Noam Chomsky

Paul Henry Rosenberg rad at
Tue Oct 27 09:19:46 PST 1998

Charles Brown wrote:

> Charles: Right on. Predominantly mental
> laborers tend to think of freedom of
> thought , consciousness
> and conscience (speech, assembly
> political protest, religion) as the HIGHEST
> right. But being determines consciousness
> for materialists. Freedom from genocide
> is a right equal if not prior to the freedom
> to communicate etc.
> Regular folks understand this better
> than intellectuals.

Only, of course, it was intellectuals in the Progressive Era who were largely indifferent to the right of free speech. It was the ultra-scruffy IWW who championed it.

There WAS no First Amendment doctrine at the time -- no legal foundation AT ALL to protect speech. There were limits (theoretically, at least) on the Federal Government, but not on the local authorities who were, after all, the ones who were jailing the Wobblies on behalf of the local bosses.

It was the Wobblies' staunch resistence that paved the way for the Supreme Court using the incorporation doctrine to extend First Amendment protections against ALL levels of government.

And 80 years before the IWW it was the Abolitionists.

Thus, in the name of los people a "left" intellectual denounces the acheivement of the people as effete intelluctualism.

So, what else is new?

BTW, I, too think the UDHR is vastly superior to the Bill of Rights. But it hasn't been rejected by the US bourgoise -- they haven't even HEARD of it!

Using the state to suppress fascism is like using broad spectrum antibiotics to suppress livestock diseases -- it breeds even greater virulence which then spreads to attack a much more vital target.

We're supposed to be systemic thinkers, remember????

-- Paul Rosenberg Reason and Democracy rad at

"Let's put the information BACK into the information age!"

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