Mar 23, 2013

Glenn Greenwald Defends Chomsky Against the Idiot Wind

Noam Chomsky
Update: "The question is: what do we strive for in developing a social order that is conducive to fundamental human needs? Are human beings born to be servants to masters, or are they born to be free, creative individuals who work with others to inquire, create, develop their own lives?"
- Noam Chomsky, 2013
Glenn Greenwald has new piece out defending Noam Chomsky against the latest attack by one Aida Edemariam in The Guardian.

Not surprisingly, Edemariam's is a long personal attack, short on facts.

I personally have had the pleasure of speaking with Chomsky for an interview presenting his views in The Capital Times before a Madison appearance on his Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (with Edward Herman) ( New York: Pantheon Books, 1988).

Easiest interview I have ever conducted, I asked two questions and Chomsky replied with some 60 minutes of facts and analysis from which I wrote a short piece not doing justice to the book, interview or man.

Facts and analysis are why many hate Noam Chomsky, and routinely attack him especially when America decides to declare war.

Here's Greenwald summing up the latest in the long line of attacks on Chomsky, this attack by Edemariam. Writes Greenwald:

So to recap: Chomsky is a sarcastic, angry, soporific, scowling, sneering self-hating Jew, devoid of hope and speaking from hell, whose alpha-male brutality drives him to win at all costs, and who imposes on the world disappointingly crude and simplistic arguments to the point where he is so inconsequential that one wonders whether he has ever changed even a single thing in his 60 years of political work.
So, I guess we can just ignore Noam Chomsky then. Right.

Chomsky would advise ignoring the personal attacks on him.

After Slate/The New Republic/Atlantic/New Yorker in 2001-02 all similarly attacked Chomsky for opposing Operation Enduring Freedom, as the civilian toll in Afghanistan surpassed the total of those killed on 9/11, threatening a generation with mass destruction (a prediction that has been borne out just a decade later), Chomsky advised ignoring the personal attacks and keep organizing for peace, writing in April 2002:

"(L)iberal intellectuals have lined up in support of the war machine in the familiar style — discussed, for example, by Randolph Bourne in classic essays–and since they know they do not have the intellectual competence to deal with those who refuse to go along, resort to what comes natural to the educated classes: hysterical tantrums, lies, and abuse. Why become involved? There are more important things to do–such as continue to falsify their increasingly desperate claim that everyone is following them in their depraved subordination to power."

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