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Noam Chomsky on America's Declining Empire, Occupy and the Arab Spring

According to Chomsky, America's declining power is self-inflicted.

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Part of this decline is self-inflicted. What the Economic Policy Institute calls Failure by Design has significantly weakened the United States, and that will continue unless there’s real changes here. Changes that would benefit the population here and the world. There’s kind of a corollary that’s very standard that China is taking over. That we should be cautious about. Chinese growth has been spectacular, but China remains a very poor country. It’s incomparably poor to the United States. It has grown as a huge manufacturing center, but mainly for assembly. It’s mainly an assembly plant for the sophisticated, industrial countries on its periphery and western multinationals like Apple and so on. That will change over time, but it’s a long haul. China faces real problems. Ecological problems, demographic problems, and many others. It’s a significant development, but a lot of the hype of that I think one should be skeptical about.

So yes, these processes are underway undoubtedly. They’re partly by design. There is a sector that’s doing fantastically well, mainly in financial capital. For the general public it’s a different story. That’s why you have uprisings all over.


Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet. He is the author of The 15 Biggest Lies About the Economy: And Everything else the Right Doesn't Want You to Know About Taxes, Jobs and Corporate America . Drop him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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