Renowned U.S. intellectual Noam Chomsky welcomed a teleSUR team into his office at the University of Arizona to discuss the presidency of Donald Trump and the decline of an empire.
"From the point of view of U.S. power, (Trump) is harming it, but from the point of view of U.S. elites, he's giving them everything they want," Chomsky said, describing the current administration as a "two-level wrecking ball."
The political activist and cognitive scientist went on to describe the incumbent U.S. president as a "con man."
"Everyday there's one insane thing after the other... and while this show is going on in public, in the background, the wrecking crew is working.
"What they're doing is systematically dismantling every aspect of government that works for the benefit of the population. This goes from workers' rights to pollution of the environment, rules for protecting consumers, anything you can think of is being dismantled."
Chomsky reasoned that the ultra-wealthy, Wall Street and the constituents of those in power couldn't be more pleased with efforts made to increase their fortunes.
"That's why the stock market goes up: the stock market has not much to do with the economy, but it keeps booming because that's the rich people."
Chomsky pointed out that the decline of the United States, a trend tacitly expressed whenever Trump vows to "make America great again," began not recently but back in 1949 when China became independent.
The loss of China was followed, Chomsky said, by "McCarthyism, repression and the destruction of unions." It continued under President John F. Kennedy when he was weighing whether to escalate in Vietnam and said: "I don't want to be responsible for the loss of Indochina."
The decline of the U.S. empire further accelerated when Europe and other industrial societies reconstructed in the wake of World War II: "decolonization took place" and the empire has yet to recover, Chomsky said.