Anarchism / Marxism debates

Eric Beck rayrena at
Mon Aug 16 16:31:13 PDT 1999

Charles forwarded:

>Noam Chomsky on Socialism: A Critique
>by Li'l Joe (JoeRadical at and Connie White (connierw at

>Noam Chomsky says: "One can debate the meaning of the term 'socialism,' but
>if it means anything, it means control of production by the workers
>themselves, not owners and managers who rule them and control all decisions,
>whether in capitalist enterprise or an absolutist state. ***** To refer to
>the Soviet Union as socialist is an interesting case of doctrinal double


>We agree with Chomsky in that: the Soviet Union was never socialist.

Which is precisely what Chomsky is saying; an excellent distillation of it, in fact. So what is the other 20 megs of semi-literate rambling about?

I see a little problem with your subject line, Charles. A "debate" requires two parties discussing substantive issues. This is a party extrapolating one statement from the other and both grossly misreading it and giving it much more weight than it in fact has. You have to wade through hundreds of pages worth of Chomsky's denunciations of the U.S. to find a one little phrase like this giving the Soviet Union like treatment. And equating him with Orwell is completely facile: Though Chomsky has admitted admiration for Orwell's early work, he has said that 1984 (the "Orwellian" Orwell) is a rather cowardly novel because it attacked the official enemy rather than Big Brother it was written under.


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