I really seek out Noamster-bashing on the part of the right (and some elements of the left), because I figure someone there actively engaging what he says might cause me to look at it differently.
Y'know, thesis, antithesis, synthesis, and all that good shit.
And yes, left-right is that dualistic stuff I said I was so over. The circumlocutions wouldn't make this any clearer, so let's just accept the labels, realizing they're pretty much intellectually bankrupt, and move on.
Trouble is, most of the bashing is just. . . bashing. Ad hominem attacks, misquoting, ignoring the extensive footnotes. . . it's sad, really. Anyone seen a decent counterargument to anything he's written?
Such practices reflect a trap deeply rooted in the intellectual culture generally — a trap sometimes called the doctrine of change of course, invoked in the United States every two or three years. The content of the doctrine is: "Yes, in the past we did some wrong things because of innocence or inadvertence. But now that's all over, so let's not waste any more time on this boring, stale stuff."
The doctrine is dishonest and cowardly, but it does have advantages: It protects us from the danger of understanding what is happening before our eyes.
For example, the Bush administration's original reason for going to war in Iraq was to save the world from a tyrant developing weapons of mass destruction and cultivating links to terror. Nobody believes that now, not even Bush's speech writers.
The new reason is that we invaded Iraq to establish a democracy there and, in fact, to democratize the whole Middle East.
That's from Selective Memory and a Dishonest Doctrine, originally published in the Toronto Star, presented for those of us south of the border by Common Dreams. Since the prophet is without no damn honor in his own crib, and the mainstream media tends to ignore the guy like the plague.
And if there is a cult of personality around the man, it ain't something he's cultivated, and from what I've seen ain't something he really wants. . .