The Absolute Submission of Noam Chomsky

There comes a time in any profession where the old guard becomes decadent, or can no longer function at peak capacity, and must loosen the reigns to let the younger generations have a kick at the can, for better or for worse. This happened to the Soviets in the 80s, where every week was a state funeral for some such old revolutionary commissar, and the new regime simply couldn’t hack it. In pro wrestling for example (as I am the master at relating everything analogously to wrestling, like Harry Potter fans…well you catch my drift) the old time legends must hand things over to the newer faces (and heels), and step down graciously out of the lime light, to educate the up and comers, and hope that their legacies live on in them… but, when this “turning of the guard” does not happen, very disastrous consequences tend to follow. So naturally, let me relate the old dinosaurs of Academia (and their retrograde worldview) with the dying days of WCW.

There are many reasons why World Championship Wrestling went belly-up, but a main one being that the top stars of yesteryear held all the power, could make and break booking decisions, and pushed all of the younger wrestlers in the mid-card rankings down to nothing, wasting an abysmal amount of talent WCW had. Hulk Hogan and the NWO could do anything, costing Turner Broadcasting millions in poorly-negotiated contracts, even having a number of “creative control” clauses (essentially wrestlers booking their own finishes, like wolf packs guarding hen houses) which allowed fading older stars at the top to bury and never “put over” younger talent. Hogan infamously gave the “ain’t gonna work for me BROTHER” lines to both Brett Hart and Booker T at crucial moments. Eventually the contradictions of the whole system, along with numerous terrible business and booking decisions, led to the demise of WCW, which was then bought out for pennies on the dollar by Vince McMahon in 2001 (which lead to another disastrously fumbled invasion angle story line, but that is a side note).

How does this in any way relate to academia and the name in this article’s title, Chomsky himself? Well, it is plainly, even simplistically obvious….the old guard academic system is like WCW, and Chomsky is the “hero public intellectual” equivalent of Hulk Hogan.

A recent interview Chomsky did was quite revealing in terms of how the old guard really thinks, and how this does not match up with the current enforced ideologies, and ways of doing things in Cathedral networks. Granted the two interviewing him are quite, without sounding harsh, “first year poli-sci undergrads” in their approach to interviewing one of the last truly mainstream public intellectuals. Even Foucault predicted the demise of the public intellectual, as they are merely functionaries in the managerial class, legitimizing talking heads within the superstructure social realm, to modern Power’s base. They have become micro-grievance mongers, focusing not on grand and totalizing visions for the future, but specific compartmentalized “experts”, devolving into expert-narcissism even. Being an academic in many ways now has become like being in a corporate wagie position, which can destroy any romantic ideals young grad students have of the waning profession. As it is, in public life, people simply don’t respect academics or find them useful, and frankly they in large part did it to themselves.

Before I go further, let me make it clear that I disagree with aspects of his libertarian socialist schema, but a lot of Chomsky’s work is quite useful and provocative, especially for the time it was written in. When it comes to the American empire’s foreign policy initiatives around the world, and certain analyses of the way info-media apparatuses work, few come close to his insights and critiques; but there are hard truths one must take seriously with any thinker’s corpus, so  fanboyism must be murdered inside one’s self in order to see things clearly. This piece isn’t trying to be the typical conservapunit game of “leftists say the darnedest things”, if you know what I mean.

Chomsky is asked about Jordan Peterson, admitting that he really does not read nor care about his work, never the less scolds JBP for vilifying and scandalizing the academic system. I have my own critiques of JBP, but let us bracket that for now… Chomsky states things that even moderate left-wingers would take to being a slap-dash misreading of the current situation in academia, namely that “Actually (“Akshully”!) the universities are not left wing but right wing, its only because Peterson is to the Right of Attila the Hun that he thinks otherwise“.

Yes you heard that correctly, but in fairness, Chomsky means “right wing” in the sense that universities have adopted corporatized market models of operation, treading the academy as either a vocational school for the global corporatocracy and NGO/bureaucratic classes, or as consumer choice vanity schools. In this sense he is correct, but only someone deeply enmeshed in the fundamental distortions of political ideological terminology, as the categories of partisan politics are in North American liberalism are, can come up with such jumbled assertions. The economics of the university are neoliberal, the social-cultural politics of academia are not, and this is obvious. One thing Peterson is not is someone on “the far right” as an individualist liberal, and certainly not of the monarchical-absolutist variety as Attila the Hun.

Chomsky then goes on to, like all old school tenured rebels, defend the ivory tower from contemporary attacks, stating it is the only place that “presents unique opportunities for creative freedom“, and so fourth. This seems jarring to say the least, but an understandable response from the king of the Generation gaps between 60s radicals and their gen-x/millennial children. Now a victim of an ever wider chasm between the generations, his 60s idealism about academia as the beating (bleeding) heart of all dissident and radical ideas-production has been left behind; it is understandable because as a tenured radical, a creature of, yet ghost dancer against “the system”, there is a psychological need to not only defend one’s home and seat of power, but to mask any contradictions that arise as time goes on. Rage Against the Machines quoted Chomsky, and both are seen as the decadent and out of touch leftists rebels of a former time.

Simply put, the world of today is not the world Chomsky envisions, the 60s radicals are the bourgeois controllers of society, academia is not this mythical place of generative, vibrant new ideas that influence society, etc. One could argue (and many have) that academia is the place where new ideas go to die, or get ripped into ribbons by critique, or are outright barred from finding the light of day under the weight of specialization and the corrupted peer review journal system. Some of the most noteworthy philosophic, political, artistic and cultural ideas/movements within the last few decades have sprung fourth outside of the ivory tower, to only then find academics later appropriating and scrambling up their original vitalities. Chomsky is thus wedded to a very retrograde analysis of the current sociopolitical environment that is dangerously close to being outright willfully ignorant, or purposefully blind. Perhaps it is not malicious, but a need to see the world in a certain way, or rather, to re-live a powerful vision of the tenured-yet-outsider 60s radical, a forced meme that still manages to influence the collective unconscious drives of millennials’ leftist “campus radicals”.

One must remember the (for his standards) shorter Moldbug polemical piece entitled “Noam Chomsky Killed Aaron Swartz“. Chomsky gives the “blue pill” of being this romanticized vision of an activist/rebel engaging in civil disobedience against “the man” of about half a century ago or more. The power structure no longer exists, but Chomsky retains a level of safety in the modern Cathedral system. The Right wing equivalent would be like wignat E-celebs goading young, naive right wing Zoomers into fed-posting and “overdosing on red pills” to display their “authenticity” to the “movement” (but with less overt and life-altering consequences on the left of course),  because, as Moldbug states:

“Aaron, born one of humanity’s natural nobles, grows up in a century cleansed by military force of its own cultural heritage, in which all surviving noble ideals are leftist ideals. No one ever had a chance to tell him that his only honorable option was to live in the past”.

“The truth is that the weapons of “activism” are not weapons which the weak can use against the strong. They are weapons the strong can use against the weak. When the weak try to use them against the strong, the outcome is… well… suicidal”.

So here we have the Chomskyites giving in to the weight of their own romanticism, and like most contemporary leftists, must fuel this lie (a lie so effective it might as well be the “truth”, since it certainly has operational-idealization power in the minds of most) that they are the eternal “underdog” fighting those omnipotent eternal Nazi fascists: Those evil Right-wing corporations that (somehow, they never explain this) color their logos with rainbow flags every LGBT pride month(s) and promote woke neoliberal ideology as corporate PR-HR policy world wide. The government bureaucratic class oppressors who managed to give the left every significant social victory they asked for in the past 4 decades. The horrendously Far-Right mainstream media (are you laughing as hard as I am right now?) etc. And like all bad wrestling booking decisions that fail to win over the marks in the stands, just Kayfabe these unpleasant contradictions hard enough and maybe they just might buy it.

I do not find any enjoyment in picking apart Chomsky’s anachronistic weltanschauung, he is growing long in the tooth after all, and his ideas are growing old with him. Another curious aspect to this would be that Chomsky, being an old school socialist activist-writer, has an utter disdain for postmodernism , the minutia of its different fields and ever-elaborating arcana within academia. Numerous times Chomsky has gone on record as saying these ideas are just useless “language games“. He states that they are even more radical than he is, but their “effect” on the real world is minimal, and “nobody can understand what they are saying“.

This is a point that generally conservatives and people on the Right (folks on the Right? shall we appropriate this woke term of “folk” or is this cringe?) have totally neglected. The classical liberal conservatives commit to a fundamental misreading of the current situation on the Left by introducing and promoting the term “cultural Marxism”, perhaps in a bit to throw people off the scent of liberalism itself leading to the current political Geist. They do not see the virtual war that has been going on for decades now between the classical Marxists, socialists, certain elements of critical theory and activists vs. the postmodern academics. Chomsky himself not only lambasts the “obscurantism” of Pomo, but its inability (or so he thought at the time) to translate its byzantine and labyrinthine philosophies into actual political praxis. A far-stretched example he uses is the “fissures of opinion” present among whites in South-Africa that led to the end of the apartheid system, how a disregard for “objective truth” is nonsensical in the face of real-world injustices.

This of course comes off just as simplistic as any mainstream conservative put-down of Pomo, but in here lies a curious facet of the cult of Chomsky, and the contemporary left as a whole. They never really took Pomo that seriously, for they stand atop the same old foundations in Anglo-sphere post-enlightenment Whig liberalism as the activists and thinkers who came before them. They merely appropriated this or that critique generated by postmodern thinkers who largely came after the foundational philosophers, critical theorists in micro-niches and the like. Chomsky obviously sees something hostile in Pomo to the aims and moralism of the radical left. Dare I say that Pomo hides the seeds of insights and critiques into the foundations of modernist humanism, the modernism that created the very the tenants of the numerous universalist leftist projects, ones that Chomsky champions, that (in a given light and without enough cajoling) verge on being “reactionary”.

But in conclusion, Kayfabe in wrestling is dead, and the Kayfabe of tenured activists pretending to still be outsider, underdog rebels is starting to head along down the road of the same fate. Chomsky stating plainly what he thinks the state of modern academia is helped aid the psychic death of the romantic 60s left-dissident ideal along just a bit more, call this interview his “curtain call” (only hardcore wrestling fans will get the reference).

17 Comments Add yours

  1. Anon says:

    Wall Street made Chomsky a very rich man.

    Like

  2. Thurgood says:

    The notion that the Empire runs on Whig Liberalism is on the same order of absurdity as Chomsky’s assertion that The Academy is, in any meaningful sense, right-wing. Moldbug is virtually identical to Chomsky, despite delivering an apt critique of activism in this case, due to both men delivering a body of work apologetic towards tribal interests and openly hostile to their rivals.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I read a number of Chomsky’s books in college. I took them at face value, but as I got older I realized Chomsky’s basic motivation.

    He wrote thousands of pages about “the corporate media” and never once discussed the ethnic agenda. Just look at what happened to Rick Sanchez.

    When JFK documents were to be released in the late 80s and the film JFK renewed interest in the story, Chomsky wrote a book titled “The Myth of Camelot” trying to tear down JFK’s aura on the left, and trying to undermine the case that JFK’s assassination had something to do with Vietnam. It’s likely because he was worried some of the Jewish crime figures and Israeli-firsters involved in the assassination might get some publicity.

    In the late 90s, all of a sudden Chomsky was writing about the Kurds and attacking Turkey for suppressing them. Not coincidentally, this was at the time the Israelis were using the Kurds as a proxy against their neighbors.

    Chomsky gave the most dishonest and stupefyingly unbelievable explanation for the 9/11 attacks, blatantly lied about a number of aspects of the attacks, and smeared the 9/11 truth movement.

    When asked about the Federal Reserve system, Chomsky defended it and denounced the opposition to it.

    When the book “The Israel Lobby” came out, Chomsky went ballistic and attacked the authors. He wrote an article denouncing it even before he read it. He followed up with more attacks and at a speech blatantly lied suggesting that the establishment was pushing this narrative and that the book had been positively received in the mainstream media. The reality? The authors couldn’t even find an American publisher for their foundational article and had to have it published in the London Review.

    Chomsky has actually blamed Americans, and Christians, for the Israeli treatment of Palestinians, suggesting that the US puts pressure on the Israelis to treat the Palestinians harshly and blamed “white colonialism” for Israeli racism. He even tried to deflect by talking about Australia.

    Add all of these idiosyncrasies up and it becomes clear: Chomsky is a left-wing gatekeeper whose goal is to align the American left with Zionism and Israel’s policies, and to deflect attention away from Jewish power. It is his defining feature, and even some principled Jewish leftists have noted it.

    Like

    1. @Thurgood

      I’ve made the same comparison between Chomsky and Moldbug for a while now, I believe just a few weeks ago on my blog.

      Both are highly-ethnocentric Ashkenazis, Zionists, and devoted to obscuring Ashkenazi power by various kinds of distraction. For Moldbug’s case, he was a creation of the neo-conservatives that bought The Atlantic and the basic point was to defang the growing libertarian movement around Ron Paul and AntiWar.com – which was the only place on the right that ever critiqued Zionism and Ashkenazi ethnocentrism and was proving highly influential among young white men.

      The fact that the right takes seriously the notion of “Whig liberalism” having any sort of influence and continues to use the blatantly obvious propaganda term “The Cathedral” shows just how effective the neo-conservatives calling themselves “neo-reaction” have been.

      Moldbug has now reappeared, working for a neo-conservative think tank.

      Like

      1. GDR says:

        Link to the article on your blog?

        Like

      2. Mike says:

        Damn, I never thought I’d see the day that supposed “reactionaries” equate its founder with the very people he despises. How retarded are you?
        https://www.unqualified-reservations.org/2008/08/america-vampire-of-world-part-1/

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  4. Sandor says:

    Dude needs an editor. That Chomsky piece was about as enjoyable as Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope

    Like

  5. So this guy’s whole critique of Chomsky is this:

    He didnt read Peterson.

    His critique of academia:
    The academics are too mean to my ideas when I present them. I don’t want to defend them against basic scrutiny.

    Cool world. Bro

    Like

  6. LJKEATING says:

    Jealousy is a terrible thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. @Mike

    You should try reading the comments. No one said that Curtis Yarvin doesn’t hate Chomsky – competitors often hate their rivals, in fact,

    It’s that Yarvin and Chomsky are performing the same function, Yarvin for the right, Chomsky for the left.

    It ain’t rocket science.

    Like

    1. Mike says:

      @BannedHipster

      I’m not arguing the point that he does or does not hate Chomsky, I’m arguing that he is not a neocon or a neolib. How you could possibly interpret him as being one is beyond me. Read the article I linked in my last comment and tell me with a straight face that a neocon would believe America is “the world’s vampire.” That’s the polar opposite of what any Francis Fukuyama/Bill Kristol type would believe.

      Like

      1. @Mike

        I’m arguing that he is not a neocon

        If you search my blog for Moldbug or Yarvin, I go through it at least three or four times. Considering how he was originally given massive publicity (within four days of starting his anonymous, free Google account!) by neo-cons at The Atlantic and that he’s now publishing under his real name at the neo-con think tank Claredon, you may want to think about why neo-cons tried a different tack after the Iraq war was discredited and Ron Paul and AntiWar.com were eating their lunch appealing to young, right-leaning white men.

        Read the article

        How utterly tiresome. I’ve read UR since it started a decade ago and I’ve read most of his fanboys too. If you can’t see it, I don’t know what to say.

        Francis Fukuyama

        Of all the neo-cons, really interesting you put that one first.

        Like

      2. R. Landry - Editor says:

        Moldbug’s never ending attempts to hide the culpability of his co-ethnics is annoying. In one of his claremont articles he wrote that the bolsheviks were mimicking Anglos. Yeah sure bud, just admit that jewish bolshvism is a real thing and punishing the West today.

        Like

  8. Mike says:

    @Banned Hipster

    During the height of his production, at UR from 2007-2013, he was given zero publicity (except to laugh at him). I will admit his coming out party at American Mind these days is rather more suspicious, but I’m not going to throw him under the bus instantly due to him going more “mainstream” for lack of a better word.

    I don’t mean to sound naive or brainwashed by telling you to “just read”, but I guess I thought that Moldbug was considered a canon, or at least a very important thinker for the kind of crowd who reads this site. Frankly, I don’t know what other big “thinker” we have, at least in the sense of a contemporary one.

    Like

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