Sociological Law

They don’t know themselves
and they don’t want anyone else to know.
Noam Chomsky

I quote from a Noam Chomsky interview [2013 sorry, link outdated]:

The humanitarian catastrophe is traceable to the United States and its allies, and therefore it is not going to be investigated. That is almost a historical law.

I add a bit more context:

Whatever the estimates are, it is somewhere in the neighborhood of several millions. When people in the United States are asked to estimate the number of Vietnamese dead, the median response is 100,000, a number that gives you the impression of the way the culture works. For example, if in Germany you asked how many people died in the Holocaust and they said 200,000, you would think there is a problem in German culture. This is comparable, but it is our atrocity, and therefore the intellectual classes and the media and anyone responsible for controlling thought and opinion suppress it. They don’t know themselves and they don’t want anyone else to know.

It is going to be the same in Afghanistan. The humanitarian catastrophe is traceable to the United States and its allies, and therefore it is not going to be investigated. That is almost a historical law.

I expand the quote only slightly further (the context being the US not sending forensic experts to Indonesia):

… since it does not want to find out what happened. This is radically different from Kosovo, where they are desperately eager to find any trace of an atrocity; by contrast, in East Timor, they are desperate not to find any traces of atrocities. That’s the way it works. If you can blame atrocities on someone else, they become huge crimes against humanity and there is no limit to our indignation and self-righteousness. If, however, the crimes are ours, they have to be suppressed.

Our regulating what we can learn by our regulating what we can see is a point so basic to Knatz.com that it even appears in my main teaching directory: “… the culture will not see what it does not wish to.” Seek the whole Chomsky interview and read it: the URL [was] above. Indeed: seek all of Chomsky’s public affairs writings of the past several decades. But before you run off, follow this additional point of mine:

We need a God, desperately, because the home team must never be indulged in its readiness to judge itself, to write its own “history.” My writing here at Knatz.com should be treated with great suspicion: not judged guilty, just treated with suspicion: until my claims are investigated: honestly and objectively investigated. It’s the evidence that should influence you, not my or anyone else’s arguments about it.

evidence
thanx theweek

Self-justifications shouldn’t prevail until the facts are found to support the claim. (If civilization is still alive and functional in one thousand years, then I’ll agree that there was no reason to listen to me.)

Oedipus sought the killer of his predecessor. His investigations led him to the culprit: himself. He abdicated his kingship, self-punished with blindness. The kingdom was screwed: which gods should tolerate the people whose king was a murderer, parricide, regicide … adulterer, and committer of incest?

Gee, and we thought he was such a nice guy: just like us, only better.

How many Oedipuses have there been since that mythic one? Any? Try naming one.

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About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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