Friday, March 25, 2016

Knowledge and Power. Sentences of Finkelstein. Al-Jazeera English. 18 October 2015.

07:12 – 07:48
He had read all the Zionist literature by the age of five, and he had resolved that he was a Zionist, and he remained so. It’s not so much Chomsky vs. Zionism, it’s Chomsky who considers himself both a Zionist and maintains the same Principles and Values when it comes to Israel-Palestine conflict, as he does to any other conflict, so he applies those same Princples and Values and reaches the same sorts of what you might call radical conclusions, as he does when he addresses any other conflict.

10:19 – 10:54
Chomsky changed my Life, but the fact is he did, and I have to give credit where the credit is due. I was coming under quite severe battering. My ego was being pretty much shattered for all the criticisms I had to absorb, and the only compensatory factor was the Knowledge that one of the greatest Minds in Human History thought I had something to say. So he lifted my spirits in some very, very difficult periods. Were it not for him, I can tell you with Certainty, although I’m a pretty determined Person, I would have given up.

17:42 – 18:51
Certainly the book that had the biggest impact on me was the Fateful Triangle. That was realy, that was the tour de force. You know, he wrote the whole thing in six months, at night after Work. And it’s really endured. I remember. Just a funny story. I gave it to my late mother to read, and she read it, and devoured it, if not faster than me. The book is very heavily documented in Hebrew, Israeli sources. So she once went to a presentation about, attacking Professor Chomsky by an Israeli ambassador at the local Library. From Israeli Embassy. And she attended the presentation. The guy was defending Israel, defending Israel, so my mother says, What about Professor Chomsky says in the Fateful Triangle? The Person is, Oh, Professor Chomsky crazy. My mother says, What do you mean, Crazy? All the sources are Israelis. Laughter of Finkelstein.

20:48 – 21:49
His books are deceptively simple. Sometimes the People think they are just massive accumulation of facts and footnotes. There is a massive accumulation of facts and footnotes. There is a quantity of research which is almost terrifying. There is a Nobel laureate, Salvadore E. Luria, a personal friend of Chomsky, and in his autobiography he referred to Chomsky’s terrifying storehouse of Knowledge, and it’s true, there is a terrifying storehouse of Knowledge there. Because Chomsky’s mind operate like a, it’s decomposing Machine. Wherever he goes, wherever he looks at, literally, wherever he looks at, he intellectually decomposes it.

27:30 – 28:28
I think one of the reasons they ignored him is because of what he stood for in their eyes. He stood for their youthful ideals, their youthful Principles, their youthful commitments to Truth and Justice, all of which they effectively abandoned, and they joined the intellectual Establishment, the ruling Establishment. And so they didn’t want to be reminded about Chomsky. Whenever they were, they would say, Oh, Professor Chomsky’s Ideas are so infantile, simplistic, that’s one of the words they always like to use, simplistic, because now they're more attuned to the subtleties and complexities of Power, which Professor Chomsky doesn’t understand. Well of course, he understands them perfectly. He just happens not to give in to them.

29:36 – 30:47
Incidentally, this is a factual point. You know when everything changed for him politically. His wife, Carol, used to manage his literary outputs, which was very substantial. We’re talking about, now it’s over a hundred book. But she was able to manage everything until 9/11. After that pamphlet he wrote, 9/11, then his books went off the chart, and they had to hire somebody to handle his literary production. Up to then, the sales were not very high. Of course, they were large because of the number of books, and they weren’t very high. So that’s when he took off in terms of his Publications. And now, he’s still ignored, that’s true, he’s still ignored. He’s ignored and he’s getting Recognition at the same time. Both are happening. He’s getting academic Recognition and he’s still ignored in the Media.

34:11 – 35:11
He’s one of those very few [homosapiens], I can’t really think of another, who managed to create a global Reputation for himself, including, including, a very substantial Reputation in the United States without having any access to the mainstream Media. And remember that was before Internet already, before Internet. So it’s not as if there’s alternative Media available. He just worked through his own or through his alternative circuits, managed to plug into a huge following notwithstanding the fact that he was never on Television, never on national Radio. It was really a remarkable achievement. There the achievement is due to two things: One, he had some very unique message, which managed to get out; also, he had own intrepidness.

39:21 – 40:10
What I would say about Chomsky is he’s in constant Communication with the activists. That’s whom he speaks for, that’s whom he encourages. He’s now, in his political life, his political life, his primary Audience is not Journals, intellectual Journals, and he’s not out to attend wine-and-cheese parties, these kinds of academic conferences. In his political life, his primary aim seems to encourage activists. People who are trying to in a real way, trying to change the World. That makes him in a completely different category from most other academic leftists.

No comments:

Post a Comment