Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

BeckyDem

(8,361 posts)
Mon Jan 20, 2020, 09:34 PM Jan 2020

Noam Chomsky Makes the Case for the Lesser of Two Evils


(Exceptional, that is Chomsky )


Jan 17, 2020

Opinion

Scheer Intelligence

( excerpt ) Chomsky, on the other hand traces the hard-earned progress that has been made by organized movements throughout the history of the U.S., using the examples of Presidents Richard Nixon and Franklin D. Roosevelt as leaders who were forced to amend their policies and actions by political activists.

“So even if there’s core, deep problems with the institutions, there still are choices between alternatives, which matter a lot,” says the MIT professor. “Small differences in a system with enormous power translate into huge effects. Meanwhile, you don’t stop with a lesser evilism; you continue to try to organize and develop the mass popular movements, which will block the worst and change the institutions. All of these things can go on at once. But the simple question of what button do you push on a particular day? That is a decision, and that matters. It’s not the whole story, by any means. It’s a small part of the story, but it matters.”

When Scheer goes on to express his surprise to find in Chomsky a source of optimism, the latter gives him a list of reasons to remain hopeful, including the Green New Deal and the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/noam-chomsky-makes-the-case-for-the-lesser-of-two-evils/
10 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies

lapucelle

(18,179 posts)
6. It was a real question. I didn't read Susie Linfield's book, and even Scheer admitted
Mon Jan 20, 2020, 10:50 PM
Jan 2020

that he had to re-read the chapter about Chomsky before the interview.

Why is Linfield so angry with Chomsky?

lapucelle

(18,179 posts)
9. Yes, I read that. It doesn't detail why Linfield has a problem with Chomsky.
Mon Jan 20, 2020, 11:13 PM
Jan 2020

It doesn't surprise me that Chomsky argues that, given two alternatives (both of which one doesn't like or particularly endorse), choosing the one that offends you less is the rational course to take.

Chomsky has expressed that point of view in the past.

If more people had followed Chomsky's tact in 2000, Al Gore would have been president.

CozyMystery

(652 posts)
5. Lesser evilism as applied to the 2020 presidential election
Mon Jan 20, 2020, 10:50 PM
Jan 2020

"The discussion of Israel then leads to a broader conversation on the topic of “lesser evilism,” especially as applied to U.S. politics as voters face a presidential election in 2020 which could lead to President Donald Trump’s reelection."

"“There’s another word for lesser evilism,” Chomsky replies. “It’s called rationality. Lesser evilism is not an illusion, it’s a rational position. But you don’t stop with lesser evilism. You begin with it, to prevent the worst, and then you go on to deal with the fundamental roots of what’s wrong, even with the lesser evils.”"

“So even if there’s core, deep problems with the institutions, there still are choices between alternatives, which matter a lot,” says the MIT professor. “Small differences in a system with enormous power translate into huge effects. Meanwhile, you don’t stop with a lesser evilism; you continue to try to organize and develop the mass popular movements, which will block the worst and change the institutions. All of these things can go on at once. But the simple question of what button do you push on a particular day? That is a decision, and that matters. It’s not the whole story, by any means. It’s a small part of the story, but it matters.”

"When Scheer goes on to express his surprise to find in Chomsky a source of optimism, the latter gives him a list of reasons to remain hopeful, including the Green New Deal and the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign."

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/noam-chomsky-makes-the-case-for-the-lesser-of-two-evils/

From a conversation between Noam Chomsky and Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer.

lapucelle

(18,179 posts)
7. I was really wondering how it was characterized in Linfield's book.
Mon Jan 20, 2020, 10:53 PM
Jan 2020
The linguist, who has been an outspoken critic of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, argues that [Linfield's book] “The Lion’s Den” and its chapter on Chomsky’s criticisms “is the most extraordinary collection of lies and deceit that I have ever seen.”
Latest Discussions»Issue Forums»Editorials & Other Articles»Noam Chomsky Makes the Ca...