ravi gadfly at home.com
Tue Oct 9 10:13:55 PDT 2001

Dennis wrote:

>>You can see some of these problems in the famous Faurisson scandal
>>in France. As many readers may know, Chomsky wrote the preface for a
>>book by Robert Faurisson, which was threatened with banning because
>>it denied the reality of the Holocaust. Chomsky claimed that though
>>he opposes the book's content, the book should still be published for
>>free speech reasons. I can see the argument, but I can't support him
>>here. The argument is that freedom of the press is freedom for all,
>>even for those whom we find disgusting and totally unacceptable -
>>otherwise, today it is then, tomorrow it is us. It sounds logical,
>>but I think that it avoids the true paradox of freedom - that some
>>limitations have to guarantee it.
> Wrong, wrong, wrong. Chomsky wrote a general statement about Faurisson's
> right to say what he wanted and that the state should not criminalize his
> opinion. Chomsky told his French pal Serge Thion that he could do whatever
> he wanted with the statement, so Thion made it the preface to Faurisson's
> book. I suppose one can criticize Chomsky for being so cavalier with his
> work, but let's keep the facts straight.

so if chomsky could see it fit to defend faurisson's right to speech, how come his gratuitous slam of martin heidegger ("the truth is the revealing of that which is beautiful" roughly), in the chomsky reader, supposedly to critique intellectual sophistry, though one might be justified in suspecting that the choice of heidegger is a clever one, motivated either by the much popularized heidegger nazi connection, or perhaps by the ongoing chomsky, sokal, znet wars against the academic left or the humanities (or whatever they are calling it these days. see znet archives on the albert/chomsky/ ehrenreich debates with pomo and other thinkers, and chomsky's recent pieces in z magazine with sarcastic remarks about the intellectual content of non-scientific fields, surprising since chomsky's field itself, linguistics, is really nowhere near a hard science, unlike physics or math that he refers to).

in all matters political i have great admiration for chomsky's views and actions, but i am a little bothered by what seems to be his attacks on individuals based on a sort of elitism.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- man is said to be a rational animal. i do not know why he has not been defined as an affective or feeling animal. more often i have seen a cat reason than laugh or weep. perhaps it weeps or laughs inwardly - but then perhaps, also inwardly, the crab resolves equations of the 2nd degree. -- alasdair macintyre.

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