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Liberal Iranian
Liberal as in Liberty and Freedom. Iranian as in Cyrus and Ferdowsi.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Befuddled Chomsky
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On August 16, 2006 Akbar Ganji met for the second time with Noam Chomsky at MIT in Boston. Though it is a very strange choice of person to meet given that Ganji's writings in recent years have been laced with names, such as de Tocqueville and Popper, who are the intellectual antidote of whatever Chomsky says and stands for, the meeting may not have been comepletely without benefit. Here is my selective translation of parts of their dialogue in Persian, since I could not find an English source to quote:
Ganji: The picture you have of the government in the US is one that is completely non-democratic [...]
Chomsky: [...] Polls are freely available, but not in the media. [...] There is an open society. I repeat that the US is the freest society of the world. [...] You face a paradox: on the one hand there is an open and free society, and on the other people are deprived of information. [...]
Ganji: I don't think I got my answer. On the one hand, you say that the US is the freest country of the world, and on the other that, there is a vast public dissatisfaction. I ask why this dissatisfaction does not turn into a social movement? If you ask me why public dissatisfaction is not seen in Iran, I answer that one of the important reasons is that the regime strongly suppresses any social activity by the dissatisfied. The regime claims that the NGOs pursue a velvet revolution. The bus drivers' gatherings were brutally suppressed and many were arrested. Women's gathering in Tehran was severly suppressed. Now, even the kind of student gatherings that existed before Khatami are banned. But you say that the US is the freest country of the world, so what is keeping the people of the US from expressing their views or peacefully demonstrating?
Chomsky: When I say that we have the freest socity in the world, I mean that over the years many popular movements have succeeded. [...] It took over a century for the capitalists in the US and Britain to relaize that they cannot block people's will through violent means. In both countries, which are the freest countries of the world, they have taken on new ways of suppression [...] like controlling the media. When you turn on the TV you see a superficial life. [...]
I just hope that Ganji sees that Chomsky is ultimately unable to form even a single rational thought on the question he is asking. The simplest consequence of Chomsky's claim that the media are controlled in the US and Britain would be that they are not free societies at all, let alone the freest in the world. But he chooses the way of insanity and claims both. In contrast, Ganji's first-hand experience of the tyranny in Iran has shown him what real oppression is and how it is implemented in reality. I hope he sees the true message of his meeting with Chomsky: never listen to him again
Meeting someone doesn't necessarily mean agreeing with them, so when Ganji met with Chomski, he may have been wanting to meet with an intellectual from a different school of thought, to provoke interesting conversations and thoughts. Seeing what you just said may be a sign of that.
Dear anonymous,

Has Ganji said this himself?
What Chomsky is doing is insane but it is a well known tactic of his camp (and any other anti-liberal camp). By asserting contradictory statements he can always jump from one to the other as circumstances arise and when confronted with different critics. It is what Ahmadinezhad uses when he denies holocaust, his minions later assert it is not holocaust they deny but the use of it by "zionists", he again later claims he has nothing against jews at all.
Here is yet another example of this tactic of retreating and hiding, when confronted with critics who insist on the point they are making, behind points one they constantly advocate against when having a free hand from a milder and much less significant version of Chomsky:

It also shows what a real rational critic is like and why Ganji does not qualify for this role.

One more thing. The more I read Chomsky, the more I am convinced his nonsese, hatred and sophistries are on the level of Khomeini himself.
mabe that explains why Ganji meets him so often!
BTW, this silly tactic works only because people who applaud such showmans have an ideological bend and the last thing they are interested in is the truth. they want nice ways to justify their nonsense ideology and concealed hatred.
That's how it works.
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