People love to hate cranky old uncle Chomsky, and it’s no surprise really, with the stuff he goes around saying in these dissent-discouraging times. This recent CBC interview with him shows him in fine form, talking about the same things he usually does, jumping up and down on the head of the interviewer, uttering the word ‘No’ more times that I’ve ever seen anyone say it before in a single conversation. For what it’s worth, though, I agree with many of the things he has to say about governments, and about the press. I’m aware that’s an unpopular thing to say, and that many consider him a loon.
Something like this, though, doesn’t seem to me to be the words of a lunatic. On the contrary, it seems quite lucid indeed :

“What I’m saying is that as long as people, ordinary people, are able to free themselves from the doctrinal controls imposed on them by their self-appointed betters and mentors, as long as they’re able to do this, they’ll continue to be able to struggle for peace and justice and freedom and limitations on violence, and constraints on power, as they’ve been doing for hundreds of years. And I don’t see any end to that. Where it’ll end up in the long run, I’d tell you where I’d like it to, but I wouldn’t even dream about that.
The immediate problem is to free ourselves from the shackles imposed, very consciously, by the kind of people you’re talking about. Who don’t want the facts to be known. And for very good reasons. Because if people know the facts they aren’t going to tolerate them. So therefore you have to prevent them from knowing. You have to indoctrinate them, you have to tell them stories about how we’re really good guys, and if we use violence, it must be for the general good because we represent the course of history.”

Speaking of hypocrisy, and the Chomster does, this piece covers well-trodden ground, but worth a read nonetheless, perhaps :

“Hypocrisy, as La Rochefoucauld observed, is the homage that vice pays to virtue. In the case of Bush, campaign lies are the homage that Republican sloganeering paid to the popularity of Democratic ideology. […] As ideological fraud, then, George W. Bush remains in a class by himself. It’s understandable why he does it: Democrats’ domestic positions are basically popular. But why does he get away with it? He pulls it off, I think, for several reasons (of which September 11 is fairly far down the list). “

Are we in the weblogging community shouldering the burden of that responsibility to preserve the right of people to know the facts, as traditional media increasing fails in its role as watchdog?
I cetainly don’t know. But that should be clear, sporting as I do a tagline like the truth can blow me.
Edit : An interesting exchange between the Chomster and Christopher Hitchens.

Politics Chafe My Scrote

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. I guess we have something in common. Check out my latest graphic on my webpage.

  2. Yay! See, even old adversaries, once at each other’s throats, can agree that GWB is a big poopyhead!

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