I've Heard He Calls Himself a Libertarian….


The occasionally controversial political analyst Noam Chomsky has a new blog. (Via Harry's Place)

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  1. Excellent! This offers him the opportunity to repeat his pet fallacies and hateful nonsense several times a day. Picking apart his arguments really is like shooting fish in a barrel, but sometimes it feels good to go on intellectual auto-pilot, read one of his pieces and just whisper to yourself “Ad hominem… begging the question… appeal to ridicule… ad hominem… ad hominem… post hoc… ad hominem…”

  2. I take back my previous post! A cursory glance at the comment thread on Noam’s blog shows it to be a HOOT!!! And what Jarod said, too!

  3. On third thought, there’s a lot of infantile stuff there, too. Too bad, too, cause it probably just makes the Chomsky-ites feel more sure of themselves.

  4. So on what occasions is he not controversial?

  5. On which occasions is he not controversial?

  6. On which occasions is he not controversial?

  7. The Noam cultists are lots of fun… throw a little logic into the works and watch them squirm.

  8. HH — I was using understatement as an attempt at comedy.

  9. Yeah, HH, why don’t read the comments posted and give me a review on the level of “logic” demonstrated by his detractors.

    I’ve got my disagreements with Chomsky, but nothing makes me like him more than the behavior of those who disagree with him.

    I don’t believe I’ve ever seen liberals hijack a blog like that (one prick posted an entire Russian novel into the comments section). Why do think that is?

  10. So . . . would that make Chomsky one of the well-known libertarian activists? 😉

    I don’t believe I’ve ever seen liberals hijack a blog like that (one prick posted an entire Russian novel into the comments section). Why do think that is?

    Because liberals are lacking in imagination? *looks innocent*

  11. Oh, that comments section *is* a hoot. Anyone want to place bets on how long it will go unmoderated?

  12. “I don’t believe I’ve ever seen liberals hijack a blog like that”

    joe, i’m usually one to defend you but blog-jamming nincompoopery is hardly the domain of conservatives. they just use different idiocies.

    i wouldn’t want to live in chomsky’s universe but i do appreciate the fact that he’s alive, and have never found him to be offensive. that so many people take him at face value without doing any research on their own – something he seems to continually harp on – is both unrelated and sad. and i think manufacturing consent is a decent read. a counterbalance to a general conservative/libertarian tendency towards knobgobbling anything remotely related to businesses, if you will.

  13. So interesting that Chomsky has finally discovered blogging. Why, just 6 years ago he said in this interview that communication and free speech were doomed on the privatized interweb.

    Other howlers in the same interview:
    – Privatization of the internet limits access to it.
    – Privatization is all about turning public-domain parts of the internet into intranets.

    Has anyone else been on the net long enough to remember how the establishment howled when AOL connected? Many respected netizens did not take well to easy internet access for the general public, which (contradicting Chomsky) had not existed until then.

  14. “I don’t believe I’ve ever seen liberals hijack a blog like that”

    Shannon and Thoreau are often pretty long-winded on this one. Not liberals, though. Well, maybe Shannon.

  15. Dink, please read one of the comment threads on the Chomsky site. Not I, nor thoreau nor Shannon, has ever done anything even vaguely like that on this site.

  16. Not to excuse the actions of whoever’s causing the deluge at Chomsky’s blog, but crapflooding is an ancient and honored practice that knows no ideological boundaries. Joe’s assertion that only conservatives would stoop to it is howlingly ignorant.

  17. Well Jean Bart, apparently I just have no idea what the hell you’re saying!! :0

  18. joe,

    What difference does it make? The twits who are writing juvenile crap on Chomsky’s blog represent no one but themselves. As I mentioned before, they accomplish nothing but to reinforce the belief in Chomsky-ites that their opponents are all numbskulls.

  19. It’s not a blog, but the folks that crapped up the Sloganater on GWB’s website likely weren’t card-carrying Republicans. If you didn’t see it, it was a poster generator that you were supposed to entire your name/demography/etc and location and it added it to the top of a Bush Cheney poster in PDF form (eg, Mothers from Denver for Bush/Cheney ’04). Once folks figured out the work around it got so overloaded that it would return PDFs with different messages from the one’s you entered. Suffice to say that many of the messages were not nice. Wonkette had pretty complete coverage. Here’s a link: http://www.wonkette.com/archives/the_sloganator_is_confused_013787.php

  20. too bad Cato stopped publishing his stuff — he’s more right than wrong on foreign policy stuff anyway —

  21. fyodor,

    I was simply musing; I wasn’t trying to say anything definitive. I didn’t mean to be confusing.

  22. Defining Chomsky’s sci-fi “ideology” IS mildly interesting. While his day to day commentary is pretty much paleo-Stalinist boiler-plate, I have heard him describe himself as an “anarchist”.

    Where I live, the anti-globalist kids like to gather around the old IWW Hall. This is Oregon, where there actually used to be some wobblies, so there is a certain glamour to it. They also call themselves anarchist…and they all belong to ELF and PETA…don’t eat meat– and when they can– don’t smoke tobacco. Who knows?

    Chomsky’s logical errors pale beside his stylistic enormities. “Manufacturing Consent”, with no harm to its argument, could reasonably have been condensed into a three-page sophomore essay.

    There is a sense in which this kind of thing is easy to read…but only if you are willing to enter into the spirit of the thing– like listening sympathetically to a friend “blowing off steam”…come on Noam, we want to UNDERSTAND you, tell us how you REALLY feel!

    I saw Chomsky on Charlie Rose, and he is the very type of the sort of coffee-shop pundit I occasionally debate– who launches long, droning homilies due to conclude next week sometime…puntuated with a hollering “LET ME FINISH!” on any attempt to respond to an obviously debateable assertion.

  23. Doesn’t matter anymore. Chomsky seems to have turned off any possibility of making comments on his blog. On with the long, droning homilies….

  24. Jean Bart,

    Well the next time you muse like that, do it in French! 🙂

  25. If they’re going to fill comments with junk, at least they could use some random transformation grammar bot output. I’d prefer they leave the comments alone so there’s room for clever rejoinders by people like me. Who wants to download a megabyte of crap to add their bit of wit at the end? Nobody.

    Chomsky himself is oblivious to the world a little, when he writes something unlikely to be said loud and clear :

    > Few are likely to pay attention to someone who approaches them by saying, loud and clear: “I don’t care whether you have a slightly better chance to receive
    health care or to support your elderly mother; or whether there will be a physical environment in which your children might have a decent life; or a world in which
    children may escape destruction as a result of the violence that is inspired by the Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz-Cheney-etc. crowd, which could become extreme …”

    I’m not sure that he’s worth reading often but occasionally can dive in and come up with a fish instantly.

  26. The worst thing about Chomsky is he breeds this beating one’s head against the wall hopelessness. The omnipotence attributed to Big Money and the “super-rich” (can’t a professor of linguistics come up with a more elegant way of describing people with fat wallets?) by his followers should make any reasonable person conclude that resistance is futile. Yet instead of shrugging their shoulders and laughing at the folly of it all, they take this Don Quixote like attitude of soldiering on against all odds. The whole phenomenon is very dreary and depressing.

  27. Chomsky uses the phrase, “…intense popular struggle…” in the very first paragraph, and he ends the second paragraph with, “…but continue with their daily work, from which elections are a diversion — which we cannot ignore, any more than we can ignore the sun rising; they exist.”

    I want to get to his logic, but I can’t make it that far. After a phrases like that, I’m already exhausted.

    Damn you Wittgenstein!

  28. Noam Chomsky:
    > People in the more civilized sectors of the world
    (what we call “the third world,” or the “developing countries”)
    often burst out laughing when they witness an election
    in which the choices are two men from very wealthy families
    with plenty of clout in the very narrow political system,
    who went to the same elite university
    and even joined the same secret society
    to be socialized into the manners and attitudes of the rulers,
    and who are able to participate in the election
    because they have massive funding
    from highly concentrated sectors of unaccountable power

  29. John Hensley,
    So they think that without a government there wont be private property?

    But that without a state that I wont want to own my stuff?

    But if I do anyways they wont try to stop me?

  30. People over 35 should be dead.
    Here’s why .
    According to today’s regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, or even maybe the early 70’s probably shouldn’t have survived.
    Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets, … and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets. (Not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking. As children, we would ride in cars with no seatbelts or air bags.
    Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat.
    We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.
    We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing.
    We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this.
    We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then rode down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
    We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the street lights came on.
    No one was able to reach us all day. NO CELL PHONES!!!!!
    We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, video, tape movies, surround sound, personal cell phones, personal computers, or Internet chat rooms.
    We had friends!
    We went outside and found them.
    We played dodge ball, and sometimes, the ball would really hurt.
    We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.
    They were accidents. No one was to blame but us. Remember accidents?
    We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it.
    We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms, and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did the worms live inside us forever.
    We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s home and knocked on the door, or rang the bell or just walked in and talked to them.
    Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment.
    Some students weren’t as smart as others, so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade. Horrors!
    Tests were not adjusted for any reason.
    Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected.
    The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law.
    Imagine that!
    This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever.
    The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
    We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

    People under 30 are WIMPS !

    J. David Saulnier
    BOEING – Philadelphia Materials Engineering
    RAH-66 Comanche Metals Focal

  31. I have to say, Chomsky is not half as annoying as some of his followers. (There was an article about him a while ago in the New Yorker, IIRC, and he came off better than I expected.) I disagree with a lot of stuff he has to say, but that’s a lot better than dealing with the type of people who wield his books like fundamentalist Christians wield the Bible: as long as Chomsky says X, it’s beyond argument. (BTW, I don’t think he’s such a hot linguist, either: I have a degree in anthropology, and I can tell you that in serious linguistic circles, he’s not anything like the rock star he’s perceived as being by others.)

  32. JS:

    Does this: “RAH-66 Comanche Metals Focal”

    mean you are looking for new work? It was a cool concept, but like with the Crusader, I’m not really crying about not spending all that cash.

  33. Linguistics chops aside, I don’t understand the Chomsky cultists. His acolytes scream that he is “the most censored man in America” but he has scads of books in print, from such dangerous fly-by-night outfits as Random House. He’s heard on government subsidized radio on a regular basis, and his talks are on CD and video.

    What makes me most suspicious of him is that he has been writing in support of sterotypically leftist causes all his life. This:


    points out that he wrote an article extolling the republican side in the Spanish Civil War when he was 10 years old! To my mind, he’s a red diaper baby who has never changed his opinions. Quite a difference from the hemp-T-shirt, let’s-shock-the-parentals crew hanging on his every furious green idea!


  34. Mr. Saulnier:

    You had me at “people over 35 should be dead.” No need for the extraneous rhetoric.

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