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Noam Chomsky asked about Ron Paul libertarians (video)

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posted on Apr, 4 2009 @ 05:31 PM

I live out in Georgia, and a lot of people there are ultra-right wing Ron Paul Libertarians. They’re extremely cynical. Is there any way for people on the left to reach out to them?

I think what you have to do is ask, what makes them Ron Paul Libertarians? I don’t happen to think that makes a lot of sense, but nevertheless underlying it are feelings that do make sense. I mean the feeling for example that the government is our enemy. It’s a very widespread feeling, in fact that’s been induced by propaganda as well.

So pretty soon it will be April 15th, and the people in your neighborhood are going to have to send in their income taxes. The way they’re going to look at it, and the way they’ve been trained to look at it is that there is some alien force, like maybe from Mars, that is stealing our hard earned money from us and giving it to the government. Okay, well, that would be true in a totalitarian state, but if you had a democratic society you’d look at it the other way around You’d say "great, it's April 15th, we’re all going to contribute to implement the plans that we jointly decided on for the benefit of all of us." But that idea is even more frightening than Social Security. It means that we would have a functioning democracy, and no center of concentrated power is ever going to want that, for perfectly obvious reasons. So yes there are efforts, and pretty successful efforts to get people to fear the government as their enemy, not to regard it as the collective population acting in terms of common goals that we’ve decided on which would be what have to happen in a democracy. And is to an extent what does happen in functioning democracies, like Bolivia, the poorest country in South America. It’s kind of what’s happening there more or less. But that’s very remote from what’s happening here.

Well I think Ron Paul supporters can be appealed to on these grounds, they're also against military intervention, and we can ask "okay, why?" Is it just for their own security, do they want to be richer or something? I doubt it, I think people are concerned because they think we destroyed Iraq and so on. So I think that there are lots of common grounds that can be explored, even if the outcomes, at the moment, look very different. They look different because they’re framed within fixed doctrines. But those doctrines are not graven in stone. They can be overcome.

Transcript and video are creative commons, from:

There are more videos from the full interview at the youtube playlist,

I found this quite interesting, I'm more of a leftie on economics, and libertarian on social issues in general, so I can find a lot to agree and disagree with in both Paul and Chomskys works.

A line that particularly interests me is the line about hating the government:

"that’s been induced by propaganda as well"

I'm curious who Chomsky thinks has induced this, the government itself, or the leadership in the Ron Paul movement?

I would argue that it's both really, some in the government want people to feel helpless, so they have less opposition, although from watching some of Chomsky's work on propaganda in the media, I have a feeling that he might argue it's not always conscious. In the Paul movement, if the leadership didn't think there was something wrong with the government, there wouldn't really be much point in them existing.

What do you think? I think the idea of drawing Paul supporters across to the left may have some merit. I see many Paul supporters who can get on board with people like Kuchinich, Nader, and Gravel (Gravel was quite left until he joined the libertarian party). It seems many of them just want someone who appears honest, and isn't too authoritarian, and could compromise on other issues.

posted on Apr, 4 2009 @ 05:37 PM
Don't listen to this guy. We're libertarians, because the Zionists are raping the world of it's wealth, leaving the poor stranded as children of the state, furthering irresponsibility and dependence on the WORKERS, who have hard-earned their prosperity.

posted on Apr, 4 2009 @ 05:44 PM

Originally posted by organism315
Don't listen to this guy. We're libertarians, because the Zionists are raping the world of it's wealth, leaving the poor stranded as children of the state, furthering irresponsibility and dependence on the WORKERS, who have hard-earned their prosperity.

Have you ever heard Chomsky talk about Israel? He's not really their biggest supporter by a long shot...

He has also accused Israel of "guiding state terrorism" for selling weapons to apartheid South Africa and Latin American countries that he characterizes as U.S. puppet states, e.g. Guatemala in the 1980s, as well as U.S.-backed paramilitaries (or, according to Chomsky, terrorists) such as the Nicaraguan Contras. (What Uncle Sam Really Wants, Chapter 2.4) Chomsky characterizes Israel as a "mercenary state," "an Israeli Sparta," and a militarized dependency within a U.S. system of hegemony.

When you say libertarian, are you referring to the main views of the US Libertarian party, or the general idea of being non-authoritarian?

I think there is much in Chomskys work that Ron Paul libertarians would appreciate, although hardliners on Economics would disagree with him strongly in that area.

EDIT: to add in a quote from Chomsky about Israel.

[edit on 4/4/2009 by RubberBaron]

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