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Forum Post: some real history (things haven't changed much since the 90's!)

Posted 2 years ago on Oct. 2, 2012, 9:45 a.m. EST by flip (7590)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

QUESTION: Do you see much evidence of a revolutionary spirit in the America of the 1990s?

CHOMSKY: You didn’t find evidence of it in the America of the 1790s. The Revolutionary War was an important event. But it was in the first place, to a significant extent, a civil war, as most revolutionary wars are. And it was a war of independence, as opposed to a revolution against the social structure. The social structure didn’t really change significantly. There were problems right after the war was done. For example, Shay’s Rebellion and the Whiskey Rebellion and so on were challenging the social structure, and there were efforts on the part of radical farmers to take seriously the meaning of the words in the revolutionary pamphlets, but that was pretty well quieted down.

If you go back to the record of the Constitutional Convention, which took place in 1787, almost immediately after the end of the war, you see that they are already moving in another direction. James Madison -- who was the main framer, and one of the Founding Fathers who was most libertarian -- makes it very clear that the new constitutional system must be designed so as to ensure that the government will, in his words, “protect the minority of the opulent against the majority” and bar the way to anything like agrarian reform. The determination was made that America could not allow functioning democracy, since people would use their political power to attack the wealth of the minority of the opulent. Therefore, Madison argues, the country should be placed in the hands of the wealthier set of men, as he put it.

QUESTION: Isn’t that erection of barriers to democracy woven through the entire history of the United States?

CHOMSKY: It goes back to the writing of the Constitution. They were pretty explicit. Madison saw a “danger” in democracy that was quite real and he responded to it. In fact, the“problem” was noticed a long time earlier. It’s clear in Aristotle’s “Politics,” the sort of founding book of political theory -- which is a very careful and thoughtful analysis of the notion of democracy. Aristotle recognizes that, for him, that democracy had to be a welfare state; it had to use public revenues to ensure lasting prosperity for all and to ensure equality. That goes right through the Enlightenment. Madison recognized that, if the overwhelming majority is poor, and if the democracy is a functioning one, then they’ll use their electoral power to serve their own interest rather than the common good of all. Aristotle’s solution was, “OK, eliminate poverty.” Madison faced the same problem but his solution was the opposite: “Eliminate democracy.”

QUESTION: Madison actually expected more of the rich, didn’t he?

CHOMSKY: Madison was sort of pre-capitalist. He was a person of the Enlightenment, kind of like Adam Smith. And his picture of what the wealthy would do with their power was very different from what they did do. He thought they would be enlightened gentlemen, benevolent philosophers and so on. By the early 1790s, he was already very upset, and he was deploring the depravity of the times. He saw people becoming the tools and tyrants of government, as he put it. They were using state power for their own ends. That’s not the way it was supposed to work. But the opposition had already been pushed back by then. Although there were radical democratic elements, they were pretty much marginalized pretty fast.

QUESTION: We really see that happening across history, don’t we?

CHOMSKY: It’s a battle right through history. It’s not just the United States, of course. It was the same struggle in the English Revolution, which came before the revolution in the United States, and in every popular struggle since. And it’s going on right in front of our eyes today. It’s a never-ending struggle.

QUESTION: In that never-ending struggle, where do we stand today?

CHOMSKY: My feeling is that there’s a kind of a cyclic pattern and it generally spirals upward. So we happen to be in a time of attack on human rights, an attack on democracy, even an attack on markets, in my opinion. A lot of basic, elementary rights are under attack -- including the rights guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On the other hand, if we compare this period to the 1920s or the 1950s even, it doesn’t look bad. For example, right now there’s a big problem about how to protect the limited kinds of public health care that are available. There was no problem 40 or 50 years ago because there was no health care. Now there are problems about getting OSHA safety and health regulations enforced, and about enforcing the laws that permit union organizers to operate. In the 1920s there were no such problems because there were no such regulations or laws. The same is true on any issue that you think of -- women’s rights, rights of minorities, concern for children, pick it almost at random. Although there’s plenty to object to, and a lot of struggle that has to be conducted, you do start from a higher plain every time in the cycle.

QUESTION: So is there a place for optimism?

CHOMSKY: If you look over a long stretch, I think there is agonizingly slow progress, with plenty of suffering that doesn’t have to be going on. What is important to remember is that this kind of period -- which they refer to as “the end of history” -- we’ve been through that at least a half a dozen times since the early 19th century. Every time it was wrong. For example, there’s a very good book by one of the best labor historians, Yale’s David Montgomery, which is called “The Rise and Fall of the House of Labor.” But bear in mind that the fall of the house of labor that he’s talking about was in the 1920s. That’s when the labor movement was completely crushed in what Montgomery calls a very undemocratic America. In the 1920s, there was a lot of euphoria about how the end of history had been achieved, about how everything was perfect -- that labor had been smashed and that circumstance would not change. A couple years later everything was totally reversed.

QUESTION: At this point, what do you see as the greatest threat to democracy?

CHOMSKY: The greatest threat to democracy right now is the transfer of decision making into the hands of unaccountable private power. It’s done by a lot of ways, but one of them is what they call “minimizing the state.” This is kind of paradoxical for me. I’m an old-time anarchist from way back. I don’t think the federal government is a legitimate institution. I think it ought to be dismantled, in principle; just as I don’t think there ought to be cages -- I don’t think people ought to live in cages. On the other hand, if I’m in a cage and there’s a saber tooth tiger outside, I’d be happy to keep the bars of the cage in place -- even though I think the cage is illegitimate. I think that image is not inappropriate.

There are plenty of good arguments, in my opinion, against centralized government authority. On the other hand, there’s a much worse danger right outside. The centralized government authority is at least to some extent under popular influence, and in principle at least under popular control. The unaccountable private power outside is under no public control. What they call minimizing the state -- transferring the decision making to unaccountable private interests -- is not helpful to human beings or to democracy or, for that matter, to the markets. In this time when we are told there is“a triumph of the market,” the markets are threatened themselves, aren’t they? What’s developing is a kind of corporate mercantilism with huge centralized, more or less command economies, integrated with one another, closely tied to state power -- relying very heavily on state power, in fact -- and enforcing social policies and a conception of social and political order that happen to be highly beneficial to the interests of the top sectors of the population, the richest sectors.

42 Comments

42 Comments


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[-] 1 points by mayda (57) 2 years ago

for winston?

[-] 2 points by flip (7590) 2 years ago

not really but good call

[-] 1 points by flip (7590) 2 years ago

did you read it

[-] 1 points by mayda (57) 2 years ago

yes. it was perfect

[-] 1 points by flip (7590) 2 years ago

thanks

[-] 1 points by mayda (57) 2 years ago

no trouble

[-] 1 points by flip (7590) 2 years ago

what?

[-] 1 points by mayda (57) 2 years ago

you know what i mean

[-] 1 points by flip (7590) 2 years ago

yes i do

[-] 1 points by mayda (57) 2 years ago

it is nice to know somebody does

[-] 1 points by flip (7590) 2 years ago

i am sure there are others

[-] 3 points by flip (7590) 2 years ago

thanks - you know you make up for some of the more difficult people here

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

Global Debt Jubilee Now !!!

From the article : "According to Wikipedia, “The concept of the Jubilee is a special year of remission of sins and universal pardon. In the Biblical Book of Leviticus, a Jubilee year is mentioned to occur every fiftieth year, in which slaves and prisoners would be freed, debts would be forgiven and the mercies of God would be particularly manifest.” Note the fifty-year cycle, which is not that far from the 60-year 'Kondratieff Wave', at the end of which debt is forcibly erased through mass default.

Re. your kind words : shux, thanx and ditto ~{:-)

pax et lux ...

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

I'd have to eventually take my chances with the saber tooth tiger.

[Removed]

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 2 years ago

Well, he's definitely not a historian is he? I can think of no one who would attempt to define the Rev as a civil war and not a revolt. Nor does this acknowledge the tens of thousands of Tory merchants and property owners that we removed in the process.

[-] 2 points by flip (7590) 2 years ago

is you disagree with this you haven't read history - "But it was in the first place, to a significant extent, a civil war, as most revolutionary wars are. And it was a war of independence, as opposed to a revolution against the social structure. The social structure didn’t really change significantly" - don't see what torys leaving have to do with it - lot sleft after the civil war also. it certainly is not the thrust of the piece anyway

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 2 years ago

Actually the social structure changed tremendously in terms of their economic concerns; this was definitely a revolt - a "revolution" - and definitively NOT a civil war in which opposing factions within borders of a nation engage. That was definitely not the case here; it was those that self identified as "Americans" versus the English and their Tory merchants - we were different peoples of wholly different nations.

You know, this a very accomplished guy but you have to wonder what has prompted this dedication to social upheaval; he has what everyone else wants - the opportunity to pursue his interests freely and realize some relative recognition, status, and profit, from those interests - how many hours has he lost on this?

I will give him credit here, though, for entirely evading the question.

[-] 1 points by flip (7590) 2 years ago

like the slaves were freed and those that owned the land were forced to distribute some of it - no i don't think so. one ruling class replaced another - since you have dedicated so much time to history you should know this already. this is from howard zinn - In the year before those famous shots were fired, farmers in Western Massachusetts had driven the British government out without firing a single shot. They had assembled by the thousands and thousands around courthouses and colonial offices and they had just taken over and they said goodbye to the British officials. It was a nonviolent revolution that took place. But then came Lexington and Concord, and the revolution became violent, and it was run not by the farmers but by the Founding Fathers. The farmers were rather poor; the Founding Fathers were rather rich.

Who actually gained from that victory over England? It’s very important to ask about any policy, and especially about war: Who gained what? And it’s very important to notice differences among the various parts of the population. That’s one thing were not accustomed to in this country because we don’t think in class terms. We think, “Oh, we all have the same interests.” For instance, we think that we all had the same interests in independence from England. We did not have all the same interests.

So when you look at the American Revolution, there’s a fact that you have to take into consideration. Indians—no, they didn’t benefit.

Did blacks benefit from the American Revolution?

Slavery was there before. Slavery was there after. Not only that, we wrote slavery into the Constitution. We legitimized it.

What about class divisions?

Did ordinary white farmers have the same interest in the revolution as a John Hancock or Morris or Madison or Jefferson or the slaveholders or the bondholders? Not really.

It was not all the common people getting together to fight against England. They had a very hard time assembling an army. They took poor guys and promised them land. They browbeat people and, oh yes, they inspired people with the Declaration of Independence. It’s always good, if you want people to go to war, to give them a good document and have good words: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Of course, when they wrote the Constitution, they were more concerned with property than life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You should take notice of these little things.

There were class divisions. When you assess and evaluate a war, when you assess and evaluate any policy, you have to ask: Who gets what?

We were a class society from the beginning. America started off as a society of rich and poor, people with enormous grants of land and people with no land. And there were riots, there were bread riots in Boston, and riots and rebellions all over the colonies, of poor against rich, of tenants breaking into jails to release people who were in prison for nonpayment of debt. There was class conflict. We try to pretend in this country that we’re all one happy family. We’re not.

And so when you look at the American Revolution, you have to look at it in terms of class.

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 2 years ago

The problem is that you yourself are unfamiliar with our history. If you were than you would know that there were as many white slaves in America at the time of the Rev as there were black slaves. And when I say "slaves" that's exactly what I mean - the whites were transported in the very same manner, in far tighter quarters, and sold in chains on the blocks, alongside Africans, in the very same manner - slavery was entirely color blind; the only difference is that the Africans got a war, in which dozens of my ancestors participated, and the whites did not.

Class? There were five distinct social classes, do you have any idea what they were?

Rich and poor from the beginning: how many "gentlemen" do we document in colonial history? What percentage of society were rich, do you even know?

There was no reason to distribute land because there were millions of acres available for essentially nothing; these colonial towns did, periodically, distribute that land freely.

Did my ordinary farmer ancestors have an interest in this war? Well, apparently mine did because they were there with Washington at the Battle of Long Island and they were there with him for the Battle of White Plains. So apparently the farmers had a rather intense interest in killing the British, in part, because the British were stealing everything they had, destroying their homes and their churches; some of my civilian ancestors were hung in front of their families from the rafters in their own kitchens; many of them, even our women, personally confronted the British - because they were raping them every where they went.

The actions of the British leading up to the Rev were decisive, an economic stranglehold that completely encircled them with but one intent and that was to subjugate the people - From the MA Bay, Bostonian point of view, peace and diplomacy were not an option.

It's not accurate to say that this war was fought entirely by poor people - there was no one, anywhere, that did not participate or was not effected by the Rev in some manner - all were involved in the effort to defeat the British. And when they were done, they sent them packing by the tens of thousands. These were not our brothers, not our friends - they were English and we were American - and this was anything but a civil war. You are correct concerning Boston - this was not a war to gain freedom but rather a war in the defense of liberty, which colonials had enjoyed for almost 150 years prior to the loss of the Boston charter.

So tell me, why did Lexington occur, do you any idea? Well, I'll give you a clue... it was because my ancestors stole their cannons and secreted them away at (near) Concord, and the British marched in arms to retrieve them - that's why it occurred.

Class... If you are approaching any aspect of history to view it through any particular lens, the truth you seek is already lost. There is no angle, no avenue, that I have not applied to colonial America, and that includes this issue of class. This is not entirely true - I think there is still a tremendous amount available in terms of primary source documents, and archeology, and a whole bevy of new ideas - we need to further explore.

You know, I can understand colonial history as a historical diminutive for the later immigrant, but even so, you cannot separate America from its history and realize any gain - especially as it relates to class.

[-] 2 points by flip (7590) 2 years ago

yobber you are a waste of time - and i agree that you are a historical diminutive. what you write is always yapping and often incoherent. you think what you like - and i will do the same. i don't care if your whole family fought with washington - it gives you no more insight than the next guy. they were english and we were american - you are just silly. then why did they want representation? please leave me alone - i have better things to do.

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 2 years ago

It was you that responded to my comment that Chomsky is no historian; he's not. It was you that chose to defend - neither one of you has a clue - good luck.

[-] 2 points by flip (7590) 2 years ago

first of all you picked out a comment that was very insignificant from an article that speaks to one of the most important issues of our times - typical. if you are saying that noam has no degree in history you are correct. if you think you know more history than he does you are dumber than i thought. and i think you are really dumb - historical diminutive.

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 2 years ago

If not more, than certainly as much history as he does, without a doubt.

And the rest of the article is meaningless; he does not say anything that the working class poor in this country have not been saying since the 60s; or that hasn't been repeated a million plus one times in this forum.

I, too, an an anarchist in the sense that I believe mankind existed for ten of thousands of years, and even tens of tens, without law or government. Unlike Chomsky, though, I would prefer to face the tiger in a battle of the fittest just as my ancestors did.

We are now on track to add another 200,000 jobs to the Federal payroll to enforce new environmental regulation and very likely hundreds of thousands to manage healthcare.

This was never the intent of those such as Madison; the Left's methodology is wholly inconsistent with their ideology. .

[-] 2 points by flip (7590) 2 years ago

didn't we already have the discussion about that anti democrat little stinker madison - and what is with the 200,000 jobs. the government should be hiring people to count paper clips if they can't think of anything better. we need government to create jobs to get the economy going. the private sector surley doesn't want to do it. not sure where you are coming from but i doubt if you know either

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 2 years ago

Unfortunately I don't believe too many tax payers in America would agree with you.

[-] 2 points by flip (7590) 2 years ago

really - you have your finger on the pulse of america - i don't think so. the ruling elite do not want to spend money on jobs but main street does. are you concerned about the deficit like mitt and barry you little anarchist. shows your ignorance if that is the case - remember we have a printing press and a fed to buy treasuries. plenty of money to fund more teachers and cops - better roads and bridges, a new grid and renewable energy. are you worried about the debt - not too smart if you are. i agree with mitt - the american taxpayer wants jobs - good paying jobs - the american ceo wants cheap labor

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 2 years ago

I think there are common misconceptions regarding the definition of democracy, which it appears Chomsky himself may share. If we, for example, examine the word demographics, we find that "demo" itself holds entirely different meaning - democracy is not the judgement of the "common people" as we assume, but rather the judgement of the "different people" - demo implies there are separate entities, separate peoples, perhaps in separate locations or of distinct difference, that may be possessed of a self-interest that is dissimilar.

Democracy then is the grant of equal judgement of different or dissimilar peoples, as distinct bodies of people.

If we were of one people, or relatively homogenous, there would be no competing interests of separate bodies of people, and issues would take on a wholly different construct. I was twenty years old, living with a German couple, when I can came to this realization - in Germany, where the population at that time was relatively homogenous, there were no "issues," rather there were "themes"; their concern was not who by consensus is favored but only whether the adoption of a particular theme was good or bad. They don't vote left to right; they don't "issue" left to right, but only up or down. One might conclude, that this imparts some lesser compassion but this is not the case amongst a homogenous people.

There is another word that coexists with democracy and that is aristocracy. Aristocracy is the rule of the elites. If we were to adopt Chomsky's stance, that the intent of the Fathers was not to establish democracy but aristocracy, then we must make this mindful substitution when attempting to decipher their words. Having read some tens of thousands of pages, I do not believe this to be the case; I believe they were firmly committed to Aristotelian principle; the intent through Jefferson's "education" was to ensure its survival or to dis-empower those who did not share their commitment.

It is not a question of intelligence, it is a question of ideals. And it arises for a reason - in short, mankind is only capable of one form of governance of dissimilar people, or what we describe as people of diversity, and that is totalitarian; we therefore exist as an anomaly.

While the Fathers adopted Aristotelian political theory, they disregarded his economic theory; Chomsky here makes no differentiation. In a world of abundance, and the New World was a world of abundance, to empower to a right of property is to grant a greater economic pluralism, which Chomsky would prefer to deny.

I believe this is still world of abundance that we ourselves command; that all else is the fictional depiction of an underlying unwillingness to assert.

We have entered a phase where those who depend on others outnumber those on whom they can depend, and this is the direct result of societal safety nets; on the level of a Chomsky all are reliant on the state, and to many this would seem a regression, a reprimitivism that is absurd.

In reference to direct democracy, as the majority judgement of co-equal individuals, I believe it can be summed up with but one word: lynchings. Had it been left to a consensus of the populace rather than state representatives, who themselves voted this issue down some 200 times, our anti-lynching laws would never have come into existence. While African Americans were most often the victim, the lynch mob did not so limit itself - all in America were "lynchable." And it would seem this was a very popular form of "justice" in some areas of the country. This is just one example but I don't see this form of governance as an improvement.

"Democracy," incidentally is derived of Latin; my interpretation is "Athenian'; where the lines began to blur was amongst diverse English speaking peoples, whose difference when co-mingled was outweighed by commonality. But it is not an accurate definition. And that in part is the reason we often refer to republicanism as democracy.

[-] 2 points by flip (7590) 2 years ago

dance all you like you cannot dance around this point - Chomsky paraphrasing Walter Lippmann's ideas about democracy Now there are two "functions" in a democracy: The specialized class, the responsible men, carry out the executive function, which means they do the thinking and planning and understand the common interests. Then, there is the bewildered herd, and they have a function in democracy too. Their function in a democracy, [Lippmann] said, is to be "spectators," not participants in action. But they have more of a function than that, because it's a democracy. Occasionally they are allowed to lend their weight to one or another member of the specialized class. In other words, they're allowed to say, "We want you to be our leader" or "We want you to be our leader." That's because it's a democracy and not a totalitarian state. That's called an election. But once they've lent their weight to one or another member of the specialized class they're supposed to sink back and become spectators of action, but not participants. That's in a properly functioning democracy." - after reading your comments i have to wonder if you missed this part? - "James Madison -- who was the main framer, and one of the Founding Fathers who was most libertarian -- makes it very clear that the new constitutional system must be designed so as to ensure that the government will, in his words, “protect the minority of the opulent against the majority” and bar the way to anything like agrarian reform. The determination was made that America could not allow functioning democracy, since people would use their political power to attack the wealth of the minority of the opulent. Therefore, Madison argues, the country should be placed in the hands of the wealthier set of men, as he put it."

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 2 years ago

Were Madison's views adopted? It is not merely a question of whether the right of the then opulent to be secure in their property was protected but whether that right was extended to all - was it extended to all?

Secondly, the Lippermann model is not a democracy - it is a totalitarian government in which dissent has permitted a negotiation of the right to elect - there is no representation, so it is still totalitarian. So I think definition is very important.

You want to know where your argument really falls apart? It falls apart on local governance - very often our county execs and legislators are uneducated, non affluent people. Some of these gravitate towards state politics or even federal politics. But not all our governors are or have been wealthy; even Obama - I don't believe he came from a wealthy background.

[-] 1 points by flip (7590) 2 years ago

not sure if it is reading comprehension or ideology that is your problem but you certainly have one - at least!

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 2 years ago

I'll tell you something else... when it comes to political science on the level of a Lippmann, I think there is a tendency to blanket label which may not be accurate. Most for example begin with the premise of a historical colonial mercantilism and while it certainly existed to produce some generally abhorred British merchants, it was also frequently circumvented. Sea captains, traders, merchants, were possessed of a rather aggressive acquisitiveness which the British could not contain - there was a tremendous "black market" which history finds it difficult to even trace. I'm just saying that this ubiquitous use with all of its talking points was not a hard and fast. And either is anything else.

I don't think I would attack those such as Madison on these grounds... but I'm certainly now more curious about Lippmann's collectivism.

[-] 1 points by flip (7590) 2 years ago

you are out of your depth - collectivism - nice try -- and don't get me started on the founding fathers. Quotes by Noam Chomsky -

"Walter Lippmann … described what he called “the manufacture of consent” as “a revolution” in “the practice of democracy”… And he said this was useful and necessary because “the common interests” - the general concerns of all people - “elude” the public. The public just isn’t up to dealing with them. And they have to be the domain of what he called a “specialized class” … [Reinhold Niebuhr]’s view was that rationality belongs to the cool observer. But because of the stupidity of the average man, he follows not reason, but faith. And this naive faith requires necessary illusion, and emotionally potent oversimplifications, which are provided by the myth-maker to keep the ordinary person on course. It’s not the case, as the naive might think, that indoctrination is inconsistent with democracy. Rather, as this whole line of thinkers observes, it is the essence of democracy. The point is that in a military state or a feudal state or what we would now call a totalitarian state, it doesn’t much matter because you’ve got a bludgeon over their heads and you can control what they do. But when the state loses the bludgeon, when you can’t control people by force, and when the voice of the people can be heard you have this problem — it may make people so curious and so arrogant that they don’t have the humility to submit to a civil rule [Clement Walker, 1661], and therefore you have to control what people think. And the standard way to do this is to resort to what in more honest days used to be called propaganda, manufacture of consent, creation of necessary illusion. Various ways of either marginalizing the public or reducing them to apathy in some fashion."

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 2 years ago

Walter Lippman was a journalist and a writer; what part of the above do you believe he actually believed? Any of it? Because it would seem to me that he is one of those who manufactures consent; he is manufacturing it with this book.

What we're talking about here is power structure the result of human interaction - there is nothing new, at all. But I will never grasp those who attempt to grasp an understanding through third party eyes - its just hearsay - why not study the history of democracy yourself? And draw you own conclusions? If not, you are just the victim of a someone else's propaganda scheme - he profits from his words.

[-] 2 points by flip (7590) 2 years ago

thanks for the advice - if that is what you are doing it hasn't seemed to help you understand the world. i'll stick to my own methods they are working better

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 2 years ago

It's not advice; it's an attempt to refute the anti-American bias of the Left that permeates much of our literature. Lippmann himself speaks of this as the divisions created and accentuated for the purpose of redefining identity; interesting because he is also critical.

[-] 2 points by flip (7590) 2 years ago

anti american bias - is that what you think of my criticism of madison and lippman and their anti democratic thinking - anti american - ouch you are a stalinist! read this and try to explain it to me - "But what of the charge so often made that he’s an “anti-American” figure who can only see the crimes of his own government while ignoring the crimes of others around the world?

“Anti-Americanism is a pure totalitarian concept,” he retorts. “The very notion is idiotic. Of course you don’t deny other crimes, but your primary moral responsibility is for your own actions, which you can do something about. It’s the same charge which was made in the Bible by King Ahab, the epitome of evil, when he demanded of the prophet Elijah: Why are you a hater of Israel? He was identifying himself with society and criticism of the state with criticism of society.”

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 2 years ago

I think bias can be defined as a prejudice which prevents an unprejudiced consideration; it denies the possibility of an unprejudiced evaluation.

Apparently there was a concern that the right to be secure in one's property would likely be challenged if the poor were empowered, and that evaluation is not inaccurate. Where formerly our opinion was denied by Constitutional protections, our Constitution is now made malleable by our courts, and regularly bends to the political will; what was formerly inapproachable as a matter of dispassionate law is now deemed to be admissible to individual perception, which is relative to circumstance. This is where "anti-American" originates in the mind. It is totalitarian in that it does not admit of our passions; our rights are set in stone.

So it's really not about my actions or your actions - and chances are neither one of us is evil - it's about governance and the preservation of rights as negotiated.

[-] 2 points by flip (7590) 2 years ago

wow - you should haqve been in the debate last night siince they didn't make much sense either! sorry but you are not dealing with obama here. you wrote this - It's not advice; it's an attempt to refute the anti-American bias of the Left that permeates much of our literature. - i responded with chomsky's comment here - “Anti-Americanism is a pure totalitarian concept,” he retorts. “The very notion is idiotic - and then we have this completely nonsensical response - wow - I think bias can be defined as a prejudice which prevents an unprejudiced consideration; it denies the possibility of an unprejudiced evaluation.

Apparently there was a concern that the right to be secure in one's property would likely be challenged if the poor were empowered, and that evaluation is not inaccurate. Where formerly our opinion was denied by Constitutional protections, our Constitution is now made malleable by our courts, and regularly bends to the political will; what was formerly inapproachable as a matter of dispassionate law is now deemed to be admissible to individual perception, which is relative to circumstance. This is where "anti-American" originates in the mind. It is totalitarian in that it does not admit of our passions; our rights are set in stone.

So it's really not about my actions or your actions - and chances are neither one of us is evil - it's about governance and the preservation of rights as negotiated.

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 2 years ago

Much of the more recent historical research and presentation is permeated with anti-American bias; while on the one hand there is an attempt to present new historical evidence based on solid research, or in other words an attempt to gain new insight that might satisfy some new aspect of our continued curiosity about the colonial past, on there other there is a Leftist mandate, especially amongst educators, to insert some derogatory critique of the past. You don't have to empty libraries to realize this - just take a look at wikipedia.

Chomsky is saying that this has always been a nation of diversity, and that the cultural mindset is not static, and that therefore the meaning of "American" is ever changing. But he neglects historical fact - Americans draw all of their identity, and rightfully so, from Massachusetts Bay. It is a construct; with one fell swoop, the Rev granted an identity as "American" - the question that immediately ensued in a nation of diversity - well, what pray tell is an American? And this is where litterateurs entered the fray.

It is possible as Lippmann points out to be anti-American; it is possible to empower those disenfranchised, who are more often recent arrivals, to dismantle the structural tenets of identity to create anew; in the process they seek to preserve their own cultural identity as a matter of mere transference. It is anti-American in the sense that there is a denial of existing identity in favor of some other which is wholly foreign.

It took us a thousand years of struggle to reach MA Bay; we enlisted Virginia which was "Puritan by tradition" to ultimately arrive at this pinnacle as some maxim of freedom - to dismantle that which has afforded some maximum possible freedom to this vast nation of diversity, is to regress; it is to reprimitiveize. In my opinion, there is nothing greater that can be achieved by mankind then that which was presented 200 years ago, and which many have been slowly dismantling since in an attempt to favor the rights of one over those of another - this is not equality as some maximum possible afforded freedom; it is oppression.

It there is one maxim that is define us, let it be this: that none here shall be the oppressed. And this is a universal - it includes even those in a majority.

So I think it is possible to be anti-American.

One of the areas in which I felt Lippmann drifted was in his thoughts regarding the word "nationalism." I don't think he has a very good grasp of this and it appears to have distorted his rationale.

[-] 1 points by flip (7590) 2 years ago

you made this up -"Chomsky is saying that this has always been a nation of diversity, and that the cultural mindset is not static, and that therefore the meaning of "American" is ever changing. - this is what he is saying - “Anti-Americanism is a pure totalitarian concept,” he retorts. “The very notion is idiotic - now go ahead and write a few hundred words to tell me something that is not in those words and we can keep dancing - you are a fool.

[-] -1 points by bullfrogma (448) 2 years ago

I think you're both right (although i can't read so much at once), but these words are packed with so much mutability that just using them creates room for argument.

None of us want a big mob of people voting on something because they like the sound of a name, or just because their friend mentioned it, or because they saw a commercial and the walrus wearing a dress got stuck in their head. I think we can all recognize the danger of popular voting, especially given our current educational platform. And this makes perfect sense, that a crowd of people would always want more, and the danger of that.

So what is our goal? I think the perfect solution involves truth. How could we put truth at the top chain of command? How is that even possible in any uncorruptable way? Democracy has to be part of it because that is the uncorruptable. It's the only agreement strong enough to survive because it enables everyone to watch out for everyone. How do we add truth to that? Do we absolutely become what science would dictate? Just another dictatorship?

When private corporations covet our planets vital resources, drive us into the ground laughing, the government is rigged to support this, and we have no way to stop them. We need a way to stop them.

How about emergency democracy? When we have a problem and a solution but no power, we need something that can champion our truth. Something that can trump corruption to keep the public servents and corporations taking their jobs seriously and responsibly. Because if they have no boss they have no responsibility. We have to face this challenge, that people who hunger for positions of power do so for all the wrong reasons.