The Trump Delusion

Modern American Life : George Bellows
Sunday, 9th April 2017

Let’s agree that the left-branded neoliberal dream best associated with the Clinton Dynasty in the US and with Tony Blair and David Cameron in the UK has failed their core working class electoral bases. Ordinary working people are fed up with know-it-all talking heads on TV lecturing them on what they should think and belittling their concerns about globalisation and social engineering. How could the working classes turn to political causes such as Trump in the US, Brexit in the UK or Le Pen in France?

At the end of the day most people just want stable communities, job security, safe neighbourhoods and some degree of personal independence. So what’s the alternative to third way corporate globalisation ? Do we really have to re-learn the fallacy of the old adage that my enemy’s enemy is my friend all over again. No, often your enemy’s enemy is even worse than your local enemy. If you hate US imperialism, would Chinese imperialism be any better? However, the game has changed in the early 21st century. We no longer have the spectre of rival national imperialisms, as in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but rival visions of globalisation, which is not so much an inevitability as a fait accompli, a fact of life. Our high-tech lives depend on infrastructure that can only be provided by global organisations. Nobody is going to uninvent the Internet or mobile phone. Moreover, without efficient industrial systems our increasingly urbanised population would starve. If a national government attempts to break free from international banking cartels, it can soon be reduced to misery as imported products it used to take for granted suddenly become unaffordable in local currency. Venezuela, once hailed by many on the left as a viable alternative to neoliberalism, is probably one of the most depressing failures in recent history. While crude oil prices remained high, the radical social democratic government could tax energy companies to fund its welfare state. When they plummeted, the country faced the twin scourges of hyperinflation and rampant crime. Although very fertile and technically able to feed itself, Venezuela never developed an industrial base sophisticated and diverse enough to meet the needs and desires of its citizens. Hugo Chavez and Nicolás Maduro failed to raise the educational standards of the country’s underclasses quickly enough to build an indigenous industrial base independent of global corporations. Meanwhile the social democratic experiments of Northern Europe have failed to cope with the growing demands of mass migration and job insecurity. Trade unions have become a mere shadow of their former selves, wedded to concepts of international workers’ solidarity that made sense 50 years ago when governments could easily intervene to protect local workers from unfair competition. Globalisation and automation have not only displaced millions of manual workers, they have made it almost impossible to organise strikes. Parties posing on the left have failed miserably to address any of the concerns of the remnants of the once great European and North American working classes. The best they can do is offer retraining for the new dynamic information economy but usually for ephemeral occupations. Many former factory workers ended up in call centres in much of Northern England, Wales and Scotland. For a few short years Scotland's Central Belt was the call centre capital of the world. I should know, I worked in one. We'd handle calls for the European and North American markets. That was before these jobs were outsourced first to India and then largely replaced by Web portals or advanced voice recognition software. Any boring and monotonous job is a prime candidate for smart automation. So after retraining as call centre operatives, our undaunted postmodern workers have to retrain as software engineers or care workers, both professions much in demand. Except programming requires a high level of abstract thinking and usually several years of thorough study and experimentation, while care workers are usually trapped on low pay with stressful and unrewarding jobs. Just imagine you’re a newly unemployed call centre worker and former shipbuilder and you’re contemplating retraining as a plumber or taxi driver, only to discover the market is saturated with competition from newcomers, apparently more diligent and enthusiastic than you are. Would you persevere and adapt? Would you accept a job in a meat packing factory as the only native worker? It’s hardly surprising that many former workers end up trapped on benefits. Most employers will just ignore you if your CV provides no proof of recent employment. You can always embellish your CV, but in today’s easy-come easy-go hire-and-fire culture if you cannot get up to speed within a few days your inexperience will soon become apparent. The globalist left do not have any answers for these questions, except vain promises to spend more on welfare, mental health, invest more in training and make sure large corporations pay more tax. Once in power former social democratic parties offer more of the same. The last great hope of the European left was Francois Hollande, whose French Socialist party now polls between 15 and 20% of the vote while the electorate will in all likelihood face unpalatable choice between a global extremist Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, despised by most of the global establishment. I suspect a Le Pen presidency, especially if she wins by a narrow margin because the old left fail to support Macron’s Neo-Thatcherism, would disappoint as international investors flee France.

Americanism vs Globalism

While I lost no sleep over Hillary Clinton’s loss, Trump has thus far only delivered feeble promises of bringing back jobs to the US and stemming the tide of illegal immigration. The Trump administration has remained consistent on only one area of US foreign policy, its unflinching support for the State of Israel. While some hoped a Trump Presidency would stop supporting Islamic militias and meddling unduly in the domestic affairs of sovereign states, nothing has changed. The US is still bombing Iraq and Syria and Trump has actually boosted US Defence spending, which will inevitably only lead China, whose economy will overtake the USA’s in the next two decades, will follow suit triggering a new and dangerous arms race. While Trump may personally have the best of intentions, his policy advisors will guide him into the neocon camp, whose sole mission is to ensure their cabal lead the New World Order rather than rival gangs in China, India or Saudi Arabia.

Yet dark forces are at work to destabilise not only the Middle East, but Europe and North America too. Before Trump’s election any talk of a US State leaving the federation would have been dismissed as a joke. Sure, Texans love their Lone Star flag and Californians like to set themselves apart from their East Coast compatriots, but the dominant loyalty most Americans had, until now, was to the USA. The last election cycle revealed a massive gulf between metropolitan areas and America’s redneck heartland. Trump won the support of some of the most disadvantaged people in the US, while the affluent urban elite voted overwhelmingly for Clinton. One section of American society welcomes recent social changes and growing interconnectedness, while the other clings to more traditional values of strong families and self-reliance. Now many Californians feel ashamed to be US Americans. The carefully choreographed protests following Trump’s inauguration could be a sign of things to come if the US economy continues its in relative decline. In the not-too-distant future trade with the Asia Pacific region might be of greater importance to California than the rest of the US. Cultural convergence and extreme labour mobility have already reduced the USA’s earlier cultural uniqueness. Tech firms can now easily relocate to India and attract high-calibre software engineers from across the globe. Miniature Californian bubbles can be recreated almost anywhere big business can set up shop with an almost unlimited supply of cheap labour to clean offices and serve coffee (until these jobs are fully automated). That’s the point of globalisation, the whole world becomes one country with a maze of parallel communities, gated neighbourhoods, ghettos and hinterlands with displaced natives.

Likewise until recently any talk of Scotland leaving the United Kingdom would have equally been dismissed as wild conjecture. Then between 2010 and 2014 support for Scottish Independence rose from 23% to just under 45% in the last referendum. While the 2016 EU referendum exposed a growing divide between the interests of ordinary working natives and metropolitan elite in England and Wales, in Scotland most new SNP supporters voted to remain in the EU (although 37% voted to leave). This apparent divide has allowed Nicola Sturgeon to claim Scotland is being dragged out of the EU against the will of Scottish voters, though to be honest the EU has never been the foremost issue in Scottish voters’ minds. Many social attitudes surveys would suggest if anything Scots are even more conservative than their southern neighbours on issues such as mass migration or social engineering. Differential voting patterns are swayed by deep identitarian emotions. Working class English northerners blame Brussels for their lack of job security, while working class Scots are keen to blame Westminster. In truth the real culprit for the disempowerment of the underclasses is neither the EU or UK administrations, but the rapid pace of corporate globalisation and technological change. But who would benefit most from the break-up of previously viable nation states such as the United Kingdom or United States? One would think the Anglo-Saxon world would lose out. When the former Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia splintered in the 1990s, few Western observers seemed surprised. After all these were young federations without a strong sense of shared identity. But now global corporations treat all countries as mere regions with historical quirks and quaint traditions. However, they distrust strong nation states for another more profound reason. Nation states are the only known viable unit for the kind of relatively free, democratic and prosperous societies that emerged in Western Europe and North America in the last century. I really have to stress the significance of the adjective relative before abstract concepts such freedom and democracy as no society can claim absolute freedom or pure democracy, but some societies can respond to their citizens’ needs and desires better than others. As a result the citizens of prosperous nation states tend to expect their governments to defend their best interests in matters such as employment opportunities, education, training, workers’ rights, welfare provision, policing, surveillance, free speech and migration. However, the corporate and state media have long managed public debate and expectations. Some subjects, such as military and political alliances, are taboo in countries that either lost the Second World War or were occupied by Nazi Germany or the former Soviet Union. To a large extent German national identity has been redefined in terms of loyalty to the EU project. The UK and USA have always differed from continental Europe in one important respect. Their citizens have not until recently been ashamed to show off their patriotic fervour. I can recall how Margaret Thatcher’s popularity ratings changed almost overnight after Argentina invaded a windswept and sparsely populated archipelago in South Atlantic. Despite record post-war unemployment levels, the country rallied behind Thatcher’s infamous Naval task Force to recapture the Falklands and liberate 1600 islanders. Such a reaction would be unthinkable in Italy or Germany, whose territorial assets had already been stripped down to little more than their core ethnolinguistic regions.

The New Labour years taught me a perspective-changing lesson. Initially I considered Tony Blair just to be a trendy Tory masquerading as a moderate Labour leader. As imperfect and compromised as previous Labour governments may have been, I have little doubt that its leading politicians actually believed they were acting in the best interests of their working class voters. Certainly even in the 60s and 70s corporate lobbies would find ways to promote their transformative socio-economic agendas. The cultural revolution of the swinging 60s turned out to be a big boon for big business. As long as national governments could protect local industries and retain job security with low levels of unemployment and gradually improving living standards, the welfare state had a largely benign influence providing a social safety net. However, by the 1970s big business no longer wanted to subsidise inefficient industries to maintain full employment and the great social democratic experiment began to unravel. In the beginning of the Thatcher era the left supported workers’ rights first and foremost, however as the workless underclasses expanded and job security weakened, the left began to champion welfare dependency over workers’ empowerment. It soon became clear the Blair government had little interest in helping ordinary working class kids escape the real poverty trap, which was not a lack of food or bad sanitation, but intellectual poverty and a lack of opportunity amidst a decadent culture of instant gratification. Meanwhile their foreign policy no longer followed the national interest, but reflected the demands of a globalist cabal deeply entrenched in the US, EU and UK administrations. I once believed the BBC had an institutional bias in favour of British imperialism allied with American imperialism. But British imperialism died shortly after World War Two. The US merely allowed Britain and France to retain a semblance of post-imperial grandeur with a few token overseas territories and special interests. Today the global elite does not seem to care if the United Kingdom loses Northern Ireland or Scotland. That’s how far we’ve travelled in just 20 years. The unthinkable has become thinkable. While nostalgics of the British Empire fret over the status of Gibraltar (basically a money laundering centre with a special tax and legal regime) and the Falkland Islands, many English towns and cities have been ethno-culturally transformed out of all recognition. When I went to high school in Luton in the late 70s, fewer than 5% of the population came from visible ethnic minorities (many more were of Irish descent). Now the town’s ethnic white British and Irish population has fallen below 50%, and the proportion is even lower among the younger generation owing to differential birth rates. Many will claim this is either not a problem or is just the price we pay for past British imperialism. The affluent cosmopolitan elite now regard the home-bred lower classes as ill-informed xenophobic scum unable to adapt to our Brave New World, despite the fact that in-group loyalty is much stronger among non-European migrant communities. The North American liberal elite show a similar attitude to their blue collar workers and rednecks, mainly of white European descent. Their wealth no longer depends on the hard work of their native working classes, who are now viewed as little more than an inconvenience or people management problem.

Facile Rhetoric

A basic rule of thumb is “If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is”. Tony Blair mainly spoke in facile soundbites. On Iraq he would say “I did it because I believed it was the right thing to do”. How low does your critical thinking IQ have to be to believe such an explanation? The same goes for Trump. He just makes sweeping claims about how fantastic his job-creating and healthcare policies are. His vanity knows no bounds. Meanwhile he has outsourced his entire foreign policy to a bunch of neocon lobbyists such as Jared Kushner with close ties to Israel and US Deep State. He merely acts a mouthpiece for their hidden agendas.

Meanwhile the true ruling elites are busy preparing for a post-American world, where the USA is little more than a loose confederation of states. If Trump triggers a showdown with Russia, Iran and China, he will lose, but the globalist project will stay intact. Its epicentre will move on, but a China-led world will rely even more on high-tech surveillance and censorship to manage the underclasses. Together these superpowers can now hold the US to ransom. Its military might is built on debt. Its wars in the Middle East have failed and will soon backfire in hideously dangerous and unpredictable ways.

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