I recently made a comment in an online forum that listening to Noam Chomsky for me was an act of self-torture. Not that his contribution to political discourse isn’t incredibly valuable in terms of presenting an alternative point of view than that of the mainstream. Chomsky approaches the world in a relentlessly rational manner that allows for very little in the way of levity or even creativity so that his dry recitation of facts from the perch of academic authority usually leaves me feeling exhausted rather than inspired. In my opinion this approach leads too inevitably into a constraining vice of political correctness and away from the kind of flexible response to events needed in our to approach to the complexities of perception.
That said, after watching the following video of Chomsky responding to a question from a 911 ‘Truther’ I came away with a new appreciation for the disciplined and hard-boiled approach of truly scientific thinking to the evaluation of facts and conclusions. As anyone who knows me soon discovers I have very little patience (none) with so-called “Truthers” and with those who indulge in and promote conspiracy theories of any kind. I believe that their approach to ‘facts’ echoes that of the average Bible thumping evangelist who wants to convince me that dinosaurs lived with human beings six thousand years ago. This stuff should be confined to the shelves of occult bookstores (with the ravings of Alex Jones and David Icke) and is entirely corrosive to true political discourse. Parading in the costumes of intellectual rigor these writers and ranters are only dedicated to making a buck by getting people to substitute their predigested dogma for any effort at real thinking.
Thanks to Open Culture for unearthing this video.