Chomsky at MIT: Between the war scientists and the anti-war students

  • Posted on: 6 January 2017
  • By: Anonymous (not verified)

It is now fifty years since Noam Chomsky published his celebrated article, 'The Responsibility of Intellectuals'. Few other writings had a greater impact on the turbulent political atmosphere on US campuses in the 1960s. The essay launched Chomsky's political career as the world's most intransigent and cogent critic of US foreign policy - a position he has held to this day.

No one could doubt Chomsky's sincerity or his gratitude to the student protesters who brought the war in Vietnam to the forefront of public debate. On the other hand, he viewed the student rebels as 'largely misguided', particularly when they advocated revolution. Referring to the student and worker uprising in Paris in May 1968, Chomsky recalls that he 'paid virtually no attention to what was going on,' adding that he still believes he was right in this. Seeing no prospect of revolution in the West at this time, Chomsky went so far as to describe US students' calls for revolution as 'insidious'. While he admired their 'challenge to the universities', he expressed 'skepticism about how they were focusing their protests and criticism of what they were doing' - an attitude that led to 'considerable conflict' with many of them. [1]

As is well known, Chomsky's university was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he taught and researched linguistics in one of its research laboratories funded by the military. Although he sometimes understates MIT's military role, Chomsky has never made a secret of its Pentagon connections. Referring to the 1960s, he explains that MIT was 'about 90% Pentagon funded at that time. And I personally was right in the middle of it. I was in a military lab. If you take a look at my early publications, they all say something about Air Force, Navy, and so on, because I was in a military lab, the Research Lab for Electronics.'[2]

By the late 1960s, MIT's various laboratories and departments were researching helicopter design, radar, smart bombs and counterinsurgency techniques for the ongoing war in Vietnam. In Chomsky's words: 'There was extensive weapons research on the MIT campus. ... In fact, a good deal of the [nuclear] missile guidance technology was developed right on the MIT campus and in laboratories run by the university.'[3] One of the radical student newspapers of the time, The Old Mole, expressed things still more bluntly:

'MIT isn't a center for scientific and social research to serve humanity. It's a part of the US war machine. Into MIT flow over $100 million a year in Pentagon research and development funds, making it the tenth largest Defense Department R&D contractor in the country. MIT's purpose is to provide research, consulting services and trained personnel for the US government and the major corporations - research, services, and personnel which enable them to maintain their control over the people of the world.'[4]

In the light of this, it is hardly surprising that, according to one former MIT student, 'most radical students, as well as many liberal students, wanted first and foremost to stop the war research.'[5] But in 1969, in a contribution to an official MIT report, Chomsky took a significantly different position. Echoing the language of defense and deterrence favoured by the university's military scientists, he proposed that, rather than closing down the military laboratories, 'they should be restricted to research on systems of a purely defensive and deterrent character.' One of the leading student activists at MIT at the time, Michael Albert, later described Chomsky's cautious position as, in effect, 'preserving war research with modest amendments.'[6] I should point out, however, that despite their disagreements, Albert remains supportive of Chomsky to this day, as do other student radicals who have known Chomsky personally over the years.

Back in 1969, MIT's student radicals were keen to take direct action against the university's war research by, among other things, occupying the office of its president, Howard Johnson. Again, Chomsky took a different position and at one point, according to one of his academic colleagues, he joined with other professors in standing in Johnson's office to prevent the students from occupying it. As he said later about such occupations, 'I wasn't in favor of it myself, and didn't like those tactics.'[7]

MIT's radicals not only organised occupations, they also organised a mass picket of the university's nuclear missile laboratories. Determined to put a stop to this kind of disruption, the university eventually had six students sentenced to prison terms.[8] One of these students, George Katsiaficas, served time for the crime of 'disruption of classes'. To this day, he remains indignant about his treatment and says that the phrase, the 'banality of evil' - famously used by Hannah Arendt to describe Nazi war criminals - applies equally to President Howard Johnson. Adopting a quite different tone, however, Chomsky told Time magazine that Johnson was an 'honest, honourable man' and it seems he even attended a faculty party held to celebrate Johnson's success at containing the student protests.[9]

Chomsky has acknowledged that some students did suffer from incidents 'that should not have happened'. But, while student leader Michael Albert described MIT as another 'Dachau' whose 'victims burned in the fields of Vietnam', Chomsky has again and again come to the university's defence.[10] In view of the imprisonments, expulsions and job losses suffered by MIT's radicals, it is hard to know what to make of Chomsky's claim that MIT's anti-war activists 'had no problems' from the university. Nor is it easy to recognise his description of MIT as 'one of the most free universities in the world' with 'the best relations between faculty and students than at any other university.'[11]


Still more puzzling was Chomsky's attitude when Walt Rostow visited MIT in 1969. Rostow was one of those prominent intellectuals whom Chomsky had so eloquently denounced in his 'Responsibility of Intellectuals' article. As an adviser to both President John Kennedy and President Lyndon Johnson, Rostow had been one of the main architects of the war in Vietnam. In particular he was the strategist responsible for the carpet bombing of North Vietnam.

Against this background, it was hardly surprising that when Rostow arrived at MIT, his lecture was disrupted by students furious at his presence on their campus.[12] Far from associating himself with such student rage, however, when Chomsky heard that Rostow was hoping to return to his former job at MIT, he actually welcomed the prospect. Then, when he heard that the university was poised to reject Rostow's job application for fear of more student disruption, Chomsky went to Howard Johnson and threatened to lead MIT's anti-war students to 'protest publicly' - not against - but in favour of Rostow being allowed back to the university.[13]

Rostow wasn't the only powerful militarist at MIT to receive support from Chomsky. Twenty years later, Chomsky was, as he says, 'one of the very few people on the faculty' who supported John Deutch's bid to become university President.[14] Deutch was particularly controversial because, as MIT's radical newspaper, The Thistle, explained, he was both an 'advocate of US nuclear weapons build-up' and 'a strong supporter of biological weapons, and of using chemical and biological weapons together in order to increase their killing efficiency.' In fact, by the late 1980s, Deutch had not only brought chemical and biological weapons research to MIT, he had apparently 'pressured junior faculty into performing this research on campus'.[15]

Fearing that the university was about to become even 'more militaristic', MIT's radicals - with the notable exception of Chomsky - joined others on the faculty to successfully block Deutch's appointment. Then, later, when President Clinton made Deutch No.2 at the Pentagon and, in 1995, Director of the CIA, student activists demanded that MIT cut all ties with him. Chomsky once again disagreed, The New York Times reporting him as saying of Deutch that 'he has more honesty and integrity than anyone I've ever met in academic life, or any other life.... If somebody's got to be running the CIA, I'm glad it's him.'[16] And, of course, the most remarkable thing about all this is that, throughout this entire period, Chomsky was churning out dozens of brilliantly argued articles and books denouncing the CIA and the US military as criminals, their hands dripping in blood.

One way of making sense of Chomsky's various contradictory positions is to view them in the light of the public statements made by MIT's managers at the height of the student unrest in 1969. At this time, President Howard Johnson described his university as 'a refuge from the censor, where any individual can pursue truth as he sees it, without any interference.'[17] Underlying such statements was Johnson's anxiety lest MIT's military scientists suffer 'interference' from protesting students and Johnson himself wasn't too consistent in defending this position, readily abandoning it when he declined Rostow's request to return to MIT. Unlike Johnson, however, Chomsky stuck to the university's principles. He remained true to the MIT's non-interference stance, even to the point of defending the right of a potential war criminal, John Deutch, and an actual 'war criminal' (Chomsky's description of Walt Rostow) to hold important posts at the university.[18]

Part of the explanation for all this may have been Chomsky's reluctance to fall out with fellow faculty members, especially those with whom he associated regularly. As he remarked at one point, 'I'm always talking to the scientists who work on missiles for the Pentagon.'[19] But there must have been more to Chomskyís behaviour than this. In 1969, one MIT student is reported to have justified his opposition to the university's military research on the grounds that 'one doesn't have the right to build gas chambers to kill people', adding that 'the principle that people should not kill other people is more important than notions of freedom to do any kind of research one might want to undertake.'[20] Chomsky, by contrast, extended the principle of academic non-interference to unusual lengths. It was crucial to him that MIT held strictly to the management ideal of the university as 'a refuge from the censor'. After all, a less libertarian policy might have undermined his own conflicted position as an anti-war campaigner working in a laboratory funded by the US military.

None of this makes Chomsky's opposition to US militarism any less genuine or admirable. If anything, his dissidence was all the more remarkable given the context in which it was expressed. My aim here is simply to highlight how conflicted Chomsky must have felt, being a committed anti-militarist in an institution so closely associated with a war machine that was inflicting so much death and misery across the globe.

Chomsky's moral qualms were particularly apparent at the height of the war in Vietnam when, in October 1968, Chomsky told The New York Times that he felt 'guilty most of the time'.[21] One way to assuage this guilt might have been to resign and, as it happens, around the time that the New York Review of Books published 'The Responsibility of Intellectuals' in its February 1967 edition, Chomsky was thinking of doing just that. The March edition of the Review included a letter from Chomsky saying he had 'given a good bit of thought to ... resigning from MIT, which is, more than any other university associated with the activities of the Department of "Defense"'. However, Chomsky soon had second thoughts which he expressed in a follow-up letter published in the April edition. Whereas in his original letter he had complained that MIT's 'involvement in the war effort is tragic and indefensible', in the follow-up he claimed - in a surprising about-turn - that 'MIT as an institution has no involvement in the war effort. Individuals at MIT, as elsewhere, have direct involvement and that is what I had in mind.'[22]

So it appears that, despite his sincere and often courageous opposition to the US military, Chomsky felt a simultaneous pull in the opposite direction, prompting him to tone down criticisms of MIT in order to protect his ability to continue with the job he loved. My own view is that the intensity of Chomsky's anti-militarist dissidence can be explained in part by his need to square his continued MIT employment with a political conscience that refused to lie down.

I have no space in a short article to explain how such moral dilemmas influenced not only Chomsky's political work but also his linguistics. Suffice it to say that Chomsky was hired to work at MIT by Jerome Wiesner, a military scientist who, in the 1950s, was arguing 'fervently for developing and manufacturing ballistic missiles.' Wiesner was an adviser to both the CIA and President Eisenhower and it is hard to think of anyone in US academia who was more deeply involved in both the technology and decision making of nuclear war than he was.[23]

(Jerome Wiesner, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, and Vice-President Lyndon Johnson in the White House, 1961.) Wiesner initially employed Chomsky because, as he said, '[we wanted to] use computers to do automatic translation, so we hired Noam Chomsky and Yehoshua Bar-Hillel to work on it.' In this Cold War period, the US military were investing millions of dollars in linguistic research not only to automatically translate Eastern bloc documents but also to enhance their computer systems of 'command and control' for both nuclear war and, later, for the war in Vietnam.[24]

Chomsky, therefore, found himself from the very beginning of his career working in a largely conservative institutional milieu among colleagues more or less happy to conduct advanced weapons research. Given his own political commitments, on the other hand, he needed to ensure that his own particular contribution would not assist the military in any way. He solved this problem by extricating linguistics from practicalities altogether. Language, under Chomsky's novel definition, became non-communicative, non-social and, in effect, little more than a Platonic abstraction. In short, for fifty years, much of linguistics was driven into an academic dead-end from which it has taken decades to emerge. But all that is another story ....[25]

Chris Knight is author of Decoding Chomsky: Science and revolutionary politics (Yale University Press, 2016).


1. R.Barsky, Noam Chomsky, a life of dissent, p122, 131; N.Chomsky, American Power and the New Mandarins, p17-18.

2. G.D.White, Campus Inc., p445.

3. M.Albert, Remembering Tomorrow, p97-99; C.P.Otero, Noam Chomsky: Language and Politics (2004), p216; S.Bridger, Scientists at War, Ch.6. Of course, any university that restricted its research to the development of military technology would soon run out of new ideas so MIT does a lot of pure science, including linguistics. But, as Michael Albert says, 'War blood ran through MIT's veins. It flooded the research facilities and seeped even into the classrooms.' In the late 1960s, some 500 students worked in MIT's military laboratories. Most worked in the Instrumentation Laboratories that were part of the engineering school and which, in Chomsky's words, were only 'two inches off campus' with people going 'between them all the time'. MIT also did military research 'on campus' for both the Navy and the CIA. Albert p99; MIT Review Panel on Special Laboratories, Final Report, p59-69; Works And Days 51-4: Vol. 26/27, 2008-09, p533; MIT Bulletin, Report of the President, 1969, p237-40, 255; The Tech, 31/10/69, p1, 10.

4. 'Why Smash MIT?', in I.Wallerstein, The University Crisis Reader, Vol.2 p240-3; Albert p113-4.

5. Stephen Shalom, New Politics, Vol.6(3) No.23.

6. MIT Review Panel on Special Laboratories, Final Report, p37-8; Albert p98.

7. J.Segel, Recountings; Conversations with MIT mathematicians, p206-7; N.Chomsky, ëMIT 150 Infinite History Projectí.

8. The Tech, 14/12/71, p8 and The Tech, 4/8/72, p1.

9.; Time, 21/11/69 p68 and 15/3/71 p43; H.Johnson, Holding the Center, p202-3.

10. N.Chomsky, Chomsky on Democracy and Education, p311; Albert p9, 16. Chomsky's ambivalence about any kind of illegal or confrontational action at MIT was shown again, in 2011, when the university cooperated with the prosecution of Aaron Swartz for the 'crime' of downloading Jstor journals from MIT's library. Although Jstor agreed to a deal whereby Swartz would avoid prison, MIT apparently rejected this deal and the threat of decades in prison helped drive Swartz to suicide. When asked about this tragic event, Chomsky did say that MIT should have acted differently. However he also implied that Swartz should have been prosecuted - if only for a 'misdemeanour' - and he even said: 'If you take Jstor and make it public, Jstor goes out of business ... [and] nobody has access to the journals. ... You can't just liberate things, pretending you don't exist in the [capitalist] world.' 'Noam Chomsky at the British Library' (video, at 1hr.30mins.); The Boston Globe, 15/1/13; The Atlantic, 30/7/13. See also: 'Passing Noam on My Way Out, Part 2: Chomsky vs. Aaron Swartz'.

11. The Tech, 14/12/71, p8; N.Chomsky, Class Warfare (1999), p137; White p445-6; R.Chepesiuk, Sixties Radicals, p145; S.Diamond, Compromised Campus, p284-5.

12. D.Milne, America's Rasputin; The Tech, 11/4/69, p1, 8.

13. Barsky p141; 'TV debate between Noam Chomsky and William Buckley'.

14. Chomsky, Class Warfare, p135-6.

15. The Tech, 7/3/89, p2, 16 and 27/5/88, p2, 11; The Thistle, Vol.9 No.7.

16. The Thistle, Vol.9 No.7; The New York Times, 10/12/95.

17. MIT Bulletin, Report of the President, 1969, p3.

18. J.Wiesner, Jerry Wiesner, p582; Johnson p189-90; Barsky p141.

19. N.Chomsky, Understanding Power (2013), p10.

20. The Tech, 22/4/69, p1.

21. The New York Times, 27/10/68.

22. New York Review of Books, 25 March and April 1967.

23. The New York Times, 23/10/94; D.Welzenbach, 'Science and Technology: Origins of a Directorate', p16, 21; L.Smullin, 'Jerome Bert Wiesner, 1915-1994, A Biographical Memoir', p 1, 7-10, 20; D.L.Snead, Eisenhower and the Gaither Report, p189; M.Rosenberg, Plans and Proposals for the Ballistic Missile Initial Operation Capability Progam, piii-iv, 6-11, 17-22.

24. S.Garfinkel, 'Building 20, A Survey'; J.Nielsen, ëPrivate Knowledge, Public Tensions: Theory commitment in postwar American linguisticsí, p 39-42, 194, 338-42; F.J.Newmeyer, The Politics of Linguistics, p84-6. Wiesner went on to say, 'It didn't take us long to realize that we didn't know much about language. So we went from automatic translation to fundamental studies about the nature of language.' Wiesner later became critical of US policy on both nuclear weapons and on the Vietnam war but this did not stop him from continuing to oversee MIT's huge military research program which he, naturally, justified on the grounds of 'academic freedom'. The Tech, 28/4/72, p5; L.Kampf, 'The University in American Power' (audio, at 48mins.).

25. Another academic dead-end, in the form of postmodernism, befell cultural theory and it is notable that MIT also played a formative role in that intellectual disaster. See: B.Geoghegan, 'From Information Theory to French Theory', Critical Inquiry 38 (2011).



If someone goes to MIT or has access to this domesticated educated intellectual I'd like to see them take the issue of Daniel Everett to his attention. If he actually knows about this then this is grounds for a pieing at least.

I guess its different when it's not bob black, right?

was simply a means of revenge involving an irredeemable leftist drug addicted anti-semite who deserves no sympathy. I care not that state actors were involved. THIS is ideology being enforced by administrative/state based rule. You see BB doing anything like this? The only benefit of the doubt I'll give Chomsky is that he might not be aware of what is going on down in Brazil. If he is then this is inexcusable from an anarchist or libertarian point of value and practice.

So...snitching someone out to the cops is ok but academic feuds over linguistic theory constitutes "
ideology being enforced by administrative/state based rule"? I guess cuz he used drugs its ok?

Wanna avoid the eccentricities of living with drug addicts? Don't associate with them. It's that easy. Fancy yourself a badass and like hangin' around outlaws? Then don't go whining to the cops when things get hairy. Privileged shits who do this crap are a clear and present danger to everyone who breaks the law and should be dealt with accordingly.

Get your fucking facts straight. Also, not every use of the cops is snitching. Stop abusing that term. Is calling cops on a rapist snitching? FOH. Also there is no set reason why an outlaw should abuse you if there are some broad shared ideas or interests. In this case you are talking about two people who were young men during the 60s/70s counterculture who were referred to each other. Hogshire was also no oulaw, he lived in a domesticated setting with a big pharma working wife, a car, and comfortable income. Again, get your facts straight.

As to Chomsky this is more then a mere academic feud, this is one man's ideology being believed by others in an institutional faculty who are able to use the Brazilian state apparatus to prevent someone from contacting his friends. Of course there is nothing INHERENTLY wrong with that in the same sense that there is nothing inherently wrong with anything, however we are talking about provisional preferential behavior here.

"Is calling cops on a rapist snitching?"

What will you do with the rapist cops, serf?

Is every use of the cops "snitching"? I dunno. Was this one? Absofuckinglutely. First, the incident was over, whatever "danger" Black was in had long-since ended - his only goal in calling the police was to punish Hogshire. Second, he didn't call the police to complain about his personal conflict with the guy, he wrote a letter accusing Hogshire of having a drug lab in his house (resulting in a swat team raid, charges and eviction, etc). You can dress him up as an "irredeemable leftist drug addicted anti-semite" if you like, or go the other direction and point out how he "lived in a domesticated setting", but until you start applying those same standards to pet heroes of yours like "Black" (not known for poverty, political correctness or sobriety) it's just another attempt to excuse shitty behavior by dehumanizing the victim.

As for Jim Hogshire, he certainly sounds like a nut. I don't crash at houses like this, for reasons which should be obvious. There was a time when I did, though, and in those years I never once got run out of anywhere with a gun for getting drunk and running my mouth or being a bad houseguest. Many of my hosts during that time were a lot more drug-addled and unstable than Black alleges (if only some of 'em would find Allah...) and I can name at least one person I know who did time because a coked-up hangout turned deadly. This shit is not a game, and absofuckinglutely nobody's gonna feel sorry for you if it turns out that you got in over your head and still opted to be on your worst behavior.

Finally; is calling the cops on a rapist "snitching"? Depends. Are you the person they raped? Are you reporting a rape? Do you have any reason to believe that calling the cops will prevent another rape? If I get into a dispute with a neighbour over the height of a fence and decide to get revenge by dropping a dime every time he smokes a joint on his front porch, that's fucking snitching, and doesn't stop being snitching because the guy sexually assaulted someone in the past. That latter point might bring less sympathy for him, but it doesn't change what I did, nor will it likely reassure anyone who isn't a rapist that I wouldn't similarly snitch them out the second they crossed me. It certainly wouldn't convince anyone that I'm dedicated to the idea of a life without the state, which is of course the issue here. Black has based his whole writing career on the pretense that he's oh-so-much-more-anarchist than everyone he criticizes, then goes around acting like this. That should tell ya all you need to know about him.

That was the prime drive in calling the police, not some belief in the police. As to Jim, I'm not going after him for being a former well lived upper middle class man, I'm using that fact to illustrate what he wasn't(in this case some bad ass outlaw). There is also no standard I hold Black to in any formal sense at least, I like him for his ideas. His particular form of revenge does not bother me at all in this case. Now, if he pulled Louis Althusser minus the mental affliction perhaps I would view him differently though I would still value his ideas.

To your point about hanging out with Junkies, Black ordinarily would avoid such people, again he was referred to him buy mutual loompanics friends. Black isn't actually into hanging with junkies as far as I can tell.

In terms of the rape analogy I am talking about a first person example and police call response which is closer to BB's situation. We are talking about a situation where you might call the police for a very specific contextual instance. We are not talking about something RECURRING. That is the key distinction to make. If there is a RECURRING use of law enforcement involving a non existential threat or grave harm done to you then you might have a point. There is no performative contradiction with Black on that fact. There's also the fact that city dwellers indirectly rely on law enforcement to some degree as well. Fact of the matter is I have no issue with someone who calls the cops for issues that I deem legitimate in terms of victim response. After all I view the existence of police as a symptom, the actual problem is people who believe in them and their enforcement. Also, I don't see Black as a holier then thou person when it comes to lived performance. He doesn't pretend to be a veteran of the barracks or any such man of perfect practice. He's always been about putting good ideas out there which is what I value him for. I have no value for Hogshire on the other hand, someone who's about to OD any day now in some Seattle parking lot. Sicking the cops on such scum for warranted reasons of revenge does not bother me in the least.

To anon,
If someone points a gun at me, I'm going to do whatever is necessary to get revenge and punish that person, including calling the cops. Being threatened causes a reaction. Any primate will seek revenge.

Your argument seems to be that Bob Black isn't an anarchist and all his writing is invalid because he once called the cops on someone to get revenge. That's pretty fucked up logic.

That calls in to question any anarchist analysis that you might claim to have. This is a fundamental disagreement, not something that allows ziggy to nurse his pseudo-intellectual superiority, much as he'd like it to be.

The point here is not that one has an anarchist analysis; rather, the point is that there are complications. Obviously victimization permits a loophole in anarchist praxis concerning cops; the rule then is if you are strong enough, to accept whatever has happened, don't call the cops; but if you are weak and find it problematic what has happened, calling the cops is Ok--and its even better if you can prove to the @ moralists that you fall within some identity that is captured by oppression.

Now, suppose your neighbour is a wealthy prick, simply rich, and you decide to call the cops to annoy him for a day, claiming that he has a meth lab; supposing that they come in and ruin his day, is this ok? What about the law being used against the elite, which happens some of the time? ENRON The question of cops is a question of rule of law; and being an outlaw means going without. Anarchists, being moralists (law makers), simply want a different rule of law. If the cops were to abide by a marxist inclined rule of law, the very idea of an anarchist analysis would be called into question.

It's not a "loophole". It's a simple reality that if you can't present an alternative to someone, you criticism isn't very valid. This isn't fucking tax law that we're talking about. That's the obvious gaslighting argument of the hypothetical rape victim who has no friends or community support.

Your whole problem here seems to be an attempt to hack your way through a moral system but most serious anti-cop analysis doesn't have much to do with morality. It's only poorly understood by the people you're attempting to strawman. I'm anti-cop because I've watched them attack my friends, been attacked myself and spent years on the wrong side of law out of economic necessity so none of this is abstract to me. It's little to do with morality and everything to do with tactical self-preservation. With a few, extremely specific and rare exceptions, I become very wary of anyone who is stupid enough to think they can gain any advantage by feeding information to the police. How much personal experience do you have with any of this, I wonder?

Just so we're clear, Im not pro-cop: Im anti-law; therefore I'm opposed to law-enforcement. When we throw around the term morality we simply mean the law.

Now, before you get your panties in a bunch about my experience, and more specifically, why I don't reach the identical conclusions that you do, consider why you have looked over these scenarios, which aren't entirely abstract. Take the example seriously, and I'll return you the same courtesy.

The best thing to do with cops is to have nothing to do with them, that is, to avoid getting caught, obviously.

Was I getting "my panties in a bunch" or quite reasonably doubting your credibility? I don't even expect you to reach my conclusions but you're the one who seems to be performing mental gymnastics to rationalize someone's behaviour, not me.

Credibility in what? Experiencing police as you do, and yet failing to draw the same conclusions, viz. The stupid herd position that "EVERY use of police force is contained as means to someones ends that are in disagreement with ours"? Make no mistake, I think Black is weak, should have called on his friends instead (if he had any--which I suspect is the problem), and deserves being banished for his un-anarchist behaviour, abandoned to find others in agreement, not abandoned to be killed. My questioning, which is contemplative is: Are cops necessarily serving interests in opposition to anarchists? I SAY NO, because the rule of law has always sought some conception of justice. The vast majority of examples that gaslight the positive answer to this question merely call into question that our interests are not served by SOME rule of law. What is this rule of law? If the "anarchist" ends that define appropriate means fall within the rule of law, AT ALL, then we have a contradiction. What then does it mean to be lawless, practically? That is, to resolve tensions without appealing to the state or its bureaucrats? This is the gesture I see anarchists desiring without abandoning a conception of appropriate means DEFINED by just ends, a conception that the state can always absorb.

My credibility? Im anonymous, like you. No one could be called here to witness what I am or who I am. Because you are anonymous, and you have no witnesses, it is strictly undecidable. Maybe we could try to move forward out of this aporia? How do we avoid conceptions of justice that can always be absorbed by the state?

if someone murders your wife and you dont call the cops, you'll be deemed guilty; in the least then, one should cal the cops so that one can fall on "the right" side of things. I suppose one could avoid pressing charges, if the universe of people that care for your wife is just you. But its not. The point is that bodies are already within the orbit of sovereignty; bodies are almost entirely constituted by states; therefore states want to know what happens to their bodies; and if not states then mini-states do. We dream of being outlaws while being almost completely constituted by leviathan

Your examples sound like you reference a lot of movies and television. If we're going to gaslight each other, how about all those people who had a family member suffering from a psychotic episode and called the police, only to watch their family get shot dead in their own house based on their own misguided action?

As for me, I recognize that I have much too little control over a huge, hostile institution that could turn on me any second. I'm not somebody that the cops would view as sympathetic, therefore, I avoid them out of self-preservation up to and including, serious incidents. If there's a dead body involved, safe to say somebody else will call them soon enough.

Its true that calling the cops is not in your best interest if you claim to be lawless; the point of the example is to note that the rule of law is already involved. As I implied, Black seemed to think calling the cops TO his interest is possible. That's the analogy that this purely theoretical thought experiment is designed to show. Sometimes calling the cops is in your larger interests.

Obviously the idea that cops do not always serve the elite is gonna be met with hostility; yet sometimes the law itself forces the cops to abide by a neutral frame, in which case, you might find cops doing things to people that you actually hate. The womyn victim of rape wants to see her male rapist incarcerated; here the cops serve their leftism. It is not inconceivable to see white collar crimes being taken seriously. This is because, Ideally, justice and the rule of law serve someones' interests.

Black seems to think a lot of things and so do you, I'm attempting to reach higher than everyone's subjective opinions here.

Yep there's a helluvalotta subjective opinion tainting the gossip stream as usual, which defines what being " troll " is all about as far as I'm concerned.


Bane mile 2017?

Good example of how domestication comes in many forms: how Chumpsky's own generative grammar, which is seriously flawed in favouring semantics over pragmatics, has to create the conditions for its own proof. Chumpsky's imperialistic science of truth strikes me as hilariously hopeful despite the evidence. As though science could never be pragmatically post-modern. What is the truth when you approach the void, when you don't anthropomorphize, letting reality speak prior to any content given by your own theory? Approximation of what? I met some wobblies once that thought, for sure, science wasn't an apparatus of control. But any adequate philosophy of science can see that the history of science has been one of inductive failure. If so, then are we marching towards Truth, Or are we simply marching? Chumpsky works for MIT, is inconsistent in his insistence that the military is fucked up and colonial, and finally, not without a bit of irony, replicates this in his imperial and colonial conception of Truth and Linguistics.

Chomsky is actually an intellectual philistine. This sums it up. " Language, under Chomsky's novel definition, became non-communicative, non-social and, in effect, little more than a Platonic abstraction. In short, for fifty years, much of linguistics was driven into an academic dead-end from which it has taken decades to emerge. But all that is another story .."
Although Robert Wilson and Benveniste chipped away during these 50 years at the social-linguistic inertia Chomsky had set into stone.

They are part of the Sturgeonian 90 percent rule. They are necessary for the running of a consensus reality. Chomsky represents the linguist side of the spectrum, you have the Einsteinian believers in physics and astronomy and Germ Theory believers in microbiology along with the totality of science. The non philistines will always be individuals of solitude and iconoclasm along with a few shared affinities that might form.

There's a reason sadly that renaissances only make up the 1/10th period of a millennium. In the case of the last one the period that mattered existed from the 15th/16th century up until 1648, after that it was parliaments and post city big states to come.

Archeologist commenting about the ancient Philistines. “The cosmopolitan life here is so much more elegant and worldly and connected with other parts of the eastern Mediterranean,” Stager said, adding that this was in contrast to the more modest village lifestyle of the Israelites who lived in the hills to the east.
Oh the irony, Jesus and the Israelites were actually the peasants of their era. Maybe now you will stop sounding like a douche bag?

No one who uses the term philistine is being literal. It's dead culture that can no longer be offended. It's just the chosen word for bad culture and other things.

its pretty classist

which is a symptom then, no?

and, also assumes jesus was real...

like karl marx's corpse would know a thing about class. he had none. just miserable, boring updates of christianity: the chosen ones (proles) will labor (which means suffer) for the uplifting of humanity (and build some industrial zion on earth). what an abstract way to reify and divide humans.

that's how it works. putting abstractions before direct experience helps write the living space ALL share out of the equation, as a non-actor.

i will serve no one, no-thing

the term philistine denotes a subclass without class, in the sense of improper taste; I agree that the way the term is used matters: in inversive gestures the term becomes meaningless, perhaps, like nearly every gesture of Dada. Still this particular term serves a weird interest, in a semantic sense; it also betrays a form of snobbery that, from Le Way, is rather funny --in the sense of a court jester.

I'm a huge fan of Woody Allen, and this is a classic. So your sense of humor is still at high-school level, you haven't evolved to inverted satire, using a semantic oxymoron to describe a linguist such as Chomsky,,,,,,later.

Your first comment about C being a "philistine"--which is not an oxymoron--implied a lack, as in backwards, lumpen, brute, boorish; and also implied a plateau from whence the user of the term (necessarily) stands. To invert the term, applying it to those on the plateau, as *really* being without class, as the priests in Nietzsche's genealogy did, renders the same term meaningless.

You'll note that I used the term about being a jester, in jest because I, too, appreciate Woody. How couldn't you. And your response (negative) proved the point above that some terms just signify no matter the intention.

Goliath was a Philistine, immaculate and refined, used thus philistine is not an oxymoron, " Chomsky (the renowned linguist and middle-class Jew) is an intellectual philistine (Palestinian) " is an oxymoron just as a phrase like " amazingly awful " is, If the nuance escaped you I have been waiting this long for a reply such as yours,,,thankyou.

So by using the term literally, which no one does, you mean to evade the meaning that you insert? Look at the phrase you used: You qualified philistine with intellectual (as if it weren't evident), and added a bracketed (Palestinian). So then what is escaping me is exactly what you mean by intellectual philistine (Palestinian). Do you mean to insult him by referring to him as a Palestinian, since he is Jewish? Do you mean to call him a geographical traitor? Maybe you mean to say nothing since the term, rendered thus, is rather incoherent? Words do things already, before we use them

I hinted that the Jewish Anti-Zionist was actually sympathetic to the Palestinian cause which I thought was nice, but to insult him because he has reduced 'anarchism' to a democratic genetically encoded decentralized municipality, a totally non-aesthetic view of relationships and values, the philistine's. So I transposed an antonym which IRONICALLY meant the same geographic place thousands of years apart and similar in sounding yet a region still recycling the same history about 2 warring tribes. There are some good intellectuals to listen to, Chomsky isn't one of them..

I'm back. OK, how about Chomsky is an intellectual peasant Israelite instead, I'm always suspicious of the Zionist interpretation and historicity concerning their whole biblical cosmos, and its their political correctivism which has suggested a censure of its use. Most likely Goliath was a highly intelligent and refined martial artist and balladeer maligned over the millennia who in fact suggested that rather than the Israelites and Philistines having continuous wide-scale warfare and slaughter, each side pick their best man and settle the argument with as little collateral damage as possible, but the Israelites cheated and picked the bitter aspiring prince David, a scrawly scruffy little goat herder skilled only in hurling rocks at wolves or at the houses of benevolent Philistines, who launched a rock from 100 meters away and stole the glory, rings a bell doesn't it?
But as Sir E says, the term's use has no connection to the extinct biblical culture and geography of ancient times, and only a philistine would find its use appalling.

Chomsky works for MIT; he refused to assimilate, remaining an "outspoken non-academic/academic radical" ; his refusal translated into what is now seen as backwards linguistics.--Is the final paragraph an effort to say that Cartesian linguistics was an intentional effort to sabotage MIT long-term research? Because, contrary to that, there were certainly ONGOING publications and debates? In any event, the idea of a human nature comports with bad anarchist human anthropology--and biopolitics--So what of it?

Why can't we all just admit that the hypocritical Chomsky works for MIT, case closed? Why the effort to save his boring writing? Because some folks read chomsky when they were baby anarchs? Does anyone seriously still read this guy?

The A Fed newbies usually are still reading him, I think. But I don't see what's with the use of "radical" here and in the text above. Neither Chomsky or his academic disciples are radicals. It's all fucking Left liberalism, pure and simple.

Ward Churchill was the most recent proof of how a radical can't last for long in the current US academic milieu. Or maybe keeping their heads low, remain polite and work in liberal colleges/universities.

By Peter Schweizer

One of the most persistent themes in Noam Chomsky’s work has been class warfare. He has frequently lashed out against the “massive use of tax havens to shift the burden to the general population and away from the rich” and criticized the concentration of wealth in “trusts” by the wealthiest 1 percent. The American tax code is rigged with “complicated devices for ensuring that the poor—like 80 percent of the population—pay off the rich.”

But trusts can’t be all bad. After all, Chomsky, with a net worth north of $2,000,000, decided to create one for himself. A few years back he went to Boston’s venerable white-shoe law firm, Palmer and Dodge, and, with the help of a tax attorney specializing in “income-tax planning,” set up an irrevocable trust to protect his assets from Uncle Sam. He named his tax attorney (every socialist radical needs one!) and a daughter as trustees. To the Diane Chomsky Irrevocable Trust (named for another daughter) he has assigned the copyright of several of his books, including multiple international editions.

Chomsky favors the estate tax and massive income redistribution—just not the redistribution of his income. No reason to let radical politics get in the way of sound estate planning.

When I challenged Chomsky about his trust, he suddenly started to sound very bourgeois: “I don’t apologize for putting aside money for my children and grandchildren,” he wrote in one e-mail. Chomsky offered no explanation for why he condemns others who are equally proud of their provision for their children and who try to protect their assets from Uncle Sam. Although he did say that the tax shelter is okay because he and his family are “trying to help suffering people.”

Indeed, Chomsky is rich precisely because he has been such an enormously successful capitalist. Despite the anti-profit rhetoric, like any other corporate capitalist he has turned himself into a brand name. As John Lloyd puts it, writing critically in the lefty New Statesman, Chomsky is among those “open to being ‘commodified’—that is, to being simply one of the many wares of a capitalist media market place, in a way that the badly paid and overworked writers and journalists for the revolutionary parties could rarely be.”

Chomsky’s business works something like this. He gives speeches on college campuses around the country at $12,000 a pop, often dozens of times a year.

Can’t go and hear him in person? No problem: you can go online and download clips from earlier speeches—for a fee. You can hear Chomsky talk for one minute about “Property Rights”; it will cost you 79 cents. You can also buy a CD with clips from previous speeches for $12.99.

But books are Chomsky’s mainstay, and on the international market he has become a publishing phenomenon. The Chomsky brand means instant sales. As publicist Dana O’Hare of Pluto Press explains: “All we have to do is put Chomsky’s name on a book and it sells out immediately!”

Putting his name on a book should not be confused with writing a book because his most recent volumes are mainly transcriptions of speeches, or interviews that he has conducted over the years, put between covers and sold to the general public. You might call it multi-level marketing for radicals. Chomsky has admitted as much: “If you look at the things I write—articles for Z Magazine, or books for South End Press, or whatever—they are mostly based on talks and meetings and that kind of thing. But I’m kind of a parasite. I mean, I’m living off the activism of others. I’m happy to do it.”

Chomsky’s marketing efforts shortly after September 11 give new meaning to the term war profiteer. In the days after the tragedy, he raised his speaking fee from $9,000 to $12,000 because he was suddenly in greater demand.

He also cashed in by producing another instant book. Seven Stories Press, a small publisher, pulled together interviews conducted via e-mail that Chomsky gave in the three weeks following the attack on the Twin Towers and rushed the book to press. His controversial views were hot, particularly overseas. By early December 2001, the pushlisher had sold the foreign rights in 19 different languages. The book made the best-seller list in the United States, Canada, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand. It is safe to assume that he netted hundreds of thousands of dollars from this book alone.

Over the years, Chomsky has been particularly critical of private property rights, which he considers simply a tool of the rich, of no benefit to ordinary people. “When property rights are granted to power and privilege, it can be expected to be harmful to most,” Chomsky wrote on a discussion board for the Washington Post. Intellectual property rights are equally despicable. According to Chomsky, for example, drug companies who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars developing drugs shouldn’t have ownership rights to patents. Intellectual property rights, he argues, “have to do with protectionism.”

Protectionism is a bad thing—especially when it relates to other people. But when it comes to Chomsky’s own published work, this advocate of open intellectual property suddenly becomes very selfish. It would not be advisable to download the audio from one of his speeches without paying the fee, warns his record company, Alternative Tentacles. (Did Andrei Sakharov have a licensing agreement with a record company?) And when it comes to his articles, you’d better keep your hands off. Go to the official Noam Chomsky website ( and the warning is clear: “Material on this site is copyrighted by Noam Chomsky and/or Noam Chomsky and his collaborators. No material on this site may be reprinted or posted on other web sites without written permission.” However, the website does give you the opportunity to “sublicense” the material if you are interested.

Radicals used to think of their ideas as weapons; Chomsky sees them as a licensing opportunity.

Chomsky has even gone the extra mile to protect the copyright to some of his material by transferring ownership to his children. Profits from those works will thus be taxed at his children’s lower rate. He also extends the length of time that the family is able to hold onto the copyright and protect his intellectual assets.

In October 2002, radicals gathered in Philadelphia for a benefit entitled “Noam Chomsky: Media and Democracy.” Sponsored by the Greater Philadelphia Democratic Left, for a fee of $15 you could attend the speech and hear the great man ruminate on the evils of capitalism. For another $35, you could attend a post-talk reception and he would speak directly with you.

During the speech, Chomsky told the assembled crowd, “A democracy requires a free, independent, and inquiring media.” After the speech, Deborah Bolling, a writer for the lefty Philadelphia City Paper, tried to get an interview with Chomsky. She was turned away. To talk to Chomsky, she was told, this “free, independent, and inquiring” reporter needed to pay $35 to get into the private reception.

Corporate America is one of Chomsky’s demons. It’s hard to find anything positive he might say about American business. He paints an ominous vision of America suffering under the “unaccountable and deadly rule of corporations.” He has called corporations “private tyrannies” and declared that they are “just as totalitarian as Bolshevism and fascism.” Capitalism, in his words, is a “grotesque catastrophe.”

But a funny thing happened on the way to the retirement portfolio.

Chomsky, for all of his moral dudgeon against American corporations, finds that they make a pretty good investment. When he made investment decisions for his retirement plan at MIT, he chose not to go with a money market fund or even a government bond fund. Instead, he threw the money into blue chips and invested in the TIAA-CREF stock fund. A look at the stock fund portfolio quickly reveals that it invests in all sorts of businesses that Chomsky says he finds abhorrent: oil companies, military contractors, pharmaceuticals, you name it.

When I asked Chomsky about his investment portfolio he reverted to a “what else can I do?” defense: “Should I live in a cabin in Montana?” he asked. It was a clever rhetorical dodge. Chomsky was declaring that there is simply no way to avoid getting involved in the stock market short of complete withdrawal from the capitalist system. He certainly knows better. There are many alternative funds these days that allow you to invest your money in “green” or “socially responsible” enterprises. They just don’t yield the maximum available return.

"When he made investment decisions for his retirement plan at MIT, he chose not to go with a money market fund or even a government bond fund."

lol funding retirement with a money market fund or 100% bonds would be practically impossible

Chomsky having a retirement plan: treason.
Bob Black snitching: totally forgiveable.

That's what I take from this topic.

If that's what you take from this topic then you have cognitive problems that I can't even begin to fathom.

Yeah or you and ziggy don't have a particularly coherent position, cause that's not plausible at all?

Douche, Chomsky had a privileged position in a prestigious institution where he actively campaigned against student protests, resulting in their imprisonment. Chomsky also actively campaigned during this same time period ON BEHALF of war criminals and militaristic little Eichmans like Walt Rostow, people with real blood on their hands. This went on for years. Chomsky was clearly on the side of the establishment, even while writing screeds ostensibly against it. Nobody at MIT at any time, including any professors, had guns pointed at them.

Bob Black, on the other hand, was a two-bit, unemployed, unknown, small -time anarchist writer who couldn't even find a place to crash while on a trip to Seattle. Junkie Jim kicked him out of his home at gun point. When he got back to Albany, Bob dropped a dime on Poppy Jim. That;'s the only time he's ever done that. When you don't have money or privilege, sometimes calling the cops is the only way to stand up for yourself.

If you still are unable to see the difference, then I'm sorry I can't help you.

Coherence is Leftist and maybe over-civilized too. The *supremacy* of the Anarch is exerted through the sheer will of his make-belief self-defined reality, which may or may not change at every new comment...

It's easy, actually like a little dumb kid who decides that the whole world is "blue" and that rocks are edible. His regards for coherence amounts to about the same.

I mean … I wasn't really talking about Chomsky at all, no love-loss for him. But I was firmly anti-cop when I was homeless and/or on welfare because extreme poverty made it pretty damned clear that they were my enemies. Aragorn's piece about trying to be accommodating to Bob until he just couldn't stand the bullshit of a batshit old hypocrite anymore rang pretty true to me. I don't much like Aragorn either but he came off as quite sincere

Don't bother trying to suck me in to your petty scene drama. It disgusts me.

I don't know what was at the root of that situation. I can speak with more certainty toward the tendency of tolerance that the modern leftist has to hold to. Particularly in places like the bay area. Liberals/leftists have to tolerate everything for fear of violating the oppressed-du-jour. So if there is any benefit of a doubt to maintain here, it's that this was the result of a sort of creeping liberalism and the imperative to tolerate fools, idiots & abusive types who use the right language, visual markers, & identity masks. An all too common phenomenon in scenes like these which has partially contributed the the cultural shifts of the past couple years and the collapse of the left. It's a cesspool of sociopaths hiding behind words and aesthetics. Which, to make a tangent, explains the current US political environment. The right tends to hide less behind words, as they are more of the stick than of the carrot. So there is an appreciation returning of the directness & honesty there, regardless of alignments. Hence, a rising Trump culture & the coming 8-12 years of right wing US house, senate, courts, and eventually popular culture & spectacle.

For me at least, I don't have an inherent issue with people getting theirs within capital to reasonable degrees so long as it's around. Chomsky does not have a particularly significant footprint in regards to capitalism continuing(though he-like most leftists-believes in the value of capital as such). The issue is what some of his ideological believers are doing to Daniel Everett right now. We are talking about an ideology that is in a position to use the state to prevent contact and visitation. That is a profound issue particular if Chomsky knows about this. Don't bring me this silly Bob Black affair involving the mere calling of cops for the specific purpose of revenge against someone who most would consider a person of little to no value before and after he fatally ODs in a parking lot. It was an incident that has NO existential bearing on anarchism and anarchy WHATSOEVER outside of certain contrived value schemes that not everyone cares about.

Alright, so I get that there's a dispute between Everett and Chomsky over linguistic theory. I get that Chomsky hasn't been particularly charitable, and that Everett has otherwise done some cool stuff for a rad tribe. I just don't really see what Chomsky is supposed to have done here that's so wrong. What "some of his ideological believers are doing" is a really broad stroke. What believers? What are they doing? How does this actually relate to Chomsky? I mean, sure, his theories were really influential so he has a lot of followers, but I'm a little unclear as to what he could do to change the impact of his "ideology" on "the use of the state to prevent contact and visitation". Did he call the cops and allege a drug lab or something? Get drunk and accost Everett's wife?

Like I said I am giving Chomsky the benefit of the doubt that he might not be aware of their weilding of power. If he does know and is either supporting the Brazilian believers or looking the other way and not even trying to put a stop to this then I see that as reprehensible. I don't care about the cop sicked junkie.

He helped lead a number of Vietnam War protests in the Boston area
in the sixties. He was inclined to anarchist ideas and coordinating as such, as well as a great communicator and comrade
to those of us in the "movement" back then. He led several student strikes and anti-war "actions" in which I participated and that brought upon us strong police reaction. (enough said). Now, Those were the Days of massive demonstrations, marches, "actions". Such fond memories of joy , rage, fear. I was part of affinity groups going from demo to demo, here and there. Such camaraderie;
such Hope; Such excitement ! Off and on for several years . All over the North-East. I feel so fortunate to have been part of this sustained activity and the communities of fellow activists.
The one thing about Trump is that I hope those of you of the younger generation can experience what we did "back in the day"
I'll be right there with you Jan. 20,21, wherever. For a better world. P.S. I sold those "Old Moles" In Provincetown,Mass. one summer ,long ago…Micheal gave them to me in batches.

Where were you during Obama's inauguration?

Those anarchists who would say it is unacceptable to use the state for the specific purposes of conflict mediation and person retributive power extension, likely take little issue with using the state for food, income assistance, academic accreditation, medication, social services, education funds, grants, transportation, and more. The explicit & superstitious orientation against a specific group, such as the police, serves as a limiting and dangerous impediment to an anarchic mind. Opposition itself can become an intellectually lazy habit because it places the responsibilities of creativity and planning upon the shoulders of a purported enemy, in perpetual reactive resignation, instead of taking a broader view of the world and its complex relations.

I see no benefit to existing in obsessive opposition toward one particular group. It is to become that group's unwitting spouse. Insurrectionists are forever married to crowd control cops, communists are forever married to capitalists, liberal secularists are forever married to conservative protestants, the social justice activists are forever married to white privilege, jews are forever married to the nazis, the poor forever married to the rich, the indigenous forever married to the white man, the feminist forever married to the patriarchy; and none seem interested in a divorce. Because they would lose their identity, their percieved political influence, their language.

The police are a separate entity from, but intertwined with, the state, as we all are. The police are as much in conflict with the state, politicians, & other powers, as are any other grouping of similar size and resource. One must percieve that the world of humans is composed of many hundreds, or thousands, of different loyalty groups. Police, mafias, cartels, academies, militaries, kingdoms, parties, churches, cliques, identity franchises, schools, families, corporations, et cetera. These groups prioritize themselves and live in competition, assistance & conflict with each other. The anarch should, and perhaps inevitably does, live apart from and between these groups. For me this is the essence of an anarchic existence in this day and age. It is the loss of traditions, impositions, expectations, and obligations. It is to no longer be entranced by nor held hostage to all of the afformentioned groups & institutions, and their normalized coercion. We who, for whatever reason, are outside of so many traditional groupings might then experience the blessing of true loyalty, leadership, beauty, or love; learning for ourselves that in the finding of these things on our own, outside of institutions, outside of crews, outside of gangs, in lonely autonomy, that such things can only be inspired—not forced. They are truly rare in this world.

The anarch offers a conundrum to all the affiliated, bonded & entrenched: the potential to simultaneously be their biggest threat and their greatest ally. Because it is a way of being which fundamentally recognizes & respects the power and autonomy of the individual. It is a danger & an allure, because we interact with individuals as individuals, not as ambassadors to a loyalty group.

The value of anarchy—and, for me, its twin brother atheism—is that it forces us to deal in our exchanges with others in a fundamentally respectful, non-superstitious, & group-disloyal way: it is to view the other as a potential threat & a potential ally, in recognition of their individual power & vulnerability. Such that we avoid the will-to-destroy and the will-to-take-advantage-of.

I'm inclined to think that any form of anarchy which is married to an institution via explicit opposition to it, often named in a format using the 'anti' prefix, is no anarchy at all, but narrow minded pathology in a black shirt.

Your last point about the 'anti' prefix cuts to the bone and echoes my conclusions and what I've been saying.

Thank you. I appreciate many of the posts you make here. To the extent that it matters, people like me often don't read the empty ad hominem responses you often recieve. The more adept @news readers know the value of the scroll wheel. And when we accidently do read them, it often reinforces the perception of them as ignorant, pseudoreligious, & inarticulate.

Forever married to your straw-man fallacies sounds worse to me. All you've demonstrated with this post is your overfed sense of intellectual superiority and alienation, although I happen to agree with some of the 3rd and 2nd-to-last paragraph. You're totally lost in the spectacle because you don't bother talking to the people you're categorizing. Is it because you spend all your time absorbing distorted reality through the screen? Probably.

agree - "my enemy's wife" is a great starting point for a critique of an area where many anarchists i know seem to hold onto (what i think of as) dogma.

and why think that? Why do "anarchs" so often spend time here, twisting logic in to pretzels, trying to characterize anti-police sentiment as a mindless bias or dogma? The opposite is clearly true for the vast majority of people in developed, western countries, who actually carry an unexamined bias towards the state. Anti-police perspectives are held by a minority of people (usually the poor) who experience direct repression on a regular basis and a more developed, academic anti-police sentiment is even rarer.

So who are these sanctimonious keyboard warriors who want to reframe this discussion? As if the people who call the cops are freethinking mavericks, surrounded by us anti-cop fools that don't know any better. It's completely ridiculous, so much so that it's almost suspicious ;)

A tree falls in the forest. A snowflake falls in Antarctica. An insurrecto expresses paranoia about "cointelpro."

I'm suspicious of your agenda, be it ego gratification, counter-insurgency, or any number of other things. Also, why use scare quotes for cointelpro? It's widely documented fact.

Wasn't scare quoting, anon. I don't doubt the existence of intel tactics like cointelpro. But the term is often used to justify paranoia or wielded as a simple insult. The quotes were to highlight the misuse of the concept.

*facepalm* You just said "I wasn't square quoting" and then paraphrased the definition of scare quoting ...

No. Scare quoting would be to try and frame cointelpro itself as a boogeyman, a false threat, etc. Which I'm not. I'm highlighting how *you* and others often misuse this term, this real thing, as a way to justify your paranoia, or as an insult directed at people you don't like.

Why "wife"? Why all the discussions about rape? Are women just weird rhetorical objects to you?

It's one of the more destructive phenomenon that should be eroded by anarchy. But it has strong footholds among the left and anarchists. I think because liberal/leftist anarchism is the first dogmatic group some people find inclusion in, so they're blind to it or willing to tolerate it in exchange for inclusion—until it bites them. Thanks for the reply.

Of course, you would characterize it as dogma but you haven't really proved that it is. You're just floating the theory that it's a baseless bias. I say it's a tactical necessity and an excellent way to judge a stranger's praxis or lack thereof.

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Enter the code without spaces.