"WHO'S NOAM CHOMSKY?" - PART 1
Regarding CN 8.03 ("Worshipping at the Shrine of Chomsky"), one
CN reader responded as follows:
I have just one question: Who's Noam Chomsky?
Noam Chomsky is an M.I.T. professor who has written and spoken
voluminously on U.S. and world politics. Much of his material is
quite good and demonstrates keen insight. It is not for nothing
that he has so many devoted fans. There are some areas, however,
in which I personally feel he is in error.
There are some persons having a groupie mentality who just want
to swarm around some leader, and just relax and go by whatever he
or she says. Not all Chomsky-ites are like this, but some of
them are. To see who are the groupies, just innocently ask:
"And in what areas do you disagree with Professor Chomsky?" The
groupies will just stare and/or dodge the question -- often
demonstrating an excellent talent for verbal gymnastics -- while
those who are still doing their own thinking will be quite
concrete: Chomsky is wrong about this; He errs here.
(Chomsky, by the way, is not the only leading light afflicted
with groupies. Just ask your typical LaRouchie, "And in what
areas do you disagree with Lyndon LaRouche?")
Who is Noam Chomsky? Here, in this series, are some of his
thoughts, as reported in the booklet *Secrets, Lies and
Democracy* (Tucson: Odonian Press, 1994).
The corporations are the bad guys. Any good effects traceable to
them are just incidental. They are at heart fascistic, with
rigid, top-down control. No democracy exists in the corporate
structure. To back his argument, Chomsky quotes Thomas
Jefferson, who distinguished between aristocrats, who "fear and
distrust the people," and democrats, who "identify with the
people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the
most honest and safe, although not the most wise, depository of
the public interest." Jefferson, says Professor Chomsky,
"specifically warned against 'banking institutions and monied
incorporations' ...and said that if they grow, the aristocrats
will have won and the American Revolution will have been lost."
According to the M.I.T. professor, the corporations gained
subsequent ascendancy in part because of judicial maneuvers. It
didn't happen so much through the legislative branch, "it
happened through judicial decisions. Judges and corporate
lawyers simply crafted a new society in which corporations have
"Profits are privatized, yet costs are socialized": So says this
doyen of the intelligentsia. If you are scratching your head,
what he means is, for example, the Mexican bailout: We are told
that the Mexican economy is collapsing and American taxpayers
must lend a hand. Yet the true story, as covered in Conspiracy
Nation and elsewhere, is that Wall Street investors were in
danger of losing bucks in their Mexican investments so *we*, the
taxpayers, had to rescue them -- "costs are socialized." Then,
when these same Wall Street types score big on their investments,
we, the taxpayers, do *not* share in that -- "profits are
privatized." So too with a New York Times headline: "Nation
considers means to dispose of its plutonium." The costs of
cleaning up the plutonium belong to us, the nation; the profits
of the mega power corporations belong to the stockholders.
The Noamster is *almost* be-bopping right in tune with the
conspiracy jive when he clues us in to the war scares of 1947 and
1948 being manipulated "to try to ram spending bills through
Congress to save the aeronautical industry". What Cool Cat
Chomsky misses is that these "war scares" did not just "happen"
to come along and were then manipulated by the aeronautical
industry; these "war scares" were purposefully produced, not just
"manipulated" when they supposedly chanced onto the scene.
Almost, Noam. But sorry, you get no cigar.
The kindly professor *does* hit the mark when he points out the
increasing gap between the haves and the have-nots in this
country. Conspiracy Nation points to this gap, and the
simultaneous disappearance of the middle class, as a big reason
why it is becoming increasingly obvious which side of the line
the mainstream media is on. When there was a large middle class,
the sharp distinctions between rich and poor were more blurred.
Reflecting the then-fuzzy lines between the classes, the media
also was not clearly in focus. But the whoredom of the American
press *now* is as obvious as a hooker on Saturday night.
Here's Chomsky, the learned man. And there's you, a mere mortal.
"I AM CHOMSKY, THE GREAT AND IRREFUTABLE! WHO ARE *YOU*, AND WHY
DO YOU 'DISS' ME!?"
You reply, "Well you see, sir, it's just that you.... Well, you
say that the Clinton crime bill 'was hailed with great enthusiasm
by the far right.' And sir, I know that you are like Oz, the
ALL-SEEING, and I am only the editor of a small conspiracy
newsletter, but still -- Which 'far right' are you talking
"[The Clinton crime bill] was hailed with great enthusiasm by
the far right..." -- Noam Chomsky, ca. 1994
Can you spell "wrong"? W-r-o-n-g. The "far right" *hated* the
Clinton crime bill. Either Professor Chomsky is glaringly,
obviously wrong in this statement, or else he is surprisingly
sloppy in his use of the term "far right". Even I, a mere
Editor-in-Chief of a tundra-based "e-zine", understand that the
term "far right" is ambiguous.
So also the Pied Piper of uprooted youth warns his followers that
"It's pretty clear that, taken literally, the Second Amendment
doesn't permit people to have guns." Say what?? Chomsky does
not elaborate. I guess if it's not "pretty clear" to you, you'd
better keep it to yourself. Otherwise, Chomsky might presume you
to be part of the "far right".
Yet there are actually people who speak in hushed tones when
uttering the name of Chomsky. Just like with Sherman Skolnick,
if he's not God then he must be the Devil -- for some people
there is no middle ground. Chomsky, surrounded by "yes men",
succumbs to their need to place him on a pedestal. And what
happens after they place you *on* the pedestal? Answer: they
knock you *off* the pedestal. So hey Noam, don't blame me. I
never set you up. They did.
Chomsky blames populist rage against arrogant government on
"intensive business propaganda" that makes the people feel as if
the government is "some kind of enemy." (If *I* were to say
that, I'd risk being called a "conspiracy nut".) This is all
just a bunch of "government bashing" that's going on, Herr
Professor seems to say, and not a democratic uprising rooted in
the outrage felt by the people Noam claims to love. Why won't
the Mighty Mentality from Massachusetts allow for the possibility
that yes, Consarnit, this is an honest-to-Pete populist uprising?
Might that mean that Big Government -- *this* big government,
anyway -- is not just inches from God Himself? And *if* Big
Government falls, is Noam then left without his *own* personal
tin god -- his own personal Jesus -- without which he would be
"walking that lonesome valley, all by himself"?
Maybe. For certain is that Chomsky sits right in the middle,
half right and half wrong. With many unable to view things
beyond the sophistication of a two-dimensional cartoon reality,
that makes for deification, demonization, and yours truly,
sitting on the fence,
Brian Francis Redman