Noam Chomsky is, as this documentary notes, “widely regarded as the most influential intellectual of his time.” Given that Chomsky is on the left, it might seem that he has little to offer. But in many respects, his comments here reinforce many of the ideas linked to the populist right, although, as with the influence of the (never mentioned) Israel Lobby, he also has an very large blind spot when it comes to Jewish power. Chomsky, born in 1928, was already a superstar linguistics professor at MIT by the 1960s when he became a fixture among New Left activist intellectuals, joining such figures as Paul Goodman, Herbert Marcuse, and Howard Zinn. The documentary is really a history of America beginning in the 1950s seen through the eyes of a New Left intellectual.
Unlike the continued vilification of the 1950s that streams out of Hollywood, Chomsky labels the decade a relatively egalitarian “golden age,” noting that the relative wealth of the bottom 20% increased about as much as the top 20%, labor unions were strong, working class people could afford a home and a car, and taxes (including taxes on capital gains and dividends) were relatively high on the wealthy. Nowadays we are told only about Jim Crow practices that still occurred in the South in the 1950s, but Chomsky notes that Blacks were able to get good jobs working in automobile factories, etc.
All that changed, beginning with what Chomsky calls the “significant democratization” of the 1960s—the Civil Rights movement, feminism, and environmentalism. In my writing, both in The Culture of Critique and Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition, I regard the 1960s as a watershed, transformative decade, marking the rise of a new Jewish-dominated left-of-center elite based on power in media and the academic world. Chomsky does not agree, claiming that beginning in the 1970s there was a reaction against the 1960s that culminated in the relative dispossession of the working class. This is true as far as it goes, but it fails to come to note the rise of Jewish power in the finance and business also occurred during this period
In arguing for his position, Chomsky emphasizes that the 1970s marked the beginning of the rise of the financialization of the economy. Whereas in the 1950s manufacturing was 28% of the economy and finance 11%, the balance had reversed by 2010. Chomsky notes that companies like General Electric realized they could make more money with sophisticated financial maneuvering than by manufacturing. Complex financial instruments were invented and financial regulations that had been in place since the 1930s to prevent economic crashes were removed. And it was the beginning of outsourcing manufacturing to foreign countries with cheap labor and the consequent decline of labor unions and the economic and political power of the White working class. And when the complex financial instruments blew up (as happened in 2008 with collateralized debt obligations [the result of bundling good and bad (including “liar loans’) loans into one financial product]), the government bailed out “too big to fail” Wall Street but not individual homeowners.
As Chomsky notes, the result of these developments was rising economic inequality—the rise of the super-rich top 0.1 percent to unrivaled political power. Chomsky notes that the super-rich much prefer oligarchy to democracy and indeed the data support him. they are able to control the political process via donations to political candidates and control of media messages. Jews are recognized as the “financial engine of the left,” as Norman Podhoretz phrased it, and contribute around 75% of the funds for Democrats and probably at least 50% for Republicans (Sheldon’ Adelson’s generosity toward Trump. (A prominent example is Sheldon Adelson whose support of Trump [north of $200 million] is predicated on a pro-Israel foreign policy; in general the Republican Jewish Coalition favors a pro-Israel foreign policy and moving the party to the left on social issues like immigration and gender).
Illustrating the importance of media control, Chomsky notes that Obama’s presidential campaign received an award for the most effective public relations media campaign and he decries the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case which framed financial donations to political campaigns by corporations and labor unions as free speech, in effect further opening the gates for the wealthy to control the political system. He then notes this is quite unlike media corporations like CBS which are “supposed to be a public service.”
This of course, is absurd, implying that CBS (and by implication other mainstream media corporations) has no political biases and does not in fact operate as a public service. CBS is part of ViacomCBS, whose major owners are the Sumner Redstone and his family, who are Jewish and whose values are typical of the liberal-left attitudes of the mainstream Jewish community (here, p. xlvi–lvi).
Chomsky clearly has a distaste for oligarchy but he fails to mention the very large body of writing by Jews opposed to populism—a major theme of The Culture of Critique, especially Chapter 5. As noted there, citing Paul Gottfried (After Liberalism) and Christopher Lasch (The True and Only Heaven):
In the post–World War II era The Authoritarian Personality became an ideological weapon against historical American populist movements, especially McCarthyism (Gottfried 1998; Lasch 1991, 455ff). “[T]he people as a whole had little understanding of liberal democracy and . . . important questions of public policy would be decided by educated elites, not submitted to popular vote” (Lasch 1991, 455).
In his 1963 book The Tolerant Populists, Walter Nugent, was
explicit in finding that Jewish identification was an important ingredient in the [anti-populist] analysis, attributing the negative view of American populism held by some American Jewish historians (Richard Hofstadter, Daniel Bell, and Seymour Martin Lipset) to the fact that “they were one generation removed from the Eastern European shtetl [small Jewish town], where insurgent gentile peasants meant pogrom.”
Indeed, another example comes from Chomsky which occurred well before the rise of Jews to cultural dominance; Walter Lippmann, also Jewish, is quoted as writing in 1925 “The public must be put in its place.” Throughout European history down to the Soviet Union and post-World War II communist societies in Eastern Europe, Jews have always made alliances with ruling elites, often alien ruling elites and often in opposition to other sectors of the population.
Chomsky’s blinders on the media and populism are part of a larger pattern. Chomsky sees post-1960s America as a backlash against the 1960s but in fact the post-1960s America described by Chomsky is the result of the same forces that produced the 1960s counter-cultural revolution: the rise of Jewish power discussed in The Culture of Critique. Chomsky fails to mention that Wall Street and corporate America are decidedly on the left when it comes to the social issues that came to prominence in the 1960s: civil rights (now morphed into racial identity politics for all non-Whites), feminism (now morphed into gender identity politics), and the environment (now dominated by “climate change”). Leftist attitudes on these issues pervade elite media, the academic world, and corporate America.
And he fails to mention that Wall Street is well known to be a center of Jewish power. In his 1999 book, The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State, Benjamin Ginsberg claimed that Jews comprised 50% of Wall Street executives. It’s doubtless at least that high now, and that number doesn’t really get at the extent of Jewish control of key Wall Street players like Goldman Sachs.
Kevin Phillips provides some detail on Chomsky’s economic history of America since the 1980s:
My summation is that American financial capitalism, at a pivotal period in the nation’s history, cavalierly ventured a multiple gamble: first, financializing a hitherto more diversified U.S. economy; second, using massive quantities of debt and leverage to do so; third, following up a stock market bubble with an even larger housing and mortgage credit bubble; fourth, roughly quadrupling U.S. credit-market debt between 1987 and 2007, a scale of excess that historically unwinds; and fifth, consummating these events with a mixed fireworks of dishonesty, incompetence and quantitative negligence.
The Occidental Observer has posted 44 articles on the topic of Jews in the Economy/Finance. (This link goes to the most recent of these articles, Edmund Connelly’s “Jews and Vulture Capitalism: A Reprise.” If you scroll to the bottom of the page there are links to the other articles in this topic—an awkward system; will fix.) Connelly has contributed several other articles on these topics, including “The Culture of Deceit” illustrating the legitimacy of financial fraud within the mainstream Jewish community and several articles on how the Jewish role in financial manipulation has been airbrushed by Hollywood. Also included in this collection are are several articles by Andrew Joyce (“Vulture Capitalism Is Jewish Capitalism,” “Paul Singer and the Universality of Anti-Semitism,” and “Jews and Moneylending: A Contemporary Case File), and by me (“Does Jewish Financial Misbehavior Have Anything To Do with Being Jewish?” and “Now Comes the Anger.”
Finally, another enormous blindspot is Chomsky’s never mentioning immigration at all, despite its tranformative effects on America. Chomsky dutifully mentions the role of outsourcing jobs in compromising the interests of the working class but never mentions that the effects of immigration which is a major part of the reason for wage stagnation since 1970 but also forcing working class Whites to move out of formerly White areas in areas like Southern California which have been inundated by immigration. Chomsky champions a class-based politics, but the Democratic Party, formerly the bastion of labor unions, has become the party of diversity, embodying all the themes of the 1960s counter-cultural revolution and ignoring the interests of their White working-class constituents, with the result that the White working class was the largest group supporting Donald Trump with his populist rhetoric during the 2016 election. Because of the importation of millions of non-Whites, the class-based politics of the 1950s has been destroyed in favor of a coalition of non-Whites and upper-middle-class White liberals (Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition, Chapter 8).