Originally Posted by operative
The problem is that libertarian socialists, like all radical theorists, have a fundamentally different notion of what 'democracy' constitutes (the best example is the Port Huron Statement). Mao considered his actions to be democratic, as did Lenin. So that they mention democracy doesn't necessarily mean much--that "democracy" comes in the context of the enlightened leaders having "achieved" democracy by eliminating property rights and other vestiges of the 'non-democratic' society.
Ok, but Mao and Lenin were a) lunatics, b) obsessed with preserving and expanding their own authority, and c) explicit in advocating for a VANGUARD of elites who would dictate the "correct" or "red" direction in which society should move. Chomsky is EXTREMELY antagonistic to any notion of a vanguard, and spends most of his time attacking elites who, as Adam Smith also recognized, basically rule the world in service of their own interest. The answer is to grope toward institutions that prevent the control of the political or economic spheres by a small group of elites. Now, you can say that "Well, Chomsky hated the Bolsheviks, rails against elite control and authoritarianism in all contexts-- particularly in contexts where he has some influence-- but he is secretly just a totalitarian." But it is a bit strange, and perhaps not quite accurate.