[Marxism] Will Noam Chomsky Vote For President Obama? -- You betcha!

Bonnie Weinstein giobon at comcast.net
Thu Mar 22 11:37:14 MDT 2012

Will Noam Chomsky Vote For President Obama?
My Conversation with Noam Chomsky

By The State Journal

March 20, 2012 "State Journal" -- I have been reading Noam Chomsky's  
work for several years and from the very beginning his work inspired  
me. Whether you agree with him or not, I think everyone agrees that  
he has been the most influential critic of U.S. policy in our time.  
This conversation is one we had over e-mail. I've e-mailed him  
before, but have never gone back and forth with him so much. Here is  
my conversation with Noam Chomsky:

kcrob2001: It seems to me that all presidential candidates, those who  
have a chance to win, are the same. I believe it to be a fact that no  
matter their party affiliation, each candidate is pretty much the  
same person but will run this machine in a different way. The  
Democrats will always run on their "for the people" campaign, and the  
Republicans will always run on their "lower taxes" campaign. Neither  
side will improve this country, and I believe that because this is  
happening our country will fall very soon.

Noam Chomsky: It's true that their are similarities, but it's not  
quite the case. Obama is quite different from the Republican  
candidates, and the constituencies of the two political organizations  
differ, which helps lead to different policies. Over a long stretch,  
for example, working people have made out better under Democratic  
than Republican administrations--which is kind of ironic, because the  
white working class is now mostly Republican, not on economic but on  
"social" and "cultural" issues.

kcrob2001: Obama isn't what his voters wanted him to be. It seems to  
me that his voters expected him to save the country and all would be  
well, but that is obviously not happening. In your career, have you  
ever come to a solid conclusion that the structure of the U.S.  
government is unsavable? What I mean is, there isn't a force of any  
kind that would combat the inner erosion we are seen now.

Noam Chomsky: It's not a matter of Yes or No but of More or Less.  
There have been plenty of times when popular pressures led to  
improvements, sometimes major ones.

kcrob2001: I've said that a democracy can't last, and I believe you  
have written about how shaky a democracy can be. Do you think another  
system of government would produce better results, and would it be  
possible to make such a shift using popular pressures?

Noam Chomsky: What we're seeing is that a partial democracy is being  
shredded by concentrated domestic power. Authentic democracy would  
have a much better chance to thrive and flourish, I think. I don't  
know of any preferable alternative.

kcrob2001: With the government structure we have now I see no reason  
to vote for candidates who run for office under that structure. It  
seems to me that in voting one has to pick the lesser of two evils  
rather than vote for a respected candidate. Do you vote, or see the  
need to?

Noam Chomsky: I agree. One has to pick the lesser of two evils, and  
there are substantial differences. If I were in a swing state, I'd  
vote against any Republican (hence necessarily for Obama).

kcrob2001: I think Obama will win because there is no credible  
Republican candidate. I certainly would rather he get re-elected than  
to see the likes of Mitt Romney in the white house.

Noam Chomsky: I hope you're right, but there are a lot of uncertainties.
—Information Clearing House, March 20, 2012

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