Noam Chomsky poses in an citizens during a lecture at Harvard University on April 1, 2010. (Photo: Jeanbaptisteparis; Edited: LW/TO) Bernie Sanders’ investigation of the Democratic presidential nomination has urged great hope, especially among the young, by putting socialism on the agenda, in building toward a more just social and economic order. It remains to be seen, however, whether this momentum for change will fade away once the electoral extravaganza is over. Nonetheless, there keep be no denying that the United circumstances is undergoing a dangerous ideological and political realignment due to its rapid transformation into a society characterized by an immense gap between rich and poor, unprecedented economic insecurity and growing poverty, the abandonment of public investments in public infrastructure and an overall decline in the standard of living. This era is also marked by the rise of political charlatans like Donald Trump, who are reigniting right-wing populist sentiments in the manner earlier set forth by Italy’s once-beloved clown Silvio Berlusconi. For elder initial Truthout decision coverage, check out our election section, “Beyond the Sound Bites: Election 2016. ” In this regard, the presidential decision of two thousand and sixteen is very significant, as Noam Chomsky speaks in this sole Truthout interview, because it reveals the deep discontent currently prevailing among large segments of the US population. Will the left manage to take advance of this unusual situation and succeed in channeling this discontent into support for programmatic social change conducive to the needs of the laboring population? To do so, the gone lack to learn from the dire mistakes and faults exhibited by leftist governments that have recently come to power around the world — and have, in many cases, demonstrated emphatically that corruption and the pursuit of power for the sake of power and material gains are traits associated not only with the political right. In short, we need to reimagine socialism in the 21st century. C.J. Polychroniou: Noam, the grow of the likes of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders seems to indicate that US community is at the current moment in the midst of a major ideological readjustment brought about by the deteriorating state of the standard of living, the explosive growth of income inequality and myriad other economic and social ills facing the country in the New Gilded Era. In your view, and given the peculiarities of US political culture, how significant are the 2016 presidential elections? Noam Chomsky: The vote are quite significant, whatever the outcome, in exposing the growing discontent and anger about the impact of the neoliberal programs of the old generation, which, as elsewhere quite generally, have had a harsh impact on the mass of the population while undermining functioning democracy and enriching and empowering a tiny minority, largely in financial industries that have a dubious, if not harmful, role in the economy. same evolution are admitting place, for similar reasons, in Europe. The tendencies have been clear for some time, but, in this election, the party establishments have lost control for the first time. On the Republican side, in preliminary primaries they were able to eradicate candidates that arose from the base and to nominate their own man. But not this time, and they are extreme about the failure. On the Democratic side, the Sanders battle and its success are no lower unanticipated than the Trump triumph, and exemplify similar disillusionment and concerns, very differently expressed but with some common elements. Trump colleague introduce plenty of the white working class. One check understand their displeasure and frustration, and why Trump’s rhetoric might appeal to them. But they are speculating on the bad horse. His course proposals — to the hindered extent that they are compatible — not only do not seriously address their legitimate concerns, but would be quite harmful to them. And not just to them. proceeding somewhat on the footsteps of the Occupy Wall Street movement, Bernie Sanders has made fiscal inequality and social rights themes of his campaign. Is this trend likely to continue after the election, or will the momentum for reform fade away? That’s up to us, and, specifically, up to those who have been mobilized by the campaign, and to Sanders himself. The strength and commitment could fade away, like the Rainbow Coalition. Or it could become a continuing and growing army that is not focused on electoral extravaganzas even though it may use them to carry its concerns forward. That will be a critical choice in the coming months. Is Bernie Sanders merely a New Dealer, or perhaps a European social democrat, or something further to the left? He seems to me a decent and honest New Dealer — which is not so different from European social democracy (actually, both terms cover a pretty broad range). In your view, are Keynesianism and social democracy still relevant and applicable in today’s global economic environment, or simply defunct? I guess they are quite relevant, to restore some point of sanity and decency to social and commercial life — but not sufficient. We should aim well beyond. Should the left in the US fight for reforms along the lines of those articulated by Bernie Sanders, or should it devote itself to promoting a more radical version of social and economic change? I don’t suppose this has to be a choice, though of term the degree of emphasis on one or the other is a choice . Both check be pursued simultaneously, and can be mutually reinforcing. accept a stately anarchist journal like Freedom, founded by [Russian terrorist and philosopher Peter] Kropotkin. Its pages are often dedicate to ongoing social struggles with reformist aims, which would improve people’s lives and create the basis for moving on. These concerns are guided by far more radical long-term objectives. While endorsing invaluable remedy and efforts to protect and extend rights, there is no reason not to follow [Russian anarchist Mikhail] Bakunin’s advice to create the germs of a future society within the present one, at the very same time. For example, we keep assistance health and safety standards in the capitalist workplace while at the common time establishing enterprises owned and managed by the workforce. And even support for the reformist measures can (and should be) designed so as to highlight the roots of the problems in the existing institutions, encouraging the recognition that defending and expanding rights is just a step toward eliminating those roots. Historically, one of the serious debate facinging the labor movement in the US is the absence of a national class-based political organization. Do you see this changing any time soon on account of the ideas of socialism beginning to establish roots among certain segments of the American population, particularly among the youth? US cultural tradition is rather surprising among the developed state capitalist societies.
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