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Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 8 Num. 15

("Quid coniuratio est?")


Regarding CN 8.03 ("Worshipping at the Shrine of Chomsky"), one CN reader responded as follows:

I have just one question: Who's Noam Chomsky?

Noam Chomsky is an M.I.T. professor who has written and spoken voluminously on U.S. and world politics. Much of his material is quite good and demonstrates keen insight. It is not for nothing that he has so many devoted fans. There are some areas, however, in which I personally feel he is in error.

There are some persons having a groupie mentality who just want to swarm around some leader, and just relax and go by whatever he or she says. Not all Chomsky-ites are like this, but some of them are. To see who are the groupies, just innocently ask: "And in what areas do you disagree with Professor Chomsky?" The groupies will just stare and/or dodge the question -- often demonstrating an excellent talent for verbal gymnastics -- while those who are still doing their own thinking will be quite concrete: Chomsky is wrong about this; He errs here.

(Chomsky, by the way, is not the only leading light afflicted with groupies. Just ask your typical LaRouchie, "And in what areas do you disagree with Lyndon LaRouche?")

Who is Noam Chomsky? Here, in this series, are some of his thoughts, as reported in the booklet Secrets, Lies and Democracy (Tucson: Odonian Press, 1994).

The corporations are the bad guys. Any good effects traceable to them are just incidental. They are at heart fascistic, with rigid, top-down control. No democracy exists in the corporate structure. To back his argument, Chomsky quotes Thomas Jefferson, who distinguished between aristocrats, who "fear and distrust the people," and democrats, who "identify with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise, depository of the public interest." Jefferson, says Professor Chomsky, "specifically warned against 'banking institutions and monied incorporations' ...and said that if they grow, the aristocrats will have won and the American Revolution will have been lost."

According to the M.I.T. professor, the corporations gained subsequent ascendancy in part because of judicial maneuvers. It didn't happen so much through the legislative branch, "it happened through judicial decisions. Judges and corporate lawyers simply crafted a new society in which corporations have immense power."

"Profits are privatized, yet costs are socialized": So says this doyen of the intelligentsia. If you are scratching your head, what he means is, for example, the Mexican bailout: We are told that the Mexican economy is collapsing and American taxpayers must lend a hand. Yet the true story, as covered in Conspiracy Nation and elsewhere, is that Wall Street investors were in danger of losing bucks in their Mexican investments so we, the taxpayers, had to rescue them -- "costs are socialized." Then, when these same Wall Street types score big on their investments, we, the taxpayers, do not share in that -- "profits are privatized." So too with a New York Times headline: "Nation considers means to dispose of its plutonium." The costs of cleaning up the plutonium belong to us, the nation; the profits of the mega power corporations belong to the stockholders.

The Noamster is almost be-bopping right in tune with the conspiracy jive when he clues us in to the war scares of 1947 and 1948 being manipulated "to try to ram spending bills through Congress to save the aeronautical industry". What Cool Cat Chomsky misses is that these "war scares" did not just "happen" to come along and were then manipulated by the aeronautical industry; these "war scares" were purposefully produced, not just "manipulated" when they supposedly chanced onto the scene.

Almost, Noam. But sorry, you get no cigar.

The kindly professor does hit the mark when he points out the increasing gap between the haves and the have-nots in this country. Conspiracy Nation points to this gap, and the simultaneous disappearance of the middle class, as a big reason why it is becoming increasingly obvious which side of the line the mainstream media is on. When there was a large middle class, the sharp distinctions between rich and poor were more blurred. Reflecting the then-fuzzy lines between the classes, the media also was not clearly in focus. But the whoredom of the American press now is as obvious as a hooker on Saturday night.

Here's Chomsky, the learned man. And there's you, a mere mortal. "I AM CHOMSKY, THE GREAT AND IRREFUTABLE! WHO ARE YOU, AND WHY DO YOU 'DISS' ME!?"

You reply, "Well you see, sir, it's just that you.... Well, you say that the Clinton crime bill 'was hailed with great enthusiasm by the far right.' And sir, I know that you are like Oz, the ALL-SEEING, and I am only the editor of a small conspiracy newsletter, but still -- Which 'far right' are you talking about??"

"[The Clinton crime bill] was hailed with great enthusiasm by the far right..." -- Noam Chomsky, ca. 1994

Can you spell "wrong"? W-r-o-n-g. The "far right" hated the Clinton crime bill. Either Professor Chomsky is glaringly, obviously wrong in this statement, or else he is surprisingly sloppy in his use of the term "far right". Even I, a mere Editor-in-Chief of a tundra-based "e-zine", understand that the term "far right" is ambiguous.

So also the Pied Piper of uprooted youth warns his followers that "It's pretty clear that, taken literally, the Second Amendment doesn't permit people to have guns." Say what?? Chomsky does not elaborate. I guess if it's not "pretty clear" to you, you'd better keep it to yourself. Otherwise, Chomsky might presume you to be part of the "far right".

Yet there are actually people who speak in hushed tones when uttering the name of Chomsky. Just like with Sherman Skolnick, if he's not God then he must be the Devil -- for some people there is no middle ground. Chomsky, surrounded by "yes men", succumbs to their need to place him on a pedestal. And what happens after they place you on the pedestal? Answer: they knock you off the pedestal. So hey Noam, don't blame me. I never set you up. They did.

Chomsky blames populist rage against arrogant government on "intensive business propaganda" that makes the people feel as if the government is "some kind of enemy." (If I were to say that, I'd risk being called a "conspiracy nut".) This is all just a bunch of "government bashing" that's going on, Herr Professor seems to say, and not a democratic uprising rooted in the outrage felt by the people Noam claims to love. Why won't the Mighty Mentality from Massachusetts allow for the possibility that yes, Consarnit, this is an honest-to-Pete populist uprising? Might that mean that Big Government -- this big government, anyway -- is not just inches from God Himself? And if Big Government falls, is Noam then left without his own personal tin god -- his own personal Jesus -- without which he would be "walking that lonesome valley, all by himself"?

Maybe. For certain is that Chomsky sits right in the middle, half right and half wrong. With many unable to view things beyond the sophistication of a two-dimensional cartoon reality, that makes for deification, demonization, and yours truly, sitting on the fence,

Brian Francis Redman

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