During a recent interview with the BBC, Noam Chomsky, a professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said that the United States Republican Party is “the most dangerous organization in human history.”
Once voted the world’s top intellectual in a worldwide poll, Chomsky is one of the most cited scholars in history. While he is astutely aware of the scope of his claim, he asserts that in his view it is true.
“It’s an outrageous statement and when I said it, I said ‘Look, this is a very outrageous statement.’ But it’s true.”
Noam Chomsky appeared on the BBC’s Newsnight with Evan Davis when he said that President Donald Trump’s administration was placing “profits and power” above the protection of vital governmental institutions such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.
While discussing the meteoric rise of Donald Trump, Chomsky explained that his popularity was the result of a delayed backlash from the American working class who have allegedly been neglected by Democrats for 40 years.
Republicans, according to Chomsky, are a “class enemy” of the American people, but he believes that the GOP’s ability to appeal to the non-economic sentiments of voters — religion, white supremacy, and identity politics in general — is what gave them the upper hand in last year’s election.
“White supremacy is very deeply rooted in the United States. It ranks higher than even South Africa. There’s no doubt there was a racist motivation behind [Mr Trump’s victory].”
Evan Davis asked Chomsky if he believed that there would be severe consequences of Trump’s presidency. In Chomsky’s view, “the main damage he’ll do is to the world,” and he adds that the process has already begun.
“The most significant aspect of the Trump election – and it’s not just Trump, it’s the whole Republican Party – is their departing from the rest of the world on climate change.”
Mr. Davis asked whether Chomsky believed that the Republican Party under Trump was worse than an organization like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), to which the intellectual asked in return if ISIS was “dedicated to trying to destroy the prospects for organized human existence?”
“What does it mean to say not only are we not doing anything about climate change but we’re trying to accelerate the race to the precipice?”
According to Mr. Chomsky, “it doesn’t matter whether they genuinely believe [climate change] or not… if the consequence of that is ‘let’s use more fossil fuels, let’s refuse to subsidize developing countries, let’s eliminate regulations that reduce greenhouse gases.’ If that’s the consequence, that’s extremely dangerous.”
At an event organized by Democracy Now!, Noam Chomsky reiterated an earlier statement that he had made about how the Republicans are “overwhelmingly” committed to destroying human life on earth.
“Is the Republican organization – I hesitate to call it a party – committed to that? Overwhelmingly. There isn’t even any question about it.”
Chomsky is particularly concerned by the way that America, led by Trump, is isolating itself from global negotiations about climate change. He claims that the United States isn’t merely not engaging, but rather undermining efforts by the rest of the world to deal with this crucial “existential threat.”
However, Chomsky does not lay the blame squarely at Trump’s feet. It is “every single Republican leader,” in his view. Describing the Republican primaries last year, Chomsky points out that “every single candidate either denied that climate change was happening or, when you get to the so-called moderates like Jeb Bush or [John] Kasich, they say ‘well maybe it’s happening, but we shouldn’t do anything about it.’ It’s 100 percent refusal.”
During the interview, Chomsky provided multiple examples of how the Trump administration was allegedly subverting climate science. He said that in North Carolina, as one example, the Legislature responded to concerns about rapidly rising sea levels by “passing legislation to ban any actions or even discussion that might have to do with climate change.”
Chomsky then went on to cite one of his favorite responses to North Carolina’s actions.
“Actually, the best comment of this—I wish I could quote it verbatim—was by Stephen Colbert, who said, ‘If you have a serious problem, the way to deal with it is to legislate that it doesn’t exist. Problem solved.'”
[Featured Image by Nader Daoud/AP Images]