First time I have ever agreed with the gnome.
CHOMSKY 1997: THE NEW PARTY IS A “SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC VERSION OF STATE CAPITALISM”
John Sexton at Breitbart.com: An interview with Noam Chomsky from 1997 has the far-left professor describing his involvement with the New Party at about the time that Barack Obama Obama joined and sought an endorsement from the group. Contrary to claims made by founder Joel Rogers (some of which have been shown to be false), Chomsky says the New Party is not just the left wing of the Democratic Party, but a socialist alternative.
en Smith has already admitted that part of his 2008 story was wrong. And I think we’ve convincingly established that Joel Rogers word shouldn’t be trusted on this issue for the rest of it. Fortunately, we don’t have to take Rogers’ word on the nature of the New Party. In 1997, Noam Chomsky explained what the New Party was and what it’s goals were:
Brief comments [on the New Party], because I’m in a rush, and don’t want to delay.
1. Am I a member? Yes.
2. Do I think it’s a constructive idea? Yes.
3. Is it just a “reform movement within capitalism”? Yes.
4. Am I against capitalism? Yes.
5. Is there a contradiction between 3 and 4? No.
6. How is the New Party different from liberalism? Hard to answer without some clarification. If by “liberalism” is meant the Democratic Party, it is plainly different from liberalism. If what is meant is some kind of social democratic version of state capitalism, presumably not — at least now, though the project is one that has a possible evolution in mind, and in prospect, I think.
First of all, you can see that in Chomsky’s view, the New Party is not part of DNC liberalism. This completely contradicts the thrust of Joel Rogers statement and Media Matter’s post relying on it to make the same point.
But after saying what the New Party isn’t, Chomsky goes on to say what it is. It is liberalism in the sense of a “social democratic version of state capitalism.” Let’s unpack this.
First off, “state capitalism” has a wide range of possible meanings, the majority of which are tied up in Marxism and socialism. However, we should note that Chomsky himself defined state capitalism in a recent interview as something not very different than what we have already in America, i.e. a capitalist system in which the government plays a major role.
But Chomsky didn’t identify the New Party as state capitalism, he identified it as “some kind of social democratic version of state capitalism.” That narrows things down considerably because “social democracy” is plainly a species of socialism. As Wikipedia notes, the origin of the term is in a specific critique of Marxism:
The social democrats, who had created the largest socialist organizations of that era, did not reject Marxism (and in fact claimed to uphold it), but a number of key individuals wanted to reform Marx’s arguments in order to promulgate a less hostile criticism of capitalism. They argued that socialism should be achieved through evolution of society rather than revolution.
And now the socialist New Party.