dear alan!

not sure whether youve noted the controversy your posting of this odd "oliver kamm" blogg has caused on the comment box. mike is mike, "oliver kamm" is oliver kamm, journalist behind the aptly named "oliver kamm" blogg

relevant bit of your post:

"jona brought to my attention oliver kamm's criticisms of chomsky. these appear to be the most substantive and methodical claims i've seen."

"Comments" activity to date:

"Chomsky's intervention was a defence of the content of Faurisson's beliefs and not merely of Faurisson's right to express those beliefs"


"Chomsky did this not by endorsing Faurisson's obviously false claim that the Holocaust never happened"


"Chomsky in fact defended the character of Faurisson's beliefs and not just Faurisson's right to express those beliefs (which was in any event never at issue)"


"...defending Faurisson against the charges of antisemitism and pro-Nazism"

full of vague and contradicting notions ("character of belief"? was ist das?). the relationship between "content" and "freedom of expression" is what this whole thing hinges on. i'm a so-called "chomsky admirer" myself, and i havent dared to make up my mind about this issue; a problematic which does, after all, extend far beyond nc, faurisson, holocaust denial, or yes, even kamm. so i was actually hoping to find something of substance, instead of the usual self-indulgent constructivism.

sadly though, kamm appears anything else than methodical, objective nor philosophically conscientious about the argumentative nucleus. in fact, he doesn't engage the problematic at all. this probably because he made up his mind prior to touching the matter. policing other people's footnotes instead of engaging with any content ("it is a poor service to the memory of the victims of the holocaust to adpot a central doctrine of their murderers" - nc).

it's a tough debate. anyone who has the answers at the snap of a kamm ought to be treated with caution.

mike | 12.21.04 - 3:14 pm | #

My thanks for the link, and my complacent self-satisfaction regarding your commentor's unwitting confirmation that he is a follower of Chomsky, for he deals with my inconvenient body of evidence by quoting me with deliberate selectivity in order to deceive. Anyone taking the trouble to read my posts as opposed to the words your commentor has wrenched out of context will be unimpressed with that particular staple of Chomskian technique. By my reference to Chomsky's defending the character of Faurisson's beliefs, I make it perfectly clear what that position consisted in: Chomsky defended the political legitimacy of those beliefs regardless of their factual veracity (or rather, lack of it). He did so, moreover, while knowing for a fact that Faurisson was a pro-Nazi apologist. Chomsky, in short, whitewashed the political beliefs of a man he knew to be pro-Nazi and antisemitic.

That is not simply an allegation against Chomsky, nor is it a 'tough debate'; it is a fact, which your incompetent commentor unsurprisingly doesn't even attempt to refute but merely tries to obfuscate by becoming mired in woolly abstractions dimly comprehended.

Oliver Kamm | Email | Homepage | 12.22.04 - 1:21 pm | #

oliver kamm is quite right in saying that i don't refute him, since i hadn't really found anything to refute. and since I don't operate on ideological levels, where information might be "convenient" or not, i'm afraid i can't say anything on that either.

i do think it is a tough debate, albeit one that evidently doesn't find its way into the distilled episteme of today's cultural managers. in what relationship does the liberty to express a belief stand to the content or "political character" of that belief? are there elements of instrumental rationality at play? are we only allowing freedom of expression for views we like, whilst ideologically undermining others?

i think it's in those questions where the answers to the chomsky-faurisson affair are to be found, and not in this politicized farce about whether or not chomsky knowingly helped to propagate neo-nazi views. this was evidently not his intention, since he seems to promote freedom of expression regardless of its content (a normative guideline one would have to refute prior to ascribing any relevance to chomsky's defence of a holocaust denier).

i wonder why one cannot actually engage chomsky's position and challenge him by reflecting on the normative questions that underlie freedom of expression. isn't this where any true engagement with chomsky would happen? merely trying to prove that chomsky was knowingly defending a holocaust denier seems to miss the point. the search for content goes on.

what is kamm actually trying to show? that chomsky's persona is no good?

mike | 12.22.04 - 6:09 pm | #

this in defense of an able historian

cannot counter facts in NC's history of angloamerican imperialism including israel
-> so obv hes gotta be a nazi/looney or whatever
-> jewish self-proclaimed anarchist- nazi?

yeah likely

about as likely as the tales of WMD monsieur kamm has been floating elsewhere bad journalism?

"Why does it sell and re-sell a WMD argument for war with Saddam, as speculative and superfluous as a coursebook in Dianetics, both before and after the war?"

sloppy quotations hey.. where are those goddamn wmd oliver?

geneva convention says crime of faring aggressive war carries cumulative sum of sinning- ambition is critical as the welsh say..

"Saddam will likely never threaten anyone again... and we have attained one of our primary goals: no WMD in Iraq. (Did Saddam help us in that goal, by not having any WMD to begin with? [??] That's still highly debatable... but if he did, all the better.) Further, the war has resulted in Libya destroying its WMD as well."

hihihi fevered delusions of adequacy? war crimes.. women and children.. ts ts ts

i'm sure theres plenty more of the same

Authors go to war, but should have stayed at home; quite

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