Friday, July 26, 2013

America's Noam Chomsky vs. Europe's Slavoj Žižek

In my surfings this evening, I stumbled upon Opus Publicum 's summary of "the ongoing quarrel between [the above] two intellectual darlings of the Left" — Summer Love. How could I not side with my compatriot in this dispute?

I've read several of Chomsky's books, but have never been able to get past a few paragraphs of anything Žižek has written before reaching the conclusion that the guy's a charlatan. As a right-winger more or less, I of course do not agree with many of Chomsky's simplistic conclusions, but his foreign-policy books, such as Hegemony or Survival and Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy, while essentially the same book repackaged by Chomsky, Inc., can and should be read by right-thinking dissenters clamoring for reestablishment of the Old Republic. And the analyses offered in his Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, which I read as an undergrad, I have used over the years when examining the MSM as a tool for Brave New World style social engineering.

I have nothing to say about Žižek because nothing I have read or heard him say has made the least bit of sense. As blogger "modestinus" points out in his post, the Slovenian "has written popular pieces (including narration for an Abercrombie & Fitch catalog), but so much of his academic work lives in the borderland between the academy and popular culture that it’s difficult to accuse Zizek of simply trading on his scholarly credentials for popular appeal." That parenthetical note alone is enough to convince me to agree with the "critics [who] label Zizek an academic fraud."

Chalk another one up for America! Our leftists are better than Europe's. Say what you will about Chomsky, at least he's clear. What Pierre Bourdieu said of his home country, "that to be taken seriously in France, at least twenty percent of what one writes needs to be incomprehensible" (quoted by Diana Johnstone in Why the French Hate Chomsky), rings true for the rest of that continent, lending support to Chomsky's "critique of Zizek and other Continental philosophers who eschew empiricism in favor of what many see as empty jargon." Go Noam!

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Blogger Pints in NYC said...

We stand in agreement yet again.

I think Zizek is this generation's MArcuse. In a decade or so no one will know who he was.

I saw him once on a TV interview. Sounded like a complete blowhard.

No wonder the Church is in such bad shape across the pond. When European youth flock to intellectual "charlatans" - to use your rightly chosen word - there is clearly a disease of the mind over there.

Zizek simply looks the part. Apparently that is good enough for European youth, who otherwise are used to worshipping such pop icons as U2's Bono and losing themselves in the Dionysian orgies of sold-out 150,000 seat soccer matches.

July 27, 2013 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger Iosue Andreas Sartorius said...

Well said, mon frère. Your comments remind me that contemporary Europe is not only a complete joke, it is a complete lost cause. Sorry, Pope Emeritus Benedict. So glad my ancestors emigrated.

July 27, 2013 at 11:29 PM  

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