The Spine

Venezuela's Top Chomskyite

By and

As for President Chávez, he did his hero Noam Chomsky a big favor by holding up his book, Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance, at the General Assembly podium. Now, Chomsky is no stranger to big audiences. But this kind of attention ... that may be a bit heady even for him. On the other hand, according to Helene Cooper in yesterday's New York Times, Chávez later lamented at a news conference that he hadn't met Chomsky before the great linguist died. Well, Chomsky is alive and, I assume, well. It's his ideas that are dead, dead, that is, intellectually. But his intellectual effeteness doesn't keep the young people who idolize him from translating his words into slogans, which many of his words already are.

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