My my, there sure is a lot of dumb talk about conspiracy theory on the internet today, presumably because of Amber Frost’s dumb list of things that are much less good than the super-effective, not-at-all crackpot Democratic Socialists of America, “an American socialist organization” for which Frost is an officer.
My favorite so far in the outpouring of Frost-inspired dumbness is this tweet from one of Twitter’s most lovable “Marxists”
Conspiracy theories are a class enemy
Of course we hear variations on this all the time on the Left, among people desperate to align themselves with the serious people for good radical reasons, no matter how blatantly non-analytical it requires them to be. A variation on the above is that conspiracy theories “ignore/obfusate systemic analysis,” which if you haven’t noticed is a concept that’s all the rage among people who like to tell people to shut up in fancy schmancy ways, not just about conspiracies.
Surely the most dramatic manifestation of this bullshit — and surely the inspiration for a lot of it — is Noam Chomsky’s famous insistence that it really doesn’t matter who brought down the World Trade Center. “Who cares?” the world’s most important intellectual said around the time. Now one needn’t have any particular position on what happened in Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001 to regard that as a remark so breathtakingly stupid it defies belief. But then Noam, and especially his reputation, are always defying belief.
We are in a state in our politics where people on the Left defend Pam Gellar’s right to stage hateful provocations more robustly than discussions of domestic covert ops for which there is ample historical precedent. Cui bono? Do I really have to ask?
This nonsense is, more than anything else, mandatory rejection of both history and critical thinking, that whitewashes and conceals ruling class ruthlessness and methods. The best tonic for this bullshit is Michael Parenti, a radical scholar who sees no conflict between systemic analysis and assessing the way conspiracies — or whatever you want to call them — advance class interests. Parenti is one hell of a good speaker, not least because he’s very funny. He also thinks and writes rings around Chomsky, which is why he’ll never be as famous or celebrated.
Anyway, I invite you to listen to the broadcast embedded below. Pay no attention to the graphic; the talk is not about 9/11. Please do indulge any impulse you may have to discuss what you’ve heard in comments.
Never change, Media Lens losers. Below, typical display of baseless hostility, sexism and homophobia from incorrigible git Rhisiart Gwilym. Imagine, this guy, who can never mention me without gendered insults, complaining about my “act-up bitching”, that I direct almost entirely at powerful strangers. The “caveat emptor” in the same ML post, re insufficient deference to Chomsky, is priceless, too. How can you ML users stand these idiots?
Oooh Tarzie is such a b1tch, isn’t she! he gets things too deeply right too often to be dismissed for his act-up b1tching.
Welcome Charnel House visitors! Is that Wolfe dude for real? Or is mind-numbingly petty purge talk concluding with a lecture on how the bad people ignore “structural dynamics” some kind of joke? It comes as a great surprise that obsessively hating Molly Klein and kicking tofu eaters out of Left Forum is where thoroughgoing, not flaky, “structural” analysis leads. But then, I’m one of the bad people. Anyway, ICYMI I have responded to Wolfe’s overwrought sneering here.
In my reply, I neglected to admit that I am guilty as charged for wishing that a bus in motion and Amber Frost fatefully occupy the same space. This wish was, of course, far less earnest and genuine than Frost’s and The DSA’s support for Bernie Sanders, who sincerely wished violence, trauma, and death on Palestinian children, among other victims of U. S. Imperialism.
However, it is for informational purposes only, without any intent to justify my cavalier attitude toward the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, that I present something that not-at-all-flaky Amber A’lee Frost — who believes conference-attending vegans are delaying socialism and on whom one should never jokingly wish a bus collision — can entirely overlook to support Sanders, who unequivocally endorsed it.
Via commenter Golfish Training Institute, this is a good, easy read. Not about conspiracy but rather Chomsky’s muddled, ahistoric, reactionary views on communism. Begins on the page numbered 203
Another View of Chomsky — Michael Parenti.