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The gnawing criticism of the mice

By Owen Paine on Saturday May 7, 2011 01:58 PM

Today we ask the Vozhd's old question, 'How many divisions'? In this case, with reference to Professor N Chomsky.


Latin master father M Tully Smiff, after much importuning, finally got yours insincerely here to visit that left blisterkrieg listserv girdling the known world and run by the reDougable Mr Henwood.

I'm hooked. Each day I read more deeply there. It makes me ruminate massively, constantly, and without relief. My cud runneth over. Now I'm-a gonna share a chaw with y'all, as Father's Kentucky kinfolks would say.

We begin with a quote from Father's diocesan, Bishop Chomsky:

"When the world’s two great propaganda systems agree on some doctrine, it requires some intellectual effort to escape its shackles. One such doctrine is that the society created by Lenin and Trotsky and molded further by Stalin and his successors has some relation to socialism in some meaningful or histoically accurate sense of this concept. In fact, if there is a relation, it is the relation of contradiction."

"The founders of classical liberalism, people like Adam Smith and Wilhelm von Humboldt... were what we would call libertarian socialists.... For example, Humboldt, like Smith, says, Consider a craftsman who builds some beautiful thing. Humboldt says if he does it under external coercion, like pay, for wages, we may admire what he does but we despise what he is. On the other hand, if he does it out of his own free, creative expression of himself, under free will, not under external coercion of wage labor, then we also admire what he is because he's a human being.....

"I think that the libertarian socialist concepts-and by that I mean a range of thinking that extends from left-wing Marxism through anarchism-are fundamentally correct and that they are the proper and natural extension of classical liberalism into the era of advanced industrial society."

Noam apparently stepped on some red corn-covered toes:
"His description of the then USSR as "the society created by Lenin...and molded further by Stalin" is... nothing but inverted Stalinism, made worse, if possible, by the anticommunist slander of Trotsky as the sponsor of the gravedigger of the revolution."

Nothing like a Trotter for out-of-the-gate speed; but the pain and the repressed shame brings out this wonderful troika of venal particulars:

"Chomsky makes his reputation by rehearsing the obvious crimes and hypocracies of the imperial powers. When he talks about history or socialism he is a total numbskull. When he talks about politics he is an Obama-voter."
My God, I could float forever on this Mississippi of the pink mind. There's always the innocent wabbit hefting a papier-mache stage dumbell:
"Theoretically they might be contradictory, but historically, I don't know how much better Lenin/Trotsky might have done."
Should maybe have left it at that; but then this bunny shits a painted easter egg:
"My favorite definition of socialism so far came from Howard Zinn: "I believe in socialism without prisons," he said."
As a cap to this all-too-brief jester's tourney, we have of course the the saturnine host himself, Captain Henwood, parting the stage curtain and interjecting with a positively Chaney-like scowly growly:
"Classical liberalism? Really?... This only confirms my worst suspicions about anarchists-they're individualists of a fundamentally conventional sort... If individuals weren't "distorted" by society, they'd naturally tend towards truth and justice. Which is a very strange and shallow notion of the individual, isn't it? ... In other words, remove the "distortions" and we'll blossom into freedom and self-realization. Which fits in perfectly with C's whole political project of fact-checking the bourgeois media. If it weren't for those lies, the truth could run free. Sure."

Comments (3)


Hehe, good advertisement for staying away even from the footboards of this sealed Armoured Tram.


Surely, this nugget was displayed for Henwood's discussion group. What'd they say back?



i never maraud other left blogs or lists

some i must say
toss me away and re bar the hatch
like poor me am but wind fall trayf

i sigh (inside) and wend on my weary way

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