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Criticising America 
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Post Criticising America
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...Meanwhile I was standing at the front of the store, right where the friendly Border's staff sets out those long tables stacked high with best sellers, among which were prominently displayed piles of Noam Chomsky's most recent recycling of his anti-American diatribe...

from Criticizing America By Lee Harris

Harris participates in a usual trend of Chomsky-bashing by dismissing his work as 'anti-American' and simply 'recycled'...thus attacking his patriotism and literary integrity in one fell swoop.

It would be useful if Harris had actually offered examples of Chomsky's anti-Americanism and poor writing habits...but, he doesn't.

What he does offer is a rationale for why he, in a book that wants to defend America's legitimacy as defender of Civilization, found it important to leave out any substantial critique to said legitimacy. Such as those events in history that might describe an America beyond our worst nightmares of bararity.

What is his rationale? Chomsky has a corner on the market...no need to waste necessary labor power and divert intellectual skills from where they may be more essential...such as providing rationale for American legitimacy as global hegemon.

Actually engaging Chomsky's arguments, for instance from his latest and most compelling book Hegemony or Survival
America's Quest for Global Dominance
, is not necessary for Harris. Instead, assault his character and integrity, and leave it up to the reader to connect the dots.

Harris won't address Chomsky. To do so would expose the terrible hypocrisy that holds together a thesis which might as well had fallen directly out of the 19th Century....a recycled defense of "The White Man's Burden".

Whereas Chomsky will continue to expose the moral failings and hypocricies that underly American domestic and foreign policy.









Sat Aug 07, 2004 2:17 pm
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Post Re: Criticising America
Dissident:

I am glad you posted an elaboration on this article. I had found this too and posted it as a link in one of my comments on the book, but I did not go into detail. I think this article is important as it shows us the Harris, far from being a true source of the issues facing us, is just as partisian as those he bashes.

There are shreads of truth in Chomsky, Harris and Moore, but they are on the ends of the spectrum. I would love to see one author have the balls to encompass the whole of our current state of events.

Mr. P.

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

I came to get down, I came to get down. So get out ya seat and jump around - House of Pain




Sat Aug 07, 2004 6:23 pm
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Post Re: Criticising America
Mr. P,

I'd be very interested in exploring your criticism of Chomsky...particularly his lack of cajones.

As I see it, Chomsky is to Harris and Moore what Shakespeare is to Danielle Steele and Louis L'amour.




Sat Aug 07, 2004 6:43 pm
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Post Re: Criticising America
Dissident:

I honestly have not read much of Chomsky at all, but for what I have read about him, and by this I do not mean attacks against, but even from supportive sources, I see him as someone taking one side of the issue. I want to read more of his work, but my time is limited and my interests spend more time in other topics.

If you could suggest some of his works that may give me more of an idea of his philosophy, I would appreciate it. I am open to discussion and education.

As for lack of balls, I just mean this: It is easier to walk on the vast expanse of land on either side of a line than to walk steady on the line itself.

Mr. P.

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

I came to get down, I came to get down. So get out ya seat and jump around - House of Pain




Sat Aug 07, 2004 8:42 pm
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Post Re: Criticising America
Mr. P.,

I've already started a link specific to Noam Chomsky at BookTalk, and you can explore it here

It should give you plenty of food for thought as you begin to expose yourself to one of America's true treasures and finest minds.

If there is one book I would encourage you start with, it should be UNDERSTANDING POWER THE INDISPENSABLE CHOMSKY Edited by Peter R. Mitchell and John Schoeffel. This is a collection of seminar conversations, Q&A sessions conducted during the 80s and 90s where Chomsky informally adresses topics from higher education, linguistics, politcs, foreign policy, American and World history, fascism, religious fundamentalism, environmentalism, terrorism, propaganda and the media, to name a few of the key ingredients.

Chomsky's balls speak for themselves: as an ardent critic of American militarism abroad, economic injustices at home, and the general will of states and power to abuse its priviledges and status...he has faced arrest, assault, threats upon his life and family, and the near total blackout of his political work (which covers scores of books, thousands of letters and interviews, and hundreds of talks before tens of thousands of listeners for almost 40 years) from mainstream press and television.

The Chomskian moral imperative is clear: we are responsible for those things we can change, and those things we can change we must confront...as a member of one of the elite priviledged class of Americans, Chomsky has focused his civic efforts on exposing where his tax dollars and his aquiescence have led to injustice and misery in the world.

I'm not clear how this adds up to a 'lack of balls'.

Edited by: Dissident Heart at: 8/7/04 11:33 pm



Sat Aug 07, 2004 10:22 pm
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Post Re: Criticising America
Dissident:

Thank you. I will explore his work when I can. I will read your link and read the book you suggest...then I can see if his balls are worth bronzing.

Thanks again,

Mr. P.

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

I came to get down, I came to get down. So get out ya seat and jump around - House of Pain




Sun Aug 08, 2004 12:16 am
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Post Re: Criticising America
I took that piece as more of a satire than a bashing. After all, the is a nice touch of humor in using Adam Smith to analyze Chomsky, Moore and Johnson.




Tue Aug 10, 2004 4:34 pm
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Post Re: Criticising America
Satire yes...sarcastic bashing? I think so.

Hey, maybe I am wrong...that happened once.

;)

Mr. P.

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

I came to get down, I came to get down. So get out ya seat and jump around - House of Pain




Tue Aug 10, 2004 8:50 pm
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