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Noam Chomsky: Linguist, Socio-Political Thinker, and 'the Elvis of Academia'
Noam Chomsky was born in the USA in 1928. His father was a scholar and his mother a teacher, and they sent him to an experimental school for his early education. By the time he was around ten years old he was spending time at what he describes as 'anarchist' book shops in New York City, learning from the émigrés there. Also at the age of ten he wrote his first essay, about the rise of fascism in Spain, for his school newspaper.
In a sense, Chomsky has had two careers. One as an expert in linguists, a field in which he has made a lasting contribution, and which was his chosen vocation. The other as a political commentator, focusing on the USA, where his skill at deconstructing the propaganda of the establishment is held in high esteem around the world.
As well as working as a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA, Noam Chomsky has published books and articles on both of his areas of interest; in fact, more than thirty books over the last thirty years. He has travelled the world carrying out speaking engagements, where his schedule is often fully booked two years in advance.
Yet despite his political work being widely cited in scholarly journals - third only to the Bible and Shakespeare - the views he expresses are comprehensively ignored by commentators, academics, the media, and, of course, politicians. For his analysis of USA governmental policies both past and present, Noam has been accused of 'reflexive anti-Americanism' and 'ferocious anti-Americanism.' Websites and books have been created to attack his arguments, and him as a person. What is it about this man, who Bono of rock band U2 called 'the Elvis of academia,' that provokes such conscious and unconscious hostility?
Noam Chomsky's birth chart
Noam's birth time is not known so this chart is calculated for noon on the day he was born. The house cusps are therefore impossible to determine. We also need to exercise caution when looking at the Moon's sign and aspects, because it moved into Scorpio later on the day of birth.
The 'sage' in Sagittarius
With his Sagittarian Sun sandwiched between Mercury and Saturn, this is a classic astrological signature of 'teacher.' The Sun is also on the halfway point between Mercury and Saturn, which is phrased as 'the Sun is on the Mercury/Saturn midpoint.' This doubles up and strengthens the themes involved: serious focusing of the intellect, in-depth long-term studies, professionalism and learning combined together. Taken together, this cluster is the archetype of the wise old man, or sage. This trio of planets also symbolises his 'Hebrew scholar' father.
In true Sagittarian style, Noam favours honesty and condemns hypocrisy, adding a Saturnian streak of responsibility and standards:
"One moral truism that should not provoke controversy is the principle of universality: We should apply to ourselves the same standards we apply to others—in fact, more stringent ones."
Rebel with a cause
Mars in Cancer square to Uranus in Aries reflects his focus on fighting for and defending human rights. This is an aspect of agitation, dissent, defence of the weak and the oppressed, liberation from oppression, standing up for the right to self-determination and to form or break bonds at will, rather than be tied to the apron strings. One of Noam Chomsky's core views on successive USA governments' foreign policies is that foreign countries are classified as 'rogue states' only when they seek independence from being a client-state or a puppet of the USA. He also considers himself to be a 'libertarian anarchist.' All this is aptly shown by this Mars configuration.
Challenging the legitimacy of social authority
What links these things together is a configuration between Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto. These three outer planets are all septile to one another in Noam's chart, with Uranus positioned exactly halfway between Saturn and Pluto, on the Saturn/Pluto midpoint. Because this configuration links with his Sun, it becomes a personal, ego-based configuration, at the core of his life and character. A quote from Chomsky on authority (Saturn) and power (Pluto) illustrates this:
"The core of the anarchist tradition, as I understand it, is that power is always illegitimate, unless it proves itself to be legitimate. So the burden of proof is always on those who claim that some authoritarian hierarchic relation is legitimate. If they can't prove it, then it should be dismantled."
A further quote again reflects this combination of planets:
"If you think about the core notions of what I was calling anarchism, which, as I say, is deeply rooted in popular traditions everywhere (for good reasons), if you try to take it apart, it's based on a conception of what Bakunin once called "an instinct for freedom," that people have an instinctive drive for freedom from domination and control. I can't prove it, but I think that's probably true."
In the above quote, domination and control relate to Saturn and Pluto, with the instinct for freedom being represented by Uranus.
Because Chomsky considers it the responsibility of intellectuals to 'speak the truth and expose lies,' the result is a challenge (Mars, Uranus) to the establishment powers that be (Saturn, Pluto). The powers that be then respond in a manner characteristic of the darker side of Saturn-Pluto: viciously condemn and denigrate the person, and block, deny, and ignore the debate.
Chomsky's role in the USA
If we take the position of Uranus in Noam Chomsky's chart and place it into the chart of the USA, it lies on the IC. Thus the role that Noam plays within the nation is to shake it up, to rattle its cage, to dissent, to awaken, to galvanise. Backing this up is Noam's Sun on the USA's Mars/Uranus midpoint - if Sun=Mars/Uranus does not signify 'activist' then nothing does.
If we do the same with Noam's Saturn, we find that it lies directly opposite the USA's Mars. This symbolises Chomsky's work in encouraging the USA to take responsibility (Saturn) for its aggression (Mars).
That Chomsky functions as a mouthpiece of American social opinion is indicated by his Sun and Mercury lying close to the USA's Ascendant, with the country's Ascendant actually on the midpoint of Sun/Mercury.
Interestingly, his Chiron is on the USA's Sun/Moon and AS/MC midpoints, reflecting how painful his presence is for the establishment, but also indicating that his role is fundamental to the nation's wholeness and healing. With Pluto on the nation's 8th house cusp, placed on its Sun/Mercury and Saturn/Chiron midpoints, he is bound to dredge up the country's dark underbelly and bring it into the light to be detoxified. His capacity to be forensic in his investigations about the machinations of those exercising the nation's power is clearly signified here, as is the nation's resistance to the pain of exposure.
His Sun/Pluto midpoint being on the USA's MC again shows this light-dark theme. It illustrates how Chomsky can ultimately play a part in reorienting the countrys aims and modus operandi for the good of the whole.
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