Noam Chomsky and the Compatible Left

Link to the article:

“Noam Chomsky and the Compatible Left, Part I”

“Noam Chomsky and the Compatible Left, Part II”

“Noam Chomsky and the Compatible Left, Part III”

“Noam Chomsky and the Compatible Left, Part IV”


This is an excellent multi-part piece on the fundamental problems with Chomsky’s politics — though it does contain a few brief unsupported or otherwise perplexing statements.  See also The Idiot Pool

Edward S. Herman & Noam Chomsky – The 5 Filters of the Mass Media Machine

Link to a video narrated by Amy Goodman about the “Propaganda Model” of Edward S. Herman & Noam Chomsky:

“The 5 Filters of the Mass Media Machine”

Incidentally, this video helpfully updates the “anti-communism” filter of the original version of the theory.  But the original theory always came up a bit short by failing to make clear that these five filters are really about the specific tactics of liberal capitalist media in an ideological war.  Liberal capitalists find these filters to be “correct”, in the sense of being a reflection of their own ideology.  Critics necessarily approach this with a different ideology.

Bonus links: Inventing Reality: The Politics of the News Media (an earlier Marxist rather than anarchist take on the same topic), “Monopoly Media Manipulation”, Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty, Propaganda, and The Sublime Object of Ideology

David Wineberg – The Man With Two Brains

Link to David Wineberg’s review of Chris Knight‘s book Decoding Chomsky: Science and Revolutionary Politics (2016):

“The Man With Two Brains”

Bonus links: “Decoding Chomsky. Science and Revolutionary Politics. Chris Knight. A Review.” (this review usefully relies on Bourdieu), and “Understanding the Labyrinth: Noam Chomsky’s Science and Politics” (“Chomsky’s stance undercuts the responsibility of scientists to speak out as public intellectuals against dishonest invocation of pretended science [o]n behalf of commercial and political interests.”), and Systemic Functional Linguistics, and Denial AKA disavowal (“In Verleugnung, the defense consists in denying something that affects the individual and is a way of affirming what he or she is apparently denying.”) and “Chomsky, Wolfe and Me” and “Noam Chomsky Responds to Chris Knight’s Book, Decoding Chomsky: Science and Revolutionary Politics” and “When Chomsky Worked on Weapons Systems for the Pentagon”  (“In Chomsky’s writings, individualism and genetic determinism are both taken to astonishing extremes.”)


To the extent that Knight (or others) are insisting that Chomsky (or others) assume the position of a Hegelian “beautiful soul” I disagree.  Other other hand, from sort of a Bourdieu (or Bachelard) sort of sociological perspective, it is crucial to understand the institutional field in which a “major” academic like Chomsky operates.  I think Knight is more concerned with how Chomsky is or isn’t a “useful idiot” for military interests like Robert Oppenheimer with the Manhattan Project.