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December 28, 2003

Comments

What's the beef here? There really *was* such a conspiracy, not just "plans", and it was proven in court. Chomsky has noted repeatedly
that corporations and people in government
constantly conspire, per the dictionary
definition of the word. His complaint about
conspiracy theories is directed to those who
think that there are secret cabals, and if
we could just rid the world of those we
would be ok.

Chomsky is truly refering to "conspiracies" as Eric stated earlier, and having read of this in several other books, i would agree.

I'll be curious to hear your reaction after you have finished the book.

If there was indeed a conspiracy to suburbanize America and sell more cars, the majority of Americans were co-conspirators.

Well, "plans" allows for a possible reading where corporations simply identified what was in their interest independently of each other and planned accordingly:

"It started with corporate [plans] to buy up and eliminate streetcar systems,..."

"Conspiracies" adds that additional element of inter-corporate communication and coordination.

"It started with corporate conspiracies to buy up and eliminate streetcar systems,..."

That said, given his documentation in the footnote I am less queasy about his use of "conspiracies" (the word) in this case.

While I agree that charges of "conspiracies" muddy the waters considerably, I want you to re-read the passage from Chomsky and substitute the word "plans" for the word "conspiracies."

Lose anything?

I don't see it.

Firmly established by the public record?

Absolutely.

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