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Chomsky: U.S. like Weimar

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Noam Chomsky brilliantly states the obvious, unlike a certain corporate media I could mention:

Noam Chomsky, for many years the leading left-wing intellectual in the country, warned last week of signs that fascism may be coming to the United States.

“I’m just old enough to have heard a number of Hitler’s speeches on the radio,” he said, “and I have a memory of the texture and the tone of the cheering mobs, and I have the dread sense of the dark clouds of fascism gathering” here at home.


“The level of anger and fear is like nothing I can compare in my lifetime,” he said. He cited a statistic from a recent poll showing that half the unaffiliated voters say the average tea party member is closer to them than anyone else.

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There is class resentment, he noted. “The bankers, who are primarily responsible for the crisis, are now reveling in record bonuses while official unemployment is around 10 percent and unemployment in the manufacturing sector is at Depression-era levels,” he said.

And Obama is linked to the bankers, Chomsky explained. “The financial industry preferred Obama to McCain,” he said.

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Chomsky invoked Germany during the Weimar Republic, and drew a parallel between it and the United States. “The Weimar Republic was the peak of Western civilization and was regarded as a model of democracy,” and he stressed how quickly things deteriorated there.

“In 1928 the Nazis had less than 2 percent of the vote.” And he warned, “Two years later, millions supported them. The public got tired of the incessant wrangling, and the service to the powerful, and the failure of those in power to deal with their grievances.”

Chomsky said the German people were susceptible to appeals about “the greatness of the nation, and defending it against threats, and carrying out the will of eternal providence.”

When farmers, the petit bourgeoisie, and Christian organizations joined forces with the Nazis, “the center very quickly collapsed,” Chomsky said. No analogy is perfect, but the echoes of fascism are “reverberating” today. “These are lessons to keep in mind.”

As they say elsewhere, read the whole thing.

Oh and Canada, here is your word for the day. Can you say Anschluss? I knew you could.

Written by slothropia

April 22nd, 2010 at 1:18 am