View Full Version : Norm Pie-in-the-sky Chomsky

02-23-2003, 10:05 PM
I was driving to the big city yesterday, looking for a place to invest my money in durable goods, and also Sponging up my weekly dose of liberalism by listening to NPR (National Public Radio). NPR was broadcasting a recording of a recent address given by Norm Chomsky to the World Social Forum, held, I believe, somewhere in Brazil. After listening to his ravings for about 15 to 20 minutes, everything about his speech started to sound familiar, like some have forgotten dream that suddenly resurfaces. I have heard all this before I thought, the delivery, the sanctimonious tone, the know-it-all-of ness, you can turn on the 700 club and get a daily dose if you so desire. I use to get a weekly dose of the same nonsense, blasted from on high to the huddled masses sheepishly listening, or dosing, in the pews. He is like Billy Sunday, William Jennings Bryant, and any number of Popes or preachers, faith healers, corn doctors, or wild-west salesmen of snake oil.

He was preaching to the faithful, lambasting the evils of Capitalism, Imperialism, Bushism, Blairism, Americanism, and other isms that haunt the world he so much finds fault with. Hosannas rose from the crowd, cheers echoed from on high as he delivered His Gospel to slay the modern demons that infest the entire world. It is amazing that he not only knows so, so, so much, but that: HE HAS A SOLUTON FOR EVERYTHING. He sets up the monsters and then slays them ALL. In this regard he is a replica of the very people he rants so much against – The Politicians. Chomsky is a master propagandist.

The whole Gospel became dreary to me after realizing who and what this man is about. He has a following no doubt, all people of his ilk do. It is the herd nature of humans to muck along in the shadow of any man who can set up the biggest demons and then offer up the best exorcisms. He is a shaman and a modern day messiah. And a good one.

Le Misanthrope

02-23-2003, 10:54 PM
well what did he say?

im sure you agree torture is a bad thing. the people currently in power now dont. realistically if unchecked torture could become routine in the future. for example.

02-24-2003, 12:15 AM
The strangest part is that the opposite of the things he rants against are even worse. For example, he rails against capitalism; yet as flawed as capitalism may be, communism is far worse. Communism killed more millions in the 20th century than any other "ism"--perhaps 100 million or so people--all for a pie-in-the-sky ideal which didn't work out (every communist country has been an immense economic failure). He ranted against the USA, although it's "opposite", the USSR, was far worse.

So: Chomsky loves to criticize the Western world and especially the USA. While he may only allude to what he sees as better large-scale solutions, I suspect that his solutions, if tried, would also be found in actuality to be far worse.

Michael Davis
02-24-2003, 02:20 AM

I hope you make money by writing. If you don't, you should consider it as a side job.


02-24-2003, 03:12 AM
He said something about the U.S. plans for global domination, although nothing really specific was stated, as far as I can recall. Peasants being driven off land in Bolivia by "chemical warfare" (his term), rebels in Columbia, I think being killed by US support (arms support?), the evils of every corporation in existence, and other such ramblings, everything he said was in some way tied to the mother of all demons: America. At least, that was my impression of his speech; it did not flow in a particularly coherent manner.

I did not listen to all of his speech because - I arrived at the Mall before he could finish, and quietly turned off the radio, went inside and paid my dues to Capitalism in all of its meanness and evil. The sox I purchased were on sale. The book was not.

His ilk usually has a few salient points, all the more to dupe their following.

I find torture abhorrent and do not advocate it for any reason (did not we have a discussion of this a few months back?).


02-24-2003, 03:36 AM
It is my opinion that the Uplifters and Wowsers of the world usually create more ills or large-scale disasters if their supposed solutions to alleged problems are implemented, Marx being an excellent example. So yes, I agree with your assessment.


02-24-2003, 03:42 AM
Thanks for the compliment. /forums/images/icons/smile.gif


Chris Alger
02-24-2003, 04:33 AM
This post is another example of how difficult it is to lay a glove on Chomsky. Just once I'd like to see someone criticize the guy by pointing out something he's said that's untrue or illogical, and offer facts instead of an adjective-ridden rant in rebuttal. Your suggestion that Chomsky proposes particular solutions "for everything" is particularly thick.

Here's an example from (I believe) the same speech. As most people know, the leaders of Germany and particularly France have been receiving a hard time in the mainstream media due to their failure to support the Iraq war effort. The Bush administration and the media supporters of the war, notably the Wall Street Journal, have been at pains to marginalize and ridicule their opposition.[1]

Here's how Chomsky deals with the issue. Notice how he assembles facts to arrive at a well-grounded but characterisitically provocative conclusion that one rarely encounters in the mainstream.

"Opposition to the war is completely without historical precedent. In Europe it is so high that Secretary of “Defense” Donald Rumsfeld dismissed Germany and France as just the “old Europe,” plainly of no concern because of their disobedience. The “vast numbers of other countries in Europe [are] with the United States,” he assured foreign journalists. These vast numbers are the “new Europe,” symbolized by Italy’s Berlusconi, soon to visit the White House, praying that he will be invited to be the third of the “three B’s”: Bush-Blair-Berlusconi – assuming that he can stay out of jail. Italy is on board, the White House tells us. It is apparently not a problem that over 80% of the public is opposed to the war, according to recent polls. That just shows that the people of Italy also belong to the “old Europe,” and can be sent to the ashcan of history along with France and Germany, and others who do not know their place.

Spain is hailed as another prominent member of the new Europe -- with 75% totally opposed to the war, according to an international Gallup poll. According to the leading foreign policy analyst of Newsweek, pretty much the same is true of the most hopeful part of the new Europe, the former Communist countries that are counted on (quite openly) to serve US interests and undermine Europe’s despised social market and welfare states. He reports that in Czechoslovakia, 2/3 of the population oppose participation in a war, while in Poland only ¼ would support a war even if the UN inspectors “prove that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction.” The Polish press reports 37% approval in this case, still extremely low, at the heart of the “new Europe.”

New Europe soon identified itself in an open letter in the Wall Street Journal: along with Italy, Spain, Poland and Czechoslovakia – the leaders, that is, not the people – it includes Denmark (with popular opinion on the war about the same as Germany, therefore “old Europe”), Portugal (53% opposed to war under any circumstances, 96% opposed to war by the US and its allies unilaterally), Britain (40% opposed to war under any circumstances, 90% opposed to war by the US and its allies unilaterally), and Hungary (no figures available).

In brief, the exciting “new Europe” consists of some leaders who are willing to defy their populations."

[1] Not that they spend much time addressing the issues European leaders raise. The WSJ, for example, published an editorial called "the Rabid Weasels," subtitled "The sickness of "old Europe" is a danger to the world." Although the editorial lambasted European opposition to the war, there was no mention of the reasons why Europeans say they oppose the war. Instead, it was taken as a given that their opposition reflects some dangerous sickness, and then seeks to explain how this sickness arose. Germany's problem is that it is a "defeated nation ... perpetually holding its head in shame for its past atrocities." With France, the cause is more specific: "France doesn't take crime seriously. Prisoners, even felons serving long sentences, are allowed to wear street clothes inside prison." This is what passes for editorial argument at one of the premier organs of the mainstream press.

nicky g
02-24-2003, 08:31 AM
State communism is not the only alternative to free market capitalism.

02-24-2003, 10:37 AM
Of course. But I still think it significant that the opposites of things Chomsky rails against are even worse.

nicky g
02-24-2003, 10:54 AM
Ah, I see. I don't know if political systems really can be said to have opposites, but I take your point.

02-24-2003, 11:35 AM
Well, the closest things to their opposites, anyway;-)

02-24-2003, 11:49 AM
well US is torturing right now, despite our opinion.

youre eating gmo food, btw. we'll see how that works out. did anyone ask you if u mind being a guinae pig?

also its confirmed chem/bio warfare as part of 'drug war' in columbia. who cares brown short people arent human anyway screw them they dont own stock.

02-24-2003, 02:16 PM
I don't see Chomsky as a preacher, any more than anyone with a microphone and opinions and good public speaking skills would be.

I guess it is true that he does seem to have a solution for everything. But I doubt he would be taken very seriously if he didn't.

Also I think one problem that (American) critics of Chomsky often share is that they take too personally his anti-american stance. America is the most powerful nation, and home of the most powerful coorporations, hence he attacks the US. He is not intrinsically anti-america. I don't mean to imply this is the case with you Zeno, I just wanted to point it out as a general comment.

I don't really know too much about Chomsky so I shouldn't say too much. I've only read one of his interviews-turned-to-books and am just now starting Manufacturing Consent. But near as I can tell he is a good-guy /forums/images/icons/smile.gif . That's just my opinion. Take care,


02-24-2003, 02:46 PM
I still think it significant that the opposites of things Chomsky rails against are even worse.

That's a ridiculous argument. I think we spend way too much on the military, but of course spending way too little on the military is equally problematic if not more so. I think the US health system is way too privatized, but of course a completely state-owned health care apparatus would have as many if not more problems assocaited with it. I think far too much money is wasted on legal services, but of course having no legal services would result in civil anarchy.

No sensible person says "this is bad, we must do the opposite"...a sensible person says "this is bad, let's make it better." You really should Chomsky before you take your shots at him. Overall, I believe you'll find that he's quite sensible.

02-24-2003, 04:17 PM
It's not an argument, it's an observation;-)

02-25-2003, 02:19 AM
“Your suggestion that Chomsky proposes particular solutions "for everything" is particularly thick.”

Thick as a brick. I was smiling when I type out that sentence in full caps to grab the eye.

“This post is another example of how difficult it is to lay a glove on Chomsky. Just once I'd like to see someone criticize the guy by pointing out something he's said that's untrue or illogical, and offer facts instead of an adjective-ridden rant in rebuttal.”

Mr. Chomsky has written scores of books (some in collaboration) given 100’s if not thousands of speeches, lectures, interviews etc and out of this vast minutia he is factual with everything he ever said and never uttered an illogical statement? Never one mistake? He has all the pertinent facts for everything he discusses and draws all the proper interpretations and inescapable conclusions with impeccable logic? Not one single person as every been able to “lay a glove on Chomsky” in this respect? (Did I, by accident, just prove something by logic?). Pope Chomsky the infallible! My I kiss his ring?

Well, obviously my initial post does not given this omniscient being his proper respect. On the day when he boards that golden chariot that wheels His Eminence up into the clouds to join the pantheon of immortals that litter the utopian heavens; I want to be in the host that sees him off and shouts – Hallelujah!

How’s that for “an adjective-ridden rant in rebuttal”.

In my opinion, at the base of Mr. Chomsky’s craft is one underlying galling assumption:

You cannot think for yourself little man, Trust me, I will do all the thinking for you.

Which leads me directly to:

Do not quote polls to a misanthrope. I care nothing for supposed new geographic or political definitions thrown out and then mauled over by self-seek politicians, wowsers, and moralistic crusaders as if there was some significance to them. Some leaders are defying their populations? Good. What logic dictates that whatever the mob wants the mob is suppose to have? Or that every leader is supposed to be a slave to polls? Or be lead by the irrational passions of an easily manipulated herd? Is no one supposed to think for himself or herself, including governmental leaders and policy makers? These are rhetorical questions. I neither want nor expect answers.

I’m off to read my new book, listen to some music, and try to enjoy a little civility before the madness descends.

Le Misanthrope

02-25-2003, 03:02 AM
I recommend a book by James C. Scott called Seeing Like a State, for examples and analysis of "how certain schmes to improve the human condition have failed."