2011-05-10 From Chomsky to bin Laden

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Date: 2011-05-10
Link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703730804576312923866840988.html
Author: Bret Stephens (writingscat)
Source: Wall Street Journal (articlescat)
Topics: Osama bin Laden Noam Chomsky ideas have consequences
Categories: Osama bin Laden Noam Chomsky ideas have consequences


From Chomsky to bin Laden

longer text

This is apparently a response to 2011-05-07 My Reaction to Osama bin Laden's Death by Noam Chomsky.

Mr. Chomsky is no Martin Heidegger: His contributions to linguistics and cognitive psychology, considerable as they are, pale next to Heidegger's contributions to political philosophy. Nor is he a Heidegger in the sense that he has brought no material harm to anyone, as Heidegger did to his mentor Edmund Husserl.

Yet when it comes to making excuses for monsters, the two thinkers are evenly matched. Among the subjects of Mr. Chomsky's solicitude have been Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson (whom he described as a "relatively apolitical liberal"), the Khmer Rouge (at the height of the killing fields), and Hezbollah (whose military-style cap he cheerfully donned on a visit to Lebanon last year).

...

In 1946 a self-confident West had no trouble demanding that Heidegger be banned. Ideas, it was understood, had consequences. Today nobody would dream of banning Mr. Chomsky from anything. Yet ideas have consequences even today.

Reposts:

Commentary:

  • /woozle says this article is a piece of propaganda arguing that we should suppress the speech of someone (Chomsky) who argues against speech suppression because he superficially resembles someone else (Heidegger) who suppressed other people's speech while promoting propaganda.

[edit] shorter text

“In 1946 a self-confident West had no trouble demanding that Martin Heidegger be banned. Ideas, it was understood, had consequences. Today nobody would dream of banning Mr. Chomsky from anything. Yet ideas have consequences even today.”

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