Noam Chomsky warns us that “the echoes of fascism are ‘reverberating’ today and his arguments for this are chilling.
Reported by Matthew Rothschild at The Progressive Magazine.
“I’m just old enough to have heard a number of Hitler’s speeches on the radio,” he said, “and I have a memory of the texture and the tone of the cheering mobs, and I have the dread sense of the dark clouds of fascism gathering” here at home.
“The level of anger and fear is like nothing I can compare in my lifetime,” he said.
This weekend was Holocaust Memorial Remembrance, we listened to stories of survivors who spoke to the environment in Europe, particularly Germany, between 1933 and 1936, the anger of the citizens due to many of the same things our populace is angry about today, i.e. jobs, the economy, etc.
Chomsky invoked Germany during the Weimar Republic, and drew a parallel between it and the United States. “The Weimar Republic was the peak of Western civilization and was regarded as a model of democracy,” he said.
And he stressed how quickly things deteriorated there.
“In 1928 the Nazis had less than 2 percent of the vote,” he said. “Two years later, millions supported them. The public got tired of the incessant wrangling, and the service to the powerful, and the failure of those in power to deal with their grievances.”
He said the German people were susceptible to appeals about “the greatness of the nation, and defending it against threats, and carrying out the will of eternal providence.”
The level of discourse we in this Country are hearing from some on the right is so close to what groups in Germany were expressing before its rise of fascism.
“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.
What we have not learned from past history we are doomed to repeat, that is not acceptable.
“People want some answers,” Chomsky said. “They are hearing answers from
only one place: Fox, talk radio, and Sarah Palin.”