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Noam Chomsky warns about the possibility of a new civil war in the United States

chomsky NOamToday is a “remarkable, unique, important moment,” Noam Chomsky described. “Difficult” but at the same time “full of hope for a better future”. It is a moment of “confluence of different very strong crises” and without borders: “environmental catastrophes, threat of nuclear war, pandemic, destruction of democracy.” The linguist also warned of an “imminent risk” of civil war in the United States.

Chomsky gave the keynote address “Internationalism or Extinction” in the framework of the first (virtual) summit of the Progressive International, which emerged in May to unite, organize and mobilize progressive forces in a common front and thus stop the advance of the right in the world.

“The Progressive International (PI) has a crucial role in determining the course of history. Human life is in direct danger and the great imperialist powers of the day are fighting. British power is leaving Europe, becoming more of a satellite of the United States of what it already was. For the significance of the future it is important to see what happens in global hegemony, diminished by Trump’s delusions, but with the power and military advantages of the United States “, reflected the thinker from 91 years.

Close to midnight
A possible reelection of Trump would be a final, terminal crisis, which can have very serious consequences. There are other crises too: they are the ones that make you five to midnight. To extinction. 75 years ago we lived under this ticking clock, “Chomsky slipped.

At the time of the dropping of the atomic bomb, it was believed that human intelligence had reached the point of ” having the capacity for total destruction of its species.” It was not yet known that, later, “he was going to destroy the environment in this way, which now brings us to an end point”. In turn, each Trump year in power also means being closer to midnight.

In times of Covid-19 “the same crises as always” converge, to which the pandemic is added: the threat of nuclear war, ecological catastrophe, the destruction of democracy. “The issue of democracy might seem out of place. It is not. It is this collapse that allows the other two threats of extermination. Informed citizens, engaged in a real democratic process, would not let these other two threats pass,” explained.

“These three threats have been on the rise thanks to Trump’s policies. He has been unraveling gun control policies and developed more dangerous weapons; he has decreased protections against threats of nuclear war. He has dedicated himself to destroying the environment. environment and any sustenance of life. It has opened the last places protected against oil exploitation, for example. ”

In short, the president of the United States carries out “systematic policies to dismantle regulatory policies to protect the environment and populations from toxic contamination from the oil exploitation of fossil energy.”

In the talk, Chomsky defined from the beginning the role of the Progressive International in this complex world panorama: “Let us not panic now and act on this. The crises we are facing in this unique moment are international. Environmental catastrophes, nuclear war, the pandemic … none of these dangers have borders. There may be differences between countries, but there are common trunks. ”

Risks of a civil war in the United States
In another passage, he questioned the fact that Trump grants government positions without the approval of the Senate, which he “changes so that they are willing” to follow his will. “There are no independent voices. Congress had long established that an inspector general monitor the work of the executive branch, but looking at the corruption that Trump has left in Washington we can clearly see that it is not working,” he criticized. ” Trump began to say that if he does not like the result of the elections, he will not leave his post. It is a direct threat,” he warned.

Although “the military leadership published a letter in which it recalled its constitutional duty to remove from power a president who did not want to leave it,” we must take into account the paramilitary units that “have been distributed in the country to scare the population”. “In the absence of a very clear Trump victory, there are imminent risks of civil war. They are strong words, which we have never heard in public voices. I am not saying it; other people are saying it. Many people have that fear. Nothing of this kind. it had happened in the complex history of parliamentary democracy. The megalomania that dominates the world, that of Trump, for him is no longer enough. He could not respect the Constitution and do what he calls ‘negotiating’ for a third term. ”

The philosopher noted that “Trump’s agenda for the rich goes beyond neoliberalism.” Fiscal policy experts have detected that for the first time in recent centuries, billionaires pay less taxes than workers, which implies “a great victory within the class war.” “That is called having the hegemony,” he declared.

Optimism of the will
The conference continued with a panel discussion featuring Kenyan writer and activist Nanjala Nyabola, African-American activist and philosopher Cornel West, and Labor MP John McDonnell.

West’s – also an actor in films like The Matrix reloaded – was a beautiful, poetic intervention. It added one more factor to the confluence of crisis. A crisis “of the imagination”. It is necessary to give, then, an “intellectual and ideological” fight. “There may be a nuclear crisis tomorrow, or an economic and ecological catastrophe, but there is also a civic catastrophe: people cannot even imagine what a vibrant and lively public life would look like,” said the philosopher, and urged to recover values lost: intellectual integrity, decency, honesty. “The best of the human species is love, happiness, play, community. We must nurture a collective rebellion to open possible worlds.”

Echoing what was raised by the members of the table, Chomsky referred to the “human qualities” that emerged in the pandemic, as “mutual aid.” It grows stronger where people are most oppressed and poorer. “They come together to help each other and get food, much more than the people stuck in their departments. For example in Brazil, in the favelas. They don’t have access to anything. The government has done nothing. But they are organizing themselves and they have support systems. Mutual. Who started it? The criminal gangs of these neighborhoods. They transformed their mission to organize mutual aid, “he said.

Gramsci appeared several times in the conversation: “We are living in the age of monsters when the new world has not yet emerged,” proposed the thinker, who urged to maintain intellectual pessimism but also optimism of the will. “The Black Lives Matter movement did not come out of nowhere. It has been a process of growing consciousness for many years. To date it is the largest social movement in the history of the United States, more than that of Luther King. It is also international . Blacks and whites together, fighting with very important ideas. Not only against the police murder of African Americans but with ideas of how to fight racism and class oppression. The PI focuses on these issues to get us out of the age of monsters and let us enter a world of justice, “he said.

Finally, he called on society to get rid of the fossil energy industry: “We don’t need it.” For him it should remain in the hands of the working class and function on the basis of “sustainable programs.” “The world bank should be a public bank. We’re close to this as consciousness shifts. Ten years ago, after the 2008 housing crisis, Obama has basically nationalized the auto industry. If we give that industry back to them. the powers that be are going to continue doing what they have always done. We could hand it over to the communities and the workforce, “he suggested. And he concluded: “Less than 100 years ago it was clear to people that the industrial relations of the factories were intolerable. The New Green Deal has to have that at its core.”

(Taken from Pagina 12)

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