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Werner Cohn slandering of Chomsky and other left-wing libertarians from France

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[Partners in Hate: Page 73]



In its very first volume in 1980, the California-based
Journal of Historical Review carried an article about Jews
by a Doctor Howard F. Stein that turned out to be something
of an omen of the journal's future.<53> Even to someone
well acquainted with anti-Semitic propaganda, Doctor Stein's
piece must have come as a surprise for the sheer audacity of
its malice. And as it happens, Doctor Stein's piece also
foreshadowed themes later taken up by Chomsky.

The Journal of Historical Review described Stein as an
Associate Professor of Medical-Psychiatric Anthropology in
Oklahoma. By now he has written quite a few articles --
all in psychobabble -- in various fringe journals of
"humanistic psychology." He has also lectured at the mecca
of New Age psychology, the Esalen Institute of California.
And Doctor Stein is Jewish.

In his appearance for the "revisionists" Stein presented a
rather straight-forward theory about the Holocaust: it is a
Jewish myth. It seems that Jews have always fantasized
about a Holocaust, from the very beginning of their history.
They have always needed to be victims. Today they fantasize
that they were victims of the Germans during the Second
World War and they are completely insensitive to the great
sufferings of non-Jews, in particular Germans and Arabs.
Doctor Stein also refers the reader to an earlier article he
had written in which he proposed that Jews are afflicted by
a "Samson complex."<54> Like Samson in the Bible, it seems,
Jews today are bound for self-destruction and seek to
arrange matters so that they can destroy the rest of the
world in the process. This is a view that Chomsky has also
adopted, as we shall see.

I think that it is an open secret that we have in the United
States an intellectual underclass of self-described
"academic" journals. These dreary periodicals cater to the
foolish vanity of college administrators who wish to see
"publications" by their teachers. Stein's articles, looked
at purely from the point of view of scholarly competence,
must scrape the very bottom even of this material: there is
not a shred of evidence to be found in his many pages of
jargon and free-floating confabulation. By itself that
would be as harmless as is almost all this underclass pulp.
But Stein's writings have enlisted jargon-mongering in the
cause of spite and hate, and this indeed jettisons them into
a category quite by themselves.

Doctor Stein has achieved some international recognition for
his contribution to the hatred of Jews. The French journal
of the "revisionists," edited by our friend Pierre
Guillaume, has published a French translation of the
original 1980 article.<55>

Compared to Stein's malice, other JHR articles will seem
commonplace. The last issue I received, that of Winter 1986-
7, carries the article by Faurisson on Hoess that I have
already mentioned. It carries another piece complaining
about an unjust persecution of the (Nazi) German American
Bund in the United States during World War II. A book
review tells us that when the Nazis established the Warsaw
ghetto, "essentially, the German decision was Jewish, since
Jews oppose intermarriages, and insist on their own built-in
laws. The Germans also had to fear Polish inspired pogroms
against the Jews. The wall prevented that as well." Yes,
that's why we need the "revisionists" to set us straight
about what happened in history.

Canadian Customs authorities have declared this nice journal
to be hate literature and have restricted its import into
Canada. Consequently I have been unable to check every
issue of it and I do not know how often Chomsky has
contributed to it. I do have before me the issue for Spring
1986 containing an article by Noam Chomsky, "All Denials of
Free Speech Undercut A Democratic Society."<56> This piece
contains about 2,200 words and is reprinted from the Camera
of Boulder, Col.

Subscribers to the JHR also receive lists of books and tapes
that the "revisionists" find necessary for a proper
education. Some of this material is signed Noontide Press,
which, like the Institute for Historical Review, is located
in Torrance, California. My latest Catalogue of Historical
Revisionist Books
, dated Fall 1986, contains, among other
items, the following titles: The Zionist Connection II by
Alfred M. Lilienthal; Communism with the Mask Off by Dr.
Joseph Goebbels, and The Fateful Triangle by Noam Chomsky.
A special book list of Noontide Press dealing with what it
calls "Jewish Studies" contains The International Jew by
Henry Ford, Sr., The Protocols of the Learned Elders of
Zion
, "translated from Russian," The Plot Against
Christianity
by Elizabeth Dilling ("A shattering expose of
the anti-Christian hate campaign propounded in the
Babylonian Talmud"), and other such classics.

The Institute also sells two separate tapes of a speech that
Chomsky gave against Israel, and here are some excerpts from
its publicity for these tapes:

This lecture ... is, to put it mildly, devastating. In
two hours of uninterrupted cannonade directed squarely
at U.S. foreign policy with regard to Israel, Chomsky
ranges brilliantly over such topics as Israeli
imperialism ... the role of the Anti-Defamation League
("... one of the ugliest, most powerful groups in
America")/ Media suppression, distortion, hypocrisy,
and the "Memory Hole." An intense two-and-a-half hour
mini-course on the political issue of our age,
including Chomsky's answers to audience questions.


I have repeatedly called Chomsky's attention to the Nazis'
use of his name and his materials, suggesting that he
disassociate himself from these people, but he has just as
repeatedly remained obdurate to such suggestions.

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[Partners in Hate: Page 79]

Freedom of Speech

As we have seen, Chomsky boasts that he will defend the
freedom of expression of anyone, any time, presumably
regarding anything, and that he does not need to see
disputed material in order to defend its right to be heard
and published.<57> Bill Rubinstein has already pointed out
that this proposition can hardly be taken seriously since
there must be limits to freedom of speech in any society.
An immediate example is the necessity for prohibiting
commercial fraud. But Chomsky is completely mindless in his
declarations for unrestricted freedom; neither fraud, nor
defamation, nor public mischief of any sort can deter what
he is pleased to call his Enlightenment values. Some of his
more extravagant postures on these matters are reminiscent
of extremist "libertarians" from Caligula to Charles Manson.
We shall look into some of the antinomian sources of his
political thought later in this essay.

To Chomsky there is no question that the "revisionist" neo-
Nazis should be given complete freedom of speech in Western
countries (attempts to restrain them have so far been made
only in West Germany, France, and Canada). He never tires
of exclaiming that freedom of expression should know no
limits, his citation of Voltaire settling the matter to his
satisfaction.

I myself have been less than happy with the prosecution of
the neo-Nazis in Canada, and I am not convinced that the
legal prosecution of Faurisson in France is justified. But
the issue is a great deal more complex than Chomsky lets on
because questions of both defamation and fraud must be
addressed. Faurisson and his followers have engaged in an
unbelievable campaign of libel and slander -- always couched
in very personal terms -- against the scholars and the
witnesses of the Holocaust. Furthermore, as the transcript
of the Zundel trial in Canada has shown, it seems clear that
the "revisionists" are motivated by malice and not by any
historical conviction. I am fortunately not called upon to
vote for or against a gag on these Nazis. But if I were,
and if a study of all the details of a given individual case
were to convince me that freedom of speech should prevail, I
know that I would still be very far indeed from being a
friend to the gentleman in question.

As is generally the case when extremists face legal
difficulties, the neo-Nazis today have two kinds of
supporters: those who wish them well because they are
sympathetic to their cause on the one hand, and civil
libertarians on the other. Since nowadays nobody likes to
be recognized as a Nazi sympathizer, just about everyone who
supports the neo-Nazis today calls himself a civil
libertarian. The trick is to tell who is who.

There is of course no difficulty to this. We all know civil
libertarians. We know who they are, what they do, how they
do it. In America they are akin to the founders and leaders
of the American Civil Liberties Union, and, like them or
not, they are liberal by persuasion, liberal by style and
culture. They have a record of defending various kinds of
unpopular groups, not just one. They will give legal aid to
Nazis but they will not associate with Nazis, will not
collaborate with Nazis politically, will not publish their
books with Nazi publishers, will not allow their articles to
be printed in Nazi journals.<58> On these counts alone
Chomsky is no civil libertarian.

Chomsky misleads us when he tells how he was recruited to
the Faurisson cause. He tries to create the impression that
it was civil libertarians who recruited him: "In the fall
of 1979, I was asked by Serge Thion, a libertarian socialist
scholar with a record of opposition to all forms of
totalitarianism, to sign a petition ... "<59> The plain
truth is that Thion was already a partisan of Faurisson at
the time, a man second only to Faurisson himself in the
propaganda that declares the Holocaust to be a Jewish lie.
Insofar as Chomsky is a political friend of Thion's, and
this certainly seems to be the case at least as late as
1987,<60> Chomsky must be considered a political friend of
these neo-Nazis and not the disinterested champion of free
speech that he pretends to be.

There is also the issue of Chomsky's relationships to the
civil liberties of individuals and causes that he
particularly dislikes: first those who have dared to
criticize him, and second the Jews who are persecuted in
Russia and in the Arab world. On these matters Chomsky's
record is anything but civil libertarian.

We have seen that the British linguist Geoffrey Sampson,
having published some mildly critical remarks on Chomsky in
a British work of reference, saw himself banned from the
American edition of that work. Chomsky denies that he was
instrumental in this ban, but his testimony is not
convincing because he also argues in favor of censoring
Sampson <61>:

With regard to a book, readers can form their own
conclusions. But an entry in a reference work is
something quite different. Readers rely on the
reputation of the editors to guarantee that what
is presented is accurate, not fabrication and mere
slander as in this case; and the editors surely
have a responsibility to justify this trust.

Chomsky does not revoke his principle of absolute freedom of
expression of everyone. It's just a matter of a little
exception that he finds necessary: general books may enjoy
freedom, certainly, but books of reference, well, that's an
entirely different story. Chomsky is fond of making up
obfuscating little rules like that. But who is fooled by
that? The record here is very clear: Chomsky will gladly
violate his professed principles if it is a matter of
silencing his critics.

Are there any other limits to Chomsky's generosity on the
matter of civil rights?

Chomsky says that he has been privately active on behalf of
individual dissidents in the Soviet Union, but he has never,
insofar as I have been able to find out, endorsed or aided
the movement to allow the emigration of Soviet Jews. I have
written to him about that, and I have also most particularly
asked him to intervene on behalf of the Jews of Syria.<62>
I was rewarded by a number of vituperative letters from him,
but on the matter of the oppressed Jews he has remained
absolutely obdurate. So when he tells us that he never
refuses to sign petitions on behalf of civil rights48 he
forgets to mention that he does make a tiny little exception
when it comes to the rights of oppressed Jews, his own
people.

To round out the picture of Chomsky's relationship to
Faurisson and the neo-Nazi movement, something needs to be
said about Chomsky's repeated assurances that he disagrees
"diametrically" with Faurisson, that in his opinion the
Holocaust did occur. In fact Chomsky has very few words to
say about the subject, but they are words that he uses
often. He allowed, by way of an obiter dictum in an earlier
book Peace in the Middle East, that the Holocasut had been
"the most fantastic outburst of collective insanity in human
history." Now, whenever his relationship to the neo-Nazis
is in any way challenged, he trots out these very same
words, quoting himself verbatim, neither adding nor
subtracting from this ten-word formula. The abracadabra
nature of this declaration carries little evidence of
conviction and certainly lacks in persuasive power.
Nevertheless, with respect to the historical reality of the
Holocaust and when writing for an American audience,
Chomsky does not wish to be counted among the neo-Nazis.

On the other hand, as we have learned from Guillaume above
and from the published record as well, Chomsky is also very
careful not to let this little disagreement with the neo-
Nazis spoil his good relationship with them. He wrote to
Rubinstein that there is nothing anti-Semitic about
Holocaust-denial; he agreed with Guillaume that belief on
his part in the historical reality of the Holocaust is a
purely personal opinion -- a sort of quirk -- and is not to
be regarded as implying criticism of the "scholarly" work
done by Faurisson.

Chomsky has a well-earned reputation as a vituperative
political polemicist. He has a ready store of invective and
he is not stingy with it when attacking the state of Israel
and anyone to whom that state is dear. But aside from the
ten-word self-exculpatory formula that I have shown, Chomsky
has never, to my knowledge, seen fit to criticize Faurisson
or any other neo-Nazi. His "diametric" disagreement with
such people is obviously not something that occupies him
very seriously.

Now that we have seen some of the ways in which Chomsky has
embroiled himself with the neo-Nazi movement I would like to
consider why and how this could have happened. I do not
propose to speculate, in the manner of the ineffable Doctor
Stein, about unconscious psychological quirks or motives.
The public record alone is quite explicit and suggests two
roots of Chomsky's current neo-Nazism:

A) There is an old ultra-left doctrine of malign
equivalence according to which all worldly government
is equally evil. Chomsky and his friends, under cover
of this neutralist faith, have gone beyond it to
suggest that government and society in the West are in
fact the most evil of all.

B) Certain embittered assimilationist Jewish
individuals have long held that the Jews as a group --
their religion, their society, their leadership -- are
in every way despicable, are authors of their own
misfortune, constitute a danger to the peoples of the
world. This set of opinions is technically known as
"self-hatred" and we shall have to return to it below.

These two tendencies, the self-hatred of some Western
intellectuals and the self-hatred of certain Jews, are
perhaps unexceptionable when moderate and separate. But
Chomsky -- it is said that he is a brilliant man -- has
combined them, twisted them into new forms of absurdity,
invested them with all of his academic prestige and all of
his physical and mental energy, and he has rarely shrunk
from embracing the most extreme and the most hateful
consequences.

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