Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentMilitary · 10 years ago

How does Noam Chomsky always slaughter his opponents in debates?

I was watching the famous Noam Chomsky debates on Youtube today (they have more than a million views combined) with Dershowitz, Pearle, etc. on the military, Palestine/Israel, etc. and wondering what rhetorical devices Chomsky uses to make his opponents look like veritable fools! how does he do it? how can one man know so much?


that's not a very good answer gun

4 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Best Answer

    a lifetime of wide reading - you'd be surprised at how much i have absorbed just from reading chomsky, reading the sources that he cites in articles and in the bibliographies of his books. he's 80 - that's a lot of books and newspapers. just read away and you'll get to that point for sure!

  • 10 years ago

    Third time you've posted this ... so you're not asking... you're looking to bash Israel & Jews on Shabbat. Got it. And FYI, it's against TOS. It also makes you're views & admires of Chomsky look not very good.

    As I say in my answer below - then you need to control, overwhelm... it comes from not having a valid point & having lack of interest in truthful arguments.


    To paste in my same answer again:

    Funny, I didn't find him convincing & found his opponents much more effective.

    Maybe because I'm not a die hard fan of nonsense views on politics & false arguments.

    It's a well known fact in arguing --- if you aren't trying for real truth, & only aiming to "win" & make others look foolish, you can appear more effective. Truth & taking total views into account & aiming for solutions, can be a real obstacle in an argument.

    Pay close attention to dictators who were voted in originally... it's very much their style (this aim to win, ignore the truth).

    It's always easy to "put holes" in arguments... it's much harder to have real ideas & solutions. That's why it's a different game to campaign for office, than to run the office. It's why Chomsky manipulates well, but anyone skilled or intelligent is quickly put off by his arguments... unless they have an axe to grind with Israel or whatever & don't fact check or care about reality.


    On your additional details from the other question:

    Chomsky - isn't so brillant & many feel that way. He's self congratulatory - a different concept. So Chomsky runs off people (MIT) -- that's generally the sign of an egomanic who's threatened because his work isn't all there... and needs to have control instead. Any one in math research will tell you, the greatly skilled folks have no trouble working together - even if they see things differently. It's only the facade ones that play games.

  • 10 years ago

    Did you honestly expect to find fans of the Noam in the military section?

    Simle answer: he doesn't, any more than stage magicians make bunnies disappear. He just creates the illusion that he has mastery over the topic of the debate. He looks impressive, but that is the benefit from being able to get all of one's facts from Noam Chomskyland. The rest of us mere mortals have to do research, and rely on sources that are not just ourselves (if you've ever read a Noam Chomsky paper, you would know what I mean. If the man cites references at all, 9 times out of 10, it is to a paper that he wrote. In the 10% of instances when the reference is not to himself, 9 times out of ten, it is to someone who has been his lackey for a while). This creates a situation where Noam emphatically and passionately lectures the audience about a world that exists in his head, and his opponent is forced to do what he can with a world that has to be objectively verified.

    Additionally, he's a big fan of ad hominem attacks on his opponent, which are compelling, but illogical, particularly when they cannot be substantiated or warranted in the debate (I've already pointed out that the Noam is really not a fan of substantaitable claims). He's a lot less impressive if you do follow up fact-checking research after a debate. There is also the part where he comes off as deeply profound by spurting out strange 'factoids' that definately have no correspondence or realistic consequence in a ponderous tone, typically using big words and conflating concepts that have no place being together (eg, his perrenial argument that the demand that Israel be recognized as a state is the same thing as insisting that Palestine not be...this is only true if you take the 'with me or against me' line that most anti-Israel lectures tend to take--projecting their bigotry onto Israel) He does the same thing in linguistics (my field of study).


    Source(s): I can use the Y/A search engine as easily as you can cut&paste the same question :).
  • 10 years ago

    Hadn't noticed.

    Hadn't noticed any evidence of the phenomenon you mentioned.

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