Monday, May 16, 2016

the malthusian killer-ape crew moves to back Chomsky into a corner


declineofempire |  Chomsky's views on all the subjects he's talked about for decades—power politics, elite repression of The People, elite-controlled media, socioeconomic arrangements, and, recently, climate change—are vacuous unless he has based those views on some theory (or partial theory) of how humans work at a fundamental level (human nature).

And that's not true of Chomsky only; that's generally true. If this vaunted "intellectual" is so damn smart, why hasn't he realized this? Why hasn't he worked on the Human Nature problem as it pertains to, for example, the human response to climate change, instead of lecturing us over and over again about elite-controlled media or unreported, U.S.-supported genocides?

Aren't genocides and elite-controlled media manifestations of aspects of Human Nature? And what about the human response to climate change? If these are not manifestations of human nature, then what the fuck are we talking about? Here's my view.

For example, you can't talk about free market (albeit corrupt) capitalism versus anti-hierarchical anarcho-syndicalist blah blah blah (Chomsky's preferred arrangement) unless your views are based on how humans work, on what is possible for humans to achieve. Otherwise, you're talking out your ass. I discussed this foundational point at the very beginning of the first Flatland essay.

What I also explained in the beginning of that first Flatland essay goes as follows: in order talk out your ass, you're forced to assume a "blank slate" view of Human Nature which implicitly posits that humans are infinitely malleable (our behavior is completely determined by our social and physical environment).

The "blank slate"' in effect says that "anything goes" as far as human socioeconomic arrangements go, to pick just one example. Now, we might ask a simple question here: why is the world dominated by market-based (though inevitably corrupt) capitalist systems instead of anarcho-syndicalist blah blah blah? Is all this some kind of mistake?

Well, if you ask Chomsky, he would argue, at least implicitly, that the world-as-it-is is indeed some kind of mistake, and humans can fix it (though not easily) by inventing some kind of new sociopolitical system which would be better in some undefined way. Chomsky has dedicated his life to this viewpoint, despite clear and overwhelming evidence that humans do not have the capacity for change that he imagines.

At this point you might ask Chomsky why those malevolent elites (hierarchical kleptocracies) he goes on and on about have always existed (and still do) in all large, complex human societies. Apparently, this is a "mistake" humans have made over and over again for the last 6000 years or so, ever since large complex human societies first appeared.