Here’s a suggestion for admirers of Noam Chomsky.
The best way to celebrate his 92nd birthday would be to pay attention to what he has to say.
A case in point came up a couple of days ago with Barack Obama’s criticism of the slogan “Defund the police.” Those promoting it are, according to Obama, often more concerned with “feel(ing) good among the people (they) already agree with.” What they should be concerned with is “get(ting) something done.”
The left was universal in its disdain, denunciations flowing from Jacobin, Current Affairs as well as AOC and all of the members of the squad.
Chomsky’s reaction? “He’s basically right.”
Racing to the Abyss Continue reading On Feeling Good and Doing Good: Chomsky Turns 92
Introduction: Why Do They Lie?
Those whose main experience with politics begins with Barack Obama are often unaware that Obama was unusual in at least one respect: he was honest to the left and liberals who had strongly supported him. Obama made few promises that his policies would be anything other than corporate friendly, establishment neoliberalism. And it should have surprised no one (though it did) that that is exactly what he delivered.
Obama’s honesty broke sharply with previous campaigns. Prior to Obama, Democratic candidates would typically promise much during their campaigns and deliver little in office.
A dramatic example was the Clinton campaign which was based on the slogan “putting people first.” This was understood to mean Continue reading Sanders vs. Warren: Which Side Are You On?
We could have saved so much time and trouble and had we listened to Adolph Reed back in 1996.
In Chicago, for instance, we’ve gotten a foretaste of the new breed of foundation-hatched black communitarian voices: one of them, a smooth Harvard lawyer with impeccable credentials and vacuous to repressive neoliberal politics, has won a state senate seat on a base mainly in the liberal foundation and development worlds. His fundamentally bootstrap line was softened by a patina of the rhetoric of authentic community, talk about meeting in kitchens, small-scale solutions to social problems, and the predictable elevation of process over program – the point where identity politics converges with old-fashioned middle class reform in favoring form over substances.
Continue reading All You Need(ed) to Know