Marx, Lenin, Shakespeare, Aristotle, the Bible, Plato, Freud, Chomsky, Hegel and Cicero: One of these things is not like the others. All of them are ten of the most cited authors of all time, but only one of them is currently living.
Noam Chomsky has been called the world’s “top public intellectual.”
In the early stages of his career he revolutionized the study of language — an accomplishment that alone would have ensured the preservation of his legacy in the history of science forever. He has contributed more than 30 books to the field.
Thus, like many people all throughout Gainesville and North Central Florida in general, I was overjoyed to hear that Chomsky was expected to speak at UF this Fall.
However, it is now unknown whether or not Chomsky will be welcome to speak at UF, and if he will be allotted a venue worthy of the occasion.
It would be criminal to not do everything in our power as a university to host an address by the famous thinker.
An appropriate analogy would be if students at an 18th-century French university were not sure whether or not they could accommodate a public lecture by Voltaire.
Residents of Gainesville, I urge you to demand Chomsky be welcome to speak in a venue that gives the most people possible an opportunity to see and hear what he has to say.
To pass up this opportunity would not only be a mistake but a disturbing act of ignorance.
This letter to the editor ran on page 7 on 9/20/2013 under the headline "Bring Noam Chomsky to UF"