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Author Topic: Chomsky  (Read 936 times)
AndrewBole
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« on: January 08, 2012, 12:53:21 PM »

greetings.

well as some of you may know, Ive said im gonna try and get Chomskys direct insight to some of his claims regarding Israel/Palestine and his critics. I have been successfull. While he declined participating on the actual forum, he will take some time off his busy schedule and answer our questions.

So we will do it like this. For the next week, till Sunday, any type of question you have, please put together a consice, formulated question, so we wont get misfires with questions being too complicated or referencing too many other sources. Premise has to be simple, quickly understood, and within the scope of an answer via email. You may post more of them if you wish.

We will choose 5 most appropriate ones, and send them to him. I will make sure he gets them, and coordinate the rest of the comms with him

regards

Andrew
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2012, 04:29:36 PM »

Andrew:

GM is our point man for this and at the moment he is on the road for a week or two so this will need to wait until his return.

Thank you,
Marc
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G M
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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2012, 08:18:39 PM »

I'd like to know what guilt Chomsky feels for his support for Pol Pot and his denial of the Cambodian holocaust.

I'd like to know what incident or incidents between him and his parents made him develop a hatred of his Jewish ancestry and propelled him towards consorting with antisemites and holocaust deniers.

If America is as bad as he claims, why does he continue to live here?
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G M
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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2012, 09:06:15 PM »



http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/story.html?id=1385b76d-6c34-4c22-942a-18b71f2c4a44&k=53758




Noam Chomsky

 


One of the most persistent themes in Noam Chomsky's work has been class warfare. The iconic MIT linguist and left-wing activist frequently has lashed out against the "massive use of tax havens to shift the burden to the general population and away from the rich," and criticized the concentration of wealth in "trusts" by the wealthiest 1%. He says the U.S. tax code is rigged with "complicated devices for ensuring that the poor -- like 80% of the population -- pay off the rich."

 

 By National Post March 21, 2006 Comments (6)

 
One of the most persistent themes in Noam Chomsky's work has been class warfare. The iconic MIT linguist and left-wing activist frequently has lashed out against the "massive use of tax havens to shift the burden to the general population and away from the rich," and criticized the concentration of wealth in "trusts" by the wealthiest 1%. He says the U.S. tax code is rigged with "complicated devices for ensuring that the poor -- like 80% of the population -- pay off the rich."

But trusts can't be all bad. After all, Chomsky, with a net worth north of US$2-million, decided to create one for himself. A few years back he went to Boston's venerable white-shoe law firm, Palmer and Dodge, and, with the help of a tax attorney specializing in "income-tax planning," set up an irrevocable trust to protect his assets from Uncle Sam. He named his tax attorney (every socialist radical needs one!) and a daughter as trustees. To the Diane Chomsky Irrevocable Trust (named for another daughter) he has assigned the copyright of several of his books, including multiple international editions.

Chomsky favours massive income redistribution -- just not the redistribution of his income. No reason to let radical politics get in the way of sound estate planning.

When I challenged Chomsky about his trust, he suddenly started to sound very bourgeois: "I don't apologize for putting aside money for my children and grandchildren," he wrote in one e-mail. Chomsky offered no explanation for why he condemns others who are equally proud of their provision for their children and who try to protect their assets from Uncle Sam. (However, Chomsky did say that his tax shelter is OK because he and his family are "trying to help suffering people.")

Indeed, Chomsky is rich precisely because he has been such an enormously successful capitalist. Despite his anti-profit rhetoric, like any other corporate capitalist Chomsky has turned himself into a brand name. As John Lloyd recently put it in the lefty New Statesman, Chomsky is among those "open to being "commodified" -- that is, to being simply one of the many wares of a capitalist media market place, in a way that the badly paid and overworked writers and journalists for the revolutionary parties could rarely be."

Chomsky's business works something like this. He gives speeches on college campuses around the country at US$12,000 a pop, often dozens of times a year.

Can't go and hear him in person? No problem: You can go online and download clips from earlier speeches -- for a fee. You can hear Chomsky talk for one minute about "Property Rights"; it will cost you US79 cents. You can also buy a CD with clips from previous speeches for US$12.99.

But books are Chomsky's mainstay, and on the international market he has become a publishing phenomenon. The Chomsky brand means instant sales. As publicist Dana O'Hare of Pluto Press explains: "All we have to do is put Chomsky's name on a book and it sells out immediately!"

Putting his name on a book should not be confused with writing a book because his most recent volumes are mainly transcriptions of speeches, or interviews that he has conducted over the years, put between covers and sold to the general public. You might call it multi-level marketing for radicals. Chomsky has admitted as much: "If you look at the things I write -- articles for Z Magazine, or books for South End Press, or whatever -- they are mostly based on talks and meetings and that kind of thing. But I'm kind of a parasite. I mean, I'm living off the activism of others. I'm happy to do it."

Chomsky's marketing efforts shortly after Sept. 11 give new meaning to the term "war profiteer." In the days after the tragedy, he raised his speaking fee from US$9,000 to US$12,000 because he was suddenly in greater demand. He also cashed in by producing another instant book. Seven Stories Press, a small publisher, pulled together interviews conducted via e-mail that Chomsky gave in the three weeks following the attack on the Twin Towers and rushed the book to press. His controversial views were hot, particularly overseas. By early December 2001, the publisher had sold the foreign rights in 19 different languages. The book made the best-seller list in the United States, Canada, Germany, India, Italy, Japan and New Zealand. It is safe to assume that he netted hundreds of thousands of dollars from this book alone.

Over the years, Chomsky has been particularly critical of private property rights, which he considers simply a tool of the rich, of no benefit to ordinary people. "When property rights are granted to power and privilege, it can be expected to be harmful to most," Chomsky wrote on a discussion board for the Washington Post. Intellectual property rights are equally despicable, apparently. According to Chomsky, for example, drug companies who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars developing drugs shouldn't have ownership rights to patents. Intellectual property rights, he argues, "have to do with protectionism."

Protectionism is a bad thing -- especially when it relates to other people.

But when it comes to Chomsky's own published work, this advocate of open intellectual property suddenly becomes very selfish. It would not be advisable to download the audio from one of his speeches without paying the fee, warns his record company, Alternative Tentacles. (Did Andrei Sakharov have a licensing agreement with a record company?) And when it comes to his articles, you'd better keep your hands off. Go to the official Noam Chomsky Web site (www.chomsky.info) and the warning is clear: "Material on this site is copyrighted by Noam Chomsky and/or Noam Chomsky and his collaborators. No material on this site may be reprinted or posted on other web sites without written permission." (However, the Web site does give you the opportunity to "sublicense" the material if you are interested.)

Radicals used to think of their ideas as weapons; Chomsky sees them as a licensing opportunity.

Chomsky has even gone the extra mile to protect the copyright to some of his material by transferring ownership to his children. Profits from those works will thus be taxed at his children's lower rate. He also thereby extends the length of time that the family is able to hold onto the copyright and protect his intellectual assets.

In October, 2002, radicals gathered in Philadelphia for a benefit entitled "Noam Chomsky: Media and Democracy." Sponsored by the Greater Philadelphia Democratic Left, for a fee of US$15 you could attend the speech and hear the great man ruminate on the evils of capitalism. For another US$35, you could attend a post-talk reception and he would speak directly with you.

During the speech, Chomsky told the assembled crowd, "A democracy requires a free, independent, and inquiring media." After the speech, Deborah Bolling, a writer for the lefty Philadelphia City Paper, tried to get an interview with Chomsky. She was turned away. To talk to Chomsky, she was told, this "free, independent, and inquiring" reporter needed to pay US$35 to get into the private reception.

Corporate America is one of Chomsky's demons. It's hard to find anything positive he might say about American business. He paints an ominous vision of America suffering under the "unaccountable and deadly rule of corporations." He has called corporations "private tyrannies" and declared that they are "just as totalitarian as Bolshevism and fascism." Capitalism, in his words, is a "grotesque catastrophe."

But a funny thing happened on the way to the retirement portfolio.

Chomsky, for all of his moral dudgeon against American corporations, finds that they make a pretty good investment. When he made investment decisions for his retirement plan at MIT, he chose not to go with a money market fund or even a government bond fund. Instead, he threw the money into blue chips and invested in the TIAA-CREF stock fund. A look at the stock fund portfolio quickly reveals that it invests in all sorts of businesses that Chomsky says he finds abhorrent: oil companies, military contractors, pharmaceuticals, you name it.

When I asked Chomsky about his investment portfolio, he reverted to a "what else can I do?" defence: "Should I live in a cabin in Montana?" he asked. It was a clever rhetorical dodge. Chomsky was declaring that there is simply no way to avoid getting involved in the stock market short of complete withdrawal from the capitalist system. He certainly knows better. There are many alternative funds these days that allow you to invest your money in "green" or "socially responsible" enterprises.

They just don't yield the maximum available return.
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AndrewBole
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2012, 02:40:22 PM »

1st off, Crafty please delete all posts that arent directly supporting the effort to gather up a decent "questionnaire"


I'd like to know what guilt Chomsky feels for his support for Pol Pot and his denial of the Cambodian holocaust.

since we want the guy to actually respond to us, we would need a certain level of cultural dialogue present. So let me try to rephrase, and tell me if you agree with it

"What are your thoughts on certain critics that you have supported the Pol Pot regime with its countless deaths and suffering and in doing so, also agreed with the Cambodian holocaust to a certain degree?"

I'd like to know what incident or incidents between him and his parents made him develop a hatred of his Jewish ancestry and propelled him towards consorting with antisemites and holocaust deniers.


innapropriate, rephrase the question or be more specific with what do you wish to acheive with the question

is that it though ? Nothing else ? Find some more of your "critics", extract their main point and write it here. Lets challenge his claims, study him. Unless of course you just want to drag him throguh the mud and call him names.

Better be prepared though, you wont get trivia style answers. Get ready to read some books. The man is ready to dance, hard. I have already asked him about Bogdanor, and some other harsher critics on his linguistics academia front and he pointed me to 3 of his (Chomskys) books where Bogdanors claims are actually put into context and Im beggining to see why he said, he usually doesnt even respond to contacts asking him about it.

anyway, try to find more. And no littering with your hatemail either. Just the link of the article, or reference or whatever, and under it the main point of the critic.
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ccp
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2012, 06:27:55 PM »

In GM's post:

***However, Chomsky did say that his tax shelter is OK because he and his family are "trying to help suffering people."***

This falls right into a theme I have proposed for at least part of the reason some of my own fellow Jews who are themselves quite capatilist in their own finances yet are quite socialist in their politics:

1)  It is ok because they worry about the poor.

2) They are better than others precisely because the use their mouthpieces for the poor. 

3) It suggests some underlying guilt perhaps?

In any case, we of course see this in other wealthy Democrats who are not Jewish.  Look at all they non Jews in Hollywood. Look at the Al Gores the John Kerrys the Nancy Pelosis the Harry Reids and the Bil Gates and Buffetts.

Naturally I have no problem with those who want to help disadvantaged people.  I have no problem if they become wealthy.  I do have a problem when they bash a system and everyone else who succeeds in it while they in turn do the same thing.  Every hear of the word 'hypociritical'?  In other words it is all ok for them to live exactly the way they bash others for because they are mouthpieces for the poor.  They vote the good Democratic party.


Mr. Chomsky, if Bama gets a second term and the progressives have their way, sir you may get what you wish for.  And that would include a change in trust laws in a way that half of YOUR trust goes not to your daughters but to big gov.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2012, 10:12:48 PM »

I return to LA tomorrow and it will take me a few days to get caught up after 12 days on the road.
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AndrewBole
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« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2012, 03:53:12 PM »

guys, as much as I like to debate stuff, please keep this thread contained of all else, BUT formulated questions for the man.

If you already posted something, try to rephrase the meaning of your post or rearrange the "critic" of the person you are referencing, so that we may put together a nice questionnarie/interview, that he will be able to answer in a nice, concise manner.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2012, 10:21:05 PM »

Exactly so.
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