Dec 26, 2005


I watched Power and Terror: Noam Chomsky this weekend. I watched Manufacturing Consent a few months back. I don't know a lot about this guy but feel I should. On two levels. First, for his linguistics work which I have heard called, 'genius'. Second, for his infamous views on power and in particular U.S. politics. The problem with Noam on this second point can be summed up as this: He spends all of his time pointing out the hypocritical and inconsistent nature of U.S. policy based on history and none (or very little) of his time on the history itself. I think in his head he assumes his audience fully understands what the U.S. or any power state he's discussing has done throughout history and he is merely showing how inconsistent this history is. But I really don't know any history. Not at his level at least. One I don't remember much history from high school and two I'm sure what I did learn was not particularly factual or correct.

If you don't know what he knows, you think he's a reactionary and a nut. If you do know what he knows, his points about hypocrisy are a waste of time - they're obvious. I wish he'd spend more time on detailing what he knows about history and what data he has to support it. Otherwise these books and documentaries are kind of a waste of my time. Maybe I should just focus on his linguistics stuff for now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Watched Chomsky today funny.. as you saw a couple of days ago. Liked you analysis, thought about that as well being history but did not gave quite the right words as you. Interested in Godel as well. Godel-Chomsky not quite sure how I got here but interesting to me. Read some of your posts on Godel as well. Very nicely done although not fully comprehended yet by me.