• Live
    • Audio Only
  • google plus
  • facebook
  • twitter
News > World

Noam Chomsky: Electing the President of an Empire

Published 1 February 2016

At the start of U.S. primary season, teleSUR revisits this important take on the political playing field by famed intellectual Noam Chomsky in an interview with Abby Martin.

The Republican Party has “abandoned any pretense of being a normal political party” to become “a radical insurgency which has abandoned parliamentary politics,” according to renowned academic Noam Chomsky during an interview in October for teleSUR with Abby Martin.

He said this pro-war, right-wing shift has been a result of the implementation of neoliberal policies, which shifted both parties to the right, pushing the Republicans “off the spectrum,” in Martin’s show, “The Empire Files.”

“They became so dedicated to the interests of the extreme wealth and powerful that they couldn't get votes,” Chomsky said. “So they had to turn to other constituencies that were there, but were never politically mobilized, like Christian evangelicals (and) people who are so terrified that they have to carry a gun into a coffee shop.”

If the U.S. were to implement policy based on Republican theories, the whole society would collapse

IN DEPTH: US Presidential Elections

Chomsky said the result is that today's Democrats have shifted to the right as well.

“Today's mainstream Democrats are pretty much what used to be called moderate Republicans,” he said. “Someone like Eisenhower, for example, would be considered way out on the left.”

He calls today's Republican “libertarian” principles “anarcho-capitalism,” saying that if the U.S. were to implement policy based on those theories, “the whole society would collapse ... it would be tyranny.”

Traditional libertarianism was a left-wing ideology, Chomsky explains, opposed to master-servant relations, “but not in this version.”

Chomsky talks about Bernie Sanders, who is considered the most left-wing and progressive of the presidential candidates, calling him important and impressive, saying he is “doing good and courageous things.” However, he says, Sanders' campaign “ought to be directed to sustaining a popular movement which will use the election as an incentive, but then go on, but unfortunately it's not.”

“When the election's over, the movement's going to die,” Chomsky observes. “The only thing that's ever going to bring about any meaningful change is ongoing, dedicated popular movements, which don't pay any attention to the election cycle.”

“What right do we have to kill somebody in some other country who we don't like?”

Chomsky also discusses the U.S. history of warmongering, especially in the Middle East. His observation is that in the current landscape of U.S. presidential contenders there is not one true anti-war candidate.

“For example, Obama is considered an anti-war candidate (but) Obama is running a global terror program of a kind that has never been seen before, the drone program,” he said.

OPINION: Bernie Sanders May Not Be a Hawk, But He's Also No Dove

“What right do we have to kill somebody in some other country who we don't like?”

Even if the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, which the United States bombed in October, had been only full of Taliban, Chomsky asks, why does the United States feel it has the right to kill people there?

“The idea that we have the right to use force and violence at will is accepted pretty much across the spectrum,” Chomsky said of politicians and the media in the United States. “The very idea of invading is criminal, but try to find someone who describes it as a crime. Obama is praised because he describes (the Iraq War) as a mistake.”

Calling the invasion of Iraq “the worst crime of this century,” Chomsky said, “Suppose it had worked ... it's still a major crime, why do we have the right to invade another country?”

Post with no comments.