Noam Chomsky on Anarchy

Anarchy means a lack of government. This has been construed by many to mean that we should smash the state immediately.

Amazingly, many people who believe this cite Noam Chomsky as one of their muses. If you listen to Chomsky here, you see very clearly that anarchy, classic anarchy, is much more sophisticated than just abolishing the state.

The reason is obvious: getting rid of the state as it stands now means giving ourselves over to corporations. Getting rid of the state is exactly what libertarians and certain Republicans want to do. They want to make government so irrelevant that there is nothing but unaccountable, corporate power.

The greatest American anarchist was Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson believed that a nation of equal landowners educated in public schools would have the resources and brain power necessary to live harmoniously together. After a few generations of homesteading and educating, there would be no need for the state at all. It would merely whither away as an irrelevancy.

This was the big philosophical reason behind Jefferson’s push for the Louisiana Purchase. He believed it would give the country enough land to divide up equally between citizens. It also explains Jefferson’s support for public education. He was trying to lay the groundwork for anarchy.

Or is this communism? Maybe communism and anarchy go hand-in-hand here, where one is the condition of the other. If this is the case, then it would seem as if socialism would mark a preparation period for this anarcho-communist utopia.

Anyway, I think this is sort of what Chomsky is saying in this video.

One response to “Noam Chomsky on Anarchy

  1. Thomas Hobbes touches on this idea of life without a government. It would be a state of nature where man would have a right to everything in the world. In his book Leviathan, Hobbes touches on the idea that man is naturally evil. That a social contract with his fellow citizens is a way to control the evil natural senses that may lead to anarchy. However, as Noam does mention with corporations in our system of government, do you think a system, like communism, can be used by a group of men for the betterment of their own wealth? Is man naturally evil in any sense of government? What can minimize this natural quality? Can communal morality help justify our existence as a peaceful race? Your blog makes me think and I love it. I hope am not running off on tangents.

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