Maybe Chomsky’s not so bad after all:
your role as a so-called leader should be to eliminate yourself
He’s still one hell of a pompous windbag though.
UPDATE: And he’s still deluded and self-contradictory too. From the same interview:
Let’s go back to the United States, big complicated society. These studies that I mentioned on public opinion do indicate what people want the government to do, it’s rather striking that on almost every one of those issues, the government doesn’t pay the slightest attention, neither political party. So take the environmental crisis, and we’re kind of like racing toward the abyss, another couple of generations it may be too late to do anything about it. Well the population’s aware of that, so a large majority of the population in the United States wants the US to sign the Kyoto Protocols and to go on with environmental measures. Neither political party will hear of that.
Chomsky represents himself as a “libertarian socialist” (?!) and an anarcho-syndicalist who wants to do away with heirarchies and power structures. Treaties, by their nature, require a coercive government to enforce them. In an anarchy there would be no state to sign the Kyoto Protocols.
The use of force in international affairs is a major issue. The overwhelming majority of the public wants the UN to take the lead, not the United States, wants the United States to join the international criminal court, to follow world court orders. In fact the majority of the population even wants to give up the veto in the Security Council and to follow international opinion on these matters.
…yeah. Maybe in your world, Noam. I sincerely doubt those views are held by the majority of Americans.
*sigh* Why people look to Chomsky as a a brilliant socio-political thinker is a mystery to me.
Anyone actually look up to Chomsky as a brilliant socio-political thinker???
I know I don’t.. and never really have…
Of course.. I think most self-proclaimed “public intellectuals” who think that they have the right to tell everyone else what is right and wrong are most often pompous fuckwads…
he has a cult… who buy his books dutifully (otherwise why would the bookstores stock them?)
Fortunately, most people recognize him for the wingnut he is these days. But there was a time when he garnered great respect in the establishment.
Ummm. No? No, no, no, no, and no.
Good God. I can’t imagine a WORSE way to go than the direction he supposedly thinks everyone wants.
again, my longwinded position of ignorance.
Why people look to Chomsky as a a brilliant socio-political thinker is a mystery to me.
because most of us AREN’T socio-political thinkers. an intelligent guy (BRILLIANT linguist) starts spouting stuff, that kind of argrees with our youthful discontent, and suddenly he’s the source of wisdom. i’m sorry to report that most of us DON’T know about 99.99% of what’s going on with our country, how it fits into our history, precedents, foreign histories, etc. and a big part of us frankly don’t want to know. but if we don’t feel we’re getting what we want, and don’t have the time or zeal to get that masters in political science, we’ll simply read, listen to, and buy whatever voice is preaching what we’d like to hear. and there it is.
and when it comes down to “contradictory views”, i’ll stand to his defence a little bit. (i saw one “leftist” documentary he produced, and am NO expert on the man.) for instance, when i was a teenager and really zealous about politics and other such things, i had a strong belief: “America has strayed vastly from the constitution! get back to the roots, return power to the states… and then i’ll move to Europe.” there’s a large difference between what i believe should be, and what i’m capable of accomplishing in the present system. feel free to think me a fool, but i call myself a “social monarchist” these days. (i haven’t written my manifesto yet.) now, that’s NOT going to be happening to America any time in the foreseeable future, so in the meantime i’ll vote on what i feel strongly about, complain about what bugs me, and urge people to consider my point of view.
his “social libertarian” is probably as hackneyed as my political stance, but is an ideal he has. he knows that’s not going to happen, though he’ll encourage it, like all the other libertarians and anarchists, and on the other side communists and nazis, will support their radically different systems. and in the meantime, he’ll encourage legislation in the current republic that is compatible with his socio-political feelings. just like any of us who haven’t stamped either “Republican” or “Democrat” onto our foreheads.
no, he’s not a brilliant socio-political mind. but as an intelligent American who doesn’t follow politics religiously, i’m sure it’s not unusual that i CAN’T think of a single name that qualifies for that. just like no one outside of the computer scene would put any meaning to the names esr or rms. and keeping in that line, people who listen to computer news know only two people: Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. hardly posterboys for an objective discussion on the future and role of computers in modern society… but the casual user will hang on their every word. so is it with Noam.
Chomsky fans are like the users who “know enough to be dangerous”, if you get my IT lingo. 😉 they’re not idiots; they’re just not as passionate.
Sorry, gotta diagree with der_m for one huge reason:
When you begin making statements about what the American people (or country) *want*, you have to be damned sure that you know what you are talking about.
Being brilliant doesn’t mean I agree with you, (Hah!) but if you’re going to start making statements about what I, my family, and my friends are generally thinking, you’re immediately going to fall under close scrutiny. Chomsky does a nice face plant on this one, and to be honest, I don’t know anyone who thinks of him as a brilliant socio-political thinker. Linguist, yes–but not much more than that.
What he fails to account for is that while the majority of Americans may want to put more emphasis on the environment, the majority of Americans also want this to occur in such a manner as to not be an inconvienence. Let us see a politician propose a dollar-a-gallong gas tax in order to conserve energy. It is sound environmental policy, but it would likely never get the support of the common people. I’m already peturbed that it takes more then 20 dollars to fill up my little saturn every week.
I don’t think people look up to him so much as a brilliant socio-political thinker as a brilliant rhetorician. Regardless of where you stand politically, his rhetoric is moving. . .if not always 100% in touch with reality as you point out.
And his linguistic theories have pretty much shaped the entire discipline for the past two decades at least. Not that that has anything to do with politics 😉
I have an entire rant of my own about the Kyoto protocol, but lets just say for now that not-signing that piece of crap is probably the one thing Bush has done that I agree with.
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