November 12, 2005


The greatest intellectual? (Emma Brockes, October 31, 2005, The Guardian)

He is asked to lend his name to all sorts of crackpot causes and she tries to intervene to keep his schedule under control. As some see it, one ill-judged choice of cause was the accusation made by Living Marxism magazine that during the Bosnian war, shots used by ITN of a Serb-run detention camp were faked. The magazine folded after ITN sued, but the controversy flared up again in 2003 when a journalist called Diane Johnstone made similar allegations in a Swedish magazine, Ordfront, taking issue with the official number of victims of the Srebrenica massacre. (She said they were exaggerated.) In the ensuing outcry, Chomsky lent his name to a letter praising Johnstone's "outstanding work". Does he regret signing it?

"No," he says indignantly. "It is outstanding. My only regret is that I didn't do it strongly enough. It may be wrong; but it is very careful and outstanding work."

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 12, 2005 12:02 PM

So the man has turned himself into a brand-name—If it has the Chomsky® Seal-Of-Approval, "It doesn't matter if it's fake, because it's accurate!"™.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at November 12, 2005 3:34 PM

The greatest intellectual?

"My only regret is that I didn't do it strongly enough. It may be wrong"

What an idiot.

Posted by: AllenS at November 12, 2005 3:38 PM

I don't despise Chomsky, I recall reading one essay he wrote about the whole post-structuralist morass that had become of literary criticism that was clear headed and dead on (and I think cost him the support of some of his left wing minions); yet that quote "it may be wrong; but it is very careful and outstanding work" beggars description as an example of ideological obtuseness in the face of reality. This is coming from a linguist no less. Recalling the embarrassment of his early support of the Khmer Rouge one has to wonder if Pol Pot might have been wrong but doing very careful and outstanding work.

Posted by: Dennis at November 12, 2005 3:45 PM

chomsky is a pseudo-intellectual (not that being a genuine intellectual is much better) and has contributed exactly nothing to the store of human knowledge. he will be forgotten 1 minute after his moldering carcass is tossed on the ash heap.

Posted by: platos toe at November 12, 2005 4:50 PM

This is an excellent illustration of why the only "dialog" one can have with a Communist is that of General Nguyen Ngoc Loan.

Truth means less than nothing. It dismissed comtemptuously as a bourgiose affectation. Words, then, mean nothing; only bullets matter. So be it.

Posted by: Lou Gots at November 12, 2005 6:24 PM

Excuse me, I need to puke.

Posted by: Genecis at November 12, 2005 9:15 PM

Chomsky IS a nutshell!

Posted by: obc at November 13, 2005 12:30 AM

What's interesting to me about this article is that it does not have the usual awe-struck, adoring tone the leftist press generally adopts towards Noam. Also, it follows another article printed in the Guardian about a week ago where the writer tells us how thoroughly disillusioned he is with Noam.

I think the Left, in Britain at least, is ready to throw Noam overboard. They have perhaps decided that he is now more of a liability than an asset. They're tired of cosseting him and making excuses for him.

Posted by: L. Rogers at November 13, 2005 8:36 PM

Noam Chomsky is as we say a "shande fur die goyim." (a scandal in front of the gentiles). But he did make some useful contributions to computer science -- in the 1950s. Google "Chomsky Hierarchy." He has been a full time left wing moonbat since then.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at November 14, 2005 1:28 AM