Imperial Ambitions

Conversations on the Post-9/11 World

American Empire Project

Noam Chomsky and David Barsamian

Metropolitan Books

“America has formal democratic institutions, but they barely function. So it doesn’t matter if, say, 80 percent of the population thinks we should have some kind of national health-care system. It doesn’t even matter if the large majority regards this as a moral value. When commentators rave on about “moral values,” they’re talking about gay marriage, not the fact that decent health care for everyone is part of people’s moral values. And the reason those commentators don’t care is that it’s not their interest. They’re like me. They get fine health care. So it’s not an issue for them. But for the large majority of the population, it’s a serous issue, and it’s becoming even more so. When Medicaid is destroyed, as it probably will be, that’s going to really harm people. But people are unorganized: they’re not in unions, they’re not in political associations, there are no political parties in which they participate. They’re isolated. The genius of American politics has been to marginalize and isolate the population so it can’t act in its collective interest.”