It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things
that men of intemperate minds cannot be free;
their passions forge their fetters.
- Edmund Burke
When I first began this Post it was with the idea of supplying gobs of horror quotes from Descartes, Rousseau, Kant, Marx & their mental children on down the line to Chomsky, to back up what I have said in the previous 2 posts.
While I will supply a few quotes/links, it was as I nearly finished this post the 1st time, that I realized that not only was it getting quite lengthy, but that it was wrongheaded in that it missed the central question altogether. I’ve since revised it, and broken it into several Posts which I’ll put out this week. Honest.
What I realized was missing in the quantity of detailed horror quotes, though plentiful, was that the individual horrors were far less meaningful than the fact that leftists such as Chomsky unerringly prefer to always assign the lions share of blame to the West in general, and the US in particular, in any cultural comparison. Why is that?
The Low Hanging Fruit
Chomsky is particularly easy pickings for finding disturbing and ludicrous statements, though his particular technique is not to make up facts, but to mention only a fragment of the entire picture, just enough to make it look like the picture he sees, instead of the big picture. Then with that established, he finds some nice point to equivocate on (using one word which can have two separate meanings in different contexts, such as the word “Empire” which has two vastly different meanings when used in “business empire”, and in “Roman empire”), then he drops the wider context which would make such differences clear, and in the process he succeeds in lifting up the bad, and dragging down the good.
When discussing the behavior of two or more countries, even countries with well known tendencies towards slaughterous deeds (Tojo, Stalin, Pol Pot, etc), and the US - even when in the course of the same paragraph or even sentence, attention is drawn to barbaric atrocities of the other side, the bad guy in question is excused and their transgressions smoothed over, and the US is condemned. A case in point, is when describing Japan's behavior in china pre-WWII, and US, and CONDEMNS the US behavior and assigns RESPONSIBILITY for Pearl Harbor, to America!
The following is from Chomsky’s collected speeches ("Imperial Presidency"), in which he states that when considering the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor which pushed America into WWII, it is America which comes out on the short end of the comparison.
NOAM CHOMSKY: Imperial Presidency
"… No one, for example, celebrates Pearl Harbor day by applauding the fascist leaders of Imperial Japan. But by our standards, the bombing of military bases in the US colonies of Hawaii and the Philippines seems rather innocuous. The Japanese leaders knew that B-17 Flying Fortresses were coming off the Boeing production lines, and were surely familiar with the public discussions in the US explaining how they could be used to incinerate Japan's wooden cities in a war of extermination, flying from Hawaiian and Philippine bases -- "to burn out the industrial heart of the Empire with fire-bombing attacks on the teeming bamboo ant heaps," as retired Air Force General Chennault recommended in 1940, a proposal that "simply delighted" President Roosevelt. That's afar more powerful justification for anticipatory self-defense than anything conjured up by Bush-Blair and their associates -- and accepted, with tactical reservations, throughout the mainstream of articulate opinion…"
What isn't mentioned is the slightly larger context of the fact that Retired General Claire Chenault, was serving in China at the time with a squadron of American pilots that formed the “Flying Tigers” squadron, flying P-40's against the Japanese in the defense of China. It seems that the Imperial Forces of Japan were invading China and slaughtering the Chinese enmasse.
Some additional context that might help to understand Chenault's mindset, was the fact that Japan had, 2 years prior, begun the infamous rape of NanKing, where some estimates are that three hundred thousand Chinese were slaughtered. Chenault, on the front lines of true barbarity, was able to see the true nature of the Japanese Empire first hand, and was under no illusions of what war with them would likely mean. Meanwhile back home, where such knowledge was very distant to most Americans, "Chennault wrote Hap Arnold concerning the potential of small incendiaries against oriental cities. The United States, Arnold responded, was only interested in the precision bombing of military targets, and the "use of incendiaries against cities was contrary to our national policy of attacking military objectives. Chennault countered that, with 500 aircraft built, crewed, and maintained by Americans, [his Chinese airforce] would be able to "burn out the industrial heart of the [Japanese] Empire" .
Arnold and his airmen rejected the idea, but Roosevelt did order that the plan be looked into. You may recall that Roosevelt and Churchill were among the few world leaders who saw the necessity of standing up to Hitler and Tojo, before it was too late – unfortunately the rest of the world weren’t convinced until it was too late. It wasn't until late 1941, when we had intelligence through code breaking (our capability to do so the Chicago Tribune leaked, anticipating the N.Y. Times by 60 years, and probably preventing us from discovering the exact time and place of the attack that did take place at Pearl Harbor) that Japan was indeed planning to strike the United States, that "on 15 November 1941 Army Chief of Staff General George Marshall gave a secret briefing to seven Washington journalists in which he told them that the US was on the brink of war with Japan and "intended to fight a merciless war, with B-17s being 'dispatched immediately to set the paper cities of Japan on fire. There won't be any hesitation about bombing civilians-it will be all out"
It would still appear that this was only in the theoretical stages though, considering that it wasn't until April of 1942 that Doolitle's Raiders, Flying B-25's from an aircraft carrier sailed as close as they dared to sail towards the islands of Japan. Even so, and even though Doolittle and his pilots ripped all unnecessary equipment from the planes in order to stock it with as many 5-gallon cans of gas as they could carry, they knew they wouldn't have the gas to make it to a landing strip after flying the mission; all but one plane ditched or crash landed after the attack.
And incidentally, if it was a plan so well advanced as to be seriously threatening to the Japanese, as he implies to be, why did it take 26 months to repeat it?
Chomsky's tactics are nearly always the same - sparse context, carefully selected facts that encourage opposite meanings to be inferred than would otherwise be the case. As with the preceding quote where Japans already established atrocities and Proclaimed Imperialist intentions are not even mentioned, they are portrayed as if they were innocently minding their own business when all of a sudden they caught wind of the Evil American's desire to fry them in their huts. There is always some such context dropping and key equivocation in his statements that allows some perhaps unflattering fact of ours to be "just as bad as" some horrendous evil of theirs, thereby making America to seem the larger and more duplicitous evil.
Another case in point:
"… consistent anarchist must oppose private ownership of the means of production and the wage slavery which is a component of this system, as incompatible with the principle that labor must be freely undertaken and under the control of the producer. As Marx put it, socialists look forward to a society, in which labor will "become not only a means of life, but also the highest want in life…"
Here "Wage", which is an agreed (between both parties) amount of wealth paid for services rendered, is affixed to the idea of slavery, which allows no choice whatsoever on the part of the slave. If a slave says no, the slave owner can beat or kill him. If a worker says “No”, he can attempt to bargain with his employer, or quit and leave for greener pastures. If he does so, the employer’s limit of power is to say “You’ll do it or you’re fired!” which is of limited use if the employee has already quit. The context dropped is of course the entire circumstance of workers seeking work from an employer who is seeking employees, and the fact that they don’t become employees unless an agreement is freely made between them.
Here’s another from his favorite hits:
Domestic Constituencies - Noam Chomsky Z Magazine, May, 1998
"The most effective way to restrict democracy is to transfer decision-making from the public arena to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern corporations. The decisions reached by the directors of GE affect the general society substantially, but citizens play no role in them, as a matter of principle (we may put aside transparent myth about market and stockholder "democracy")."
Here he plays his equivocation game by speaking as though “kings, princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships” and “modern corporations” are equal in moral standing, behavioral policy, and practical function. Most of us realize that the first names refer to those who rule by brute force, with the power of arbitrary imprisonment and even death, and by including corporation with them he implies that it is just another form of the preceding power players. He also drops the context of the wider society where all operate within – the Kingly rulers create, drop and or violate “laws” at their whim. Corporations can only exist where there is an established rule of stable law that protects the rights of the citizens to be secure in their lives and property.
He drops the meaning not only of a publicly traded Corporation, but also of citizens. A corporation is answerable to the shareholders (aka citizens) and if it’s publicly traded, its shares are bought and sold by those of the public who chose to invest their hard earned “wage slavery”, in the expectation that more wealth will be created & so benefit them. The Corporation is answerable to these citizens based on the corporate officers’ proven ability to effectively do the work of the business profitably – that is, produce a product that other citizens find useful (and in the process paying an agreed upon wage to other citizens, here or abroad) at a profit to the business and it’s shareholders.
Fortunately there are a lot citizens who are not fooled by “the transparent myth” of there being a “transparent myth” about markets and stockholders – many a corporate honcho, and not a few politicians who have been perceived as impeding them, have felt the wrath of millions of 401k & mutual fund shareholders.
Try telling a King, the Politburo, or the Chinese Communist Party that you think that they are not managing the business of the State efficiently. Press releases are not what they’re going to fire off at you in reply.
Darkening Counsel With Their Words
Examples like these are numerous, but they are mind numbing, and it is frankly pointless to examine anything of his in further detail. Once his method of context dropping and equivocation has been identified as a tactic of his rather than as an isolated, or even occasional error - he can safely be dismissed as someone who "Darkens counsel with his words". If you’re not satisfied, and you have the stomach for more of it, a huge amount of his "work" is flatteringly displayed online.
What I am interested in, is an explanation for the level of animosity he and his kind have for the West in general, and the US in particular. It isn't because of the particular deeds which they decry. Though I consider the Ideals of the United States of America to be the finest in the history of the world, and whose existence has brought more prosperity, freedom and aid to the world than all other countries combined, I won't paint the US as always enacting those Ideals into it's actions, after all, nations are led by men, and sometimes those men pursue and commit actions which are in error - or worse. Teddy Roosevelt, McKinley & Wilson come first to mind.
Blame America First
But the leftists are not attacking America’s deeds, they are attacking Americas Ideals and Principles, and though I risk being labeled a Totalitarian by Chomsky (“The very fact that the concept "anti-American" can exist -- forget the way it's used -- exhibits a totalitarian streak that's pretty dramatic.” ), I will say that that is the true meaning of being Anti-American.
And in comparison to those who Chomsky and his ilk routinely flatter (Stalin, Pol Pot, etc) and give moral passes to, it is as if comparing the empires of Bill Gates to that of Genghis Khan, using the same word to tie two completely different meanings together as if there were no difference between them, a ludicrous thing to do – and a practice which we have already seen, is routine policy for them.
Note that whenever considering any role of the US, it is a virtual axiom for Chomsky-types that we are motivated by, and are actively promoting evil Imperialist motives & dark hegemonic goals. From the fundamental identification of the US as opposed to other powers, there is some one quality which to their mind presupposes error & evil on our part, and some equivalent quality (or lack of the 1st) which enables him to give others, such as Stalin, Pol Pot, etc, a moral pass.
For that to so consistently be the case, for one thing – and this was the hardest part for me to get my head around - they must truly believe it. For that to be true, there must be some fundamental idea which is at the root of our branch of Western European civilization which has come down to us through America and England, which they are fundamentally opposed to.
This is one of the more prevalent clues indicating this “badness” they see inherent in the West, the following statement which Chomsky made concerning Karl Marx is key to identifying it:
“As Marx put it, socialists look forward to a society in which labor will "become not only a means of life, but also the highest want in life,'' an impossibility when the worker is driven by external authority or need rather than inner impulse: "no form of wage-labor, even though one may be less obnoxious that another, can do away with the misery of wage-labor itself.'' A consistent anarchist must oppose not only alienated labor but also the stupefying specialization of labor that takes place when the means for developing production”
This, the concept of wages paid for work done, to their mind is evil.
To their minds working for wages dehumanizes, it institutes conspiratorial government oppression of workers, in collusion with Robber Barons to manipulate the dense masses, and forces them to accept their will.
Leftists like Chomsky like to play around with the language of freedom, but only on the surface. They used to routinely make declarations that the USSR or Castro’s Cuba (and even Saddam Hussein!) were truer democracies than those of the west – because everyone voted in them (the bit about being killed or sent to a gulag if you attempted to vote for someone not approved of by the State, they neglected to make much mention of). They like to throw about phrases such as "libertarian anarchism" but they mix with the idea of freedom and choice only up and until the concept of Earning something is raised.
Earnings, or receiving just compensation for services provided (which encompasses both employer and employee) – rather than being given from the state what they determine you need, Earnings which you can then use to secure those things of life which you desire, and which they may disapprove of, Earnings is a concept which is at the core root of what they despise and rail against. It implies Free Will, it implies independent minds free to reject a ruling elites “Wisdom”, and it implies along with a sound Rule of Law (without which a free market cannot persist), the need for people to develop control over their passions, those daily whims & urges which adults learn to bring under control through a steady, reasoned maturity – an ability which those immature intemperately minded children of all ages never acquire and which they deeply resent in those who do develop such an ability.
What thoughts bare such barren fruit; I’ll take a look at in the next post.
Tomorrow. I promise.