Monday, June 14, 2004

Salving One's Ego by Berating Teenagers

From the blog 2Blowhards, a glimpse of Chomsky the conscientious professor:

“The Second World War is a slightly different story,” Chomsky continued. The United States and Britain fought the war, of course, but not primarily against Nazi Germany. The war against Nazi Germany was fought by the Russians. The Germany military forces were overwhelmingly on the Eastern Front.”

“But the world was better off,” the student persisted.

“First of all, you have to ask yourself whether the best way of getting rid of Hitler was to kill tens of millions of Russians. Maybe a better way was not supporting him in the first place, as Britain and the United States did. O.K.? But you’re right, it has nothing to do with motives—it has to do with expectations. And actually if you’re interested in expectations there’s more to say. By Stalingrad in 1942, the Russians had turned back the German advances, and it was pretty clear that Germany wasn’t going to win the war. Well we’ve learned from the Russian archives that Britain and the U.S. then began supporting armies established by Hitler to hold back the Russian advance. Tens of thousands of Russian Troops were killed. Suppose you’re sitting in Auschwitz. Do you want the Russian troops to be held back?”

The student was silent...

Chomsky continued to berate the student for a long time, ignoring his attempts to break in. People cried out “Let him talk!” but to no avail. Another student stood up and called out a request that he be allowed to help, but Chomsky ignored him. People made loud, disgruntled noises in protest at this treatment, but Chomsky ignored those, too. Finally, the first student sat down.

I've always despised professorial bullying. There's something extraordinarily disgusting about watching these wretched little men abuse what little power they've managed to accumulate in their lives in order to defend their delicate egos against the horrendous threat of a thinking eighteen year old. I try to avoid being personal on this blog, but one can't help but conclude from stories like this that, whatever one thinks about his politics, Chomsky is a pretty nasty piece of work. Its nice to read that the audience was having none of it.

Oh, and his remarks about World War II are ridiculous. The Russians couldn't have gotten anywhere without the Allies' massive bombing campaign against Germany's economic and military infrastructure. And his belittling of the accomplishments of those who fought at immense cost and sacrifice on the Western Front, which included such bloodbaths as Omaha Beach and the Battle of the Bulge, is beneath contempt. This man needs to read a history book before he embaresses himself again.

As for supporting Hitler, the US was neutral and isolationist through most of the 1930s, and Britain didn't support Hitler, they appeased him; exactly what Chomsky wants us to do today with Islamic radicalism.