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  #1  
Old 12-02-2010, 03:55 PM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

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  #2  
Old 12-02-2010, 04:17 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Hey, Glennzilla!

Cool! Looking forward to it.
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  #3  
Old 12-02-2010, 05:42 PM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

Ah, a pseudo libertarian and a far lefty. I thought bhtv would learn by now that it's better to have people who actually disagree with each other on matters. Instead we're treated to an hour of the alternative universe where wikileaks' actions did not endanger the lives of Afghani citizens and do not have significant geopolitical consequences--where we can instead choose to speak in vague generalities about "openness" and the such.

Boo.
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  #4  
Old 12-02-2010, 11:54 PM
jeffmaylortx
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
Ah, a pseudo libertarian and a far lefty. I thought bhtv would learn by now that it's better to have people who actually disagree with each other on matters. Instead we're treated to an hour of the alternative universe where wikileaks' actions did not endanger the lives of Afghani citizens and do not have significant geopolitical consequences--where we can instead choose to speak in vague generalities about "openness" and the such.

Boo.
I have also noticed they keep bringing pseudo-libertarians on bbtv. Sadly, most of Reason's staff is more or less Leftist.
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  #5  
Old 12-03-2010, 01:56 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

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Originally Posted by jeffmaylortx View Post
I have also noticed they keep bringing pseudo-libertarians on bbtv. Sadly, most of Reason's staff is more or less Leftist.
In what way is Reason's staff leftist?
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  #6  
Old 12-03-2010, 04:12 AM
jeffmaylortx
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
In what way is Reason's staff leftist?
Every time I see someone from Reason, they are going out of there way to criticize people on the Right. It's very disappointing. They seem more interested in posing as "cool" and "counter culture" than actually promoting capitalism.

I understand a true libertarian would not be conservative, but Reason is endlessly piling on and attacking conservatives while leaving liberals fairly unscathed. They seem much more comfortable with Leftist intellectuals than "the people" ironically enough.

As I mentioned earlier, it seems like 90% of their airtime is focused on criticizing conservative personalities, promoting pot use, and agitating for open borders.
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  #7  
Old 12-03-2010, 11:26 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

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Originally Posted by jeffmaylortx View Post
Every time I see someone from Reason, they are going out of there way to criticize people on the Right. It's very disappointing. They seem more interested in posing as "cool" and "counter culture" than actually promoting capitalism.
OK, but criticizing conservatives does not make one left. I think what they write about is decidedly right. Their stance on drug legislation is consistent with the idea that the government should be less active in the decisions people make. I'm still not sure about how they justify their open borders ideas, except that I know they don't all agree with this. But I have never witnessed a libertarian doing anything but being a staunch supporter of capitalism.

Conservatism has the unfortunate and sometimes incorrect connotation that it supports social positions that libertarians find objectionable ie: wanting to ban gay marriage, but, I think that given the choice a libertarian feels far more aligned with the conservative movement than its alternative.
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  #8  
Old 12-03-2010, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
OK, but criticizing conservatives does not make one left. I think what they write about is decidedly right. Their stance on drug legislation is consistent with the idea that the government should be less active in the decisions people make. I'm still not sure about how they justify their open borders ideas, except that I know they don't all agree with this. But I have never witnessed a libertarian doing anything but being a staunch supporter of capitalism.

Conservatism has the unfortunate and sometimes incorrect connotation that it supports social positions that libertarians find objectionable ie: wanting to ban gay marriage, but, I think that given the choice a libertarian feels far more aligned with the conservative movement than its alternative.
I think Reason has a few authors who are genuinely committed libertarians. But I don't think Matt is one of them--he's the definitive liberaltarian, a total poser.
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  #9  
Old 12-03-2010, 01:01 PM
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
I think Reason has a few authors who are genuinely committed libertarians. But I don't think Matt is one of them--he's the definitive liberaltarian, a total poser.
I heart him anyway.
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  #10  
Old 12-03-2010, 02:59 PM
Ken Davis Ken Davis is offline
 
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
I think Reason has a few authors who are genuinely committed libertarians. But I don't think Matt is one of them--he's the definitive liberaltarian, a total poser.
The way you gauge someone's level of commitment by how close one is on the scale of orthodoxy to yourself makes me a bit daffy. If he were more "committed" than yourself, he'd be a radical. Eh? Or do you consider yourself a radical? Are you a Rothbardian?
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  #11  
Old 12-03-2010, 03:28 PM
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

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Originally Posted by Ken Davis View Post
The way you gauge someone's level of commitment by how close one is on the scale of orthodoxy to yourself makes me a bit daffy. If he were more "committed" than yourself, he'd be a radical. Eh? Or do you consider yourself a radical? Are you a Rothbardian?
I certainly wouldn't consider myself radical, although some of that is a matter of semantics. My ideal of what government ought to do is certainly outside of the political mainstream in America, though not quite to the level of Rothbard. It's not even quite at Friedman, though it's close.

It'd be a different matter if we were talking about Will Wilkerson, another liberaltarian whose credo I find to be a bit suspicious but whose publishing record isn't as stark as Matt, who basically acted as an agent for the most un-libertarian candidate in modern American history by writing a book slamming McCain.
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  #12  
Old 12-03-2010, 01:00 PM
Ken Davis Ken Davis is offline
 
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
OK, but criticizing conservatives does not make one left. I think what they write about is decidedly right. Their stance on drug legislation is consistent with the idea that the government should be less active in the decisions people make. I'm still not sure about how they justify their open borders ideas, except that I know they don't all agree with this. But I have never witnessed a libertarian doing anything but being a staunch supporter of capitalism.

Conservatism has the unfortunate and sometimes incorrect connotation that it supports social positions that libertarians find objectionable ie: wanting to ban gay marriage, but, I think that given the choice a libertarian feels far more aligned with the conservative movement than its alternative.
I don't think that being a Capitalist equates with being a conservative, particularly if you look at the "committed libertarian", who seeks a world order based on a market on steroids. Everything owned privately, maximalization of transactions and contracts, maximal connection between the two, the dissolution of the nation/state, completely mobile capital and yes, a completely mobile work force. Open borders.

This isn't conservative at all.
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  #13  
Old 12-03-2010, 01:19 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

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Originally Posted by Ken Davis View Post
I don't think that being a Capitalist equates with being a conservative, particularly if you look at the "committed libertarian", who seeks a world order based on a market on steroids. Everything owned privately, maximalization of transactions and contracts, maximal connection between the two, the dissolution of the nation/state, completely mobile capital and yes, a completely mobile work force. Open borders.

This isn't conservative at all.
Yes, I've had this conversation several times on this board. What I have realized is that the terms liberal and conservative have changed and continue to change. I think it's safe to say, however, that today's conservative embraces capitalism and rejects excessive government regulation of markets.

I have my doubts as to whether anyone sane is proposing the dissolution of the nation/state, but then I haven't read everything. Suffice it to say that would be unworkable.
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  #14  
Old 12-03-2010, 02:55 PM
Ken Davis Ken Davis is offline
 
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
I have my doubts as to whether anyone sane is proposing the dissolution of the nation/state, but then I haven't read everything. Suffice it to say that would be unworkable.
It isn't a matter of sanity, but how "committed" one is.
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  #15  
Old 12-03-2010, 02:14 AM
Ken Davis Ken Davis is offline
 
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

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Originally Posted by jeffmaylortx View Post
I have also noticed they keep bringing pseudo-libertarians on bbtv. Sadly, most of Reason's staff is more or less Leftist.
I love libertarian internecine squabbles over orthodoxy. Market pissing contests.

Leftists are never Capitalist ideologues.
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  #16  
Old 12-03-2010, 01:16 AM
chucklefist chucklefist is offline
 
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
Ah, a pseudo libertarian and a far lefty. I thought bhtv would learn by now that it's better to have people who actually disagree with each other on matters. Instead we're treated to an hour of the alternative universe where wikileaks' actions did not endanger the lives of Afghani citizens and do not have significant geopolitical consequences--where we can instead choose to speak in vague generalities about "openness" and the such.

Boo.
out of sincere curiosity - what makes matt a psuedo libertarian?
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  #17  
Old 12-03-2010, 08:52 AM
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

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Originally Posted by chucklefist View Post
out of sincere curiosity - what makes matt a psuedo libertarian?
As jeff points out, he spends most of his time criticizing people much closer to libertarians than Obama, who is the farthest from a libertarian of any modern major politician in America. He wrote an entire book attacking McCain, who is much more libertarian than Obama, to help Obama get elected. He's a definitive liberaltarian: a social liberal who feels vaguely somewhat free market but is more than willing to compromise the latter in pursuit of the former.
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  #18  
Old 12-02-2010, 06:22 PM
bkjazfan bkjazfan is offline
 
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

I don't anticipate much disagreement with this one.

Well, 1/2 of the way through it and there is no disagreement.

Last edited by bkjazfan; 12-02-2010 at 07:22 PM..
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  #19  
Old 12-02-2010, 06:24 PM
popcorn_karate popcorn_karate is offline
 
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

THANK GOD FOR GLENN GREENWALD!

that is all.
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  #20  
Old 12-02-2010, 06:58 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

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THANK GOD FOR GLENN GREENWALD!
Agreed.
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  #21  
Old 12-02-2010, 06:24 PM
Baz Baz is offline
 
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Default Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch

Remember when David Brooks called Chomsky a conspiracy theorist for stating that US corporations had an influence on US foreign policy.

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Instead we're treated to an hour of the alternative universe where wikileaks' actions did not endanger the lives of Afghani citizens and do not have significant geopolitical consequences
Are you being serious or are you just another zombie who believes everything your government does is morally perfect and unquestionable? Maybe the leaks did put some Afghani lives in danger, perfectly reasonable. But what we know for sure is that illegal drone attacks that are being condemned by the UN, Pakistan, and the Afghan government, have been killing innocent civilians for years. I'll repeat that again, US drones are killing innocent people. As an American citizen you are partly responsible for what your government is doing.
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  #22  
Old 12-02-2010, 06:50 PM
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Default Re: Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch

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Are you being serious or are you just another zombie who believes everything your government does is morally perfect and unquestionable?
\

Strawman.

Quote:
Maybe the leaks did put some Afghani lives in danger, perfectly reasonable. But what we know for sure is that illegal drone attacks that are being condemned by the UN, Pakistan, and the Afghan government, have been killing innocent civilians for years. I'll repeat that again, US drones are killing innocent people. As an American citizen you are partly responsible for what your government is doing.
Targeted assassinations are not illegal and I do not understand the relevance of your last sentence.
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  #23  
Old 12-02-2010, 07:12 PM
jimM47 jimM47 is offline
 
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Default Re: Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch

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Targeted assassinations are not illegal
A technicality perhaps, but: directly targeted killings of nonbelligerents by a state, which the US is alleged to have carried out, are violations of international humanitarian law, and may also infringe the rights of foreign sovereigns. (Not that political actors necessarily don't, can't, or shouldn't violate these things sometimes, particularly if they are willing to take responsibility.)
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  #24  
Old 12-02-2010, 08:10 PM
Baz Baz is offline
 
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Default Re: Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
\

Strawman.



Targeted assassinations are not illegal and I do not understand the relevance of your last sentence.
Just remember every time a drone attack kills someones daughter or son, thats another casualty of war of US foreign policy, and the blood is on your hands as a US citizen.
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  #25  
Old 12-02-2010, 08:32 PM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch

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Originally Posted by Baz View Post
Just remember every time a drone attack kills someones daughter or son, thats another casualty of war of US foreign policy,
Targeted assassinations are carried out responsibly, to minimize potential civilian casualties. Cars are designed to maximize safety, but every once in a while one will be abberant and result in a death or deaths--the brakes will give out, etc. I guess GM has the blood of every auto accident fatality on their hands, eh?
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  #26  
Old 12-02-2010, 08:41 PM
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Default Re: Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch

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Cars are designed to maximize safety, but every once in a while one will be abberant and result in a death or deaths--the brakes will give out, etc. I guess GM has the blood of every auto accident fatality on their hands, eh?
Just because your libertarian pipe dreams allow you to equate US Military with US corporations, doesn't mean that a consensus has been achieved. You're failing in your mission as an operative if you don't convert anyone. You lose again. Do your students respect you, in light of your intellectual intransigence?

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Targeted assassinations are carried out responsibly, to minimize potential civilian casualties.
Propaganda and bluster in one. A twofer.
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  #27  
Old 12-02-2010, 08:48 PM
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Default Re: Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch

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Targeted assassinations are carried out responsibly, to minimize potential civilian casualties.
And sometimes we just give them vitamins.
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  #28  
Old 12-02-2010, 06:59 PM
Wm. Blaxton Wm. Blaxton is offline
 
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

I've had no previous occasion to complain about the selection of dialogue participants, but it seems like if you're going to have the most serious and influential leftist blogger come on to discuss Wikileaks, you could pair him with one of the many liberals or conservatives who strongly disagrees with his rather extreme (in a bad way, in this case) position on the propriety of leaking State Department cables.

I like Welch as a dialogue participant in most contexts, but he's not ideologically inclined to challenge Greenwald on any issue of relevance, so it seems like BH.tv has missed a good opportunity for a healthy debate.
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  #29  
Old 12-03-2010, 05:15 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

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Originally Posted by Wm. Blaxton View Post
I've had no previous occasion to complain about the selection of dialogue participants, but it seems like if you're going to have the most serious and influential leftist blogger come on to discuss Wikileaks, you could pair him with one of the many liberals or conservatives who strongly disagrees with his rather extreme (in a bad way, in this case) position on the propriety of leaking State Department cables.

I like Welch as a dialogue participant in most contexts, but he's not ideologically inclined to challenge Greenwald on any issue of relevance, so it seems like BH.tv has missed a good opportunity for a healthy debate.
I agree, and I would like to propose that Glenn return, to be paired with one of the many diavloggers we have heard from in the past few days, all of whom seemed to agree there was something fairly horrifying about Wikileaks.
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  #30  
Old 12-03-2010, 12:45 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

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Originally Posted by Wm. Blaxton View Post
I've had no previous occasion to complain about the selection of dialogue participants, but it seems like if you're going to have the most serious and influential leftist blogger come on to discuss Wikileaks, you could pair him with one of the many liberals or conservatives who strongly disagrees with his rather extreme (in a bad way, in this case) position on the propriety of leaking State Department cables.
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I agree, and I would like to propose that Glenn return, to be paired with one of the many diavloggers we have heard from in the past few days, all of whom seemed to agree there was something fairly horrifying about Wikileaks.
While we're waiting for that, Glenn advises that he did do a debate on this, this morning.

(Haven't had a chance to listen yet, myself.)
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  #31  
Old 12-02-2010, 07:11 PM
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

This was the best analysis of the modern American media I've seen in a long time.
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  #32  
Old 12-02-2010, 08:14 PM
whburgess whburgess is offline
 
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Default Is WikiLeaks a news organization?

Can someone explain how Wikileaks is not a news organization? It seems as if this should be a main question--but few are discussing it.

Don't we have many cases of people in the government leaking classified information to NYT and other established news media--which in turn publish the information?

It is true that NYT and others will let the government see what they have and listen to any concerns of the government before its published. They will redact information that they agree with the government should be redacted.

Didn't Assange do the same thing? Didn't he ask the State department and the Defense department to go over the stuff before he published it?
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  #33  
Old 12-03-2010, 05:19 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Is WikiLeaks a news organization?

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Can someone explain how Wikileaks is not a news organization? It seems as if this should be a main question--but few are discussing it.
I admire Wikileaks, but I would not call them a news organization. They do not, as I understand it, devote any resources to going out to get stories or otherwise gather information themselves. Rather, they provide a service of secure distribution (and now, publication) of material others believe should be made public.

Quote:
Don't we have many cases of people in the government leaking classified information to NYT and other established news media--which in turn publish the information?
Yes, but that is far from all the NYT, etc., do. By analogy: because I shy away from large quantities of salt, am I a slug?

Okay, don't answer that.
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  #34  
Old 12-06-2010, 08:01 PM
Diane1976 Diane1976 is offline
 
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Default Re: Is WikiLeaks a news organization?

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Originally Posted by whburgess View Post
Can someone explain how Wikileaks is not a news organization? It seems as if this should be a main question--but few are discussing it.

Don't we have many cases of people in the government leaking classified information to NYT and other established news media--which in turn publish the information?

It is true that NYT and others will let the government see what they have and listen to any concerns of the government before its published. They will redact information that they agree with the government should be redacted.

Didn't Assange do the same thing? Didn't he ask the State department and the Defense department to go over the stuff before he published it?
I don't get this either. Some people are actually under the impression that Wikileaks hacked into US computers, which is, of course, not true. One of their own employees, a very low level one, was somehow able to access large amounts of secret information and turned it over to Wikileaks.

The media has been reporting on government leaks for years, and the same people who are condemning Wikileaks are happily writing about the information. Of course, the advance in technology makes it easier to leak large amounts of information.

It seems to me the US government has a problem controlling its info and I don't think it's all the fault of one private, or Wikileaks.

From what I read, Wikileaks depends on its media partners to help edit the info, and they did ask the US government for help, either directly or through the NYT, in identifying info that would be harmful to individuals like the Afghan informants, but the government refused. They said the information was illegally gotten and they had no obligation to help "sanitize it".
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  #35  
Old 12-02-2010, 10:31 PM
chrisn chrisn is offline
 
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

I remember thinking about Chomsky when hearing about Assange, but I'm a fan of neither. Chomsky is an anarchist if nothing else, and a philosophical idealist. He's stayed relatively true to those ideals in his screeds against the U.S. government for failure to live up to those ideals. Of course, when you ask Chomsky what kind of government he would put in its place he doesn't really come up with much (where violence, corruption, graft, and self-interest are in constant tension to be overcome to achieve national goals and provide security and pursue common interest).

Such difficulties are left to people who actually wield that power responsibly, and according to ideals that may disagree with Chomsky's (you wouldn't hear it within all that hubris as he attacks them).

I do think that the government requires the vigilance of the people, and sacrifice of individuals (for all the other idealists ready to pounce against the straw man big gov't Republican), but it's for individuals to decide (some of those individuals base their actions and thinking upon the moral teachings of organized religion)

You don't hear about how Assange's organizantion is run much beyond the anarchic idealism he spouts. More like a glorified hacker. Like Chomsky, he prefers to live in his own idealism and attack a perceived enemy for failure to live up to his test. Technology has made it possible. Some good may come, but it's a low bar to set.
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  #36  
Old 12-03-2010, 12:08 AM
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

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Like Chomsky, he prefers to live in his own idealism and attack a perceived enemy for failure to live up to his test.
His test being? Not letting a government lie to its people while covering up an endless list of atrocities? Glad you went to government obedience school. One finely trained puppy you are.
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  #37  
Old 12-03-2010, 01:52 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

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I remember thinking about Chomsky when hearing about Assange, but I'm a fan of neither. Chomsky is an anarchist if nothing else, and a philosophical idealist. He's stayed relatively true to those ideals in his screeds against the U.S. government for failure to live up to those ideals. Of course, when you ask Chomsky what kind of government he would put in its place he doesn't really come up with much...
Good point about Chomsky's habit of criticizing the corruption he sees around him and throughout history, but offering no alternative. After all what would he say, anyway..."if only we were better people! if only we weren't people at all!"
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  #38  
Old 12-03-2010, 05:30 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

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Originally Posted by chrisn View Post
I remember thinking about Chomsky when hearing about Assange, but I'm a fan of neither. Chomsky is an anarchist if nothing else, and a philosophical idealist. He's stayed relatively true to those ideals in his screeds against the U.S. government for failure to live up to those ideals. Of course, when you ask Chomsky what kind of government he would put in its place he doesn't really come up with much ...
Possibly true, although one might argue that Chomsky would likely say he'd recommend an American-style government, perhaps with some tweaks in structure, living up to American (and other, more broadly human) ideals.

The point I'd really like to make, though, is this. I believe it is worthwhile, indeed valuable, to have articulate critics like Chomsky and radical believers in exposing secrets like Assange, and I do not think that they are required to have all the answers for them to be doing good. I also think that since we are as yet unable to establish and sustain anything close to a system that lives up to our ideals, the best we can hope for in the meantime is a dynamic tension between competing forces, and that this tension tugs us down the better roads. Of course I grant the need for secrets and of course I grant the harsh realities a government has to deal with. But both of these, left unchecked, tend to produce less than desirable outcomes, particularly when the government is so powerful. Therefore, I welcome various forces checking them, even as those forces are themselves guaranteed to be imperfect.
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Old 12-03-2010, 07:25 AM
Wm. Blaxton Wm. Blaxton is offline
 
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
I believe it is worthwhile, indeed valuable, to have articulate critics like Chomsky and radical believers in exposing secrets like Assange, and I do not think that they are required to have all the answers for them to be doing good. I also think that since we are as yet unable to establish and sustain anything close to a system that lives up to our ideals, the best we can hope for in the meantime is a dynamic tension between competing forces, and that this tension tugs us down the better roads. Of course I grant the need for secrets and of course I grant the harsh realities a government has to deal with. But both of these, left unchecked, tend to produce less than desirable outcomes, particularly when the government is so powerful. Therefore, I welcome various forces checking them, even as those forces are themselves guaranteed to be imperfect.
Leaving aside Assange for the moment, I think it's a substantial problem with Chomsky's worldview that he presents no real alternative to our system.

I certainly agree with you that it's healthy for a society to have its aggressive critics, but if Chomsky's view is that the United States is flawed in part because it has failed to create an anarcho-syndicalist paradise or a Venezuelan social democracy, then he's useless. He's like a guy who complains, justifiably, that cars produce carbon emissions ... and then proposes with a straight face that we replace automobiles with giant helicopters and flying bicycles. He has made fair criticisms of specific U.S. policies, but the total package is unhelpful and also remarkably (for such an evidently brilliant guy) simplistic.

Chomsky is also routinely intellectually dishonest, as I was reminded watching a YouTube video in which he wildly mischaracterizes (in the course of criticizing) Huntington's Clash of Civilizations thesis to a receptive audience that has probably never read the article or the book. I don't know if this was reckless or intentional, but I suspect that it's one reason that Chomsky has rarely been part of any broader intellectual conversation (outside of his field of academic speciality). Another reason is his consistent posture of smug disdain for pretty much everybody he disagrees with.

Last edited by Wm. Blaxton; 12-03-2010 at 07:36 AM..
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Old 12-03-2010, 07:37 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: An Advertisement for Openness (Glenn Greenwald & Matt Welch)

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Originally Posted by Wm. Blaxton View Post
Leaving aside Assange for the moment, I think it's a substantial problem with Chomsky's worldview that he presents no real alternative to our system.

I certainly agree with you that it's healthy for a society to have its aggressive critics, but if Chomsky's view is that the United States is flawed in part because it has failed to create an anarcho-syndicalist paradise or a Venezuelan social democracy, then he's useless.
Is that really his view?

I don't know Chomsky well enough to say for sure, but that sounds a bit unfair. Probably he would like some more social in our democracy, I agree. So would I. (And for the record, I do not much count Venezuela as a democracy these days.)

Beyond that, I can't really address what you go on to say about him, due, as I said, to my lack of deep familiarity with his views. I can only say that when I've heard him speak or be interviewed, he has not struck me as dishonest. At times a bit unreasonable, perhaps, but so what. He's being a critic, and sometimes critics choose to be a little extreme to get their points across.

[Added] Don't think I buy this:

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... Chomsky has rarely been part of any broader intellectual conversation ...
Seems to be an awful lot of mention of his name by many people, even if a lot of it is disparaging. But maybe the conversations I hear are not what you mean by intellectual.
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