T Nation

More Chomsky

Modern industrial civilization has developed within certain system of convenient myths. The driving force of modern industrial civilization has been individual material gain, which is accepted as legitimate, even praiseworthy on the grounds that private vices yield public benefits in the classic formulation. Now, it?s long been understood, very well, that a society that is based on this principle will destroy itself in time. It can only persist with whatever suffering and injustice it entails as long as it?s possible to pretend that the destructive forces humans create are limited, that the world is an infinite resource and that the world is an infinite garbage can. At this stage of history, either one of two things is possible. Either the general population will take control of its own destiny and will concern itself with community interests, guided by values of solidarity and sympathy for others, or alternatively, there will be no destiny for anybody to control. As long as some specialized class is in a position of authority, it is going to set policy in the special interests that it serves. But the conditions of survival, let alone justice, require rational social planning in the interests of the community as a whole, and by now that means the global community. The question is whether the privileged elite should dominate mass communication and should use this power as they tell us they must, namely to impose necessary illusions, to manipulate and deceive the stupid majority and remove them from the public arena. The question in brief is whether democracy and freedom are values to be preserved, or threats to be avoided. In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured; they may well be essential to survival.

I messed up & hit submit instead of preview. :frowning: I was going to add that Cretien just introduced a bill that would ban corporate & trade union donations to federal parties, so I guess he’s starting to do his part. On the other side of the continent, BC has been hit with UN sanctions for their labour laws (tearing up teachers’ & doctors’ contracts & anti-women legislation). The leader of the opposition brought up a bill similar to what Cretien is proposing, but for BC & none other than Gordon Campbell the Premier, shot it apart. No other political party in the history of North America has been so dependent on corporate donations than the BC Liberals in 2002. & for those of you who like capitalism/dog-eat-dog whatever so much, I wonder how Canada could have had the world’s highest standard of living during the Trudeau years when Canada was one of the most socialist countries out there?

“private vices.” Or, that individual wealth has concomitant individual motivation, and that wealth can only come from creating value for others. Few people think that wealth gathered in any other way is ‘praiseworthy.’ Classic example of starting out with an incorrect premise and coming to a stupid conclusion.

“society based on this principle will destroy itself in time.” Whenever anyone says “This goes without saying,” or whatever, that generally means “here’s something I can’t prove. It sounds good, so I’ll just say it’s a ‘truth’ and no one will question me.”

Chomsky is too far up his own ass, and so are you.

That should ‘devices’, not ‘vices’.

Say, I made a promise never to go near your posts again, but I just had to on this. Trudeau printed money. The standard of living was high because he wasn’t afraid to put us into debt to do it. I thought you would know this being such a smart guy on here who acts like he knows everything. You and I and the rest of the Canadians that you insult here every day are still paying for his social programs.

I have not read up on Chomsky before now, as I had no reason to. After glancing over some of his writing, speeches, and interviews I have a basic idea of this man. He says that he is for socialism, and anarchy, or a combined form of these. How they combine is beyond me. I assume that means that he wants to be able to do anything, but not be responsible.


It should be noted that if we lived in his world there would be no Mag-10, Hot-Rox, 4AD-EC, or the most recent incarnation of Mythoxy-7. These all have pending patents. He has spoken against patents as being a way for the “multi-national corporations” to keep control. Yet without patents to protect ideas the cost involved in developing new ideas would not be worth it. Testosterone mag has had an article discussing the fact that it costs $100 million to test and bring a drug to market, with FDA approval, and only 7 out of a hundred make it. While many of those drugs might fail well before the $100 mil mark, it still involves a lot of money. Would you spend money like that if your neighbor could start producing the same thing the day after you bring your drug to market?


Being a linguist has afforded him the ability to talk with major “fluff.” He can take a crap idea and make it sound better then what it is. Also you notice that often he is not an easy read. That make people think he is smart, but any expert would tell you that being able to make yourself understandable is more intelligent. Good examples are the articles here at t-mag. They are bringing the science to the laymen. Sounding intelligent is never as important as being intelligent.


I believe I have heard “pretend intellectuals” quote Chomsky a few times. I use the term “pretend intellectuals” whenever I hear a person, or group of people try to act intelligent as a social activity. They can sound good, but are incapable of an independent thought. If you hear a person quoting repeatedly try listening and notice how often they make a non quoted thought of their own. A good example would be hippies. They all would dress the same, grow their hair long, not shave, quote the same messages, and then call themselves “nonconformists.” I should mention that “pretend intellectuals” are on “both sides of the isle.”


Anybody who considers Chomsky a source of intelligent ideas has been fooled by his fluff.

Hi guys, haven’t been around for a while, and I can see that stupidity is still rampant.

“The driving force of modern industrial civilization has been individual material gain, which is accepted as legitimate, even praiseworthy on the grounds that private vices yield public benefits in the classic formulation”

What an idiot! Does he really think that all the benefits of modern civilization would have been produced by a bunch of self sacrificing socialists? The prospect of personal material gain is what drives modern civilization – the artifact that provides a stage for non-productive idiots like this. Also, check out his description of material gain as a vice. What a dork. What a leach. He is not worth a pimple on my ass.

huck, I’m sure you steal food from your kids when you’re hungry. After all, that’s the American way: look out for #1.

Say, you’re a tard. Obviously I don’t take food from my kids mouths. (Although I might grab the last chicken wing). What Chomsky can’t understand is that the proper way to interact with other humans is through a process of barter. If I am able to trade my own ideas and work for material gain, it does not take anything from anyone else. Wealth is not a zero sum game. This entire way of veiwing the world that you and Chomsky have is based on hatred of acheivement, and of all that is good and glorious in mankind. For a long time, I was willing to give liberals/socialists the benefit of the doubt: Maybe they just can’t understand, maybe they have just been raised to think that self sacrifice is noble, blah blah. Now I think thay are actively evil. Why else would a seemingly intelligent person advocate a system that has been shown to produce nothing but human misery over and over? Why would thay rail against a system that hes produced the highest standard of living and the freest country in history? Why would they champion the idea that the best should be slaves to the worst? It is really pathetic. Please respond any way you see fit. I really don’t care. Done with this one.

This is why communists don’t understand economics. They think that capitalism is only about getting money. The reason capitalism works so well is very simple, survival of the fittest. It works exactly why nature works. Anyone whose idea of capitalism is screwing his neighbor quickly goes out of business, or fails to achieve the success they could have.


Forgive me for repeating myself, but China is proof that communism does not work. China created the perfect communist country when they decided that everybody makes the same no matter what, even if they didn’t work. What happened? One third of the population immediately quit.

I’ll counter your quote with my favorite quote:

Rearden heard Bertram Scudder, outside the group, say to a girl who made some sound of indignation, “Don’t let him disturb you. You know, money is the root of all evil- and he’s the typical product of money.” Rearden did not think that Francisco could have heard it, but he saw Francisco turning to them with a gravely courteous smile.

“So you think that money is the root of all evil?” said Francisco d’Aconia. "Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?

"When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears nor all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor- your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money. Is this what you consider evil?

"Have you ever looked for the root of production? Take a look at an electric generator and dare tell yourself that it was created by the muscular effort of unthinking brutes. Try to grow a seed of wheat without the knowledge left to you by men who had to discover it for the first time. Try to obtain your food by means of nothing but physical motions- and you’ll learn that man’s mind is the root of all the goods produced and of all the wealth that has ever existed on earth.

"But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is made- before it can be looted or mooched- made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability. An honest man is one who knows that he can’t consume more than he has produced.

"To trade by means of money is the code of the men of good will. Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort. Money allows no power to prescribe the value of your effort except by the voluntary choice of the man who is willing to trade you his effort in return. Money permits you to obtain for your goods and your labor that which they are worth to the men who buy them, but no more. Money permits no deals except those to mutual benefit by the unforced judgment of the traders. Money demands of you the recognition that men must work for their own benefit, not for their own injury, for their gain, not their loss- the recognition that they are not beasts of burden, born to carry the weight of your misery- that you must offer them values, not wounds- that the common bond among men is not the exchange of suffering, but the exchange of GOODS. Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men’s stupidity, but your talent to their reason; it demands that you buy, not the shoddiest they offer, but the best your money can find. And when men live by trade- with reason, not force, as their final arbiter–it is the best product that wins, the best performance, then man of best judgment and highest ability- and the degree of a man’s productiveness is the degree of his reward. This is the code of existence whose tool and symbol is money. Is this what you consider evil?

"But money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. It will give you the means for the satisfaction of your desires, but it will not provide you with desires. Money is the scourge of the men who attempt to reverse the law of causality- the men who seek to replace the mind by seizing the products of the mind.

"Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants; money will not give him a code of values, if he’s evaded the knowledge of what to value, and it will not provide him with a purpose, if he’s evaded the choice of what to seek. Money will not buy intelligence for the fool, or admiration for the coward, or respect for the incompetent. The man who attempts to purchase the brains of his superiors to serve him, with his money replacing his judgment, ends up by becoming the victim of his inferiors. The men of intelligence desert him, but the cheats and the frauds come flocking to him, drawn by a law which he has not discovered: that no man may be smaller than his money. Is this the reason why you call it evil?

"Only the man who does not need it, is fit to inherit wealth- the man who would make his own fortune no matter where he started. If an heir is equal to his money, it serves him; if not, it destroys him. But you look on and you cry that money corrupted him. Did it? Or did he corrupt his money? Do not envy a worthless heir; his wealth is not yours and you would have done no better with it. Do not think that it should have been distributed among you; loading the world with fifty parasites instead of one, would not bring back the dead virtue which was the fortune. Money is a living power that dies without its root. Money will not serve that mind that cannot match it. Is this the reason why you call it evil?

"Money is your means of survival. The verdict which you pronounce upon the source of your livelihood is the verdict you pronounce upon your life. If the source is corrupt, you have damned your own existence. Did you get your money by fraud? By pandering to men’s vices or men’s stupidity? By catering to fools, in the hope of getting more than your ability deserves? By lowering your standards? By doing work you despise for purchasers you scorn? If so, then your money will not give you a moment’s or a penny’s worth of joy. Then all the things you buy will become, not a tribute to you, but a reproach; not an achievement, but a reminder of shame. Then you’ll scream that money is evil. Evil, because it would not pinch-hit for your self-respect? Evil, because it would not let you enjoy your depravity? Is this the root of your hatred of money?

"Money will always remain an effect and refuse to replace you as the cause. Money is the product of virtue, but it will not give you virtue and it will not redeem your vices. Money will not give you the unearned, neither in matter nor in spirit. Is this the root of your hatred of money?

“Or did you say it’s the love of money that’s the root of all evil? To love a thing is to know and love its nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men. It’s the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is the loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money- and he has good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it.”

"Let me give you a tip on a clue to men’s characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.

"Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper’s bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another- their only substitute, demands of you the highest virtues, if you wish to make it or to keep it. Men who have no courage, pride, or self-esteem, men who have no moral sense of their right to their money and are not willing to defend it as they defend their life, men who apologize for being rich- will not remain rich for long. They are the natural bait for the swarms of looters that stay under rocks for centuries, but come crawling out at the first smell of a man who begs to be forgiven for the guilt of owning wealth. They will hasten to relieve him of the guilt- and of his life, as he deserves.

"Then you will see the rise of the double standard–the men who live by force, yet count on those who live by trade to create the value of their looted money- the men who are the hitchhikers of virtue. In a moral society, these are the criminals, and the statutes are written to protect you against them. But when a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law- men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims- then money becomes its creators’ avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they’ve passed a law to disarm them. But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter.

"Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion- when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing- when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors- when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you- when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice- you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that it does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.

"Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men’s protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it bounces, marked: ‘Account overdrawn.’

"When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded. Do not ask, ‘Who is destroying the world?’ You are.

"You stand in the midst of the greatest achievements of the greatest productive civilization and you wonder why it’s crumbling around you, while your damning its life-blood- money. You look upon money as the savages did before you, and you wonder why the jungle is creeping back to the edge of your cities. Throughout men’s history, money was always seized by looters of one brand or another, but whose method remained the same: to seize wealth by force and to keep the producers bound, demeaned, defamed, deprived of honor. That phrase about the evil of money, which you mouth with such righteous recklessness, comes from a time when wealth was produced by the labor of slaves- slaves who repeated the motions once discovered by somebody’s mind and left unimproved for centuries. So long as production was ruled by force, and wealth was obtained by conquest, there was little to conquer. Yet through all the centuries of stagnation and starvation, men exalted the looters, as aristocrats of the sword, as aristocrats of birth, as aristocrats of the bureau, and despised the producers, as slaves, as traders, as shopkeepers- as industrialists.

"To the glory of mankind, there was, for the first and only time in history, a country of money- and I have no higher, more reverent tribute to pay to America, for this means: a country of reason, justice, freedom, production, achievement. For the first time, man’s mind and money were set free, and there were no fortunes-by-conquest, but only fortunes-by-work, and instead of swordsmen and slaves, there appeared the real maker of wealth, the greatest worker, the highest type of human being- the self-made man- the American industrialist.

"If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose- because it contains all the others–the fact that they were the people who created the phrase ‘to make money.’ No other language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static quantity- to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted, or obtained as a favor. Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created. The words ‘to make money’ hold the essence of human morality.

"Yet these were the words for which Americans were denounced by the rotted cultures of the looters’ continents. Now the looters’ credo has brought you to regard your proudest achievements as a hallmark of shame, your prosperity as guilt, your greatest men, the industrialists, as blackguards and your magnificent factories as the product and property of muscular labor, the labor of whip-driven slaves, like the pyramids of Egypt. The rotter who simpers that he sees no difference between the power of the dollar and the power of the whip, ought to learn the difference on his own hide- as, I think, he will.

“Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of men. Blood, whips and guns- or dollars. Take your choice- there is no other- and your time is running out.”

From Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. Copyright ? 1957 by Ayn Rand. Reprinted by permission.

Huck, welcome back. Good to see you, man.

Don’t mind Say. He’s apparently got small penis syndrome and nothing original to posts, so he just randomly insults people (including every single American based on his last post). He’s a child-like poster with a child-like mind.

Say –

They’ve tried this before. It’s called Communism. It doesn’t work.

For a little background info, please go read “The Road to Serfdom” by Hayek. As something to think about, try to figure out how taking decision-making power out of the hands of a class of productive capitalists who look out for themselves and putting it into the hands of unproductive bureaucrats who also would look out for themselves (as has happened in each Communist country where the government was given economic planning power) would be an improvement? (It’s a trick question – it would be worse).

You don’t like capitalism, and it’s not perfect, but your solutions have proved worse. To paraphrase Churchill, capitalism is the worst economic system out there, except for everything else that’s ever been tried.

In a reasonably sane society (like a family), people are sympathetic, care for each other, helpful, etc. It’s the society that the USA gov’t has created that isn’t sane. & socialism has nothing to do with hatred of achievement, rather, everybody acheives lots, but it’s for the greater good of mankind, not to selfishly hoard away. That isn’t self-sacrifice. & every attempt at true communism has failed because there is a concentration of wealth & power just like there is the the USA.

Yes, and the boogie man will try to eat you too once the politicians focus their alien friends zoom their cameras on you and try to anal probe you...


Can we please try NOT to be paranoid?

You really expect the general population to decide on the nations Important issues? Dont you think that sharing sensitive secret info with general population (to allow the people to make an informed decision), would put our nation at the gates of hell?

Ive heard pretty dumb shit, but god Say you take the trophy.


So now the US society isn’t “sane.” You’re digging yourself a hole that you won’t easily get out of anytime soon, son.

Honestly, Say, your ignorant anti-US vitriol is getting quite old. Perhaps you should take up a hobby, like shutting the fuck up.

Have a most pleasant (and quiet) day.

There’s an pretty interesting article on Chomsky in the March 31 copy of The New Yorker.