World-renowned intellectual Noam Chomsky has been pushing change in language, politics and culture for decades. The controversial expert on modern language explains why "the smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum."
Larry Bensky is a literary and political journalist with more than forty years experience in both print and broadcast media, as well as a teacher and long-time political activist. He is well known for his work with Pacifica Radio station KPFA-FM in Berkeley, California, and for the many nationally-broadcast hearings he anchored for the Pacifica network.
A native of New York City, Bensky graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1954 and, with departmental honors, from Yale University, where he was managing editor of the Yale Daily News. He is married and has one daughter.
Noam Chomsky, a professor of linguistics and philosophy at MIT, is the author of numerous books on U.S. foreign policy, including American Power and the New Mandarins, Political Economy of Human Rights (two volumes, written with Edward Herman), Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians, and Pirates and Emperors, Old and New: International Terrorism in the Real World. His most recent books are Failed States and Perilous Power.
Linguist Noam Chomsky expresses concern that American listeners are consuming the "crazy content" broadcast by right-wing media outlets as "substantive" -- answers to why the rich liberals running the country do not care about people in the flyover states.
What comes to mind, Chomsky says, is late Wiemar Germany. "There were people with real grievances...the Nazis gave them an answer."
"Campaign funding is a remarkable predictor of election, and also of policy," says controversial political activist Noam Chomsky. He asserts that the Supreme Court is currently considering a lawsuit that would allow corporations to "buy elections directly, instead of indirectly."
(born Dec. 7, 1928, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.) U.S. linguist, philosopher, and political activist. He received a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1955, the same year he joined the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Chomsky takes the proper object of study for linguistics to be the mentally represented grammars that constitute the native speaker's knowledge of his language and the biologically innate language faculty, or universal grammar, that enables the developmentally normal language learner, as a child, to construct a grammar of the language to which he is exposed. For Chomsky, the ultimate goal of linguistic science is to develop a theory of universal grammar that provides a descriptively adequate grammar for any natural language given only the kind of primary linguistic data available in the social environments of children. This imperative has motivated the gradual refinement of Chomskyan linguistic theory from the early transformational grammar of the 1950s and '60s to the Minimalist Program of the 1990s and beyond. A self-described libertarian socialist, Chomsky has written numerous books and lectured widely on what he considers the antidemocratic character of American capitalism and its pernicious influence on the country's politics and foreign policy, mass media, and academic and intellectual culture. See alsogenerative grammar.
Originally Posted by SNS
I think that Kennedy's historian and friend Arthur Schlessinger summed it up in saying of Chomsky that "it has long been impossible to take anything he says seriously" and adding "One can only conclude that Chomsky's idea of the responsibility of an intellectual is to forswear reasoned analysis, indulge in moralistic declamation, fabricate evidence when necessary and shout, always at the top of one's voice."
That pretty much nails it.
The phrase "One can only conclude" is patent rhetoric, and it's untrue. I conclude differently, and I'm not too conceited to speak for myself, unlike the late Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.
The websites that are central to this "liberty movement" (provide the talking points etc) are funded by lobbying firms and PR bureaus hired by healthcare insurance corporations and the likes.
In case of the town hall meetings they don't make a secret of the fact that their point is to *disrupt* the meetings as to make discussion of healthcare reform impossible.
One of the sources for this is a leaked memo from "Right Principals", signed "in liberty" by Bob MacGuffie who is affiliated with "Freedom Works" which is a DC lobbying firm ran by former Republican majority leader Dick Armey (as investigated by Rachel Maddow).
One addendum to my previous comments.
To get the money out of politics, the money must be taken away from politicians.
Graft is a disease and money is the vector. As long as the government controls large sums of money, people who want some of it will bribe, cajole and even blackmail politicians (irregardless of party or ideology) to get it. If Mr. Chomsky is really serious about reducing the influence of money in politics, he will immediately call for the paring of all government institutions and the dissolution of most.
I'll bet he will never call for much less (or, for that matter, any less) government control over our lives. As a matter of fact, he is part of a large cohort of liberals that view government as the solution to our problems rather than the cause of most of them.
One last thought. It strikes me as curious that one regularly sees liberal and anarchist groups advocating or participating in illegal activity and even violence. Look at the conduct of the anarchist rabble that takes to the street at every world economic summit.
These people act upon their emotions. They loot, smash, attack and destroy while deriding the "capitalist machine" and then they mount their rented Honda and return to the airport to catch their flights home.
They use the corporate structure for their heat, television and food and they travel on the roads built by people that work for those nasty old capitalists and use the machines built by the proletariat under the thumb of the capitalist pigs.
The fact is, not a one of them would survive more than a few minutes in the perfect world they envision where everyone lives off the land. They are generally a bunch of rich crybabies with nothing better to do than hate the very wealth that gives them freedom to be anarchists. The only thing worse is their cadre of mindless sycophants that worship their personalities and love their irrational ideas.
I am a "right winger" but I am an independent. I am quite intelligent and I take pride in the fact that I am well informed. I am deliberative and somewhat of an ideologue but not to the extent that I reject other opinions without deliberation.
That said, I think Mr. Chomsky suffers from the same malady that afflicts many liberals. That is, if they are unable to win an argument by challenging it on an intellectual level, they resort to vilification, questioning the opposition's veracity or (worst of all) resorting to ad hominem and name calling.
Mr. Chomsky, like many of his kind, thinks he is above everyone else to the point that, if they don't agree with him, they are not capable of rational and independent thinking and they (the detractors) are all part of some conspiracy of the opposing point of view. He thinks that anyone that acts with a group other that the ones he approves of is a mindless automaton being controlled by some pundent.
Mr. Chomksy, if you are listening, my disagreement with you is about the differences that exist between us as related to our ideas. It is nothing personal. Socialists like you have come and gone and time has proven that society abhors a state that controls every thought and action and states structured in such a manner fall never to be seen or heard from again.
The only way a state structured to control all thought and actions can exist is by totalitarian control. And that is the problem. Mr. Chomsky wants to be among the ruling elite so the "unwashed masses" can live without having to be concerned with such mundane intrusions as freedom to choose and freedom to think.
Over my dead and rotting corpse!
As Chomsky intimates, big business will not likely stop trying to influence politics(elections) just because it's illegal. But that's the best idea he provides. In my opinion and interpretation, he seems still struggle with the implications of tha fact that that with all the centralised funding and centralized power at stake, all large entities will seek to protect and/or promote themselves.
Chomsky is articulate and sharp so you gotta love the way he says things whether you agree with them or not.
There is a plan to create an online service that will enable the American people to counter special-interest lobbyists by using social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, to unite and form a massive political lobby of the people. You can see the plan online at http://TheElectors.org . The first order of business after the politicians are playing for the people could be to change the laws so that corporations and PACs are restricted from contributing.
InVinoVeritas: you could have just saved the effort of writing all that and given your thesaurus a break by simply typing "ad hominem" a half dozen times.
Karuna: Klaus and the the rest didn't retire, they were still young men in the mid 1950s, rather having finished the counter insurgency against labour groups and the left and anti-fascists in Europe new work was to be had in all the charming dictatorships the USA was installing in South America.
Speaking of Nazis:
The CIA hired some of the most heinous and wanted war criminals and then let them peacefully retire in South American countries. The "Buther of Lyon" Klaus Barbie sentenced thousands of children to death camps.
The Shah's SAVAK were taught Nazi torture techniques by the CIA and Israel's Mossad. They poured boiling water and inserted broken glass into people's rectums, tied weights to the testicles, extracted teeth and nails, beat, whipped, shocked, and preformed psychological torture on people as well.
As Martin Luther King, Jr. stated in his stance against the war in Vietnam, Diem's general Ky said his most admired person was Hitler.
If our President and other leaders around the world would just simply state that it would be best for the world for people to have no more than two kids and to adopt if they desire to have more children it would help control the human species. Why aren't we raining down condoms onto the third world and trying to educate people about the overpopulation crisis, since it's one of the most fundamental problems we face. The more people the harder it is to bring stability to the world.
Our US Space Command's insanely chilling Vision for 2020 states there'll be a growing number of "have and have-nots". Chomsky has stated before that this military template should be headline news. It's already over a decade old, and not too many people know about it.
Lamont - that's not even the case, though it's a conveniently hopeful explanation for Chomskyites. Schlessinger was rightly bothered by Chomsky's chronic abuse of the facts and his weird polemic style. Noam Chomsky isn't take seriously by historians or political theorists in shouting distance of the credible center. He's looked at by some mainstream scholars as a sort of anthropological phenomenon worth studying - but his actual writing, outside of the field of linguistics, is so larded up with peeves and prejudice that it's almost unreadable.