Frank's evil Noam Chomsky corner

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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FrankChurch
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Frank's evil Noam Chomsky corner

Postby FrankChurch » Tue Jul 17, 2007 6:04 pm

I thought it would be best to put all new Chomsky stuff here, so you know to avoid it if you hate him. Look if you like, don't if you don't. Thanks for shopping Frankmart:

Chomsky, interviewed in a car, ripping JFK, the "immature left," the intellectuals love affair with Kennedy and the fabricating of history. The so-called "golden age" of liberalism, etc:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqrJ2s6lDT4&NR=1

Even Tony Benn had a picture of Kennedy in Moore's Sicko and Benn is a socialist. Kennedy may be one of our worst presidents but history will never tell us. History needs its heros--its royal court. Real heros are people we never know. Sad.

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Postby Ezra Lb. » Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:04 am

Ya know Frank, the harshest criticism I've read of JFK has been from the left. Read Gore Vidal.

For the heck of it I'll say again what I've said before about Prof Chomsky. From him I would gladly accept a scientific opinion, his work had been profound in our understanding of language and linguistics (though even there he has his critics).

But his political opinions are just that, HIS POLITICAL OPINIONS. They are not delivered off Mt. Sinai.

For instance, his constantly equating the USA and the Soviet Union as if there were no fundamental distinctions between these societies during the Cold War just seems goofy in the extreme.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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Postby FrankChurch » Fri Jul 20, 2007 12:33 pm

He mentions the distinctions, you just read around the margins. In interviews he has said that we are a very free society, so our responsibility is greater. That's all.

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Postby FrankChurch » Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:26 pm

How about this modest proposal: Philadelphia changed to Chomskydelphia? Word.

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Postby FrankChurch » Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:14 pm

Text edited by moderator to add copyright notifications.


ZMAG.COM wrote:We are often asked about reproducing pieces by Noam.
Our view is that any non-corporate non-governmental
individual or distribution venue should feel welcome to do so, but please
include full substance and note the place of origination.



Random musings from his forum at Zmag:

"I should also add that these discussions are very abstract. In the real world, powerful minorities have a shocking impact on the educational system. Just consider how American history is taught. I can give you some horrendous examples just from personal experience, in one of the most progressive communities in the country -- and have even written about some of them. Or let me give you another personal example. I recently discovered that in liberal Massachusetts, many public schools teach a curriculum designed by the Objectivist Institute, which promotes Ayn Rand's doctrines. They provide the schools with her books, teaching materials, essay contests, prizes, etc. Very easy for the supervisors and teachers: it all comes on a platter and they don't have to think and work. The poor children are subjected to really vicious propaganda -- but even if it was benign propaganda it would be an utter outrage. And protest is practically zero."

-------

"If Israel is committed to being "the sovereign State of the Jewish people," not the state of its citizens, as its courts have determined, then the "demographic problem" will be at best delayed, not overcome. There is a fundamental contradiction in the notion of a democratic Jewish (Christian, White, Islamic, etc.) state. If the laws and practices distinguishing categories of citizens are mostly symbolic (an official day of rest on Sunday, or Saturday, or Friday, etc.), then the departure from democratic principle may not matter much. But it is far from symbolic in the case of Israel.



The highest birth rates in the areas controlled by Israel are among Palestinians and orthodox Jews. Israel has delayed the "demographic problem" by such devices as admitting a flood of Russians, many of them declared to be "Jews" however their backgrounds conform to the orthodox religious requirements (in many cases, not at all). But even if some technique can be devised to preserve the sharply discriminatory character of the state, the crucial issues will remain. Suppose that the Supreme Court determined that the US is the "sovereign State of White Christians." Would we be raising the question of how their dominance can be assured?"

-------

"A little more interesting is Power's tacit endorsement of the Bush doctrine that states that harbor terrorists are no different from terrorist states, and should be treated accordingly: bombed and invaded, and subjected to regime change. There is, of course, not the slightest doubt that the US harbors terrorists, even under the narrowest interpretation of that term: e.g., by the judgment of the Justice Department and the FBI, which accused Cuban terrorist Orlando Bosch of dozens of terrorist acts and urged that he be deported as a threat to US security. He was pardoned by Bush I, and lives happily in Florida, where he has now been joined by his associate Luis Posada, thanks to Bush II's lack of concern about harboring terrorists. There are plenty of others, even putting aside those who have offices in Washington. Like John Negroponte, surely one of the leading terrorists of the late 20th century, not very controversially, so naturally appointed to the position of counter-terrorism Czar by Bush II, with no particular notice.

Even keeping to the completely uncontroversial cases, like Bosch, it follows that Power and the NY Times are calling for the bombing of Washington. But -- oddly -- the Justice Department is not about to indict them, though people are rotting in Guantanamo on far lesser charges. What is interesting and enlightening is that no matter how many times trivialities like this are pointed out -- and it's been many times -- it is entirely incomprehensible within the intellectual culture. That reveals a very impressive level of subordination to authority and indoctrination, well beyond what one would expect in totalitarian states."

---------

"There's plenty of irrationality in decision-making, and I've often written about it. Take, say, the record of the Pentagon Papers. The most startling revelation, I think (which I wrote about at the time, and have mentioned since), was the utter incapacity of the decision-making apparatus, or even the intelligence system over the 25 years reviewed, to comprehend that Hanoi was acting in its perceived national interest, not as a puppet of Moscow, or Peking, or the Sino-Soviet axis, or some other concoction. It took no insight to understand that, and it took really deep immersion in ideological fanaticism not to perceive it. By comparison, intelligence about Saddam's WMD looks positively brilliant. A much more extensive study of the sheer fanaticism and irrationality of planners from the Truman through the Johnson administrations about China is James Peck's Washington's China. And those are by no means the only examples."

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Postby Moderator » Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:30 pm

Frank -
Can you make sure we either a) have permission to reprint large sections of Chomsky's comments, or b) provide a link rather than the full text.

I'm more than a little nervous regarding the extensive reposts and potential copyright violations. If you don't have permission (and can't provide it) let me know so I can delete the above and you can freely repost smaller portions with links to the original site.

With all the copyright hullabaloo let's make sure our house in order before criticizing anyone else.

Thanks!

Steve B
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Postby FrankChurch » Mon Aug 06, 2007 2:46 pm

If you go to Zmag you will notice that they don't copyright anything. Anarchists don't believe in that, remember? Steal this book and all.

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Postby Moderator » Mon Aug 06, 2007 5:26 pm

Eeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...........

Gimme a quote, s'il vous plait. Lacking any permission I'd like to request you repost sections with a link to the rest. I'm not an anarchist, and wouldn't like lawyers or others to label us hypocrits.

I'll take the above quotes down tomorrow morning unless I see a "permission granted" notice.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Postby FrankChurch » Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:12 pm

Thanks for doing that Barber, didn't see that disclaimer on Zmag.

Steve, wet, sloppy kisses for ya.

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Postby FrankChurch » Tue Aug 14, 2007 5:42 pm

I will make Barber happy:

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Noam_Chomsky#Capitalism

Embarrassed how so few people understand why capitalism is so undemocratic, so unfair, so immoral. Why it has to be dismantled. Men don't need tidy masters to lead them. Democracy for the few, scraps for the rest--not on my watch.

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Postby FrankChurch » Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:13 pm

This is probably some of the best stuff he has ever said. From the interview book I just bought, Chronicles Of Dissent:

""Generally speaking your books are ignored. They're not reviewed. You're not invited on Face The Nation or the evening news with Dan Rather, nor are you interviewed on National Public Radio . The few times that your books are reviewed, they are neither favorable or accurate. An example here, one is a New York Times review of Turning The Tide written by Alan Tonelson, who is the associate editor of Foreign Policy magazine. He begins the review by calling you a "new left stalwart" and then he says that the evidence that you present in your book is a "clip job drawn from secondary sources, source histories, from news articles and reports from the usual assortment of liberal and left-leaning, Latin American human rights groups." Is that typical?



Chomsky:



It's surprising it was reviewed at all, but that's a typical sort of putdown. All you have to do is to look at the footnotes to see how false it is. First of all, the "left-leaning human rights groups" are the standard human rights groups. There's nothing "left-leaning" about Americas Watch. From his point of view they are "left-leaning" because they criticize Western as well as Eastern atrocities. And that, of course, is "left-leaning." As for it being a "clip job," like every scholarly work, I deal with original sources, which are press reports of ongoing events. Exactly the same is true in the most honored works of scholarship.



Furthermore, there is plenty of use made of unused primary sources, suppressed primary sources. For example, government documents that would never be used in the mainstream because they tell the wrong story. It's not because it's me. Any critic of the party line must meet very high standards. If you're following the party line you don't have to document anything; you can say anything you feel like. There are major books, well reviewed, highly regarded, which are just an expression of opinion. There is nothing in them that you can even trace to its source, but that doesn't matter as long as you are producing the party line. That's one of the privileges you get for obedience.



On the other hand, if you're critical of received opinion, you have to document every phrase. He also later in the review calls my writing "turgid." That's correct; part of the reason it's turgid is because every three words I have to have a footnote with big documentation explaining it. On the other hand, if you're on the other side you can just pay attention to style, because it doesn't matter what you say.



I should say, incidentally, that I benefit from that privilege, too. So that when I write critically of the Soviet Union I don't have to document anything, nobody ever cares. They think it's fine. Since you're attacking the enemy, why do you have to document anything? And if you're always within the party line you never have to document anything. But the main point of interest about the review is his total incapacity to perceive the words. In fact, if you read through the review he never takes issue with any thing I say, this looks correct and so on. But he says I'm missing the point because I don't explain how the United States should defend the national interest. He says something like, "Since he doesn't offer an alternative to defending the national interest, there's something missing, missing the point."



In fact I discussed that matter at great length. I pointed out that the phrase "national interest" is an Orwellism used to refer to the interests of corporate elites. If I had more space there I'd give a lot of documentation of it, and I said that of course in that sense of national interest the citizens of the country shouldn't want to defend it. It's often opposed to their interests. But he cannot understand that. A deeply indoctrinated person, a real sign of deep indoctrination is that you can't understand elementary thoughts that any 10-year-old can understand. That's real indoctrination. So for him it's kind of like a theological truth, a truth of received religion, that the national interest is something we should defend. Suppose I say, "everyone like you is using the term, 'national interest' in a very deceitful way, it's not in the interest of the nation. It's the interest of a powerful privileged group, maybe this is the right way to defend their interests, but I'm not interested in defending their interests. I'm interested in defending the interests of the population of the United States, in fact the world, so I don't have to answer to your question. I don't have to provide a better way to serve the interests of the corporate elite. I'm just not interested in that question." He cannot understand that. It's not that he has an answer. He cannot understand the point. It's too far out of the way of thinking.



In this respect there's been a very sharp decline since the Middle Ages. In the Middle Ages, when you read Thomas Aquinas, he felt that he had to deal with heresy. He wanted to defend the doctrines of the faith against heresy, but he felt he had to understand it. Medieval theology had some aspects of an honest intellectual atmosphere: if people had heretical arguments you had to pay attention to them, think about them, find answers to them.



We've degenerated far below that in modern culture. Here you don't have to understand heresy, you just point to it, you just say, "Look, this guy's involved in heresy," and that's the end of that discussion. Now we go on. That wouldn't have been tolerated in more honest and intellectually advanced societies such as medieval theology. And this is another sign of the dramatic decline of the intelligentsia as they become the commissars for external power, state or private. The review is a fine example of it."

Copyright 1992 David Barsamian.







"

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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Thu Oct 04, 2007 2:16 pm

Chomsky has another interview book just out. This is candy for boys like me.

He really takes it to the 9/11 truth goons. He compares them to religious fanatics. He notices how the media has no problem allowing them to be sometime guests, when Chomsky and other more rational lefties are not allowed. The media uses these maroons to discredit the left. There may even be government agents in the truth movement. I think he meant that humorously.

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Postby FrankChurch » Wed Nov 14, 2007 6:09 pm

http://zmagsite.zmag.org/Nov2007/roman.html

Good interview; they are becoming few and far between.

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Postby Malatesta » Wed Dec 05, 2007 1:08 pm

Oh no! Noam Chomsky is the Deeevil!!! AIEEEEE!

I'll never understand how left equals evil...is it a translation thing or a symbol thing? Is it that right=right and left=wrong thing?

This is confusing to me.

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Postby FrankChurch » Thu Dec 06, 2007 3:28 pm

See, the left fights against power, they love and respect power, we also support the little guy, the guy who gets punched in the face by the upper 10 percent. That is dangerous, because power does what it wants to do, and like any good gangster, you deviate from the flock and you will find a horses head in your bed.

Word.


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