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Author Topic:   Conservative? and Chomsky
Artemis Entreri 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4334 days)
Posts: 1194
From: Northern Virginia
Joined: 07-08-2008


Message 1 of 85 (580356)
09-08-2010 8:03 PM


If you're going to turn it into a Chomsky topic, at least you could have gotten his name in the subtitle. Instead we've mostly had a long string of "Re: The Echoing Press".
Closing in about 15 minutes.
Adminnemooseus
Source, end of lead in topic
lol except it was closed in like 5min, but np I will continue this, as I find it interesting. Even if it is just me and Oni, we can go round and round anyway.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
what is conservative to you? (we could discuss liberalism too, i just dont know much about it)
To me its some of the the stuff Oni linked through videos, though abortion really doesn't belong IMO. this is only my opinion, some neocons may think they are, though i will have to disagree.
onifre writes:
Like I wrote to crash, you do realize that today's use of the terms don't really represent what they used to mean, right? The term conservative and liberal existed long before contemporary liberal and conservative arguments existed. So, it is in that sense that Chomsky uses the terms, and NOT by today's standards. Perhaps, just maybe, today's use of the terms are more propaganda based, and not really representative of the true meaning of the words.
I do not think that they do. I think they get thier definitions from contemporary sources, or maybe even the news media, on how liberals are to think and how conservatives like me are to think. Many people on here automatically 2nd guess what my thoughts and motivations are immediately when I say that I feel that I am a conservative. somehow that, in thier eyes, makes me a fox-ophile, a pro-lifer, and anti-ghey marriage (which i have done here as a devils-advocate).
when I think Conservative, I think back to the father of the conservative movement in the 20th century (and that is why he is in my signature): Barry Goldwater (Republican Senator from Arizona 1950s-1980s).
If you want to see a great documentary about conservatism, and the man, HBO has a great one called: Mr. Conservative. Though its probably much easier to sit there an confuse NeoCons with real conservatives.
Mr. Conservative, Barry Goldwater
having trouble getting the video to work in preview mode, i cant figure out what i am doing wrong.
Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Link to topic where Chomsky discussion started (and was off-topic). Fixed embed and youtube link.
Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Spelling: "Sorce" -> "Source".

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onifre
Member (Idle past 3057 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 2 of 85 (580411)
09-08-2010 11:30 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Artemis Entreri
09-08-2010 8:03 PM


Thanks for opening it, AE.
Let me get past the Chomsky issue first.
Chomsky identifies himself as a conservative in the traditional sense, and I've read enough and listened to enough Chomsky to understand why he feels this way. I can agree that the definitions have changed, and so did Chomsky, but that doesn't negate their orignial definition. Especially if, like I said and you quoted:
quote:
Perhaps, just maybe, today's use of the terms are more propaganda based, and not really representative of the true meaning of the words.
If this is the case, both words are being used as punchlines to media instigated bullshit, like the abortion argument.
Even if it is just me and Oni, we can go round and round anyway.
No doubt.
Lets start with the facts first:
AE writes:
when I think Conservative, I think back to the father of the conservative movement in the 20th century (and that is why he is in my signature): Barry Goldwater (Republican Senator from Arizona 1950s-1980s).
Do you see this as the original source of the conservative movement in the US?
Or do you see him as the source for the type of conservative views that you share?
Because conservatism goes back to the Founding Fathers. And a stronger conservative movement than Goldwaters, which didn't take off until after Goldwater got the presidential nomination, was Buckley's.
It is a fact that the way it is used in the US is totally different from how the word is used throughout the rest of the world. Which is how Chomsky uses it. Which is why crashfrog and hyro both see him as a liberal.
And even by todays definition, Chomsky falls into a moderate/conservative position because he doesn't like Obama, hates NPR, and is totally against pornography and things like legalized prostitution. Plus his stance on abortion favors both sides.
So we have two defintions to at least recognize that people CAN and DO use to represent themselves, and that must be respected. To force anyone into one particular definition because that's the one favored in this country, and not recognize the other, is wrong.
I think they get thier definitions from contemporary sources, or maybe even the news media, on how liberals are to think and how conservatives like me are to think.
That's just it though, if the terms are being used by the media for propaganda purposes, you would see that intent to tell people how to think.
what is conservative to you? (we could discuss liberalism too, i just dont know much about it)
So here's where you would have to make a distinction between US conservatism and the rest of the world's definition of conservatism.
Hell, in Australia there's the Liberal Party of Australia which are moderate/conservatives. So which version do you want answered?
If it's the US version, I go with Buckley and that movement, up until Regan and his battle with Russian communism. Now it is lead by quasi-celebrities like Beck and O' Reily and has become a tool for the media and propaganda.
- Oni

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Coyote
Member (Idle past 2212 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 3 of 85 (580418)
09-09-2010 12:01 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by onifre
09-08-2010 11:30 PM


The political spectrum
The old left/right approach is insufficient to account for today's political spectrum.
You need at least two axes; one is certainly not enough.
For discussion here is a two-axis model done by Jerry Pournelle:
Pournelle's axes are roughly Attitude toward the State and rationalism. An article discussing them is here.
Edited by Coyote, : Add title

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Minnemooseus
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 85 (580431)
09-09-2010 1:05 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Coyote
09-09-2010 12:01 AM


The "traditional" conservative (pre-neo-con?)
The old left/right approach is insufficient to account for today's political spectrum.
As I see it, the this topics value is that it is exploring the pre "today's political spectrum" definition of conservative.
Somewhere else I posted links to the Conservapedia articles on "paleoconservative" and "neoconservative". For anyone interested, I leave it to you to track said down.
Regardless of the general low opinion about things C-pedia, looking at their perspective of conservatism should have value. As I recall, the C-pedia articles were positive for paleocon and negative for neocon. Seemingly, they did not include Reagan, Bush 1, or Bush 2 as being neocons.
But please try to focus on traditional conservatism.
Moose
ps: I previously started another "Conservative" topic. Maybe I'll track it down and bump it.

Professor, geology, Whatsamatta U
Evolution - Changes in the environment, caused by the interactions of the components of the environment.
"Do not meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer." - Bruce Graham
"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." - John Kenneth Galbraith
"Yesterday on Fox News, commentator Glenn Beck said that he believes President Obama is a racist. To be fair, every time you watch Glenn Beck, it does get a little easier to hate white people." - Conan O'Brien
"I know a little about a lot of things, and a lot about a few things, but I'm highly ignorant about everything." - Moose

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Coyote
Member (Idle past 2212 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 5 of 85 (580433)
09-09-2010 2:06 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Minnemooseus
09-09-2010 1:05 AM


Re: The "traditional" conservative (pre-neo-con?)
OK, lets try again.
Modern social conservatism has only passing resemblance to the original conservatism, also known as "classical liberalism." From Wiki:
Classical liberalism is a political ideology that developed in the nineteenth century in Western Europe, and the Americas. It was committed to the ideal of limited government and liberty of individuals including freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and free markets. It drew on the economics of Adam Smith, a psychological understanding of individual liberty, natural law and utilitarianism, and a belief in progress. Classical liberals established political parties that were called "liberal", although in the United States classical liberalism came to dominate both existing major political parties.
...
In the United States in the second half of the 20th Century, many classical liberals allied with social conservatives and attacked the very concept of liberalism, calling their beliefs conservatism. Source
Those "social conservatives" used to be called Democrats prior to Nixon's Southern strategy.
One characteristic that can separate the classical liberals/original conservatives from the modern social conservatives is (as was posted in the above post) attitude toward the state. Classical liberals favor limited government, while social conservatives too often look to the state to enforce their beliefs.
On this scale, Chomsky is anything but a classical liberal. While he espouses rationalism, he also believes the power of the state is required to manage most everything. From the Wiki article: "Specifically he believes that society should be highly organized and based on democratic control of communities and work places." In this he differs from classical liberals/original conservatives who called for limited government.

Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

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Hyroglyphx
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 85 (580447)
09-09-2010 5:38 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by onifre
09-08-2010 11:30 PM


It is a fact that the way it is used in the US is totally different from how the word is used throughout the rest of the world. Which is how Chomsky uses it. Which is why crashfrog and hyro both see him as a liberal.
And even by todays definition, Chomsky falls into a moderate/conservative position because he doesn't like Obama, hates NPR, and is totally against pornography and things like legalized prostitution. Plus his stance on abortion favors both sides.
I am not denying in the least that the word "liberal" has, in effect, undergone a metamorphosis much like many words. The term "classical liberalism" couldn't be further away from modern liberal thought, which, for the sake of easy identity, we'll call "Progressivism."
Chomsky may have strange bedfellows on certain instances, like prostitution and freedom of speech, but one cannot forget to remember that statists, which Chomsky most assuredly is, come in all shapes and sizes. While ideological opposites, Stalin and Hitler were both still under the assumption that the government should provide everything.
Chomsky is a liberal by today's standard, but the word has evolved much over the last 300 or so years.

"Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it" -- Thomas Paine

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onifre
Member (Idle past 3057 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 7 of 85 (580465)
09-09-2010 8:20 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Hyroglyphx
09-09-2010 5:38 AM


one cannot forget to remember that statists, which Chomsky most assuredly is
Que? Can you provide one example of him supporting statism? He has NEVER been a statist.
He refers to himself as a libertarian socialist:
quote:
Libertarian socialism (sometimes called social anarchism, and sometimes left libertarianism is a group of political philosophies which promote a non-hierarchical, non-bureaucratic, stateless society without private property in the means of production. Libertarian socialism is opposed to all coercive forms of social organization, and promotes free association in place of government and opposes the alleged coercive social relations of capitalism, such as wage labor. The term libertarian socialism is used by some socialists use to differentiate their philosophy from state socialism or as a synonym for socialist anarchism.
So as you can see, he most certainly is not in favor of statism, and prefers stateless society.
If he has claimed some state influence it is only until it can be overthrown.
quote:
Some libertarian socialists, such as Noam Chomsky, are willing to use the powers of the state until it can be overthrown; he says: "There is no conflict. You should use whatever methods are available to you. There is no conflict between trying to overthrow the state and using the means that are provided in a partially democratic society, the means that have been developed through popular struggles over centuries."
Any libertarian socialist favors anarchism, and are anti-statism.
quote:
Libertarian socialists regard concentrations of power as sources of oppression, leading them to oppose the state.
In lieu of states, libertarian socialists seek to organize themselves into voluntary associations (usually collectives, communes, cooperatives, commons, or syndicates) which use direct democracy or consensus for their decision-making process.
So where's your evidence of Chomsky ever being a statist? Those who favor libertarian socialism, as Chomsky does, are not liberals, are not statist.
Chomsky is a liberal by today's standard
Can you provide one single example of this? Or will these still be baseless assertions?
- Oni
Edited by onifre, : No reason given.

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Artemis Entreri 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4334 days)
Posts: 1194
From: Northern Virginia
Joined: 07-08-2008


Message 8 of 85 (580466)
09-09-2010 8:24 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by onifre
09-08-2010 11:30 PM


onifre writes:
Thanks for opening it, AE.
Let me get past the Chomsky issue first.
Chomsky identifies himself as a conservative in the traditional sense, and I've read enough and listened to enough Chomsky to understand why he feels this way. I can agree that the definitions have changed, and so did Chomsky, but that doesn't negate their orignial definition. Especially if, like I said and you quoted:
np, I thought it was a great direction and wanted to keep talking about it.
I must admit I do not really know much about this Chomsky guy, I will look him up today.
onifre writes:
Do you see this as the original source of the conservative movement in the US?
no I see Thomas Jefferson and the anti-federalists as the originators.
onifre writes:
Or do you see him as the source for the type of conservative views that you share?
yes. I see goldwater-ism as the one of the founders of the current conservative movement, even though they are considerably differnt from his original ideals. I do not consider NeoCons very conservative at all.
To me there is a continueation out there today, His name is Ron Paul, and that is who I voted for in 2008.
quote:
One scoring method published in the American Journal of Political Science found Paul the most conservative of all 3,320 members of Congress from 1937 to 2002. Paul's foreign policy of nonintervention made him the only 2008 Republican presidential candidate to have voted against the Iraq War Resolution in 2002.
of course I do not agree with him on everything, but I agree with alot more than I disagree with.
onifre writes:
Hell, in Australia there's the Liberal Party of Australia which are moderate/conservatives. So which version do you want answered?
I would rather open this up, than be strict and narrow and thus have a great chance for another thread to be closed for straying off topic. exploring european versions does not hamper the discussion IMO.
minnemooseus writes:
Regardless of the general low opinion about things C-pedia, looking at their perspective of conservatism should have value. As I recall, the C-pedia articles were positive for paleocon and negative for neocon. Seemingly, they did not include Reagan, Bush 1, or Bush 2 as being neocons.
well IMO they are not correct, Reagan really started the NeoCon thing with his pandering of the religious right, though I think he was only half as Neocon as Bush 2. I am not a big fan of C-pedia either, though you have a point when it comes to perspective.
ps: I previously started another "Conservative" topic. Maybe I'll track it down and bump it.
I am sorry, I looked for one, but did not see it.
Hyroglyphx writes:
we'll call "Progressivism."
do we have to? when I think of the progressives, I think of Teddy Roosevelt.

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onifre
Member (Idle past 3057 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 9 of 85 (580474)
09-09-2010 8:53 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Coyote
09-09-2010 2:06 AM


Re: The "traditional" conservative (pre-neo-con?)
On this scale, Chomsky is anything but a classical liberal. While he espouses rationalism, he also believes the power of the state is required to manage most everything.
Only until the state can be overthrown.
quote:
Some libertarian socialists, such as Noam Chomsky, are willing to use the powers of the state until it can be overthrown; he says:
"There is no conflict. You should use whatever methods are available to you. There is no conflict between trying to overthrow the state and using the means that are provided in a partially democratic society, the means that have been developed through popular struggles over centuries."
- Oni

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Omnivorous
Member
Posts: 4001
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 10 of 85 (580506)
09-09-2010 2:07 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by onifre
09-09-2010 8:53 AM


Re: The "traditional" conservative (pre-neo-con?)
I recall that there was a considerable struggle between most Socialists and Marxists early in the 20th century. Socialists wanted to improve the lot of the worker immediately; Marxists wanted the contradictions of capitalism to sharpen into armed revolution.
Marx thought the rich would continue to get richer, while the workers remained in (or sank deeper into) oppressive poverty. He didn't see how an industrial capitalist economy could both benefit workers and make the rich richer.
That only works in good times, though--not like now--and under conditions of constant economic expansion.

Have you ever been to an American wedding? Where's the vodka? Where's the marinated herring?!
-Gogol Bordello
Real things always push back.
-William James

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Minnemooseus
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 11 of 85 (580541)
09-09-2010 7:41 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by onifre
09-09-2010 8:20 AM


Side note: Chomksy's professorship is in linguistics
He refers to himself as a libertarian socialist
He is an Institute Professor and professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Chomsky would seem to have powerful credentials that he knows how to use language. If he refers to himself as something, it is pretty certain he knows what he's talking about.
Just a side note - No reply needed. Any reply would probably be heading off-topic.
Moose

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onifre
Member (Idle past 3057 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 12 of 85 (580689)
09-10-2010 5:28 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Omnivorous
09-09-2010 2:07 PM


Re: The "traditional" conservative (pre-neo-con?)
Socialists wanted to improve the lot of the worker immediately; Marxists wanted the contradictions of capitalism to sharpen into armed revolution.
Those "Marxist" were not true followers of Karl Marx's socio-political and economical philosophies. If they were, they would not conflict with the basic philosophies of true socialism. Questions is, were those socialist true socialist? Example: Castro's Cuba is neither a socialist state nor a true communist state, yet it claims to be both.
He didn't see how an industrial capitalist economy could both benefit workers and make the rich richer.
I question the very same thing.
That only works in good times, though--not like now--and under conditions of constant economic expansion.
Today's economy is not unique, it is a recurring problem and its an inherent quality of capitalism. But personally, I think its no better or worse than socialism; humans tend to fuck things up, no matter how good the idea looked on paper. That's an inherent quality of humans.
- Oni

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onifre
Member (Idle past 3057 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 13 of 85 (581244)
09-14-2010 6:29 PM


Bump for crashfrog
Hey whatever happend to the dude that said this:
quote:
Yes. It's not true that he's a libertarian or a conservative, regardless of what he says. Noam Chomsky is a liberal. He's like the nation's most infamous liberal, for Christ's sake.
Such confidence, such knowledge of Chomsky and conservatism, and yet not one post on a thread dedicated to Chomsky and his position/s? ...for tiny, infant baby Jesus' sake!
- Oni

"Noam Chomsky is a liberal. He's like the nation's most infamous liberal, for Christ's sake."

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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1573 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 14 of 85 (581245)
09-14-2010 6:34 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by onifre
09-14-2010 6:29 PM


Re: Bump for crashfrog
Such confidence, such knowledge of Chomsky and conservatism, and yet not one post on a thread dedicated to Chomsky and his position/s?
I think you've made my case for me, frankly. If Chomsky's positions are so far removed from the accepted definition of the word "conservative" that you (and he) has to explain that it's actually the "original" version of the term, or something, then you're just proving my point - according to the English language circa 2010, Chomsky isn't a conservative.
The notion that somehow only Chomsky is the inheritor of the "true" definition of "conservativism", and all others are "fake" conservatives, is too stupid to even necessitate response. Chiomsky is a liberal regardless of what he calls himself.

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onifre
Member (Idle past 3057 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 15 of 85 (581261)
09-14-2010 7:26 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by crashfrog
09-14-2010 6:34 PM


Re: Bump for crashfrog
If Chomsky's positions are so far removed from the accepted definition of the word "conservative" that you (and he) has to explain that it's actually the "original" version of the term, or something, then you're just proving my point - according to the English language circa 2010, Chomsky isn't a conservative.
And if you don't bother to seek out the true nature of how someone is using the term, how the term is used throughout the entire globe, and what the origins are, then you have a narrow scope on reality.
The US doesn't define terms and words the way it wants to, and just because the media has painted a picture of what a conservative is and a liberal is, doesn't mean that is the true definiton of these words.
But in any case, many of Chomsky's beliefs and social intuitions are shared with conservatives. This too makes him closer to conservatives. I have linked videos, his own words, and a wiki page to support this.
The notion that somehow only Chomsky is the inheritor of the "true" definition of "conservativism", and all others are "fake" conservatives, is too stupid to even necessitate response.
And yet no one has claimed this, so why would you bother responding to it?
Chiomsky is a liberal regardless of what he calls himself.
Yes, you keep saying this, but you have shown no proof of it.
WHY is he a liberal? Hint: This is when you should provide evidence.
- Oni

"Noam Chomsky is a liberal. He's like the nation's most infamous liberal, for Christ's sake."

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