Chomsky on the Elections, the Economy, and the World

From Democracy Now:

ScreenHunter_05 Dec. 17 08.40 The response to the election was interesting and instructive. It kept pretty much to the soaring rhetoric, to borrow the cliché, that was the major theme of the election. The election was described as an extraordinary display of democracy, a miracle that could only happen in America, and on and on. Much more extreme in Europe even than here. There’s some accuracy in that, if we keep to the West. So if we keep to the West, yes, it’s probably true that it couldn’t have happened anywhere else. Europe is much more racist than the United States, and you wouldn’t expect anything like that to happen. On the other hand, if we look at the world, it’s not that remarkable.

So, let’s take, say, the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere: Haiti and Bolivia. In Haiti, there was an election in 1990, which really was an extraordinary display of democracy, much more so than this. In Haiti, there were grassroots movements, popular movements that developed in the slums and in the hills, which nobody was paying any attention to. And they managed, even without any resources, to sweep into power their own candidate, a populist priest, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. That’s a victory for democracy, when popular movements can organize and set programs and pick their candidate and put him into office, which is not what happened here, of course. I mean, Obama did organize a great large number of people and many enthusiastic people, what’s called in the press “Obama’s Army.” But the army is supposed to take instructions, not to implement, to introduce, develop programs and call on its own candidate to implement them. That’s critical.

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