Noam Chomsky: Coronavirus – What is at stake?
“878.544 Aufrufe•Premiere am 28.03.2020”
“NC: I should say that my earliest memories which are haunting me now, are from the 1930s, the article that you mentioned on the fall of Barcelona was acting mainly about the, apparently, inexorable spread of the fascist plague all over Europe and elsewhere…”
“NC: and the idea that the fate of the country and the world is in the hands of a sociopathic buffoon, is shocking. The coronavirus is serious enough, but it’s worth recalling that there is a much greater horror approaching, we are racing to the edge of disaster, far worse than anything that’s happened in human history. And Donald Trump and his minions are in the lead, in racing to the abyss. In fact there are two immense threats that we are facing…the corona virus is a
horrible and can have terrifying consequences. But there will be recovery, while the others there won’t be recovered, it’s finished. If we don’t deal with them, we’re done.
And so the childhood memories are coming back to haunt me, but a different dimension.”
“NC: If we are leaving our fate to sociopathic buffoons, we’re finished. And that’s coming close, Trump is the worst, that’s because of US Power, which is overwhelming. We are talking about U.S decline, but you just look at the world, you don’t see that when the U.S imposes sanctions, murderers, devastating sanctions, that’s the only country that can do that, but everyone has to follow. Europe may not like, in fact hate actions on Iran, but they have to follow, they
have to follow the master, or else they get kicked out of the international financial system. Thats not a law of nature, it’s a decision in Europe to be subordinate to the master in Washington, other countries don’t even have a choice.”
“NC: Iran is in a zone, enormous internal problems by the stranglehold of tightening sanctions, which are consciously designed, openly, to make the suffer and suffer bitterly now. Cuba has been suffering from it, from the moment, where it gained independence, but it’s astonishing, that they survived but they stayed resilient and one of the most ironic elements of today’s virus crisis, is that Cuba is helping Europe. I mean this is so shocking, that you don’t know how to describe it. That Germany can’t help Greece, but Cuba can help the European countries. If you stop to think about what that means, all the words fail, just as when you see thousands of people dying in the Mediterranean, fleeing from a region, that has been devastated for centuries and being sent to the deaths in the Mediterranean, you don’t know what words to use. The crisis, the civilizational crisis of the West at this point is devastating, to think of them and it does bring
up childhood memories of listening to Hitler raving on the radio to raucous crowds it makes you wonder if this species
is even viable.”
“2 billion people.. are in one or the other way confined at home, whether it is isolation, self-isolation or quarantine.
Almost 2 billion people in the world are at home, if they are lucky enough to have a home. At the same time what we can
witness is that Europe, but also other countries, closed their borders, not only internal ones but outer borders. There is an estate of exception in all the countries we can think of, which means curfew in many countries, such as France, Serbia, Spain, Italy and other countries, army on the streets and what I want to ask you as a linguist.”
“NC: Now, there is the civilizational crisis, ..it´s a time, possibly good side of the corona virus, as it may, might bring people to think about what kind of a world do we want? Do we want the kind of world that leads to this? We should think about the origins of this crisis, why is there a
corona virus crisis? Its a colossal market failure, it goes right back to the essence of markets, exacerbated by the neoliberal, savage, neoliberal intensification of deep social economic problems. It was known for a long time, that pandemics are very likely and it was understood, very well understood, that there likely to be corona virus pandemic,
a slight modifications of the SARS epidemic, 15 years ago, it was overcome, the viruses were identified, sequenced…”
“NC: The drug companies, we have handed over our fate to private tyrannies, hold corporations, which are unaccountable
to the public, in this case, Big Pharma and for them they make new body creams, it’s more profitable, than that of finding a vaccine that will protect people from total destruction. It’s impossible for the government to step in, going back to wartime mobilization, that’s what happened.”
“NC: that each one is having on his cellphone, with some remote individual, who we friend. Now this has atomized and isolated people to an extraordinary extent. The Thatcher principle, there was no society, has escalated, the misused social media, that has turned people into very isolated creatures, especially young people. There are actually universities, now in the United States, where the sidewalk have plaques on them, saying, look up. Because every kid is walking around, is glued to his cellphone. That’s a form of self-induced social isolation, which has been very harmful. We’re now on a situation of real social isolation. It has to be overcome by recreating, social bonds in whatever way can be done, who need, whatever kind that can be helping people in need. Contacting them, developing organizations, expanding analyzation, like before I’m getting them to be functional and operative, making plans for the future, bringing people together as he can in the internet age, to join, consult deliberate to figure out answers to the problems that they face and work on them, which can be done, it’s not face to-face communication which for human beings is essential. But it’ll be deprived of it for a while, you can put it on hold find other ways and continue with the, and in fact, extend and deepen the activities carried out, can be done, it’s not going to be easy, but humans have faced problems.”