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Noam Chomsky: Young Bernie Sanders Supporters are a "Mobilized Force That Could Change the Country"


Noam Chomsky: Young Bernie Sanders Supporters are a "Mobilized Force That Could Change the Country"

Democracy Now!

During an event Tuesday at the Brooklyn Public Library, Noam Chomsky, the world-renowned political dissident, linguist, author and professor, was asked about Bernie Sanders’ run for the White House. "[H]e’s considered radical and extremist, which is a pretty interesting characterization, because he’s basically a mainstream New Deal Democrat," Chomsky said. "His positions would not have surprised President Eisenhower, who said, in fact, that anyone who does not accept New Deal programs doesn’t belong in the American political system.


Love it!! That's how I see it, too! And how true that today's so-called Democrats are what used to be considered "Moderate Republicans". Our youth is not of this ilk, though, so I have hope (maybe not during my lifetime) they will change this country for the better.


"And if that turns into a continuing, organized, mobilized force, that could change the country—maybe not for this election, but in the longer term."

Chomsky has articulated a big IF. Without the Sanders campaign as a central focus where does it go? For many of these young people the next thing on their agenda will probably be trying to stop Trump by supporting Hillary Clinton. Of course, many will not support Clinton and search for ways to organize. In any event for a time being Sanders supporters will go different ways. Perhaps something like the Occupy Movement will re-emerge in a new form and create a new focus. Maybe Trump will be the next president and opposition to him will be the focus.


I am female, retired, educated, political science major -- just citing my credentials - remember when our elected officials actually worked for us - that ages me - sorry - but never, under no circumstances, will I vote for the war-mongering, Wall Street shill, millionaire. I have lost all hope in our elected officials - either party - realize that we have gone to a fascist state - we are too far gone, looking for property in another country.


To Chomsky's point of spectrum shift, consider:
"In this society, we are conservative about the values and principles which we cherish; but we are forward-looking in protecting those values and principles and in extending their benefits. We have rejected the discredited theory that the fortunes of the Nation should be in the hands of a privileged few. We have abandoned the "trickledown" concept of national prosperity. Instead, we believe that our economic system should rest on a democratic foundation and that wealth should be created for the benefit of all.

The recent election shows that the people of the United States are in favor of this kind of society and want to go on improving it.

The American people have decided that poverty is just as wasteful and just as unnecessary as preventable disease. We have pledged our common resources to help one another in the hazards and struggles of individual life. We believe that no unfair prejudice or artificial distinction should bar any citizen of the United States of America from an education, or from good health, or from a job that he is capable of performing.

The attainment of this kind of society demands the best efforts of every citizen in every walk of life, and it imposes increasing responsibilities on the Government."
And so essentially began Harry Truman's 1949 Annual Message to the Congress on the State of the Union.
( http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=13293 )
Eisenhower's 1956 Republican Platform did not vary all that much from the recognizing the same points.
The dysfunction of our current era was not always the norm. It testifies to the effectiveness of solidarity, particularly that rallied and garnered in support of the Powell Memorandum.


Yes, and I hope many of the young people are doers - there are so many exciting things happening at the local level all over the country and world that are making tangible positive change. It's not just about voting for president, or just voting period. It's about taking action in one's own life and with one's neighbors.


It is Noam Chompsky's article, but I would strongly suggest tho change the headline to:
Young Bernie Sanders Supporters are a "Mobilized Force That Will Change the Country", because that is what will happen, if not in this election, then in 2020, when Bernie has freed himself from the corrupt Democratic Party and founded a new one.


I think that the young people will be led by Bernie. Didn't he say at the beginning that he was forming a revolution? He admitted a t one point that he used the Democratic party to confer legitimacy on his revolution. It doesn't make much difference whether Clinton or Trump become the POTUS; the corporations will control both and the Congress. I think that Bernie and the kids will be waging guerilla warfare. Despite the fact that the corporate media have shut him out, the fact is that he has already educated a lot of the country.


Until we can get rid of political parties completely, here's how the spectrum should look like. A new Left/Progressive party; The Democratic party can have the centrists/moderates; the Repubs with their far right wing ideology. Right now this is what we have to move forward toward, whether Bernie wins or loses.


People seem not to realize that the next 4 years are the most important in the existence of humanity. If we don't start now to replace fossil fuels, industry and agriculture with ecological forms, in a crash program like the US-WWII mobilization, we're likely to find ourselves stretched to the limit just managing emergencies, with little left to spare for positive action to actually solve the problem--climate catastrophe. Hoping for this movement to turn into something down the line, in 4 or 8 years, is dreaming. It's also, as Rebecca Solnit points out, lazy, smug and comfortable reaction to disappointment by the well-off who can afford to ignore the likelihood of a horrific future. (she said it nicer.)

Societies strongly tend to turn toward authoritarian strongmen in times of crisis and pressure; at the very least we'll have a society ten times more polarized than today's in which rational, effective action to solve our problems will be impossible. Now is when we have to change society's direction.


Correct. Sanders is old. He's not going to make a "movement". If he were going to, we would have seen him doing it during his life. What we need is to be building our own organizations. We've wasted time.

And, as far as the "long term" goes, we don't have it.


I don't think that we can get rid of parties. Life is too complicated for the government to be directed by a disorganized mob. We already have a progressive party, the Green Party (GP.org). They have won local elections in places like California, Minnesota and New York. Bernie has already shown that he has coat tails and has influenced some of these local elections.


There is no doubt the U.S. needs at least one other party. The spectrum randlieb envisions is what exists in Canada with the New Democratic Party holding the Left position, but in the last election they moved Right and to the Centre in a bid for power and got slaughtered by the Liberals (Democrats), while the Conservatives (Republicans) were thrown out of power. Any Left party should aim for a strong opposition position to keep hammering on and not seeking power as this requires a watering down of the progressive, social platform. The New Democratic Party has just removed their leader and adopted the progressive LEAP platform, just for consideration for now, but a right/correct "Left" move forward for the future.
Seems like a Sanders-Stein independent ticket could attract would-be Trump voters, abstainers, 'lesser evil' Hillary 'supporters'. Maybe.


I wonder if Professor Chomsky still believes that 9/11 was NOT a false flag operation?


I know how you feel. Thanks for articulating it so well.


Oatstraw, usually it takes a full-lived life to have accumulated the wisdom needed for making bold and informed moves. Sanders HAS made a movement...the seeds of action may have been planted by the Occupy Movement, but Bernie saw what was happening long before Occupy and he used his experience to broaden the message and his vision to inspire masses of people. He's done the work...your negativity will not accomplish change.


If Clinton gets the nomination and Bernie supports her, then we will have reached a teachable moment. We will need to observe what happens then. If most Bernie supports switch to Clinton, then that would indicate that people are still going to accept the status quo, and the movement will end. If, on the other hand, they refuse to switch to Clinton, then clearly the movement is ongoing because people have refused to be brainwashed.


Good !! ! I suggest another change, because, there are Bernie supporters of any age. I am over 80yrs old and I am a proud follower of Bernie Sanders.


Your fantasies will not "accomplish change". This guy was no revolutionary. Quite the contrary. But then, I actually looked at his record early on in this process. Did you?


Welcome to the club, I am just a couple of weeks shy of 82 myself :slight_smile: