Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Mess with Noam Chomsky at your peril.

Oh, dear. So right-wing hack Peter Schweizer goes after Noam Chomsky and, for his trouble, gets slapped upside the head.


Simon said...

The trouble with pretty much every goof who tries to argue/pick a fight with Chomsky is that they never fully understand what his point that they're arguing with actually is. He is misquoted and misrepresented ALL OF THE TIME.

For a typical example of how people misunderstand him and misrepresent his positions, here is an excerpt of an article in the Harvard Crimson about a speech Chomsky gave at an Institute of Politics (IOP) policy group:

He argued that the impetus behind the Iraq invasion was not to promote democracy, as the Bush administration claimed. Chomsky instead said that the American government ordered an invasion of Iraq in order to maintain its hegemony against China and to establish a U.S.-friendly puppet government.

“The U.S. wants a clan state like El Salvador,” Chomsky said. “You can call it democracy if you want. People are brainwashed enough to agree.”


The vice president of the IOP student advisory committee, Ari S. Ruben ’08, said that while he respected Chomsky’s intellect, he disagreed with his world view.

“It is not wrong for the U.S. to promote democracy around the world,” he said. “I would have liked for him to say what the U.S. should have done about Saddam Hussein’s atrocities and persistent threat.”

As you can see, this buffoon completely misses the point. Then again, at least he was polite.

Luna said...

You think Chomsky's political work is misunderstood and misrepresented? You ought to see his linguistics! :)

Seriously, as brilliant as the guy is, he really could use an editor to help him be a tad more clear.

Simon said...

Well I agree that he isn't always perfectly clear Luna, though he's been even more careful (and been very repetitive) recently which helps quite a bit. Still, I'm sure that you would agree that would be a poor excuse for misquoting him and engaging in straw man arguments with him.

As an aside, I've tried to read a bit of his linguistics material (or his interviews about linguistics) but I always, quickly find that it's over my head.