Noam Chomsky full length interview: Who rules the world now?



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Cathy Newman’s full interview with Philosopher Noam Chomsky. From Trump and Clinton, to climate change, Brexit and TPP, America’s foremost intellectuals presents his views on who rules the world today. Subscribe for more: bit.ly/LtASif.

mr. Chomsky that impotence of voters are angry impotence as you talk about presumably you'd say that is what is responsible for the rise of Donald Trump is it it's pretty clear what is responsible for the rise of the support for Trump and there's general agreement about it if you take a simple look at economic statistics the primary support for for Trump is coming from mostly white working-class poor people who've been cast by the wayside during the neoliberal period they've lived through a generation of stagnation or decline real male wages are about what they were in the 1960s other has been that's also been a decline in functioning democracy the overwhelming evidence reveals that the their even their own elected representatives are barely reflect their interests and concerns contempt for institutions especially Congress has just increased skyrocket it is down single digits often these are people who meanwhile there has of course been wealth wealth created it's gone into very few hands a primary mostly into a fraction of the top one percent indeed what enormous opulence yes indeed and how dangerous do you think this all is in terms of Donald Trump for example I mean he has been toning down some of his most extreme pronouncements recently he may if he ever got anywhere near power he could be held in check by congressmen how dangerous do you think he is to America well the greatest danger that he and indeed every Republican candidate poses is barely mentioned it's kind of reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes's dog that did not bark the greatest danger is the group there are two huge dangers that the human species faces we're now on a situation where we have to decide whether the species survives in any decent form one is the rising danger of nuclear war which is quite serious the other is environmental catastrophe now on these issues Donald Trump and the other Republican candidates are basically uniformed I don't believe the threat of new clue do you believe that Hillary Clinton the Democratic frontrunner would champion those issues and in a way that we satisfy you not in any way that would satisfy me but at least she recognizes that climate change is going on and that we have to do something about it every single Republican candidate denies that it's happening with the sole exception of Kasich who says sure it's happening but we shouldn't do anything about it and that's having an impact the Paris negotiations last December were aiming at a treaty they couldn't reach it for a simple reason the Republican Congress would not accept it so it's a voluntary agreement which means even the weak standards that were proposed will be barely maybe it undermines the likelihood that even they will be met every Republican candidate including Trump wants to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency Richard Nixon's legacy to cut back regulation to race toward the precipices quickly as possible on militarism every one of them wants to raise the huge military budget already over half of discretionary spending leading right now that's one factor leading to confrontations which could be extremely hazardous and briefly I think this is not being discussed in people like suggest one thing perhaps that you might agree with Donald Trump on would be about the EU I mean he talks about the fact that the UK may leave the EU you've railed against European Union bureaucracy could you agree with him on that no I don't in fact I actually have no real strong opinion on brexit but I've haven't my concern about it would be that it would weaken the European Union but it would also probably leave Britain even more than what I used to strong a word subordinate to u.s. power than it is today which I don't think would be a good thing for the world or Britain what in a nutshell is the answer to who rules the world now there as I try to discuss in the book there is no simple answer we usually think of states when that question is raised and with regard to States there's no doubt that the United States despite its decline for many many years is still overwhelmingly more powerful than any state or group of states but that's the only one factor states have internal structures an internal distribution of fact of power in the United States power is overwhelmingly and increasingly in recent years in the hands of a very narrow sector of corporate wealth private wealth and power so that's and they have counterparts elsewhere who agree with them who interact with them largely and that's another dimension in who rules the world as also the public the public can have sometimes does have enormous power we can go back to David Hume first major modern work on political philosophy foundations of the theory of government pointed out that force is on the side of the governed those who are governed have the force if they are willing to and eager to and recognize the possibility to exercise it sometimes they do that's a major force and who rules the world but when it comes to state power you don't buy the idea of China as the next superpower the imminent superpower China I'm in China had the China's plays a very important role in the world undoubtedly if you take a look at say per capita income it's far behind the United States and other developed States it has an enormous internal problems a demographic ecological resources and so on it's undoubtedly going to play an important in military terms it's not even a fraction of the United States and Western powers so it's yes and economically it's significant but bear in mind that a good deal of Chinese production is actually foreign owned Apple world's major corporation happens to produce in China largely but that's a US production which happens to use Chinese facilities labor and and other facilities so China is a growing developing power and some domains in fact it's gone quite far even in the high technology industry so for example in production of solar panels China is in the lead not just in mass production but also in innovation and the high-tech development and all of this is significant but is by no means of power or on the scale of the United States in fact take a look at the confrontations between China and the United States now there are serious confrontations are they in the Caribbean are they off the coast of California no they're in waters around China where China and others have territorial claims those that's symbolic reflection of the nature of state power well you describe your scathing about the United States no one will be surprised to hear that you describe it as a leading terrorists state I'm just interested to how you describe Russia how I describe Richard authoritarian brutal harsh carrying out ugly actions in its own region the United States on the other hand carries out such actions all over the world in fact again look at the there are serious confrontations between Russia and the United States and once again are they on the Mexican border the Canadian border no they're on the Russian border in fact right at the point of the traditional invasion route through which Russia has been virtually destroyed several times in the past century also earlier history again that's no apologetics for what Putin may be doing but it's a should lead us to understood a rational perspective on the relationship between these forces in the world as for the u.s. being the leading terror state I should say that's hardly just my opinion so for example I noted when I was introduced the interview the person who introduced me said that I regard the United States as the gravest threat the world peace that's not exactly as a little misrepresents the situation there are international polls run by the leading US polling agency Gallup it's international affiliate Gallup wind and one of the questions they ask is which country is the gravest threat to world peace and the United States is first by a huge margin far behind in second place is Pakistan that's undoubtedly inflated by the Indian vote and others are have slight mentioned so that's global opinion and I should mention that this is was not even reported in the United States to be reported by BBC but wasn't reported in the United States as for being a terrorist State President Obama's global assassination campaign drone assassination campaign is extreme a terrorist war I mean if Iran let's say was carrying out a campaign to assassinate people around the world who would thought might be planning to harm Iran we would regard it as terrorism for example if they were bombing the editorial offices of The New York Times in the Washington Post which publish op eds by prominent figures saying that we should bomb Iran right now not wait so obviously they want to harm Iran suppose Iran was assassinating them and anybody who happened to be standing around all over would we regard that as terrorism I think we would well let me put a few questions to you from people online people are sending in questions by our facebook first gary says what are the dangers of TTIP of Putin the danger Laurie what are the dangers of TTIP of T the tramatic trade and partnership TTIP TTIP otti oh yeah oh they're pretty extreme in fact Greenpeace a couple of days ago released 280 pages of internal documents on this so-called trade agreement and they spell out details of what all of us should know the so-called free trade agreements are not free trade agreements in fact to a large extent they're not even trade agreements these are investor right agreements there's a reason why they're kept secret from the public and as soon as you look at them you see why notice I say secret from the public not secret they're not kept secret they're not secret to the the corporate lawyers and lobbyists who are writing the detailed regulations of course in the interests of their constituents not doesn't happen to be the public of the world of their own countries so these are highly protectionist for the benefit of private power so-called intellectual property rights raised effectively raised tariffs they're called patents but very wit which have an enormous impact on economies great wonderful for pharmaceutical and media core conglomerates and others the the right for the the investors corporations are given the right to sue governments something you and I can't do but a corporation can to sue governments for harming their future potentially future profits you can figure out what that means in such cases already in the courts for they're not in the courts they go to private trade adjudication groups made up largely of corporate representatives they're already going on with NAFTA and we can expect more of them there are provisions that undermine efforts at regulation including incidentally regulation of environmental of the dangers and rather strikingly the phrase climate change does not appear in these 280 pages which are illustrative of the whole structure so these that they have almost no I should say these these agreements so-called Pacific at Atlantic have virtually no effect on tariffs tariffs are already quite low among the major trading partners when you read the propaganda about it it says oh yeah Shore Vietnam is going to have to lower its tariffs yeah almost no effect on trade the major trading partners have already have agreements that have reduced tariffs very substantially there are few exceptions not many so these are baited disabuse ourselves of the illusion that these are free trade agreements anything but and to a large extent not even trade agreements we have the experience of others like NAFTA many years of experience so it's takes a NAFTA it has all of the aspects that I just described but even more consider even what is called trade interactions across the us-mexico border they've increased substantially since NAFTA so economists will tell you trade is greatly increased but have a look at them so for example suppose that General Motors produces parts in Indiana sends them to Mexico to for assembly and sells the car in Los Angeles that's called trade in both directions but it's not its interactions internal to a command economy it's as if during the days of the Soviet Union parts were made saying Leningrad sent the Warsaw for assembly and sold in Moscow that we wouldn't call that trade that's interactions internal to a command economy well Noam Chomsky thank you very much for being so generous with your time and for staying on to have that live online discussion thank you