NEW YORK – World-famous linguist, philosopher and political thinker Noam Chomsky has described US President Donald Trump’s ideology simply as ‘me’, adding that while it’s not fascist, it’s still “deeply authoritarian and very dangerous.”
However, there is no other option in the eyes of the people, Chomsky added in his interview to BBC.
“What is the alternative to Trump? The democrats gave up on the working class 40 years ago. It’s not their constituency, no one in the political system is. The Republicans claim to be, but they are basically their class enemy. However they can appeal to people on the basis of claims ‘We’re gonna help you economically, even when we kick you in the face’?”
In his book, Chomsky branded the Republican Party as “the most dangerous organization on Earth,” and when asked to explain, he pointed out that it’s about something they refuse to admit exists.
“Trump will do damage to the world, and it’s already happening. The most significant aspect of the Trump election is not just Trump, but the whole Republican Party as they are departing from the rest of the world on climate change, a crucial issue, an existential threat,” Chomsky said.
He called the denial “an astonishing spectacle,” in which “the US, alone in the world, not only refuses to participate in efforts to deal with climate change, but is dedicated to undermining them. And it’s not just Trump – every single Republican leader is the same and it goes down to local levels.”
And US popular opinion isn’t exactly of any help, according to Chomsky.
“Roughly 40 percent of the population think it can’t be a problem, because Jesus is coming in a couple of decades.”
Isn’t Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) more of a threat? It would seem so, but Chomsky isn’t sure about that.
“Is ISIS dedicated to destroy the prospects for organized human existence? Not only are we not doing anything about climate change, but we’re trying to accelerate the race to the precipice. Doesn’t matter whether they genuinely believe it or not, if the consequence of that is, let’s use more fossil fuel, let’s refuse to subsidize developing countries, let’s eliminate regulations that reduce greenhouse gas emissions — if that’s the consequence, that’s extremely dangerous.”
“Trump’s only ideology is ‘me’, it’s not Hitler or Mussolini, but deeply authoritarian and very dangerous,” the philosopher concluded.
The process happening in the US is universal, though, and is taking place worldwide, Chomsky told BBC, due to “a massive assault on the large part of the population, an assault on democracy” which led to “not just anger, but contempt for centrist institutions.”
“A large part of the population feels that they are just not responsive to them,” and Chomsky enumerates the results of this: Trump, Brexit, Le Pen.
Nevertheless, Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential election is “by no means the end to the populism in Europe,” he said. In fact, “Macron is an example of populism, because he came from the outside, because the institutions have collapsed. The vote for him was substantially the vote against Le Pen.”
Last, but not least, Chomsky spoke out on WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange, calling his persecution and threats against him to be “completely wrong.”
“What’s keeping him in prison – and in fact, he is in prison [holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London] – is the threat that the United States will go after him. Same thing that’s keeping [security whistleblower Edward] Snowden in Russia. And he is right to worry about it and it is the threat that is wrong.”