Monday, 19 October 2015

Response to Gad Saad and his "six degrees of Noam Chomsky thinking"

Gad Saad's attempt to repurpose the six degrees of separation theory[1] to show how apparently "delusional" it is to suggest that United States foreign policy has a penetrating global influence, is barely anything new. Here, I will briefly explain why Saad's thought experiment is simply another confusing and misrepresentative attack, in the grand old line of such attacks, against those critical of the role played by the sole global superpower.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Response to Rajiv Malhotra's article entitled "The Hindu Grand Narrative"

In an online column for Organiser,[1] author Rajiv Malhotra argues for a "grand narrative" to be constructed by "Indians, especially Hindus", among whom there is apparently a "crisis of . . . leadership", so that they may "establis[h] collective identities" on the world stage. In doing so, Malhotra feels Hindus would successfully "compet[e]" for cultural ground in the global battle to "interpre[t] the past", and point the way for the future.

Here I would like to evaluate Malhotra's case.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Response to Ian Williams' exchange with Noam Chomsky regarding Kosovo, humanitarian intervention, and East Timor

In August and September 2009, Ian Williams and Noam Chomsky exchanged articles on the website Foreign Policy In Focus[1] concerning the Kosovo war and NATO military intervention. Here, I would like to evaluate Ian Williams' responses in that exchange.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Response to Ravi Kiran's blog post entitled "Why Government"

This article is the continuation of a series of articles responding to blog posts on Ravi Kiran's blog.[1] Here, I address Kiran's post on the 8th of September 2013 entitled "Why Government".[2] In it, Kiran touches on many concepts relating to society, ethics, democracy, socialism, division of labour, anarchy, and the free market. Using a string of examples, he argues for a "limited government" approach that will "let individuals dictate their own lives" which, he says, will improve on the unsatisfactory status quo, i.e. one of corrupt governments that are incapable of meeting the demands placed upon them by the "mob" of the public.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Response to Ravi Kiran's blog post entitled "Modi-My Observations"

This is the second article in a series of articles pertaining to Ravi Kiran's posts on his blog "Ravithinks".[1] In this article, I address Kiran's views on the then-prime ministerial candidate, and now Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi,[2] as expressed in Kiran's article entitled "Modi-My Observations", which was published on the 9th of February 2013.[3]

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Response to Tom Suarez's article entitled "Chomsky and BDS"

This article is a slightly modified version of a Facebook comment previously made by me[1] in response to a Facebook post from the journalist and blogger Jonathan Cook.[2] In that Facebook post, Cook offers an article by Tom Suarez in Mondoweiss[3] as being, in Cook's eyes, a good starting point for criticisms of Chomsky's position on the one-state/two-state debate that has been elucidated in multiple fora, for example in a recent article for The Nation[4], and in a 2010 interview.[5]

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Response to Ravi Kiran's blog post entitled "There is no poverty except thought poverty"

This will most likely be the first of many articles addressing the political views expressed in a WordPress blog called "Ravithinks".[1] This blog was brought to my attention by certain friends who noticed that the views espoused therein, belonging to a blogger called Ravi Kiran,[2] are quite different to my own sociopolitical views. In presenting Kiran's ideas to me, my friends and I began to have a quite prolonged discussion that they thought deserved a more formal exposition. I hope I can offer that here.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Gatekeeping is in the eye of the beholder: a critique of James Corbett's podcast entitled "Meet Noam Chomsky, Academic Gatekeeper"


In his podcast on the 27th of October 2013,[1] online blogger and current affairs analyst James Corbett aims to show that Noam Chomsky,[2] the influential linguistics professor and political dissident, is an "academic gatekeeper" that is stifling or diverting dissent or critical engagement in three specific areas of public discourse:

  • attitudes towards the Federal Reserve System,
  • attitudes towards the John F. Kennedy (JFK) assassination,
  • and attitudes towards the 9/11 truth movement.

Corbett identifies these three topics as currently lacking sufficiently widespread public examination and proposes that Chomsky's views are a contributing factor in opposing, belittling, or marginalising such public examination of these issues.

In my opinion, Corbett's approach suffers from the following problems that limit diligent exploration of his chosen topic:

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Purpose of this blog

I am starting this blog as an outlet for critical views relating to social justice, politics, and current affairs. I do not expect to be propounding any of my own opinions outside of a review context, for example of an online article or video that I come across or to which I am referred by friends. My guiding philosophy here is very much in line with Francis Bacon's advice on studies:
Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. (source)
Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man; and writing an exact man. (source)