Fascistization Crashing Down: Driving the Cleaver into Social Welfare

Trump is Hitler with golden locks. Skip the polite discourse, this is the real thing. We’ve already seen in one short month what the future holds in store: the going after social decency as a nation with a vengeance, a gutting of all that signifies a democratic society and its possibilities.

Here let’s focus on one segment of the record, the nitty-gritty of domestic humiliation and continued suffering of the poor. Mike Mulvaney, an obsessed, pathological cutter of social spending, was confirmed last Thursday as White House budget director (with little fight from the Democrats, a now familiar pattern, under Schumer, of compromise and complicity with the most retrograde forces seen in decades). Targeted for elimination right off the bat are the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Legal Services Corporation, AmeriCorps, and the National Endowment for the Arts and the Humanities—these for starters, and presumably symbolic to the Right of godless communism intended to brainwash America, and worse, detract from rising military budgets.

When one goes below the surface, to more gutting of social priorities, a naked Capitalist State is fast surfacing from the carnage, the rise of a narrowly based, hierarchical, billionaire-directed political order. This is not a nameless, undetected development, Stephen Miller, Paul Winfree, Peter Navarro, in addition to Mulvaney, all leading the charge in this one tight area. And that is but the tip of the iceberg—Black Shirts underneath pin-striped navy business suits. Cruelty is built-into the selection process, raw hatred of and contempt for the poor, such as the proposed scrapping of the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation.

Fix upon the construction of a massive class state, precisely at a time when the world cries out for the eradication of poverty, misery, needless death, all following from current policy, by design, malicious to the extreme. Throw Peter Navarro into the mix, with the National Trade Council, and you find the bridge to Bannon and the nationalistic power-crazies making the Trump presidency a unified expression of fascism pure and simple, no redeeming features. The ax swings wide, such as destroying—despite protestations of antidrug policies—the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Cut, cut, cut, wherever sanity once reigned. All of this, as I noted, is simultaneous with the planned enlargement of the military—military foundations of a class order with dictatorial ambitions for shaping the global system.

Scapegoats follow. China is the new Russia, where anything goes for the sake of confrontation. Restricting imports is less for its own sake, whether with respect to China or elsewhere, than the mood of subservience to be inculcated into the populace under the leadership of an army of CEOs floating their corporate banners into the NEW DAY, one where every nation will fear an omnivorous, all-mighty United States of America. All hail mighty Caesar.

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.