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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Noam Chomsky: Cuddle Pet of the Subversive Academic Left

Click image for larger complete view of the Chomsky Network

What do Karl Marx, Leon Trotsky, Noam Chomsky
and George Soros have in common? They were/are
all radicals, born to Jewish parents, had no Jewish
identity and hurt Jews (not to mention non-Jews).


Born to Jewish parents in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 7, 1928, Noam Chomsky has taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1955.

In 1961 he was appointed full Professor in MIT's Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics (now the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy). From 1966 to 1976 he held the Ferrari P. Ward Professorship of Modern Languages and Linguistics. In 1976 he was appointed Institute Professor.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Professor Chomsky is “the most cited living author” and ranks just below Plato and Sigmund Freud among the most cited authors of all time. While acknowledging that he is reviled in some quarters for his ferocious anti-Americanism, a recent New Yorker profile calls Chomsky “one of the greatest minds of the 20th century.”

"Hardcore Marxist" Source

Chomsky is without question the most politically influential living academic among other academics and their students. He is promoted by rock groups such as Rage Against the Machine and Pearl Jam at their concerts the way the Beatles once promoted the Guru Maharaji, with the performers solemnly reading excerpts from his work in between sets and urging their followers to read him too. The devotion of Chomsky’s followers is summarized by radio producer David Barsamian, who describes the master’s effulgence in openly religious terms: "He is for many of us our rabbi, our preacher, our rinpoche, our sensei."

Manufacturing Consent, a documentary adapted from one of Chomsky’s books with the same title, has achieved the status of an underground classic in university film festivals. And at the climactic moment in the Academy Award-winning Good Will Hunting, the genius-janitor, played by Matt Damon, vanquishes the incorrect thinking of a group of sophomoric college students with a fiery speech quoting Professor Chomsky on the illicit nature of American power.

Any analysis of Chomsky must address linguistics, the field he remade so thoroughly by his scholarly work of the late 1950s that he was often compared to Einstein and other paradigm shifters. Those who admire this achievement but not his politics are at pains to explain what they take to be a disjunction between his work in linguistics and his sociopolitical ideas. They see the former as so brilliant and compelling as to be unarguable -- in all a massive scientific achievement -- and the latter as so venomous and counter-factual as to be emotionally disturbing.

Paul Postal and Robert Levine, linguists who have known and worked with Chomsky, take the view that the two aspects of his life’s work in fact manifest the same key properties: "a deep disregard of, and contempt for, the truth; a monumental disdain for standards of inquiry; a relentless strain of self-promotion; notable descents into incoherence; and a penchant for verbally abusing those who disagree with him."

Noam Chomsky, the influential communist-anarchist
intellectual. Chomsky, incidentally, is an outspoken
supporter of ACORN. Source

Chomsky’s work in linguistics allowed him to make a transition from the university to the public arena in the mid-1960s and to be taken seriously as a critic of the war in Vietnam. In a series of influential articles that appeared in the New York Review of Books and other publications, he distinguished himself by the cold intellectual ferocity of his attacks on American policy. Although a generation older than most members of the New Left, he shared the latter's eagerness to romanticize the Third World...

... Chomsky is a longtime member of both the Democratic Socialists of America and the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and  Socialism. He is also a board of advisors member with the Free Gaza Movement. And he an advisory editor for Against the Current, a bimonthly magazine produced by Solidarity, featuring articles by members as well as revolutionary activists and intellectuals from social movements around the world... More>>