Guys, I really didn\'t want to comment but I\'m afraid I must. This is such the wrong board for politics. And yet I know folks will wake up and then this thread will be just a-hoppin\'. So I feel it\'s necessary to provide some conceptual balance.
As a child I exercised my freedom and questioned myself, along with the system in which I live. It was an important process. Similarly, I enjoy Mr. Chomsky\'s work; he exercises his freedom to put forth his perception of the world.
What I fear he misses -- and I\'m sure there are those who think he could never have an incomplete understanding about anything -- is that the rest of the world lacks his state of haute evolution.
Whilst he writes his excellent observations, humans continue to be animals, i.e. what they are and always have been. We must compete to live. All this society we have is but a level of abstraction away from our base animal nature. Economics is part of this. \"When Animals Attack\" ain\'t pretty, but it sure is real, and is a right solid metaphor as well.
I would ask Mr. Chomsky to remain within the floating clouds, continue his sanctimony, and thus further explore the perfect symmetry that occurs at 30,000 feet. It is important that there be a foil, that questions us and our direction. He certainly does his best to understand the complexities of the world; to combine the various isolated contexts implied by this policy, that one, and the other as well.
But his synthesis is lacking, because what he seemingly never takes into account is what he DOES NOT KNOW. He\'s not enough of an insider to know WHAT\'S REALLY GOING ON.
Has he ever stopped to think that in today\'s system, THE MAN is his BEST FRIEND? I used to fear the system because it is Big, Subtle, and In Your Face all at the same time. But, I have since realized that the world is too complex to be perfect. And if it ever was fixed in the way he\'d like, Chomsky would be out of a job. What a bummer that would be! No doubt he thanks his lucky stars that he has the privilege and right to deconstruct my America.
And how lucky, for him, that humanity is such a base form of life with an endless supply of foibles to critique...
Example: in the posted article, Chomsky attacks America\'s for-average-consumption reading of THEIR hatred for OUR freedoms. And then points out (from Olympian mountaintops) that our policies keep the rest of the world from being \"free.\"
First of all, most people (take me, for example) aren\'t capable of understanding what\'s really going on in the global balance. Second, the poorest governments of the world are the most corrupt organizations ever. We give them money, and they bank it for themselves instead of spending it on THE PEOPLE. Why is that? Ever wonder how Arafat amassed a personal fortune exceeding US$1 Billion? Why, because he takes for himself out of the international aid! His own finance minister resigned as would any honest CFO, who doesn\'t want to go down in history as the skimming proxy for one hell of a capo-di-tutti-capi.
I wonder how Chomsky would address such an issue today? What\'s that, you say? Without true context our thoughts are small, and as such outside critics only know/share enough to support their own views? I can only agree.
Chomsky\'s role is to criticize America, as is his right. And his enjoyment and personal profitability thereof is equally important. Thanks to America, he has created a cottage industry for himself.
So with all this in mind, continue enjoying your freedoms; Chomsky certainly will.
Voltaire said it best in Candide: IT IS THE BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS. Except this time with no satire; just simple fact. And to build on Hobbes, yes, Humanity is a brutish specie, with love and creative intelligence its only saving grace. Yet for all his multi-level agenda, and I must stress the good here, I know Mr. Chomsky strives to serve the latter.
Unfortunately, his leftist slant is so incomplete that such words truly resonate only with people who take their freedoms for granted. It seems he would rather coast in our wake, thanks to the risk and price in blood WE PAY VIRTUALLY ALONE, and then criticize us in public to further his own agenda. Such is the other half of the Coin That Is Peace...
Suppose America didn\'t exist, or lost World War II (which was only winnable thanks to tech created by THE VAGUE UNKNOWABLE UPPER CLASS). Or suppose Chomsky lived 400 years ago. Would he be such an outspoken critic of whatever is the prevailing system? NOT, because he knows he\'d have his tongue cut out. This should be reflected upon carefully.
I sincerely hope Mr. Chomsky works for the CIA. Then he would have my respect, simply because of the stark contrast between his written word and true knowledge. However I fear his knowledge is limited in favor of an hyper-evolved mode of compassionate expression.
He\'s no spy, of course; just another pundit who wants to tell me how to live. To support our system (or to criticize the forces of Chaos, as he does the only system with all the best and worst of all the world\'s ethnicities) would no doubt be more abhorrent to him than to be sealed in a pit of my personal filth.
I would like to see Mr. Chomsky revisit the works of Tesla, Farnsworth, and the other forgotten inventors who created technologies to obviate BIG OIL. Perhaps then he would question why the oil regimes allow their people to live in such primitive, angry squalor while their Princes roll in billions. Not that this isn\'t particularly awful -- again it is just the inevitable human way -- but without true context any complaint has so little worth....
...that is, unless... oh wait! I forgot! It\'s America\'s policies that have destroyed the world! Not human nature... why should the blame be shared when it can simply be focused on the head of the class? I believe the Chinese call it the \"Crab In Pot\" syndrome: everyone is boiling, and one crab gets the idea to try and climb out of the pot. Sensing this, all the other crabs rush to grab the escapee and drag him back down to the level of collective misery and sexual repression.
In conclusion, this is not a knee-jerk rant about patriotism. To prove it, I will offer my own criticism. Remember when Bush asked for whatever it was, $20 billion in response funding, and congress stepped up with $50 billion? This was great, and yet also made me angry on one level, because if that much free cash flow exists, where is the outrage at the plight of our inner cities? If $50 billion were to be split proportionally amongst our 50 states, and spent on our inner cities and neediest people, think of all we could do with that additional education and people-power. I hope we\'ll soon get around to this.
I\'d also like to see the 9/11 widows take their US$1+ million payout each, and go on with their lives. It\'s hard to describe how embarrassing it is to see these women publishing books about how great they are, and complaining to the NYC port authority how the widows\' feelings should be taken more into account RE: not rebuilding the WTC site. Please note that I am referencing Ted Rall here, a die-hard leftist. How come the Oklahoma City victims didn\'t get a payout?
Well said. Admittedly I can get on a roll, posting at 3am.
I guess there are two schools of thought: the introspective, personal kind where one tries to think and feel in a better, fairer way. This is where I see the value of Chomsky\'s writing.
Then there is reality, where the rubber meets the road. It\'s important to question and complain, but when it comes right on down to it, life isn\'t pretty. Someone wins, someone loses.... and we lost so much one year ago.
Meanwhile, no matter how evolved we become as Americans, the rest of the world will not be with us. The political problem stems from our tendency to lead -- be it to a world of global finance, or one of philosophical enlightenment. To quote from PatS\' link:
\"Anti-Americanism is back,\" said Lyudmila M. Alexeyeva, a noted human rights advocate in Moscow. \"America is the strongest, richest and most successful country, and people here don\'t like that.\"
Still, I was moved by your concise and powerful statement about the permanent nature of human loss. I lost my father to our great system, and as such there is a gap in my soul that can never be filled.