TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – The American population has been facing significant social distress in the past 40 years, renowned political scientist and linguist Noam Chomsky said in a recent interview.
“The roots lie in what has happened to the general population over the past 40 years. People really have faced significant distress. An astonishing fact about the United States is that life expectancy is actually declining. That doesn’t happen in developed societies, apart from, you know, major war or huge famine. But it’s happening because of social distress, and not necessarily impoverishment. The people who are demonstrating this fear and resentment may be even moderately affluent, but what they see is they’re stagnating,” Chomsky said in the interview with Nation of Change website on Saturday.
“In the past, there was—you had this dream: You worked hard, you could get ahead, your children would be a little better. Now it stopped. It stopped for the last 40 years as a result of very specific socio and economic policies, which have been designed so that they sharply concentrate wealth, they enhance corporate power, that has immediate effects on the political system in perfectly obvious ways, even to the point where lobbyists literally write legislation. This onslaught has literally cast a bunch of the population aside. They’re stagnating. They are not moving forward. They see no prospects. And they’re bitter and angry about it,” he added.
“And this anger and bitterness can take pathological forms. It could take very constructive forms. It could lead to popular organized movements, which would dedicate themselves to overcoming these blows against decent human existence, which certainly can be done. The groundwork for that has been severely undermined, for example, by the destruction—careful, planned destruction—of labor unions, the main force, historically, for leading the way towards more progressive, humane policies. All of these are a package. They’ve all gone together for 40 years—there’s precursors, of course—and it has led to a situation where you get an outburst of what Gramsci once called morbid symptoms, pathological developments, of the kind that you mentioned, growing out of a soil that is rich in incitement to such things happening”.