John on July 3, 2011 at 2:49 pm
Noam Chomsky is a socialist icon who is often considered one of the leading lights of the left. Just a few years ago (2007) he was eagerly defending Hugo Chavez’ legitimacy:
For his part, Chavez recommended one of Chomsky’s books to the UN General Assembly:
Alas it seems the love affair has ended. Chomsky is now set to release an open letter denouncing Hugo for his “assault” on democracy:
“Concentration of executive power, unless it’s very temporary and for specific circumstances, such as fighting world war two, is an assault on democracy. You can debate whether [Venezuela's] circumstances require it: internal circumstances and the external threat of attack, that’s a legitimate debate. But my own judgment in that debate is that it does not.”…
Speaking from his home in Boston, Chomsky said Chávez, who has been in power for 12 years, appeared to have intimidated the judicial system. “I’m sceptical that [Afiuni] could receive a fair trial. It’s striking that, as far as I understand, other judges have not come out in support of her … that suggests an atmosphere of intimidation.”
He also faulted Chávez for adopting enabling powers to circumvent the national assembly. “Anywhere in Latin America there is a potential threat of the pathology of caudillismo [authoritarianism] and it has to be guarded against. Whether it’s over too far in that direction in Venezuela I’m not sure, but I think perhaps it is. A trend has developed towards the centralisation of power in the executive which I don’t think is a healthy development.”
I realize Chomsky is a very bright man. He’s also an idiot of the kind that only very bright men seem capable of being. Many of us on the right saw the potential for an unhealthy centralization of power under Chavez about half a decade ago. People like me were not in the least surprised when he announced late last year that he would “rule by decree” for a while.
People on the right saw all of this coming when Chavez arranged a vote to remove all term limits so that he could rule indefinitely. That was two years ago. And were weren’t surprised three years ago when it was revealed that Chavez supported FARC guerrilla fighters.
While Chomsky was still calling him a legitimate leader back in ’07, people on the right were noting that he was shutting down critical media outlets, which seemed sort of undemocratic at the time.
Now, supra-genius Chomsky has caught on to the fact that his pal Chavez might not be a democrat after all. I eagerly await his apology to the “ultra-right” and his admission that, yeah, we were right about Chavez all along and he was wrong. In the meantime, I’ll just watch a few low-brow cartoons:
PS – I could have sworn the Coyote referred to himself as a “supra-genius” somewhere but I can’t find it, only “super genius.” I guess my memory of these great cartoons isn’t what it used to be.