Chomsky v. Commies, over Tea

I’m late on this one, but I have a feeling not much was made of it anyway. Back in February, Noam Chomsky, impassive demolisher of ruling-class apologetics, pointed out during an interview that what the “Tea Party” movement really represents is a massive failure of the American left.

That remark might as well be designed to annoy the kind of liberal whose disdain for the Tea Party is based at least as much on elite class prejudice as on political disagreement (i.e., all liberals, some of the Partiers might say). Conservatives condemn Chomsky, when they’ve heard of him, as inveterately anti-American, but there’s something gimlet about Chomsky’s critiques that some liberals have never liked either.

All the more intriguing then, that it’s the American Communist Party (yes, it does still exist) that has disagreed most vocally, if delicately (I would be too), with Chomsky’s assessment of the Tea Party. The CP wants to see the Tea Party as a one-note ruling-class stalking horse; Chomsky warns against left-liberal mockery of the Tea Party, notes that their core issues are economic, and says the left should have been organizing along these lines a long time ago. In any case, an interesting conflict.

And for a really trenchant analysis of both the Tea Party and MoveOn.org, in the context of partisan institutionalization of the “grass roots,” check out La Botz in New Politics.

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