Here’s Noan Chomsky, indefatigable reader, expounder, and lifelong casher of checks from US military franchise MIT, when asked to define his verision of “hope” by a nobody at Jacobin:
Hopes for the future are always about the same: courageous people, often under severe duress, refusing to bow to illegitimate authority and persecution, others devoting themselves to support and to combatting injustice and violence, young people who sincerely want to change the world. And the record of successes, always limited, sometimes reversed, but over time bending the arc of history towards justice, to borrow the words that Martin Luther King made famous in word and deed.
Again, the wan, insalubrious, completely deluded versions of “hope” proffered by the lecternists of the micro-left. Chomsky seems to know the “hope” that waxes eternal is a shell game – oh, it’s always the same bullshit, he announces.
- “Courageous people, refusing to bow to authority,” habitually get crushed. Chomsky did not bow MIT to his image. Courage and paychecks are virtually antithetical, unless you are very, very lucky in the amount of jobs and sincecures that are socially available, as was Chomsky.
- You can “combat” injustice violence and bad people and the evil supersystem all you want, but that is no guarantee, none at all, that others are fighting with you, or that the war indeed continues. Look at all the dead people, all the bastions of depraved and destructive power, and you locate the achievement of war – where? Identity victimization politics?
- That “young people” bullshit from the geezers. Young people, as I was once, do not have a social identity. They aspire, they dream, they philosophize, but they do not know the process of dehumanization that will condemn them to wage peonage, or hedge fund criminality in the corporate supersystem. “Sincerity” they might have on the collegiate camps for indulgence and drugs, but they have no knowledge base for nihilism – or at least, only a few of us did at that age, and I was a marginal as a non-person could be in that environment, and am to this day.
- The fatuous trope of bending arcs should be referenced together with the McDonald’s golden arches arc. There is no evidence at all that the the “justice” arc bends towards some wonderful, comfortable self-justifying utopia. King, a religious irrationalist and hater of rock music, was a product of his halcyon time, and was murdered. The streets and schools erected in his name litter the bantustans of this horridly unequal American empire.