The Eleventh Decade of Noam Chomsky


Gabriel Mathy

Gabriel Mathy is an Assistant Professor of Economics at American University

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8 Responses

  1. Avatar Brandon Berg

    However, the rise of decentralized social media has not been as beneficial as an anarchist like Chomsky might expect. Social media, freed from the control of government and media elites shaping media discourse, has fueled the rise of authoritarian nationalism and reactionary conspiracy theories like QAnon.

    Social media has also increased the popularity of the kind of left-wing conspiracy theories that Chomsky has been promoting for decades, so it hasn’t been an unmitigated loss for him.Report

  2. Avatar Philip H

    Good counter point to the prior article – which honestly I couldn’t figure out how to rebut. I am currently reading the pamphlet length essay collection put out in support of the Occupy Movement that features a number of Chomsky lectures and Q&A’s, and its striking how consistent he has been over the decades with his message. Love him, tolerate him or hate him, you have to respect that he’s spent his life pounding the same fist into the same table over and over.Report

  3. Avatar DensityDuck

    The only good thing about Noam Chomsky is that he gives us the ability to name a dog “Nom Chompsky”.Report

  4. Avatar Russell Michaels

    There are writings from the Soviet era that show Chomsky did not consistently criticize the Soviet Union. Which I gave you before you wrote this article, but I guess facts get in the way, huh?Report

    • Avatar Gabriel Mathy in reply to Russell Michaels

      Let’s see some of the document you provided (from the very neutral and not at all extreme-right “Anti-Chomsky Reader”)

      “in comparison to the conditions imposed by US tyranny and violence [in Vietnam], East Europe under Russian rule was practically a paradise.”1

      This refers to the postwar period, and it was obviously much less severe situation in Eastern Europe than the complete destruction of Vietnam. The author stated that 627,000 was the highest credible estimate of civilian deaths in Vietnam to mislead the reader, when any credible estimate of deaths runs in the millions.

      “Imagine the reaction if the Soviet police were to deal with refuseniks in any way comparable to the Israeli practices that briefly reached the television screens [during the first intifada].”19

      This is a completely reasonable statement by anyone that is not a Likudnik.

      ““[Regarding] China’s actions in Tibet… it is a bit too simple to say that ‘China did indeed take over a country that did not want to be taken over.’ This is by no means the general view of Western scholarship.”21”

      This is also correct- that’s not the consensus view of the situation, and there was also significant repression before Chinese control.

      “The Lie: It’s clear, I believe, that the emphasis on the use of terror and violence in China was considerably less than in the Soviet Union and that the success was considerably greater in achieving a just society.”24

      This also seems perfectly reasonable, Chomsky thought the Soviets were more brutal than the Chinese Communists.Report

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