Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Red Baiting Chomsky

Yesterday the National Pest featured a right wing attack on Noam Chomsky. It is bylined by Peter Schweizer, National Post.

No attribution is given to who Peter Schweizer is. He is a right wing policy wonk with the
Hoover Institute.

Nor does the Pest bother to say that this is an exerpt from his book; Do as I Say (Not as I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy

Actually the Pest should be ashamed of itself, but it won't be of course, for publishing this piece of red baiting hysteria without attribution. And copywriting it like it was an original article.

Luckily for us its on one of their comment pages so please feel free to go there and let them know that Noam is ok and Peter is a dweeb.

Given the fact that Chomsky is a libertarian and a public intellectual Schweizer's attack on him is the same he uses on Michael Moore, he looks at their private lives and condemns them for, shudder, making money. In effect publishing books, giving lectures, producing DVD's, and a movie with the National Film Board of course, which is all apparently verboten for the Left, but ok for hypocrite Schweizer. You see he makes his money as a policy wonk, a red baiter of the old anti-communist school of James Burnham.

Whats ok for Peter of course is not ok for Noam. Apparently Left wing Intellectuals must wear sack clothe and ashes, in order to live up to their ideals, while champagne and caviar are fine for the right.

I think the Russians fought a revolution to over come than kind of aristocratic thinking. Indeed for two weeks during the October Revolution the vodka and booze literally flowed out of the Winter Palace until the Bolsheviks were forced to put armed guard units in charge of the wine cellar. Mind you they soon succumbed to temptation too. This is what happens when you have been denied the simple pleasures in life.

In Peters world such pleasures only are afforded to the cheerleaders of capitalism. For the critics of capitalism well they should be ashamed of themselves.

Peter began his red baiting, anti-communism waaay back. He is dyed in the wool Reaganite. One of the Neo-Cons that urged and cheered on Reagan as he challenged the Soviet Union with his Apocalpyse Now politics.

Along with Paul G. Kengor, Ph.D. Executive Director, The Center for Vision & Values Fellow, Faith and the Presidency, Peter is co-editor of Assessing the Reagan Presidency (Rowman-Littlefield, 2005). He is also author of Disney: The Mouse Betrayed, is a media fellow at the Hoover Institution (Stanford University) and a former consultant to NBC News. His previous works, The Next War (coauthored with Caspar Weinberger), Victory, and Friendly Spies, have been translated into nine languages. A graduate of Oxford University, his journalism appears in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere.

He is in effect a wannabe public intellectual, when he is nothing of the sort. He is a policy wonk journalist, and at best a policy advisor. Chomsky is a Phd. A professor, who teaches in university, and uses his academic and intellectual position within the capitalist state to criticize that state.

Like most neo-cons, Peter licks the hand that feeds him and snarls like their pet pitbull when intellectuals dare to bite that hand. It is not Chomsky who suffers from being hypocritical it's Peter.

For instance in an interview Peter is exposed for what he is an old fashioned red baiting (there are commies under the bed) conspiracy nut. Just like Uncle Joe, McCarthy not Stalin. This comes from an interview not from 1962 or even 1982 but from 2002. Seriously.

Peter Schweizer: They did. You know, there was certainly an anti-nuclear sentiment in Western Europe and in the United States and there were people, you know, lots of people that had that sincere belief, but what the KGB and the Soviet bloc intelligence did was give that movement meaning, like setting up organizations, by organizing protests. They wanted to try to make those protesters as politically relevant as possible.

So we know, for example, that one of the top people in the campaign for nuclear disarmament, which was the largest anti-nuclear group in Great Britain, was actually on the payroll of East German intelligence. We know that one of the largest peace movements in Germany was funded by East German intelligence and we know from KGB files that the KGB provided funding and helped organize protest movements in the United States. So it was a very elaborate campaign effort and very significant in importance to that movement growing and having a political voice in the United States and Western Europe.

Once the Soviet Union fell well what was a Cold Warrior like Peter to do? No more reds under the bed, so the espionage and terror network had be......


(Senate - June 24, 1992)

The Growth of Economic Espionage: America Is Target Number One
Peter Schweizer
From Foreign Affairs, January/February 1996

Yep cyberwarfare, became his next ballywick. When that declined as the world of cyberspace became more and more public and the Zapatista's used it for creating a very real public world of protest, not darkened corners of ex-KGB spy networks, well Peter was out of work again as a policy wonk.

So what does he do? Write a paen of glorious praise to his hero Ronald Reagan; the former communist turned anti-communist, former Hollywood union leaders, turned union buster.

Peter Schweizer: I just think Reagan was a wonderful leader. He demonstrated the power of courage and I think he was right and it applies to the war on terrorism today; you know, evil is powerless if the good are unafraid. I think that's a philosophy that we can carry to the war on terrorism. I think that's a philosophy that we can carry forward in any battles we are facing in our lives.

Well do ya think this guy has a bias? And since Chomsky spent so many years attacking the maniac regime of Reagans Secret Wars do ya think he has an axe to grind? Well do ya?

Once again we find ourselves confronting the fact that the old communist left including the Trotskyist mileu in the United States confronted with the dominance of America after the war and the faliure of Bolshevism and consequently its defeat at the hands of Stalin, they retreat to the right.

Peter is of the neo-con school that arose from the defeated Trotskists like Max Schactman, and James Burnham. Indeed so is Fukuyama, David Horowitz, and those who see themselves as heirs of the NYC Trotskyist Intellectuals that turned to the right in the 1960's.

But Emma Goldman had already predicted the decline of the Russian Revolution into a Bonapartist regime in the 1920's. The Anarchists saw the Russian Revolution as only one attempt at revolution one that was doomed to failure because of its authoritarian Lenninst orgranization. Kropotkin did, and died fighting for Anarchist minority rights against Bolshevik poltical control.

Emma lectured around the world, exiled from the US, denouncing the Bolsheviks for failing the peoples revolution. She and the Anarchist left embraced the Spanish Civil War as the next peoples revolution, in a series that would confront capitalism in order to bring forth the new world.

That struggle continues today and we see it in the Post Reagan world, the Zapatista revolts, the anti-globalization movement, the left surge in Latin America. This is a very different dialectic than the one that occured in the eighties as America dominated geo-politics.

America has fought two wars in Iraq, the first a pyrichic victory, where before they could really defeat Saddam they left. Then the Balkan failure, unless breaking up the Balkans is what you want to do, which some of us suspect. The failure of democracy to arise in Russia and Eastern Europe while mafia capitalism runs rampant only to give way once again to old Tsarist politics of Putin. I looked into his eyes and saw his soul says King George the II. And he saw the soul of neo-conservative politics. Real Politick, Power Poltics, the politics of Empire.

Chomsky was the left intellectual who was outspoken for all that time
, sometimes a lone voice as the neo-cons gained ascendency in the public and media during the Reagan, Bush era. A lone voice. One who must now be ridiculed and attacked by red baiting syncophants like Peter Schweizer, in order to write their revisionist history of American Empire.

Like old battles on the left where the Anarchists are attacked by the Communists and Trots, the right also hates the Anarchists. We fought against both the authoritarians, left and right. Reagan and Lenin, Bush II and Stalin. We did not betray our revolutionary traditions, we continue them today. As does Chomsky.

Unlike Burnham whom of course neo-cons like Peter Schwiezer and David Horowitz owe their existance to. Not Regan, not Hayek, not even Rothbard, but to Burnham, the old Trot who betrayed the left to suck up to the right. It is the old left, of Stalin and Trotsky, whose Bolshevism was that Revolution was Immanent, that their revolutionary movement was the Eschaton, its existence was predetermined, milliarian, and thus always about to happen. Thus Reganism, Bushism and the neo-con ideology of America Truimphant ironically has its foundation in Bolshevism. And Bolshevism and Anarchism are old enemies.

Burnham’s relations with his colleagues on the non-communist Left suffered as a result of his Cold War trilogy. Where once there was widespread acclaim for The Managerial Revolution, now his colleagues on the Left disdained him as a warmonger who advocated atomic war. For many liberals (and some conservatives) Burnham’s geopolitical vision was too sweeping and apocalyptic. To many, a policy of “liberation” was simply too dangerous in the nuclear age. The non-communist Left sought, at most, to contain the Soviet Union while searching for areas of accommodation. Burnham did not think that accommodation with communism was a long-term possibility. For Burnham, the Cold War was a systemic conflict that would only end when one or the other system changed or was defeated.

His final and lasting break with the non-communist Left, however, resulted not from his proposed strategy of “liberation,” but from his views toward domestic communism and what came to be known as “McCarthyism.” Burnham, unlike many intellectuals of the time, believed the testimony of Whittaker Chambers, Elizabeth Bentley, and other ex-communists who identified and described the activities of a Soviet espionage apparatus that operated in the United States during the 1930s and 1940s. He supported the congressional investigations of domestic communism and even testified before investigating committees. He also called for outlawing the Communist Party of the United States.

During the 1980s, as Peter Schweizer, Jay Winik, Andrew Busch, and others have described, the Reagan Administration formulated and implemented an offensive geopolitical strategy designed to undermine Soviet power.37 While there is no evidence that Reagan or his advisers consciously sought to apply Burnham’s precise strategy of “liberation,” Reagan’s strategy consisted of policies that in a fundamental sense were remarkably similar to Burnham’s proposals. Reagan launched a vigorous ideological and propaganda offensive against the Soviets, calling Soviet leaders liars and cheats, predicting the Soviets’ near-term demise, and daring its leader to tear down the Berlin Wall. Reagan provided aid and encouragement to Poland’s Solidarity movement and the Afghan rebels, two resistance movements within the Soviet Empire. Reagan built up U.S. military forces, deployed intermediate range nuclear missiles in Europe, and announced the plan to develop the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), thus putting additional pressure on the already strained Soviet economy, thus serving to convince the Soviets that they could not win an arms race with the United States.

The so-called “Reagan Doctrine” placed the Soviets on the geopolitical defensive throughout the world. Less than a year after Reagan left office, the Berlin Wall came down, the enslaved nations of Eastern Europe revolted, and the Soviet Empire was on its way to dissolution. Burnham, it turns out, was right all along. Containment was not enough to win the Cold War. It took an offensive geopolitical strategy to undermine Soviet power. And, as Burnham had argued, Eastern Europe was the key to victory.

Burnham had little confidence that such a strategy as his would ever be implemented by the United States. His pessimism in this regard was most profoundly expressed in his 1964 book, Suicide of the West. Burnham argued that since reaching the apex of its power in 1914, Western civilization had been contracting, most obviously in a geographical sense. Burnham described the contraction in terms of “effective political control over acreage.” Because the West continued to possess more than sufficient relative economic, political, and military power to maintain its ascendancy, the only explanation for the contraction was an internal lack of will to use that power. Hence, the West was in the process of committing “suicide.” In the book he was highly critical of modern liberalism, but the author did not claim, as some have stated, that liberalism caused or was responsible for the West’s contraction. “The cause or causes,” he wrote, “have something to do…with the decay of religion and with an excess of material luxury; and…with getting tired, worn out as all things temporal do.” Liberalism, instead, was “the ideology of Western suicide.” It “motivates and justifies the contraction, and reconciles us to it.” He expressed his belief that the collapse of the West was probable, although not inevitable. He acknowledged the possibility of a “decisive change” resulting in a reversal of the West’s contraction.

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