Michael Smith mjs at smithbowen.net
Sat Dec 14 12:26:10 MST 2013

On Sat, December 14, 2013 12:39 pm, Clay Claiborne wrote:

> What is even uglier than all caps is your complete dis-regard for the
> welfare of the Syria people, or did I miss the memo where you protested
> the
> use of his air force against Syrian civilians?

Alas, the welfare of the Syrian people does not lie in my hands.
For what it's worth, I don't believe that cheerleading from the Left
for this dubious rabble of reptile-funded faux-insurgents is likely
to advance the Syrian people's welfare -- or diminish it, either.
It's unlikely to have any effect at all; it's a purely onanistic
exercise in moral self-congratulation. Which makes it all even more

> And if you have any respect at all for Norm Chomsky, you should respond to
> his arguments rather than charging him with having a blind spot.

Ever since I got out of school, I have declined homework assignments.
Fond as I am of old Norm -- as his close friends no doubt call him --
we shouldn't consider him normative.

He's a more than interesting guy; if there were a prize for Smartest
Living Human, I would nominate him for it. But <dialectic alert>like
all of us, he has the weaknesses that correspond to his strengths
</ dialectic alert>. He is a structural thinker, and no explanation
not rooted in deep structure is quite satisfactory to him. But we can't
just read off every specific twist and turn in history from its
underlying laws of motion. There's always a Chapter of Accidents,
and the history of Zionism and its role in the last hundred years
or so of Imperial history belongs to that category. If Norm were more
of a biologist and less of a philosopher, more of a philologist and
less of a theoretician, he might be more open to this idea.

But what he does do well, he does consummately well, and we can't

A good many of us Lefties suffer from a low-mimetic version of the
same complaint. We're no Norm Chomsky, but we have read our Marx and
Lenin and, in some cases, our Trotsky, and we sometimes think that
the theory gives us X-ray vision. We have the philosopher's stone.
We know what's *really* happening, and why the monolithic Ruling Class
does what it does, -- though we are not invited to the meetings.

Michael Smith
mjs at smithbowen.net

Tell Me More dept.:
"[Johnson] also wrote a Preface for William
Lauder, a man for whom he felt an immediate
sympathy on account of his wooden leg, the
result of a limb lost playing golf."

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