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Old 06-02-2013, 04:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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"The Kind of Anarchism I Believe in, and What's Wrong with Libertarians"

Noam Chomsky: The Kind of Anarchism I Believe in, and What's Wrong with Libertarians | Alternet


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Chomsky: Well what’s called libertarian in the United States, which is a special U. S. phenomenon, it doesn’t really exist anywhere else — a little bit in England — permits a very high level of authority and domination but in the hands of private power: so private power should be unleashed to do whatever it likes. The assumption is that by some kind of magic, concentrated private power will lead to a more free and just society. Actually that has been believed in the past. Adam Smith for example, one of his main arguments for markets was the claim that under conditions of perfect liberty, markets would lead to perfect equality. Well, we don’t have to talk about that!

Chomsky: Yes, and so well that kind of libertarianism, in my view, in the current world, is just a call for some of the worst kinds of tyranny, namely unaccountable private tyranny. Anarchism is quite different from that. It calls for an elimination to tyranny, all kinds of tyranny. Including the kind of tyranny that’s internal to private power concentrations. So why should we prefer it? Well I think because freedom is better than subordination.


Quote:
Noam Chomsky: Well, anarchism is, in my view, basically a kind of tendency in human thought which shows up in different forms in different circumstances, and has some leading characteristics. Primarily it is a tendency that is suspicious and skeptical of domination, authority, and hierarchy. It seeks structures of hierarchy and domination in human life over the whole range, extending from, say, patriarchal families to, say, imperial systems, and it asks whether those systems are justified. It assumes that the burden of proof for anyone in a position of power and authority lies on them. Their authority is not self-justifying. They have to give a reason for it, a justification. And if they can’t justify that authority and power and control, which is the usual case, then the authority ought to be dismantled and replaced by something more free and just. And, as I understand it, anarchy is just that tendency. It takes different forms at different times.


Good interview with Noam Chomsky. I basically just quoted the first page but ditched the questions and changed the order, as to better suit this thread. Recommend reading the article.


Id like to use this thread to mainly discuss the current american Libertarian movement and concepts and what you think of them, as well as comment on Chomsky's view of Anarchism.
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Old 06-02-2013, 04:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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As it's said, 'With great freedom, comes great responsibility.'
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I can't imagine full-on libertarianism to lead to a more equitable and fair society, but I imagine a lot of libertarians would say that it shouldn't be your responsibility to look after others. or at least they are against the use of force/coercion like taxes and government agencies to make people take an interest in the well-being of others.

I think chomsky makes a good point about libertarianism not being about freedom from authority in the same way as anarchism. libertarians like to speak of consenting parties entering contractual relations with each other. but who is to enforce these contracts? a shill government would have to exist to force people to meet their contractual obligations. the rich will force the poor to agree to shit deals in times of need and the government will enslave those who can't meet their ends. sound familiar?
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Some things libertarians say make a lot of sense and it is great to hear such ideas brought to such a wide audience like what has happened in recent times, but these concepts are outweighed by the negative aspects IMO.


Besides what was mentioned in that quote, my main beef with american libertarianism is the disregard for broad environmental regulation and protection. It would be even worse than it currently is, under a completely corrupt national government agency. We dont have the time for such experiments.
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The problem with free market arguments is the same problem with socialist arguments is the same problem with any other idealist argument. All of these systems "work" so long as there is a body there to enforce what is necessary to make that system work. In the case of libertarian systems, you still need a government to enforce property rights, etc.

The problem is, in any of these scenarios, governments are run by individuals who seek power and are corruptible by those who offer them more power, whether it be in the form of widespread political control or simply in the form of money. You can't make any of these systems work without people who are immune to corruption in charge, and that is simply impossible.



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Old 06-04-2013, 04:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I think Chompsky is confused on his terms.

Liberty =/= egalitarian
equality =/= egalitarian

He also doesn't seem to understand the difference between libertarian and anarchy.

Quote:
libertarianism, in my view, in the current world, is just a call for some of the worst kinds of tyranny, namely unaccountable private tyranny.
This isn't true. Libertarians call for a legally (constitutionally) limited government. In other words, the government has a set of laws that it has to follow, and can't break those laws (even though the ends may 'justify' the means).

I don't seem to understand his definition of the term "anarchy" either. He seems to contradict himself; based on my understanding of anarchy.

Quote:
Anarcho-syndicalism is a particular variety of anarchism which was concerned primarily, though not solely, but primarily with control over work, over the work place, over production.
My understanding of Anarchism is the lack of a "state." How does he he plan to control work and production without a state? This seems like fascism//socialism to me. I'm not sure how Mr. Chomsky qualifies his idea of "anarchism" as anything other than Socialism.
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SageTree View Post
As it's said, 'With great freedom, comes great responsibility.'

I'm sorry if I'm not picking up on the humor, but you're joking, right?
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xil View Post
I can't imagine full-on libertarianism to lead to a more equitable and fair society, but I imagine a lot of libertarians would say that it shouldn't be your responsibility to look after others. or at least they are against the use of force/coercion like taxes and government agencies to make people take an interest in the well-being of others.

I think chomsky makes a good point about libertarianism not being about freedom from authority in the same way as anarchism. libertarians like to speak of consenting parties entering contractual relations with each other. but who is to enforce these contracts? a shill government would have to exist to force people to meet their contractual obligations. the rich will force the poor to agree to shit deals in times of need and the government will enslave those who can't meet their ends. sound familiar?
You're jading the distinction between "libertarian" and "anarchist."

It doesn't have to be so nebulous... Libertarians recognize that having a recognized state//limited government is a necessary evil, and serves a utilitarian purpose. Anarchists believe that having a government//any legal (monopoly) on force is immoral.
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jewish Pork View Post
I think Chompsky is confused on his terms.

Liberty =/= egalitarian
equality =/= egalitarian

He also doesn't seem to understand the difference between libertarian and anarchy.



This isn't true. Libertarians call for a legally (constitutionally) limited government. In other words, the government has a set of laws that it has to follow, and can't break those laws (even though the ends may 'justify' the means).

I don't seem to understand his definition of the term "anarchy" either. He seems to contradict himself; based on my understanding of anarchy.



My understanding of Anarchism is the lack of a "state." How does he he plan to control work and production without a state? This seems like fascism//socialism to me. I'm not sure how Mr. Chomsky qualifies his idea of "anarchism" as anything other than Socialism.


1. im sure you know more about all this and the proper definition of those terms than fucking Noam Chomsky...

2. selective reading much? if you just read the few lines above the libertarian quote you provided you will see what he meant by promoting the worse kinds of tyrany. He stated how it would be a result of putting FAR too much power in Private hands, which he views as even worse than big governments hands, and i agree.


3. i gotta assume you barely read anything man... He gave you His definition of anarchy in the paragraph right above that, but then you go and apply Your definition of anarchy in your response to a cherry picked statement. His view of anarchy is a little more encompassing than just "lack of a state", as well as he fully explains the bit of control he believes is needed





so in a typical Libertarian fashion, you hold on to and champion select statements, yet remain largely misinformed.. lol
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rev View Post
The problem with free market arguments is the same problem with socialist arguments is the same problem with any other idealist argument. All of these systems "work" so long as there is a body there to enforce what is necessary to make that system work. In the case of libertarian systems, you still need a government to enforce property rights, etc.

The problem is, in any of these scenarios, governments are run by individuals who seek power and are corruptible by those who offer them more power, whether it be in the form of widespread political control or simply in the form of money. You can't make any of these systems work without people who are immune to corruption in charge, and that is simply impossible.



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Old 06-04-2013, 12:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jewish Pork View Post
I'm sorry if I'm not picking up on the humor, but you're joking, right?
No, I would assume you're asking is the joke right?

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Old 06-04-2013, 12:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fenderbender View Post
Id like to use this thread to mainly discuss the current american Libertarian movement and concepts and what you think of them, as well as comment on Chomsky's view of Anarchism.
While I agree with Chomsky on many things, it is a shame that he and pretty much everyone else ever take Adam Smith out of context. Smith only believed that free markets would promote equality within an ethical society. He wrote about this at some length but pretty much everyone seems to have ignored him except when it suits their argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jewish Pork View Post
My understanding of Anarchism is the lack of a "state." How does he he plan to control work and production without a state? This seems like fascism//socialism to me. I'm not sure how Mr. Chomsky qualifies his idea of "anarchism" as anything other than Socialism.
You misunderstand Chomsky and anarcho syndicalism.

Imagine that the state does not exist and that people work together willingly in a free association.

You rail against statism whilst cowering under its skirts.
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