“I have never seen anything like this in my lifetime,” Chomsky added. “I am old enough to remember the 1930s. My whole family was unemployed. There were far more desperate conditions than today. But it was hopeful. People had hope. The CIO was organizing. No one wants to say it anymore but the Communist Party was the spearhead for labor and civil rights organizing. Even things like giving my unemployed seamstress aunt a week in the country. It was a life. There is nothing like that now. The mood of the country is frightening. The level of anger, frustration and hatred of institutions is not organized in a constructive way. It is going off into self-destructive fantasies.”
Umm, excuse me, but since when does an anarchist get upset about “hatred of institutions”? And how in God’s name do the Tea Party dullards and Rush Limbaugh fans compare to the upheaval’s of the 60s? Those years included regular armed combat between the police and the Black Panthers, violent street fights between cops and student protesters, seizure of the grounds of major university campuses like Columbia and Yale by student rebels, gunning down student protesters by the National Guard at Kent State, assassinations of major public officials like the Kennedys and King, the Weathermen bombing the Capitol building in D.C., vigilante killings of civil rights protesters by the KKK, tens of thousands of Americans killed in Vietnam, antiwar protests with hundreds of thousands of marchers, COINTELPRO, assassination of radical leaders like Fred Hampton by the FBI, assassinations of cops by black militants, and too much more to mention.
I would agree with Chomsky that today the vanguard of militant protest has moved from the far Left to the far Right, which is why I’ve made a similar move throughout my radical career. Has Noam ever considered that maybe there’s a good reason for that? That maybe the Left and liberalism has become a reactionary force? That maybe there are issues that the Left is worthless on and does not address? Noam is starting sound a lot like right-wing conservatives talking about the antiwar movement in the 60s, and damn if Chomsky’s rhetoric doesn’t sound a lot like Bill Clinton.