Sunday, November 13, 2005

Chomsky Answers Guardian

November 13, 2005

This is an open letter to a few of the people with whom I had discussed the Guardian interview of 31 October, on the basis of the electronic version, which is all that I had seen. Someone has just sent me a copy of the printed version, and I now understand why friends in England who wrote me were so outraged...

- Full text at ZNet


  1. She was so cocky about libelling him - he'd win easily in court - because she knew he would not take it to court, availing herself precisely of his principles she openly derides and detests. A real cunning, unscrupulous, completely amoral fiend, this Brockes, and proud of it - illustrative of the indoctrination and 'professionalism' that are the bricks and mortar of the propaganda system.


    Johnstone on the origins of the ambush of Chomsky.

  3. warszawa6:03 AM

    "A real cunning, unscrupulous, completely amoral fiend, this Brockes, and proud of it"

    It's the Oxford disease, Alphonse. The Bloomsbury grippe. People as different as Wittgenstein and D.H. Lawrence were repelled by it six decades ago.

    Another example:

  4. " A work of fiction is neither a party nor a potential flatshare..."

    That's priceless. I suggest it become the subtitle of this blog.

    I have a friend who teaches history at Oxford. She once let me read some of her students papers about fascism. I wish I had copied and saved them. An better pitch for re-education camps there never was, if you are as kind hearted as Mao; I briefly wished for the power to take them all to a basement in Ekaterinberg.

  5. warszawa8:54 AM

    Alan Garner, the novelist "reviewed" in the Observer, left Magdalen College without taking a degree, although he was one of the most brilliant students there. Asked to explain why he had rejected the prospect of a glittering academic career at Oxford, he replied: "I didn't want to spend all my days being witty and cruel".

    That's one of the things that distinguishes Chomsky from Emma Brockes. It's impossible to imagine him, even in his youth, routinely indulging in human sacrifice in order to make a smart impression.

  6. Its not a politically neutral style, this is for sure. Even if your ostensible content is politically intelligible and legitimate, even if your target is Wolfowitz or Ledeen or Bill Gates or capitalism, the exhibitionist snickering and posturing and callousness and 'look at me!' is firmly right wing elitist anti-intellectual antihumanity and can never overcome that foundation. It really makes me sick. Hitchens, who was one of the trend setters in punditjournalism, is such a perfect example of how that style always conceals a fascist, always always always. He was deploying it purportedly in defense of the Palestinian cause once upon a time, but such operations can never assist that cause, only draw to itself a reflection of the true righteousness and justice of the cause and deactivate it on contact with that snide, poisonous selfishness and vanity. But its so popular because it suits television, suits the impatience and solipsism and narcissism of television, our authority. If you don't sound like television, you're in the wilderness, far from that glowing authority which distributes status and legitimacy.

    (I go on...sorry, having one of those angry want to strangle everybody days.)