cratic masses.nJL/eep in the hearts of Gross andnLingeman lurks a fierce desire to destroynAmerican capitalism and to restructurenthe economy to suit the tastes of theneditorial staff of The Nation. With bignbusiness out of the way “Friendly Fascism”nwould no longer threaten, andnthe federal government, now strippednof its war-making capacity, could turnnits full attention to the enforcement ofnthe most cherished social policies ofnthe left. Then we could get down to thenserious business of re-establishingnRobespierre’s “Republic of Virtue.”nGiven this prospect, I shall keep thendisease and forego the cure. But thennostrums pandered by the left find takersnin part because of the blind adulationnthat too many conservatives rendernto large corporations. If we wish tonpreserve the freedom under which capitalismnthrives, we must weed our ownnIn Defense of InfamynNoam Chomsky and Edward Herman:nThe Political Economy of HumannRights, Volume I— The WashingtonnConnection and Third WorldnFascism; Volume II—After the Cataclysm:nPostwar Indochina and thenReconstruction oflmperiallde ology;nSouth End Press; Boston.nby Alan J. LevinenN oam Chomsky, the renowned authoritynon linguistics, and his collaborator,nEdward Herman, have tried tonbuild a life raft for the shrinking groupnof antiwar activists and leftists whoncontinue to insist that virtually all thenevils of the world are the fault of thenWestern democratic countries and thenUnited States in particular. But thisncraft is so poorly built that it sinks ofnDr. Levine is an historian who livesnin New York.n8nChronicles of Culturengardens and prune our own hedges.nTransnational corporations must benconvinced that America’s interests, notntheirs, come first. Small businessesnmust be protected and encouraged, andnfamily farms saved from extinction. Thenmoral decay fostered by corporationsnthat advertise in Hustler magazine andncash in on sick faddishness must be reversed.nCapitalism’s—and socialism’s—nobsession with “economic man” mustnbe countered with an infusion of spiritualnvalues. Capitalism brings materialnabundance and strives to preserve man’snfreedom of choice, but it also createsnits own problems. Thoughtful conservativesnhad best turn their attention tonthe less pleasant side of capitalism, lestntheir opponents on the left parlay a bitingncritique of American society intona rise to dominance that will destroynthe Republic. The challenge to conservativesnis great, but the stakes are evenngreater. Dnits own accord.nChomsky and Herman also attemptnto do a number of related things: First,nto show that the United States is responsiblenfor despotism and poverty innthe so-called Third World because of an”neo-colonial system of client statesnruled mainly by terror and serving theninterests of a small local and foreignnbusiness and military elite.” Second, tonattack the Carter administration’s human-rightsnpolicy from the left, “exposing”nit as a screen behind which to hidenWestern (including Israeli) “imperialism.”nThird, to show that things aren’tnall that bad in Indochina and to patchnthe holes in the propaganda structurenbuilt by the most extreme opponents ofnthe Indochina war—a group in whichnChomsky and Herman were very prominent.nThe result is a farrago of absurdnaccusations and double talk written inna nagging and querulous tone which frequentlyndegenerates into pompous rant­nnning. False historical analogies are frequentlyninvoked (see, particularly, thensecond chapter of Volume II). It takesna good deal of crust, too, to suggestnthat the New York Times and thenWashington Post have been steadfastnapologists for American policy in Indochina.nOne of the big dilemmas of Americannforeign policy has been the authoritarian,nand occasionally vicious, naturenof some of the regimes allied to us innthe Cold War. The human-rights policynof the Carter administration has, tonsome extent, been an extremely clumsynattempt to deal with this problem. Tonmost observers it has been apparent thatnthe administration has preferred tonbully, only occasionally with success,nthe weak tinhorn dictators who arenfriendly to us, while ignoring muchnworse crimes committed by communistnor neutral regimes. The bizarre worldviewnof Ambassador Andrew Young wasnbut an extreme version of this attitude.nChomsky and Herman, however, prefernto ignore most of Carter’s actualnpolicy and concentrate on the relativelynfew gestures launched against our enemies.nThe human-rights policy, theynargue, merely disguises the Americanncreation of dictatorships, especially innLatin America. “Since I960, over 18nLatin American regimes have been subjectednto military takeovers”; “U.S. influencenhas been crucial in this process,”nwe are told. One would imagine fromntheir account that civilian democracynhas been the characteristic form of governmentnin Latin America. As everyonenknows, of course, military dictatorshipnhas predominated since the area wasn”liberated” from Spain and Portugal. Inna typical corruption of language theynmislabel the Latin American authoritariannregime as “fascist” or “subfasciSt”—thenlatter term coined to describena regime allegedly having thennegative features of fascism but lackingnthe popular support fascism usually requires.nSo much for the real world,nwhere the fascist form of totalitarian-n