Chomsky warns of fascism risk in America

At a recent speech, Chomsky said he remembers the sound of Hitler’s speeches and how the Nazis went from 2% of the vote to taking over two years later. He hears the rage of the Tea Partiers and others and says “the level of anger and fear is like nothing I can compare in my lifetime.”

“Ridiculing the tea party shenanigans is a serious error,” Chomsky said.

Their attitudes “are understandable,” he said. “For over 30 years, real incomes have stagnated or declined. This is in large part the consequence of the decision in the 1970s to financialize the economy.”

There is class resentment, he noted. “The bankers, who are primarily responsible for the crisis, are now reveling in record bonuses while official unemployment is around 10 percent and unemployment in the manufacturing sector is at Depression-era levels,” he said.

And Obama is linked to the bankers, Chomsky explained.

All true, but how does that lead to a fascist takeover? I’m just not getting the inevitability of the process or even particularly alarmed about the anger. I saw much worse in the 60’s and we survived that.

The SEC filing fraud charges against Goldman today was a needed first step. But there need to be many more filings, including criminal charges. Frog-march a few hundred investment bank criminals to prison after stripping them of their assets, and I guarantee the anger in the country will start to dissipate. Remember, in the S&L debacle of the 80’s, thousands of people went to prison. That’s what needs to happen again. But if the companies just get fines, the anger will continue to escalate and things might get crazed. (But that still doesn’t mean fascism is coming)