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Corporate Patents & Rising Anti-Science Rhetoric Will Prolong Pandemic


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Source: Democracy Now!

Today, a special broadcast: an hour with Noam Chomsky, the world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author, who just turned 93 years old. Chomsky spoke to Democracy Now! prior to the discovery of the Omicron coronavirus variant, but he predicted new variants would emerge. “If you let the virus run rampant in poor countries, everyone understands that mutation is likely, the kind of mutation that led to the Delta variant, now the Delta Plus variant in India, and who knows what will develop,” Chomsky said.

AMY GOODMAN: Today, a special broadcast, an hour with Noam Chomsky. The world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author just turned 93 years old. Democracy Now!‘s Nermeen Shaikh and I recently interviewed Noam as part of Democracy Now!‘s 25th anniversary celebration. Noam Chomsky joined us from his home in Tucson, Arizona, where he teaches at the University of Arizona. We asked him about the state of the pandemic and why so many Americans have refused to get vaccinated.

NOAM CHOMSKY: It’s overwhelmingly a far-right phenomenon. Others have been drawn in. And I think there are many sources. Actually, one of them is probably social media, which does circulate lots of dubious or even false information. And if people are wedded to a particular part of it, that’s what they’ll be fed. But beyond that, there is skepticism, which has justification, about the role of government. Happens to be misplaced in this case, but you can understand the origins of the skepticism.

And it’s not just the pandemic. Much worse than that are the attitudes of skepticism about global warming. So, one rather shocking fact that I learned recently is that during the Trump years, among Republicans, the belief that global warming is a serious problem — not even an urgent problem, just a serious problem — declined about 20%. That’s very serious. Here we’re talking not just about the spread of a pandemic, but about marching over the precipice and ending the prospects for sustained, organized human life. That’s the kind of thing we’re facing. Well, you can talk about the origins of the skepticism, but it has to be dealt with and overcome, and very decisively and without delay, or else the whole human species and all the others that we are casually destroying will be in severe danger.

AMY GOODMAN: Noam, can you talk about how you think that skepticism can be overcome — I mean, you, yourself, a serious critic of the corporate-government alliance — why people should trust large pharmaceutical companies like Moderna and Pfizer, that are making billions, why in this case we should trust that vaccines will save the population?

NOAM CHOMSKY: If the information came from Pfizer and Moderna, there would be no reason to trust it. But it just happens that 100% of health agencies throughout the world and the vast majority of the medical profession and the health sciences accept the actually quite overwhelming evidence that vaccination radically reduces onset of infection and deaths. The evidence on that is very compelling. And it’s therefore not surprising that it’s basically universally accepted by relevant authorities. So, yes, if we heard it just from Big Pharma PR, there would be every reason for skepticism. But you can look at the data. They’re available. And you can — when you do so, you can understand why there is essentially universal acceptance among the agencies that have no stake in the matter other than trying to save lives. You can understand why poor African countries who weren’t paid off by Big Pharma are pleading for vaccines. Their health agencies are.

And, in fact, the only exception I noted about this, apart from Trump for a period, was Bolsonaro’s Brazil, and he is now being under charges of a long senatorial investigation for charges of crimes against humanity for his failure to follow the normal protocol of trying to maximize the use of vaccines. Now that his reticence, reluctance on this matter has been overturned, it’s having the usual effect. Vaccinations are increasing, and incidence of disease and deaths is sharply declining. That correlation is so clear that it takes a real strange refusal to look at facts to see it. And again, as I say, health agencies throughout world are uniform and agreed with the medical profession on the efficacy of vaccines.

There are other things that have to be done: social distancing, care, masking in crowded places. There are measures that have to be taken. Countries where these measures have been followed carefully are doing quite well. But where there’s a high level of skepticism, whatever its roots, there are serious problems.

AMY GOODMAN: And what do you think the U.S. should do to ensure that countries get vaccines around the world, not only for altruistic reasons, but because you can’t end this pandemic here or anywhere unless these vaccines get out everywhere? And I’m talking about Moderna and Pfizer. Moderna, the U.S. gave billions to. Pfizer, the U.S. promised to purchase so much. And both corporations, among others, have made billions. And yet, what can the U.S. do to ensure that these vaccines can be made in other places, like requiring that Moderna release the recipe? Still they will make a fortune. What has Biden not done that would allow people to have access to these life-saving vaccines?

NOAM CHOMSKY: I should say that Europe’s record is even worse than that of the United States. Biden has made some effort, but the wealthy countries have not, including the United States, though not primarily the United States — they have not taken measures that are within their capacity to ensure that other countries that have the resources to produce vaccines will have access not only to the products, the vaccines, but also to the process of manufacturing them.

We should recognize that the World Trade Organization rules, instituted mainly in the 1990s largely under U.S. initiative, they are radically protectionist, radically anti-free market. They provide protection to major corporations, Big Pharma, not only for the products they produce but to the processes by which they produce them. And that patent can easily be broken. The governments have the capacity to insist that the processes be available and that vaccines be distributed to the countries that need it.

First of all, this will save uncounted numbers of lives. And, as you said, it means saving ourselves. If you let the virus run rampant in poor countries, everyone understands that mutation is likely, the kind of mutation that led to the Delta variant, now the Delta Plus variant in India, and who knows what will develop. Could be a — we’ve been kind of lucky so far. The coronaviruses have been either highly lethal and not too contagious, like Ebola, or highly contagious but not too lethal, like COVID-19. But the next one coming down the pike might be both, might even be nonsuppressible by vaccines.

We know the measures that have to be taken to try to prevent this from happening: research, preparations, health systems that work. It’s not a small point. Like, there are now new antivirals coming along which don’t stop the disease but prevent hospitalization. But you have to have a functioning health system. Very hard to see how these could even be usable in the United States, where the health system simply is not organized in such a way that people can get access to what they need.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: You yourself have experienced the ruinous effect of low vaccination rates in certain states, where hospitals have been unable to provide regular services because all the beds are taken up with COVID patients. Earlier this year, you needed hospital care but were unable to access a facility because all the beds were taken with COVID patients. Could you explain where this happened and what exactly happened?

NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, don’t want to go into the details, but I had something which was severe, couldn’t get to the hospital where my doctors are. They were overwhelmed with patients. Had to go to a couple other hospitals, and finally they managed. So, you know, it’s not the worst case by any means. I should say that even getting a booster shot was not easy. My wife was trying for — Valeria — for weeks simply to try to get an appointment. The system — I’m lucky. I’m relatively privileged. For others, it’s much worse.

Hospitals are overflowing, with almost 100% unvaccinated patients in regions of the country, which are mostly red states, which have been reluctant and unwilling to carry out appropriate measures. Hospitals have been forced to cancel regular procedures just because of the crush of almost entirely unvaccinated patients filling beds. There’s a lot of extra deaths, enormous social costs. And all of this is under control. We know how to deal with it. It’s a social malady, a breakdown of the social and cultural order, which is very serious in the pandemic case, but, as I want to keep stressing, far more serious in the case of environmental destruction. And we don’t have much time there. We can survive pandemics at enormous cost. We’re not going to survive environmental destruction.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, as we return to our discussion with world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author Noam Chomsky. Nermeen Shaikh and I recently spoke to him. He was at his home in Tucson, Arizona.

AMY GOODMAN: Noam, you have called the Republican Party the most dangerous organization in human history. You’ve also called the political leaders a gang of sadists. I was wondering if you could elaborate on this. But also, in all of your 93 years, have you ever seen such an anti-science, anti-fact trend in this country before? And then, if you can talk about how it links up with other such movements around the world and how it should be dealt with?

NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, it’s a fact that there has been a strain of anti-science sentiment in significant parts of the United States for a long time. This is the country that had the Scopes trial. There’s an unusual power in the United States of evangelical, anti-science extremism.

But as a political movement, it’s — has nothing been like what it is in the contemporary period. The Republican Party, under Trump, and his minions — he basically owns the party — they have been in the lead of trying to destroy the prospects for organized human life on Earth, not just unilaterally pulling out of the Paris Agreement, but acting with enthusiasm to maximize fossil fuel use, to dismantle the systems that somewhat mitigated their effects, denial of what’s happening, reaching a huge number of loyal almost worshipers, partly through their media system, in other ways.

When the United States is the most powerful, important country in world history, when it races to the precipice, has an impact on others. Other things that are happening are bad enough, but with the United States in the lead and marching to destruction, the future is very dim. And it’s our responsibility here to control it, to terminate it, to turn the country back to sanity — don’t even like to say “back” — turn it to sanity on these issues, before it’s too late.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: And, Professor Chomsky, you’ve warned of a severe threat from a resurgent proto-fascist right here in the U.S. and spoken out — you’ve spoken out against the general right-wing shift across the political spectrum in the U.S. If you could explain what you think is behind that, and if you see any prospects in the near future for its reversal?

NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, we have been through a 40-year, 45-year assault on the general population within the framework of what’s called neoliberalism. And it’s had a very serious impact. There are even some measures of it. So, the RAND Corporation, super respectable, did a study recently of the, what they politely call, transfer of wealth from the lower 90% of the population — that’s working-class and middle-class — the transfer of wealth from them to the very rich during the last 40 years. Their estimate is on the order of $50 trillion. They call it transfer of wealth. We should call it robbery. There’s plenty more like it, keeps being exposed. The Pandora Papers that came out revealed another aspect of it. That’s not small change. CEO salaries, management salaries have skyrocketed. A large part, probably a majority, of the population by now is basically surviving paycheck to paycheck, very little in reserve. If they have a health problem or something else, they’re in deep trouble, especially with the lack of social support in the country.

Even trivial measures that exist everywhere are very hard to implement in this country. We’re seeing it in Congress right now, measures like maternity leave, which is everywhere. I think there are a couple of Pacific islands that join the United States in not having paid maternity leave. Go to the second-largest country in the hemisphere, hardly a site of enormous progress, Brazil, women have four months guaranteed paid maternity leave, which can be extended a couple of months, paid for by the Social Security system. In the United States, you can’t get a day. And it’s being — it’s right at Congress right now. The Republican Party is 100% rock-solid opposition to this and other measures, including some weak but at least existing measures to mitigate the climate crisis, 100% Republican opposition, joined by a couple of Democrats, the coal baron from West Virginia, Joe Manchin, the leading recipient in Congress of fossil fuel funding, dragging his feet on everything, joining the 100% Republican opposition, Kyrsten Sinema from my state, huge recipient of Big Pharma, other corporate funding, also dragging her feet. Even the simplest things, like what I mentioned, are very hard to get through in a country that’s been poisoned by right-wing propaganda, by corporate power. It goes way back, but it’s expanded enormously in the past 40 years.

You look up “neoliberalism,” the word “neoliberalism,” in the dictionary, you find bromides about belief in the market, trust in the market, fair — everyone’s got a fair shake, and so on. You look at the reality, neoliberalism translates as bitter class war. That’s the meaning of it, everywhere you look, every component of it. The RAND, the $50 trillion robbery is just one sign of it.

When Reagan and his associate Margaret Thatcher on the other side of the Atlantic, when they came in to power, their first acts were to attack and undermine, severely undermine, the labor movement. If you’re going to have a sensible project, if you’re going to carry out a major class war attacking workers in the middle class, you better destroy their means of self-protection. And the great — the major means are labor unions. That’s the way poor people, working people can organize to develop ideas, to develop programs, to act with mutual aid and solidarity to achieve their goals. So that has to be destroyed. And that was the major target of attack from the beginning, many others. What we’re left with is a society of atomized people, angry, resentful, lacking organization, faced with concentrated private power, which is working very hard to pursue the bitter class war that has led to the current disastrous situation.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to ask you how January 6th, how you see it playing out. Do you see it as really not so much the birth but continuation of a proto-fascist movement? You’re in Arizona, the recounts over and over again of the votes, questioning Democratic votes all over the country. Where do you see the U.S. going? And do you see President Trump becoming president again?

NOAM CHOMSKY: It’s very possible. The Republican strategy, which I described, has been successful: Do as much damage as you can to the country, blame it on the Democrats, develop all sorts of fanciful tales about the hideous things that the communists, the Democrats, are doing to your children, to the society, in a country which is subjected to social collapse, to atomization, to lack of organized ability to respond in ideas and actions that can be successful. And we’re seeing it right now. So, yes, it’s very possible that the denialist party will come back into power, that Trump will be back, or someone like him, and then we’ll be simply racing to the precipice.

As far as fascism is concerned, there are some analysts, very astute and knowledgeable ones, who say we’re actually moving towards actual fascism. My own feeling is, I would prefer to call it a kind of proto-fascism, where many of the symptoms of fascism are quite apparent — resort to violence, the belief that violence is necessary. A large part of the Republican Party, I think maybe 30 or 40%, say that violence may be necessary to save our country from the people who are trying to destroy it, the Democrat villains who are doing all these hideous things that are fed into their ears. And we see it in armed militias.

January 6th was an example of — these are people from basically petit bourgeois, moderately affluent Middle America circles, not — there were some militia types among them who really feel that it’s necessary to carry out a coup to save the country. They were trying to carry out a coup to undermine an elected government — it’s called a coup — and came unfortunately close. Luckily, the — and they’re now taking — the Republican Party is now taking sophisticated measures to try to ensure that the next time around, it will succeed.

Notice they are treating the January 6th coup activists as heroes: “They were trying to save America.” These are signs of massive social collapse, which show up concretely in the fact that people literally do not have enough financial reserves to put themselves through a crisis. And, of course, it’s much worse when you go to really deprived communities. Like, household wealth among Blacks is almost nothing. They’re in severe problems. All of this in the richest, most powerful country in the world, in world history, with enormous advantages, unparalleled, could easily lead the way to a much better future.

And it’s not a utopian dream. Let’s go back to the Depression. Happens to be my childhood, can remember it well. Severe crisis, poverty, suffering much worse than today, but a hopeful period. My own family, unemployed, at first immigrant, working-class, were living with hope. They had the unions. My aunts, unemployed seamstresses, had the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, cultural activities, mutual aid. You could go on a week’s vacation. A hope for the future, militant labor actions, other political actions, sympathetic administration led the way to social democracy, inspired what happened in Europe after the war. Meanwhile, Europe moved to fascism, literal, hideous fascism. The United States, under these pressures, moved to social democracy. Now, with supreme and bitter irony, we’re seeing something like the reverse: The United States is moving towards a form of fascism; Europe is barely holding on to functioning social democracy, got plenty of their own problems, but at least they’re holding onto it — almost the reverse of what happened in the past. And we can certainly go back not only to the ’30s, but something much better than that.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Professor Chomsky, could you — you’ve spoken, of course, now about the Republican Party. Could you give an assessment also of the Biden administration so far? You spoke earlier of the climate crisis. Earlier this year, the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, issued its report, after a decade, which the U.N. secretary-general called “code red for humanity.” And just days after, as you’ve mentioned, Biden called on OPEC to start increasing production of oil. So, if you could comment on that, Biden’s policies on climate, but also on other issues?

NOAM CHOMSKY: It’s a mixed story. His domestic programs are, frankly, considerably better than I anticipated. But they’re being — they’ve already been sharply cut back. The Build Back Better bill, that’s now being debated and, without enormous public pressures, not likely to be passed, is a sharply pared-down version of what first Bernie Sanders produced, Biden more or less accepted and cut it back somewhat, now cut back much more sharply, may not even get through in its pared-back form.

As I said, the Republicans are 100% opposed to allowing what their own constituents very much approve of, and managing the propaganda system so that their constituents don’t even know about it. Remarkable results showing up in polls about the Build Back Better bill. If you ask people about their particular provisions, strong support. You ask about the bill, mixed feelings, often opposition, feeling the bill, which contains the provisions they want, are likely to hurt them. Furthermore, turns out they don’t know what’s in the bill. They don’t know that it contains the provisions that they approve of. All of this is a massive successful indoctrination campaign of the kind that Goebbels would have been impressed with. And the only way to overcome it, again, is by constant, dedicated activism.

Take the climate program. Biden’s climate program was not what was needed, but it was better than anything that preceded it. And it didn’t come from above. It was the result of significant activist work. Young activists [inaudible] got to the point of occupying senatorial congressional offices, Nancy Pelosi’s office. Ordinarily, they’d be kicked out by Capitol Police. This time they got support from Ocasio-Cortez, joined them, made it impossible for the police to throw them out, got further support from, as I mentioned, Ed Markey. Soon they were able to press Biden to develop, to agree to a climate program that was a big improvement on anything from before it — in fact, even by world standards, one of the best. Well, the management of the Democratic Party didn’t like that, wasn’t having it. They actually cut it out of their webpage before the election and tried to block it. And it’s been reduced by them and by the solid Republican opposition demanding that we move as quickly as possible towards disaster. Well, it’s now cut sharply back.

You go to Glasgow. Lots of nice words, including from President Biden. Take a look at what’s happening in the world outside of the halls in Glasgow. Different picture. Biden came home from Glasgow and opened for lease the largest giveaway in U.S. history of petroleum fields for exploitation by the energy corporations. Well, his defense is that his effort to stop it was blocked by a temporary court decision, so he had no choice. Actually, there were choices. There were other options. But the message that it sends, stark and clear, is that the institutions of the society, the federal institution, the executive branch, the legislative branch, the judiciary, those institutions are incapable of recognizing the severity of the crises that we face, and are committed to a course which leads to something like species suicide.

The only force that can counter that was actually present at Glasgow. There were two events at Glasgow. There was the pleasant talk but meaningless verbiage inside the halls. There were the tens of thousands of demonstrators outside the buildings, young people mostly, calling for measures, real measures, to allow a decent, viable society to develop, not be destroyed. Those are the two events in Glasgow. The question of which one prevails will determine our future. Will it be heading towards disaster, or will it be moving towards a better, more livable world? Both are possible. The choice is in our hands.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. We’re continuing our discussion with Noam Chomsky. Nermeen Shaikh and I recently spoke to him from his home in Tucson, Arizona. We talked to him shortly before a British court ruled in favor of the U.S. government’s appeal to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face criminal charges in the United States. I asked Noam about Julian’s treatment and ongoing detention.

NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, this is a pretty incredible situation. Julian Assange has been subjected to years of torture. Actually, his years in the Ecuadorian Embassy, which is actually not an embassy, it’s an apartment house, those were years of torture. I visited him there. Others did. Being stuck in an apartment without any — even the ability to go out and look at the sky, that’s, in many ways, even worse than being in prison. Prisoners at least have a couple hours when they can go out and be in a courtyard. Under guard by the British — sensitive British forces, finally forced into a top-security prison, it’s essentially torture — in fact, the U.N. rapporteur on torture called it torture — for years, all for the crime of having exposed to the American people and the people the world things that they should know, things that it’s their right to know.

That’s supposedly the role of journalism. And, in fact, leading journals did make use of his exposés to reveal a fair amount of material. But he’s at the heart of it, started the project, continued the project of revealing to the public things that they should be aware of. So, for that, he has been subjected to years of torture, false charges, now the threat of extradition, in which he will face possible lifetime of imprisonment. And the press is not coming to his defense, with a few exceptions. Not enough people are elsewhere.

But again, it’s the same story as always, just like Glasgow. It’s those the voices in the street which can end this tragedy of the Assange torture and persecution, like everything else, like the civil rights movement, like the social democratic initiatives in the 1930s, the New Deal measures, like the antiwar movement, like the women’s movement, everything, always the same answer. It’s the activism of individuals joining together, working against often very severe odds but for a cause that is obligatory — in the current case, necessary for survival; in Assange’s case, necessary to save an individual from unspeakable torture for the crime of performing the honorable work of a journalist.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: And, Professor Chomsky, lastly, on the question of the U.S. — on U.S. foreign policy under Biden, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the defense pact with Australia and the U.K., what do you see as the trajectory of American foreign policy in the coming years?

NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, the trajectory is not optimistic. Biden has pretty much picked up Trump’s foreign policy. He has eliminated some of the more gratuitously savage elements. Like in the case of Palestine, for example, Trump was not satisfied with just giving everything away to Israeli right-wing power — “do what you want” — and offering nothing to the Palestinians, just kicking them in the face; he even had to go beyond that to truly gratuitous savagery, like cutting off the lifeline, the UNRWA lifeline, for Palestinians to be able to have at least minimal bare survival in the Gaza — in the Israeli punching bag in Gaza. Even that, well, Biden removed those things. Other than that, pretty much followed the same policies.

On Iran, he made some verbal moves towards overcoming the crime of U.S. withdrawal from the joint agreement, but he’s insisting on perpetuating Trump’s position that it’s the responsibility of Iran, the victim, to move towards harsher agreement because the United States pulled out of an agreement that was working perfectly well.

The worst case is the increasing provocative actions towards China. That’s very dangerous. By now there’s constant talk about what’s called the China threat. You even read it in sober, reasonable — usually reasonable — journals, about the terrible China threat. Well, what is — and we have to move expeditiously to contain and limit the China threat.

What exactly is the China threat? Actually, that question is rarely raised here. It is discussed in Australia, the country that’s right in the claws of the dragon. So, recently, the distinguished statesman, former Prime Minister Paul Keating, did have an essay in the Australian press about the China threat. He finally concluded, realistically, that the China threat is China’s existence. The U.S. will not tolerate the existence of a state that cannot be intimidated the way Europe can be, that does not follow U.S. orders the way Europe does, but pursues its own course. That’s the threat.

When we talk about the threat of China, we’re talking about alleged threats at China’s borders. China does plenty of wrong things, terrible things. You can make many criticisms. But are they a threat? Is the U.S. support for Israel’s terrorist war against 2 million people in Gaza, where children are being poisoned because — a million children are facing poisoning because there’s no drinkable water, is that a threat to China? It’s a horrible crime, but it’s not a threat to China. While serious abuses that China is carrying out are wrong, you can condemn them, they’re not a threat.

Right at the same time as Keating’s article, Australia’s leading military correspondent, Brian Toohey, highly knowledgeable, did an assessment of the relative military power of China, and in their own region of China, and the United States and its allies, Japan and Australia. It’s laughable. One U.S. submarine, Trident submarine, now being replaced by even more lethal ones — one U.S. submarine can destroy almost 200 cities anywhere in the world with its nuclear weapons. China in the South China Sea has four old, noisy submarines, which can’t even get out because they’re contained by superior U.S. and allied force.

And in the face of this, the United States is sending a fleet of nuclear submarines to Australia. That’s the AUKUS deal — Australia, U.K., United States — which have no strategic purpose whatsoever. They will not even be in operation for 15 years. But they do incite China almost certainly to build up its lagging military forces, increasing the level of confrontation. There are problems in the South China Sea. They can be met with diplomacy and negotiations, the regional powers taking the lead — could go into the details.

But the right measure is not increasing provocation, increasing the threat of an accidental development, which could lead to devastating, even virtually terminal nuclear war. But that’s the direction the Biden administration is following: expansion of the Trump programs. That’s the core of their foreign policy programs.

There are others that are mixed on Iran. I mentioned I think it’s outrageous that the United States is imposing severe, destructive sanctions on Iran, which, as usual, harm the population, don’t harm the leadership — that’s what sanctions do — for torturing Iran because of our withdrawal from a treaty that was working, over the strong objections of all other participants. All of Europe strongly objected, but the U.S. throws its weight around the way it likes. That’s what it means to be the mafia don, the global godfather. If Europe doesn’t like it, tough. They have to follow it, or the United States threatens to throw them out of the international financial system. Same with anybody else.

Torture of Cuba has been going on for 60 years, because — we know why. State Department, back in the ’60s, explained that the crime of Castro is his successful defiance of U.S. policies going back to the Monroe Doctrine, which declared the U.S. right to dominate the hemisphere.

You can’t tolerate successful defiance, whether it’s a small island offshore or whether it’s a major power with an economy, an enormous economy, and potential power and which refuses to be intimidated, and which is carrying out such crimes as setting up a thousand vocational schools around the world where they’re training people in Central Asia, in Africa, in Thailand, training them in the use of Chinese technology so they will be able to spread Chinese technological developments to their own countries, cutting out the United States, which can’t counter that. We can only use bombs and sanctions. Well, it’s another crime.

Again, plenty to criticize, but these are the crimes that are causing the United States to pose the threat of China as the leading problem in world affairs, the greatest danger in world affairs. Again, we have to counter that. And we can. There’s no reason to allow this to persist. And at this point, it’s not just people who worship Trump. It’s the Democratic leadership, Biden’s foreign policy team, the major liberal press.

AMY GOODMAN: As we wrap up and celebrate your 93rd birthday, let’s end with that question: What gives you hope?

NOAM CHOMSKY: What do I hope? I hope that the young people who are demonstrating in the streets of Glasgow, the mine workers who are — in the United States, who are agreeing to a transition program to sustainable energy, many others like them, I hope that they will be in the ascendancy and can take the measures that are feasible and available to create a much better world than the one we have, and the one that the people of the world deserve.

AMY GOODMAN: Noam Chomsky, the 93-year-old world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author, joining us from his home in Tucson, where he teaches at the University of Arizona. To see all of our interviews over the years with Noam Chomsky, you can go to democracynow.org.

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