After the mostly civil discussion I incited last time, I thought I'd raise another if slightly similar topic!
I've been reading up on some of Noam Chomsky as of late..I never knew he was quite so Anti-American. That's not to say he hasn't criticized other nations or governments in the past, but I've noticed a constant trend of his to relate every event with the US and other Western countries like the UK.....and not in a positive way I might add.
We can probably all agree that a lot of US mass media is woefully flawed and unbalanced. Fox news being the obvious example. Chomsky has certainly wrote good stuff about all this, but from my reading, he seems to over exaggerate the role of American media on the rest of the world outside the US. He seems to suggest that it's the worst kind of media and communications censorship/control that has ever existed. For instance, a quote from him:
"Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media."
I don't know about you guys, but I find this rather absurd. The fact that we as Western civilisations have the right and the option to dissent against different opinions, let alone learn about others (sometimes to a fault) via means such as the internet, a mostly free database of the world's information, is a great thing. Plus, we have the option to switch off Fox News. We can ignore CNN, MSNBC, or even some ranting political scribbler on a blog or loudmouth on Youtube, should we so choose. That's not to say there's not problems with mass media in the US, as i've said. but it seems to me that Chomsky overstates its dominance in comparison with the rest of the world. No one gets those options in places like North Korea for example, which seems to be hugely depressing and degrading in just about every way that offends us as moral beings.They are only ever allowed to absorb ONE THREAD of information... wretched scores of forced propaganda and leader worship.
To focus on the US as the main problem seems strangely narrow-minded. I've read people saying that he primarily writes about the US because he's a citizen and is simply being critical of his own country, but I think it's pretty clear to see how his perception of his home nation overrides his acknowledgment of more/equally problematic ones.