Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

  • Mood:
  • Music:

Real World

As noted previously, I often have major disagreements with Noam Chomsky. But I'm glad he's in the public eye, doing what he's doing, supernaturally unflappable.

Anyway, Noam recently weighed in on the options facing the American electorate in 2004. I' m heartened to see that he's advocating a Realpolitik for leftists. Given a choice between "whether we want to pay attention to the real world, or prefer to keep to abstract discussions suitable to some seminar," he prefers the former. "It's a matter of judgment, of course, but mine is that those who favor electing Bush are making a very serious error. The people around him are likely to cause very serious, perhaps irreparable, harm if given another mandate." His critique of misplaced idealism highlights the peril of what the Bad Subjects manifesto -- almost ten years old! -- called "self-marginalization":
Those who prefer to ignore the real world are also undermining any hope of reaching any popular constituency. Few are likely to pay attention to someone who approaches them by saying, loud and clear: "I don't care whether you have a slightly better chance to receive health care or to support your elderly mother; or whether there will be a physical environment in which your children might have a decent life; or a world in which children may escape destruction as a result of the violence that is inspired by the Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz-Cheney-etc. crowd, which could become extreme; and on, and on. Repeat: "slightly better." That matters to sensible people, surely the great mass of people who are the potential victims. So those who prefer to ignore the real world are also saying: "please ignore me." And they will achieve that result.
I suppose that means that even Chomsky is getting on the John Kerry bandwagon.

  • Redefining Need

    "Can a society which is incapable of protecting individual privacy even within one's four walls rightfully claim that it respects the individual and…

  • Mind Out of Joint

    These are strange and stressful times for all of us. But I feel simultaneously more prepared and less able to deal with this state of emergency.…

  • It Begins

    My daughter went to Las Vegas with friends this afternoon. Her mom is staying late at her downtown studio. My dad is asleep at his facility. And I…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.