September 10, 2009

Noam Chomsky

In 2005, in a contest conducted by the magazines Foreign Policy and Prospect, readers voted Noam Chomsky the world’s top intellectual. To an American, this can seem surprising, since Chomsky is a distinctly marginalized figure in U.S. mainstream discourse.

He's popular on the left, but these days Chomsky is barely more popular in media-dominant neoliberal and neoconservative circles than is, say, Paul Gottfried. I can recall reading long articles by Chomsky in the LA Times in 1975-76 denouncing the Ford Administration for giving the greenlight to Indonesia to take over the decolonized Portuguese colony of East Timor (which look prescient in retrospect), but it doesn't appear that the LA Times has published anything by Chomsky in the last three years.

Still, a not implausible dual case can be made for Chomsky’s importance:

- As a scientist-philosopher, his work in linguistics going back to the late 1950s in which he attacked the dominant behaviorist assumptions of the time and implied the existence of a human language instinct had a crucial liberating effect on science, marking the return to a more realistic balance between nurture and nature.

- The ascent of America to the status of world's only superpower over the last 20 years just makes Chomsky's relentless critique of American foreign policy that much more relevant. Americans like to think of the U.S. as the plucky underdog, but, these days, we're the overdog.

Moreover, Chomsky’s negative critique of American foreign policy isn't much weighted down by his positive ideology -- which his former colleague Steven Pinker calls a sort of romantic left anarchism, epitomized briefly by the kind of spontaneously forming local workers’ collectives that Orwell saluted in Homage to Catalonia -- which seems too quaint to take seriously as a threatening alternative.

To this, I might add that Chomsky’s functional prose style probably doesn’t lose much in translation. And, of course, his default anti-Americanism is popular with non-Americans and unpopular with Americans.

Chomsky’s perspective on American foreign policy is, roughly, that nothing much has changed over the last century since, say, the Taft Administration. Just as Washington pushed around Latin American banana republics a century ago for the benefit of American business interests, so Washington pushes around the rest of the world today, and for similar reasons.

Chomsky’s standpoint is helpful. After all, if the U.S. found it rational to behave like that in the pre-ideological age of the early 20th Century, why wouldn’t it also behave like that in the post-ideological age of the early 21st Century? We know a lot about how Great Powers traditionally act, so why should all that knowledge be useless today?

At minimum, I would argue (Chomsky, of course, argues much more), the Greatest Power throws its weight around to dissuade Lesser Powers from throwing their weight around. Yet, even that it is seldom admitted in the neolib-neocon-dominated mainstream media. Instead, American muscle-flexing is due to the threat posed by Taliban sexism or whatever.

There is one successful alternative model to the Washington Consensus of globalist capitalism: what might be called "national capitalism," which worked well in East Asia. For that matter, tariff-protected national development worked well a century and more ago both in the Robber Barons' America and in Bismarck's Germany, which Chomsky often points out. To take a random example, here's a 2007 Harvard Crimson article where he sounds like a more politically correct Pat Buchanan:
Asserting that the U.S. had high tariff levels up through the 1950s, Chomsky attacked today’s global economic system for having served to transfer wealth from developing nations to the developed world.

He argued that the West had grown rich by relying on tariffs and industrial policy, and that whatever economic growth the developing world had seen following World War II had resulted from their use of similar protectionist trade policies.

“When these measures were banned during the neoliberal period of the 1970s, growth rates in the developing world decreased dramatically,” Chomsky said.

He said that if African nations want to achieve higher rates of economic growth, they should “look to the East Asian Tigers in the 70s and 80s, who expanded economically by violating the [World Trade Organization] rules.”

Still, Chomsky's can't get too excited about the success of, say, Samsung because of his old-fashioned quasi-Titoist workers' collectivist ideology. He worked on an Israeli kibbutz as a youth (where he was disturbed by the pro-Stalinist sympathies), and he remains, in some ways, The Last Kibbutznik.

In the mid-1980s, the South Korean Hyundai and the Yugoslavian Yugo both went on sale in the U.S. The Hyundai was bad, but not as awful as the Yugo. You'll notice that Hyundai is still around but the not the Yugo (nor Yugoslavia, either). Chomsky's economic theory is the Yugo of ideologies.

Nevertheless, you don't have to be a great fashion designer yourself to point out that the emperor has no clothes.

On the other hand, Chomsky can be rather naive about American power. Although he denies it, he often sounds rather like the tsk-tsking twin brother of advocates of "realist" foreign policy who overly reify Great Powers as if each were a single person playing the game of Risk. This was convenient simplification in, say, the days of Louis XIV ("L'etat, c'est moi"), but it's a misleading way to think about the shambling way foreign policy comes about in contemporary America. In Chomsky's mind, the real power is always "the multinational corporations," even in situations like the Iraq Attaq where the oil companies were unenthusiastic.

In Chomsky's view, for example, the American imperial dog must be wagging the Israeli tail for self-interested economic reasons of state -- any alternatives are too ridiculous to consider. Hence, Chomsky often sounds like Testing 99 / Whiskey / Evil Neocon, credulously repeating neocon talking points about how Israel must be highly useful to America: Israel is America's "cop on the beat" in the Middle East, etc.

You've got to admit that the Israeli tail wagging the American dog would be pretty ridiculous. What's even more ridiculous is the reality that so much of American foreign policy is influenced less by Israelis, who, after all, at least tend to be well-informed and clear-eyed about their own interests, but, as Francis Fukuyama pointed out when Charles Krauthammer accused him of anti-Semitism in 2005, by Israeli wannabes!

Chomsky's views on the evolution of Jewish opinion are insightful:
And you can date the beginning of the enthusiastic support for Israel in the culture pretty well, since 1967. Before 1967, the intellectual community was skeptical about Israel or uninterested in it. That changed.

If you look at Norman Podhoretz's book Making It, a kind of self-advertisement that came out in 1967, there is barely a mention of Israel. ...

That's when you start getting concern about the Holocaust. Before that, when people could have actually done something for Holocaust victims -- say, in the late 1940s -- they didn't do anything. That changed after 1967. Now you have Holocaust museums all over the country. It's the biggest issue, and you have to study it everywhere, mourn it. But not when you could have done something about it.

The Occam's Razor explanation for the change in Jewish-American attitudes in 1967 is that everybody loves a winner. Just as I haven't invested much of my ego in the sad fortunes of the Rice Owls college football team over the years since I graduated from Rice (but I did get interested last year when they went 10-3!), American Jews didn't invest much of their egos in Israel while it was in danger of getting crushed. Once the Jewish State was no longer at risk of defeat, however, Jewish-American egos got tied up in its continued dominance. After 1967, Israel became for many American Jews what the Notre Dame football team had been for American Catholics.

For Chomsky, however, it's always about the military-industrial complex, the oil companies, and class, and not about ethnicity:
There was a lingering concern that the Arabs might want to use the [oil] wealth of the region for their population, not for Western wealth and power, with a little bit raked off for the gangsters that run the countries. That's a major threat.

Okay ...
So, Israel smashed Nasser and destroyed the threat of secular nationalism. ... That's a major threat. Israel finished that, which firmed up the U.S.-Israeli alliance and led to a very quick change.

But, Chomsky's logic doesn't make sense on realpolitik grounds even on a simple post hoc, ergo propter hoc basis: the logical time for a U.S.-Israel alliance against Nasser would have been before Nasser was humiliated, not afterwards. For example, the U.S. and the Soviet Union were close allies when fighting Hitler, then diverged sharply after he was defeated. That's logical. The post-1967 American Jewish love affair with Israel isn't logical, it's emotional.

Now, you could make the argument that in 1969 Richard Nixon conspired with his chief advisors, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Henry Kissinger, to portray Israel as central to the Cold War to persuade some American Jews to be more pro-American and anti-Soviet, which indeed paid off with the rise of neoconservatism. But that doesn't have much to do with oil companies, so I doubt if Chomsky's much interested in it.

In summary, Chomsky has obvious obsessions that weaken his logic, but he remains a bracing controversialist.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

155 comments:

wintermute said...

America's foreign policy has less to do with the fact that so many highly influential people in Washington and New York, like Krauthammer, think about Israel and its welfare all the time, as to the fact that it has become extremely dangerous to one's career to point out that they do.

Are we dealing with two facts here, or one?

That is to say, are the people who think about Israel and its welfare all time unattached - ethnically, financially, organizationally - from the people who make it 'extremely dangerous' to point out certain things?

I think the first group has an awful lot to say about what goes into the news cycle and who is an unperson, etc. We won't go into questions of funding and defunding now. But your account of the formation of public opinion above, is disingenuous.


The Occam's Razor explanation is that everybody loves a winner.

This is a bad analogy. It might be better to think of a mother in a preindustrial society who doesn't become overly attached to children who haven't displayed viability. See Sarah Blaffer Hrdy's work for details. Zionism has always been a controversial strategy among Jews, even before there was a national Israel.

For Chomsky, however, it's always about the military-industrial complex, the oil companies, and class, and not about ethnicity:

This is how MacDonald would predict a Jewish intellectual would engage in aggression against a host society. There's a reason that Chomsky is not an unperson.

Now, you could make the argument that in 1969 Richard Nixon conspired with his chief advisors, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Henry Kissinger, to portray Israel as central to the Cold War to persuade some American Jews to be more pro-American and anti-Soviet, which indeed happened with the rise of neoconservatism.

You could make the argument, but it would be a very weak one. Neoconservatives abandoned Trotskyism (apparently) when the Soviet Union went south irretrievably as a vehicle for Jewish power.

You don't even have to be neoconservative: Susan Sontag turned on the Soviet Union about the same time that the neocons did, namely, when it became apparent that as a vehicle of Jewish power, an instrument of the world revolution, and as a object of messianic longing, it was totally useless to them.

Susan was somewhat late the the party - her famous "Reader's Digest" speech was given in 1982. So ethnic defection from the the ideals of the Soviet Union were in full swing by that point. The rage and disappointment at the failure of the Soviet project can be traced in the work of Tony Kushner, for those who are interested.

In summary, Chomsky has his obsessions that weaken his logic, but he remains a bracing analyst.

His 'obsessions' are not random mental tics. This formulation is also disingenous.

Of course, if you think Chomsky is not motivated by ethnicity, you are free to say that out loud (I think).

Chomsky grossly misrepresents the structure of political power and the formation of foreign policy in the United States, whitewashes Israel by laying all their crimes at the door of Americans, and foments rabid anti-American sentiment. He is practically a self-authoring appendix to The Culture of Critique.

I think his closest analogue is Anne Applebaum, who has relentlessly de-Semitized the gulag to the plaudits of the chattering/ ruling classes.

I find both writers 'bracing analysts' as do you, but for different reasons I suppose.

Edward said...

I get the argument. It's not bad. If we're looking for a logical explanation I guess we're left with the idea that maybe Israel is being employed as a deflector shield?

Make the the world mad at Israel, you'll make the world less mad than they otherwise would be at you. Since the West doesn't really want to fight any more you might think they'd quite like to hide behind something.

Yeah, 9/11 was bad, and America is commonly thought to be LESS popular because of Israel, but who knows, perhaps something like that would have happened earlier, and without the Israeli lightning rod to deflect hate, America would be even popular? Unprovable.

(This is an alternative that I just made up to be contrary.)

Anonymous said...

Steve --

I used to be under Chomsky's spell.

The number one biggest problem with both his work and that of Howard Zinn is that they have completely airbrushed the Soviet Union out of the 20th century.

They make it seem as if the US was just randomly funding right-wing resistance in Latin America (the real "death squads" were of course the communists), rather than very rationally attempting to prevent the Soviet Union from taking over more countries (like Cuba) in which they could base nuclear missiles pointed at the US.

Their treatment of Vietnam is similar. The Vietnam war wasn't the "US vs. Vietnam", it was the American South Vietnamese proxy vs. the Russian/Chinese North Vietnamese proxy. North Vietnam on their own would have been nothing without Soviet and Chinese armaments and aircraft -- just like the mujahideen a decade later would have been nothing against the Soviets without the Stinger missile.

Essentially they take the USSR out of the equation. Don't take my word for it, just look at their books on Amazon and see how many times they mention the actions of the USSR and the Comintern. Things like Venona, Samuel Dickstein, Alger Hiss, etc. are just are completely whitewashed away from their tendentious (and might I add, ethnically self-interested) view of history.

Add to this the anti-capitalist ideology that he layers over his trustafarianism:

http://www.hoover.org/publications/digest/2912626.html

When I challenged Chomsky about his trust, he suddenly started to sound very bourgeois: “I don’t apologize for putting aside money for my children and grandchildren,” he wrote in one e-mail. Chomsky offered no explanation for why he condemns others who are equally proud of their provision for their children and who try to protect their assets from Uncle Sam. Although he did say that the tax shelter is okay because he and his family are “trying to help suffering people.”

Bottom line is that Chomsky and Zinn are just like Uncle Timmy Wise, Paul Krugman, Arthur Miller, and the rest of the crew. Their whole shtick is to decry American militarism and capitalism while enriching themselves via the capitalist system.

Just modern updating of the Borgias, they are promoting the state religion of PC, nothing more, nothing less. Chomsky is slightly out of fashion as a left-deviationist today, but he is *far* from a Gottfried figure. When he's spoken of, he's mostly treated respectfully.


(PS: the logic of blowback as *condemnation* never made much sense. Exactly why would the Afghans be justified in hating us for helping them break free from the Soviet yoke?)

l said...

Seems like there was at least a couple year stretch (during W's years in the White House) that I couldn't log into my Hotmail account each day without finding an e-mail from one of my 'progressive' friends with a link to an article from Chomsky, or Arundhati Roy, or Howard Zinn, etc., denouncing American imperialism.

Then the Democrats got back control of congress in 2006, followed by Obama's becoming prez with a filibuster-proof majority. The mood changed. My 'progressive' friends don't want to hear about the US gov't being an oppressor. They want to give the gov't more power. Chomsky's anarchism is outre among the smart set now.

Anonymous said...

Chomsky’s negative critique of American foreign policy isn't much weighted down by his positive ideology

It's not much weighed down by facts or logic, either. Why even bother reading, much less addressing, his predictable, inane leftist diatribes?

nostrol said...

Great post Steve!


Chomsky often sounds like Testing 99 / Whiskey / Evil Neocon

Everybody head for the bunkers!

Anonymous said...

" Just as I haven't invested much of my ego in the sad fortunes of the Rice Owls college football team over the years since I graduated from Rice (but I did get interested last year when they went 10-3!), American Jews didn't invest much of their egos in Israel while it was in danger of getting crushed. Once the Jewish State was no longer at risk of defeat, however, Jewish-American egos got tied up in its continued dominance. After 1967, Israel became for many American Jews what the Notre Dame football team had been for American Catholics."



That is one hell of an insight. Ive never thought of that in that manner. BTW---Chomsky, for all I disagree with the guy, is one polite and mannerly fellow. He has always seemed soft spoken and respectful whenever Ive seen him. I laud that, even in an ideological opposite.


BTW2-Roll Tide.

l said...

Jews broadly reject the idea that the US got suckered into fighting Israel's enemies by Israel-firsters in the US gov't, the media, academia. Saying so is antisemetic, they say.

http://jta.org/news/article/2009/09/09/1007740/jewish-leaders-converge-on-dc-for-iran-advocacy-day

svimute staaflgoy said...

Chomsky is a Jew promotng the Jewish Agenda™ while pretending to be a Leftist.

Acilius said...

"Chomsky often sounds like Testing 99 / Whiskey / Evil Neocon"

If Whiskey were a woman, I'd be married for sure.

Well, okay, I am married, and Whiskey isn't really my favorite, but I love that line.

Evil Sandmich said...

Kooks like Chomsky did more to help along the Iraq war than Bush. On one hand you had had the Bush administration making and OK technical push for the war (I would now concede that a non-zero percent of it was...not correct), and on the other side you had Chomsky and his rabble crew saying that the Iraq war is wrong because America is evil. Level headed critics like Brent Scowcroft were marginalized.

Mr. Anon said...

Chomsky belongs to the world of yesteryear, like SALT treaties and WIN buttons, and.........anything before about the year 2000.

We now live in a world that will be more like A.D. 476 than A.D. 1976. Gibbon is a better guide to the shambling mess that is the American Empire than Chomsky is.

He should be put up in a museum somewhere - in a diorama of an MIT faculty lounge.

dearieme said...

"Richard Nixon conspired ... to portray Israel as central to the Cold War to persuade some American Jews to be more pro-American and anti-Soviet": strong talk, Mr Sailer. Have you got evidence, or are you just suggesting that as a hypothesis?

Guts Strongman said...

Strong essay, although the final paragraph felt like a bit of a cop-out. 8/10.

The nice thing about Noam Chomsky is that he is so ripe for parody. Want to know why the sun comes up? Simple: the greed multi-national corporations are wagging the dog, and they have been since 1923, and Chomsky has been saying so since 1968, and only now are the warpigs starting to listen.

Fred said...

Interesting essay, but this part doesn't seem right:

"And you can date the beginning of the enthusiastic support for Israel in the culture pretty well, since 1967. Before 1967, the intellectual community was skeptical about Israel or uninterested in it."

The creation of Israel was almost universally supported by American Jews and by non-Jews and Jews on the left in the late 1940s. After 1967, much of the left started bailing on Israel, along with a small but steadily increasing trickle of lefty Jews. Today, support for Israel is stronger and more widespread among non-Jewish Red Staters than it is among American Jews, by a long shot.

Also, this,

"Before that, when people could have actually done something for Holocaust victims -- say, in the late 1940s -- they didn't do anything."

Is false. My father, for example, a Holocaust survivor, was warmly welcomed by American Jews, including Jewish servicemen he originally met in Occupied Germany, and remained friends with for the rest of his life. They did plenty for him initially, as did their parents who welcomed him as they would their own son. Similar help was offered numerous other survivors.

At the time, there were many more tangible ways to offer support to individual survivors, because there were many more survivors living and in need of it. The impetus for museums and such didn't stir until decades later, probably not until Yad Vashem was founded in Israel in the early 1980s.

ricpic said...

One greatest power is just like another, huh? Ask yourself what a world under the dominion of greatest power Soviet Union would be like as opposed to a world under the dominion of greatest power America. If that doesn't throw cold water on your praise of Chomsky's knee jerk anti-Americanism you are severely out of touch.

Luke Lea said...

Chomsky's relentless anti-Americanism is what turns me off. He knows everything that is (supposedly) wrong with America but (almost) never mentions what is right. But when pressed he did one time admit that this was "the best country in the world."

Dutch Boy said...

A more plausible explanation for the post-1967 Holocaust industry is that Israel was beginning to lose its underdog status and the moral legitimacy that goes with it. Throw in the oppression of the Palestinians and they had a real problem. The solution: guilt! Suddenly every none-Jew was culpable for the Nazi crimes (even Pope Pius XII who had been lauded for his rescue efforts and the Swiss who had stayed out of the fray). This strategy should have been preposterous but the Jews made it work by their control of American culture and discourse. Nobody is safe from these smears [especially Jewish critics ("self-hating Jews")].

testing99 said...

Steve --

Chomsky IS popular in Hollywood, for example a poster of him was featured in a character's apartment in "Gilmore Girls" which had pretensions to arty-intellectualism.

Second, Chomsky no longer believes Israel should exist, and opposed any retaliation for 9/11 and the 1991 Gulf War and Iraq War.

Third, Nixon's shift to Israel was part of the inexorable conflict between the Arabist State Department and Cold War realities -- Egypt and Syria were Soviet Satellites. If we wished to counter their military and other influence in the region the only realistic alternative was Israel. Kennedy started shifting that way, followed by Johnson. Nixon's step was evolutionary not revolutionary: Johnson for example winked at France's supplying Israel with nuclear technology.

DID Israel's alliance with the US bring benefits? Yes: in the form of critical human intel (the US has/had few spies inside Egypt, Syria, and Saddam's Iraq). Also, a useful proxy for engaging in Iranian adventurism in Lebanon, Soviet allied Egypt, Iran allied Syria (think Israel's hitting the North Korean-Iranian nuclear weapons plant in Syria) and so on. Perhaps the key element being US restrictions on Israeli actions, particularly nuclear strikes. You might debate the relative value of these advantages but they do exist.

At any rate, it's a moot point because Obama has thrown the Israeli alliance away -- only 4% of Israelis believe he is pro-Israeli, and most observers are convinced the Israelis will stage a surprise strike on Iran, perhaps even nuclear. Small nations facing extinction by large ones now have an "equalizer" that 1939 Poland did not: nukes.

Bob said...

I think you are wrong that the oil companies were not 100% behind the Iraq invasion. Obviously they CEO of Exxon is not going to be calling in to Rush Limbaugh and calling for blood, however:

Every time bombs get dropped on middle east countries oil prices rise and they make more money.

The oil cos are the biggest funders along with defense contractors of the big pro-war think tanks like AEI/Heritage/CEI.

Iraq was a problem for them because in the Clinton years Iraqi production was slowly rising. Not only was that holding down prices, but they didn't have their fingers in the production.

Finally, who was behind the Iraq war more than anyone? And what was the previous job title of the former VP? Oil Company CEO.

Notice the right-wing media is always advocating for an invasion or bombing of Venezuela and Iran. This too would goose oil company profits.

testing99 said...

Let me add that both Chomsky and Pat Buchanon make critical errors in describing US foreign policy: that of "morality" stemming from an idealized American isolationism that never existed. Examples being the War of 1812 and the occupation of Washington DC by British troops.

Buchanon (like fellow reactionary Gore Vidal) hates the growth of government and the military-defense complex required to defeat Hitler and Japan. Chomsky hates the military-defense complex required to deter Soviet nuclear attack, and both are deaf, dumb, and blind to the changing circumstances of the end of the Cold War.

No longer is there a massive and unitary enemy threatening a catastrophic nuclear strike to wipe out the entire US. BUT ... nuclear proliferation to weak/fractured states raises the risk of "deniable" strikes by essentially, tribal entities seeking not to destroy the US but "count coup" and so raise exile armies aimed at various third party nations, chief among them the vulnerable House of Saud.

Neither Buchanon nor Chomsky (both of whom have essentially "blamed" the US for 9/11 on "moral grounds") have the intellectual willingness to see the failure of the MAD structure of deterrence that worked against the USSR wrt Pakistan, Iran, and other proliferating nations. This is perhaps understandable, GWB failed to articulate this, or really understand it, and the Democratic Party has embraced strategic unicorns and rainbows as a defense system. Yet the paradox remains: by making the threat against the US non-existential (but still substantial -- imagine the cost of a dead NYC), deterrence requires CREDIBLE threats to tribal decision makers, and MORE not less intervention, US military action, and carrying out of threats generally.

In the Cold War, it did not matter if we lost Vietnam or not, because the Soviet Union was well aware in it's command structure that the US nuclear arsenal was robust and capable of massive retaliation should they attack. In the post-Cold War, most "small" US adversaries, most of them tribal based, believe they can get away with almost any attack because the US lacks the will to retaliate in any meaningful way. Raising the risk of constant escalating attacks until the US is FORCED (to protect it's remaining cities) to engage in massive retaliation.

When Saddam was pulled from his spider-hole, and later hung, the message to tribal leaders was clear: constant, decades long thumbing your nose at the US had consequences. Not the least of which was that all the Saddam-backed tribal leaders lost considerable power and control, facing suddenly much more powerful tribal enemies.

What neither Buchanon nor Chomsky advocating a "moral" isolationism can comprehend is how technology's diffusion to even failed tribal states requires more not less expensive deterrence by the US, aimed directly at tribal decision-makers, because the threshold for action is low (i.e. tribal leaders do not believe that the destruction of NYC would bring their own and their people's death swiftly).

Anonymous said...

My impression of Chomsky is that he is the sort of intellectual who knows he can say any dumb-ass thing he wants any time he wants, because he knows he will always be clever enough to win the ensuing argument. I got this impression watching him on TV just before the 2004 election, when he casually asserted that George Bush was probably planning on capturing Osama bin Laden right before the election. After all, the U.S. military knew pretty much where he was (the mountains of Pakistan), so of course they could pick him up him whenever they wanted. He gave the impression of being dead serious!

Just as entertaining was a Nigerian who shared the stage with him, and who, in a different context, remarked that "of course diversity is good for America, but it's not good for Africa!"

testing99 said...

Let me add that I am surprised Steve that you are running this on 9/11 of all days. A day that showed decisively the neo-isolationism practiced by Clinton, GWB, and endorsed by both Left and Right (Bush ran on the idea that a "humble" US would not engage in even the minor stuff in Haiti and the Balkans that Clinton engaged in) was a failure.

Bin Laden did not attack the US because of Jews, Israel, or anything else of that nature. He's a Yemeni-extraction Saudi, and wants to rule Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden attacked because he thought he could do so with relative impunity, and use the attack to raise more money and men, and influence in Saudi.

What lessons remain from 9/11 was that it could have been far worse. Fewer people evacuated, Flight 93 flown into the Capitol or the White House, or even a different mode of attack. Pakistan has more than 100 nukes, and growing, most of them stored as far away from India as possible, in the tribal zones of Swat and other Taliban held areas.

Anonymous said...

there is a clip on u tube somewhere in which Chomsky claims with his marvelously blistering irony and aplomb that the doctrine of racial equality is the ideology of global corporate capitalism, which wants everyone to be interchangeable and functioning cogs in their machine.

wonderful stuff!!

american fez said...

Chomsky is a terrible media personality. I'm sure this must also contribute to his unpopularity. He comes across as bored and condescending when interviewed, as if the meat of his argument should be obvious even to a child. In fact, when discussing America's foreign policy he sounds rather like a disgruntled Jack Sprat reciting his wife's shopping list.

Niles said...

I think Chimpsky is a man of principle. It just so happens that 95% of his are wrong.

Tino said...

It’s one thing to say countries can develop with (medium) tarrifs, as long as they have large domestic economies, a skilled popultion and free markets (after all, it's more important to be able to trade within the country than with outsiders).

It’s a completely different claim to say that low tarrifs somehow

“transfer[s] wealth from developing nations to the developed world.”

So say Africa, Central America or Yemen are poor because we take the enormous amounts of wealth they produce! African workers produce the wealth, and then somehow magically free trade transports it to the US, leaving the US rich, and the third world poor.

If your tool for economic analysis is postmodern linguism, this theory makes complete sense.

It’s also one thing to argue against aggressive foreign policy, and another to morally ascribe every genocide and third world violation of human rights to the US. That’s the core of Chomskyism, and it is equally stupid.

The central tendency is to deny that the problems of the third world are internal, and find an external (western) factor to blame, regardless of how flimsy the association is. Tribal conflicts, going on for 2000 years? US fault. You see, the US has an embassy in country X, and is promoting the conflict, to get access to the vast tar resources of the oppressed tribe, worth up to 10 million dollars.

Hacienda said...

Saw Chomsky give an address at UCLA in 1986, where he was a figure of awe. And he earned it, his command of facts was encyclopedic and logic was diamond clear. I've only seen two people in real life whose talent impressed me so- Chomsky and Tiger Woods. So, he's now in his 80s, and his razor mind has clearly been blunted (see any recent video on Youtube and compare to his undressing of William Buckley.)
Which raises a point here that's largely ignored on ISteve. That is talent. Individual talent over group talent. US corporations, universities only succeed to the extent they can attract talent better than or at least equal to the best that's out there. I think what Chomsky and people really hate about the corporation is the unnatural accumulation of power through capital and all of its distortionary effects. Talent, people respect.

stari_momak said...

Great, even handed treatment. I think there is more room for this sort of thing -- and of course the old American Conservative did quite a bit of it -- I am not sure it does the same under Utz.

If I were to do something similar, it would be for Malcolm X. There is a great video on youtube where Malcolm explains to some beefy Irishman why he uses X as his name. He explains his history has been stolen from him. And at that time, he was correct -- you don't have to buy into the wild Afrocentrist claims to understand why the man wanted his own people and their history to be recognized.

As white folks' history gets airbrushed from our textbooks, as Bataan is replaced by Manzanar, as Johnny Tremaine is ousted by Anne Frank, I can certainly related to old Malcolm.

Tino said...

Explaining the global divide without touching on the truth is
Chomskyism is basically a denial theory for the horrible immoral idea which has crossed the mind of every 15 year old westerner, that the problems of poor countries might be internal. Somehow you HAVE TO find an external explanation, regardless of how bizarre it is.
It’s not that the west has better people, better culture. That would make you a Nazi. You see, the west is rich because of exploitation! (and war and ethnic conflict is due to America manipulates them to get their resources.)
As such Chomskyism is a reaction to pre-WW2 conservatism (and common sense), in offering a sophisticated alternative theory for the most glaring fact about the world, that why we are rich and free and they are not. In order not to get too close to forbidden toughs you need an alternative explanation, preferably one as far away from the truth as possible. In comes Chomskyism, which is Lennin+postmodernism.
The modern free market response, working within allowed parameters, is to say that the West is rich because we have free trade and free markets. Since this is only half the truth, you get a constant bickering about meaningless details (how much free trade did South Korea really have in the 1960s).

Recently the vague concept of “institutions” have become popular as an alternative explanation. This doesn’t get us close to the truth, but is good since people feel they have understood the problem without being forced to become anti-american.

milam command said...

Thank you for the most balanced and illuminating perspective on Chomsky that I've ever read. I hate him incrementally less than I did before your post.

p.s. Your recent output has been amazing. [Tip jar rattles.]

Anonymous said...

Wow, Steve, that's a fine analysis of Chomsky's schtick. My thougths exactly, except never so well put!

Larry, San Francisco said...

3 things about Chomsky.
1. His anti-americanism makes him an apologist for appalling regimes (he has basically shrugged off the Cambodian holocaust and other truly evil communist regimes blaming their excesses on the US).
2. Aligned with that is his belief (with most leftists) that if America is no longer the super power, everything will get better especially human rights. I guess the evidence for that is a little thin since the rise of China and their support of Burma, North Korea and their latest ally Sri Lanka has not improved the respect for human life in those three countries.
Although Kissinger's realpolitik policies were appalling and had generally negative consequences for the US (i.e. support of the Shah), the neocon flavored policies of the Reagan years were, on average, better ethically and politically. I remember my Sandalista friends telling me how there was going to be mass slaughter in central america if Reagan won reelection. Instead, of course there was a settlement followed by elections. In the third world we actually managed to help turn South Korea, Taiwan and the Phillipines from authoritarian to more democratic countries. Sadly the neocons went wrong when they thought they could do something similar in the mideast.
3. Open access to the US market has done more to relieve 3rd world poverty than any other proposal. The proportion of the world that is really poor has fallen dramatically in the last 20 years. One can argue that its effect on poorer Americans has been generally negative, potentially lowering wages but it also lowered prices too. Any negative effects might have been mitigated if our elites actually followed policies that helped poor people (like being tougher on immigration,etc.).

albertosaurus said...

Skinner rocked my world. I remember reading Science and Human Behavior and feeling the universe I knew wobble. Then I read Chomsky and promptly dismissed Skinnerism altogether.

I've never had such a big flip flop before or since. So I was anxious to read some of Chomsky's other ideas. Alas I've never been able to take anything else besides his critique of behaviorism seriously. He simply sounds like a kook.

The human condition has been described as observing the external world as a buzzing confusion. Man tries to fashion some sense in such a world. He tries to distinguish a few patterns in the seeming chaos.

People like Chomsky (ideologues) have an easier time of it. They see the pattern (conspiracy) at once. They don't have doubts, partial insights or tentative convictions. They see the answer clearly in all situations. But of course it's always the same answer.

James B. Shearer said...

In summary, Chomsky has obvious obsessions that weaken his logic, but he remains a bracing controversialist.

Interestingly the same could be said if we replace "Chomsky" with "Sailer".

Anonymous said...

"Instead, American muscle-flexing is due to the threat posed by Taliban sexism or whatever."
Boy did you pick a stupid day to make such a stupid statement.

rob said...

Totally off topic.

Steve, I'm surprised you haven't said anything about Caster Semenya. It seems the issues are all very Steveopherian, what with the intersection between race, sports, and sex, and the ways people think of them. Blacks upset because so many whites think black women look like men, feminists claiming that women need separate events, but unwilling to have a definition of female. It should just be so up your alley.

Anonymous said...

A little off-topic, but the Financial Times has a new piece about Herb and Marion Sandler:


Golden couple refuse to shoulder blame
By Saskia Scholtes in New York
Published: September 9 2009 18:36
Financial Times via Google News
[you don't need a subscription if Google is the HTTP referrer]

...Golden West mortgages were structured with 10-year introductory periods and allowed borrowers to borrow up to 125 per cent of the original loan. Other lenders structured option ARMs with a five-year introductory period and reduced the loan limit to 110 per cent of the original mortgage.

These differences, the Sandlers claim, helped to minimise payment shocks for borrowers when their loans reset to new interest rates, thus helping to keep losses lower. This is because the 10-year introductory period should, in principle, allow borrowers enough time to increase incomes, benefit from house price appreciation or weather the interest rate cycle...



In other words, the Sandlers included just enough extra elbow room in their liar loans so that the loans wouldn't be defaulted on until after Wachovia had swallowed the bait.

PS: A low bandwidth version of the SNL skit is still available here.

Marc B said...

I appreciate and respect Noam Chomsky, and have not only read several of his tomes, but I was fortunate enough to hear many of his lectures and interviews on the Boulder, CO community radio station (David Barsamian, Chomsky's chief chronicler, was the station director in the late 1980's). He is among the best and most detailed writer I have ever read. His media sources are meticulously footnoted and backed up with both declassifed and redacted documents.

He is of no use for the Neo Liberals because he has principles, and is likely to be just as critical of Democratic politicians and administrations as he is to Republicans, sometimes harsher because he feels liberals should know better.

The crux of my disagreement with Chomsky is not with his information, but his conclusions. His prescription is for all that ails is a socialist libertarianism that makes little sense, a drastic reduction in the Western standard of living, and his standard issue secular Jewish intellectual antipathy for the USA and almost all Western European populations. He also believes humans have an innate desire for freedom, while I see a world full of people looking for a strong leader give them orders.

Reactionary said...

Let me add that I am surprised Steve that you are running this on 9/11 of all days. A day that showed decisively the neo-isolationism practiced by Clinton, GWB, and endorsed by both Left and Right (Bush ran on the idea that a "humble" US would not engage in even the minor stuff in Haiti and the Balkans that Clinton engaged in) was a failure.

Bullshit. Not when we have military bases and intelligence operations all over the world with their fingers in everything, simultaneous with open borders and laws that say nationals from problematic Islamic states are as entitled to enter the US and travel on airplanes as anybody else.

Steve D. said...

"As white folks' history gets airbrushed from our textbooks, as Bataan is replaced by Manzanar, as Johnny Tremaine is ousted by Anne Frank, I can certainly related to old Malcolm."

How can Johnny Tremain be ousted by Anne Frank? He's in the fiction stacks, and she's in non-fiction. And when did Frank stop being white?

Maybe you'd be happier if there were more focus on Crispus Attucks and Haym Solomon in schools, since they are both heroes of the American Revolution?

spacehabitats said...

"...you don't have to be a great fashion designer yourself to point out that the emperor has no clothes."
Love it.

Theognis said...

One point that has to be made is how wrong and absurd Chomsky's linguistics is. "Universal grammar" provided a research program for linguists who were not fluent in any languages but English (since grammar is universal, you can discern its fundamental properties by studying any language you choose). This was a great service to linguists, who no longer needed to spend all that boring time memorizing vocabulary, and a disastrous setback for the growth of human knowledge.

There's a nice parallel in his political commentary. Since every disaster in the world is the result of American foreign policy, you only need to study American foreign policy to understand the entire world.

My favorite Chomsky moment is his essay post-9/11 that begins with the American conquest of Hawaii.

tommy said...

Moreover, Chomsky’s negative critique of American foreign policy isn't much weighted down by his positive ideology -- which his former colleague Steven Pinker calls a sort of romantic left anarchism, epitomized briefly by the kind of spontaneously forming local workers’ collectives that Orwell saluted in Homage to Catalonia -- which seems too quaint to take seriously as a threatening alternative.

I would disagree; Chomsky largely avoids making a case for his ideology because that would open his utopian ideology up for criticism. Marxists and anarchists have always found it more useful to criticize the system that exists than to figure out how the system that should replace it should function. Chomsky still seems to criticize the capitalist system from the perspective that there is something much better out there.

It is one thing to acknowledge unfortunate facts about life. It is another to act as though those facts can easily changed by the morally and ideologically upright without costs. The Marxists and anarchists write mountains on the evils of capitalism and molehills on how alternatives would function.

On the other hand, Chomsky can be rather naive about American power. Although he denies it, he often sounds rather like the tsk-tsking twin brother of advocates of "realist" foreign policy who overly reify Great Powers as if each were a single person playing the game of Risk.

That it exactly right. In typical far-leftist fashion, he takes complicated decisions made by numerous people (often over large spans of time) and reduces them down to the very precise and evil intentions of "them guys." The problem is that groups don't have any real mind in the sense that individuals have such a thing. Group behavior is certainly real, but Chomsky goes too far.

Eric said...

For Chomsky, however, it's always about the military-industrial complex, the oil companies, and class, and not about ethnicity

That's my biggest gripe with Chomsky. Like many Marxists, he can't seem to conceive of an authentic motivation people might have beyond money. The rubes might be motivated by religion or nationalism or the joys of collecting Elvis memorabilia, but those are all just sneaky tools multi-national corporations are using to manipulate them in the pursuit of capital.

Anonymous said...

Let me add that I am surprised Steve that you are running this on 9/11 of all days. A day that showed decisively the neo-isolationism practiced by Clinton, GWB, and endorsed by both Left and Right ... was a failure.




The notion that the US has engaged in isolationism, neo or otherwise, under Clinton and GWB is absurd even by your standards.

John Seiler said...

The decline in wages in America since the early 1970s isn't due to lower tariffs, but to Nixon taking us off gold in 1971. That pushed the middle-class tax rates up into upper-income tax brackets, until Reagan indexed the rates to inflation (but didn't make the adjustment retroactive, alas). So, even today, the middle-class is paying upper-income tax rates. Look at California, where the top state income tax rate of 9.55% kicks in at just $45,000 of income.

The lack of a gold standard also scrambled the economies of commodities-dependent Third World countries, especially in Africa; these countries had seen decent growth in the 1944-71 period, when gold, and therefore most other commodities, was stable. At first, the 1970s inflation pushed up commodities prices (like today), sending money to Third World countries, much of which was looted by their dictators and sent to Swiss banks. When the commodities bust eventually came -- as it always does -- the economies crashed and left the people worse off than before, as the dictators fled to Geneva.

Ron Paul is right: "End the Fed."

airtommy said...

T99 predictably claims:

"Bin Laden did not attack the US because of Jews, Israel, or anything else of that nature."

In fact, Bin Laden attacked America primarily because of Israel and because of Jewish oppression of Muslims. Bin Laden was able to attract followers primarily because of the evil actions of Israel.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: "I used to be under Chomsky's spell. "

It's VERY obvious from your post that you were not. For example, your next sentence:

The number one biggest problem with both his work and that of Howard Zinn is that they have completely airbrushed the Soviet Union out of the 20th century.

Chomsky's first political book begins with a thorough denunciation of the Soviet Union as a mostrous regime. And he does not take the usual Jewish approach of claiming the Bolsheviks' intentions were good but Stalin ruined it. Chomsky states that the monstrosity stemmed from the ideology of Communism and its creators.

The rest of this book has Chomsky criticizing America for acting in similar manners to the USSR. Here and in all of his subsequent books, Chomsky's most vicious criticism of a person or group is to compare them to the Soviets.

Again, my point here is not that you are wrong (you are indeed wrong), but that you are lying about being a former Chomsky fan.

Anonymous said...

I have loved languages and linguistics all my life. It's somewhere between a hobby and an obsession. And yet I've never been interested enough in Chomsky's take on linguistics to want to read any of his stuff. Why would that be?

He has nothing to say about any aspect of linguistics that's actually interesting or valid or fact-based. I've heard from those who've read his works that they consist of pure demagogical speculation. He's not interested in data, experiments, proofs, dusty manuscripts, or anything like that. Hearing things like that makes me think of Freud. Of course, the only way to be sure if this comparison is apt is to go out and read some of Chomsky's stuff. However, life is short and the chances of any of it being any good are vanishingly small. I hear enough demagogic nonsense in my real life. I don't need any of it from my favorite hobby.

Chomsky has admitted that he doesn't know any languages besides English. He has nothing whatsoever to say about the history of any languages, about their interrelationships and genealogy - the holy grail for anyone who's actually interested in lingusitics.

Unlike Chomsky, I do know a few actual languages. I can read all the major European ones pretty easily and Chinese on an intermediate level. The differences between even somewhat related languages are more profound than monoglots tend to assume. I know this because I still remember when I was a monoglot myself and I still remember my old misconceptions. Some of the knowledge about the nature of language that you acquire by becoming fluent in several of them is easy to explain, and some of it isn't. Some of this stuff is intuitive. What can a person who doesn't know any of this tell me about the nature of language?

Would you want to read a book on the philosophical underpinnings of the culinary art written by someone who was born without the sense of taste or smell?

And by the way:

Years ago I saw Chomsky on C-SPAN mentioning "The Bell Curve". He was making a list of everything in politics that was abominable to him. The comically, apocalyptically low stuff from his point of view. At the end of this list he said something like "and now there is a book out that says that black people are dumber than whites. THIS is the modern level of political discourse." He said this in a kind of tone that a Christian conservative would use while discussing gangsta rap. "THIS is what we've come to!"

He likes to paint himself as a rebel, a free thinker, the guy they don't want you to hear, when in reality he's as much a rebel as he is a linguist.

rob said...

testing99 said...

Let me add that both Chomsky and Pat Buchanon

Hey testy, why are too stupid to learn to spell Buchanan?

That is not a rhetorical question. It's not hard, and it's a Scots-Irish name. Nailing it would help with your cover.

Do you favor "pre-emptive" US or Israeli nuclear strikes against any nations. If so, which ones.

You understand that the people whom you want to exterminate understand that the ability to play MAD with Israel is the only thing that will keep WASPs (haha) like you from fantasizing about, and eventually trying, genocide.

The only right is "No, the very thought of advocating mass murder stains my Christian(hahah) soul."

Lastly, have you ever, even just once, been diagnosed with a psychotic disorder or mood disorder with psychotic features?

These are not rhetorical questions.

Anonymous said...

When I read Testing 99 I am reminded of a comment I once read here in Steve-O Land; lurking behind the neocons, and leftist intellectuals of a particular sort, is the green shadow. Testy, are the Homes of Donegal not enough for ye lad? On another note Steve-O, though you can't stand the Green crowd, you never stop to realize how much worse their ethnically identical, ideological opposites are. Have a think about that!

Eric said...

In fact, Bin Laden attacked America primarily because of Israel and because of Jewish oppression of Muslims.

That's not a fact at all. It's quite wrong, as anybody who has ever read translations of his pre-9/11 speeches would know. He attacked the US because we stationed troops in his country after the first gulf war, and he wasn't shy about saying so.

Israel didn't appear in his speeches until years after the attack when he realized he'd underestimated our military. In 2001 he was expecting a military victory in Afghanistan because Americans were too soft to fight.

Hacienda said...

"Unlike Chomsky, I do know a few actual languages....intuitive. What can a person who doesn't know any of this tell me about the nature of language?

Would you want to read a book on the philosophical underpinnings of the culinary art written by someone who was born without the sense of taste or smell? "


A loopy analogy. I return your question with a question. Would you want to take seriously the comments a reader on Chomsky's linguistics who admits he hasn't read Chomsky's linguistics?

Anonymous said...

"He (jovial old Noam) is practically a self-authoring appendix to The Culture of Critique."

Bloody brilliant.

Wintermute, why dont you have your own blog, maybe you do?

Anonymous said...

T99 has never been able to spell Buchanan. Ive seen another neo-con shill (no disrespect to T99) make the same mistake elsewhere.

It cannot be a coincidence, but what is it, a code?

I dunno.

Rick Johnson said...

Neoconservatism was born when the international left deserted Israel and took up the Palestinian cause in late 60s and early 70s.

Hacienda said...

"He also believes humans have an innate desire for freedom, while I see a world full of people looking for a strong leader give them orders."

You and I are among the few posters here who have extensively read Chomsky, judging from the gross distortions of his ideas going on on this thread.

Chomsky isn't an optimist by any means. But his linguistics helps explain some of where he stands in
in notions of his anarchism and liberalism. And just a Kant's epistemology formed the basis of his beliefs in human freedom and the primacy of universalist reason, it hardly meant that Kant believed humans were "good" creatures. Just the opposite, Kant thought mankind's ability to avert a final world destroying war a toss up proposition. What (and I don't want to say this lightly) would a nuclear bomb to Jerusalem mean, or one to Seoul? A totalitarian world peace? The anarchy Chomsky prefers and refers to may be a post WW III world where we really are back to state of nature and freedom. LOL.

steve burton said...

So I guess our Steve thinks that being history's leading apologist for the Khmer Rouge is a mere peccadillo - perhaps even a rather charming peccadillo - so long as said apologist agrees with him about the limitless evilness of the neo-cons and all their works.

What would Margaret Thatcher say?

Richard Hoste said...

Testing,

I know you never respond when people ask you questions, but I hope you'll give me an answer here.

Why do you think these evil tribal leaders you keep referring to would want to nuke NYC? I understand you think that they're more likely to do it if they don't fear retaliation, but what's the original motive in the first place?

Richard Hoste said...

Bin Laden did not attack the US because of Jews, Israel, or anything else of that nature. He's a Yemeni-extraction Saudi, and wants to rule Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden attacked because he thought he could do so with relative impunity, and use the attack to raise more money and men, and influence in Saudi.

I see you do have an answer to why they hate us. Terrorism is fund raising operation, is it? But why does attacking the US lead to good PR? What's the root cause here?

Anonymous said...

Manfacturing Consent is an excellent book. The part that goes in the memory hole is that he cannot connect the dots of who the corporations are trying to attract with their advertising. Women make 80% of the discretionary purchases but to listen to Chomsky you would think it was 100% evil white men. He gets why the media is so patriotically correct but not why it is politically correct.

JudgeStone said...

Sorry Stari.

Chomskey by no means undressed Buckley in 1969. In fact, watching Buckley in 1969 left me astonished at how someone who is obviously well-informed and articulate was able to degenerate into the dismal husk of agitprop he became.

Chomskey had precisely the problem described. He was intent on totally whitewashing the role of the Soviets in the American interventions throughout South Asia and Latin America. It is hard to argue with the cruelty and tyranny of American activities in Chile, for example, when Chile is now the most prosperous state in all of Latin America and the alternative was to be turned into a basket-case by Soviet-backed Communist agitation. If I'm a Chilean, I don't give a damn as to how much of the American activity was purely altruistic. I'm just happy that the Americans came and killed off a boatload (really just a tugboat) of Communists and didn't even demand much in tribute.

JudgeStone said...

Note that I realize fully well that the Buckley Chomskey faceoff antedates the Chilean affair. I'm just using that as an example, and Chomskey was denying the reality of Soviet expansionism and aggression even when doing so became impossible.

JudgeStone said...

Damn it. It would have been so cool to have a thread where Testing99 was well heard from but completely ignored. Way to go "Anonymous".

Though it's not like Steve to refer to the commentariat of the Stevosphere on a blog-post. Hmmm...

Anonymous said...

"A loopy analogy. I return your question with a question. Would you want to take seriously the comments a reader on Chomsky's linguistics who admits he hasn't read Chomsky's linguistics?"

You can't just say that it's loopy. You've got to explain WHY you think that the analogy doesn't work if you want to be taken seriously by others. If you yourself refuse to back up your judgments, why should others pay attention to them?

Here, I'll show you how that's done by explaining why the point you made in your question to me is invalid:

I haven't read Dianetics either, and yet I can be reasonably sure that it's full of BS. Some things seem so ridiculous at first sight that investigating them further constitutes poor time management. A monoglot spouting off on the nature of language is surely one of such things. Life is finite. One's time and efforts are better spent investigating ideas that have a reasonable chance to be valid and/or interesting. By the way, I haven't read the founding documents of a lot of things that I consider to be BS - astrology, chiromancy, numerology and so on.

I know reasonably intelligent, knowledgeable people who've read Chomsky's stuff. They thought it was crap. And not just any kind of crap - the specific criticism that seems to recur is that he's fond of baseless speculation, that he's not a big friend of facts or proofs or of real-world data.

When I first heard this, the figure of Freud immediately came to my mind. A quick judgment was made. I've seen nothing since that threatened to reverse it.

By the way, if you wanted to reverse that little judgment of mine, you should have cited a valid insight of Chomsky, including the reasoning he used and the data that supports it. You chose not to do that. Note taken.

Lucius Vorenus said...

You fools need to read the Koran.

Melykin said...

I've never read anything by Chomsky, but I had to pay for several of his books when my youngest daughter was in university. She thinks Chomsky is wonderful--practically a god.

I'm so tired of hearing about how all the evils in the world are caused by the evil west. How do Chomsky and the like explain why there were just as many evils and wars in the world before there ever was a "west", before the Romans came to Britain, when people living in what would become Scotland were still painting their faces blue. But there is no point arguing with my daughter. Studying political science and sociology seems to be a form of brainwashing--it's as if she has been indoctrinated into a cult.

If she knew I was posting on this site she would write me off as a Nazi.

tommy said...

He has nothing to say about any aspect of linguistics that's actually interesting or valid or fact-based. I've heard from those who've read his works that they consist of pure demagogical speculation. He's not interested in data, experiments, proofs, dusty manuscripts, or anything like that. Hearing things like that makes me think of Freud. Of course, the only way to be sure if this comparison is apt is to go out and read some of Chomsky's stuff.

The universal grammar is certainly a better model than Skinner's behavioral model of language acquisition. With that said, exactly what constitutes the universal grammar is subject to a wide degree of speculation. Theories of language, like latter-day theories of electricity, will probably go through at least a few more revisions before we have a good picture of how it all works.

Anonymous said...

"Damn it. It would have been so cool to have a thread where Testing99 was well heard from but completely ignored."

I've thought of that too. I habitually skip his comments. I don't even know if he's still claiming to be Scots-Irish. Nor do I care. If more people tune him out, he might go away.

Kijkfaas McGee said...

SS -- Chomsky is a left-wing nut-bag. You like him because he's critical of Jews and Israel. How transparent and typical of you. How boring too. Chomsky was once a left-wing Zionist, so he ought to know better. The truth is that Chomsky hated America because he's a Jewish supremacist. His hatred of Israel is derived from the same insular Jewish narcissism that fuels his anti-Americanism and left-wing noxiousness. Look up Chomsky's role in groups from the 1980s like the New Jewish Agenda. Chomsky, like so many latter-day left-wing anti-Zionist Jews, believed so much that Jews are morally superior than non-Jews, and he invested so much into this view in the days of the Jews' 'powerlessness', that when the Jews ended up having to fight like everyone else -- demonstrating that words and some superior Jewish 'reason' or 'empathy' were not enough or did not exist -- his response was at first confusion and then outright hostility. Israel let Chomsky down, BECAUSE he's a Jew. Don't forget the correct trajectory. SS -- Your writing on Jews is pathetic and demonstrates your limitations as a thinker.

tommy said...

He also believes humans have an innate desire for freedom, while I see a world full of people looking for a strong leader give them orders.

That's another good point about the Marxist/anarchist crowd. Their view of human nature is entirely warped. Not only do these guys think that all humans desire freedom, but they believe that all people, freed from the chains of capitalist exploitation, will act in ways that are entirely altruistic.

They have to believe this because their social prescriptions allow for neither incentives nor coercion to motivate people to do all of those tasks required by society. Incentives lead to stratification and coercion leads to autocracy and abuse. We are all supposed to suspend disbelief and accept the idea that a man--any man--in a non-capitalist society will choose to clean Honeybuckets given no more incentives, and under no more duress, than another man would writing movie reviews or testing video games.

Anonymous said...

I had to pay for several of his books when my youngest daughter was in university.




You did not have to. Nobody is forcing the American people to pay to have their children indoctrinated in neo-communist thought.

Anonymous said...

So I guess our Steve thinks that being history's leading apologist for the Khmer Rouge is a mere peccadillo - perhaps even a rather charming peccadillo - so long as said apologist agrees with him about the limitless evilness of the neo-cons and all their works.





Did you not read the post you are commenting on? Or just not take it in?

Anonymous said...

When I read Testing 99 I am reminded of a comment I once read here in Steve-O Land; lurking behind the neocons, and leftist intellectuals of a particular sort, is the green shadow. Testy, are the Homes of Donegal not enough for ye lad?




You think that testing99 and the neocons are Irish? That's one of the silliest things I've ever seen written here.

airtommy said...

In fact, Bin Laden attacked America primarily because of Israel and because of Jewish oppression of Muslims.

That's not a fact at all. It's quite wrong, as anybody who has ever read translations of his pre-9/11 speeches would know.


I'M RIGHT. YOU'RE WRONG.

Bin Laden's 1996 Declaration of War, after a few paragraphs praising God, begins his complaints like this:

"It should not be hidden from you that the people of Islam had suffered from aggression, iniquity and injustice imposed on them by the Zionist-Crusaders alliance and their collaborators; to the extent that the Muslims blood became the cheapest and their wealth as loot in the hands of the enemies. Their blood was spilled in Palestine and Iraq. The horrifying pictures of the massacre of Qana, in Lebanon are still fresh in our memory."

ISRAEL IS HIS FIRST COMPLAINT.

After the 9/11 attacks got America's attention, Bin Laden wrote another letter explaining his views.

Bin Laden's 2002 Letter To America

He answers the question of why he is attacking America with a list of grievances. THE FIRST ONE IS ISRAEL.

"Q1) Why are we fighting and opposing you?
Q2)What are we calling you to, and what do we want from you?

As for the first question: Why are we fighting and opposing you? The answer is very simple:

(1) Because you attacked us and continue to attack us.

a) You attacked us in Palestine:

(i) Palestine, which has sunk under military occupation for more than 80 years. The British handed over Palestine, with your help and your support, to the Jews, who have occupied it for more than 50 years; years overflowing with oppression, tyranny, crimes, killing, expulsion, destruction and devastation. The creation and continuation of Israel is one of the greatest crimes, and you are the leaders of its criminals. And of course there is no need to explain and prove the degree of American support for Israel. The creation of Israel is a crime which must be erased. Each and every person whose hands have become polluted in the contribution towards this crime must pay its*price, and pay for it heavily.

(ii) It brings us both laughter and tears to see that you have not yet tired of repeating your fabricated lies that the Jews have a historical right to Palestine, as it was promised to them in the Torah. Anyone who disputes with them on this alleged fact is accused of anti-semitism. This is one of the most fallacious, widely-circulated fabrications in history. The people of Palestine are pure Arabs and original Semites. It is the Muslims who are the inheritors of Moses (peace be upon him) and the inheritors of the real Torah that has not been changed. Muslims believe in all of the Prophets, including Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon them all. If the followers of Moses have been promised a right to Palestine in the Torah, then the Muslims are the most worthy nation of this.

When the Muslims conquered Palestine and drove out the Romans, Palestine and Jerusalem returned to Islaam, the religion of all the Prophets peace be upon them. Therefore, the call to a historical right to Palestine cannot be raised against the Islamic Ummah that believes in all the Prophets of Allah (peace and blessings be upon them) - and we make no distinction between them.

(iii) The blood pouring out of Palestine must be equally revenged. You must know that the Palestinians do not cry alone; their women are not widowed alone; their sons are not orphaned alone."

Professor McTwoMinutesofGoogle said...

Eric says: "That's not a fact at all. (Bin Laden attacking America primarily because of Israel and because of Jewish oppression of Muslims) It's quite wrong, as anybody who has ever read translations of his pre-9/11 speeches would know. He attacked the US because we stationed troops in his country after the first gulf war, and he wasn't shy about saying so.

"Israel didn't appear in his speeches until years after the attack when he realized he'd underestimated our military. In 2001 he was expecting a military victory in Afghanistan because Americans were too soft to fight."

But Eric lies - you can go back 12 years to Peter Arnett interviewing Bin Laden and read the dirty wizard griping about the Light Unto the Nations. Tis easy to find.

"We declared jihad against the US government because the US government is unjust, criminal and tyrannical. It has committed acts that are extremely unjust, hideous and criminal whether directly or through its support of the Israeli occupation of the Prophet's Night Travel Land (Palestine)." And we believe the US is directly responsible for those who were killed in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq...Due to its subordination to the Jews the arrogance and haughtiness of the US regime has reached, to the extent that they occupied the qibla of the Muslims (Arabia) who are more than a billion in the world today. For this and other acts of aggression and injustice, we have declared jihad against the US..."

What the - that's crazy talk!

Carney said...

Strange that Chomsky waxes nostalgic for tariffs. As any bandana'd anti-globalization vandalist would tell you, nothing is harming the Third World poor more than the First World's high tariffs and other trade barriers that wall out Third World agricultural products.

The refusal of the rich countries to drop those barriers (and their focus instead on intellectual property piracy) led to the collapse of the Doha Round trade talks.

Anonymous said...

"...she would write me off as a Nazi."

Glad to know you've not been indoctrinated into any cult.

Anonymous said...

If the estimable wintermute thinks Chomsky always has Jewish interests in mind when formulating a stance, he needs to explain why Chomsky was the only public intellectual to come to Robert Faurisson's rescue in his battle for free speech on the Holocaust story. The Jew in wintermute's intellectual universe represents what Satan did for medieval Catholics, i.e. total, unmitigated, self-interested wickedness.

Truth said...

Chomsky is a traitor and a dangerous subversive. Read "What is terrorism?" at Z-magazine and you'll see what I mean.

One of the striking differences between the West and the non-Western world is the sheer absence of men like Chomsky (and Zinn) in positions of power and influence. Nowhere in a Chinese university or a Middle Eastern mosque would you find Chomsky's counterpart spouting hatred and bile about his respective culture within that culture's institutions. When their people teach the young, they teach about the wonderful past, the good present and the glorious future.

Non-western cultures have the good sense to put madmen like Chomsky in the ground, in exile or in prison. They do not make them college professors.

Garland said...

You've said that before about Chomsky's harmless positive beliefs sand it's still not quite right. In theory he may just want an irrelevant Spanish anarchism or whatever, but in practice he has supported every harmful leftist regime post-Stalin, from North Vietnam to his current position in favor of punishing Honduras for their own Supreme Court's ruling against the ousted Chavista. The Left isn't that diverse. They all believe in equality above all and will generally sympathize with any regime that purports to be chasing it.

Hacienda said...

"I haven't read Dianetics either, and yet I can be reasonably sure that it's full of BS...."

That's my inclination too. Fringe, Hollyweird, cultish, Tom Cruise strangeness. And any self-proclaimed theory-of-everything (non-mathematically based) is bound to be BS.

But your objection to
Chomsky is very specific. That he doesn't speak a foreign language, but you do. This gives you a critical perspective into linguistics that Chomsky in his project could not have. Even though you have no idea what Chomsky's "project" is.

The most important of his ideas is the generative grammer. Which really doesn't require fluency or even knowledge of foreign language. And Chomsky intuited this from the way babys learn a language. How is it that a baby that knows nothing of the world upon entry so quickly learns so much of a language and it's meaning. Note that, this was not a inquiry into how baby's learn a language, only the attempt to prove the existence of a "deep structure", inherent structure that allows for the acquisition of language. As such, Chomsky didn't feel the need to learn another language. BTW, as I've mentioned before here, I know Korean, which is probably more different from English than any language you know. And I can say that knowing Korean wouldn't have helped or hurt Chomsky in reaching the idea of the generative grammer. The same arguments he makes in using English, would apply for Korean. No difference at all.

Hacienda said...

"Sorry Stari.

Chomskey by no means undressed Buckley in 1969...

Chomskey had precisely the problem described. He was intent on totally whitewashing the role of the Soviets in the American interventions throughout South Asia and Latin America..."

You didn't watch the debate closely enough. It wasn't Chomsky position that the Soviets were innocent, or in the right. His position was that the US was acting as an imperial power, much equivalent to what the Soviets were doing.

...Getting away from Chomsky a bit. Do as Steve advises, see what's in front of your own two eyes. And then go a step further. Ask yourself, why is what in front of your two eyes better (or worse) that anything else.

tommy said...

I haven't read Dianetics either, and yet I can be reasonably sure that it's full of BS....

This comes down to an informal fallacy that has a practical use: appeal to authority. Without investigating Scientology in depth, you cannot say with certainty that it is all a bunch of BS, but given that experts in psychology don't take L. Ron Hubbard seriously, you can probably overlook him without losing anything. Since Chomsky is taken seriously in the field of linguistics, his theories cannot be dismissed as readily even if you suspect he is incorrect.

cccp said...

whiskey/testing99,

why do you choose one name over the other when commenting? is there a specific reason? if not, why use 2 at all and not just stick with one?

Edward said...

let me put what I said in comment #2 in a more pithy way that people might notice:

if you're a Jihadi and you only had one lorry nuke, where would you park it? New York, Toronto, Paris, London, Berlin, Rome or Tel Aviv?

The terrorists are committed to destroy the West but know if a Nuke does go up in Manhatten Mecca becomes a lava lamp. If their civilisational shit's all going to hell anyway, for as long as Israel exists they're going to prioritise their first nukes for Israel.

Israel, on this theory, is to America a large but dispensable multi-gazillion dollar area of real estate that doubles up as civilisational fishing bait.

ERM said...

There have been some good points made on Chomsky's linguistics. I would generally agree that he has had a very deleterious effect on the profession by legitimizing monolingualism. (His father, as I recall, was a very respected Hebrew philologist, so his son's lack of interest in other languages is a bit odd.)

I would, however, draw a sharp distinction between his earliest work and his later output. He started out working in phonology, which is very technical and more or less objective and empirical, and based his universalist/anti-behaviourist views on some of his results from the field. (He was also reacting to some of the excesses of the 19th c. neogrammarians.) This material is quite good, though somewhat heavily derivative of de Saussure, and anyone interested in linguistics, language change, dialects, etc., really owes it to himself to tackle it.

Unfortunately, he more famously and influentially applied the same ideas to syntax, and came up with his generative grammar, aka transformational grammar, which posits a lot of unprovable -- and, more problematic scientifically, un-disprovable "deep structures" to human linguistic thinking. The real comedy is that these deep structures tend to resemble extremely closely the surface structure of modern English grammar, though there is a good deal of penumbras and emanations (i-bar!) to add plausibility. Elaborating the deep structure and elucidating algebraically the various transformations that the human brain apparently undertakes at all times to transform the deep structure (English) into the surface structure (Mandarin Chinese, Basque) of course gives a lot of high IQ types in linguistics departments a lot of stimulating, unproductive work to do. That it is utterly unconnected from any observable reality is of course more blessing than curse.

There is still a lot of good work done in linguistics departments, however (the English dialect work coming from Penn is particularly fascinating), and Chomsky's influence is not waxing. His long-term influence on the discipline is likely to be fairly limited.

Anonymous said...

Hacienda said:

"How is it that a baby that knows nothing of the world upon entry so quickly learns so much of a language and it's meaning."

Because hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of years of evolutionary change have gradually shaped the human brain to deal with language. That should be obvious to anyone. Is Chomsky claiming that as an insight of his? Are you telling us that you needed Chomsky to tell you that some portions of the brain, of our mental hardware, evolved primarily to deal with language? Shouldn't you have deduced this from the simple fact that you can't teach a frog to speak no matter how hard you try? Or from the fact that some types of head trauma lead to aphasia? I'm sure that it was known that some of these traumas specifically lead to difficulties with grammar long before Chomsky's birth.

Hacienda, what you described here does not constitute an interesting insight. Ever heard of the phrase "what's new isn't true, what's true isn't new"? What you described here is an example of the latter.

Anonymous said...

"And Chomsky intuited this from the way babys learn a language."

One more point: Even though I haven't read any of his linguistic works, I know the guy's reputation well enough to be 99.99% sure that he hadn't done any studies of babies learning language to reach any of his conclusions. He hasn't designed any experiments, hasn't tested any hypotheses, hasn't had to compute any correlation coefficients of anything. And this is why you used the word "intuited", right?

This is what I meant when I made my analogy with Freud. Baseless speculation unsupported by any data, a complete lack of interested in data, in the real world. A fanatical following within the discipline more appropriate to a religious setting than to a scientific one. Marx was another one of those. And didn't Ayn Rand claim to be a philosopher? It's a type.

rob said...

Strange how testing dissappears when he gets called on lies. Maybe he'll be gone for weeks.

And Steve called him Evil Neocon, and testy didn't deny it.

See testing, you can answer hard questions and the Mooslums in your head will let you live.

Lucius Vorenus said...

If Komment Kontrol will allow me to repeat myself: You paleocon fools need to read the Koran.

Anonymous said...

"And you can date the beginning of the enthusiastic support for Israel in the culture pretty well, since 1967. Before 1967, the intellectual community was skeptical about Israel or uninterested in it."

Steve, Chomsky is either grossly ignorant or totally ignorant here. "The culture", both popular and intellectual, was thoroughly interested in Israel well before 1967, particularly just before it was founded.

Both political parties had 1944 platform planks explicitly endorsing a Jewish state in Palestine.

33 state legislatures issued resolutions supporting a Jewish state in Palestine in the mid-1940s.

American popular opinion overwhelmingly favored the Zionist program. Contemporary US intellectual opinion was generally in favor of the creation and recognition of some sort of Jewish state. Opposition was concentrated in the 'professionals' in the State Department, including Sec. Marshall. Also, the Joint Chiefs of Staff disliked the idea. Google the "McFarland Memo", June 1946, for instance. In that one, the JCS stated that the US should avoid putting ground troops in the Middle East (no, really) while strongly implying that the whole Israel venture was a dangerous complication in the emerging conflict with the USSR. Meanwhile, on the left, there were those who pointed out that the enterprise looked a lot like old-fashioned colonialism, while on the right, many conservatives were unnerved by the association of Zionism with socialism.

All that said, the question of Israel attracted quite a bit of attention in mid-1940s America, most of it very positive. The White House recieved nearly 50,000 telegrams and over half a million pieces of mail on the issue, mostly pro and very little con, during 1946-7.

Peter A said...

Non-western cultures have the good sense to put madmen like Chomsky in the ground, in exile or in prison. They do not make them college professor

This is why non-western cultures become sclerotic, decadent and focused on past glory - like Imperial China, the Ottomans, the USSR, etc. Leaders need to have their decisions questioned and their mistakes pointed out. A culture with no dissent quickly becomes static and hidebound. I don't like Chomsky, but I'm glad I live in a society that can tolerate someone like him.

JudgeStone said...

Hey Hacienda, read the following please:

"If I'm a Chilean, I don't give a damn as to how much of the American activity was purely altruistic. I'm just happy that the Americans came and killed off a boatload (really just a tugboat) of Communists and didn't even demand much in tribute."

I'm perfectly aware that Chomskey is insisting that the U.S. acts from self-interest and uses humanitarianism as a pretext. I also said that if I'm a Chilean *I don't give a damn what the motives of the Americans are*. I'm just happy they got rid of the Communists.

Chomskey is constantly downplaying the reality of Soviet aggression. Even if the U.S. is acting out of nothing but strategic self-interest during the Cold War--the truth is much more complicated--it is also true that the actions of the Soviet Union put the U.S. in a state of much more dire urgency than if the Soviets had done nothing, a state in which interference with other nations would have seemed much more necessary. Chomskey NEVER mentions this.

Now, Buckley did not beat Chomskey in this debate; he just was not embarrassed, mostly because Chomskey--in his constant evasion regarding the Soviets--embarrassed himself as much as he embarrassed Buckley. Buckley was foolish (or under orders from the Government) in insisting that the U.S. acts primarily from altruism. He would have done well enough to say that the U.S. would probably not have gone around interfering in the affairs of all and sundry third-world countries had the Soviets not been pursuing an aggressive expansionist policy.

The interesting case is the Oil countries, where Chomskey might have a point.

Anonymous said...

'you think the neocons are Irish..ridiculous'

I was refering to a comment once made in Steve-O Land about the Green Shadow, i.e. a tendency for their to be alot of prominent left wing Irish people who are involved in many of the same causes that Jewish people are accused of initiating, leading, directing, etc. Such as the Kennedy clan on immigration, or labor agitation, and in the case of the neocons, Pat Moynihan, Michael O'Hanlon, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Thomas Donnelly, Bill Bennet,etc. Many people argue in these pages about KM and his trilogy, and about the ability of Jews to attract people to their causes, even though said causes are, according to KM, directly against their own (non-Jewish) ethnic interest. So no, it id not ridiculous, as I didn't argue the neocons are Irish, but rather the Green Shadow is apparent in many aspects of politics. I think it is an interesting idea, one that either weakens or strengthens KM's (and Steve's) view, depending on how you look at it.

Mr. Anon said...

"Moreover, Chomsky’s negative critique of American foreign policy isn't much weighted down by his positive ideology -- which his former colleague Steven Pinker calls a sort of romantic left anarchism, epitomized briefly by the kind of spontaneously forming local workers’ collectives that Orwell saluted in Homage to Catalonia -- which seems too quaint to take seriously as a threatening alternative."

It was also pretty clear from "Homage to Catalonia" that left anarchists are no damned good when it comes to actually getting a job done, as Orwell himself admitted in that book - they made crappy soldiers.

That an ostensibly intelligent man thinks an oxymoronic philosophy such as "socilist anarchism" is a good model for organizing society is a damning indictment of the standards by which "intellectuals" are judged.

And I've heard that even his contributions to linguistics are now being called into question by a new generation of linguists who find his dogma stultifying.

Anonymous said...

I was refering to a comment once made in Steve-O Land about the Green Shadow, i.e. a tendency for their to be alot of prominent left wing Irish people who are involved in many of the same causes that Jewish people are accused of initiating, leading, directing, etc. Such as the Kennedy clan on immigration, or labor agitation, and in the case of the neocons, Pat Moynihan, Michael O'Hanlon, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Thomas Donnelly, Bill Bennet,etc.



Or George W Bush. Or John McCain. Or Mitt Romney. Or Fred Thompson. Or Mike Huckabee. Or Mike Pence. Or Jeff Flake.

As amazing as it may seem, all the people who are prominent in Republican politics follow the same policies regardless of their ethnic background. Even more amazing, those policies are very similar to those of the Democrats.

There are reasons why this is so, but they are beyond the reach of those of you who think the world revolves around ethnicity.

Graham Asher said...

"Americans like to think of the U.S. as the plucky underdog, but, these days, we're the overdog."

Glad you noticed that, after roughly 66 years of US overdogness, since about the time of the battle of Stalingrad.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't Chomsky position that the Soviets were innocent, or in the right. His position was that the US was acting as an imperial power, much equivalent to what the Soviets were doing.




And the problem is that this was a crock. The US was not doing what the Soviets were doing. It was not invading all the countries in the Americas and installing its own puppet governments.

Fred said...

"If their civilisational shit's all going to hell anyway, for as long as Israel exists they're going to prioritise their first nukes for Israel."

This raises an interesting question, to which I'll suggest a possible answer. The question is what happens to the so-called third holiest site in Islam, the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, when Israel is a radioactive wasteland?

A possible answer is that the Muslims really don't care about the Dome of the Rock, or Jerusalem. The Koran never even says that Mohamed went there; it just says he took a night journey to 'the farthest mosque'. Could have been anywhere. Jerusalem is just a pissing contest for the Muslims, and has been since the beginning. As long as it's a wasteland to Jews and Christians, the Muslims will be fine with it.

Fred said...

Just to clarify bin Laden's beefs with the U.S., he had three of them, which he presented in this order:

= The presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia.

= The sanctions on Iraq.

= U.S. support for Israel.

This makes sense when you think about it from the Muslim perspective -- that's the order of importance. Saudi Arabia contains the faith's holiest sites; Baghdad was the seat of the Caliphate and an Islamic cultural capital for 500 years, and then there's the pissing contest over Jerusalem.

It's worth remembering that two of his three beefs no longer apply -- we're not in Saudi Arabia anymore, and there are no more sanctions on Iraq. He hasn't expressed any gratitude for that though.

Anonymous said...

As I've said in an earlier comment, I'm sure that there is some innate wiring in the human brain that helps us learn languages. It seems reasonable to assume that some of that innate "wiring" would specifically deal with grammar. If somebody wanted to figure out the nature of this innate grammatical wiring, the first step would obviously be to familiarize oneself with all the extremes of observed grammars. The goal would be to look for commonalities in the grammars of languages that belong to different families, different typologies and are spoken on different continents, preferably ones (like Australia and the Americas) that haven't had any contact with each other for tens of thousands of years.

In other words, to seriously undertake that kind of a task, it would help to be a hyperpolyglot. And there are some out there, by the way. It has always weirded me out the the supposed pioneer of such research would be a monoglot instead.

Melykin said...

I wrote:
"...she would write me off as a Nazi."

Anonymous wrote:
"Glad to know you've not been indoctrinated into any cult."
-----------------------

So, Anonymous, are you implying that Steve Sailer is running a Nazi cult, and everyone who posts here belongs? Well, I don't know if this is true or not. But if it is, I haven't drunk the Steve Sailer Kool Aid yet. I read this blog because it is interesting to know of people who don't buy into the irrational fiction that race doesn't really exist.

I am sometimes puzzled by the veiled anti-Jewishness that comes across in some posts. I thought the blog was mainly about human biodiversity. I have notice a lot of blatant racism against blacks and Mexicans, who supposedly have lower IQs and a more criminal nature, etc. If this is true, then it makes it somewhat understandable why people don't want to live in a black neighbourhood (too dangerous) and don't want more and more Mexicans coming across the boarder. However, what's with the anti-Jew thing? I thought their average IQ was the highest of all the ethnic groups. They don't seem particularly criminal, though I'm sure they have their share of criminals as all ethnic groups do. I don't understand why anyone would be against Jews--well, unless you are an Arab. The Muslims seem to have an extreme, irrational hatred of Jews. My theory is that they are jealous of the Jews, because when Jews from Europe moved to Israel and set up a first-world country there, it drew the worlds attention to the fact that the other countries in the area--the countries populated by Muslims, are shit-holes that are hundreds of years behind Israel in education, medical care, industry, human rights...in just about every way you can imagine.

It is so nice to be able to write things that are true, but not politically correct. If I tried to make a post like this on the CBC site I'd be banned for life.

Anonymous said...

And any self-proclaimed theory-of-everything (non-mathematically based) is bound to be BS.

I wouldn't invest my hopes and dreams in the idea of a mathematically-based theory-of-everything.

Heck, it's been more than a century now, and we still don't even understand the Peano Axioms.

Anonymous said...

LV - What about the Koran then? Or am I being too nihilistic asking you to be less cryptic?

Mr. Anon said...

"tommy said...

This comes down to an informal fallacy that has a practical use: appeal to authority. Without investigating Scientology in depth, you cannot say with certainty that it is all a bunch of BS, but given that experts in psychology don't take L. Ron Hubbard seriously, you can probably overlook him without losing anything. Since Chomsky is taken seriously in the field of linguistics, his theories cannot be dismissed as readily even if you suspect he is incorrect."

An appeal to authority is not always baseless - if the authorities no what they are talking about.

I don't reject scientology becuase psychiatric authorities reject it (I don't trust them either - psychiatrists subscribed to the pseudo-science of Freudianism for many decades). Rather I reject scientology because L. Ron Hubbard was NOT an authority on anything - other than being a drug-addict, a blow-hard, a pathological liar, and a cashiered naval officer with delusions of grandeur.

By the same token, why should I particularly care what a man, whose knowledge of grammar is limited to one language, thinks about universal grammar.

The Cunning Linguist said...

I'm skeptical of the claim that Chomsky speaks no language other than English, as his father was the author of a widely-used Hebrew textbook. His own Master's thesis was entitled “Morphophonemics of Modern Hebrew,” which would imply at the very least some knowledge of the language.

Anonymous said...

According to Christopher Hitchens' review of Chomsky's 'Fateful Triangle', it covered the subject from all three languages- English, Hebrew, -I think French, not Arabic.

The 'nyaah, Chomsky's linguistics are for English-only monoglots' line of argument has been around a while. US universities got a lot less cosmopolitan in the 60s when Chomsky's linguistics caught on. Coincidence?

I feel like trying a cool pseudonym. Is Tsk-tsky99 taken?

Anonymous said...

Melykin,

Here is a leading light on the Right, Lawrence Auster, and a collection of his posts about the anti-Semitism that plagues the Paleo community:

http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/012484.html

I especially recommend his essay, The Neo-Darwinian/Neo-Nazi Synthesis

http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/012275.html

Anonymous said...

"The terrorists are committed to destroy the West but know if a Nuke does go up in Manhatten Mecca becomes a lava lamp."

Like it did on 9-12-01? I don't want to be rude, but if you think that the spineless hacks that run the US would give the muzzies what they actually deserve, then you're nuts.

airtommy said...

The US was not doing what the Soviets were doing. It was not invading all the countries in the Americas and installing its own puppet governments.

Please tell me this was sarcasm.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

""It wasn't Chomsky position that the Soviets were innocent, or in the right. His position was that the US was acting as an imperial power, much equivalent to what the Soviets were doing.""

And the problem is that this was a crock. The US was not doing what the Soviets were doing. It was not invading all the countries in the Americas and installing its own puppet governments."

We did not invade all the countries in the Americas. Our direct military intervention was limited to Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Cuba, Grenada, and Dominica. Any others? I may have missed a few.

Anyway, yeah, we mucked about in some countries that are in our "near abroad" (to use the current Russian phrase). And the Soviets did too in their near abroad - Afghanistan, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, East Germany.

Anonymous said...

Please tell me this was sarcasm.



Please tell me that's a joke.

Or else tell me all about the puppet governments America set up in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, ....

Truth(er) said...

"This is why non-western cultures become sclerotic, decadent and focused on past glory - like Imperial China, the Ottomans, the USSR, etc. Leaders need to have their decisions questioned and their mistakes pointed out. A culture with no dissent quickly becomes static and hidebound. I don't like Chomsky, but I'm glad I live in a society that can tolerate someone like him."

This is the typical shibboleth of the modern world. People are so infected with relativism, with the belief that all voices should be heard, that they confuse "criticism" with the suffering of fools.

Ask yourselves this: What does Chomsky want? What does a Chomsky world look like?

If politicians took him seriously, if, for example, politicians actually stopped America from acting like the Soviet Union, then what would be the result? (Keep in mind, that Chomsky addresses America...the Soviets completely ignored him.)

The result would be an America surrounded by hostile Soviet satellites armed with nuclear weapons. The manifest, practical result of listening to Chomsky in a world where nobody listens to Chomsky is to lose. That is the obvious result of taking this fool seriously: America is hemmed-in and powerless, while America's enemies have full room to maneuver.

Chomskyism is a suicide pact, not a criticism. No civilization has ever survived by listening to suicide pacts.

Fred said...

"I am sometimes puzzled by the veiled anti-Jewishness that comes across in some posts. I thought the blog was mainly about human biodiversity. I have notice a lot of blatant racism against blacks and Mexicans, who supposedly have lower IQs and a more criminal nature, etc. If this is true, then it makes it somewhat understandable why people don't want to live in a black neighbourhood (too dangerous) and don't want more and more Mexicans coming across the boarder. However, what's with the anti-Jew thing? I thought their average IQ was the highest of all the ethnic groups."

The antipathy toward the other groups is due to their lower average IQs. The antipathy to Jews is due our continued pursuit of our own 'evolutionary group interests' as tribal people that metaphorically sucks the blood of white Christian societies. Asians also, by the way, are generally looked down upon here, because although they have higher average IQs than whites, they are uncreative and eat with sticks. Welcome to the Steve-O-Sphere. You can find Kosher HBD on Half Sigma's blog.

Fred said...

"Chomskyism is a suicide pact, not a criticism. No civilization has ever survived by listening to suicide pacts."

Not only that, but countries like Singapore, Switzerland, Japan, Taiwan, etc. get along fine without any Chomskys.

TGGP said...

Jeet Heer also thinks that Americans (particularly conservatives) starting supporting Israel after the Six Day War because everyone loves a winner. He has an axe to grind against conservatives though.

Chomsky's take on why Iraq was invaded comes off sounding fairly silly (as I most recently discussed here). I think Michael Neumann had the best explanation. Walt & Mearsheimer aren't quite as good, but their reply to critics on mistaken left-wing critics of Israel makes a lot of the right points.

Osama does mention Israel a lot in his complaints, but my personal opinion is that its not a big priority for him. Al Qaeda has not been very active against Israel. Like the neocons themselves, he rhetorically ties together different conflicts to build support for his own. His primary goal is overthrowing the U.S-aligned government of Saudi Arabia and other "moderate Arab" regimes so they can be replaced with a righteous Islamic one.

T99's assertion that the U.S was isolationist is, as commenters have pointed out, retarded. Chomsky & Buchanan's opposition to the first Gulf War looks rather prescient now that we know what a mess we got ourselves tangled into. They're wrong about the benefits of tariffs of course. Chomsky also downplayed how bad leftist regimes were when he was criticizing American foreign policy during the Cold War. I think a lot of it was a waste, but it wasn't "Killing Hope" because the Third World was hopeless to begin with, likely even moreso with the cliques he was relatively favorable toward in power. Barack Obama (hat tip to Mencius Moldbug) has also pointed out what a hypocrite Chomsky is for advocating U.S intervention in Latin America when its the leftist ox getting gored in our absence.

Ten Million Ghosts of Holodomor said...

The antipathy to Jews is due our continued pursuit of our own 'evolutionary group interests' as tribal people that metaphorically sucks the blood of white Christian societies.

You don't suppose that there's a chance in Hell that Komment Kontrol would allow us to respond to this, do you?

Fred said...

"You don't suppose that there's a chance in Hell that Komment Kontrol would allow us to respond to this, do you?"

You know we control the media, don't you? It's part of our evolutionary group strategy. This may be a blog, but it still counts as a medium.

Hacienda said...

Won't be posting to this blog any longer. Fractionally reasonable portion and decent posters here. But the Stormfront crowd is too large here. Distasteful. I'll take MSM obscurantism over dog thinking anyday. Steve, you discredit yourself. Hope you have the conviction to post this. If not, no matter.

Truth(er) said...

Look, I understand that a lot of people are very angry about the leftist policies of American liberal Jews. It is very annoying.

I, however, also thinks it's wrong to treat Israel's reasonable self-defense policies and right to exist as a proxy for attacking left-wing American Jewry.

Israel is a besieged nation surrounded by enemies that want to exterminate it. Along with the usual Jew-hatred directed by both its neighbors and the international global elite, Israel also experiences an enormous amount of anti-white and anti-western sentiment.

To the Stormfronters and others, why not affirm a consistent positivity? Why not assert both Israel's right to be a Jewish state and America's right to assert the traditional White majority as the true leaders of America?

Left-wing Jewish Anti-Americanism can be criticized all by itself without any references to Israel.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with truther. Yes, the Jewish community is left on America and right on Israel. And the solution is to push them to be right on America by using Israel as an example.

For example: "we need a wall like Israel has a wall". Republicans need to publicly call for America to emulate Israel. In doing so they are safe from a reelection perspective (their Jewish constituents and donors will actually be happy), yet it will provide an avenue for them to advance incredibly right wing ideas.

By simply quoting right-wing Israeli politicians *approvingly*, the American right could make such headway...

Anonymous said...

wintermute,
excellent summary

Anonymous said...

Everything you need to know about the essential jewish influence in the formation of the USSR you can read in AS's "200 years together". AS is not a person who was PC, lied or exaggerated.

nostrol said...

"At any rate, it's a moot point because Obama has thrown the Israeli alliance away -- only 4% of Israelis believe he is pro-Israeli.."

Mmm, seems strange given that Obama's financiers and handlers are mostly Jewish. Did anybody make a miscalculation?

Anonymous said...

Why do you think these evil tribal leaders you keep referring to would want to nuke NYC? I understand you think that they're more likely to do it if they don't fear retaliation, but what's the original motive in the first place?


So they can rule the leggy, blond babez.

SFG said...

"The antipathy toward the other groups is due to their lower average IQs. The antipathy to Jews is due our continued pursuit of our own 'evolutionary group interests' as tribal people that metaphorically sucks the blood of white Christian societies. Asians also, by the way, are generally looked down upon here, because although they have higher average IQs than whites, they are uncreative and eat with sticks. Welcome to the Steve-O-Sphere. You can find Kosher HBD on Half Sigma's blog"

Eh...a lot of these guys blame the Jews for everything to a frankly ridiculous degree, but there was great Jewish support for the pro-immigration policies that are annoying these guys so much. And a lot of the big anti-racists are Jewish. So I can't totally blame white racialists for being anti-semitic. It does kind of make sense, historically speaking.

Of course, Jews are suspicious of white racialist policies because of Hitler killing, oh, about a third of them (and four out of five in Europe). They're also suspicious of conservative Christians for trying to convert them, as well as the whole urban-rural animosity that exists in every culture. It's one of these grudges that persists on both sides for historical reasons even though it doesn't make a lot of sense from the strictly theoretical point of view--Jews aren't much less white than, say, the Lebanese, and probably more given the large amount of European genetic admixture. And Israel was one of the last nations to desert the white South Africa, and is a much more Western nation than, say, Iran or Saudi Arabia.

One of the things that strikes you as you read about politics is how much it has to do with present-day coalitions of interests rather than any sort of ideological purity. The Left supports the little guy, except when he's white or male or the government wants to take his business away. The Right's for free enterprise, except when one of their contributors needs bailing out. The US is for democracy, except when our interests are against it. Etc.

Edward said...

Like it did on 9-12-01? I don't want to be rude, but if you think that the spineless hacks that run the US would give the muzzies what they actually deserve, then you're nuts.

It's unprovable what would have happened without Israel. I suspect the Islamic world would still present a danger to the non-Islamic one.

Given a choice of the jewel of American real estate and wealth being wiped out under a mushrom cloud and that not happening I think the "spineless hacks that run the US" would rather it did not happen, if only for their financial self-interest in continuing to be the "spineless hacks that run the US".

Whether the US government would actually nuke the place Muslims pray to five times a day in response to such an attack is neither here nor there. The terrorists know the US government has the capability to do it and can't be sure they won't do it just to send a message.

(So if Mecca's going to get nuked by whoever they nuke anyway, they might prefer to nuke Israel.)

I'd imagine the Americans would give the inhabitants 1 week's warning to get out - more warning than the terrorists would give to evacuate Manhatten. Mecca isn't near the oil wells so if the jewel of Islam's holiest sites becomes a radioactive wasteland with no loss of life nobody loses.

The Cunning Linguist said...

Most lefty American Jews (meaning most American Jews) don't give a crap about Israel.

Anonymous said...

This may be a blog, but it still counts as a medium.

No shit.

At this point, I think my TCP/IP packets are just bouncing off of Komment Kontrol.

Like a little kid throwing a superball at a concrete wall.

I gotta grow up.

Svigor said...

I, however, also think it's wrong to treat Israel's reasonable self-defense policies and right to exist as a proxy for attacking left-wing American Jewry.

I reject the premise of your statement; I don't attack Israel's right to exist or defend itself, I attack the left's double-standards when it comes to Jewry.

To the Stormfronters and others, why not affirm a consistent positivity? Why not assert both Israel's right to be a Jewish state and America's right to assert the traditional White majority as the true leaders of America?

Consistency might not be the best angle of attack for you here, since one can easily make a consistent argument against Israel and for Euro ethnic nationalism using "is it good for Euros?"

"Is it good for the Euros" is where I start from, but I've come to the conclusion that the most effective strategy is a tightly nuanced pro-Israel pro-Jewish position. I think we can make a lot of hay that way, and spin all criticism of either as well-meant (in terms of our and their interests). Basically, learn from the left's tactics, cast ourselves as the victims, and make a permanent, open offer friendship and alliance. Think Jorg Haider, but from a genuine Euro ethnic nationalist position (so without quite so much fawning and unconditional love).

Left-wing Jewish Anti-Americanism can be criticized all by itself without any references to Israel.

Sure, but it can be criticized more effectively by keeping this card. Public discourse is leftist and pro-Israel; I don't know of a more dramatic proof of their hypocrisy and intellectual bankruptcy. The whole western zeitgeist is undermined; the Indians are always the good guys, unless the Cowboys wear yarmulkes.

Svigor said...

This is why non-western cultures become sclerotic, decadent and focused on past glory - like Imperial China, the Ottomans, the USSR, etc. Leaders need to have their decisions questioned and their mistakes pointed out. A culture with no dissent quickly becomes static and hidebound. I don't like Chomsky, but I'm glad I live in a society that can tolerate someone like him.

But how to keep a happy medium? Like so much of the leftist project, there is no upper bound, theoretical, practical, or otherwise. Would such be even mentionable?

Besides, have you noticed how we don't just tolerate leftist critics, we elevate them? And how we barely tolerate other critics, and marginalize and demonize them?

Who? Whom?

I submit that, under the guise of tolerance, we've just exchanged one bias for another (of very different worths). Keep the tolerance, but rot out any and all healthy core values, and it will hang you.

Svigor said...

Mecca isn't near the oil wells so if the jewel of Islam's holiest sites becomes a radioactive wasteland with no loss of life nobody loses.

Anyone want to speculate on the effect nuking Mecca and Medina would have on collective Muslim behavior? My guess, as an HBD type, is that it would stir them up big time, but maybe a culturalist wants to make the argument that it would break them (or some of them) (say, by showing Allah up as a chump)?

ben tillman said...

As amazing as it may seem, all the people who are prominent in Republican politics follow the same policies regardless of their ethnic background. Even more amazing, those policies are very similar to those of the Democrats.

There are reasons why this is so, but they are beyond the reach of those of you who think the world revolves around ethnicity.


Those reasons can be summed in four words: indoctrination, incentivization, intimidation, and imitation.

Truth(er) said...

Much has been made about why Islam attacks Israel. Basically, according to Islam, the Jews had tried to corrupt Mohammed.

My copy of the Koran is the first English translation made by an English-speaking Muslim convert, Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall, first published in 1930. He provides not only a direct translation but also an explanatory one. Here is his explanation of the Jews in the Koran's first Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow):

________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________

The Jewish Tribes, once paramount inYathrib, had, not very long before the coming of Al-Islam, been reduced by the pagan Arab tribes of Aus and Khazraj, each Jewish tribe becoming an adherent of one or the other. But they had preserved a sort of intellectual ascendancy owing to their possession of the Scripture and their fame for occult science, the pagan Arabs consulting their rabbis on occasions and paying heed to what they said. Before the coming of Al-Islam, these Jewish rabbis had often told their neighbors that a Prophet was about to come, and had often threatened them that, when he came, they (the Jews) would destroy the pagan Arabs as the tribes of A'ad and Thamud had been destroyed of old. So plainly did they describe the coming prophet that pilgrims from Yathrib recognised The Prophet, when he addressed them in Mecca, as the same whom the Jewish doctors had described to them. But the Jewish idea of a Prophet was one who would give them dominion, not one who would make them brethren of any pagan Arab who chose to accept Al-Islam. When they found they could not make use of the newcomer, they opposed him and tried to bewilder him with questions from their theology, speaking to him as men who possessed superior wisdom; failing to perceive that, from a Prophet's standpoint, theology is childish nonsense, the very opposite of religion, and its enemy; religion, for the Prophet, being not a matter of conjecture and speech, but of fact and conduct.

Ibn Ishaq states definitely that vv.1-141 were revealed concerning these Jewish rabbis and such of the new converts to Al-Islam as were half-hearted and inclined to them. There follows the order to change the Qiblah (the place toward which the Muslims turn their face in prayer) from Jerusalem to the Ka'bah at Mecca, which was built by Abraham, the choice of Jerusalem having led to a misunderstanding on the part of the Jews that the Prophet was groping his way toward their religion and stood in need of their guidance and instruction.

Anonymous said...

This notion of Israel's right to exist keeps coming up. I want to know why Israel has some kind of essential right to exist. I don't see existance as a right. It's more like a priviliege that one can earn either through force or through winning the good will of others. Israel certainly doesn't try very hard on the good will front.

Anonymous said...

At any rate, it's a moot point because Obama has thrown the Israeli alliance away -- only 4% of Israelis believe he is pro-Israeli.

Yet 80% of American Jews voted for him, seems a bit of a disconnect there.

Anyway who is really pulling his strings, it looks more deniable if the average Israeli believes he is against them.

Has there yet been a serious foreign policy issue where Obama has unequivocally acted against Israel?

Fred said...

You may be interested in Leon Wieseltier's review of Norman Podhoretz's book "Why Are Jews Liberal?" in today's NY Times. I'll quote a few parts here that are relevant to the discussion in these comments so far:

"When they lost their hopes for equality and decency in Europe and Russia, many of the Jews who kindled to the mobility of history responded with mobility of their own — some of them to the land of Israel, most of them to America. In America, of course, their destinies were hugely bettered, as individuals and as a group, by the dispensations of 20th-century liberalism. And so they became Democrats. “The reason Jews had been attracted to the Democratic Party in the first place,” Podhoretz writes, “was that it represented the closest American counterpart to the forces on the left that had favored Jewish emancipation in Europe.” What baffles him, what pains him, is that their attraction to the Democratic Party has never waned."

(Snip)

"This steadfast allegiance to the Democratic Party, Podhoretz insists, now flies in the face of Jewish interests.

It is more in the name of Jewish interests than of Jewish ideas that Podhoretz makes his complaint about the Jewish rejection of the Republicans. But nowhere in his book does he explain precisely how the interests of Jews are served by the Republican positions on government, health care, tax policy, gun control, abortion, gay rights, the environment, and so on."


(Snip)

"Podhoretz’s book was conceived as the solution to the puzzle that Milton Himmel­farb wittily formulated many years ago: “Jews earn like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans.” I have never understood the reputation of this joke. Why should Jews vote like Episcopalians? We are not Episcopalians. The implication of the joke is that political affiliation should be determined by social position, by levels of affluence. In living rich but voting poor, the Jews of America have failed to demonstrate class solidarity. Never mind that parties of the right in many Western countries have always counted on the poor to make the same betrayal, and support causes and candidates that will do nothing to relieve their economic hardship but will exhilarate them culturally or religiously or nationally.

It is not a delusion, not a treason, to vote against your own economic interest. It is a recognition of the multiplicity of interests, the many purposes, that make up a citizen’s life."

Anonymous said...

From Truth(er)'s quote - from a Prophet's standpoint, theology is childish nonsense, the very opposite of religion, and its enemy; religion, for the Prophet, being not a matter of conjecture and speech, but of fact and conduct.

Now that must be wrong, I have it on very good authority, from numerous left and right liberals, that anytime now Islam will have its own Reformation and then everything will be rosy. With liberal defanged Muslims raomimg the world.

Anonymous said...

Anyone want to speculate on the effect nuking Mecca and Medina would have on collective Muslim behavior? My guess, as an HBD type, is that it would stir them up big time, but maybe a culturalist wants to make the argument that it would break them (or some of them) (say, by showing Allah up as a chump)?

To me this is one of the more interesting situations in geopolitics. Gary North speculated on it a few years ago in the following:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north482.html

I've always assumed that a Clinton-Bush II-Obama administration would not nuke Mecca, but would retaliate massively w/o nukes in the mideast (by absolute political necessity, if nothing else).

I've also read a few essays since 9/11 about or by Seymor Hersh (The Samson Option) and Martin van Creveld that talked about Israeli nuclear policy, including the implied threat to take down Europe (at least) if Israel is destroyed - protect us or you go down with us (which is really frightening stuff if you let your mind wander with it a bit). So I have absolutely no doubt that Bibi would nuke Mecca.

Anonymous said...

Fred: The antipathy to Jews is due our continued pursuit of our own 'evolutionary group interests' as tribal people that metaphorically sucks the blood of white Christian societies.

Leon Wieseltier via Fred: This steadfast allegiance to the Democratic Party, Podhoretz insists, now flies in the face of Jewish interests.

It is more in the name of Jewish interests than of Jewish ideas that Podhoretz makes his complaint about the Jewish rejection of the Republicans. But nowhere in his book does he explain precisely how the interests of Jews are served by the Republican positions...



Granted, I'm not a very good writer [and often not even a very good reader], but I don't think that's how sarcasm is supposed to work.

Fred said...

"Granted, I'm not a very good writer [and often not even a very good reader], but I don't think that's how sarcasm is supposed to work."

You may not be a good writer or reader, but you are at least an astute appraiser of your own abilities.

Anonymous said...

I, however, also thinks it's wrong to treat Israel's reasonable self-defense policies and right to exist as a proxy for attacking left-wing American Jewry.




It's a good thing that nobody is doing that so. What you see here is people objecting to the way in which many American Jews decry as "Nazism" in America the same policies they approve of in Israel.


The Jews in question may be a subset, but they are a common sight on the blogs all the same.

Truth said...

"To the Stormfronters and others, why not affirm a consistent positivity? Why not assert both Israel's right to be a Jewish state and America's right to assert the traditional White majority as the true leaders of America?"

I agree, after all both were violently stolen from Arab and Indian "landowners in residence."

headache said...

troof sez:
I agree, after all both were violently stolen from Arab and Indian "landowners in residence."

Yeah, like your brothas in Zimbabwe have done in the last 15 years and are currently doing in South Africa: stealing land by murder from its rightful owners, and then using proxy arguments, manipulating the rhetoric of Human Rights, abusing scripture, and emotional string-pulling to justify the theft and murder.

Silver said...

To the Stormfronters and others, why not affirm a consistent positivity? Why not assert both Israel's right to be a Jewish state and America's right to assert the traditional White majority as the true leaders of America?

Why not simply affirm complete indifference to Israel and Jews and concentrate on the racial issues that really matter. If Jews have a problem with that whose problem is that?

Fred said...

"Why not simply affirm complete indifference to Israel and Jews and concentrate on the racial issues that really matter. If Jews have a problem with that whose problem is that?"

This Jew, for one, would welcome complete indifference.

Truth said...

"Yeah, like your brothas in Zimbabwe have done in the last 15 years and are currently doing in South Africa: stealing land by murder from its rightful owners,"

Who are "it's rightful owners?"

Marc B said...

"The anarchy Chomsky prefers and refers to may be a post WW III world where we really are back to state of nature and freedom. LOL."

What he describes as Utopia is some odd hybrid described by him as "libertarian Socialism". It seems his romance with Spanish anarchism colors his ideology and world view even more than epiphanies he resulting from his breakthroughs in linguistics.

David said...

Better writers challenged the State - which is inclusive of imperial corporatism - back when it mattered.

Justin Raimondo's book "Reclaiming the American Right" is an overview of them: Mencken, Nock, Garet, etc. I don't necessary agree with all of them; but clearly Chomsky, being merely another son of Marx, is an empty echo.

headache said...

troof sez:
Who are "it's rightful owners?"



like i sed, word manipulation as expected. The people with title deeds, that's "Who". All the land in white private possession was PAID for (the historical rundown is documented, the title deeds are internationally recognized and can be seen by anyone serious about the issue, and yes that precludes u). The public lands which the colonial authorities claimed has long been handed to the black governments, who never paid a nickel for it and unlike the Rhodesians are doing nothing productive with, except dishing it out to cronies to make these sorry asses feel more important, killing off the wild animals and otherwise f.ing it up.

Most of the black land was never paid for, simply settled, like the whites did in the US. The fortunate thing for blacks was that the original "owners", the "Who" you refer to, the San (Bushmen), were numerically inferior and not warlike and so easy to drive off. Only when blacks tripped up on the whites simultaneously coming in from southern Africa did the problems start.

Anyway, if you feel so strong about the "Who", WTF are you still doing in the US? Are you not aware of the fact that you are trespassing someone else's land (the indians')? You should be back in your beloved home continent already! Hat tip, Zimbabwe, for which you are shilling, is a pretty shitty place now that Mugabe is in control. Try South Africa, its white government only left 15 years ago so you may still find a few good roads and some clean drinking water there.

Svigor said...

As amazing as it may seem, all the people who are prominent in Republican politics follow the same policies regardless of their ethnic background. Even more amazing, those policies are very similar to those of the Democrats.

There are reasons why this is so, but they are beyond the reach of those of you who think the world revolves around ethnicity.


I've tried to post hot links to this several times in response to (more or less) the same argument, and Steve hasn't let them through. I assume he doesn't want me linking to the site in question, so try G**gling "Jewish vs. Euro-American Voting Patterns" and "By Their Deeds Ye Shall Know Them!".

Truth said...

"All the land in white private possession was PAID for..."

So if I steal something from you I have the right to SELL it to someone else?

"Most of the black land was never paid for, simply settled,"

So because the local method of land ownership was different, it was inconsequential? Someone did have to settle the land originally, who should they have PAID?

"Anyway, if you feel so strong about the "Who",..."

I didn't say that I felt strong (sic) about it, I asked a question.

Anonymous said...

People who say that Chomsky is a hypocrite for being anti-capitalist and making a profit have obviously never paid any attention to the alternate economic systems put forward by anti-capitalists.