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(Salon)   Noam Chomsky: 'The US behaves nothing like a democracy'   (salon.com) divider line 354
    More: Obvious, Noam Chomsky, Central Committee, Party of the Democratic Revolution, constitutional convention, Apple Computer, scientific laws, plutocracy, English-speaking world  
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3217 clicks; posted to Politics » on 17 Aug 2013 at 3:32 PM (49 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-17 09:24:09 AM
Noam Chomsky basically just pointed out that we're a Republic and not a Democracy, and his sycophants will rush to say how brilliant an observation this is.
 
2013-08-17 09:25:03 AM
1) It's actually a republic

2) Politicians are corrupt, stupid, evil, and/or paid for by interest groups

3) You get the government you deserve

4) Nobody should ever take Chomsky the commie seriously about anything
 
2013-08-17 09:37:05 AM
LordZorch:
3) You get the government you deserve

I deserve to have a government I disagree with?  Sucks to be me.  Guess it could be worse.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-08-17 10:17:56 AM

vygramul: Noam Chomsky basically just pointed out that we're a Republic and not a Democracy, and his sycophants will rush to say how brilliant an observation this is.


Actually we are a both, a Democratic Republic.  The words mean different things.

It's cute when right wing-nuts pretend to know something about political science.
 
2013-08-17 10:19:09 AM
We should go back to having only property owners allowed to vote.
 
2013-08-17 10:31:09 AM

vygramul: Noam Chomsky basically just pointed out that we're a Republic and not a Democracy, and his sycophants will rush to say how brilliant an observation this is.


They are orthogonal constructs. Maybe you should stick to your knitting.
 
2013-08-17 10:43:32 AM

vpb: vygramul: Noam Chomsky basically just pointed out that we're a Republic and not a Democracy, and his sycophants will rush to say how brilliant an observation this is.

Actually we are a both, a Democratic Republic.  The words mean different things.

It's cute when right wing-nuts pretend to know something about political science.


I wasn't endorsing the assertion of the distinction.

/I'm a right-wing nut?
 
2013-08-17 10:44:21 AM

Tigger: vygramul: Noam Chomsky basically just pointed out that we're a Republic and not a Democracy, and his sycophants will rush to say how brilliant an observation this is.

They are orthogonal constructs. Maybe you should stick to your knitting.


I'm making fun of Chomsky for making that argument, not making it myself.
 
2013-08-17 10:50:29 AM

vygramul: Tigger: vygramul: Noam Chomsky basically just pointed out that we're a Republic and not a Democracy, and his sycophants will rush to say how brilliant an observation this is.

They are orthogonal constructs. Maybe you should stick to your knitting.

I'm making fun of Chomsky for making that argument, not making it myself.


Then that's rather silly because that's not the argument he's making. As a result your second claim, that a bunch of people will show up and praise him for an argument he's not making, isn't worth considering.
 
2013-08-17 10:59:15 AM

Tigger: vygramul: Tigger: vygramul: Noam Chomsky basically just pointed out that we're a Republic and not a Democracy, and his sycophants will rush to say how brilliant an observation this is.

They are orthogonal constructs. Maybe you should stick to your knitting.

I'm making fun of Chomsky for making that argument, not making it myself.

Then that's rather silly because that's not the argument he's making. As a result your second claim, that a bunch of people will show up and praise him for an argument he's not making, isn't worth considering.


Oh, to be sure, he says a lot of other retarded things, like U.S. power peaked in 1945 (which he contradicts in some of his books about the immediate post-war options in Europs) and is really quite clearly false. Chomsky is nothing if not complex in his misrepresentations. Usually, he sets up his bad arguments with a host of bare assertions and pretends that he's not then engaging in plurium interrogationum with the rest of his screed.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-08-17 11:10:27 AM

vygramul: I wasn't endorsing the assertion of the distinction.

/I'm a right-wing nut?


It's hard to tell sometimes.  They DO believe that.
 
2013-08-17 11:36:03 AM
LordZorch: 1) It's actually a republic  It's both.

2) Politicians are corrupt, stupid, evil, and/or paid for by interest groups  Mostly true.  There are some good guys.

3) You get the government you deserve  Trite, simplistic BS

4) Nobody should ever take Chomsky the commie seriously about anything I hear he's pretty good with linguistics.
 
2013-08-17 11:38:31 AM

Lionel Mandrake: 4) Nobody should ever take Chomsky the commie seriously about anything I hear he's pretty good with linguistics.


Also, not a communist.
 
2013-08-17 11:54:12 AM

vpb: vygramul: Noam Chomsky basically just pointed out that we're a Republic and not a Democracy, and his sycophants will rush to say how brilliant an observation this is.

Actually we are a both, a Democratic Republic.  The words mean different things.

It's cute when right wing-nuts pretend to know something about political science.


This.  About the only time I see that whole "This is a republic, not a democracy!" thing brought up is which some right-wing gasbag is arguing for something that would limit individual rights.  Otherwise, it's such a pointless distinction.
 
2013-08-17 11:56:30 AM

jake_lex: vpb: vygramul: Noam Chomsky basically just pointed out that we're a Republic and not a Democracy, and his sycophants will rush to say how brilliant an observation this is.

Actually we are a both, a Democratic Republic.  The words mean different things.

It's cute when right wing-nuts pretend to know something about political science.

This.  About the only time I see that whole "This is a republic, not a democracy!" thing brought up is which some right-wing gasbag is arguing for something that would limit individual rights.  Otherwise, it's such a pointless distinction.


I see a lot of Libertarians make the argument, too - the nutty ones who think that the vocabulary makes massive differences in law, like the admiralty flag thing.
 
2013-08-17 11:56:52 AM
Stick to linguistics, Chomsky
 
2013-08-17 12:01:14 PM

vpb: It's hard to tell sometimes.


Considering how often we I agree I'm genuinely surprised.
 
2013-08-17 12:08:27 PM

jake_lex: This. About the only time I see that whole "This is a republic, not a democracy!" thing brought up is which some right-wing gasbag is arguing for something that would limit individual rights. Otherwise, it's such a pointless distinction.


Which is odd because it's supposed to do the opposite. Stop the tyranny of the majority. See 'gay rights.'
 
2013-08-17 12:13:45 PM
Protip - anyone who says "we're a democracy, not a republic" is a child-like fool that deserves to be dismissed as someone with intelligent thoughts on politics or civics.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-08-17 12:17:03 PM

vygramul: This.  About the only time I see that whole "This is a republic, not a democracy!" thing brought up is which some right-wing gasbag is arguing for something that would limit individual rights.  Otherwise, it's such a pointless distinction.

I see a lot of Libertarians make the argument, too - the nutty ones who think that the vocabulary makes massive differences in law, like the admiralty flag thing.


They are mostly right wingers anyway.
 
2013-08-17 12:22:30 PM

vygramul: Tigger: vygramul: Tigger: vygramul: Noam Chomsky basically just pointed out that we're a Republic and not a Democracy, and his sycophants will rush to say how brilliant an observation this is.

They are orthogonal constructs. Maybe you should stick to your knitting.

I'm making fun of Chomsky for making that argument, not making it myself.

Then that's rather silly because that's not the argument he's making. As a result your second claim, that a bunch of people will show up and praise him for an argument he's not making, isn't worth considering.

Oh, to be sure, he says a lot of other retarded things, like U.S. power peaked in 1945 (which he contradicts in some of his books about the immediate post-war options in Europs) and is really quite clearly false. Chomsky is nothing if not complex in his misrepresentations. Usually, he sets up his bad arguments with a host of bare assertions and pretends that he's not then engaging in plurium interrogationum with the rest of his screed.


I particularly like his thought exercises where he demonstrates how people are supportive of fighting dictators but against killing innocent women and children.
 
2013-08-17 12:26:19 PM
So you doubt his RECD argument, in spite of all the empirical data to support it?
or do you just prefer ad hominems to reading complex articles?
 
2013-08-17 01:29:49 PM
I don't always agree with Chomsky, but our public discourse would be much better off if he and others with radically challenging ideas had regular widespread media airtime. And its also pretty clear that there are some serious mischaracterizations of his argument here--he's critiquing nationalist self-image from the long-term political narrative of a America being the seat and spreader of "democracy." We're here to make the world safe for republicanism," said no POTUS ever. The overall narrative has always been about the spread of "democracy." That was the entire political narrative of the East/West Cold War conflict.
 
2013-08-17 01:45:27 PM
I hate how Chomsky starts with conclusions and then cherry picks facts to justify them. However, in light of recent events the old curmudgeon is right.
 
2013-08-17 01:46:27 PM
We should probably be grateful it isn't, just because I don't feel like spending six hours in a voting booth every day only to come and find out the National Anthem is now a Lee Greenwood song.
 
2013-08-17 01:56:09 PM

simplicimus: So you doubt his RECD argument, in spite of all the empirical data to support it?
or do you just prefer ad hominems to reading complex articles?


If I am grading a student's calculus proof, and the first step is wrong, I know the whole thing is going to be wrong.

If a student does this all the time, I'm not exactly going to think he's a math whiz, even if he's convincing a group of his sycophants that 2+2=22.
 
2013-08-17 01:57:35 PM

Mr. Coffee Nerves: We should probably be grateful it isn't, just because I don't feel like spending six hours in a voting booth every day only to come and find out the National Anthem is now a Lee Greenwood song.


You know better than that.

It would be a Justin Bieber song.
 
2013-08-17 01:58:21 PM

vygramul: simplicimus: So you doubt his RECD argument, in spite of all the empirical data to support it?
or do you just prefer ad hominems to reading complex articles?

If I am grading a student's calculus proof, and the first step is wrong, I know the whole thing is going to be wrong.

If a student does this all the time, I'm not exactly going to think he's a math whiz, even if he's convincing a group of his sycophants that 2+2=22.


With which premise do you disagree?
 
2013-08-17 01:59:10 PM

Mr. Coffee Nerves: We should probably be grateful it isn't, just because I don't feel like spending six hours in a voting booth every day only to come and find out the National Anthem is now a Lee Greenwood song.


How would it be though if we had a national voting day every week for 2-3 hours. They make it a federal holiday time during which nobody could be required to work an hour before or an hour after. You have stations set up where you simply enter a booth and enter your federal voter ID information then vote directly on all bills. You'd have all bill votes come up with a time frame of 5-10 minutes to vote on them before closing.

Congressmen would essentially be there only to submit bills via committee work. Electoral fraud would be near impossible. There would be no way to have lobbyists influence an election.

Elected representatives exist because of the impossibility of having an entire nation voting real time per the technology of 1790. We have that technology today. Perhaps we need to revisit the idea of eliminating wide-scale representative democracy.
 
2013-08-17 02:06:04 PM
He seems to be saying "roughly 70% of the population [...] have no influence on policy whatsoever" like that is inherently a problem.
 
2013-08-17 02:11:21 PM

simplicimus: vygramul: simplicimus: So you doubt his RECD argument, in spite of all the empirical data to support it?
or do you just prefer ad hominems to reading complex articles?

If I am grading a student's calculus proof, and the first step is wrong, I know the whole thing is going to be wrong.

If a student does this all the time, I'm not exactly going to think he's a math whiz, even if he's convincing a group of his sycophants that 2+2=22.

With which premise do you disagree?


First one that's wrong: "American power is diminishing, as it has been in fact since its peak in 1945..."
 
2013-08-17 02:30:44 PM

vygramul: simplicimus: vygramul: simplicimus: So you doubt his RECD argument, in spite of all the empirical data to support it?
or do you just prefer ad hominems to reading complex articles?

If I am grading a student's calculus proof, and the first step is wrong, I know the whole thing is going to be wrong.

If a student does this all the time, I'm not exactly going to think he's a math whiz, even if he's convincing a group of his sycophants that 2+2=22.

With which premise do you disagree?

First one that's wrong: "American power is diminishing, as it has been in fact since its peak in 1945..."


Depends on your measure of power. We  are no longer the major manufacturing power in the world. The balance of internal wealth has shifted drastically. . Infrastructure maintenance, much less expansion is in decline. Militarily, yes we are powerful. But our influence on global politics has diminished.
 
2013-08-17 02:41:06 PM

simplicimus: vygramul: simplicimus: vygramul: simplicimus: So you doubt his RECD argument, in spite of all the empirical data to support it?
or do you just prefer ad hominems to reading complex articles?

If I am grading a student's calculus proof, and the first step is wrong, I know the whole thing is going to be wrong.

If a student does this all the time, I'm not exactly going to think he's a math whiz, even if he's convincing a group of his sycophants that 2+2=22.

With which premise do you disagree?

First one that's wrong: "American power is diminishing, as it has been in fact since its peak in 1945..."

Depends on your measure of power. We  are no longer the major manufacturing power in the world. The balance of internal wealth has shifted drastically. . Infrastructure maintenance, much less expansion is in decline. Militarily, yes we are powerful. But our influence on global politics has diminished.


Per capital GDP in constant dollars and we're more than 3x as powerful economically.

You really have to reach for weird ways of measuring power. Do we have less cavalry-power? Yes. Are we less powerful in terms of open-topped AFVs? Of course. But you have to leave the aggregate and start cherry-picking to find any metric by which the U.S. is less powerful in either absolute OR relative power.

That is NOT the hallmark of a strong argument.
 
2013-08-17 03:05:51 PM

simplicimus: Depends on your measure of power. We are no longer the major manufacturing power in the world. The balance of internal wealth has shifted drastically. . Infrastructure maintenance, much less expansion is in decline. Militarily, yes we are powerful. But our influence on global politics has diminished.


Not if the premise is that America peaked in 1945.  It might have had a spike in scariness appeal, but the power didn't come until later.  And power of one nation over other nations is starting to lose its novelty, in the scheme of things. Governments that cling to that model are doomed.
 
2013-08-17 03:43:49 PM
Chomsky belongs to the school of political thought that adhering to only the highest principles, whether or not they can be achieved, makes you morally superior to those you disagree with and therefore frees you of the responsibility of actually accomplishing anything. Traditionally this has been a left wing trait but he and his admirers should note, and be appropriately chastened, by the fact that the Tea Party has coopted these same principles and the country is going to hell in a handbasket precisely because the repubs have embraced the far left's traditional intransigent insistence on principle before practicality. The Democrats are the only remaining pragmatists in the political landscape and when they finally accept the political realities of the situation--the repubs cannot be reasoned with, and therefore must be crushed--things will move along more smoothly. It won't be the left wing or right wing paradise Chomsky and the Teapers insist on, but it'll be something.
 
2013-08-17 03:46:02 PM

dr_blasto: Lionel Mandrake: 4) Nobody should ever take Chomsky the commie seriously about anything I hear he's pretty good with linguistics.

Also, not a communist.


Yeah. He's just an educated dick. A sort of anti-Glenn Beck if you will.
 
2013-08-17 03:48:11 PM

vygramul: Mr. Coffee Nerves: We should probably be grateful it isn't, just because I don't feel like spending six hours in a voting booth every day only to come and find out the National Anthem is now a Lee Greenwood song.

You know better than that.

It would be a Justin Bieber song.


Don't be silly. The national voting age is 18, not 12. That's Lee Greenwood.
 
2013-08-17 04:00:19 PM
Long article.

At a minimum, we would be served better if we had this type of thought laid out from all sides. Instead we get the read by a few, ignored and attacked by even fewer, and the majority hears jingoism and putting aspirins between their legs.
Where is the intellectual counterpoint?
Not on Fark, not anywhere.
That's the problem.
 
2013-08-17 04:05:06 PM
Chomsky is terrible when it comes to politics.  He should stop commenting on it.
 
2013-08-17 04:05:54 PM
FTFA:
"Ten years later, Henry Kissinger called a nuclear alert. 1973. The purpose was to warn the Russians not to intervene in the Israel-Arab conflict. What had happened was that Russia and the United States had agreed to institute a ceasefire. But Kissinger had privately informed Israel that they didn't have to pay any attention to it; they could keep going. Kissinger didn't want the Russians to interfere so he called a nuclear alert."

I Lol'd.
 
2013-08-17 04:08:09 PM

sprgrss: Chomsky is terrible when it comes to politics.  He should stop commenting on it.


That's like telling Sandra Lee to stop cooking!
 
2013-08-17 04:08:46 PM

abb3w: He seems to be saying "roughly 70% of the population [...] have no influence on policy whatsoever" like that is inherently a problem.


Are you saying it isn't?  The only power the average citizen has in the political process is to vote, but that power is limited to the viable candidates for which to vote.  When corporate interests invest tons of money into the candidates that support those corporate interests, those are the only candidates that become viable, as well-meaning but unconnected individuals never end up on the ticket, or end up on the tickets of fringe parties that aren't taken seriously.

We need absolutely massive campaign reform in this country.  On one hand I'd argue for banning of all political campaign donations as well as  SuperPACs, but then independently wealth candidates would rule the roost.  We need a system to equalize the exposure of candidates so that whoever has the most cash doesn't just spend their way to the top.
 
2013-08-17 04:11:05 PM
See, the way we elect (democracy) representatives for us (republic) has nothing to do with how we govern (currently socially authoritarian, fiscally libertarian).  Saying we're "exporting democracy" when we bomb someone is about as relevant as a company saying they're "exporting capitalism" when they open up a sweatshop in Thailand.
 
2013-08-17 04:14:02 PM

abb3w: He seems to be saying "roughly 70% of the population [...] have no influence on policy whatsoever" like that is inherently a problem.


It's a problem if what you wanted was a democracy.
 
2013-08-17 04:14:12 PM
Democracy? Nope. Republic? Nope.

Global Corporate Socialism is the system we live under. A gigantic pile of money out of Lichtenstein has more influence on lawmaking here in the USA than you will ever have.
 
2013-08-17 04:16:15 PM

vpb: vygramul: Noam Chomsky basically just pointed out that we're a Republic and not a Democracy, and his sycophants will rush to say how brilliant an observation this is.

Actually we are a both, a Democratic Republic.  The words mean different things.

It's cute when right wing-nuts pretend to know something about political science.


We are a constitutional republic. Check your facts before calling other people dumb.
 
2013-08-17 04:17:35 PM

KidneyStone: vpb: vygramul: Noam Chomsky basically just pointed out that we're a Republic and not a Democracy, and his sycophants will rush to say how brilliant an observation this is.

Actually we are a both, a Democratic Republic.  The words mean different things.

It's cute when right wing-nuts pretend to know something about political science.

We are a constitutional republic. Check your facts before calling other people dumb.


As vpb said, democracy and republicanism aren't mutually exclusive. We utilize democracy within a republican framework.
 
2013-08-17 04:19:10 PM

Apik0r0s: Democracy? Nope. Republic? Nope.

Global Corporate Socialism is the system we live under. A gigantic pile of money out of Lichtenstein has more influence on lawmaking here in the USA than you will ever have.



quixotando.files.wordpress.com

We could be fascist anarchists for all I care, it still doesn't change the fact that I don't own a car.
 
2013-08-17 04:20:16 PM

vygramul: simplicimus: vygramul: simplicimus: So you doubt his RECD argument, in spite of all the empirical data to support it?
or do you just prefer ad hominems to reading complex articles?

If I am grading a student's calculus proof, and the first step is wrong, I know the whole thing is going to be wrong.

If a student does this all the time, I'm not exactly going to think he's a math whiz, even if he's convincing a group of his sycophants that 2+2=22.

With which premise do you disagree?

First one that's wrong: "American power is diminishing, as it has been in fact since its peak in 1945..."


the rest of the world was all blowed up.
how could this be anything but the peak of american power?
Hell, the commies didn't even have "the bomb" then
 
2013-08-17 04:30:56 PM
Still, he's cunning in his field.
 
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