The Trump Putsch: Trailblazing on the Right

“Heil, Trump!” Sound too rash, irresponsible, outlandish? I don’t think so. Inaccurate, yes, in one respect: He is not alone; the entire American political system is rotten to the core, a bipartisan agreement on Russia, China, massive surveillance, targeted assassination, veneration of wealth and the wealthy, with only peripheral differences, primarily on sociocultural issues. The much vaunted distance “across the aisle,” is perhaps ten centimeters, and that only to bamboozle a public already committed to patriotism, consensus, and the generic sweep of anticommunism (now manipulated in psychic energy into channels of counterterrorism).

By that token, Heil, Obama, Heil Schumer, phrases that come less easily to the tongue, because puncturing our illusions of liberalism, progressivism, radicalism, all of which (the last a possible exception) eviscerated and cannibalized by capitalism and its increasingly boon companion and soul mate, militarism. The US is on a roller coaster plunging downward to disaster, the tracks of democracy long ago worn thin and now cracking under the strain of imperialism, heavy armaments, and counterrevolution, all of which are immediately visible in the morning’s paper, the evening newscast, the conversation on the street.

Americans appear to like our accustomed place as the world guardian of exploitation and reaction, proven time and again with every intervention, saber-rattling (as in the modernization of the nuclear arsenal), regime change, embargo, retaliation for practices we ourselves have tried and perfected (as in cyberwarfare and cyberespionage), a whole gamut of fascistic measures, spirit, and method, designed to guarantee America’s unilateral dominance in world affairs, shaping global military, political, ideological, and trading patterns to our advantage.

In this, the Loyal Opposition has been anything but, Democrats from Truman onward, Kennedy a significant stride forward, Clinton, Big Man on (Totalitarian) Campus, and finally Obama, a TRAITOR to everything we foolishly came to believe about the Party and its record. A Loyal Accomplice is more like it. In particular, Obama’s treachery (as in the abridgment of civil liberties, but perhaps more, the threat he posed to peace through a provocative confrontation with China) may someday be realized, but not now, when bread-and-circuses defines the age and its political climate.

What is better, a president, Congressional majority, Cabinet, and Party determined to destroy government, or the same, determined to use it, the State, in partnership with Capitalism, for purposes of more efficient profit-making, hierarchical structure of the polity, and militarization of the whole—all prettified as liberalism? At least Republicans are honest in their gut-nihilistic pursuit of wealth, desirous of stripping naked every safeguard to human well-being. Democrats take a more circuitous route to the same end. Prospects for democratic (small-d) social change shrivel as I write, a supine Left the Greek Chorus as witness to what is happening.

What is there for Democrats to defend? The Affordable Care Act was an abomination from the start, intended to prevent a single-payer system. On down the line, every cherished idea and program, gutted before they got off the ground. Even recent Cuban policy is a spider trap for American investment and takeover. The Nazis had the extermination camps; by popular agreement, America has merely extreme class-stratification and social regimentation. However, that seems no longer enough, for an ethos of humiliating the victims of American social workings is taking hold, the immigrant a surrogate for the struggling and dispossessed in general.

Bleak? Pessimistic? Only realistic, an attempt to penetrate the false consciousness which does not see before it the hate and contempt of what passes for social bonds and comity in America. Capitalistic foundations are part of the problem, an emphasis on exchange values drained of human content. But added to that is a history of discrimination, of ethnocentrism and xenophobia, which cannot be explained by capitalism alone, but must take into account its peculiar features in the American setting, starting with slavery, as touchstone for an exaggerated and self-justifying antiradicalism, to which assorted phobias (e.g., perfervid ideological rigidity) have naturally followed.

If anything, American influence will become magnified in the world, until forced to face an antithetical global system of numerous rival power blocs, at which time, the poisons stored up, a source of which is unconscious self-hatred for the mischief America has wrought, will seep out, with unimaginable consequences for future generations. Happy New Year.

More articles by:

Norman Pollack Ph.D. Harvard, Guggenheim Fellow, early writings on American Populism as a radical movement, prof., activist.. His interests are social theory and the structural analysis of capitalism and fascism. He can be reached at pollackn@msu.edu.

February 24, 2020
Stephen Corry
New Deal for Nature: Paying the Emperor to Fence the Wind
M. K. Bhadrakumar
How India’s Modi is Playing on Trump’s Ego to His Advantage
Jennifer Matsui
Tycoon Battle-Bots Battle Bernie
Robert Fisk
There’s Little Chance for Change in Lebanon, Except for More Suffering
Rob Wallace
Connecting the Coronavirus to Agriculture
Bill Spence
Burning the Future: the Growing Anger of Young Australians
Eleanor Eagan
As the Primary Race Heats Up, Candidates Forget Principled Campaign Finance Stands
Binoy Kampmark
The Priorities of General Motors: Ditching Holden
George Wuerthner
Trojan Horse Timber Sales on the Bitterroot
Rick Meis
Public Lands “Collaboration” is Lousy Management
David Swanson
Bloomberg Has Spent Enough to Give a Nickel to Every Person Whose Life He’s Ever Damaged
Peter Cohen
What Tomorrow May Bring: Politics of the People
Peter Harrison
Is It as Impossible to Build Jerusalem as It is to Escape Babylon?
Weekend Edition
February 21, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Election Con 2020: Exposing Trump’s Deception on the Opioid Epidemic
Joshua Frank
Bloomberg is a Climate Change Con Man
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Billion Dollar Babies
Paul Street
More Real-Time Reflections from Your Friendly South Loop Marxist
Jonathan Latham
Extensive Chemical Safety Fraud Uncovered at German Testing Laboratory
Ramzy Baroud
‘The Donald Trump I know’: Abbas’ UN Speech and the Breakdown of Palestinian Politics
Martha Rosenberg
A Trump Sentence Commutation Attorneys Generals Liked
Ted Rall
Bernie Should Own the Socialist Label
Louis Proyect
Encountering Malcolm X
Kathleen Wallace
The Debate Question That Really Mattered
Jonathan Cook
UN List of Firms Aiding Israel’s Settlements was Dead on Arrival
George Wuerthner
‘Extremists,’ Not Collaborators, Have Kept Wilderness Whole
Colin Todhunter
Apocalypse Now! Insects, Pesticide and a Public Health Crisis  
Stephen Reyna
A Paradoxical Colonel: He Doesn’t Know What He is Talking About, Because He Knows What He is Talking About.
Evaggelos Vallianatos
A New Solar Power Deal From California
Richard Moser
One Winning Way to Build the Peace Movement and One Losing Way
Laiken Jordahl
Trump’s Wall is Destroying the Environment We Worked to Protect
Walden Bello
Duterte Does the Right Thing for a Change
Jefferson Morley
On JFK, Tulsi Gabbard Keeps Very Respectable Company
Vijay Prashad
Standing Up for Left Literature: In India, It Can Cost You Your Life
Gary Leupp
Bloomberg Versus Bernie: The Upcoming Battle?
Ron Jacobs
The Young Lords: Luchadores Para La Gente
Richard Klin
Loss Leaders
Gaither Stewart
Roma: How Romans Differ From Europeans
Kerron Ó Luain
The Soviet Century
Mike Garrity
We Can Fireproof Homes But Not Forests
Fred Baumgarten
Gaslighting Bernie and His Supporters
Joseph Essertier
Our First Amendment or Our Empire, But Not Both
Peter Linebaugh
A Story for the Anthropocene
Danny Sjursen
Where Have You Gone Smedley Butler?
Jill Richardson
A Broken Promise to Teachers and Nonprofit Workers
Binoy Kampmark
“Leave Our Bloke Alone”: A Little Mission for Julian Assange