Ran across an article from LewRockwell.com, entitled Noam Chomsky vs. Noam Chomsky, which we'll attack in a minute, but first, some background. I'd quickly come to expect decent writing from this website, but when I started reading this article all I could think was 'Ann Coulter would be proud'. Then I thought, well, maybe the author, Frank Speiser, is trying to 'out-hate' Coulter - thus the title of this post.
LewRockwell.com is a site I'd been meaning to point out as having some unique, honest views about politics and the Iraq War, in particular. These particular brand of libertarians are closely aligned, it seems, with the Republicans when it comes to being viciously pro-big business/anti-worker, but they are also viciously anti-war. Makes for an odd combination, or could, until you understand more about their line of reasoning.
'These libertarians' are those of the 'Austrian economics' school of thought - whose braincenter appears to be Mises.org, named after the creepy-looking old dude whose face they plastered all over their website. What 'Austrian economics' means, exactly, you'll have to figure out for yourself, because it's over my head, but here's what I gather of these folks' general philosophy: Freedom, freedom, freedom.
I'm down with that part of their philosophy, but my problem with them is that is all there is to their philosophy. As an individual, you have the freedom to do whatever you want. Therefore, corporations must be free to do whatever they want. And war inherently (somehow?) limits our own personal freedoms (and that of corporations?), and so war must be stamped out.
So, their anti-war stance has nothing to do with justice, or respect for human life, or anything like that - it is total personal freedom, alone, that is at stake. Total personal freedom is the highest achievable goal, and therefore it is total personal freedom which must be achieved before any other considerations can be made - including, say, considerations for bringing about a just society.
To say the least, not in line with my thinking, but, to each their own.
That's just my interpretation of what they're about, but the Mises.org FAQ is pretty informative - has a lot of good links to explain it for themselves.
I've actually read about 30 or so articles from Mises.org and LewRockwell.com - Rockwell being the current Prez of Mises.org, I believe - and most of the articles have been good - even very good. There were a couple I read recently about the virtues of the corporation and the Godliness of Microsoft (seriously), but most other stuff (anti-war, anti-fascism, etc.) has been tight.
Which brings us to the contested article I saw at LewRockwell.com. When I saw the headline I felt two things: 1) Shoot, I wonder if today is the day that someone finally makes a case that Chomsky is wrong or inconsistent about something, anything, please!, and 2) Shoot, today probably won't be the day for the same set of reasons that all the other days weren't 'the days' - Chomsky is, in my opinion, outrageously consistent and so damn right about nearly everything, and his would-be critics are so busy fuming that they can hardly string together coherent arguments, much less hope to win an intellectual battle with the heavyweight of all heavyweights, Chomsky.
I admit to being disappointed at the thought of Chomsky getting ripped. He's been such an incredible advocate for human rights for so long - I think it's only natural that we all want our personal heroes to remain unscathed by criticism. I also admit to being disappointed at the thought of yet another hapless Chomsky critique.
Well, here's my response to the author of the piece:
Your article is daft. If I didn't look up to double-check the site name, I would have thought I was at the fascism-supporting FreeRepublic.com.
You've distorted Chomsky's remarks, found controversy where there is none, engaged in unseemly personal attacks against your 'enemies' (a wanton, yet effective propaganda technique), and generally lowered the level of prose I've come to expect from LewRockwell.com (not that it was supremely high to begin with, but at least I could count on some thoughtful remarks).
Here are just a couple of points where you have gotten off the Ann Coulter-esque name-calling warpath long enough to try and make a point:
"Not only because he betrays any concept of standing for fairness in support of a draft"
This goes in the 'Frank just makes sh*t up' category. Unless you have some other secondary sources that you didn't refer to in your article, there is no justification for this claim.
"How can Mr. Chomsky possibly NOT be opposed to the draft?"
Let me help you out with that one, dog. From your own article: "The underlying theory Chomsky espouses, is that a citizen’s conscript army would not be willing to inflict the atrocities we see going on today." It follows that an unwilling army would make waging a war of atrocities impossible...thus bringing the end of the war. Got it?
Your passion for being loud has co-opted your ability to make a rational argument. Go ahead and try this article again as I'm guessing you do have something meaningful to contribute to the debate.
Yes, I'll be happy to look it over for you.
This article was truly a piece of shit. Personal attacks galore.
Then I read a reference about someone from the Mises/Rockwell crew giving an interview to FrontPageMag.com - the violently right-wing/fascist online zine. Giving interviews is not against the law, but I think it'd be a good idea to stay about from a hate rag whose readership, at least, loves to talk about nuking the entire Middle East.
UPDATE: Email from Frank Speiser, at his request:
I appreciate your offer to help out, but I am going to
stick with what I've got.
Even pretending to advocate a draft in a rope-a-dope
move is philosophically dishonest.
I'me definitely no fascist, though. I am not sure how
you got that.
One further note: usually, it is spelled "dawg".
He's right about one thing - I think it is 'dawg'. :)