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Friday, September 03, 2004
 
Fillet of Chomsky

Keith Windschuttle
reviews The Anti-Chomsky Reader. We already know that Chomsky's politics lean to the wacko left:
He thinks every president of the United States since Franklin Roosevelt should have been impeached because “they’ve all been either outright war criminals or involved in serious war crimes.” He claims the United States actively collaborated with the Nazis against the Soviet Union in the latter stages of World War II. He once supported the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia, claiming the genocidal evacuation of Phnom Penh in 1976 was due to a failed rice crop and “may actually have saved many lives.” He describes Israel as a terror state with “points of similarity” to the Third Reich. And he has defended an anti-Semitic French academic who claims the Holocaust was a “historical lie.” Chomsky describes him as nothing more than an “apolitical liberal” whose work is based on “extensive historical research.”
but is his linguistics any better?
Two essays about linguistics reveal Chomsky’s output in that field to be not the work of a rare, great mind but the product of a very familiar kind of academic hack. His reputation turns out not to have been earned by any significant contribution to human understanding but to be the product of a combination of self-promotion, abuse of detractors, and the fudging of his findings.


If you can still be bothered to discuss Chomsky, get this book.