I mean, I've read a bunch of shit that Chomsky has written and some of it does seem like a stretch, but he gives numerous examples and some empirical evidence that it might be the case. Almost all of his shit can be backed up by examples. Maybe they don't represent the totality of the evidence or don't follow directly, but they make sense in the context of his arguments. You would have to go find alternative situations to contradict his own, which is not easy, and show that his examples were not representative of future actions and such. Even then, Chomsky rarely makes claims about things outside of specific events. He doesn't try to predict the future, usually, he just analyzes what's going on, so you have to come up with an alternative analysis and weigh what you find against what he says. Zizek... What analysis? It's hard to find what he's trying to say. Let's take an essay of his:
http://www.lrb.co.uk/v34/n02/slavoj-ziz … ourgeoisie
How did Bill Gates become the richest man in America? His wealth has nothing to do with Microsoft producing good software at lower prices than its competitors, or ‘exploiting’ its workers more successfully (Microsoft pays its intellectual workers a relatively high salary). Millions of people still buy Microsoft software because Microsoft has imposed itself as an almost universal standard, practically monopolising the field, as one embodiment of what Marx called the ‘general intellect’, by which he meant collective knowledge in all its forms, from science to practical knowhow. Gates effectively privatised part of the general intellect and became rich by appropriating the rent that followed.
This literally translates to "Bill gates is rich because everyone knows most people buy Microsoft therefore everyone buys Microsoft." Correct me if I'm wrong... First of all, it can't be broken down into that much of a simplification, there are way more factors that went into it than some vague idea of "social knowledge" or the "social intellect" kek. He's literally just hopping on some shitty Marxist coined terminology to try to make his shit seem smart, as far as I can tell. I don't really give a shit about Marx too much, so maybe I'm wrong, but I'm pretty confident that's what it means. So, think about this for a minute... This guy Zizek wants to talk about how Chomsky is empirically wrong. What empiricism is there in this? It's literally based on some random term Marx coined in one of his books. It's a social critique, further away from reality than any published sociology. What is it based on lel?
The possibility of the privatisation of the general intellect was something Marx never envisaged in his writings about capitalism (largely because he overlooked its social dimension). Yet this is at the core of today’s struggles over intellectual property: as the role of the general intellect – based on collective knowledge and social co-operation – increases in post-industrial capitalism, so wealth accumulates out of all proportion to the labour expended in its production. The result is not, as Marx seems to have expected, the self-dissolution of capitalism, but the gradual transformation of the profit generated by the exploitation of labour into rent appropriated through the privatisation of knowledge.
So this can be broken down into, "Marx didn't predict companies could steer opinions (about products in this context), but since they do they can make more money marketing than they otherwise could, so that's exploiting labor by steering opinions." That's all this means. A truism.
Now, let's contrast that with a random Chomsky article:
The dire threat of Iran is widely recognized to be the most serious foreign policy crisis facing the Obama administration. General Petraeus informed the Senate Committee on Armed Services in March 2010 that "the Iranian regime is the primary state-level threat to stability" in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, the Middle East and Central Asia, the primary region of US global concerns. The term "stability" here has its usual technical meaning: firmly under US control. In June 2010 Congress strengthened the sanctions against Iran, with even more severe penalties against foreign companies. The Obama administration has been rapidly expanding US offensive capacity in the African island of Diego Garcia, claimed by Britain, which had expelled the population so that the US could build the massive base it uses for attacks in the Central Command area. The Navy reports sending a submarine tender to the island to service nuclear-powered guided-missile submarines with Tomahawk missiles, which can carry nuclear warheads. Each submarine is reported to have the striking power of a typical carrier battle group. According to a US Navy cargo manifest obtained by the Sunday Herald (Glasgow), the substantial military equipment Obama has dispatched includes 387 "bunker busters" used for blasting hardened underground structures. Planning for these "massive ordnance penetrators," the most powerful bombs in the arsenal short of nuclear weapons, was initiated in the Bush administration, but languished. On taking office, Obama immediately accelerated the plans, and they are to be deployed several years ahead of schedule, aiming specifically at Iran.
Everything he is says is based on reports and is either verifiable, or just not true. I'm not going to go through and research every claim, so let's do one: "In June 2010 Congress strengthened the sanctions against Iran, with even more severe penalties against foreign companies." So, google, here we go: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comprehen … ct_of_2010
Mk. Big difference. Chomsky doesn't just say random shit, he backs it up. It's facts. His ideology is based on a number of paterns based on facts, not random shit some philosopher said some time, or whatever. So why people like Zizek get attention is kind of confusing, at least as far as actual political affairs goes. Maybe it's interesting in a purely theoretical way, but even then, it seems empty. Like even as a philosophical mental masturbation sense, it's empty. I don't get it.