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After the Storms: Defeating Trumpism, Rebuilding America


After the Storms: Defeating Trumpism, Rebuilding America

Gar Alperovitz, Ted Howard

A political system haunted by racial violence and terror. An economy delivering great wealth for the few amid stagnation and indebtedness for the many. A rising millennial generation with deteriorating prospects increasingly willing to put their bodies on the line for something better. A climate catastrophe already beginning to unfold on the flooded streets of our largest cities. With the profoundly troubling events in Charlottesville—and before that in Ferguson, Berkeley, Baltimore, and elsewhere—the ghosts of America’s past have come crowding in.


Yes, instead of anymore “Trickle Down” nonsense, We the People must fight to create a system whereby the Lower and Middle Classes are receiving an “Upward Steady Flow” of revenue taken from those individuals and businesses that formerly paid little to no tax by eliminating deductions that the masses do not benefit from.

Eliminated forever, not just until the next administration takes office.

Rebuilding our nation instead of rebuilding our already bloated Military and our more than adequate to kill us all many times over Nuclear Arsenal, must come first. Always first.


Two more top-shelf academics have written another lengthy treatise, full of “shoulds” and “musts,” while studiously avoiding any mention of our thoroughly-corrupted “two-party” system and how it functions to keep things as they are. We’re not going to vote our way out of this mess.

Instead we’re going to have to organize outside of conventional politics. This means taking stock of where we are, what resources are available locally, and who our friends are; then we can begin to build vital, vibrant institutions that meet our needs—NOT the wants of the predators and parasites who now call all the shots—inside the decaying infrastructure of the old order.

So: communal gardens producing food to be prepared and served communally; communal education and supervision for the youth, communal day care and recreation for the elders, and communal health care for all; communal credit services, communal fire protection, and communal mediation of disputes; in short, a comprehensively and explicitly anti-capitalist modus vivendi.


Where did the authors advocate voting our way out of this mess? While I also found it hard to stay focused on the message they were delivering here, because of the unnecessary wordiness, you then go on to advocate for the things they were really talking about.

They ended by saying:

“changing the system that has created them, from the bottom up and in a radically decentralized way.”

Seems to me that they, like you and I, have realized that our captured political class and our institutions of captured government, will not be agents of change.

Don’t shoot the messengers, especially when they’re on our side. By the way, though I attended university (and a very good one at that) I did not graduate, and have no academic letters to append to my name.


Just like two white men, you never even mention MISOGYNY that is raging world-wide as an issue. Just another manel - not a typo. Same old same old.


Good point. The .01% has always ruled the 99% by dividing us. Howard Zinn in his “People"s History” points out that before 16something there was no racism and no “white men” only men of various classes and then women. Patriarchy is the greatest and most effective strategy of division and predates capitalism.
King Solomon, the wise, had 700 wives and 300 concubines. That means 2,000 people without mates and probably another 8,000 to support them. That means the .01% controlling the 99% through division has been around a while. Most men and women don’t realize that patriarchy is not good for the 99% of both genders.
i don’t think Solomon was so wise. At times I have had differences with the one woman in my life. I can’t imagine 1,000.


My compliments to the writers of that excellent article. Every paragraph was full of sensible observations and suggestions for us all to engage now.

I wonder about two very minor details: What does this mean? Can it be said better? “…lead to much larger transformative forms of democratic institution-changing impact…” I tried cutting off ‘impact’ and still could go nowhere with it. How about something like “lead us into much better qualitative democratic institution-changing cultures”? I am not sure what it was aimed to mean.

The other detail only a quibble, though it seems to follow from the spirit of the article. At closing, the phrase: “…the possibility of hope—at the level of community and the nation as a whole—depends on being able to envision and deliver an economy and a future that people can believe in.” Well, yes, but is this really sufficient to fire the imagination of this budding new democratic transformation’s most active actors? How about if, instead of “a future that people can believe in” which is good; what if we say something like, “a future that citizens can enjoy embodying and inhabiting as they so choose.”?

At any rate, my compliments for an excellent offering! May we succeed at enabling it to grow into public consideration where it needs most being shown and tested with many personal experiences. We want to learn to participate effectively and efficiently in a broadly-inclusive, non-violent society and community. The vision for going there has been presented with many promising suggestions.


We continue to experience the chaos and wreckage unleashed upon the citizenry by a social system dedicated to pursuit of private wealth and power. The glaring social poverty of private wealth can no longer be ignored. Isn’t it time we recognize that our “wise and wonderful” Founding Fathers were the same sort of robber-barons as Trump and most of Congress? They wrote their privileges into the script of their new nation. Nothing is going to change for the Majority until we rewrite the script, starting with junking the whole idea of banking, interest, and profits. If you wouldn’t do something for free, it probably shouldn’t be done, anyway.

So many people have sold out to the Money System that they are blind to better ways to set up a society. When I say “Let’s make everything free of charge”, such people are so knee-jerk quick to defend their whoredoms (and resulting poverty) that even before I’m done speaking, they tell me my idea is UNTHINKABLE. Hmmm… I’d have thought that four hundred people having more wealth than 190 MILLION is pretty unthinkable, but most of those 190 million people still go to work every day to help perpetuate the current corrupt system.

If you really want to change the System, start by saying “No! No I’m NOT going to the back of the bus. No I’m NOT going to pay off my student loan, EVER, so get used to it. No I’m NOT going to work for a society, ever again, that fails to take care of its sick, or takes peoples’ homes when they get sick, or locks them away in prison for bullshit “crimes”. No I’m NOT going to obey any law that I was not allowed to vote on. No I’m NOT going to rule out eating the rich if I get hungry.” If the System thinks it doesn’t have to play by its rules, then the people it oppresses don’t have to, either.

The ONLY TIME a rich person uses the word, “WE”, when addressing a poor person, is when the rich wants the poor to die for him. Start defending yourself NOW.


This sounds a lot like what I have been thinking for many years now. Let me illustrate. I wrote this when I had my own website, from !999 to 2005, devoted to mountains and desert travels:

“In December of 1997, at the age of forty-seven, I retired form the oilpatch, and for the next seven years devoted myself to the climbing of mountains… Civilization, as we like to call it, has obvious advantages, but increasingly, its dark side is overwhelming us. I think that’s why I climbed - to get back into the light - to gain perspective.”

In 2008, after getting married and having a son (wife also a climber) - I wrote this, as a dedicated environmentalist:

“Let’s not pussyfoot around. I think our civilization sucks. The good ship Western Way is a failure, and is about to become a disaster. We have plenty of smart people, all seemingly impotent. War, environmental degradation, and the hemorraghing of our humanity mark us as a failed society, unfit to live properly, or lead others… There is little point in tinkering with the Western Way, we need to replace it.”


PS: to SkipMoreland - CD won’t let me reply to your last reply !?


One brief mention:

“We are now living the consequences of these dangerous patterns. Many communities are falling into decay, their social bonds dissolving. Violence remains endemic (including shocking levels of violence against women).”


Your handle captures my mantra. It’s amazing how hard it is to get folks to dream bigger.


Maybe I’ve been haunting these boards too long, but it seems that every article that starts like this one ends with a shrug and an admonition, sometimes subliminal but mostly not, to vote Brand D and hope for the best.

Sorry, I should have replied to the article as written, not to the one I anticipated. I guess my plea to the authors would be for less description, however detalied, and more prescription, as specific as possible.


Here’s the detailed outline, from their Next System Project site: