Friday, January 21, 2011

Chomsky on Bush Name Calling, Hugo Chavez, and Democracy

I happened to watch a documentary called "South of the Border" which is available for instant view on Netflix, in which Hugo Chavez and other South American political leaders were interviewed. Interesting. I found this commentary from Chomsky to also be interesting, so I thought I'd share.


Darf Ferrara said...

So Chomsky claims that Calling Bush names is desired by Rove, and that Bush is trained to sound dumb (that sounds conspiratorial to me, but that's neither here nor there). He says that calling names is either destructive or childish. Then at the end of the segment he refers to Bush as "Dear Leader", a clear reference to the North Korean dictator. So is he for or against the name calling? Or is he just a part of the media conspiracy?

Jon said...

He said the Bush training thing is just a suspicion.

You've totally misunderstood his reference to "dear leader" which he does on a regular basis. It's a reference to the media's treatment of Bush, accepting claims at his mere word, just as the N Korean propaganda establishment does the same. He's not calling him a name.

HispanicPundit said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jon said...

Posted on behalf of HP.

Btw, the name thing is typical Chomsky. He likes to take vocabulary that he knows will be interpreted differently - and, should be interpreted differently, given the historical context - but of course, if only you read him, you would know he really meant it a different way.

He does this with other words like conservative, communism, socialism, liberal, etc.

I am not doubting his sincerity - he probably does want to refocus the meaning to something else - but he probably enjoys the confusion and criticism. It helps him give others the impression that he is always falsely accused.

Atleast, ISTM, that that's what Karl Rove would advise him to do.

Jon said...

Wait a minute, let me see if I get this right.

Chomsky really wants to call Bush a name, but it would violate the advice he gives elsewhere, so he tries to do it in a subtle way. Why? That's very strange conspiracy minded stuff.

As someone that has seen hours of lectures from him and read several of his books I'm unaware of any basis for such a conspiracy. Any evidence to back it up?

What I find is the opposite. For instance he was asked about Sarah Palin in one interview. I think on Democracy Now. He basically didn't respond. He doesn't want to talk about her. She's a lightning rod for personal smears, which he regards as distraction from the issues. So instead of talking about her he talks about the tea party movement generally, how their grievances are understandable, how the left needs to provide reasonable answers to these people instead of the Limbaugh/Palin line, which may be emotionally appealing (it's illegal immigrants, poor welfare types, etc that are the cause of the problems) but it's false.

All this is also distraction from the content of what he said. I should probably take his advice and ignore it. Hate him all you want. Assume he called a name if you like. What about the content of his comments?