Talk:Political positions of Noam Chomsky

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Minor corrections[edit]

where it is spelled "sao paolo" it should be "São Paulo" the brazilian city. i would correct it but apparently the page is locked. --Lordjeremias (talk) 15:47, 3 July 2011 (UTC) apparently it become unlocked? so i could edit. edit done. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lordjeremias (talkcontribs) 15:54, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

The sentence: "According to this propaganda model, more democratic societies like the U.S. use subtle, non-violent means of control, unlike totalitarian systems, where physical force can readily be used to coerce the general population." Put simply, this sentence has way too many commas that are unneeded and just make it more difficult to understand. I would fix it if I could, because I think it's poorly written. 207.246.23.208 (talk) 04:07, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

Recent Additions; Criticism page on Chomsky is locked[edit]

Prof. Chomsky's visit with Hezbollah is certainly a matter of his politics, although it might well be true that some of the other recent additions might fit better in the "Criticism of Noam Chomsky" page. That page, however, is locked.

Also, despite comments to the contrary, none of these additions are "smears". A smear is a lie, not an inconvenient statement of fact. And an encyclopedia entry on a prominent individual should be a centralized resource containing comprehensive information, both the good stuff as well as the bad.

If people find misstatements of fact, twisting of facts, or missing facts, then by all means please correct them. These should not be part of an encyclopedia entry. If wordings can be changed to make them more even-handed and neutral, then please make them. Polemical statements that are not merely statements of fact should indeed be modified or removed.

I have no interest in promoting any idea, agenda, or country, especially considering that I strongly disapprove of the behaviors and actions of *all* of the countries involved in these events. My interest is in the principle that information about important events in a prominent individual's life should go in an encyclopedia entry on that person. Some of these additions might be viewed as negative, but if I or anyone else finds additional positive contributions to make as well, then we should please do so. Sunshine is the best disinfectant.

Technetium25 19:44, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Chomsky linking arms Vietnam demo (fair-use).jpg[edit]

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Image:Chomsky linking arms Vietnam demo (fair-use).jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

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BetacommandBot (talk) 21:39, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Bibliography[edit]

A page specifically for Chomsky's bibliography has been created recently Bibliography of Noam Chomsky. What is the general consensus on moving the partial bibliography regarding politics here and then providing a link? As things stand both appear incomplete but taken collectively it would be fairly extensive. Helpfully the new specific bibliography has a Politics list so a link directly to the relevant books should be possible. I’m fairly new to this Wikipedia stuff but guess I could have a go unless anyone more Wikipedia savvy volunteers. 2writer (talk) 21:08, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Ok, if no one objects, I'll move/merge the bibliography thats here to the new Bibliography of Noam Chomsky page later this week. There is already a link which will direct readers to the new page. Cheers. 2writer (talk) 23:10, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Haven't got round to this yet but will as soon as I can. 2writer (talk) 00:20, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Done! I'll now remove the bibliography from here, leaving just the link to the main bibliography page. 2writer (talk) 06:20, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Noam Chomsky as an opponent of Kosovo Decolonization[edit]

This section must clearly fail WP:NPOV. It is full of subjective language and includes citations to dubious 'news blog' type sites. Most particularly "glypx.com", which, by way of a whois search, appears to belong to an individual at Avtech Corporation, a US areospace company. Seems odd, not least because the site reads like a 'hate' and propaganda site and text is directly cut and pasted into this wikipedia section. More balance is certainly needed. 2writer (talk) 00:41, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

On BLP related articles, do not hesitate to remove poorly sourced information. No matter who the subject matter -- Noam Chomsky, Christopher Hitchens, Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh -- I always zap it! Dynablaster (talk) 01:09, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Fine that you delted it, but this article should definately have some information about is views regarding the war in Kosova. He has written about this in several of his books, and that should suffice as sources.152.94.59.5 (talk) 23:06, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

User "2writer" is completely oblivious or purposely malicious regarding Balkan Witness - balkanwitness.glypx.com which is not "dubious 'news blog' type sites" - we simply do not value websits by design and/or appearance - but nothing less is expected from person whose national affiliation stands in the way of his objectivity. So, it must be pointed out that Balkan Witness - balkanwitness.glypx.com happens to be a legitimate website which is maintained by Roger Lippman, famous and still very active human rights activist (also at the time leading anti-Vietnam war activist, "Seattle Seven", etc), and his brother Peter Lippman. Both of them are legitimate sources and their website is widely used as a reference source in various wikipwdia articles on Yugoslavia and Balkan wars, but more importantly in countless studies, reports and books on the issue. Website hosts writings, studies, reports and articles written by numerous established and well known experts, journalists, reporters, professors, activists, officials, etc, etc !!! Unfortunately "2writer" had already done significant damage to this particular part of the article, and soon after that he "retired" from wikipedia !--Santasa99 (talk) 18:48, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

It doesn't look like to me like a site that would meet our reliability guidelines. If you disagree, I suggest that you raise this at the reliable sources noticeboard, before citing it. But in any case, your personal attack on another editor, and remarks about their national identity, are completely out of place here, and I recommend that you redact that part of your comment. RolandR (talk) 19:07, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

Chomsky and Marx[edit]

The claim that Chomsky supports and admires Marx is inaccurate. In fact, he has referred to Marxism as dogma, and has been consistently anti-marxist. See: http://pubs.socialistreviewindex.org.uk/isj74/arnove.htm CABlankenship (talk) 00:46, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Careful... My understanding, from having read much of his work, is that Chomsky respects Karl Marx and his analysis (not without reasonable criticisms), but has little time for much of Marxism, which he has referred to as a religion. Marx and Marxism shouldn't be equated. Pinkville (talk) 03:26, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

a tamil tiger propaganda website as source[edit]

why is a tamil tiger propaganda website used here as a source? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 123.231.85.56 (talk) 15:55, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbian war crimes apologia[edit]

Where is at least one paragraph on his stance on Serbian aggression in Bosnia and war crimes committed by Karadzic, Mladic, Milosevic & Co.? Same for Kosovo !? It's probably suits editor's adoration for "greatest intellectual" to have only those points which praise him, but you strangely omitting some of the worst controversies surrounding Chomsky and his bots - which is genocide denial and apologia for Serbian atrocities !--Santasa99 (talk) 18:17, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

Where also is a paragraph about how he supported Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge while it was going on? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.179.166.233 (talk) 16:07, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

Leftist hagiography[edit]

This article must have been been purged of all information that might cast Chomsky in a negative light to people on the left. Either that, or you have here an immense and supposedly comprehensive article that manages to bring up R.E.M.--yes, the band--but somehow stay mum on what Chomsky had to say about the Khmer Rouge and Serb atrocities in the Balkans. Funny how that works. The article is locked in a state of leftist hagiography. And since it devotes a whole section to his influence even though it's supposed to be about his political views, why not also devote a section to all the times Chomsky has been accused of manipulating quotations (i.e., slandering), going all the way back to American Power and the new Mandarins? I happen to think that being called "an ignorant man who has read superficially in American history" by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. is a bit more relevant than being called "the Elvis of academia" by Bono.89.121.160.79 (talk)

"If the Nuremburg Laws were applied..."[edit]

Apparently no one is willing to note that Chomsky clearly doesn't know that the Nuremburg Laws were the antisemitic laws adopted by the Third Reich, not the laws applied in the Nuremburg trials. Evidence of non-neutrality in the article? 97.91.251.145 (talk) 03:39, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

If you look at the source cited, you will see that Chomsky starts his speech by saying "If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged. By violation of the Nuremberg laws I mean the same kind of crimes for which people were hanged in Nuremberg."[1] So he clearly does know what he is speaking about. Evidence of not looking at the source before coming to vent your own prejudice on the talk page? RolandR (talk) 10:31, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Chomsky's alleged "denial" of the Cambodian genocide[edit]

"The record of atrocities in Cambodia is substantial and often gruesome", but questioned their scale, which may have been inflated "by a factor of 100"

-->I am unable to find this quote in the original book indicated as source. In fact, this is a modification / association and re-writing of several sentences which lead to a completely distorted original meaning...

I confess that I'm not particularly well-informed about this controversy, but I'm slightly concerned about the suggestion that Chomsky and Herman "denied" the Cambodian genocide under the Khmer Rouge. Chomsky expands on his position on Cambodia in this interview: [2] Here Chomsky claims that the point of his writings on Cambodia was "don't lie about our crimes denying them [in East Timor], and don't lie about their [Khmer Rouge] crimes exaggerating them." Whether or not Chomsky was right that the Khmer Rouge's crimes were exaggerated at the time, I think it's unfair to imply that this is equivalent to denying there was any kind of genocide at all in Cambodia. Also in that interview, Chomsky describes the removal of the Khmer Rouge as a result of Vietnam's invasion of Cambodia as a "positive consequence", which would hardly be consistent with supporting or excusing the Khmer Rouge or their actions. Chomsky also expands helpfully on his position on Cambodia here: [3] I defy anyone to find a "denial" of the Cambodian genocide in that article. It seems to me that he is merely weighing up the differences in media reaction to the Khmer Rouge's atrocities and those in East Timor - again, regardless of what you think of his opinions on this matter, I think that suggesting he is "denying" the Cambodian genocide seems a little slimy and dishonest. I apologise if I've missed something obvious, or if I've upset anyone personally in my discussion of this subject (I realise it's a very sensitive topic), but I just think that if there's any inaccuracy or anti-Chomsky bias in that section it needs to be exposed and corrected. Injustice99 (talk) 22:32, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

The title of the section is "Doubting the Cambodian genocide" not "denying" the Cambodian genocide. Based on Chomsky's writings in the late 1970s he was certainly a doubter. This section of the article does not say he was a "denier," His more recent writings you cited can be attribted to his latter-day revisionism -- plus an effort to deflect examination of his views on the Khmer Rouge by throwing up a smoke-screen and changing the subject to Timor and US bombing of Cambodia. I won't deny that both those events were also horrific.
Chomsky's theory back in the 1970s was that the U.S. was leading a massive propaganda campaign to besmirch the Khmer Rouge. That campaign was based on unreliable reports by anti-KR refugees (Chomsky apparently believed that the offical pronouncements of the Khmer Rouge were more reliable). Chomsky said that the atrocities committed by the KR had been inflated by 100 times. In fact, the atrocities comitted by the KR and reported by other careful and expert authors were not inflated, and Chomsky was clearly wrong. Nor was there a massive propaganda campaign against the Khmer Rouge. Quite the opposite, Cambodia was not in the world news much during the KR period.
Chomsky's argument was clever. He didn't claim any expertise on Cambodia, but he wrote favorably about pro-Khmer Rouge books and authors and unfavorably about authors and books who claimed that the Khmer Rouge were genocidal. That, in my book, is doubting the Cambodian genocide -- which became so increasingly obvious that many of the early deniers and doubters about Cambodian genocide recanted their views. Chomsky never did to my knowlege.

Smallchief (talk 04:52, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

"The title of the section is "Doubting the Cambodian genocide" not "denying" the Cambodian genocide."
Indeed it is. So why does it link to an article entitled Cambodian genocide denial if, as you concede, "doubting" the genocide in the 1970s based on the information available at the time is emphatically not the same as denying the genocide ever took place to this day? (Yes, yes, I know there's a section on Chomsky in that article, but I would question his inclusion in it for that very same reason)
"This section of the article does not say he was a "denier,"..."
No, not outright it doesn't, but I think it pretty strongly implies it for the reasons I mentioned.
"His more recent writings you cited can be attribted [sic] to his latter-day revisionism -- plus an effort to deflect examination of his views on the Khmer Rouge by throwing up a smoke-screen and changing the subject to Timor and US bombing of Cambodia."
The phrase "can be attributed" seems dangerously close to a personal opinion given in order to avoid having to use the evidence I've presented. It "can" also "be attributed" to that being his central thesis on Cambodia from the start, as he himself claims it is, but that would be POV as well, and I thought we were meant to strive for neutrality here. Shouldn't we perhaps include Chomsky's responses to critics on this subject in detail, rather than the unsatisfactorily insubstantial "Chomsky continued to insist that his analysis of Cambodia was without error based on the information available to him at the time"? As for the "smoke-screen", this "can be attributed" (see what I mean?) to a simple desire for fairness in reporting, as with the claim "don't lie about our crimes denying them [in East Timor], and don't lie about their [Khmer Rouge] crimes exaggerating them", which, Chomsky claims, was the main point of his argument. Whether or not you agree with him seems irrelevant if you're unwilling to include Chomsky's later views on the subject in the article.
Perhaps you think I am biased myself, but Chomsky is a highly contentious figure who ruffles a lot of feathers across the political spectrum and as such any articles discussing his political views need to be carefully monitored in case of bias - there are plenty of right-wingers, for example, with an axe to grind against the guy who will happily take his past views on sensitive subjects like this out of context in order to smear him. Maybe I'm misguided, but I just want to be totally sure that's not what's happening. Best wishes. Injustice99 (talk) 16:31, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
I agree, this subsection looks a little shady as if trying to paint Chomsky as Cambodian genocide denier. That is why the link to the denial article. A better heading might be "Allegations of doubting Cambodian genocide"? Or something?Sohebbasharat (talk) 14:17, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

There are a lot of problems with this section. It looks like it's been written by people who have not actually read the books being discussed but rather articles about those books. For example, the term "bucolic idyll" not only isn't Chomsky's, it isn't Hidebrand-Porter's either. Someone who was reading a 2010 Andrew Anthony opinion piece in the Sunday Guardian seems to have written this. Those words are from the Andrew Anthony critique of the Hildebrand-Porter book, not from the book itself. They should certainly not be in quotes. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/jan/10/malcolm-caldwell-pol-pot-murder Chomsky responded to that essay here, and pointed out many problems: http://www.chomsky.info/letters/20100117.htm — Preceding unsigned comment added by 209.6.228.120 (talk) 04:34, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

It seems some people sincerely believe(or at least appear to be sincere) that what Chomsky wrote or said in the 1990s(or even later), for instance, should be treated as the primary evidence of his prior views on the Khmer Rouge and the Cambodian genocide, rather than what he wrote in the 1970s, when overwhelming evidence of genocide, perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge, was reaching the West. Claiming he merely "doubted" that genocide occurred is ridiculous and ludicrously biased. Chomsky did in fact DENY the crimes of the Khmer Rouge rose to the level of genocide and he maintained that position long after most Khmer-Rouge-supporting left-wing intellectuals(and everyone else) conceded genocide had occurred; his actions constitute denial. When his position became untenable, he started writing apologia for the Khmer Rouge. By claiming they were merely "asking questions", Chomsky and his colleague Edward Herman were adapting the well-worn tactics of Holocaust deniers(9/11 Truthers have also borrowed this language). The evidence of Chomsky's real views was, and still is, unambiguous, and there is a reason it damaged his "reputation". Chomsky's writings on Cambodia went well beyond his extremely well-documented vicious smear campaign of Cambodian refugees or a supposed discussion of the media treatment of the Khmer Rouge vis-a-vis East Timor and into the realm of barely-veiled admiration for the mass-murdering Khmer Rouge, as Cambodian scholar Sophal Ear has pointed out, and no amount of decades-after-the-fact whitewashing, or disingenuous parsing of semantics, changes that fact. Chomsky continued to severely minimize the scope of the atrocities long after it became clear he was wrong; again, this is denial. His denial wasn't confined to the 1970s, thus the excuse that he didn't have enough evidence simply doesn't work. Moreover, he didn't just minimize, for ideological reasons, the crimes of the Khmer Rouge, he actively attacked those who presented evidence contrary to his denialist position; he didn't merely adopt a wait-and-see attitude toward the Khmer Rouge and the evidence of the crimes they committed. His denials and casting of aspersions upon those who, informed by evidence rather than ideology, took the opposite position on the issue even brought him into open conflict with several writers at The Nation, a magazine with its own sordid history of minimizing, and apologizing for, the crimes of the Khmer Rouge. It seems, as the above comments make clear, that many of Chomsky's supporters are almost allergic to the truth on this issue and thus shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the entry. And the notion Chomsky's denial that the Khmer Rouge's crimes took place is somehow an invention of disgruntled "right wingers" with an "axe to grind" is pure, unadulterated bullshit. Other defenses of Chomsky are equally ludicrous. If someone, for well over a decade, denied that the Nazis perpetrated a genocide, for example, he would rightly be referred to as a Holocaust DENIER. If he changed his views at a later date such a description would still be valid, when discussing the time period in which he denied the Holocaust. The fact he changed his mind at a much later date would not erase his past history of Holocaust DENIAL. This is obvious. The same exact standard applies to Chomsky. The fact that Chomsky denied that the Khmer Rouge committed genocide is a well-documented fact and no amount of bullshit uttered by his defenders changes this. That he changed his views years later doesn't retroactively alter the fact he very clearly denied a genocide had occurred in Cambodia. Yet this is precisely the farcical strategy being employed by those claiming it is wrong to claim Chomsky is a genocide denier. One whitewasher has even gone so far to claim that it is only "alleged" that Chomsky "doubted" a genocide occurred. Alleged my ass. It's an indisputable fact, and such a defense is akin to "alleg[ing]" the Earth is round. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.49.235.222 (talk) 01:21, 19 March 2016 (UTC)


"I defy anyone to find a 'denial' of the Cambodian genocide in that article". Are Chomsky's defenders seriously resorting to using Chomsky's own nakedly revisionist CYA statements, made decades later, as a reason why Chomsky's well-documented denial of the Cambodian genocide shouldn't be called what it was? You have got to be kidding me. Is the quote about the 100 fold exaggeration of the atrocities another statement we are supposed to believe exonerates Chomsky of the charge that he denied a genocide occurred in Cambodia? Yeah, I don't think it works that way in a real encyclopedia. Those statements at Chomsky's website have about as much exculpatory value as OJ's promise to "find the real killers". I would like to note that a common tactic of Holocaust deniers is to claim the Nazis killed only 600,000 Jews, rather than 6 million. Chomsky adopted that tactic. It is hilarious that those responsible for editing this entry honestly believe what Chomsky said years later is supposed to be used as a prime source when detailing what he said in the 1970s and '80s. Of course he changed his tune years later. His genocide denial did enormous damage to his "reputation", such as it was. "Whether or not you agree with him seems irrelevant if you're unwilling to include Chomsky's later views on the subject in the article". Instead of getting hilariously indignant that another commenter pointed out how ridiculous it is to use Chomsky's later statements as "evidence" he never denied a genocide occurred, perhaps one should rely on what CHOMSKY SAID AND WROTE WHEN THE KHMER ROUGE WAS IN POWER. Given that all the contemporaneous evidence conclusively demonstrates that Chomsky DENIED a genocide occurred, my question answers itself, when one considers the whitewash job that is this entry. The bias goes beyond adding Chomsky's supposed "response to his critics". Rather we are seeing an editor pretend that a defense made years later can somehow be used in place of what he actually said at the time the genocide was occurring. That anyone believes such a tactic is legitimate is absolutely amazing. It's every bit as ridiculous as claiming George Wallace NEVER supported segregation because he disavowed it later in life. I would like to add that Wallace's repudiation of his former beliefs was far more vehement(and sincere)than Chomsky's disavowal of his former position(which included slandering refugees who escaped Cambodia)that no genocide occurred in Cambodia. 72.49.235.222 (talk) 06:06, 19 April 2016 (UTC)


I invite everyone to read the discussion of Chomsky and Herman here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambodian_genocide_denial and compare it to the nonsense in this entry and, particularly, on this talk page. That Chomsky was a genocide DENIER and an active defender of the Khmer Rouge is beyond doubt. True to form for Chomsky, the real villain of the story was the United States, and he did everything he could, including slandering refugees who had risked their lives fleeing a murderous tyranny, to make sure the gaze never shifted from the United States and onto a regime that perpertrated, in proportion to the population, the worst genocide in human history. This entry's handling of the genocide issue, and the comments on this page defending Chomsky, are an embarrassment.72.49.235.222 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 14:50, 20 April 2016 (UTC)

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:Albert Einstein's political views which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RMCD bot 15:29, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

"Worldwide audience" section[edit]

Radiohead are mentioned in this section: would fix, but article is locked. Says, "Radiohead has recommended Chomsky's works on their various websites and Thom Yorke in particular is an admirer..." - however, this should read, "Radiohead have recommended Chomsky's works on their various websites and Thom Yorke in particular is an admirer..."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_American_and_British_English#Formal_and_notional_agreement

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