Skip to comments.The Sick Mind of Noam Chomsky (Part I & II)
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The Sick Mind of Noam Chomsky
FrontPageMagazine.com | September 26, 2001
WITHOUT QUESTION, the most devious, the most dishonest and -- in this hour of his nations grave crisis the most treacherous intellect in America belongs to MIT professor Noam Chomsky. On the 150 campuses that have mounted "teach-ins" and rallies against Americas right to defend herself; on the streets of Genoa and Seattle where "anti-globalist" anarchists have attacked the symbols of markets and world trade; among the demonstrators at Vieques who wish to deny our military its training grounds; and wherever young people manifest an otherwise incomprehensible rage against their country, the inspirer of their loathing and the instructor of their hate is most likely this man.
There are many who ask how it is possible that our most privileged and educated youth should come to despise their own nation a free, open, democratic society and to do so with such ferocious passion. They ask how it is possible for American youth to even consider lending comfort and aid to the Osama bin Ladens and the Saddam Husseins (and the Communists before them). A full answer would involve a search of the deep structures of the human psyche, and its irrepressible longings for a redemptive illusion. But the short answer is to be found in the speeches and writings of an embittered academic and his intellectual supporters.
For forty years, Noam Chomsky has turned out book after book, pamphlet after pamphlet and speech after speech with one message, and one message alone: America is the Great Satan; it is the fount of evil in the world. In Chomskys demented universe, America is responsible not only for its own bad deeds, but for the bad deeds of others, including those of the terrorists who struck the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In this attitude he is the medium for all those who now search the ruins of Manhattan not for the victims and the American dead, but for the "root causes" of the catastrophe that befell them.
One little pamphlet of Chomskys What Uncle Sam Really Wants has already sold 160,000 copies (1), but this represents only the tip of the Chomsky iceberg. His venomous message is spread on tapes and CDs, and the campus lecture circuit; he is promoted at rock concerts by superstar bands such as Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, and U-2 (whose lead singer Bono called Chomsky a "rebel without a pause"). He is the icon of Hollywood stars like Matt Damon whose genius character in the Academy Award-winning film Good Will Hunting is made to invoke Chomsky as the go-to authority for political insight.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Noam Chomsky is "the most often cited living author. Among intellectual luminaries of all eras, Chomsky placed eighth, just behind Plato and Sigmund Freud." On the Web, there are more chat room references to Noam Chomsky than to Vice President Dick Cheney and 10 times as many as there are to Democratic congressional leaders Richard Gephardt and Tom Daschle. This is because Chomsky is also the political mentor of the academic left, the legions of Sixties radicals who have entrenched themselves in American universities to indoctrinate students in their anti-American creeds. The New York Times calls Chomsky "arguably the most important intellectual alive," and Rolling Stone which otherwise does not even acknowledge the realm of the mind "one of the most respected and influential intellectuals in the world."(2)
In fact, Chomskys influence is best understood not as that of an intellectual figure, but as the leader of a secular religious cult as the ayatollah of anti-American hate. This cultic resonance is recognized by his followers. His most important devotee, David Barsamian, is an obscure public radio producer on KGNU in Boulder Colorado, who has created a library of Chomsky screeds on tape from interviews he conducted with the master, and has converted them into pamphlets and books as well. In the introduction to one such offering, Barsamian describes Chomskys power over his disciples: "Although decidedly secular, he is for many of us our rabbi, our preacher, our rinpoche, our pundit, our imam, our sensei."(3)
The theology that Chomsky preaches is Manichean, with America as its evil principle. For Chomsky no evil however great can exceed that of America, and America is also the cause of evil in others. This is the key to the mystery of September 11: The devil made them do it. In every one of the 150 shameful demonstrations that took place on Americas campuses on September 20, these were the twin themes of those who agitated to prevent America from taking up arms in her self-defense: America is responsible for the "root causes" of this criminal attack; America has done worse to others.
In his first statement on the terrorist attack, Chomskys response to Osama bin Ladens calculated strike on a building containing 50,000 innocent human beings was to eclipse it with an even greater atrocity he was confident he could attribute to former president Bill Clinton. Chomskys infamous September 12 statement "On the Bombings" began:
The terrorist attacks were major atrocities. In scale they may not reach the level of many others, for example, Clintons bombing of the Sudan with no credible pretext, destroying half its pharmaceutical supplies and killing unknown numbers of people (no one knows, because the US blocked an inquiry at the UN and no one cares to pursue it).(4)
Observe the syntax. The opening reference to the actual attacks is clipped and bloodless, a kind of rhetorical throat clearing for Chomsky to get out of the way, so that he can announce the real subject of his concern Americas crimes. The accusation against Clinton is even slipped into the text, weasel fashion, as though it were a modifier, when it is actually the substantive message itself. It is a message that says: Look away, America, from the injury that has been done to you, and contemplate the injuries you have done to them. It is in this sleight of hand that Chomsky reveals his true gift, which is to make the victim, America, appear as an even more heinous perpetrator than the criminal himself. However bad this may seem, you have done worse.
In point of fact and just for the record however ill-conceived Bill Clintons decision to launch a missile into the Sudan, it was not remotely comparable to the World Trade Center massacre. It was, in its very design, precisely the opposite a defensive response that attempted to minimize casualties. Clintons missile was launched in reaction to the blowing up of two of our African embassies, the murder of hundreds of innocent people and the injury to thousands, mostly African civilians. It was designed with every precaution possible to prevent the loss of innocent life. The missile was fired at night, so that no one would be in the building when it was hit. The target was selected because the best information available indicated it was not a pharmaceutical factory, but a factory producing biological weapons. Chomskys use of this incident to diminish the monstrosity of the terrorist attack is a typical Chomsky maneuver, an accurate measure of his instinctive mendacity, and an index of the anti-American dementia, which infuses everything he writes and says.
This same psychotic hatred shapes the "historical" perspective he offered to his disciples in an interview conducted a few days after the World Trade Center bombing. It was intended to present America as the devil incarnate and therefore a worthy target of attack for the guerilla forces of "social justice" all over the world. This was the first time America itself or as Chomsky put it the "national territory" had been attacked since the War of 1812. Pearl Harbor doesnt count in Chomskys calculus because Hawaii was a "colony" at the time. The fact that it was a benignly run colony and that it is now a proud state of the Union counts for nothing, of course, in Chomskys eyes.
During these years [i.e., between 1812 and 1941], the US annihilated the indigenous population (millions of people), conquered half of Mexico, intervened violently in the surrounding region, conquered Hawaii and the Philippines (killing hundreds of thousands of Filipinos), and in the past half century particularly, extended its resort to force throughout much of the world. The number of victims is colossal. For the first time, the guns have been directed the other way. That is a dramatic change.(5)
Listening to Chomsky, you can almost feel the justice of Osama bin Ladens strike on the World Trade Center.
If you were one of the hundreds of thousands of young people who had been exposed to his propaganda and the equally vile teachings of his academic disciples you too would be able to extend your outrage against America into the present.
What decent, caring human being would not want to see America and its war criminals brought to justice?
According to Chomsky, what America really wants is to steal from the poor and give to the rich. Americas crusade against Communism was actually a crusade "to protect our doctrine that the rich should plunder the poor."(9) That is why we busied ourselves in launching a new crusade against terrorism after the end of the Cold War:
Of course, the end of the Cold War brings its problems too. Notably, the technique for controlling the domestic population has had to shift New enemies have to be invented. It becomes hard to disguise the fact that the real enemy has always been the poor who seek to plunder the rich in particular, Third World miscreants who seek to break out of the service role.(10)
According to Chomsky, America is afraid of the success of Third World countries and does not want them to succeed on their own. Those who threaten to succeed like the Marxist governments of North Vietnam, Nicaragua and Grenada America regards as viruses. According to Chomsky, during the Cold War, "except for a few madmen and nitwits, none feared [Communist] conquest they were afraid of a positive example of successful development. "What do you do when you have a virus? First you destroy it, then you inoculate potential victims, so that the disease does not spread. Thats basically the US strategy in the Third World.".(11)
No wonder they want to bomb us.
Schooled in these big lies, taught to see America as Greed Incarnate and a political twin of the Third Reich, why wouldnt young people with no historical memory come to believe that the danger ahead lies in Washington rather than Baghdad or Kabul?
It would be easy to demonstrate how on every page of every book and in every statement that Chomsky has written the facts are twisted, the political context is distorted (and often inverted) and the historical record is systematically traduced. Every piece of evidence and every analysis is subordinated to the overweening purpose of Chomskys lifework, which is to justify an idée fixe his pathological hatred of his own country.
It would take volumes, however, to do this and there really is no need. Because every Chomsky argument exists to serve this end, a fact transparent in each offensive and preposterous claim he makes. Hence, the invidious comparison of Clintons misguided missile and the monstrous World Trade Center attack.
In fact the Trade Center and the Pentagon targets of the terrorists present a real political problem for American leftists, like Chomsky, who know better than to celebrate an event that is the almost predictable realization of their agitations and their dreams. The destroyed buildings are the very symbols of the American empire with which they have been at war for fifty years. In a memoir published on the eve of the attack, the 60s American terrorist Bill Ayers recorded his joy at striking one of these very targets: "Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon. The sky was blue. The birds were singing. And the bastards were finally going to get what was coming to them."(12) In the wake of September 11, Ayers a "Distinguished Professor of Education[!] at the University of Illinois had to feverishly backtrack and explain that these revealing sentiments of an "anti-war" leftist do not mean what they obviously do. Claiming to be "filled with horror and grief," Ayers attempted to reinterpret his terrorist years as an effort to explore his own struggle with "the intricate relationships between social justice, commitment and resistance."(13)
Chomsky is so much Ayers superior at the lie direct that he works the same denial into his account of the World Trade Center bombing itself. Consider first the fact that the Trade Center is the very symbol of American capitalism and "globalization" that Chomsky and his radical comrades despise. It is Wall Street, its twin towers filled on that fateful day with bankers, brokers, international traders, and corporate lawyers the hated men and women of the "ruling class," who according to Chomsky run the global order. The twin towers are the palace of the Great Satan himself. They are the belly of the beast, the object of Chomskys lifelong righteous wrath. But he is too clever and too cowardly to admit it. He knows that, in the hour of the nations grief, the fact itself is a third rail he must avoid. And so he dismisses the very meaning of the terrorists target in these words:
The primary victims, as usual, were working people: janitors, secretaries, firemen, etc. It is likely to be a crushing blow to Palestinians and other poor and oppressed people.
Chomskys deception which attempts to erase the victims who were not merely "janitors, secretaries, firemen, etc.," tells us more than we might care to know about his own standard of human concern.
That concern is exclusively reserved for the revolutionary forces of his Manichean vision, the Third World oppressed by American evil. Chomskys message to his disciples in this country, the young on our college campuses, the radicals in our streets, the moles in our government offices, is a message of action and therefore needs to be attended to, even by those who will never read his rancid works. To those who believe his words of hate, Chomsky has this instruction:
The people of the Third World need our sympathetic understanding and, much more than that, they need our help. We can provide them with a margin of survival by internal disruption in the United States. Whether they can succeed against the kind of brutality we impose on them depends in large part on what happens here.(14)
This is the voice of the Fifth Column left. Disruption in this country is what the terrorists want, and what the terrorists need, and what the followers of Noam Chomsky intend to give them.
In his address before Congress on September 19, President Bush reminded us: "We have seen their kind before. They are the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions, by abandoning every value except the will to power, they follw in the path of fascism, Nazism and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way to where it ends in historys unmarked grave of discarded lies."
President Bush was talking about the terrorists and their sponsors abroad. But he might just as well have been talking about their fifth column allies at home.
Its time for Americans who love their country to stand up, and defend it.
(1)Noam Chomsky, What Uncle Sam Really Wants, Tucson, 1986 (interviews with David Barsamian)
(3)Noam Chomsky, Propaganda and the Public Mind, Interviews by David Barsamian, Cambridge, 2001 p. x. In the endpapers of this volume the NY Times is quoted praising Chomsky as "an exploder of received truths." The Guardian (London): "One of the radical heroes of our age A towering intellect " The Times Literary Supplement: "Chomskys work has some of the qualities of Revelations, the Old Testament prophets and Blake."
(4)Available at www.znet.org
(5)Interview, September 19, 2001. www.znet.org
(6)What Uncle Sam Really Wants, pp. 8, 18, 29, 31, 32, 56-58
(7)Chomsky, Profit Over People, NY 1999, p. 102
(8)What Uncle Sam Really Wants, p. 32
(9)Ibid. p. 79
(10)Ibid. pp. 82
(11)Ibid. pp. 56-7
(12)Bill Ayers, Fugitive Days, NY 2001, p. 256
(13)Statement on the publishers website, www.beacon.org
(14)What Uncle Sam Really Wants, p. 100
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The Sick Mind of Noam Chomsky: Part II Method and Madness
by David Horowitz
FrontPageMagazine.com | October 8, 2001
Chomskyites who read "The Sick Mind of Noam Chomsky (Part I)" have complained that "there is not one single comment that contradicts Chomskys research." Consequently, my refutation of Chomsky was not achieved "by reasoned argument or detailing the errors of fact or logic in his writings and statements, but by character assassination and the trivializing of Chomskys strongly held beliefs through accusations that they were unpatriotic."
I confess to being a little puzzled by this objection. Having described Chomskys equation of post-World War II America with Nazi Germany, it did not actually occur to me that additional refutation was required. Not, at any rate, among the sound of mind. It is true, on the other hand -- as will become apparent in this sequel -- that the adulators of Chomsky share a group psychosis with millions of others who formerly worshipped pre-Chomskyites, like Lenin, Stalin, and other Marxist worthies, as geniuses of the progressive faith.
Now to the facts.
Chomskys little masterpiece, What Uncle Sam Wants, draws on Americas actions in the Cold War as a database for its portrayal as the Evil One in global affairs. As Chomsky groupies are quick to point out, a lot of facts do appear in the text or more precisely appear to appear in the text. On closer examination, every one of them has been ripped out of any meaningful historical context and then distorted so cynically that the result has about as much in common with the truth as Harry Potters Muggles Guide to Magic.
In Chomskys telling, the bi-polar world of the Cold War is viewed as though there were only one pole. In the real world, the Cold War was about Americas effort to organize a democratic coalition against an expansionist empire that conquered and enslaved more than a billion people. It ended, when the empire gave up and the walls that kept its subjects locked in, came tumbling down. In Chomskys world, the Soviet empire hardly exists, not a single American action is seen as a response to a Soviet initiative, and the Cold War is "analyzed" as though it had only one side.
This is like writing a history of the Second World War without mentioning Hitler or noticing that the actions of the Axis powers influenced its events. But in Chomskys malevolent hands, matters get even worse. If one were to follow the Chomsky method, for example, one would list every problematic act committed by any part or element in the vast coalition attempting to stop Hitler, and would attribute them all to a calculating policy of the United States. One would then provide a report card of these "crimes" as the historical record itself. The list of crimes the worst acts of which the allies could be accused and the most dishonorable motives they may be said to have acted upon -- would then become the database from which Americas portrait would be drawn. The result inevitably would be the Great Satan of Chomskys deranged fantasy life.
In What Uncle Sam Really Wants, Chomsky begins with the fact of Americas emergence from the Second World War. He describes this fact characteristically as the United States having "benefited enormously" from the conflict in contrast to its "industrial rivals" -- omitting in the process any mention of the 250,000 lives America lost, its generous Marshall Plan aid to those same rivals or, for that matter, its victory over Nazi Germany and the Axis powers. In Chomskys portrait, America in 1945 is, instead, a wealthy power that profited from others misery and is now seeking world domination. "The people who determine American policy were carefully planning how to shape the postwar world," he asserts without evidence. "American planners from those in the State Department to those on the Council on Foreign Relations (one major channel by which business leaders influence foreign policy) agreed that the dominance of the United States had to be maintained."
Chomsky never names the actual people who agreed that American policy should be world dominance, nor how they achieved unanimity in deciding to transform a famously isolationist country into a global power. America, in short, has no internal politics that matter. Chomsky does not bother to acknowledge or attempt to explain the powerful strain of isolationism not only in American policy, but in the Republican Party the party of Wall Street and the Council on Foreign Relations businessmen whom he claims exert such influence on policy. Above all, he does not explain why -- if world domination was really Americas goal in 1945 Washington disbanded its wartime armies overnight and brought them home.
Between 1945 and 1946, in fact, America demobilized 1.6 million troops. By contrast, the Soviet Union (which Chomsky doesnt mention) maintained its 2 million-man army in place in the countries of Eastern Europe whose governments it had already begun to undermine and destroy. It was, in fact, the Soviet absorption of the formerly independent states of Eastern Europe in the years between 1945 and 1948 that triggered Americas subsequent rearmament, the creation of NATO, and the overseas spread of American power, which was designed to contain an expansionist Soviet empire and prevent a repetition of the appeasement process that had led to World War II. These little facts never appear in Chomskys text, yet they determine everything that followed, especially Americas global presence. There is no excuse for this omission other than that Chomsky wants this history to be something other than it was. History has shown that the Cold War, the formation of the postwar western alliances and the mobilizing of western forces -- was principally brought about by the Soviet conquest of Eastern Europe. That is why the Cold War ended as soon as the Berlin Wall fell, and the states of Eastern Europe were freed to pursue their independent paths. It was to accomplish this great liberation of several hundred million people -- and not any American quest for world domination -- that explains American Cold War policy. But these facts never appear on Chomskys pages.
Having begun the story with an utterly false picture of the historical forces at work, Chomsky is ready to carry out his scorched earth campaign of malicious slander against the democracy in which he has led a privileged existence for more than seventy years. "In 1949," Chomsky writes -- reaching for his favorite smear "US espionage in Eastern Europe had been turned over to a network run by Reinhard Gehlen, who had headed Nazi military intelligence on the Eastern Front. This network was one part of the US-Nazi alliance ."
Lets pause for a moment so that we can take a good look at this exemplary display of the Chomsky method. We have jumped or rather Chomsky has jumped us from 1945 to 1949, skipping over the little matter of the Red Armys refusal to withdraw from Eastern Europe, and the Kremlins swallowing of its independent regimes. Instead of these matters, the reader is confronted with what appears to be a shocking fact about Reinhard Gehlen, which is quickly inflated it into a big lie an alleged "US-Nazi alliance." The factoid about Gehlen, it must be said, has been already distorted in the process of presenting it. The United States used Gehlen -- not the other way around, as Chomskys devious phrase ("US espionage had been turned over") implies. More blatant is the big lie itself. There was no "US-Nazi alliance." The United States defeated Nazi Germany four years earlier, and by 1949 unlike the Soviet Union -- had imposed a democracy on West Germanys political structure as a condition of a German peace.
In 1949, West Germany, which was controlled by the United States and its allies, was a democratic state and continued to be so until the end of the Cold War, forty years later. East Germany, which was controlled by the Soviet Union (whose policies Chomsky fails to examine) was a police state, and continued to be a police state until the end of the Cold War, forty years later. In 1949, with Stalins Red Army occupying all the countries of Eastern Europe, the Communists had established police states in each one of them and were arresting and executing thousands of innocent people. These benighted satellite regimes of the Soviet empire remained police states, under Soviet rule, until the end of the Cold War forty years later. The 2 million-man Red Army continued to occupy Eastern Europe until the end of the Cold War forty years later, and for every one of those years it was positioned in an aggressive posture threatening the democratic states of Western Europe with invasion and occupation.
In these circumstances which Chomsky does not mention -- the use of a German military intelligence network with experience and assets in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union was an entirely reasonable measure to defend the democratic states of the West and the innocent lives of the subjects of Soviet rule. Spy work is dirty work as everyone recognizes. This episode was no "Nazi" taint on America, but a necessary part of Americas Cold War effort in the cause of human freedom. With the help of the Gehlen network, the United States kept the Soviet expansion in check, and eventually liberated hundreds of millions of oppressed people in Eastern Europe from the horrors of the Communist gulag.
Chomsky describes these events as though the United States had not defeated Hitler, but had made a pact with the devil himself to attack the innocent: "These operations included a secret army under US-Nazi auspices that sought to provide agents and military supplies to armies that had been established by Hitler and which were still operating inside the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe through the early 1950s." This typical Chomsky distortion of what actually took place is as bold a lie as the Communist propaganda the Kremlin distributed in those years, from which it is cynically cribbed.
Having equated America with Nazi Germany, in strict imitation of Stalinist propaganda themes, Chomsky extends the analogy through the whole of his fictional account of the episodes that made up the Cold War. According to Chomsky, establishing a Nazi world order with business interests at the top and the "working classes and the poor" at the bottom -- was Americas real postwar agenda. Therefore, "the major thing that stood in the way of this was the anti-fascist resistance, so we suppressed it all over the world, often installing fascists and Nazi collaborators in its place."
Claims like these give conspiracy theories a bad name.
It would be tedious (and would add nothing to our understanding) to run through all of Chomskys perversely distorted cases, which follow the unscrupulous model of his account of the Gehlen network. One more should suffice. In 1947 a civil war in Greece became the first Cold War test of Americas resolve to prevent the Soviet empire from spreading beyond Eastern Europe. Naturally, Chomsky presents the conflict as a struggle between the "anti-Nazi resistance," and US backed (and "Nazi") interests. In Chomskys words, these interests were "US investors and local businessmen," and -- of course -- "the beneficiaries included Nazi collaborators, while the primary victims were the workers and the peasants ."
The leaders of the anti-Communist forces in Greece were not Nazis. On the other hand, what Chomsky calls the "anti-Nazi resistance" was in fact the Communist Party and its fellow-traveling pawns. What Chomsky leaves out of his account, as a matter of course and necessity, are the proximity of the Soviet Red Army to Greece, the intention of the Greek Communists to establish a Soviet police state if they won the civil war, and the fact that their defeat paved the way for an unprecedented economic development benefiting all classes and the eventual establishment of a political democracy which soon brought democratic socialists to power.
Needless to say, no country in which Chomskys "anti-fascists" won, ever established a democracy or produced any significant betterment in the economic conditions of the great mass of its inhabitants. This puts a somewhat different color on every detail of what happened in Greece and what the United States did there. The only point of view from which Chomskys version of this history makes sense is the point of view of the Kremlin, whose propaganda has merely been updated by the MIT professor.
A key chapter of Chomskys booklet of lies is called "The Threat of A Good Example." In it, Chomsky offers his explanation for Americas diabolical behavior in Third World countries. In Chomskys fictional accounting, "what the US-run contra forces did in Nicaragua, or what our terrorist proxies do in El Salvador or Guatemala, isnt only ordinary killing. A major element is brutal, sadistic torture beating infants against rocks, hanging women by their feet with their breasts cut off and the skin of their face peeled back so that theyll bleed to death, chopping peoples heads off and putting them on stakes." There are no citations in Chomskys text to support the claim either that these atrocities took place, or that the United States directed them, or that the United States is in any meaningful way responsible. But, according to Chomsky, "US-run" forces and "our terrorist proxies" do this sort of thing routinely and everywhere: "No country is exempt from this treatment, no matter how unimportant."
According to Chomsky, U.S. business is the evil hand behind all these policies. On the other hand, "as far as American business is concerned, Nicaragua could disappear and nobody would notice. The same is true of El Salvador. But both have been subjected to murderous assaults by the U.S., at a cost of hundreds of thousands of lives and many billions of dollars." If these countries are so insignificant, why would the United States bother to treat them so monstrously, particularly since lesser atrocities committed by Americans like the My Lai massacre managed to attract the attention of the whole world, and not just Noam Chomsky? "There is a reason for that," Chomsky explains. "The weaker and poorer a country is, the more dangerous it is as an example (italics in original). If a tiny, poor country like Grenada can succeed in bringing about a better life for its people, some other place that has more resources will ask, why not us?"
Its an interesting idea. The logic goes like this: What Uncle Sam really wants is to control the world; U.S. control means absolute misery for all the peoples that come under its sway; this means the U.S. must prevent all the little, poor people in the world from realizing that there are better ways to develop than with U.S. investments or influence. Take Grenada. "Grenada has a hundred thousand people who produce a little nutmeg, and you could hardly find it on a map. But when Grenada began to undergo a mild social revolution, Washington quickly moved to destroy the threat." This is Chomskys entire commentary on the U.S. intervention in Grenada.
Actually, something quite different took place. In 1979, there was a coup in Grenada that established a Marxist dictatorship complete with a Soviet-style "politburo" to rule it. This was a tense period in the Cold War. The Soviet Union had invaded Afghanistan, and Communist insurgencies armed by Cuba were spreading in Central America. Before long, Cuban military personnel began to appear in Grenada and were building a new airport capable of accommodating Soviet bombers. Tensions over the uncompleted airport developed between Washington and the Grenadian dictatorship. In the midst of all this, there was another coup in 1983. This coup was led by the Marxist Minister of Defense who assassinated the Marxist dictator and half his politburo, including his pregnant Minister of Education. The new dictator put the entire island including U.S. citizens resident there -- under house arrest. It was at this point that the Reagan Administration sent the marines in to protect U.S. citizens, stop the construction of the military airport and restore democracy to the little island. The U.S. did this at the request of four governments of Caribbean countries who feared a Communist military presence in their neighborhood. A public opinion poll taken after the U.S. operation showed that 85% of the citizens of Grenada welcomed the U.S. intervention and Americas help in restoring their freedom.
There was no "threat of a good example" in Grenada and there are none anywhere in the world of progressive social experiments. There is not a single Marxist country that has ever provided a good example in the sense of making its economy better or its people freer. Chomsky seems to have missed this most basic fact of 20th century history: Socialism doesnt work. Korea would seem an obvious model case. Fifty years ago, in one of the early battles of the Cold War, the United States military prevented Communist North Korea from conquering the anti-Communist South of the country. Today Communist North Korea is independent of the United States and one of the poorest countries in the world. A million of its citizens have starved in the last couple of years, while its Marxist dictator has feverishly invested his countrys scarce capital in an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile program. So much for the good example.
In South Korea, by contrast, there are 50,000 U.S. troops stationed along the border to defend it from a Communist attack. For fifty years, nefarious U.S. businesses and investors have operated freely in South Korea. The results are interesting. In 1950, South Korea with a per capita income of $250 was as poor as Cuba and Vietnam. Today it is an industrial power and its per capita income is more than twenty times greater than it was before it became an ally and investment region of the United States. South Korea is not a full-fledged democracy but it does have elections and more than one party and a press that provides it with information from the outside world. This is quite different from North Korea whose citizens have no access to information their dictator does not approve. Who do you think is afraid of the threat of a good example?
Communism was an expansive system that ruined nations and enslaved their citizens. But Chomsky dismisses Americas fear of Communism as a mere "cover" for Americas own diabolical designs. He explains the Vietnam War this way: "The real fear was that if the people of Indochina achieved independence and justice, the people of Thailand would emulate it, and if that worked, theyd try it in Malaya, and pretty soon Indonesia would pursue an independent path, and by then a significant area [of Americas empire] would have been lost." This is a Marxist version of the domino theory. But of course, America did leave Indo-China Cambodia and Thailand included -- in 1975. Vietnam has pursued an independent path for 25 years and it is as poor as it ever was one of the poorest nations in the world. Its people still live in a primitive Marxist police state.
After its defeat in Vietnam, the United States withdrew its military forces from the entire Indo-Chinese peninsula. The result was that Cambodia was over-run by the Khmer Rouge (the "reds"). In other words, by the Communist forces that Noam Chomsky, the Vietnamese Communists and the entire American left had supported until then. The Khmer Rouge proceeded to kill two million Cambodians who, in their view, stood in the way of the progressive "good example" they intended to create. Chomsky earned himself a bad reputation by first denying and then minimizing the Cambodian genocide until the facts overwhelmed his case. Now, of course, he blames the genocide on the United States.
Chomsky also blames the United States and the Vietnam war for the fact that "Vietnam is a basket case" and not a good example. "Our basic goal the crucial one, the one that really counted was to destroy the virus [of independent development], and we did achieve that. Vietnam is a basket case, and the U.S. is doing what it can to keep it that way." This is just a typical Chomsky libel and all-purpose ruse. (The devil made them do it.) As Chomsky knew then and knows now, the victorious Vietnamese Communists are Marxists. Marxism is a crackpot theory that doesnt work. Every Marxist state has been an economic basket case.
Take a current example like Cuba, which has not been bombed and has not suffered a war, but is poorer today than it was more than forty years ago when Castro took power. In 1959, Cuba was the second richest country in Latin America. Now it is the second poorest just before Haiti. Naturally, Chomskyites will claim that the U.S. economic boycott is responsible. (The devil made them do it.) But the whole rest of the world trades with Cuba. Cuba not only trades with all of Latin America and Europe, but receives aid from the latter. Moreover, in the 1970s and 1980s, the Soviet Union gave Cuba the equivalent of three Marshall Plans in economic subsidies and assistance -- tens of billions of dollars. Cuba is a fertile island with a tropical climate. It is poor because it has followed Chomskys examples, and not Americas. It is poor because it is socialist, Marxist and Communist. It is poor because it is run by a lunatic and sadist. It is poor because in Cuba, America lost the Cold War. The poverty of Cuba is what Chomskys vision and political commitments would create for the entire world.
It is the Communist-Chomsky illusion that there is a way to prosperity other than the way of the capitalist market that causes the poverty of states like Cuba and North Korea and Vietnam, and would have caused the poverty of Grenada and Greece and South Korea if America had not intervened.
The illusion that socialism promises a better future is also the cause of the Chomsky cult. It is the illusion at the heart of the messianic hope that creates the progressive left. This hope is a chimera, but insofar as it is believed, history presents itself in terms that are Manichaean -- as a battle between good and evil. Those who oppose socialism, Marxism, Communism embody worldly evil. They are the party of Satan, and their leader America is the Great Satan himself.
Chomsky is, in fact, the imam of this religious worldview on todays college campuses. His great service to the progressive faith is to deny the history of the last hundred years, which is the history of progressive atrocity and failure. In the 20th century, progressives in power killed one hundred million people in the attempt to realize their impossible dream. As far as Noam Chomsky is concerned, these catastrophes of the left never happened. "I dont much like the terms left and right," Chomsky writes in yet another ludicrous screed called The Common Good. "Whats called the left includes Leninism [i.e., Communism], which I consider ultra-right in many respects . Leninism has nothing to do with the values of the left in fact, its radically opposed to them."
You have to pinch yourself when reading sentences like that.
The purpose of such Humpty-Dumpty mutilations of the language is perfectly intelligible, however. It is to preserve the faith for those who cannot live without some form of the Communist creed. Lenin is dead. Long live Leninism. The Communist catastrophes can have "nothing to do with the values of the left" because if they did the left would have to answer for its deeds and confront the fact that it is morally and intellectually bankrupt. Progressives would have to face the fact that they killed 100 million people for nothing -- for an idea that didnt work.
The real threat of a good example is the threat of America, which has lifted more people out of poverty -- within its borders and all over the world -- than all the socialists and progressives put together since the beginning of time. To neutralize the threat, it is necessary to kill the American idea. This is, in fact, Noam Chomskys mission in life, and his everlasting disgrace.
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Horowitz has got Chomsky's number.
An oxymoron if ever there was.
Not at all. The bloated bureaucracy is the result of the moral-liberalism and personal irresponsibility which they champion.
Perhaps someone talented enough here could present Noam's rise to his MIT position, his writing methods, and his supporters in the same light he uses against America.
I wonder how he would like his methods used on him.
Sometime along this line
The following is my opinion only and meant as a parody
After all this is nothing more than Chomsky's attempt at suppressing other liberal writers; to embolden his ego, increase his fame, destroy rivals legitimate questions, and increase sales of tapes and literature, after creating a one man hegemony, that herds the populace into consuming his mass produced literature while blinding the same to other valid or alternative viewpoints.
In my mind that's like calling someone an "athiest christian".
Not that CJ needs my help, I'm sure, but unfortunately you'll have to ask Chomsky himself what the hell a "libertarian socialist" is - that is, believe it or not, how he refers to himself. If you have the stomach for it, you can read about the "precepts" of "libertarian socialism" here...
I guess the idea of individual liberty is appealing to him, so long as everyone is free to agree with his positions.
And if not, I guess it's the gulag.
This seems to happen to some people who do outstanding work in one field--they turn into crackpots in another field. Vide Chomsky, Linus Pauling, Brian Josephson, Isaac Newton. Even Joseph Weisenbaum, whose contributions are mediocre compared to the above list, went off the deep end into anti-AI rants.
You have it to thank for most current programming languages being easier to parse than, say, FORTRAN or COBOL, whose design wasn't influenced by formal language theory and whose syntax is perverse and irregular.
How quickly we forget John Backus's important and independent work in formal languages ;)
Yeah, but...to quote a biography of Backus,
After FORTRAN, Backus turned his focus to other elements of computer programming. In 1959, he developed a notation called the Backus-Naur Form.What a difference it would have made had it been the other way around! (DO 100 I = 1.10, anyone?)
Ah, but you see, that's the mark of true intelligence - learning from one's mistakes. Unlike Chomsky, who's been making the same mistakes for thirty years now ;)
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