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The Unseen Agenda Behind Trump: Destroy the Public Realm to Free the Rich

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair

“America is the only society that has gone from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between”

– Oscar Wilde

“Government is not the solution to our problem. Government IS the problem”

–Ronald Reagan Inaugural Address 1980.

“Biden will turn America into a socialist hell like Venezuela”

– Donald Trump, 2020 Re-Election Campaign

The world’s near-richest man, Warren Buffet, has netted tens of billions from over 50 years of betting on stock-market rises, but unlike Trump Warren Buffet can speak the truth: “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

American Freedom = Enriching the Rich

In the first campaign of “making America Great Again”, the 40-year-old slogan Trump has brought back from the dead, Reagan defined US freedom as “the freedom to get rich”.

What is not said is that this freedom “from government on our backs” has transferred $50 trillion from the bottom 90%of the population to the top 1%.

In the words of Time, the US chose every step. “We chose to cut taxes on billionaires and to deregulate the financial industry. We chose to allow CEOs to manipulate share prices through stock buybacks, and to lavishly reward themselves with the proceeds. We chose to permit giant corporations, through mergers and acquisitions, to accumulate the vast monopoly power necessary to dictate both prices charged and wages paid. We chose to erode the minimum wage and the overtime threshold and the bargaining power of labor. For four decades, we chose to elect political leaders who put the material interests of the rich and powerful above those of the American people. – – – If wealth distribution since 1975 had continued in the same manner as between 1945 and 1975, today’s $35,000 salary would be over $60,000. It’s little wonder that so many Americans are lashing out at the broken system”.

The Trickle Down Myth

“Trickle-down” never worked, but the delusion still reigns. So does the big lie Trump tells yet again with his $1.2 trillion of public money hemorrhaged out in 2017 tax cuts. Here too there were assurances that money would be freed up for waiting corporate investment in jobs and R&D. But in the very following year “S&P 500 companies set a new record for buying their own stock to artificially boost stock prices for management and investors — a practice that was illegal until the Reagan years. – – – They have depleted so much of their funds that they have turned to the pandemic-inspired CARES Act for relief to ‘distressed industries. – – [Meanwhile] ‘essential’ workers are experiencing high child mortality rates, declining life expectancies and premature deaths from preventable illnesses.”

This is an epitome of the unspoken agenda of destroying public power to govern in the common life interest while enriching the already rich instead.

Yet in perhaps the greatest irony of US history, the very dispossessed and under-educated white workers who have been most broken by this greatest-ever seizure of American wealth have jumped onto the bandwagon of a demagogue New York developer now presiding over a de-regulated social and ecological chaos.

The Negative Solidarity of the Atomized Masses

As Hannah Arendt long ago acutely observed in The Origins of Totalitarianism, the mob energies of the dispossessed can be yoked into a fascist juggernaut by “the negative solidarity of the atomized masses”. They no longer think. They resent and strike at the assumed enemy, and feel exhilarating power in their collective hate. In Trump America, Yay-Boo mass spectacles called “Trump rallies” fill the bill, and armed thugs form in ever bigger pro-Trump mobs.

It is US war fever turned inwards again onto “communists’, “socialists”, “liberals”, and “Antifa” (anti-fascists). But is worse than McCarthyism because it street-enforces the class-war agenda Warren Buffet names. Trump tells them to “stand by” to settle the disputed election he orchestrates along with his newly stacked Supreme Court.

The dots are not joined. Trump’s control of the Republican Party remains without an explanation although his every government act is to break the public realm and transfer more wealth to the corporate rich.

Marketing Big Lies is the Karma of America

America has long distinguished itself by the mass propaganda its corporate rich fashion to confuse citizens into buying whatever is for sale for a profit. “Sam Slick of Slickville” was called out by the true conservative author, TC Halliburton, 170 years ago.

So Americans buy their own degradation by the mass- marketing illness commodities sold to them as – in the cover-up language of ‘economics’ – “welfare enhancements”.

Fast foods degrade the body and cumulatively kill it, but public knowledge of the fact is not allowed. It is called “interfering in the free market”.

Incumbent president Trump takes it all further. He rejects any federal government to action even to prevent a virus spread that has already killed over 225,000 of his people. It is Americans’ “free choice” not to wear masks.

Trump extends abdication of public responsibility to defunding or sabotaging whatever public healthcare exists as “disastrous” or “fake”. In 2018, the U.S. spent two and one-half times the OECD average on healthcare per person and still had the lowest life expectancy and the highest rate of preventable deaths.

Trump even invalidates public voting by sweeping repression of likely votes against him, including by mail-in ballots. The pretext is the claim of “fraud” with no evidence, Trump’s signature operation. Trump does his best to rig the election in his favor, but – as always – he accuses his opponents of what he is doing himself.

All this fits to one underlying meta pattern that is unseen. Every step is to disorganize evolved society itself from any public accountability, responsibility or action.”

Everywhere We Look Public Chaos and Deprivation Grow

Trump has so blocked public powers to defend the well-being of country that the “greatest society in the history of the world” is reduced to last place in the world in preventing citizen deaths per capita with the Covis-19 pandemic.

He has done the same with climate destabilization. The US leads the world into biblical floods, fires, disease which his own people are suffering, and he reverses any collective action to mitigate them – from the global Paris Agreement to local environmental regulations on deadly pollutions.

Private financial firms have displaced governments in the financing of water, transport, education, housing, environmental services, and health for their private profit, and all decline in growing disorder. But the Trump agenda fast-forwards the process at every point he can replace public control with private exploitation and corporate lobbyists in control.

Trump further assails all efforts to reduce lawless US police-state violence. His actions are telling at the height of protests in Washington DC against evident police murders. An extended metaphor of his rule is a sudden march with his retinue behind a violently advancing phalanx of club-swinging and toxin-spraying riot police attacking peaceful demonstrators so he can photo-op holding a bible in front of the iconic St. John’s Church which he has forcibly invaded against the presiding Bishop’s will.

Less visibly to the public, Trump attacks the International Criminal Court itself as “terrorist” for its investigating documented crimes against humanity by privatized US armed forces in Afghanistan.

Now as he trails in the polls, Trump invalidates the November 3 election itself as “fixed” by his opponents so as to prevent even public election removing him from office. He does not deny his intention to stay in power against public election loss. “Get rid of the [mail-in] ballots”, he says, “and you’ll have a very – you’ll have a very peaceful – there won’t be a transfer, frankly, there’ll be a continuation.”

In the background, Trump loads the Supreme Court – used to win the 2008 election of George Bush Jr. – in confidence that it will receive and approve the appeals he has already launched to challenge the 2020 election.

It is a long game.

“Professional poisoners of the public mind, exploiters of foolishness, fanaticism, and self-interest” is what renowned and impartial Supreme Court Justice, Felix Frankfurter called the rising big-business power of ‘public relations’ which leads the way in the long fix of the US money-power rule at the deepest level of the American unconscious. .

Trump is the very embodiment of ‘poisoner of the public mind’ and ‘exploiter of foolishness and fanaticism’ of which a once non-partisan Supreme Court Justice warned President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The chaos is well-prepared.

The Historic Wheel of Public Wealth to Private Riches

Trump follows an agenda of the corporate rich which is not new, but now on steroids. The agenda is to strip the public realm so completely it can never hold multiplying private riches to account or social responsibility again.

The Reagan regime – also headed by a corporate promoter – did this most clearly in the modern era led by his inaugural proclamation: “Government is not the solution. It IS the problem”.

Yet this agenda has been a strong strain of the richest faction of America since its 1776 Revolution. The US revolution was primarily against what is rarely seen – the 1763 law of England prohibiting land seizure from the first peoples West of the Allegheny Mountains.

And whereas it is Just and Reasonable and Essential to Our Interests and the Security of Our Colonies that the several Nations or Tribes of Indians with whom We are connected and who live under Our Protection should not be molested or disturbed in the Possession of such Parts of Our Dominion and Territories, as, not having been ceded to or purchased by Us, are reserved to them or any of them as their Hunting Grounds

George Washington began his career as a land speculator in 1752 with 1,759 acres in Virginia, and he ended his life with 50- 60,000 acres made legal by the American Revolution.

Blocking public accountability of the rich has also the inner logic of US constitutional construction. Forged in secret 11 years after the 1776 revolution, the US Constitution, which the Republican Supreme Court as sacred writ without interpretation in light of history, is a clever and devious document.

It enshrines guarantee to the private property and commercial interests behind the revolution that their own wealth will be protected against any public re-distribution. This was an almost unconscious framing which the “division of powers” and the electoral complexities of each reliably ensured. The “takings” clause prevented government equalization, and only “the commerce clause” was the basis of “the equal voting act”, which has itself since been disabled by the stacked Supreme Court.

Trump draws his own legitimacy from this “originary” meaning updated to allow the private money power an unlimited freedom from public control.

Once we decode this underlying unspoken pattern to Trump rule today, it becomes predictive of everything he does. However outlandish and usurpacious his government’s actions, they all conform to this agenda. They thereby ensure Trump’s untouchability by billionaire funders of his party. The oilmen Kochs have passed control to Trump without anyone noticing.

It therefore becomes predictable that the ‘anti-Washington’ brand of Trump, in fact, springs to sudden and centrist Washington action to advance the unseen agenda in the Covid-19 pandemic. He refuses any public leadership or responsibility in nationwide preventative fighting against the highly infectious disease. Trump then ostentatiously countermands any nation-wide public action which arises by violating public scientific direction in mass super-spreader selfie events.

While the disaffected jump on board his trashing of public knowledge and public science in everything he does, even Trump’s critics do not see or call out the agenda his every government move expresses.

We can predict that what he does next will also disempower the public realm and enrich the rich. His only decisive governing move in the Covid-19 crisis from the start has been to more deeply indebt and disable the public realm and still further enrich the corporate rich. Hundreds of billions of public wealth have gone to favored US big business (including his own), and none has gone to the public municipalities and states in financial collapse.

Trump forwarded as fast as possible the $2.2 trillion dollar Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act with an acronym (CARES) meaning the opposite of its public-relations name.

Although heavily laced with feel-good rhetoric about those most harmed by the economic effects of Covid-19 lockdown, Bill 116-136 signed by Trump on March 27 2020 (and in the works since January 2019) was structured through the Wall Street banking system to do the reverse of its rhetoric: to select only for the wealthiest corporate clients of the biggest banks who got the lion’s share of the public money. They got it as soon as they activated their high-end bank accounts, and those without such bank accounts – the neediest for help – did not.

At the same time, the branches of major chain stores were entitled to be “small business” to squeeze real small business out, and in the most significant tax breaks of all in CARES, the privatized public wealth went to wealthy real estate developers like Trump and son-in-law Kushner.

In his signing statement of the bill, with Senate leader McConnell smiling with a pen, Trump further emasculated public powers of accounting oversight and responsibility for public fund allocation.

He repudiated any independent government monitoring of the cash transfers or naming of the private beneficiaries. This was because it was multi-hundreds of public billions of slush funds of public money privatized for the possession of favored corporate money powers. Any independent watchdog was therefore not to be allowed.

When the House sought a committee to monitor how the money was spent, Trump charged her with “conducting partisan investigations in the middle of a pandemic” – once more blaming the other for what he was engineering himself by trillions more giveaway of public wealth to the corporate rich. When the House leader continued to insist on public oversight, he raged. “It’s witch hunt after witch hunt”, he stormed. Again his psychotic paranoia and grandiose illusions which have so well achieved his wreckage of coherent public management caught the attention of psychiatric witness

Yet the underlying agenda of stripping the public realm and its capacities of public allocation and oversight while enriching the corporate rich with no limit remains unspoken in the US media and public affairs.

This report from CBS News, however, details the despotic removals of long-experienced public Inspector-Generals from their offices for no public reason. “In a span of six weeks, Mr. Trump has removed five officials from posts leading their respective agencies’ inspector general offices – – The president’s moves have prompted scrutiny and criticism from congressional Democrats, who accuse Mr. Trump of hollowing independent inspector general offices and retaliating against those that have exposed wrongdoing by his administration. Here are [some of the] watchdogs who have been stripped of their positions by the president. – – Michael Atkinson worked as the acting chief of the Fraud and Public Corruption Section from 2015 to 2016. As inspector general for the intelligence community, he handled the complaint filed by an anonymous whistleblower that raised concerns about Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine and – – determined the complaint was credible – – “. He was fired by Trump with no cause despite the publicly responsible and bi-partisan committee’s request for it.

“Glenn Fine – – was tapped for the role of the Defense Department’s acting inspector general in January 2016 and remained in that post until his ouster by Trump on April 6. – – with Mr. Trump’s removal of Fine as acting inspector general, he was also stripped of his role as leader of the accountability committee. – – – “Christie Grimm has worked as the Department of Health and Human Services’ principal deputy inspector general since January 2020 and has led the agency in an acting capacity. But Mr. Trump – – replaced Grimm May 1 – – after Grimm released a report detailing testing and supply shortages in hospitals responding to the coronavirus pandemic. Grimm found “severe” shortages of testing supplies, “widespread shortages of PPE,” difficulties in maintaining adequate staffing levels and in expanding hospital capacity.

“Steve Linick is the fourth inspector general to be purged from his position by Mr. Trump in a span of six weeks. Linick worked for the Justice Department for over a decade, including as executive director of its National Procurement Fraud Task Force and deputy chief of its fraud section. – – His ouster has brought additional scrutiny from the House and Senate Foreign Affairs Committees, which announced investigations into Linick’s removal – -[one saying] his “firing amid such a probe strongly suggests that this is an unlawful act of retaliation.” – – Republican Senator Chuck Grassley [said] “A general lack of confidence simply is not sufficient detail to satisfy Congress.”

Trump’s 2017 government-revenue losses for tax-cuts, his first over one-trillion gift of public money to the corporate rich, more substantially hollowed out public powers with no public good served. They were ballyhooed as “relieving working families of tax burdens” and – where the greatest flood of public money went – as “ensuring new investment [by corporations] in jobs and research”. Yet in fact, the massive privatization of public money funded the S&P 500 corporations to a new record for buying back their own stock to artificially boost stock prices for – yet again – already wealthy management and investors. This corporate fraud was first made legal by the first and long-dead “Make America Great Again” president.

Behind the public narratives pro-or-con Trump, this ultimate agenda of incapacitation of the public realm is never named. So it continues to unravel all life-protective law, regulation and investment in the universal social and ecological life carrying capacities of the US and vassal societies.

Big Lies Required for Destruction of the Public Realm

The underlying Trump agenda is in principle life-blind, so it must boast the opposite of what it is to be believed. This is why “Donald Trump lies every time he opens his mouth”, as his long-serving personal lawyer Michael Cohen reports, after taking the fall for following Trump’s criminal directions.

Trump’s PR machine replies in Orwellian reversal that Cohen should not be believed because he is “a convicted felon”. But not so easy to dismiss, the Washington Post documents over 2000 Trump lies, and still counting.

Noam Chomsky goes deeper. He argues (emphases added): “Trump is the worst criminal in history, undeniably. There has never been a figure in political history who was so passionately dedicated to destroying the projects for organised human life on earth in the near future.”

Chomsky rightly asserts Trump is “dedicated to destroying organised human life on earth”. But he does not see that organisation for the common life interest is reliant on the public realm and its capacities to serve this common life purpose that private enterprise, by definition, cannot achieve.

The US public is, however, pervasively conditioned by corporate culture to oppose any force or government regulating it. So only non-government solutions are acceptable within it.

The public realm is most widely invalidated by the conditioned US habit of government hate – even although it is all that now stands between the people and the collapse of US social and natural life support systems. This lesson was learned through much corporate resistance in the Great Depression via Roosevelt’s New Deal, but rich Republicans and ideologues for private riches have been seeking to reverse it ever since. Trump is their final solution.

What is not recognised even by Chomsky’s penetrating observation is that the public law-making realm can alone form effectively binding laws and institutions to protect and enable the lives of all. This includes especially the majority of US citizens increasingly lacking the private money to effectively demand education for which they are qualified, healthcare when ill, income to live without jobs available, sufficient old age security, a healthy environment in work and leisure, and freedom of speech and choice.

This public realm of contemporary societies especially includes public science and knowledge not controlled by private market forces. But these forces are worshipped by Reagan-Trump-and-party as God.

So from environmental regulations and protections through working-place standards and living wages to public health programs and disease prevention, virtually all life-protective-and-enabling public laws and institutions are anathematized by this ruling faction. It is their thanatic compulsion which joins all the dots of eco-genocidal US history to now.

In this situation more than ever, all that stands between America and the abyss of growing chaos is the public realm of responsibility and collective action. But they are the enemy of the corporate-rich faction and its many mouthpieces.

All the while the abyss is rapidly forming at every level of social and natural life organisation being destabilized and despoiled by the de-regulated exponential growth of the private corporate demand system. It cumulatively turns the terrestrial biosphere into pervading dead commodities and wastes.

The Meta Program on the March

Only in matters of armed force control by police and the US military is government respected in the dominant US culture.

So long as Trump keeps chaos and disorder in the public realm delivering public wealth to the rich, he is kept untouchable by the Republican Party and their big-money donors, and US police and armed forces take care of the resistors.

Yet even the legacy media outraged by Trump dare not expose these deep-structural facts. Where do their ad revenues go if they do? AndTrump is, besides, a cornucopia of ad-gaining news copy.

Even Social Security, the New Deal retirement program that for 85 years has provided critical support to old or disabled Americans — currently numbering 65 million – is under financial attack by this faction. Trump is fraudulently imposing oval office command under an obscure power of 26.US Code 7508A to defer the funding by the Social Security and Medicare payroll tax by a President-declared emergency, an action which the US Social Security Administration’s chief actuary calculated would empty all its funds by 2023 https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicholasreimann/2020/08/24/social-security-fund-would-be-empty-by-2023-if-payroll-taxes-were-cut-actuary-estimates/#3e3e64d6a3b2

At the same time since March 2020, US billionaire wealth has risen by $565 billion within the Covid-19 pandemic he avoids. This may lead some to believe the pandemic is a hoax to enrich the rich. But it is rather the way the Trump state operates with or without a pandemic – to force the unseen agenda at every turn. $7 trillion has just flooded into the hand of private investors through the CARE corporate bailout and follow-ups hollowing out the financial capacities of the public realm. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/feds-balance-sheet-tops-7-trillion-shows-increased-buying-of-corporate-bond-etfs-2020-05-21

Meanwhile unconnected to the pandemic and before it, the black-hole funding of the corporate military-industrial-politics complex has under Trump from 2016 drawn down new record levels of public wealth with no real enemy in the field. The two-billion-dollars-a-day funding of mainly private corporate contractors remains essentially unaudited throughout with reported 21-trillions of public money missing ttps://www.forbes.com/sites/kotlikoff/2019/01/09/holding-u-s-treasuries-beware-uncle-sam-cant-account-for-21-trillion/#41d29c9b7644.

This uncontrolled US armed-force spending going mainly to big private, quasi-monopoly private corporations further draws down and reverses budgets on social spending, and it more than doubles the military spending of Russia and China put together.

More deeply, it enforces the meta program of private corporate world rule while destroying the collective life capacities of the public everywhere.

US International Standing

Trump treats life-protective international law more brutally than he does domestic human rights. His administration has even imposed US sanctions on senior officials in the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigating evident war crimes and crimes against humanity by privatized US forces (although other criminal prosecutions of the ICC have been supported by the US).

The evident US war crimes and crimes against humanity are not denied. But reverse blame is again a specialty, and so Trump’s US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in September 2020 accuses the court of “illegitimate attempts to subject Americans to its jurisdiction” – thus confirming the Trump government holds itself above international law.

In the background, more than 12,000 pages of US government documents show military operations contaminating the Pacific with radioactive waste, nerve agents, and chemical weapons like Agent Orange. Trump ignores all this, but denounces the International Court ratified by 123 countries as perpetrating “threats and coercive actions” against his administration. He sanctions the heads of both the International Court and its Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division from any action or financial account within the US, which includes the United Nations itself in New York.

They respond that this “attack on the ICC represents an attack against the interests of victims of atrocity crimes, for many of whom the Court represents the last hope for justice.” For Trump, this means nothing. In the background he radically defunds UNESCO and the World Health Organization.

While Trump throughout boasts that the US society under his presidency is the “greatest in history” with title to rule, it has in fact far higher child mortality rates than the poor Cuba he wars against, and mass deaths from Covid 19 under his watch lead the world. “We are doing such a great, tremendous job there”, he brags in denial of public knowledge and international science.

The one good shift of US foreign policy under Trump has been not to war against Russia, and to seek exit from “endless wars”. Yet this has long been the aim of the US ‘libertarian’ right, which like Trump deifies the ‘free market’ without public life standards and programs. And Trump’s other policies on international conflicts are vile in nature. His policies continuously orchestrate war crimes and illegal embargoes against starved, helpless and disabled societies like Palestine, Venezuela, and Yemen. All are societies seeking to build social infrastructures, invariably the target of US war crimes and crimes against peace – Iraq and Libya being the most evident US-led eco-genocidal campaigns against the most advanced social infrastructures of the Middle-East and Africa respectively. What has worsened under Trump rule is the war-criminally lawless destructions of the most vulnerable societies of Palestine, Venezuela and Yemen, flagrantly and unprecedentedly overriding 70 years of international law and US-UN commitments in the case of the criminally occupied Palestine society.

All this connects into the meta pattern that the most vulnerable and defenceless are the first Trump is willing to sacrifice to disease and death, even within the United States. During the spread of Coronavirus-19 to 225,000 excess deaths (over 300,000 if other deaths from lack of hospital spaces are counted), Trump has ostentatiously denied and overridden international and public science in abdication of his Constitution responsibilities for “the common Defense and General welfare of the United States” (Article 1, Section 8).

Here again, we can see public chaos is his over-arching program – not just for air-defenseless third-world societies nationalizing their natural resources, but for the most vulnerable people of the US, especially the poor and the black.

The lawless indifference to human and planetary life violation is symbolic of the underlying agenda to usurp any accountability to any instituted public law or common life purpose inside or outside the US.

At the personal level, Trump is the sociopath required to execute the unseen agenda. “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters”, he has boasted.

Trump always acts against life-protective public norms, but never against the interests of the US corporate rich. This is the missing link of public reporting and understanding.

Inner Logic of the Beast

The “libertarian” Kochs are lead funders of the Republican program to abolish the public realm and life standards which Trump now pilots after their Tea Party success in gaining control of the Party.

The New York Times recently (10/19/20) quoted Charles Koch on the specifics of his program which is indistinguishable from Trump’s program today. It implicitly expresses the unspoken idea of freedom of the private money party from public government itself – “to stop ‘confiscatory taxation,’ ‘safety and health regulations,’ ‘trade barriers,’ ‘so-called equal opportunity requirements’ and ‘many more interventions.” Koch sets no limit to the public realm of accountability he wants erased, nor does Trump.

No public accountability, responsibility and life standards is supported or agreed to by this party at any level. All public responsibilities are to be eliminated except to protect private markets, property and exchanges, and licenses to mine public spaces and lands.

What is never engaged by this doctrine from its inception is that market freedom and right extends only so far as one’s private money demand; and this entails no right or freedom to those with little or none, and in sliding scale upwards, no limit to private money demand power to a dozen individuals having more than the majority of the world put together.

In the backward ‘free market’ model of Trump, the only cost quantified is private money cost to self-maximizing buyers and sellers. All costs of human and environmental life degradation, despoliation and destruction are erased a-priori.

To execute the program, attack on long-evolved environmental standards and rules at every point is launched, but the unseen agenda’s destruction of life organization all the way down is not comprehended even by the opposition.

Thus under Trump direction, the iconic US Environmental Protection Agency is now headed by an agent whose only qualifications are serving private mining interests as a coal lobbyist. As soon as the Covid-19 crisis is established, he declares the indefinite suspension of all evolved EPA environmental-protection rules. Fossil fuel companies like the Kochs or ones in which Trump is invested are given a green light to freely pollute as “self-regulation

The former head of the EPA’s Office of Enforcement has reported that the new Trump policy is “essentially a nationwide waiver of environmental rules for the indefinite future….It tells companies across the country that they will not face enforcement even if they emit unlawful air and water pollution in violation of environmental laws, so long as they claim that those failures are in some way ’caused’ by the virus pandemic.”

Accordingly, environmental regulators across the country granted more than 3,000 requests from polluting oil and gas operations, government facilities, chemical plants, and other facilities to stop pollution monitoring and other procedures intended to protect human health and the environment. The nullified public inspections endanger oil and gas workers and allowing thousands of tons of greenhouse pollution to be emitted into the atmosphere.

Observe here how all levels of economic, social and ecological life organization are attacked. Harvard Law School’s Environmental and Energy Law Program reports that the “new Owner Clean Air Act Audit Program does not provide the general deterrence effect that enforcement actions provide and allows those companies who do not volunteer to go unnoticed and likely engage in unlawful pollution. Reducing enforcement actions is particularly problematic in the oil and gas sector where pollution rule violations and non-compliance are rampant – – and local states [must] agree with new enforcement cases being filed and resolved”.

We see here once more the system driver of Trump-faction rule is to dismantle all evolved life-protective law at home or abroad – from war against US social programs to foreign social states having them. Although the war on life fabrics at all levels is unconnected even by the opposition, it ranges from complete abdication of US national powers to stop the pandemic killing hundreds of thousands of US citizens, to massively disabling US public powers to serve all Americans in life-serving public capacities, to nullifying long-evolved government regulations protecting the life carrying capacities of the US and the world.

Public wealth and power are going instead to the corporate rich. “I have just made all of you a lot richer”, Trumps smiles to them after signing his monster tax-cuts into law at the White House in 2017. Smirks appear all around led by Mitch McConnell. His Senate co-leader, Lindsey Graham, had earlier told his colleagues that unless the tax cuts for the corporate rich came soon, the “Republican Party won’t be able to raise another cent”.

The program is fanatical. Even to reduce carbon emissions, strengthen labor unions, raise taxes on the rich, and make college and health care more affordable is warred on by Trump as “the Democrat program of a socialist hell-hole”.

It is worthwhile remembering here the words attributed to Crowfoot: “Only when the last tree has been cut down, only when the last river has been poisoned, only when the last fish has been caught will you realise you can’t eat money”. It rings particularly poignant as the US coasts are increasingly flooding, the forests are burning out of control, the storms of every kind increase, and the ice-cap water towers of the world collapse.

Will the US Election Catch Up?

The Covid-19 challenge across borders has shown the life-and-death necessity for the united public action that the Trump-faction agenda rules out. The 2020 US election in a few days is about this underlying meaning.

Public law and power based in universal life necessities is the moral ground and compass not seen. Yet it has been behind universal life-protective law over centuries – to ban slavery, men-only voting, violent child abuse, death from disemployment, unsafe vehicles, conditions for disease, toxins in consumables, and right to spewing viral loads in public which Trump calls “free choice”.

Public law and power alone ensure all the life enabling programs for clean air and water, sewage plants, green energy, universal literacy, public health, parks, libraries, art, broadcasting and all that private money does not buy.

We are at the visible edge of an unfolding system chaos. It demands public re-set to collective life-protective law at every level for the evolution of humanity and the natural world to have a chance.

John McMurtry is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada whose work is translated from Latin America to Japan. He is the author of the three-volume Philosophy and World Problems published by UNESCO’s Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), and his most recent book is The Cancer Stage of Capitalism: from Crisis to Cure.

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