Noam Chomsky says Trump is ‘the worst criminal in human history’

By | October 30, 2020

Isaac Chotiner writes:

Noam Chomsky, the American linguist, activist, and political writer, is one of the most famous and harshest critics of American foreign policy. His critiques of Presidential Administrations from Nixon to Obama, and the stridency of his views—comparing 9/11 to Bill Clinton’s bombing of a factory in Khartoum, for example—have made him the target of much ire, as well as a hero of the global left. “Chomsky always refuses to talk about motives in politics,” Larissa MacFarquhar wrote in her Profile of him for The New Yorker, in 2003. “Like many theorists of universal humanness, he often seems baffled, even repelled, by the thought of actual people and their psychologies.”

When I called Chomsky, who is ninety-one, last month for a long-scheduled interview, I had meant to discuss his career and life, and his latest book, “Climate Crisis and the Global Green New Deal,” written with Robert Pollin and C. J. Polychroniou—but he spent most of the hour-long session railing against the Trump Administration with a vehemence that slightly surprised me. Chomsky has always been extremely pragmatic in his political analysis, diverging from some other leftists in his belief in the necessity of voting for mainstream Democrats against Republicans. But in addition to supporting Joe Biden this year, he told me that Donald Trump is “the worst criminal in human history” and expressed serious concerns about the future of American democracy (although he conceded that it “was never much to write home about”). With perhaps not equal concern, but with the same passion he seems to bring to every topic, he also railed against “cancel culture” and explained why he signed the recent Harper’s letter on free expression. And yet, Chomsky noted that what he most loves to think about are philosophy, science, and language. “To tell you the truth,” he said, “while I’m giving interviews and talking about things, one part of my mind is working on technical problems, which are much more interesting.” [Continue reading…]