Noam Chomsky, eminent political commentator, philosopher and author said that other than the coronavirus crisis there were two much greater threats approaching: Nuclear war and global warming. He said, as the coronavirus pandemic reaches its end, the world would have two options to go: to be more authoritarian, or for a radical reconstruction of society recognizing humane needs.

This could be worse than anything in human history, he said that coronavirus is horrible causing terrifying impact, but there would be recovery. But in case of the impact of two other dangers (Nuclear war and global warming), there won't be any recovery, he said speaking with Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25) online on March 28.

When the powerful US is imposing sanctions on countries like Iran and Cuba, it makes others, like Europe, follow along, Chomsky said. Cuba, even though faced with sanctions is helping Europe and, many countries, he said this is "one of the most ironic elements of today's virus crisis."

Even though there was a prediction of a potential pandemic back in October 2019, referring to Event 201 hosted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security partnering with the World Economic Forum and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He said no work was done in the direction of defence after this prediction, he blamed market failure and the neoliberal policy 'plague' that resulted in a socio-economic crisis.

Neoliberal Capitalism behind profit

Naom Chomsky
Noam Chomsky Jeanbaptisteparis/Wikimedia Commons

He bashed the big pharmaceutical companies were busy with 'profitable new body creams than finding a vaccine that will protect people from total destruction.' In an interview with Truthout, Chomsky said that the bottleneck of the pandemic is the lack of ventilators, he blamed neoliberal capitalism as "there's no profit in preventing a future catastrophe," citing a case where a company refused to be in a contract of making cheap ventilators because it wasn't profitable.

After China reported of pneumonia of unknown origin and later releasing the genome sequence of the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19, only "China, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore began to do something" while other countries ignored. He said Germany acted "in a highly selfish fashion, not helping others but for itself at least, to evidently reasonable containment."

Trump, a sociopathic buffoon

He also bashed Trump calling the US President a "sociopathic buffoon". Chomsky explained, "One day [Donald Trump] says, 'There is no crisis, it's just like flu.' The next day, 'It's a terrible crisis and I knew it all along.' The next day, 'We have to go back to the business because I have to win the election'. The idea that the world is in these hands is shocking."

We need a mentality of 'wartime mobilization' to defeat the present crisis, he said citing the US financial mobilization during the second world war which quadrupled the US manufacturing and led to growth. This could be dealt with by rich countries. In a civilized society, rich countries would assist those in need instead of strangling them, he added.

The good side and the bad

Describing it as a 'good side', he said, the coronavirus pandemic could make people think about what kind of world they want. Chomsky pointed out that a kind of social isolation existed for years and was very damaging, while the present isolation has recreated social bonds between people.

This crucial moment in history could bring public awareness about the "profound flaws of the world, the deep, dysfunctional characteristics of the whole socioeconomic system, which has to change" and act as a warning sign and a lesson. This could lead us to a system concerned with human needs in place of private profit.

He said there was a bad side of a potential authoritarian system that could result after the crisis, added to the problems of nuclear war and rising problem of global warming, "from which there is no recovery once we've gotten to that stage that it's not far in distance unless we act decisively"