The establishment

Noam Chomsky is a good example to show establishment thinking.

Chomsky is often dismissed by academics. The grounds for dismissal are many. There are better models of the press. His language is imprecise. He’s a linguist, not a political scientist/journalist/communication theorist/historian.. etc., in other words he’s from outside whatever legitimated academic discipline is being used to dismiss him. His work is too American. His work is too simple. You get the feeling in academic circles that it would be best if Chomsky were simply forgotten.

In academic circles the complaint is his popularity, which is completely the opposite of the academic label that’s used to dismiss him in the popular (corporate) press. How can completely contradictory criteria be used by two very different organizations?

Chomsky is a critical writer who’s been working on the front lines of the social justice movement for decades. As a worker for social change, he calls for changes in established social organization. This is a threat to anyone whose status depends on an established social organization, so for an established organization that communicates in the language of a middling 6th grader Chomsky is too academic and for the academic world which communicates in fashionable obfuscating jargon he’s too simple. But the relationship he’s got to these two social organization is a desire to see them changed. Because these social organizations are a collection of bodies working to maintain their status within the establishment it is the desire of these bodies to see Chomsky’s work discredited.


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