Does anyone offer rebuttals to chomsky

I have only seen one, that was when David Horowitz wrote the sick mind of Noam Chomsky.

http://www.neoliberalismo.com/sick_mind.htm

Does anyone else offer rebuttals to the philosophies of zinn, chomsky, etc? All I can find is horowitz and his rebuttals about what people like Chomsky say about Cuba, Chile or Grenada are pretty good.

Try http://www.amritas.com/ - the author disagrees with Chomsky both professionally and politically.

Frankly, the linked article is kind of weird. The guy sounds like a nut.

“Rebuttal to Chomsky” is sort of impossible; a rebuttal to what, that he exists? I’m pretty sure he exists.

I would assume you mean a rebuttal to Chomsky’s claims or arguments, but again there you have to say what you want a rebuttal to. Chomsky’s said a lot of things, not all of them even on the same subject. He’s published some academic stuff on language theory. He’s also published stuff on the economics of political discourse in the media (probably his most famous work.) And he’s also published stuff on his political opinions in general, which is more recent in nature.

Your linked author’s column isn’t exactly a rebuttal. He obviously hates Chomsky, and he gets a lot of facts wrong, but he doesn’t really REBUT anything, in the sense of taking a Chomsky argument in context and refute it with better evidence.
He’s mostly upset that Chomsky directs most of his vitriol at the United States, which isn’t really an issue of facts as much as it is where Chomsky chooses to spend his time.

Anyway, this is GQ and I’m getting off topic. I guess my point is; what specific Chomsky claim do you want a rebuttal TO? Then we can find some cites.

A rebuttal to anything regarding the US being a force of pure evil, i don’t care about his language theory. What i want are counterpoints to anything Chomsky says that is political. A different opinion that takes his take on a situation into account but has a different view on them. I have never really seen anyone offer a counterpoint to hard leftists like Chomsky and i want to read different takes on the same events (like Horowitz did with the invasion of Grenada) or that systematically disassemble Chomsky’s views if/when he is lying or exaggerating.

Something like this

http://www.leftwatch.com/articles/2004/000014.html

Or for example the fact that the US supposedly had a role in removing Pinochet from power by sending some guy (i cant remember his name but he worked under reagan) to help establish the plebicite, or how Allende was a despot. That info isn’t really talked about by the hard left as it doesn’t support their view.

qts- is that the right site?

Oh, yeah! Well rebut this:

Courtesy of Chomsky-Bot

I have nothing to add, but I hereby nominate you for the “Understatement of the Week[sup]TM[/sup]” award. :wink:

A mod should put this in GD. This is not really a productive topic for GQ.

Start here for his main political and economic views.

Noam Chomsky on Anarchism, Marxism & Hope for the Future

Fixed link

The interesting thing is that, if you are having trouble finding direct rebuttals of Chomsky’s work, it’s because most of the mainstream American media commentators tend to pretend he doesn’t exist, rather than actually addressing the points he makes. Some people believe this is the result of a conspiracy, others believe that it is because of Chomky’s excessively radical ideas, and others (like Chomsky himself) simply see it as a natural product of the media’s ties to corporate and government interests.

There are plenty of people who oppose Chomsky’s viewpoints, but as RickJay’s post suggests, it can be a little difficult sorting out the intelligent critics from the obsessive whack-jobs. Actually, Chomsky has been addressed more frequently by the mainstream media since 9/11, and if you do a Lexis/Nexis search for the period (you’ll need to go to a library with an account) you should find quite a bit of stuff. I remember that Christopher Hitchens was very critical of Chomsky in The Nation a couple of years back, as were some mainstream newspaper columnists.

On quite a few occasions, Chomsky has been interviewed by, or alongside, people who are very critical of his view of American politics. You can get a small cross-section of these interviews by watching the documentary Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media, by Canadian film-makers Mark Achbar and Peter Witonick. Some of Chomsky’s opponents or critics that we see in this film include:

William F. Buckley, Jr. (conservative commentator; former host of Firing Line)
John Silber (President of Boston University; former member of Kissinger Commission on Latin America)
Karl Meyer (former New York Times editor)
Michel Foucault (French philosopher)

Of course, each of these men is critical of Chomsky on different issues. Buckley, in the Firing Line interview, takes issue with Chomsky’s view of America as a country that commits evil. Silber debates Chomsky on America’s Latin America policies. Meyer opposes Chomsky media critiques. And Foucault takes a different view than Chomsky on philosphical issues of human nature.

You can read the exchange with Silber, which got very heated, here. The debate with Foucault can be found in a book called Reflexive Water: The Basic Concerns of Mankind, edited by Fons Elders.

Now that i’ve pointed out a few starting places, maybe i can be permitted to make a single plea? If you do want to critique Chomsky’s arguments (and many people do), then at least have the intellectual honesty to find out what his arguments are by reading some of his work. Nearly every critic of Chomsky that i have ever encountered, including some on these message boards, are happy to slam him based on third-hand accounts of his work. Often, such accounts dramatically distort or deform the argument that Chomsky was actually making, and people who take the word of such accounts without taking the trouble to read Chomsky’s work for themselves often end up sounding like idiots.

Of course, reading all his stuff would take way too much time. He’s written many, many books and articles, and you won’t have time to get through even a small portion of them unless you’re willing to devote some serious time to the issue. But there are a couple of good starting points on the internet.

ZNet’s Noam Chomsky Archive
The Official Noam Chomsky Website

Both of these sites have links to many articles, book chapters, and interview transcripts. If you want to listen to Chomsky speak, you can find quite a bit of audio at the A-Infos Radio Project. Just type “chomsky” into the search engine and you’ll get a bunch of hits.

In fairness, there is also the distinct possibility that it’s because Chomsky is sometimes prone to speaking in dense academese, which doesn’t lend itself to easy discourse. That works no matter where you are on the political spectrum. You don’t see a lot of public discussion of “Chicago school” economics in the mainstream media, either. Presented with a hideously complex economic model fpr discussion, most people would rather switch the channel to “Everyone Loves Raymond.” Actually, so would I.

However, I suspect Chomsky turns off a lot of the audience simply because the concentration of much of his work is on discussing events Americans don’t want to hear about. That’s sort of his thing, actually; trying to get Americans talking about unpleasant things about America. It’s not an easy sell. If Chomsky was Japanese, or French, or Indian, and tried to discuss how Japanese, French, and Indian media ignore unpleasant truths about their own countries, I am sure he would get the same reactions.

Hold on a sec, which of these does Chomsky say, which does he avoid saying and which, in your opinion, isn’t correct?

The US certainly had a role in installing Pinochet (they “created the conditions as great as possible”, in the words of Kissinger), but I don’t know much about any direct role in unseating him. Ricardo Lagos, the man most closely linked with the plebiscite campaign, was educated in America and certainly influence by American ideas. Is this what you were referring to? And Allende sure was a socialist, but he was not a Communist or a dictator, although his opponents accused him of this.

I realise this is still in GQ, but I would be interested in seeing a quote or cite where Chomsky said anything remotely to the effect of…

This reads as the worst kind of hyperbole propaganda perpetuated by those who haven’t actually read anything by Chomsky.*

In everything I have seen by him he constantly refers to how much he loves the US, enjoys everything about the country and how he believes it to be the best country in the world to live in. But, despite all that, he still wishes the US would conduct its necessary business in a more respectable and responsible manner. Where have you seen him say the US is *“pure evil” * ?

  • Disagree all you like with his politics and his interpretation of the reasons behind particular events, but I think you will struggle to ‘debunk’ any of the factual citations within his work.

I’m not sure i completely agree about Chomsky’s speaking style. I think that his books can be somewhat laborious, especially for people who aren’t used to his rather turgid prose and the plethora of footnotes that he uses. But when he speaks, it seems to me that, for the most part, he outlines his arguments in rather clear and easily-understandable terms. His delivery is not exactly inspiring–he’s no Billy Graham or Bill Clinton–but i’ve never thought that his speeches were excessively laden with “dense academese.”

Actually, for people who are looking to read Chomsky’s work for the first time, i would recommend not his monographs, but the books of interviews conducted by David Barsamian. These are more conversational in tone, and make for lighter reading than the bigger books. The downside, of course, is that the interviews do not contain the copious doumentation that is a hallmarks of Chomsky’s work.

You might be right about this, but trying to counter this tendency to ignore the wrongdoings of one’s own country is a key part of Chomsky’s mission. He has often been accused of focusing too closely on America’s bad deeds, and ignoring the bad deeds of other countries. His response to this is that people can only be held responsible for the results of their own actions (or inaction), and because of this Americans should focus their attentions on their own nation and its problems. He figures that, no matter what he says, he’s not going to be able to change things in China. But, as a citizen of the United States, he has a vote and some influence in this country. Essentially, his argument is one that says “Get you own house house in order before worrying about what’s happening elsewhere.”

Also, the accusations that Chomsky ignores the wrongdoings of other countries are just not true. He spends much time criticizing despotic governments worldwide. Interestingly, i think that this was one of the reasons that he was ignored so much during the 1970s and 1980s. You see, Chomsky was, from the very beginning, an outspoken critic of the Soviet Union. Because of this, it was hard for American conservatives to paint him as just another Commie dupe.

Re. lambchops’ post: here are a couple of links to short pieces in which Chomsky talks about Chile: 1 2

Re. Aro’s post: At one stage in the video Manufacturing Consent, Chomsky outlines some of America’s good points, and then says something like this (i’m “quoting” from memory here, but the gist is about right):

…and so in America you end up with a very free and open society, but one that does a lot of terrible things.

You are certainly right that Chomsky has said, on numerous occasions, that America is probably the freest society on earth. Actually, in saying this, Chomsky follows in the footsteps of a long tradition of American radicalism, which both criticizes mainstream America and also tries to claim for itself the mantle of “true” Americanism. Henry David Thoreau made a similar argument (in a different context), and so do more recent critics of the Iraq war, who argue that they are the true patriots because they are trying to live up to American priniciples of nonaggression.

Chomsky was quoted in a November 2003 NY Times interview as saying that the US is “the best country in the world.” He later commented (I can’t find the reference now) that the interview was “fictitious”.

Here are some articles critical of Chomsky.

The hypocrisy of Noam Chomsky by Keith Windschuttle.

Larissa MacFarquhar. The devil’s accountant. The New Yorker, March 31, 2003.

More critical articles are listed here.

There is also The Anti-Chomsky Reader edited by Peter Collier and David Horowitz. I haven’t read this book and don’t know exactly what’s in it, but probably many of the essays can be found at www.frontpagemag.com. Some may contend Horowitz and associated sources are biased. Read around, read the Amazon reviews of this book, and decide for yourself.

Chomsky was quoted in a November 2003 NY Times interview as saying that the US is “the best country in the world.” He later commented (I can’t find the reference now) that the interview was “fictitious”.

Here are some articles critical of Chomsky.

The hypocrisy of Noam Chomsky by Keith Windschuttle.

Larissa MacFarquhar. The devil’s accountant. The New Yorker, March 31, 2003.

More critical articles are listed here.

There is also The Anti-Chomsky Reader edited by Peter Collier and David Horowitz. I haven’t read this book and don’t know exactly what’s in it, but probably many of the essays can be found at www.frontpagemag.com. Some may contend Horowitz and associated sources are biased. Read around, read the Amazon reviews of this book, and decide for yourself.

Definitely. See den Beste’s commentary here on this article.

If you want to read a book about why a lot of linguists think he hasn’t been a good influence on the state of argumentation in linguistics, read The Linguistics Wars by Randy Allen Harris. There’s also some stuff in the later chapters of Western Linguistics: An Historical Introduction by Pieter A. M. Seuren that’s rather critical of him. He’s not univerally beloved in linguistics.