The publisher of Noam Chomsky's Hegemony and Survival calls it "an irrefutable analysis of America's pursuit of total domination and the catastrophic consequences that could follow". It's the typical hyperbole of a publisher's blurb, of course, but also a disturbing notion.
Kirby's comment about the possible relations between Islam and "respect for life and freedom" (see previous post), got me thinking. I come back to this nugget of wisdom from Ezra Pound quite often these days:
In August 1942, the following elucidatory statement was heard on the Berlin radio: the power of the state, whether it be Nazi, Fascist, or Democratic, is always the same, that is—absolute; the different forms of administration are merely a matter of the different activities which one agrees not to allow. ("A Visiting Card", 1942, SP, p. 276)
Here's what I'm thinking: A democracy is committed to allowing the free expression of ideas, even the idea that democracy is a bad idea. A fascist state is committed to controlling the expression of ideas; it is committed to "the free expression of opinion by those qualified to hold it" as Italian radio stated the "Fascist policy" in its introduction to Pound's broadcasts. It is therefore in the difficult position of implicitly endorsing views it does not explicitly suppress.
This was once a paradox. But I don't think it should stop us from thinking. The genius of democracy is that the state can maintain its absolute power over allowable activities without having to suppress opinions to the contrary. But these days, for some reason, Western intellectuals (i.e., liberal-democratic thinkers) are in a tizzy about people who express the view that we should do away with democratic rights like freedom of speech.
In my opinion, we should talk as much as we are able. If the state begins to restrict our freedom of expression, well, then, we'll have to continue covertly. Obviously. Pound's insight is dead on: whatever we do, we are living under the "total domination" of the state. Once again we see the relevance of Lewis's "art of being ruled."