An interview with Noam Chomsky
by Sebastian Meyer
August 14, 2012
The social movement of the day camps at public spaces and calls itself Occupy. You’ve called it the first major popular response to 30 years of class war in the United States. What do you think has Occupy achieved so far?
It achieved a lot, in two aspects. It very significantly affected public sensibility and public discourse. The imagery of the one percent versus the 99 percent, that’s spread over right through the mainstream, that’s now standard discourse. And that’s not insignificant. It brings to public attention the massive inequality and the striking maldistribution of power. There are also specific policy proposals that make a lot of sense. Efforts to try to return the electoral system to something approximating the democratic process and not just being bought by major corporations and the super rich, proposals about a financial transaction tax, ending foreclosures of kicking people out of their homes, concern for the environment and so on.
And the second aspect?
The Occupy movement spontaneously created communities of mutual support, mutual aid. The common kitchen, the libraries. These are maybe even more important. The U.S. is a very atomized society. People feel helpless and alone. Your worth as a human being depends on the number of commodities you can amass, which is one of the reasons for the debt crisis, and it’s just driven into people’s heads from infancy through massive propaganda and public relations. So people don’t have much social interaction.
If you compare it to the Tea Party movement…
The Tea Party isn’t a movement. It’s massively funded by private capital. It’s a movement that demographically is not unlike what the Nazis succeeded in organizing. It’s petty bourgeois, almost entirely white, in the nativist tradition, with the fear that within a generation or two the white population will be a minority and those others are taking our country away from us.
Full interview: Noam Chomsky: Obama is Worse (2011)
StoptheWarCoalition on Mar 10, 2011
Look at the record, says Chomsky: Obama is in many cases worse than George Bush and Tony Blair — on Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel, Egypt — and would be indicted for war crimes if the Nuremburg principles were applied.
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