Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Chomsky: Government in the Future

Chomsky sees Adam Smith (and Humboldt) as a libertarian socialist, the supposed father of capitalism. Chomsky thinks Smith would have despised what capitalism has become, including the division of labor. Smith's argument for markets required equality of condition, something obviously lacking in today's capitalism. He was quite adamant about England's bourgeoisie being obsessed with naked self interest at the expense of the people. He criticized the early stages of corporations but didn't live to see what they'd become, no doubt now turning in his grave.

Also see Chomsky's "Government in the future," where he compares and discusses classical liberalism, libertarian socialism, state socialism and state capitalism. He focuses on Humboldt in the first section. I appreciate how in the intro of the above article Chomsky notes that both state capitalism and state socialism are "regressive" and inappropriate to modern society. I've been saying that about capitalism all along, that it is not a modern but pre-modern economic system, more feudal and not in the least democratic. Chomsky is also highly critical of state socialism, the kind Russia used to have, so associating that with socialism per se is misguided.

Also note that per a previous post Chomsky is affiliated with the Democratic Socialists of America. It has many of the ideals of libertarian socialism but recognizes that it has to work within the existing capitalist system for reform. They still use market mechanisms and central planning to ameliorate capitalism's dysfunctions (see the FAQ). It's a transition step toward the kind of libertarian socialism Chomsky, Corbett and the wiki talk about, apparently a necessary step in bridging here to there. Hence my support of DSA and it's closest US governmental ally, the progressive caucus of the Democrat Party.

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