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Tags Nazi comparisons , noam chomsky

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Old 25th October 2009, 01:52 PM   #121
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say again: I do not know if Chomsky is right or wrong in identifying processes he believes are indicative of a move towards totalitarianism.
Yet another one of those vague claims: "a move toward" totalitarianism. What this means in practice is "not actually totalitarian or remotely like it, but I'm going to call it bad names anyway". (See also "has the feel of racism", "smells of chauvinism", etc.)

And we're talking about Chomsky, right? Chomsky made it clear, long ago, that he either does not know, or does not care, what fascism is, since he is on record supporting some of the most brutal and totalitarian regimes on the planet. He is just about the last man on earth who has any right to call anybody a fascist.

Why take this serial supporter of the worlds' most brutal regimes seriously when he talks about the dangers of fascism? It's like listening to the fat lady in the circus giving diet advice.

P.S.

On second thought, Chomsky can be useful in identifying fascism, after all. If some movement is truly fascist or totalitarian, chances are Chomsky would enthusiastically support it.

Last edited by Skeptic; 25th October 2009 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 25th October 2009, 02:08 PM   #122
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Chomsky made it clear, long ago, that he either does not know, or does not care, what fascism is, since he is on record supporting some of the most brutal and totalitarian regimes on the planet.
How many times can this lie be repeated on this board?

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Old 25th October 2009, 02:24 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by †= Crap! View Post
How many times can this lie be repeated on this board?

Let us see... there is his public support of:

Yasser Arafat (until Arafat started negotiating with the enemy, Israel, in the 1990s);

Pol Pot;

Holocaust denier Robert Faurrison, as well as other holocaust deniers and cranks;

North Vietnam's communist dictatorship (of course);

The "kill the Jews" rioters in 1929 Hebron who eradicated the Jewish population of the city (Chomsky blames -- who else? -- the "fascist" zionists for "inciting" them, somehow);

The Iranian Mullahs;

Castro;

Mao;

Etc., etc., etc.

In fact it is hard to find some fascist or totalitarian movement, neo-nazis included, which he does not either openly support or at least excuse -- as long as it is an enemy of the USA or Israel.

Want references? They're not hard to find, although I'm using books as my source in many of the examples I have above so they're not "linkable" as such. A quick internet search found lots of links to all of the above cases, however (just gave one).

But the evidence is undeniable.
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Old 25th October 2009, 02:56 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
But the evidence is undeniable.
Yet strangely invisible in your post. The one link you provided did not show that Chomsky supports the Iranian mullahs, and you seem to have managed to include an irrelevant nobody called Robert Faurisson under the category "one of the most brutal and totalitarian regimes on the planet", which is pushing it a bit.
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Old 25th October 2009, 03:30 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
from the article:

"Chomsky is enormously popular in the Middle East, where his books are widely sold and translated. His critiques of U.S. Middle East policy are a huge hit with Iranians and Arabs."

No kidding.

Of course, Chomsky wouldn't recognize a genuine fascist regime in the Middle East if it bludgeoned him in the face with a sledgehammer.

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Old 25th October 2009, 04:12 PM   #126
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Holocaust denier Robert Faurrison, as well as other holocaust deniers and cranks;
You mean how a generic letter Chomsky wrote about the importance of free speech, even free speech most people don't agree with, got used as a forward to Faurrisons book without Chomskys permission? Is that your definition of "support" for someone? No wonder you so diligently propagate your lie.

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In what way does your link prove Chomsky supports Iranian Mullahs? Not wanting to be at war with someone is not that same as "supporting" them. Try again.

Quote:
Want references? They're not hard to find, although I'm using books as my source in many of the examples I have above so they're not "linkable" as such. A quick internet search found lots of links to all of the above cases, however (just gave one).

But the evidence is undeniable.
You made the claim. The burden is on you to support them. You can easily go here: http://www.chomsky.info/ and search through just about everything written by Chomsky that's available on the web.

If your above claims fit your criteria of "supporting" someone then I don't see any reason why I should take any of the other claims of supporting dictators you made at face value. Either start supporting your claims, or stop trying to poison the well.

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Old 25th October 2009, 09:49 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
Yet strangely invisible in your post.
As I said, it was a quick reply. It's not hard to find the evidence. See below for one example.

Last edited by Skeptic; 25th October 2009 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 25th October 2009, 10:00 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by †= Crap! View Post
You mean how a generic letter Chomsky wrote about the importance of free speech,.
No, actually. Although it makes one wonder why of all people he supports this guy's free speech, while being strangely silent about the free speech of, say, Danish cartoonists, or Iranian dissidents -- and, as the title of this very thread shows, seem positively apoplectic that Republicans dare open their trap at all (damn Nazis!).

I mean his articles claiming he "doesn't know enough about [Faurrison's] work to tell whether it is accurate or not", and another letter where he says we "don't want people to have religious or dogmatic beliefs about the existence of the holocaust". (Liberation December 1980, and Le Matin January 1981, repectively).

What a tolerant, open-minded man! Yes, he "doesn't know enough" about a work saying the holocaust never happened to tell "whether it is accurate"; and we wouldn't want people to be "dogmatic" about whether the holocaust happened or not, would we? Hey, maybe it did, maybe it didn't -- who knows?

Last edited by Skeptic; 25th October 2009 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 25th October 2009, 11:09 PM   #129
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"Skeptic" you realize there is this thing called google right? You can check facts in matter of seconds. Thats how long it took me to find this:

Quote:
On the question of the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, which sparked riots and massive demonstrations earlier this year, Chomsky is equally vocal. While defending the Danish newspaper Jyllandsposten’s legal right to publish the cartoons (“The New York Times should have the right to publish anti-Semitic Nazi caricatures on the front page.”) he argues that the Jyllandsposten’s decision to publish had nothing to do with press freedom whatsoever. “This is just ordinary racism under cover of freedom of expression,” he says, before attacking the European press in general. “In Europe freedom of speech and freedom of the press are barely protected, in fact barely understood.” Chomsky refers to the Blair government’s attempt to push a law making it a crime to glorify terrorism. “When a Muslim cleric was imprisoned recently on charges of having glorified terrorism, the London Guardian had a lead editorial praising the judicial decision because people shouldn’t be permitted to spew hatred and to glorify violent acts, they should be stopped. Under that law virtually all the British press and publishers should be closed down. Do they incite hatred and violence? Yes. Do they support invading Iraq? Yes. That is supporting hatred and violence,” he says before concluding: “Nobody cares about freedom of speech. What they care about is using state power to shut down the kind of speech they don’t like. Even Stalin would have agreed with that.
From here:http://www.chomsky.info/interviews/200606--.htm

So I guess, unlike Chomsky, you support state suppression of undesirable speech?

Do you think the French government was right in censoring Faurrison's book, and charging him with a crime?

Why do I have to debate this? Chomsky himself has answered these charges himself years ago:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAgb9LRiUcw

Last edited by †= Crap!; 25th October 2009 at 11:24 PM. Reason: to fix quote
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Old 26th October 2009, 12:03 AM   #130
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Yes, I should have googled the danish cartoons. Got that wrong about Chomsky.

Now, what about his holocaust denial?

You know as well as I do that "not knowing enough" about Faurrison's "the holocaust never happened" book to judge if it is "accurate" or not, or wanting people to be "undogmatic" about whether the holocaust happened or not, is holocaust denial.

This has nothing to do with the fact that Faurrison having the right to say what he wants. Of course he shouldn't be charged with a crime. But not because his work is possibly accurate or the holocaust might not have happened, which is what Chomsky is saying.

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Chomsky himself has answered these charges himself years ago
And IDers have been saying for years they're not really creationists.

Last edited by Skeptic; 26th October 2009 at 12:09 AM.
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Old 26th October 2009, 12:17 AM   #131
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Now, what about his holocaust denial?
It doesn't exit.

Stop saying Chomsky is a holocaust denier. It's a lie. Simple as that.

http://www.chomsky.info/letters/19920331.htm

"My views are quite explicitly stated: the Holocaust was the most extreme atrocity in human history, and we lose our humanity if we are even willing to enter the arena of debate with those who seek to deny or underplay Nazi crimes."
-Chomsky

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Old 26th October 2009, 12:24 AM   #132
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Stop saying Chomsky is a holocaust denier. It's a lie. Simple as that.
So, what about those quotes from Liberation and Le Matin? He's lying somewhere -- either in those quotes, or else in his claim not to be a holocaust denier.

Anyway, it's not at all uncommon for holocaust deniers to deny they're holocaust deniers: usually, by making grand claims that, yes, of course the holocaust was awful, BUT.... (and then starting, bit by bit, to take every specific claim about the holocaust and "doubt" it.)

David Irving, for example, actually sued for libel those who claimed he's a holocaust denier, claiming it's a dirty lie. I am not claiming Chomsky is as bad as that, but merely declaring the holocaust was an awful crime is by no means proof one is not a holocaust denier.

So, let us look more deeply into this matter.

Chomsky's "standard" letter in support of Faurisson calls him a "respected professor" and claims he was demonized once he started to publish "his findings". This goes beyond support of freedom of speech; it implies (as do the quotes in Le Matin and Liberation do more explicitly) that there are "findings" -- instead of what they really are, antisemitic holocaust-denying propaganda. It legitimizes Faurisson's work unnecessarily -- and deliberately. Chomsky's reply to those who pointed that out was, in effect, to declare that "findings" does not mean what it means.

Chomsky also describes Faurisson being "respected" for his "document criticism" -- that is, in this context, for using the David Irving-like method of "circular #243/IJ from November 23, 1942, has the wrong rubber stamp -- therefore THE HOLOCAUST IS A LIE!" method of "research".

Finally, Chomsky described, in a 2,500 word reply to those who complaint about his support of Faurisson (Quelques commentaires elementaires sur le droit a la liberte d'expression), that everybody should have free speech, including fascists and antisemites... quite correct... but also that Faurisson is neither one of those, but a "sort of apolitical liberal". So holocaust denial (at least, as long as it is done by people like Chomsky, that is, university professors) is not antisemitism or fascism. It's an "apolitical" look for "finding" by "document criticism".

You know, precisely like David Irving says he is doing...

Where does this leave Chomsky's rather ritualistic claim that his views are "diametrically opposed" to those of Faurisson? Let us quote Pierre Guillame, the publisher of obscure neo-nazi and far-far-far left French works -- as well of many of Chomsky's works -- and a close friend (it seems) of Chomsky:

Quote:
Each time that Chomsky had said that his opinions remain "diametrically opposed" to those of Faurisson, he had done so in terms that are absolutely incapable of hurting Faurisson; and he has always indicated, by a word or a phrase, that his "diametrically opposed" view was more a matter of opinion than of scientific knowledge.
Precisely. Chomsky's very opposition to Faurisson is deliberately deferential: it is "oh, well, people can reasonably disagree -- you think the holocaust didn't happen, I think it did, but you're a respected researcher anyway!".

(Chomsky, apparently, has no qualms about being published by the same publisher who published things like Staglich's "The Myth of Auschwitz" or started a French version, Annals d'Historie Revisioniste, to complement the notorious neo-Nazi "Institute for Historical Review"'s holocaust-denying "academic" journal.)

So, no. Despite his denials, Chomsky is a bosom buddy of antisemitic holocaust deniers, legitimizing and supporting them, to a far greater degree than his dishonest "Oh, the holocaust was awful, I'm just protecting free speech" facade would have us believe.

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Old 26th October 2009, 12:41 AM   #133
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Yes, what about them?

Are you saying that holocaust denial should not be refuted with facts and evidence? That people should take it as an article of faith? Not take the trouble to find out what happened and why it happened? A curious stance for someone with your nick (but in line with the way you just know what Chomsky thinks about the Danish cartoons and all the rest)

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Old 26th October 2009, 01:39 AM   #134
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Fiona:

Suppose I claimed we should "look at both sides of the question" and "consider the facts" about whether or not you molest children. Such a request -- if made in earnest -- would be insulting, and indeed not much more than a way of saying "Fiona molest children". The reason is, of course, that the disparity in evidence is so overwhelming -- tons of evidence you do not molest children, none at all that you do.

Suppose I claimed we should "look at both sides of the question" and "consider the facts" about whether or not evolutuion happened. Let's teach both sides to children! Maybe evolution happened, maybe God said WAZA-GAZA-GAZOOM! and created it all 6000 years ago. Why be dogmatic in favor of one view over the other? Same thing: the point is, there is tons of evidence for evolution, none at all for creationism, so saying "let's be open minded!" is really a way of saying "creationism is true, not that awful godless evolution".

Same thing here. Of course the holocaust should be proven with facts. But that was already done -- and done so overhwelmingly, and so convincingly, and with so many facts, and so readily available -- that to be "open minded" now about whether or not it happened, to consider the holocaust not having happened as legitimate research position, is simply to deny the holocaust.

In all three cases, the crucial point is that it is precisely the overwhelming evidence in favor of evolution, the holocaust, or your innocence the total lack of evidence to the contrary that is the reason people are so sure -- or "dogmatic" -- about it. So to demand people "not be dogmatic" about it means "ignore the evidence". This isn't skepticism, it's denial.
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Old 26th October 2009, 03:08 AM   #135
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By now Jews in the US are the most privileged and influential part of the population. You find occasional instances of anti-Semitism but they are marginal. There's plenty of racism, but it's directed against Blacks, Latinos, Arabs are targets of enormous racism, and those problems are real. Anti-Semitism is no longer a problem, fortunately. It's raised, but it's raised because privileged people want to make sure they have total control, not just 98% control. That's why anti-Semitism is becoming an issue. Not because of the threat of anti-Semitism; they want to make sure there's no critical look at the policies the US (and they themselves) support in the Middle East. With regard to anti-Semitism, the distinguished Israeli statesman Abba Eban pointed out the main task of Israeli propaganda (they would call it exclamation, what's called 'propaganda' when others do it) is to make it clear to the world there's no difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. By anti-Zionism he meant criticisms of the current policies of the State of Israel. So there's no difference between criticism of policies of the State of Israel and anti-Semitism, because if he can establish 'that' then he can undercut all criticism by invoking the Nazis and that will silence people. We should bear it in mind when there's talk in the US about anti-Semitism.
Noam Chomsky - conspiracy nut.
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Old 26th October 2009, 04:59 AM   #136
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Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
Fiona:

Suppose I claimed we should "look at both sides of the question" and "consider the facts" about whether or not you molest children. Such a request -- if made in earnest -- would be insulting, and indeed not much more than a way of saying "Fiona molest children". The reason is, of course, that the disparity in evidence is so overwhelming -- tons of evidence you do not molest children, none at all that you do.
I take it you are drawing a parallel with with Chomsky? In that case I think you will have to show where he says we should "look at both sides of the question" in considering the reality of the holocaust. I cannot find it.

Quote:
Suppose I claimed we should "look at both sides of the question" and "consider the facts" about whether or not evolutuion happened. Let's teach both sides to children! Maybe evolution happened, maybe God said WAZA-GAZA-GAZOOM! and created it all 6000 years ago. Why be dogmatic in favor of one view over the other? Same thing: the point is, there is tons of evidence for evolution, none at all for creationism, so saying "let's be open minded!" is really a way of saying "creationism is true, not that awful godless evolution".
Again I cannot find an instance of Chomsky saying "lets be open minded".

The idea that one should counter holocaust denial with evidence is not new. From Wiki:

Originally Posted by General Eisenhower
The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering as to leave me a bit sick. In one room, where they [there] were piled up twenty or thirty naked men, killed by starvation, George Patton would not even enter. He said that he would get sick if he did so. I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to "propaganda."
Learning and adducing the facts seems to me to be wholly unobjectionable. As you agree:

Quote:
Same thing here. Of course the holocaust should be proven with facts.

Quote:
But that was already done -- and done so overhwelmingly, and so convincingly, and with so many facts, and so readily available -- that to be "open minded" now about whether or not it happened, to consider the holocaust not having happened as legitimate research position, is simply to deny the holocaust.
As shown above, Chomsky has been perfectly consistent in his acceptance of the reality and nature of the holocaust. If you do have citations which show otherwise I really want to see them.

Quote:
In all three cases, the crucial point is that it is precisely the overwhelming evidence in favor of evolution, the holocaust, or your innocence the total lack of evidence to the contrary that is the reason people are so sure -- or "dogmatic" -- about it. So to demand people "not be dogmatic" about it means "ignore the evidence". This isn't skepticism, it's denial.
I do not agree with this and the reason I do not agree is because I make a distinction between being sure and being dogmatic. Where we are sure it is because we have looked at the evidence. Dogmatism is not that. Here is one definition I found online:

Quote:
1.
dogmatic [dɒgˈmætɪk], dogmatical
adj
a. (of a statement, opinion, etc.) forcibly asserted as if authoritative and unchallengeable
b. (of a person) prone to making such statements
2. (Philosophy) of, relating to, or constituting dogma dogmatic writings
3. based on assumption rather than empirical observation

or another:

Quote:
Adj. 1. dogmatic - characterized by assertion of unproved or unprovable principles
dogmatical
narrow-minded, narrow - lacking tolerance or flexibility or breadth of view; "a brilliant but narrow-minded judge"; "narrow opinions"
2. dogmatic - of or pertaining to or characteristic of a doctrine or code of beliefs accepted as authoritative
3. dogmatic - relating to or involving dogma; "dogmatic writings"
I do not argue that everyone has to go to original sources and reinvent the wheel on every issue. It is perfectly legitimate to hold views because people who are experts in that field have established the facts and determined the truth (insofar as that is possible at all); so long as those people are genuinely expert and genuinely honest. We do that all the time and it is a good thing. And it seems to me that this is what Chomsky has done: he has considered some of the evidence and some of the information provided by scholars in the field: he accepts without question that the holocaust happened and that it was a truly horrific chapter in human history.

What you are arguing for is something very different. You are arguing that any defence of free speech on this issue is tantamount to holocaust denial. That is not logical and in Chomsky's letters I think he shows clearly why it is not logical.

The issue is not one of denial: it is one of free speech. Chomsky speaks out of an American tradition and it seems to me that there is a divide on this matter. That divide is present in all communities: I have the impression that it is one of those which tends to separate the American from the European ( as a very broad generalisation), so to that extent I agree with Chomsky when he says that from his perspective the principle of free speech is barely understood in Western Europe. Many Americans on this board would agree with that statement as applied to libel in the UK and to laws against holocaust denial in Germany, France and other places.

I have no idea where you stand on that issue. I think there is merit in both positions and in the end it comes down to what you think is the more damaging for society as a whole.
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Old 27th October 2009, 08:14 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by applecorped View Post
http://www.mediaite.com/online/oh-bo...edia-to-nazis/

"Speaking to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, he alluded to right-wing media as “substantive content — crazy content, but it does give answers,” and warned that if Americans weren’t properly educated about what was really happening to them, they could be in for a repeat of the Nazi takeover of Germany in the 1930s"


So, Nazis are going to take over Germany again because of Right Wing radio in the US?
Originally Posted by oldhat View Post
What a silly thing for him to say.

Here are literally dozens and dozens of examples of right wingers using the exact same rhetoric:

http://mediamatters.org/search/index...=nazis&x=0&y=0

http://mediamatters.org/search/index...hitler&x=0&y=0

But Chomsky's obviously correct, and the black-helicopter, UN-fearing conservatives are just nuts. After all, falling to communism is only about 15-30 years newer than Nazi-ism, as well as preceding it for several decades, wrapping it like a babe in swaddling clothes*.

Oh, wait. Communism isn't bad. It's the inexorable tide of humanity that will bury capitalism.













* Swaddling is an awful thing to do to a baby. It's no wonder "how to swaddle a baby" videos on YouTube are all done by men.
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Old 27th October 2009, 11:29 AM   #138
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But Chomsky's obviously correct, and the black-helicopter, UN-fearing conservatives are just nuts.
Of course! Because he's an important linguist!

Although I must admit I don't see why trusting someone's nutty politics because he's an important linguist is any more reasonable than trusting someone's nutty politics because he was the first American world chess champion.

If Chomsky's political analysis of the world deserves credit, why not Bobby Fischer's? They certainly seem to agree on the central point, namely, that everything wrong is the eeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil joooooooooos zionists' fault.

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Old 27th October 2009, 11:45 AM   #139
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That's why discussing who he is has been and will remain irrelevant. Only merits matter.
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Old 27th October 2009, 12:45 PM   #140
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Originally Posted by Cynic View Post
That's why discussing who he is has been and will remain irrelevant. Only merits matter.
But the only reason anybody to take his bizarre "republicans are Nazis" rant seriously in the first place is that he is Noam Chomsky, the famous MIT professor. If Joe Blow, the San Francisco-based "socialist activist", had said the exact same thing, nobody would care.

You can't have it both ways. You can't first claim his rants deserve to be taken seriously because of who you think he is, and then, when the ugly truth about who he really is is (again) exposed, to claim it's suddenly irrelevant.
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Old 27th October 2009, 02:01 PM   #141
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Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
But the only reason anybody to take his bizarre "republicans are Nazis" rant seriously in the first place is that he is Noam Chomsky, the famous MIT professor. If Joe Blow, the San Francisco-based "socialist activist", had said the exact same thing, nobody would care.

You can't have it both ways. You can't first claim his rants deserve to be taken seriously because of who you think he is, and then, when the ugly truth about who he really is is (again) exposed, to claim it's suddenly irrelevant.
Well, it's a little like picking a book out to read. Reputation and credentials might guide you to something you're more likely than some others to appreciate. So choosing to bother to listen to what Noam Chomsky has to say in the first place might make sense, because while he's a linguist, he's known first and formost for being smart and opinionated. That's why we discuss things here, after all, and not at sewingcircle.com. But once there, how he is shouldn't matter so much.
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Old 27th October 2009, 05:44 PM   #142
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Originally Posted by Cynic View Post
Well, it's a little like picking a book out to read. Reputation and credentials might guide you to something you're more likely than some others to appreciate. So choosing to bother to listen to what Noam Chomsky has to say in the first place might make sense, because while he's a linguist, he's known first and formost for being smart and opinionated. That's why we discuss things here, after all, and not at sewingcircle.com. But once there, how he is shouldn't matter so much.
That's still saying you're gonna hear him out because he's famous. And he isn't necessarily speaking on his area of expertise.
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Old 27th October 2009, 05:56 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by Cobalt View Post
That's still saying you're gonna hear him out because he's famous. And he isn't necessarily speaking on his area of expertise.
No, it's saying I'd hear him out because he's got a reputation for having interesting opinions. Experts are often the very worst sources of interesting and different. But really, I don't think anyone ever needs to go around justifying why they listen to who. What matters is objectively evaluating what they say, and not falling into the trap of worrying about who they are. That's the important part. For instance, how many people here have fallen into the trap of dismissing his opinion because he's not an expert? It doesn't matter what he is.
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Old 27th October 2009, 06:17 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by Cynic View Post
No, it's saying I'd hear him out because he's got a reputation for having interesting opinions.
Allright, let me ask you this. Do you think that you'd know of said reputation if he wasn't a famous linguist? If Noam Chomsky was just as everyman as John Doe, would you give a **** ?

Originally Posted by Cynic View Post
Experts are often the very worst sources of interesting and different. But really, I don't think anyone ever needs to go around justifying why they listen to who.
Oooookay, don't know where justification for who you listen to came from, but, whatever then.

Originally Posted by Cynic View Post
What matters is objectively evaluating what they say, and not falling into the trap of worrying about who they are. That's the important part. For instance, how many people here have fallen into the trap of dismissing his opinion because he's not an expert? It doesn't matter what he is.
It might affect how he came to said opinion. And people are dismissed all the time based on who or what they are. The whole "Joe the Plumber" fiasco for example.
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Old 27th October 2009, 06:52 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by Cobalt View Post
That's still saying you're gonna hear him out because he's famous. And he isn't necessarily speaking on his area of expertise.
No one listens to him because he is a famous linguist. He is most well known for his political opinions. His politics is why he is famous, not his linguistics. Most peole couldn't care less about his achievements in linguistics.

He has written almost twice as many books in politics as he has linguistics.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bibliog...f_Noam_Chomsky

He has dedicated a large chunk of his life to studying, writing, and talking about political issues for almost half a century now. That hardly makes his opinions equal to that of some average Joe Schmo off the street.

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Old 27th October 2009, 07:05 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by Cobalt View Post
Allright, let me ask you this. Do you think that you'd know of said reputation if he wasn't a famous linguist? If Noam Chomsky was just as everyman as John Doe, would you give a **** ?
As has been pointed out, he's not famous for linguistics, so yeah.

Originally Posted by Cobalt View Post
It might affect how he came to said opinion. And people are dismissed all the time based on who or what they are. The whole "Joe the Plumber" fiasco for example.
It seems as if you're arguing in favor of the logical fallacy of arguing from authority and it's opposite. I understand what you're saying here, but there's a fine line between considering the source and ignoring the argument.
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Old 27th October 2009, 10:58 PM   #147
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Originally Posted by †= Crap! View Post
No one listens to him because he is a famous linguist. He is most well known for his political opinions. His politics is why he is famous, not his linguistics. Most peole couldn't care less about his achievements in linguistics.

He has written almost twice as many books in politics as he has linguistics.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bibliog...f_Noam_Chomsky

He has dedicated a large chunk of his life to studying, writing, and talking about political issues for almost half a century now. That hardly makes his opinions equal to that of some average Joe Schmo off the street.
Originally Posted by Cynic View Post
As has been pointed out, he's not famous for linguistics, so yeah.
Okay, fair enough. Personally I knew him as a linguist before a political commentator of sorts. But that's me, and I'm one odd person.


Originally Posted by Cynic View Post
It seems as if you're arguing in favor of the logical fallacy of arguing from authority and it's opposite. I understand what you're saying here, but there's a fine line between considering the source and ignoring the argument.
I'm not really arguing anything. Just discussing back and forth.
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Old 27th October 2009, 11:02 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by Cobalt View Post
That's still saying you're gonna hear him out because he's famous. And he isn't necessarily speaking on his area of expertise.
Chomsky, his achievements in linguistics aside, long ago became one of those "public intellectuals" -- an academic celebrity famous mostly for being famous.

There is ground to believe that he became a "public intellectual" because his linguistics views began to meet serious opposition and criticism. This is, in fact, a sign of their significance: only sterile theories remain the unchallanged, complete "truth" for long. But opposition hurt his ego, so he looked for another field where he can still be an unchallanged guru, and came up with far-left politics.

A natural choice, since those masochists always hunger for some sage to tell them how awful they are. But the price was for him to earn a place on Ko-Ko's list of "society offenders who may well be underground", i.e., as "the idiot who praises / in exhilirated tone / all centuries but this / and every country but his own".

Last edited by Skeptic; 27th October 2009 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 28th October 2009, 04:58 AM   #149
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So Skeptic, you're alleging that he began talking about politics more visibly not because he cared deeply about the issues he was talking about - but for publicity and base self-satisfaction?

Let me offer you a comparable psychic analysis: your conclusions about his turn to politics stem not from any fact-based appreciation of Chomsky's mind, but from your opposition to his political conclusions.

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Old 28th October 2009, 07:11 AM   #150
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Originally Posted by Praktik View Post
So Skeptic, you're alleging that he began talking about politics more visibly not because he cared deeply about the issues he was talking about - but for publicity and base self-satisfaction?
Most "public intellectuals" are like that, I think, on the right or the left. It's extremely tempting to be a sage. Look at -- to give a non-political example -- someone like "Dr. Phil" or "Judge Judy". Their professional importance in their chosen field (psychology or law) is precisely zero, so they prefer to go over the professional community's head and become the general public's "gurus" on law, or behavior, or psychology, or relationships.
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Old 28th October 2009, 07:14 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
Most "public intellectuals" are like that, I think, on the right or the left. It's extremely tempting to be a sage. Look at -- to give a non-political example -- someone like "Dr. Phil" or "Judge Judy". Their professional importance in their chosen field (psychology or law) is precisely zero, so they prefer to go over the professional community's head and become the general public's "gurus" on law, or behavior, or psychology, or relationships.
So there is no actual evidence to apply this general rule to Chomsky, just the categorization of him as a "public intellectual"?

Weak...

Should be easy enough in a skeptic's forum to admit you're basing things on a personal hunch.
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Old 28th October 2009, 07:25 AM   #152
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Actually, no, there is evidence for this applying to Chomsky -- namely, the increase interest he has in politics as the attacks over his views of linguistics increased.

But anyway this is besides the point. I'm sure that, whatever the psychological motivations he had for starting to be interested in politics instead of linguistics, Chomsky began to care more and more about politics. He now, no doubt, very deeply cares.

So what?

Many people deeply care about politics, and, in particular, every conspiracy theorist does (far too much). That is no qualification, no reason to listen or take them seriously. Chomsky's rather cartoonish "eeeeeeeeevil USA!" world view is hardly a reason to take him seriously.
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Old 28th October 2009, 07:29 AM   #153
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Ok there we go. You were attempting to paint his interest in politics as the result of selfish, vain ambition and celebrity.

That's what i took issue with because it would require a deep personal knowledge of Chomsky - or psychic powers - to support.

Cant you just disagree without having to resort to such unsupportable rhetorical tricks?
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