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Re: Tedious Chomsky arguments, some small remailer relevance.



In response to James Donald:

The Hayek quote is correct, and an example of what Reinholdt Niebuhr
called "manufacturing consent" (where have I heard this?).

I am not going to get into your Chomsky argument, except to say that
your excerpt explicitly contradicts your conclusions:
 
> "The Chomsky reader" Pantheon books, 1987, p.201, quotes
> a paper written by Chomsky in 1975:
> 
>    "When the *New York Times* editors and U. N. Ambassador
>    Moynihan castigate Idi Amin of Uganda as a "racist
>    murderer," perhaps correctly, there is a surge of public
>    pride throughout the country; and they are lauded for their
>    courage and honesty. No one would be so vulgar as to
>    observe that the editors and the ambassador, in the not
>    very distant past, have supported racist murder on a scale
>    that exceeds Amin's wildest fantasies. The general failure
>    to be appalled by their hypocritical pronouncements
>    reflects, in the first place, the extremely powerful
>    ideological controls that prevent us from coming to terms
>    with our acts and their significance and, in the second
>    place, the nation's profound commitment to racist
>    principle."

For which you graciously provide a vigorous, trenchant "analysis":

> 1.    Whatever Idi Amin is, he is morally much better than
>       Moynihan and the NY Times editors.

There is no mention anywhere of moral superiority.  There is a
statement of the demonstrable fact that "the editors and the
ambassador, in the not very distant past, have supported racist murder
on a scale that exceeds Amin's wildest fantasies," referring, perhaps,
to the (then) recent Indonesian slaughter in East Timor, or to the
secret genocide in Cambodia (the one that happened *before* Pol Pot),
or to any number of other U.S.-_Times_-backed atrocities.

> 2.  Only a country steeped in racist principle will fail to be
>       appalled when hearing Idi Amin called a racist murderer, even
>       when he is.

This is simply nowhere to be found.  "The general failure to be
appalled by their hypocritical pronouncements" clearly has nothing
whatever to do with Idi Amin.  I know that it's difficult for you to
conceive, James, but life is not always a football game.  Hating the
Rams doesn't imply loving the Packers.

> ** 3. Only powerful ideological controls can prevent the
>       public from being outraged when someone truthfully calls a
>       black man a racist murderer.

This is the same as your #2, and again, it is neither said nor
implied.

I would suggest that you read the passage again, but I don't think it
will help.  You're evidently quite intent on tilting at Chomsky as
some sort of symbol of all that is threatening to your special brand
of proto-Malthusian machismo.  And it's really an extraordinary
conceit to suppose that anyone else cares.

You say elsewhere:

> This coming thread will actually have some very slight
> relevance to remailers, (gasp) in that I point out that the
> same reasoning that enables Chomsky to define the
> government to be the people, and individuals to be the evil
> Capitalist Conspiracy, can be used in the same way; to
> conclude that the eradication of Remailers and eradication
> of the sort of thoughts that remailers are often used to
> communicate, and the eradication of the kind of people that
> are on the cypherpunks mailing list, represents a triumph
> for liberty and civil rights, a triumph that would prove
> how far civil liberties have advanced from the bad old
> days.

Before doing the service of "pointing out" all of these grandiose
things to us, perhaps you should work on your reading comprehension.

Your original claim was:

> Of course Noam Chomsky is optimistic - he favors limitless and
> absolute state power and the forcible and violent silencing of all
> those who deviate from political correctness.

The "analysis" which you present, apart from being factually wrong in
every imaginable way, does not move one inch toward supporting this.
If the only purpose of your claim was to serve as a platform for
launching vapid diatribes, then knock yourself out.  Otherwise, we
would all appreciate it if you'd stick to the point.

This is the last I will say on the subject, unless the thread assumes
the shape of something vaguely relevant.

--
Mark Chen 
[email protected]
415/329-6913
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