Monday, June 26, 2006

Chomsky's New Book

Same as his old book

Noam Chomsky they say (whoever they is) is the second most quoted person in America after Seinfeld. For a lot of people, Chomsky is the first person out of mainstream America who we read and become politically aware of the failings of the State. Chomsky’s new book is called Failed States, several years ago he had one called Rogue States.

Chomsky gives you facts you cant find anywhere and lots of them and serves up a good dose of getting you pissed-off at what the US Government does to us and others. He defines rogue states as those that 1) don’t follow the international law they agree to follow, 2) only use force when the necessity for self-defense is immediate and overwhelming, and 3) guarantee rights at home, provide security for the population and have functioning democratic institutions. Of course Workers only thinks 2) and part of 3) are accurate (eg government can do no good only prevent bad) but you get the point.

Chomsky’s works – except for the brilliant and funny film Manufactoring Consent - are kind of like what they used to say (wrongly) about Ramones records, you heard one you heard them all. But Chomsky does a good job of pointing out problems albeit if only mostly of US actors and not those breaking golden rules elsewhere and a bad job of defining solutions. I think Chomsky defines himself as a communitarian (though it is hard to tell).

I keep waiting for him to take the next step which is to say yes the Power of Government and the State-Capitalist institutions are the problem and therefore it is obvious that a government that tries to do less is a better government, eg libertarianism eg classical liberalism can be the solution to State-Capitalism and our crony-capitalist institutions. People who know the problems, and are listened to widely with respect can help identify the solutions, not just the problems.

Of course Chomsky's IQ is probably 2x that of yours or mine so it is sure good to know he is on the right track.