Chomsky and Competitive Team Sports

Chomsky apparently does not like competitive team sports. He must hate the Super Bowl. I am not myself a fan — except for the advertisements.

Man is the most playful of all animals, thanks to his fertile mind. The biological nature of man leads him to like games and sports. A minority, which apparently includes Chomsky, may not enjoy competitive team sports like football, but these minority preferences do not allow their holders to denigrate other people’s preferences.

There is another sense in which competitive team sports are less harmless. They belong to a primitive instinct that leads us to root for our group: the tribe, the local club, the nation. As Friedrich Hayek has shown, this primitive instinct works against the Great Society with its abstract rule-based order, its individual liberty, and its prosperity.

Chomsky, however, is not well positioned to criticized sports in the name of a Great Society in which he does not believe.