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Mon May 17, 2021, 07:25 PM May 2021

'They've turned into raging monsters': Noam Chomsky links GOP lies to Nazi propaganda [View all]


The United States has had 17 different presidents during Noam Chomsky's lifetime, from Calvin Coolidge to Joe Biden — and the left-wing author, now 92, has lived through major historical events including the Great Depression, Watergate, 9/11, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Chomsky discussed the challenges of the Biden era during a recent interview with author/journalist David Masciotra for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Chomsky discussed his most recent book, "Consequences of Capitalism: Manufacturing Discontent and Resistance," in the interview with Masciotra, warning that people who are hurting economically can be manipulated by far-right extremists. Chomsky has been a blistering critic of neoliberal economics, which he said continues to fail millions of people in the United States.

"I've seen it over and over," Chomsky told Masciotra. "During the Kennedy and Johnson years, the technocratic and meritocratic elite, my colleagues from Harvard and MIT, were flocking down to Washington to show how the world should be run. Well, in Vietnam, we saw what came of that. It was not unpredictable. Those of us in the streets were warning of it all along. Now, it is the same. Neoliberalism, whatever is in the minds of people who advocate for it — maybe they don't even think about it — is an explicit effort…. to hand power to private institutions, which are dedicated to self-enrichment."

Neoliberalism, Chomsky added, only worsens the divide between the haves and the have-nots in the United States.

"The majority of the population gets by paycheck to paycheck," Chomsky told Masciotra. "Real wages have stagnated for 40 years. The gains of productivity growth concentrate in very few pockets. This leads to…. unfocused anger. Is it surprising? People aren't told what is really robbing them. Instead, they are told that it is immigrants, Blacks, some pedophiles from outer space, if you believe QAnon — anything but what is actually happening."


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