given in Chomsky’s scenario. Presumably the answer is some combination of (2), the worker does not have any money with which to purchase food, and (3) there is a food shortage.

    (2) and (3) therefore force the worker to give up his freedom. He is forced against his will to work a dangerous, unsatisfying job that takes all of his time, uses up all his creative energy, and may very well kill him prematurely as a result of an industrial accident.

    Sure, he could refuse the job, but then his children would starve, so does he really have a choice? By any definition of freedom, the worker is not really free.

    How do you provide more freedom to the worker? The modern day solution (and presumably the Chomsky solution) is to call on (1). You use the power of (1) to force the employer to be compassionate, and thereby provide employment to the worker on minimally reasonable terms. You have now taken away some of the General Electric’s freedom and given it to the worker.

    This of course upsets the Ron Paul libertarian, who is now horrified that General Electric’s freedom is being violated.

    But to what degree is General Electric’s freedom being violated? Perhaps General Electric is suffering almost as much as the worker? Perhaps it is really bad times, and General Electric can’t afford to provide benefits to the worker without going out of business?

    Or possibly (and to me this seems more likely) General Electric has some freedom to spare. General Electric can afford to be just a tiny bit compassionate to its workers, without going out of business. General Electric can withstand this little bit of (1) and survive just fine.

    But isn’t (1) still wrong? Isn’t it wrong to coerce someone, anyone, even a giant corporation to do anything, even something nice and compassionate?

    Well maybe, if you want to take a hard line approach. The thing is that (1), if it is working correctly, is supposed to guided by PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN GOVERNMENT. (1) is supposed to represent the sincere desires of the majority of the population.

    In this case I think the majority of the population in a democratic society would approve of taking away a little bit of freedom from General Electric and giving it to the worker, and using (1) to accomplish this. It seems like the human choice.

    But is it a slippery slope?

    Have we opened the door to fascist authoritarian disaster?

    I don’t know.

    Maybe some day our technology will improve enough that we can conquer the real enemy: (3). Then we could stop having this argument altogether.

    I hope.

  3. All of you putting on this outraged, wounded, chest beating act what of Chomskys writings have you actually read?
    This is all standard from Chomsky, ‘anarcho-syndicalism’ and ‘libertarian socialism’. And yet you’re all SHOCKED, completely surprised, never saw this coming – wtf?
    Either you’ve never actually read something Chomsky has written – maybe caught an interview here and there and then filled in the blanks based on your own far rightwing world view – or there is something far more sinister going on here…

  4. “And one should never forget that the good Dr. Chomsky’s field is Linguistics, not economics or politics, history or science. It is the use of language and rhetoric that are his specialties. Obviously not history or economics.”

    And your field of specialized training is what? Sniping at Chomsky for his “limited” social scientific training? What academic accomplishments do you have that entitle you to make pronouncements on Chomsky’s expert qualifications?

    Somebody as bright as Chomsky, who studies these issues in the depth in the manner that he does, and who has the time and resources afforded him by MIT, is as qualified as anybody with a PhD to perform scholarly work in these fields. He is certainly as free as any of the rest of you to speak on these subjects (just a lot brighter and far more accomplished than you).

    Does anybody here think for a second that if Chomsky had chosen economics or history for his PhD track that he’d have flunked out? His scholarly publications on the subjects of history and economics surpasses probably 90 percent of PhDs trained in their respective fields. The man could hold a graduate degree in any field he chose. He just happened to choose linguistics and revolutionize the field.

    Are you looking for an expert judgment? I can provide that for you. As a trained (MA, PhD, tenured professor) sociologist with one of my specializations in the field of critical political economy, I find Chomsky’s analysis for the most part valid and sound. I can vouch for him. Ironically, it’s his linguistic theory that is more troubled than his political economic and historical analyses (I am smart enough to have some understanding of that field, as well).

    It’s funny, but I had a guy get all upset at me the other day because I posted a creationism versus evolution youtube video on my blog. He wondered why I was talking about evolution if I was a sociologist. What training in evolutionary biology did I have, he wondered? He then proceeded to lecture me about evolutionary biology! I was unqualified to speak on the subject because I am a sociologist, but he was qualified to speak on the subject because he had zero qualifications! How liberating that must be; when you don’t have any training at all you can say whatever you want! But what was really important is that he didn’t know what he was talking about, whereas I did. Want to guess who the creationist was?

    When one is trained as a social scientist, one learns general skills that make them better at analyzing any field of social scientific endeavor. When one is in an interdisciplinary program, this ability is enhanced. To conclude, the criticism that Chomsky is a linguist is a completely bogus criticism.

    In any case, Chomsky nails the problems with Paul’s arguments. Chomsky’s right: democratic societies already dealt with Paul’s ridiculous arguments and proved that social democratic interventions improve the condition of the population. Paul wants to take us back to a day of unbridled pollution, unsafe working conditions and consumer products, and superexploitation. He would be a disaster for the country, especially for civil rights. He is hands down the worst possible candidate running in either of the major parties. He’s a racist, homophobe, patriarchal Christianist to boot.

    One last point. Chomsky is a libertarian. What Chomsky believes is more or less standard libertarianism. Many of those identified here by critics of Chomsky as libertarians are not actually libertarians (for example, the dime store novelist and crackpot philosopher Ayn Rand). People here are ignorant about the history of libertarianism. The term “libertarian” as applied to right wing social darwinistic thought emerged around the midpoint of last century. The label was appropriated by right wing liberals looking to apply a word that had positive feelings associated with it in the face of the New Liberalism that emerged with Roosevelt. It was a PR move.

    Ron Paul is not a libertarian at all. He’s a states rights conservative. Indeed, I’m a libertarian. There’s a world of difference between his views and mine, not least of which is his opposition to civil rights and his embrace of the sociopathic belief that property legitimately comes before people.

  5. Pingback: Chomsky Applauds Gravel (video) « Dandelion Salad

  6. “Why does anyone, anywhere, pay any attention to what Chomsky has to say about anything?”

    I can’t guess, personally.
    It doesn’t surprise me that this gatekeeper for the NWO would mischaracterize Paul’s positions in this way.

  7. This is where Ron Paul loses a lot of support. He’s an economic Darwinist.

    He always pictured himself a libertarian, which to my way of thinking means “I want the liberty to grow rich and you can have the liberty to starve”. It’s easy to believe that no one should depend on society for help when you yourself happen not to need such help.
    Isaac Asimov, “I. Asimov” pg. 308.

    My opinion is that social liberalism is the way to go. You balance between the left and right to have some safeties and liberty. There’s absolutely no need for it all to turn into a surveillance state with a massively sized military industrial complex.

  8. I am surprised by the lack of intellectual debate in this thread, which apart from a couple of excellent exceptions, consisted of little more than argument ad hominem from both sides. I can understand this from opponents of Ron Paul – after all if you believe in something with your heart and soul (but not your brain), you’re not going to take kindly to somebody demolishing everything you stand for and have ever stood for, irrespective of whether he does so using reason and logic!
    But those who believe in and understand Ron Paul should be above that. After all, there is so much in what Chomsky said that can be attacked without attacking the man who said it.
    Take for example:
    “Suppose someone facing starvation accepts a contract with General Electric that requires him to work 12 hours a day locked into a factory with no health-safety regulations, no security, no benefits, etc. And the person accepts it because the alternative is that his children will starve. Fortunately, that form of savagery was overcome by democratic politics long ago.”

    Why would somebody, starving or not, take such a job? Surely it would be only because they could not get a better job. And why could they not get a better job? Why was this “form of savagery” overcome? Was it because of government intervention or capital accumulation (i.e. economic growth)? If it was the former, then why does the government not just legislate prosperity for all? A minimum wage of $3000 per week! In a free society – the sort advocated by Ron Paul – every worker would receive the full marginal value of his product. What would be the result of legislating a minimum wage that is above the market clearing rate? Clearly, unless the government has found a way of defeating the fundamental laws of economics, the result would be that some labour would go unsold. In other words, the worker who was “forced” to take this lousy job would remain unemployed and would thus starve! This takes us back to the foundation of sand on which Chomsky’s argument is built, i.e. the worker who is “forced” (leaving aside for the moment semantic arguments over the use of that word) to take the lousy job gets life (and the prospect of a better job) in return for his labour, while the employer gets what? Little more than nothing, given that the employee who is “forced’ to take such a job is likely to be unskilled and therefore unproductive. Who is the big winner?
    People like Chomsky like to use the example of a some mythical person who is faced with the choice of starvation or a crappy job. It’s easy to paint the employer as a capitalist pig in those circumstances, but more realistically, in an advanced economy, a person is not faced with such an extreme choice – the “needs” of most people (thanks to to capitalism) are not a full belly, but a car, a big screen tv, etc. So why does a worker’s “right” to a plasma tv justify robbing a “capitalist”? Even in a third world economy, the sorts of jobs that western liberal activists want to eliminate are greatly in demand! Why?
    Stick to the fundamentals people! Property rights. Fundamental economic laws. That sort of thing. mises.org is a good place to look.

  9. This is an interesting article and has garnered many responses. I myself made a rather long-winded one; how could I not? I once read Chomsky, and like some others here, his writings helped me to see that there was “more” to the official story going on. But I will keep this response short.

    1.) Chomsky’s writings/interviews focused on using rhetoric (persuasive language) more than relying on fact. In his writings of politics or economics, he always wrote of the same few events over and over again, e.g., when talking about terrorism in the 2000s, he mentioned (for the 90000th time) George H.W. Bush’s invasion of Panama.

    2.) It seems that those who disagree with Ron Paul are usually making Ad Hominem attacks. When they are not that, they are unsubstantiated claims to his beliefs, actions, etc.

    I will not lie; I am a Ron Paul supporter. But anyone who can give EVIDENCE that Paul is anything but what he says he is, then I will be turned. There are warehouses of evidence against hypocrites and liars like Chomsky, the Clinton’s, etc. So if there is anything lurking in the past 20 years or so that is relevant, show me and we will discuss.

    The Paul attackers should describe what they disagree with and WHY they do not engage in fallacious arguments (THANK YOU Radical Hypocrite).

    And yes, LucyLoo, a debate among Drs. Paul, Kucinich, and Chomsky would be interesting. (I like Kucinich a lot too; imagine that running ticket.) And To Will Jolly: Ha ha ha ha on your comment of Research. A lot of people seem to run in fear from that word!

  10. Dear Readers,

    Please think about what your basic values are and how to realize them, instead of trying to beat your counter-arguers in outpointing fallacies. Academically, you surely can do this. However, the issues discussed by you and those people (Ron Paul and Noam Chomsky) are real issues which affect real people, such as your family and your friends. ALWAYS keep that in mind.

    I praise hearing your opinions. Obviously, some I prefer, some I don’t. But that is besides my original point:

    Being active, i.e. taking action, remains the greatest form of expression and I hope that not only will you post your opinions, but also DO things. Defend your values, more importantly KNOW what they are, and I hope that such awareness will benefit your society.

    Politics is not for politics’ or debate’s sake. Originally, political and economic and state systems were invented and created and established to suit a society and to advance it. But at what cost?
    What is a human’s life worth to you? To your neighbor? To you in 10 years? 20 years? 40 years?
    All those seemingly simple decisions to be taken aren’t easy in the first place and I wish that you keep considering three things:
    1. Is it in your interest for you or a society to decide who is and who is not “human”?
    Consider how people might react to you acting in a way that expresses your stance on this issue.
    2. Do you always know everything and is it possible that you might be advised to listen to others?
    Consider how people might react to you acting in a way that expresses your stance on this issue.
    3. At what point is it better to promote or curb your own interests in a certain context?
    Consider how people might react to you acting in a way that expresses your stance on this issue.

    Cordially,

    A Human Fellow of Yours

  11. It is apparent both from his statement and his long practice of voting Democratic that he would in fact vote
    for Hillary. Or any Dem who is nominated. We can use
    our brains and think about this matter, rather than waiting for The Master’s words next fall.
    Jackson, you badly need to read Murray Rothbard’s
    Power and Market plus For A New Liberty to find out
    ALL state activities could be privately run. Forgot whipping the Ron Paul strawman and learn about the
    libertarian alternative to the contard/libturd status quo.

  12. This from a man (Chomsky) who doesn’t think there wasn’t a thing bit fishy about 911.

    People around the world fear democracy more than terrorism.

    Ron Paul has stirred the “democratic” pot more than any other politician running for office. I say this because he has changed this race, for the better, whether you like it or not.

  13. I’m surprised by Chomsky’s support of Hillary under any circumstance. It makes me question his sincerity on his long-stated foreign policy views, but maybe its pragmatism after GW Bush. I like Ron Paul, but there is nothing rational about libertarian views on the economy. It is a complete dismantling of any public support for a host of necessary services, and totally unrealistic and myopic. It is actually just Republicanism but worse. What RP promises on foreign policy and what he would deliver are two very different things as well.

  14. Yes, it is if he’d support Hillary knowing the alternative is Paul (in the hypothetical question.)
    Sorry but there ARE issues like war, abortion, capital
    punishment, etc., where there is NO middle ground.
    But my purpose here is not to make a case for Paul
    but against Noam and I have done so.

  15. “ You have failed to give even one example of where I’ve allegedly misconstrued Chomsky.”

    But I have given you one example: abstaining from supporting Ron Paul is not identical to supporting Hillary Clinton. I’ve mentioned this point in both my previous posts.

    As for your claim that: “Obviously, not to support a pro-peace libertarian against Hillary IS to support a pro-war authoritarian.” Well that is essentially a “you are with us or against us” formulation with no middle ground, and it is a formulation that I do not share.

    According to your statement someone who does not support a pro-peace libertarian automatically supports a pro-war authoritarian. So if someone supports Dennis Kucinich, they are not supporting a pro-peace libertarian (although Kucinich is pro-peace he is not a libertarian) and if they are not supporting a pro-peace libertarian then they are supporting a pro-war authoritarian. So, in other words, if you are not a Paul supporter you are by default a Hillary supporter even if in reality you support Kucinich or some other candidate.

    I take it that a lot of people believe that a vote for Ron Paul is a vote against the establishment, and I think that this is true. However, voting for Ron Paul is not just voting AGAINST something, it is also voting FOR something. Why can’t you be anti-war and anti-authoritarian but not share Paul’s particular political philosophy? Why can’t you agree with Paul on foreign policy but passionately disagree with him on domestic policy, with the result that you don’t vote for him – but don’t vote for Hillary either?

  16. oops. lol. i can’t edit my post, so i hope y’all know what i meant in the first paragraph.

    that’s what happens when you don’t review your post before posting!!

  17. if you all support war, then i can’t convince any of you of the importance of non intervention. but if you are wary of it and know that war is a good idea and should really only be a defensive posture, maybe you should read what Paul has said before the house 14 days after September 11th.
    As well as many times over and again in various ways.

    http://www.house.gov/paul/congrec/congrec2001/cr092501.htm

    Think about what you are saying when you denounce Paul. Opinions are one thing. Policy is another.

    power to the voices.

    it would help you greatly in your cause to diminish Ron Paul by using some facts and point out what exactly your issue is so that one may better understand what your concerns are.
    Why should I not support Paul?
    If you say racism, please give proof.

    John Doe.

    “Ron Paul is against Democracy and in favor of minority rule. Paul also supports “Corporate Personhood.” Enough said.”

    That is patently false.

    Corporate personhood is a valid concern, but Paul is a defender of private property and contracts. In a justice system that upheld these concepts corporate personhood wouldn’t exist.

    Would you rather government expand so that corporations be further protected by government? Or do you not realize that over the years governments have been protecting corporations? Or even controlled as in socialism or communism that uses the state as a means of dictating the needs of society?

    To claim that Paul is supporting Fascism even though he openly is against it, must mean that you know there are conspiracies out there that are against your interest. What is is that makes you think Paul is against you?

    What about the Federal Reserve? Why does this private bank get the privelege of being protected legally to do what it wants with out money and constantly inflating the money supply?

    Do you understand that the same people who claimed to want to “break the money trust” were the same ones that helped bring the Federal Reserve into being? And the Fed is a very very bad institution?

    If some people understood the beast that Paul is fighting, like the money system in particular, they might realize what he’s up against.

  18. Well, Noam DOES regularly vote Democratic as he informed me, he voted for McGovern, Carter, Mondale,
    Dukakis, Clinton, Gore and Kerry.
    Obviously, not to support a pro-peace libertarian
    against Hillary IS to support a pro-war authoritarian.
    You have failed to give even one example of where I’ve
    allegedly misconstrued Chomsky.
    The anti-Paul comments are worthless ad hominem
    attacks that do begin to deal with his record.
    His rhetoric and voting record are 99% consistent.

  19. Thanks John Doe, that actually summed it all up for me! Now I can finally let this topic go~

    And I offer to others your refreshing refrain, so they may too unburden thyselves of these ‘peculiarities’ of the paulians:

    “The hell with Ron Paul. He’s just a con man who tells his supporters what they want to hear. His rhetoric often doesn’t match his voting record”.

    Enough said indeed!

  20. Ron Paul does not support “corporate personhood”. And if you actually do some research (yes, the dreaded “r-word”), you will see that Congressman Paul’s voting record, his various scholarly articles, and his speeches on the presidential campaign almost never deviate from one another the slightest bit. If you want to make a real argument, then let’s debate.
    As for Noam Chomsky, if he’s a libertarian, then I’m a communist.

  21. Ron Paul is against Democracy and in favor of minority rule. Paul also supports “Corporate Personhood.” Enough said.

    The hell with Ron Paul. He’s just a con man who tells his supporters what they want to hear. His rhetoric often doesn’t match his voting record.

  22. Bill Chen,

    Is it possible that he wants to preserve certain implementations of state but in some other kind of political order? I think what he really wants is some sort of accountable and democratic institution(s) that is/are responsive to the needs of the people. Evidently he doesn’t believe that the current state system is.

    The former British Parliamentarian Tony Benn had a documentary entitled: “Great Ideas that Changed the World: Democracy” (or something to that effect) which was available on Youtube a while back but I don’t know if it’s still there. Anyway, in that documentary he (Benn) said that electoral democracy removed power from the back account (which favoured the rich, the wealthy, and feudal lords) and put it in the ballot box (which gave everyone a fair voice). I suspect Chomsky has a similar attitude towards government. An unaccountable authoritarian government is bad for obvious reasons, but no government is also bad because power is concentrated with those who have financial power and then we have a feudal system. The solution that is “just right” is to have an open, accountable, and democratic system where everyone has a fair voice and everyone’s concerns can be heard rich or poor.

    Michael Hardesty,

    I dispute your claim that Chomsky made “it pretty plain that he’d support a horrendous pro-war statist like Hillary over a pro-peace libertarian. That’s all we need to know.”

    All he said in the above interview is that he wouldn’t support Ron Paul even if Hillary is the other candidate. Also, I doubt that he actually votes for either political party.

    And since you’ve so clearly misconstrued what Chomsky said in this interview, I’m rather skeptical about the other claims you’ve made about him.

  23. “Anarcho-syndicalist”? LOL! I can see I’ll need a doctoral degree in poli-sci to follow some of these ism and schism phrases… (But I’m sure they’re a lot smarter than paul appears to be!)

    Ron Paul is creepy. Of course we’d have been better off with him than the botches, but there’s some seriously scary stuff lurking behind that Mr. Magoo smile, and the dirt get’s deeper by the day.

    As the reality of his past record and present principles is publicized, paulies would do well to set aside their unflagging loyalty amd infatuation, and realign your ‘gut’ with the newly-defined reality, rather than following a leader you’ve all apparently pre-ordained with near infallible ethics.

    In the mean time, he and his flock can certainly expect some healthy hyperbole (if not outright ad-hominem) for their lock-step, unquestioning, foolish flock-like faith.

    Down in Texas they think fast but talk slow. These unflagging supporters are ending up on the wrong side of a hand of Texas Hold-em pokerfaced play. Trust your instinct—he squirmed about a lot of questions he should have been well able to handle.

    And there’s no way he nor anyone else in his cartel can keep trying to slime him out of the racism red-flag with a straight face. No politician in his right mind would have ever associated with the sort of miserable miscreants that Paul does, and not have known it would justifiably haunt his campaign, as it now should!

    So either paul is a pure-bred idealogical bigot (on top of his lunatic domestic policy ideas), or he’s just not too strategic about which supporters he panders to. But either way he’s more bad news than good.

  24. chomsky—>anarcho-syndicalist.

    paul-aligns himself with the old right.

    see Rothbards “Betrayal of the American Right”

    see Taft Republican

    see Classical LIBERAL!! Not right wing extremist!!

    It’s all about the history peoples…..

    ps. the civil war wasn’t about slavery, ….

    and many on mainstream tv are too worried about appealing to the masses (or prohibited) to take a principled stand or give any hard-lined opinion, and people like bill kristol who come off as representing a certain distinguished faction of leaders and citizenry can’t tell real truths on air because they would never achieve their goals of domination.

  25. Chomsky is definitely not any sort of anarchist or libertarian as is clear from this interview as well
    as many others over the decades. That he makes
    some vague statements questioning all states is
    irrelevant once you get to his speciifcs, which is always more state power and less individual rights. By the way, spelling out his views is not an ad hominem attack. Some of you clearly don’t know Logic 101.
    An ad hominem attack is calling names in lieu of
    specific criticisms. He made it pretty plain that he’d
    support a horrendous pro-war statist like Hillary over
    a pro-peace libertarian. That’s all we need to know.
    Over the years Chomsky has routinely analogized
    the US to Nazi Germany and the US usually comes
    out the worst in same ! This emperor is butt naked.

  26. Scor,

    I think you are right that Chomsky didn’t exactly say that he would “support” Clinton. The Chomsky I’m familiar with believes “all states to be illegitimate and that they should all be abolished”. The Chomsky in the interview, however, wants to preserve certain implementations of states, implementations that he personally feels strongly about. Here, he sounds like a typical mainstream liberal, not a libertarian anarchist. At the very least, he was nitpicky about Ron Paul from a generic mainstream liberal point of view.

    Happy holidays.

  27. Just for the record: Chomsky didn’t say that he would support Hillary Clinton. The questioner asked if Chomsky would support Paul, if Clinton was the Democratic nominee, and he responed that he wouldn’t.

    Surely that’s not the same as supporting Clinton.

    I’m not an expert on Chomsky nor have I read any of his books, but the little that I do know of him makes me think that he wouldn’t support either political party. In fact, he’s refered to the Democratic and Republican parties as two wings of the same party.

    Oh, and I’ve heard that Chomsky is an anarchist. During an interview on the CBC in Canada he said that he believes all states to be illegitimate and that they should all be abolished. Unless he’s changed his views over the last couple of years I doubt that he’s an authoritarian.

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