Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Conservative Reads Noam Chomsky

Charles Glass comes to "a conclusion that will startle his admirers and critics alike" and "might surprise him as well" — Chomsky’s Inner Conservative. An excerpt:
    The fundamental precept of his philosophy, which stems from a view of humans as free and creative beings, is that people should be left alone. While the managers of society may coerce and manipulate people, they can and should resist domination. Most conservatives, at least in the American tradition, believe the state should stay out of the lives of its citizens. Too many self-described conservatives insist that the government they can resist at home should involve itself in the lives of people in other countries. Dictating to others how to live is deeply unconservative. If the American government should stay out of the affairs of those of us who have the right to vote for and against it, how much more should it leave alone those with no say in its direction? The American federal government has, as Chomsky states in this enlightening series of essays, no more right to break into the houses of people in foreign lands than into your house in Kentucky or Alaska. Chomsky’s conservatism is more consistent than that of many who claim for themselves, which Chomsky certainly does not, the name conservative. He believes not only in the freedom of Americans, but in freedom from Americans.
The author suggests that "Chomsky’s conservatism, with its explicit distrust of politicians and corporate managers, may explain why his most strident critics are to be found among liberals." He continues, "The liberal intelligentsia cannot bear Chomsky because, in this book as in many earlier publications and speeches, he calls their bluff," namely, by "compar[ing] contemporary liberal 'humanitarian military intervention' with the rhetorical justification Adolf Hitler used when his duty to protect the German minority obliged him to invade Czechoslovakia." The excerpt also stands out:
    Chomsky—as well as pointing out that Ronald Reagan increased the power of the state in many areas and often intervened in the economy on behalf of certain interests—goes after the pantheon of liberalism. His deconstruction of Woodrow Wilson’s idealism will warm the hearts of old conservatives who would like a recount of the 1916 presidential election to give victory to Charles Evans Hughes, a decent statesman and jurist who was more likely to have kept the country out of the First World War. And his take on Barack Hussein Obama is more coherent and scathing than anything the Fox hounds have come up with to date.
Mr.s Glass concludes that "since the death of Senator Barry Goldwater, no one is more deserving than Noam Chomsky of the title Mr. Conservative."

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Anonymous KarlH said...

I've known this for some time. Here's a brilliant example that might interest you:


12:44 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Thanks for the link. It's good to know I'm not the only "Chomskycon" out there.

4:26 PM  

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