Some praise Chomsky as the “Socrates For Our Times“. Before unleashing a deep and scathing critique to the heart of Chomsky’s mind, let me hasten to point out that I do agree with a lot of Chomsky’s remarks. Let me quote him in an interview posted June 16, 2014:
“This war hysteria has never ceased, moving seamlessly from a fear of the German Hun to a fear of communists to a fear of Islamic jihadists and terrorists.
“The public is frightened into believing we have to defend ourselves,” Chomsky said. “This is not entirely false. The military system generates forces that will be harmful to us. Take Obama’s terrorist drone campaign, the biggest terrorist campaign in history. This program generates potential terrorists faster than it destroys suspects. You can see it now in Iraq. Go back to the Nuremberg judgments. Aggression was defined as the supreme international crime. It differed from other war crimes in that it encompasses all the evil that follows. The U.S. and British invasion of Iraq is a textbook case of aggression. By the standards of Nuremberg they [the British and U.S. leaders] would all be hanged. And one of the crimes they committed was to ignite the Sunni and Shiite conflict.”
The conflict, which is now enflaming the region, is “a U.S. crime if we believe the validity of the judgments against the Nazis. Robert Jackson, the chief prosecutor at the [Nuremberg] tribunal, addressed the tribunal. He pointed out that we were giving these defendants a poisoned chalice. He said that if we ever sipped from it we had to be treated the same way or else the whole thing is a farce.”
Today’s elite schools and universities inculcate into their students the worldview endorsed by the power elite. They train students to be deferential to authority. Chomsky calls education at most of these schools, including Harvard, a few blocks away from MIT, “a deep indoctrination system.””
What is there not to like for someone such as me? Did I not just said the same over and over again, even yesterday (before the Chomsky interview was published)?
[I agree, with all the preceding, especially what I emboldened. Actually, I have said these things vociferously, for years. I am happy Chomsky has joined the show. He should add MIT, and… himself, to the parade. Let me explain.]
My objection to Chomsky is that we need a Death Star to destroy the plutocracy, and that Chomsky is a deeply malfunctioning Death Star.
Chomsky’s analysis of World War One. What happened then bears and informs completely upon what is going on today: a few manipulating plutocrats, in one of the deadliest and deepest conspiracies ever, ganged up together, and achieved their objectives.
(There was actually a hierarchy in the manipulative order, conspiracies within conspiracies: the half dozen Prussians, and the grandson of Queen Victoria who, technically launched WWI all by themselves, were manipulated by a number of higher level creatures. from the other side of the Atlantic! The very failure of Chomsky to know of the existence and nature of this meta-conspiracy mindset is his greatest failure. That makes him bark all day along, at the foot of the wrong tree.)
Chomsky as Socrates? Some will see in that an innocent way of expressing oneself. Instead I view in this not just the pursuit of false prophets, but of a false analysis of humanity.
Having a false evaluation of humanity makes oneself into a lambs ready to be devoured by plutocrats. The basic approach of Chomsky is the same as the one of Russell. It’s a variant of the one inaugurated by Kant, no less. Kant (following Confucius) said the state defined morality, so should be obeyed.
Russell and Chomsky say:”All states are the same, so let’s just do away with them.”
OK, they say: let’s do away with the military mindset; however, a state worth of its name, is, first of all, an army. Thus an anti-military posture is pure anarchism, and, thus pure impotence, hence the greatest help a fascist, plutocratic, oligarchic state can have. That makes Russell and Chomsky more like vaccinations rather than aggressions.
In the end, they leave the state perhaps even stronger, and more unscathed, than Kant did.
Chomsky and MIT mean well. Perhaps. But I doubt it.
Indeed, Chomsky did not get the history of World War One (or Two) right yet. He makes the exact same mistake as the major plutocrat, pseudo-philosopher, Lord Russell. It’s the same grotesque call to turning the other cheek, after the first one has been torn out, and made into a gory mess, with some brains showing (maybe that’s why they lost their minds?)
The Kaiserreich that made a surprise attack on August First 1914, deliberately launching a world war (that’s the way they had planned it since December 1912) was a regime that had long engaged in holocausts and Nazi style war crimes, and proceeded to do this exactly in Belgium and France in the following days.
Weirdly, Chomsky, who recognizes that “Aggression was defined as the supreme international crime. It differed from other war crimes in that it encompasses all the evil that follows,” seems astonishingly unawares of the elementary fact that it is the Reich of the Kaiser which deliberately attacked in August 1914 (even Austria took several more days to declare war, despite Berlin’s frantic urging!)
Yet, the bare facts are obvious: the envoy of the USA president told the Kaiser, June 1, that the USA would support him and proposed an alliance against France. Next the Kaiser attacked, and the USA became immensely rich, feeding the Kaiser, with, among other things, ammunitions, through the “neutral” Netherlands.
When the USA saw that France and Britain were going to win, it came to the rescue of victory, and grabbed the spoils.
Then the USA, by a somber public-private pirouette, transferred much German property into private American plutocratic hands. who then, basically, organized Nazism, as an occasion to indulge in business far removed from Teddy Roosevelt’s anti-monopoly laws!
By forgetting, ignoring, or simply not knowing those basic facts, Chomsky makes himself a major ally of Wall Street plutocracy (the prime profiteer of the preceding; headed by JP Morgan).
To claim, as Chomsky does, that the racist, mass murdering, war crime indulging, anti-Judaic dictatorship of the Kaiser was just the same as the French republic it attacked to destroy, out of sheer computation, to pursue its reign of terror and exploitation, is sheer madness.
And it’s nothing new: that was the line of that major plutocrat, Lord Russell. And, implicitly, dear at heart of many British plutocrats (before their sons, over-represented in the officer class of the British Expeditionary Force, died by the thousands on the battlefields of Belgium and France; the sons were idealistic, the fathers, cynical. But, after they had to bury their progeny, they started to sincerely hate the Huns.)
By attacking on August 1, 1914, the Kaiser actually broke the unity of plutocracy. It’s only being reconstituted now. And in danger of being broken again, not by Thomas Picketty’s rather bland remarks, but by that other major war minded plutocrat, Vladimir Putin.
Chomsky is a false prophet, an objective accomplice of un-truth.
Un-truth has never helped revolution. Moreover, the un-truth of Chomsky (war is bad, we are manipulated into it), is exactly the opposite of what we need in the realm of emotion.
Plutocrats can easily brandish wars that have to be fought. Say World War One, or World War Two. Yes democracies had to fight them, just as the Secession War had to be fought, or the defense war of the French Republic in 1792, fighting for survival against all the plutocrats of Europe united, had to be fought.
The mistake, in World War One, or in World War Two, was not to see that the plutocrats themselves had craftily organized it (just as they organized the plutocratization of the ex-USSR, and, Chomsky could notice, that oligarchization of the ex-Soviet Union was indeed directed from Harvard!)
By saying war is the problem, and refusing to engage in an intricate causality debate Chomsky is enjoining us to enjoy the furious bleating of sheep against the wolves. That won’t do. Except for the wolves. Not only do wolves enjoy eating sheep, but they love killing them, with wild abandon, just because it’s fun. Something about bleating invites the humiliation of being torn open, and being unable to do anything about it.
Our plutocrats are not any different. Bleating to their faces, thus, won’t do.
Oh, by the way, Socrates was executed for his troubling role during Athens 30 year desperate fight for survival. The dictators that came to rule Athens, and collaborate with her enemies (Sparta, etc.), were all Socrates’ students. Socrates, the pseudo-great philosopher, spent most of his career bitterly criticizing Athens total democracy, while dining, feasting, getting drunk, and having sex with Athens’ Golden Youth (such as the Syracuse tyrant friendly Plato).
Half of Athens’ population died during the war. A general amnesty was proclaimed when (under victorious Sparta’s supervision), democracy was re-established. The amnesty was scrupulously respected, but for one exception: Socrates.
So to be called a “Socrates” is not necessarily a compliment. Or rather, if one is on the side of the plutocrats, it is. And that’s no compliment.
Posing to look pretty, as bimbos do, does not bring the Cave Bear down. Any Neanderthal could have told you that. If MIT differs in this evaluation, MIT ought to go back to study the jungle.
Against plutocracy, action without violent violation nor subtler comprehension, contends in vain.