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Chomsky: ‘Ireland (the state) has robbed poor working people of tens of trillions of dollars’

  • 17-06-2022 1:19pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,742 ✭✭✭ BalcombeSt4

    Came across this article that was published in October that I missed, still obviously very relevant.

    Chomsky, now 93 I think, 92 back in October, is still one of the sharpest minds on the left, which is saying a lot, and one of the people with the most common sense when it comes to the current & political affairs of the intense world climate we live in today. I would say only Tony Benn had a bigger impact on helping to shape my political outlook. Anyway, it's still an interesting article whatever side you're on or if you're in the middle, he's also asked by Hugh Linehan about the Taliban victory, as well as boring & made-up stuff like nuclear destruction & climate destruction.

    Noam Chomsky: ‘Ireland has robbed poor working people of tens of trillions of dollars’ – The Irish Times - link

    <snip> - copyrighted material removed

    Post edited by Beasty on


  • Registered Users Posts: 51,792 ✭✭✭✭ walshb

    Chomsky, albeit a brilliant mind and honker and academic, is always fooking giving out..

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,334 ✭✭✭✭ banie01

    He Godwinned himself 🤦‍♂️ and made a balls of his point in doing so. If he had made his point starting from the 2nd paragraph of answer to 2nd Q there it would be both more cogent and less likely dismissed as hyperbolic.

    The rise of empire and of State wealth expropriation has many far better examples, some of which he touched upon after Godwinning 🤷‍♂️

    The wholesale state thievery and piracy that accompanied Empire of all flavours was/is policy for many states and pseudo-states. Chomsky is a far smarter man than I and his leaping to Hitler in an answer to an important economic question, well for many readers & commentators? That IMO leaves his follow up hanging in the ether, it demeans the rest of his reply.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,246 ✭✭✭✭ Dyr

    Chompsky : "The Khmer Rouge seem to be doing good things"

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,758 ✭✭✭✭ Zebra3

    You'll never get anywhere pointing out the crimes of the Brits and their royal family.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Why is it that the likes of Chomsky and others on the far-left / anarchists, rail against the rich and the powerful and the 1%, when they themselves are a part of that 1% and have amassed an enormous multi-million fortune.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 631 ✭✭✭ dontmindme

    So you're saying he shouldn't have an opinion, am I getting that right? Or maybe whatever his opinion is, it cannot be right or have any value?

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,140 ✭✭✭✭ is_that_so

    There is level of blind self-belief in some cases purely because they are always called on to reflect. The analysis of Ireland is very simplistic and he has a habit of shuffling sideways on positions. That American position could have been written in 1977! The irony of the intellectual left is how largely impractical they are ; they are very much single vision and everything is wrapped up in a reflection.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I don't want to spend my time listening to the opinions of a practicing hypocrite, and that he is.

    And his comments on the Khymer regime were diabolical, and demonstrates one of many examples of his agenda-driven interpretation of absolutely everything is perhaps not the best worldview for someone to adopt.

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,140 ✭✭✭✭ is_that_so

    Amongst other things. A lot of his early linguistic notions have been questioned and quietly put aside. Even he himself freely admitted little of what he proposed could be applied to language learning.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 322 ✭✭ NiceFella

    What exactly was the misinformed version of yourself? What did you not understand then that you do now. Can you give an example of him rearranging reality as it were?

  • Registered Users Posts: 322 ✭✭ NiceFella

    His theorys in linguistics have nothing to do with methods to learn a new language.

    Linguistics is a cognitive science and has nothing to do with learning a new language rather an investigation into the core properties of language development in humans. Chomsky's main theory was universal grammar which hypothesized that humans had specialised circuitry in the brain that decoded language. At the time it was a revolutionary idea that is generally accepted today. It is also backed up by research namely the poverty of stimulus in infants studie. Infants uttered words that they had never heard before implying that language was not something learned via external inductive reasoning.

    His core theory is generally accepted as being the correct way to look at language adoption, but because the brain is little understood it is difficult to verify if it's exactly true.

  • Chomsky's linguistic background coming through. "People don't really understand big numbers, let's go with 10s of trillions."

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,140 ✭✭✭✭ is_that_so

    A lot of it has been dropped or challenged and even he's revised his views of it. Some of it, like the LAD, is pure pseudo science with no evidence and there's been a lot more, better work since he proposed them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 322 ✭✭ NiceFella

    So a theory that is thought in every linguistics course the world over is pseudo science? MIT, Harvard and Stanford should be listening to you Right...Would you like to admit now that you have no clue what you are talking about?

    There are two components on UG that need to be made here. Firstly the notion that humans are innately hard wired for language is generally accepted in the field (Not 100%, no theory ever is).

    What is controversial though, is Chomskys interpretation of how the system works. That is were the debate is and considering not much is known about the human brain it is difficult to get consensus on how the system works.

    All theorys with the passage of time will receive revision as more information is known. For example, it is widely viewed that the average physicists grad today knows the theory of relativity better than Einstein did.

    It appears to me that you are trying to bash his science theory because you don't agree with his politics. If you don't agree with his politics fair enough, but trying to discredit him by some vague understanding of his highly esoteric theory is disingenuous.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,504 ✭✭✭✭ Danzy

    Chomsky has been spouting the same analysis since the 60s.

    The world has repeatedly changed, his analysis never does

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,435 ✭✭✭✭ Dohnjoe

    Fresh out of college, thought Western "establishment" and "capitalism" were neatly to blame for everything. Chomsky has apparently never left that stage.

    In his cynicism of it he has ended up siding with e.g. Mao and the Khmer Rouge. He's just a more articulate version of George Galloway. If you sat them beside each they wouldn't disagree much, could probably throw Clare Daly into that mix also. I wouldn't be surprised if he's appeared on Russia Today more than once.

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,140 ✭✭✭✭ is_that_so

    It's not a theory I ever thought much of but it was still interesting to read about it. It's part of the history of learning, just like the reductive behaviourism of Skinner is. You are welcome to fly the flag for him but it's never ever been remotely close to 100%. Its real value is in how it spurred others to challenge it and to produce better insights into learning. How we learn language is far more eclectic than a hardwire in the brain or some innate recognition of a UG.

    I've posted a link to a more credible commentary on UG than either of us can muster. There are plenty of others out there. You'll note in it how he and his acolytes have shifted definitions of it over the years. It is just what he does and that's fine. I've seen him do it in person and he wants to defend it but it's absolutely unsupported by evidence. In short it's really not a valid theory at all but the neatness of the idea still attracts people.

    Evidence Rebuts Chomsky's Theory of Language Learning - Scientific American

    Post edited by is_that_so on

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,450 ✭✭✭ Nermal

    'Robbery' implies illegality. We didn't 'rob'. 'Take' is the appropriate word, and take we did.

    So what? Are you asking for us to feel guilt? Looking for reparations?

  • Registered Users Posts: 322 ✭✭ NiceFella

    I have contemplated responding to you because I am fully aware it's not something you have thought about much at all. (With the greatest of respect).

    You posted a link by Scientific American which is not a study or evidence against the theory of UG but an honorific discussion of the state of play within linguistics at this moment in time. All it is saying is other theorys are being investigated at this moment in time. Its not evidence against the theory or even dating it as pseudo science as you so arrogantly put it.

    Here is peer reviewed research and evidence that is supportive by NYU (New York University) and the Max Planck institute of the validity of Chomsky's theory. I'll say it again, Chomsky's theory is thought in all serious linguistic programs the world over. UG is accepted by the vast majority of linguists. The only controversy is how the system works which as Steven Pinker puts it as being a very difficult question that is "bigger than any one of us" with reference to Chomsky being the most influential figure.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 32,140 ✭✭✭✭ is_that_so

    I disagree on Chomsky and Pinker thinks the same thing so of course Chomsky is brilliant. The link I gave you talks about the lack of evidence for this thing and there are many more, studies too. That study really shows a confirmation bias and seems to be more about proving he was right. That he continued to revise and reframe his ideas on it well into the 1980s suggests he wasn't fully convinced himself. You are fully welcome to believe there is some universal grammar in your head, I do not. In the end it actually doesn't matter unless it's about ego. As Chomsky himself admitted it is of absolutely no practical use to either learning or teaching, which is what the use of language is about.

    Anyway, this is just a circular exercise and you will continue to insist that I don't know what I am talking about and I'll repeat that I disagree on Chomsky so I'll leave it there.

  • Registered Users Posts: 322 ✭✭ NiceFella

    Well don't mind me if I choose to listen to actually scientists like Chomsky and Steven Pinker instead of you then.

    I've actually just shown you a peer reviewed study and you've shown me a highly bias article that doesn't disprove UG.

    You are showing a tremendous level of ignorance when it comes to science. Did you know that string theory in physics is mainly just a postualated theory made by mathematical abstractions? The lack of physical data doesn't stop them from developing or revising this idea though does it? And that's a theory that does not have anywhere near the same empirical evidence as something like UG. Yet it's something some of the smartest people in the world work on.

    Like Chomsky's theory if and when technology makes the theorys more testable then you will have conclusive evidence.

    They are major theorys in both fields not pseudo science.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,928 ✭✭✭ conorhal

    Honestly, when I look at the absolute state of 'academia' today, I'm coming around to his point... they did start with shooting all the 'intellectuals'! (or at the very least forced them out of their ivory towers and into the paddy fields with the unwashed proles to learn what the working in working class actually means.)

  • Chomsky rambles on about a load of bollocks half the time, but when we are presented with two recent surveys, one saying that Ireland is among the most expensive countries in europe and another telling us that for business, it is among the most competitive then you kind of understand what he is saying.