Nothing like a Chavez endorsement

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by Pekelo, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. Pekelo

    Pekelo

  2. Arnie

    Arnie

    This is one of the better reviews I read........

    I've read a number of authors influenced by Chomsky in the areas of politics and linguistics, but until now, never the man himself. The title of this book jumped out at me because it seemed to express my sense that America is in the process of charging off a cliff. Even better, it was just about the right size for my flight back from Africa.

    I have to say that I was looking forward to some insightful analysis, but what I got was more of a rant. Essentially, this book is a mirror image to those written wacko neocons like Coulter and Hannity. The idea seems to be to barrage the reader with superficial images of American wrongdoing with the goal of creating an emotional response. Does this really add to the national debate or educate the reader-particularly in light of the fact that people who read Chomsky probably already agree with him? I doubt it.

    Based on the rave reviews this book has received here, I know I'll probably get my porch light shot out for criticizing the Great Man, but it's hard to take this book seriously. Let me give you some examples of what I mean from Chapter 1.

    "The administration...moved to ensure the inevitability of an attack on Iraq despite popular opposition that was without historical precedent."

    This strikes me as just plan inaccurate. Remember Vietnam? And if we're talking about just domestic opposition, you could argue intelligently for the Mexican War.

    "The Bush Administration...declared the right to resort to force to eliminate any perceived challenge to US global hegemony, which is to be permanent."

    This is a good example of the semi-hysterical spin everything in this book gets. While I suppose I agree that this was what Bush meant, we can be certain it isn't how he said it since there's just no way that man knows what the word `hegemony' means.

    Pages 6 and 7 are kind of a rant against representative democracy that doesn't go anywhere. Is Chomsky suggesting replacing our system with a direct democracy where everybody votes on everything from the color of the state seal to national interest rates? Or perhaps with one of the socialist models that have been such a disaster over the last 50 years? To quote Churchill: "Democracy is worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried."

    And speaking of quotes. Here is how Chomsky puts them together:

    James Madison held that power must be delegated to "the wealth of the nation," "the more capable set of men," who understand that the role of government is "to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority."

    Is it just me, or is Chomsky sticking out of context words from Madison into his own thought? I mean, without digressing into a defense of JM that's beyond the scope of this review, he was a pretty smart guy who embarked on a social experiment that was incredibly radical for his time and which, in just over 200 years, produced a country that half the world would emigrate to tomorrow if they could get a green card. You know that old Arab saying: "DEATH TO AMERICA! Just as soon as my kid graduates from Harvard..."

    On pages 7 and 8, he sets his sights on an imaginary government conspiracy of propaganda, which he believes is used to control the American public. Oddly, he seems completely unaware of the much more dangerous trend of the news media refusing to air anything that might make their commercial sponsors uncomfortable. Let's face it, Bush's attempts at war propaganda made anyone with half a brain break out in giggling fits. The only reason the president's assertions were given any credence at all by the public was because our media backed him up out of fear of appearing unpatriotic. At the same time, the foreign press was basically making fun of the man.

    Of course, Chomsky also dredges up Guatemala and Grenada as proof of America's brutality but then fails to discuss the factors that led to those rather disgusting episodes (respectively, the threat to the United Fruit corporation and the need to prove our resolve after recent setbacks) leaving the reader with no real insight at all beyond `America bad.'

    I could go on, but I won't. If this is your kind of book, enjoy. But you could do better.

    Finally, a disclaimer: I made it to chapter 5 and only skimmed the rest. So it's possible it improves. I certainly hope so.
     
  3. ^^Please tell me you didn't pay good money for that rag, and instead found it abandoned in the airport or in the taxi or something.^^
     
  4. Pekelo

    Pekelo

    The gods must like me, because I sure will have fun! :)

    Quote from Arnie:

    This is one of the better reviews I read........

    OK, so you haven't read the book, just picked a review, that you most likely agree with... Fine.

    Let me give you some examples of what I mean from Chapter 1.

    "The administration...moved to ensure the inevitability of an attack on Iraq despite popular opposition that was without historical precedent."

    This strikes me as just plan inaccurate. Remember Vietnam?


    This strike me as fact. The first half of the sentence is true, and I think the reviewer is objecting to the second half, saying there was popular opposition to Vietnam. Unfortunatelly for him, Chomsky meant the beginning of the Iraq war and when the Vietnam war started there was no popular opposition to it, thus Chomsky is correct. Too bad...

    "The Bush Administration...declared the right to resort to force to eliminate any perceived challenge to US global hegemony, which is to be permanent."

    While I suppose I agree that this was what Bush meant, we can be certain it isn't how he said it since there's just no way that man knows what the word `hegemony' means.


    Mind you guys, the reviewer is actually criticizing Bush, and not Chomsky. And even so, he agrees with Chomsky just bitching about the wording...

    Finally, a disclaimer: I made it to chapter 5 and only skimmed the rest. So it's possible it improves. I certainly hope so.


    A disclaimer from me. I made it until this, but I gave up because it is worthless piece of crap. I skimmed the rest, but it is possible it goes downhill from here.... :)
     
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  6. Damn, number 7 on amazon?
    Maybe he should have reveiwed the patriot act, someone might have read the f#'n thing.