The Populist Violence of Donald Trump:
Joseph Lowndes digs deep into Trump’s nativist rhetoric to disclose a vicious, racially-driven political agenda; Wall Street’s Terrorists Strike Again! Mike Whitney on who made a killing in the latest crash; CNN’s Summer of Lies: Jason Hirthler charts the rightward drift of CNN; Get Up Stand Up: Andrew Smolski documents the legal right to rebel; A New Nepal? Barbara Nimri Aziz reports from Nepal on the prospects for political change in the wake of the earthquakes; Adventures in Xenophobia: David Macaray explores the bitter legacy of the Chinese Exclusion Acts. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on Trump L’Oeil Politics; Kristin Kolb on the Ghosts of Wounded Knee; Chris Floyd on Trump as the new Reagan and Lee Ballinger on the horrors of the clothing industry.
Exclusively in the New Print Issue of CounterPunch
The Populist Violence of Donald Trump:
White supremacy is not an indictment of any one person, but, rather, it is an indictment of a system that permeates all of life in the West. It is as ubiquitous and invisible as the air we breathe—especially in America. In this country there was a relinquishing of white ethnic identity during the Civil War. Wealthy slave owners needed working class European-Americans to be united in their support of the Confederacy, so whiteness as a homogeneous, ontological racial identity was emphasized.
It worked brilliantly. Even today this conceptual frame is so strong that many white working class Americans vote against their political and economic interests in an attempt to combat the encroachment of black and brown people upon what their white privilege tells them they deserve. It is because of this white supremacy and white privilege that I understand why, like Lupe Fiasco, a black person might eschew the notion of patriotism. We know too much. More
If my left eco-socialist politics and world view were combined with evangelical Christianity of the sin and damnation sort (I remain, alas, a quiet atheist), I would predict that Barack Obama will have a very long life since it would take Satan’s engineers many decades to construct a dungeon in Hell hot enough for the current U.S. president. Among the many things that stations Obama beneath the lowest snails on Earth is his special, arch-cynical penchant for potently pretending to be something he isn’t: a progressive. He is the ultimate fake-progressive poseur – an unmatched epitome of the nauseating triumph of symbol over substance and of words over deeds.
Take his great show of concern last summer for the appalling national crime and embarrassment that is the United States’ shockingly high rate of racially disparate mass imprisonment and criminal branding (“the New Jim Crow”). Two years and seven months into his second presidential term, Obama walked with great fanfare into a federal lock-up and stood in mock horror before one of its grim solitary confinement cells. He went to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (the NAACP) to proclaim his purported recent discovery that “mass incarceration makes our country worse and [that] we need to do something about it.” Beneath the praise and fanfare his performance evoked, what has the President actually done for the nation’s vast army of Black prisoners and marked-for-life felons? Nothing, or next to it. More
Children like Aylan Kurdi are disposable in the world’s imagination. Over a thousand Syrian children have died in this conflict. Tens of thousands of children die in conflicts around the world. The United Nations estimates that half of all deaths in conflict zones are of children. In 1995, UNICEF reported that two million children had died in conflicts over the previous decade. The rate has not decreased. The statistic harms the consciousness.
But it is the picture of Aylan Kurdi that has unsettled our ethics – does the world really care about the damage done to children as a result of war and diabolical trade policies? The evidence suggests that the world does not care at all. What care there is comes in the brief instance when we glance at a photograph such as that of the dead body of Aylan Kurdi. He breaks our heart. But he will do little to change our politics. More
Palestine Shrinking, Israel Expanding
Interactive image courtesy of Visualizing Palestine.
In Killing the Host, economist Michael Hudson exposes how finance, insurance, and real estate (the FIRE sector) have seized control of the global economy at the expense of industrial capitalism and governments. The FIRE sector is responsible for today’s extreme economic polarization (the 1% vs. the 99%) via favored tax status that inflates real estate prices while deflating the “real” economy of labor and production. Hudson shows in vivid detail how the Great 2008 Bailout saved the banks but not the economy, and plunged the U.S., Irish, Latvian and Greek economies into debt deflation and austerity. Killing the Host describes how the phenomenon of debt deflation imposes punishing austerity on the U.S. and European economies, siphoning wealth and income upward to the financial sector while impoverishing the middle class.