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I
Nelson Mandela is dead, and the media pullulates with blazing adulation. Much of it is justified: we must, after all, extol Madiba’s courageous opposition to a barbarous system, and to the barbarous philosophy that maintained it in existence. He fought discrimination of the basest kind, and for that we must admire him. Moreover, in enduring nearly three decades of wrongful imprisonment, Mandela displayed reserves of strength and humility that few of us could ever hope to match.

But there is something amiss in the coverage of his death, in the fact that encomiums flow from men who have not a speck of his revolutionary virtue. Such men belong to Establishments that, only a few years before his release, viewed Mandela as just another black terrorist. Such Establishments refused to condemn apartheid South Africa, and even remained friendly with it: the United States had barely dismantled its own system of apartness, while Israel continues to oppress another indigenous people in a similar fashion. Why have these Establishments appeared to change their tune?

II
One glance at Mandela’s presidency yields the answer. Just before he emerged from prison, Mandela averred that the African National Congress — of which he was a part — had an unshakeable commitment to nationalising a whole slew of industries. In 1996, as president, he bluntly reversed that averment: ‘Privatisation is the fundamental policy of the ANC’. Indeed, Mandela set in motion a program of mass privatisation that, to this day, rolls on.

‘Black economic empowerment is a goal we fully support and encourage,’ Mandela had said in 1990. Such empowerment arrived for a small and corrupt bourgeoisie, but the majority of black South Africans continued to languish in ever-deepening poverty. Millions continued to be ravaged by AIDS and preventable disease and malnutrition. Meanwhile, whites, with whom most wealth remained, saw their average household income sharply rise.

Furthermore, under Mandela, various industries were deregulated, corporation tax was reduced and unemployment climbed. Most of this economic putrefaction is traceable to the Growth, Employment and Redistribution strategy (GEAR), which was devised by white financial elites, and which, despite its name, elicited no growth.

It quickly becomes apparent that Mandela, during his presidency, was little more than a neoliberal patsy, willingly pinioned by western and World Bank tentacles. ‘Just call me a Thatcherite,’ his vice-president and successor Mbeki had said, as if to confirm the point. Of course, the seeds of all this were sown well before Mandela took office, as John Pilger and others have established. The ANC met secretly with the apartheid regime, which, finding itself in a spot of bother, essentially co-opted black leaders. Mandela was the most prominent. Thus when racial apartheid officially fell, South Africa was able to assume a veneer of democracy. But of course, wealth and power had not changed hands at all. The so-called Rainbow Nation remains one of the most unequal societies on Earth.

If Mandela had really pursued economic fairness, he would not be venerated. Such a pursuit would, after all, have necessitated at least a partial repudiation of rampant corporate capitalism. In fact, Mandela embraced the principles of neoliberalism and thereby betrayed most black South Africans. And so we can say with confidence that he is venerated by the prevailing order precisely because he did not, in the end, dare to threaten it. Those that do — from Chávez to Chomsky to Snowden to Castro — are looked upon by the Establishment with rather less religious ecstasy.

III
We must remember, though, that once upon a time, Mandela would indisputably have belonged to their number. For very many years, he and others battled bravely against the brutal subjugation of black South Africa. For years, they fruitlessly traversed every diplomatic road in search of peace and justice. Their reasonable demands are contained in the ANC’s Freedom Charter for all to see. But pamphlets and peaceful demonstrations yielded nothing. Strikes and civil disobedience altered nothing. Such forms of protest were regularly met with violence — with state terrorism. And so, in the heat of horrors like Sharpeville, Mandela and others were forced to forge the Spear of the Nation: Umkhonto we Sizwe. The military wing of the ANC embarked on a righteous campaign of sabotage, and Mandela was one of its architects. What else could they do? ‘The time comes in the life of any nation when there remain only two choices — submit or fight. That time has now come to South Africa.’ So declared Umkhonto’s manifesto in 1961. It went on: ‘We shall not submit and we have no choice but to hit back by all means in our power in defence of our people, our future, and our freedom.’ All of a sudden, black South Africans were galvanised; hope had come again.

It is this Mandela who threatened to topple the status quo, and unsurprisingly, it is this Mandela who was branded a terrorist. But it is also this Mandela whose actions and whose character are now receiving universal obeisance. This is pernicious because it ignores and implicitly legitimates what Pilger rightly called his tarnished legacy. Furthermore, it allows our leaders to create the illusion that they endorse or possess some of the young Mandela’s moral and revolutionary ardour. How maddening it was, for instance, to see Obama lament Mandela’s wrongful imprisonment, when Obama himself presides over Guantánamo, and a thoroughly broken and racist penal system!

IV
We may end with something of an analogy. Imagine, if you will, a leopard. This leopard was once strong and impressive, but also endangered, for rapacious poachers were in the business of despoiling his environment. Eventually, in righteous anger, the leopard bit one of his despoilers. Rather than kill him, the poachers caged him. Later, they defanged and domesticated him, and claimed his continued existence as evidence of their humanity. All the while, they never desisted from destroying his home and its residents. Now that the leopard is dead, the poachers brush away their tears, and make a kaross of his skin, and take turns to wear it. In doing so, they hope to convince the world that they, qua poachers, have the leopard’s original, virtuous qualities. But many refuse to be fooled by such an absurdly silly display, and many have had it reaffirmed to them that a leopard can indeed change its spots.

Analogies have their limits, of course, but the point still stands. Nelson Mandela is simply a symbol. He has been stripped of his sword and sanitised. Like innumerable others, he has been completely absorbed by the enormous swelling pustule of global corporate capitalism, with the aim of feigning democratic credentials that in fact barely exist.

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6 thoughts on “The Media and Mandela

  1. I just found your excellent site and this truthful article on Nelson Mandela, which identifies his strengths and weaknesses, his right and wrong policies and actions, very accurately. However, I disagree with your assessment of Chomsky and Snowden. Chomsky is a carrier of enormous contradictions, anti-communism, anti-Sovietism, and anti-Leninism, which coincide with those of the US and Western capitalism and imperialism. I had written a critical article on some of the stars of the left, including Chomsky. Following is the link to that. Your comments will be appreciated.

    https://imperialismandthethirdworld.wordpress.com/2015/08/17/brief-partial-and-necessary-critical-reviews-of-some-of-the-stars-of-american-left-michael-hardt-antonio-negri-richard-wolff-stephen-resnick-noam-chomsky-and-chris-hedges-by-fazal-rahman-phd/

    Snowden has courageously exposed some of the specifics of the massive surveillance of the NSA. However, the general nature of such surveillance was already well-known and there were other whistle blowers on this, before him. He does not seem to be knowledgeable or opposed to the American capitalism or imperialism that require and produce such surveillance. As far as I know, he only wants to make the surveillance comply with the laws. Even though, Chavez’s “Twenty-first Century Socialism” was a great step forward towards real socialism and liberation from the domination of imperialism, it was not real socialism, but a form of social democracy. As is obvious, it is already in trouble in Venezuela, where the right-wing capitalist and pro-imperialist forces have won the parliamentary elections by a big margin.

    From your article:

    “And so we can say with confidence that he is venerated by the prevailing order precisely because he did not, in the end, dare to threaten it. Those that do — from Chávez to Chomsky to Snowden to Castro — are looked upon by the Establishment with rather less religious ecstasy.”

    • Thank you for your kind comments and for engaging with our work. I read your comment with a great deal of interest, but was confused from the outset that you disagree with our “assessment” of Chomsky and Snowden. I found it confusing for the reason that our “assessment” of the two figures was an uncontroversial, one-sentence observation that they both threaten in some sense the prevailing order and are therefore not looked upon kindly by it. Given that one man is wanted for espionage by the American state and the other has been smeared, ignored and egregiously abused for many years by the established media and academia, it seemed quite unconvincing that you actually disagreed with our brief assessments of the two, and this was immediately confirmed when you wrote of Chomsky’s “contradictions” and Snowden’s apparent lack of ideological sophistication. Even if we are to presume that your characterisations of the men are correct, they do not contradict our assessment, and as such there is no disagreement. That fact notwithstanding, I’ll gladly pass comment on your essay, but allow me to quickly summarise my response to your characterisation of Snowden.

      You write, correctly, that the “general nature of such surveillance was already well-known and there were other whistle blowers on this, before him” and that Snowden “does not seem to be knowledgeable or opposed to the American capitalism or imperialism that require and produce such surveillance”. A novel observation on each of your quotes; on the former, it is true that the “general nature” of the machinations of US Capitalist Democracy is well known among posturing anti-capitalist intellectuals who scoffed at the reaction to Snowden’s revelations. It is also true, and quite instructive, that their understanding of its “general nature” was unable to provoke even a modicum of the popular understanding and opposition to the surveillance state that Snowden’s work inspired. On your second point, pertaining to Snowden’s supposed lack of intellectual sophistication: the man was a contract worker who saw malfeasance and blew the whistle on it; only the most cloistered and ideologically fanatical of individuals would disavow him on doctrinaire leftist grounds. Again, it is something of a biting indictment of the left that their supposed understanding of the “general nature” of things is unable to resonate in the same way as Snowden’s revelations did, perhaps for similar reasons to those that inform your opposition to Snowden himself.

      Now onto your essay. Although there is much objectionable content therein, I will try to limit my response to your comments on Chomsky.

      You begin by writing that “it is of utmost importance to differentiate [Chomsky’s] blunders and errors from his positive and accurate contributions”; no quarrel there, it’s certainly important. I turned to your piece with a great deal of interest and was frankly disappointed to find that the substantial “analysis” of Chomsky was in the first part predicated on nothing more than Chomsky’s uncontroversial description of Gaddafi as a “dictator” and “brutal tyrant”, with, as far as I can see, no supporting evidence beyond his use of those three words. I shouldn’t have to provide a disquisition on the fact that brutal dictatorships often provide decent universal welfare services and a semblance of social stability, for reasons that are self-evident.

      You go on at length to list several of the numerous deficiencies of American ‘democracy’, which are frankly irrelevant to the point at hand, given they are all highlighted by Chomsky, and in stronger terms than the ones you use. You make the uncontroversial observation that “[i]t is also important to be open-minded to understanding the nature of alternative models of democracy that may be different from the conventional model of western capitalist democracy”, which again is correct, but still irrelevant to the topic of your essay, given Chomsky’s extensive record of discussing alternatives to Western capitalist democracy. ‘Chomsky on Anarchism’ is a collection of essays pertaining to this, and there are a number of interviews in which he expounds the ‘alternative models of democracy’ to which you refer. You seem to have a very patchy reading of Chomsky, which is obviously something of a hindrance when writing critically about him.

      Tellingly, you pose the question, “[w]hy did the interviewers and Chomsky totally exclude these most important and substantial facts from the interview?” If we are to accept the logical standard that an individual endorses, or at best considers irrelevant, a certain set of propositions based on their omission in a single interview, then Western scholarship would collapse overnight. If you were genuinely serious in your endeavour to criticise Chomsky you would conduct actual research and respond to his analyses, rather than reading a single interview and responding to certain terms he uses therein.

      You write that

      “[Chomsky does not] really understand or relate to the great importance of the solutions of such problems for the people who suffer such deprivations in the capitalist “democratic” systems as he has “no experience of poverty, hunger, unemployment, lack of medical care, inability to afford the high costs of higher education or proper housing etc”.

      This is a nakedly fallacious ad hominem, and a rhetorical sleight of hand used presumably to avoid actual critical analysis of his positions. Chomsky grew up in the midst of the Great Depression in a poor, working class Jewish ghetto, and has dedicated much of his life’s work to communicating with, visiting, understanding and supporting the struggles of poor, embittered individuals, almost certainly more than you or I have done. It is important to acknowledge this before pointing the finger.

      You write that “[t]he foundation of politico-economic and philosophical positions of Chomsky remains murky, varying between anarchism and socialist anarchism”. Again, no supporting evidence is provided, so we can reasonably ignore the claim. However, it should be noted that anarchism was begotten by the split of the socialist movement between authoritarian and libertarian branches, so it’s hard to see how any formulation of such principles could be ‘murky’.

      According to you, Chomsky’s greatest error is “his appraisal of the collapse of USSR, as a positive and good thing”. You assert that, in contrast to Chomsky, a significant proportion of intellectual leftists view the fall of the USSR as “one of the greatest disasters that mankind has suffered in its history”. Unless one is to narrow the definition of “intellectual leftists” to the tiny, irrelevant remaining sects of Stalinist/Leninist apologists then your assertion is erroneous, and you unsurprisingly don’t bother to provide any supporting evidence. Again, your analysis of Chomsky’s position does not extend beyond a vague formulation of his position; there’s no direct reference to his stated beliefs and analysis.

      Furthermore, you write that “[i]f the USSR had not collapsed and socialism was not betrayed there, there would have been no invasion of Afghanistan”. Prior to its collapse, the USSR had itself waged war in Afghanistan. One might wonder at this point why you are apparently unaware of this significant event, or are unwilling to apply your standards consistently to both Soviet and US terror.

      I’ll ignore the next paragraph on Chomsky’s position on Lenin, given that there are—once again—no direct quotes of his position and therefore nothing of substance to address.

      You conceive of Chomsky’s errors as having a “fundamental and ideological nature”. Again, this sounds interesting, but is ultimately void of meaning given your apparent faith that readers will be able to access, via telepathic osmosis, the substantive positions to which you are referring, without the need for direct evidence.

      You write

      “[Chomsky’s] anti-communism, anti-Leninism, and anti-Sovietism-which are the very essence of the foreign policies and actions of imperialism-coincide with those of the American and Western European imperialist ruling classes, and yet he claims to be opposed to US and European militarism and imperialism”.

      Presumably by applying your standard of guilt by association we might also paint Chomsky as a supporter of US and European militarism for believing, as its architects do, that the World is round and orbits the sun.

      You write of Chomsky’s “glee at the overthrow of socialism and restoration of capitalism in the former USSR”, which is a shameless smear and utter miscomprehension of Chomsky’s position in this regard. Any ‘glee’ (support) is for the popular overthrow of a highly authoritarian political system which he does not at any rate characterise as “socialism”, but as “state capitalism” (https://chomsky.info/1986____/). Again, even a cursory reading of Chomsky’s published positions would save you from making such flagrantly uninformed statements.

      The same cursory reading of Chomsky’s published positions would also prevent you from making such elementarily false assertions as this: “How can such a bright intellectual like Chomsky not see the connection between the betrayal and destruction of socialism in the USSR and USSR itself and the invasions and devastation of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria by the US and its NATO allies”. Chomsky has affirmed this fact in writing, and speech, on numerous occasions (https://chomsky.info/200909211-2/).

      Prior to your lengthy postscript you write that “[a]nother great problem with Chomskyism is that it has no credible proposals for solutions to the problems it analyzes so sharply and exhaustively”. The problem here, as you know, is not that Chomsky has no credible proposals. It’s that you disagree with the credible proposals he gives, for example when you describe the anarchists Kropotkin and Bakunin as “discredited hot air balloons”, a slur that apparently functions as sufficiently rigorous criticism of Chomsky’s proposed solutions.

      • In the past, I have wasted a lot of time reading many of Chomsky’s books. All the positions attributed to him can be found in his interviews and books. If you have read those books or interviews, you would not be splitting the hair and demanding the citation of precise references and quotes. I did not write the article for an academic journal for which that may be necessary. I remember those positions very well and if I wanted to spend the time, I can dig them out from those references. However, I have better thing to do. You omit mentioning the interview, with the following link, which I cited in my Postscript of August 24, 2015, in which I criticized his astounding slanders and ignorance of Lenin’s crucial role in the 1917 Russian Revolution and in building socialism, as well as his bizarre utterances about Lenin having destroyed socialism in Russia (he had also written that in an email to me)!

        11. http://www.chomsky.info/interviews/20130312.htm

        12. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrT5xtDSDBo

        Your abstract mathematics-like arguments against my concrete and specific positions and their contents are hollow, empty, and extremely biased, to say the least.

        You claim that Chomsky has some credible proposals for solutions to the great politico-economic problems of capitalism and imperialism. However, you do not mention any of them. What are those? Some of those are similar to the absurd PARECON of the anarchist gurus of ZMagazine and ZNet, as well as to those of Richard Wolff, which I analyzed in some detail and showed their fallacy, in the critique of Richard Wolff’s positions.

        I do not oppose Snowden. I tried to put his courageous contribution in accurate context. No more, no less.

        It is obvious that politico-economically, philosophically, and theoretically we do not have much in common. So, I will leave it there and say goodbye.

      • After the first reaction to your offensive, dishonest, confused and confusionist comment, I reviewed my paper on Chomsky that was originally written in 2011 and later included in another article, with a couple of additions. As you have dishonestly omitted, distorted, and misrepresented some of its relevant contents, this further response is necessary. Even though I did not cite all the references and quotations, I did cite many of them, which you omitted from your dishonest and slanderous response.

        1. You wrote, “ I’ll ignore the next paragraph on Chomsky’s position on Lenin, given that there are—once again—no direct quotes of his position and therefore nothing of substance to address.”

        The following reference was cited in my paper that includes Chomsky’s position on Lenin and Russian Revolution. I also mentioned that Chomsky had earlier stated that position to me in his email.

        http://www.chomsky.info/interviews/20130312.htm

        2. You wrote, “According to you, Chomsky’s greatest error is “his appraisal of the collapse of USSR, as a positive and good thing”. You assert that, in contrast to Chomsky, a significant proportion of intellectual leftists view the fall of the USSR as “one of the greatest disasters that mankind has suffered in its history”. Unless one is to narrow the definition of “intellectual leftists” to the tiny, irrelevant remaining sects of Stalinist/Leninist apologists then your assertion is erroneous, and you unsurprisingly don’t bother to provide any supporting evidence. Again, your analysis of Chomsky’s position does not extend beyond a vague formulation of his position; there’s no direct reference to his stated beliefs and analysis.

        You write of Chomsky’s “glee at the overthrow of socialism and restoration of capitalism in the former USSR”, which is a shameless smear and utter miscomprehension of Chomsky’s position in this regard. Any ‘glee’ (support) is for the popular overthrow of a highly authoritarian political system which he does not at any rate characterise as “socialism”, but as “state capitalism” (https://chomsky.info/1986____/). Again, even a cursory reading of Chomsky’s published positions would save you from making such flagrantly uninformed statements.”

        In my article, I had included the following statement of one of the best political scientists in the US, Dr. Michael Parenti:

        “According to Noam Chomsky, communism “was a monstrosity,” and “the collapse of tyranny” in Eastern Europe and Russia is “an occasion for rejoicing for anyone who values freedom and human dignity.” I treasure freedom and human dignity yet find no occasion for rejoicing. The postcommunist societies do not represent a net gain for such values. If anything, the breakup of the communist states has brought a colossal victory for global capitalism and imperialism, with its correlative increase in human misery, and a historic setback for revolutionary liberation struggles everywhere.” Parenti, M. Blackshirts and Reds. City Lights Books, San Francisco, 1997. Dr. Parenti was referring to Chomsky’s above position in his following book:

        Chomsky, N. Powers and Prospects. South End Press, Boston, 1996, p. 83.

        Your verbal mirage evaporates in view of the above.

        3. You wrote, “Furthermore, you write that “[i]f the USSR had not collapsed and socialism was not betrayed there, there would have been no invasion of Afghanistan”. Prior to its collapse, the USSR had itself waged war in Afghanistan. One might wonder at this point why you are apparently unaware of this significant event, or are unwilling to apply your standards consistently to both Soviet and US terror.”

        To begin with, you dishonestly misquoted me. I had written, “If the USSR had not collapsed and socialism was not betrayed there, there would have been no invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq, or Libya; no bombing of Yugoslavia; no millions of dead and wounded; no tens of millions of refugees, impoverished, and subjugated people; and numerous other unchecked manifestations of US militarism and aggression.” You mutilated that statement and excluded Iraq, or Libya, and Yugoslavia.

        The 1980s proxy war in Afghanistan was started under Jimmy Carter’s administration and later, in much accelerated form, during Ronald Reagan’s administration, which greatly escalated that war and intervention against the socialism-oriented revolutionary government of Afghanistan, with the crucial collaboration of Pakistani government, military, and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). The territory of Pakistan was used for massive US-Pakistan terrorism and state terrorism in Afghanistan, creating many Mujahideen groups, including that of Osama bin Laden, which later developed into Al-Qaeda. Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich Middle Eastern countries also collaborated with the US-Pakistan state terrorism in Afghanistan. Pakistan also became the center of the largest CIA operations during that time. In face of such massive US-Pakistan state terrorism, the government of Afghanistan requested Soviet Union for military counter-intervention. Soviets reluctantly agreed to that request and sent large numbers of troops and weapons for that purpose. Zbigniew Brzezinski, the National Security Advisor under Jimmy Carter, later claimed that that was the objective of the plan, hatched under his leadership, in order to trap the Soviets into a Vietnam-like quagmire.

        War and invasion of Afghanistan by the US and NATO forces in 2001, as well as the proxy war of the 1980s, and the Soviet intervention, were started and instigated by the American and NATO political and military leaderships. Are you totally ignorant of these basic facts and fundamental class and other differences between the US and NATO wars and invasions and the Soviet intervention, or are you glossing them over, shamelessly?

        4. You also wrote that my citations of Chomsky’s writings have been patchy. What do you expect? He has written numerous books, consisting of thousands of pages and has had innumerable interviews etc. I only wrote an article in which only partial and relevant contents of his work could be included. Even a lengthy book will not be able to cite all his excessive verbiage.

        5. You wrote, “‘Chomsky on Anarchism’ is a collection of essays pertaining to this, and there are a number of interviews in which he expounds the ‘alternative models of democracy’ to which you refer.” This is in response to my observation that Chomsky is ignorant of the great accomplishments of Libyan form of democracy, in which the economic democracy was far superior to that which exists in almost all the capitalist and imperialist democracies, including the US and Europe. I cited partial facts and some statistical data in that regard. Full facts and data will support my observation even more. Your statement above skirts around that specific issue.

        6. You wrote, “You write “[Chomsky’s] anti-communism, anti-Leninism, and anti-Sovietism-which are the very essence of the foreign policies and actions of imperialism-coincide with those of the American and Western European imperialist ruling classes, and yet he claims to be opposed to US and European militarism and imperialism”.

        “Presumably by applying your standard of guilt by association we might also paint Chomsky as a supporter of US and European militarism for believing, as its architects do, that the World is round and orbits the sun.”

        So, you are unable to see the contradiction! If Chomsky shares extremist anti-communism, anti-Leninism, and anti-Sovietism with the capitalist and imperialists, would he not want these to be destroyed and replaced? And replaced with what? Their only possible replacement was with capitalism and that is exactly what has happened. Was Chomsky intellectually so paralyzed that he could not see this happening? As mentioned above, he rejoiced over the destruction of socialism in the USSR and Eastern Europe. You cannot obscure that by claiming that he considered it to be state capitalism and not socialism. His personal ignorance of the political economy of USSR and former socialist countries of Eastern Europe, if anything, is absolutely abhorable, and cannot be transformed into justification of his position, like you have attempted to do.

        In relation to anti-communism etc. of American and European capitalists and imperialist and Chomsky, your example of the World and the Sun would be more accurate if it is modified to the belief that the World is flat and the Sun revolves around it.

        7. You have also resorted to using the buzz words, clichés, and labels of “doctrinaire”, Stalinist-Leninist” etc., which the capitalist and imperialist academics, media, and politicians use constantly to elicit Pavlovian reactions from the highly propagandized populations.

        I very much doubt that you have any significant knowledge of the great intellectual and practical achievements of Marx, Engels, and Lenin, and their innumerable and voluminous writings on the nature, problems, and solutions of capitalism and imperialism, the greatest problems that have developed in the history of mankind. This knowledge is essential for accurately understanding and diagnosing the contemporary problems of capitalism and imperialism, as well as for detecting the great flaws and deficiencies of writers like Chomsky, whom you seem to worship as your idol and celebrity. Such celebrity worship is now considered a psychopathic disorder and is known as Celebrity Worship Syndrome.

        I have read a couple of your articles and found them to be empirically quite accurate. However, if accurate empirical facts are not integrated and interrelated to other relevant facts and not incorporated into accurate theoretical framework, these tend to become useless for any progressive developments.

  2. I was hoping that this brief, yet tedious exchange had reached its welcome conclusion with your vow to “leave it there and say goodbye”. Alas you have chosen to not keep to your word and have given a response that is, frankly, so void of content as to not be worth responding to. Your defences against the charge that you could not even be bothered to undertake the necessary research to produce a decent critical piece are abysmal.

    A fairly standard procedure in producing such essays is extensive citation of direct sources, rather than vague references to a personal email, or a single line in an article. I’m glad that you concede that your piece was patchy, and the defence that you “only wrote an article in which only partial and relevant contents of [Chomsky’s] work could be included” fails, given that an interview he gave and a personal email can hardly by characterised as “work”, and your quotations therefrom hardly even qualify as “partial”, given their miniscule presence.

    You write of my “verbal mirage” in respect to exposing your fabrication of scholarly consensus on the supposedly disastrous fall of the Soviet Union, defending your claim by referencing a single quote made by a single intellectual. I don’t feel as though I need to point out the asininity of this act.

    Quite embarrassingly you accuse me of having “mutilated” the following sentence: “If the USSR had not collapsed and socialism was not betrayed there, there would have been no invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq, or Libya; no bombing of Yugoslavia”. This, in spite of the fact that I provided evidence that Chomsky had, in fact, made statements which concur with the spirit of your remark. The very simple point I was making was that you are inconsistent in your application of standards; showing an apparent concern for US acts of aggression, but tacit endorsement for Soviet ones.

    You write “[Chomsky] rejoiced over the destruction of socialism in the USSR and Eastern Europe. You cannot obscure that by claiming that he considered it to be state capitalism and not socialism”. Sorry that you have failed, again, to comprehend my point. I won’t bother repeating it. Also sorry that you seem to be unaware of the academic and leftist scholarship which characterises, with evidence, the Soviet system as state-capitalist rather than socialist.

    You write that we “have also resorted to using the buzz words, clichés, and labels of “doctrinaire”, Stalinist-Leninist” etc., which the capitalist and imperialist academics, media, and politicians use”. Again, this pathetically fallacious guilt by association slur. The terms used have substantive definitions, sorry that you fail to see that, but I won’t be drawn into nonsensical semantic disputes.

    I sense the feeling that as with all apologists of state crimes, from the US, to the USSR, you sought, from the beginning to engage in a primarily ideological, sectarian debate – given the fraudulence of your initially claimed ‘disagreement’ with us, which I documented above. I have no interest in broadening this boring debate already, which began merely as an appeal on your part to us to comment on your anti-Chomsky ‘essay’/

    You cap your response with the amusingly desperate diagnosis of individuals about whom you have no knowledge with a “psychopathic disorder”. You are clearly well versed in Stalin apologia, given his regime’s obsession with diagnosing dissenters with mental illnesses.

    Frankly though, it speaks volumes to your comprehensive lack of scholastic credentials that you would seek to diagnose someone with whom you disagree as mentally ill. You remark on your blog that you’re a PhD. If this is the case it’s an utterly withering indictment of the place of your ‘learning’, if not the body of Academia, which is already full to the brim with apologists for state crimes, a milieu you sit quite comfortably within. It must be said though that you lack even a masquerade of academic competence, which the more convincing ideologues can at least lay claim to.

    I would much appreciate if this exchange might be concluded now, and that we leave it to neutral observers to summarise it for themselves. We are clearly at an impasse and have nothing more of worth to talk of.

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