By: Martín Hernández Alcántara, La Jornada de Oriente
The philosopher, political scientist and US activist Noam Chomsky criticized the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), whose fifth round of negotiations concluded last week, and warned that Mexico is at a disadvantage versus the United States.
During his participation in the “The city of ideas,” Chomsky criticized multilateral agreements like NAFTA. He considered that in reality the residents of the participant countries don’t benefit, but only the transnational corporations, because lobbyists and investors design the clauses and only look out for the interests of their capital, side stepping the fate of the rest of the society as “externalities.”
For example, he referred to NAFTA and assured that Mexican campesinos will never be able to compete with the United States agro-industry, because it receives enormous subsidies from its government.
He added that national legislation is now manages through lobbyists and investors on behalf of the big corporations, which oppose taking advantage of solar energy and do everything in their power to make its free use difficult.
In the Metropolitan Auditorium of Puebla, Chomsky spoke about the crises that place the survival of humanity in danger. He referred to the risk of a global conflagration, because although the “cold war” ended, countries are more armed than ever and brag about their arsenals for intimidating their enemies.
About climate change, he warned that it is the responsibility of the transnationals and that the rising temperatures will lead to dangers for humanity not known as of now, like the possible liberation of prehistoric bacteria with which we don’t know how to deal, resulting from the melting of the permafrost. He affirmed that the emergencies Bangladesh and Congo now suffer are the result of the irrational exploitation of natural resources on the part of transnational corporations.
Migrations due to looting
He added that the migratory waves have an explanation in the two last centuries, as occurred in the Congo, first devastated by the Belgians and later the United States and Europe, who installed governments to loot that nation.
Today in the Congo, he added, they extract minerals for manufacturing pieces for iPhones without any controls, and the destruction is such that the people have to migrate, he underscored. He maintained that far from being cared for by the West, these humanitarian crises are repelled: Europeans prefer that those who migrate from Africa to Europe perish in the Mediterranean Sea and the same thing happens in the United States with Mexico and Central America.
During the principal event of “The city of ideas” Chomsky was asked: “what comes to mind” upon hearing the name Mexico? He answered: “Very far from God and very close to the United States.”
About Donald Trump, he said that he is a man very able to deceive and that he doesn’t give much credit to his statements and barefaced lies, which have the objective of placing him as the center of attention and strengthening his electoral base, which equals one third of US voters, who are extremely conservative and look at him “as their god.”
The physicist Lawrence Krauss and Andrés Roemer, organizer of the festival, interviewed Chomsky at “The city of ideas festival.”
The themes were the risks derived from global warming, the immigration crisis, the fallacy of the free market, the Trump government and human evolution.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee