Why the French Hate Chomsky

Johnstone, Diana
Date Written:  2010-06-14
Publisher:  CounterPunch
Year Published:  2010
Resource Type:  Pamphlet
Cx Number:  CX11930

Chomsky's criticism is laden with facts, a substance that seems to elicit ennui among contemporary French thinkers. No doubt the importance of the essay in the French educational system has bred a world of 'philosophers' whose skill at manipulating fact-free ideas was the guarantee of a distinguished career. If the social object is to entertain, then the French school reaches its goal -- mystification is often far more entertaining than straightforward descriptions of reality. On the other hand, if the object is to help readers reach their own understanding of reality, especially political reality, then their first need is to be provided with the basic relevant facts, which most people do not have time to ascertain through their own research. Thus Chomsky is useful to citizens by providing them with the raw material to develop their own ideas in a way that the purveyors of ready-made but flimsily supported ideas are not.

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