What I will say in this post is very likely to have a negative effect on Chomsky, and this is – in part, – why I first want to mention another thing.
The thing is the very urgent yet addressed only in an extremely limited way need, characteristic of the moment in history in which I and everyone else now exist, to not let the deceased decompose by burying them underground.
The possibility that it will become possible – within a timeframe of anything between a few and perhaps thirty, forty or – at the maximum – fifty years – to revive these people is by now of such magnitude that not making a decision to seriously consider some large scale implementation – although not in a way which would impinge on a person’s right to not have this done to him or her if there is an absence of his or her own consent – of cryonics would be a mistake of a very large magnitude.
The only counterargument to giving this serious consideration is that there is some possibility – which is not a possibility that I can with certainty claim doesn’t exist, although in my opinion it is something the likelihood of which is very low – that human beings are beings who are by nature impermanent, that is, that the very condition of a person being alive somehow depends on the fact that he or she will have to die. I do not hold to this belief, although I cannot prove otherwise.
Anyway, what I wanted to say was this:
A New York Times interviewer once asked Chomsky whether he ever was psychoanalyzed. His response was:
“I do not think psychoanalysis has a scientific basis. If we can’t explain why a cockroach decides to turn left, how can we explain why a human being decides to do something?”
When Chomsky spoke of the cockroach, what he expressed, rather remotely, was an inner interaction between a person and an internalized image of another, that shows a high level of inequality between the two (and, by extension, between the person and the actual other). One is so high up that the other starts to feel, in relation, as a cockroach, the one taking the high position in this case probably being Chomsky’s father.
The words cock and roach also point to a fear that his father might castrate him.
But what Chomsky is also communicating is a particular kind of answer to the problem of how to manage the influence of one’s same and differing sex family members, usually first thought of as one’s father and mother, although it does not necessarily have to be only one’s father and/or one’s mother. Chomsky holds – and is in part led to hold – (which is the source of all of his political work) that the right way to answer the question is that, even if one’s father was or is very strict, one should still choose to be closer (“turn left”) to one’s mother. He further adds that, in his case, he does so because his mother – or, rather, the inner image of her that is present in his psyche – (“human being”) is very strong (the meaning of the word “decides” should not be understood as that it actually decides, its meaning is something like “influences” or “strongly influences”).
Chomsky is an epitome of having gone in the direction into which he has gone but what he said when he said that sentence is, in my mind, enough to know that it is not the right direction.
One is most likely to achieve good results in one’s attempts to find ways to relate to others when both oneself and other people wish for that which is incompatible when one takes moderate positions.