• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!
  • Welcome to our archives. No new posts are allowed here.

Noam Chomsky On Sports

TimmyBoy

Banned
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Messages
1,466
Reaction score
0
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
I would like to quote from Noam Chomsky's book "Understanding Power" on sports:

"Well, in our society, we have things that you might use your intelligence on, like politics, but people really can't get involved in them in a very serious way- so what they do is they put their minds into other things, such as sports. You're trained to be obedient; you don't have an interesting job; there's no work around for you that's creative; in the cultural environment you're a passive observer of usually pretty tawdry stuff; political and social life are out of your range, they're in the hands of the rich folk. So what's left? Well, one thing that's left is sports- so you put alot of the intelligence and the thought and the self confidence into that. And I suppose that's also one of the basic functions it serves in the society in general: it occupies the population, and keeps them from trying to get involved with things that really matter. In fact, I presume that's part of the reason why spectator sports are supported to the degree they are by the dominant institutions.

And spectator sports also have other useful functions too. For one thing, they're a great way to build up chauvinism- you start by developing these totally irrational loyalties early in life, and they translate very nicely to other areas. I mean, I remember very well in high school having a sudden kind of Erlebnis, you know, a sudden insight, and asking myself, why do I care? Why do I get all excited if the football team wins and all downcast if it loses? And it's true, you do: you're taught from childhood that you've got to worry about the Philadelphia Phillies, where I was....
But the point is, this sense of irrational loyalty to some sort of meaningless community is training for subordination to power, and for chauvinism."
 

TimmyBoy

Banned
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Messages
1,466
Reaction score
0
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
galenrox said:
Well there's no way he's ever coming over for the Bear's game!!! What a frickin buzzkill, I pay attention to sports cause it's fun! He read WAY too far into that!
Heh, well that's your opinion. I never liked sports except ice hockey. Ice hockey is far more exciting to watch and play than other sports on TV. I played for 5 years. But I agree with Chomsky to a large degree.
 

cnredd

Major General Big Lug
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 5, 2005
Messages
8,682
Reaction score
262
Location
Philadelphia,PA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
Sounds to me good ol' Noam got picked last in stickball alot...

Probably right after Stephen Hawking...(HA......HA......HA......HA......HA.....)...
 

TimmyBoy

Banned
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Messages
1,466
Reaction score
0
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
cnredd said:
Sounds to me good ol' Noam got picked last in stickball alot...

Probably right after Stephen Hawking...(HA......HA......HA......HA......HA.....)...
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
 

Deegan

DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
Messages
5,528
Reaction score
2
Location
Chicago
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
LOL, what a f**king nerd!:rofl

That was the most self-serving, egotistical, B.S I have read in a long time. This guy just gets more and more annoying everytime I read his empty verbiage, and rhetoric. He fails to mention the many, many, many wonderful things about team sports, i.e, team work, discipline, fitness, pride, joy, etc, etc, etc. Please do us a favor, keep that limp d**k a**hole out of our sports discussions, he has no clue as to what he is on about!:roll:
 

Donkey1499

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 5, 2005
Messages
3,945
Reaction score
56
Location
Under The Northern Star, Alaska
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
That guy is a frickin' retard! Like that other person above me who posted something similar to what I'm about to write. Chomsky was probably picked last during PE. I don't know who this guy is, so tell me. Is he a fat nerd?
 

TimmyBoy

Banned
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Messages
1,466
Reaction score
0
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Here is an interesting quote:

"Sports plays a societal role in engendering jingoist and chauvinist attitudes. They're designed to organize a community to be committed to their gladiators." -Noam Chomsky
 

SHodges

Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
160
Reaction score
0
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
He's completly right. The people calling him "retarded" (without even the benefit of a high school diploma I dont doubt) reinforce this fact.
 

curt

Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2005
Messages
64
Reaction score
0
Location
Ont, Can
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
SHodges said:
He's completly right. The people calling him "retarded" (without even the benefit of a high school diploma I dont doubt) reinforce this fact.
Okay, he's right. Sports are just a waste of time, a distraction from more important matters. So by that logic one can also write off any forms of entertainment as a distraction from politics, be they music, movies, fictional literature, video games etc. Now I know that you don't waste your time with anything so trivial as these......

Oh yeah, all the diplomas in the world can't make up for common sense. See anarcho-communism.
 

TimmyBoy

Banned
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Messages
1,466
Reaction score
0
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
curt said:
Okay, he's right. Sports are just a waste of time, a distraction from more important matters. So by that logic one can also write off any forms of entertainment as a distraction from politics, be they music, movies, fictional literature, video games etc. Now I know that you don't waste your time with anything so trivial as these......

Oh yeah, all the diplomas in the world can't make up for common sense. See anarcho-communism.

Well, I am certainly not an anarcho-syndaclist nor do I have socialist convictions. The US is not a pure capitalist economy either. I believe in moderation. You don't want pure un-restrained capitalism but on the same token, you don't want pure socialism either.
 

TimmyBoy

Banned
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Messages
1,466
Reaction score
0
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
And even though you or I might not share Chomsky's convictions, he certainly has some valid points in his thinking and it's best to have an open mind and listen to all points of views and then to decide for yourself what exactly your own political convictions are.
 

Red_Dave

Libertarian socialist
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 23, 2005
Messages
6,879
Reaction score
1,715
Location
Staffs, England
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Liberal
Donkey1499 said:
That guy is a frickin' retard! Like that other person above me who posted something similar to what I'm about to write. Chomsky was probably picked last during PE. I don't know who this guy is, so tell me. Is he a fat nerd?
Note the irony in your signature
 

Connecticutter

Active member
Joined
Jun 25, 2005
Messages
432
Reaction score
0
Location
New Haven, CT
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
cnredd said:
Sounds to me good ol' Noam got picked last in stickball alot...
Probably right after Stephen Hawking...
I'd pick Stephen first, too. Now there's a scientist I'd like to meet. I want nothing to do with Chomsky, who clearly sees everything in this world through a single, focused lense.

What Chomsky tells about sports, he'd say about anything. Publicly, he denounces all forms of competition, but privately he vigorously competes for notoriety and influence.

His argument is based on emotion alone. He just wants the non-athletic people to pick on "the jocks" so that they can feel better about themselves. All this coming from a man who denouces hierarchy!
 

RightinNYC

Girthless
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
25,894
Reaction score
12,484
Location
New York, NY
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
Chomsky is an idiot. The ancient Spartans knew what they were on about. Healthy body, healthy mind....
 

TimmyBoy

Banned
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Messages
1,466
Reaction score
0
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Here is more thoughts from the Chomsky Master:

"...another thing you sometimes find in non-literate cultures is development of the most extraordinary linguistic systems: often there's tremendous sophistication about language, and people play all sorts of games with language. So there are puberty rites where people who go through the same initiation period develop their own language that's usually some modification of the actual language, but with quite complex mental operations differentiating it -- then that's theirs for the rest of their lives, and not other people's. And what all these things look like is that people just want to use their intelligence somehow, and if you don't have a lot of technology and so on, you do other things. Well, in our society, we have things that you might use your intelligence on, like politics, but people really can't get involved in them in a very serious way -- so what they do is they put their minds into other things, such as sports. You're trained to be obedient; you don't have an interesting job; there's no work around for you that's creative; in the cultural environment you're a passive observer of usually pretty tawdry stuff; political and social life are out of your range, they're in the hands of the rich folks. So what's left? Well, one thing that's left is sports -- so you put a lot of the intelligence and the thought and the self-confidence into that. And I suppose that's also one of the basic functions it serves in the society in general: it occupies the population, and keeps them from trying to get involved with things that really matter."

Another thought from Chomsky:

"Sports plays a societal role in engendering jingoist and chauvinist attitudes. They're designed to organize a community to be committed to their gladiators."
 

shuamort

Pundit-licious
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Messages
7,297
Reaction score
1,000
Location
Saint Paul, MN
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Me thinks that Chomsky, although an intelligent man, has become much to sheltered in his academic life at MIT. The school is amazing ground for the upper echelons of intelligent folks and being constantly in that microcosm, one might forget that things are different out here.
 

TimmyBoy

Banned
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Messages
1,466
Reaction score
0
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
shuamort said:
Me thinks that Chomsky, although an intelligent man, has become much to sheltered in his academic life at MIT. The school is amazing ground for the upper echelons of intelligent folks and being constantly in that microcosm, one might forget that things are different out here.
You don't think their is not the slightest bit to Chomsky's views on sports? I would like to point out that Chomsky spends most of his time traveling around the world rather than sitting in his office at MIT.
 

shuamort

Pundit-licious
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Messages
7,297
Reaction score
1,000
Location
Saint Paul, MN
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
TimmyBoy said:
You don't think their is not the slightest bit to Chomsky's views on sports? I would like to point out that Chomsky spends most of his time traveling around the world rather than sitting in his office at MIT.
I think Chomsky is looking at sports in a very linear way and eschewing the sociological components of it. It's more than the simplicity that he seems to be claiming. His comparison is akin to saying "eggs have cholesterol and are therefore bad for consumption" while ignoring a lot of the benefits that eggs do provide and the fact that bodies do require moderate cholesterol.
 

TimmyBoy

Banned
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Messages
1,466
Reaction score
0
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
shuamort said:
I think Chomsky is looking at sports in a very linear way and eschewing the sociological components of it. It's more than the simplicity that he seems to be claiming. His comparison is akin to saying "eggs have cholesterol and are therefore bad for consumption" while ignoring a lot of the benefits that eggs do provide and the fact that bodies do require moderate cholesterol.
Chomsky's claims seems to have some legitimacy to it. You look at how people act during a football game. You see chauvinism, violence and barbaric behavior.
 

TimmyBoy

Banned
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Messages
1,466
Reaction score
0
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
And you can see how sports has helped to implant in the minds of people to be loyal to authority or "your team" no matter how wrong authority might be. It helps to engineer the mentality of subordination to authority and tyranny.
 

shuamort

Pundit-licious
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Messages
7,297
Reaction score
1,000
Location
Saint Paul, MN
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
TimmyBoy said:
Chomsky's claims seems to have some legitimacy to it. You look at how people act during a football game. You see chauvinism, violence and barbaric behavior.
Sure, now look at tennis or golf. Do you see the same thing? He's painting with a very broad brush.
 

TimmyBoy

Banned
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Messages
1,466
Reaction score
0
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
shuamort said:
Sure, now look at tennis or golf. Do you see the same thing? He's painting with a very broad brush.
Hmm, good point.
 

Connecticutter

Active member
Joined
Jun 25, 2005
Messages
432
Reaction score
0
Location
New Haven, CT
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Yeah, you can just as easily criticise music because many times it is performed with a heirarchy of individuals. It teaches you to blindly follow the conductor. Hitler liked music.

I can go on and on, and it's all nonsense.
 

Donkey1499

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 5, 2005
Messages
3,945
Reaction score
56
Location
Under The Northern Star, Alaska
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Connecticutter said:
Yeah, you can just as easily criticise music because many times it is performed with a heirarchy of individuals. It teaches you to blindly follow the conductor. Hitler liked music.

I can go on and on, and it's all nonsense.
Have you ever been in a high school band? The conductor is actually there just to keep the tempo and to show the different sections when they need to enter or go silent. The musicians actually rely on the sheet music that is in front of them.
 
Top Bottom