A comment on Noam Chomsky's endorsement of Kerry

by Jeff Stacks
(CV #33, March 25, 2004)


. The cynical and superficial mantra of "anybody but Bush" has caused sharp debate within petty-bourgeois democracy and has even caused doubts among the bourgeois democrats. This is a time when we should be working to tear down the illusions about the Democrats. And yet in this controversial period support for the Democratic champion of the day comes from surprising places, from the likes of the renowned anarchist critic Noam Chomsky, in a recent interview published in The Guardian (March 16). (True, most anarchists wouldn't agree with Chomsky on this. Chomsky is a very moderate anarchist, an "anarcho-liberal". )

. Chomsky's defense of "anybody but Bush" in his interview is more indicative of an attempt to strengthen his links with the liberal establishment in America by becoming more "respectable" than of any reasoned consideration of the matter. (Remember that Chomsky has asserted that the corporate media has "opened up" since 9/11 because CNN had invited him on. Never mind that what he said on CNN was completely tame. ) Nevertheless he is an influential figure and the mere fact of his support, however baseless, will lend added legitimacy to the "anybody but Bush" campaign.

. Basically Chomsky just repeats the canned "argument" that Bush is bad and Kerry is not Bush. Sure he says that the Dems are a party of "big business", and that there is only "a fraction" of a difference between Bush and Kerry. This has enabled some to claim that professor Chomsky is not really endorsing Kerry. "Look", they say, "he also says nice things about Nader and Kucinich". But the main thing Chomsky is trying to get across in his interview is that there really are big differences between Kerry and Bush, that a vote for Kerry will lead to a "large outcome". Hence he implies that the neoliberals around Kerry are not "committed to dismantling the achievements of popular struggle through the past century", that they are not devoted "to a narrow sector of wealth and power, no matter what the cost to the general population". This lying endorsement of Kerry is an exposure of Chomsky's complete lack of perspective and his total inability to conceive of a political course that is independent of the parties of big business. <>

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