Thursday, November 15, 2012

Professor Noam Chomsky: ‘On Liberalism, Freedom & Democracy’

Source:AZ Quotes- Professor Noam Chomsky talking about capitalism and what he calls libertarian socialism.

“I think it is useful to set up as a framework for discussion four somewhat idealized positions with regard to the role of the state in an advanced industrial society. I want to call these positions: (1) classical liberal, (2) libertarian socialist, (3) state socialist, (4) state capitalist, and I want to consider each in turn. Also, I’d like to make clear my own point of view in advance, so that you can evaluate and judge what I am saying. I think that the libertarian socialist concepts, and by that I mean a range of thinking that extends from left-wing Marxism through to anarchism, I think that these are fundamentally correct and that they are the proper and natural extension of classical liberalism into the era of advanced industrial society.

In contrast, it seems to me that the ideology of state socialism, i.e. what has become of Bolshevism, and that of state capitalism, the modern welfare state, these of course are dominant in the industrial societies, but I believe that they are regressive and highly inadequate social theories, and a large number of our really fundamental problems stem from a kind of incompatibility and inappropriateness of these social forms to a modern industrial society.

Let me consider these four points of reference in sequence, beginning with the classical liberal point of view.”

From Noam Chomsky 

“Chomsky on Classical Liberalism, Freedom, & Democracy. Edited clips with Magee, Foucault, and others.” 

Source:Understanding Power- Professor Noam Chomsky I believe being interviewed by PBS News anchor Bill Moyers in the late 1980s. But I don't know for sure.

From Understanding Power 

I have a lot of respect for professor Noam Chomsky’s honesty and being able to communicate exactly where he is politically and being able to articulate what he thinks about other political ideologies. Noam Chomsky is an admitted Libertarian Socialist and very honest about that. Which means he’s like a Social Democrat or Democratic Socialist on economic and foreign policy.But Noam Chomksy is a Liberal-Libertarian on social issues. So we probably agree on most social issues.

My issue with professor Chomsky has to do with the fact that he sort of has this “you are either with me, or you are selfish and believe in selfishness and inequality. And that poor people should be kept down and so-forth”. He’s somewhat exclusive with his politics, you either agree with him and share his politics completely, or you’re a bad person, or something. It’s not that you disagree with him, but that you are a bad person all together. Which I don’t have much respect for.

As far as libertarian socialism vs. liberalism, classical Liberalism, even: I believe he’s right for the most part. That people who are Liberals today, are not Social Democrats or even Progressives. But people who share my politics or are similar are actual Liberals instead. Where people who are called modern Liberals, are essentially Socialists or Social Democrats.

Today’s so-called Progressives (who are actually Socialists or Social Democrats) who believe that the state, especially the Federal Government has a big role to play in taking care of the people and insuring economic equality and that they are somewhat liberal on social issues, depending on what type of leftist that they are, aren’t very liberal at all. Today’s leftists actually don’t like Liberals and liberalism, because they don’t believe in individuals and individual rights. But instead believe in the collective and collective rights, or what they would call welfare rights. Today’s leftists believe in the welfare state over the individual, which is why they’re not very liberal at all. 

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