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Forum Post: Noam Chomsky on Anarcho-Syndicalism and Anarchism

Posted 8 years ago on March 9, 2012, 3:47 p.m. EST by struggleforfreedom80 (6584)
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[-] -1 points by Dumpthechump (96) 8 years ago

Libertarian socialism is merely Chomsky's updated version of Anarcho-Syndicalism. That anarchist policies do not work is best shown in Civil War Spain where, as Borkenau in "The Spanish Cockpit" saw for himself, the anarchists would not organize to fight as an army but rather stood around "guarding the village" after having driven out or killed the local priest. They seemed incapable of realizing that state and church have a wider spread than a single village.

It is this localist mentality that renders anarchism and libertarian socialism complete failures in any attempt to replace the capitalism system. Chomsky's whole agenda is designed to lure people into the libertarian socialist dead end with comforting words like "egalitarianism" and "democracy".

The point is: the USA and so many other states are today powerful and organized. When, especially after major Middle Eastern war and the crumbling of capitalism, the world and its nations fall into chronic anarchy where people do not have enough to eat, what will be the cure for this?

Libertarian socialism and anarchism are NOT the cure for anarchy! Authority will continue under any post-capitalist system that wants to deal with and cure the ongoing anarchy! Chomsky & Co. - i.e. the horde of numb chumps - have dedicated their lives to obscuring this fact!

Why do think I call myself here "Dump-the-Chump".

[-] 4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 8 years ago

There has to be a gradual change of attitude among the general population, organizing to build solidaric unions, communities etc. Worker´s takeover of economic institutions should be one of the main factors as support grows in the different communities and should be carried out as much as possible depending on community support. This should of course be done alongside the continued work of in general building strong, engaged, enlightened, solidaric, just and democratic communities working together with other communities. As more and more communities work toward this, these tendencies will then increasingly be established thruout a larger and larger geographic area. I wrote about how we can achieve change in my article "The Transition Phase: The Road to Freedom"

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 8 years ago

Do you really think mainstream America is in a place to change their attitudes in such a drastic way? Most people are still fairly comfortable and still have their jobs. Unemployment is high by historical standards but it is by no means anywhere close to a majority. And now the stock market is rebounding, home prices are stabilizing, and other economic indicators are improving.

I just don't see the incentive for most Americans to start changing their attitudes. Things will need to get a lot worse for that to happen.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 8 years ago

We have a lot of convincing to do.

[-] -1 points by Dumpthechump (96) 8 years ago

Well that all seems very nice but the problem lies at the end of the transitional period. Anarchism hopes for tiny self-governing communities - but the world cannot survive that way as large scale trade is necessary even for people to eat.

Given Israel's attitude i.e. the USA's use of nuclear weapons on behalf of the Zionist state, when the time for revolution comes it will be post-WW3 and will occur because of global mass starvation - proving Nietzsche's point that "inequality of rights is the PRECONDITION for any rights at all".

Mankind will return to scarcity and want - e.g. no oil and gas and the resort to coal oil and primitive nuclear fission power. That is, the mere struggle to survive with inadequate means will ensure that an inegitarian rulership will come to the top!

The point is that people are inherently unequal hence any government over and above the local will inherently have to accept hierarchy - a hierarchy which cannot be overthrown by petty democratic piques that manifest themselves as "instant recall of delegates".

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 8 years ago

No, it´s not all about tiny self governing communities. Libertarian Socialism is about building democracy from below starting with workplaces, and communities. LS would be a highly organized cooperative society with recallable representatives for necessary more central tasks http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

[-] 0 points by Dumpthechump (96) 8 years ago

Er, I think you might mean "from BELOW starting with workplaces". [yes I see you subsequently corrected it, thank you]

Your claim is delusional. Anarchism has a 200 year history - one that proves merely the inequality of humans, not a potential for a "highly organized cooperative society" built on an egalitarian democratic basis.

Egalitarian democratic politics ONLY works effectively at very small scales. Administration and hierarchy is mandatory elsewhere. Even in a factory there is separation based on work function - the separation of administrator and worker will continue whatever name you give us UNLESS YOU REDUCE POLITICS TO MERE TINY COMMUNITIES all isolated and independent of one another.

Rather, ordinary people simply have to see that only certain individuals are more reliable and honest than others - something that should be an obvious fact to all. In other words, some should have more rights and power than others. It is important that such people should be in the rulership positions.

In other countries in past ages people have seen this, and handed controls to kings and dictators, some of whom have done really well. Only the democratic Enlighenment-based prejudice of the West asserts that "all have to be equal", this obsessional prejudice hampering much of the West but particularly the richest English-speaking nations and their spoilt brats such as Australia and Israel.

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 8 years ago

Sorry. Yes, of course from below.

All attemts of building LS communities were eventually crushed by existing power structures. We've just got to continue trying.

Human beings, and our ancestors have been living in realitively egalitarian societies much longer than with big hierarchies.

First of all, i don't have all the details on how to best build a libertarian socialist society, and i don´t think we should either. All the details must be decided by the ones actually creating these communities. With that said there are many suggestions to how tasks on administrative level can be carried out. There could be rotation and/or democratically electing people to do the job. Again: LS doesnt reject representation, but they must be recallable and elected from the group to which they belong.

[-] 0 points by Dumpthechump (96) 8 years ago

Well it is certainly true that prehistoric people lived in relatively egalitarian societies for thousands of years - i.e. before the advent of civilization.

At lower levels of government rotation of tasks is certainly a good idea but what really matters is the natural inequality of people revealed in more complex societies necessarily brought about by civilization.

Perhaps the most obvious example here is the need for police and courts. Successful rulers e.g. William the Conqueror established the latter to ensure his ongoing rule over captured England. Police arose everywhere with the coming of capitalism because there was an ABSOLUTE NEED for them.

Instead, LS fantasizes that police will not be necessary - rather than the opposed fascist caricature where "only the police are necessary".

What is missing in your analysis is that the masses (the mob) are to rule. Rather, there are those minorities better able to rule and once in power it is their task to hand on a proper succession.

The Hindu caste system would be an example of such differentiated roles but there, unfortunately, caste is heredity - but the differential human characters and abilities required for leadership are not!

LS preachers in contrast - e.g. Noam Chomsky - cannot even BEGIN to grasp these issues as they try to pretend that such things are unnecessary. Once again the message is: Dump the Chump!

You have to realize that many what are usually deprecated as "right wing ideas" are just as vital to humanity's future as left wing ones. The Right has to abandon its racism - the belief that such character differences are hereditary e.g. the justification of race-based slavery - in exchange for the Left's Enlightenment-based preaching about egalitarianism and democracy in the face of the OBVIOUS fact of significantly different characters and abilities between individual humans!

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 8 years ago

Again LS doesn't reject representation. There will be work that can or has to be done on a more central level but that must be done thru a system in which recallable delegates are elected from the group to which they belong.

Libertrarian Socialism isn't just achievable, it's morally right and necessary. If one likes the idea of people having a democratic influence in the things they're a part of and which affect them - real democracy in other words - then that would certainly include democracy in the workplace and community - Libertarian Socialism. Anyone who likes the idea of real participatory democracy in which people are in control of their own lives and work, should work for Libertarian Socialism.

[-] -1 points by Dumpthechump (96) 8 years ago

Well people like having an input into things... which affect them - but real genuine democracy will not provide this.

Democratic views grew from the 18th century onward but their philosophy is merely from the Age of Enlightenment, collapsing with Thomas Paine when he returned from ex-Revolutionary France. The point is: democracy is the very system which established capitalism in the first place - hence it will prove both unable and unwilling to get rid of it!

LS, along with its real participatory democracy, is neither achievable nor morally right and necessary because human occupations are necessarily antipathetical e.g. that of boss and employee or anyone in an administrative hierarchy - public or private.

Democratic procedures can only work if those who rule understand what is required of them and have the correct philosophical stance - something both capitalism and LS fail at miserably. Such democratic procedures will then be heavily circumscribed.

The point is that a basic hierarchical split is required in human roles in order for any sort of socialism to be established. The Hindu Caste system gives the right guide - so long as it is no longer hereditary but self-elective. There will be those at the top, then the warrior guardians and then below them the capitalists and landowners. Workers will be in the majority but as a lower caste cannot continually create anarchy by overthrowing the higher castes thru "recall of delegates" which even Lenin had to stop because of the chaos and confusion it created.

Real participatory democracy in the complicated societies we live in today is impossible with LS - Gabriel Jackson was quite right against Chomsky's whingeing! Democracy's role will only be "within caste" as government is too important to be left to the rabble!

Dump the Chump is mandatory. Only a new caste system representing idiosyncratic differences in human character will ever achieve a stable system! LS is a dead end inspired only by the hysterical ravings of the preachers of the Enlightenment.