Is famed left-winger Noam Chomsky against liberty, peace, and prosperity? It was said years ago, during the first Ron Paul run for the GOP nomination, that Chomsky was against private property to the point he could not support Ron Paul over even Hillary Clinton! At which point Lew Rockwell wrote “So much for Noam the peace advocate.”
Bill Anderson wrote back in 2007:
Chomsky, Wallis, and other anti-war people on the left see capitalism as the cause of all war. Therefore, to eliminate war, you get rid of capitalism and bring back the regimes of yesteryear. Yes, as you and I know, those old dictatorships that these people admire (Stalin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, and the others) are the epitome of peace.
The left-wing anti-war people with whom I am in contact here have no problem with the authorities raiding businesses, killing some people, and generally causing havoc. They have no problem with police tasing others, as long as the victims are white males of privilege. Remember, to a person, they approved of what happened to Michael Milken.
We have underestimated the absolute hatred that these people have of capitalism. What they want is a world-wide North Korea, with no exceptions. Remember, Wallis excoriated the boat people of Vietnam in 1979, calling them ‘consumerists in search of a fix.'”
On the other hand, the heroic Robert Scheer supports Ron Paul. When I met Bob at Bumper Hornberger’s FFF conference, he told me: “You libertarians are right. We must abolish the federal government.” My kind of leftist!
I have written before about left-anarchists as potential allies against the State and I tend to agree with Murray Rothbard on Chomsky. But it is enlightening (and entertaining!) to see articles that are anti-Chomsky that are written by anarchists on the left. This post from one critiquing Chomsky from an anarcho-socialist, or anarcho-anti-capitalist perspective, “Chomsky’s Statism: An anarchism for the next millenium?” is a good example. The article concludes with this:
Unlike Chomsky, many rightly see that government schools educate badly, government welfare does not serve poor people well, and government action is largely against the interests of regular people. He is right that private corporations are not in the business of being humanitarian, but neither is the state. Instead of criticizing and fearing this anti-government feeling, we should encourage it and seek to extend it to all areas of government, including the military, police, and taxes.
Private corporate power exists only because it is protected by the state. Government reduces competition and limits entry into the market place with various licensing and regulatory schemes, and grants monopolies and subsidies to favored businesses. Chomsky himself concedes that corporations would not be successful if forced to submit to market discipline, and that markets are under attack. But in addition to actively promoting concentration of private corporate power, the government prevents people from defending their own interests in disputes with corporations with its police powers and laws that disarm working people. Such disempowerment of people makes them unable to resist the power of public institutions as well, allowing the state to tax, regulate, and imprison people at its whim. Abolishing state power is a more effective and libertarian method of limiting private and public tyranny than is increasing the scope of the federal government. Only anarchist means have any hope of producing anarchist ends.
I agree with the author that government is a package and the welfare state is fused with the warfare state: you can not support one without supporting the other. Chomsky will criticize the government’s support of corporations but then like most on the left he refuses to see that the government is what gives those corporations their power. Chomsky is not an anarchist; he refuses to see that government is distilled force and must be done away with as people can act for themselves and voluntarily cooperate with one another. Chomsky takes a look at the anarchist attitude toward the state and he rejects it. Chomsky is troubled that some of us hate or fear the government even as he admits that the state steals from poor people to subsidize wealthy people. Does the famed “intellectual” think the masses should love the entity that is stealing and destroying the fruits of their labor?
“I might add, for what it’s worth, that although I was actively involved in organizing and supporting resistance (including support for draft resisters) in the 60s, and was saved from a likely prison sentence only by the Tet offensive, I was never opposed to the draft. If there is to be an army, it would be best, I think, for it to be mainly a citizen’s army. In part for the reasons that the top command oppose that option.”
As one can see by that quote, Chomsky is not opposed to the State making slaves of men via the draft; he is more concerned that there be “fairness” in the taking of the slaves. It is beyond me why anyone claims that Noam Chomsky’s positions are “logical” or intellectual.
Syndicalists like Chomsky love to dream about what to do with existing businesses that workers will take control of in a revolution. Chomsky never mentions that the factory that the workers will take over is only there in the first place because some greedy capitalist thought he could make a profit selling whatever is made there. Not only that but the owners invested capital that came from prior savings. Chomsky would destroy the very engine of progress and relegate all of us to the poverty of a North Korea. This is not a man interested in peace and freedom; only in enforced egalitarianism.
Chomsky holds to the labor theory of value, a Marxist concept. According to the labor theory of value, the workers in a given factory could have gone to any vacant area and produced the same amount of product by using their “labor” on the nothingness that they find there. Utter madness and fantasy. Chomsky is logical? No way.
No matter what his intentions are, Noam Chomsky is anti-peace, anti-prosperity, and certainly anti-liberty. He is not an anarchist at all.