Published: Thursday, 04 December 2003 17:33
Well, Mr. Spike (Steve according to the byline) wrote about me and commented on my Hate Bush Meeting, here.
He brought up Chomsky. I don’t know too much about Chomsky, but what I do know isn’t very flattering. First, his act of not answering questions imbibes a certain amount of sage in him, which is not warranted. Scott Adams has Chomsky’s number here:
Also, facts are like the cubes in a Rubiks Cube. You have to get them in the right position and the right orientation to solve the puzzle. Chomsky likes to tell you the facts, but not the context so you can make sense of the facts. Let me illustrate:
I have here on my desk a magazine that talks about two murderers who are not being prosecuted for killing a total of three people. Justin Doyle killed one man, while Wesley Steven killed two. Based on these facts alone, you would think that these are two despicable guys and the police are failing to do their job. But when I tell you both of these men were acting in self-defense and murdered home invaders, well that puts a different spin on things, doesn’t it? Of course, Steve is in the UK and isn’t allowed the right of self-defense, so he might have a different take on things.
He also asks the following question:
I wonder what he makes of Chomsky’s claim that “No president [since 1945], judged on the principles of Nuremberg, would have escaped hanging”? That includes even the most liberal, that nice Jimmy Carter for example.
I would answer that the winners write the history. The Nazis understood that, they were surprised that they got a trial at all, let alone an actually fair trial.
Has America done some despicable things? Yep. Are we proud of them? Nope. Do we try to get it right the next time? You betcha. America is not perfect, and it is wrong to try and hold us to that standard. We do the best we can, and that is all anybody should be expected to do. Sometimes all we can choose between are two bad choices. It’s like when kids get together to play baseball/football/rugby etc., and sometimes one team is left picking the dorky, uncoordinated kid because that’s who’s left. America had to make some choices like that. We didn’t like who we picked, but we really had no choice in the matter.
Sometimes we have been forced to make a choice, and no matter what we chose, somebody was going to die in large numbers. The only differences was who and how many. Sometimes there is no “good” choice.
Do I actually try to equate any US President to either Stalin or Hitler? Nope. My reference to them was pure hyperbole. Hitler was directly responsible for over 6 million Jewish deaths. Stalin ruthlessly murdered by various means well over 20 million of his own people. You do not see those things happening in the US. You could try to lay Korean deaths at Trumans feet, as well as Vietnamese dead at the feet of Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. But it won’t wash. I’m talking non-war civilians dead persecuted by their own government, you’re talking about war dead. No US president since 1917 has ever systematically, brutally, and near totally exterminated any group of people for their political beliefs, ethnicity or religion. I know we have in the past when certain paradigms were in place, but when the paradigms were changed, so did the behavior.
Getting back to Chomsky: There is one paragraph where I did agree with him:
‘Responsibility I believe accrues through privilege,’ he begins. ‘People like you and me have an unbelievable amount of privilege and therefore we have a huge amount of responsibility. We live in free societies where we are not afraid of the police, we have extraordinary wealth available to us by global standards. If you have those things then you have the kind of responsibility that a person does not have if he or she is slaving 70 hours a week to put food on the table – a responsibility at the very least to inform yourself about power. Beyond that it is a question of whether you believe in moral certainties or not.’
Myself, living off of $850 a month, in a clean apartment with a TV, laptop with cable broadband internet, cell phone, refrigerator, et. al., I live better than 60% of the worlds population. I know this and am grateful for it. I try to use my power as an American citizen the best way I can. When I communicate my position on any subject to my elected officials, I expect a courteous response and that they consider my view. Sometimes my elected officials have to go against my wishes, but there are times that they know more about it than I do. That’s what I pay them for.
I would like to thank Steve for giving *both* of my brain cells a good workout tonight. I promised him a piece on the difference between a Liberal and a Socialist. That will take a few days, I want to get it right.