Charles Derber in Salon:
Noam, recently you gave a very powerful talk on the theme of extinction, the nightmare looming over us from climate change and nuclear war. As I listened and read the transcript, one gets the feeling that we’re entering a new stage of history. It’s not an easy stage to contemplate. What I want to focus on in this conversation is just what can everybody do, especially in the wake of Trump’s election as President. Trump’s agenda appears to be taking out the climate initiatives that gave a little hope on climate change. And foreign policy measures that would make nuclear conﬂict more likely deserve attention in our discussion of extinction.
Do you believe we have moved into this new era? Do you see the threat of extinction as fundamentally changing the way the Left movements have to think about what they’re doing?
It’s very difﬁcult to talk about the Left as an entity because it’s a collection of very disparate movements involved in all sorts of endeavors, many of them quite valuable.
The Left needs to become uniﬁed and integrated because whatever particular issue you’re working on, this crisis of potential extinction is overshadowing it. There must be international solidarity.
The situation for organizing here is not that bleak. If you take a look at the last election, Clinton won a majority of the votes. The outcome has to do with special features of the U.S. electoral system, which is pretty regressive by world standards. Among younger people, Clinton did win a substantial majority. More important, Sanders won an overwhelming majority. That’s the younger part of the population. You take a look at Trump supporters. Many of them voted for Obama.