Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Business & Politics on the American Left


Whilst travelling I thought a little reading with the enemy was in order and only took abroad tomes written by unreconstructed lefites. A couple were truly poo but one that I actually enjoyed was Noam Chomsky's Failed States.

Noam is of course, near mad. A world class master of seeing evil in good and vice versa. Capable of Tony Benn catastrophic misjudgements.

He shares some things in common too with Gordon Brown; such as his epic struggle against common sense.

Nonetheless he does write well and also makes good efforts to quote from sources, dubious so some are. Overall his attitude to US and UK imperialism is consistent and blind. Hezbollah and Fatah are the good guys, Ahmedinnerjacket a true man. Hugo Chavez does no wrong. Instead all the enemies are to be found at home and his world is a conspiracy of evil.

Despite this, his analysis of the Israel/Palestinian conflict is worth a read as it does show another side to conflict that does not come across in the media; even if I don't agree with him , it is instructive.

The best bit is in his analysis of domestic priorities; healthcare and most other services are left in the hands of the state. Why you ask? Because the private sector creates damaging bureaucracy and middle-management that wastes resources.


16 comments:

mutleythedog said...

Chomsky is always worth starting....

Lord Nazh said...

heh remember when you read Noam, it's opposite day

Umbongo said...

CU

You're wasting your time. Read Chomsky on linguistics, Bono on pop music and Victoria Wood on scriptwriting: read or listen to none of them on politics, African poverty or British imperialism or indeed anything outside the fields in which they have some demonstrable expertise. I don't seek political opinions or film criticism from my eye surgeon just because he is pre-eminent in eye surgery. The only reason Chomsky's opinions concerning matters outside his proven field of expertise merit any consideration is the insight they might give into the delusions of his fans.

Bag said...

It's always a good idea to get everyones opinion and then make up your own mind. Just listening to people that agree with you is not a good idea generally. Just look at Tony Blair, everybody he speaks to tells him he is doing a good job and to do more of the same.

Also sometimes these people come out with ideas that are worth consideration.

james higham said...

Umbongo's advice is sound. Your article is very Focussable indeed.

FlyingRodent said...

I'm no Chomsky fan, but it might be instructive to compare his analysis of the motivations for the Iraq war - opportunistic, criminal oil-grab - with, say, anyone on the American right.

Try the predictions of respected columnists Tom Friedman and David Brooks, guys who supposedly represent mainstream opinion. No need to check out the real crazies in the Republican base.

Whose predictions look more accurate now? Who's the lunatic?

And while we're giggling over the notion that private industry is inefficient, we might care to remember that many of the problems in Iraq now are the direct result of the Republicans' pet corporations stuffing their pockets full of taxpayers' dollars while neglecting the infrastructure they were supposed to be rebuilding.

I quite agree that Chomsky always sees the worst in Western society, but the man looks like a genius compared to the cheerleading dopes who promised us a thriving democracy.

I'll crack more gags next time.

CityUnslicker said...

Mutley - like a good pedigree chum

Lord N - well, sometimes these things seem worth it.

CityUnslicker said...

Umbongo -

I think everyone is allowed an opinion. But I take your point. Nonetheless Chomsky writes well and uses good sources, like any good historian.

I was intrigued by his work which I thought would be terrible, but in fact made me think, even though I disagree with large chunks.

CityUnslicker said...

Bag- i think that can be a downside of bloggin as well, that you seek out only those who agree with you already and debates seem one sided and dull. EVen 18 DS has this as a major problem.

CityUnslicker said...

Thanks JH, glad to see you back.

CityUnslicker said...

FR - no apology needed. The situation in Iraq is dire and the whole way it has been handled is a disaster. it is easy to blame Amercioan companies bu they follow governmetn orders too which have been useless and without direction.

But you are right in that some of Chomsky's assertions are more credible than the right wing alternatives. For all its faults, there are some nuggets of incitefulness.

Bag said...

That's why my blogrole has a few links who I don't really agree with and why I read so many differing views.

Umbongo said...

CU

Sure everybody is entitled to an opinion, but why should I take every opinion seriously? Yup, Chomsky can write well - he is, after all in his field a distinguished academic. Outside that field his views are erratic although he may, on the odd occasion (and usually by accident) be correct or, anyway, someone I can agree with. Unfortunately for Chomsky's reputation as a reliable political commentator, his essential dishonesty or disingenuousness has been well demonstrated (to my satisfaction at least). There are one or two articles in this selection from the Oliver Kamm archive which bear reading.

CityUnslicker said...

Bg too right..I thought you were in my links so I will amend that.

Umbongo- thanks for the articles. I don't disagree with you and I was taking hte mick out of Chomsky for most of his views. Some are worth reading though, even if you disagree.

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