Noam Chomsky compares US public sentiment to late Weimar Germany


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Cropped version of Noam chomsky.jpg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Is Society approaching it’s point of “critical complexity”? Do the leaders of our (global) institutions realise the extent of the revulsion and anger people feel toward them? Have they got what it takes, to forego some of their power and privilege that they wield, to improve things for society? Or will they fail to learn the lessons from the history which saw financial and civil exploitation accelerate the societal complexity resulting in the collapse of the Roman empire??? [Refer: Dr Joseph TainterThe Collapse of Complex Societies]

At least one man, labelled “America’s Greatest Intellectual”, believes that the signs in US are not good. Noam Chomsky has never seen anything like this…

He curtly dismisses our two-party system as a mirage orchestrated by the corporate state, excoriates the liberal intelligentsia for being fops and courtiers and describes the drivel of the commercial media as a form of “brainwashing.” And as the US’s most prescient critic of unregulated capitalism, globalization and the poison of empire, he enters his 81st year warning us that we have little time left to save our anaemic democracy.

Chomsky has, more than any other American intellectual, charted the downward spiral of the American political and economic system

There are two sets of principles. They are the principles of power and privilege and the principles of truth and justice. If you pursue truth and justice it will always mean a diminution of power and privilege. If you pursue power and privilege it will always be at the expense of truth and justice. Benda says that the credo of any true intellectual has to be, as Christ said, ‘my kingdom is not of this world.’ Chomsky exposes the pretences of those who claim to be the bearers of truth and justice.

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7 Responses to Noam Chomsky compares US public sentiment to late Weimar Germany

  1. Bill Ford says:

    Shame we can’t send him there and have the Naziis deal wiith his perverse view of liberty and freedom.Amonth in one of the camps should do the trick quite nicley I should think.

    • Hi Bill,
      Somehow I didn’t think he would be on your Christmas list but I liked this piece of logic!

      David

  2. paradigmrisk says:

    Way back when, while researching something unrelated, I came across Chomsky’s original essay, based on his doctoral research in language acquisition, debunking the stimulus-response paradigm of BF Skinner. It was and remains a stunning read. Chomsky is, rightly, esteemed among the prominent voices of psycho-linguistics. However, we would all have been better served had he not strayed so far from his field. His polemics on international politics, liberty and capitalism are . . . let’s say ‘not as well researched as his original work on psycho-linguistics’.

    Most frustratingly, having been so lucid in his empiricism in his own field and therein changing it irrevocably, he seems to have discarded empirical observation in favour of polemical idealism and normative assertion in matters political and economic. His analysis of imperial inclinations of the US is under-cooked and his views on capitalism and justice far too Rawlsian for my liking. That is his prerogative, but he has an annoying habit of passing his views off as unassailable.

    To his credit, he is an independent thinker and he remains, like Orwell before him, a powerful commentator on the distorting impact of language and metaphor on political discourse. But he never deserved the accolade of the US’ greatest public intellectual and his criticism of globalisation would consign billions of people to remaining in poverty.

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    • Fair point. I’ve gotta say, when I started blogging that did bother me but, as time has gone on it hasn’t been something I’ve been too worried about. I tend to be more concerned to get the word out there rather than be too “precious” about it. Mind you I doubt that too much of what I produce is totally original thought so I may be the wrong person to ask…sorry!

      David

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