‘Never Seen Anything Like This’

Noam Chomsky on the mood in America:

“It is very similar to late Weimar Germany,” Chomsky told me when I called him at his office in Cambridge, Mass. “The parallels are striking. There was also tremendous disillusionment with the parliamentary system. The most striking fact about Weimar was not that the Nazis managed to destroy the Social Democrats and the Communists but that the traditional parties, the Conservative and Liberal parties, were hated and disappeared. It left a vacuum which the Nazis very cleverly and intelligently managed to take over.”

“The United States is extremely lucky that no honest, charismatic figure has arisen,” Chomsky went on. “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.”

“I have never seen anything like this in my lifetime,” Chomsky added. “I am old enough to remember the 1930s. My whole family was unemployed. There were far more desperate conditions than today. But it was hopeful. People had hope. The CIO was organizing. No one wants to say it anymore but the Communist Party was the spearhead for labor and civil rights organizing. Even things like giving my unemployed seamstress aunt a week in the country. It was a life. There is nothing like that now. The mood of the country is frightening. The level of anger, frustration and hatred of institutions is not organized in a constructive way. It is going off into self-destructive fantasies.”

“I listen to talk radio,” Chomsky said. “I don’t want to hear Rush Limbaugh. I want to hear the people calling in. They are like [suicide pilot] Joe Stack. ‘What is happening to me? I have done all the right things. I am a God-fearing Christian. I work hard for my family. I have a gun. I believe in the values of the country and my life is collapsing.’”

3 thoughts on “‘Never Seen Anything Like This’

  1. That is very scary stuff! Dem’s IMMEDIATELY need to shout the TRUTH from the rooftops. The Republicans are in bed with the bankers – they don’t scare a bit about you! They just want to help the bankers to your savings, pension, home, etc.

  2. the problem is that too many of the Democrats are also in bed with the bankers: just look at the post two items below this one, in which Clinton expresses regret for allowing the deregulation of derivatives, and the demolition of Glass-Steagal.

    I’ve been posting a lot about the right wing nutjobs pretending to march in support of the second amendment today. I say “pretending” because what they are really doing is celebrating Timothy McVeigh’s terrorist attack in Oklahoma City, and sending a message that they’ve murdered their fellow Americans before and they are happy to do it again.

  3. The Great Collapse has only just begun. It’s still slowly building at this point. It takes years to become notice-able, then the changes (and deterioration) progress at an ever-increasing rate. More people are unemployed than social security, federal and state welfare can cope with, or our money becomes worthless, or food becomes scarce for whatever reason (drought, farmers &/or truckers strike, oil and gas way too high), environmental factors (like volcanoes, earthquakes and floods) kick in – it’s only a matter of time before we see how really fragile our whole “civilization” actually is.

Comments are closed.