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 many have 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 go along with harmony and getting rid of those outsiders and all that kind of stuff. Another part is simply to induce hatred and fear among people,” he said.

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