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Useless Eaters and Ethnic Purity: the Trump/Bannon War for Biological Nationhood

Photo by SpokaneFocus | CC BY 2.0

Photo by SpokaneFocus | CC BY 2.0

The Trump regime has defended its plan to cut the “Meals on Wheels” program by saying it “doesn’t show any results.” What kind of “results” are they talking about? The program delivers meals to shut-ins; the shut-ins eat the meal; they don’t starve to death. That is the result, and it happens all day every day. It is one of the most “resultful” programs in existence. But notice that the Trumpists aren’t saying we can’t afford the program; they are clearly saying it’s not delivering the results they want to see. And what are the only “results” produced by not delivering meals to the sick and shut-in who can’t provide for themselves? THEY WILL DIE.

Therefore, we can only conclude that the “result” Donald Trump and his ideological Svengali, Stephen Banon, are looking for is a higher death count for the sick and elderly. We know that throughout his public life, Trump has often expressed his belief in genetic superiority, that the right genes, the right blood are responsible for success in life. (Particularly his succes!) The flipside, of course, is that those who haven’t “succeeded” according to his lights, the people who are “weak” and “losers” (to quote two of his favorite epithets), are therefore genetically inferior. We know this is his belief from his own statements.

Bannon too pushes the idea of “nationhood” as a kind of ethnic purity, something beyond political, legal or economic factors. As Mother Jones pointed out this week, Bannon is a fan of French philosopher Charles Maurras, a rabid anti-Semite and Nazi collaborator. The story notes: “Bannon approvingly cited Maurras’ distinction between what the French philosopher called the ‘real country’ of the people and the ‘legal country’ led by government officials.” (MJ also notes that Maurras referred to the Third Republic as “the Jew State, the Masonic State, the immigrant State.” Anyone who has taken even a cursory look at the fever-swamps of the alt-right – of which Bannon claims proud godfathership – will instantly recognize this language.)

Maurras’s distinction of the “real county” and the “legal country” is precisely what Bannon was referring to in his recent CPAC appearance, where he declared that the goal of the Trump regime is the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” It is clear that he and Trump aim to destroy the “legal country”– the country of laws, institutions, constitutional citizenship, etc. – and replace it with the “real country” of a more ethnically pure state: a land of blood and soil, under the hand of authoritarian leaders who act according to mystical dictates of “race wisdom,” not the “alien” system of democracy and laws which apply to all citizens equally.

Trump ally King also made this crystal clear this week, explicitly saying you can’t “restore civilization” with “other people’s babies” and openly longing for that “homogenous” society of people who “look like each other.”

So by their own words, Trump and his allies believe in a biologically based “nation” led by “genetically superior leaders.” By their own words, that is what they are seeking to create. But how can you make a nation “great again” with so much “inferior” material out there? Why, you cull the herd, you cut off the “weak” and the “losers” and let them wither away and die.

I don’t think it can be denied any longer that this attitude — this aim – is an intrinsic element in the policies of the Trump regime and the Congressional extremists. The weak, the sick, the different, the “impure” and the “inferior” are to be made to disappear: by deportation, by bans, by walls – and by dying. For the moment, it doesn’t look like actual systematic mass extermination is on the cards; so perhaps we can call their present approach the “Semi-Final Solution.” But who knows what wonders await us down the line. As the late, great Leonard Cohen said: “I’ve seen the future, brother: it is murder.”

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Chris Floyd is a columnist for CounterPunch Magazine. His blog, Empire Burlesque, can be found at www.chris-floyd.com. His twitter feed is @empireburlesque. His Instagram is www.instagram.com/cfloydtn/.

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