said that you can judge a man by who his enemies are and what
they're willing to say about him to shut him down. With that in
mind, it might be instructive to examine what the political enemies
of Massachusetts Institute of Technology Linguistics professor
Noam Chomsky have said about him.
Horowitz, reformed leftist turned Likudnik shill, describes Chomsky
as "a pathological ayatollah of anti-American hate and
the leader of the treacherous fifth-column Left." Werner Cohn
put his poison-pen to work, crafting the subtly titled Partners
in Hate: Noam Chomsky and the Holocaust Deniers, a 1995
book which trafficked in hysterical innuendo and specious speculation.
Todd Gitlin, who never lets anyone impeach his leftist credentials
by forgetting that he was President of Students for a Democratic
Society a few decades back, claimed that Chomsky was "irritable"
in the wake of 9/11/01; to Gitlin, Chomsky "wasted little time
on the attacks themselves before launching into a wooden recitation
of atrocities carried out by the American government and its allies."
his part, Chomsky would support the right of those worthies and
a thousand others to heap calumnies on his aging bones. Chomsky,
like few men still alive, understands the singular promise of
America well enough to write, time and time again, that "if we
don't believe in freedom of speech for those we despise, then
we don't believe in it at all." A simple idea, yet one conspicuously
absent from America's mass media discourse over the last few years.
Moreover, freedom of speech for Chomsky is a non-negotiable point;
this in spite of the constant assertions from professional politicians
and their hangers-on that "9/11 changed everything" and that,
in the parlance of departed White House flak Ari Fleischer, we
should all "watch what we say."
course, Chomsky would be the first to agree that, in terms of
effecting real political change, it doesn't matter what we say.
At a press conference October 22 to promote his Gainesville reading
of his Le Monde article
"Dilemmas of Dominance", Chomsky outlined his adherence to the
"investment theory" of politics, which holds that all meaningful,
high-stakes political action amounts to battles between ever-shifting
"coalitions of investors competing to control the state" and its
"monopoly of violence."
who has never shied away from describing the US role in world
affairs as that of the "chief Mafia don", has justifiable doubt
that even Greenish Democratic Presidential candidates like Ohio
Representative Dennis Kucinich will gain any measure of viability
in the 2004 race. "If anyone hears [Kucinich's message], he might
get large-scale support. But who will hear it?" Such a lacerating
dismissal of Kucinich's quixotic bid may well disappoint Gainesville
Democratic activists [who, judging from t-shirts and bumper stickers
near the University of Florida campus, have taken the formerly
pro-life Clevelander to their collective bosom], but history says
Chomsky's view is correct. Outsiders don't win insider games like
Presidential nomination contests, especially in times like these.
demurred from making specific predictions of impending doom for
the United States, but he did speak on the unserviceable national
debt, a product of elites who have "agreed that the point is to
drive the country into fiscal disaster." In his reckoning, the
"statist reactionaries" currently running the Executive branch
are engineering a "fiscal train wreck" designed to "starve the
beast"; the beast, of course, is the social welfare system that
Americans have come to rely on ever-increasingly since FDR's New
Deal. The MIT Linguist believes that most debt that of our
national government and of well-connected corporations would
be forgiven by the world at large. "But as far as your personal
debt, goes", he added, "tough luck."
Noam Chomsky hate America, as Fox News personality Sean Hannity
might put it? It depends on what your definition of America is.
If America is defined by its global military presence, then Chomsky
despises it to its core. He's been around long enough to see "full-spectrum
dominance" for the sucker bet it is; an enrichment scheme for
those who benefit from US dominance of "mineral-rich" states.
if you define America as the sum of its people, their aspirations,
their hopes for the future, then Chomsky can't be said to hate
America. The thousands who heard him speak on a balmy Tuesday
evening at Gainesville's O'Connell Center would attest, in fact,
to Chomsky's love for America and its people, as embodied by his
unsparing quest for truth in the briar patch of lies that is Washington
recent column by Anthony Gancarski
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the author of Unfortunate
Incidents, writes for The American Conservative, CounterPunch,
and LewRockwell.com. His web journalism was recognized by
Utne Reader Online as "Best of the Web." A writer for the
local Folio Weekly, he lives in Jacksonville, Florida.