[Marxism] Palestine Think Tank: Jeff Blankfort – Chomsky and Palestine: Asset or Liability?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Jul 21 08:04:06 MDT 2010


C. G. Estabrook wrote:
> The article is absurd - as is Blankfort's litmus test.
> 
> But it's also not quite correct to say that Chomsky opposed the removal 
> of Pentagon-funded research at MIT & other universities during the 
> Vietnam war - particularity if the implication is that he approved 
> universities' contributing to the "war effort," which of course he didn't.
> 
> What he did point out - often citing Seymour Melman's "Pentagon 
> Capitalism" - was that "defense spending" was US capitalism's way of 
> socializing the cost of R&D (including some of his own work on 
> language).  That, and not "private enterprise," produced computers, the 
> internet, and much else.

In Chapter Four of Barsky's study, we learn that Chomsky views the 
university as some kind of refuge from politics and the class 
struggle. As Chomsky put it in 1996, "Nothing should be done to 
impede people from teaching and doing their research even if at 
that very moment it was being used to massacre and destroy."

During the time Chomsky was involved with protests against the war 
in Vietnam, he was always hostile--like Theodor Adorno--to 
on-campus protests that got in the way of pursuing the Truth. It 
was one thing to march against the war; it was another thing 
entirely to occupy a building that was dedicated to 
counter-insurgency research. According to Barsky, Chomsky admired 
"the challenge to the universities" but thought their rebellions 
were "largely misguided," and he "criticized [them] as they were 
in progress at Berkeley (1966) and Columbia (1968) particularly. 
This is corroborated by Norman Mailer, who spent time with Chomsky 
in a jail cell after being arrested at the Pentagon protest in 
1969: "He had, in fact, great reservations about the form that the 
1968 student uprisings ultimately took."

full: http://www.columbia.edu/~lnp3/mydocs/fascism_and_war/chomsky.htm




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