noam chomsky

independent.co.uk
Noam Chomsky called this political moment 6 years ago
Back in April 2010, Noam Chomsky offered a dark vision of America's future that was easily dismissed. Today, as America votes Donald Trump President-elect, it has turned out to be painfully accurate.

“The United States is extremely lucky that no honest, charismatic figure has arisen. Every charismatic figure is such an obvious crook that he destroys himself, like McCarthy or Nixon or the evangelist preachers. If somebody comes along who is charismatic and honest this country is in real trouble because of the frustration, disillusionment, the justified anger and the absence of any coherent response. What are people supposed to think if someone says ‘I have got an answer, we have an enemy’? There it was the Jews. Here it will be the illegal immigrants and the blacks. We will be told that white males are a persecuted minority. We will be told we have to defend ourselves and the honor of the nation. Military force will be exalted. People will be beaten up. This could become an overwhelming force. And if it happens it will be more dangerous than Germany. The United States is the world power. Germany was powerful but had more powerful antagonists. I don’t think all this is very far away. If the polls are accurate it is not the Republicans but the right-wing Republicans, the crazed Republicans, who will sweep the next election.”

The United States is opposed, naturally, to any attempt on the part of any society to use its resources for its own purposes, instead of to integrate itself into what we call an “open world” system, which means a system that’s open to American economic penetration and political control. If any society deviates from that, whether it’s capitalist, fascist, communist or whatever, the United States will oppose it.
—  Noam Chomsky

A great deal of my knowledge of history, politics, and international affairs comes from the books I read. I highly recommend them, especially in the age of Trump:

  • A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn: By my junior year of college, my politics had shifted from relatively conservative (yup, I leaned Republican for most of my life) to moderately liberal. After reading this book, I was firmly liberal. The sheer amount of information Zinn presents that you never learn in school is incredible. I consider this essential reading for every single American.
  • The Zinn Reader: Writings on Disobedience and Democracy, Howard Zinn: An indispensable collection of Howard Zinn’s writings on everything from race, to war, to social justice. Some of the best essays: Machiavellian Realism and US Foreign Policy: Means and Ends, Law and Justice, The Problem Is Civil Obedience
  • Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians, Noam Chomsky: Written in 1983 after the Israeli invasion and occupation of Lebanon, Chomsky utilizes primary sources (translated from Hebrew and other languages by Chomsky himself) hardly, if ever, presented to an American audience to reveal the truth about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Any Jews who support the Israeli government would do well to read this, and then try to justify themselves.
  • Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War, Michael Isikoff & David Corn: An indispensable book about the failures and crimes of the Bush administration that led the US into a costly, unnecessary war in Iraq. Everyone needs to read this book. Absolutely jaw-dropping.
  • Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003-2005, Thomas E. Ricks: Written in 2006 in the wake of the disastrous invasion of Iraq, this book gives extraordinary military insight to complement the focus on the political end of the Iraq War. A good companion piece to Hubris, and great insight into military strategy for those of us who haven’t studied it before.
  • Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces, Radley Balko: Astonishing and infuriating, and absolutely essential. This book is no liberal anti-cop smear: It is a bold and honest look at the government’s dangerous practice of preparing our police across the nation to violate all of the constitutional rights we hold dear, and denying accountability. 
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle Alexander: A companion piece to Rise of the Warrior Cop, focusing on the racism that underlies nationwide law enforcement. 

Chomsky warns ‘con man’ Trump will drag civilization down to the ‘utter depths of barbarism’

“Chomsky said while Trump frequently reneges on his commitments, one he’s never backed down from his commitment to loosen regulations designed to combat climate change, calling it his ‘most dangerous’ position. Noting we’re on the verge of an ‘environmental catastrophe,’ Chomsky said efforts to address the issue are ‘urgent, and [Trump] wants to retard’ them.

‘The U.S. now has, literally, thanks to him and the Republican Party, the worst position in the world on this issue,’ Chomsky argued.”

Noam Chomsky: Seeing Donald Trump win reminded me of listening to Hitler’s rallies as a boy

Linguist also says he believes a ‘militant labour movement’ could unseat the magnate in 2020

Noam Chomsky has spoken of how watching the results come in on the night of Donald Trump’s US election victory dredged up memories of his feelings after listening to Hitler’s Nuremberg rallies as a boy.

The linguist was speaking during the 20th anniversary party for online news channel Democracy Now. He told audience members that spending November 8 in Barcelona had a “special personal resonance” because his first published article was about the city’s fall to dictator Francisco Franco’s forces during the Spanish Civil War.

He had written about “the apparently inexorable spread of fascism over Europe and maybe the whole world”, he said.

He added: “I’m old enough to have been able to listen to Hitler’s speeches, the Nuremberg rallies, not understanding the words, but the tone and the reaction of the crowd was enough to leave indelible memories.

"And watching those results come in did arouse some pretty unpleasant memories, along with what is happening in Europe now, which, in many ways, is pretty frightening, as well.”

Mr Chomsky also said he believed Donald Trump supporters could be enticed to vote Democrat again if the Bernie Sanders movement offered a real program for “hope and change”.

On the same evening  Vice President Joe Biden said he might run for president in 2020, Mr Chomsky told the audience that reigniting a “militant labour movement” could swing the next election.

He said American workers have been beaten down for decades with weakened labour unions and stagnant wage growth since neo-liberal policies were instituted in 1979. President Obama’s supporters in 2008 and 2012 were voting for his slogan of “hope and change”, but were disappointed.