Trump: Power Politics and the Cartoon-like Manifestation of Neoliberalism in the World Economy

Trump’s contradictory statements and false promises are now part of his negotiating arsenal. He is a corporate man. He knows how to cut a deal. Trump is also a family-man. Mafia style he places his blood brothers into positions of power.

Theresa May is catching onto this notion of governance. She uses secrecy as an administrative tool. She tells parliament and the electorate that they have no right to know what she is up to in crucial negotiations about the future of Britain in Europe.

She has Ministers advising on Brexit who contradict each other. Ultimately it is she who will decide. We seem to have no recourse but to leave all the negotiations in her hands. Like Trump she reserves the right to chop and change according to which way the wind blows during the negotiations.

Foreign Minister, Boris Johnson, is much like Donald Trump. He plays the jovial fool. His trigger-happy remarks keep him in the news. He seems ill-prepared, ill-informed, and caught off-guard. Make no mistake, this masquerade of innocence and sincerity is the strategy. In a post-truth world media spin is all that counts. Goofs, gaffs and obnoxious remarks are all attention-seeking, headline-grabbing achievements.

The shock of the US Presidential election is that language so many were utterly repulsed by, and even frightened by, was no impediment to Trump’s electoral success. The message is that Trump plays tough, but he is ready to be conciliatory during negotiations as long as all parties are willing to play ball.

Trump’s statements are continuously watered down and rolled back, but they remain a part of his arsenal. The challenge to the UK government to place his pal, Nigel Farage, in Washington as the UK Ambassador is clearly part of the fun. We should see it also as part of a thinly veiled campaign to put pressure on the Prime Minister.

Trump is teasing and testing the Prime MInister to see how far the government is prepared to go to appease the will of this demagogic President.  It is no lack of understanding of the protocol that drives Trump’s remarks. It is a deliberate effort to dig around for the sheer sport of it, bullying his opponents and amusing his supporters in order to achieve ever-greater demagogic power. It is one more component of the divisive and bullying tactics which demonstrate a total lack of either respect or moral restraint.

The last time the far-right responded to recessionary forces with nationalist slogans purposefully designed to inspire derision, hatred and violence in the west we observed the rise of a fascist dictator in Germany. The German government was hell-bent on encouraging people to attack their friends and neighbours, blaming them for their frustration with the outcomes of government policy. A policy of sending youngsters off to war became the nationalistic solution to unemployment. That policy was fuelled by self-aggrandizing patriotism and attitudes of racial separateness and of white supremacy.

Neoliberal economies promotes a ‘slash and burn’ principle of short-term profiteering at almost any cost. Under this doctrine the government is increasingly merely a matter of privatisation of services and of secretive, back-office negotiations between the government and private corporate executives. Make no mistake this is no competitive environment of the interplay of ‘free’ market forces. Business is a matter of negotiation between powerful corporations and national governments, themselves made up of wealthy individuals with a personal financial stake in the negotiations.

Workers are not treated as stakeholders in corporate decision-making. They are not part of the negotiations. The neoliberal ideology that underpins this modus operandi serves the interests of the few, not the many. The concentration of wealth in too few hands undermines democracy itself. The concentration of industry undermines competition.

Is the election of Donald Trump as President of the most powerful nation in the world a manifestation of the electorate’s rejection of establishment-thinking? Clearly it is nothing of the sort. It is time to see Donald Trump for what he is. Trump is nothing more nor less than a two-dimensional, cartoon-like human embodiment of the establishment’s own neoliberal doctrine. This is what pure greed looks like. Quack Quack!

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