Topic: Noam Chomsky vs. Slavoj Žižek … y/view-all

18. Noam Chomsky on Slavoj Žižek
“There’s no ‘theory’ in any of this stuff, not in the sense of theory that anyone is familiar with in the sciences or any other serious field. Try to find… some principles from which you can deduce conclusions, empirically testable propositions where it all goes beyond the level of something you can explain in five minutes to a 12-year-old. See if you can find that when the fancy words are decoded. I can’t. So I’m not interested in that kind of posturing. Žižek is an extreme example of it. I don’t see anything to what he’s saying.” [via]

17. Slavoj Žižek on Noam Chomsky
“Well, with all deep respect that I do have for Chomsky, my… point is that Chomsky, who always emphasizes how one has to be empirical, accurate… well, I don’t think I know a guy who was so often empirically wrong.” [via]

The Grasshopper Lies Heavy

Re: Noam Chomsky vs. Slavoj Žižek

me and luna already had this conversation, I've read Zizek and it's literally babble kek
Like, I have one of his books and you should hear some of the shit he writes lol, it makes
sense in a round about way eventually some of the time, but it's shit I could have said in one setence
that was basically a truism. Fucking stupid. I have no idea why Zizek is a thing lol. Fucking hipsters.

Re: Noam Chomsky vs. Slavoj Žižek

Mar 04 03:22:20 <absent>        Literally his entire book is straight up bullshit.
Mar 04 03:22:25 <absent>        Even worse than the guy you're reading
Mar 04 03:22:38 <absent>        If you try to decipher an actual argument... It's just not possible.
Mar 04 03:22:46 <lunatic>       i think this guy does make _some_ arguments which can be somehow traced to reality somewhat
Mar 04 03:22:47 <absent>        He's all posturing, no actual points.
Mar 04 03:22:53 <absent>        yeah
Mar 04 03:22:56 <lunatic>       damn
Mar 04 03:23:01 <absent>        Your guy makes some arguments but it's complicated
Mar 04 03:23:12 <absent>        But this zizek guy is just 95% full of shit completely
Mar 04 03:23:20 <absent>        I have no idea how anyone gives any fucks about him
Mar 04 03:23:33 <absent>        I just got wrapped up in the fanfare surrounding him and made his picture my avatar
Mar 04 03:23:44 <lunatic> … q.jpg?5396
Mar 04 03:23:45 <absent>        Then I tried reading him and I was like "god damnit, he's a phony"
Mar 04 03:23:49 <absent>        He's completely full of shit
Mar 04 03:24:08 <absent>        I think he makes maybe like 1 or 2 real points and the rest of everything he says is just fucking dumb bullshit
Mar 04 03:24:15 <absent>        The book I have is literally nothing but bullshit
Mar 04 03:24:23 <absent>        I watched some of his videos, BULLSHIT
Mar 04 03:24:32 <absent>        I feel embarassed to have had him as my avatar
Mar 04 03:25:24 <absent>        Somehow his bullshittery got him famous
Mar 04 03:25:34 <absent>        And now sometimes he'll actually try to form rational opinions on SOME things
Mar 04 03:25:49 <absent>        But mostly he just writes really really wordy and pointless sentences like
Mar 04 03:25:53 <absent>        Let me get my book and quote you an example
Mar 04 03:26:40 <absent>        Chapter 1, sentence 1
Mar 04 03:28:26 <absent>        "The only truly surprising thing about the 2008 financial meltdown is how easily the idea was accepted that its happen$
Mar 04 03:28:26 <absent>        jtries, and so forth) but also how the banks were creating the illusion of growth by playing with fictional money and $
Mar 04 03:28:52 <absent>        Which seems ok right
Mar 04 03:28:57 <absent>        But he never reaches any points
Mar 04 03:29:00 <absent>        Never makes any conclusions
Mar 04 03:29:02 <absent>        He just keeps on talking
Mar 04 03:29:09 <absent>        And some of his sentences literally make NO SENSE
Mar 04 03:29:53 <lunatic>       baww
Mar 04 03:29:56 <lunatic>       well, that was a point
Mar 04 03:29:57 <lunatic>       sad
Mar 04 03:30:13 <absent>        what was a point?
Mar 04 03:30:45 <lunatic>       > the market getting fucked wasn't unpredictable
Mar 04 03:30:53 <lunatic>       but perhaps not accepted by the general public?
Mar 04 03:30:53 <lunatic>       meh
Mar 04 03:30:58 <lunatic>       does he go in tangents a lot about random shit

Mar 04 03:31:01 <lunatic>       hahahahahaha
Mar 04 03:31:02 <lunatic>       wow
Mar 04 03:31:35 <absent>        let me read for a second and I'll show you
Mar 04 03:32:54 <absent>        like wtf
Mar 04 03:33:06 <absent>        Ok so he talks about how the police were used to break up the protests outside of the IMF conference
Mar 04 03:33:08 <absent>        Ok
Mar 04 03:33:12 <absent>        That's inline with his previous thinking
Mar 04 03:33:13 <absent>        now
Mar 04 03:33:21 <absent>        literally without saying anything to change the topic
Mar 04 03:34:51 <absent>        "After this sustained effort of wilful ignorance, it is no wonder that, when the crissi dif finally break out, as one $
Mar 04 03:35:11 <absent>        So he's saying...
Mar 04 03:35:26 <absent>        uh
Mar 04 03:35:26 <lunatic>       what willful ignorance
Mar 04 03:35:29 <lunatic>       that could be anything
Mar 04 03:35:32 <absent>        idk man
Mar 04 03:35:35 <absent>        He just says shit
Mar 04 03:36:06 <absent>        "one cannot take into account the efforts of ones own choices"
Mar 04 03:36:07 <absent>        WHAT?
Mar 04 03:36:11 <absent>        What does that even fucking mean
Mar 04 03:36:24 <absent>        what the fuck
Mar 04 03:36:25 <absent>        lol

Re: Noam Chomsky vs. Slavoj Žižek

Zizek is a shitty product of post-structural thought trying to be compatible with Marxism and post-Marxism.

Chomsky is an anarcho-syndicalist and occasionally has bad ideas but generally makes more sense than Zizek.

If you want a good Marxist academic,  go read some Henryk Grossman.

Re: Noam Chomsky vs. Slavoj Žižek

Don't worry though because you can't take into account your own choices.

Re: Noam Chomsky vs. Slavoj Žižek

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: … 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: … 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.

7 (edited by Geogaddi 2014-12-05 23:35:44)

Re: Noam Chomsky vs. Slavoj Žižek

Zizek copypasta

An anarcho-syndicalist American analytic philosopher and linguistics professor was teaching a class on Bertrand Russell, known logician.

”Before the class begins, you must get on your knees and worship Russell as the most influential philosopher of the 20th century, even more influential than Jacques Derrida or any other continental philosopher!”

At this moment, a brave, psycho-analytic, Hegelian Marxist philosopher and cultural theorist, who fully recognised the weaponisation and ideological basis of instrumental rationality, boldly stood up and tugged at his collar.

”My god, pure ideology! How can you ignore the work of Lacan and the Frankfurt School and so on and so on, like that? ”

The arrogant professor smirked quite Jewishly and smugly replied “Continental philosophy cloaks trivialities in fancy language and uses the scientific-sounding term 'theory' to describe propositions that could never be tested empirically. ”

”Wrong. If empiricism is so important, as you would say, then how come you were so empirically wrong on the Khmer Rouge and Cambodia, and so on and so on?”

The professor was visibly shaken, and dropped his chalk and copy of Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus . He stormed out of the room crying those unironic empirically verified crocodile tears.

There is no doubt that at this point our professor, Noam Chomsky, wished he had pulled himself up by his bootstraps and become more than an outdated linguist and blindly analytic philosopher.

He wished so much that he had an argument to save himself from embarrassment, but he himself had advocated for truth derived from empirical investigation!

The students applauded and all dropped out to transfer into the École Normale Supérieure that day and accepted French philosophy as superior to both German Idealism and the Anglosphere's Analytic traditions.

An eagle named “Critical Theory” flew into the room and perched atop a burning American flag and shed a single tear on the dropped chalk. Sections of Lacan's Seminars were read several times, and the Spirit of Hegel himself showed up and demonstrated the nature of dialectics so vividly that everybody in the room progressed to a trans-physical state transcending conventional notions of time and space.

The professor lost his tenure and was fired the next day and was forced to become a panelist on an MSNBC news show to make ends meet.

The brave psycho-analytic philosopher's name? Slavoj Zizek.

Re: Noam Chomsky vs. Slavoj Žižek

Oh my god lol

Re: Noam Chomsky vs. Slavoj Žižek

Zizek's psychoanalytical poststructuralist synthesis with Hegel is fucking idiotic but he's a funny guy.

The only Zizek book I actually think is good is "Zizek's jokes" which is quite literally a joke book.

Re: Noam Chomsky vs. Slavoj Žižek

I think maybe his career is a big joke and he's a professional comedian gaining influence and respect as part of an elaborate secret joke.