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The Lesser of Two Evils: why Noam Chomsky is wrong in advocating this principle in the 2016 US Presidential Election

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7) "Often the charge will emanate from establishment operatives who will use it as a bad faith justification for defeating challenges to corporate hegemony either in the Democratic party or outside of it. They will ensure that it will be circulated in mainstream media channels with the result that many of those who would otherwise be sympathetic to a left challenge will find it a convincing reason to maintain their ties with the political establishment rather than breaking with it, as this is a must."

The chief argument here appears to be that it offers the prospect of challenging the Establishment at a later date, even if one collaborates for the present. This is hardly a proof for the merits of LEV even if one notes the injunction tagged on the end not to accept it as a general device to maintain the status quo. However, its chief effect remains to undermine LEV as a device or principle and thus Chomsky's argument.

8) "Conclusion: by dismissing "lesser evil" electoral logic and thereby increasing the potential for Clinton's defeat, the left will undermine what should be at the core of what it claims to be atempting to achieve".

This has many defects, compounded from previous statements. Here are some of these:

a) It does not follow from the previous points which are themselves based on opinion, assumption and bias.

b) The major assumption that it is solely a Clinton vs Trump election though popular, is actually contributing to one of the systems' main problems, which Chomsky acknowledges in part in 7) above - that it is the change to the system, which many (perhaps most) on the left wish to see, rather than the so-called success of a LEV candidate. Chomsky, by advising its temporary acceptance to secure a dubious "lesser evil" is reinforcing the notion of the 2-party system, which is itself a denial of what the left wishes to achieve and may actually result in greater evil as a result of this.

c) It is also implicit in Chomsky's conclusion (as in his narrative) that LEV is a good thing, is applicable in this instance, that Clinton is the LEV and that the left wishes to achieve things which Clinton will not inhibit. All of these are dubious assertions, to say the least.

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I was educated at the University of Manchester, Swansea University and the Polytechnic of Wales, where I studied History, Philosophy and Intellectual and Art History (MA). I have lived and worked in Ireland, Germany and Holland and the UK as a (more...)

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The Lesser of Two Evils: why Noam Chomsky is wrong in advocating this principle in the 2016 US Presidential Election

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