Culture

Chomsky: Calling Someone 'Anti-American' Is a Classic Technique of Social Control

"That word 'Americanism' [is] the kind of term that you only find in totalitarian societies."

Photo Credit: jeanbaptisteparis/Flicker

It's a common trend, we've seen it before—someone in America challenges power and the official storyline in a fundamental way, and they become the victims of smear campaigns that call them anti-American. The label has been used to describe everyone from Colin Kaepernick to Donald Trump, just in the past week. But Noam Chomsky believes it's a low blow.

"You might take a look at that word 'Americanism,' it's an unusual term, it's the kind of term that you only find in totalitarian societies as far as I know. So like in the Soviet Union, and anti-Sovietism was considered the gravest of all crimes... and the Brazilian generals had some concept like that anti-Brazilian, but try, say, publishing a book on anti-Italianism and see what happens in the streets of Rome or Milan People won't even bother laughing, it's a ludicrous idea," Chomsky explained.

"As far as I know, the United States is the only free society that has such a concept," Chomsky said. "Americanism and anti-Americanism and un-Americanism and so on ... these are concepts which ... induce hatred and fear among people."

Watch the video below: 

Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

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