Noam Chomsky

In intellectual circles one can hardly avoid coming across Noam Chomsky.  The man seems to be a genius in the field of linguistics but also a political philosopher who is constantly, unrelentingly critical of the United States of America.  He is the sort of whiz brain which has produced hundreds of books and given perhaps thousands of lectures.  You will not find him speaking to your local Rotary Club.

I have listened to him, read some of his material, and have come to the conclusion I have no idea what he stands for — only that he is viscerally critical of the United States.  My abilities as a thinker and as a person who might understand what a thinker is or thinks he is, are sorely limited, and perhaps now even more so because in another year I will be 70, should I be so fortunate as to live that long.

Apparently, Chomsky is an anarcho-syndicalist.  This is to say, this person who is able to weave the most interesting arguments actually belongs to a group of theorists who call themselves anarcho-syndicalists.  In this regard, it is said that young Chomsky was influenced by George Orwell and a man whose name I have not heard before, Rudolf Rocker.

Here is what I find about anarcho syndicalism on Wikipedia

[it is a] branch of anarchism which views revolutionary industrial unionism or syndicalism as an appropriate vehicle for subjugated classes in capitalist society to regain control over the course of their own destiny. Syndicalism is viewed both as a strategy for facilitating worker self-activity and as being an alternative co-operative economic system upon which to base a democratic regime of production for the satisfaction of human need once the injustices understood to be inherent to capitalist society have been overcome. Adherents view it as a potential force for revolutionary social change, combining general defense of rights and advance of interests in the present with longer term strategies designed to facilitate development in workers of the class consciousness and capacity for self-activity necessary before capitalism and the state can be replaced with a new democratically self-managed society.

I am struck right off at what seems to be a great deal of naivety about human beings and how much rectitude and social feeling human beings have for  one another.  Those who believe such definitions seem, in my opinion, to ignore the great unruly forces which to which the individual libido or will is attached from time to time, forces ever shifting.

The ideal brings to mind people who are capable of living in monasteries — not many.

Chomsky, rather smugly, I venture to say, believes in a goodness of man.  I do not share such notions (although I would like to have that point of view if I did not think it, on the whole and in the final analysis, to be delusional).  Humankind seems to carry within its beings a desire to destruction, a desire for death, first the death of the other, and then the death of himself.

One does not witness people rallying by the hundreds of thousands for the concept of compassion; one does witness people by the hundreds of thousands rallying for the death and eradication of people the  “majority” hates — the Jews, retarded, Roma, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the list goes on and on and changes with the passage of the years but not by much.  As I write the believers of Islam are doing their best at destroying each other.  (One might say the Jihadists seek to destroy the West and America.  In reality, they are at war with themselves, they seek, unbeknownst to themselves, their own destruction.)  They have “materialised” their faiths, and the true faith must prevail.  They will try to bring their Jihad to Europe and North America, but even they know, the real battles which must be fought if they are true to their real motives, their religious materialism, must be fought amongst themselves — a civil war based on religious delusion.  At some point, America is simply going to have to withdraw and let it happen.

There is no limit to these destructive forces, these instincts.  Thus the hope of anarcho syndicalism seems a false hope, just as were the hopes of communism, socialism, or whatever panacea gains traction in the mind of man from time to time.

Enough of this for now.  Maybe I will come back to Chomsky with a different attitude.