Conversation with Correa

Chomsky & Correa talk US imperialism, the Doomsday Clock, and Latin American meddling


Renowned American philosopher and political scientist Noam Chomsky sat down with Rafael Correa for a wide-ranging discussion about US imperialism on the former Bolivian president’s Conversation with Correa show.

In the interview, Chomsky points out that although the US’ national power has eroded since its peak after World War II, America’s corporations still own about half of the world economy and its military are unrivalled. This means “the outreach of US economic and, therefore, political power is still enormous,” Chomsky says.

However, he goes on to say that “under Trump, it’s becoming weaker, less effective, it’s internally disintegrating, it’s losing whatever international authority or prestige it had.” Most importantly, in pulling out of the milestone Paris climate change accord, “Trump has departed from the entire world,” the academic said.

Correa then asks Chomsky how the US can be induced to sign environmental treaties when it has such a strong military. While the professor acknowledges that “the US certainly has the capacity to destroy everything,” he observes that all the other leading nuclear powers do as well. “We have to understand that we’ve reached the point where a nuclear confrontation between major powers would essentially destroy the species,” he explains.

The pair also touch on the tension over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes, Julian Assange’s prospects of exiting the Ecuadorian embassy without ending up in Guantanamo, and the real reasons the 2nd Amendment was included in the US Constitution.

The interview finishes with a lively debate on the rise of right-wing governments in Latin America and the extent of US influence there. Chomsky argues that the “solid accomplishments” of Latin America’s so-called ‘pink tide’, in which left-wing governments had gained ground, have not yet been undone.

Despite Correa’s objections, he goes on to assert the US doesn’t have the same clout in the region that it used to enjoy. “They can destabilise governments, but that’s quite different from instituting a military coup, as was done with impunity for years,” he says, while adding “the days when the US could just overthrow a [Latin American] government any time it felt like it, that’s gone.”

You can check out the entire Conversation with Correa interview here, at RTD Documentaries.