Monday, January 24, 2005

Chomsky's classics

As I said previously, One of Chomsky's early classics is supposed to be 'American Power and the New Mandarins'. I managed to get it from my local library. It was re-published a couple of years ago, but they had the original edition of 1969. Here is the opening paragraph of 'The Logic of Withdrawal' from April 1968 (the gist of this I remembered):
International affairs can be complex, a matter of irreconcilable interests, each with a claim to legitimacy, and conflicting principles, none of which can be lightly abandoned. The current Middle East crisis is a typical, painful example. American interference in the affairs of Vietnam is one of the rare exceptions to this general rule. The simple fact is that there is no legitimate interest or principle to justify the  use of American military force in Vietnam.
A pretty polished paragraph. Anyway, I haven't read that yet, but I have read 'Objectivity and Liberal Scholarship' (reproduced here, without the footnotes). It certainly does seem more closely argued than his later work. 40 pages or so deal with the Spanish Civil War, centring on a critique of a book written 'within the consensus'. One small point on attitudes in Britain:
In 1934 Lloyd George stated that "in a very short time, perhaps in a year, perhaps in two, the conservative elements in this country will be looking to Germany as the bulwark against Communism in Europe.... Do not let us be in a hurry to condemn Germany. We shall be welcoming Germany as our friend." (Page 100)
The reference to 'conservative elements' makes it seem unlikely that sympathy for Hitler's regime reflected Lloyd George's own views.


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6:49 am, October 02, 2005  

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