Noam Chomsky Calls Postmodern Critiques of Science Over-Inflated “Polysyllabic Truisms”

To the delight and sat­is­fac­tion of hun­dreds of our read­ers, we recent­ly fea­tured an inter­view in which Noam Chom­sky slams post­mod­ernist intel­lec­tu­als like Slavoj Zizek and Jacques Lacan as “char­la­tans” and posers. The turn against post­mod­ernism has been long in com­ing, a back­lash the polit­i­cal right has made the­ater of for years, but that thinkers on the polit­i­cal left, like anar­chist Chom­sky, Marx­ist Vivek Chib­ber, and self-described “old left­ist” Alan Sokal have pur­sued with just as much vig­or (and more rig­or). In the inter­view clip above, Chom­sky makes a blan­ket cri­tique of what the inter­view­er calls the “left crit­i­cism of sci­ence” as impe­ri­al­ist, racist, sex­ist, etc. His answers shed quite a bit of light on what Chom­sky per­ceives as the polit­i­cal ram­i­fi­ca­tions of post­mod­ern thought as well as the ori­gins of the dis­course.

Chom­sky char­ac­ter­izes left­ist post­mod­ern aca­d­e­mics as “a cat­e­go­ry of intel­lec­tu­als who are undoubt­ed­ly per­fect­ly sin­cere” (I sus­pect this is a bit of unchar­ac­ter­is­tic politesse on his part). Nonethe­less, in his cri­tique, such thinkers use “poly­syl­lab­ic words and com­pli­cat­ed con­struc­tions” to make claims that are “all very inflat­ed” and which have “a ter­ri­ble effect on the third world.” Chom­sky argues (as does Chib­ber) that “in the third world, pop­u­lar move­ments real­ly need seri­ous intel­lec­tu­als to par­tic­i­pate. If they’re all rant­i­ng post­mod­ernists… well, they’re gone.” His assess­ment of post­mod­ern cri­tiques of sci­ence echoes his crit­i­cism of Zizek and Lacan. (Chom­sky appears to use the words “poly­syl­lab­ic” and “mono­syl­lab­ic” as terms for jar­gon vs. ordi­nary lan­guage.):

It’s con­sid­ered very left wing, very advanced. Some of what appears in it sort of actu­al­ly makes sense, but when you repro­duce it in mono­syl­la­bles, it turns out to be tru­isms. It’s per­fect­ly true that when you look at sci­en­tists in the West, they’re most­ly men, it’s per­fect­ly true that women have had a hard time break­ing into the sci­en­tif­ic fields, and it’s per­fect­ly true that there are insti­tu­tion­al fac­tors deter­min­ing how sci­ence pro­ceeds that reflect pow­er struc­tures. All of this can be described lit­er­al­ly in mono­syl­la­bles, and it turns out to be tru­isms. On the oth­er hand, you don’t get to be a respect­ed intel­lec­tu­al by pre­sent­ing tru­isms in mono­syl­la­bles.

This last point is some­thing Chom­sky elab­o­rates on as the impe­tus for post-struc­tural­ism in the acad­e­my, say­ing “it’s pret­ty easy to fig­ure out what’s going on. Sup­pose you’re a lit­er­ary schol­ar…. If you do your work seri­ous­ly, that’s fine, but you don’t get any prizes for it.” He makes the claim that human­i­ties schol­ars use mys­ti­fy­ing jar­gon and cook up “the­o­ry” in order to com­pete with the­o­ret­i­cal physi­cists and math­e­mati­cians, who get prizes, grants, and pres­tige for advanc­ing incred­i­bly com­pli­cat­ed sci­en­tif­ic work.

Even more than this gen­er­al accu­sa­tion against the­o­rists in the human­i­ties, Chom­sky makes the polit­i­cal point that French intel­lec­tu­als in Paris, “the cen­ter of the rot,” were the last group of left­ists to be ded­i­cat­ed, “flam­ing” Stal­in­ists and Maoists. In order to save face, such peo­ple had to sud­den­ly become “the first peo­ple in the world to have dis­cov­ered the gulags.” It’s a very damn­ing char­ac­ter­i­za­tion, and one he could no doubt sup­port, as he does all of his claims, with a dizzy­ing num­ber of spe­cif­ic exam­ples, though he declines to name names here. He does, how­ev­er, ref­er­ence Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont’s sad­ly out-of-print  Intel­lec­tu­al Impos­tures, a book that patient­ly expos­es French post-struc­tural­ist thinkers’ abuse of sci­en­tif­ic con­cepts. (Sokal, a physics pro­fes­sor, famous­ly punked a well-regard­ed human­i­ties jour­nal in the mid-nineties with a pho­ny arti­cle).

Chom­sky’s cranky con­trar­i­an­ism is noth­ing new, and some of his polemic recalls the ana­lyt­ic case against “con­ti­nen­tal” phi­los­o­phy or Karl Pop­per’s case against pseu­do-sci­ence, although his invest­ment is polit­i­cal as much as philo­soph­i­cal. The inter­view­er then moves on to reli­gion. Chomsky’s thoughts on that sub­ject are gen­er­al­ly nuanced and fair-mind­ed, but we don’t get to hear them here, alas, though he’s had plen­ty to say else­where.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Noam Chom­sky Slams Žižek and Lacan: Emp­ty ‘Pos­tur­ing’

Clash of the Titans: Noam Chom­sky & Michel Fou­cault Debate Human Nature & Pow­er on Dutch TV, 1971

Noam Chom­sky Spells Out the Pur­pose of Edu­ca­tion

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Wash­ing­ton, DC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

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  • scodav says:

    I could have used these cri­tiques in the mid-’80s, when I was in art school and Lacan and Der­ri­da were fetish’ed by the teach­ers.

  • Ed Desautels says:

    One of the inter­est­ing things is that the (sup­posed) left-wing the­o­rists and philoso­phers make a move into dense, com­pli­cat­ed, “poly­syl­lab­ic” lan­guage, where­as in lit­er­a­ture the (sup­posed) left wingers still espouse a prose style rem­i­nis­cent of trac­tor fic­tion: sim­ple declar­a­tives lined up on the page like bus­es.

  • Dennis Eder says:

    What is said is obvi­ous­ly true, but how far afield is it to apply the same cri­tique to the pseu­do sci­en­tic use of ‘tech­ni­cal” lan­guage in oth­er fields , such as psy­chi­atiry, or Levi-Straus’s work or for that mat­ter to much of CHOMSKYS OWN WORK IN LINGUISTICS.
    IN ANOTHER AREA AS MILES DAVIS IS CREDITED WITH SAYING TO MUSICIANS IN HIS GROUP–“PLAY THE MELODY –STUPID- imply­ing that , that’s a lan­guage at least we all under­stand.
    Of course lan­guage needs to be stretched and some­times even have its back bro­ken to express new ideas or per­spec­tives, but for the most part ACADEMIC pro­fes­sion­nal thinkers are not using their com­plex use of lan­guage to extend or explore or dis­cov­er nov­el ways of reflec­tion or nov­el ways of inter­act­ing with expe­ri­ence or means of ‘ACCESSING ‘REALITY’.
    Efforts to this end have fall­en far more with­in the provence of “poets’ or artists. They seem to grasp and com­mu­ni­cate, inter­est­ing and new man­ners of ‘expe­ri­enc­ing our expe­ri­ence” in ways that expos­i­to­ry prose can­not come close too.
    The objec­tive in many aca­d­e­m­ic fields seems more direct­ed at obscur­ing mean­ing, rather than clar­i­fy­ing it, or mak­ing it access­able .
    Of course clar­i­ty , in itself is not an ade­quate mea­sure either the val­ue, depth , rel­e­vance, or per­ci­pac­i­ty of insight. Many times “thru a glass dark­ly,” with all its blurred fringes, can be far more reveal­ing, and open up far more enrich­ing pos­si­b­li­ties.

  • Scott Potter says:

    All of this puts me in mind of the Sol­kal Affair in 1996. NYU physi­cist, Alan Sokal proved a point with a hoax sub­mit­ting a jar­gon-laden paper for pub­li­ca­tion in a notable jour­nal, Social Text. It was com­plete baloney and they pub­lished it. The way I see this is that jar­gon is fine with­in a field and among col­leagues. High­ly abstract terms con­ceal his­to­ry and com­plex­i­ty and allow experts to say much in so many words. But when speak­ing pub­licly or out­side that field experts should have no dif­fi­cul­ty break­ing down that his­to­ry and com­plex­i­ty, so long as the audi­ence under­stands that doing so may go beyond casu­al table talk and amount to one or more lec­tures. Richard Feyn­man once said that if you can­not explain any idea to a high school fresh­man class, then you prob­a­bly don’t under­stand the idea your self.

  • V00D00 says:


    More false dichotomies prop­a­gat­ed by human­ists who can’t quite bring them­selves to know bet­ter

  • Varinia says:

    So true about third world!
    Speech = empow­er­ment.
    “Nihil novum sub sole”, sad­ly

  • joshhua tree says:

    I agree Pro­fes­sor Chom­sky! Super inflat­ed ego’s also tend to describe art!

  • zelnage says:

    All of Chom­sky’s attacks are ad hominem and/or con­jec­ture (ie. The French are just poseurs who want to look like the most advanced, and the Social Sci­ences are just jeal­ous of the real sci­ences), and his char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of the post-struc­tural­ist cri­tique of sci­ence is a total straw man.
    In sum, his argu­ment is a string of log­i­cal fal­lac­i­es / per­son­al bias­es that can in no way be con­sid­ered a seri­ous cri­tique.
    It’s iron­ic con­sid­er­ing the post-struc­tural­ist crit­i­cism of sci­ence piv­ots upon its claims to OBJECTIVITY, which they would argue can­not exist. Chom­sky is a staunch believ­er not only in objec­tiv­i­ty but also in Pla­ton­ic forms (watch his debate with Fou­cault) but here he does not even attempt to clothe his argu­ment in any sort of aca­d­e­m­ic veneer, mak­ing no effort to dis­guise that it is mere­ly dis­grun­tled shit-talk­ing.

  • zelnage says:

    Also why is he hat­ing on poly­syl­lab­ic words? Sud­den­ly he’s an aca­d­e­m­ic philis­tine… quite the oxy­moron.

  • Keijo Lakkala says:

    Zizek a post­mod­ernist? What??

  • Magaly San Martin says:

    The “Third-World” has their own intel­lec­tu­als!!

  • William Large says:

    Before your less than objec­tive account of ‘post­mod­ernism’ (iron­ic since you claim to be objec­tive), be tak­en on face val­ue, you ought to watch this encounter between Fou­cault and Chom­sky.
    After watch­ing this with your own eyes, who comes across as the more rea­son­able? Does Fou­cault appear to you as some kind of rav­ing mad­man who has no grasp of truth? I won’t bore you about the sup­posed philo­soph­i­cal bril­liance of Sokal.
    Chom­sky’s grasp of phi­los­o­phy, and the his­to­ry of phi­los­o­phy, is quite poor. His stan­dard of ‘com­mon-sense’ would con­spire most of phi­los­o­phy to the fire. Should we read Hegel, Kant and what pray would our great Chom­sky have to say about Her­a­cli­tus? Why do we think that just because some­one is a sci­en­tist that they have any­thing inter­est­ing to say about phi­los­o­phy (even the phi­los­o­phy of sci­ence, which isn’t a sci­ence by the way)?

  • Ralph Melcher says:

    I agree that Euro­pean philoso­phers are often unnec­es­sar­i­ly obscure. On the oth­er hand I find Chom­sky to be almost unbear­ably pedan­tic, offer­ing lit­tle beyond end­less mind numb­ing “exam­ples” to but­tress his own nar­row prej­u­dices and pre-cut con­clu­sions. I come away from a Chom­sky lec­ture or inter­view feel­ing most­ly defeat­ed and demor­al­ized, see­ing lit­tle hope in change or resis­tance. Beyond this he offers lit­tle that actu­al­ly deals with the actu­al envi­ron­ment in which most of us spend our time. Both the post­mod­ernists and Zizek urge us to view the world in entire­ly new ways thus bring­ing the lit­tle light of pos­si­bil­i­ty into the sub­ject of social evo­lu­tion.

    In a world where ‘rev­o­lu­tion­ary’ actions like Occu­py Wall Street and oth­er street protests (par­tic­u­lar­ly in the indus­tri­al­ized world) con­nect with a shrink­ing minor­i­ty of the new gen­er­a­tion, we need to re-think the are­na in which social evo­lu­tion is acti­vat­ed. Old style left­ists like Chom­sky are stuck in a ‘mono­syl­lab­ic’ world where the good guys fight the bad guys until they win and then become the bad guys them­selves.

  • Jkop says:

    The redun­dant com­plex­i­ty in poly­syl­lab­ic sen­tences pre­vent iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of their mean­ings. But the mean­ing or truth of a sen­tence is irrel­e­vant for intel­lec­tu­al enter­tain­ers. Post-mod­ernists, or the like, who claim there would be no truths, have, appar­ent­ly, lit­tle truth to share. Instead they baf­fle, bam­boo­zle, or talk of “new ways” of see­ing the world. It might sound inspir­ing, but real change is based on truth, not ways of see­ing. So what if it takes pedan­tic rigour to find out what is true? Truth does not need to be enter­tain­ing when know­ing that it can change pover­ty, injus­tice etc. is so much more sat­is­fy­ing.

  • Ben says:

    Noam Chom­sky once claimed that “if you can aim for some­thing, it must exist.” He’s hard­ly a rig­or­ous philoso­pher or thinker and peo­ple should be wary of blind­ly fol­low­ing any­thing he says (he has a ten­den­cy to make lots of off-the-cuff remarks with­out tak­ing the time to think through his answers). Most of what he says here is gen­er­al and con­fla­tion­al. He’s lump­ing world-famous pro­fes­sors in with rav­ing-mad activist under­grads. I agree with him that a lot of post­mod­ernists are annoy­ing and pompous, dress­ing them­selves up in big words, but many of them under­stand more than he gives them cred­it for.

  • Mahmud says:

    Noam Chom­sky is pret­ty bril­liant.….

    Hon­est­ly, fem­i­nists, marx­ists and oth­er Human­i­ties “sci­en­tists” have no busi­ness what­so­ev­er impos­ing their non­sense on actu­al sci­ence. It’s real­ly star­tling they have so much hold over our insti­tu­tions in the first place.

  • marc says:

    Chom­sky is a bril­liant thinker who changed the way the world looks at lan­guage and the mind. He did so by care­ful use of log­ic and evi­dence in order to cri­tique the behav­iourist trend in psy­chol­o­gy at the time of his orig­i­nal work. It’s very typ­i­cal in acad­e­mia for peo­ple to irra­tional­ly form cliques who unques­tion­ing­ly serve the estab­lished sta­tus quo. Although a lack of crit­i­cal think­ing in favour of kiss­ing up to the Pro­fes­sor exists every­where, in the Humanities/ Post­mod­ernism schools of thought, it is out of con­trol and no one is doing any­thing about it.

    Chom­sky con­sis­tent­ly pro­motes the kind of think­ing that neces­si­tates aca­d­e­mics take risks by expos­ing their ideas, obser­va­tions, and pre­dic­tions as either true and con­sis­tent with real­i­ty, or false and not actu­al­ly exist­ing in the real world. The most effec­tive way to do this is to use clear lan­guage so that every­one knows where you stand and can con­ceiv­ably point out where you might be mis­tak­en.

    This type of think­ing is nec­es­sary if we want to make the kinds of social changes that post-modernists/“critical” the­o­rists claim to sup­port. If you read Lacan, Fou­cault, Althuss­er, etc, ask your­self the sim­ple ques­tions:

    - How did they come to know what they know?
    — What are they stat­ing that isn’t already known and/or obvi­ous? aka What con­tri­bu­tions are they actu­al­ly mak­ing to the field?
    — What cir­cum­stances would demon­strate that they are cor­rect or incor­rect?

    Chom­sky deserves some respect for going against Skin­ner’s dom­i­nance in the field — and he deserves respect from any­body who val­ues knowl­edge. By using these prin­ci­ples he pushed the field for­ward — and his cri­tique of post­mod­ernists and their turgid method of think­ing and writ­ing — is try­ing to push the field of cul­ture and comm stud­ies for­ward. Sad­ly, nobody in this field lis­tens because in post-mod­ernism, there are lit­er­al­ly no right or wrong answers and so any­one can get away with say­ing any­thing, so long as it appears deep — even if it has lit­tle to no sub­stance what­ev­er.

    In a nut­shell: Chom­sky’s phi­los­o­phy appears sim­ple to the layper­son, but is actu­al­ly quite coun­ter­in­tu­itive and com­plex. Where­as Post­mod­ern thinkers like Fou­cault, Zizek, Althuss­er, appear coun­ter­in­tu­itive and com­plex, but upon clos­er inspec­tion, say very sim­ple things that could have been thought of by most peo­ple. When they’re not stat­ing things that we already know, they usu­al­ly are inco­her­ent.

    This prob­lem is so per­va­sive in the Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Cul­ture stud­ies field. Even decent pro­fes­sors who I hap­pen to like have been infect­ed with this poi­son of read­ing seem­ing­ly “sophis­ti­cat­ed” thinkers who write in elab­o­rate­ly turgid sen­tences that are either stat­ing the obvi­ous or mak­ing mean­ing­less sen­tences appear pro­found. It’s an insu­lar aca­d­e­m­ic cult of bull­shit and it needs to stop; it’s hurt­ing our aca­d­e­m­ic sys­tem by mak­ing stu­dents less crit­i­cal, more fear­ful to speak up if they don’t under­stand these turgid sen­tences (lest they get silent­ly accused of being “dumb”), and more insu­lat­ed from an out­side world that actu­al­ly needs aca­d­e­mics to use facts and log­ic to demon­strate where the ills of soci­ety are tak­ing place and how they can be cured.

  • TechZilla says:

    No sir, Chom­sky is a sci­en­tist, Not a feck­less aca­d­e­m­ic and self-described intel­lec­tu­al. Rather than opine about pure non­sense, he actu­al­ly improves our under­stand­ing of objec­tive real­i­ty.

  • TechZilla says:

    Chom­sky is a Marx­ist, the most bru­tal cri­tiques of the “post­mod­ernist left” are from actu­al Marx­ists. Yes it was good pro­mo­tion to call what­ev­er non­sense they did “Marx­ist” in the 60’s, but all of post-mod­ernism begins with a clear and unde­ni­able rejec­tion of Marx.

    Marx was a struc­tural­ist, he believed in objec­tive real­i­ty, and would be con­sid­ered a mod­ernist.

    Marx­ist = Sci­ence (Mod­ernist, Struc­tural­ist, Objec­tive real­i­ty)

    Post-Marx­ist = Human­i­ties (post-mod­ernist, Post-struc­tural­ist, Rejects objec­tive real­i­ty)

    Believe me, I’m a life long Trot­skist… The Human­i­ties have no busi­ness in acad­e­mia, at least not if they keep try­ing to cri­tique objec­tive real­i­ty.

    Why they have so much sway? because in the old days, it was guys like Noam who did… and when actu­al Marx­ists led the con­ver­sa­tion, the elit­ists did­n’t appre­ci­ate the results. Being based on absolute­ly noth­ing, the human­i­ties depart­ment was their per­fect solu­tion to neu­tral­iz­ing any sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly based cri­tique from the actu­al left.

  • ezra abrams says:

    re the sokal affair
    the myth and real­i­ty
    some­where on the web, you can find a response to sokal by the jour­nal edi­tor, who says, in effect, when we got sokal’s MS, we thought it pret­ty bad, but we decid­ed to give the poor guy a chance…

    so, every­one has the sokal affair total­ly wrong

  • Carlos Costa says:

    a reply made after the hoax was exposed. Does­n’t reek of but­thurt. not at all. Giv­en that you are try­ing to defend post­mod­ernism, it should be evi­dent to you how your asser­tion was no evi­dence at all…

  • Tom says:

    Post­mod­ernism emerged in rev­o­lu­tion­ary intel­lec­tu­al cir­cles, trained in (marx­ist) polit­i­cal pro­pa­gan­da con­sist­ing of hyper­bol­ic crit­i­cism of the sta­tus quo. When these intel­lec­tu­als dis­cov­ered the hor­rors that this biased atti­tude had brought, they were left with­out pur­pose. They did not renounce their pro­pa­gan­dist bias, but instead pushed it fur­ther.

    Thus these well-estab­lished rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies, stripped of a cause, became dis­il­lu­sioned and start­ed to fear change. They curled up in their aca­d­e­m­ic offices. Their prac­tice, turned into self-refut­ing, all-encom­pass­ing crit­i­cism, offered no way out. Its log­i­cal con­clu­sion and biggest achieve­ment was the cre­ation of a left-wing con­ser­vatism: noth­ing is true, noth­ing is worth keep­ing, and noth­ing is worth chang­ing. Buried alive behind webs of intri­cate, some­times non­sen­si­cal dis­course, they were pro­tect­ed from the chang­ing world. All of this takes place with­in a coun­try (my coun­try), France, obsessed with its own ineluctable deca­dence… And it spread to a dis­ci­pline — the human­i­ties — sub­ject­ed to the same obses­sion of pro­grammed irrel­e­vance.

    My hope is that this is an acci­dent of his­to­ry, a cul­tur­al and geo­graph­i­cal phe­nom­e­non that, hav­ing lost its motives, will now grad­u­al­ly dis­ap­pear. That this cow­ard­ly nihilism will quick­ly sub­side against the appetite for knowl­edge and action of a gen­er­a­tion that did not live through the trau­ma of dis­cov­er­ing the Gulag, and that has learned from the con­se­quences of decades of direc­tion­less con­ser­vatism. That the human­i­ties (and many with­in the human­i­ties already do!) will once again focus ful­ly on the pro­duc­tion of ratio­nal under­stand­ing. And in that way, they will be able, once more, to inform polit­i­cal debate and sci­en­tif­ic inquiry.

  • Ismael Santos says:

    “The human­i­ties will once again focus ful­ly on the pro­duc­tion of ratio­nal under­stand­ing.” What a load: post­mod­ernism is not so much nihilism as it is a dif­fer­ent way of read­ing things. To inform polit­i­cal debate and sci­en­tif­ic inquiry is to pro­vide a dif­fer­ent route, a dif­fer­ent inter­pre­ta­tion, some­thing that Chom­sky seems dis­suad­ed from in his third-rate insults at clumps of peo­ple. Did Post­mod­ernism break your frag­ile rou­tines or thought pat­terns? Bunch of whiny “empiri­cists”, the whole lot of you.

  • Pazuzu says:

    “Did Post­mod­ernism break your frag­ile rou­tines or thought pat­terns?”

    This may be com­ing from a rather util­i­ty-ori­ent­ed per­spec­tive, but if you sub­sti­tute ‘psy­chosis’ for ‘post­mod­ernism’ in that sen­tence — which, I think nobody would argue, cer­tain­ly breaks frag­ile rou­tines and thought pat­terns, it high­lights one poten­tial issue with post­mod­ernism that I think moti­vates a lot of the crit­i­cism aimed at it, regard­less of how informed: like psy­chosis, post­mod­ernism threat­ens to leave an entire rep­re­sen­ta­tion­al sys­tem con­tin­u­al­ly devour­ing and inter­pret­ing itself; it ends up rather like a kind of hall-of-mir­rors solip­sism.

    If you enjoy that sort of thing, then of course go for it. But I am very much in agree­ment with those whose cri­tique of post­mod­ernism focus­es par­tic­u­lar­ly on the ten­den­cy to use obfus­ca­to­ry lan­guage to present ulti­mate­ly triv­ial state­ments. If you have some­thing use­ful to say, then say it. Sci­ence at least comes up with use­ful ideas, and fol­lows them. Chom­sky was seem­ing­ly wrong in many ways about his idea of uni­ver­sal gram­mar, but hey — he aimed at an idea, adopt­ed a par­tic­u­lar world­view, and tried to show that it was true. I’m pret­ty sure that the rou­tines and thought pat­terns that were involved in such an attempt — frag­ile or oth­er­wise — helped him to live, and to live with pur­pose, whether or not they had any oth­er pos­i­tive effect.

    My ques­tion to any defend­ers of post­mod­ernism isn’t so much one of truth vs. rel­a­tivism, or relat­ed to ‘cor­rect’ vs. ‘incor­rect’ (excuse me, what?!) read­ings or pre­sen­ta­tions of post­mod­ernist phi­los­o­phy: its just… what does post­mod­ernism actu­al­ly offer that helps me to live?

  • Sean R says:

    This is all SOO rich com­ing from Chom­sky who’s made a career out of this same kind of think­ing. He’s con­stant­ly prop­a­gat­ed the idea of moral rel­a­tivism when it comes to for­eign pol­i­cy. Accord­ing to him some of the objec­tive­ly worst actors in the world such as ter­ror­ists can be seen from their eyes sim­ply as noble free­dom fight­ers and the sort, and he mud­dles the debate to such a point that nobody can agree on basic facts of who the good guys and bad guys are. Well when his dum­b­ass acolytes extrap­o­late this shit to basic objec­tive dis­ci­plines such as sci­ence, he some­how sees the error of THEIR ways? Please I don’t wan­na hear it com­ing from Chom­sky his log­ic is pret­ty much exact­ly the same as that of post­mod­ernists while he sits there in his nice sweater look­ing down at them.. You’re right down there with them Noam­sky

  • fateh says:

    chom­sky is a mod­ern anar­chist not a Marx­ist.

  • DrG says:

    Clear­ly Chom­sky knows noth­ing about how post­mod­ernist ideas are used by many aca­d­e­mics and their val­ue. We would not have bet­ter lives for dis­abled peo­ple if it was­n’t for post­mod­ern the­o­ries.

  • Dr. G 2 says:

    Dear, even after some years — the idea that Chom­sky was against a bet­ter world for dis­abled, or that with­out post­mod­ernism (?=) we would not have “bet­ter lives for dis­abled peo­ple” is sim­ply, and there for once can be no doubt about it — untrue.… What makes you think such things?

  • Klemperer85 says:

    You mean that, do you?^^ Some­one sends you, edi­tor of a jour­nal where a lot of slight­ly pompous but styl­ish arti­cles appear, anoth­er one. You accept it, and you face crit­i­cism, because as Sokal/Bricmont said their arti­cles were pure post non­sense.
    So you, the edi­tor, claim it was poor first hand — but you nev­er told any­one before :). Too fun­ny.

    More and more we see what post-struc­tural­ism makes itself so very attrac­tive to hun­dreds of thou­sands, result­ing in this monot­o­ny we face in our west­ern uni­ver­si­ties (which is iron­i­cal in itself^^): some­how you always are right^^. Kant could be crit­i­cized. Many could. Sci­en­tists still can be proven wrong. But for exam­ple Der­ri­da was always right, like Hei­deg­ger, a Nazi, was — so they both thought^^.

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