Noam Chomsky: Post-structural Anarchist

Prakash Kona


Noam Chomsky (an essentialist who subscribes to the Cartesian notion of the mind) is one of the most articulate of modern intellectuals. This essay attempts to unravel the connection between Chomsky’s notion of language as connected to an innate device in the mind and the making of an anarchist society based on the libertarian philosophy of Bakunin, Kropotkin, Thoreau, Orwell and Russell. Who is a libertarian and how is s/he different from a liberal and what is her connection with language? Is there a human nature or is it a political discourse that is, in essence, libertarian? How does Chomsky’s view of human nature apply to women, children, gays, lesbians and other minority groups? What has language to do with human nature? In a fundamental way, I attempted to read in Chomsky’s writings a connection between language as human nature and anarchy as a philosophy of social transformation. The focus of this essay is to show how Chomsky opens himself to a post-structural reading which involves reading a text at multiple levels in this case Chomsky as a language theorist, libertarian socialist, essentialist and political critic -- and examine the strands of similarity that run through his writings that for short of a better word could be termed a Chomskyean world-view.

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