A reader writes:
Dear Ray Harvey: What is your opinion of Noam Chomsky? I ask because, like everyone else in academia, I think he's about the smartest man in the world.
Dear D: Which Noam Chomsky are you referring to?
The one who openly supports Hezbollah?
Or do you mean the one with proven neo-Nazi ties?
Perhaps you're referring to Avram Noam Chomsky, so-called sage of MIT, who several times propagandized for Pol Pot's genocidal Khmer Rouge?
Perhaps you're thinking of the hypocritical Noam Chomsky, who's sanctioned many of the world's other most murderous regimes?
Or perhaps you mean the Noam Chomsky who repeatedly distorts and falsifies his sources?
Do you by any chance mean the Noam Chomsky who's simply another Marxist, telling a group, in December of 1967, that in Communist China "one finds many things that are really quite admirable" -- stating furthermore:
China is an important example of a new society in which very interesting and positive things happened at the local level, in which a good deal of the collectivization and communization was really based on mass participation and took place after a level of understanding had been reached in the peasantry that led to this next step.
The Noam Chomsky who then goes on to explicitly endorse Chairman Mao the murderer, calling Mao's blood-red China a “relatively livable” and “just society,” speaking, not coincidentally, five years after the end of the great Chinese famine of 1958–1962, the worst famine in all of human history?
Well, perhaps this particular Noam Chomsky wasn't aware that the sort of collectivization he supports, inherent to Marxism of any brand, was the principal cause of that horrific famine, which killed over 30 million.
And yet, quoting Chomsky's own words:
I don’t accept the view that we can just condemn the NLF terror, period, because it was so horrible. I think we really have to ask questions of comparative costs, ugly as that may sound. And if we are going to take a moral position on this - and I think we should - we have to ask both what the consequences were of using terror and not using terror. If it were true that the consequences of not using terror would be that the peasantry in Vietnam would continue to live in the state of the peasantry of the Philippines, then I think the use of terror would be justified.
I suppose that in the end, whichever Noam Chomsky you're referring to, D, it makes little difference. A Marxist by any other name is still a Marxist -- and that means this:
Chomsky is a devoted and lifelong advocate of authoritarianism and collectivism. He is for this reason an absolute enemy of individual rights and the freedom of each. And that, sir, is what I think of Noam Chomsky.