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So I listened to the following Yaron Brook podcast question. 

 

http://www.peikoff.com/2014/01/13/to-yb-what-is-your-opinion-of-noam-chomsky/

The questioner asks if Brook would be interested in a debate with Noam Chomsky about the Israel-Arab Conflict. Yaron says in response "No, it will never ever happen, over my dead body will I get up on stage with a scum like Noam Chosmky... I would never sanction his existence his existence by getting up on stage with him".

 

His reasoning is Chomsky's denial of the Cambodian genocide.  

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambodian_genocide_denial#Chomsky

 

Linguist Noam Chomsky was among the academics who attempted to refute Barron, Paul, Ponchaud, and Lacouture. On June 6, 1977, he and his collaborator, Edward S. Herman, published a review of Barron and Paul's, Ponchaud's, and Porter's books in The Nation. He called Barron and Paul's book "third rate propaganda" and part of a "vast and unprecedented propaganda campaign" against the Khmer Rouge. He said Ponchaud was "worth reading" but unreliable. Chomsky said that refugee stories of Khmer Rouge atrocities should be treated with great "care and caution" as no independent verification was available. By contrast, Chomsky was highly favorable toward the book by Porter and Hildebrand, which portrayed Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge as a "bucolic idyll."[10] Chomsky also opined that the documentation of Gareth Porter's book was superior to that of Ponchaud's -- although almost all the references cited by Porter came from Khmer Rouge documents while Ponchaud's came from interviews with Cambodian refugees.[11]

 

I think Brook's reaction to Chomsky is fascinating. For one, Chomsky is a sacred cow. Brook has a lot of reasons to hate the guy for sure, and its interesting to hear him so strongly condemn this man. 

 

However, what I don't understand is why Brook wouldn't debate this guy. I would love to see Chomsky get smashed in a debate by Brook, and I don't think that it would be sanctioning him to do so. As someone who has debated White Nationalists and Nazis,  and much worse people, I don't think I have done anything wrong in doing so. I think I often make convincing arguments that actually dissuade people from those beliefs. 

 

I find that his "Condemnation" tactic just allows opposition to say "Here is a man who can not argue with my beliefs!". I think it is important to reach out to people who are confused, or perhaps sitting on the fence, or maybe rational people who may have come to some very wrong conclusions. Why wouldn't a debate with Chomsky be worth it? It just seems like bad propaganda.  

Edited by Hairnet
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There are many forms of trade, besides just exchanging money for goods and services. By agreeing to go on stage with someone and debate them, you are agreeing to a trade of some kind. It depends on the specifics exactly what kind of trade it is, but it is trading value for value. Yaron would be getting something out of the arrangement, and so would Chomsky (if he ever agreed to it, that's why he would do it).

 

There are people who are simply evil. They should never be traded with, in any way. They should be shunned, as a matter of principle. Trading with evil is a compromise that can only benefit evil.

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Alan Dershowitz did a good job with Chomsky here:

I recall he kept referring to disputed factual assertions as coming from "Planet Chomsky".

Chomsky was of course wrong about Cambodia, but I don't believe he's a denier of it now, he only cast doubt on it at the time. I believe, and I might be getting myself in trouble here because this memory is pretty vague, but didn't Rand cast doubt on the bad business that was going on in Chile after Allende's ouster? It would have been in an interview, sorry I have no reference. So no one's perfect, certainly not about live conflicts abroad filtered through propaganda and rumor.

Anyway, a serious debate with Chomsky? Wow, that might be something. Hate to say it, but that would be no job for Yaron Brook. Chomsky would bury him up to his neck in references, then decapitate him.

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There are many forms of trade, besides just exchanging money for goods and services. By agreeing to go on stage with someone and debate them, you are agreeing to a trade of some kind. It depends on the specifics exactly what kind of trade it is, but it is trading value for value. Yaron would be getting something out of the arrangement, and so would Chomsky (if he ever agreed to it, that's why he would do it).

 

There are people who are simply evil. They should never be traded with, in any way. They should be shunned, as a matter of principle. Trading with evil is a compromise that can only benefit evil.

 

Debates can be zero-sum though. It would be analogous to gambling or a duel.Considering how hostile Brook and Chomsky would be to one another, I would guess it would be that sort of debate. So you wouldn't agree to the Debate because someone both people are gaining from it, but because you hope to make the other lose something. 

 

@Ninth Doctor

 

I don't think Rand ever published material on the Pinochet. Chomsky did. 

Edited by Hairnet
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It struck me forcefully that this debate was a battle between a conceptualist (AD)and an anti-conceptualist (NC).

 

You are right, ND, Chomsky buries you in references (and bores you to death). A prime skeptic.

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I don't mean to derail the thread or change the subject, but do please share what kind of people you regard as "much worse" than Nazis!!

 

Most of them will never have their ideas realized in reality so it doesn't really matter.

 

What I have learned though is that it doesn't matter how absurd an idea is, there is a group of people who will seriously argue for it.  An example is a somewhat popular vlogger on youtube named Immendham (or something like that) who stated in a lengthy podcast that it would be ethical to push a button that would end all life because it would put an end to all suffering, and that he himself would be willing to do this. 

 

The Green-Anarchist types who want to end civilization and technology are pretty bad also.

 

In terms of real world political movements, its difficult to say who is more evil than who because of historical circumstance. People who identify as National Socialists on the internet today are probably not as bad as people who Identify themselves on the internet as "Third World Maoists". I actually saw one of these people get on the front page of Reddit, and I was disgusted. There are active terrorist groups in India who support a variation of that ideology. I am not aware of National Socialist terrorist groups, I am under the impression that National Socialists just mostly do protests and troll the internet. 

Edited by Hairnet
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