For the past twenty years, Noam Chomsky
has had a close working relationship with the French neo-Nazi
and Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson
and with Faurisson's organization, La Vielle Taupe
("The Old Mole
"). Chomsky has actively promoted Faurisson and La Vielle Taupe
; he has publically defended Faurisson; in the famous preface to Faurisson's book (to which mat catastrophe
alludes) he referred to Faurisson as "a liberal
", and he has called the professional Holocaust denier Serge Thion
a "libertarian socialist scholar
". These statements are not even remotely accurate within the accepted meanings of "libertarian", "liberal", "socialist", and "scholar".
He has enthusiastically thrown the weight of his formidable academic reputation behind their "cause". It's one thing to tolerate such people and support their right to speak, but it's another thing entirely to endorse, advocate, and assist them.
Furthermore, Chomsky once used his influence to supress the publication in the US
of an essay by the British
linguist Geoffrey Sampson
. The essay was about Chomsky; it spoke admiringly of much of Chomsky's work, but there was one sentence which was critical of Chomsky's support for the Khmer Rouge
and his involvement with Faurisson et al. Apparently that doesn't count as "free speech".
Chomsky has some valuable insights in Manufacturing Consent
and elsewhere, but when he gets down to specifics he writes not as an academic
or an historian
, but as a propagandist
. He tells the side of the story that suits him. He's brilliant and entertaining, but nobody should ever use him as a sole source on anything in the political arena. Manichean reductionism
is invariably disinformative
and destructive. That's what makes it so entertaining. The truth is complex and nuance
d, and when you've got an agenda to promote, nuance
and complexity just get in the way. Think of Chomsky as a left-wing equivalent of right-wing "think tank
s" like the Heritage Foundation
: A generator of pre-packaged debating positions for people who are more interested in winning arguments on points than they are in the truth. He's a spin machine.
It's been pointed out that this really belongs in Noam Chomsky, not here. I agree, but that'll require some rewriting so it'll have to wait for a bit . . .
Source, as per request: Partners in Hate: Noam Chomsky and the Holocaust Deniers
by Werner Cohn
, Avukah Press
, Cambridge, MA